Pantoea agglomerans

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Gram stain of Pantoea agglomerans under 1000 magnification

Pantoea agglomerans
Scientific classification
Gamma Proteobacteria
Binomial name
Pantoea agglomerans
(Ewing and Fife 1972)
Gavini et al. 1989
Type strain
ATCC 27155
CCUG 539
CDC 1461-67
CFBP 3845
CIP 57.51
DSM 3493
ICPB 3435
ICMP 12534
JCM 1236
LMG 1286
NCTC 9381

Enterobacter agglomerans Ewing and Fife 1972
Bacillus agglomerans Beijerinck 1888
Erwinia herbicola (Löhnis 1911) Dye 1964
Bacterium herbicola Löhnis 1911
Bacterium herbicola Geilinger 1921
Pseudomonas herbicola (Geilinger 1921) de’Rossi 1927
Corynebacterium beticola Abdou 1969
Pseudomonas trifolii Huss

Pantoea agglomerans is a Gram-negative bacterium that belongs to the family Erwiniaceae.

It was formerly called Enterobacter agglomerans, or Erwinia herbicola and is a ubiquitous bacterium commonly isolated from plant surfaces, seeds, fruit, and animal or human feces and can be found throughout a honeybee's environment.[1] Levan produced by Pantoea agglomerans ZMR7 was reported to decrease the viability of rhabdomyosarcoma (RD) and breast cancer (MDA) cells compared with untreated cancer cells. In addition, it has high antiparasitic activity against the promastigote of Leishmania tropica.[2]


Pantoea agglomerans can serve as a plant pathogen competitor for the management of plant diseases. Fire blight, a plant disease caused by bacterium Erwinia amylovora, is commonly found in pear and apple crops.[3][4][5] After coming in contact with Erwinia amylovora, Pantoea agglomerans produces antibiotic properties that are toxic to the fire blight-inducing bacterium. It has been identified that it is possible that habitat modification or exclusion may also play a role in the effectiveness of the antibiosis of the fire blight biological control.[6][4]

Environmental factors influencing the growth and spread of Pantoea agglomerans include winter chilling, good sunlight exposure and quality air circulation.[7] Fruit-bearing trees, such as apple and pear trees are common Pantoea agglomerans hosts and during blooming season the fruit-bearing trees receive a period of chilling to revive them from their dormant state in the following Spring. In terms of sunlight exposure, fruit trees generally grow best in warm, moist and well-lit environments, thus Pantoea agglomerans must also be able to survive under these conditions if it hopes to infect healthy plant hosts. Pantoea agglomerans is an aerobic bacterium, so it requires a certain level of air circulation in order to survive.[8]

Pantoea agglomerans is found in the gut of locusts. The locusts have adapted to use the guaiacol produced by Pantoea agglomerans to initiate the synchronized swarming of locusts.[9]

It is also commonly found as a symbiont in the gut of mosquitoes. Scientists have created a genetically modified strain of Pantoea agglomerans produce antimalarial effector molecules. Inoculating mosquitoes with this strain reduced the prevalence of the malaria-causing organism (Plasmodium) by up to 98%.[10]


P. a. pv. glysophilae completely inhibits root development in Gypsophila paniculata. Both Pag and P. a. pv. betae (Pab) cause gall formation in G. paniculata. That makes Pag a problem for the floral industry, for example in the Israeli industry.[11][12]

Antibiotics derived from Pantoea agglomerans[edit]

More recent studies have shown that Pantoea agglomerans has a wide variety of antibiotics that can be derived from it. These antibiotics include: herbicolin, pantocins, phenazine and others.[4][5] In addition, Pantoea agglomerans products may act as a preservative, have bioremediation properties, and be able to fight against harmful pathogens in plants. A Japanese researcher was able to isolate IP-PA1 in Pantoea agglomerans and found that the lipopolysaccharide has a low molecular mass giving it unique properties. This bacterium was also found to use macrophage activity to regulate homeostasis, giving Pantoea agglomerans healing properties. These properties include: "tumours, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, ulcer, various infectious diseases, atopic allergy and stress-induced immunosuppression".[13]

Clinical isolates[edit]

Pantoea agglomerans is occasionally reported to be an opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised patients, causing wound, blood, and urinary-tract infections. Infections are typically acquired from infected vegetation parts penetrating the skin. Contaminated intravenous fluids or blood products are only rarely the causal agent.[14] Bloodstream infection can lead to disseminated disease and end-organ infection, mainly septic arthritis, but also endophthalmitis, periostitis, endocarditis and osteomyelitis in humans.[15]

Using the biochemical panels commonly employed in medical diagnostics it is difficult to differentiate Pantoea agglomerans from other species of the same genus or from members of related genera such as Phytobacter, Enterobacter, Klebsiella, and Serratia spp.[16] This has led to confusion surrounding its pathogenicity as molecular studies based on DNA sequencing have disproved the identity of several clinical isolates initially reported as Pantoea agglomerans.[4][17] For the precise identification of Pantoea agglomerans non-culture based methods such as Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) or Whole-Cell MALDI-TOF MS are recommended.[18]


Includes P. a. pv. glysophilae (Pag)[11][12][19] and P. a. pv. betae (Pab).[11][12]


In the course of culture for identification, P. a. pv. gypsophilae can be cultured on trehalose.[19]


  1. ^ Loncaric, Igor; Heigl, Helmut; Licek, Elisabeth; Moosbeckhofer, Rudolf; Busse, Hans-Jürgen; Rosengarten, Renate (2009-01-01). "Typing of Pantoea agglomeransisolated from colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera) and culturability of selected strains from honey". Apidologie. 40 (1): 40–54. doi:10.1051/apido/2008062. ISSN 0044-8435. S2CID 29833478.
  2. ^ Al-Qaysi, Safaa A. S.; Al-Haideri, Halah; Al-Shimmary, Sana M.; Abdulhameed, Jasim M.; Alajrawy, Othman I.; Al-Halbosiy, Mohammad M.; Moussa, Tarek A. A.; Farahat, Mohamed G. (2021-05-28). "Bioactive Levan-Type Exopolysaccharide Produced by Pantoea agglomerans ZMR7: Characterization and Optimization for Enhanced Production". Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 31 (5): 696–704. doi:10.4014/jmb.2101.01025. ISSN 1017-7825. PMID 33820887.
  3. ^ Anderson, L. M.; Stockwell, V. O.; Loper, J. E. (November 2004). "An Extracellular Protease of Pseudomonas fluorescens Inactivates Antibiotics ofPantoea agglomerans". Phytopathology. 94 (11): 1228–1234. doi:10.1094/phyto.2004.94.11.1228. PMID 18944458.
  4. ^ a b c d Rezzonico, Fabio; Smits, Theo HM; Montesinos, Emilio; Frey, Jürg E.; Duffy, Brion (2009-01-01). "Genotypic comparison of Pantoea agglomerans plant and clinical strains". BMC Microbiology. 9: 204. doi:10.1186/1471-2180-9-204. ISSN 1471-2180. PMC 2764716. PMID 19772624.
  5. ^ a b Lim, Jeong-A; Lee, Dong Hwan; Kim, Byoung-Young; Heu, Sunggi (2014-10-20). "Draft genome sequence ofPantoea agglomeransR190, a producer of antibiotics against phytopathogens and foodborne pathogens". Journal of Biotechnology. 188: 7–8. doi:10.1016/j.jbiotec.2014.07.440. ISSN 0168-1656. PMID 25087741.
  6. ^ Johnson, K. B.; Stockwell, V. O.; Sugar, D; Loper, J. E. (November 2002). "Antibiosis Contributes to Biological Control of Fire Blight byPantoea agglomeransStrain Eh252 in Orchards". Phytopathology. 92 (11): 1202–9. doi:10.1094/phyto.2002.92.11.1202. PMID 18944246.
  7. ^ Johnson, K. B.; Stockwell, V. O.; Sugar, D; Sawyer, T. L. (November 2000). "Assessment of Environmental Factors Influencing Growth and Spread of Pantoea agglomerans on and Among Blossoms of Pear and Apple". Phytopathology. 90 (11): 1285–94. doi:10.1094/PHYTO.2000.90.11.1285. PMID 18944433.
  8. ^ "Climate and aspect". Apple and Pear Australia Limited. 2009. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  9. ^ Dillon, Rod J.; Vennard, Chris T.; Charnley, A. Keith (2000). "Exploitation of gut bacteria in the locust". Nature. 403 (6772): 851. doi:10.1038/35002669. PMID 10706273. S2CID 5207502.
  10. ^ Wang, Sibao; et al. (2012). "Fighting malaria with engineered symbiotic bacteria from vector mosquitoes". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109 (31): 12734–12739. Bibcode:2012PNAS..10912734W. doi:10.1073/pnas.1204158109. PMC 3412027. PMID 22802646.
  11. ^ a b c Barash, Isaac (2014-08-04). "How Way Leads on to Way". Annual Review of Phytopathology. Annual Reviews. 52 (1): 1–17. doi:10.1146/annurev-phyto-102313-045953. ISSN 0066-4286. PMID 25090476.
  12. ^ a b c Barash, Isaac; Manulis-Sasson, Shulamit (2009). "Recent Evolution of Bacterial Pathogens: The Gall-Forming Pantoea agglomerans Case". Annual Review of Phytopathology. Annual Reviews. 47 (1): 133–152. doi:10.1146/annurev-phyto-080508-081803. ISSN 0066-4286. PMID 19400643.
  13. ^ Dutkiewicz, Jacek; Mackiewicz, Barbara; Lemieszek, Marta Kinga; Golec, Marcin; Milanowski, Janusz (2016-06-02). "Pantoea agglomerans : a mysterious bacterium of evil and good. Part IV. Beneficial effects". Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine. 23 (2): 206–222. doi:10.5604/12321966.1203879. ISSN 1232-1966. PMID 27294621.
  14. ^ Cruz, A. T.; Cazacu, A. C.; Allen, C. H. (2007-04-18). "Pantoea agglomerans, a Plant Pathogen Causing Human Disease". Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 45 (6): 1989–1992. doi:10.1128/JCM.00632-07. PMC 1933083. PMID 17442803.
  15. ^ Dutkiewicz, J; Mackiewicz, B; Kinga Lemieszek, M; Golec, M; Milanowski, J (2016-06-02). "Pantoea agglomerans: A mysterious bacterium of evil and good. Part III. Deleterious effects: Infections of humans, animals and plants". Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine. 23 (2): 197–205. doi:10.5604/12321966.1203878. PMID 27294620.
  16. ^ Rezzonico, F.; Stockwell, V.O.; Tonolla, M.; Duffy, B.; Smits, T.H.M. (2012-04-01). "Pantoea clinical isolates cannot be accurately assigned to species based on metabolic profiling". Transplant Infectious Disease. 14 (2): 220–221. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3062.2011.00684.x. ISSN 1399-3062. PMID 22093950. S2CID 205424326.
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