Scientific reports

Organic acids from root exudates of banana help root colonization of PGPR strain Bacillus amyloliquefaciens NJN-6.

PMID 26299781


The successful colonization of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in the rhizosphere is an initial and compulsory step in the protection of plants from soil-borne pathogens. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the role of root exudates in the colonization of PGPR. Banana root exudates were analyzed by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) which revealed exudates contained several organic acids (OAs) including oxalic, malic and fumaric acid. The chemotactic response and biofilm formation of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens NJN-6 were investigated in response to OA's found in banana root exudates. Furthermore, the transcriptional levels of genes involved in biofilm formation, yqxM and epsD, were evaluated in response to OAs via quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Results suggested that root exudates containing the OAs both induced the chemotaxis and biofilm formation in NJN-6. In fact, the strongest chemotactic and biofilm response was found when 50 μM of OAs were applied. More specifically, malic acid showed the greatest chemotactic response whereas fumaric acid significantly induced biofilm formation by a 20.7-27.3% increase and therefore biofilm formation genes expression. The results showed banana root exudates, in particular the OAs released, play a crucial role in attracting and initiating PGPR colonization on the host roots.