Phytohormone-like acting compounds previously have been suggested to be involved in the phytostimulatory action exerted by the plant-beneficial rhizobacterium Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42. Analyses by high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry performed with culture filtrates of FZB42 demonstrated the presence of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), corroborating it as one of the pivotal plant-growth-promoting substances produced by this bacterium. In the presence of 5 mM tryptophan, a fivefold increase in IAA secretion was registered. In addition, in the trp auxotrophic strains E101 (ΔtrpBA) and E102 (ΔtrpED), and in two other strains bearing knockout mutations in genes probably involved in IAA metabolism, E103 (ΔysnE, putative IAA transacetylase) and E105 (ΔyhcX, putative nitrilase), the concentration of IAA in the culture filtrates was diminished. Three of these mutant strains were less efficient in promoting plant growth, indicating that the Trp-dependent synthesis of auxins and plant growth promotion are functionally related in B. amyloliquefaciens.
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