Molecular determinants of rhizosphere colonization by Pseudomonas

Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2001;39:461-90. doi: 10.1146/annurev.phyto.39.1.461.


Rhizosphere colonization is one of the first steps in the pathogenesis of soilborne microorganisms. It can also be crucial for the action of microbial inoculants used as biofertilizers, biopesticides, phytostimulators, and bioremediators. Pseudomonas, one of the best root colonizers, is therefore used as a model root colonizer. This review focuses on (a) the temporal-spatial description of root-colonizing bacteria as visualized by confocal laser scanning microscopal analysis of autofluorescent microorganisms, and (b) bacterial genes and traits involved in root colonization. The results show a strong parallel between traits used for the colonization of roots and of animal tissues, indicating the general importance of such a study. Finally, we identify several noteworthy areas for future research.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / physiology
  • Flagella / physiology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / microbiology*
  • Pseudomonas / genetics*
  • Pseudomonas / metabolism
  • Putrescine / metabolism
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Soil Microbiology*


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Putrescine