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Transcriptomic profiling of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42 in response to maize root exudates

Ben Fan12, Lilia C Carvalhais2, Anke Becker3, Dmitri Fedoseyenko4, Nicolaus von Wirén4 and Rainer Borriss25*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Forest Protection, Nanjing Forestry University, Longpan Road 159, 210037, Nanjing, China

2 Institut für Biologie Bakteriengenetik, Humboldt Universität Berlin, Chausseestrasse 117, D-10115, Berlin, Germany

3 Molekulare Genetik, Institut für Biologie III, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Schänzlestrasse 1, D-79104, Freiburg, Germany

4 Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Corrensstr. 3, 06466, Gatersleben, Germany

5 ABiTEP GmbH, Glienicker Weg 185, D-12489, Berlin, Germany

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BMC Microbiology 2012, 12:116  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-116

Published: 21 June 2012



Plant root exudates have been shown to play an important role in mediating interactions between plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and their host plants. Most investigations were performed on Gram-negative rhizobacteria, while much less is known about Gram-positive rhizobacteria. To elucidate early responses of PGPR to root exudates, we investigated changes in the transcriptome of a Gram-positive PGPR to plant root exudates.


Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42 is a well-studied Gram-positive PGPR. To obtain a comprehensive overview of FZB42 gene expression in response to maize root exudates, microarray experiments were performed. A total of 302 genes representing 8.2% of the FZB42 transcriptome showed significantly altered expression levels in the presence of root exudates. The majority of the genes (261) was up-regulated after incubation of FZB42 with root exudates, whereas only 41 genes were down-regulated. Several groups of the genes which were strongly induced by the root exudates are involved in metabolic pathways relating to nutrient utilization, bacterial chemotaxis and motility, and non-ribosomal synthesis of antimicrobial peptides and polyketides.


Here we present a transcriptome analysis of the root-colonizing bacterium Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42 in response to maize root exudates. The 302 genes identified as being differentially transcribed are proposed to be involved in interactions of Gram-positive bacteria with plants.