ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0076.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Weed science; Plant-microbe interactions; Medicinal plants; shotgun metagenomics; soil metabarcoding
Online: 3 November 2021 (09:19:12 CET)
The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the roles that microbes may be playing in the rootzone of the medicinal plant Datura inoxia. We hypothesized that rhizospheric and endophytic microbes would be found that were capable of performing the same secondary metabolic functions of the plant rootzone they inhabited. We also hypothesized that the microbial functions would be co-operative with and supportive to plant secondary metabolite production, for example, by providing precursors to important plant bioactive molecules. The methods employed were mi-crobial barcoding, tests of essential oils against antibiotic resistant bacteria and other soil bacterial isolates, 16S Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) metabarcoding, and Whole Genome Shotgun (WGS) taxonomic and functional. A few of the main bacterial genera of interest that were dis-covered in the Datura root microbiome were Flavobacterium, Chitinophaga, Pseudomonas, Strepto-myces, Rhizobium, and Bacillus. In the context of known interactions, and current results, plants and microbes influence the flavonoid biosynthetic pathways of one other, in terms of the regulation of the phenylpropanoid pathway. This is important because these compounds are phyto-protective antioxidants and are precursors to many aromatic bioactive compounds that are relevant to human health. There was strong evidence to support the notion that synergistic production of plant de-rived secondary metabolites by microbes occurred, as well as the ability for the compounds to enter plant cells. There are possible biopharmaceutical and agricultural applications of the natural interplay that was discovered during this study of the Datura inoxia rhizosphere.