Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 187, Issue 2, pp 101–115 | Cite as

Mutation in cyaA in Enterobacter cloacae decreases cucumber root colonization

  • Daniel P. RobertsEmail author
  • Laurie F. McKenna
  • Xiaojia Hu
  • Scott M. Lohrke
  • Hye Suk Kong
  • Jorge T. de Souza
  • C. Jacyn Baker
  • John Lydon
Original Paper


Strains of Enterobacter cloacae show promise as biological control agents for Pythium ultimum-induced damping-off on cucumber and other crops. Enterobacter cloacae M59 is a mini-Tn5 Km transposon mutant of strain 501R3. Populations of M59 were significantly lower on cucumber roots and decreased much more rapidly than those of strain 501R3 with increasing distance from the soil line. Strain M59 was decreased or deficient in growth and chemotaxis on most individual compounds detected in cucumber root exudate and on a synthetic cucumber root exudate medium. Strain M59 was also slightly less acid resistant than strain 501R3. Molecular characterization of strain M59 demonstrated that mini-Tn5 Km was inserted in cyaA, which encodes adenylate cyclase. Adenylate cyclase catalyzes the formation of cAMP and cAMP levels in cell lysates from strain M59 were approximately 2% those of strain 501R3. Addition of exogenous, nonphysiological concentrations of cAMP to strain M59 restored growth (1 mM) and chemotaxis (5 mM) on synthetic cucumber root exudate and increased cucumber seedling colonization (5 mM) by this strain without serving as a source of reduced carbon, nitrogen, or phosphorous. These results demonstrate a role for cyaA in colonization of cucumber roots by Enterobacter cloacae.


Biological control Colonization Cyclic AMP cyaA Rhizosphere 



We thank Dr. Li Wei, Ernest Williams, and Ricky Brathwaite for assistance with certain experiments. We also thank Dr. Steve Rehner, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD, for assistance in sequencing cyaA.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel P. Roberts
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laurie F. McKenna
    • 1
  • Xiaojia Hu
    • 2
  • Scott M. Lohrke
    • 1
    • 5
  • Hye Suk Kong
    • 1
    • 6
  • Jorge T. de Souza
    • 3
    • 7
  • C. Jacyn Baker
    • 4
  • John Lydon
    • 1
  1. 1.Sustainable Agricultural Systems LaboratoryUSDA-Agricultural Research ServiceBeltsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Oil Crops Research InstituteChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Wye Research and Education CenterUniversity of MarylandQueenstownUSA
  4. 4.Molecular Plant Pathology LaboratoryUSDA – Agricultural Research ServiceBeltsvilleUSA
  5. 5.Naval Health Research Center, Environmental Health Effects LaboratoryGeo-Centers, Inc.Wright-Patterson Air Force BaseUSA
  6. 6.Laboratory of Methods DevelopmentCBER, FDARockvilleUSA
  7. 7.CEPLAC/CEPEC/SEFITRodovia Ilheus-ItabunaBrazil

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