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      Promise for plant pest control: root-associated pseudomonads with insecticidal activities


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          Insects are an important and probably the most challenging pest to control in agriculture, in particular when they feed on belowground parts of plants. The application of synthetic pesticides is problematic owing to side effects on the environment, concerns for public health and the rapid development of resistance. Entomopathogenic bacteria, notably Bacillus thuringiensis and Photorhabdus/ Xenorhabdus species, are promising alternatives to chemical insecticides, for they are able to efficiently kill insects and are considered to be environmentally sound and harmless to mammals. However, they have the handicap of showing limited environmental persistence or of depending on a nematode vector for insect infection. Intriguingly, certain strains of plant root-colonizing Pseudomonas bacteria display insect pathogenicity and thus could be formulated to extend the present range of bioinsecticides for protection of plants against root-feeding insects. These entomopathogenic pseudomonads belong to a group of plant-beneficial rhizobacteria that have the remarkable ability to suppress soil-borne plant pathogens, promote plant growth, and induce systemic plant defenses. Here we review for the first time the current knowledge about the occurrence and the molecular basis of insecticidal activity in pseudomonads with an emphasis on plant-beneficial and prominent pathogenic species. We discuss how this fascinating Pseudomonas trait may be exploited for novel root-based approaches to insect control in an integrated pest management framework.

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          Plant-microbe interactions promoting plant growth and health: perspectives for controlled use of microorganisms in agriculture.

          Plant-associated microorganisms fulfill important functions for plant growth and health. Direct plant growth promotion by microbes is based on improved nutrient acquisition and hormonal stimulation. Diverse mechanisms are involved in the suppression of plant pathogens, which is often indirectly connected with plant growth. Whereas members of the bacterial genera Azospirillum and Rhizobium are well-studied examples for plant growth promotion, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Serratia, Stenotrophomonas, and Streptomyces and the fungal genera Ampelomyces, Coniothyrium, and Trichoderma are model organisms to demonstrate influence on plant health. Based on these beneficial plant-microbe interactions, it is possible to develop microbial inoculants for use in agricultural biotechnology. Dependent on their mode of action and effects, these products can be used as biofertilizers, plant strengtheners, phytostimulators, and biopesticides. There is a strong growing market for microbial inoculants worldwide with an annual growth rate of approximately 10%. The use of genomic technologies leads to products with more predictable and consistent effects. The future success of the biological control industry will benefit from interdisciplinary research, e.g., on mass production, formulation, interactions, and signaling with the environment, as well as on innovative business management, product marketing, and education. Altogether, the use of microorganisms and the exploitation of beneficial plant-microbe interactions offer promising and environmentally friendly strategies for conventional and organic agriculture worldwide.
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            Pseudomonas genomes: diverse and adaptable.

            Members of the genus Pseudomonas inhabit a wide variety of environments, which is reflected in their versatile metabolic capacity and broad potential for adaptation to fluctuating environmental conditions. Here, we examine and compare the genomes of a range of Pseudomonas spp. encompassing plant, insect and human pathogens, and environmental saprophytes. In addition to a large number of allelic differences of common genes that confer regulatory and metabolic flexibility, genome analysis suggests that many other factors contribute to the diversity and adaptability of Pseudomonas spp. Horizontal gene transfer has impacted the capability of pathogenic Pseudomonas spp. in terms of disease severity (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and specificity (Pseudomonas syringae). Genome rearrangements likely contribute to adaptation, and a considerable complement of unique genes undoubtedly contributes to strain- and species-specific activities by as yet unknown mechanisms. Because of the lack of conserved phenotypic differences, the classification of the genus has long been contentious. DNA hybridization and genome-based analyses show close relationships among members of P. aeruginosa, but that isolates within the Pseudomonas fluorescens and P. syringae species are less closely related and may constitute different species. Collectively, genome sequences of Pseudomonas spp. have provided insights into pathogenesis and the genetic basis for diversity and adaptation. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Bacillus thuringiensis: A story of a successful bioinsecticide.

              Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria are insect pathogens that rely on insecticidal pore forming proteins known as Cry and Cyt toxins to kill their insect larval hosts. At least four different non-structurally related families of proteins form the Cry toxin group of toxins. The expression of certain Cry toxins in transgenic crops has contributed to an efficient control of insect pests resulting in a significant reduction in chemical insecticide use. The mode of action of the three domain Cry toxin family involves sequential interaction of these toxins with several insect midgut proteins facilitating the formation of a pre-pore oligomer structure and subsequent membrane insertion that leads to the killing of midgut insect cells by osmotic shock. In this manuscript we review recent progress in understanding the mode of action of this family of proteins in lepidopteran, dipteran and coleopteran insects. Interestingly, similar Cry-binding proteins have been identified in the three insect orders, as cadherin, aminopeptidase-N and alkaline phosphatase suggesting a conserved mode of action. Also, recent data on insect responses to Cry toxin attack is discussed. Finally, we review the different Bt based products, including transgenic crops, that are currently used in agriculture. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Front Plant Sci
                Front Plant Sci
                Front. Plant Sci.
                Frontiers in Plant Science
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                31 July 2013
                : 4
                : 287
                [1] 1Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne Lausanne, Switzerland
                [2] 2Plant Pathology, Institute of Integrative Biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Zurich, Switzerland
                Author notes

                Edited by: Ana Pineda, Wageningen University, Netherlands

                Reviwed by: Philippe Reymond, University of Lausanne, Switzerland; Christina Nielsen-LeRoux, French National Institute for Agricultural Research, France

                *Correspondence: Christoph Keel, Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Biophore Building, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland e-mail: christoph.keel@ 123456unil.ch

                This article was submitted to Frontiers in Plant-Microbe Interaction, a specialty of Frontiers in Plant Science.

                Copyright © Kupferschmied, Maurhofer and Keel.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 03 May 2013
                : 12 July 2013
                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 192, Pages: 17, Words: 0
                Plant Science
                Review Article

                Plant science & Botany


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