Insect pests negatively affect crop quality and yield; identifying new methods to protect crops against insects therefore has important agricultural applications. Our analysis of transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants showed that overexpression of PENTACYCLIC TRITERPENE SYNTHASE 1 (PEN1), encoding the key biosynthetic enzyme for the natural plant product (3E)-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene (DMNT), led to significant resistance against a major insect pest, Plustella xylostella. DMNT treatment severely damaged the peritrophic matrix (PM), a physical barrier isolating food and pathogens from the midgut wall cells. DMNT repressed the expression of PxMucin in midgut cells and knocking down PxMucin resulted in PM rupture and P. xylostella death. A 16S RNA survey revealed that DMNT significantly disrupted midgut microbiota populations and that midgut microbes were essential for DMNT-induced killing. Therefore, we propose that the midgut microbiota assists DMNT in killing P. xylostella. These findings may provide a novel approach for plant protection against P. xylostella.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figure 1-6, Figure 1-figure supplement 1, 3-5, Figure 4-figure supplement 2, Figure 5-figure supplement 2, and Figure 6-figure supplement 2-3.
- Peijin Li
- Peijin Li
- Peijin Li
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Youngsung Joo, Chungbuk National University, Republic of Korea
© 2021, Chen et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
One defining goal of microbiome research is to uncover mechanistic causation that dictates the emergence of structural and functional traits of microbiomes. However, the extraordinary degree of ecosystem complexity has hampered the realization of the goal. Here, we developed a systematic, complexity-reducing strategy to mechanistically elucidate the compositional and metabolic characteristics of microbiome by using the kombucha tea microbiome as an example. The strategy centered around a two-species core that was abstracted from but recapitulated the native counterpart. The core was convergent in its composition, coordinated on temporal metabolic patterns, and capable for pellicle formation. Controlled fermentations uncovered the drivers of these characteristics, which were also demonstrated translatable to provide insights into the properties of communities with increased complexity and altered conditions. This work unravels the pattern and process underlying the kombucha tea microbiome, providing a potential conceptual framework for mechanistic investigation of microbiome behaviors.
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