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J Bacteriol. 1997 Dec;179(24):7663-70.

N-acyl-homoserine lactone-mediated regulation of phenazine gene expression by Pseudomonas aureofaciens 30-84 in the wheat rhizosphere.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721, USA.


Pseudomonas aureofaciens 30-84 is a soilborne bacterium that colonizes the wheat rhizosphere. This strain produces three phenazine antibiotics which suppress take-all disease of wheat by inhibition of the causative agent Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici. Phenazines also enhance survival of 30-84 within the wheat rhizosphere in competition with other organisms. Expression of the phenazine biosynthetic operon is controlled by the phzR/phzI N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) response system (L. S. Pierson III et al., J. Bacterial 176:3966-3974, 1994; D. W. Wood and L. S. Pierson III, Gene 168:49-53, 1996). By using high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry, the AHL produced by PhzI has now been identified as N-hexanoyl-homoserine lactone (HHL). In addition, the ability of HHL to serve as an interpopulation signal molecule in the wheat rhizosphere has been examined by using isogenic reporter strains. Disruption of phzI reduced expression of the phenazine biosynthetic operon 1,000-fold in the wheat rhizosphere. Coinoculation of an isogenic strain which produced the endogenous HHL signal restored phenazine gene expression in the phzI mutant to wild-type levels in situ. These results demonstrate that HHL is required for phenazine expression in situ and is an effective interpopulation signal molecule in the wheat rhizosphere.

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