The environmental effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides have encouraged the quest for new strategies to increase crop productivity with minimal impacts on the natural medium. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can contribute to this endeavor by improving fitness through better nutrition acquisition and stress tolerance. Using the neutral (non PGPR) rhizobacterium Cupriavidus pinatubonensis JMP134 as the host, we engineered a regulatory forward loop that triggered the synthesis of the phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) in a manner dependent on quorum sensing (QS) signals. Implementation of the device in JMP134 yielded synthesis of IAA in an autoregulated manner, improving the growth of the roots of inoculated Arabidopsis thaliana. These results not only demonstrated the value of the designed genetic module, but also validated C. pinatubonensis JMP134 as a suitable vehicle for agricultural applications, as it is amenable to genetic manipulations.
- Arabidopsis thaliana
- Cupriavidus pinatubonensis
- quorum sensing
- synthetic beneficial interaction