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June 30th, 2017 / Phys.org

Scientists have identified a unique mechanism that the soil dwelling bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens uses to effectively exploit nutrients in the root environment.

The breakthrough offers multiple new applications, according to the team of John Innes Centre scientists behind the discovery: for the study of human pathogens, for synthetic biology, and for the productions of biosensors which help detect biological changes in plants and their environment.
P. fluorescens is a common soil bacteria that colonises plant roots, entering into a “marriage of convenience,” where it improves plant health in return for exuded nutrients from the plant.

The team at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, showed how the “twin” transcriptional factors HexR and RccR can remodel central carbon metabolism in P. fluorescens, enabling the bacterium to adapt to its surroundings. Read more