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Soil Bacteria are Differentially Affected by the Resin of the Medicinal Plant Pseudognaphalium vira vira and Its Main Component Kaurenoic Acid

Gil, F., Iglesia, R. De la, Mendoza, L., González, B., Wilkens, M.
Microbial ecology 2006 v.52 no.1 pp. 10-18
antibacterial properties, antibiotics, bacterial communities, diterpenoids, kaurenoic acid, medicinal plants, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, soil bacteria, thin layer chromatography
The diterpenoid kaurenoic acid is the main component of the resin from the medicinal plant Pseudognaphalium vira vira. As some diterpenoids have antimicrobial properties, the effect of this resin and the kaurenoic acid on soil bacteria was studied. The resin of P. vira vira and purified kaurenoic acid were two to four times more effective as antibacterial agents with Gram-positive than with Gram-negative soil isolates. The chemical stability of kaurenoic acid and the antibacterial activity of both the resin and the diterpenoid were studied in microcosms containing plant-associated soil. After 15 days of incubation, the diterpenoid was stable, as determined by ¹H nuclear magnetic resonance and thin-layer chromatography, and soil extracts still exhibited antibacterial activity. However, after 30 days of incubation, loss of antibacterial activity of soil extracts correlated with removal or chemical modification of kaurenoic acid. The effect of the resin or this diterpenoid on the soil bacteria community was analyzed by the terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms technique. After 15 days of incubation, the resin and the pure compound caused significant changes in the soil bacterial community. The relative abundance of specific bacterial groups was differentially affected by the resin components, being the effects with the resin stronger than with the kaurenoic acid. After 30 days of incubation, these changes mostly reverted. These results indicate that a plant resin containing diterpenoid compounds plays a significant role controlling specific groups of microorganisms in the soil associated with the plant.