Analysis of the plant growth-promoting properties encoded by the genome of the rhizobacterium Pseudomonas putida BIRD-1


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Pseudomonas putida BIRD-1 is a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium whose genome size is 5.7 Mbp. It adheres to plant roots and colonizes the rhizosphere to high cell densities even in soils with low moisture. This property is linked to its ability to synthesize trehalose, since a mutant deficient in the synthesis of trehalose exhibited less tolerance to desiccation than the parental strain. The genome of BIRD-1 encodes a wide range of proteins that help it to deal with reactive oxygen stress generated in the plant rhizosphere. BIRD-1 plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria properties derive from its ability to enhance phosphorous and iron solubilization and to produce phytohormones. BIRD-1 is capable of solubilizing insoluble inorganic phosphate forms through acid production. The genome of BIRD-1 encodes at least five phosphatases related to phosphorous solubilization, one of them being a phytase that facilitates the utilization of phytic acid, the main storage form of phosphorous in plants. Pyoverdine is the siderophore produced by this strain, a mutant that in the FvpD siderophore synthase failed to grow on medium without supplementary iron, but the mutant was as competitive as the parental strain in soils because it captures the siderophores produced by other microbes. BIRD-1 overproduces indole-3-acetic acid through convergent pathways.