The plant phyllosphere is colonized by a complex ecosystem of microorganisms. Leaves of raw eaten vegetables and herbs are habitats for bacteria important not only to the host plant, but also to human health when ingested via meals. The aim of the current study was to determine the presence of putative probiotic bacteria in the phyllosphere of raw eaten produce. Quantification of bifidobacteria showed that leaves of Lepidium sativum L., Cichorium endivia L., and Thymus vulgaris L. harbor between 103 and 106 DNA copies per gram fresh weight. Total cultivable bacteria in the phyllosphere of those three plant species ranged from 105 to 108 CFU per gram fresh weight. Specific enrichment of probiotic lactic acid bacteria from C. endivia, T. vulgaris, Trigonella foenum-graecum L., Coriandrum sativum L., and Petroselinum crispum L. led to the isolation of 155 bacterial strains, which were identified as Pediococcus pentosaceus, Enterococcus faecium, and Bacillus species, based on their intact protein pattern. A comprehensive community analysis of the L. sativum leaves by PhyloChip hybridization revealed the presence of genera Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Streptococcus. Our results demonstrate that the phyllosphere of raw eaten produce has to be considered as a substantial source of probiotic bacteria and point to the development of vegetables and herbs with added probiotic value.
Culture dependent and independent analysis of potential probiotic bacterial genera and species present in the phyllosphere of raw eaten produce
Patz, S.; Witzel, K.; Scherwinski, A.-C., Ruppel, S. 2019. Culture dependent and independent analysis of potential probiotic bacterial genera and species present in the phyllosphere of raw eaten produce. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20, 3661.