Grape pomace reduces the severity of non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis and the development of steatohepatitis by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing ectopic fat deposition in mice
. JOURNAL OF NUTRITIONAL BIOCHEMISTRY 2021
While non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents the common cause of chronic liver disease, specific therapies are currently unavailable. The wine industry produces millions of tons of residue (pomace), which contains high levels of bioactive phytochemicals. The aim of this study was to clarify the potential benefits of grape pomace for the treatment of NAFLD at different levels of severity, and to clarify the mechanism of action. C57Bl/6 mice were given high fat diet (HFD) or western diet (WD) as models of obesity and hepatic steatosis or steatohepatitis, respectively, with or without pomace supplementation (50-250 mg/day). Pomace inhibited food intake, and reduced serum leptin and body weight gain. Ectopic fat deposition was reduced, while white adipose tissue mass was preserved. In addition, pomace improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, prevented the development of adipose tissue inflammation, and reduced hepatic steatosis. Higher expression of genes involved in fatty acids transport and oxidation was observed in adipose tissue, while lipogenic genes were attenuated in the liver of pomace-treated mice. In WD-fed mice, pomace reduced the severity of hepatic steatosis and inflammation and improved blood lipid profile, but was ineffective in reversing hepatic damage of advanced NASH. In conclusion, pomace improved insulin sensitivity and reduced ectopic fat deposition, leading to a healthier metabolic profile. Pomace may hold the potential as a supplement with beneficial health outcomes for the prevention and treatment of hepatic steatosis and other obesity-related pathologies. (c) 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Root-Associated Microbiomes, Growth and Health of Ornamental Geophytes Treated with Commercial Plant Growth-Promoting Products
. MICROORGANISMS 2021
The microbial community inhabiting a plant's root zone plays a crucial role in plant health and protection. To assess the ability of commercial plant growth-promoting products to enhance the positive effects of this environment, two products containing beneficial soil bacteria and a product containing plant extracts were tested on Zantedeschia aethiopica and Ornithogalum dubium. The products were tested in two different growing media: a soil and a soilless medium. The effects of these products on Pectobacterium brasiliense, the causal agent of soft rot disease, were also evaluated in vitro, and on naturally occurring infections in the greenhouse. The growing medium was found to have the strongest effect on the microbial diversity of the root-associated microbiome, with the next-strongest effect due to plant type. These results demonstrate that either a single bacterial strain or a product will scarcely reach the level that is required to influence soil microbial communities. In addition, the microbes cultured from these products, could not directly inhibit Pectobacterium growth in vitro. We suggest density-based and functional analyses in the future, to study the specific interactions between plants, soil type, soil microbiota and relevant pathogens. This should increase the effectiveness of bio-supplements and soil disinfestation with natural products, leading to more sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions for the control of bacterial plant diseases.
Ecological adaptations influence the susceptibility of plants in the genus Zantedeschia to soft rot Pectobacterium spp. HORTICULTURE RESEARCH 2021
Soft rot disease caused by Pectobacterium spp. is responsible for severe agricultural losses in potato, vegetables, and ornamentals. The genus Zantedeschia includes two botanical groups of tuberous ornamental flowers that are highly susceptible to the disease. Previous studies revealed that Z. aethiopica, a member of the section Zantedeschia, is significantly more resistant to Pectobacterium spp. than members of the same genus that belong to the section Aestivae. During early infection, we found different patterns of bacterial colonization on leaves of hosts belonging to the different sections. Similar patterns of bacterial colonization were observed on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) artificial inert replicas of leaf surfaces. The replicas confirmed the physical effect of leaf texture, in addition to a biochemical plant-bacterium interaction. The differential patterns may be associated with the greater roughness of the abaxial leaf surfaces of Aestivae group that have evolutionarily adapted to mountainous environments, as compared to Zantedeschia group species that have adapted to warm, marshy environments. Transverse leaf sections also revealed compact aerenchyma and reduced the total volume of leaf tissue air spaces in Aestivae members. Finally, an analysis of defense marker genes revealed differential expression patterns in response to infection, with significantly higher levels of lipoxygenase 2 (lox2) and phenylalanine ammonia lyase (pal) observed in the more resistant Z. aethiopica, suggesting greater activation of induced systemic resistance (ISR) mechanisms in this group. The use of Zantedeschia as a model plant sheds light on how natural ecological adaptations may underlay resistance to bacterial soft rot in cultivated agricultural environments.
Phloretin, an Apple Phytoalexin, Affects the Virulence and Fitness of Pectobacterium brasiliense by Interfering With Quorum-Sensing
. FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE 2021
The effects of phloretin a phytoalexin from apple, was tested on Pectobacterium brasiliense (Pb1692), an emerging soft-rot pathogen of potato. Exposure of Pb1692 to 0.2 mM phloretin a concentration that does not affect growth, or to 0.4 mM a 50% growth inhibiting concentration (50% MIC), reduced motility, biofilm formation, secretion of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes, production of acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) signaling molecules and infection, phenotypes that are associated with bacterial population density-dependent system known as quorum sensing (QS). To analyze the effect of growth inhibition on QS, the activity of ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic that impairs cell division, was compared to that of phloretin at 50% MIC. Unlike phloretin, the antibiotic hardly affected the tested phenotypes. The use of DH5 alpha, a QS-negative Escherichia coli strain, transformed with an AHL synthase (ExpI) from Pb1692, allowed to validate direct inhibition of AHL production by phloretin, as demonstrated by two biosensor strains, Chromobacterium violaceaum (CV026) and E. coli (pSB401). Expression analysis of virulence-related genes revealed downregulation of QS-regulated genes (expI, expR, luxS, rsmB), plant cell wall degrading enzymes genes (pel, peh and prt) and motility genes (motA, fim, fliA, flhC and flhD) following exposure to both phloretin concentrations. The results support the inhibition of ExpI activity by phloretin. Docking simulations were used to predict the molecular associations between phloretin and the active site of ExpI, to suggest a likely mode of action for the compound's inhibition of virulence.