Pseudomonas – Agriculture

  • Pseudomonas agroecosystem services




Pseudomonas agroecosystem services

Soil health and fertility is the basis for reliable and high quality production of agricultural crops and depends on the presence and function of beneficial soil microorganisms. Plant-beneficial pseudomonads that colonize roots of agricultural crops provide important services to the agroecosystem as they promote plant growth and health by suppressing soilborne diseases, by stimulating plant immune defences, and by improving nutrient availability in soil. In field and greenhouse experiments, we study to which extent crop cultivars, soil type and agricultural practices, such as crop rotation, tillage and fertilization regime, influence the size, composition and plant-beneficial activities of root-inhabiting Pseudomonas populations. The aim is to define strategies allowing to enhance the abundance and activity of natural populations of such beneficial bacteria, e.g. by the choice of crop variety/cultivar or by the type of soil management.

We also try to exploit the potential of beneficial pseudomonads as soil additives for improving plant health. These bacteria are efficient colonizers of below-ground parts of plants, they are vector-independent, and some have both disease-suppressive and anti-insect pest activities. This highlights the impressive arsenal of features that these bacteria possess to manage their rhizosphere habitat and opens up possibilities for their use in new biological plant disease and pest control strategies. In recent field trials, we combine Pseudomonas biocontrol strains with other beneficial microbial inoculants, including entomopathogenic nematodes and mycorrhizal fungi.

The research activities are embedded in the National Research Programs NRP59 and, more recently, NRP68 on Soil as a resource.

Research overview


Plant interaction


Insect interaction