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. 2017 Apr;168(3):276-282.
doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2016.11.004. Epub 2016 Nov 21.

Is the Plant-Associated Microbiota of Thymus Spp. Adapted to Plant Essential Oil?

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Is the Plant-Associated Microbiota of Thymus Spp. Adapted to Plant Essential Oil?

Alice Checcucci et al. Res Microbiol. .

Abstract

We examined whether the microbiota of two related aromatic thyme species, Thymus vulgaris and Thymus citriodorus, differs in relation to the composition of the respective essential oil (EO). A total of 576 bacterial isolates were obtained from three districts (leaves, roots and rhizospheric soil). They were taxonomically characterized and inspected for tolerance to the EO from the two thyme species. A district-related taxonomic pattern was found. In particular, high taxonomic diversity among the isolates from leaves was detected. Moreover, data obtained revealed a differential pattern of resistance of the isolates to EOs extracted from T. vulgaris and T. citriodorus, which was interpreted in terms of differing chemical composition of the EO of their respective host plants. In conclusion, we suggest that bacterial colonization of leaves in Thymus spp. is influenced by the EO present in leaf glandular tissue as one of the selective forces shaping endophytic community composition.

Keywords: Adaptation; Bacterial endophytes; Essential oil; Medicinal plants; Plant microbiota; Thymus.

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