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Endophytic colonization and biocontrol performance of Pseudomonas fluorescens PICF7 in olive (Olea europaea L.) are determined neither by pyoverdine production nor swimming motility

AuthorsMaldonado-González, María Mercedes ; Schilirò, Elisabetta ; Prieto, Pilar ; Mercado-Blanco, Jesús
Issue DateSep-2015
CitationEnvironmental Microbiology 17(9): 3139-3153 (2015)
AbstractPseudomonas fluorescens PICF7 is an indigenous inhabitant of olive (Olea europaea L.) rhizosphere, able to display endophytic lifestyle in roots, to induce a wide range of defence responses upon colonization of this organ and to exert effective biological control against Verticillium wilt of olive (VWO) (Verticillium dahliae). We aimed to evaluate the involvement of specific PICF7 phenotypes in olive root colonization and VWO biocontrol effectiveness by generating mutants impaired in swimming motility (fliI) or siderophore pyoverdine production (pvdI). Besides, the performance of mutants with diminished in vitro growth in potato dextrose agar medium (gltA) and cysteine (Cys) auxotrophy was also assessed. Results showed that olive root colonization and VWO biocontrol ability of the fliI, pvdI and gltA mutants did not significantly differ from that displayed by the parental strain PICF7. Consequently, altered in vitro growth, swimming motility and pyoverdine production contribute neither to PICF7 VWO suppressive effect nor to its colonization ability. In contrast, the Cys auxotroph mutant showed reduced olive root colonization capacity and lost full biocontrol efficacy. Moreover, confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed that all mutants tested were able to endophytically colonize root tissue to the same extent as wild-type PICF7, discarding these traits as relevant for its endophytic lifestyle.
Publisher version (URL)http://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.12725
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