The rhizophagy cycle refers to the process by which plants obtain nutrients from the microbes in the soil. In this process, plants form mutualistic relationships with certain soil microbes, such as mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobia, which provide the plant with essential nutrients in exchange for carbohydrates produced by the plant through photosynthesis.
Cannabinoids, have been found to have an impact on the rhizophagy cycle by modulating the plant-microbe interactions. Specifically, cannabinoids has been found to enhance the symbiotic relationship between plants and mycorrhizal fungi by increasing the colonization of the roots by these beneficial fungi, which in turn can increase the plant's access to nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen.
Furthermore, cannabinoids has been found to stimulate the biosynthesis of flavonoids, which are a group of phytochemicals that can act as signaling molecules to promote the growth of beneficial microbes in the soil. Cannabinoids treatment has been shown to increase the biosynthesis of flavonoids like kaempferol and quercetin, which can act as signaling molecules that promote the growth of beneficial microbes in the soil, improving the rhizophagy process.
Cannabinoids also can help to enhance the plant's tolerance to abiotic and biotic stressors, which can lead to healthier growth and development. Additionally, cannabinoids can help to increase the plant's resistance to pests and diseases, which can lead to healthier growth and higher yield.
It's important to note that these are complex mechanisms and the effects of cannabinoids on rhizophagy cycle may vary depending on the plant species, environmental conditions, and the type of microbes present in the soil. Additionally, more research is needed to fully understand how cannabinoids works in this context.
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Trichomes are found on the surface of the cannabis plant, including on the leaves, stem and flowers. They have been shown to play an important role in protecting the plant from herbivores and pathogens by producing chemical compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes.
Research has also suggested that trichomes may play a role in the plant's ability to acquire nutrients from microbes in the soil. One way in which this may occur is through the process of rhizophagy, which is the ability of a plant to feed on microbes living in or around its roots.
Trichomes on the surface of the plant can help to improve the rhizophagy cycle by providing a favorable environment for microbial growth and colonization. For example, the production of certain terpenes by trichomes can help to attract beneficial microbes to the plant, while the presence of cannabinoids may inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms.
Additionally, trichomes can help to provide a physical barrier against pathogens by producing mucilage, a sticky secretion that can trap pathogens.
Additionally, trichomes can help to farm microbes inside the trichrome heads and root tips. The high concentration of exudates and secretions can create a favorable environment for beneficial microbes to flourish. This can help to improve the plant's ability to take up nutrients from the soil, as well as its overall health and growth.
It is important to note that research on the role of trichomes in the rhizophagy cycle is still ongoing and more studies are needed to fully understand the interactions between trichomes, microbes, and nutrient acquisition.
- Gaffal, E.W. Weiler, "Trichomes of higher plants: diversity, development, and secretory functions", Plant Biology, vol. 19, pp. 735-746, 2017.
- White, J. F. (2016). The rhizophagy cycle: how plants get nutrients from microbes. Microbe, 11(2), 49-55.
- De Meyer T, Schoonbeek HJ, Verpoorte R (2011) Secondary metabolite biosynthesis and associated processes in glandular trichomes of plants. Phytochemistry Reviews 10:723–746.