Dopamine Reduces Apple Toxicity by Changing Soil Bacteria Structure and Function

Jim Crocker
31st May, 2024

Dopamine Reduces Apple Toxicity by Changing Soil Bacteria Structure and Function

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study by Hebei Agricultural University focused on apple plants facing phloridzin stress due to continuous monoculture
  • Dopamine significantly reduced the growth inhibition caused by phloridzin by lowering harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels
  • Dopamine improved photosynthesis, nitrogen transport, and enriched beneficial microbes in the soil, enhancing apple plant growth and health
Apple trees, known scientifically as Malus domestica, are a staple in global agriculture, but they face numerous challenges that affect their growth and productivity. One such challenge is the accumulation of phloridzin, a polyphenol compound, in the soil due to continuous monoculture practices. Phloridzin is known to inhibit plant growth and disrupt the microbial community in the rhizosphere, the soil region influenced by root secretions. A recent study conducted by Hebei Agricultural University[1] explored the potential of dopamine, an antioxidant and stress resistance modulator, to mitigate the adverse effects of phloridzin stress in apple plants. Phloridzin plays a significant role in apple plant physiology, influencing growth, development, and resistance to environmental stresses[2][3]. It is synthesized via the phenylpropanoid pathway, with the enzyme UGT88F1 playing a crucial role in its biosynthesis[2][3]. However, excessive phloridzin accumulation can lead to severe stunting, reduced internode length, and other developmental issues, as well as increased susceptibility to pathogens like Valsa canker[3]. The Hebei Agricultural University study aimed to address these issues by investigating the remedial effects of dopamine on apple plants under phloridzin stress. The researchers conducted both hydroponic and pot experiments to assess the impact of dopamine. They found that dopamine significantly alleviated the growth inhibition caused by phloridzin stress. This was achieved by reducing the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause oxidative damage. By lowering ROS levels, dopamine helped enhance photosynthesis and nitrogen transport in apple plants, leading to improved growth and development. Moreover, dopamine was found to reduce phloridzin concentrations in both the rhizosphere and the roots. This reduction is crucial because high levels of phloridzin in the soil can negatively impact the microbial community structure. The study revealed that dopamine positively influenced the rhizosphere microbial community by enriching beneficial microbes associated with nitrogen cycling. Metagenomic analysis showed an upregulation in the abundance of genes involved in nitrogen degradation and fixation, such as ureC, GDH, and nifH. This enhancement in microbial activity helps alleviate phloridzin stress by improving soil nitrogen availability, which is essential for plant growth. Previous studies have highlighted the complex interplay between plant hormones and metabolic pathways in apple plants. For instance, jasmonate (JA) promotes ethylene biosynthesis, which is crucial for fruit ripening, through the regulation of specific genes and transcription factors[4]. Similarly, the biosynthesis of phloridzin and its role in plant development and pathogen resistance have been well-documented[2][3]. The current study builds on these findings by demonstrating how an external application of dopamine can modulate these metabolic processes to counteract the negative effects of phloridzin. The results of this study have significant implications for sustainable apple cultivation practices. By using dopamine to mitigate phloridzin stress, farmers can improve apple plant growth and productivity while maintaining a healthy rhizosphere microbial community. This approach offers a potential solution to apple replant disease (ARD), a common issue in orchards where new apple trees are planted in soil previously occupied by older trees, leading to poor growth and yield. In conclusion, the study conducted by Hebei Agricultural University reveals the pivotal role of dopamine in modulating rhizosphere ecology under phloridzin stress. By enhancing photosynthesis, nitrogen transport, and beneficial microbial activity, dopamine offers a promising strategy for improving apple plant health and productivity in the face of continuous monoculture practices. This research not only expands our understanding of phloridzin's impact on apple plants but also provides a practical solution for sustainable agriculture.

GeneticsBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) Dopamine Alleviates Phloridzin Toxicity in Apple by Modifying Rhizosphere Bacterial Community Structure and Function.

Published 29th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Silencing a phloretin-specific glycosyltransferase perturbs both general phenylpropanoid biosynthesis and plant development.

3) MdUGT88F1-Mediated Phloridzin Biosynthesis Regulates Apple Development and Valsa Canker Resistance.

4) The Jasmonate-Activated Transcription Factor MdMYC2 Regulates ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR and Ethylene Biosynthetic Genes to Promote Ethylene Biosynthesis during Apple Fruit Ripening.

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