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Frequency, Diversity, and Activity of 2,4-Diacetylphloroglucinol-Producing Fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. in Dutch Take-all Decline Soils

January 2003 , Volume 93 , Number  1
Pages  54 - 63

Jorge T. de Souza , David M. Weller , and Jos M. Raaijmakers

First and third authors: Wageningen University, Laboratory of Phytopathology, Binnenhaven 5, P.O. Box 8025, 6709 PG, Wageningen, The Netherlands; and second author: Root Disease and Biological Control Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Washington State University, Pullman 99164

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Accepted for publication 12 August 2002.

Natural suppressiveness of soils to take-all disease of wheat, referred to as take-all decline (TAD), occurs worldwide. It has been postulated that different microbial genera and mechanisms are responsible for TAD in soils from different geographical regions. In growth chamber experiments, we demonstrated that fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. that produce the antibiotic 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (2,4-DAPG) play a key role in the natural suppressiveness of two Dutch TAD soils. First, 2,4-DAPG-producing fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. were present on roots of wheat grown in both of the TAD soils at densities at or above the threshold density required to control take-all of wheat; in a complementary take-all conducive soil, population densities of 2,4-DAPG-producing Pseudomonas spp. were below this threshold level. Second, introduction of 2,4-DAPG-producing strain SSB17, a representative of the dominant geno-typic group found in the Dutch TAD soils, into the take-all conducive soil at population densities similar to the densities of indigenous 2,4-DAPG producers found in TAD soils provided control of take-all similar to that observed in the TAD soil. Third, a mutant of strain SSB17 deficient in 2,4-DAPG production was not able to control take-all of wheat, indicating that 2,4-DAPG is a key determinant in take-all suppression. These results show that in addition to the physicochemically different TAD soils from Washington State, 2,4-DAPG-producing fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. are also a key component of the natural suppressiveness found in Dutch TAD soils. Furthermore, it is the first time since the initial studies of Gerlagh (1968) that at least part of the mechanisms and microorganisms that operate in Dutch TAD soils are identified. Although quantitatively similar, the genotypic composition of 2,4-DAPG-producing Pseudomonas spp. varied between the Dutch TAD soils and the TAD soils from Washington State.

Additional keywords: microbial ecology, rhizosphere competence, suppressive soils.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society