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Arabidopsis thaliana root and root exudate metabolism is altered by the growth-promoting bacterium Kosakonia radicincitans DSM 16656T.


Plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) affect host physiological processes in various ways. This study aims at elucidating the dependence of bacterial-induced growth promotion on the plant genotype and characterizing plant metabolic adaptations to PGPB.


Eighteen Arabidopsis thaliana accessions were inoculated with the PGPB strain Kosakonia radicincitans DSM 16656T. Colonisation pattern was assessed by enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP)-tagged K. radicincitans in three A. thaliana accessions differing in their growth response. Metabolic impact of bacterial colonisation was determined for the best responding accession by profiling distinct classes of plant secondary metabolites and root exudates.


Inoculation of 18 A. thaliana accessions resulted in a wide range of growth responses, from repression to enhancement. Testing the bacterial colonisation of three accessions did not reveal a differential pattern. Profiling of plant secondary metabolites showed a differential accumulation of glucosinolates, phenylpropanoids and carotenoids in roots. Analysis of root exudates demonstrated that primary and secondary metabolites were predominantly differentially depleted by bacterial inoculation.


The plant genotype controls the bacterial growth promoting traits. Levels of lutein and β-carotene were elevated in inoculated roots. Supplementing a bacterial suspension with β-carotene increased bacterial growth, while this was not the case when lutein was applied, indicating that β-carotene could be a positive regulator of plant growth promotion.

Witzel, K.; Strehmel, N.; Baldermann, S.; Neugart, S.; Becker, Y.; Becker, M.; Berger, B.; Scheel, D.; Grosch, R.; Schreiner, M.; Ruppel, S. 2017. <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i> root and root exudate metabolism is altered by the growth-promoting bacterium <i>Kosakonia radicincitans</i> DSM 16656<sup>T</sup>. Plant and Soil.

DOI: 10.1007/s11104-017-3371-1