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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02604

Vulnerability of soil microbiome to monocropping of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants and its restoration through intercropping and organic amendments

Pooja Misra1, Deepamala Maji1, Ashutosh Awasthi1,  Shiv S. Pandey1, Anju Yadav1, Alok Pandey1,  Vivek Babu CS1* and  Alok Kalra1*
  • 1Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), India

Cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) is persistently increasing due to excessive demands of naturals. Agricultural land and its microbial diversity are primarily adapted to conventional crops, and introduction of MAP and their continuous monocropping may disturb the ecological stability of soil microbiome. Here, the effect of cultivation of MAPs on soil microbial diversity was studied. The aim of the study is to examine the effects of cultivation of MAPs on the possible shift in soil microbial diversity and to restore such impacts by using organic amendments or intercropping. Terminal Restriction Fragments Polymorphism (TRFLP) and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) studies showed that of the various selected MAPs, maximal modulation in the soil microbial diversity patterns was noticed in fields of Mentha arvensis and Artemisia annua and the traces of essential oil/phytochemicals were detected in bulk and rhizospheric soil. In both Artemisia and Mentha cultivated soil the total Operating Taxonomic Unit (OTUs) declined in both bulk and rhizospheric soil in comparison to control (Zea mays), but bacterial richness of Mentha soil was slightly higher over control. However, cultivation of Mentha improved the evenness of the microbial community.The inclusion of crops like Sesbania, Chlorophytum, and application of vermicompost enhanced the microbial richness and evenness, thereby restoring the soil microbial state shift and resulting in higher productivity in continuously Mentha cropped field. Our study concludes that long term cultivation of some MAPs may affect the richness but promote the evenness of microbial diversity. The state shift could be restored to some extent, and crop productivity enhanced by the inclusion of selected crops and organic manures in cropping systems.

Keywords: Medicinal and aromatic plants, rhizosphere, Microbial richness, Microbial Diversity, evenness, State shift

Received: 18 Apr 2019; Accepted: 28 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Misra, Maji, Awasthi, Pandey, Yadav, Pandey, CS and Kalra. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Vivek Babu CS, Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, 226 015, Uttar Pradesh, India,
Dr. Alok Kalra, Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, 226 015, Uttar Pradesh, India,