, Volume 86, Issue 6, pp 1659-1670,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 30 Mar 2010

Metabolism and function of phenazines in bacteria: impacts on the behavior of bacteria in the environment and biotechnological processes


Phenazines constitute a large group of nitrogen-containing heterocyclic compounds produced by a diverse range of bacteria. Both natural and synthetic phenazine derivatives are studied due their impacts on bacterial interactions and biotechnological processes. Phenazines serve as electron shuttles to alternate terminal acceptors, modify cellular redox states, act as cell signals that regulate patterns of gene expression, contribute to biofilm formation and architecture, and enhance bacterial survival. Phenazines have diverse effects on eukaryotic hosts and host tissues, including the modification of multiple host cellular responses. In plants, phenazines also may influence growth and elicit induced systemic resistance. Here, we discuss emerging evidence that phenazines play multiple roles for the producing organism and contribute to their behavior and ecological fitness.