Stress tolerance and environmental fitness of Pseudomonas fluorescens A506, which has a mutation in RpoS.

Academic Article


  • Establishment of suppressive populations of bacterial biological control agents on aerial plant surfaces is a critical phase in biologically based management of floral diseases. Periodically, biocontrol agents encounter inhospitable conditions for growth on plants; consequently, tolerance of environmental stresses may contribute to their fitness. In many gram-negative bacteria, including strains of Pseudomonas spp., the capacity to survive environmental stresses is influenced by the stationary phase sigma factor RpoS. This study focused on the role of RpoS in stress response and epiphytic fitness of Pseudomonas fluorescens A506, a well-studied bacterial biological control agent. We detected a frameshift mutation in the rpoS of A506 and demonstrated that the mutation resulted in a truncated, nonfunctional RpoS. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we deleted a nucleotide from rpoS, which then encoded a full-length, functional RpoS. We compared the stress response and epiphytic fitness of A506 with derivative strains having the functional full-length RpoS or a disrupted, nonfunctional RpoS. RpoS had little effect on stress response of A506 and no consistent influence on epiphytic population size of A506 on pear or apple leaves or flowers. Although the capacity of strain A506 to withstand exposure to environmental stresses was similar to that of other fluorescent pseudomonads, this capacity was largely independent of rpoS.
  • Authors

  • Hagen, Mary J
  • Stockwell, Virginia O
  • Whistler, Cheryl
  • Johnson, Kenneth B
  • Loper, Joyce E
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • June 2009
  • Published In

  • Phytopathology  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Plant
  • Environment
  • Flowers
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation
  • Plant Diseases
  • Plasmids
  • Pseudomonas fluorescens
  • Sigma Factor
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 19453226
  • Start Page

  • 679
  • End Page

  • 688
  • Volume

  • 99
  • Issue

  • 6