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Journal Articles Microbiology Spectrum Year : 2021

Lipopeptide Interplay Mediates Molecular Interactions between Soil Bacilli and Pseudomonads

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Abstract

Some Bacillus species, such as B. velezensis, are important members of the plant-associated microbiome, conferring protection against phytopathogens. However, our knowledge about multitrophic interactions determining the ecological fitness of these biocontrol bacteria in the competitive rhizosphere niche is still limited. Here, we investigated molecular mechanisms underlying interactions between B. velezensis and Pseudomonas as a soil-dwelling competitor. Upon their contact-independent in vitro confrontation, a multifaceted macroscopic outcome was observed and characterized by Bacillus growth inhibition, white line formation in the interaction zone, and enhanced motility. We correlated these phenotypes with the production of bioactive secondary metabolites and identified specific lipopeptides as key compounds involved in the interference interaction and motile response. Bacillus mobilizes its lipopeptide surfactin not only to enhance motility but also to act as a chemical trap to reduce the toxicity of lipopeptides formed by Pseudomonas. We demonstrated the relevance of these unsuspected roles of lipopeptides in the context of competitive tomato root colonization by the two bacterial genera. IMPORTANCE Plant-associated Bacillus velezensis and Pseudomonas spp. represent excellent model species as strong producers of bioactive metabolites involved in phytopathogen inhibition and the elicitation of plant immunity. However, the ecological role of these metabolites during microbial interspecies interactions and the way their expression may be modulated under naturally competitive soil conditions has been poorly investigated. Through this work, we report various phenotypic outcomes from the interactions between B. velezensis and 10 Pseudomonas strains used as competitors and correlate them with the production of specific metabolites called lipopeptides from both species. More precisely, Bacillus overproduces surfactin to enhance motility, which also, by acting as a chemical trap, reduces the toxicity of other lipopeptides formed by Pseudomonas. Based on data from interspecies competition on plant roots, we assume this would allow Bacillus to gain fitness and persistence in its natural rhizosphere niche. The discovery of new ecological functions for Bacillus and Pseudomonas secondary metabolites is crucial to rationally design compatible consortia, more efficient than single-species inoculants, to promote plant health and growth by fighting economically important pathogens in sustainable agriculture.
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hal-03579630 , version 1 (01-09-2022)

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Sofija Andrić, Thibault Meyer, Augustin Rigolet, Claire Prigent Combaret, Monica Höfte, et al.. Lipopeptide Interplay Mediates Molecular Interactions between Soil Bacilli and Pseudomonads. Microbiology Spectrum, 2021, 9 (3), ⟨10.1128/spectrum.02038-21⟩. ⟨hal-03579630⟩
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