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Plant Pathol J. 2018 Feb;34(1):35-43. doi: 10.5423/PPJ.OA.06.2017.0115. Epub 2018 Feb 1.

Hydrogen Cyanide Produced by Pseudomonas chlororaphis O6 Exhibits Nematicidal Activity against Meloidogyne hapla.

Author information

Institute of Environmentally-Friendly Agriculture, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea.
Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-5305, USA.


Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) are parasites that attack many field crops and orchard trees, and affect both the quantity and quality of the products. A root-colonizing bacterium, Pseudomonas chlororaphis O6, possesses beneficial traits including strong nematicidal activity. To determine the molecular mechanisms involved in the nematicidal activity of P. chlororaphis O6, we constructed two mutants; one lacking hydrogen cyanide production, and a second lacking an insecticidal toxin, FitD. Root drenching with wild-type P. chlororaphis O6 cells caused juvenile mortality in vitro and in planta. Efficacy was not altered in the fitD mutant compared to the wild-type but was reduced in both bioassays for the mutant lacking hydrogen cyanide production. The reduced number of galls on tomato plants caused by the wild-type strain was comparable to that of a standard chemical nematicide. These findings suggest that hydrogen cyanide-producing root colonizers, such as P. chlororaphis O6, could be formulated as "green" nematicides that are compatible with many crops and offer agricultural sustainability.


FitD insecticidal protein; biological control; hydrogen cyanide; nematicide; root-knot nematode

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest The authors declare that they have no competing and commercial interests in his work.

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