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Kidarsa T.A., Shaffer B.T., Goebel N.C., Roberts D.P., Buyer J.S., Johnson A., Kobayashi D.Y., Zabriskie T.M., Paulsen I., Loper J.E. 2013. Genes expressed by the biological control bacterium Pseudomonas protegens Pf-5 on seed surfaces under the control of the global regulators GacA and RpoS. Environ Microbiol. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12066


Gene expression profiles of the biological control strain Pseudomonas protegens Pf-5 inhabiting pea seed surfaces were revealed using a whole-genome oligonucleotide microarray. We identified genes expressed by Pf-5 under the control of two global regulators (GacA and RpoS) known to influence biological control and secondary metabolism. Transcript levels of 897 genes, including many with unknown functions as well as those for biofilm formation, cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) signalling, iron homeostasis and secondary metabolism, were influenced by one or both regulators, providing evidence for expression of these genes by Pf-5 on seed surfaces. Comparison of the GacA and RpoS transcriptomes defined for Pf-5 grown on seed versus in broth culture overlapped, but most genes were regulated by GacA or RpoS under only one condition, likely due to differing levels of expression in the two conditions. We quantified secondary metabolites produced by Pf-5 and gacA and rpoS mutants on seed and in culture, and found that production profiles corresponded generally with biosynthetic gene expression profiles. Future studies evaluating biological control mechanisms can now focus on genes expressed by Pf-5 on seed surfaces, the habitat where the bacterium interacts with seed-infecting pathogens to suppress seedling diseases.