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Plants, Volume 11, Issue 24 (December-2 2022) – 180 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): It is important to determine the temperature requirements for dormancy release and subsequent flowering for the selection and breeding of olive genotypes, particularly in current times, with the spread of olive cultivation to climatically diverse areas and the global threat of climate change. We characterized dormancy release dynamics in olive tree reproductive buds as affected by cold accumulation, tree bearing status, and budburst temperature. Furthermore, by comparing budburst on cuttings and potted trees, we tested the use of cuttings as representing the behavior of whole trees. View this paper
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Article
Isolation and Characterization of Flavonoid Naringenin and Evaluation of Cytotoxic and Biological Efficacy of Water Lilly (Nymphaea mexicana Zucc.)
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3588; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243588 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 591
Abstract
Despite its limited exploration, Nymphaea mexicana Zucc. can be beneficial if pharmacology, isolation, and biological evaluation are given attention. It is an aquatic species that belongs to the family Nymphaeaceae. The thrust area of the work was the extraction, isolation, and biological evaluation [...] Read more.
Despite its limited exploration, Nymphaea mexicana Zucc. can be beneficial if pharmacology, isolation, and biological evaluation are given attention. It is an aquatic species that belongs to the family Nymphaeaceae. The thrust area of the work was the extraction, isolation, and biological evaluation of different extracts of the N. mexicana Zucc. plant. The primary goal of this research was to assess the antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anticancer activities of the extracts and to isolate the target naringenin compound. Comparative FT IR analysis of different extracts of this plant revealed the presence of functional groups of plant secondary metabolites, including polyphenols, flavonoids, terpenoids, esters, amines, glycosides, alkanes, alkaloids, fatty acids, and alcohols. Moderate free radical scavenging potential has been achieved for the various extracts via reducing power and DPPH assays. While cytotoxic activity was evaluated by colorimetric and lactate dehydrogenase cell viability tests on potent cancer cell lines. Lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cells (A-549), and breast cells (MC-7) were treated with MeOH extract. The antimicrobial activity against bacterial strains was evaluated using Gram-positive and -negative cultures, where maximum and minimum inhibition zones were recorded for different strains, including 1.6–25.6 μg/mL for Streptococcus aureus, using the agar well diffusion method. In addition, the anti-inflammatory activity of different extracts of N. mexicana Zucc. was evaluated in a nitrite radical scavenging assay with high concentrations of secondary metabolites, which are important against human pathogens and other diseases. Full article
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Article
Pure Camphor and a Thujone-Camphor Mixture as Eco-Friendly Antifeedants against Larvae and Adults of the Colorado Potato Beetle
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3587; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243587 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 432
Abstract
The Colorado potato beetle (CPB) is a serious pest of economically important Solanaceae species. The use of essential oil compounds in pest management has been proposed as an alternative to harmful chemical insecticides that disturb human health and ecosystem functioning. We examined the [...] Read more.
The Colorado potato beetle (CPB) is a serious pest of economically important Solanaceae species. The use of essential oil compounds in pest management has been proposed as an alternative to harmful chemical insecticides that disturb human health and ecosystem functioning. We examined the antifeedant activity of three concentrations (0.125%, 0.25% and 0.5%) of pure camphor and a thujone-camphor mixture against 3rd instar larvae and adults. Their efficacy was evaluated according to the degree of leaf damage and avoidance of treated leaves by the CPB. Treatment of potato leaves significantly reduced leaf damage compared to the control. Leaf protection increased at higher concentrations of the examined compounds. Camphor was more effective against larvae and the thujone-camphor mixture was more effective against adults. Additionally, adults moved faster towards the control leaf disc in the two-choice olfactometer assay if an alternative disc was treated with a thujone-camphor mixture, whereas larvae responded similarly to the two potential repellents. However, after contact with the leaf disc treated with the highest compound concentration, the larvae escaped faster from the thujone-camphor mixture than from pure camphor. In conclusion, both examined compounds are promising eco-friendly antifeedants, but their efficacy depends on the developmental stage of the beetle, compound type and applied concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Protection)
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Article
Evaluation of the Bio-Stimulating Activity of Lake Algae Extracts on Edible Cacti Mammillaria prolifera and Mammillaria glassii
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3586; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243586 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 531
Abstract
The research aimed to test different seaweed extracts derived from three macroalgae representatives, namely, Rhodophyta, Chlorophyta and Phaeophyceae, as a bio-fertiliser for the growth of Mammillaria prolifera and Mammillaria glassii and the production of edible fruits. The experiments started in September 2021 [...] Read more.
The research aimed to test different seaweed extracts derived from three macroalgae representatives, namely, Rhodophyta, Chlorophyta and Phaeophyceae, as a bio-fertiliser for the growth of Mammillaria prolifera and Mammillaria glassii and the production of edible fruits. The experiments started in September 2021 and were conducted in the greenhouses of CREA-OF in Pescia (PT). Three different algae, namely, Hypnea cornuta (Rhodophyta), Ulva ohnoi (Chlorophyta), collected from the brackish lake Ganzirri, in Messina, and Sargassum muticum (Phaeophyceae) from Venice lagoon, were tested. The experimental trial showed a significant improvement in the agronomic parameters analysed for the growth and production of cactus plants and fruits treated with the selected algae. A significant increase was found in the sugar, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E content of the fruits of treated plants. In particular, the thesis with Ulva ohnoi was the best for plant growth and fruit production with a higher sugar and vitamin content. This experiment confirms the algae’s ability to stimulate soil microflora and microfauna, promoting nutrient uptake, participating in organic matter mineralisation processes and significantly influencing the nutraceutical compounds in the fruits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biofertilizers in Xeriscaping)
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Article
Network Pharmacology and Molecular Docking Study on the Multi-Target Mechanisms of Aloe vera for Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis Treatment
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3585; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243585 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 666
Abstract
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a leading cause of chronic liver disease with limited treatment options. The widely distributed plant Aloe vera has shown protective effects against NASH in animals, yet the precise mechanism remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the potential mechanisms [...] Read more.
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a leading cause of chronic liver disease with limited treatment options. The widely distributed plant Aloe vera has shown protective effects against NASH in animals, yet the precise mechanism remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the potential mechanisms underlying the anti-NASH effects of Aloe vera using a network pharmacology and molecular docking approach. By searching online databases and analyzing the Gene Expression Omnibus dataset, we obtained 260 Aloe vera–NASH common targets. Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes enrichment analyses showed that the common targets were strongly associated with the key pathological processes implicated in NASH, including lipid and glucose metabolism, inflammation, apoptosis, oxidative stress, and liver fibrosis. Four core proteins, AKT serine/threonine kinase 1 (AKT1), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), transcription factor c-Jun, and tumor suppressor protein p53, were identified from compound–target–pathway and protein–protein interaction networks. Molecular docking analysis verified that the active ingredients of Aloe vera were able to interact with the core proteins, especially AKT1 and TNFα. The results demonstrate the multi-compound, multi-target, and multi-pathway mechanisms of Aloe vera against NASH. Our study has shown the scientific basis for further experiments in terms of the mechanism to develop Aloe vera-based natural products as complementary treatments for NASH. Furthermore, it identifies novel drug candidates based on the structures of Aloe vera’s active compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds in Plants and Their Anti-inflammatory Activity II)
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Article
Exogenous Phytohormones and Fertilizers Enhance Jatropha curcas L. Growth through the Regulation of Physiological, Morphological, and Biochemical Parameters
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3584; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243584 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 657
Abstract
Jatropha curcas L. is a perennial plant, that emerged as a biodiesel crop attracting the great interest of researchers. However, it is considered a semi-wild plant and needed to apply crop-improving practices to enhance its full yield potential. This study was conducted to [...] Read more.
Jatropha curcas L. is a perennial plant, that emerged as a biodiesel crop attracting the great interest of researchers. However, it is considered a semi-wild plant and needed to apply crop-improving practices to enhance its full yield potential. This study was conducted to improve the growth and development of the J. curcas plant by exogenous application of Gibberellic acid (GA), indole acetic acid (IAA), and fertilizer (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (NPK)). The experiment was conducted in pots in triplicate and 100 ppm and 250 ppm of GA and IAA were applied separately while NPK was applied in two levels (30 and 60 g/pot). The results revealed a significant difference in growth parameters with the application of hormones and fertilizer. The highest shoot length (47%), root length (63%), root fresh weight (72%), and root dry weight (172%) were shown by plants treated with GA 250 ppm. While plants treated with NPK 60 g showed the highest increases in shoot fresh weight and shoot dry weight compared to control plants. The highest increase in leaves number (274%) and branches number (266%) were shown by the plants treated with GA 100 ppm and GA 250 ppm, respectively, while GA 250 ppm and IAA 250 ppm highly increased stem diameter (123%) and stem diameter was also shown by GA 250 ppm-treated plants. NPK 60 g highly increased proximate composition (protein content, carbohydrate, fat, moisture content, and ash content) compare with hormones and control plants. Our results concluded the optimized concentration of IAA, GA, and NPK significantly increases J. curcas growth vigor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Crop Quality and Stress Responses)
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Article
Growth Parameters of Various Green Microalgae Species in Effluent from Biogas Reactors: The Importance of Effluent Concentration
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3583; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243583 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 490
Abstract
The use of liquid waste as a feedstock for cultivation of microalgae can reduce water and nutrient costs and can also be used to treat wastewater with simultaneous production of biomass and valuable products. This study applied strategies to treat diluted anaerobic digester [...] Read more.
The use of liquid waste as a feedstock for cultivation of microalgae can reduce water and nutrient costs and can also be used to treat wastewater with simultaneous production of biomass and valuable products. This study applied strategies to treat diluted anaerobic digester effluent (ADE) as a residue of biogas reactors with moderate (87 ± 0.6 mg L−1; 10% ADE) and elevated NH4+-N levels (175 ± 1.1 mg L−1; 20% ADE). The effect of ADE dilution on the acclimatization of various microalgae was studied based on the analysis of the growth and productivity of the tested green algae. Two species of the genus Chlorella showed robust growth in the 10–20% ADE (with a maximum total weight of 3.26 ± 0.18 g L−1 for C. vulgaris and 2.81 ± 0.10 g L−1 for C. sorokiniana). The use of 10% ADE made it possible to cultivate the strains of the family Scenedesmaceae more effectively than the use of 20% ADE. The growth of Neochloris sp. in ADE was the lowest compared to other microalgal strains. The results of this study demonstrated the feasibility of introducing individual green microalgae into the processes of nutrient recovery from ADE to obtain biomass with a high protein content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Article
Application of Citrus and Apple Fibers for Formulation of Quercetin/Fiber Aggregates: Impact of Quercetin Concentration
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3582; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243582 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 434
Abstract
Among flavonoids, quercetin has gained special attention due to its positive biological activities. Quercetin’s disadvantages, such as its hydrophobic nature, poor solubility, and permeability, could be overcome by complexation with different polymers. Dietary fibers are known as carriers of polyphenols, which can protect [...] Read more.
Among flavonoids, quercetin has gained special attention due to its positive biological activities. Quercetin’s disadvantages, such as its hydrophobic nature, poor solubility, and permeability, could be overcome by complexation with different polymers. Dietary fibers are known as carriers of polyphenols, which can protect them from environmental conditions and thus allow them to be absorbed. In this study, apple and citrus fibers (as applicable food by-products) were used as carriers of quercetin. A constant amount of fibers (1%) and different concentrations of quercetin solution (5 mM, 10 mM, and 20 mM) were complexed. Obtained fiber aggregates were subjected to HPLC to determine the quercetin concentration and antioxidant activity of aggregates (ABTS, DPPH, FRAP, and CUPRAC assays). IR spectra were recorded to confirm complexation of quercetin with selected fibers, and an additional DSC study was performed to evaluate the thermal stability of fiber aggregates. The results of HPLC analysis showed that quercetin had higher affinity towards apple fiber than citrus fiber, without proportional trends of adsorption. Consequently, apple fiber aggregates had higher antioxidant potential than citrus fiber aggregates. FTIR-ATR analysis showed the formation of new bands and the loss of existing bands when quercetin was present. Adsorption of quercetin also had an impact on the thermal stability of formulated fiber aggregates. For apple fiber, this impact was negative, while for citrus fiber, the impact was positive. These results could contribute to greater understanding of quercetin’s behavior during the preparation of food additives based on polyphenols and fibers. Full article
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Article
Environmental Factors Driving the Spatial Distribution Pattern of Venerable Trees in Sichuan Province, China
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3581; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243581 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 484
Abstract
Venerable trees are important natural resources and cultural heritage, offering historical, ecological, social and economic value. However, global warming and anthropogenic activities have threatened their welfare and survival. A comprehensive understanding of their current and future spatial patterns, vis-á-vis environmental conditions, can inform [...] Read more.
Venerable trees are important natural resources and cultural heritage, offering historical, ecological, social and economic value. However, global warming and anthropogenic activities have threatened their welfare and survival. A comprehensive understanding of their current and future spatial patterns, vis-á-vis environmental conditions, can inform the co-management of sustainable resource use and conservation. We employed the existing spatial occurrence data and environmental variables (bioclimate and elevation) to simulate the optimal habitats for venerable trees in China’s Sichuan Province. We evaluated the current and future climate scenarios of 2100 with double CO2 concentration. The BIOCLIM and QGIS spatial analyses assessed the primary factors of geographical distribution. The results identified 10,720 venerable trees from 123 species, 81 genera and 42 families. Cupressus funebris dominated, with the maximum importance value, followed by Ginkgo biloba, Ficus virens var. sublanceolata, and Phoebe zhennan. The elevation distribution of tree abundance and species richness demonstrated a unimodal pattern, skewing to the low-elevation end, with a concentration in the 600–1500 m low-medium altitude. The majority of trees and excellent habitats were found in eastern Sichuan with a less harsh terrain and climate. The bio3 (isothermality) and bio7 (temperature annual range) factors significantly influenced tree occurrence. Temperature imposed a greater effect on distribution than moisture under the current climate scenario. For the future climate-change scenario, the suitable habitats were predicted to maintain an overall stable pattern, with largely contiguous expansions of better habitats. However, climate warming would shrink the excellent habitats on the plains. The findings can inform strategies and guidelines for venerable-tree conservation in Sichuan. Furthermore, vulnerable areas could be identified. The future range expansion sites could be enlisted to cultivate new trees to replenish the venerable-tree pool. Habitat patches that remain sustainable could provide refugia with the potential for protected-area designation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Management and Biodiversity)
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Article
OsCSLD1 Mediates NH4+-Dependent Root Hair Growth Suppression and AMT1;2 Expression in Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3580; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243580 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 563
Abstract
Root hairs play crucial roles in the roots, including nutrient uptake, water assimilation, and anchorage with soil, along with supporting rhizospheric microorganisms. In rice, ammonia uptake is mediated by a specialized ammonium transporter (AMT). AMT1;1, AMT1;2, and AMT1;3 have [...] Read more.
Root hairs play crucial roles in the roots, including nutrient uptake, water assimilation, and anchorage with soil, along with supporting rhizospheric microorganisms. In rice, ammonia uptake is mediated by a specialized ammonium transporter (AMT). AMT1;1, AMT1;2, and AMT1;3 have been extensively studied in relation to nitrogen signaling. Cellulose synthase-like D1 (CSLD1) is essential for cell expansion and is highly specific to root hair cells. csld1 mutants showed successful initiation but failed to elongate. However, when nitrogen was depleted, csld1 root hairs resumed elongation. Further experiments revealed that in the presence of ammonium (NH4+), csld1 roots failed to elongate. csld1 elongated normally in the presence of nitrate (NO3). Expression analysis showed an increase in root hair-specific AMT1;2 expression in csld1. CSLD1 was positively co-expressed with AMT1;2 changing nitrogen concentration in the growth media. CSLD1 showed increased expression in the presence of both ammonium and nitrate. Methylammonium (MeA) treatment of CSLD1 overexpression lines suggests that CSLD1 does not directly participate in nitrogen transport. Further studies on the root hair elongation mutant sndp1 showed that nitrogen assimilation is unlikely to depend on root hair length. Therefore, these results suggest that CSLD1 is closely involved in nitrogen-dependent root hair elongation and regulation of AMT1;2 expression in rice roots. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Development and Morphogenesis)
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Article
Epigenetic Stress and Long-Read cDNA Sequencing of Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) Revealed the Origin of the Plant Retrotranscriptome
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3579; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243579 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 715
Abstract
Transposable elements (TEs) contribute not only to genome diversity but also to transcriptome diversity in plants. To unravel the sources of LTR retrotransposon (RTE) transcripts in sunflower, we exploited a recently developed transposon activation method (‘TEgenesis’) along with long-read cDNA Nanopore sequencing. This [...] Read more.
Transposable elements (TEs) contribute not only to genome diversity but also to transcriptome diversity in plants. To unravel the sources of LTR retrotransposon (RTE) transcripts in sunflower, we exploited a recently developed transposon activation method (‘TEgenesis’) along with long-read cDNA Nanopore sequencing. This approach allows for the identification of 56 RTE transcripts from different genomic loci including full-length and non-autonomous RTEs. Using the mobilome analysis, we provided a new set of expressed and transpositional active sunflower RTEs for future studies. Among them, a Ty3/Gypsy RTE called SUNTY3 exhibited ongoing transposition activity, as detected by eccDNA analysis. We showed that the sunflower genome contains a diverse set of non-autonomous RTEs encoding a single RTE protein, including the previously described TR-GAG (terminal repeat with the GAG domain) as well as new categories, TR-RT-RH, TR-RH, and TR-INT-RT. Our results demonstrate that 40% of the loci for RTE-related transcripts (nonLTR-RTEs) lack their LTR sequences and resemble conventional eucaryotic genes encoding RTE-related proteins with unknown functions. It was evident based on phylogenetic analysis that three nonLTR-RTEs encode GAG (HadGAG1-3) fused to a host protein. These HadGAG proteins have homologs found in other plant species, potentially indicating GAG domestication. Ultimately, we found that the sunflower retrotranscriptome originated from the transcription of active RTEs, non-autonomous RTEs, and gene-like RTE transcripts, including those encoding domesticated proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics and Genome Evolution in Plants)
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Communication
First Report of Phaeoacremonium iranianum Causing Olive Twig and Branch Dieback
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3578; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243578 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 579
Abstract
In an olive orchard on the western part of Istria, Croatia, twig and branch dieback was observed on several olive trees. In total, seven samples from symptomatic trees were collected. Samples were analyzed, and four fungal isolates showed morphological similarities to the species [...] Read more.
In an olive orchard on the western part of Istria, Croatia, twig and branch dieback was observed on several olive trees. In total, seven samples from symptomatic trees were collected. Samples were analyzed, and four fungal isolates showed morphological similarities to the species Phaeoacremonium. One isolate, chosen as a representative, was taken for molecular identification and pathogenicity tests. Based on the DNA sequence data of the ITS, TUB, and EF1α gene regions, the isolate was identified as P. iranianum. Pathogenicity tests were conducted on detached olive branches and olive trees in the greenhouse. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of twig and branch dieback on olive caused by Phaeoacremonium iranianum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Protection and Biotic Interactions)
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Review
Integrated Biorefinery and Life Cycle Assessment of Cassava Processing Residue–From Production to Sustainable Evaluation
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3577; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243577 - 18 Dec 2022
Viewed by 868
Abstract
Commonly known as a subsistence culture, cassava came to be considered a commodity and key to adding value. However, this tuber’s processing for starch and flour production is responsible for generating a large amount of waste that causes serious environmental problems. This biomass [...] Read more.
Commonly known as a subsistence culture, cassava came to be considered a commodity and key to adding value. However, this tuber’s processing for starch and flour production is responsible for generating a large amount of waste that causes serious environmental problems. This biomass of varied biochemical composition has excellent potential for producing fuels (biogas, bioethanol, butanol, biohydrogen) and non-energetic products (succinic acid, glucose syrup, lactic acid) via biorefinery. However, there are environmental challenges, leading to uncertainties related to the sustainability of biorefineries. Thus, the provision of information generated in life cycle assessment (LCA) can help reduce bottlenecks found in the productive stages, making production more competitive. Within that, this review concentrates information on the production of value-added products, the environmental impact generated, and the sustainability of biorefineries. Full article
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Article
Application of Magnesium and Calcium Sulfate on Growth and Physiology of Forage Crops under Long-Term Salinity Stress
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3576; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243576 - 18 Dec 2022
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Soil salinity is major threat to crop growth and reducing cultivated land areas and salt-resistant crops have been required to sustain agriculture in salinized areas. This original research was performed to determine the effectiveness of MgSO4 (MS) and CaSO4 (CS) for [...] Read more.
Soil salinity is major threat to crop growth and reducing cultivated land areas and salt-resistant crops have been required to sustain agriculture in salinized areas. This original research was performed to determine the effectiveness of MgSO4 (MS) and CaSO4 (CS) for each species and assess changes in the physiology and growth of fodder crops after short and long-term salt stress. Six treatments (CON (control); NaCl (NaCl 100 mM); 1 MS (1 mM MgSO4 + 100 mM NaCl); 2 MS (2 mM MgSO4 + 100 mM NaCl); 7.5 CS (7.5 mM CaSO4 + 100 mM NaCl); and 10 CS (10 mM CaSO4 + 100 mM NaCl)) were applied to Red clover (Trifolium pratense) and Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) under greenhouse conditions. Cultivars were evaluated based on their dry weights, physiological parameters, forage quality, and ion concentrations. The biomass of both species decreased significantly under NaCl treatments and increased under the MS and CS treatments compared to solely salinity treatments. Salinity caused a decrease in the photosynthetic rate, but compared to CON, the MS and CS treatments yielded superior results. Moreover, the Na+/K+ ratio increased as Na+ concentration increased but crop quality (CP, NDF, ADF) did not show significant differences under salinity. Overall, we concluded that these T. pratense and F. arundinacea species demonstrated various responses to salinity, MS, and CS by different physiological and morphological parameters and it turned out to be efficient under salinity stress. Full article
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Article
Comparative Bio-Potential Effects of Fresh and Boiled Mountain Vegetable (Fern) Extract Mediated Silver Nanoparticles
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3575; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243575 - 18 Dec 2022
Viewed by 564
Abstract
This current investigation was designed to synthesize Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs) using both the fresh (Fbf) and boiled (Bbf) Korean mountain vegetable fern (named Gosari) extracts and make a comparative evaluation of its multi-therapeutic potentials. The screening of phytochemicals in the fern extract was [...] Read more.
This current investigation was designed to synthesize Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs) using both the fresh (Fbf) and boiled (Bbf) Korean mountain vegetable fern (named Gosari) extracts and make a comparative evaluation of its multi-therapeutic potentials. The screening of phytochemicals in the fern extract was undertaken. The synthesized fern-mediated silver nanoparticles are characterized and investigated for their bio-potential like α-glucosidase inhibition, antioxidant, and cytotoxicity prospects. The obtained AgNPs were characterized by the UV-Vis Spectra, SEM, EDS, XRD, FTIR, DLS, Zeta potential analysis, etc. The synthesis of the Fbf-AgNPs was very fast and started within 1 h of the reaction whereas the synthesis of the Bbf-AgNPs synthesis was slow and it started around 18 h of incubation. The UV-Vis spectra displayed the absorption maxima of 424 nm for Fbf-AgNPs and in the case of Bbf-AgNPs, it was shown at 436 nm. The current research results demonstrated that both Fbf-AgNPs and Bbf-AgNPs displayed a strong α-glucosidase inhibition effect with more than 96% effect at 1 µg/mL concentration, but the Bbf-AgNPs displayed a slightly higher effect with IC50 value slightly lower than the Fbf-AgNPs. Both Fbf-AgNPs and Bbf-AgNPs displayed good antioxidant effects concerning the in vitro antioxidant assays. In the case of the cytotoxicity potential assay also, among both the investigated Fbf-AgNPs and Bbf-AgNPs nanoparticles, the Bbf-AgNPs showed stronger effects with lower IC50 value as compared to the Fbf-AgNPs. In conclusion, both the fern-mediated AgNPs displayed promising multi-therapeutic potential and could be beneficial in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors. Though the synthesis process is rapid in Fbf-AgNPs, but it is concluded from the results of all the tested bio-potential assays, Bbf-AgNPs is slightly better than Fbf-AgNPs. Full article
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Article
Grape Berry Responses to Sequential Flooding and Heatwave Events: A Physiological, Transcriptional, and Metabolic Overview
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3574; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243574 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 762
Abstract
Grapevine cultivation, such as the whole horticulture, is currently challenged by several factors, among which the extreme weather events occurring under the climate change scenario are the most relevant. Within this context, the present study aims at characterizing at the berry level the [...] Read more.
Grapevine cultivation, such as the whole horticulture, is currently challenged by several factors, among which the extreme weather events occurring under the climate change scenario are the most relevant. Within this context, the present study aims at characterizing at the berry level the physiological response of Vitis vinifera cv. Sauvignon Blanc to sequential stresses simulated under a semi-controlled environment: flooding at bud-break followed by multiple summer stress (drought plus heatwave) occurring at pre-vèraison. Transcriptomic and metabolomic assessments were performed through RNASeq and NMR, respectively. A comprehensive hormone profiling was also carried out. Results pointed out a different response to the heatwave in the two situations. Flooding caused a developmental advance, determining a different physiological background in the berry, thus affecting its response to the summer stress at both transcriptional levels, with the upregulation of genes involved in oxidative stress responses, and metabolic level, with the increase in osmoprotectants, such as proline and other amino acids. In conclusion, sequential stress, including a flooding event at bud-break followed by a summer heatwave, may impact phenological development and berry ripening, with possible consequences on berry and wine quality. A berry physiological model is presented that may support the development of sustainable vineyard management solutions to improve the water use efficiency and adaptation capacity of actual viticultural systems to future scenarios. Full article
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Article
Antimicrobial, Antibiofilm, and Antioxidant Properties of Essential Oil of Foeniculum vulgare Mill. Leaves
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3573; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243573 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 741
Abstract
Foeniculum vulgare (Apiaceae) is an aromatic fennel with important practices in medicinal and traditional fields, used in the treatment of digestive complications, and gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders. Its leaves and stems, tender and fresh, are used in the production of pasta dressing and [...] Read more.
Foeniculum vulgare (Apiaceae) is an aromatic fennel with important practices in medicinal and traditional fields, used in the treatment of digestive complications, and gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders. Its leaves and stems, tender and fresh, are used in the production of pasta dressing and main courses, while its seeds, with a strong smell of anise, are excellent flavoring for baked goods, meat dishes, fish, and alcoholic beverages. The aim of this work is concerning the extraction of essential oil (EO) from the leaves of F. vulgare subsp. vulgare var. vulgare, investigating antimicrobial, antibiofilm, and antioxidant efficacy. In particular, GC-MS analysis showed how the chemical composition of EO was influenced by the massive presence of monoterpene hydrocarbons (α-pinene 33.75%) and phenylpropanoids (estragole 25.06%). F. vulgare subsp. vulgare var. vulgare EO shows excellent antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains. This EO can inhibit biofilm formation at very low concentrations and has a good ability to scavenge oxygen radicals in vitro. F. vulgare subsp. vulgare var. vulgare EO also has an increased activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) enzymes and decreased ROS levels in zymosan opsonized PMNs (OZ). Full article
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Article
Histone Acetyltransferase GCN5 Affects Auxin Transport during Root Growth by Modulating Histone Acetylation and Gene Expression of PINs
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3572; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243572 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 636
Abstract
General Control Non-Derepressible 5 (GCN5) is a histone acetyltransferase that targets multiple genes and is essential for the acetylation of Lysine residues in the N-terminal tail of histone H3 in Arabidopsis. GCN5 interacts with the transcriptional coactivator Alteration/Deficiency in Activation 2b (ADA2b), which [...] Read more.
General Control Non-Derepressible 5 (GCN5) is a histone acetyltransferase that targets multiple genes and is essential for the acetylation of Lysine residues in the N-terminal tail of histone H3 in Arabidopsis. GCN5 interacts with the transcriptional coactivator Alteration/Deficiency in Activation 2b (ADA2b), which enhances its activity functioning in multiprotein complexes, such as the Spt-Ada-Gcn5-Acetyltransferase complex (SAGA). Mutations in GCN5 and ADA2b result in pleiotropic phenotypes, including alterations in the growth of roots. Auxin is known to regulate root development by modulating gene expression patterns. Auxin moves polarly during plant growth via the Pin-formed (PIN) auxin efflux transport proteins. The effect of GCN5 and ADA2b on auxin distribution at different stages of early root growth (4 to 7 days post-germination) was studied using the reporter lines DR5rev::GFP and PIN1::PIN1-GFP. In wild-type plants, auxin efflux transporter PIN1 expression increases from the fourth to the seventh day of root growth. The PIN1 expression was reduced in the roots of gcn5-1 and ada2b-1 compared to the wild type. The expression of PIN1 in ada2b-1 mutants is confined only to the meristematic zone, specifically in the stele cells, whereas it is almost abolished in the elongation zone. Gene expression analysis showed that genes associated with auxin transport, PIN1, PIN3 and PIN4, are downregulated in gcn5-1 and ada2b-1 mutants relative to the wild type. As a result, auxin accumulation was also reduced in gcn5-1 and ada2b-1 compared to wild-type roots. Furthermore, acetylation of Lysine 14 of histone H3 (H3K14) was also affected in the promoter and coding region of PIN1, PIN3 and PIN4 genes during root growth of Arabidopsis in gcn5 mutants. In conclusion, GCN5 acts as a positive regulator of auxin distribution in early root growth by modulating histone H3 acetylation and the expression of auxin efflux transport genes. Full article
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Article
Severe Shoot Trimming and Crop Size as Tools to Modulate Cv. Merlot Berry Composition
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3571; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243571 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 423
Abstract
Viticulture production is challenged by climate change and the consequent higher accumulation of carbohydrates in grapevine berries, resulting in high-alcoholic wines. This study investigates the application of severe shoot trimming performed at three different stages and crop size management as tools for the [...] Read more.
Viticulture production is challenged by climate change and the consequent higher accumulation of carbohydrates in grapevine berries, resulting in high-alcoholic wines. This study investigates the application of severe shoot trimming performed at three different stages and crop size management as tools for the modulation of cv. Merlot berry composition, aimed at reducing the sugar content in the berry. In the first study, the effects of severe shoot trimming carried out at three different phenological stages were studied. In the second study, late severe shoot trimming was combined with two crop sizes and regulated by shoot thinning. The obtained results demonstrated that severe shoot trimming in earlier stages of berry development limited the accumulation of both sugars and anthocyanins as compared to the control treatment. However, when severe shoot trimming was performed at late veraison (at approximately 14 Brix), it decreased only the accumulation of sugars, without affecting the accumulation of anthocyanins. The results of the second study showed that the modification of crop size by shoot thinning significantly affected the measured yield parameters, whereas the effect on Brix and anthocyanins was seasonally dependent. It was concluded that among the studied techniques, severe shoot trimming at late veraison is the most effective way to reduce sugar content in the berry without affecting the accumulation of anthocyanins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Physiology and Crop Production)
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Article
Proteomic Changes in Response to Colorless nonripening Mutation during Tomato Fruit Ripening
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3570; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243570 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 443
Abstract
SlSPL-CNR is a multifunctional transcription factor gene that plays important roles in regulating tomato fruit ripening. However, the molecular basis of SlSPL-CNR in the regulatory networks is not exactly clear. In the present study, the biochemical characteristics and expression levels of genes involved [...] Read more.
SlSPL-CNR is a multifunctional transcription factor gene that plays important roles in regulating tomato fruit ripening. However, the molecular basis of SlSPL-CNR in the regulatory networks is not exactly clear. In the present study, the biochemical characteristics and expression levels of genes involved in ethylene biosynthesis in Colorless nonripening (Cnr) natural mutant were determined. The proteomic changes during the ripening stage were also uncovered by isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)–based quantitative proteomic analysis. Results indicated that both the lycopene content and soluble solid content (SSC) in Cnr fruit were lower than those in wild-type AC fruit. Meanwhile, pH, flavonoid content, and chlorophyll content were higher in Cnr fruit. Expressions of genes involved in ethylene biosynthesis were also downregulated or delayed in Cnr fruit. Furthermore, 1024 and 1234 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) were respectively identified for the breaker and 10 days postbreaker stages. Among them, a total of 512 proteins were differentially expressed at both stages. In addition, the functions of DEPs were classified by Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis. Results would lay the groundwork for wider explorations of the regulatory mechanism of SlSPL-CNR on tomato fruit ripening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Development and Morphogenesis)
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Article
Dynamics Changes in Basal Area Increment, Carbon Isotopes Composition and Water Use Efficiency in Pine as Response to Water and Heat Stress in Silesia, Poland
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3569; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243569 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 406
Abstract
Trees can be used as archives of changes in the environment. In this paper, we present the results of the analysis of the impact of water stress and increase in air temperature on BAI and carbon stable isotopic composition and water use efficiency [...] Read more.
Trees can be used as archives of changes in the environment. In this paper, we present the results of the analysis of the impact of water stress and increase in air temperature on BAI and carbon stable isotopic composition and water use efficiency of pine. Dendrochronological methods together with mass spectrometry techniques give a possibility to conduct a detailed investigation of pine growing in four industrial forests in Silesia (Poland). Detailed analysis-based bootstrap and moving correlation between climatic indices (temperature, precipitation, and Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index) and tree parameters give the chance to check if the climatic signals recorded by trees can be hidden or modified over a longer period of time. Trees have been found to be very sensitive to weather conditions, but their sensitivity can be modified and masked by the effect of pollution. Scots pine trees at all sites systematically increased the basal area increment (BAI) and the intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE) and decreased δ13C in the last century. Furthermore, their sensitivity to the climatic factor remained at a relatively high level. Industrial pollution caused a small reduction in the wood growth of pines and an increase in the heterogeneity of annual growth responses of trees. The main factors influencing the formation of wood in the pines were thermal conditions in the winter season and pluvial conditions in the previous autumn, and also in spring and summer in the year of tree ring formation. The impact of thermal and pluvial conditions in the year of tree ring formation has also been reflected in the isotopic composition of tree rings and water use efficiency. Three different scenarios of trees’ reaction link to the reduction of stomata conductance or changes in photosynthesis rate as the response to climate changes in the last 40 years have been proposed. Full article
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Article
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Plant Shoot and Root Changes under Abiotic Stresses—Yield Response
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3568; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243568 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 338
Abstract
During the growing season, potato plants are often exposed to soil drought, frequently accompanied by heat stress, which results in crop losses. In our experiment, the impact of these stresses, both separately and simultaneously, on the above-ground, on the root, and on the [...] Read more.
During the growing season, potato plants are often exposed to soil drought, frequently accompanied by heat stress, which results in crop losses. In our experiment, the impact of these stresses, both separately and simultaneously, on the above-ground, on the root, and on the tuber mass was assessed. Four potato cultivars were tested. In vitro plants were planted in plastic tubes. Four treatments were used: control–optimal irrigation and temperature (22/18 °C), drought stress, high temperature stress (38/25 °C), and drought and high temperature stresses combined. The stresses were applied for two weeks during the tuberization phase. Both stresses caused changes in plant morphology. Drought stress had a greater impact on these changes than high temperatures. The biggest changes, however, took place when both stresses were applied simultaneously. Under all stresses, a decrease in tuber yield was found. The largest decrease was recorded in the case of applying both stresses simultaneously, while the smallest one was in the case of high temperature stress in relation to a control condition. Among the morphological parameters studied, the mass of the root system and its share in the entire biomass of the plant had the greatest impact on the decrease in yield. This mainly concerned drought stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change)
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Communication
Priming by Insects: Differential Effects of Sympatric and Allopatric Priming upon Plant Performance and Tolerance to Herbivory
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3567; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243567 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 376
Abstract
Plants have evolved multiple mechanisms to defend themselves from their multiple herbivores. Thus, being able to recognise among them and respond accordingly is fundamental for plant survival and reproduction. Defence priming prepares the plant to better or more rapidly respond to future damage; [...] Read more.
Plants have evolved multiple mechanisms to defend themselves from their multiple herbivores. Thus, being able to recognise among them and respond accordingly is fundamental for plant survival and reproduction. Defence priming prepares the plant to better or more rapidly respond to future damage; however, while it is considered an adaptive trait, to date, no studies have evaluated the extent and specificity of the priming recognition. To estimate the costs, benefits and specificity of priming, we used a highly specialist plant–insect system (Datura stramoniumLema daturaphila) and performed a reciprocal transplant experiment with two populations where a priming stimulus (sympatric vs. allopatric) and a damage treatment (sympatric) were applied. We found no evidence of a fitness cost of priming, given that primed plants without damage showed no reduction in fitness. In contrast, our treatments affected the probability of bud abortion. That is, when damaged plants received no priming or the priming came from an allopatric insect, the likelihood of aborting the first bud was 1.9 times greater compared to plants being primed by their sympatric insect. We also found that damaged plants primed with an allopatric insect produced 14% fewer seeds compared to plants receiving a sympatric priming stimulus. Tolerance to herbivore damage was also the lowest when plants received the priming stimulus from an allopatric insect. Overall, these results suggest that, in our study system, plants recognise their local insect population reducing the negative effect of damage through a tolerance response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution of Plant Defence to Herbivores)
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Article
Rich in Phenolics—Strong Antioxidant Fruit? Comparative Study of 25 Strawberry Cultivars
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3566; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243566 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 585
Abstract
Phenolic compounds of 25 newly introduced strawberry cultivars were profiled using spectrophotometry, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, and high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Total phenolic and anthocyanin content (TPC and TACY, respectively), as well as vitamin C, and concentrations of individual phenolic compounds in [...] Read more.
Phenolic compounds of 25 newly introduced strawberry cultivars were profiled using spectrophotometry, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, and high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Total phenolic and anthocyanin content (TPC and TACY, respectively), as well as vitamin C, and concentrations of individual phenolic compounds in fruits were evaluated to identify the most promising cultivars according to their phenolic profile. The highest values of TPC, TACY, and vitamin C were recorded in ‘Premy’ (1.53 mg eq GA g−1 FW), ‘Sandra’ (30.60 mg eq Pg-3-g 100 g−1 FW), and ‘Laetitia’ (56.32 mg 100 g−1 FW), respectively. The DPPH and •OH radicals scavenging activity of fruit methanolic extracts was estimated using EPR spectroscopy. All cultivars are almost uniformly effective in the scavenging of •OH radical, while ‘Tea’, ‘Premy’, and ‘Joly’ were marked as highly potent cultivars (over 70%) in terms of DPPH-antiradical activity. Specific peroxidase activities were the highest in ‘Garda’, ‘Federica’, and ‘Rumba’ (0.11, 0.08, and 0.06 U mg−1 prot, respectively). ‘Laetitia’, ‘Joly’, ‘Arianna’, ‘Tea’, and ‘Mila’ cultivars were distinguished from others as the richest concerning almost all flavonoids and phenolic acids, including some other parameters of bioactivity. These cultivars could be recommended to consumers as functional fruit foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctionality of Phenolic Compounds in Plants)
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Article
High-Throughput Sequencing Reveals Tobacco and Tomato Ringspot Viruses in Pawpaw
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3565; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243565 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 541
Abstract
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) trees exhibiting stunting and foliar mosaic, chlorosis, or distortions were observed in New York. In 2021, leaf samples from two symptomatic trees and a sapling, as well as two asymptomatic trees, were tested for the presence of viruses [...] Read more.
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) trees exhibiting stunting and foliar mosaic, chlorosis, or distortions were observed in New York. In 2021, leaf samples from two symptomatic trees and a sapling, as well as two asymptomatic trees, were tested for the presence of viruses and viroids by high-throughput sequencing (HTS) using total RNA after ribosomal RNA depletion. HTS sequence information revealed tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV) and tomato ringspot virus (ToRSV) in symptomatic but not in asymptomatic leaves. HTS reads and de novo-assembled contigs covering the genomes of both viruses were obtained, with a higher average read depth for RNA2 than RNA1. The occurrence of TRSV and ToRSV was confirmed in the original leaf samples used for HTS and 12 additional trees and saplings from New York and Maryland in 2022 by RT-PCR combined with Sanger sequencing, and DAS-ELISA. Single infections by TRSV in 11 of 14 trees and dual infections by TRSV and ToRSV in 3 of 14 trees were identified. The nucleotide sequence identity of partial gene fragments of TRSV and ToRSV was high among pawpaw isolates (94.9–100% and 91.8–100%, respectively) and between pawpaw isolates and isolates from other horticultural crops (93.6–100% and 71.3–99.3%, respectively). This study is the first to determine the virome of pawpaw. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Responses to Environmental Stresses)
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Article
Soil Acidification in Nutrient-Enriched Soils Reduces the Growth, Nutrient Concentrations, and Nitrogen-Use Efficiencies of Vachellia sieberiana (DC.) Kyal. & Boatwr Saplings
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3564; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243564 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 428
Abstract
Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) nutrient enrichment is important for grasslands. This study aimed to determine how soils enriched with N and P influenced soil concentration correlations and affected the growth kinetics, mineral nutrition, and nitrogen-use efficiencies of Vachellia sieberiana grown in a [...] Read more.
Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) nutrient enrichment is important for grasslands. This study aimed to determine how soils enriched with N and P influenced soil concentration correlations and affected the growth kinetics, mineral nutrition, and nitrogen-use efficiencies of Vachellia sieberiana grown in a greenhouse experiment. The soils used as the growth substrate were analysed and showed extreme acidity (low soil pH, 3.9). Nitrogen-enriched soils were more acidic than P-enriched soils. Exchangeable acidity was strongly negatively correlated with an increase in soil pH, with soil pH between 3.9 and 4.1 units showing the strongest decline. Plant saplings showed increased root biomass, shoot biomass, total biomass, and plant N and P concentrations when grown in soils with high soil P concentrations. Extreme soil acidification in N-enriched soil was one of the main factors causing P unavailability, decreasing sapling growth. Extreme soil acidification increased concentrations of toxic heavy metals, such as Al which may be alleviated by adding lime to the extremely acidic soils. Research implications suggest that soil pH is an important chemical property of the soil and plays a significant role in legume plant growth. Legume species that are unable to tolerate acidic soils may acquire different strategies for growth and functioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant-Soil Interactions)
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Article
Rubber Genotypes with Contrasting Drought Factor Index Revealed Different Mechanisms for Drought Resistance in Hevea brasiliensis
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3563; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243563 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 819
Abstract
It is predicted that drought will be more frequent and sustained in the future, which may affect the decline of rubber tree production. Therefore, it is critical to research some of the variables related to the drought-resistance mechanism of the rubber tree. As [...] Read more.
It is predicted that drought will be more frequent and sustained in the future, which may affect the decline of rubber tree production. Therefore, it is critical to research some of the variables related to the drought-resistance mechanism of the rubber tree. As a result, it can be used to guide the selection of new rubber drought-resistance clones. The goal of this study was to identify drought-resistance mechanisms in rubber clones from the high drought factor index (DFI) group using ecophysiological and biochemical variables. The treatments consist of two factors, namely water deficit and contrasting clones based on the DFI variable. The first factor consisted of three levels, namely normal (fraction of transpirable soil water (FTSW) > 0.75), severe water deficit (0.1 < FTSW < 0.20), and recovery condition (FTSW > 0.75 after rewatering). The second factor consisted of seven clones, namely clones G239, GT1 (low DFI), G127, SP 217, PB 260 (moderate DFI), as well as G206 and RRIM 600 (high DFI). RRIM 600 had the highest DFI among the other clones as a drought-tolerance mechanism characteristic. Furthermore, clones RRIM 600, GT1, and G127 had lower stomatal conductance and transpiration rate than drought-sensitive clone PB 260. As a result, as drought avoidance mechanisms, clones RRIM 600, GT1, and G127 consume less water than clone PB 260. These findings indicated that clone RRIM 600 was a drought-resistant clone with drought tolerance and avoidance mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Article
Screening Bambara Groundnut (Vigna subterranea L. Verdc) Genotypes for Drought Tolerance at the Germination Stage under Simulated Drought Conditions
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3562; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243562 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 442
Abstract
Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranean L. Verdc) is grown by smallholders and subsistence farmers in the marginal parts of sub-Saharan Africa. This legume is native to Africa and is cultivated throughout semi-arid sub-Saharan Africa. It is hardy and has been recognized as a [...] Read more.
Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranean L. Verdc) is grown by smallholders and subsistence farmers in the marginal parts of sub-Saharan Africa. This legume is native to Africa and is cultivated throughout semi-arid sub-Saharan Africa. It is hardy and has been recognized as a nutritious food source in times of scarcity. Drought can negatively affect the germination or establishment of seedlings in the early stages of crop growth. Drought can limit the growing season of certain crops and create conditions that encourage the invasion of insects and diseases. Drought can also lead to a lack of crop yield, leading to rising food prices, shortages, and possibly malnutrition in vulnerable populations. A drought-tolerant genotype can be identified at the germination stage of Bambara groundnut by screening for drought-tolerance traits, and this knowledge can be applied to Bambara crop improvement programs to identify drought-tolerant traits during early growth phases. As an osmolyte, polyethylene glycol (PEG 6000) reduced water potential and simulated drought stress in Bambara groundnut seeds of different genotypes. Osmolytes are low-molecular-weight organic compounds that influence biological fluid properties. In this study, 24 Bambara groundnut genotypes were used. Data were collected on seed germination percentage (G%), germination velocity index (GVI), mean germination time (MGT), root dry mass (RDM), root fresh mass (RFM), and seven drought tolerance indices: mean productivity (MP), tolerance index (TOL), geometric mean productivity (GMP), stress susceptibility index (SSI), yield index (YI), yield stability index (YSI), stress tolerance index (STI) as well as seed coat color measurements. The data were applied to the mean observation of genotypes under simulated drought conditions (Ys) and the mean observation of genotypes under controlled conditions (Yp). Germination%, germination velocity index (GVI), mass germination time (MGT), and root fresh mass (RFM) differed significantly (p < 0.001) between the two stress conditions. Bambara genotypes Acc 82 and Acc 96 were found to be the most drought-tolerant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants Volume II)
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Article
Evaluation of Polyphenolic Composition and Antimicrobial Properties of Sanguisorba officinalis L. and Sanguisorba minor Scop.
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3561; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243561 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 717
Abstract
The most widespread Sanguisorba species are Sanguisorba officinalis L. and Sanguisorba minor Scop. which are also found in the Romanian flora and classified as medicinal plants because of hemostatic, antibacterial, antitumor, antioxidant and antiviral activities. This study aimed to characterize and compare Sanguisorba [...] Read more.
The most widespread Sanguisorba species are Sanguisorba officinalis L. and Sanguisorba minor Scop. which are also found in the Romanian flora and classified as medicinal plants because of hemostatic, antibacterial, antitumor, antioxidant and antiviral activities. This study aimed to characterize and compare Sanguisorba species in order to highlight which species is more valuable according to phenolic profile and antimicrobial activity. Based on high-performance liquid chromatography equipped with photodiode array detection and mass spectrometry (electrospray ionization) (HPLC–DAD-MS (ESI+)) analysis, it was evident that the ethanol extract obtained from the leaves of S. minor Scop. contains the highest content of phenolic compounds at 160.96 mg/g p.s., followed by the flower and root extract (131.56 mg/g dw and 121.36 mg/g dw, respectively). While in S. officinalis, the highest amount of phenols was recorded in the root extract (127.06 mg/g), followed by the flower and leaves extract (102.31 mg/g and 81.09 mg/g dw, respectively). Our results show that among the two species, S. minor Scop. is richer in phenolic compounds compared with the S. officinalis L. sample. In addition, the antimicrobial potential of each plant organ of Sanguisorba species was investigated. The ethanol extract of S. minor Scop. leaves exhibited better antibacterial activity against all of the bacteria tested, especially on Staphylococcus aureus, with an inhibition zone of 15.33 ± 0.83 mm. Due to the chemical composition and antimicrobial effect, the Sanguisorba species can be used as food supplements with beneficial effects on human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plant Extracts)
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Article
Guettarda crispiflora Vahl Methanol Extract Ameliorates Acute Lung Injury and Gastritis by Suppressing Src Phosphorylation
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3560; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243560 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Many species in the genus Guettarda are known to exert anti-inflammatory effects and are used as traditional medicinal plants to treat various inflammatory symptoms. However, no studies on the inflammatory activities of Guettarda crispiflora Vahl have been reported. The aim of the study [...] Read more.
Many species in the genus Guettarda are known to exert anti-inflammatory effects and are used as traditional medicinal plants to treat various inflammatory symptoms. However, no studies on the inflammatory activities of Guettarda crispiflora Vahl have been reported. The aim of the study was to investigate in vitro and in vivo the anti-inflammatory effects of a methanol extract of Guettarda crispiflora Vahl (Gc-ME). To determine the anti-inflammatory activity of Gc-ME, lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-, poly(I:C)-, or Pam3CSK4-treated RAW264.7 cells, HCl/EtOH- and LPS-treated mice were employed for in vitro and in vivo tests. LPS-induced nitric oxide production in RAW264.7 cells was determined by Griess assays and cytokine gene expression in LPS-activated RAW264.7 cells, confirmed by RT- and real-time PCR. Transcriptional activation was evaluated by luciferase reporter gene assay. Target protein validation was assessed by Western blot analysis and cellular thermal shift assays (CETSA) with LPS-treated RAW264.7 and gene-transfected HEK293 cells. Using both a HCl/EtOH-induced gastritis model and an LPS-induced lung injury model, inflammatory states were checked by scoring or evaluating gastric lesions, lung edema, and lung histology. Phytochemical fingerprinting of Gc-ME was observed by using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. Nitric oxide production induced by LPS and Pam3CSK4 in RAW264.7 cells was revealed to be reduced by Gc-ME. The LPS-induced upregulation of iNOS, COX-2, IL-6, and IL-1β was also suppressed by Gc-ME treatment. Gc-ME downregulated the promotor activities of AP-1 and NF-κB triggered by MyD88- and TRIF induction. Upstream signaling proteins for NF-κB activation, namely, p-p50, p-p65, p-IκBα, and p-Src were all downregulated by Ch-EE. Moreover, Src was revealed to be directly targeted by Gc-ME. This extract, orally treated strongly, attenuated the inflammatory symptoms in HCl/EtOH-treated stomachs and LPS-treated lungs. Therefore, these results strongly imply that Guettarda crispiflora can be developed as a promising anti-inflammatory remedy with Src-suppressive properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural and Functional Analysis of Extracts in Plants III)
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Article
Single-Molecule Real-Time Sequencing of Full-Length Transcriptome and Identification of Genes Related to Male Development in Cannabis sativa
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3559; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243559 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 595
Abstract
Female Cannabis sativa plants have important therapeutic properties. The sex ratio of the dioecious cannabis is approximately 1:1. Cultivating homozygous female plants by inducing female plants to produce male flowers is of great practical significance. However, the mechanism underlying cannabis male development remains [...] Read more.
Female Cannabis sativa plants have important therapeutic properties. The sex ratio of the dioecious cannabis is approximately 1:1. Cultivating homozygous female plants by inducing female plants to produce male flowers is of great practical significance. However, the mechanism underlying cannabis male development remains unclear. In this study, single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing was performed using a mixed sample of female and induced male flowers from the ZYZM1 cannabis variety. A total of 15,241 consensus reads were identified, and 13,657 transcripts were annotated across seven public databases. A total of 48 lncRNAs with an average length of 986.54 bp were identified. In total, 8202 transcripts were annotated as transcription factors, the most common of which were bHLH transcription factors. Moreover, tissue-specific expression pattern analysis showed that 13 MADS transcription factors were highly expressed in male flowers. Furthermore, 232 reads of novel genes were predicted and enriched in lipid metabolism, and qRT-PCR results showed that CER1 may be involved in the development of cannabis male flowers. In addition, 1170 AS events were detected, and two AS events were further validated. Taken together, these results may improve our understanding of the complexity of full-length cannabis transcripts and provide a basis for understanding the molecular mechanism of cannabis male development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Studies on Cannabis sativa and Cannabinoids)
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