Deciphering the microbiome shift during fermentation of medicinal plants

Martina Köberl, Sabine Erschen, Mohammad Etemadi, Richard A. III White, Tarek F. El-Arabi, Gabriele Berg

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The importance of the human-microbiome relationship for positive health outcomes has become more apparent over the last decade. Influencing the gut microbiome via modification of diet represents a possibility of maintaining a healthy gut flora. Fermented food and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) display a preventive way to inhibit microbial dysbioses and diseases, but their ecology on plants is poorly understood. We characterized the microbiome of medicinal plants (Matricaria chamomilla L. and Calendula officinalis L.) using 16S rRNA gene profiling from leaves that were fermented over a six-week time course. The unfermented samples were characterized by a distinct phyllosphere microbiome, while the endosphere revealed a high similarity. During fermentation, significant microbial shifts were observed, whereby LAB were enhanced in all approaches but never numerically dominated. Among the LAB, Enterococcaceae were identified as the most dominant family in both plants. M. chamomilla community had higher relative abundances of Lactobacillaceae and Carnobacteriaceae, while C. officinalis showed a higher presence of Leuconostocaceae and Streptococcaceae. The natural leaf microbiome and the indigenous LAB communities of field-grown Asteraceae medicinal plants are plant-specific and habitat-specific and are subjected to significant shifts during fermentation. Leaf surfaces as well as leaf endospheres were identified as sources for biopreservative LAB
Original languageEnglish
Article number13461
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2019

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