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Bacteria in the diverse Pseudomonas fluorescens group include rhizosphere inhabitants known for their antifungal metabolite production and biological control of plant disease, such as Pseudomonas protegens Pf-5, and mushroom pathogens, such as Pseudomonas tolaasii. Here, we report that strain Pf-5 causes brown, sunken lesions on peeled caps of the button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) that resemble brown blotch symptoms caused by P. tolaasii. Strain Pf-5 produces six known antifungal metabolites under the control of the GacS/GacA signal transduction system. A gacA mutant produces none of these metabolites and did not cause lesions on mushroom caps. Mutants deficient in the biosynthesis of the antifungal metabolites 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol and pyoluteorin caused less-severe symptoms than wild-type Pf-5 on peeled mushroom caps, whereas mutants deficient in the production of lipopeptide orfamide A caused similar symptoms to wild-type Pf-5. Purified pyoluteorin and 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol mimicked the symptoms caused by Pf-5. Both compounds were isolated from mushroom tissue inoculated with Pf-5, providing direct evidence for their in situ production by the bacterium. Although the lipopeptide tolaasin is responsible for brown blotch of mushroom caused by P. tolaasii, P. protegens Pf-5 caused brown blotch-like symptoms on peeled mushroom caps through a lipopeptide-independent mechanism involving the production of 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol and pyoluteorin.

Original publication




Journal article


Mol Plant Microbe Interact

Publication Date





733 - 746


Agaricales, Antifungal Agents, Bacterial Proteins, Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial, Lipopeptides, Mutation, Pseudomonas