Resveratrol as a Growth Substrate for Bacteria from the Rhizosphere

Kurt, Zöhre
Spain, Jim C.
Resveratrol is among the best-known secondary plant metabolites because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. It also is an important allelopathic chemical widely credited with the protection of plants from pathogens. The ecological role of resveratrol in natural habitats is difficult to establish rigorously, because it does not seem to accumulate outside plant tissue. It is likely that bacterial degradation plays a key role in determining the persistence, and thus the ecological role, of resveratrol in soil. Here, we report the isolation of an Acinetobacter species that can use resveratrol as a sole carbon source from the rhizosphere of peanut plants. Both molecular and biochemical techniques indicate that the pathway starts with the conversion of resveratrol to 3,5-dihydroxybenzaldehyde and 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde. The aldehydes are oxidized to substituted benzoates that subsequently enter central metabolism. The gene that encodes the enzyme responsible for the oxidative cleavage of resveratrol was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli to establish its function. Its physiological role in the resveratrol catabolic pathway was established by knockouts and by the reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) demonstration of expression during growth on resveratrol. The results establish the presence and capabilities of resveratrol-degrading bacteria in the rhizosphere of the peanut plants and set the stage for studies to evaluate the role of the bacteria in plant allelopathy.


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Citation Formats
Z. Kurt and J. C. Spain, “Resveratrol as a Growth Substrate for Bacteria from the Rhizosphere,” APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, pp. 0–0, 2018, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: