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Plants, Volume 11, Issue 11 (June-1 2022) – 137 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Plant breeding programs are faced with the need to develop solutions to maintain both crop growth and yields, within deteriorating agricultural environments. The plant vascular system mediates resource allocation, between source and sink tissues, and establishes hierarchical signaling networks to regulate adaptive plant development occurring within dynamic environmental changes. Recent studies have revealed the impact of plant vasculature-mediated communication on regulating critical agronomic traits, highly correlated with crop yield potential. This review article discusses the importance of systemic regulation, mediated by the plant’s vasculature, in photosynthesis and resource allocation, and offers insights into pathways for crop yield enhancement, by engineering source–sink strength. View this paper
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15 pages, 4862 KiB  
Article
Potential Roles of 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic Acid Synthase Genes in the Response of Gossypium Species to Abiotic Stress by Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Analysis
by Jie Li, Xianyan Zou, Guoquan Chen, Yongming Meng, Qi Ma, Quanjia Chen, Zhi Wang and Fuguang Li
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1524; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111524 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1992
Abstract
Ethylene plays a pivotal role in plant stress resistance and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase (ACS) is the rate-limiting enzyme in ethylene biosynthesis. Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is the most important natural fiber crop, but the function of ACS in response to abiotic [...] Read more.
Ethylene plays a pivotal role in plant stress resistance and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase (ACS) is the rate-limiting enzyme in ethylene biosynthesis. Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is the most important natural fiber crop, but the function of ACS in response to abiotic stress has rarely been reported in this plant. We identified 18 GaACS, 18 GrACS, and 35 GhACS genes in Gossypiumarboreum, Gossypium raimondii and Gossypiumhirsutum, respectively, that were classified as types I, II, III, or IV. Collinearity analysis showed that the GhACS genes were expanded from diploid cotton by the whole-genome-duplication. Multiple alignments showed that the C-terminals of the GhACS proteins were conserved, whereas the N-terminals of GhACS10 and GhACS12 were different from the N-terminals of AtACS10 and AtACS12, probably diverging during evolution. Most type II ACS genes were hardly expressed, whereas GhACS10/GhACS12 were expressed in many tissues and in response to abiotic stress; for example, they were highly and hardly expressed at the early stages of cold and heat exposure, respectively. The GhACS genes showed different expression profiles in response to cold, heat, drought, and salt stress by quantitative PCR analysis, which indicate the potential roles of them when encountering the various adverse conditions, and provide insights into GhACS functions in cotton’s adaptation to abiotic stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanism of Resistance to Stress in Cotton)
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15 pages, 2285 KiB  
Article
Preconditioning to Water Deficit Helps Aloe vera to Overcome Long-Term Drought during the Driest Season of Atacama Desert
by José P. Delatorre-Castillo, José Delatorre-Herrera, Kung Sang Lay, Jorge Arenas-Charlín, Isabel Sepúlveda-Soto, Liliana Cardemil and Enrique Ostria-Gallardo
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1523; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111523 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2291
Abstract
Throughout evolution, plants have developed different strategies of responses and adaptations that allow them to survive in different conditions of abiotic stress. Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f. is a succulent CAM plant that can grow in warm, semi-arid, and arid regions. Here, we tested [...] Read more.
Throughout evolution, plants have developed different strategies of responses and adaptations that allow them to survive in different conditions of abiotic stress. Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f. is a succulent CAM plant that can grow in warm, semi-arid, and arid regions. Here, we tested the effects of preconditioning treatments of water availability (100, 50, and 25% of soil field capacity, FC) on the response of A. vera to prolonged drought growing in the hyper-arid core of the Atacama Desert. We studied leaf biomass, biochemical traits, and photosynthetic traits to assess, at different intervals of time, the effects of the preconditioning treatments on the response of A. vera to seven months of water deprivation. As expected, prolonged drought has deleterious effects on plant growth (a decrease of 55–65% in leaf thickness) and photosynthesis (a decrease of 54–62% in Emax). There were differences in the morphophysiological responses to drought depending on the preconditioning treatment, the 50% FC pretreatment being the threshold to better withstand prolonged drought. A diurnal increase in the concentration of malic acid (20–30 mg mg−1) in the points where the dark respiration increased was observed, from which it can be inferred that A. vera switches its C3-CAM metabolism to a CAM idling mode. Strikingly, all A. vera plants stayed alive after seven months without irrigation. Possible mechanisms under an environmental context are discussed. Overall, because of a combination of morphophysiological traits, A. vera has the remarkable capacity to survive under severe and long-term drought, and further holistic research on this plant may serve to produce biotechnological solutions for crop production under the current scenario of climatic emergency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Use Strategy of Plants in Arid Regions)
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16 pages, 8299 KiB  
Article
Genetic Variation and Genotype by Environment Interaction for Agronomic Traits in Maize (Zea mays L.) Hybrids
by Mohammad Ashraful Alam, Marufur Rahman, Salahuddin Ahmed, Nasrin Jahan, Mohammad Al-Amin Khan, Mohammad Rafiqul Islam, Amnah Mohammed Alsuhaibani, Ahmed Gaber and Akbar Hossain
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1522; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111522 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2753
Abstract
In order to develop high-yielding genotypes of adapted maize, multilocation trials of maize were performed including forty-five maize hybrids exploiting genetic variability, trait associations, and diversity. The experiments were laid out in an RCB design and data were recorded on eight yield and [...] Read more.
In order to develop high-yielding genotypes of adapted maize, multilocation trials of maize were performed including forty-five maize hybrids exploiting genetic variability, trait associations, and diversity. The experiments were laid out in an RCB design and data were recorded on eight yield and yield-contributing traits, viz., days to anthesis (AD), days to silking (SD), anthesis–silking interval (ASI), plant height (PH), ear height (EH), kernels per ear (KPE), thousand-kernel weight (TKW), and grain yield (GY). An analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed significant variation present among the different traits under study. The phenotypic coefficient of variance (PCV) showed a higher value than the genotypic coefficient of variance (GCV), indicating the environmental influence on the expression of the traits. High heritability coupled with high genetic advance was found for these traits, indicative of additive gene action. The trait associations showed that genotypic correlation was higher than phenotypic correlation. Based on genetic diversity, the total genotypes were divided into four clusters, and the maximum number of 16 genotypes was found in cluster IV. Among the eight yield and yield-contributing traits, PH, ASI, EH, and TKW were the important traits for variability creation and were mostly responsible for yield. Genotypes G5, G8, G27, G29, and G42 were in the top ranks based on grain yield over locations, while a few others showed region-centric performances; all these genotypes can be recommended upon validation for commercial release. The present findings show the existence of proper genetic variability and divergence among traits, and the identified traits can be used in a maize improvement program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Plants—Recent Advances and Perspectives)
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15 pages, 308 KiB  
Article
Legumes of the Sardinia Island: Knowledge on Symbiotic and Endophytic Bacteria and Interactive Software Tool for Plant Species Determination
by Rosella Muresu, Andrea Porceddu, Giuseppe Concheri, Piergiorgio Stevanato and Andrea Squartini
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1521; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111521 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1786
Abstract
A meta-analysis was carried out on published literature covering the topic of interactive plant microbiology for botanical species of legumes occurring within the boundary of the Italian island Sardinia, lying between the Tyrrhenian and the western Mediterranean seas. Reports were screened for the [...] Read more.
A meta-analysis was carried out on published literature covering the topic of interactive plant microbiology for botanical species of legumes occurring within the boundary of the Italian island Sardinia, lying between the Tyrrhenian and the western Mediterranean seas. Reports were screened for the description of three types of bacterial occurrences; namely, (a) the nitrogen-fixing symbionts dwelling in root nodules; (b) other bacteria co-hosted in nodules but having the ancillary nature of endophytes; (c) other endophytes isolated from different non-nodular portions of the legume plants. For 105 plant species or subspecies, over a total of 290 valid taxonomical descriptions of bacteria belonging to either one or more of these three categories were found, yielding 85 taxa of symbionts, 142 taxa of endophytes in nodules, and 33 in other plant parts. The most frequent cases were within the Medicago, Trifolium, Lotus, Phaseolus, and Vicia genera, the majority of symbionts belonged to the Rhizobium, Mesorhizobium, Bradyrhizobium, and Sinorhizobium taxa. Both nodular and extra-nodular endophytes were highly represented by Gammaproteobacteria (Pseudomonas, Enterobacter, Pantoea) and Firmicutes (Bacillus, Paenibacillus), along with a surprisingly high diversity of the Actinobacteria genus Micromonospora. The most plant-promiscuous bacteria were Sinorhizobium meliloti as symbiont and Bacillus megaterium as endophyte. In addition to the microbial analyses we introduce a practical user-friendly software tool for plant taxonomy determination working in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that we have purposely elaborated for the classification of legume species of Sardinia. Its principle is based on subtractive keys that progressively filter off the plants that do not comply with the observed features, eventually leaving only the name of the specimen under examination. Full article
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21 pages, 2924 KiB  
Article
Respiratory and Photosynthetic Responses of Antarctic Vascular Plants Are Differentially Affected by CO2 Enrichment and Nocturnal Warming
by Carolina Sanhueza, Daniela Cortes, Danielle A. Way, Francisca Fuentes, Luisa Bascunan-Godoy, Nestor Fernandez Del-Saz, Patricia L. Sáez, León A. Bravo and Lohengrin A. Cavieres
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1520; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111520 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1976
Abstract
Projected rises in atmospheric CO2 concentration and minimum night-time temperatures may have important effects on plant carbon metabolism altering the carbon balance of the only two vascular plant species in the Antarctic Peninsula. We assessed the effect of nocturnal warming (8/5 °C [...] Read more.
Projected rises in atmospheric CO2 concentration and minimum night-time temperatures may have important effects on plant carbon metabolism altering the carbon balance of the only two vascular plant species in the Antarctic Peninsula. We assessed the effect of nocturnal warming (8/5 °C vs. 8/8 °C day/night) and CO2 concentrations (400 ppm and 750 ppm) on gas exchange, non-structural carbohydrates, two respiratory-related enzymes, and mitochondrial size and number in two species of vascular plants. In Colobanthus quitensis, light-saturated photosynthesis measured at 400 ppm was reduced when plants were grown in the elevated CO2 or in the nocturnal warming treatments. Growth in elevated CO2 reduced stomatal conductance but nocturnal warming did not. The short-term sensitivity of respiration, relative protein abundance, and mitochondrial traits were not responsive to either treatment in this species. Moreover, some acclimation to nocturnal warming at ambient CO2 was observed. Altogether, these responses in C. quitensis led to an increase in the respiration-assimilation ratio in plants grown in elevated CO2. The response of Deschampsia antarctica to the experimental treatments was quite distinct. Photosynthesis was not affected by either treatment; however, respiration acclimated to temperature in the elevated CO2 treatment. The observed short-term changes in thermal sensitivity indicate type I acclimation of respiration. Growth in elevated CO2 and nocturnal warming resulted in a reduction in mitochondrial numbers and an increase in mitochondrial size in D. antarctica. Overall, our results suggest that with climate change D. antarctica could be more successful than C. quitensis, due to its ability to make metabolic adjustments to maintain its carbon balance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antarctic Plants Responses to Abiotic Stress)
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10 pages, 2273 KiB  
Article
Overexpression of CsMIXTA, a Transcription Factor from Cannabis sativa, Increases Glandular Trichome Density in Tobacco Leaves
by Samuel R. Haiden, Peter V. Apicella, Yi Ma and Gerald A. Berkowitz
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1519; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111519 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4500
Abstract
Cannabinoids are synthesized in glandular stalked trichomes on the female flowers of Cannabis sativa (cannabis). The regulation of glandular trichome development has not been characterized in cannabis. We recently identified an R2R3-MYB transcription factor, CsMIXTA, which could be involved in trichome morphogenesis [...] Read more.
Cannabinoids are synthesized in glandular stalked trichomes on the female flowers of Cannabis sativa (cannabis). The regulation of glandular trichome development has not been characterized in cannabis. We recently identified an R2R3-MYB transcription factor, CsMIXTA, which could be involved in trichome morphogenesis in cannabis. Some homologous genes of CsMIXTA are known to function in glandular trichome initiation in other plant species. CsMIXTA is highly expressed in flower tissue compared to vegetative tissues. Interestingly, CsMIXTA is also highly expressed in trichomes isolated from female flower tissue. In addition, CsMIXTA is upregulated during the peak stages of female flower maturation in correlation with some cannabinoid biosynthetic genes. Transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana showed that CsMIXTA is localized in the nucleus. Furthermore, yeast transcriptional activation assay demonstrated that CsMIXTA has transactivation activity. Overexpression of CsMIXTA in Nicotiana tabacum resulted in higher trichome density, larger trichome size, and more branching on stalked glandular trichomes. The results indicate that CsMIXTA not only promotes glandular trichome initiation in epidermal cells, but also regulates trichome development in tobacco leaves. In this report, we characterized the novel function of the first cannabis transcription factor that may be critical for glandular trichome morphogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Studies on Cannabis sativa and Cannabinoids)
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1 pages, 196 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Freitas et al. Influence of Climate Change on Chestnut Trees: A Review. Plants 2021, 10, 1463
by Teresa R. Freitas, João A. Santos, Ana P. Silva and Hélder Fraga
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1518; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111518 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1301
Abstract
In the original article [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Resources and Diversity of Castanea Species)
21 pages, 3141 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Heat and Drought Stress Responses among Twelve Tartary Buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum) Varieties
by Lauranne Aubert and Muriel Quinet
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1517; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111517 - 06 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1981
Abstract
The use of orphan crops could mitigate the effects of climate change and improve the quality of food security. We compared the effects of drought, high temperature, and their combination in 12 varieties of Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum). Plants were grown [...] Read more.
The use of orphan crops could mitigate the effects of climate change and improve the quality of food security. We compared the effects of drought, high temperature, and their combination in 12 varieties of Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum). Plants were grown at 21/19 °C or 28/26 °C under well-watered and water-stressed conditions. Plants were more discriminated according to environmental conditions than variety, with the exception of Islek that was smaller and produced fewer leaves, inflorescences, and seeds than the other varieties. The combination of high temperature and water stress had a stronger negative impact than each stress applied separately. The temperature increase stimulated leaf and flower production while water stress decreased plant height. Leaf area decreased with both temperature and water stress. High temperature hastened the seed initiation but negatively affected seed development such that almost all seeds aborted at 28 °C. At 21 °C, water stress significantly decreased the seed production per plant. At the physiological level, water stress increased the chlorophyll content and temperature increased the transpiration rate under well-watered conditions. High temperature also increased the polyphenol and flavonoid concentrations, mainly in the inflorescences. Altogether, our results showed that water stress and temperature increase in particular negatively affected seed production in F. tataricum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breeding Buckwheat for Nutritional Quality Volume II)
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18 pages, 1952 KiB  
Article
Comparative Plasticity Responses of Stable Isotopes of Carbon (δ13C) and Nitrogen (δ15N), Ion Homeostasis and Yield Attributes in Barley Exposed to Saline Environment
by Muhammad Iftikhar Hussain, Zafar Iqbal Khan, Taimoor Hassan Farooq, Dunia A. Al Farraj and Mohamed Soliman Elshikh
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1516; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111516 - 05 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1813
Abstract
Salinity is a major threat to agricultural productivity worldwide. The selection and evaluation of crop varieties that can tolerate salt stress are the main components for the rehabilitation of salt-degraded marginal soils. A field experiment was conducted to evaluate salinity tolerance potential, growth [...] Read more.
Salinity is a major threat to agricultural productivity worldwide. The selection and evaluation of crop varieties that can tolerate salt stress are the main components for the rehabilitation of salt-degraded marginal soils. A field experiment was conducted to evaluate salinity tolerance potential, growth performance, carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen isotope composition (δ15N), intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE), harvest index, and yield stability attributes in six barley genotypes (113/1B, 59/3A, N1-10, N1-29, Barjouj, Alanda01) at three salinity levels (0, 7, and 14 dS m−1). The number of spikes m−2 was highest in Alanda01 (620.8) while the lowest (556.2) was exhibited by Barjouj. Alanda01 produced the highest grain yield (3.96 t ha−1), while the lowest yield was obtained in 59/3A (2.31 t ha−1). Genotypes 113/1B, Barjouj, and Alanda01 demonstrate the highest negative δ13C values (−27.10‰, −26.49‰, −26.45‰), while the lowest values were obtained in N1-29 (−21.63‰) under salt stress. The δ15N was increased (4.93‰ and 4.59‰) after 7 and 14 dS m−1 as compared to control (3.12‰). The iWUE was higher in N1-29 (144.5) and N1-10 (131.8), while lowest in Barjouj (81.4). Grain protein contents were higher in 113/1B and Barjouj than other genotypes. We concluded that salt tolerant barley genotypes can be cultivated in saline marginal soils for food and nutrition security and can help in the rehabilitation of marginal lands. Full article
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14 pages, 659 KiB  
Article
Effects of Maturity and Thermal Treatment on Phenolic Profiles and In Vitro Health-Related Properties of Sacha Inchi Leaves
by Suwapat Kittibunchakul, Chatrapa Hudthagosol, Promluck Sanporkha, Suwimol Sapwarobol, Uthaiwan Suttisansanee and Yuraporn Sahasakul
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1515; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111515 - 05 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2639
Abstract
Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L.) has been adopted as a novel economic crop with well-studied nutritional and bioactive benefits for human health. Sacha inchi seeds and oil have high commercial value but scant research has focused on its leaves. This study investigated [...] Read more.
Sacha inchi (Plukenetia volubilis L.) has been adopted as a novel economic crop with well-studied nutritional and bioactive benefits for human health. Sacha inchi seeds and oil have high commercial value but scant research has focused on its leaves. This study investigated and compared phenolic compositions, antioxidant potentials and in vitro health-related properties of both young and mature sacha inchi leaves after freeze-drying and oven-drying processes. Results showed that p-coumaric acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, ferulic acid and gallic acid were predominantly detected in both young and mature leaves that also exhibited similar total phenolic contents (TPCs), while higher TPCs were detected in freeze-dried than in oven-dried leaves. Mature leaves exhibited higher antioxidant potential than young leaves after freeze-drying, while the opposite results were observed for oven-drying. Overall in vitro health-related activities were higher in mature leaves compared to young leaves regardless of the drying process. Knowledge gained from this study can be used to encourage prospective utilization of sacha inchi leaves as a source of health-promoting compounds. This, in turn, will increase the commercial value of the leaves and provide a wider market variety of sacha inchi products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidant Capacity of Plant Extracts)
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13 pages, 1308 KiB  
Article
Mung Bean (Vigna radiata) Treated with Magnesium Nanoparticles and Its Impact on Soilborne Fusarium solani and Fusarium oxysporum in Clay Soil
by Yasmine Abdallah, Marwa Hussien, Maha O. A. Omar, Ranya M. S. Elashmony, Dalal Hussien M. Alkhalifah and Wael N. Hozzein
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1514; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111514 - 05 Jun 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3106
Abstract
The nanotechnology revolution is developing daily all over the world. Soil-borne fungi cause a significant yield loss in mung beans. Our study was performed to identify the impact of different concentrations of MgO nanoparticles (MgONPs) and to assess the prevalence of Fusarium solani [...] Read more.
The nanotechnology revolution is developing daily all over the world. Soil-borne fungi cause a significant yield loss in mung beans. Our study was performed to identify the impact of different concentrations of MgO nanoparticles (MgONPs) and to assess the prevalence of Fusarium solani (F. solani) and Fusarium oxysporum (F. oxysporum) in mung bean plants under in vivo conditions and, subsequently, the remaining impacts on soil health. In vitro studies revealed that MgONPs could inhibit fungal growth. Mung bean plants treated with MgONPs showed a promotion in growth. The obtained MgONPs were applied to the roots of 14-day-old mung bean plants at a concentration of 100 µg/mL. The application of MgONPs at a concentration of 100 µg/mL caused an increase in mung bean seedlings. Compared to the control treated with water, plants exposed to MgONPs at 100 µg/mL showed improvements (p < 0.05) in shoot fresh weight (28.62%), shoot dry weight (85.18%), shoot length (45.83%), root fresh weight (38.88%), root dry weight (33.33%), root length (98.46%), and root nodule (70.75%). In the greenhouse, the severity of disease caused by F. solani decreased from approximately 44% to 25% and that by F. oxysporum from 39% to 11.4%, respectively. The results of this study confirm that the temporal growth of the soil microbial biomass was partially reduced or boosted following the nanoparticle drenching addition and/or plant infections at higher concentrations of 50 and 100 µg/mL while there was no significant decrease at the lowest concentration (25 µg/mL). The current research helps us to better understand how nanoparticles might be used to prevent a variety of fungal diseases in agricultural fields while avoiding the creation of environmental hazards to soil health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Nanomaterials in Agriculture)
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15 pages, 3655 KiB  
Article
Exogenous Postharvest Application of Calcium Chloride and Salicylic Acid to Maintain the Quality of Broccoli Florets
by Hossam S. El-Beltagi, Marwa Rashad Ali, Khaled M. A. Ramadan, Raheel Anwar, Tarek A. Shalaby, Adel A. Rezk, Sherif Mohamed El-Ganainy, Samy F. Mahmoud, Mohamed Alkafafy and Mohamed M. El-Mogy
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1513; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111513 - 05 Jun 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3056
Abstract
The importance of broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) consumption has increased in recent years due to its significant amount of anticarcinogenic and antioxidant compounds, as well as its many vitamins. However, broccoli florets are a highly perishable product which rapidly senesce [...] Read more.
The importance of broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) consumption has increased in recent years due to its significant amount of anticarcinogenic and antioxidant compounds, as well as its many vitamins. However, broccoli florets are a highly perishable product which rapidly senesce and turn yellow after harvest, resulting in losses in nutritional and bioactive compounds. Thus, in this study, we evaluated the effect of postharvest exogenous of salicylic acid (SA) and calcium chloride (CaCl2) and their combination on the quality of broccoli florets stored at 5 °C for 28 days to minimize the rapid senescence of broccoli florets. Samples treated with 2 mM SA alone or in combination with 2% CaCl2 showed lower weight loss and lower losses of chlorophyll content, vitamin C, phenolic compounds, carotenoids, flavonoids, and glucosinolates compared with the control samples. Additionally, antioxidant activity was maintained by either SA or SA + CaCl2 treatments while peroxidase activity was decreased. For higher quality and lower losses in antioxidant compounds of broccoli florets during refrigerated storage at 5 °C, SA + CaCl2 treatment could be helpful for up to 21 days. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Physiology and Biochemistry of Fruits and Vegetables)
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23 pages, 4310 KiB  
Article
Interplay between Proline Metabolism and ROS in the Fine Tuning of Root-Meristem Size in Arabidopsis
by Sara Bauduin, Martina Latini, Irene Belleggia, Marta Migliore, Marco Biancucci, Roberto Mattioli, Antonio Francioso, Luciana Mosca, Dietmar Funck and Maurizio Trovato
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1512; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111512 - 05 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2512
Abstract
We previously reported that proline modulates root meristem size in Arabidopsis by controlling the ratio between cell division and cell differentiation. Here, we show that proline metabolism affects the levels of superoxide anion (O2•−) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O [...] Read more.
We previously reported that proline modulates root meristem size in Arabidopsis by controlling the ratio between cell division and cell differentiation. Here, we show that proline metabolism affects the levels of superoxide anion (O2•−) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which, in turn, modulate root meristem size and root elongation. We found that hydrogen peroxide plays a major role in proline-mediated root elongation, and its effects largely overlap those induced by proline, influencing root meristem size, root elongation, and cell cycle. Though a combination of genetic and pharmacological evidence, we showed that the short-root phenotype of the proline-deficient p5cs1 p5cs2/P5CS2, an Arabidopsis mutant homozygous for p5cs1 and heterozygous for p5cs2, is caused by H2O2 accumulation and is fully rescued by an effective H2O2 scavenger. Furthermore, by studying Arabidopsis mutants devoid of ProDH activity, we disclosed the essential role of this enzyme in the modulation of root meristem size as the main enzyme responsible for H2O2 production during proline degradation. Proline itself, on the contrary, may not be able to directly control the levels of H2O2, although it seems able to enhance the enzymatic activity of catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), the two most effective scavengers of H2O2 in plant cells. We propose a model in which proline metabolism participates in a delicate antioxidant network to balance H2O2 formation and degradation and fine-tune root meristem size in Arabidopsis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Development and Morphogenesis)
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13 pages, 1450 KiB  
Article
Changes in Diversity and Community Composition of Root Endophytic Fungi Associated with Aristolochia chilensis along an Aridity Gradient in the Atacama Desert
by María José Guevara-Araya, Víctor M. Escobedo, Valeria Palma-Onetto and Marcia González-Teuber
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1511; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111511 - 05 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1743
Abstract
Despite the widespread occurrence of fungal endophytes (FE) in plants inhabiting arid ecosystems, the environmental and soil factors that modulate changes in FE diversity and community composition along an aridity gradient have been little explored. We studied three locations along the coast of [...] Read more.
Despite the widespread occurrence of fungal endophytes (FE) in plants inhabiting arid ecosystems, the environmental and soil factors that modulate changes in FE diversity and community composition along an aridity gradient have been little explored. We studied three locations along the coast of the Atacama Desert in Chile, in which the plant Aristolochia chilensis naturally grows, and that differ in their aridity gradient from hyper-arid to semi-arid. We evaluated if root-associated FE diversity (frequency, richness and diversity indexes) and community composition vary as a function of aridity. Additionally, we assessed whether edaphic factors co-varying with aridity (soil water potential, soil moisture, pH and nutrients) may structure FE communities. We expected that FE diversity would gradually increase towards the aridity gradient declines, and that those locations that had the most contrasting environments would show more dissimilar FE communities. We found that richness indexes were inversely related to aridity, although this pattern was only partially observed for FE frequency and diversity. FE community composition was dissimilar among contrasting locations, and soil water availability significantly influenced FE community composition across the gradient. The results indicate that FE diversity and community composition associated with A. chilensis relate to differences in the aridity level across the gradient. Overall, our findings reveal the importance of climate-related factors in shaping changes in diversity, structure and distribution of FE in desert ecosystems. Full article
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16 pages, 342 KiB  
Article
Chemical Investigation and Dose-Response Phytotoxic Effect of Essential Oils from Two Gymnosperm Species (Juniperus communis var. saxatilis Pall. and Larix decidua Mill.)
by Sara Vitalini, Marcello Iriti, Valentina Vaglia and Stefania Garzoli
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1510; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111510 - 04 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1953
Abstract
The chemical composition of the liquid and vapor phases of leaf essential oils (EOs) obtained from two species of Gymnosperms (Juniperus communis var. saxatilis Willd. and Larix decidua Mill.) was investigated using the SPME-GC-MS technique. The results highlighted a composition characterized by [...] Read more.
The chemical composition of the liquid and vapor phases of leaf essential oils (EOs) obtained from two species of Gymnosperms (Juniperus communis var. saxatilis Willd. and Larix decidua Mill.) was investigated using the SPME-GC-MS technique. The results highlighted a composition characterized by 51 identified volatile compounds (34 in J. communis and 39 in L. decidua). In both bloils, monoterpenes prevailed over the sesquiterpenes, albeit with qualitative and quantitative differences. Sabinene (37.5% and 34.5%, respectively) represented the two most abundant components in the liquid and vapor phases of J. communis, and α-pinene (51.0% and 63.3%) was the main constituent in L. decidua. The phytotoxic activity of the two EOs was assessed in pre-emergence conditions using three concentrations in contact (2, 5, 10 µL/mL) and non-contact (2, 20, 50 µL) tests against Lolium multiflorum Lam. (Poaceae) and Sinapis alba L. (Brassicaceae). Treatments were effective in a dose-dependent manner by significantly reducing the germination (up to 100% and 45–60%, respectively, with filter paper and soil as a substrate) and the seedling development (1.3 to 8 times) of both target species. Moreover, an exploratory survey on the residual presence of volatile compounds in the soil at the end of the tests was carried out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Plants—Recent Advances and Perspectives)
9 pages, 856 KiB  
Brief Report
The Destructive Static Tree-Pulling Test Provides Reliable Estimates of the Soil–Root Plate of Eastern Baltic Silver Birch (Betula pendula Roth.)
by Oskars Krišāns, Roberts Matisons, Jānis Vuguls, Andris Seipulis, Valters Samariks, Renāte Saleniece and Āris Jansons
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1509; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111509 - 04 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1336
Abstract
Under the intensifying cyclonic activity, the wind resistance of European forests could be increased through science-based adaptive forest management, which requires the quantification of tree stability. In this regard, the dimensions of the soil–root plate can be directly attributed to tree wind resistance; [...] Read more.
Under the intensifying cyclonic activity, the wind resistance of European forests could be increased through science-based adaptive forest management, which requires the quantification of tree stability. In this regard, the dimensions of the soil–root plate can be directly attributed to tree wind resistance; however, naturally uprooted trees might be a biased source of information for the evaluation of adaptive measures due to uncontrolled conditions and uneven sample size. Therefore, the dimensions of the soil–root plates of naturally windthrown silver birch trees (Betula pendula Roth.) are compared to artificially overturned trees under a static tree-pulling test in Eastern Baltic region. The application of static tree-pulling overestimated the dimensions of the soil–root plates of silver birch compared to windthrown trees. The overestimation of soil–root plate dimensions was consistent spatially and across soil types, which is likely a regional adaptation to local wind climate. This implies that static tree-pulling is representative of the assessment of the effects of adaptive management on tree stability via the dimensions of the soil–root plates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change)
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18 pages, 2866 KiB  
Article
Morphological, Biochemical, and Proteomic Analyses to Understand the Promotive Effects of Plant-Derived Smoke Solution on Wheat Growth under Flooding Stress
by Setsuko Komatsu, Hisateru Yamaguchi, Keisuke Hitachi, Kunihiro Tsuchida, Shafiq Ur Rehman and Toshihisa Ohno
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1508; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111508 - 04 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1937
Abstract
Wheat is an important staple food crop for one-third of the global population; however, its growth is reduced by flooding. On the other hand, a plant-derived smoke solution enhances plant growth; however, its mechanism is not fully understood. To reveal the effects of [...] Read more.
Wheat is an important staple food crop for one-third of the global population; however, its growth is reduced by flooding. On the other hand, a plant-derived smoke solution enhances plant growth; however, its mechanism is not fully understood. To reveal the effects of the plant-derived smoke solution on wheat under flooding, morphological, biochemical, and proteomic analyses were conducted. The plant-derived smoke solution improved wheat-leaf growth, even under flooding. According to the functional categorization of proteomic results, oppositely changed proteins were correlated with photosynthesis, glycolysis, biotic stress, and amino-acid metabolism with or without the plant-derived smoke solution under flooding. Immunoblot analysis confirmed that RuBisCO activase and RuBisCO large/small subunits, which decreased under flooding, were recovered by the application of the plant-derived smoke solution. Furthermore, the contents of chlorophylls a and b significantly decreased by flooding stress; however, they were recovered by the application of the plant-derived smoke solution. In glycolysis, fructose-bisphosphate aldolase and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase decreased with the application of the plant-derived smoke solution under flooding as compared with flooding alone. Additionally, glutamine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and serine decreased under flooding; however, they were recovered by the plant-derived smoke solution. These results suggest that the application of the plant-derived smoke solution improves the recovery of wheat growth through the regulation of photosynthesis and glycolysis even under flooding conditions. Furthermore, the plant-derived smoke solution might promote wheat tolerance against flooding stress through the regulation of amino-acid metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
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18 pages, 2653 KiB  
Article
How Leaf Vein and Stomata Traits Are Related with Photosynthetic Efficiency in Falanghina Grapevine in Different Pedoclimatic Conditions
by Nicola Damiano, Carmen Arena, Antonello Bonfante, Rosanna Caputo, Arturo Erbaggio, Chiara Cirillo and Veronica De Micco
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1507; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111507 - 04 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2474
Abstract
The increase in severe drought events due to climate change in the areas traditionally suitable for viticulture is enhancing the need to understand how grapevines regulate their photosynthetic metabolism in order to forecast specific cultivar adaptive responses to the changing environment. This study [...] Read more.
The increase in severe drought events due to climate change in the areas traditionally suitable for viticulture is enhancing the need to understand how grapevines regulate their photosynthetic metabolism in order to forecast specific cultivar adaptive responses to the changing environment. This study aims at evaluating the association between leaf anatomical traits and eco-physiological adjustments of the ‘Falanghina’ grapevine under different microclimatic conditions at four sites in southern Italy. Sites were characterized by different pedoclimatic conditions but, as much as possible, were similar for plant material and cultivation management. Microscopy analyses on leaves were performed to quantify stomata and vein traits, while eco-physiological analyses were conducted on vines to assess plant physiological adaptation capability. At the two sites with relatively low moisture, photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, photosystem electron transfer rate, and quantum yield of PSII, linear electron transport was lower compared to the other two sites. Stomata size was higher at the site characterized by the highest precipitation. However, stomatal density and most vein traits tended to be relatively stable among sites. The number of free vein endings per unit leaf area was lower in the two vineyards with low precipitation. We suggest that site-specific stomata and vein traits modulation in Falanghina grapevine are an acclimation strategy that may influence photosynthetic performance. Overall in-depth knowledge of the structure/function relations in Falanghina vines might be useful to evaluate the plasticity of this cultivar towards site-specific management of vineyards in the direction of precision viticulture. Full article
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19 pages, 5576 KiB  
Article
Characterization of the Calmodulin/Calmodulin-like Protein (CAM/CML) Family in Ginkgo biloba, and the Influence of an Ectopically Expressed GbCML Gene (Gb_30819) on Seedling and Fruit Development of Transgenic Arabidopsis
by Xinxin Zhang, Juan Tian, Sai Li, Yuying Liu, Ting Feng, Yunyun Wang, Yuanjin Li, Xinxin Huang and Dahui Li
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1506; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111506 - 04 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1880
Abstract
Calmodulins (CAMs) and calmodulin-like proteins (CMLs) can participate in the regulation of various physiological processes via sensing and decoding Ca2+ signals. To reveal the characteristics of the CAM/CML family in Ginkgo biloba, a comprehensive analysis was performed at the genome-wide level. [...] Read more.
Calmodulins (CAMs) and calmodulin-like proteins (CMLs) can participate in the regulation of various physiological processes via sensing and decoding Ca2+ signals. To reveal the characteristics of the CAM/CML family in Ginkgo biloba, a comprehensive analysis was performed at the genome-wide level. A total of 26 CAMs/CMLs, consisting of 5 GbCAMs and 21 GbCMLs, was identified on 11 out of 12 chromosomes in G. biloba. They displayed a certain degree of multiplicity in their sequences, albeit with conserved EF hands. Collinearity analysis suggested that tandem rather than segmental or whole-genome duplications were likely to play roles in the evolution of the Ginkgo CAM/CML family. Furthermore, GbCAMs/GbCMLs were grouped into higher, lower, and moderate expression in magnitude. The cis-acting regulatory elements involved in phytohormone-responsiveness within GbCAM/GbCML promotors may explain their varied expression profiles. The ectopic expression of a GbCML gene (Gb_30819) in transgenic Arabidopsis led to phenotypes with significantly shortened root length and seedling height, and decreased yields of both pods and seeds. Moreover, an electrophoresis mobility shift assay demonstrated the Ca2+-binding activity of Gb_30819 in vitro. Altogether, these results contribute to insights into the characteristics of the evolution and expression of GbCAMs/GbCMLs, as well as evidence for Ca2+-CAM/CML pathways functioning within the ancient gymnosperm G. biloba. Full article
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14 pages, 1447 KiB  
Article
Combined LC-MS/MS and Molecular Networking Approach Reveals Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Compounds from Erismadelphus exsul Bark
by Morel Essono Mintsa, Elvis Otogo N’nang, Élodie Choque, Ali Siah, Justine Jacquin, Jerome Muchembled, Roland Molinié, Romain Roulard, Dominique Cailleu, Mehdi A. Beniddir, Cédric Sima Obiang, Joseph-Privat Ondo, Brice Kumulungui and François Mesnard
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1505; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111505 - 03 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2611
Abstract
Erismadelphus exsul Mildbr bark is widely used in Gabonese folk medicine. However, little is known about the active compounds associated with its biological activities. In the present study, phytochemical profiling of the ethanolic extract of Erismadelphus exsul was performed using a de-replication strategy [...] Read more.
Erismadelphus exsul Mildbr bark is widely used in Gabonese folk medicine. However, little is known about the active compounds associated with its biological activities. In the present study, phytochemical profiling of the ethanolic extract of Erismadelphus exsul was performed using a de-replication strategy by coupling HPLC-ESI-Q/TOF with a molecular network approach. Eight families of natural compounds were putatively identified, including cyclopeptide alkaloids, esterified amino acids, isoflavonoid- and flavonoid-type polyphenols, glycerophospholipids, steroids and their derivatives, and quinoline alkaloids. All these compounds were identified for the first time in this plant. The use of molecular networking obtained a detailed phytochemical overview of this species. Furthermore, antioxidant (2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazylhydrate (DPPH) and ferric reducing capacity (FRAP)) and in vitro antimicrobial activities were assessed. The crude extract, as well as fractions obtained from Erismadelphus exsul, showed a better reactivity to FRAP than DPPH. The fractions were two to four times more antioxidant than ascorbic acid while reacting to FRAP, and there was two to nine times less antioxidant than this reference while reacting to DPPH. In addition, several fractions and the crude extract exhibited a significant anti-oomycete activity towards the Solanaceae phytopathogen Phytophthora infestans in vitro, and, at a lower extent, the antifungal activity against the wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici had growth inhibition rates ranging from 0 to 100%, depending on the tested concentration. This study provides new insights into the phytochemical characterization and the bioactivities of ethanolic extract from Erismadelphus exsul bark. Full article
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14 pages, 330 KiB  
Article
Role of Litsea cubeba Essential Oil in Agricultural Products Safety: Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Applications
by Petra Borotová, Lucia Galovičová, Nenad L. Vukovic, Milena Vukic, Simona Kunová, Paweł Hanus, Przemysław Łukasz Kowalczewski, Ladislav Bakay and Miroslava Kačániová
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1504; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111504 - 03 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2429
Abstract
The essential oil from Litsea cubeba (LCEO) has good antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-insect properties, which gives it the potential for use as a natural additive to food resources and food products in order to prevent spoilage and extend shelf life. In this study the [...] Read more.
The essential oil from Litsea cubeba (LCEO) has good antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-insect properties, which gives it the potential for use as a natural additive to food resources and food products in order to prevent spoilage and extend shelf life. In this study the biological activity related to food preservation was observed. The main volatile organic compounds were geranial (39.4%), neral (29.5%), and limonene (14.3%). Antioxidant activity was 30.9%, which was equal to 167.94 µg of Trolox per mL of sample. Antimicrobial activity showed the strongest inhibition against Serratia marcescens by disk diffusion method and minimum inhibitory concentrations MIC 50 and MIC 90 were the lowest for Micrococcus luteus with values 1.46 and 3.52 µL/mL, respectively. Antimicrobial activity of the LCEO vapor phase showed strong inhibition of microorganisms on apples, pears, potatoes, and kohlrabies. Over 50% of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and yeasts were inhibited by a concentration of 500 µL/mL. The inhibition of microorganisms was concentration dependent. Anti-insect activity was also strong, with 100% lethality of Pyrrhocoris apterus at a concentration of 25%. These results suggest that LCEO could be potentially used as a food preservative. Full article
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16 pages, 4415 KiB  
Article
Isolation and Characterization of the GmMT-II Gene and Its Role in Response to High Temperature and Humidity Stress in Glycine max
by Sushuang Liu, Yanmin Liu, Chundong Liu, Yang Li, Feixue Zhang and Hao Ma
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1503; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111503 - 03 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1719
Abstract
Metallothioneins (MTs) are polypeptide-encoded genes involved in plant growth, development, seed formation, and diverse stress response. High temperature and humidity stress (HTH) reduce seed development and maturity of the field-grown soybean, which also leads to seed pre-harvest deterioration. However, the function of MTs [...] Read more.
Metallothioneins (MTs) are polypeptide-encoded genes involved in plant growth, development, seed formation, and diverse stress response. High temperature and humidity stress (HTH) reduce seed development and maturity of the field-grown soybean, which also leads to seed pre-harvest deterioration. However, the function of MTs in higher plants is still largely unknown. Herein, we isolated and characterized the soybean metallothionein II gene. The full-length fragment is 255 bp and encodes 85 amino acids and contains the HD domain and the N-terminal non-conservative region. The subcellular location of the GmMT-II-GFP fusion protein was clearly located in the nucleus, cytoplasm, and cell membrane. The highest expression of the GmMT-II gene was observed in seeds both of the soybean Xiangdou No. 3 and Ningzhen No. 1 cultivars, as compared to other plant tissues. Similarly, gene expression was higher 45 days after flowering followed by 30, 40, and 35 days. Furthermore, the GmMT-II transcript levels were significantly higher at 96 and 12 h in the cultivars Xiangdou No. 3 and Ningzhen No. 1 under HTH stress, respectively. In addition, it was found that when the Gm1-MMP protein was deleted, the GmMT-II could bind to the propeptide region of the Gm1-MMP, but not to the signal peptide region or the catalytic region. GmMT-II overexpression in transgenic Arabidopsis increased seed germination and germination rate under HTH conditions, conferring enhanced resistance to HTH stress. GmMT-II overexpressing plants suffered less oxidative damage under HTH stress, as reflected by lower MDA and H2O2 content and ROS production than WT plants. In addition, the activity of antioxidant enzymes namely SOD, CAT, and POD was significantly higher in all transgenic Arabidopsis lines under HTH stress compared wild-tpye plants. Our results suggested that GmMT-II is related to growth and development and confers enhanced HTH stress tolerance in plants by reduction of oxidative molecules through activation of antioxidant activities. These findings will be helpful for us in further understanding of the biological functions of MT-II in plants. Full article
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24 pages, 2116 KiB  
Article
Roadmapping 5.0 Technologies in Agriculture: A Technological Proposal for Developing the Coffee Plant Centered on Indigenous Producers’ Requirements from Mexico, via Knowledge Management
by David Israel Contreras-Medina, Sergio Ernesto Medina-Cuéllar and Juan Manuel Rodríguez-García
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1502; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111502 - 03 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2723
Abstract
The coffee plant, with more than 40 billion shrubs, 9 million tons of grains produced, and 80% of its production accounted for by small-scale producers, has been severely damaged since the emergence of Hemileia vastatrix and Hypothenemus hampei. Despite technological support, these [...] Read more.
The coffee plant, with more than 40 billion shrubs, 9 million tons of grains produced, and 80% of its production accounted for by small-scale producers, has been severely damaged since the emergence of Hemileia vastatrix and Hypothenemus hampei. Despite technological support, these pests have caused 20% to 40% production losses, a 50% to 60% deficit in performance, and a cost of between USD 70 million and USD 220 million to the world economies, which forces us to rethink actions centered on people as the key elements to develop appropriate solutions. For this, the present study presents a technological proposal centered on small indigenous coffee producer requirements for introducing Industry 5.0 technologies, considering roadmapping, knowledge management, statistical analysis, and the social, productive, and digital contexts of five localities in Mexico. The results show a correlation between monitoring and control, soil analysis, the creation of organic fertilizers, accompaniment, and coffee experimentation, as the actions to be implemented, proposing the introduction of a mobile application; sensors, virtual platforms, dome-shaped greenhouses, and spectrophotometric technology as relevant technologies centered on indigenous coffee producers’ requirements. This study is important for policymakers, academics, and producers who wish to develop strategies centered on people in Mexico and the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Information Technologies for Plant Development Monitoring)
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15 pages, 4011 KiB  
Article
Introducing Three-Dimensional Scanning for Phenotyping of Olive Fruits Based on an Extensive Germplasm Survey
by Ioanna Manolikaki, Chrysi Sergentani, Safiye Tul and Georgios Koubouris
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1501; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111501 - 02 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1933
Abstract
Morphological characterization of olive (Olea europaea L.) varieties to detect desirable traits has been based on the training of expert panels and implementation of laborious multiyear measurements with limitations in accuracy and throughput of measurements. The present study compares two- and three-dimensional [...] Read more.
Morphological characterization of olive (Olea europaea L.) varieties to detect desirable traits has been based on the training of expert panels and implementation of laborious multiyear measurements with limitations in accuracy and throughput of measurements. The present study compares two- and three-dimensional imaging systems for phenotyping a large dataset of 50 olive varieties maintained in the National Germplasm Depository of Greece, employing this technology for the first time in olive fruit and endocarps. The olive varieties employed for the present study exhibited high phenotypic variation, particularly for the endocarp shadow area, which ranged from 0.17–3.34 cm2 as evaluated via 2D and 0.32–2.59 cm2 as determined by 3D scanning. We found significant positive correlations (p < 0.001) between the two methods for eight quantitative morphological traits using the Pearson correlation coefficient. The highest correlation between the two methods was detected for the endocarp length (r = 1) and width (r = 1) followed by the fruit length (r = 0.9865), mucro length (r = 0.9631), fruit shadow area (r = 0.9573), fruit width (r = 0.9480), nipple length (r = 0.9441), and endocarp area (r = 0.9184). The present study unraveled novel morphological indicators of olive fruits and endocarps such as volume, total area, up- and down-skin area, and center of gravity using 3D scanning. The highest volume and area regarding both endocarp and fruit were observed for ‘Gaidourelia’. This methodology could be integrated into existing olive breeding programs, especially when the speed of scanning increases. Another potential future application could be assessing olive fruit quality on the trees or in the processing facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging Tools for the Plant Sciences)
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14 pages, 3290 KiB  
Article
Reallocation of Soluble Sugars and IAA Regulation in Association with Enhanced Stolon Growth by Elevated CO2 in Creeping Bentgrass
by Jingjin Yu, Meng Li, Qiuguo Li, Ruying Wang, Ruonan Li and Zhimin Yang
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1500; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111500 - 02 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1683
Abstract
Extensive stolon development and growth are superior traits for rapid establishment as well as post-stress regeneration in stoloniferous grass species. Despite the importance of those stoloniferous traits, the regulation mechanisms of stolon growth and development are largely unknown. The objectives of this research [...] Read more.
Extensive stolon development and growth are superior traits for rapid establishment as well as post-stress regeneration in stoloniferous grass species. Despite the importance of those stoloniferous traits, the regulation mechanisms of stolon growth and development are largely unknown. The objectives of this research were to elucidate the effects of the reallocation of soluble sugars for energy reserves and endogenous hormone levels for cell differentiation and regeneration in regulating stolon growth of a perennial turfgrass species, creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.). Plants were grown in growth chambers with two CO2 concentrations: ambient CO2 concentration (400 ± 10 µmol mol−1) and elevated CO2 concentration (800 ± 10 µmol mol−1). Elevated CO2 enhanced stolon growth through increasing stolon internode number and internode length in creeping bentgrass, as manifested by the longer total stolon length and greater shoot biomass. The content of glucose, sucrose, and fructose as well as endogenous IAA were accumulated in stolon nodes and internodes but not in leaves or roots under elevated CO2 concentration. These results illustrated that the production and reallocation of soluble sugars to stolons as well as the increased level of IAA in stolon nodes and internodes could contribute to the enhancement of stolon growth under elevated CO2 in creeping bentgrass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress Biology of Turfgrass)
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14 pages, 1455 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Constitution, Anti-Inflammation, Anti-Androgen, and Hair Growth-Promoting Potential of Shallot (Allium ascalonicum L.) Extract
by Warintorn Ruksiriwanich, Chiranan Khantham, Anurak Muangsanguan, Chuda Chittasupho, Pornchai Rachtanapun, Kittisak Jantanasakulwong, Yuthana Phimolsiripol, Sarana Rose Sommano, Korawan Sringarm, Emilia Ferrer and Francisco J. Barba
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1499; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111499 - 02 Jun 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 5951
Abstract
In Thai folklore wisdom, shallot (Allium ascalonicum L.) was applied as a traditional herbal medicine for hair growth promotion with no scientific evidence. Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a progressive hair loss caused by multiple factors, including androgen hormones, inflammation, and oxidative stress. [...] Read more.
In Thai folklore wisdom, shallot (Allium ascalonicum L.) was applied as a traditional herbal medicine for hair growth promotion with no scientific evidence. Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a progressive hair loss caused by multiple factors, including androgen hormones, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Conventional medicines (finasteride, dutasteride, corticosteroids, and minoxidil) have been used with limited therapeutic efficacy and unpleasant side effects. In this study, we aimed to give the first estimation of bioactive compounds in shallot extract and evaluate the hair growth-promoting activities regarding anti-inflammatory and gene expression modulation involving androgen, Wnt/β-catenin, sonic hedgehog, and angiogenesis pathways. The results reveal that phenolic compounds (quercetin, rosmarinic, and p-coumaric acids) are the major constituents of the methanolic shallot extract. Compared with the lipopolysaccharide-stimulated control group (2.68 ± 0.13 µM), nitric oxide production was remarkably diminished by shallot extract (0.55 ± 0.06 µM). Shallot extract improves hair growth promotion activity, as reflected by the downregulation of the androgen gene expression (SRD5A1 and SRD5A2) and the upregulation of the genes associated with Wnt/β-catenin (CTNNB1), sonic hedgehog (SHH, SMO, and GIL1), and angiogenesis (VEGF) pathways. These findings disclose the new insights of shallot extract on hair growth promotions. Shallot extract could be further developed as nutraceutical, nutricosmetic, and cosmeceutical preparations for AGA treatment. Full article
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18 pages, 5165 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification of MDH Family Genes and Their Association with Salt Tolerance in Rice
by Yanhong Zhang, Yulong Wang, Xingming Sun, Jie Yuan, Zhiqiang Zhao, Jie Gao, Xiaorong Wen, Fusen Tang, Mintai Kang, Buhaliqem Abliz, Zhanying Zhang, Hongliang Zhang, Fengbin Wang and Zichao Li
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1498; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111498 - 02 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2867
Abstract
Malate dehydrogenase (MDH) is widely present in nature and regulates plant growth and development, as well as playing essential roles, especially in abiotic stress responses. Nevertheless, there is no comprehensive knowledge to date on MDH family members in rice. In this study, a [...] Read more.
Malate dehydrogenase (MDH) is widely present in nature and regulates plant growth and development, as well as playing essential roles, especially in abiotic stress responses. Nevertheless, there is no comprehensive knowledge to date on MDH family members in rice. In this study, a total of 12 MDH members in rice were identified through genome-wide analysis and divided into three groups on the basis of their phylogenetic relationship and protein-conserved motifs. Evolutionary analysis showed that MDH proteins from rice, maize and wheat shared a close phylogenetic relationship, and the MDH family was conserved in the long-term process of domestication. We identified two segmental duplication events involving four genes, which could be the major force driving the expansion of the OsMDH family. The expression profile, cis-regulatory elements and qRT-PCR results of these genes revealed that a few OsMDH showed high tissue specificity, almost all of which had stress response elements in the promoter region, and ten MDH members were significantly induced by salt stress. Through gene-based association analysis, we found a significant correlation between salt tolerance at the seedling stage and the genetic variation of OsMDH8.1 and OsMDH12.1. Additionally, we found that the polymorphism in the promoter region of OsMDH8.1 might be related to the salt tolerance of rice. This study aimed to provide valuable information on the functional study of the rice MDH gene family related to salt stress response and revealed that OsMDH8.1 might be an important gene for the cultivar improvement of salt tolerance in rice. Full article
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34 pages, 1930 KiB  
Review
Endophytes and Halophytes to Remediate Industrial Wastewater and Saline Soils: Perspectives from Qatar
by Bassam T. Yasseen and Roda F. Al-Thani
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1497; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111497 - 02 Jun 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3158
Abstract
Many halophytes are considered to be salt hyperaccumulators, adopting ion extrusion and inclusion mechanisms. Such plants, with high aboveground biomass, may play crucial roles in saline habitats, including soil desalination and phytoremediation of polluted soils and waters. These plants cause significant changes in [...] Read more.
Many halophytes are considered to be salt hyperaccumulators, adopting ion extrusion and inclusion mechanisms. Such plants, with high aboveground biomass, may play crucial roles in saline habitats, including soil desalination and phytoremediation of polluted soils and waters. These plants cause significant changes in some of the soil’s physical and chemical properties; and have proven efficient in removing heavy metals and metabolizing organic compounds from oil and gas activities. Halophytes in Qatar, such as Halopeplis perfoliata, Salicornia europaea, Salsola soda, and Tetraena qatarensis, are shown here to play significant roles in the phytoremediation of polluted soils and waters. Microorganisms associated with these halophytes (such as endophytic bacteria) might boost these plants to remediate saline and polluted soils. A significant number of these bacteria, such as Bacillus spp. and Pseudomonas spp., are reported here to play important roles in many sectors of life. We explore the mechanisms adopted by the endophytic bacteria to promote and support these halophytes in the desalination of saline soils and phytoremediation of polluted soils. The possible roles played by endophytes in different parts of native plants are given to elucidate the mechanisms of cooperation between these native plants and the associated microorganisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytoremediation: New Approaches and Perspectives)
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21 pages, 3240 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Mining Provides Insights into Cell Wall Metabolism and Fiber Lignification in Agave tequilana Weber
by Luis F. Maceda-López, Elsa B. Góngora-Castillo, Enrique Ibarra-Laclette, Dalia C. Morán-Velázquez, Amaranta Girón Ramírez, Matthieu Bourdon, José L. Villalpando-Aguilar, Gabriela Toomer, John Z. Tang, Parastoo Azadi, Jorge M. Santamaría, Itzel López-Rosas, Mercedes G. López, June Simpson and Fulgencio Alatorre-Cobos
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1496; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111496 - 02 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2371
Abstract
Resilience of growing in arid and semiarid regions and a high capacity of accumulating sugar-rich biomass with low lignin percentages have placed Agave species as an emerging bioenergy crop. Although transcriptome sequencing of fiber-producing agave species has been explored, molecular bases that control [...] Read more.
Resilience of growing in arid and semiarid regions and a high capacity of accumulating sugar-rich biomass with low lignin percentages have placed Agave species as an emerging bioenergy crop. Although transcriptome sequencing of fiber-producing agave species has been explored, molecular bases that control wall cell biogenesis and metabolism in agave species are still poorly understood. Here, through RNAseq data mining, we reconstructed the cellulose biosynthesis pathway and the phenylpropanoid route producing lignin monomers in A. tequilana, and evaluated their expression patterns in silico and experimentally. Most of the orthologs retrieved showed differential expression levels when they were analyzed in different tissues with contrasting cellulose and lignin accumulation. Phylogenetic and structural motif analyses of putative CESA and CAD proteins allowed to identify those potentially involved with secondary cell wall formation. RT-qPCR assays revealed enhanced expression levels of AtqCAD5 and AtqCESA7 in parenchyma cells associated with extraxylary fibers, suggesting a mechanism of formation of sclerenchyma fibers in Agave similar to that reported for xylem cells in model eudicots. Overall, our results provide a framework for understanding molecular bases underlying cell wall biogenesis in Agave species studying mechanisms involving in leaf fiber development in monocots. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Germplasm Resources and Breeding of Agave)
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7 pages, 956 KiB  
Communication
The Use of Real-Time PCR for the Pathogen Quantification in Breeding Winter Wheat Varieties Resistant to Eyespot
by Jana Palicová, Pavel Matušinsky, Veronika Dumalasová, Alena Hanzalová, Ivana Svačinová and Jana Chrpová
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1495; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111495 - 02 Jun 2022
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Abstract
The reaction of twenty-five winter wheat cultivars frequently grown in the Czech Republic to inoculation with Oculimacula yallundae and Oculimacula acuformis was evaluated in small plot trials from 2019 to 2021. The eyespot infection assessment was carried out visually using symptoms on stem [...] Read more.
The reaction of twenty-five winter wheat cultivars frequently grown in the Czech Republic to inoculation with Oculimacula yallundae and Oculimacula acuformis was evaluated in small plot trials from 2019 to 2021. The eyespot infection assessment was carried out visually using symptoms on stem bases and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). The cultivars were also tested for the presence of the resistance gene Pch1 using the STS marker Xorw1. Statistical differences were found between cultivars and between years. The lowest mean level of eyespot infection (2019–2021) was visually observed in cultivar Annie, which possessed resistance gene Pch1, and in cultivar Julie. Cultivars Turandot and RGT Sacramento were the most susceptible to eyespot. The method qPCR was able to distinguish two eyespot pathogens. O. yallundae was detected in higher concentrations in inoculated plants compared with O. acuformis. The relationship between the eyespot symptoms and the pathogen’s DNA content in plant tissues followed a moderate linear regression only in 2021. The highest eyespot infection rate was in 2020 due to weather conditions suitable for the development of the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cereal Fungal Diseases: Etiology, Breeding, and Integrated Management)
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