Analysis of Pseudomonas fluorescens F113 genes implicated in flagellar filament synthesis and their role in competitive root colonization

Microbiology (Reading). 2004 Nov;150(Pt 11):3889-3897. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.27362-0.


The ability of plant-associated micro-organisms to colonize and compete in the rhizosphere is specially relevant for the biotechnological application of micro-organisms as inoculants. Pseudomonads are one of the best root colonizers and they are widely used in plant-pathogen biocontrol and in soil bioremediation. This study analyses the motility mechanism of the well-known biocontrol strain Pseudomonas fluorescens F113. A 6.5 kb region involved in the flagellar filament synthesis, containing the fliC, flaG, fliD, fliS, fliT and fleQ genes and part of the fleS gene, was sequenced and mutants in this region were made. Several non-motile mutants affected in the fliC, fliS and fleQ genes, and a fliT mutant with reduced motility properties, were obtained. These mutants were completely displaced from the root tip when competing with the wild-type F113 strain, indicating that the wild-type motility properties are necessary for competitive root colonization. A mutant affected in the flaG gene had longer flagella, but the same motility and colonization properties as the wild-type. However, in rich medium or in the absence of iron limitation, it showed a higher motility, suggesting the possibility of improving competitive root colonization by manipulating the motility processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • Flagella / genetics*
  • Flagella / physiology*
  • Flagella / ultrastructure
  • Flagellin / genetics
  • Gene Order
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Molecular Chaperones / genetics
  • Molecular Chaperones / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Movement
  • Mutation
  • Plant Roots / microbiology*
  • Pseudomonas fluorescens / genetics*
  • Pseudomonas fluorescens / growth & development
  • Pseudomonas fluorescens / physiology*
  • Pseudomonas fluorescens / ultrastructure
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Flagellin
  • FlaD protein, Bacteria
  • FliS protein, Bacteria
  • fliT protein, Bacteria

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF399739