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Environ Microbiol. 2005 Mar;7(3):443-9.

Role of iron and the TonB system in colonization of corn seeds and roots by Pseudomonas putida KT2440.

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  • 1Department of Plant Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology, Estación Experimental de Zaidín, CSIC, Profesor Albareda 1, Granada 18008, Spain.


Iron, which is abundant in corn (Zea mays L.) seeds, plays an important role in the initial establishment of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 populations on seeds. Sequestration of seed-borne iron by chelators decreases the capacity of KT2440 to initiate attachment to corn seeds. The importance of iron for this plant-bacteria interaction is further supported by the fact that mutations in the TonB system, which is key for iron uptake, result in reduced seed colonization. TonB is also a primary determinant of the fitness of P. putida in the rhizosphere, as a deletion mutant shows a clear competitive disadvantage during colonization of corn roots.

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