Noirot-Gros, Marie-Francoise; Shinde, Shalaka; Larsen, Peter; Zerbs, Sarah; Korajczyk, Peter; Kemner, Kenneth; Noirot, Philippe
Rhizosphere-associated Pseudomonas fluorescens are known plant growth promoting (PGP) and mycorrhizal helper bacteria (MHB) of many plants and ectomycorrhizal fungi. We investigated the spatial and temporal dynamics of colonization of mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal Aspen seedlings roots by the P. fluorescens strains SBW25, WH6, Pf0-1, and the P. protegens strain Pf-5. Seedlings were grown in laboratory vertical plates systems, inoculated with a fluorescently labeled Pseudomonas strain, and root colonization was monitored over a period of 5 weeks. We observed unexpected diversity of bacterial assemblies on seedling roots that changed over time and were strongly affected by root mycorrhization. P. fluorescens SBW25 and WH6 stains developed highly structured biofilms with internal void spaces forming channels. On mycorrhizal roots bacteria appeared encased in a mucilaginous substance in which they aligned side by side in parallel arrangements. The different phenotypic classes of bacterial assemblies observed for the four Pseudomonas strains were summarized in a single model describing transitions between phenotypic classes. Our findings also reveal that bacterial assembly phenotypes are driven by interactions with mucilaginous materials present at roots.