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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2002 Aug;81(1-4):385-95.

Signal transduction in plant-beneficial rhizobacteria with biocontrol properties.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Microbienne, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland.


Biological control of root pathogens--mostly fungi--can be achieved by the introduction of selected bacterial inoculants acting as 'biopesticides'. Successful inoculants have been identified among Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, often belonging to Pseudomonas spp. and Bacillus spp., respectively. Biocontrol activity of a model rhizobacterium, P. fluorescens CHAO, depends to a considerable extent on the synthesis of extracellular antimicrobial secondary metabolites and exoenzymes, thought to antagonize the pathogenicity of a variety of phytopathogenic fungi. The regulation of exoproduct formation in P. fluorescens (as well as in other bacteria) depends essentially on the GacS/GacA two-component system, which activates a largely unknown signal transduction pathway. However, recent evidence indicates that GacS/GacA control has a major impact on target gene expression at a post-transcriptional level, involving an mRNA target sequence (typically near the ribosome binding site), two RNA binding proteins (designated RsmA and RsmE), and a regulatory RNA (RsmZ) capable of binding RsmA. The expression and activity of the regulatory system is stimulated by at least one low-molecular-weight signal. The timing and specificity of this switch from primary to secondary metabolism are essential for effective biocontrol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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