Fluorescent pseudomonads produce a characteristic fluorescent pigment, pyoverdines as their primary siderophore for iron acquisition under iron-limiting conditions. Here, we report the identification of a random transposon mutant IST3 of Pseudomonas putida S11 showing tolerance to iron starvation stress condition and increased pyoverdine production. The insertion of the Tn5 transposon was found to be in pstS gene of pstSR operon encoding sensor histidine kinase protein of the two-component signal transduction system. A pyoverdine negative derivative of IST3 mutant constructed was sensitive to iron stress condition. It indicated that increased survival of IST3 under iron-limiting condition was due to higher pyoverdine production. The iron starvation tolerant mutant (IST3) exhibited enhanced pyoverdine-mediated iron uptake in minimal medium which significantly improved its biofilm formation, seed adhesion and competitive root colonization. Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012.