Phyllosphere symbiont promotes plant growth through ACC deaminase production

Johannes B. Herpell, Ajtena Alickovic, Bocar Diallo, Florian Schindler, Wolfram Weckwerth

Plant growth promoting bacteria can confer resistance to various types of stress and increase agricultural yields. The mechanisms they employ are diverse. One of the most important genes associated with the increase in plant biomass and stress resistance is acdS, which encodes a 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate- or ACC-deaminase. The non-proteinogenic amino acid ACC is the precursor and means of long-distance transport of ethylene, a plant hormone associated with growth arrest. Expression of acdS reduces stress induced ethylene levels and the enzyme is abundant in rhizosphere colonizers. Whether ACC hydrolysis plays a role in the phyllosphere, both as assembly cue and in growth promotion, remains unclear. Here we show that Paraburkholderia dioscoreae Msb3, a yam phyllosphere symbiont, colonizes the tomato phyllosphere and promotes plant growth by action of its ACC deaminase. We found that acdS is required for improved plant growth but not for efficient leaf colonization. Strain Msb3 readily proliferates on the leaf surface of tomato, only occasionally spreading to the leaf endosphere through stomata. The strain can also colonize the soil or medium around the roots but only spreads into the root if the plant is wounded. Our results indicate that the degradation of ACC is not just an important trait of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria but also one of leaf dwelling phyllosphere bacteria. Manipulation of the leaf microbiota by means of spray inoculation may be more easily achieved than that of the soil. Therefore, the application of ACC deaminase containing bacteria to the phyllosphere may be a promising strategy to increasing plant stress resistance, pathogen control, and harvest yields.

Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, Research Platform Vienna Metabolomics Center
External organisation(s)
Molecular Systems Biology Lab (MOSYS), Universität Wien
ISME Journal
No. of pages
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106044 Systems biology, 106002 Biochemistry, 106031 Plant physiology, 106022 Microbiology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Microbiology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Plant Science
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