Leiden University, Institute of Biology, Wassenaarseweg 64, 2333 AL Leiden, The Netherlands
Pseudomonas chlororaphis PCL1391 produces the secondary metabolite phenazine-1-carboxamide (PCN), which is an antifungal metabolite required for biocontrol activity of the strain. Identification of conditions involved in PCN production showed that some carbon sources and all amino acids tested promote PCN levels. Decreasing the pH from 7 to 6 or decreasing the growth temperature from 21 to 16°C decreased PCN production dramatically. In contrast, growth at 1% oxygen as well as low magnesium concentrations increased PCN levels. Salt stress, low concentrations of ferric iron, phosphate, sulfate, and ammonium ions reduced PCN levels. Fusaric acid, a secondary metabolite produced by the soilborne Fusarium spp. fungi, also reduced PCN levels. Different nitrogen sources greatly influenced PCN levels. Analysis of autoinducer levels at conditions of high and low PCN production demonstrated that, under all tested conditions, PCN levels correlate with autoinducer levels, indicating that the regulation of PCN production by environmental factors takes place at or before autoinducer production. Moreover, the results show that autoinducer production not only is induced by a high optical density but also can be induced by certain environmental conditions. We discuss our findings in relation to the success of biocontrol in the field.