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Plants, Volume 11, Issue 14 (July-2 2022) – 113 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Beta vulgaris (chard) is a selected crop for cultivation in Space. The exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) in Space environment may alter primary and secondary plant metabolism. This study investigates if growth under different light quality regimes (FL-white; RGB-Red, Green, Blue; RB-Red, Blue) modifies the photosynthesis and bioactive compounds of chard plants sprouted from seeds irradiated with carbon (C) or titanium (Ti) heavy ions. Our results indicate that the interaction IR × LQ regulates photosynthesis, producing plants that perform better in resource regeneration (CO2 removal, O2 production), and modifies bioactive compound synthesis in tissues, with favorable implications on astronauts’ diet. In particular, the combination Ti × RB was the best in enhancing the antioxidant content. View this paper
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14 pages, 1298 KiB  
Article
Heterologous Expression of Three Transcription Factors Differently Regulated Astragalosides Metabolic Biosynthesis in Astragalus membranaceus Hairy Roots
by Xiao Hua Li, Jae Kwang Kim and Sang Un Park
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1897; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141897 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1826
Abstract
Astragalus membranaceus has been used as a highly popular Chinese herbal medicine for centuries. Triterpenoids, namely astragalosides I, II, III, and IV, represent the main active compounds in this plant species. Transcription factors have a powerful effect on metabolite biosynthesis in plants. We [...] Read more.
Astragalus membranaceus has been used as a highly popular Chinese herbal medicine for centuries. Triterpenoids, namely astragalosides I, II, III, and IV, represent the main active compounds in this plant species. Transcription factors have a powerful effect on metabolite biosynthesis in plants. We investigated the effect of the Arabidopsis MYB12, production of anthocyanin pigment 1 (PAP1), and maize leaf color (LC) transcription factors in regulating the synthesis of astragaloside metabolites in A. membranaceus. Overexpression of these transcription factors in hairy roots differentially up-regulated these active compounds. Specifically, the overexpression of LC resulted in the accumulation of astragalosides I–IV. The content of astragalosides I and IV were, in particular, more highly accumulated. Overexpression of MYB12 increased the accumulation of astragaloside I in transgenic hairy roots, followed by astragaloside IV, and overexpression of PAP1 resulted in the increased synthesis of astragalosides I and IV. In addition, we found that overexpression of PAP1 together with LC increased astragaloside III levels. At the transcriptional level, several key genes of the mevalonate biosynthetic pathway, especially HMGR1, HMGR2, and HMGR3, were up-regulated differentially in response to these transcription factors, resulting in astragaloside synthesis in the hairy roots of A. membranaceus. Overall, our results indicated that heterologous expression of Arabidopsis MYB12, PAP1, and maize LC differentially affected triterpenoids biosynthesis, leading to the increased biosynthesis of active compounds in A. membranaceus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Production of Secondary Metabolites In Vitro)
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12 pages, 1538 KiB  
Article
Estimation of Morphological Features and Essential Oil Content of Basils (Ocimum basilicum L.) Grown under Different Conditions
by Danguolė Juškevičienė, Audrius Radzevičius, Pranas Viškelis, Nijolė Maročkienė and Rasa Karklelienė
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1896; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141896 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1690
Abstract
This study was carried out in the experimental field and in unheated greenhouses of the Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry Institute of Horticulture. The investigation aimed to evaluate the morphological features, amount of essential oil, and productivity of 10 basil ( [...] Read more.
This study was carried out in the experimental field and in unheated greenhouses of the Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry Institute of Horticulture. The investigation aimed to evaluate the morphological features, amount of essential oil, and productivity of 10 basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) cultivars grown under different growing conditions. Studied cultivars were different according to morphological parameters, productivity, and the accumulation of essential oil. Most of the investigated parameters were influenced by growing conditions. Basil plants of cultivars Sweet Genovese and Toscano were determined to be the highest, and their height reached up to 70.5 cm. Cultivar Sweet Genovese was the most productive; its fresh herb mass per plant reached up to 0.71 kg under growing in the open field and greenhouse. Higher air temperature and constant watering of the soil in the greenhouse increased the accumulation of essential oils of basil. The biochemical analyses showed that the essential oil amount of 31% was higher when basils were grown in a greenhouse compared to an open field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Conference of CYSENI 2022)
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15 pages, 1608 KiB  
Article
Effects of Functional Coatings Containing Chitosan, Orange Peel and Olive Cake Extracts on the Quality Attributes of Cucumber during Cold Storage
by Kashif Ghafoor, Fahad Y. Al-Juhaimi, Isam A. Mohamed Ahmed, Elfadil E. Babiker, Syed Ali Shahzad and Omer N. Alsawmahi
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1895; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141895 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1460
Abstract
This study investigated the effect of functional coating using 2% chitosan and different concentrations of olive cake extract (OCE) and orange peel extract (OPE) on the physicochemical quality attributes of cucumber during cold storage at 4 °C for 21 days. Both coating and [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effect of functional coating using 2% chitosan and different concentrations of olive cake extract (OCE) and orange peel extract (OPE) on the physicochemical quality attributes of cucumber during cold storage at 4 °C for 21 days. Both coating and storage influenced (p ≤ 0.05) the physicochemical attributes of cucumber. The highest values of moisture content, total soluble solids (TSS), pH, total phenolic contents (TPC), DPPH radical scavenging activity, yellowness (b*), and hardness were found in coated samples, which also showed the lowest values of the lightness (L*), greenness (a*), total viable count (TVC), yeast and mold counts, and acidity (p ≤ 0.05). Uncoated cucumber samples showed the highest (p ≤ 0.05) levels of acidity, lightness, greenness, TVC, and yeast and mold count. During storage, concomitant (p ≤ 0.05) reduction in moisture, TSS, pH, TPC, DPPH radical scavenging activity, L*, a*, b*, and hardness along with concurrent (p ≤ 0.05) increment in acidity, TVC, and yeast and mold count were evident in all cucumber samples. Interestingly, the changes in the aforementioned attributes were minimal in functionally coated samples in comparison to uncoated ones, suggesting the potential of OCE and OPE to preserve quality attributes of cucumber during cold storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Physiology and Biochemistry of Fruits and Vegetables)
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15 pages, 2646 KiB  
Article
Effects of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (Fe3O4) on Growth, Photosynthesis, Antioxidant Activity and Distribution of Mineral Elements in Wheat (Triticum aestivum) Plants
by Yingming Feng, Vladimir D. Kreslavski, Alexander N. Shmarev, Anatoli A. Ivanov, Sergey K. Zharmukhamedov, Anatoliy Kosobryukhov, Min Yu, Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev and Sergey Shabala
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1894; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141894 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 50 | Viewed by 4132
Abstract
Engineered nanoparticles (NPs) are considered potential agents for agriculture as fertilizers and growth enhancers. However, their action spectrum differs strongly, depending on the type of NP, its concentrations, and plant species per se, ranging from growth stimulation to toxicity. This work aimed to [...] Read more.
Engineered nanoparticles (NPs) are considered potential agents for agriculture as fertilizers and growth enhancers. However, their action spectrum differs strongly, depending on the type of NP, its concentrations, and plant species per se, ranging from growth stimulation to toxicity. This work aimed to investigate effects of iron oxide (Fe3O4) NPs on growth, photosynthesis, respiration, antioxidant activity, and leaf mineral content of wheat plants. Wheat seeds were treated with NP for 3 h and plants were grown in the soil at two light intensities, 120 and 300 μmol (photons) m−2·s−1, followed by physiological assessment at several time points. High NP treatment (200 and 500 mg·L−1) enhanced plant growth, photosynthesis and respiration, as well as increasing the content of photosynthetic pigments in leaves. This effect depended on both the light intensity during plant growth and the age of the plants. Regardless of concentration and light intensity, an effect of NPs on the primary photochemical processes was not observed. Seed treatment with NP also led to increased activity of ascorbate peroxidase and reduced malondialdehyde (MDA) content in roots and leaves. Treatment with Fe3O4 also led to noticeable increases in the leaf Fe, P, and K content. It is concluded that iron oxide (Fe3O4)-based NP could enhance plant growth by improving photosynthetic performance and the availability of Fe and P. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Plants' Defense Mechanisms against Abiotic Stresses)
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15 pages, 721 KiB  
Article
Effects of Coir-Based Growing Medium with Municipal Solid Waste Compost or Biochar on Plant Growth, Mineral Nutrition, and Accumulation of Phytochemicals in Spinach
by Rui M. A. Machado, Isabel Alves-Pereira, Carolina Morais, André Alemão and Rui Ferreira
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1893; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141893 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1929
Abstract
The use of municipal solid waste compost (MSW) and biochar, two renewable resources with a low carbon footprint as components of substrates, may be an alternative to reducing peat and coir usage. The aim of this study was to assess the suitability of [...] Read more.
The use of municipal solid waste compost (MSW) and biochar, two renewable resources with a low carbon footprint as components of substrates, may be an alternative to reducing peat and coir usage. The aim of this study was to assess the suitability of selectively collected MSW and biochar as components of the coir-based substrate to spinach grown. An experiment was carried out to evaluate five substrates, coir and four coir-based blends (coir + biochar + perlite, coir + municipal waste compost + perlite, coir + biochar + pine bark, and coir + biochar + pine bark) with 12% (v/v) MSW or biochar and 10% (v/v) perlite or pine bark. Spinach seedlings were transplanted into Styrofoam planting boxes filled with the substrate. Each planting box was irrigated daily by drip with a complete nutrient solution. Plants grown with MSW had a higher content of calcium. Shoot Mn increased in the biochar-containing mixes. The shoot dry weight of the plants grown in the different blends was higher than those grown in coir. Fresh yield was higher in mixes with MSW and perlite (3 kg/m2) or pine bark (2.87 kg/m2). Total phenols and DPPH antioxidant activity were not affected by the substrates. However, shoot ascorbate (AsA) content was higher or equal to those plants grown in coir. MSW and biochar are alternatives to reduce the use of coir and peat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant‒Soil Interactions)
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9 pages, 951 KiB  
Article
Genome Size Variation Assessment in Vitis vinifera L. Landraces in Ibiza and Formentera (Balearic Islands)
by Raquel González, Joan Vallès and Teresa Garnatje
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1892; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141892 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1218
Abstract
Plant genome size has many applications in different biological fields including ecology and plant breeding. The 2C value for Vitis vinifera L. has not been widely studied; furthermore, to date, no data from local landraces in the Pityusic Islands (the two smaller inhabited [...] Read more.
Plant genome size has many applications in different biological fields including ecology and plant breeding. The 2C value for Vitis vinifera L. has not been widely studied; furthermore, to date, no data from local landraces in the Pityusic Islands (the two smaller inhabited Balearic Islands, Ibiza, and Formentera) have been reported. This research aims to contribute to this knowledge and investigate whether there are variations between different grape landraces cultivated in Ibiza and Formentera and also among the same landraces on each island. To this end, 36 accessions of 15 cultivars and 6 landraces, identified with SSR markers, were assessed using flow cytometry. The results revealed that 2C values ranged from 1.09 pg to 1.28 pg. There were statistically significant differences in ‘AG1’ and ‘AG2’ landraces and ‘Santa Magdalena’, ‘Garnatxa’, ‘Danugue’, and ‘Valencí tinto/Grumier’ cultivars. No statistically significant differences were found in terms of the genome size content between islands. Statistically significant differences were found in accessions within ‘AG2’ landrace group and ‘Beba’ cultivar. The results presented here constitute the first-ever reported information on genome size in the genus Vitis vinifera in Pityusic, Balearic, and, in general, Spanish accessions, and they are one of the largest prospections in this field for this species anywhere. Further research should be conducted to explain the differences in nuclear DNA content found between landraces and cultivars studied here with others cultivated in different islands or countries to understand whether genome size varies in modern cultivars compared with local landraces. Additionally, it would be interesting to investigate whether there is a relationship between genome size and adaptations to diverse climatology conditions, crop management, and ripening characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Genome Size Evolution of Plants)
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2 pages, 200 KiB  
Editorial
“Parasitic Weeds: Biology and Control” Special Issue Editors Summary
by Evgenia Dor and Yaakov Goldwasser
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1891; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141891 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 996
Abstract
We are happy to summarize this important Special Issue (SI) of MDPI Plants—“Parasitic Weeds: Biology and Control” [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Weeds: Biology and Control)
25 pages, 4813 KiB  
Article
Nitrogen Fertilizers Technologies for Corn in Two Yield Environments in South Brazil
by Bruno Maia Abdo Rahmen Cassim, Marcos Renan Besen, Wagner Deckij Kachinski, Celso Rafael Macon, João Henrique Vieira de Almeida Junior, Rodrigo Sakurada, Tadeu Takeyoshi Inoue and Marcelo Augusto Batista
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1890; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141890 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2977
Abstract
Improvements in nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in corn production systems are necessary, to decrease the economic and environmental losses caused by loss of ammonia volatilization (NH3-N). The objective was to study different nitrogen (N) fertilizer technologies through characterization of N sources, [...] Read more.
Improvements in nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in corn production systems are necessary, to decrease the economic and environmental losses caused by loss of ammonia volatilization (NH3-N). The objective was to study different nitrogen (N) fertilizer technologies through characterization of N sources, NH3-N volatilization losses, and their effects on the nutrient concentration and yield of corn grown in clayey and sandy soils in south Brazil. The treatments consisted of a control without N application as a topdressing, three conventional N sources (urea, ammonium sulfate, and ammonium nitrate + calcium sulfate), and three enhanced-efficiency fertilizers [urea treated with NBPT + Duromide, urea formaldehyde, and polymer-coated urea (PCU) + urea treated with NBPT and nitrification inhibitor (NI)]. The losses by NH3-N volatilization were up to 46% of the N applied with urea. However, NI addition to urea increased the N losses by NH3-N volatilization by 8.8 and 23.3%, in relation to urea alone for clayey and sandy soils, respectively. Clayey soil was 38.4% more responsive than sandy soil to N fertilization. Ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate + calcium sulfate showed the best results, because it increased the corn yield in clayey soil and contributed to reductions in NH3-N emissions of 84 and 80% in relation to urea, respectively. Full article
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13 pages, 1095 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Short-Term Grazing Intensity on the Plant Diversity and Ecosystem Function of Alpine Steppe on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau
by Xinghai Hao, Juejie Yang, Shikui Dong, Hao Shen, Fengcai He, Yangliu Zhi, Emmanuella A. Kwaku, Danjia Tu, Shengyun Dou, Xueli Zhou and Zhengrong Yang
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1889; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141889 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1985
Abstract
Livestock grazing is the primary land use of grasslands worldwide. Grazing has been asserted to alter grassland ecosystem functions, such as productivity, nutrient cycling, and biodiversity conservation. However, few studies have focused on the impact of grazing intensity on the ecosystem multifunctionality (EMF) [...] Read more.
Livestock grazing is the primary land use of grasslands worldwide. Grazing has been asserted to alter grassland ecosystem functions, such as productivity, nutrient cycling, and biodiversity conservation. However, few studies have focused on the impact of grazing intensity on the ecosystem multifunctionality (EMF) of alpine grasslands. We conducted a field experiment of manipulating sheep grazing intensity effects on alpine steppe by surveying plant community characteristics and ecosystem functions. Our results showed that plant community composition was altered with increasing grazing intensity, and the dominant species shifted from grasses and sedges to forbs. EMF was the highest under no grazing (CK) and the lowest under heavy grazing (HG), but there was insignificant difference between CK and HG. HG significantly decreased some indicators that reflected nutrient cycling functions, such as soil available nitrogen, plant leaf nitrogen (PN) and phosphorus content (PP). Furthermore, plant diversity had strong correlations with SOC, total nitrogen (TN), and PN. The results could provide scientific bases for biodiversity conservation and sustainable grazing management of alpine steppe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Grassland Diversity and Ecological Restoration)
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13 pages, 2696 KiB  
Article
Stimulation of Germination of Freshly Collected and Cold-Stored Seeds of Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.
by Maja Šćepanović, Laura Košćak, Laura Pismarović and Valentina Šoštarčić
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1888; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141888 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1459
Abstract
Herbicides are the most commonly used means of controlling the growth of Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. Their constant use has led to the development of resistant populations. They can be evaluated by studying seed germination and the corresponding grown plants, but A. artemisiifolia exhibits [...] Read more.
Herbicides are the most commonly used means of controlling the growth of Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. Their constant use has led to the development of resistant populations. They can be evaluated by studying seed germination and the corresponding grown plants, but A. artemisiifolia exhibits seed dormancy, preventing germination and delaying research. Here, we developed a simple and rapid method to stimulate germination of freshly collected or stored A. artemisiifolia seeds. The germination of A. artemisiifolia freshly collected/stored seeds was evaluated after storage, stratification, and chemical treatments (ethephon, gibberellic acid (GA3), thiourea, KNO3). Ethephon or ethephon + GA3 improved freshly collected seed germination by 88 and 95%, respectively, and germination of stored seeds by 78 and 80%, respectively. In addition, placing the seeds of A. artemisiifolia in ethephon, GA3, ethephon + GA3, or thiourea solutions caused the freshly collected seeds to germinate faster than stored seeds or nontreated seeds. In contrast, the conditioning of seeds in these solutions favored germination of stored seeds, especially when ethephon + GA3 or GA3 was used. Imbibition of the freshly collected A. artemisiifolia seeds in a mixture of ethephon and GA3 can effectively overcome primary dormancy when rapid experimental results are needed. For seeds requiring prolonged storage, conditioning in ethephon, GA3, or thiourea solutions may be applied to promote germination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Investigators in Plant Sciences)
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20 pages, 11746 KiB  
Article
Identification of Spring Wheat with Superior Agronomic Performance under Contrasting Nitrogen Managements Using Linear Phenotypic Selection Indices
by Muhammad Iqbal, Kassa Semagn, J. Jesus Céron-Rojas, José Crossa, Diego Jarquin, Reka Howard, Brian L. Beres, Klaus Strenzke, Izabela Ciechanowska and Dean Spaner
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1887; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141887 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1720
Abstract
Both the Linear Phenotypic Selection Index (LPSI) and the Restrictive Linear Phenotypic Selection Index (RLPSI) have been widely used to select parents and progenies, but the effect of economic weights on the selection parameters (the expected genetic gain, response to selection, and the [...] Read more.
Both the Linear Phenotypic Selection Index (LPSI) and the Restrictive Linear Phenotypic Selection Index (RLPSI) have been widely used to select parents and progenies, but the effect of economic weights on the selection parameters (the expected genetic gain, response to selection, and the correlation between the indices and genetic merits) have not been investigated in detail. Here, we (i) assessed combinations of 2304 economic weights using four traits (maturity, plant height, grain yield and grain protein content) recorded under four organically (low nitrogen) and five conventionally (high nitrogen) managed environments, (ii) compared single-trait and multi-trait selection indices (LPSI vs. RLPSI by imposing restrictions to the expected genetic gain of either yield or grain protein content), and (iii) selected a subset of about 10% spring wheat cultivars that performed very well under organic and/or conventional management systems. The multi-trait selection indices, with and without imposing restrictions, were superior to single trait selection. However, the selection parameters differed quite a lot depending on the economic weights, which suggests the need for optimizing the weights. Twenty-two of the 196 cultivars that showed superior performance under organic and/or conventional management systems were consistently selected using all five of the selected economic weights, and at least two of the selection scenarios. The selected cultivars belonged to the Canada Western Red Spring (16 cultivars), the Canada Northern Hard Red (3), and the Canada Prairie Spring Red (3), and required 83–93 days to maturity, were 72–100 cm tall, and produced from 4.0 to 6.2 t ha−1 grain yield with 14.6–17.7% GPC. The selected cultivars would be highly useful, not only as potential trait donors for breeding under an organic management system, but also for other studies, including nitrogen use efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cereals Genetic Resources and Improvement)
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19 pages, 6308 KiB  
Article
The Computational Preventive Potential of the Rare Flavonoid, Patuletin, Isolated from Tagetes patula, against SARS-CoV-2
by Ahmed M. Metwaly, Eslam B. Elkaeed, Bshra A. Alsfouk, Abdulrahman M. Saleh, Ahmad E. Mostafa and Ibrahim H. Eissa
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1886; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141886 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1529
Abstract
The rare flavonoid, patuletin, was isolated from the flowers of Tagetes patula growing in Egypt. The rarity of the isolated compound inspired us to scrutinize its preventive effect against COVID-19 utilizing a multi-step computational approach. Firstly, a structural similarity study was carried out [...] Read more.
The rare flavonoid, patuletin, was isolated from the flowers of Tagetes patula growing in Egypt. The rarity of the isolated compound inspired us to scrutinize its preventive effect against COVID-19 utilizing a multi-step computational approach. Firstly, a structural similarity study was carried out against nine ligands of nine SARS-CoV-2 proteins. The results showed a large structural similarity between patuletin and F86, the ligand of SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). Then, a 3D-Flexible alignment study of patuletin and F86 verified the proposed similarity. To determine the binding opportunity, patuletin was docked against the RdRp showing a correct binding inside its active pocket with an energy of −20 kcal/mol that was comparable to that of F86 (−23 kcal/mol). Following, several MD simulations as well as MM-PBSA studies authenticated the accurate binding of patuletin in the RdRp via the correct dynamic and energetic behaviors over 100 ns. Additionally, in silico ADMET studies showed the general safety and drug-likeness of patuletin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Phytochemicals on Crop Protection and Drug Development)
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22 pages, 1197 KiB  
Review
Anticancer Potential and Other Pharmacological Properties of Prunus armeniaca L.: An Updated Overview
by Dusanka Kitic, Bojana Miladinovic, Milica Randjelovic, Agnieszka Szopa, Javad Sharifi-Rad, Daniela Calina and Veronique Seidel
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1885; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141885 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 9573
Abstract
Prunus armeniaca L. (Rosaceae)-syn. Amygdalus armeniaca (L.) Dumort., Armeniaca armeniaca (L.) Huth, Armeniaca vulgaris Lam is commonly known as the apricot tree. The plant is thought to originate from the northern, north-western, and north-eastern provinces of China, although some data show that it [...] Read more.
Prunus armeniaca L. (Rosaceae)-syn. Amygdalus armeniaca (L.) Dumort., Armeniaca armeniaca (L.) Huth, Armeniaca vulgaris Lam is commonly known as the apricot tree. The plant is thought to originate from the northern, north-western, and north-eastern provinces of China, although some data show that it may also come from Korea or Japan. The apricot fruit is used medicinally to treat a variety of ailments, including use as an antipyretic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, emetic, and ophthalmic remedy. The Chinese and Korean pharmacopeias describe the apricot seed as an herbal medicinal product. Various parts of the apricot plant are used worldwide for their anticancer properties, either as a primary remedy in traditional medicine or as a complementary or alternative medicine. The purpose of this review was to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on ethnobotanical data, bioactive phytochemicals, anticancer potential, pharmacological applications, and toxicology of the genus Prunus armeniaca, thus providing new perspectives on future research directions. Included data were obtained from online databases such as PubMed/Medline, Google Scholar, Science direct, and Wiley Online Library. Multiple anticancer mechanisms have been identified in in vitro and in vivo studies, the most important mechanisms being apoptosis, antiproliferation, and cytotoxicity. The anticancer properties are probably mediated by the contained bioactive compounds, which can activate various anticancer mechanisms and signaling pathways such as tumor suppressor proteins that reduce the proliferation of tumor cells. Other pharmacological properties resulting from the analysis of experimental studies include neuroprotective, cardioprotective, antioxidant, immunostimulatory, antihyperlipidemic, antibacterial, and antifungal effects. In addition, data were provided on the toxicity of amygdalin, a compound found in apricot kernel seeds, which limits the long-term use of complementary/alternative products derived from P. armeniaca. This updated review showed that bioactive compounds derived from P. armeniaca are promising compounds for future research due to their important pharmacological properties, especially anticancer. A detailed analysis of the chemical structure of these compounds and their cytotoxicity should be carried out in future research. In addition, translational pharmacological studies are required for the correct determination of pharmacologically active doses in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Review Papers in Phytochemistry)
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15 pages, 1419 KiB  
Article
Physiological Studies and Ultrastructure of Vigna sinensis L. and Helianthus annuus L. under Varying Levels of Nitrogen Supply
by Khadiga Alharbi, Samia A. Haroun, Amany M. Kazamel, Mohammed A. Abbas, Safia M. Ahmaida, Muneera AlKahtani, Latifa AlHusnain, Kotb A. Attia, Khaled Abdelaal and Rasha M. E. Gamel
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1884; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141884 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1409
Abstract
This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of different nitrogen fertilizers (potassium nitrate and/or urea) on shoot parameters, relative growth rate, net assimilation rate, and nitrogen fractions, as well as to conduct transmission electron microscopy, of Vigna sinensis L. (cowpea) and Helianthus [...] Read more.
This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of different nitrogen fertilizers (potassium nitrate and/or urea) on shoot parameters, relative growth rate, net assimilation rate, and nitrogen fractions, as well as to conduct transmission electron microscopy, of Vigna sinensis L. (cowpea) and Helianthus annuus L. (sunflower) leaves. A general improvement was recorded in the shoot parameters of the two plants, except for a decrease in the net assimilation rate by treatment of the two plants with 100% potassium nitrate plus 100% urea. The total nitrogen, insoluble protein, and total soluble nitrogen generally decreased in cowpea shoots from the treatments but increased in case of cowpea roots and sunflower shoots and roots. The examination of the ultrastructure changes in cowpea leaves confirmed the presence of two starch granules (in response to 100% potassium nitrate, 100% potassium nitrate plus 100% urea, and the control) and three granules (in response to 50% potassium nitrate plus 50% urea) and the disappearance of the starch granules (in response to 100% urea). Despite the starch granules not being detected in the leaves of the untreated sunflower, the treated plant showed the appearance of the highest number after treatment with 50% potassium nitrate plus 50% urea (2) and the most cell size with the 100% potassium nitrate treatment. Generally, our findings demonstrated that fertilization with 50% potassium nitrate plus 50% urea has the best influence on the growth parameters and nitrogen content in the two plants, but the magnitude of response was more pronounced in case of cowpea plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Management for Resilient Crop Production)
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18 pages, 4377 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Intercropped Maize Ecological Shading on Tea Foliar and Functional Components, Insect Pest Diversity and Soil Microbes
by Yan Zou, Fangyuan Shen, Yanni Zhong, Changning Lv, Sabin Saurav Pokharel, Wanping Fang and Fajun Chen
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1883; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141883 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2072
Abstract
Ecological shading fueled by maize intercropping in tea plantations can improve tea quality and flavor, and efficiently control the population occurrence of main insect pests. In this study, tea plants were intercropped with maize in two planting directions from east to west (i.e., [...] Read more.
Ecological shading fueled by maize intercropping in tea plantations can improve tea quality and flavor, and efficiently control the population occurrence of main insect pests. In this study, tea plants were intercropped with maize in two planting directions from east to west (i.e., south shading (SS)) and from north to south (i.e., east shading (ES) and west shading (WS)) to form ecological shading, and the effects on tea quality, and the population occurrence and community diversity of insect pests and soil microbes were studied. When compared with the non-shading control, the tea foliar nutrition contents of free fatty acids have been significantly affected by the ecological shading. SS, ES, and WS all significantly increased the foliar content of theanine and caffeine and the catechin quality index in the leaves of tea plants, simultaneously significantly reducing the foliar content of total polyphenols and the phenol/ammonia ratio. Moreover, ES and WS both significantly reduced the population occurrences of Empoasca onukii and Trialeurodes vaporariorum. Ecological shading significantly affected the composition of soil microbial communities in tea plantations, in which WS significantly reduced the diversity of soil microorganisms. Full article
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19 pages, 5732 KiB  
Article
A Rapid Method for Detecting Normal or Modified Plant and Algal Carbonic Anhydrase Activity Using Saccharomyces cerevisiae
by Ashwani K. Rai, Robert J. DiMario, Remmy W. Kasili, Michael Groszmann, Asaph B. Cousins, David Donze and James V. Moroney
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1882; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141882 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2509
Abstract
In recent years, researchers have attempted to improve photosynthesis by introducing components from cyanobacterial and algal CO2-concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) into terrestrial C3 plants. For these attempts to succeed, we need to understand the CCM components in more detail, especially carbonic [...] Read more.
In recent years, researchers have attempted to improve photosynthesis by introducing components from cyanobacterial and algal CO2-concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) into terrestrial C3 plants. For these attempts to succeed, we need to understand the CCM components in more detail, especially carbonic anhydrase (CA) and bicarbonate (HCO3) transporters. Heterologous complementation systems capable of detecting carbonic anhydrase activity (i.e., catalysis of the pH-dependent interconversion between CO2 and HCO3) or active HCO3 transport can be of great value in the process of introducing CCM components into terrestrial C3 plants. In this study, we generated a Saccharomyces cerevisiae CA knock-out (ΔNCE103 or ΔCA) that has a high-CO2-dependent phenotype (5% (v/v) CO2 in air). CAs produce HCO3 for anaplerotic pathways in S. cerevisiae; therefore, the unavailability of HCO3 for neutral lipid biosynthesis is a limitation for the growth of ΔCA in ambient levels of CO2 (0.04% (v/v) CO2 in air).  ΔCA can be complemented for growth at ambient levels of CO2 by expressing a CA from human red blood cells. ΔCA was also successfully complemented for growth at ambient levels of CO2 through the expression of CAs from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Arabidopsis thaliana. The ΔCA strain is also useful for investigating the activity of modified CAs, allowing for quick screening of modified CAs before putting them into the plants. CA activity in the complemented ΔCA strains can be probed using the Wilbur–Anderson assay and by isotope exchange membrane-inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS). Other potential uses for this new ΔCA-based screening system are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbonic Anhydrases and Carbon Metabolism in Plants)
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21 pages, 4875 KiB  
Article
Understanding and Comprehensive Evaluation of Cold Resistance in the Seedlings of Multiple Maize Genotypes
by Xiaoqiang Zhao, Cai Zhao, Yining Niu, Wun Chao, Wei He, Yifan Wang, Taotao Mao and Xiaodong Bai
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1881; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141881 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2435
Abstract
Maize is a cold-sensitive crop, and it exhibits severe retardation of growth and development when exposed to cold snaps during and right after seedling emergence. Although different agronomic, physiological, and molecular approaches have been tried to overcome the problems related to cold stress [...] Read more.
Maize is a cold-sensitive crop, and it exhibits severe retardation of growth and development when exposed to cold snaps during and right after seedling emergence. Although different agronomic, physiological, and molecular approaches have been tried to overcome the problems related to cold stress in recent years, the mechanisms causing cold resistance in maize are still unclear. Screening and breeding of varieties for cold resistance may be a sustainable option to boost maize production under low-temperature environments. Herein, seedlings of 39 different maize genotypes were treated under both 10 °C low temperature and 22 °C normal temperature conditions for 7 days, to assess the changes in seven growth parameters, two membrane characteristics, two reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, and four antioxidant enzymes activities. The changes in ten photosynthetic performances, one osmotic substance accumulation, and three polyamines (PAs) metabolisms were also measured. Results indicated that significant differences among genotypes, temperature treatments, and their interactions were found in 29 studied traits, and cold–stressed seedlings were capable to enhance their cold resistance by maintaining high levels of membrane stability index (66.07%); antioxidant enzymes activities including the activity of superoxide dismutase (2.44 Unit g−1 protein), peroxidase (1.65 Unit g−1 protein), catalase (0.65 μM min−1 g−1 protein), and ascorbate peroxidase (5.45 μM min−1 g−1 protein); chlorophyll (Chl) content, i.e., Chl a (0.36 mg g−1 FW) and Chl b (0.40 mg g−1 FW); photosynthetic capacity such as net photosynthetic rate (5.52 μM m−2 s−1) and ribulose 1,5–biphosphate carboxylase activity (6.57 M m−2 s−1); PAs concentration, mainly putrescine (274.89 nM g−1 FW), spermidine (52.69 nM g−1 FW), and spermine (45.81 nM g−1 FW), particularly under extended cold stress. Importantly, 16 traits can be good indicators for screening of cold–resistant genotypes of maize. Gene expression analysis showed that GRMZM2G059991, GRMZM2G089982, GRMZM2G088212, GRMZM2G396553, GRMZM2G120578, and GRMZM2G396856 involved in antioxidant enzymes activity and PAs metabolism, and these genes may be used for genetic modification to improve maize cold resistance. Moreover, seven strong cold–resistant genotypes were identified, and they can be used as parents in maize breeding programs to develop new varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant and Microbe Adaptations to Cold)
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18 pages, 992 KiB  
Review
Physiological and Molecular Responses of Woody Plants Exposed to Future Atmospheric CO2 Levels under Abiotic Stresses
by Ana Karla M. Lobo, Ingrid C. A. Catarino, Emerson A. Silva, Danilo C. Centeno and Douglas S. Domingues
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1880; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141880 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2790
Abstract
Climate change is mainly driven by the accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere in the last century. Plant growth is constantly challenged by environmental fluctuations including heat waves, severe drought and salinity, along with ozone accumulation in the atmosphere. [...] Read more.
Climate change is mainly driven by the accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere in the last century. Plant growth is constantly challenged by environmental fluctuations including heat waves, severe drought and salinity, along with ozone accumulation in the atmosphere. Food security is at risk in an increasing world population, and it is necessary to face the current and the expected effects of global warming. The effects of the predicted environment scenario of elevated CO2 concentration (e[CO2]) and more severe abiotic stresses have been scarcely investigated in woody plants, and an integrated view involving physiological, biochemical and molecular data is missing. This review highlights the effects of elevated CO2 in the metabolism of woody plants and the main findings of its interaction with abiotic stresses, including a molecular point of view, aiming to improve the understanding of how woody plants will face the predicted environmental conditions. Overall, e[CO2] stimulates photosynthesis and growth and attenuates mild to moderate abiotic stress in woody plants if root growth and nutrients are not limited. Moreover, e[CO2] does not induce acclimation in most tree species. Some high-throughput analyses involving omics techniques were conducted to better understand how these processes are regulated. Finally, knowledge gaps in the understanding of how the predicted climate condition will affect woody plant metabolism were identified, with the aim of improving the growth and production of this plant species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effect of Carbon Dioxide Concentration on Plant Physiology)
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16 pages, 3229 KiB  
Article
Identification of Putative Candidate Genes from Galphimia spp. Encoding Enzymes of the Galphimines Triterpenoids Synthesis Pathway with Anxiolytic and Sedative Effects
by Dianella Iglesias, Marcos de Donato Capote, Alfonso Méndez Tenorio, Ana Victoria Valdivia, Claudia Gutiérrez-García, Sujay Paul, Hafiz M. N. Iqbal, María Luisa Villarreal and Ashutosh Sharma
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141879 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1511
Abstract
Galphimia spp. is popularly used in Mexican traditional medicine. Some populations of Galphimia exert anxiolytic and sedative effects due to the presence of the modified triterpenoids galphimines. However, the galphimine synthesis pathway has not yet been elucidated. Hence, in this study, a comparative [...] Read more.
Galphimia spp. is popularly used in Mexican traditional medicine. Some populations of Galphimia exert anxiolytic and sedative effects due to the presence of the modified triterpenoids galphimines. However, the galphimine synthesis pathway has not yet been elucidated. Hence, in this study, a comparative transcriptome analysis between two contrasting populations of Galphimia spp., a galphimine-producer, and a non-galphimine-producer, is performed using RNA-Seq in the Illumina Next Seq 550 platform to identify putative candidates genes that encode enzymes of this metabolic pathway. Transcriptome functional annotation was performed using the Blast2GO in levels of gene ontology. For differential expression analysis, edgeR, pheatmap, and Genie3 library were used. To validate transcriptome data, qPCR was conducted. In producer and non-producer plants of both populations of Galphimia spp., most of the transcripts were grouped in the Molecular Function level of gene ontology. A total of 680 differentially expressed transcripts between producer and non-producer plants were detected. In galphimine-producer plants, a larger number of highly expressed transcripts related to acyclic and polycyclic terpene synthesis were identified. As putative candidate genes involved in the galphimine synthesis pathway, P450 family members and enzymes with kinase activity were identified. Full article
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19 pages, 2423 KiB  
Article
The Warps and Wefts of a Polyploidy Complex: Integrative Species Delimitation of the Diploid Leucanthemum (Compositae, Anthemideae) Representatives
by Tankred Ott, Maximilian Schall, Robert Vogt and Christoph Oberprieler
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1878; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141878 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1998
Abstract
Species delimitation—owing to the paramount role of the species rank in evolutionary, ecological, and nature conservation studies—is an essential contribution of taxonomy to biodiversity research. In an ‘integrative taxonomy’ approach to species delimitation on the diploid level, we searched for evolutionary significant units [...] Read more.
Species delimitation—owing to the paramount role of the species rank in evolutionary, ecological, and nature conservation studies—is an essential contribution of taxonomy to biodiversity research. In an ‘integrative taxonomy’ approach to species delimitation on the diploid level, we searched for evolutionary significant units (the warps and wefts) that gave rise to the polyploid complex of European ox-eye daisies (Leucanthemum; Compositae-Anthemideae). Species discovery and validation methods based on genetic, ecological, geographical, and morphometric datasets were applied to test the currently accepted diploid morpho-species, i.e., morphologically delimited species, in Leucanthemum. Novel approaches were taken in the analyses of RADseq data (consensus clustering), morphometrics of reconstructed leaf silhouettes from digitized herbarium specimens, and quantification of species-distribution overlaps. We show that 17 of the 20 Leucanthemum morpho-species are supported by genetic evidence. The taxonomic rank of the remaining three morpho-species was resolved by combining genealogic, ecologic, geographic, and morphologic data in the framework of von Wettstein’s morpho-geographical species concept. We herewith provide a methodological pipeline for the species delimitation in an ‘integrative taxonomy’ fashion using sources of evidence from genealogical, morphological, ecological, and geographical data in the philosophy of De Queiroz’s “Unified Species Concept”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Taxonomy of Plants)
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16 pages, 3100 KiB  
Article
The Imbibition of Pea (Pisum sativum L.) Seeds in Silver Nitrate Reduces Seed Germination, Seedlings Development and Their Metabolic Profile
by Joanna Szablińska-Piernik, Lesław Bernard Lahuta, Karolina Stałanowska and Marcin Horbowicz
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1877; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141877 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2485
Abstract
The use of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) on plants is accompanied by the occurrence of Ag+ ions, so the research of the effects of both on plants should be related. Therefore, in our study, the effects of Ag NPs suspension (containing Ag [...] Read more.
The use of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) on plants is accompanied by the occurrence of Ag+ ions, so the research of the effects of both on plants should be related. Therefore, in our study, the effects of Ag NPs suspension (containing Ag0 at 20 mg/L) and AgNO3 solutions (with the concentration of Ag+ ions at 20 and 50 mg/L) on the seed germination and early seedling growth (4 days) of pea (Pisum sativum L.) were compared. Both Ag NPs and AgNO3 did not decrease seed germination, and even stimulated seedling growth. In seedlings developing in the Ag NPs suspension, an increase in monosaccharides, homoserine and malate was noted. In the next experiment, the effect of short-term seed imbibition (8 h) in AgNO3 at elevated concentrations, ranging from 100 to 1000 mg/L, on the further seed germination, seedling growth (in absence of AgNO3) and their polar metabolic profiles were evaluated. The seed imbibition in AgNO3 solutions at 500 and 1000 mg/L reduced seed germination, inhibited seedlings’ growth and caused morphological deformations (twisting and folding of root). The above phytotoxic effects were accompanied by changes in amino acids and soluble carbohydrates profiles, in both sprouts and cotyledons. In deformed sprouts, the content of homoserine and asparagine (major amino acids) decreased, while alanine, glutamic acid, glutamine, proline, GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) and sucrose increased. The increase in sucrose coincided with a decrease in glucose and fructose. Sprouts, but not cotyledons, also accumulated malic acid and phosphoric acid. Additionally, cotyledons developed from seeds imbibed with AgNO3 contained raffinose and stachyose, which were not detectable in sprouts and cotyledons of control seedlings. The obtained results suggest the possible disturbances in the mobilization of primary (oligosaccharides) and presumably major storage materials (starch, proteins) as well as in the primary metabolism of developing seedlings. Full article
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10 pages, 2603 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Plant Stress Hormones and Biotic Elicitors on Cyclotide Production in Viola uliginosa Cell Suspension Cultures
by Blazej Slazak, Aleksandra Jędrzejska, Bogna Badyra, Reza Shariatgorji, Anna Nilsson, Per E. Andrén and Ulf Göransson
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1876; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141876 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1732
Abstract
Cyclotides are macrocycle peptides produced by plants from several families, including Violaceae. These compounds have the potential for applications in medicine, bioengineering and crop protection thanks to their multiple biological activities. In most cases, cyclotides are extracted from plant material. Plant cell culture [...] Read more.
Cyclotides are macrocycle peptides produced by plants from several families, including Violaceae. These compounds have the potential for applications in medicine, bioengineering and crop protection thanks to their multiple biological activities. In most cases, cyclotides are extracted from plant material. Plant cell culture provides a viable and sustainable form of plant biomass production Cyclotides are host defense peptides. The aim of the current study was to test whether different plant stress hormones and biological elicitors have effects on cyclotide production in Viola uliginosa suspension cultures. Different concentrations of jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA), abscisic acid (ABA) and neutralized pathogens were tested. The cyclotide production was assessed using MALDI-MS. Five major peptides produced by V. uliginosa cultures were chosen for analysis, of which one was sequenced de novo. The treatments had little influence on the suspension’s growth, with the exception of 100 μM SA, which enhanced the biomass increase, and 100 μM ABA, which was toxic. Significant increases in the production of three cyclotides (viul M, cyO13 and cyO3) were observed in suspensions primed with JA (50 μM, 100 μM, 200 μM) after 14 days of culturing. Biotic elicitors had no observable effect on cyclotide production. The current study indicates that some cyclotides in V. uliginosa are triggered in response to JA. The stress plant hormones can be used to enhance plant cell culture-based production systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Violaceae Research)
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10 pages, 1613 KiB  
Article
Hirsutanone Isolated from the Bark of Alnus japonica Attenuates Melanogenesis via Dual Inhibition of Tyrosinase Activity and Expression of Melanogenic Proteins
by Takuhiro Uto, Nguyen Huu Tung and Yukihiro Shoyama
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1875; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141875 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1488
Abstract
Hirsutanone (Hir) and oregonin (Ore) are diarylheptanoids isolated from the bark of Alnus japonica. In this study, we investigated the anti-melanogenic activity of Hir and Ore in B16-F1 murine melanoma and normal human epidermal melanocytes (HEMn-DP) and elucidated the mechanisms of action. [...] Read more.
Hirsutanone (Hir) and oregonin (Ore) are diarylheptanoids isolated from the bark of Alnus japonica. In this study, we investigated the anti-melanogenic activity of Hir and Ore in B16-F1 murine melanoma and normal human epidermal melanocytes (HEMn-DP) and elucidated the mechanisms of action. In B16-F1 cells, Hir and Ore suppressed melanin synthesis induced by α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) without cytotoxicity. The inhibitory effect of Hir on melanin synthesis was much stronger than that of Ore. In addition, Hir reduced melanin content in HEMn-DP cells. As tyrosinase is a key enzyme in melanin synthesis, the effect of Hir on tyrosinase activity was assessed. The results demonstrated that Hir partially decreased tyrosinase activity and intracellular tyrosinase activity. Moreover, Hir suppressed the protein expression of melanogenic enzymes, including tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)-1, and TRP-2, leading to reduced melanin biosynthesis. Hir also led to the suppression of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) expression, which control the expression of melanogenic enzymes. These results suggest that Hir suppressed melanin synthesis by dual inhibition of tyrosinase activity and the CREB/MITF pathway leading to the expression of melanogenic enzymes and may be a potent cosmetic and therapeutic agent for hyperpigmentation disorders. Full article
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16 pages, 3978 KiB  
Article
Ecological Niche Modeling of Water Lily (Nymphaea L.) Species in Australia under Climate Change to Ascertain Habitat Suitability for Conservation Measures
by John M. Nzei, Virginia M. Mwanzia, Boniface K. Ngarega, Paul M. Musili, Qing-Feng Wang, Jin-Ming Chen and Zhi-Zhong Li
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1874; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141874 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2053
Abstract
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects a global temperature rise of 4.3 ± 0.7 °C by 2100 and an extinction of 8.5% in one out of every six species. Australia’s aquatic ecosystem is no exception; habitat loss, fragmentation, and loss of [...] Read more.
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects a global temperature rise of 4.3 ± 0.7 °C by 2100 and an extinction of 8.5% in one out of every six species. Australia’s aquatic ecosystem is no exception; habitat loss, fragmentation, and loss of biodiversity are being experienced. As the center for Nymphaea species distribution, it presents the culturally, ecologically, and scientifically important genus as the best candidate for habitat suitability assessment in climate change, whose habitat suitability is presumed to decline. The models were run according to the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) method, using one general circulation model (GCM). Projections were made for the current, past, and future in medium (4.5) and high (8.5) representative concentration pathways. Significantly, bio2 and bio15 were highly preferred among the species. Less distribution was noted in West Australia compared to the north, east, and south of the continent, while north of the continent in Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland indicate more habitat contractions compared to the east and southeast of Queensland and New South Wales, although it receives high precipitation. Generally, the species respond variably to both temperature and precipitation variables which is a key species response factor for planners and decision makers in species habitat and biodiversity conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change)
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21 pages, 4573 KiB  
Article
Altered Developmental and Metabolic Gene Expression in Basil Interspecific Hybrids
by Saumya Shah, Shubhra Rastogi, Divya Vashisth, Prashant Kumar Rout, Raj Kishori Lal, Umesh Chandra Lavania and Ajit Kumar Shasany
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1873; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141873 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1869
Abstract
To understand the altered developmental changes and associated gene expression in inter-genomic combinations, a study was planned in two diverse yet closely related species of Ocimum, targeting their hybrid F1 and amphidiploids. The existing developmental variations between F1 and amphidiploids was analyzed through [...] Read more.
To understand the altered developmental changes and associated gene expression in inter-genomic combinations, a study was planned in two diverse yet closely related species of Ocimum, targeting their hybrid F1 and amphidiploids. The existing developmental variations between F1 and amphidiploids was analyzed through phenotypical and anatomical assessments. The absence of 8330 transcripts of F1 in amphidiploids and the exclusive presence of two transcripts related to WNK lysine-deficient protein kinase and geranylgeranyl transferase type-2 subunit beta 1-like proteins in amphidiploids provided a set of genes to compare the suppressed and activated functions between F1 and amphidiploids. The estimation of eugenol and methyleugenol, flavonoid, lignin and chlorophyll content was correlated with the average FPKM and differential gene expression values and further validated through qRT-PCR. Differentially expressed genes of stomatal patterning and development explained the higher density of stomata in F1 and the larger size of stomata in amphidiploids. Gene expression study of several transcription factors putatively involved in the growth and developmental processes of plants clearly amalgamates the transcriptome data linking the phenotypic differences in F1 and amphidiploids. This investigation describes the influence of interspecific hybridization on genes and transcription factors leading to developmental changes and alleviation of intergenomic instability in amphidiploids. Full article
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11 pages, 835 KiB  
Article
Rhizospheric Actinomycetes Revealed Antifungal and Plant-Growth-Promoting Activities under Controlled Environment
by Hazem S. Elshafie and Ippolito Camele
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1872; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141872 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2300
Abstract
Actinomycetes has large habitats and can be isolated from terrestrial soil, rhizospheres of plant roots, and marine sediments. Actinomycetes produce several bioactive secondary metabolites with antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. In this study, some Actinomycetes strains were isolated from the rhizosphere zone of [...] Read more.
Actinomycetes has large habitats and can be isolated from terrestrial soil, rhizospheres of plant roots, and marine sediments. Actinomycetes produce several bioactive secondary metabolites with antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. In this study, some Actinomycetes strains were isolated from the rhizosphere zone of four different plant species: rosemary, acacia, strawberry, and olive. The antagonistic activity of all isolates was screened in vitro against Escherichia coli and Bacillus megaterium. Isolates with the strongest bioactivity potential were selected and molecularly identified as Streptomyces sp., Streptomyces atratus, and Arthrobacter humicola. The growth-promoting activity of the selected Actinomycetes isolates was in vivo evaluated on tomato plants and for disease control against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. The results demonstrated that all bacterized plants with the studied Actinomycetes isolates were able to promote the tomato seedlings’ growth, showing high values of ecophysiological parameters. In particular, the bacterized seedlings with Streptomyces sp. and A. humicola showed low disease incidence of S. sclerotiorum infection (0.3% and 0.2%, respectively), whereas those bacterized with S. atratus showed a moderate disease incidence (7.6%) compared with the positive control (36.8%). In addition, the ability of the studied Actinomycetes to produce extracellular hydrolytic enzymes was verified. The results showed that A. humicola was able to produce chitinase, glucanase, and protease, whereas Streptomyces sp. and S. atratus produced amylase and pectinase at high and moderate levels, respectively. This study highlights the value of the studied isolates in providing bioactive metabolites and extracellular hydrolytic enzymes, indicating their potential application as fungal-biocontrol agents. Full article
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15 pages, 3508 KiB  
Article
LC/MS Profiling and Gold Nanoparticle Formulation of Major Metabolites from Origanum majorana as Antibacterial and Antioxidant Potentialities
by Ahmed H. El-Ghorab, Fathy A. Behery, Mohamed A. Abdelgawad, Ibrahim Hotan Alsohaimi, Arafa Musa, Ehab M. Mostafa, Hamud A. Altaleb, Ibrahim O. Althobaiti, Mohamed Hamza, Mohammed H. Elkomy, Ahmed A. Hamed, Ahmed M. Sayed, Hossam M. Hassan and Mahmoud A. Aboseada
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1871; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141871 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1898
Abstract
Origanum majoranum L. is a Lamiaceae medicinal plant with culinary and ethnomedical applications. Its biological and phytochemical profiles have been extensively researched. Accordingly, this study aimed to investigate the chemical composition and the antibacterial and antioxidant properties of O. majoranum high features, as [...] Read more.
Origanum majoranum L. is a Lamiaceae medicinal plant with culinary and ethnomedical applications. Its biological and phytochemical profiles have been extensively researched. Accordingly, this study aimed to investigate the chemical composition and the antibacterial and antioxidant properties of O. majoranum high features, as well as to search for techniques for activity optimization. A metabolomics study of the crude extract of O. majoranum using liquid chromatography-high-resolution electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC ± HR ± ESI ± MS) was conducted. Five fractions (petroleum ether, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, and aqueous) were derived from the total extract of the aerial parts. Different chromatographic methods and NMR analysis were utilized to purify and identify the isolated phenolics (high features). Moreover, the antimicrobial, antibiofilm, and antioxidant activity of phenolics were performed. Results showed that metabolomic profiling of the crude extract of O. majoranum aerial parts revealed the presence of a variety of phytochemicals, predominantly phenolics, resulting in the isolation and identification of seven high-feature compounds comprising two phenolic acids, rosmarinic and caffeic acids, one phenolic diterpene, 7-methoxyepirosmanol, in addition to four flavonoids, quercetin, hesperitin, hesperidin, and luteolin. On the other hand, 7-methoxyepirosmanol (OM1) displayed the most antimicrobial and antioxidant potential. Such a phenolic principal activity improvement seems to be established after loading on gold nanoparticles. Full article
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14 pages, 2183 KiB  
Article
Role of Poly(ADP-Ribose) Polymerase (PARP) Enzyme in the Systemic Acquired Acclimation Induced by Light Stress in Phaseolus vulgaris L. Plants
by Luca Vitale, Ermenegilda Vitale, Anna Rita Bianchi, Anna De Maio and Carmen Arena
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1870; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141870 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1351
Abstract
Plants are able to acclimate to environmental constraints through functional modifications that may also occur in tissues that are not directly exposed to stress. This process is termed “systemic acquired acclimation.” The present study aims to evaluate the involvement of PolyADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) [...] Read more.
Plants are able to acclimate to environmental constraints through functional modifications that may also occur in tissues that are not directly exposed to stress. This process is termed “systemic acquired acclimation.” The present study aims to evaluate the involvement of PolyADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) protein in the acclimation process to high light (HL) stress in Phaseolus vulgaris plants. For this purpose, some leaves located at the top of the plant, in the apical position, were directly exposed to HL (“inducing” leaves), while others on the same plant, distal from the top, continued to be exposed to growth light (“receiving” leaves) to verify the hypothesis that an “alert” message may be transferred from injured tissues to distal ones. Biochemical and eco-physiological analyses, namely PARP activity, H2O2 and water- and fat-soluble antioxidants (i.e., ascorbic acid, tocopherol, glutathione (GSH), phenols, carotenoids, etc.) content, and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements were performed on both “inducing” and “receiving” leaves. Even if no change in PARP expression was found, its activity increased in “receiving” unstressed leaves in response to the light stress duration experimented by “inducing” leaves, while antioxidant capacity declined. When the “receiving” leaves were exposed to HL, the PARP activity returned to the control value, while antioxidant capacity photosynthetic electron transport rate (Jf) decreased and increased, respectively, compared to Control. Our results seem to show an acclimation pathway triggered in remote tissues not yet subjected to stress, likely involving a reactive oxygen species wave activating the PARP enzyme in a mechanism still to be clarified. In addition, the increased tolerance of plants directly exposed to HL could implicate a boosted synthesis of soluble antioxidants accompanied by a reduction of PARP activity to reduce excessive consumption of NAD(P). Full article
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24 pages, 7108 KiB  
Article
Gene Losses and Plastome Degradation in the Hemiparasitic Species Plicosepalus acaciae and Plicosepalus curviflorus: Comparative Analyses and Phylogenetic Relationships among Santalales Members
by Widad AL-Juhani, Noha T. Al Thagafi and Rahmah N. Al-Qthanin
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1869; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141869 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1612
Abstract
The Plicosepalus genus includes hemiparasitic mistletoe and belongs to the Loranthaceae family, and it has several medicinal uses. In the present study, we sequenced the complete plastomes of two species, Plicosepalus acaciae and Plicosepalus curviflorus, and compared them with the plastomes of [...] Read more.
The Plicosepalus genus includes hemiparasitic mistletoe and belongs to the Loranthaceae family, and it has several medicinal uses. In the present study, we sequenced the complete plastomes of two species, Plicosepalus acaciae and Plicosepalus curviflorus, and compared them with the plastomes of photosynthetic species (hemiparasites) and nonphotosynthetic species (holoparasites) in the order Santalales. The complete chloroplast genomes of P. acaciae and P. curviflorus are circular molecules with lengths of 120,181 bp and 121,086 bp, respectively, containing 106 and 108 genes and 63 protein-coding genes, including 25 tRNA and 4 rRNA genes for each species. We observed a reduction in the genome size of P. acaciae and P. curviflorus and the loss of certain genes, although this reduction was less than that in the hemiparasite and holoparasitic cp genomes of the Santalales order. Phylogenetic analysis supported the taxonomic state of P. acaciae and P. curviflorus as members of the family Loranthaceae and tribe Lorantheae; however, the taxonomic status of certain tribes of Loranthaceae must be reconsidered and the species that belong to it must be verified. Furthermore, available chloroplast genome data of parasitic plants could help to strengthen efforts in weed management and encourage biotechnology research to improve host resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Plants—Recent Advances and Perspectives)
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18 pages, 3792 KiB  
Article
Exogenously Applied GA3 Enhances Morphological Parameters of Tolerant and Sensitive Cyclamen persicum Genotypes under Ambient Temperature and Heat Stress Conditions
by Mihaiela Cornea-Cipcigan, Mirela Irina Cordea, Rodica Mărgăoan and Doru Pamfil
Plants 2022, 11(14), 1868; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11141868 - 18 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1290
Abstract
Cyclamen genus is part of the Primulaceae family consisting of 24 species widely cultivated as ornamental and medicinal plants. They also possess high plasticity in terms of adaptability to alternating environmental conditions. In this regard, the present study investigates the germination and morphological [...] Read more.
Cyclamen genus is part of the Primulaceae family consisting of 24 species widely cultivated as ornamental and medicinal plants. They also possess high plasticity in terms of adaptability to alternating environmental conditions. In this regard, the present study investigates the germination and morphological parameters of heat-tolerant and heat-sensitive Cyclamen persicum accessions in the presence of different GA3 solutions (0, 30, 70 and 90 mg/L) under ambient temperature and heat stress conditions. Heat-tolerant genotypes, mainly C3-Smartiz Victoria (6.42%), C15-Merengue magenta (6.47%) and C16-Metis silverleaf (5.12%) had the highest germination rate with 90 mg/L GA3 treatment compared with control. Regarding heat-sensitive genotypes, C11-Verano (5.11%) and C13-Metis Origami (4.28%) had the lowest values in mean germination time, along with the Petticoat genotypes C1 (73.3%) and C2 (80.0%) with a high germination percentage. Heat-tolerant genotypes positively responded to GA3 (70 and 90 mg/L) even under heat stress conditions, by their higher values in plant height, an ascending trend also seen in heat-sensitive genotypes under GA3 treatment (70 and 90 mg/L). According to the hierarchical clustering, several heat-tolerant genotypes showed peculiar behavior under heat stress conditions, namely C3 (Smartiz Victoria), C7 (Halios falbala) and C8 (Latinia pipoca) which proved to be susceptible to heat stress even under GA3 application, compared with the other genotypes which showed tolerance to higher temperatures. In the case of heat-sensitive genotypes, C4 (Smartiz violet fonce), C6 (Metis blank pur), C11 (Verano) and C13 (Metis origami) possessed higher positive or negative values compared with the other heat-sensitive genotypes with increased doses of GA3. These genotypes were shown to be less affected by heat stress, suggesting their positive response to hormone treatment. In conclusion, the above-mentioned genotypes, particularly heat-tolerant C15 and heat-sensitive C2 with the highest germination capacity and development can be selected as heat-resistant genotypes to be deposited in gene banks and used in further amelioration programs under biotic and/or abiotic stresses to develop resistant genotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Crops under Stresses)
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