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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 125704, 11 pages
Research Article

Inhibitory and Toxic Effects of Volatiles Emitted by Strains of Pseudomonas and Serratia on Growth and Survival of Selected Microorganisms, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Drosophila melanogaster

1Institute of Molecular Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Kurchatov Square 2, Moscow 123182, Russia
2M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Leninskie Gory 1-40, Moscow 119991, Russia
3State Research Institute of Genetics and Selection of Industrial Microorganisms, Moscow 117545, Russia
4Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vavilov Street 32, Moscow 119991, Russia
5Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 76100 Rehovot, Israel

Received 25 February 2014; Revised 4 May 2014; Accepted 20 May 2014; Published 11 June 2014

Academic Editor: Heather Simpson

Copyright © 2014 Alexandra A. Popova et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In previous research, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by various bacteria into the chemosphere were suggested to play a significant role in the antagonistic interactions between microorganisms occupying the same ecological niche and between bacteria and target eukaryotes. Moreover, a number of volatiles released by bacteria were reported to suppress quorum-sensing cell-to-cell communication in bacteria, and to stimulate plant growth. Here, volatiles produced by Pseudomonas and Serratia strains isolated mainly from the soil or rhizosphere exhibited bacteriostatic action on phytopathogenic Agrobacterium tumefaciens and fungi and demonstrated a killing effect on cyanobacteria, flies (Drosophila melanogaster), and nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans). VOCs emitted by the rhizospheric Pseudomonas chlororaphis strain 449 and by Serratia proteamaculans strain 94 isolated from spoiled meat were identified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis, and the effects of the main headspace compounds—ketones (2-nonanone, 2-heptanone, 2-undecanone) and dimethyl disulfide—were inhibitory toward the tested microorganisms, nematodes, and flies. The data confirmed the role of bacterial volatiles as important compounds involved in interactions between organisms under natural ecological conditions.