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Degradation of phenolic acids and relief of consecutive monoculture obstacle of Rehmannia glutinosa by the combination of Bacillus sp. and Pichia pastoris

Ruifei Wang, Ying Miao, Chunxiao Kang, Mingjun Li and Qingxiang Yang

Rehmannia glutinosa (R. glutinosa) is a high demand traditional Chinese medicine, but it suffers serious consecutive monoculture obstacle (CMO). The disability of root swelling is one of the negative impacts caused by the R. glutinosa CMO and is related to allelopathy exudates, such as phenolic acids. It is thought that a microbe agent could improve plant health by eliminating the unfavorable effect of allelopathy exudates. In previous research, we isolated two phenolic acid-degrading microbes from rhizosphere soil surrounding R. glutinosa. These were Bacillus sp. and Pichia pastoris. This study found that Bacillus sp. combined with Pichia pastoris could degrade 97.19% ferulic acid and 98.73% hydroxybenzoic acid over 15 days. R. glutinosa takes a long growth time (7-8 months) under field conditions. We set up a modified tissue culture model to rapidly detect whether Bacillus sp. and Pichia pastoris combination could relieve the CMO. The results showed that our tissue culture model effectively simulated the R. glutinosa growing process in unplanted or second-year monoculture field. Furthermore, the combination of Bacillus sp. and Pichia pastoris can significantly relieve the CMO-induced suppression of root swelling. All these results suggested that: 1) The combination of Bacillus sp. and Pichia pastoris has considerable potential to degrade allelopathy exudates and alleviate the CMO of R. glutinosa; 2) Our tissue culture model could be used to quickly screen effective microbes that could alleviate CMO in plants.

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