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Differential proteomics and physiology of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 under filament-inducing conditions

Aurélie Crabbé145, Baptiste Leroy2, Ruddy Wattiez2, Abram Aertsen3, Natalie Leys1, Pierre Cornelis4 and Rob Van Houdt1*

Author Affiliations

1 Unit of Microbiology, Expert Group Molecular and Cellular Biology, Institute for Environment, Health and Safety, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN), Mol, Belgium

2 Department of Proteomics and Microbiology, Interdisciplinary Center of Mass Spectrometry (CISMa), University of Mons (UMONS), Mons, Belgium

3 Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre, Centre for Food and Microbial Technology, Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

4 Laboratory of Microbial Interactions, Department of Molecular and Cellular Interactions, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

5 Present address: The Biodesign Institute, Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, Arizona State University, 1001 S. McAllister Avenue, Tempe, AZ, 85287, USA

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BMC Microbiology 2012, 12:282  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-12-282

Published: 27 November 2012



Pseudomonas putida exerts a filamentous phenotype in response to environmental stress conditions that are encountered during its natural life cycle. This study assessed whether P. putida filamentation could confer survival advantages. Filamentation of P. putida was induced through culturing at low shaking speed and was compared to culturing in high shaking speed conditions, after which whole proteomic analysis and stress exposure assays were performed.


P. putida grown in filament-inducing conditions showed increased resistance to heat and saline stressors compared to non-filamented cultures. Proteomic analysis showed a significant metabolic change and a pronounced induction of the heat shock protein IbpA and recombinase RecA in filament-inducing conditions. Our data further indicated that the associated heat shock resistance, but not filamentation, was dependent of RecA.


This study provides insights into the altered metabolism of P. putida in filament-inducing conditions, and indicates that the formation of filaments could potentially be utilized by P. putida as a survival strategy in its hostile, recurrently changing habitat.

Pseudomonas putida KT2440; Filamentation; Elongation; SOS response; RecA; Shaking speed; Stress resistance