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Plants, Volume 11, Issue 16 (August-2 2022) – 109 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Taraxacum kok-saghyz (Tks), also known as the Russian dandelion, is a recognized alternative source of natural rubber. Histone-Modifying Genes (HMGs) catalyze a series of post-translational modifications that affect chromatin organization and conformation, which in turn regulate gene expression. In this study, we present the first analysis of HMGs in Tks. Structure analysis of Tks HMG proteins showed the presence of novel domains, suggesting a divergence from the canonical HMG model. Analysis of publicly available transcriptome datasets and spatial gene expression allowed us to identify several HMGs with a putative role in metabolite biosynthesis. Overall, our work sets the premises for the functional characterization of epigenetic modifications in rubber-producing plants. View this paper
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Review
Multi-Omics Approaches to Study Molecular Mechanisms in Cannabis sativa
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2182; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162182 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.), also known as hemp, is one of the oldest cultivated crops, grown for both its use in textile and cordage production, and its unique chemical properties. However, due to the legislation regulating cannabis cultivation, it is not a [...] Read more.
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.), also known as hemp, is one of the oldest cultivated crops, grown for both its use in textile and cordage production, and its unique chemical properties. However, due to the legislation regulating cannabis cultivation, it is not a well characterized crop, especially regarding molecular and genetic pathways. Only recently have regulations begun to ease enough to allow more widespread cannabis research, which, coupled with the availability of cannabis genome sequences, is fuelling the interest of the scientific community. In this review, we provide a summary of cannabis molecular resources focusing on the most recent and relevant genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics approaches and investigations. Multi-omics methods are discussed, with this combined approach being a powerful tool to identify correlations between biological processes and metabolic pathways across diverse omics layers, and to better elucidate the relationships between cannabis sub-species. The correlations between genotypes and phenotypes, as well as novel metabolites with therapeutic potential are also explored in the context of cannabis breeding programs. However, further studies are needed to fully elucidate the complex metabolomic matrix of this crop. For this reason, some key points for future research activities are discussed, relying on multi-omics approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Omics)
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Review
The Modulatory Effects of Non-Thermal Plasma on Seed’s Morphology, Germination and Genetics—A Review
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2181; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162181 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 443
Abstract
Non-thermal plasma (NTP) is a novel and promising technique in the agricultural field that has the potential to improve vegetal material by modulating the expression of various genes involved in seed germination, plant immune response to abiotic stress, resistance to pathogens, and growth. [...] Read more.
Non-thermal plasma (NTP) is a novel and promising technique in the agricultural field that has the potential to improve vegetal material by modulating the expression of various genes involved in seed germination, plant immune response to abiotic stress, resistance to pathogens, and growth. Seeds are most frequently treated, in order to improve their ability to growth and evolve, but the whole plant can also be treated for a fast adaptive response to stress factors (heat, cold, pathogens). This review focuses mainly on the application of NTP on seeds. Non-thermal plasma treated seeds present both external and internal changes. The external ones include the alterations of seed coat to improve hydrophilicity and the internal ones refer to interfere with cellular processes that are later visible in metabolic and plant biology modifications. The usage of plasma aims to decrease the usage of fertilizers and pesticides in order to reduce the negative impact on natural ecosystem and to reduce the costs of production. Full article
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Article
Tree Species Composition and Forest Community Types along Environmental Gradients in Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary, Myanmar: Implications for Action Prioritization in Conservation
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2180; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162180 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 465
Abstract
The identification of forest community types is essential for prioritizing choices and targets in species and community conservation purposes amid climate change impacts on forest community dynamics. Here, we determined the tree species composition, species diversity, and the forest community types across contrasting [...] Read more.
The identification of forest community types is essential for prioritizing choices and targets in species and community conservation purposes amid climate change impacts on forest community dynamics. Here, we determined the tree species composition, species diversity, and the forest community types across contrasting topographic and edaphic conditions in Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary (HWS), Myanmar. All tree species with diameter at breast height (DBH) ≥10 cm were recorded in 66 plots (625 m2), from which the species diversity, density, frequency, dominance, and importance value (IV) of each tree species were measured. The soil hardness (Hd), bulk density (BD), moisture content (MC), organic matter content (OM), texture, pH, total N, and available P, K, Ca, Na, and Mg concentrations were also analyzed. The elevation (ELV) and slope (SLP) were also measured as the topographic factors. Cluster analysis resulted in five distinct forest communities and the soil Ca, Mg, clay proportion, soil hardness, and elevation were the major influencing factors. The species diversity in HWS ranged from low to very high relative values, with 209 tree species belonging to 119 genera and 55 families. Identification of these community types and understanding the diversity levels and major factors influencing the community structure may play a key role in the planning, prioritization, and implementation of species and community conservation strategies amid the unpredictable impacts of climate change on forest community dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Nature-Based Solutions)
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Article
The ABCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE (ABI) 4 Transcription Factor Is Stabilized by Stress, ABA and Phosphorylation
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2179; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162179 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 380
Abstract
The Arabidopsis transcription factor ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE 4 (ABI4) is a key player in the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathway and is involved in plant response to abiotic stress and development. Expression of the ABI4 gene is tightly regulated, with low [...] Read more.
The Arabidopsis transcription factor ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE 4 (ABI4) is a key player in the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathway and is involved in plant response to abiotic stress and development. Expression of the ABI4 gene is tightly regulated, with low basal expression. Maximal transcript levels occur during the seed maturation and early seed germination stages. Moreover, ABI4 is an unstable, lowly expressed protein. Here, we studied factors affecting the stability of the ABI4 protein using transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing 35S::HA-FLAG-ABI4-eGFP. Despite the expression of eGFP-tagged ABI4 being driven by the highly active 35S CaMV promoter, low steady-state levels of ABI4 were detected in the roots of seedlings grown under optimal conditions. These levels were markedly enhanced upon exposure of the seedlings to abiotic stress and ABA. ABI4 is degraded rapidly by the 26S proteasome, and we report on the role of phosphorylation of ABI4-serine 114 in regulating ABI4 stability. Our results indicate that ABI4 is tightly regulated both post-transcriptionally and post-translationally. Moreover, abiotic factors and plant hormones have similar effects on ABI4 transcripts and ABI4 protein levels. This double-check mechanism for controlling ABI4 reflects its central role in plant development and cellular metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Signaling and Responses in Plants)
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Article
QTL Pyramiding and Its Use in Breeding for Increasing the Phytoextraction Efficiency of Soil Cd via High-Cd-Accumulating Rice
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2178; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162178 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Phytoextraction by high-Cd-accumulating rice lacking a functional OsHMA3 allele is promising for Cd removal from paddy soils. To increase rice Cd extraction efficiency, we developed a new high-Cd variety, TJN25-11. For this, we pyramided a nonfunctional OsHMA3 allele from a high-Cd variety, Jarjan, [...] Read more.
Phytoextraction by high-Cd-accumulating rice lacking a functional OsHMA3 allele is promising for Cd removal from paddy soils. To increase rice Cd extraction efficiency, we developed a new high-Cd variety, TJN25-11. For this, we pyramided a nonfunctional OsHMA3 allele from a high-Cd variety, Jarjan, and two QTLs for increased shoot Cd concentrations, which were discovered in a mapping population derived from a high-Cd variety, Nepal 555, and a low-Cd variety, Tachisugata. In two Cd-contaminated paddy fields under drained aerobic soil conditions, TJN25-11 presented significantly higher Cd concentrations in the straw and panicles than the OsHMA3-deficient varieties TJTT8 and Cho-ko-koku. Among the varieties, TJN25-11 had a relatively high shoot biomass, resulting in the highest Cd accumulation in the shoots. The soil Cd decreased by approximately 20% after TJN25-11 growth. The amount of Cd that accumulated in the TJN25-11 aerial parts was much greater than the amount of Cd that decreased in the topsoil, suggesting that Cd was absorbed from deeper soil layers. Thus, we revealed the effects of QTL pyramiding on shoot Cd accumulation and Cd phytoextraction efficiency. Since TJN25-11 has favorable agronomic traits for compatibility with Japanese cultivation systems, this variety could be useful for Cd phytoextraction in Cd-contaminated paddy fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insight into Cadmium Phytoremediation)
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Article
Diversification of Vascular Occlusions and Crystal Deposits in the Xylem Sap Flow of Five Tunisian Grapevines
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2177; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162177 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 315
Abstract
Xylem vessels are essential pivotal organs in bulk hydraulic flow through the whole woody plant. However, environmental constraints generate disagreements in xylem structures, which are characterized by air emboli and occlusions formations, compromising water conductivity in grapevines. The aim of this work was [...] Read more.
Xylem vessels are essential pivotal organs in bulk hydraulic flow through the whole woody plant. However, environmental constraints generate disagreements in xylem structures, which are characterized by air emboli and occlusions formations, compromising water conductivity in grapevines. The aim of this work was to explore xylem morphology dynamics through the xylem sap flow of five Tunisian grapevine cultivars during the natural bleeding sap periods of 2019, 2021, and 2022. In fact, Sakasly, Khamri, Hencha, Razegui1, and Razegui2 rain-fed grapevine cultivars revealed differential responses towards xylem sap movement. The results demonstrated that the xylem sap flow was significantly more abundant in 2019 than 2021 and 2022 bleeding sap campaigns. A variation was revealed between the cultivars regarding the xylem sap flow. In fact, Sakasly gave the best xylem flow during the three campaigns. Razegui1 and Razegui2 registered approximately similar xylem sap flow, while Hencha and Khamri present the lowest sap fluxes during the three campaigns. Moreover, several vascular occlusions forms were identified from stem cross sections using environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM), including tyloses, gels, starch, and gum deposits. The highest occlusion number was observed in Sakasly, Razegui1, and Razegui2 cultivars. Among different biogenic calcium shapes, several were observed for the first time in grapevine, including multi-faceted druse, cubic, crystalline sand, styloids, spherical, or drop-like structures. Considering their lower flow and totally blocked vessels, both Hencha and Khamri confirmed their susceptibility to environmental constraints. However, Sakasly, Razegui1, and Razegui2 cultivars presented higher tolerance according to their sap flow and xylem morphology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue All about Growing Grapes and Wine Making)
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Editorial
Plants 2022 Best Paper Award
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2176; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162176 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 287
Abstract
Plants is instituting the Best Paper Awards to recognize the outstanding papers published in the journal [...] Full article
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Article
A Comparison of Three Types of “Vineyard Management” and Their Effects on the Structure of Plasmopara viticola Populations and Epidemic Dynamics of Grape Downy Mildew
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2175; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162175 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Grape downy mildew (GDM) is a destructive grapevine disease caused by Plasmopara viticola that occurs worldwide. In this study, we determined the characteristics of GDM epidemics and the grapevine canopy micro-climate in open-field, fungicide-spray, and rain-shelter plots during two constitutive years (2016 and [...] Read more.
Grape downy mildew (GDM) is a destructive grapevine disease caused by Plasmopara viticola that occurs worldwide. In this study, we determined the characteristics of GDM epidemics and the grapevine canopy micro-climate in open-field, fungicide-spray, and rain-shelter plots during two constitutive years (2016 and 2017). It was found that rain shelter can significantly delay the disease occurrence by 28 and 21 days, reduce the epidemic phase by 28 and 21 days, and decrease the final disease index by 82% and 83%. Furthermore, it can block precipitation, reduce the relative humidity by 11% and 8%, and reduce the leaf wetness duration by 85% and 76% compared with open-field cultivation. A total of 3861, 783, and 1145 lesions were collected from the open-field, fungicide-managed, and rain-shelter plots, respectively, for analyses of the genetic diversity, population differentiation, and epidemic mode with seven microsatellite markers. In terms of genetic diversity, the Nei’s diversity index ranged from 0.569 to 0.680 and Shannon’s information index ranged from 0.958 to 1.226, showing high levels of diversity across populations. Similar to fungicide management, a rain shelter can significantly reduce the population’s genetic diversity. Low pairwise FST values (0.003–0.047) and high gene flow (Nm = 1.548–20.699) were observed among the three populations each year. In addition, most of the genetic variation occurred within populations. The epidemic mode of GDM in the open-field, fungicide-managed, and rain-shelter cultivation showed moderate, low, and high levels of clonality, respectively, in the case study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Research of Plant Fungal Disease)
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Article
Transpirational Leaf Cooling Effect Did Not Contribute Equally to Biomass Retention in Wheat Genotypes under High Temperature
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2174; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162174 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 539
Abstract
High temperature and water deficit are the most critical yield-limiting environmental factors for wheat in rainfed environments. It is important to understand the heat avoidance mechanisms and their associations with leaf morpho-physiological traits that allow crops to stay cool and retain high biomass [...] Read more.
High temperature and water deficit are the most critical yield-limiting environmental factors for wheat in rainfed environments. It is important to understand the heat avoidance mechanisms and their associations with leaf morpho-physiological traits that allow crops to stay cool and retain high biomass under warm and dry conditions. We examined 20 morpho-physiologically diverse wheat genotypes under ambient and elevated temperatures (Tair) to investigate whether increased water use leads to high biomass retention due to increased leaf cooling. An experiment was conducted under well-watered conditions in two partially controlled glasshouses. We measured plant transpiration (Tr), leaf temperature (Tleaf), vapor pressure deficit (VPD), and associated leaf morpho-physiological characteristics. High water use and leaf cooling increased biomass retention under high temperatures, but increased use did not always increase biomass retention. Some genotypes maintained biomass, irrespective of water use, possibly through mechanisms other than leaf cooling, indicating their adaptation under water shortage. Genotypic differences in leaf cooling capacity did not always correlate with Tr (VPD) response. In summary, the contribution of high water use or the leaf cooling effect on biomass retention under high temperature is genotype-dependent and possibly due to variations in leaf morpho-physiological traits. These findings are useful for breeding programs to develop climate resilient wheat cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Wheat to Abiotic Stress)
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Article
Genetic Characterization of Spring Wheat Germplasm for Macro-, Microelements and Trace Metals
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2173; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162173 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 386
Abstract
Wheat as a staple food crop is the main source of micro- and macronutrients for most people of the world and is recognized as an attractive crop for biofortification. This study presents a comprehensive investigation of genomic regions governing grain micro- and macroelements [...] Read more.
Wheat as a staple food crop is the main source of micro- and macronutrients for most people of the world and is recognized as an attractive crop for biofortification. This study presents a comprehensive investigation of genomic regions governing grain micro- and macroelements concentrations in a panel of 135 diverse wheat accessions through a genome-wide association study. The genetic diversity panel was genotyped using the genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) method and phenotyped in two environments during 2017–2018. Wide ranges of variation in nutrient element concentrations in grain were detected among the accessions. Based on 33,808 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 2997 marker-element associations (MEAs) with −log10(p-value) > 3.5 were identified, representing all three subgenomes of wheat for 15-grain concentration elements. The highest numbers of MEAs were identified for Mg (499), followed by S (399), P (394), Ni (381), Cd (243), Ca (229), Mn (224), Zn (212), Sr (212), Cu (111), Rb (78), Fe (63), Mo (43), K (32) and Co (19). Further, MEAs associated with multiple elements and referred to as pleiotropic SNPs were identified for Mg, P, Cd, Mn, and Zn on chromosomes 1B, 2B, and 6B. Fifty MEAs were subjected to validation using KASIB multilocational trial at six sites in two years using 39 genotypes. Gene annotation of MEAs identified putative candidate genes that potentially encode different types of proteins related to disease, metal transportation, and metabolism. The MEAs identified in the present study could be potential targets for further validation and may be used in marker-assisted breeding to improve nutrient element concentrations in wheat grain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding: From Genetic Diversity to End-Use Quality)
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Article
Construction of A GBS-Based High-Density Genetic Map and Flower Color-Related Loci Mapping in Grasspea (Lathyrus sativus L.)
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2172; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162172 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 412
Abstract
Grasspea (Lathyrus sativus L.), a legume crop with excellent resistance to a broad array of environmental stressors, has, to this point, been poorly genetically characterized. High-density genetic linkage maps are critical for draft genome assembly, quantitative trait loci (QTLs) analysis, and gene [...] Read more.
Grasspea (Lathyrus sativus L.), a legume crop with excellent resistance to a broad array of environmental stressors, has, to this point, been poorly genetically characterized. High-density genetic linkage maps are critical for draft genome assembly, quantitative trait loci (QTLs) analysis, and gene mining. The lack of a high-density genetic linkage map has limited both genomic studies and selective breeding in grasspea. Here, we developed a high-density genetic linkage map of grasspea using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) to sequence 154 grasspea plants, comprising 2 parents and 152 F2 progeny. In all, 307.74 Gb of data was produced, including 2,108,910,938 paired-end reads, as well as 3536 SNPs mapped to seven linkage groups (LG1–LG7). With an average length of 996.52 cM per LG, the overall genetic distance was 6975.68 cM. Both the χ2 test and QTL analysis, based on the Kruskal–Wallis (KW) test and interval mapping (IM) analysis, revealed the monogenic inheritance of flower color in grasspea, with the responsible QTL located between 308.437 cM and 311.346 cM in LG4. The results can aid grasspea genome assembly and accelerate the selective breeding of new grasspea germplasm resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Physiology and Crop Production)
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Article
Climatic Factors Determine the Distribution Patterns of Leaf Nutrient Traits at Large Scales
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2171; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162171 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 343
Abstract
Leaf nutrient content and its stoichiometric relationships (N/P ratio) are essential for photosynthesis and plant growth and development. Previous studies on leaf nutrient-related functional traits have mainly focused on the species level and regional scale, but fewer studies have investigated the distribution patterns [...] Read more.
Leaf nutrient content and its stoichiometric relationships (N/P ratio) are essential for photosynthesis and plant growth and development. Previous studies on leaf nutrient-related functional traits have mainly focused on the species level and regional scale, but fewer studies have investigated the distribution patterns of the leaf N and P contents (LN, LP) and N/P ratios (N/P) in communities and their controlling factors at a large scale; therefore, we used LN, LP, and N/P data at 69 sites from 818 forests in China. The results showed significant differences (p < 0.05) in the LN, LP, and N/P at different life forms (tree, shrub, and herb). Neither LN, LP, nor N/P ratios showed significant patterns of latitudinal variation. With the increase in temperature and rainfall, the LN, LP, and leaf nutrient contents increased significantly (p < 0.001). Across life forms, LN at different life forms varied significantly and was positively correlated with soil P content (p < 0.001). The explanatory degree of climatic factors in shaping the spatial variation patterns of LN and N/P was higher than that of the soil nutrient factors, and the spatial variation patterns of the leaf nutrient traits of different life forms were shaped by the synergistic effects of climatic factors and soil nutrient factors. Full article
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Article
Flow Rate and Water Depth Alters Biomass Production and Phytoremediation Capacity of Lemna minor
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2170; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162170 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 377
Abstract
Given its high biomass production, phytoremediation capacity and suitability as a feedstock for animal and human nutrition, duckweeds are valuable multipurpose plants that can underpin circular economy applications. In recent years, the use of duckweeds to mitigate environmental pollution and valorise wastewaters through [...] Read more.
Given its high biomass production, phytoremediation capacity and suitability as a feedstock for animal and human nutrition, duckweeds are valuable multipurpose plants that can underpin circular economy applications. In recent years, the use of duckweeds to mitigate environmental pollution and valorise wastewaters through the removal of excess nitrogen and phosphate from wastewaters has gained considerable scientific attention. However, quantitative data on optimisation of duckweed performance in phytoremediation systems remain scant. In particular, a mechanistical understanding of how physical flows affect duckweed growth and remediation capacity within vertical indoor multi-tiered bioreactors is unknown. Here, effects of flow rate (0.5, 1.5 or 3.0 L min−1) and medium depth (25 mm or 50 mm) on Lemna minor biomass production and phytoremediation capacity were investigated. Results show that flow rates and water depths significantly affect both parameters. L. minor grew best at 1.5 L min−1 maintained at 50 mm, corresponding to a flow velocity of 0.0012 m s−1. The data are interpreted to mean that flow velocities should be low enough not to physically disturb duckweed but still allow for adequate nutrient mixing. The data presented will considerably advance the optimisation of large-scale indoor (multi-tiered, stacked), as well as outdoor (pond, lagoon, canal), duckweed-based remediation of high nutrient wastewaters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Duckweed: Research Meets Applications)
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Review
Advances in the Genetic Basis and Molecular Mechanism of Lesion Mimic Formation in Rice
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2169; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162169 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 397
Abstract
Plant lesion mutation usually refers to the phenomenon of cell death in green tissues before senescence in the absence of external stress, and such mutants also show enhanced resistance to some plant pathogens. The occurrence of lesion mimic mutants in rice is affected [...] Read more.
Plant lesion mutation usually refers to the phenomenon of cell death in green tissues before senescence in the absence of external stress, and such mutants also show enhanced resistance to some plant pathogens. The occurrence of lesion mimic mutants in rice is affected by gene mutation, reactive oxygen species accumulation, an uncontrolled programmed cell death system, and abiotic stress. At present, many lesion mimic mutants have been identified in rice, and some genes have been functionally analyzed. This study reviews the occurrence mechanism of lesion mimic mutants in rice. It analyzes the function of rice lesion mimic mutant genes to elucidate the molecular regulation pathways of rice lesion mimic mutants in regulating plant disease resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stomatal Activities in Abiotic Stress Tolerant Wild Relatives of Crop)
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Article
Identification and Expression Analysis of NAC Gene Family in Weeping Trait of Lagerstroemia indica
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2168; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162168 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 352
Abstract
Lagerstroemia indica is a widely used ornamental plant in summer gardens because of its desirable plant shape. The weeping traits of plants are related to secondary cell wall thickness and hormone signaling. NAC (NAM-ATAF1/2-CUC2), as one of the plant-specific transcription factors, is a [...] Read more.
Lagerstroemia indica is a widely used ornamental plant in summer gardens because of its desirable plant shape. The weeping traits of plants are related to secondary cell wall thickness and hormone signaling. NAC (NAM-ATAF1/2-CUC2), as one of the plant-specific transcription factors, is a switch for the secondary cell wall and also involved in leaf senescence, phytohormone signaling, and other growth processes. We identified a total of 21 LiNAC genes from the transcriptome data, which we divided into 14 subgroups and 2 groups. The physicochemical characteristics of amino acids, subcellular localization, transmembrane structure, GO and KEGG enrichment, and expression patterns were also examined. The qRT-PCR analysis showed that the expressions of LiNAC8 and LiNAC13 in upright L. indica ‘Shaoguifei’ and weeping L. indica ‘Xiariwuniang’ were significantly higher from the beginning to the end of growth stage (S1–S3), and the expressions of ‘Shaoguifei’ were always higher than those of ‘Xiariwuniang’. However, LiNAC2 showed a downward trend in S1–S3 and the relative expression level of ‘Shaoguifei’ was lower than that of ‘Xiariwuniang’. It is hypothesized that these LiNAC genes may be involved in the regulation of weeping traits in L. indica. The results of this study provide a basis for analyzing the functions of LiNAC genes and help to explore the molecular regulatory mechanisms related to the weeping traits in L. indica. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Biology of Ornamental Plants)
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Article
Botryosphaeria Dieback (Lasiodiplodia viticola): An Imminent Emerging Threat to the Moroccan Vineyards
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2167; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162167 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 447
Abstract
A decline of various grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) in the province of Doukkala in Morocco was observed in 2021. The causal pathogen was identified as Lasiodiplodia viticola based on morphological characteristics and phylogenetic analysis of the internal transcribed region (ITS), the β-tubulin [...] Read more.
A decline of various grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) in the province of Doukkala in Morocco was observed in 2021. The causal pathogen was identified as Lasiodiplodia viticola based on morphological characteristics and phylogenetic analysis of the internal transcribed region (ITS), the β-tubulin gene (TUB) and calmodulin (cmdA). Koch’s postulates were confirmed by successful re-isolation of L. viticola from plants inoculated with the pathogen under controlled conditions. The disease was shown to be prevalent in Bni Hilal (71.43%), Laamria (60%), and Boulaouane (40%) districts, but was quasi-absent in Lmechrek. To understand the dominance of L. viticola as one of the grapevine trunk pathogens, effects of temperature (10–40 °C) and pH (pH 3–pH 12) on growth and sporulation were investigated. The species were able to grow in a range of temperatures ranging from 15 to 40°C and showed a higher growth rate at 35 °C. The fungus were also characterized by a broad optimum pH ranging between 3–12. This study is the first report dealing with L. viticola associated with grapevine trunk diseases in Morocco. Additional studies are therefore required to understand the high occurrence of this disease in vineyards, which is likely due to climate changes. A good understanding of this complex disease might help to develop a reliable and sustainable preventive control strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crops Diseases under Climate Change Context and Their Control)
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Review
To Be Seen or Not to Be Seen: Latent Infection by Tobamoviruses
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2166; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162166 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 567
Abstract
Tobamoviruses are among the most well-studied plant viruses and yet there is still a lot to uncover about them. On one side of the spectrum, there are damage-causing members of this genus: such as the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), tomato brown rugose fruit [...] Read more.
Tobamoviruses are among the most well-studied plant viruses and yet there is still a lot to uncover about them. On one side of the spectrum, there are damage-causing members of this genus: such as the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) and cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV), on the other side, there are members which cause latent infection in host plants. New technologies, such as high-throughput sequencing (HTS), have enabled us to discover viruses from asymptomatic plants, viruses in mixed infections where the disease etiology cannot be attributed to a single entity and more and more researchers a looking at non-crop plants to identify alternative virus reservoirs, leading to new virus discoveries. However, the diversity of these interactions in the virosphere and the involvement of multiple viruses in a single host is still relatively unclear. For such host–virus interactions in wild plants, symptoms are not always linked with the virus titer. In this review, we refer to latent infection as asymptomatic infection where plants do not suffer despite systemic infection. Molecular mechanisms related to latent behavior of tobamoviruses are unknown. We will review different studies which support different theories behind latency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobamoviruses and Interacting Viruses in Modern Agriculture)
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Article
Light Intensity—A Key Factor Affecting Flavonoid Content and Expression of Key Enzyme Genes of Flavonoid Synthesis in Tartary Buckwheat
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2165; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162165 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 442
Abstract
Tartary buckwheat, a polygonaceae family plant, is rich in abundant flavonoids, high-quality protein, and well-balanced essential amino acids. This study aimed to investigate the effects of climatic variables on the quality of Tartary buckwheat. In this study, six distinct types of Tartary buckwheat [...] Read more.
Tartary buckwheat, a polygonaceae family plant, is rich in abundant flavonoids, high-quality protein, and well-balanced essential amino acids. This study aimed to investigate the effects of climatic variables on the quality of Tartary buckwheat. In this study, six distinct types of Tartary buckwheat collected from the Sichuan Basin, Western Sichuan Plateau, and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in southwest China were chosen to investigate the impact of climatic conditions from the grain-filling stage to the harvest stage on the concentration of flavonoids and expression of key enzyme genes involved the synthesis of flavonoids. Meteorological data of three producing areas were collected from the China Meteorological Network, mainly including maximum temperature (Tmax), minimum temperature (Tmin), diurnal temperature difference (Tdif), and light intensity. Then, the contents of rutin, kaempferol-3-O-rutin glycoside, quercetin, and kaempferol in 30 batches of Tartary buckwheat from 6 varieties including Chuanqiao No. 1, Chuanqiao No. 2, Xiqiao No. 1, Xiqiao No. 2, Miqiao No. 1 and Di ku were determined by ultra performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). Furthermore, the expression levels of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), 4-coumaric acid coenzyme A ligase (4CL), and anthocyanin synthase (ANS) in six kinds of Tartary buckwheat were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The seed photos were processed by ImageJ processing software. The partial least squares method was used to analyze the correlation. As a result, light intensity can promote the accumulation of flavonoids and the expression of key enzyme genes. Miqiao No. 1, which grows in Liangshan Prefecture, Sichuan Province, has the highest light intensity and is the dominant variety with flavonoid content. More importantly, the expression levels of PAL and 4CL in the secondary metabolic pathway of flavonoids were positively correlated with the content of Tartary buckwheat flavonoids. Interestingly, the expression level of ANS was negatively correlated with the content of PAL, 4CL, and flavonoids. In addition, ANS is a key gene affecting the seed coat color of Tartary buckwheat. The higher the expression of ANS, the darker the seed coat color. These findings provide a theoretical basis and reference for the breeding of fine buckwheat varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
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Article
NMR Metabolomics and Chemometrics of Lettuce, Lactuca sativa L., under Different Foliar Organic Fertilization Treatments
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2164; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162164 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 566
Abstract
Lettuce plants were grown in a greenhouse affected by the fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum to test the effects on plant metabolomics by different organic treatments. Three foliar application treatments were applied: a commercial compost tea made of aerobically fermented plant organic matter, a [...] Read more.
Lettuce plants were grown in a greenhouse affected by the fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum to test the effects on plant metabolomics by different organic treatments. Three foliar application treatments were applied: a commercial compost tea made of aerobically fermented plant organic matter, a pure lyophilized microalga Artrospira platensis, commonly named spirulina, and the same microalga previously exposed during its culture to a natural uptake from medium enriched with F. oxysporum fragmented DNA (NAT). The experiment is the first attempt to observe in field conditions, the use and effects of a natural microbial library as a carrier of pathogenic fungal DNA for disease control. Untargeted NMR metabolomics and chemometrics showed that foliar organic application significantly reduced fumaric and formic acids, aromatic amino acids, and nucleosides, while increasing ethanolamine. A strong decrease in phenolic acids and an increase in citric acid and glutamine were specifically observed in the NAT treatment. It is noteworthy that the exposure of a known biostimulant microalga to fungal DNA in its culture medium was sufficient to induce detectable changes in the metabolomic profiles of the fertilized plants. These findings deserve further investigation to assess the potential relevance of the presented approach in the field of crop biostimulation and biocontrol of plant pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spectra Analysis and Plants Research 2.0)
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Article
Transcriptomic Analysis of Radish (Raphanus sativus L.) Roots with CLE41 Overexpression
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2163; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162163 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 440
Abstract
The CLE41 peptide, like all other TRACHEARY ELEMENT DIFFERENTIATION INHIBITORY FACTOR (TDIF) family CLE peptides, promotes cell division in (pro-)cambium vascular meristem and prevents xylem differentiation. In this work, we analyzed the differential gene expression in the radish primary-growing P35S:RsCLE41-1 roots using the [...] Read more.
The CLE41 peptide, like all other TRACHEARY ELEMENT DIFFERENTIATION INHIBITORY FACTOR (TDIF) family CLE peptides, promotes cell division in (pro-)cambium vascular meristem and prevents xylem differentiation. In this work, we analyzed the differential gene expression in the radish primary-growing P35S:RsCLE41-1 roots using the RNA-seq. Our analysis of transcriptomic data revealed a total of 62 differentially expressed genes between transgenic radish roots overexpressing the RsCLE41-1 gene and the glucuronidase (GUS) gene. For genes associated with late embryogenesis, response to abscisic acid and auxin-dependent xylem cell fate determination, an increase in the expression in P35S:RsCLE41-1 roots was found. Among those downregulated, stress-associated genes prevailed. Moreover, several genes involved in xylem specification were also downregulated in the roots with RsCLE41-1 overexpression. Unexpectedly, none of the well-known targets of TDIFs, such as WOX4 and WOX14, were identified as DEGs in our experiment. Herein, we discuss a suggestion that the activation of pathways associated with desiccation resistance, which are more characteristic of late embryogenesis, in roots with RsCLE41-overexpression may be a consequence of water deficiency onset due to impaired vascular specification. Full article
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Article
Effects of Exogenous Salicylic Acid Application to Aboveground Part on the Defense Responses in Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) and Non-Bt Corn (Zea mays L.) Seedlings
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2162; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162162 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 341
Abstract
Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) corn is one of the top three large-scale commercialized anti-insect transgenic crops around the world. In the present study, we tested the Bt protein content, defense chemicals contents, and defense enzyme activities in both the leaves and roots [...] Read more.
Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) corn is one of the top three large-scale commercialized anti-insect transgenic crops around the world. In the present study, we tested the Bt protein content, defense chemicals contents, and defense enzyme activities in both the leaves and roots of Bt corn varieties 5422Bt1 and 5422CBCL, as well as their conventional corn 5422 seedlings, with two fully expanded leaves which had been treated with 2.5 mM exogenous salicylic acid (SA) to the aboveground part for 24 h. The result showed that the SA treatment to the aboveground part could significantly increase the polyphenol oxidase activity of conventional corn 5422, the Bt protein content, and peroxidase activities of Bt corn 5422Bt1, as well as the polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase activity of Bt corn 5422CBCL in the leaves. In the roots, the polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase activity of conventional corn 5422, the polyphenol oxidase and superoxide dismutase activities of Bt corn 5422Bt1, the DIMBOA (2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-2H, 1, 4-benzoxazin-3 (4H)-one) content, and four defense enzymes activities of Bt corn 5422CBCL were systematically increased. These findings suggest that the direct effect of SA application to aboveground part on the leaf defense responses in Bt corn 5422CBCL is stronger than that in non-Bt corn. Meanwhile, the systemic effect of SA on the root defense responses in Bt corn 5422CBCL is stronger than that in conventional corn 5422 and Bt corn 5422Bt1. It can be concluded that the Bt gene introduction and endogenous chemical defense responses of corns act synergistically during the SA-induced defense processes to the aboveground part. Different transformation events affected the root defense response when the SA treatment was applied to the aboveground part. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosafety and Ecological Assessment of Engineered and Edited Crops)
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Review
Literature Review on the Effects of Heavy Metal Stress and Alleviating Possibilities through Exogenously Applied Agents in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2161; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162161 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 299
Abstract
Heavy metals (HMs) are among the most important toxic agents since they reach the soil through various routes and accumulate in the food chain. Therefore, HMs induce problems in soil integrity and in plant, animal, and human health. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) [...] Read more.
Heavy metals (HMs) are among the most important toxic agents since they reach the soil through various routes and accumulate in the food chain. Therefore, HMs induce problems in soil integrity and in plant, animal, and human health. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a significant crop worldwide, utilized in animal production. Furthermore, because of its nitrogen-absorbing ability via symbiotic strains of bacteria, it increases soil productivity. However, there are relatively few studies investigating the effects of HMs and their alleviation possibilities on alfalfa plants. Therefore, the goal of this review is to clarify the current state of research into HM-induced alterations in alfalfa and to determine the extent to which externally applied microorganisms and chemical compounds can mitigate the negative effects. The aim is to indicate areas of development towards further understanding of HM detoxification in alfalfa and to identify future research directions. Full article
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Article
Use of Botanical Varieties of Brassica oleracea L. in the Breeding of Forage Kale
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2160; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162160 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 278
Abstract
At present, forage kale cultivars for feeding cattle and sheep are either open-pollinated ones from population-improvement schemes within suitable botanical varieties of Brassica oleracea or triple-cross hybrids from within or between botanical varieties, the only commercialised latter type being between marrow-stem kale and [...] Read more.
At present, forage kale cultivars for feeding cattle and sheep are either open-pollinated ones from population-improvement schemes within suitable botanical varieties of Brassica oleracea or triple-cross hybrids from within or between botanical varieties, the only commercialised latter type being between marrow-stem kale and Brussels sprouts. Eight botanical varieties (15 cultivars) and 13 types of hybrids (50 hybrids) between them were produced and assessed for forage traits in SE Scotland in the early 1980s when there was government funding in Great Britain for such work (terminated in 1990). These previously unpublished results may now be of interest to a new generation of commercial forage brassica breeders. In addition to height and dry matter yield and content, quality traits, such as digestibility and antimetabolites, were assessed. The hybrids with marrow-stem kale as one parent varied in height, but combined a high-dry-matter yield with desirable quality traits for a forage crop. None was ideal and none had a superior combination of traits to the hybrids with Brussels sprouts. The hybrids between marrow-stem kale and January King cabbage were the shortest and a possible alternative to dwarf thousand-head kale. The results can be used to justify new forage brassica breeding programmes. Full article
Article
Expression Analyses in the Rachis Hint towards Major Cell Wall Modifications in Grape Clusters Showing Berry Shrivel Symptoms
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2159; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162159 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 444
Abstract
Berry shrivel (BS) is one of the prominent and still unresolved ripening physiological disorders in grapevine. The causes of BS are unclear, and previous studies focused on the berry metabolism or histological studies, including cell viability staining in the rachis and berries of [...] Read more.
Berry shrivel (BS) is one of the prominent and still unresolved ripening physiological disorders in grapevine. The causes of BS are unclear, and previous studies focused on the berry metabolism or histological studies, including cell viability staining in the rachis and berries of BS clusters. Herein, we studied the transcriptional modulation induced by BS in the rachis of pre-symptomatic and symptomatic clusters with a custom-made microarray qPCR in relation to a previous RNASeq study of BS berries. Gene set analysis of transcript expression in symptomatic rachis tissue determined suppression of cell wall biosynthesis, which could also be confirmed already in pre-symptomatic BS rachis by CESA8 qPCR analyses, while in BS berries, a high number of SWITCH genes were suppressed at veraison. Additionally, genes associated with the cell wall were differently affected by BS in berries. A high percentage of hydrolytic enzymes were induced in BS grapes in rachis and berries, while other groups such as, e.g., xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase, were suppressed in BS rachis. In conclusion, we propose that modulated cell wall biosynthesis and cell wall assembly in pre-symptomatic BS rachis have potential consequences for cell wall strength and lead to a forced degradation of cell walls in symptomatic grape clusters. The similarity to sugar starvation transcriptional profiles provides a link to BS berries, which are low in sugar accumulation. However, further studies remain necessary to investigate the temporal and spatial coordination in both tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Article
Do Reproductive Traits of Invasive Populations of Scotch Broom, Cytisus scoparius (Fabaceae), Outperform Native Populations?
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2158; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162158 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 275
Abstract
Reproductive traits are among the most important factors in determining the success of species establishment and invasion in a new area. Studies on transcontinental invasions have revealed that invasive species perform better in the invasive range than in their native ranges. We assumed [...] Read more.
Reproductive traits are among the most important factors in determining the success of species establishment and invasion in a new area. Studies on transcontinental invasions have revealed that invasive species perform better in the invasive range than in their native ranges. We assumed that the same regularity exists in intracontinental invasions and thus investigated whether the reproductive traits of Scotch broom, Cytisus scoparius, perform better in the alien invasive range in Europe compared to its native range in the same continent. The aim of this research was to reveal the potential and realised fecundity of C. scoparius in its native and invasive ranges, as well as relationships with the size of pods, habitat type, and how these traits vary at the same site in different years. The results of this study were not able to unambiguously confirm our hypothesis that C. scoparius in the invasive range in Lithuania, specifically in the southern part of the Boreal biogeographical region, outperform plants in the native range with regard to the analysed reproductive traits. Potential fecundity of C. scoparius in the native range was significantly higher than in the invaded range; however, realised fecundity was not significantly different between the native and invasive ranges. The pod length was similar in both ranges, whereas the pod width was significantly greater in the invasive range than in the native range. The results suggest that the number of ovules per pod, number of matured seeds, and the size of pods are related with the type of habitat and local environmental conditions in the habitat. Although many studies on other species have confirmed higher fecundity and overall better performance of plants in the invasive range than in the native range on other continents, this rule probably cannot be applied for intracontinental invasive species occurring in relatively close geographical regions to their native ranges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Invasion Ecology)
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Article
Amino Acids Supplied through the Autophagy/Endocytosis Pathway Promote Starch Synthesis in Physcomitrella Protonemal Cells
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2157; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162157 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 325
Abstract
The physiological implications of autophagy in plant cells have not been fully elucidated. Therefore, we investigated the consequences of autophagy in the moss Physcomitrella by measuring biochemical parameters (fresh and dry weights; starch, amino acid, carbohydrate, and NH3 content) in wild-type (WT) [...] Read more.
The physiological implications of autophagy in plant cells have not been fully elucidated. Therefore, we investigated the consequences of autophagy in the moss Physcomitrella by measuring biochemical parameters (fresh and dry weights; starch, amino acid, carbohydrate, and NH3 content) in wild-type (WT) and autophagy-deficient atg5 Physcomitrella cells. We found higher starch levels and a higher net starch synthesis rate in WT cells than in atg5 cells cultured in a glucose-containing culture medium, whereas net starch degradation was similar in the two strains cultured in a glucose-deficient culture medium. Additionally, the treatment of cells with the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine suppressed starch synthesis. Loading bovine serum albumin into atg5 cells through endocytosis, i.e., supplying proteins to vacuoles in the same way as through autophagy, accelerated starch synthesis, whereas loading glutamine through the plasma membrane had no such effect, suggesting that Physcomitrella cells distinguish between different amino acid supply pathways. After net starch synthesis, NH3 levels increased in WT cells, although the change in total amino acid content did not differ between WT and atg5 cells, indicating that autophagy-produced amino acids are oxidized rapidly. We conclude that autophagy promotes starch synthesis in Physcomitrella by supplying the energy obtained by oxidizing autophagy-produced amino acids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Cell Biology)
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Article
Establishing MinION Sequencing and Genome Assembly Procedures for the Analysis of the Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) Genome
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2156; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162156 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 438
Abstract
While plant genome analysis is gaining speed worldwide, few plant genomes have been sequenced and analyzed on the African continent. Yet, this information holds the potential to transform diverse industries as it unlocks medicinally and industrially relevant biosynthesis pathways for bioprospecting. Considering that [...] Read more.
While plant genome analysis is gaining speed worldwide, few plant genomes have been sequenced and analyzed on the African continent. Yet, this information holds the potential to transform diverse industries as it unlocks medicinally and industrially relevant biosynthesis pathways for bioprospecting. Considering that South Africa is home to the highly diverse Cape Floristic Region, local establishment of methods for plant genome analysis is essential. Long-read sequencing is becoming standard procedure for plant genome research, as these reads can span repetitive regions of the DNA, substantially facilitating reassembly of a contiguous genome. With the MinION, Oxford Nanopore offers a cost-efficient sequencing method to generate long reads; however, DNA purification protocols must be adapted for each plant species to generate ultra-pure DNA, essential for these analyses. Here, we describe a cost-effective procedure for the extraction and purification of plant DNA and evaluate diverse genome assembly approaches for the reconstruction of the genome of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis), an endemic South African medicinal plant widely used for tea production. We discuss the pros and cons of nine tested assembly programs, specifically Redbean and NextDenovo, which generated the most contiguous assemblies, and Flye, which produced an assembly closest to the predicted genome size. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Omics)
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Article
β-Cyclocitral Does Not Contribute to Singlet Oxygen-Signalling in Algae, but May Down-Regulate Chlorophyll Synthesis
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2155; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162155 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 407
Abstract
Light stress signalling in algae and plants is partially orchestrated by singlet oxygen (1O2), a reactive oxygen species (ROS) that causes significant damage within the chloroplast, such as lipid peroxidation. In the vicinity of the photosystem II reaction centre, [...] Read more.
Light stress signalling in algae and plants is partially orchestrated by singlet oxygen (1O2), a reactive oxygen species (ROS) that causes significant damage within the chloroplast, such as lipid peroxidation. In the vicinity of the photosystem II reaction centre, a major source of 1O2, are two β-carotene molecules that quench 1O2 to ground-state oxygen. 1O2 can oxidise β-carotene to release β-cyclocitral, which has emerged as a 1O2-mediated stress signal in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We investigated if β-cyclocitral can have similar retrograde signalling properties in the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Using RNA-Seq, we show that genes up-regulated in response to exogenous β-cyclocitral included CAROTENOID CLEAVAGE DIOXYGENASE 8 (CCD8), while down-regulated genes included those associated with porphyrin and chlorophyll anabolism, such as tetrapyrrole-binding protein (GUN4), magnesium chelatases (CHLI1, CHLI2, CHLD, CHLH1), light-dependent protochlorophyllide reductase (POR1), copper target 1 protein (CTH1), and coproporphyrinogen III oxidase (CPX1). Down-regulation of this pathway has also been shown in β-cyclocitral-treated A. thaliana, indicating conservation of this signalling mechanism in plants. However, in contrast to A. thaliana, a very limited overlap in differential gene expression was found in β-cyclocitral-treated and 1O2-treated C. reinhardtii. Furthermore, exogenous treatment with β-cyclocitral did not induce tolerance to 1O2. We conclude that while β-cyclocitral may down-regulate chlorophyll synthesis, it does not seem to contribute to 1O2-mediated high light stress signalling in algae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Plants—Recent Advances and Perspectives)
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Article
Kiwi Plant Canker Diagnosis Using Hyperspectral Signal Processing and Machine Learning: Detecting Symptoms Caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2154; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162154 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 385
Abstract
Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) has been responsible for numerous epidemics of bacterial canker of kiwi (BCK), resulting in high losses in kiwi production worldwide. Current diagnostic approaches for this disease usually depend on visible signs of the infection (disease symptoms) to be [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) has been responsible for numerous epidemics of bacterial canker of kiwi (BCK), resulting in high losses in kiwi production worldwide. Current diagnostic approaches for this disease usually depend on visible signs of the infection (disease symptoms) to be present. Since these symptoms frequently manifest themselves in the middle to late stages of the infection process, the effectiveness of phytosanitary measures can be compromised. Hyperspectral spectroscopy has the potential to be an effective, non-invasive, rapid, cost-effective, high-throughput approach for improving BCK diagnostics. This study aimed to investigate the potential of hyperspectral UV–VIS reflectance for in-situ, non-destructive discrimination of bacterial canker on kiwi leaves. Spectral reflectance (325–1075 nm) of twenty plants were obtained with a handheld spectroradiometer in two commercial kiwi orchards located in Portugal, for 15 weeks, totaling 504 spectral measurements. Several modeling approaches based on continuous hyperspectral data or specific wavelengths, chosen by different feature selection algorithms, were tested to discriminate BCK on leaves. Spectral separability of asymptomatic and symptomatic leaves was observed in all multi-variate and machine learning models, including the FDA, GLM, PLS, and SVM methods. The combination of a stepwise forward variable selection approach using a support vector machine algorithm with a radial kernel and class weights was selected as the final model. Its overall accuracy was 85%, with a 0.70 kappa score and 0.84 F-measure. These results were coherent with leaves classified as asymptomatic or symptomatic by visual inspection. Overall, the findings herein reported support the implementation of spectral point measurements acquired in situ for crop disease diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Diagnostics of Bacterial Plant Pathogens)
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Article
Evidence for Light and Tissue Specific Regulation of Genes Involved in Fructan Metabolism in Agave tequilana
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2153; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162153 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Plant Glycoside Hydrolase Family 32 (PGHF32) contains the fructosyltransferases and fructan exohydrolase enzymes responsible for fructan metabolism, in addition to closely related vacuolar and cell wall acid invertases. Agave species produce complex and dynamic fructan molecules (agavins) requiring 4 different fructosyltransferase activities (1-SST, [...] Read more.
Plant Glycoside Hydrolase Family 32 (PGHF32) contains the fructosyltransferases and fructan exohydrolase enzymes responsible for fructan metabolism, in addition to closely related vacuolar and cell wall acid invertases. Agave species produce complex and dynamic fructan molecules (agavins) requiring 4 different fructosyltransferase activities (1-SST, 1-FFT, 6G-FFT and 6-SFT) for their synthesis. Combined analysis of RNAseq and genome data for A. tequilana led to the characterization of the genes encoding 3 fructosyltransferases for this species and support the hypothesis that no separate 6-SFT type enzyme exists in A. tequilana, suggesting that at least one of the fructosyltransferases identified may have multiple enzymatic activities. Structures for PGHF32 genes varied for A. tequilana and between other plant species but were conserved for different enzyme types within a species. The observed patterns are consistent with the formation of distinct gene structures by intron loss. Promoter analysis of the PGHF32 genes identified abundant putative regulatory motifs for light regulation and tissue-specific expression, and these regulatory mechanisms were confirmed experimentally for leaf tissue. Motifs for phytohormone response, carbohydrate metabolism and dehydration responses were also uncovered. Based on the regulatory motifs, full-length cDNAs for MYB, GATA, DOF and GBF transcription factors were identified and their phylogenetic distribution determined by comparison with other plant species. In silico expression analysis for the selected transcription factors revealed both tissue-specific and developmental patterns of expression, allowing candidates to be identified for detailed analysis of the regulation of fructan metabolism in A. tequilana at the molecular level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Germplasm Resources and Breeding of Agave)
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