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Involvement of Phenazines and Anthranilate in the Antagonism of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PNA1 and Tn5 Derivatives Toward Fusarium spp. and Pythium spp.

September 1998 , Volume 11 , Number  9
Pages  847 - 854

Vanamala Anjaiah , 1 , 2 Nico Koedam , 2 Brian Nowak-Thompson , 3 Joyce E. Loper , 3 Monica Höfte , 4 James Tabi Tambong , 4 and Pierre Cornelis 1 , 2

1Department of Immunology, Parasitology, Ultrastructure, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology, and 2Laboratory of Microbial Interactions, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Paardenstraat 65, B-1640 Sint Genesius Rode, Belgium; 3U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 3420 N.W. Orchard Avenue, Corvallis, Oregon 97330, U.S.A.; and 4Laboratory of Phytopathology, University of Gent, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Gent, Belgium

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Accepted 12 May 1998.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa PNA1, isolated from the rhizosphere of chickpea in India, suppressed Fusarium wilt of chickpea, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris, and Pythium damping-off of bean, caused by Pythium splendens. When grown in culture, PNA1 produced the phenazine antibiotics phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and oxychloraphine, and inhibited mycelial growth of F. oxysporum f. sp. ciceris, P. splendens, and certain other phytopathogenic fungi. Two mutants (FM29 and FM13) deficient in phenazine production were obtained following transposon mutagenesis of PNA1. The transposon in the genome of FM29 was localized to phnA, which is thought to encode a subunit of anthranilate synthase II involved in the phenazine biosynthesis. The FM13 mutation was complemented by trpC, which encodes indole glycerol phosphate synthase in the tryptophan biosynthesis pathway; consequently, FM13 could not grow on a minimal medium in the absence of tryptophan. Neither FM29 nor FM13 suppressed Fusarium wilt of chickpea to the level achieved by the wild-type strain, indicating that phenazine production contributed to the biocontrol of this disease by P. aeruginosa PNA1. FM29 was also less effective than the phenazine-producing parental strain in biological control of Pythium damping-off of bean, but FM13 was as effective as the parental strain in suppressing this disease. Anthranilate, an intermediate in the tryptophan biosynthesis pathway, suppressed mycelial growth of Pythium spp. in culture and Pythium damping-off of bean and lettuce. Anthranilate, excreted by FM13 as a consequence of the trpC mutation, may have contributed to the suppression of Pythium damping-off by the mutant.

Additional keywords: anthranilate synthase, antifungal compound, biocontrol.

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society