Abstract: Flavonoids play an important role in the pigmentation of flowers; in addition, they protect petals and other flower parts from UV irradiation and oxidative stress. Nudicaulins, flavonoid-derived indole alkaloids, along with pelargonidin, kaempferol, and gossypetin glycosides, are responsible for the color of white, red, orange, and yellow petals of different Papaver nudicaule cultivars. The color of the petals is essential to attract pollinators. We investigated the occurrence of flavonoids in basal and apical petal areas, stamens, and capsules of four differently colored P. nudicaule cultivars by means of chromatographic and spectroscopic methods. The results reveal the specific occurrence of gossypetin glycosides in the basal spot of all cultivars and demonstrate that kaempferol glycosides are the major secondary metabolites in the capsules. Unlike previous reports, the yellow-colored stamens of all four P. nudicaule cultivars are shown to contain not nudicaulins but carotenoids. In addition, the presence of nudicaulins, pelargonidin, and kaempferol glycosides in the apical petal area was confirmed. The flavonoids and related compounds in the investigated flower parts and cultivars of P. nudicaule are profiled, and their potential ecological role is discussed.
Abstract: Flavones correspond to a flavonoid subgroup that is widely distributed in the plants, and which can be synthesized by different pathways, depending on whether they contain C- or O-glycosylation and hydroxylated B-ring. Flavones are emerging as very important specialized metabolites involved in plant signaling and defense, as well as key ingredients of the human diet, with significant health benefits. Here, we appraise flavone formation in plants, emphasizing the emerging theme that biosynthesis pathway determines flavone chemistry. Additionally, we briefly review the biological activities of flavones, both from the perspective of the functions that they play in biotic and abiotic plant interactions, as well as their roles as nutraceutical components of the human and animal diet.
Abstract: Nitrogen (N) cycling and losses in grazed grassland are strongly driven by urine N deposition by grazing ruminants. The objective of this study was to quantify pasture N concentrations, yield and N uptake following autumn and spring deposition of cow urine and the effects of fine particle suspension (FPS) dicyandiamide (DCD). A field plot study was conducted on the Lincoln University dairy farm, Canterbury, New Zealand from May 2003 to May 2005. FPS DCD was applied to grazed pasture plots at 10 kg·ha−1 in autumn and spring in addition to applied cow urine at a N loading rate of 1000 kg·N·ha−1, with non-urine control plots. Pasture N ranged between 1.9 and 4.8% with higher concentrations from urine. Results indicated that urine consistently increased N concentrations for around 220 days post deposition (mid December/early summer) at which point concentrations dropped to background levels. In urine patches, pasture yield and annual N uptake were dramatically increased on average by 51% for autumn and 28% for spring applied urine, in both years, when DCD was applied. This field experiment provides strong evidence that annual pasture N uptake is more strongly influenced by high urine N deposition than pasture N concentrations. FPS DCD has the potential to result in very high N uptake in urine patches, even when they are autumn deposited.
Abstract: In the context of climatic change, more heavy precipitation and more frequent flooding and waterlogging events threaten the productivity of arable farmland. Furthermore, crops were not selected to cope with flooding- and waterlogging-induced oxygen limitation. In general, low oxygen stress, unlike other abiotic stresses (e.g., cold, high temperature, drought and saline stress), received little interest from the scientific community and less financial support from stakeholders. Accordingly, breeding programs should be developed and agronomical practices should be adapted in order to save plants’ growth and yield—even under conditions of low oxygen availability (e.g., submergence and waterlogging). The prerequisite to the success of such breeding programs and changes in agronomical practices is a good knowledge of how plants adapt to low oxygen stress at the cellular and the whole plant level. In the present paper, we summarized the recent knowledge on metabolic adjustment in general under low oxygen stress and highlighted thereafter the major changes pertaining to the reconfiguration of amino acids syntheses. We propose a model showing (i) how pyruvate derived from active glycolysis upon hypoxia is competitively used by the alanine aminotransferase/glutamate synthase cycle, leading to alanine accumulation and NAD+ regeneration. Carbon is then saved in a nitrogen store instead of being lost through ethanol fermentative pathway. (ii) During the post-hypoxia recovery period, the alanine aminotransferase/glutamate dehydrogenase cycle mobilizes this carbon from alanine store. Pyruvate produced by the reverse reaction of alanine aminotransferase is funneled to the TCA cycle, while deaminating glutamate dehydrogenase regenerates, reducing equivalent (NADH) and 2-oxoglutarate to maintain the cycle function.
Abstract: Glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH; EC 220.127.116.11) is well-known as the main regulatory enzyme of the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (OPPP) in living organisms. Namely, in Planta, different G6PDH isoforms may occur, generally localized in cytosol and plastids/chloroplasts. These enzymes are differently regulated by distinct mechanisms, still far from being defined in detail. In the last decades, a pivotal function for plant G6PDHs during the assimilation of nitrogen, providing reductants for enzymes involved in nitrate reduction and ammonium assimilation, has been described. More recently, several studies have suggested a main role of G6PDH to counteract different stress conditions, among these salinity and drought, with the involvement of an ABA depending signal. In the last few years, this recognized vision has been greatly widened, due to studies clearly showing the non-conventional subcellular localization of the different G6PDHs, and the peculiar regulation of the different isoforms. The whole body of these considerations suggests a central question: how do the plant cells distribute the reductants coming from G6PDH and balance their equilibrium? This review explores the present knowledge about these mechanisms, in order to propose a scheme of distribution of reductants produced by G6PDH during nitrogen assimilation and stress.
Abstract: With 50 species of the genus Nepenthes L. currently described from the Philippines, it is without doubt that the country, along with the islands of Sumatra (Indonesia) and Borneo (Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei), should be considered the center of diversity of the genus. In this work, we describe two new species. One species, N. aenigmasp. nov., is from Ilocos Norte province on Luzon Island and has the—for Nepenthes—unusual ecological preference to grow in dense vegetation in deep shade. The other new species is from Mount Hamiguitan in Davao Oriental province on Mindanao Island. With this new entry, Mount Hamiguitan is now home to four endemic species (N. peltata, N. micramphora, N. hamiguitanensis, N. justinae sp. nov.). Furthermore, we provide an emended description of N. ramos based on field data. Nepenthes kurata is synonymized here with N. ramos.