Phenazines and their role in biocontrol by Pseudomonas bacteria


Author for correspondence: Ben J.J. Lugtenberg Tel: +31 71 527 5065 Fax: +31 71 527 5088 Email:


Various rhizosphere bacteria are potential (micro)biological pesticides which are able to protect plants against diseases and improve plant yield. Knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that govern these beneficial plant–microbe interactions enables optimization, enhancement and identification of potential synergistic effects in plant protection. The production of antifungal metabolites, induction of systemic resistance, and the ability to compete efficiently with other resident rhizobacteria are considered to be important prerequisites for the optimal performance of biocontrol agents. Intriguing aspects in the molecular mechanisms of these processes have been discovered recently. Phenazines and phloroglucinols are major determinants of biological control of soilborne plant pathogens by various strains of fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. This review focuses on the current state of knowledge on biocontrol by phenazine-producing Pseudomonas strains and the action, biosynthesis, and regulation mechanisms of the production of microbial phenazines.