Mutation in cyaA in Enterobacter cloacae decreases cucumber root colonization

Arch Microbiol. 2007 Feb;187(2):101-15. doi: 10.1007/s00203-006-0177-6. Epub 2006 Oct 6.


Strains of Enterobacter cloacae show promise as biological control agents for Pythium ultimum-induced damping-off on cucumber and other crops. Enterobacter cloacae M59 is a mini-Tn5 Km transposon mutant of strain 501R3. Populations of M59 were significantly lower on cucumber roots and decreased much more rapidly than those of strain 501R3 with increasing distance from the soil line. Strain M59 was decreased or deficient in growth and chemotaxis on most individual compounds detected in cucumber root exudate and on a synthetic cucumber root exudate medium. Strain M59 was also slightly less acid resistant than strain 501R3. Molecular characterization of strain M59 demonstrated that mini-Tn5 Km was inserted in cyaA, which encodes adenylate cyclase. Adenylate cyclase catalyzes the formation of cAMP and cAMP levels in cell lysates from strain M59 were approximately 2% those of strain 501R3. Addition of exogenous, nonphysiological concentrations of cAMP to strain M59 restored growth (1 mM) and chemotaxis (5 mM) on synthetic cucumber root exudate and increased cucumber seedling colonization (5 mM) by this strain without serving as a source of reduced carbon, nitrogen, or phosphorous. These results demonstrate a role for cyaA in colonization of cucumber roots by Enterobacter cloacae.

MeSH terms

  • Adenylate Cyclase Toxin / genetics
  • Adenylate Cyclase Toxin / metabolism
  • Adenylate Cyclase Toxin / physiology*
  • Cucumis sativus / genetics
  • Cucumis sativus / microbiology*
  • Enterobacter cloacae / genetics
  • Enterobacter cloacae / pathogenicity*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Mutation
  • Pest Control, Biological*
  • Plant Diseases
  • Plant Roots / microbiology*


  • Adenylate Cyclase Toxin