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Plants, Volume 11, Issue 5 (March-1 2022) – 138 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The paper presents the first synthesis of the Sardinian endemic vascular flora, which was updated after checking literature, web sources, and unpublished data from authors and external experts. Sardinia hosts 341 taxa endemic to the Tyrrhenian islands and other biogeographically related territories (15% of the total native flora); 195 taxa are exclusive to Sardinia (8% of the total native flora). Asteraceae and Plumbaginaceae, likewise hemicryptophytes and chamaephytes, are the most representative families and life forms, respectively. Most of the endemics are under the ‘Critically Endangered’, ‘Endangered’, or ‘Least Concern’ IUCN categories. This checklist represents a basis for future studies to support integrated and efficient policies. View this paper
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18 pages, 27142 KiB  
Article
Proteomic Profiling and Rhizosphere-Associated Microbial Communities Reveal Adaptive Mechanisms of Dioclea apurensis Kunth in Eastern Amazon’s Rehabilitating Minelands
by Sidney Vasconcelos do Nascimento, Paulo Henrique de Oliveira Costa, Hector Herrera, Cecílio Frois Caldeira, Markus Gastauer, Silvio Junio Ramos, Guilherme Oliveira and Rafael Borges da Silva Valadares
Plants 2022, 11(5), 712; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050712 - 7 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2427
Abstract
Dioclea apurensis Kunth is native to ferruginous rocky outcrops (known as canga) in the eastern Amazon. Native cangas are considered hotspots of biological diversity and have one of the largest iron ore deposits in the world. There, D. apurensis can grow in [...] Read more.
Dioclea apurensis Kunth is native to ferruginous rocky outcrops (known as canga) in the eastern Amazon. Native cangas are considered hotspots of biological diversity and have one of the largest iron ore deposits in the world. There, D. apurensis can grow in post-mining areas where molecular mechanisms and rhizospheric interactions with soil microorganisms are expected to contribute to their establishment in rehabilitating minelands (RM). In this study, we compare the root proteomic profile and rhizosphere-associated bacterial and fungal communities of D. apurensis growing in canga and RM to characterize the main mechanisms that allow the growth and establishment in post-mining areas. The results showed that proteins involved in response to oxidative stress, drought, excess of iron, and phosphorus deficiency showed higher levels in canga and, therefore, helped explain its high establishment rates in RM. Rhizospheric selectivity of microorganisms was more evident in canga. The microbial community structure was mostly different between the two habitats, denoting that despite having its preferences, D. apurensis can associate with beneficial soil microorganisms without specificity. Therefore, its good performance in RM can also be improved or attributed to its ability to cope with beneficial soil-borne microorganisms. Native plants with such adaptations must be used to enhance the rehabilitation process. Full article
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22 pages, 6724 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Analysis of SNARE Genes in Brassica napus
by Jing Xu, Xu Zhao, Jiandong Bao, Yanan Shan, Mengjiao Zhang, Yanan Shen, Yakubu Saddeeq Abubakar, Guodong Lu, Zonghua Wang and Airong Wang
Plants 2022, 11(5), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050711 - 7 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2517
Abstract
SNAREs (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors) are central components that drive membrane fusion events during exocytosis and endocytosis and play important roles in different biological processes of plants. In this study, we identified 237 genes encoding SNARE family proteins in B. [...] Read more.
SNAREs (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors) are central components that drive membrane fusion events during exocytosis and endocytosis and play important roles in different biological processes of plants. In this study, we identified 237 genes encoding SNARE family proteins in B. napus in silico at the whole-genome level. Phylogenetic analysis showed that BnaSNAREs could be classified into five groups (Q (a-, b-, c-, bc-) and R) like other plant SNAREs and clustered into twenty-five subclades. The gene structure and protein domain of each subclade were found to be highly conserved. In many subclades, BnaSNAREs are significantly expanded compared with the orthologous genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. BnaSNARE genes are expressed differentially in the leaves and roots of B. napus. RNA-seq data and RT-qPCR proved that some of the BnaSNAREs are involved in the plant response to S. sclerotiorum infection as well as treatments with toxin oxalic acid (OA) (a virulence factor often secreted by S. sclerotiorum) or abscisic acid (ABA), methyl jasmonate (MeJA), and salicylic acid (SA), which individually promote resistance to S. sclerotiorum. Moreover, the interacted proteins of BnaSNAREs contain some defense response-related proteins, which increases the evidence that BnaSNAREs are involved in plant immunity. We also found the co-expression of BnaSYP121/2s, BnaSNAPs, and BnaVAMP722/3s in B. napus due to S. sclerotiorum infection as well as the probable interaction among them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Mechanisms of Resistance to Plant Diseases)
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10 pages, 29359 KiB  
Article
Waterlogged Conditions Influence the Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Sugar Distribution in Sago Palm (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.) at Seedling Stages
by Aidil Azhar, Koki Asano, Daisuke Sugiura, Mana Kano-Nakata and Hiroshi Ehara
Plants 2022, 11(5), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050710 - 7 Mar 2022
Viewed by 2437
Abstract
Sago palm (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.) grows in well-drained mineral soil and in peatland with high groundwater levels until complete submersion. However, the published information on nutrient uptake and carbohydrate content in sago palms growing under waterlogging remains unreported. This experiment observed sago [...] Read more.
Sago palm (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.) grows in well-drained mineral soil and in peatland with high groundwater levels until complete submersion. However, the published information on nutrient uptake and carbohydrate content in sago palms growing under waterlogging remains unreported. This experiment observed sago palm growth performance under normal soil conditions (non-submerged conditions) as a control plot and extended waterlogged conditions. Several parameters were analyzed: Plant morphological growth traits, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sugar concentration in the plant organ, including sucrose, glucose, starch, and non-structural carbohydrate. The analysis found that sago palm morphological growth traits were not significantly affected by extended waterlogging. However, waterlogging reduced carbohydrate levels in the upper part of the sago palm, especially the petiole, and increased sugar levels, especially glucose, in roots. Waterlogging also reduced N concentration in roots and leaflets and P in petioles. The K level was independent of waterlogging as the sago palm maintained a sufficient level in all of the plant organs. Long duration waterlogging may reduce the plant’s economic value as the starch level in the trunk decreases, although sago palm can grow while waterlogged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotic-Abiotic Stress on Young Seedlings)
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18 pages, 2487 KiB  
Article
Plastid Phylogenomic Analysis of Tordylieae Tribe (Apiaceae, Apioideae)
by Tahir Samigullin, Maria Logacheva, Elena Terentieva, Galina Degtjareva, Michael Pimenov and Carmen Valiejo-Roman
Plants 2022, 11(5), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050709 - 7 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2449
Abstract
Based on the nrDNA ITS sequence data, the Tordylieae tribe is recognized as monophyletic with three major lineages: the subtribe Tordyliinae, the Cymbocarpum clade, and the Lefebvrea clade. Recent phylogenomic investigations showed incongruence between the nuclear and plastid genome evolution in the tribe. [...] Read more.
Based on the nrDNA ITS sequence data, the Tordylieae tribe is recognized as monophyletic with three major lineages: the subtribe Tordyliinae, the Cymbocarpum clade, and the Lefebvrea clade. Recent phylogenomic investigations showed incongruence between the nuclear and plastid genome evolution in the tribe. To assess phylogenetic relations and structure evolution of plastomes in Tordylieae, we generated eleven complete plastome sequences using the genome skimming approach and compared them with the available data from this tribe and close relatives. Newly assembled plastomes had lengths ranging from 141,148 to 150,103 base pairs and contained 122–127 genes, including 79–82 protein-coding genes, 35–37 tRNAs, and 8 rRNAs. We observed substantial differences in the inverted repeat length and gene content, accompanied by a complex picture of multiple JLA and JLB shifts. In concatenated phylogenetic analyses, Tordylieae plastomes formed at least three not closely related lineages with plastomes of the Lefebvrea clade as a sister group to plastomes from the Selineae tribe. The newly obtained data have increased our knowledge on the range of plastome variability in Apiaceae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genosystematics)
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12 pages, 965 KiB  
Article
Adaptability and Stability of Safflower Genotypes for Oil Production
by Sebastião Soares de Oliveira Neto, Douglas Mariani Zeffa, Gustavo Henrique Freiria, Tiago Zoz, Carlos Jorge da Silva, Maurício Dutra Zanotto, Renato Lustosa Sobrinho, Saud A. Alamri, Mohammad K. Okla and Hamada AbdElgawad
Plants 2022, 11(5), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050708 - 7 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2464
Abstract
The study aimed to analyze the agronomic performance of 11 safflower genotypes using adaptability and stability methods, while identifying safflower genotypes with stable behavior and a high grain yield in different environments of the Brazilian Cerrado. Ten lines and a cultivar of safflower [...] Read more.
The study aimed to analyze the agronomic performance of 11 safflower genotypes using adaptability and stability methods, while identifying safflower genotypes with stable behavior and a high grain yield in different environments of the Brazilian Cerrado. Ten lines and a cultivar of safflower were evaluated in four environments in the Brazilian conditions. Our results revealed the genotypes P30, P35, P9, P11, and P31 to be superior for grain yield and P43, P7, P11, and P31 to be superior for oil content. The lowest Wricke index, an indication of genotype stability, was observed for P9 (0.41%), which is considered the most stable genotype, followed by P35 (1.29%) and P31 (1.98%). For the predictability of the behavior of genotypes in the environments, P7 (80.85%), P35 (86.10%), P31 (85.90%), and P9 (97.42%) were considered predictable genotypes. The genotypes P11 (1045.6 kg ha−1 and 19.7%) and P21 (952.7 kg ha−1 and 20.6%) are recommended for cultivation in this region, considering both their grain yield and oil content. Safflower is viable to use out of season in the Brazilian Cerrado. The crop can generate profits for farmers and be used for oil production in periods of uncertain corn production. Full article
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17 pages, 20829 KiB  
Article
Red Light and Glucose Enhance Cytokinin-Mediated Bud Initial Formation in Physcomitrium patens
by Durga Prasad Biswal and Kishore Chandra Sekhar Panigrahi
Plants 2022, 11(5), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050707 - 7 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2554
Abstract
Growth and development of Physcomitrium patens is endogenously regulated by phytohormones such as auxin and cytokinin. Auxin induces the transition of chloronema to caulonema. This transition is also regulated by additional factors such as quantity and quality of light, carbon supply, and other [...] Read more.
Growth and development of Physcomitrium patens is endogenously regulated by phytohormones such as auxin and cytokinin. Auxin induces the transition of chloronema to caulonema. This transition is also regulated by additional factors such as quantity and quality of light, carbon supply, and other phytohormones such as strigolactones and precursors of gibberrelic acid. On the other hand, cytokinins induce the formation of bud initials following caulonema differentiation. However, the influence of external factors such as light or nutrient supply on cytokinin-mediated bud initial formation has not been demonstrated in Physcomitrium patens. This study deals with the effect of light quality and nutrient supply on cytokinin-mediated bud initial formation. Bud initial formation has been observed in wild type plants in different light conditions such as white, red, and blue light in response to exogenously supplied cytokinin as well as glucose. In addition, budding assay has been demonstrated in the cry1a mutant of Physcomitrium in different light conditions. The results indicate that carbon supply and red light enhance the cytokinin response, while blue light inhibits this process in Physcomitrium. Full article
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14 pages, 1598 KiB  
Article
Quality Control Standardization, Contaminant Detection and In Vitro Antioxidant Activity of Prunus domestica Linn. Fruit
by Mohd Amir, Ameeduzzafar Zafar, Rizwan Ahmad, Wasim Ahmad, Mohammad Sarafroz, Mohammad Khalid, Mohammed M. Ghoneim, Sultan Alshehri, Shadma Wahab, Sayeed Ahmad and Mohd Mujeeb
Plants 2022, 11(5), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050706 - 6 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2923
Abstract
The increase in the use of herbal medicines has led to the implementation of more stern regulations in terms of quality variation and standardization. As medicinal plants are prone to quality variation acquired due to differences in geographical origin, collection, storage, and processing, [...] Read more.
The increase in the use of herbal medicines has led to the implementation of more stern regulations in terms of quality variation and standardization. As medicinal plants are prone to quality variation acquired due to differences in geographical origin, collection, storage, and processing, it is essential to ensure the quality, efficacy, and biological activity of medicinal plants. This study aims to standardize the widely used fruit, i.e., Prunus domestica Linn., using evaluation techniques (microscopic, macroscopic, and physicochemical analyses), advanced instrumental (HPLC, HPTLC, and GC–MS for phytochemical, aflatoxins, pesticides, and heavy metals), biological, and toxicological techniques (microbial load and antioxidant activities). The results revealed a 6–8 cm fruit with smooth surface, delicious odor, and acidic taste (macroscopy), thin-walled epidermis devoid of cuticle and any kind of excrescences with the existence of xylem and phloem (microscopy), LOD (15.46 ± 2.24%), moisture content (13.27 ± 1.75%), the high extractive value of 24.71 ± 4.94% in water:methanol (1:1; v/v) and with ash values in the allowed limits (physicochemical properties), and the presence of numerous phytochemical classes such as alkaloids, flavonoids, carbohydrates, glycosides, saponins, etc. (phytochemical screening). Furthermore, no heavy metals (Pb, Hg, Cd, Ar), pesticides, ad microbial limits were detected beyond the permissible limits specified, as determined with AAS, GC–MS analysis, and microbial tests. The HPTLC was developed to characterize a complete phytochemical behavior for the components present in P. domestica fruit extract. The parameters utilized with the method used and the results observed for the prunus herein may render this method an effective tool for quality evaluation, standardization, and quality control of P. domestica fruit in research, industries, and market available food products of prunus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Evaluation of Plant-Derived Foods Ⅱ)
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15 pages, 1999 KiB  
Article
First Survey of the Vascular and Cryptogam Flora on Bulgaria’s Ancient Mounds
by Iva Apostolova, Desislava Sopotlieva, Magdalena Valcheva, Anna Ganeva, Veselin Shivarov, Nikolay Velev, Kiril Vassilev, Tsvetelina Terziyska and Georgi Nekhrizov
Plants 2022, 11(5), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050705 - 6 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2199
Abstract
This work represents the first study of the floristic diversity on Bulgaria’s ancient mounds. The objective of this research was to assess the importance of the mounds for the preservation of the native vascular and cryptogam flora. Our sampling design included 111 ancient [...] Read more.
This work represents the first study of the floristic diversity on Bulgaria’s ancient mounds. The objective of this research was to assess the importance of the mounds for the preservation of the native vascular and cryptogam flora. Our sampling design included 111 ancient mounds distributed throughout the country. We recorded a total of 1059 vascular plants, 58 bryophytes and 61 lichen taxa. Despite their small area, the mounds were shown to preserve nearly a quarter of the Bulgarian flora. The vegetation cover on the mounds included 61% perennials indicating a long-term persistence and stability. The majority (98%) of the established vascular plants were native species. Although the conservation significance of the vascular plant species were not common, we recorded 2 critically endangered, 9 endangered and 14 Balkan endemics during the present study. The lichen Arthopyrenia salicis was recorded for the first time in Bulgaria and a new locality of the rare bryophyte Ceratodon conicus was discovered. The established compositional difference between plots from the northern and southern slopes of the mounds (88.95%) is a testament to the high local habitat diversity. The prevalence of species characteristic for Festuco-Brometea suggests that the mounds preserve fragments of native grasslands and steppes. The variation in cover of agricultural and other human modified areas in the mounds’ immediate surroundings did not substantially affect their species richness. We argue that the ancient mounds should be taken into consideration in future green space planning. Full article
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11 pages, 2281 KiB  
Article
Different Infectivity of Mediterranean and Southern Asian Tomato Leaf Curl New Delhi Virus Isolates in Cucurbit Crops
by Thuy T. B. Vo, Aamir Lal, Phuong T. Ho, Elisa Troiano, Giuseppe Parrella, Eui-Joon Kil and Sukchan Lee
Plants 2022, 11(5), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050704 - 6 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2334
Abstract
Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) became an alerting virus in Europe from 2017 to 2020 because of its significant damage to Cucurbitaceae cultivation. Until now, just some cucurbit crops including sponge gourd, melon, pumpkin, and cucumber were reported to be resistant [...] Read more.
Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) became an alerting virus in Europe from 2017 to 2020 because of its significant damage to Cucurbitaceae cultivation. Until now, just some cucurbit crops including sponge gourd, melon, pumpkin, and cucumber were reported to be resistant to ToLCNDV, but no commercial cultivars are available. In this study, a new isolate of ToLCNDV was identified in Pakistan and analyzed together with ToLCNDV-ES which was previously isolated in Italy. Furthermore, infectious clones of two ToLCNDV isolates were constructed and agroinoculated into different cucurbit crops to verify their infectivity. Results showed that both isolates exhibited severe infection on all tested cucurbit (>70%) except watermelon. Thus, those cultivars may be good candidates in the first step of screening genetic resources for resistance on both Southeast Asian and Mediterranean ToLCNDV isolates. Additional, comparison pathogenicity of different geographical ToLCNDV isolates will be aided to understand viral characterization as such knowledge could facilitate breeding resistance to this virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Molecular Variability of Plant Viruses)
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22 pages, 1587 KiB  
Article
Phenotypic Acclimation of Maize Plants Grown under S Deprivation and Implications to Sulfur and Iron Allocation Dynamics
by Filippa S. Maniou, Dimitris L. Bouranis, Yannis E. Ventouris and Styliani N. Chorianopoulou
Plants 2022, 11(5), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050703 - 6 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1652
Abstract
The aim of this work was to study maize root phenotype under sulfur deficiency stress towards revealing potential correlations between the altered phenotypic traits and the corresponding dry mass, sulfur, and iron allocation within plants at the whole-plant level. The dynamics of root [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to study maize root phenotype under sulfur deficiency stress towards revealing potential correlations between the altered phenotypic traits and the corresponding dry mass, sulfur, and iron allocation within plants at the whole-plant level. The dynamics of root morphological and anatomical traits were monitored. These traits were then correlated with plant foliage traits along with dry mass and sulfur and iron allocation dynamics in the shoot versus root. Plants grown under sulfate deprivation did not seem to invest in new root axes. Crown roots presented anatomical differences in all parameters studied; e.g., more and larger xylem vessels in order to maximize water and nutrient transport in the xylem sap. In the root system of S-deficient plants, a reduced concentration of sulfur was observed, whilst organic sulfur predominated over sulfates. A reduction in total iron concentration was monitored, and differences in its subcellular localization were observed. As expected, S-deprivation negatively affected the total sulfur concentration in the aerial plant part, as well as greatly impacted iron allocation in the foliage. Phenotypic adaptation to sulfur deprivation in maize presented alterations mainly in the root anatomy; towards competent handling of the initial sulfur and the induced iron deficiencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Sulfur Network)
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24 pages, 3435 KiB  
Article
Molecular Genetic Diversity and Combining Ability for Some Physiological and Agronomic Traits in Rice under Well-Watered and Water-Deficit Conditions
by Raghda M. Sakran, Mohamed I. Ghazy, Medhat Rehan, Abdullah S. Alsohim and Elsayed Mansour
Plants 2022, 11(5), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050702 - 5 Mar 2022
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3077
Abstract
Water deficit is a pivotal abiotic stress that detrimentally constrains rice growth and production. Thereupon, the development of high-yielding and drought-tolerant rice genotypes is imperative in order to sustain rice production and ensure global food security. The present study aimed to evaluate diverse [...] Read more.
Water deficit is a pivotal abiotic stress that detrimentally constrains rice growth and production. Thereupon, the development of high-yielding and drought-tolerant rice genotypes is imperative in order to sustain rice production and ensure global food security. The present study aimed to evaluate diverse exotic and local parental rice genotypes and their corresponding cross combinations under water-deficit versus well-watered conditions, determining general and specific combining ability effects, heterosis, and the gene action controlling important traits through half-diallel analysis. In addition, the research aimed to assess parental genetic distance (GD) employing simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, and to determine its association with hybrid performance, heterosis, and specific combining ability (SCA) effects. Six diverse rice genotypes (exotic and local) and their 15 F1 hybrids were assessed for two years under water-deficit and well-watered conditions. The results revealed that water-deficit stress substantially declined days to heading, plant height, chlorophyll content, relative water content, grain yield, and yield attributes. Contrarily, leaf rolling and the sterility percentage were considerably increased compared to well-watered conditions. Genotypes differed significantly for all the studied characteristics under water-deficit and well-watered conditions. Both additive and non-additive gene actions were involved in governing the inheritance of all the studied traits; however, additive gene action was predominant for most traits. The parental genotypes P1 and P2 were identified as excellent combiners for earliness and the breeding of short stature genotypes. Moreover, P3, P4, and P6 were identified as excellent combiners to increase grain yield and its attributes under water-deficit conditions. The hybrid combinations; P1 × P4, P2 × P5, P3 × P4, and P4 × P6 were found to be good specific combiners for grain yield and its contributed traits under water-deficit conditions. The parental genetic distance (GD) ranged from 0.38 to 0.89, with an average of 0.70. It showed lower association with hybrid performance, heterosis, and combining ability effects for all the studied traits. Nevertheless, SCA revealed a significant association with hybrid performance and heterosis, which suggests that SCA is a good predictor for hybrid performance and heterosis under water-deficit conditions. Strong positive relationships were identified between grain yield and each of relative water content, chlorophyll content, number of panicles/plant, number of filled grains/panicle, and 1000-grain weight. This suggests that these traits could be exploited as important indirect selection criteria for improving rice grain yield under water-deficit conditions. Full article
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12 pages, 1417 KiB  
Article
Use of Different Organic Carbon Sources in Cynara cardunculus Cells: Effects on Biomass Productivity and Secondary Metabolites
by Maria Oliviero, Antonio Luca Langellotti, Giovanni L. Russo, Marco Baselice, Andrea Donadio, Alberto Ritieni, Giulia Graziani and Paolo Masi
Plants 2022, 11(5), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050701 - 5 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1491
Abstract
Cynara cardunculus (Asteraceae family) is a perennial plant native to Mediterranean regions. This plant represents a source of high-value compounds, such as polyphenols and fatty acids that have several industrial applications. However, in vitro plant cell cultures can represent a valid alternative to [...] Read more.
Cynara cardunculus (Asteraceae family) is a perennial plant native to Mediterranean regions. This plant represents a source of high-value compounds, such as polyphenols and fatty acids that have several industrial applications. However, in vitro plant cell cultures can represent a valid alternative to in-field cultivation and facilitate the extraction of metabolites of commercial interest. Generally, sucrose is the main sugar used for plant cell cultures, but other carbon sources can be considered. Here, we investigated the potential use of alternative organic carbon sources, such as galactose, maltose, glucose, glycerol, fructose, lactose, and starch, for the cultivation of C. cardunculus cells. Moreover, cardoon cells were collected, and an extraction of polyphenols and oils was performed to study the effects of different carbon sources on the production of bioactive molecules. This study provided evidence that cardoon cell growth can be supported by carbon sources other than sucrose. However, the carbon source inducing optimum growth, did not necessarily induce the highest production of high-value compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Nutrition)
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19 pages, 1041 KiB  
Article
Uncovering Pathways Highly Correlated to NUE through a Combined Metabolomics and Transcriptomics Approach in Eggplant
by Antonio Mauceri, Meriem Miyassa Aci, Laura Toppino, Sayantan Panda, Sagit Meir, Francesco Mercati, Fabrizio Araniti, Antonio Lupini, Maria Rosaria Panuccio, Giuseppe Leonardo Rotino, Asaph Aharoni, Maria Rosa Abenavoli and Francesco Sunseri
Plants 2022, 11(5), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050700 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2776
Abstract
Nitrogen (N) fertilization is one of the main inputs to increase crop yield and food production. However, crops utilize only 30–40% of N applied; the remainder is leached into the soil, causing environmental and health damage. In this scenario, the improvement of nitrogen-use [...] Read more.
Nitrogen (N) fertilization is one of the main inputs to increase crop yield and food production. However, crops utilize only 30–40% of N applied; the remainder is leached into the soil, causing environmental and health damage. In this scenario, the improvement of nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) will be an essential strategy for sustainable agriculture. Here, we compared two pairs of NUE-contrasting eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) genotypes, employing GC-MS and UPLC-qTOF-MS-based technologies to determine the differential profiles of primary and secondary metabolites in root and shoot tissues, under N starvation as well as at short- and long-term N-limiting resupply. Firstly, differences in the primary metabolism pathways of shoots related to alanine, aspartate and glutamate; starch, sucrose and glycine; serine and threonine; and in secondary metabolites biosynthesis were detected. An integrated analysis between differentially accumulated metabolites and expressed transcripts highlighted a key role of glycine accumulation and the related glyA transcript in the N-use-efficient genotypes to cope with N-limiting stress. Interestingly, a correlation between both sucrose synthase (SUS)- and fructokinase (scrK)-transcript abundances, as well as D-glucose and D-fructose accumulation, appeared useful to distinguish the N-use-efficient genotypes. Furthermore, increased levels of L-aspartate and L-asparagine in the N-use-efficient genotypes at short-term low-N exposure were detected. Granule-bound starch synthase (WAXY) and endoglucanase (E3.2.1.4) downregulation at long-term N stress was observed. Therefore, genes and metabolites related to these pathways could be exploited to improve NUE in eggplant. Full article
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15 pages, 1084 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Wheat Resistance to Snow Mold Caused by Microdochium nivale (Fr) Samuels and I.C. Hallett under Abiotic Stress Influence in the Central Non-Black Earth Region of Russia
by Sulukhan K. Temirbekova, Ivan M. Kulikov, Mukhtar Z. Ashirbekov, Yuliya V. Afanasyeva, Olga O. Beloshapkina, Lev G. Tyryshkin, Evgeniy V. Zuev, Rima N. Kirakosyan, Alexey P. Glinushkin, Elena S. Potapova and Nazih Y. Rebouh
Plants 2022, 11(5), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050699 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2573
Abstract
Microdochium nivale is one of the most harmful fungal diseases, causing colossal yield losses and deteriorating grain quality. Wheat genotypes from the world collection of the N.I. Vavilov Institute (VIR) were evaluated for fifty years to investigate their resistance to biotic stress factors [...] Read more.
Microdochium nivale is one of the most harmful fungal diseases, causing colossal yield losses and deteriorating grain quality. Wheat genotypes from the world collection of the N.I. Vavilov Institute (VIR) were evaluated for fifty years to investigate their resistance to biotic stress factors (M. nivale). Between 350 to 1085 of winter wheat genotypes were investigated annually. Ten out of fifty years were identified as rot epiphytotics (1978, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2021). The wheat collection was investigated by following the VIR methodological requirements and CMEA unified classification of Triticum aestivum L. The field investigations were carried out in the early spring during fixed-route observations and data collection was included on the spread and development degree of the disease, followed by microbiological and microscopic pathogen identifications. The observations revealed that the primary reason for pink snow mold to infect the wheat crops was abiotic stress factors, such as thawed soil covered in snow that increased the soil temperature by 1.0–4.6 °C above normal. Under these conditions, the plants kept growing, quickly exhausting their carbohydrate and protein resources, thus weakening their immune systems, which made them an easy target for different infections, mainly cryophilic fungi, predominantly Microdochium nivale in the Moscow region. In some years, the joint effect of abiotic and biotic stresses caused crop failure, warranting the replanting of the spring wheat. The investigated wheat genotypes exhibited variable resistance to pink snow mold. The genotypes Mironovskaya 808 (k-43920) from Ukraine;l Nemchinovskaya 846 (k-56861), from Russia; Novobanatka (k-51761) from Yugoslavia; Liwilla (k-57580) from Poland; Zdar (UH 7050) from the Czech Republic; Maris Plowman (k-57944) from the United Kingdom; Pokal (k-56827) from Austria; Hvede Sarah (k-56289) from Denmark; Moldova 83 (k-59750) from Romania; Compal (k-57585) from Germany; Linna (k-45889) from Finland and Kehra (k-34228) from Estonia determined the sources, stability and tolerance to be used in advanced breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding, Genomic Selection, and Phenomics)
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14 pages, 1999 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Orchidaceae Diversity in the Pululahua Reserve, Ecuador: Opportunities and Constraints as Regards the Biodiversity Conservation of the Cloud Mountain Forest
by Mariana Mites, Herminia García-Mozo, Carmen Galán and Edwin Oña
Plants 2022, 11(5), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050698 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2384
Abstract
The Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve is a protected natural area in the cloud mountain forest of Ecuador, so rich in orchid species despite being a volcanic area still under threat of volcanic activity. A comparative biodiversity study of orchids was carried out in two [...] Read more.
The Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve is a protected natural area in the cloud mountain forest of Ecuador, so rich in orchid species despite being a volcanic area still under threat of volcanic activity. A comparative biodiversity study of orchids was carried out in two different sectors, Chaupisacha (CH) and La Reventazón (LR). Data were collected in 1 ha plots in each sector, in which all the orchids found were counted and two individuals of each species were retained. Immature individuals were conserved in a plant nursery until flowering. In CH, there were 922 individuals grouped into 24 genera and 55 species, while LR had 9196 individuals grouped into 26 genera and 46 species; only 14 species were found in both sectors. Different density and diversity indexes were calculated. The density (ind./100 m2) of CH was 0.96, while that of LR was 185.92. Simpson’s diversity (1 − λ) attained CH 0.903 ± 0.01 and LR 0.85 ± 0.01. The orchid diversity measured by the Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H′) was 1.29 for CH, differing significantly from that of LR (H′ 1.02). The medium equity (Jaccard’s J′) found was 0.61 in CH and 90.78 in LR. Limitations as regards the natural dispersion of orchids seemed to favor endemism. Some species, such as Dracula felix and Restrepia guttulate, are threatened with disappearance from the wild or are vulnerable, as is the case for Epidendrum polyanthogastrium. A lack of information on the phenology and anthropic impacts in the area limit the conservation of species, signifying that new protected figures and seed banks are necessary, especially in CH, owing to its high diversity of orchids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in Orchidaceae Research)
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19 pages, 908 KiB  
Article
Pulp Mineral Content of Passion Fruit Germplasm Grown in Ecuador and Its Relationship with Fruit Quality Traits
by William Viera, Takashi Shinohara, Iván Samaniego, Naoki Terada, Atsushi Sanada, Lenin Ron and Kaihei Koshio
Plants 2022, 11(5), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050697 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2928
Abstract
There are several species of passion fruit grown in South America. However, there is a lack of information about the mineral content in their pulp. Thus, the objective of the present research was to determine the mineral content in the pulp of different [...] Read more.
There are several species of passion fruit grown in South America. However, there is a lack of information about the mineral content in their pulp. Thus, the objective of the present research was to determine the mineral content in the pulp of different germplasms of passion fruit [Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa (INIAP 2009 and P10), P. alata (Sweet passion fruit), P. edulis f. edulis (Gulupa) and Passiflora sp. (Criollo POR1 and Criollo PICH1)] grown in Ecuador and to determine their relationship with relevant fruit quality traits. The results showed that high Mg content was associated with less peel thickness, soluble solids was negatively related to K and B content, and vitamin C was negatively related to S content. INIAP 2009 had high titratable acidity and fruit weight but low N and Na; P10 showed the highest contents of N, K, Na, Mn and fruit weight but less P, Mg, and Fe; sweet passion fruit showed high S, Zn, Cu, soluble solids, and peel thickness but low K, Ca, B, and titratable acidity; Gulupa had high Mg, B, and Zn but low S, Fe, and Mn; Criollo POR1 showed high N and Fe but low Zn; and Criollo PICH1 showed high P, Ca, Mg, and Cu but low soluble solids and peel thickness. These results provide additional information on passion fruit germplasm grown in Ecuador and constitutes a reference for further breeding programs. Full article
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20 pages, 15978 KiB  
Article
Berry Anthocyanin, Acid, and Volatile Trait Analyses in a Grapevine-Interspecific F2 Population Using an Integrated GBS and rhAmpSeq Genetic Map
by Dilmini Alahakoon, Anne Fennell, Zachary Helget, Terry Bates, Avinash Karn, David Manns, Anna Katharine Mansfield, Bruce I. Reisch, Gavin Sacks, Qi Sun, Cheng Zou, Lance Cadle-Davidson and Jason P. Londo
Plants 2022, 11(5), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050696 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2852
Abstract
Increased map density and transferability of markers are essential for the genetic analysis of fruit quality and stress tolerance in interspecific grapevine populations. We used 1449 GBS and 2000 rhAmpSeq markers to develop a dense map for an interspecific F2 population (VRS-F [...] Read more.
Increased map density and transferability of markers are essential for the genetic analysis of fruit quality and stress tolerance in interspecific grapevine populations. We used 1449 GBS and 2000 rhAmpSeq markers to develop a dense map for an interspecific F2 population (VRS-F2) that was derived by selfing a single F1 from a Vitis riparia x ‘Seyval blanc’ cross. The resultant map contained 2519 markers spanning 1131.3 cM and was highly collinear with the Vitis vinifera ‘PN40024’ genome. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) for berry skin color and flower type were used to validate the map. Four rhAmpSeq transferable markers were identified that can be used in pairs (one pistillate and one hermaphroditic) to predict pistillate and hermaphrodite flower type with ≥99.7% accuracy. Total and individual anthocyanin diglucoside QTL mapped to chromosome 9 near a 5-O-GLUCOSYLTRANSFERASE candidate gene. Malic acid QTL were observed on chromosome 1 and 6 with two MALATE DEHYRDROGENASE CYTOPLASMIC 1 and ALUMINUM-ACTIVATED MALATE TRANSPORTER 2-LIKE (ALMT) candidate genes, respectively. Modeling malic acid identified a potential QTL on chromosome 8 with peak position in proximity of another ALMT. A first-ever reported QTL for the grassy smelling volatile (E)-2-hexenal was found on chromosome 2 with a PHOSPHOLIPID HYDROPEROXIDE GLUTATHIONE PEROXIDASE candidate gene near peak markers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
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18 pages, 3620 KiB  
Article
Rapid Creation of Interspecific Hybrid Progeny to Broaden Genetic Distance through Double Haploid (DH) Inducer in Brassica napus
by Ying Zhou, Meicui Yang, Shihui Zhao, Haoran Shi, Yun Li, Wanzhuo Gong, Jin Yang, Jisheng Wang, Qiong Zou, Lanrong Tao, Zeming Kang, Rong Tang, Shixing Guo and Shaohong Fu
Plants 2022, 11(5), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050695 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2516
Abstract
Interspecific hybridization of rapeseed is an important way to innovate breeding resources. This research used Brassica napus and Brassica rapa for artificial synthesis interspecific hybridization of F1. The F1 self-fruiting rate was particularly low. By comparing the fertilization rate and [...] Read more.
Interspecific hybridization of rapeseed is an important way to innovate breeding resources. This research used Brassica napus and Brassica rapa for artificial synthesis interspecific hybridization of F1. The F1 self-fruiting rate was particularly low. By comparing the fertilization rate and seed setting rate of nine crosses and selfing combinations of interspecific hybrid progeny F1 and control B. napus, the results proved that the genetic stability of egg cells was greater than that of sperm cells, so the F1 could get seed by artificial pollination with other normal pollen. Based on these results, interspecific maternal inbred offspring (induced F1) from egg cells was obtained by emasculation and pollination with the pollen of DH inducer Y3380. It was found through morphological analysis, flow cytometry identification, and meiotic observation of induced F1, the plants had most normal fertile tetraploid and the meiosis was normal. The FISH results showed that the induced F1 were B. napus (2n = 4x = 38, AACC), 20 A and 19 C chromosomes. The results of SNP chip detection and genetic cluster analysis found that the genetic variation between interspecies could be preserved or broadened in the induced F1. The use of DH inducer created special breeding resources for interspecific hybridization and distant hybridization of rapeseed while shortening time, improving efficiency, and providing a new insight into innovate breeding resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Molecular Cytogenetics)
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18 pages, 5156 KiB  
Article
Metabolic Profiling of Sugars and Organic Acids, and Expression Analyses of Metabolism-Associated Genes in Two Yellow-Peel Pitaya Species
by Fangfang Xie, Canbin Chen, Jiaxuan Chen, Yuanju Yuan, Qingzhu Hua, Zhike Zhang, Jietang Zhao, Guibing Hu, Jianye Chen and Yonghua Qin
Plants 2022, 11(5), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050694 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2769
Abstract
Sugar and organic acids are important factors determining pitaya fruit quality. However, changes in sugars and acids, and expressions of metabolism-associated genes during fruit maturation of yellow-peel pitayas are not well-documented. In this study, metabolic and expression analyses in pulps of different fruit [...] Read more.
Sugar and organic acids are important factors determining pitaya fruit quality. However, changes in sugars and acids, and expressions of metabolism-associated genes during fruit maturation of yellow-peel pitayas are not well-documented. In this study, metabolic and expression analyses in pulps of different fruit developmental stages of ‘Wucihuanglong’ (‘WCHL’, Hylocereus undatus) and ‘Youcihuanglong’ pitaya (‘YCHL’, Hylocereus megalanthus) were used to explore the sugar and organic acid metabolic process. Total phenols and flavonoids were mainly accumulated at S1 in pitaya pulps. Ascorbic acid contents of ‘WCHL’ pitaya were higher than that of ‘YCHL’ pitaya during fruit maturation. Starch was mainly accumulated at early fruit development stages while soluble sugars were rich in late stages. Sucrose, fructose, and glucose were the main sugar components of ‘YCHL’ pitaya while glucose was dominant in ‘WCHL’ pitaya. Malic and citric acids were the main organic acids in ‘WCHL’ and ‘YCHL’ pitayas, respectively. Based on the transcriptome analyses, 118 genes involved in pitaya sugar and organic acid metabolism were obtained. Results from the correlation analyses between the expression profiling of candidate genes and the contents of sugar and organic acid showed that 51 genes had a significant correlation relationship and probably perform key role in pitaya sugar and organic acid metabolism processes. The finding of the present study provides new information for quality regulation of pitayas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics)
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14 pages, 2883 KiB  
Article
Cytogenetic, Morphometric, and Ecological Characterization of Festuca indigesta Boiss. in the Southeast of Spain
by Gloria Martínez-Sagarra, Federico Casimiro-Soriguer, Sílvia Castro, João Loureiro and Juan A. Devesa
Plants 2022, 11(5), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050693 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2020
Abstract
Festuca indigesta subsp. indigesta (Poaceae) is endemic to the southeast of Spain, and until recently, it was considered that its range of distribution was restricted to the siliceous core of Sierra Nevada. However, it has been recently extended in the territory to others [...] Read more.
Festuca indigesta subsp. indigesta (Poaceae) is endemic to the southeast of Spain, and until recently, it was considered that its range of distribution was restricted to the siliceous core of Sierra Nevada. However, it has been recently extended in the territory to others calcareous mountains. This study investigates the cytogenetic variability throughout the geographic range of this taxon, the possible edaphic preferences of each cytotype, and the morphological variation of cytotypes. Genome sizes and ploidy levels were estimated using flow cytometry and chromosome count. Soil samples were collected to test the nature of the substrate, i.e., pH, and calcium and magnesium contents. Finally, morphological characters were measured in herbarium specimens. This study provides the first genome size data for the species. Hidden cytogenetic diversity was detected in the taxon, comprising hexaploid (2n = 6x = 42), octoploid (2n = 8x = 56) and dodecaploid (2n = 12x = 84) individuals. No relationship between substrate nature and cytotype was observed. Morphological differences were detected for the size of floral parts and stomata among cytotypes, but these were blurred if the entire morphological variation range was considered. Our results suggest that each mountain range could act as a reservoir of morphologically cryptic genetic diversity regarding this taxon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Genome Size Evolution of Plants)
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16 pages, 1047 KiB  
Review
Nanobionics in Crop Production: An Emerging Approach to Modulate Plant Functionalities
by Anuj Ranjan, Vishnu D. Rajput, Arpna Kumari, Saglara S. Mandzhieva, Svetlana Sushkova, Evgenya V. Prazdnova, Sajad Majeed Zargar, Ali Raza, Tatiana Minkina and Gyuhwa Chung
Plants 2022, 11(5), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050692 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 5057
Abstract
The “Zero Hunger” goal is one of the key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Therefore, improvements in crop production have always been a prime objective to meet the demands of an ever-growing population. In the last decade, studies have acknowledged [...] Read more.
The “Zero Hunger” goal is one of the key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Therefore, improvements in crop production have always been a prime objective to meet the demands of an ever-growing population. In the last decade, studies have acknowledged the role of photosynthesis augmentation and enhancing nutrient use efficiency (NUE) in improving crop production. Recently, the applications of nanobionics in crop production have given hope with their lucrative properties to interact with the biological system. Nanobionics have significantly been effective in modulating the photosynthesis capacity of plants. It is documented that nanobionics could assist plants by acting as an artificial photosynthetic system to improve photosynthetic capacity, electron transfer in the photosystems, and pigment content, and enhance the absorption of light across the UV-visible spectrum. Smart nanocarriers, such as nanobionics, are capable of delivering the active ingredient nanocarrier upon receiving external stimuli. This can markedly improve NUE, reduce wastage, and improve cost effectiveness. Thus, this review emphasizes the application of nanobionics for improving crop yield by the two above-mentioned approaches. Major concerns and future prospects associated with the use of nanobionics are also deliberated concisely. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanotechnology Advances in Plant Science and Biotechnology)
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23 pages, 2839 KiB  
Review
Impact of Nanomaterials on the Regulation of Gene Expression and Metabolomics of Plants under Salt Stress
by Zainul Abideen, Maria Hanif, Neelma Munir and Brent L. Nielsen
Plants 2022, 11(5), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050691 - 3 Mar 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 5323
Abstract
Plant salinity resistance results from a combination of responses at the physiological, molecular, cellular, and metabolic levels. This article focuses on plant stress tolerance mechanisms for controlling ion homeostasis, stress signaling, hormone metabolism, anti-oxidative enzymes, and osmotic balance after nanoparticle applications. Nanoparticles are [...] Read more.
Plant salinity resistance results from a combination of responses at the physiological, molecular, cellular, and metabolic levels. This article focuses on plant stress tolerance mechanisms for controlling ion homeostasis, stress signaling, hormone metabolism, anti-oxidative enzymes, and osmotic balance after nanoparticle applications. Nanoparticles are used as an emerging tool to stimulate specific biochemical reactions related to plant ecophysiological output because of their small size, increased surface area and absorption rate, efficient catalysis of reactions, and adequate reactive sites. Regulated ecophysiological control in saline environments could play a crucial role in plant growth promotion and survival of plants under suboptimal conditions. Plant biologists are seeking to develop a broad profile of genes and proteins that contribute to plant salt resistance. These plant metabolic profiles can be developed due to advancements in genomic, proteomic, metabolomic, and transcriptomic techniques. In order to quantify plant stress responses, transmembrane ion transport, sensors and receptors in signaling transduction, and metabolites involved in the energy supply require thorough study. In addition, more research is needed on the plant salinity stress response based on molecular interactions in response to nanoparticle treatment. The application of nanoparticles as an aspect of genetic engineering for the generation of salt-tolerant plants is a promising area of research. This review article addresses the use of nanoparticles in plant breeding and genetic engineering techniques to develop salt-tolerant crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Plants—Recent Advances and Perspectives)
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19 pages, 3463 KiB  
Article
Hyperaccumulator Stanleya pinnata: In Situ Fitness in Relation to Tissue Selenium Concentration
by Leonardo Warzea Lima, McKenna Castleberry, Ami L. Wangeline, Bernadette Aguirre, Stefano Dall’Acqua, Elizabeth A. H. Pilon-Smits and Michela Schiavon
Plants 2022, 11(5), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050690 - 3 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1631
Abstract
Earlier studies have shown that Stanleya pinnata benefits from selenium hyperaccumulation through ecological benefits and enhanced growth. However, no investigation has assayed the effects of Se hyperaccumulation on plant fitness in the field. This research aimed to analyze how variation in Se accumulation [...] Read more.
Earlier studies have shown that Stanleya pinnata benefits from selenium hyperaccumulation through ecological benefits and enhanced growth. However, no investigation has assayed the effects of Se hyperaccumulation on plant fitness in the field. This research aimed to analyze how variation in Se accumulation affects S. pinnata fitness, judged from physiological and biochemical performance parameters and herbivory while growing naturally on two seleniferous sites. Natural variation in Se concentration in vegetative and reproductive tissues was determined, and correlations were explored between Se levels with fitness parameters, herbivory damage, and plant defense compounds. Leaf Se concentration varied between 13- and 55-fold in the two populations, averaging 868 and 2482 mg kg−1 dry weight (DW). Furthermore, 83% and 31% of plants from the two populations showed Se hyperaccumulator levels in leaves (>1000 mg kg−1 DW). In seeds, the Se levels varied 3–4-fold and averaged 3372 and 2267 mg kg−1 DW, well above the hyperaccumulator threshold. Plant size and reproductive parameters were not correlated with Se concentration. There was significant herbivory pressure even on the highest-Se plants, likely from Se-resistant herbivores. We conclude that the variation in Se hyperaccumulation did not appear to enhance or compromise S. pinnata fitness in seleniferous habitats within the observed Se range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural and Anthropogenic Origin Selenium in the Context of Plants)
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9 pages, 347 KiB  
Article
Prescriptions for the Control of a Clonal Invasive Species Using Demographic Models
by Gabriel Arroyo-Cosultchi, Jordan Golubov, Jonathan V. Solórzano and Maria C. Mandujano
Plants 2022, 11(5), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050689 - 3 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1568
Abstract
Until recently, little research has focused on determination of the population dynamics of invasive species and evaluating their genetic variation. Consequently, not much is known of what drives clonal invasive species and their demography. Here, we describe the population dynamics of Kalanchoe delagoensis [...] Read more.
Until recently, little research has focused on determination of the population dynamics of invasive species and evaluating their genetic variation. Consequently, not much is known of what drives clonal invasive species and their demography. Here, we describe the population dynamics of Kalanchoe delagoensis (Crassulaceae), considered invasive to several countries. We quantified the demography of a population in central Mexico using integral projection models (IPM) in a population that reproduced asexually exclusively through plantlets. The effect of clonal recruitment on population growth rate (λ) was evaluated by changing plantlet survival and simulating management scenarios that used previous data of watering and seven experimental herbicide treatments. The finite rate of population increase indicated that this Kalanchoe delagoensis population is growing (above one) and with water availability, growth rates will only accelerate. The IPM showed that plantlet survival and recruitment were the most critical steps in the cycle for the population, and simulations of different management scenarios showed that reducing plantlet survival significantly decreased λ only in two out of the seven herbicides used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management and Application of Invasive Plant Species)
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16 pages, 1936 KiB  
Article
Role of Melatonin in Apple Fruit during Growth and Ripening: Possible Interaction with Ethylene
by Antía Verde, Jesús M. Míguez and Mercedes Gallardo
Plants 2022, 11(5), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050688 - 2 Mar 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4166
Abstract
The role of melatonin during the growth and ripening of apple fruit was studied using local varieties. The evolution of the growth and ripening parameters, including fruit size and weight, firmness, color change, sugar content, and ethylene production, was different in the five [...] Read more.
The role of melatonin during the growth and ripening of apple fruit was studied using local varieties. The evolution of the growth and ripening parameters, including fruit size and weight, firmness, color change, sugar content, and ethylene production, was different in the five varieties studied, with yellow apples (Reineta and Golden) initiating the ripening process earlier than reddish ones (Teórica, Sanroqueña, and Caguleira). Changes in the melatonin and melatonin isomer 2 contents during growth and ripening were studied in Golden apples, as was the effect of the melatonin treatment (500 µM, day 124 post-anthesis) on the apple tree. Melatonin content varied greatly, with higher value in the skin than in the flesh. In the skin, melatonin increased at day 132 post-anthesis, when ethylene synthesis started. In the flesh, melatonin levels were high at the beginning of the growth phase and at the end of ripening. Melatonin isomer 2 was also higher once the ripening started and when ethylene began to increase. The melatonin treatment significantly advanced the ethylene production and increased the fruit size, weight, sugar content, and firmness. The data suggest that melatonin stimulates fruit ripening through the induction of ethylene synthesis, while melatonin treatments before ripening improve the final fruit quality. Full article
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19 pages, 6202 KiB  
Article
The Bacillus cereus Strain EC9 Primes the Plant Immune System for Superior Biocontrol of Fusarium oxysporum
by Kenneth Madriz-Ordeñana, Sercan Pazarlar, Hans Jørgen Lyngs Jørgensen, Tue Kjærgaard Nielsen, Yingqi Zhang, Kai Lønne Nielsen, Lars Hestbjerg Hansen and Hans Thordal-Christensen
Plants 2022, 11(5), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050687 - 2 Mar 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3750
Abstract
Antibiosis is a key feature widely exploited to develop biofungicides based on the ability of biological control agents (BCAs) to produce fungitoxic compounds. A less recognised attribute of plant-associated beneficial microorganisms is their ability to stimulate the plant immune system, which may provide [...] Read more.
Antibiosis is a key feature widely exploited to develop biofungicides based on the ability of biological control agents (BCAs) to produce fungitoxic compounds. A less recognised attribute of plant-associated beneficial microorganisms is their ability to stimulate the plant immune system, which may provide long-term, systemic self-protection against different types of pathogens. By using conventional antifungal in vitro screening coupled with in planta assays, we found antifungal and non-antifungal Bacillus strains that protected the ornamental plant Kalanchoe against the soil-borne pathogen Fusarium oxysporum in experimental and commercial production settings. Further examination of one antifungal and one non-antifungal strain indicated that high protection efficacy in planta did not correlate with antifungal activity in vitro. Whole-genome sequencing showed that the non-antifungal strain EC9 lacked the biosynthetic gene clusters associated with typical antimicrobial compounds. Instead, this bacterium triggers the expression of marker genes for the jasmonic and salicylic acid defence pathways, but only after pathogen challenge, indicating that this strain may protect Kalanchoe plants by priming immunity. We suggest that the stimulation of the plant immune system is a promising mode of action of BCAs for the development of novel biological crop protection products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
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18 pages, 9188 KiB  
Article
Crocus pallidus (Iridaceae)—A Neglected Species for the Bulgarian Flora and Critical Taxon in the Balkans
by Tsvetanka Raycheva, Kiril Stoyanov, Samir Naimov, Elena Apostolova-Kuzova and Yulian Marinov
Plants 2022, 11(5), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050686 - 2 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2701
Abstract
For a long time, the Balkan endemic species Crocus pallidus has been unconfirmed and neglected for the flora of Bulgaria. It has remained an uncertain species from the Balkans, often listed as a synonym of C. weldenii. The morphological resemblance to the [...] Read more.
For a long time, the Balkan endemic species Crocus pallidus has been unconfirmed and neglected for the flora of Bulgaria. It has remained an uncertain species from the Balkans, often listed as a synonym of C. weldenii. The morphological resemblance to the albinistic forms of C. chrysanthus has led to incorrect identification in the past, resulting in uncertainty regarding the distribution of this species in Bulgaria. In this regard, a detailed morphological and anatomical study of Bulgarian natural populations was carried out. A phylogenetic comparison in the ITS region of two Bulgarian populations of C. pallidus with other related species was conducted, revealing the distinction of C. pallidus populations from the closely related C. weldenii. The recently described new endemic species from Turkey, C. thracicus, shows very similar morphological and anatomical characteristics to C. pallidus and logically continues the distribution range in Eastern Thrace, along the Black Sea coast. We have a basis for suggesting that it should be treated as a synonym of C. pallidus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Systematics, Taxonomy, Nomenclature and Classification)
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16 pages, 2254 KiB  
Article
Micro-RNA-Regulated SQUAMOSA-PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE (SPL) Gene Expression and Cytokinin Accumulation Distinguish Early-Developing Male and Female Inflorescences in Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis)
by James W. Tregear, Frédérique Richaud, Myriam Collin, Jennifer Esbelin, Hugues Parrinello, Benoît Cochard, Leifi Nodichao, Fabienne Morcillo, Hélène Adam and Stefan Jouannic
Plants 2022, 11(5), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050685 - 2 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2512
Abstract
Sexual differentiation of inflorescences and flowers is important for reproduction and affects crop plant productivity. We report here on a molecular study of the process of sexual differentiation in the immature inflorescence of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis). This species is monoecious [...] Read more.
Sexual differentiation of inflorescences and flowers is important for reproduction and affects crop plant productivity. We report here on a molecular study of the process of sexual differentiation in the immature inflorescence of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis). This species is monoecious and exhibits gender diphasy, producing male and female inflorescences separately on the same plant in alternation. Three main approaches were used: small RNA-seq to characterise and study the expression of miRNA genes; RNA-seq to monitor mRNA accumulation patterns; hormone quantification to assess the role of cytokinins and auxins in inflorescence differentiation. Our study allowed the characterisation of 30 previously unreported palm MIRNA genes. In differential gene and miRNA expression studies, we identified a number of key developmental genes and miRNA-mRNA target modules previously described in relation to their developmental regulatory role in the cereal panicle, notably the miR156/529/535-SQUAMOSA PROMOTER-BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE (SPL) gene regulatory module. Gene enrichment analysis highlighted the importance of hormone-related genes, and this observation was corroborated by the detection of much higher levels of cytokinins in the female inflorescence. Our data illustrate the importance of branching regulation within the developmental window studied, during which the female inflorescence, unlike its male counterpart, produces flower clusters on new successive axes by sympodial growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental and Genetic Mechanisms of Floral Structure)
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17 pages, 3120 KiB  
Article
Environmental Niche Dynamics of Blue Grama (Bouteloua gracilis) Ecotypes in Northern Mexico: Genetic Structure and Implications for Restoration Management
by Carlos R. Morales-Nieto, Federico Villarreal-Guerrero, Pedro Jurado-Guerra, Jesús M. Ochoa-Rivero, Jesús A. Prieto-Amparán, Raúl Corrales-Lerma, Alfredo Pinedo-Alvarez and Alan Álvarez-Holguín
Plants 2022, 11(5), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050684 - 2 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2093
Abstract
Understanding the genetic structure adopted by natural populations and its relation to environmental adaptation is critical for the success of restoration programs. We evaluated the genetic structure and temporal environmental niche dynamics of blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) in 48 populations. The [...] Read more.
Understanding the genetic structure adopted by natural populations and its relation to environmental adaptation is critical for the success of restoration programs. We evaluated the genetic structure and temporal environmental niche dynamics of blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) in 48 populations. The genetic evaluation was performed through amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) molecular markers. The maximum entropy method was used to model the past, present, and future environmental niches of the three clusters derived from the genetic analysis. The environmental niches of the three genetic clusters showed dynamic overlaps and isolations during the last interglacial and glacial maximum. The paleoclimatic events, which occurred during those periods, may have reinforced genetic exchange among populations and affected their genetic structure. Genetic clusters also presented different environmental niches in the present. Thus, they can be considered as three distinct ecotypes and restoration programs must be carried out using local germplasm from each environmental niche to increase their chance of success. Based on the environmental niches of the genetic clusters, changes are expected in the near and mid-century future. Therefore, climate change must be considered for species conservation management and future restoration programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Modeling)
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23 pages, 4547 KiB  
Article
Gene Expression Analysis of Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Lipoxygenase Cascade and Oxylipin Signature under Abiotic Stress
by Svetlana Gorina, Anna Ogorodnikova, Lucia Mukhtarova and Yana Toporkova
Plants 2022, 11(5), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050683 - 2 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2417
Abstract
The metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids through the lipoxygenase-catalyzed step and subsequent reactions is referred to as the lipoxygenase (LOX) pathway. The components of this system, such as jasmonates, are involved in growth, development and defense reactions of plants. In this report, we [...] Read more.
The metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids through the lipoxygenase-catalyzed step and subsequent reactions is referred to as the lipoxygenase (LOX) pathway. The components of this system, such as jasmonates, are involved in growth, development and defense reactions of plants. In this report, we focus on dynamics of expression of different LOX pathway genes and activities of target enzymes with three abiotic stress factors: darkness, salinity and herbicide toxicity. To obtain a more complete picture, the expression profiles of marker genes for salicylic acid, abscisic acid, ethylene, auxin and gibberellin-dependent signaling systems under the same stresses were also analyzed. The gene expression in Solanum tuberosum plants was analyzed using qRT-PCR, and we found that the LOX-cascade-related genes responded to darkness, salinity and herbicide toxicity in different ways. We detected activation of a number of 9-LOX pathway genes; however, in contrast to studies associated with biotic stress (infection), the 9-divinyl ether synthase branch of the LOX cascade was inhibited under all three stresses. GC-MS analysis of the oxylipin profiles also showed the main activity of the 9-LOX-cascade-related enzymes after treatment with herbicide and darkness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change)
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