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Plants, Volume 10, Issue 2 (February 2021) – 236 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The number of grown seminal roots varies in different wheat accessions and is regulated by environmental factors. Plant hormone jasmonate, endogenously produced or exogenously applied, specifically regulates the development of sixth seminal root during early seedling development. This regulatory effect strongly depends on the jasmonate concentration, the duration of the exposure to the hormone, and ontological history of seeds. The larger number of seminal roots results in a larger root surface area, longer root system, greater root biomass, and is associated with improved tolerance to conditions of water and nutrient deficiency. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
Foliar Application of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles Promotes Drought Stress Tolerance in Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.)
Plants 2021, 10(2), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020421 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 241
Abstract
Water shortage and salinity are major challenges for sustaining global food security. Using nutrients in the nano-scale formulation including zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NP) is a novel fertilization strategy for crops. In this study, two field-based trials were conducted during 2018 and 2019 [...] Read more.
Water shortage and salinity are major challenges for sustaining global food security. Using nutrients in the nano-scale formulation including zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NP) is a novel fertilization strategy for crops. In this study, two field-based trials were conducted during 2018 and 2019 to examine the influence of three ZnO NP concentrations (0, 50, and 100 ppm) in eggplant grown under full irrigation (100 of crop evapotranspiration; ETc) and drought stress (60% of ETc). Plant growth, yield, water productivity (WP), physiology, biochemistry, and anatomy responses were evaluated. Drought stress significantly decreased membrane stability index (MSI), relative water content (RWC), and photosynthetic efficiency, thus hampered eggplant growth and yield. In contrast, exogenous ZnO NP to water-stressed eggplant resulted in increased RWC and MSI associated with improved stem and leaf anatomical structures and enhanced photosynthetic efficiency. Under drought stress, supplementation of 50 and 100 ppm ZnO NP improved growth characteristics and increased fruit yield by 12.2% and 22.6%, respectively, compared with fully irrigated plants and nonapplied ZnO NP. The highest water productivity (WP) was obtained when eggplant was irrigated with 60% ETc and foliarly treated with 50 or 100 ppm of ZnO NP, which led to 50.8–66.1% increases in WP when compared with nontreated fully irrigated plants. Collectively, these findings demonstrated that foliar spraying ZnO NP gives the utility for alleviating drought stress effects on eggplant cultivated in saline soil. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A New Controlled Release System for Propolis Polyphenols and Its Biochemical Activity for Skin Applications
Plants 2021, 10(2), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020420 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 197
Abstract
Propolis is a resinous substance produced by bees that exhibits antimicrobial, immunostimulatory and antioxidant activity. Its use is common in functional foods, cosmetics and traditional medicine despite the fact that it demonstrates low extraction yields and inconsistency in non-toxic solvents. In this work, [...] Read more.
Propolis is a resinous substance produced by bees that exhibits antimicrobial, immunostimulatory and antioxidant activity. Its use is common in functional foods, cosmetics and traditional medicine despite the fact that it demonstrates low extraction yields and inconsistency in non-toxic solvents. In this work, a new encapsulation and delivery system consisting of liposomes and cyclodextrins incorporating propolis polyphenols has been developed and characterized. The antioxidant, antimutagenic and antiaging properties of the system under normal and UVB-induced oxidative stress conditions were investigated in cultured skin cells and/or reconstituted skin model. Furthermore, the transcript accumulation for an array of genes involved in many skin-related processes was studied. The system exhibits significant polyphenol encapsulation efficiency, physicochemical stability as well as controlled release rate in appropriate conditions. The delivery system can retain the anti-mutagenic, anti-oxidative and anti-ageing effects of propolis polyphenols to levels similar and comparable to those of propolis methanolic extracts, making the system ideal for applications where non-toxic solvents are required and controlled release of the polyphenol content is desired. Full article
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Open AccessPerspective
Potassium Control of Plant Functions: Ecological and Agricultural Implications
Plants 2021, 10(2), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020419 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 218
Abstract
Potassium, mostly as a cation (K+), together with calcium (Ca2+) are the most abundant inorganic chemicals in plant cellular media, but they are rarely discussed. K+ is not a component of molecular or macromolecular plant structures, thus it [...] Read more.
Potassium, mostly as a cation (K+), together with calcium (Ca2+) are the most abundant inorganic chemicals in plant cellular media, but they are rarely discussed. K+ is not a component of molecular or macromolecular plant structures, thus it is more difficult to link it to concrete metabolic pathways than nitrogen or phosphorus. Over the last two decades, many studies have reported on the role of K+ in several physiological functions, including controlling cellular growth and wood formation, xylem–phloem water content and movement, nutrient and metabolite transport, and stress responses. In this paper, we present an overview of contemporary findings associating K+ with various plant functions, emphasizing plant-mediated responses to environmental abiotic and biotic shifts and stresses by controlling transmembrane potentials and water, nutrient, and metabolite transport. These essential roles of K+ account for its high concentrations in the most active plant organs, such as leaves, and are consistent with the increasing number of ecological and agricultural studies that report K+ as a key element in the function and structure of terrestrial ecosystems, crop production, and global food security. We synthesized these roles from an integrated perspective, considering the metabolic and physiological functions of individual plants and their complex roles in terrestrial ecosystem functions and food security within the current context of ongoing global change. Thus, we provide a bridge between studies of K+ at the plant and ecological levels to ultimately claim that K+ should be considered at least at a level similar to N and P in terrestrial ecological studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle
Isolation and Functional Characterization of the Promoters of Miltiradiene Synthase Genes, TwTPS27a and TwTPS27b, and Interaction Analysis with the Transcription Factor TwTGA1 from Tripterygium wilfordii
Plants 2021, 10(2), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020418 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 178
Abstract
Miltiradiene synthase (MS) genes, TwTPS27a and TwTPS27b, are the key diterpene synthase genes in the biosynthesis of triptolide, which is an important medicinally active diterpenoid in Tripterygium wilfordii. However, the mechanism underlying the regulation of key genes TwTPS27a/b in triptolide biosynthesis [...] Read more.
Miltiradiene synthase (MS) genes, TwTPS27a and TwTPS27b, are the key diterpene synthase genes in the biosynthesis of triptolide, which is an important medicinally active diterpenoid in Tripterygium wilfordii. However, the mechanism underlying the regulation of key genes TwTPS27a/b in triptolide biosynthesis remains unclear. In this study, the promoters of TwTPS27a (1496 bp) and TwTPS27b (1862 bp) were isolated and analyzed. Some hormone-/stress-responsive elements and transcription factor (TF) binding sites were predicted in both promoters, which might be responsible for the regulation mechanism of TwTPS27a/b. The β-glucuronidase (GUS) activity analysis in promoter deletion assays under normal and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) conditions showed that the sequence of −921 to −391 bp is the potential core region of the TwTPS27b promoter. And the TGACG-motif, a MeJA-responsive element found in this core region, might be responsible for MeJA-mediated stress induction of GUS activity. Moreover, the TGACG-motif is also known as the TGA TF-binding site. Yeast one-hybrid and GUS transactivation assays confirmed the interaction between the TwTPS27a/b promoters and the TwTGA1 TF (a MeJA-inducible TGA TF upregulating triptolide biosynthesis in T. wilfordii), indicating that TwTPS27a/b are two target genes regulated by TwTGA1. In conclusion, our results provide important information for elucidating the regulatory mechanism of MS genes, TwTPS27a and TwTPS27b, as two target genes of TwTGA1, in jasmonic acid (JA)-inducible triptolide biosynthesis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Supplementary LED Lighting on the Morphological and Physiological Traits of Miniature Rosa × Hybrida ‘Aga’ and the Development of Powdery Mildew (Podosphaera pannosa) under Greenhouse Conditions
Plants 2021, 10(2), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020417 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 120
Abstract
We investigated the growth traits, flower bud formation, photosynthetic performance, and powdery mildew development in miniature Rosa × hybrida ‘Aga’ plants grown in the greenhouse under different light-emitting diode (LED) light spectra. Fluorescence-based sensors that detect the maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II [...] Read more.
We investigated the growth traits, flower bud formation, photosynthetic performance, and powdery mildew development in miniature Rosa × hybrida ‘Aga’ plants grown in the greenhouse under different light-emitting diode (LED) light spectra. Fluorescence-based sensors that detect the maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (PS II) as well as chlorophyll and flavonol indices were used in this study. Five different LED light treatments as a supplement to natural sunlight with red (R), blue (B), white (W), RBW+FR (far-red) (high R:FR), and RBW+FR (low R:FR) were used. Control plants were illuminated only by natural sunlight. Plants were grown under different spectra of LED lighting and the same photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) (200 µmol m−2 s−1) at a photoperiod of 18 h. Plants grown under both RBW+FR lights were the highest, and had the greatest total shoot length, irrespective of R:FR. These plants also showed the highest maximum quantum yield of PS II (average 0.805) among the light treatments. Red monochromatic light and RBW+FR at high R:FR stimulated flower bud formation. Moreover, plants grown under red LEDs were more resistant to Podosphaera pannosa than those grown under other light treatments. The increased flavonol index in plants exposed to monochromatic blue light, compared to the W and control plants, did not inhibit powdery mildew development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Telomere Length in Norway Spruce during Somatic Embryogenesis and Cryopreservation
Plants 2021, 10(2), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020416 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 170
Abstract
Telomeres i.e., termini of the eukaryotic chromosomes protect chromosomes during DNA replication. Shortening of telomeres, either due to stress or ageing is related to replicative cellular senescence. There is little information on the effect of biotechnological methods, such as tissue culture via somatic [...] Read more.
Telomeres i.e., termini of the eukaryotic chromosomes protect chromosomes during DNA replication. Shortening of telomeres, either due to stress or ageing is related to replicative cellular senescence. There is little information on the effect of biotechnological methods, such as tissue culture via somatic embryogenesis (SE) or cryopreservation on plant telomeres, even if these techniques are widely applied. The aim of the present study was to examine telomeres of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) during SE initiation, proliferation, embryo maturation, and cryopreservation to reveal potential ageing or stress-related effects that could explain variation observed at SE process. Altogether, 33 genotypes from 25 families were studied. SE initiation containing several stress factors cause telomere shortening in Norway spruce. Following initiation, the telomere length of the embryogenic tissues (ETs) and embryos produced remains unchanged up to one year of culture, with remarkable genotypic variation. Being prolonged in vitro culture can, however, shorten the telomeres and should be avoided. This is achieved by successful cryopreservation treatment preserving telomere length. Somatic embryo production capacity of the ETs was observed to vary a lot not only among the genotypes, but also from one timepoint to another. No connection between embryo production and telomere length was found, so this variation remains unexplained. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Recent Large-Scale Genotyping and Phenotyping of Plant Genetic Resources of Vegetatively Propagated Crops
Plants 2021, 10(2), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020415 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 134
Abstract
Several recent national and international projects have focused on large-scale genotyping of plant genetic resources in vegetatively propagated crops like fruit and berries, potatoes and woody ornamentals. The primary goal is usually to identify true-to-type plant material, detect possible synonyms, and investigate genetic [...] Read more.
Several recent national and international projects have focused on large-scale genotyping of plant genetic resources in vegetatively propagated crops like fruit and berries, potatoes and woody ornamentals. The primary goal is usually to identify true-to-type plant material, detect possible synonyms, and investigate genetic diversity and relatedness among accessions. A secondary goal may be to create sustainable databases that can be utilized in research and breeding for several years ahead. Commonly applied DNA markers (like microsatellite DNA and SNPs) and next-generation sequencing each have their pros and cons for these purposes. Methods for large-scale phenotyping have lagged behind, which is unfortunate since many commercially important traits (yield, growth habit, storability, and disease resistance) are difficult to score. Nevertheless, the analysis of gene action and development of robust DNA markers depends on environmentally controlled screening of very large sets of plant material. Although more time-consuming, co-operative projects with broad-scale data collection are likely to produce more reliable results. In this review, we will describe some of the approaches taken in genotyping and/or phenotyping projects concerning a wide variety of vegetatively propagated crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genetic Resources and Breeding of Clonally Propagated Crops)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Establishment of a Cell Suspension Culture of Eysenhardtia platycarpa: Phytochemical Screening of Extracts and Evaluation of Antifungal Activity
Plants 2021, 10(2), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020414 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 139
Abstract
Eysenhardtia platycarpa (Fabaceae) is a medicinal plant used in Mexico. Biotechnological studies of its use are lacking. The objective of this work was to establish a cell suspension culture (CSC) of E. platycarpa, determine the phytochemical constituents by spectrophotometric and [...] Read more.
Eysenhardtia platycarpa (Fabaceae) is a medicinal plant used in Mexico. Biotechnological studies of its use are lacking. The objective of this work was to establish a cell suspension culture (CSC) of E. platycarpa, determine the phytochemical constituents by spectrophotometric and gas chromatography‒mass spectrometry (GC‒MS) methods, evaluate its antifungal activity, and compare them with the intact plant. Friable callus and CSC were established with 2 mg/L 1-naphthaleneacetic acid plus 0.1 mg/L kinetin. The highest total phenolics of CSC was 15.6 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/g dry weight and the total flavonoids content ranged from 56.2 to 104.1 µg quercetin equivalents (QE)/g dry weight. The GC‒MS analysis showed that the dichloromethane extracts of CSC, sapwood, and heartwood have a high amount of hexadecanoic acid (22.3–35.3%) and steroids (13.5–14.7%). Heartwood and sapwood defatted hexane extracts have the highest amount of stigmasterol (~23.4%) and β-sitosterol (~43%), and leaf extracts presented β-amyrin (16.3%). Methanolic leaf extracts showed mostly sugars and some polyols, mainly D-pinitol (74.3%). Compared with the intact plant, dichloromethane and fatty hexane extracts of CSC exhibited percentages of inhibition higher for Sclerotium cepivorum: 71.5% and 62.0%, respectively. The maximum inhibition for Rhizoctonia solani was with fatty hexane extracts of the sapwood (51.4%). Our study suggests that CSC extracts could be used as a possible complementary alternative to synthetic fungicides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotechnological Approaches for the Production of Bioactives)
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Open AccessArticle
Discovering Penicillium polinicum with High-Lytic Capacity on Helianthus tuberosus Tubers: Oil-Based Preservation for Mold Management
Plants 2021, 10(2), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020413 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 151
Abstract
During preservation, Jerusalem artichoke (JA) tubers are subjected to deterioration by mold fungi under storage, which signifies a serious problem. A new blue mold (Penicillium polonium) was recorded for the first time on JA tubers. Penicillium mold was isolated, identified (morphologically, [...] Read more.
During preservation, Jerusalem artichoke (JA) tubers are subjected to deterioration by mold fungi under storage, which signifies a serious problem. A new blue mold (Penicillium polonium) was recorded for the first time on JA tubers. Penicillium mold was isolated, identified (morphologically, and molecularly), and deposited in GenBank; (MW041259). The fungus has a multi-lytic capacity, facilitated by various enzymes capable of severely destroying the tuber components. An economic oil-based procedure was applied for preserving and retaining the nutritive value of JA tubers under storage conditions. Caraway and clove essential oils, at a concentration of 2%, were selected based on their strong antifungal actions. JA tubers were treated with individual oils under storage, kept between peat moss layers, and stored at room temperature. Tubers treated with both oils exhibited lower blue mold severity, sprouting and weight loss, and higher levels of carbohydrates, inulin, and protein contents accompanied by increased levels of defense-related phytochemicals (total phenols, peroxidase, and polyphenol oxidase). Caraway was superior, but the results endorse the use of both essential oils for the preservation of JA tubers at room temperature, as an economic and eco-safe storage technique against the new blue mold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Involvement of Selected Phenotypes of Pseudomonas simiae PICF7 in Olive Root Colonization and Biological Control of Verticillium dahliae
Plants 2021, 10(2), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020412 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 137
Abstract
Pseudomonas simiae PICF7 is an indigenous inhabitant of the olive (Olea europaea L.) rhizosphere/root endosphere and an effective biocontrol agent against Verticillium wilt of olive (VWO), caused by the soil-borne fungus Verticillium dahliae. This study aimed to evaluate the potential involvement [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas simiae PICF7 is an indigenous inhabitant of the olive (Olea europaea L.) rhizosphere/root endosphere and an effective biocontrol agent against Verticillium wilt of olive (VWO), caused by the soil-borne fungus Verticillium dahliae. This study aimed to evaluate the potential involvement of selected phenotypes of strain PICF7 in root colonization ability and VWO biocontrol. Therefore, a random transposon-insertion mutant bank of P. simiae PICF7 was screened for the loss of phenotypes likely involved in rhizosphere/soil persistence (copper resistance), root colonization (biofilm formation) and plant growth promotion (phytase activity). Transposon insertions in genes putatively coding for the transcriptional regulator CusR or the chemotaxis protein CheV were found to affect copper resistance, whereas an insertion in fleQ gene putatively encoding a flagellar regulatory protein hampered the ability to form a biofilm. However, these mutants displayed the same antagonistic effect against V. dahliae as the parental strain. Remarkably, two mutants impaired in biofilm formation were never found inside olive roots, whereas their ability to colonize the root exterior and to control VWO remained unaffected. Endophytic colonization of olive roots was unaltered in mutants impaired in copper resistance and phytase production. Results demonstrated that the phenotypes studied were irrelevant for VWO biocontrol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Are Methanol-Derived Foliar Methyl Acetate Emissions a Tracer of Acetate-Mediated Drought Survival in Plants?
Plants 2021, 10(2), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020411 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 174
Abstract
Upregulation of acetate fermentation in plants has recently been described as an evolutionarily conserved drought survival strategy, with the amount of acetate produced directly correlating to survival. However, destructive measurements are required to evaluate acetate-linked drought responses, limiting the temporal and spatial scales [...] Read more.
Upregulation of acetate fermentation in plants has recently been described as an evolutionarily conserved drought survival strategy, with the amount of acetate produced directly correlating to survival. However, destructive measurements are required to evaluate acetate-linked drought responses, limiting the temporal and spatial scales that can be studied. Here, 13C-labeling studies with poplar (Populus trichocarpa) branches confirmed that methyl acetate is produced in plants from the acetate-linked acetylation of methanol. Methyl acetate emissions from detached leaves were strongly stimulated during desiccation, with total emissions decreasing with the leaf developmental stage. In addition, diurnal methyl acetate emissions from whole physiologically active poplar branches increased as a function of temperature, and light-dark transitions resulted in significant emission bursts lasting several hours. During experimental drought treatments of potted poplar saplings, light-dark methyl acetate emission bursts were eliminated while strong enhancements in methyl acetate emissions lasting > 6 days were observed with their initiation coinciding with the suppression of transpiration and photosynthesis. The results suggest that methyl acetate emissions represent a novel non-invasive tracer of acetate-mediated temperature and drought survival response in plants. The findings may have important implications for the future understanding of acetate-mediated drought responses to transcription, cellular metabolism, and hormone signaling, as well as its associated changes in carbon cycling and water use from individual plants to whole ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Stress and Desiccation Tolerance in Plants)
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Open AccessReview
Elevated CO2 and Reactive Oxygen Species in Stomatal Closure
Plants 2021, 10(2), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020410 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 151
Abstract
Plant guard cell is essential for photosynthesis and transpiration. The aperture of stomata is sensitive to various environment factors. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important regulator of stomatal movement, and its signaling includes the perception, transduction and gene expression. The intersections [...] Read more.
Plant guard cell is essential for photosynthesis and transpiration. The aperture of stomata is sensitive to various environment factors. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important regulator of stomatal movement, and its signaling includes the perception, transduction and gene expression. The intersections with many other signal transduction pathways make the regulation of CO2 more complex. High levels of CO2 trigger stomata closure, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) as the key component has been demonstrated function in this regulation. Additional research is required to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms, especially for the detailed signal factors related with ROS in this response. This review focuses on Arabidopsis stomatal closure induced by high-level CO2, and summarizes current knowledge of the role of ROS involved in this process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Specificity of ROS and Redox Regulatory Systems)
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Open AccessPerspective
Contributions of Reduced Susceptibility Alleles in Breeding Apple Cultivars with Durable Resistance to Fire Blight
Plants 2021, 10(2), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020409 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 201
Abstract
Breeding apple cultivars with durable genetic resistance is a potential long-term solution to fire blight, a devastating bacterial disease caused by Erwinia amylovora. However, phenotyping resistance/susceptibility to fire blight is challenging due to E. amylovora strain virulence, differential host × strain interactions, [...] Read more.
Breeding apple cultivars with durable genetic resistance is a potential long-term solution to fire blight, a devastating bacterial disease caused by Erwinia amylovora. However, phenotyping resistance/susceptibility to fire blight is challenging due to E. amylovora strain virulence, differential host × strain interactions, quantitative host resistance, environmental influences on disease, and impacts of tree vigor on susceptibility. Inheritance of resistance/susceptibility to fire blight is complex and phenotypic information alone is insufficient to guide breeding decisions targeting resistance. Several quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with resistance/susceptibility to fire blight have been detected throughout the apple genome. Most resistance alleles at fire blight QTLs have been identified in wild Malus germplasm with poor fruit quality, which limits their breeding utility. Several QTLs have been identified in populations derived from cultivars and reduced-susceptibility alleles have been characterized in multiple important breeding parents. Although resistance to fire blight is an attractive target for DNA-informed breeding, relatively few trait-predictive DNA tests for breeding relevant fire blight QTLs are available. Here we discuss (1) considerations and challenges associated with phenotyping resistance/susceptibility to fire blight; (2) sources of resistance that have been identified for use as parents; and (3) our perspective on short and long-term strategies to breed apple cultivars with durable resistance to fire blight with emphasis on the potential contributions of reduced susceptibility alleles to achieve this goal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genetic Resources and Breeding of Clonally Propagated Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrative Taxonomy and Molecular Phylogeny of the Plant-Parasitic Nematode Genus Paratylenchus (Nematoda: Paratylenchinae): Linking Species with Molecular Barcodes
Plants 2021, 10(2), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020408 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 349
Abstract
Pin nematodes of the genus Paratylenchus are obligate ectoparasites of a wide variety of plants that are distributed worldwide. In this study, individual morphologically vouchered nematode specimens of fourteen Paratylenchus species, including P. aculentus, P. elachistus, P. goodeyi, P. holdemani, P. idalimus, P. [...] Read more.
Pin nematodes of the genus Paratylenchus are obligate ectoparasites of a wide variety of plants that are distributed worldwide. In this study, individual morphologically vouchered nematode specimens of fourteen Paratylenchus species, including P. aculentus, P. elachistus, P. goodeyi, P. holdemani, P. idalimus, P. microdorus, P. nanus, P. neoamblycephalus, P. straeleni and P. veruculatus, are unequivocally linked to the D2-D3 of 28S, ITS, 18S rRNA and COI gene sequences. Combined with scanning electron microscopy and a molecular analysis of an additional nine known and thirteen unknown species originating from diverse geographic regions, a total of 92 D2-D3 of 28S, 41 ITS, 57 18S rRNA and 111 COI new gene sequences are presented. Paratylenchus elachistus, P. holdemani and P. neoamblycephalus are recorded for the first time in Belgium and P. idalimus for the first time in Europe. Paratylenchus is an excellent example of an incredibly diverse yet morphologically minimalistic plant-parasitic genus, and this study provides an integrated analysis of all available data, including coalescence-based molecular species delimitation, resulting in an updated Paratylenchus phylogeny and the corrective reassignment of 18 D2-D3 of 28S, 3 ITS, 3 18S rRNA and 25 COI gene sequences that were previously unidentified or incorrectly classified. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Long Journey of CICA-17 Quinoa Variety to Salinity Conditions in Egypt: Mineral Concentration in the Seeds
Plants 2021, 10(2), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020407 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 322
Abstract
Quinoa may be a promising alternative solution for arid regions, and it is necessary to test yield and mineral accumulation in grains under different soil types. Field experiments with Chenopodium quinoa (cv. CICA-17) were performed in Egypt in non-saline (electrical conductivity, 1.9 dS [...] Read more.
Quinoa may be a promising alternative solution for arid regions, and it is necessary to test yield and mineral accumulation in grains under different soil types. Field experiments with Chenopodium quinoa (cv. CICA-17) were performed in Egypt in non-saline (electrical conductivity, 1.9 dS m−1) and saline (20 dS m−1) soils. Thirty-four chemical elements were studied in these crops. Results show different yields and mineral accumulations in the grains. Potassium (K), P, Mg, Ca, Na, Mn, and Fe are the main elements occurring in the quinoa grains, but their concentrations change between both soil types. Besides, soil salinity induced changes in the mineral pattern distribution among the different grain organs. Sodium was detected in the pericarp but not in other tissues. Pericarp structure may be a shield to prevent sodium entry to the underlying tissues but not for chloride, increasing its content in saline conditions. Under saline conditions, yield decreased to near 47%, and grain sizes greater than 1.68 mm were unfavored. Quinoa may serve as a complementary crop in the marginal lands of Egypt. It has an excellent nutrition perspective due to its mineral content and has a high potential to adapt to semi-arid and arid environments. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Review and Secondary Analysis of Competition-Related Impacts of Nonindigenous Aquatic Plants in the Laurentian Great Lakes
Plants 2021, 10(2), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020406 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 246
Abstract
The Laurentian Great Lakes of North America are home to thousands of native fishes, invertebrates, plants, and other species that not only provide recreational and economic value to the region but also hold an important ecological value. However, there are also 55 nonindigenous [...] Read more.
The Laurentian Great Lakes of North America are home to thousands of native fishes, invertebrates, plants, and other species that not only provide recreational and economic value to the region but also hold an important ecological value. However, there are also 55 nonindigenous species of aquatic plants that may be competing with native species and affecting this value. Here, we use a key regional database—the Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System (GLANSIS)—to describe the introduction of nonindigenous aquatic plants in the Great Lakes region and to examine patterns relating to their capacity to compete with native plants species. Specifically, we used an existing catalog of environmental impact assessments to qualitatively evaluate the potential for each nonindigenous plant species to outcompete native plant species for available resources. Despite an invasion record spanning nearly two centuries (1837–2020), a great deal remains unknown about the impact of competition by these species. Nonetheless, our synthesis of existing documentation reveals that many of these nonindigenous species have notable impacts on the native plant communities of the region in general and on species of concern in particular. Furthermore, we provide a thorough summary of the diverse adaptations that may contribute to giving these nonindigenous plants a competitive advantage. Adaptations that have been previously found to aid successful invasions were common in 98% of the nonindigenous aquatic plant species in the database. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competition among Native and Invasive Plants)
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Open AccessReview
Assessment of Glyphosate Impact on the Agrofood Ecosystem
Plants 2021, 10(2), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020405 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 192
Abstract
Agro-industries should adopt effective strategies to use agrochemicals such as glyphosate herbicides cautiously in order to protect public health. This entails careful testing and risk assessment of available choices, and also educating farmers and users with mitigation strategies in ecosystem protection and sustainable [...] Read more.
Agro-industries should adopt effective strategies to use agrochemicals such as glyphosate herbicides cautiously in order to protect public health. This entails careful testing and risk assessment of available choices, and also educating farmers and users with mitigation strategies in ecosystem protection and sustainable development. The key to success in this endeavour is using scientific research on biological pest control, organic farming and regulatory control, etc., for new developments in food production and safety, and for environmental protection. Education and research is of paramount importance for food and nutrition security in the shadow of climate change, and their consequences in food production and consumption safety and sustainability. This review, therefore, diagnoses on the use of glyphosate and the associated development of glyphosate-resistant weeds. It also deals with the risk assessment on human health of glyphosate formulations through environment and dietary exposures based on the impact of glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA—(aminomethyl)phosphonic acid—on water and food. All this to setup further conclusions and recommendations on the regulated use of glyphosate and how to mitigate the adverse effects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How to Protect Natural Habitats of Rare Terrestrial Orchids Effectively: A Comparative Case Study of Cypripedium calceolus in Different Geographical Regions of Europe
Plants 2021, 10(2), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020404 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 327
Abstract
In this article we present and discuss the main factors that threaten natural populations of Cypripedium calceolus (lady’s slipper orchid) in Europe, and we propose conservation strategies and directions for protective actions of its population on a regional scale. European C. calceolus populations [...] Read more.
In this article we present and discuss the main factors that threaten natural populations of Cypripedium calceolus (lady’s slipper orchid) in Europe, and we propose conservation strategies and directions for protective actions of its population on a regional scale. European C. calceolus populations have decreased significantly in the last two decades, in both number and size. A key result of the present study is an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Natura 2000 network across the European Union (EU) countries. Northern and/or mountainous countries present higher percentages of potentially suitable areas within the Natura 2000 network. Finland and the United Kingdom are the exceptions to this rule. It is predicted that, due to global warming, the coverage of niches suitable for C. calceolus will decrease in countries in which now-healthy colonies exist. However, as plant species can occur in micro-sites with suitable environmental conditions (e.g., microclimate, vegetation, soil factors) which cannot be predicted as suitable at coarser spatial resolutions, conservation efforts should be focused on management of local healthy populations. For the effective protection of C. calceolus in Natura 2000 sites, the participation of experts in botany, including orchid biology, is necessary at several stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Orchid Distribution, Evolutionary Ecology, and Population Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancement of Brassica napus Tolerance to High Saline Conditions by Seed Priming
Plants 2021, 10(2), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020403 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 180
Abstract
Plants grown in saline soils undergo osmotic and oxidative stresses, affecting growth and photosynthesis and, consequently, the yield. Therefore, the increase in soil salinity is a major threat to crop productivity worldwide. Plant’s tolerance can be ameliorated by applying simple methods that induce [...] Read more.
Plants grown in saline soils undergo osmotic and oxidative stresses, affecting growth and photosynthesis and, consequently, the yield. Therefore, the increase in soil salinity is a major threat to crop productivity worldwide. Plant’s tolerance can be ameliorated by applying simple methods that induce them to adopt morphological and physiological adjustments to counteract stress. In this work, we evaluated the effects of seed priming on salt stress response in three cultivars of rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) that had different tolerance levels. Seed chemical priming was performed with 2.5 mM spermine (SPM), 5 mM spermidine (SPD), 40 mM NaCl and 2.5 mM Ca (NO3)2. Primed and not primed seeds were sown on saline and not saline (controls) media, and morphological and physiological parameters were determined. Since SPD treatment was effective in reducing salinity negative effects on growth, membrane integrity and photosynthetic pigments, we selected this priming to further investigate plant salt stress response. The positive effects of this seed treatment on growth and physiological responses were evident when primed plants were compared to not primed ones, grown under the same saline conditions. SPD priming ameliorated the tolerance towards saline stress, in a genotype-independent manner, by increasing photosynthetic pigments, proline amounts and antioxidant responses in all cultivars exposed to salt. These results may open new perspectives for crop productivity in the struggle against soil salinization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Flavan-3-ols and Proanthocyanidins in Japanese, Bohemian and Giant Knotweed
Plants 2021, 10(2), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020402 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 199
Abstract
Flavan-3-ols and proanthocyanidins of invasive alien plants Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica Houtt.), giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis F. Schmidt) and Bohemian knotweed (Fallopia × bohemica (Chrtek & Chrtkova) J.P. Bailey) were investigated using high performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) coupled [...] Read more.
Flavan-3-ols and proanthocyanidins of invasive alien plants Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica Houtt.), giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis F. Schmidt) and Bohemian knotweed (Fallopia × bohemica (Chrtek & Chrtkova) J.P. Bailey) were investigated using high performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) coupled to densitometry, image analysis and mass spectrometry (HPTLC–MS/MS). (+)-Catechin, (−)-epicatechin, (−)-epicatechin gallate and procyanidin B2 were found in rhizomes of these three species, and for the first time in Bohemian knotweed. (−)-Epicatechin gallate, procyanidin B1, procyanidin B2 and procyanidin C1 were found in giant knotweed rhizomes for the first time. Rhizomes of Bohemian and giant knotweed have the same chemical profiles of proanthocyanidins with respect to the degree of polymerization and with respect to gallates. Japanese and Bohemian knotweed have equal chromatographic fingerprint profiles with the additional peak not present in giant knotweed. Within the individual species giant knotweed rhizomes and leaves have the most similar fingerprints, while the fingerprints of Japanese and Bohemian knotweed rhizomes have additional peaks not found in leaves. Rhizomes of all three species proved to be a rich source of proanthocyanidins, with the highest content in Japanese and the lowest in Bohemian knotweed (based on the total peak areas). The contents of monomers in Japanese, Bohemian and giant knotweed rhizomes were 2.99 kg/t of dry mass (DM), 1.52 kg/t DM, 2.36 kg/t DM, respectively, while the contents of dimers were 2.81 kg/t DM, 1.09 kg/t DM, 2.17 kg/t DM, respectively. All B-type proanthocyanidins from monomers to decamers (monomers—flavan-3-ols, dimers, trimers, tetramers, pentamers, hexamers, heptamers, octamers, nonamers and decamers) and some of their gallates (monomer gallates, dimer gallates, dimer digallates, trimer gallates, tetramer gallates, pentamer gallates and hexamer gallates) were identified in rhizomes of Bohemian knotweed and giant knotweed. Pentamer gallates, hexamers, hexamer gallates, nonamers and decamers were identified for the first time in this study in Bohemian and giant knotweed rhizomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Bioactive Compounds in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification and Detection of Botryosphaeria dothidea from Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis) in China
Plants 2021, 10(2), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020401 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 213
Abstract
Kiwifruit is very popular among consumers due to its high nutritional value. The increasing expansion in kiwifruit cultivation has led to the spread of rot diseases. To identify the pathogens causing kiwifruit ripe rots in China, 24 isolates were isolated from the diseased [...] Read more.
Kiwifruit is very popular among consumers due to its high nutritional value. The increasing expansion in kiwifruit cultivation has led to the spread of rot diseases. To identify the pathogens causing kiwifruit ripe rots in China, 24 isolates were isolated from the diseased fruit and wart in trees. Botryosphaeria dothidea was recognized as the pathogen causing kiwifruit ripe rot and wart in the tree through internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequencing, pathogenicity testing, morphological and microscopic characteristics. The rapid and accurate detection of this pathogen will lead to better disease monitoring and control efforts. A loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method was then developed to rapidly and specifically identify B. dothidea. These results offer value to further research into kiwifruit ripe rot, such as disease prediction, pathogen rapid detection, and effective disease control. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Non-Cannabinoid Metabolites of Cannabis sativa L. with Therapeutic Potential
Plants 2021, 10(2), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020400 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 301
Abstract
The cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa L.) produces an estimated 545 chemical compounds of different biogenetic classes. In addition to economic value, many of these phytochemicals have medicinal and physiological activity. The plant is most popularly known for its two most-prominent and most-studied [...] Read more.
The cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa L.) produces an estimated 545 chemical compounds of different biogenetic classes. In addition to economic value, many of these phytochemicals have medicinal and physiological activity. The plant is most popularly known for its two most-prominent and most-studied secondary metabolites—Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both Δ9-THC and CBD have a wide therapeutic window across many ailments and form part of a class of secondary metabolites called cannabinoids—of which approximately over 104 exist. This review will focus on non-cannabinoid metabolites of Cannabis sativa that also have therapeutic potential, some of which share medicinal properties similar to those of cannabinoids. The most notable of these non-cannabinoid phytochemicals are flavonoids and terpenes. We will also discuss future directions in cannabis research and development of cannabis-based pharmaceuticals. Caflanone, a flavonoid molecule with selective activity against the human viruses including the coronavirus OC43 (HCov-OC43) that is responsible for COVID-19, and certain cancers, is one of the most promising non-cannabinoid molecules that is being advanced into clinical trials. As validated by thousands of years of the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, vast anecdotal evidence abounds on the medicinal benefits of the plant. These benefits are attributed to the many phytochemicals in this plant, including non-cannabinoids. The most promising non-cannabinoids with potential to alleviate global disease burdens are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research of Bioactive Substances in Plant Extracts)
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Open AccessReview
Host Cell Wall Damage during Pathogen Infection: Mechanisms of Perception and Role in Plant-Pathogen Interactions
Plants 2021, 10(2), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020399 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 279
Abstract
The plant cell wall (CW) is a complex structure that acts as a mechanical barrier, restricting the access to most microbes. Phytopathogenic microorganisms can deploy an arsenal of CW-degrading enzymes (CWDEs) that are required for virulence. In turn, plants have evolved proteins able [...] Read more.
The plant cell wall (CW) is a complex structure that acts as a mechanical barrier, restricting the access to most microbes. Phytopathogenic microorganisms can deploy an arsenal of CW-degrading enzymes (CWDEs) that are required for virulence. In turn, plants have evolved proteins able to inhibit the activity of specific microbial CWDEs, reducing CW damage and favoring the accumulation of CW-derived fragments that act as damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and trigger an immune response in the host. CW-derived DAMPs might be a component of the complex system of surveillance of CW integrity (CWI), that plants have evolved to detect changes in CW properties. Microbial CWDEs can activate the plant CWI maintenance system and induce compensatory responses to reinforce CWs during infection. Recent evidence indicates that the CWI surveillance system interacts in a complex way with the innate immune system to fine-tune downstream responses and strike a balance between defense and growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Cell Wall in Plant Defense)
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Open AccessArticle
Somatic Embryogenesis Initiation in Sugi (Japanese Cedar, Cryptomeria japonica D. Don): Responses from Male-Fertile, Male-Sterile, and Polycross-Pollinated-Derived Seed Explants
Plants 2021, 10(2), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020398 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 202
Abstract
This study aimed to obtain information from several embryogenic cell (EC) genotypes analyzing the factors that affect somatic embryogenesis (SE) initiation in sugi (Cryptomeria japonica, Cupressaceae) to apply them in the improvement of protocols for efficient induction of embryogenic cell lines (ECLs). [...] Read more.
This study aimed to obtain information from several embryogenic cell (EC) genotypes analyzing the factors that affect somatic embryogenesis (SE) initiation in sugi (Cryptomeria japonica, Cupressaceae) to apply them in the improvement of protocols for efficient induction of embryogenic cell lines (ECLs). The results of several years of experiments including studies on the influence of initial explant, seed collection time, and explant genotype as the main factors affecting SE initiation from male-fertile, male-sterile, and polycross-pollinated-derived seeds are described. Initiation frequencies depending on the plant genotype varied from 1.35 to 57.06%. The best induction efficiency was achieved when seeds were collected on mid-July using the entire megagametophyte as initial explants. The extrusion of ECs started approximately after 2 weeks of culture, and the establishment of ECLs was observed mostly 4 weeks after extrusion on media with or without plant growth regulators (PGRs). Subsequently, induced ECLs were maintained and proliferated on media with PGRs by 2–3-week-interval subculture routines. Although, the initial explant, collection time, and culture condition played important roles in ECL induction, the genotype of the plant material of sugi was the most influential factor in SE initiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Regeneration)
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Open AccessArticle
Two Korean Endemic Clematis Chloroplast Genomes: Inversion, Reposition, Expansion of the Inverted Repeat Region, Phylogenetic Analysis, and Nucleotide Substitution Rates
Plants 2021, 10(2), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020397 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 199
Abstract
Previous studies on the chloroplast genome in Clematis focused on the chloroplast structure within Anemoneae. The chloroplast genomes of Cleamtis were sequenced to provide information for studies on phylogeny and evolution. Two Korean endemic Clematis chloroplast genomes (Clematis brachyura and C. trichotoma [...] Read more.
Previous studies on the chloroplast genome in Clematis focused on the chloroplast structure within Anemoneae. The chloroplast genomes of Cleamtis were sequenced to provide information for studies on phylogeny and evolution. Two Korean endemic Clematis chloroplast genomes (Clematis brachyura and C. trichotoma) range from 159,170 to 159,532 bp, containing 134 identical genes. Comparing the coding and non-coding regions among 12 Clematis species revealed divergent sites, with carination occurring in the petD-rpoA region. Comparing other Clematis chloroplast genomes suggested that Clematis has two inversions (trnH-rps16 and rps4), reposition (trnL-ndhC), and inverted repeat (IR) region expansion. For phylogenetic analysis, 71 protein-coding genes were aligned from 36 Ranunculaceae chloroplast genomes. Anemoneae (Anemoclema, Pulsatilla, Anemone, and Clematis) clades were monophyletic and well-supported by the bootstrap value (100%). Based on 70 chloroplast protein-coding genes, we compared nonsynonymous (dN) and synonymous (dS) substitution rates among Clematis, Anemoneae (excluding Clematis), and other Ranunculaceae species. The average synonymoussubstitution rates (dS)of large single copy (LSC), small single copy (SSC), and IR genes in Anemoneae and Clematis were significantly higher than those of other Ranunculaceae species, but not the nonsynonymous substitution rates (dN). This study provides fundamental information on plastid genome evolution in the Ranunculaceae. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Cryopreservation on the Ex Vitro Establishment of Olive Plants Regenerated via Somatic Embryogenesis
Plants 2021, 10(2), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020396 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 191
Abstract
Cryopreservation is considered the best technique for the safe, long-term conservation of embryogenic cultures. However, before integrating it into a somatic embryogenesis system, the influence of cryopreservation on the final production of plants should be investigated. The objective of this investigation was to [...] Read more.
Cryopreservation is considered the best technique for the safe, long-term conservation of embryogenic cultures. However, before integrating it into a somatic embryogenesis system, the influence of cryopreservation on the final production of plants should be investigated. The objective of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of cryopreservation on the regeneration performance of olive embryogenic cultures as well as on the quality of the plants obtained and their response to ex vitro establishment. In order to analyze the influence of the genotype, all the investigations were carried out in two genetically distinct embryogenic lines. The results obtained revealed no variation in the regeneration potential or the quality of the regenerated plants due to cryopreservation. The subsequent multiplication, rooting, and acclimatization steps were not influenced by cryopreservation either, although a significant genotype × cryopreservation interaction was found for shoot length during the multiplication step. The genotype played an important role, determining the quality of the regenerated plants and some aspects of the multiplication and rooting phases. This investigation revealed that the droplet-vitrification procedure optimized for the cryopreservation of olive somatic embryos can be efficiently used for the long-term conservation of olive embryogenic lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Somatic Embryogenesis in Olive)
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Open AccessArticle
Genetic Diversity Assessment and Cultivar Identification of Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Using the Fluidigm Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Assay
Plants 2021, 10(2), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020395 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 226
Abstract
Genetic diversity analysis and cultivar identification were performed using a core set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). For the genetic diversity study, 280 cucumber accessions collected from four continents (Asia, Europe, America, and Africa) by the National [...] Read more.
Genetic diversity analysis and cultivar identification were performed using a core set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). For the genetic diversity study, 280 cucumber accessions collected from four continents (Asia, Europe, America, and Africa) by the National Agrobiodiversity Center of the Rural Development Administration in South Korea and 20 Korean commercial F1 hybrids were genotyped using 151 Fluidigm SNP assay sets. The heterozygosity of the SNP loci per accession ranged from 4.76 to 82.76%, with an average of 32.1%. Population genetics analysis was performed using population structure analysis and hierarchical clustering (HC), which indicated that these accessions were classified mainly into four subpopulations or clusters according to their geographical origins. The subpopulations for Asian and European accessions were clearly distinguished from each other (FST value = 0.47), while the subpopulations for Korean F1 hybrids and Asian accessions were closely related (FST = 0.34). The highest differentiation was observed between American and European accessions (FST = 0.41). Nei’s genetic distance among the 280 accessions was 0.414 on average. In addition, 95 commercial F1 hybrids of three cultivar groups (Baekdadagi-, Gasi-, and Nakhap-types) were genotyped using 82 Fluidigm SNP assay sets for cultivar identification. These 82 SNPs differentiated all cultivars, except seven. The heterozygosity of the SNP loci per cultivar ranged from 12.20 to 69.14%, with an average of 34.2%. Principal component analysis and HC demonstrated that most cultivars were clustered based on their cultivar groups. The Baekdadagi- and Gasi-types were clearly distinguished, while the Nakhap-type was closely related to the Baekdadagi-type. Our results obtained using core Fluidigm SNP assay sets provide useful information for germplasm assessment and cultivar identification, which are essential for breeding and intellectual right protection in cucumber. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Polysulfides Applied as Formulated Garlic Extract to Protect Tomato Plants against the Root-Knot Nematode Meloidogyne incognita
Plants 2021, 10(2), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020394 - 18 Feb 2021
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Abstract
The devastating root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita can cause severe damage to field and greenhouse crops. Due to high economic losses, alternative products are essential to replace banned or strictly regulated nematicides that affect human health and/or the environment. Garlic based products have been [...] Read more.
The devastating root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita can cause severe damage to field and greenhouse crops. Due to high economic losses, alternative products are essential to replace banned or strictly regulated nematicides that affect human health and/or the environment. Garlic based products have been previously investigated as environmentally friendly nematicides and their active substances, diallyl polysulfides exist as formulated nematicides on the market. We tested the garlic-based nematicide NEMguard® DE as protective of tomato roots. In vitro evaluation of the lethal concentration (LC) showed strong nematicidal activity with LC50 of 0.8 mg/mL after 96 h and LC90 of 1.5 mg/mL. NEMguard® DE showed protective effect against M. incognita as a single application in small pots and a second application further reduced root galling, significantly. Large greenhouse trials were carried out in two consecutive years to test single and monthly applications of NEMguard® DE. In both years, no controlling effect could be observed on M.incognita. We assume that the silt content of the loamy sandy soil used had an effect on the polysulfides, inhibiting their nematicidal effect. We conclude that further experiments are necessary to investigate the nematicidal potential of NEMguard® DE under different soil compositions or as a different formulation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Validation of Qualitative Broth Volatilization Checkerboard Method for Testing of Essential Oils: Dual-Column GC–FID/MS Analysis and In Vitro Combinatory Antimicrobial Effect of Origanum vulgare and Thymus vulgaris against Staphylococcus aureus in Liquid and Vapor Phases
Plants 2021, 10(2), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020393 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 258
Abstract
Combinatory action of antimicrobial agents such as essential oils (EOs) show to be an effective strategy to overcome the problem with increasing antibiotic resistance of microorganisms, including Staphylococcus aureus. The objective of this study was to evaluate in vitro antimicrobial interactions between [...] Read more.
Combinatory action of antimicrobial agents such as essential oils (EOs) show to be an effective strategy to overcome the problem with increasing antibiotic resistance of microorganisms, including Staphylococcus aureus. The objective of this study was to evaluate in vitro antimicrobial interactions between Origanum vulgare and Thymus vulgaris EOs against various S.aureus strains in both liquid and vapor phases using the broth volatilization checkerboard method. Fractional inhibitory concentrations (FICs) were determined for both liquid and vapor phases, and the composition of EOs was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry using dual-column/dual-detector gas chromatograph. Results of oregano and thyme EOs combination showed additive effects against all S. aureus strains in both phases. In several cases, sums of FICs were lower than 0.6, which can be considered a strong additive interaction. The lowest FICs obtained were 0.53 in the liquid phase and 0.59 in the gaseous phase. Chemical analysis showed that both EOs were composed of many compounds, including carvacrol, thymol, γ-terpinene, and p-cymene. This is the first report on oregano and thyme EOs interactions against S. aureus in the vapor phase. It also confirms the accuracy of the broth volatilization checkerboard method for the evaluation of combinatory antimicrobial effects of EOs in the vapor phase. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of African Maize Cultivars for Resistance to Fall Armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Larvae
Plants 2021, 10(2), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10020392 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 399
Abstract
The fall armyworm (FAW) has recently invaded and become an important pest of maize in Africa causing yield losses reaching up to a third of maize annual production. The present study evaluated different aspects of resistance of six maize cultivars, cropped by farmers [...] Read more.
The fall armyworm (FAW) has recently invaded and become an important pest of maize in Africa causing yield losses reaching up to a third of maize annual production. The present study evaluated different aspects of resistance of six maize cultivars, cropped by farmers in Kenya, to FAW larvae feeding under laboratory and field conditions. We assessed the arrestment and feeding of FAW neonate larvae in no-choice and choice experiments, development of larvae-pupae, food assimilation under laboratory conditions and plant damage in a field experiment. We did not find complete resistance to FAW feeding in the evaluated maize cultivars, but we detected differences in acceptance and preference when FAW larvae were given a choice between certain cultivars. Moreover, the smallest pupal weight and the lowest growth index were found on ’SC Duma 43′ leaves, which suggests an effect of antibiosis of this maize hybrid against FAW larvae. In contrast, the highest growth index was recorded on ‘Rachar’ and the greatest pupal weight was found on ‘Nyamula’ and ‘Rachar’. The density of trichomes on the leaves of these maize cultivars seems not to be directly related to the preference of neonates for feeding. Plant damage scores were not statistically different between cultivars in the field neither under natural nor artificial infestation. However, plant damage scores in ‘Nyamula’ and ‘Jowi’ tended to be lower in the two last samplings of the season compared to the two initial samplings under artificial infestation. Our study provides insight into FAW larval preferences and performance on some African maize cultivars, showing that there are differences between cultivars in these variables; but high levels of resistance to larvae feeding were not found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Protection and Biotic Interactions)
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