The effect of phylogenetically different bacteria on the fitness of Pseudomonas fluorescens in sand microcosms

Olaf Tyc, Alexandra Wolf, Paolina Garbeva

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
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n most environments many microorganisms live in close vicinity and can interact in various ways. Recent studies suggest that bacteria are able to sense and respond to the presence of neighbouring bacteria in the environment and alter their response accordingly. This ability might be an important strategy in complex habitats such as soils, with great implications for shaping the microbial community structure. Here, we used a sand microcosm approach to
investigate how Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1 responds to the presence of monocultures or mixtures of two phylogenetically different bacteria, a Gram-negative (Pedobacter sp. V48) and a Gram-positive (Bacillus sp. V102) under two nutrient conditions. Results revealed that under both nutrient poor and nutrient rich conditions confrontation with the Gram-positive Bacillus sp. V102 strain led to significant lower cell numbers of Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1, whereas confrontation with the Gram-negative Pedobacter sp. V48 strain did not affect the growth of Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1. However, when Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1 was confronted with the mixture of both strains, no significant effect on the growth of Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1 was observed. Quantitative realtime PCR data showed up-regulation of genes involved in the production of a broad-spectrum antibiotic in Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1 when confronted with Pedobacter sp. V48, but not in the presence of Bacillus sp. V102. The results provide evidence that the performance of bacteria in soil depends strongly on the identity of neighbouring bacteria and that inter-specific interactions are an important factor in determining microbial community structure.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0119838
JournalPLoS One
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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