The scientific world has continued to reveal the effects of our microbiome on our health. The bacteria, fungi, and even viruses living in our GI tract influence every other body system through various mechanisms. This collection of internal microbial neighbors begins with ones provided by our mothers at birth. Well, it seems that even fruits depend on their own microbiome, much of which begins with the bacteria riding on the seed of origin.
Researchers in 2 different studies evaluated the origins of microbiomes in fruits, one for oil pumpkins and another for Royal Gala apples. They evaluated the bacterial and the fungal microbiomes of each. Interestingly, the bacterial microbiome was heavily influenced by bacteria carried on the plant’s seed while the fungal microbiome depended on the soil where the seed grew.
On one hand, this reminds us that the dependence of human health on our microbiome is not an oddity in nature, but the norm. On the other hand, the researchers hoped to use this understanding of fruit microbiomes to breed plants which resisted crops pests with little to no pesticide and herbicide. Rather than just breeding plants based on their genes, agricultural scientists can breed micriobiomes as well.
While functional medicine types like myself find this extremely intriguing, it also makes me wonder if a new field of functional farmers might arise out of this research. Together, maybe we could help people live healthier more abundant lives with healthier more abundant fruits.
Peter Kusstatscher, Eveline Adam, Wisnu Adi Wicaksono, Maria Bernhart, Expedito Olimi, Henry Müller, Gabriele Berg. Microbiome-Assisted Breeding to Understand Cultivar-Dependent Assembly in Cucurbita pepo. Frontiers in Plant Science, 2021; 12 DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2021.642027
Ahmed Abdelfattah, Shiri Freilich, Rotem Bartuv, V. Yeka Zhimo, Ajay Kumar, Antonio Biasi, Shoshana Salim, Oleg Feygenberg, Erik Burchard, Christopher Dardick, Jia Liu, Awais Khan, Walid Ellouze, Shawkat Ali, Davide Spadaro, Rosario Torres, Neus Teixido, Okan Ozkaya, Andreas Buehlmann, Silvana Vero, Pedro Mondino, Gabriele Berg, Michael Wisniewski, Samir Droby. Global analysis of the apple fruit microbiome: are all apples the same? Environmental Microbiology, 2021; DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.15469
Thanks to Science Daily:
Graz University of Technology. “Of apples and oil pumpkins: News from microbiome research.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2021. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210414154947.htm>.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.