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Effect of Clay Mineralogy on Iron Bioavailability and Rhizosphere Transcription of 2,4-Diacetylphloroglucinol Biosynthetic Genes in Biocontrol Pseudomonas protegens

May 2013 , Volume 26 , Number  5
Pages  566 - 574

Juliana Almario, Claire Prigent-Combaret, Daniel Muller, and Yvan Moënne-Loccoz

Université de Lyon, F-69622, Lyon, France; Université Lyon 1, Villeurbanne, France; and CNRS, UMR5557, Ecologie Microbienne, Villeurbanne, France

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Accepted 5 February 2013.

Pseudomonas strains producing 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (DAPG) can protect plants from soilborne phytopathogens and are considered the primary reason for suppressiveness of morainic Swiss soils to Thielaviopsis basicola-mediated black root-rot disease of tobacco, even though they also occur nearby in conducive sandstone soils. The underlying molecular mechanisms accounting for this discrepancy are not understood. In this study, we assessed the hypothesis that the presence of iron-rich vermiculite clay (dominant in suppressive soils) instead of illite (dominant in neighboring conducive soils) translates into higher levels of iron bioavailability and transcription of Pseudomonas DAPG synthetic genes in the tobacco rhizosphere. Rhizosphere monitoring of reporter gene systems pvd-inaZ and phlA-gfp in Pseudomonas protegens indicated that the level of iron bioavailability and the number of cells expressing phl genes (DAPG synthesis), respectively, were higher in vermiculitic than in illitic artificial soils. This was in accordance with the effect of iron on phlA-gfp expression in vitro and, indeed, iron addition to the illitic soil increased the number of cells expressing phlA-gfp. Similar findings were made in the presence of the pathogen T. basicola. Altogether, results substantiate the hypothesis that iron-releasing minerals may confer disease suppressiveness by modulating iron bioavailability in the rhizosphere and expression of biocontrol-relevant genes in antagonistic P. protegens.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society