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Plants, Volume 1, Issue 2 (December 2012), Pages 39-105

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Photobiont Relationships and Phylogenetic History of Dermatocarpon luridum var. luridum and Related Dermatocarpon Species
Plants 2012, 1(2), 39-60; doi:10.3390/plants1020039
Received: 31 July 2012 / Revised: 11 September 2012 / Accepted: 25 September 2012 / Published: 10 October 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (834 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Members of the genus Dermatocarpon are widespread throughout the Northern Hemisphere along the edge of lakes, rivers and streams, and are subject to abiotic conditions reflecting both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Little is known about the evolutionary relationships within the genus and [...] Read more.
Members of the genus Dermatocarpon are widespread throughout the Northern Hemisphere along the edge of lakes, rivers and streams, and are subject to abiotic conditions reflecting both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Little is known about the evolutionary relationships within the genus and between continents. Investigation of the photobiont(s) associated with sub-aquatic and terrestrial Dermatocarpon species may reveal habitat requirements of the photobiont and the ability for fungal species to share the same photobiont species under different habitat conditions. The focus of our study was to determine the relationship between Canadian and Austrian Dermatocarpon luridum var. luridum along with three additional sub-aquatic Dermatocarpon species, and to determine the species of photobionts that associate with D. luridum var. luridum. Culture experiments were performed to identify the photobionts. In addition, the question of the algal sharing potential regarding different species of Dermatocarpon was addressed. Specimens were collected from four lakes in northwestern Manitoba, Canada and three streams in Austria. Three Canadian and four Austrian thalli of D. luridum var. luridum were selected for algal culturing. The nuclear Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) rDNA gene of the fungal partner along with the algal ITS rDNA gene was sequenced to confirm the identity of the lichen/photobiont and afterwards the same data sets were used in phylogenetic analyses to assess algal sharing. The green algal photobiont was identified as Diplosphaera chodatii (Trebouxiophyceae). The phylogenetic analyses of Canadian and Austrian D. luridum var. luridum revealed that ITS sequences are identical despite the vast geographic distance. Phylogenetic placement of D. luridum var. decipiens and D. arnoldianum suggested that a re-examination of the species status might be necessary. This study concluded that additional photobiont culture experiments should be conducted to answer the question of whether multiple photobionts are present within the genus Dermatocarpon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Journal Plants - Feature Papers)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Phylogeny of Cirsium spp. in North America: Host Specificity Does Not Follow Phylogeny
Plants 2012, 1(2), 61-73; doi:10.3390/plants1020061
Received: 30 August 2012 / Revised: 11 October 2012 / Accepted: 17 October 2012 / Published: 24 October 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (560 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Weedy invasive Cirsium spp. are widespread in temperate regions of North America and some of their biological control agents have attacked native Cirsium spp. A phylogenetic tree was developed from DNA sequences for the internal transcribed spacer and external transcribed spacer regions [...] Read more.
Weedy invasive Cirsium spp. are widespread in temperate regions of North America and some of their biological control agents have attacked native Cirsium spp. A phylogenetic tree was developed from DNA sequences for the internal transcribed spacer and external transcribed spacer regions from native and non-native Great Plains Cirsium spp. and other thistles to determine if host specificity follows phylogeny. The monophyly of Cirsium spp. and Carduus within the tribe Cardinae was confirmed with native North American and European lineages of the Cirsium spp. examined. We did not detect interspecific hybridization between the introduced invasive and the native North American Cirsium spp. Selected host-biological control agent interactions were mapped onto the phylogenic tree derived by maximum likelihood analysis to examine the co-occurrence of known hosts with biological control agents. Within Cirsium-Cardueae, the insect biological control agents do not associate with host phylogenetic lines. Thus, more comprehensive testing of species in host-specificity trials, rather than relying on a single representative of a given clade may be necessary; because the assumption that host-specificity follows phylogeny does not necessarily hold. Since the assumption does not always hold, it will also be important to evaluate ecological factors to provide better cues for host specificity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Journal Plants - Feature Papers)
Open AccessCommunication Antibacterial and COX-1 Inhibitory Effect of Medicinal Plants from the Pamir Mountains, Afghanistan
Plants 2012, 1(2), 74-81; doi:10.3390/plants1020074
Received: 27 September 2012 / Revised: 15 October 2012 / Accepted: 17 October 2012 / Published: 24 October 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (375 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Plants used to treat inflammatory ailments, pain, fever and infections in the Pamir Mountains in northeastern Afghanistan, were tested for antibacterial and COX-1 inhibitory activity. Water and ethanol extracts of 20 species were tested for antibacterial activity against two gram positive and [...] Read more.
Plants used to treat inflammatory ailments, pain, fever and infections in the Pamir Mountains in northeastern Afghanistan, were tested for antibacterial and COX-1 inhibitory activity. Water and ethanol extracts of 20 species were tested for antibacterial activity against two gram positive and two gram negative bacteria. The ethanol extract of Arnebia guttata inhibited Staphylococcus aureus with a MIC of 6 µg/mL. Water and ethanol extracts of Ephedra intermedia and the ethanol extracts of Lagochilus cabulicus and Peganum harmala inhibited Staphylococcus aureus at 0.5 mg/mL, and the P. harmala extract further inhibited the growth of Bacillus subtilis and E. coli, also with MICs of 0.5 mg/mL. Ethanol extracts of Artemisia persica (IC50: 0.5 µg/mL), Dragocephalum paulsenii (IC50: 0.5 µg/mL), Ephedra intermedia (IC50: 3.8 µg/mL), Hyoscyamus pusillus, Nepeta parmiriensis (IC50: 0.7 µg/mL) and Rumex patientia subsp. pamiricus (IC50: 3.5 µg/mL) exhibited COX-1 inhibitory activity. The observed in vitro activities support the use of some of the plant species in the traditional medicine systems of the Pamir Mountains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Journal Plants - Feature Papers)

Review

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Open AccessReview Tungsten Toxicity in Plants
Plants 2012, 1(2), 82-99; doi:10.3390/plants1020082
Received: 3 September 2012 / Revised: 9 November 2012 / Accepted: 13 November 2012 / Published: 16 November 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (810 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tungsten (W) is a rare heavy metal, widely used in a range of industrial, military and household applications due to its unique physical properties. These activities inevitably have accounted for local W accumulation at high concentrations, raising concerns about its effects for [...] Read more.
Tungsten (W) is a rare heavy metal, widely used in a range of industrial, military and household applications due to its unique physical properties. These activities inevitably have accounted for local W accumulation at high concentrations, raising concerns about its effects for living organisms. In plants, W has primarily been used as an inhibitor of the molybdoenzymes, since it antagonizes molybdenum (Mo) for the Mo-cofactor (MoCo) of these enzymes. However, recent advances indicate that, beyond Mo-enzyme inhibition, W has toxic attributes similar with those of other heavy metals. These include hindering of seedling growth, reduction of root and shoot biomass, ultrastructural malformations of cell components, aberration of cell cycle, disruption of the cytoskeleton and deregulation of gene expression related with programmed cell death (PCD). In this article, the recent available information on W toxicity in plants and plant cells is reviewed, and the knowledge gaps and the most pertinent research directions are outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Journal Plants - Feature Papers)

Other

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Open AccessShort Note Isolation and Characterization of Microsatellite Markers for Mimusops balata (Sapotaceae) and Cross-Amplification in Other Mimusops Species
Plants 2012, 1(2), 100-105; doi:10.3390/plants1020100
Received: 8 November 2012 / Revised: 6 December 2012 / Accepted: 11 December 2012 / Published: 17 December 2012
PDF Full-text (333 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mimusops balata (Sapotaceae) is an endemic tree species from La Réunion and Mauritius. Like many species growing in lowland forests in La Réunion, it has suffered from human disturbances. We developed twelve microsatellite markers for M. balata and tested cross-amplification in five [...] Read more.
Mimusops balata (Sapotaceae) is an endemic tree species from La Réunion and Mauritius. Like many species growing in lowland forests in La Réunion, it has suffered from human disturbances. We developed twelve microsatellite markers for M. balata and tested cross-amplification in five other Mimusops species to have powerful tools for genetic diversity studies. Genotyping peaks were of very low quality for two loci and were consequently abandoned for the genetic diversity analyses. Ten microsatellite loci were tested on 34 individuals of M. balata from two natural populations. The number of alleles per locus ranged from one to seven. The observed and expected heterozygosity levels varied from 0.000 to 0.823, and from 0.000 to 0.812 respectively. Two loci deviated from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The presence of null alleles was detected for one of these two loci. Nine to ten loci cross-amplified reliably in Mauritian species, for the other three species, four to six loci show successful amplifications. These polymorphic microsatellite markers are now available for population genetic investigations in Mimusops species aiming to establish accurate guidelines for conservation managers. Full article

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