Rehmannia glutinosa replant issues: Root exudate-rhizobiome interactions clearly influence replant success

Bao Zhang, Leslie A. Weston, Mingjie Li, Xiaocheng Zhu, Paul A. Weston, Fajie Feng, Bingyong Zhang, Liuji Zhang, Li Gu, Zhongyi Zhang

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Production of medicinal tubers of Rehmannia glutinosa is severely hindered by replanting issues. However, a mechanistic understanding of the plant-soil factors associated with replant problems is currently limited. Thus, we aimed to identify the R. glutinosa root exudates, evaluate their potential phytotoxicity and profile the interactions between the plant and its associated rhizobiome. Stereomicroscopy and liquid chromatography coupled to a quadrupole/time of flight mass spectrometer were used to monitor and identify secreted metabolites, respectively. Seedling bioassays were used to evaluate the phytotoxicity of R. glutinosa root exudates. Two complimentary experiments were performed to investigate allelochemical fate in rhizosphere soil and profile the associated microbiota. Root specific microbes were further isolated from R. glutinosa rhizosphere. Impacts of isolated strains were evaluated by co-cultivation on plate and on seedlings in tissue culture, with a focus on their pathogenicity. Interactions between key R. glutinosa root exudates and isolated rhizobiomes were investigated to understand the potential for plant-soil feedbacks. Quantification and phytotoxic analysis of metabolites released from R. glutinosa indicated catalpol was the most abundant and bioactive metabolite in root exudates. Subsequent microbial profiling in soil containing accumulated and ecologically significant levels of catalpol identified several taxa (e.g., Agromyces, Lysobacter, Pseudomonas, Fusarium) that were specifically shifted. Isolation of R. glutinosa rhizobiomes obtained several root specific strains. A significant antagonistic effect between strain Rh7 (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and two pathogenic strains Rf1 (Fusarium oxysporum) and Rf2 (Fusarium solani) was observed. Notably, the growth of strain Rh7 and catalpol concentration showed a hormesis-like effect. Field investigation further indicated catalpol was increasingly accumulated in the rhizosphere of replanted R. glutinosa, suggesting that interactions of biocontrol agents and pathogens are likely regulated by the presence of bioactive root exudates and in turn impact the rhizo-ecological process. In summary, this research successfully monitored the release of R. glutinosa root exudates, identified several abundant bioactive R. glutinosa secreted metabolites, profiled associated root specific microbes, and investigated the plant-soil feedbacks potentially regulated by catalpol and associated rhizobiomes. Our findings provide new perspectives toward an enhanced understanding R. glutinosa replant problems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1413
    Pages (from-to)1-21
    Number of pages21
    JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2020


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