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Organic Acids, Sugars, and l-Tryptophane in Exudates of Vegetables Growing on Stonewool and Their Effects on Activities of Rhizosphere Bacteria

March 2006 , Volume 19 , Number  3
Pages  250 - 256

Faina Kamilova , 1 Lev V. Kravchenko , 2 Alexander I. Shaposhnikov , 2 Tatiyana Azarova , 2 Nataliya Makarova , 2 and Ben Lugtenberg 1

1Leiden University, Institute of Biology, Clusius Laboratory, Wassenaarseweg 64, 2333 AL Leiden, The Netherlands; 2All Russian Institute of Agricultural Microbiology, 3 Podbelsky Shossee, Saint-Petersburg-Pushkin, Russia

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Accepted 25 October 2005.

The influence of stonewool substrate on the exudation of the major soluble carbon nutrients and of the auxin precursor tryptophane for Pseudomonas biocontrol agents was studied. To this end, the composition of the organic acids and sugars, as well that of tryptophane, of axenically collected exudates of seed, seedlings, and roots of tomato, cucumber, and sweet pepper was determined. The major results were as follows. i) The total amount of organic acid is much higher than that of total sugar. ii) Exudation of both organic acids and sugars increases during plant growth. iii) Citric, succinic, and malic acids represent the major organic acids, whereas fructose and glucose are the major sugars. iv) Compared with glass beads as a neutral substrate, stonewool substantially stimulates exudation of organic acids and sugars. v) It appeared that enhanced root-tip-colonizing bacteria isolated previously from the rhizosphere of tomato and cucumber grow much better in minimal medium with citrate as the sole carbon source than other, randomly selected rhizobacteria do. This indicates that the procedure which selects for excellent root-tip colonizers enriches for strains which utilize the major exudate carbon source citrate. vi) The content of L-tryp-tophane, the direct precursor of auxin, is approximately 60-fold higher in seedling exudates of tomato and sweet pepper than in cucumber seedling exudates, indicating a higher possibility of plant growth stimulation after inoculation with auxin-producing rhizobacteria for tomato and sweet pepper crops than for cucumber. However, the biocontrol strain Pseudomonas fluorescens WCS365, which is able to convert tryptophane into auxin, did not stimulate growth of these three crops. In contrast, this strain did stimulate growth of roots of radish, a plant which exudes nine times more tryptophane than tomato does.

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society