Nutraceutical Profiles of Two Hydroponically Grown Sweet Basil Cultivars as Affected by the Composition of the Nutrient Solution and the Inoculation With Azospirillum brasilense.
ABSTRACT: Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is one of the most produced aromatic herbs in the world, exploiting hydroponic systems. It has been widely assessed that macronutrients, like nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S), can strongly affect the organoleptic qualities of agricultural products, thus influencing their nutraceutical value. In addition, plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) have been shown to affect plant growth and quality. Azospirillum brasilense is a PGPR able to colonize the root system of different crops, promoting their growth and development and influencing the acquisition of mineral nutrients. On the bases of these observations, we aimed at investigating the impact of both mineral nutrients supply and rhizobacteria inoculation on the nutraceutical value on two different sweet basil varieties, i.e., Genovese and Red Rubin. To these objectives, basil plants have been grown in hydroponics, with nutrient solutions fortified for the concentration of either S or N, supplied as SO4 2- or NO3 -, respectively. In addition, plants were either non-inoculated or inoculated with A. brasilense. At harvest, basil plants were assessed for the yield and the nutraceutical properties of the edible parts. The cultivation of basil plants in the fortified nutrient solutions showed a general increasing trend in the accumulation of the fresh biomass, albeit the inoculation with A. brasilense did not further promote the growth. The metabolomic analyses disclosed a strong effect of treatments on the differential accumulation of metabolites in basil leaves, producing the modulation of more than 400 compounds belonging to the secondary metabolism, as phenylpropanoids, isoprenoids, alkaloids, several flavonoids, and terpenoids. The primary metabolism that resulted was also influenced by the treatments showing changes in the fatty acid, carbohydrates, and amino acids metabolism. The amino acid analysis revealed that the treatments induced an increase in arginine (Arg) content in the leaves, which has been shown to have beneficial effects on human health. In conclusion, between the two cultivars studied, Red Rubin displayed the most positive effect in terms of nutritional value, which was further enhanced following A. brasilense inoculation.
Project description:Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) increase plant growth and crop productivity. The inoculation of plants with a bacterial mixture (consortium) apparently provides greater benefits to plant growth than inoculation with a single bacterial strain. In the present work, a bacterial consortium was formulated containing four compatible and desiccation-tolerant strains with potential as PGPR. The formulation had one moderately (Pseudomonas putida KT2440) and three highly desiccation-tolerant (Sphingomonas sp. OF178, Azospirillum brasilense Sp7 and Acinetobacter sp. EMM02) strains. The four bacterial strains were able to adhere to seeds and colonize the rhizosphere of plants when applied in both mono-inoculation and multi-inoculation treatments, showing that they can also coexist without antagonistic effects in association with plants. The effects of the bacterial consortium on the growth of blue maize were evaluated. Seeds inoculated with either individual bacterial strains or the bacterial consortium were subjected to two experimental conditions before sowing: normal hydration or desiccation. In general, inoculation with the bacterial consortium increased the shoot and root dry weight, plant height and plant diameter compared to the non-inoculated control or mono-inoculation treatments. The bacterial consortium formulated in this work had greater benefits for blue maize plants even when the inoculated seeds underwent desiccation stress before germination, making this formulation attractive for future field applications.
Project description:The effects of plant inoculation with plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and those resulting from the exogenous application of salicylic acid (SA) or methyl jasmonte (MeJA) on total phenolic content (TPC) and monoterpenes in Mentha x piperita plants were investigated. Although the PGPR inoculation response has been studied for many plant species, the combination of PGPR and exogenous phytohormones has not been investigated in aromatic plant species. The exogenous application of SA produced an increase in TPC that, in general, was of a similar level when applied alone as when combined with PGPR. This increase in TPC was correlated with an increase in the activity of the enzyme phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL). Also, the application of MeJA at different concentrations in combination with inoculation with PGPR produced an increase in TPC, which was more relevant at 4 mM, with a synergism effect being observed. With respect to the main monoterpene concentrations present in peppermint essential oil (EO), it was observed that SA or MeJA application produced a significant increase similar to that of the combination with rhizobacteria. However, when plants were exposed to 2 mM MeJA and inoculated, an important increase was produced in the concentration on menthol, pulegone, linalool, limonene, and menthone concentrations. Rhizobacteria inoculation, the treatment with SA and MeJA, and the combination of both were found to affect the amount of the main monoterpenes present in the EO of M. piperita. For this reason, the expressions of genes related to the biosynthesis of monoterpene were evaluated, with this expression being positively affected by MeJA application and PGPR inoculation, but was not modified by SA application. Our results demonstrate that MeJA or SA application combined with inoculation with PGPR constitutes an advantageous management practice for improving the production of secondary metabolites from M. piperita.
Project description:Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can display several plant-beneficial properties, including support to plant nutrition, regulation of plant growth, and biocontrol of pests. Mechanisms behind these effects are directly related to the presence and expression of specific genes, and different PGPR strains can be differentiated by the presence of different genes. In this study we reported a comprehensive evaluation of a novel PGPR <i>Klebsiella variicola</i> UC4115 from the field to the lab, and from the lab to the plant. The isolate from tomato field was screened <i>in-vitro</i> for different activities related to plant nutrition and growth regulation as well as for antifungal traits. We performed a functional annotation of genes contributing to plant-beneficial functions previously tested <i>in-vitro</i>. Furthermore, the <i>in-vitro</i> characterization, the whole genome sequencing and annotation of <i>K. variicola</i> UC4115, were compared with the well-known PGPR <i>Azospirillum brasilense</i> strain Sp7. This novel comparative analysis revealed different accumulation of plant-beneficial functions contributing genes, and the presence of different genes that accomplished the same functions. Greenhouse assays on tomato seedlings from BBCH 11-12 to BBCH > 14 were performed under either organic or conventional management. In each of them, three PGPR inoculations (control, <i>K. variicola</i> UC4115, <i>A. brasilense</i> Sp7) were applied at either seed-, root-, and seed plus root level. Results confirmed the PGP potential of <i>K. variicola</i> UC4115; in particular, its high value potential as indole-3-acetic acid producer was observed in increasing of root length density and diameter class length parameters. While, in general, <i>A. brasilense</i> Sp7 had a greater effect on biomass, probably due to its high ability as nitrogen-fixing bacteria. For <i>K. variicola</i> UC4115, the most consistent data were noticed under organic management, with application at seed level. While, <i>A. brasilense</i> Sp7 showed the greatest performance under conventional management. Our data highlight the necessity to tailor the selected PGPR, with the mode of inoculation and the crop-soil combination.
Project description:Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) stimulate plant growth, but the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. In this study, we asked whether PROTEIN PHOSPHATASE 2A (PP2A), a regulatory molecular component of stress, growth, and developmental signaling networks in plants, contributes to the plant growth responses induced by the PGPR <i>Azospirillum brasilense</i> (wild type strain Sp245 and auxin deficient strain FAJ0009) and <i>Pseudomonas simiae</i> (WCS417r). The PGPR were co-cultivated with Arabidopsis wild type (WT) and PP2A (related) mutants. These plants had mutations in the PP2A catalytic subunits (<i>C</i>), and the PP2A activity-modulating genes <i>LEUCINE CARBOXYL METHYL TRANSFERASE 1</i> (<i>LCMT1</i>) and <i>PHOSPHOTYROSYL PHOSPHATASE ACTIVATOR</i> (<i>PTPA</i>). When exposed to the three PGPR, WT and all mutant Arabidopsis revealed the typical phenotype of PGPR-treated plants with shortened primary root and increased lateral root density. Fresh weight of plants generally increased when the seedlings were exposed to the bacteria strains, with the exception of catalytic subunit double mutant <i>c2c5</i>. The positive effect on root and shoot fresh weight was especially pronounced in Arabidopsis mutants with low PP2A activity. Comparison of different mutants indicated a significant role of the PP2A catalytic subunits C2 and C5 for a positive response to PGPR.
Project description:Accumulation of stress ethylene in plants due to osmotic stress is a major challenge for the achievement of optimum sweet corn crop yield with limited availability of irrigation water. A significant increase in earth's temperature is also making the conditions more crucial regarding the availability of ample quantity of irrigation water for crops production. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can play an imperative role in this regard. Inoculation of rhizobacteria can provide resistance and adaptability to crops against osmotic stress. In addition, these rhizobacteria also have potential to solve future food security issues. That's why the current study was planned to examine the efficacious functioning of Pseudomonas fluorescens strains on yields and physiological characteristics of sweet corn (Zea mays L. var saccharata) under different levels of irrigation. Three irrigation levels i.e., 100% (I<sub>100</sub> no stress), 80% (I<sub>80</sub>), and 60% (I<sub>60</sub>) were used during sweet corn cultivation. However, there were four rhizobacteria strains i.e., P. fluorescens P<sub>1</sub>, P. fluorescens P<sub>3</sub>, P. fluorescens P<sub>8</sub>, P. fluorescens P<sub>14</sub> which were used in the experiment. The results showed that severe water stress (60% of plant water requirement) decreased chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and total chlorophyll contents, Fv/Fm ratio and nutrients uptake. A significant increase in F<sub>0</sub>, F<sub>m</sub>, proline, total soluble sugars, catalase (CAT) and peroxidase (POX) activity led to less ear yield and canned seed yield. Combination of four strains significantly increased the yield traits of sweet corn i.e., ear and (44%) and canned seed yield (27%) over control. The highest promoting effect was observed in the combination of four strains treatment and followed by P<sub>1</sub> strain in reducing the harmful effects of drought stress and improving sweet corn productivity. However, P<sub>14</sub> gave minimum improvement in growth and yield indices under limited availability of water. In conclusion, combination of four strains inoculation is an efficacious approach for the achievement of better yield of sweet corn under osmotic stress.
Project description:Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum), one of the most popular cultivated herbs worldwide, displays a number of varieties differing in several characteristics, such as the color of the leaves. The development of a reference transcriptome for sweet basil, and the analysis of differentially expressed genes in acyanic and cyanic cultivars exposed to natural sunlight irradiance, has interest from horticultural and biological point of views. There is still great uncertainty about the significance of anthocyanins in photoprotection, and how green and red morphs may perform when exposed to photo-inhibitory light, a condition plants face on daily and seasonal basis. We sequenced the leaf transcriptome of the green-leaved Tigullio (TIG) and the purple-leaved Red Rubin (RR) exposed to full sunlight over a four-week experimental period. We assembled and annotated 111,007 transcripts. A total of 5,468 and 5,969 potential SSRs were identified in TIG and RR, respectively, out of which 66 were polymorphic in silico. Comparative analysis of the two transcriptomes showed 2,372 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) clustered in 222 enriched Gene ontology terms. Green and red basil mostly differed for transcripts abundance of genes involved in secondary metabolism. While the biosynthesis of waxes was up-regulated in red basil, the biosynthesis of flavonols and carotenoids was up-regulated in green basil. Data from our study provides a comprehensive transcriptome survey, gene sequence resources and microsatellites that can be used for further investigations in sweet basil. The analysis of DEGs and their functional classification also offers new insights on the functional role of anthocyanins in photoprotection.
Project description:Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are noticeably applied to enhance plant nutrient acquisition and improve plant growth and health. However, limited information is available on the compositional dynamics of rhizobacteria communities with PGPR inoculation. In this study, we investigated the effects of three PGPR strains, <i>Stenotrophomonas rhizophila</i>, <i>Rhodobacter sphaeroides</i>, and <i>Bacillus amyloliquefaciens</i> on the ecophysiological properties of Oilseed rape (<i>Brassica napus L.</i>), rhizosphere, and bulk soil; moreover, we assessed rhizobacterial community composition using high-throughput Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Inoculation with <i>S. rhizophila</i>, <i>R. sphaeroides</i>, and <i>B. amyloliquefaciens</i>, significantly increased the plant total N (TN) (<i>p</i> < 0.01) content. <i>R. sphaeroides</i> and <i>B. amyloliquefaciens</i> selectively enhanced the growth of <i>Pseudomonadacea</i> and <i>Flavobacteriaceae</i>, whereas <i>S. rhizophila</i> could recruit diazotrophic rhizobacteria, members of <i>Cyanobacteria</i> and <i>Actinobacteria</i>, whose abundance was positively correlated with inoculation, and improved the transformation of organic nitrogen into inorganic nitrogen through the promotion of ammonification. Initial colonization by PGPR in the rhizosphere affected the rhizobacterial community composition throughout the plant life cycle. Network analysis indicated that PGPR had species-dependent effects on niche competition in the rhizosphere. These results provide a better understanding of PGPR-plant-rhizobacteria interactions, which is necessary to develop the application of PGPR.
Project description:Salinity is a major environmental stress that limits crop production worldwide. In this study, we characterized plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) containing 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase and examined their effect on salinity stress tolerance in okra through the induction of ROS-scavenging enzyme activity. PGPR inoculated okra plants exhibited higher germination percentage, growth parameters, and chlorophyll content than control plants. Increased antioxidant enzyme activities (SOD, APX, and CAT) and upregulation of ROS pathway genes (CAT, APX, GR, and DHAR) were observed in PGPR inoculated okra plants under salinity stress. With some exceptions, inoculation with Enterobacter sp. UPMR18 had a significant influence on all tested parameters under salt stress, as compared to other treatments. Thus, the ACC deaminase-containing PGPR isolate Enterobacter sp. UPMR18 could be an effective bioresource for enhancing salt tolerance and growth of okra plants under salinity stress.
Project description:The present study aims to unravel ecophysiological mechanisms underlying plant-microbe interactions under natural abiotic stress conditions, specifically heavy metal pollution. Effect of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) bioaugmentation on Spartina maritima in vivo root respiration and oxidative stress was investigated. This autochthonous plant is a heavy metal hyperaccumulator cordgrass growing in one of the most polluted estuaries in the world. The association with native PGPR is being studied with a view to their biotechnological potential in environmental decontamination. As a novelty, the oxygen-isotope fractionation technique was used to study the in vivo activities of cytochrome oxidase (COX) and alternative oxidase (AOX) pathways. Inoculated plants showed decreased antioxidant enzymatic activities and in vivo root respiration rates. The reduction in respiratory carbon consumption and the stress alleviation may explain the increments observed in S. maritima root biomass and metal rhizoaccumulation after inoculation. For the first time, plant carbon balance and PGPR are interrelated to explain the effect of rhizobacteria under abiotic stress.
Project description:Iodine deficiency is a serious world-wide public health problem, as it is responsible for mental retardation and other diseases. The use of iodine-biofortified vegetables represents a strategic alternative to iodine enriched salt for people with a low sodium diet. However, at high concentrations iodine can be toxic to plants. Therefore, research on plant iodine toxicity is fundamental for the development of appropriate biofortification protocols. In this work, we compared two cultivars of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) with different iodine tolerance: "Tigullio," less tolerant, with green leaves, and "Red Rubin," more tolerant and with purple leaves. Four greenhouse hydroponic experiments were conducted in spring and in summer with different concentrations of iodine in the nutrient solution (0.1, 10, 50, 100, and 200 ?M), supplied as potassium iodide (KI) or potassium iodate (KIO3). Plant growth was not affected either by 10 ?M KI or by 100 ?M KIO3, while KI concentrations higher than 50 ?M significantly reduced leaf area, total plant dry matter and plant height. The severity of symptoms increased with time depending on the cultivar and the form of iodine applied. Growth inhibition by toxic iodine concentrations was more severe in "Tigullio" than in "Red Rubin," and KI was much more phytotoxic than KIO3. Leaf iodine concentration increased with the iodine concentration in the nutrient solution in both varieties, while the total antioxidant power was generally higher in the purple variety. In both basil cultivars, a strong negative correlation was found between the photosynthesis and the leaf iodine content, with significant differences between the regression lines for "Tigullio" and "Red Rubin." In conclusion, the greater tolerance to iodine of the "Red Rubin" variety was associated with the ability to withstand higher concentrations of iodine in leaf tissues, rather than to a reduced accumulation of this element in the leaves. The high phenolic content of "Red Rubin" could contribute to the iodine tolerance of this purple cultivar.