Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Microbiology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

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

For all author emails, please log on.

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.