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P. aeruginosa colonies on an agar plate
Scientific classification
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Gammaproteobacteria
Order: Pseudomonadales
Family: Pseudomonadaceae
Genus: Pseudomonas
Migula 1894
Type species
Pseudomonas aeruginosa

P. aeruginosa group

P. aeruginosa
P. alcaligenes
P. anguilliseptica
P. argentinensis
P. borbori
P. citronellolis
P. flavescens
P. mendocina
P. nitroreducens
P. oleovorans
P. pseudoalcaligenes
P. resinovorans
P. straminea

P. chlororaphis group

P. agarici
P. asplenii
P. aurantiaca
P. aureofaciens
P. chlororaphis
P. corrugata
P. fragi
P. lundensis
P. taetrolens

P. fluorescens group

P. antarctica
P. azotoformans
'P. blatchfordae'
P. brassicacearum
P. brenneri
P. cedrina
P. corrugata
P. fluorescens
P. gessardii
P. libanensis
P. mandelii
P. marginalis
P. mediterranea
P. meridiana
P. migulae
P. mucidolens
P. orientalis
P. panacis
P. protegens
P. proteolytica
P. rhodesiae
P. synxantha
P. thivervalensis
P. tolaasii
P. veronii

P. pertucinogena group

P. denitrificans
P. pertucinogena

P. putida group

P. cremoricolorata
P. entomophila
P. fulva
P. monteilii
P. mosselii
P. oryzihabitans
P. parafulva
P. plecoglossicida
P. putida

P. stutzeri group

P. balearica
P. luteola
P. stutzeri

P. syringae group

P. amygdali
P. avellanae
P. caricapapayae
P. cichorii
P. coronafaciens
P. ficuserectae
'P. helianthi'
P. meliae
P. savastanoi
P. syringae
'P. tomato'
P. viridiflava

incertae sedis

P. abietaniphila
P. acidophila
P. agarici
P. alcaliphila
P. alkanolytica
P. amyloderamosa
P. asplenii
P. azotifigens
P. cannabina
P. coenobios
P. congelans
P. costantinii
P. cruciviae
P. delhiensis
P. excibis
P. extremorientalis
P. frederiksbergensis
P. fuscovaginae
P. gelidicola
P. grimontii
P. indica
P. jessenii
P. jinjuensis
P. kilonensis
P. knackmussii
P. koreensis
P. lini
P. lutea
P. moraviensis
P. otitidis
P. pachastrellae
P. palleroniana
P. papaveris
P. peli
P. perolens
P. poae
P. pohangensis
P. protegens
P. psychrophila
P. psychrotolerans
P. rathonis
P. reptilivora
P. resiniphila
P. rhizosphaerae
P. rubescens
P. salomonii
P. segitis
P. septica
P. simiae
P. suis
P. thermotolerans
P. toyotomiensis
P. tremae
P. trivialis
P. turbinellae
P. tuticorinensis
P. umsongensis
P. vancouverensis
P. vranovensis
P. xanthomarina

Pseudomonas is a aerobic gammaproteobacteria, belonging to the family Pseudomonadaceae containing 191 validly described species.[1] The members of the genus demonstrate a great deal of metabolic diversity, and consequently are able to colonize a wide range of niches.[2] Their ease of culture in vitro and availability of an increasing number of Pseudomonas strain genome sequences has made the genus an excellent focus for scientific research; the best studied species include P. aeruginosa in its role as an opportunistic human pathogen, the plant pathogen P. syringae, the soil bacterium P. putida, and the plant growth-promoting P. fluorescens.

Because of their widespread occurrence in water and plant seeds such as Walter Migula in 1894 and 1900 as a genus of Gram-negative, rod-shaped and polar-flagellated bacteria with some sporulating species,[3][4] the latter statement was later proved incorrect and was due to refractive granules of reserve materials.[5] Despite the vague description, the type species, Pseudomonas pyocyanea (basonym of Pseudomonas aeruginosa), proved the best descriptor.[5]


  • Classification history 1
  • Characteristics 2
    • Biofilm formation 2.1
    • Antibiotic resistance 2.2
  • Taxonomy 3
  • Pathogenicity 4
    • Animal pathogens 4.1
    • Plant pathogens 4.2
  • Use as biocontrol agents 5
  • Use as bioremediation agents 6
  • Food spoilage agents 7
  • Species previously classified in the genus 8
  • Bacteriophage 9
  • See also 10
  • Footnotes 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13
    • General 13.1

Classification history

Like most bacterial genera, the pseudomonad[note 1] genus. However, many strains have since been reclassified, based on more recent methodology and use of approaches involving studies of conservative macromolecules.[6]

Recently, 16S rRNA sequence analysis has redefined the taxonomy of many bacterial species.[7] As a result, the genus Pseudomonas includes strains formerly classified in the genera Chryseomonas and Flavimonas.[8] Other strains previously classified in the genus Pseudomonas are now classified in the genera Burkholderia and Ralstonia.[9][10]

In 2000, the complete genome sequence of a Pseudomonas species was determined; more recently, the sequence of other strains has been determined, including P. aeruginosa strains PAO1 (2000), P. putida KT2440 (2002), P. protegens Pf-5 (2005), P. syringae pathovar tomato DC3000 (2003), P. syringae pathovar syringae B728a (2005), P. syringae pathovar phaseolica 1448A (2005), P. fluorescens Pf0-1, and P. entomophila L48.[6]


Members of the genus display these defining characteristics:[11]

Other characteristics that tend to be associated with Pseudomonas species (with some exceptions) include secretion of pyoverdine, a fluorescent yellow-green siderophore[12] under iron-limiting conditions. Certain Pseudomonas species may also produce additional types of siderophore, such as pyocyanin by Pseudomonas aeruginosa[13] and thioquinolobactin by Pseudomonas fluorescens,.[14] Pseudomonas species also typically give a negative result to the oxidase test, the absence of gas formation from glucose, glucose is oxidised in oxidation/fermentation test using Hugh and Leifson O/F test, beta hemolytic (on blood agar), indole negative, methyl red negative, Voges–Proskauer test negative, and citrate positive.

Pseudomonas may be the most common nucleator of ice crystals in clouds, thereby being of utmost importance to the formation of snow and rain around the world.[15]

Biofilm formation

All strict aerobes. Exceptions to this classification have recently been discovered in Pseudomonas biofilms.[16] A significant number of cells can produce exopolysaccharides associated with biofilm formation. Secretion of exopolysaccharides such as alginate makes it difficult for pseudomonads to be phagocytosed by mammalian white blood cells.[17] Exopolysaccharide production also contributes to surface-colonising biofilms that are difficult to remove from food preparation surfaces. Growth of pseudomonads on spoiling foods can generate a "fruity" odor.

Antibiotic resistance

Being Gram-negative bacteria, most Pseudomonas spp. are naturally resistant to penicillin and the majority of related beta-lactam antibiotics, but a number are sensitive to piperacillin, imipenem, ticarcillin, or ciprofloxacin.[17] Aminoglycosides such as tobramycin, gentamicin, and amikacin are other choices for therapy.

This ability to thrive in harsh conditions is a result of their hardy cell walls that contain porins. Their resistance to most antibiotics is attributed to efflux pumps, which pump out some antibiotics before they are able to act.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is increasingly recognized as an emerging opportunistic pathogen of clinical relevance. One of its most worrying characteristics is its low antibiotic susceptibility.[18] This low susceptibility is attributable to a concerted action of multidrug efflux pumps with chromosomally encoded antibiotic resistance genes (e.g., mexAB-oprM, mexXY, etc.,[19]) and the low permeability of the bacterial cellular envelopes. Besides intrinsic resistance, P. aeruginosa easily develops acquired resistance either by mutation in chromosomally encoded genes or by the horizontal gene transfer of antibiotic resistance determinants. Development of multidrug resistance by P. aeruginosa isolates requires several different genetic events that include acquisition of different mutations and/or horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes. Hypermutation favours the selection of mutation-driven antibiotic resistance in P. aeruginosa strains producing chronic infections, whereas the clustering of several different antibiotic resistance genes in integrons favours the concerted acquisition of antibiotic resistance determinants. Some recent studies have shown phenotypic resistance associated to biofilm formation or to the emergence of small-colony-variants may be important in the response of P. aeruginosa populations to antibiotic treatment.[6]


The studies on the bacteriology during the first decades of the 20th century. This situation sharply changed with the proposal to introduce as the central criterion the similarities in the composition and sequences of macromolecular components of the ribosomal RNA. The new methodology clearly showed the genus Pseudomonas, as classically defined, consists of a conglomerate of genera that could clearly be separated into five so-called rRNA homology groups. Moreover, the taxonomic studies suggested an approach that might prove useful in taxonomic studies of all other prokaryotic groups. A few decades after the proposal of the new genus Pseudomonas by Migula in 1894, the accumulation of species names assigned to the genus reached alarming proportions. The number of species in the current list has contracted more than 90%. In fact, this approximated reduction may be even more dramatic if one considers the present list contains many new names; i.e., relatively few names of the original list survived in the process. The new methodology and the inclusion of approaches based on the studies of conservative macromolecules other than rRNA components constitutes an effective prescription that helped to reduce Pseudomonas nomenclatural hypertrophy to a manageable size.[6]


Animal pathogens

Infectious species include P. aeruginosa, P. oryzihabitans, and P. plecoglossicida. P. aeruginosa flourishes in hospital environments, and is a particular problem in this environment, since it is the second-most common infection in hospitalized patients (nosocomial infections). This pathogenesis may in part be due to the proteins secreted by P. aeruginosa. The bacterium possesses a wide range of secretion systems, which export numerous proteins relevant to the pathogenesis of clinical strains.[20]

Plant pathogens

P. syringae is a prolific plant pathogen. It exists as over 50 different pathovars, many of which demonstrate a high degree of host-plant specificity. Numerous other Pseudomonas species can act as plant pathogens, notably all of the other members of the P. syringae subgroup, but P. syringae is the most widespread and best-studied.

Although not strictly a plant pathogen, P. tolaasii can be a major agricultural problem, as it can cause bacterial blotch of cultivated mushrooms.[21] Similarly, P. agarici can cause drippy gill in cultivated mushrooms.[22]

Use as biocontrol agents

Since the mid-1980s, certain members of the Pseudomonas genus have been applied to cereal seeds or applied directly to soils as a way of preventing the growth or establishment of crop pathogens. This practice is generically referred to as biocontrol. The biocontrol properties of P. fluorescens and P. protegens strains (CHA0 or Pf-5 for example) are currently best-understood, although it is not clear exactly how the plant growth-promoting properties of P. fluorescens are achieved. Theories include: the bacteria might induce systemic resistance in the host plant, so it can better resist attack by a true pathogen; the bacteria might outcompete other (pathogenic) soil microbes, e.g. by siderophores giving a competitive advantage at scavenging for iron; the bacteria might produce compounds antagonistic to other soil microbes, such as phenazine-type antibiotics or hydrogen cyanide. Experimental evidence supports all of these theories.[23]

Other notable Pseudomonas species with biocontrol properties include

  • Pseudomonas at origin of world's rain and snow
  • Pseudomonas survive in nuclear reactor
  • genome databasePseudomonas
  • Pseudomonas
  • Fluorescent Pseudomonas video


External links

  1. ^ Pseudomonas entry in  ]
  2. ^ a b Madigan M; Martinko J, eds. (2005). Brock Biology of Microorganisms (11th ed.). Prentice Hall.  
  3. ^ Migula, W. (1894) Über ein neues System der Bakterien. Arb Bakteriol Inst Karlsruhe 1: 235–328.
  4. ^ Migula, W. (1900) System der Bakterien, Vol. 2. Jena, Germany: Gustav Fischer.
  5. ^ a b c Palleroni, N. J. (2010). "The Pseudomonas Story". Environmental Microbiology 12 (6): 1377–1383.  
  6. ^ a b c d Cornelis P, ed. (2008). Pseudomonas: Genomics and Molecular Biology (1st ed.). Caister Academic Press.  
  7. ^ a b Anzai Y; Kim H; Park, JY; Wakabayashi H (2000). "Phylogenetic affiliation of the pseudomonads based on 16S rRNA sequence". Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 50 (4): 1563–89.  
  8. ^ Anzai, Y; Kudo, Y; Oyaizu, H (1997). "The phylogeny of the genera Chryseomonas, Flavimonas, and Pseudomonas supports synonymy of these three genera". Int J Syst Bacteriol 47 (2): 249–251.  
  9. ^ Yabuuchi, E.; Kosako, Y.; Oyaizu, H.; Yano, I.; Hotta, H.; Hashimoto, Y.; Ezaki, T.; Arakawa, M. (1992). "Proposal of Burkholderia gen. Nov. And transfer of seven species of the genus Pseudomonas homology group II to the new genus, with the type species Burkholderia cepacia (Palleroni and Holmes 1981) comb. Nov". Microbiology and immunology 36 (12): 1251–1275.  
  10. ^ Yabuuchi, E.; Kosako, Y.; Yano, I.; Hotta, H.; Nishiuchi, Y. (1995). "Transfer of two Burkholderia and an Alcaligenes species to Ralstonia gen. Nov.: Proposal of Ralstonia pickettii (Ralston, Palleroni and Doudoroff 1973) comb. Nov., Ralstonia solanacearum (Smith 1896) comb. Nov. And Ralstonia eutropha (Davis 1969) comb. Nov". Microbiology and immunology 39 (11): 897–904.  
  11. ^ Krieg, Noel (1984). Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, Volume 1. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.  
  12. ^ Meyer JM; Geoffroy VA; Baida N; Gardan, L.; et al. (2002). "Siderophore typing, a powerful tool for the identification of fluorescent and nonfluorescent pseudomonads". Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 68 (6): 2745–2753.  
  13. ^ Lau GW; Hassett DJ; Ran H; Kong F (2004). "The role of pyocyanin in Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection". Trends in molecular medicine 10 (12): 599–606.  
  14. ^ Matthijs S; Tehrani KA; Laus G; Jackson RW; et al. (2007). "Thioquinolobactin, a Pseudomonas siderophore with antifungal and anti-Pythium activity". Environ. Microbiol. 9 (2): 425–434.  
  15. ^ Biello, David (February 28, 2008) Do Microbes Make Snow? Scientific American
  16. ^ Hassett D; Cuppoletti J; Trapnell B; Lymar S; et al. (2002). "Anaerobic metabolism and quorum sensing by Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms in chronically infected cystic fibrosis airways: rethinking antibiotic treatment strategies and drug targets". Adv Drug Deliv Rev 54 (11): 1425–1443.  
  17. ^ a b Ryan KJ; Ray CG, eds. (2004). Sherris Medical Microbiology (4th ed.). McGraw Hill.  
  18. ^ Van Eldere J (February 2003). susceptibility patterns in nosocomial infections"Pseudomonas aeruginosa"Multicentre surveillance of . J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 51 (2): 347–352.  
  19. ^ Poole K (January 2004). "Efflux-mediated multiresistance in Gram-negative bacteria". Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 10 (1): 12–26.  
  20. ^ Hardie (2009). "The Secreted Proteins of Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Their Export Machineries, and How They Contribute to Pathogenesis". Bacterial Secreted Proteins: Secretory Mechanisms and Role in Pathogenesis. Caister Academic Press.  
  21. ^ Brodey CL; Rainey PB; Tester M; Johnstone K (1991). "Bacterial blotch disease of the cultivated mushroom is caused by an ion channel forming lipodepsipeptide toxin". Molecular Plant–Microbe Interaction 1 (4): 407–11.  
  22. ^ Young JM (1970). "Drippy gill: a bacterial disease of cultivated mushrooms caused by Pseudomonas agarici n. sp". NZ J Agric Res 13 (4): 977–90.  
  23. ^ Haas D; Defago G (2005). "Biological control of soil-borne pathogens by fluorescent pseudomonads". Nature Reviews Microbiology 3 (4): 307–319.  
  24. ^ Chin-A-Woeng TF; Bloemberg, Guido V.; Mulders, Ine H. M.; Dekkers, Linda C.; et al. (2000). "Root colonization by phenazine-1-carboxamide-producing bacterium Pseudomonas chlororaphis PCL1391 is essential for biocontrol of tomato foot and root rot". Mol Plant Microbe Interact 13 (12): 1340–1345.  
  25. ^ Esipov; Adanin, VM; Baskunov, BP; Kiprianova, EA; et al. (1975). "New antibiotically active fluoroglucide from Pseudomonas aurantiaca". Antibiotiki 20 (12): 1077–81.  
  26. ^ O'Mahony MM; Dobson AD; Barnes JD; Singleton I (2006). "The use of ozone in the remediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contaminated soil". Chemosphere 63 (2): 307–314.  
  27. ^ Yen KM; Karl MR; Blatt LM; Simon, MJ; et al. (1991). KR1 gene cluster encoding toluene-4-monooxygenase"Pseudomonas mendocina"Cloning and characterization of a . J. Bacteriol. 173 (17): 5315–27.  
  28. ^ Huertas MJ; Luque-Almagro VM; Martínez-Luque M; Blasco, R.; et al. (2006). "Cyanide metabolism of Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes CECT5344: role of siderophores". Biochem. Soc. Trans. 34 (Pt 1): 152–5.  
  29. ^ Nojiri H; Maeda K; Sekiguchi H; Urata, Masaaki; et al. (2002). "Organization and transcriptional characterization of catechol degradation genes involved in carbazole degradation by Pseudomonas resinovorans strain CA10". Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 66 (4): 897–901.  
  30. ^ Nam; Chang, YS; Hong, HB; Lee, YE (2003). "A novel catabolic activity of Pseudomonas veronii in biotransformation of pentachlorophenol". Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 62 (2–3): 284–290.  
  31. ^ Onaca; Kieninger, M; Engesser, KH; Altenbuchner, J (May 2007). "Pseudomonas veronii"Degradation of alkyl methyl ketones by . Journal of Bacteriology 189 (10): 3759–3767.  
  32. ^ Marqués S; Ramos JL (1993). "Transcriptional control of the Pseudomonas putida TOL plasmid catabolic pathways". Mol. Microbiol. 9 (5): 923–929.  
  33. ^ Sepulveda-Torres; Rajendran, N; Dybas, MJ; Criddle, CS (1999). "Generation and initial characterization of Pseudomonas stutzeri KC mutants with impaired ability to degrade carbon tetrachloride". Arch Microbiol 171 (6): 424–429.  
  34. ^ Pereira, JN & Morgan, ME (Dec 1957). "Pseudomonas fragi"Nutrition and physiology of . J Bacteriol 74 (6): 710–3.  
  35. ^ Levine, M & Anderson, DQ (Apr 1932). "Two New Species of Bacteria Causing Mustiness in Eggs". J Bacteriol 23 (4): 337–47.  
  36. ^ Gennari, M & Dragotto, F (Apr 1992). "A study of the incidence of different fluorescent Pseudomonas species and biovars in the microflora of fresh and spoiled meat and fish, raw milk, cheese, soil and water". J Appl Bacteriol 72 (4): 281–8.  
  37. ^ Van Landschoot, A.; Rossau, R.; De Ley, J. (1986). "Intra- and Intergeneric Similarities of the Ribosomal Ribonucleic Acid Cistrons of Acinetobacter". International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology 36 (2): 150.  
  38. ^ a b Hertveldt, K.; Lavigne, R.; Pleteneva, E.; Sernova, N.; Kurochkina, L.; Korchevskii, R.; Robben, J.; Mesyanzhinov, V.; Krylov, V. N.; Volckaert, G. (2005). Large Phages"Pseudomonas aeruginosa"Genome Comparison of (PDF). Journal of Molecular Biology 354 (3): 536–545.  
  39. ^ Lavigne, R.; Noben, J. P.; Hertveldt, K.; Ceyssens, P. J.; Briers, Y.; Dumont, D.; Roucourt, B.; Krylov, V. N.; Mesyanzhinov, V. V.; Robben, J.; Volckaert, G. (2006). "The structural proteome of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteriophage KMV". Microbiology 152 (2): 529–534.  
  40. ^ a b Ceyssens, P. -J.; Lavigne, R.; Mattheus, W.; Chibeu, A.; Hertveldt, K.; Mast, J.; Robben, J.; Volckaert, G. (2006). "Genomic Analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Phages LKD16 and LKA1: Establishment of the KMV Subgroup within the T7 Supergroup". Journal of Bacteriology 188 (19): 6924–6931.  
  41. ^ Buchanan, R. E. (1955). "Taxonomy". Annual Review of Microbiology 9: 1–20.  


  1. ^ To aid in the flow of the prose in English, genus names can be "trivialised" to form a vernacular name to refer to a member of the genus: for the genus Pseudomonas it is "pseudomonad" (plural: "pseudomonads"), a variant on the non-nominative cases in the Greek declension of monas, monada.[41] For historical reasons, members of several genera that were formerly classified as Pseudomonas species can be referred to as pseudomonads, while the term "fluorescent pseudomonad" refers strictly to current members of the genus Pseudomonas, as these produce pyoverdin, a fluorescent siderophore.[2] The latter term, fluorescent pseudomonad, is distinct from the term P. fluorescens group, which is used to distinguish a subset of members of the Pseudomonas sensu stricto and not as a whole


See also

There are a number of bacteriophage that infect Pseudomonas, e.g.


δ proteobacteria: P. formicans.

γ proteobacteria: P. iners, P. marina, P. nautica, P. nigrifaciens, P. pavonacea,[37] P. piscicida, P. stanieri.

γ-β proteobacteria: P. beteli, P. boreopolis, P. cissicola, P. geniculata, P. hibiscicola, P. maltophilia, P. pictorum.

β proteobacteria: P. acidovorans, P. alliicola, P. antimicrobica, P. avenae, P. butanovorae, P. caryophylli, P. cattleyae, P. cepacia, P. cocovenenans, P. delafieldii, P. facilis, P. flava, P. gladioli, P. glathei, P. glumae, P. graminis, P. huttiensis, P. indigofera, P. lanceolata, P. lemoignei, P. mallei, P. mephitica, P. mixta, P. palleronii, P. phenazinium, P. pickettii, P. plantarii, P. pseudoflava, P. pseudomallei, P. pyrrocinia, P. rubrilineans, P. rubrisubalbicans, P. saccharophila, P. solanacearum, P. spinosa, P. syzygii, P. taeniospiralis, P. terrigena, P. testosteroni.

α proteobacteria: P. abikonensis, P. aminovorans, P. azotocolligans, P. carboxydohydrogena, P. carboxidovorans, P. compransoris, P. diminuta, P. echinoides, P. extorquens, P. lindneri, P. mesophilica, P. paucimobilis, P. radiora, P. rhodos, P. riboflavina, P. rosea, P. vesicularis.

Recently, 16S rRNA sequence analysis redefined the taxonomy of many bacterial species previously classified as being in the Pseudomonas genus.[7] Species that moved from the Pseudomonas genus are listed below; clicking on a species will show its new classification. The term 'pseudomonad' does not apply strictly to just the Pseudomonas genus, and can be used to also include previous members such as the genera Burkholderia and Ralstonia.

Species previously classified in the genus

As a result of their metabolic diversity, ability to grow at low temperatures, and ubiquitous nature, many Pseudomonas species can cause food spoilage. Notable examples include dairy spoilage by P. fragi,[34] mustiness in eggs caused by P. taetrolens and P. mudicolens,[35] and P. lundensis, which causes spoilage of milk, cheese, meat, and fish.[36]

Food spoilage agents

Some members of the genus are able to metabolise chemical pollutants in the environment, and as a result, can be used for bioremediation. Notable species demonstrated as suitable for use as bioremediation agents include:

Use as bioremediation agents


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