Fluorescent pseudomonads have been isolated from halophytes, mesophytes, and xerophytes of Pakistan. Among these, eight isolates, GS-1, GS-3, GS-4, GS-6, GS-7, FS-2 (cactus), ARS-38 (cotton), and RP-4 (para grass), showed antifungal activity and were selected for detailed study. Based on biochemical tests and 16S rRNA gene sequences, these were identified as strains of P. chlororaphis subsp. chlororaphis and aurantiaca. Secondary metabolites of these strains were analyzed by LC-MS. Phenazine-1-carboxylic acid (PCA), 2-hydroxy-phenazine, Cyclic Lipopeptide (white line-inducing principle (WLIP)), and lahorenoic acid A were detected in variable amounts in these strains. P. aurantiaca PB-St2 was used as a reference as it is known for the production of these compounds. The phzO and PCA genes were amplified to assure that production of these compounds is not an artifact. Indole acetic acid production was confirmed and quantified by HPLC. HCN and siderophore production by all strains was observed by plate assays. These strains did not solubilize phosphate, but five strains were positive for zinc solubilization. Wheat seedlings were inoculated with these strains to observe their effect on plant growth. P. aurantiaca strains PB-St2 and GS-6 and P. chlororaphis RP-4 significantly increased both root and shoot dry weights, as compared with uninoculated plants. However, P. aurantiaca strains FS-2 and ARS-38 significantly increased root and shoot dry weights, respectively. All strains except PB-St2 and ARS-38 significantly increased the root length. This is the first report of the isolation of P. aurantiaca from cotton and cactus, P. chlororaphis from para grass, WLIP and lahorenoic acid A production by P. chlororaphis, and zinc solubilization by P. chlororaphis and P. aurantiaca.
Keywords: Phenazines; Pseudomonas aurantiaca; Pseudomonas chlororaphis; lahorenoic acid; white line-inducing principle (WLIP); zinc solubilization.