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Plants, Volume 12, Issue 6 (March-2 2023) – 217 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Climate change is causing rapid shifts in the environmental conditions experienced by plants, but we lack generalizable frameworks to predict the consequences for different species. We present a trade-off-based framework for understanding whether plants may undergo range shifts, defining species’ capacity for range shifts based on their colonization ability and ability to express a phenotype suited to their environment, which are influenced by ecological strategies and functional trade-offs. These processes affect species’ small-scale habitat ranges and determine if species track climate-driven changes in abiotic/biotic conditions and undergo geographic range shifts. Our framework provides a conceptual basis for plant species distribution models, aiding in the prediction of species’ ranges shifts due to climate change. View this paper
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11 pages, 299 KiB  
Review
Phylogeny and Systematics of Sassafras (Lauraceae), an Interesting Genus with Disjunct Distributions in Eastern North America and East Asia
by Yunyan Zhang, Jingbo Zhou, David Y. P. Tng, Shuang Wang, Ying Wang, Ye Peng, Hong Liu and Zhongsheng Wang
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1419; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061419 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1792
Abstract
The Lauraceae is a family of the order Laurales, with 2500–3000 species comprising 50 genera, mainly distributed in tropical and subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests. Up to two decades ago, the systematic classification of the Lauraceae was based on floral morphology, but molecular phylogenetic [...] Read more.
The Lauraceae is a family of the order Laurales, with 2500–3000 species comprising 50 genera, mainly distributed in tropical and subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests. Up to two decades ago, the systematic classification of the Lauraceae was based on floral morphology, but molecular phylogenetic approaches have made tremendous advances in elucidating tribe- and genus-level relationships within the family in recent decades. Our review focused on the phylogeny and systematics of Sassafras, a genus of three species with highly disjunct distributions in eastern North America and East Asia, whose tribe affiliation within the Lauraceae has long been controversial. By synthesizing information on the floral biology and molecular phylogeny of Sassafras, this review aimed to explore the position of Sassafras within the Lauraceae, and to provide suggestions and implications for future phylogenetic studies. Our synthesis highlighted Sassafras as a transitional type between Cinnamomeae and Laureae with a closer genetic relationship with Cinnamomeae, as revealed by molecular phylogenetic evidence, while it shares many similar characteristics with Laureae in morphology. We therefore discovered that several molecular and morphological methods should be concurrently considered to illuminate the phylogeny and systematics of Sassafras in Lauraceae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Systematics and Taxonomy)
21 pages, 2195 KiB  
Review
Essential Oils as Nematicides in Plant Protection—A Review
by Linda Catani, Barbara Manachini, Eleonora Grassi, Loretta Guidi and Federica Semprucci
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1418; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061418 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3133
Abstract
By 2030, the European Commission intends to halve chemical pesticide use and its consequent risks. Among pesticides, nematicides are chemical agents used to control parasitic roundworms in agriculture. In recent decades, researchers have been looking for more sustainable alternatives with the same effectiveness [...] Read more.
By 2030, the European Commission intends to halve chemical pesticide use and its consequent risks. Among pesticides, nematicides are chemical agents used to control parasitic roundworms in agriculture. In recent decades, researchers have been looking for more sustainable alternatives with the same effectiveness but a limited impact on the environment and ecosystems. Essential oils (EOs) are similar bioactive compounds and potential substitutes. Different studies on the use of EOs as nematicides are available in the Scopus database in the scientific literature. These works show a wider exploration of EO effects in vitro than in vivo on different nematode populations. Nevertheless, a review of which EOs have been used on different target nematodes, and how, is still not available. The aim of this paper is to explore the extent of EO testing on nematodes and which of them have nematicidal effects (e.g., mortality, effects on motility, inhibition of egg production). Particularly, the review aims to identify which EOs have been used the most, on which nematodes, and which formulations have been applied. This study provides an overview of the available reports and data to date, downloaded from Scopus, through (a) network maps created by VOSviewer software (version 1.6.8, Nees Jan van Eck and Ludo Waltman, Leiden, The Netherlands) and (b) a systematic analysis of all scientific papers. VOSviewer created maps with keywords derived from co-occurrence analysis to understand the main keywords used and the countries and journals which have published most on the topic, while the systematic analysis investigated all the documents downloaded. The main goal is to offer a comprehensive understanding of the potential use of EOs in agriculture as well as which directions future research should move toward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of the Root-Knot Nematodes)
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14 pages, 2666 KiB  
Article
Seed Priming with Fullerol Improves Seed Germination, Seedling Growth and Antioxidant Enzyme System of Two Winter Wheat Cultivars under Drought Stress
by Haiyan Kong, Xiangzhan Meng, Nudrat Aisha Akram, Fengru Zhu, Jiaxing Hu and Zhen Zhang
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1417; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061417 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1794
Abstract
The application of carbon-based nanomaterials (CBNMs) in plant science and agriculture is a very recent development. Many studies have been conducted to understand the interactions between CBNMs and plant responses, but how fullerol regulates wheat subjected to drought stress is still unclear. In [...] Read more.
The application of carbon-based nanomaterials (CBNMs) in plant science and agriculture is a very recent development. Many studies have been conducted to understand the interactions between CBNMs and plant responses, but how fullerol regulates wheat subjected to drought stress is still unclear. In this study, seeds of two wheat cultivars (CW131 and BM1) were pre-treated with different concentrations of fullerol to investigate seed germination and drought tolerance. Our results indicate that the application of fullerol at certain concentrations (25–200 mg L−1) significantly promoted seed germination in two wheat cultivars under drought stress; the most significant effective concentration was 50 mg L−1, which increased the final germination percentage by 13.7% and 9.7% compared to drought stress alone, respectively. Wheat plants exposed to drought stress induced a significant decrease in plant height and root growth, while reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents increased significantly. Interestingly, wheat seedlings of both cultivars grown from 50 and 100 mg L−1 fullerol-treated seeds were promoted in seedling growth under water stress, which was associated with lower ROS and MDA contents, as well as higher antioxidant enzyme activities. In addition, modern cultivars (CW131) had better drought adaptation than old cultivars (BM1) did, while the effect of fullerol on wheat had no significant difference between the two cultivars. The study demonstrated the possibility of improving seed germination, seedling growth and antioxidant enzyme activities by using appropriate concentrations of fullerol under drought stress. The results are significant for understanding the application of fullerol in agriculture under stressful conditions. Full article
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17 pages, 6604 KiB  
Article
Association of High and Low Molecular Weight Glutenin Subunits with Gluten Strength in Tetraploid Durum Wheat (Triticum turgidum spp. Durum L.)
by Jameel M. Al-Khayri, Rana M. Alshegaihi, ELsayed I. Mahgoub, Elsayed Mansour, Osama O. Atallah, Muhammad N. Sattar, Muneera Q. Al-Mssallem, Fatima M. Alessa, Mohammed I. Aldaej and Abdallah A. Hassanin
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1416; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061416 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1753
Abstract
The gluten strength and the composition of high- and low-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (HMWGSs and LMWGSs) of fifty-one durum wheat genotypes were evaluated using sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) sedimentation testing and SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). This study examined the allelic variability and the [...] Read more.
The gluten strength and the composition of high- and low-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (HMWGSs and LMWGSs) of fifty-one durum wheat genotypes were evaluated using sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) sedimentation testing and SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). This study examined the allelic variability and the composition of HMWGSs and LMWGSs in T. durum wheat genotypes. SDS-PAGE was proven to be a successful method for identifying HMWGS and LMWGS alleles and their importance in determining the dough quality. The evaluated durum wheat genotypes with HMWGS alleles 7+8, 7+9, 13+16, and 17+18 were highly correlated with improved dough strength. The genotypes containing the LMW-2 allele displayed stronger gluten than those with the LMW-1 allele. The comparative in silico analysis indicated that Glu-A1, Glu-B1, and Glu-B3 possessed a typical primary structure. The study also revealed that the lower content of glutamine, proline, glycine, and tyrosineand the higher content of serine and valine in the Glu-A1 and Glu-B1 glutenin subunits, and the higher cysteine residues in Glu-B1 and lower arginine, isoleucine, and leucine in the Glu-B3 glutenin, are associated with the suitability of durum wheat for pasta making and the suitability of bread wheat with good bread-making quality. The phylogeny analysis reported that both Glu-B1 and Glu-B3 had a closer evolutionary relationship in bread and durum wheat, while the Glu-A1 was highly distinct. The results of the current research may help breeders to manage the quality of durum wheat genotypes by exploiting the allelic variation in glutenin. Computational analysis showed the presence of higher proportions of glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine than the other residues in both HMWGSs and LMWGSs. Thus, durum wheat genotype selection according to the presence of a few protein components effectively distinguishes the strongest from the weakest types of gluten. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cereals: Aspects of Quality, Health, Technology, and Innovation)
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16 pages, 3275 KiB  
Article
Variation in the Concentration of Tilia spp. Pollen in the Aeroplankton of Lublin and Szczecin, Poland
by Elżbieta Weryszko-Chmielewska, Krystyna Piotrowska-Weryszko, Tomasz Wolski, Aneta Sulborska-Różycka and Agata Konarska
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1415; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061415 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1203
Abstract
Although lime trees have numerous benefits, they can pose a threat to allergy sufferers during the flowering period, as their pollen exhibits allergenic properties. This paper presents the results of 3 years of aerobiological research (2020–2022) carried out with the volumetric method in [...] Read more.
Although lime trees have numerous benefits, they can pose a threat to allergy sufferers during the flowering period, as their pollen exhibits allergenic properties. This paper presents the results of 3 years of aerobiological research (2020–2022) carried out with the volumetric method in Lublin and Szczecin. A comparison of the pollen seasons in both cities revealed substantially higher concentrations of lime pollen in the air of Lublin than of Szczecin. In the individual years of the study, the maximum pollen concentrations were approximately 3-fold higher, and the annual pollen sum was about 2–3 times higher in Lublin than in Szczecin. Considerably higher lime pollen concentrations were recorded in both cities in 2020 than in the other years, which was probably associated with the 1.7–2.5 °C increase in the average temperature in April compared to the other two years. The maximum lime pollen concentrations were recorded during the last ten days of June or at the beginning of July in both Lublin and Szczecin. This period was associated with the greatest risk of pollen allergy development in sensitive subjects. The increased production of lime pollen in 2020 and in 2018–2019 with the increase in the mean temperature in April, reported in our previous study, may indicate a response of lime trees to the global warming phenomenon. Cumulative temperatures calculated for Tilia may serve as a basis for forecasting the beginning of the pollen season. Full article
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16 pages, 2973 KiB  
Article
Synergistic Effects of Water Management and Silicon Foliar Spraying on the Uptake and Transport Efficiency of Cadmium in Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
by Xiaoyun Huang, Chengwu Fan, Dongyi Xie, Hongxing Chen, Song Zhang, Hui Chen, Song Qin, Tianling Fu, Tengbing He and Zhenran Gao
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1414; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061414 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1410
Abstract
To study the synergistic effects of water management and silicon (Si) foliar spraying on the uptake and transport of cadmium (Cd) in rice, we designed four treatments: conventional intermittent flooding + no Si foliar spraying (CK), continuous flooding throughout the growth stage + [...] Read more.
To study the synergistic effects of water management and silicon (Si) foliar spraying on the uptake and transport of cadmium (Cd) in rice, we designed four treatments: conventional intermittent flooding + no Si foliar spraying (CK), continuous flooding throughout the growth stage + no Si foliar spraying (W), conventional intermittent flooding + Si foliar spraying (Si) and continuous flooding throughout the growth stage + Si foliar spraying (WSi). The results show that WSi treatment reduced the uptake and translocation of Cd by rice and significantly reduced the brown rice Cd content, with no effect on rice yield. Compared with CK, the Si treatment increased the net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs) and transpiration rate (Tr) of rice by 6.5–9.4%, 10.0–16.6% and 2.1–16.8%, respectively. The W treatment decreased these parameters by 20.5–27.9%, 8.6–26.8% and 13.3–23.3%, respectively, and the WSi treatment decreased them by 13.1–21.2%, 3.7–22.3% and 2.2–13.7%, respectively. The superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) activity decreased by 6.7–20.6% and 6.5–9.5%, respectively, following the W treatment. Following the Si treatment, SOD and POD activity increased by 10.2–41.1% and 9.3–25.1%, respectively, and following the WSi treatment, they increased by 6.5–18.1% and 2.6–22.4%, respectively. Si foliar spraying ameliorated the detrimental effects of continuous flooding throughout the growth stage on photosynthesis and antioxidant enzyme activity. We conclude that synergistic continuous flooding throughout the growth stage, combined with Si foliar spraying, can significantly block Cd uptake and translocation and is therefore an effective means of reducing the accumulation of Cd in brown rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Effect of Heavy Metals on Plants)
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17 pages, 2119 KiB  
Article
Chemical Profiling and Biological Properties of Essential Oils of Lavandula stoechas L. Collected from Three Moroccan Sites: In Vitro and In Silico Investigations
by Taoufiq Benali, Ahmed Lemhadri, Kaoutar Harboul, Houda Chtibi, Abdelmajid Khabbach, Si Mohamed Jadouali, Luisa Quesada-Romero, Said Louahlia, Khalil Hammani, Adib Ghaleb, Learn-Han Lee, Abdelhakim Bouyahya, Marius Emil Rusu and Mohamed Akhazzane
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1413; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061413 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2316
Abstract
The aim of this study was the determination of the chemical compounds of Lavandula stoechas essential oil from Aknol (LSEOA), Khenifra (LSEOK), and Beni Mellal (LSEOB), and the in vitro investigation of their antibacterial, anticandidal, and antioxidant [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was the determination of the chemical compounds of Lavandula stoechas essential oil from Aknol (LSEOA), Khenifra (LSEOK), and Beni Mellal (LSEOB), and the in vitro investigation of their antibacterial, anticandidal, and antioxidant effects, and in silico anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. The chemical profile of LSEO was determined using GC-MS-MS analysis, the results of which showed a qualitative and quantitative variation in the chemical composition of volatile compounds including L-fenchone, cubebol, camphor, bornyl acetate, and τ-muurolol; indicating that the biosynthesis of essential oils of Lavandula stoechas (LSEO) varied depending on the site of growth. The antioxidant activity was evaluated using the ABTS and FRAP methods, our results showed that this tested oil is endowed with an ABTS inhibitory effect and an important reducing power which varies between 4.82 ± 1.52 and 15.73 ± 3.26 mg EAA/g extract. The results of antibacterial activity of LSEOA, LSEOK and LSEOB, tested against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, revealed that B. subtilis (20.66 ± 1.15–25 ± 4.35 mm), P. mirabilis (18.66 ± 1.15–18.66 ± 1.15 mm), and P. aeruginosa (13.33 ± 1.15–19 ± 1.00 mm) are the most susceptible strains to LSEOA, LSEOK and LSEOB of which LSEOB exhibits bactericidal effect against P. mirabilis. furthermore The LSEO exhibited varying degrees of anticandidal activity with an inhibition zones of 25.33 ± 0.5, 22.66 ± 2.51, and 19 ± 1 mm for LSEOK, LSEOB, and LSEOA, respectively. Additionally, the in silico molecular docking process, performed using Chimera Vina and Surflex-Dock programs, indicated that LSEO could inhibit SARS-CoV-2. These important biological properties of LSEO qualify this plant as an interesting source of natural bioactive compounds with medicinal actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Essential Oil with Biological Activity II)
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10 pages, 2489 KiB  
Communication
Gene Coexpression Analysis Identifies Genes Associated with Chlorophyll Content and Relative Water Content in Pearl Millet
by Harshraj Shinde, Ambika Dudhate, Atul Sathe, Neha Paserkar, Sopan Ganpatrao Wagh and Ulhas Sopanrao Kadam
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1412; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061412 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1761
Abstract
Pearl millet is a significant crop that is tolerant to abiotic stresses and is a staple food of arid regions. However, its underlying mechanisms of stress tolerance are not fully understood. Plant survival is regulated by the ability to perceive a stress signal [...] Read more.
Pearl millet is a significant crop that is tolerant to abiotic stresses and is a staple food of arid regions. However, its underlying mechanisms of stress tolerance are not fully understood. Plant survival is regulated by the ability to perceive a stress signal and induce appropriate physiological changes. Here, we screened for genes regulating physiological changes such as chlorophyll content (CC) and relative water content (RWC) in response to abiotic stress by using “weighted gene coexpression network analysis” (WGCNA) and clustering changes in physiological traits, i.e., CC and RWC associated with gene expression. Genes’ correlations with traits were defined in the form of modules, and different color names were used to denote a particular module. Modules are groups of genes with similar patterns of expression, which also tend to be functionally related and co-regulated. In WGCNA, the dark green module (7082 genes) showed a significant positive correlation with CC, and the black (1393 genes) module was negatively correlated with CC and RWC. Analysis of the module positively correlated with CC highlighted ribosome synthesis and plant hormone signaling as the most significant pathways. Potassium transporter 8 and monothiol glutaredoxin were reported as the topmost hub genes in the dark green module. In Clust analysis, 2987 genes were found to display a correlation with increasing CC and RWC. Furthermore, the pathway analysis of these clusters identified the ribosome and thermogenesis as positive regulators of RWC and CC, respectively. Our study provides novel insights into the molecular mechanisms regulating CC and RWC in pearl millet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinformatics Toolkit for Plant Studies)
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17 pages, 1119 KiB  
Review
Small Talk: On the Possible Role of Trans-Kingdom Small RNAs during Plant–Virus–Vector Tritrophic Communication
by Emilyn E. Matsumura and Richard Kormelink
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1411; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061411 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2032
Abstract
Small RNAs (sRNAs) are the hallmark and main effectors of RNA silencing and therefore are involved in major biological processes in plants, such as regulation of gene expression, antiviral defense, and plant genome integrity. The mechanisms of sRNA amplification as well as their [...] Read more.
Small RNAs (sRNAs) are the hallmark and main effectors of RNA silencing and therefore are involved in major biological processes in plants, such as regulation of gene expression, antiviral defense, and plant genome integrity. The mechanisms of sRNA amplification as well as their mobile nature and rapid generation suggest sRNAs as potential key modulators of intercellular and interspecies communication in plant-pathogen–pest interactions. Plant endogenous sRNAs can act in cis to regulate plant innate immunity against pathogens, or in trans to silence pathogens’ messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and impair virulence. Likewise, pathogen-derived sRNAs can act in cis to regulate expression of their own genes and increase virulence towards a plant host, or in trans to silence plant mRNAs and interfere with host defense. In plant viral diseases, virus infection alters the composition and abundance of sRNAs in plant cells, not only by triggering and interfering with the plant RNA silencing antiviral response, which accumulates virus-derived small interfering RNAs (vsiRNAs), but also by modulating plant endogenous sRNAs. Here, we review the current knowledge on the nature and activity of virus-responsive sRNAs during virus–plant interactions and discuss their role in trans-kingdom modulation of virus vectors for the benefit of virus dissemination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Small RNA on Plant-Pathogen Interactions)
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16 pages, 3622 KiB  
Article
Green Biogenic of Silver Nanoparticles Using Polyphenolic Extract of Olive Leaf Wastes with Focus on Their Anticancer and Antimicrobial Activities
by Bassam F. Alowaiesh, Haifa Abdulaziz Sakit Alhaithloul, Ahmed M. Saad and Abdallah A. Hassanin
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1410; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061410 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2177
Abstract
Agro-industrial wastes are rich in polyphenols and other bioactive compounds, and valorizing these wastes is a crucial worldwide concern for saving health and the environment. In this work, olive leaf waste was valorized by silver nitrate to produce silver nanoparticles (OLAgNPs), which exhibited [...] Read more.
Agro-industrial wastes are rich in polyphenols and other bioactive compounds, and valorizing these wastes is a crucial worldwide concern for saving health and the environment. In this work, olive leaf waste was valorized by silver nitrate to produce silver nanoparticles (OLAgNPs), which exhibited various biological, antioxidant, anticancer activities against three cancer cell lines, and antimicrobial activity against multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria and fungi. The obtained OLAgNPs were spherical, with an average size of 28 nm, negatively charged at −21 mV, and surrounded by various active groups more than the parent extract based on FTIR spectra. The total phenolic and total flavonoid contents significantly increased in OLAgNPs by 42 and 50% over the olive leaf waste extract (OLWE); consequently, the antioxidant activity of OLAgNPs increased by 12% over OLWE, recording an SC50 of OLAgNPs of 5 µg/mL compared to 30 µg/mL in the extract. The phenolic compound profile detected by HPLC showed that gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, rutin, naringenin, catechin, and propyl gallate were the main compounds in the HPLC profile of OLAgNPs and OLWE; the content of these compounds was higher in OLAgNPs than OLWE by 16-fold. The higher phenolic compounds in OLAgNPs are attributable to the significant increase in biological activities of OLAgNPs than that of OLWE. OLAgNPs successfully inhibited the proliferation of three cancer cell lines, MCF-7, HeLa, and HT-29, by 79–82% compared to 55–67% in OLWE and 75–79% in doxorubicin (DOX). The preliminary worldwide problem is multi-drug resistant microorganisms (MDR) because of the random use of antibiotics. Therefore, in this study, we may find the solution in OLAgNPs with concentrations of 2.5–20 µg/mL, which significantly inhibited the growth of six MDR bacteria L. monocytogenes, B. cereus, S. aureus, Y. enterocolitica, C. jejuni, and E. coli with inhibition zone diameters of 25–37 mm and six pathogenic fungi in the range of 26–35 mm compared to antibiotics. OLAgNPs in this study may be applied safely in new medicine to mitigate free radicals, cancer, and MDR pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Therapeutics 2.0)
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13 pages, 2315 KiB  
Article
Improved Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae) Adults Biocontrol in Citrus by Hirsutella citriformis (Hypocreales: Ophiocordycipitaceae) Gum-Enhanced Conidia Formulation
by Orquídea Pérez-González, Ricardo Gomez-Flores, Roberto Montesinos-Matías, Marco A. Mellín-Rosas, Servando H. Cantú-Bernal and Patricia Tamez-Guerra
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1409; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061409 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1387
Abstract
Hirsutella citriformis Speare is the only entomopathogenic fungus involved in Diaphorina citri Kuwayama natural epizootics. The aim of the present study was to evaluate different protein sources as supplements to stimulate Hirsutella citriformis growth, improve conidiation on solid culture, and evaluate its produced [...] Read more.
Hirsutella citriformis Speare is the only entomopathogenic fungus involved in Diaphorina citri Kuwayama natural epizootics. The aim of the present study was to evaluate different protein sources as supplements to stimulate Hirsutella citriformis growth, improve conidiation on solid culture, and evaluate its produced gum for conidia formulation against D. citri adults. Hirsutella citriformis INIFAP-Hir-2 strain was grown on agar media enriched with wheat bran, wheat germ, soy, amaranth, quinoa, and pumpkin seed, in addition to oat with wheat bran and/or amaranth. The results demonstrated that 2% wheat bran significantly (p < 0.05) promoted mycelium growth. However, 4% and 5% wheat bran achieved the highest conidiation (3.65 × 107 conidia/mL and 3.68 × 107 conidia/mL, respectively). Higher conidiation (p < 0.05) was observed on oat grains supplemented with wheat bran, as compared with culturing on oat grains without supplements (7.25 × 107 versus 5.22 × 107 conidia/g), after a 14 d instead of 21 d incubation period. After supplementing synthetic medium or oat grains with wheat bran and/or amaranth, INIFAP-Hir-2 conidiation increased, whereas production time was reduced. After using Acacia and Hirsutella gums to formulate conidia produced on wheat bran and amaranth at 4%, field trial results showed that the highest (p < 0.05) D. citri mortality was achieved by Hirsutella gum-formulated conidia (80.0%), followed by the Hirsutella gum control (57.8%). Furthermore, Acacia gum-formulated conidia caused 37.8%, whereas Acacia gum and negative controls induced 9% mortality. In conclusion, Hirsutella citriformis gum used to formulate its conidia improved biological control against D. citri adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis and Disease Control in Crops)
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17 pages, 4006 KiB  
Article
Differences in Physiological Characteristics, Seed Germination, and Seedling Establishment in Response to Salt Stress between Dimorphic Seeds in the Halophyte Suaeda liaotungensis
by Jieqiong Song, Hongfei Wang, Ruowen Chu, Lantong Zhao, Xinxin Li, Shuo An, Mengke Qiang, Wanying Du and Qiuli Li
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1408; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061408 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1507
Abstract
Soil salinization is an increasing agricultural problem around the world, affecting crop productivity and quality. Seed germination and seedling establishment are susceptible to salt stress. Suaeda liaotungensis is a halophyte with strong salt tolerance that produces dimorphic seeds to adapt to the saline [...] Read more.
Soil salinization is an increasing agricultural problem around the world, affecting crop productivity and quality. Seed germination and seedling establishment are susceptible to salt stress. Suaeda liaotungensis is a halophyte with strong salt tolerance that produces dimorphic seeds to adapt to the saline environment. Differences in physiological characteristics, seed germination, and seedling establishment in response to salt stress between dimorphic seeds in S. liaotungensis have not been reported. The results showed that brown seeds had significantly higher H2O2 and O2. levels and betaine content, as well as POD and CAT activities, while they had significantly lower MDA and proline contents and SOD activity than black seeds. Light promoted the germination of brown seeds in a certain temperature range, and brown seeds could reach a higher germination percentage in a wide temperature range. However, light and temperature had no effect on the germination percentage of black seeds. Brown seeds had higher germination than black seeds under the same NaCl concentration. The final germination of brown seeds was significantly decreased as salt concentration increased, whereas this had no effect on the final germination of black seeds. POD and CAT activities, as well as MDA content, in brown seeds were significantly higher than those in black seeds during germination under salt stress. Additionally, the seedlings from brown seeds were more tolerant to salinity than those from black seeds. Therefore, these results will give an in-depth understanding of the adaptation strategies of dimorphic seeds to a salinization environment, and better exploitation and utilization of S. liaotungensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic and Environmental Factors Affecting Seed Germination)
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21 pages, 3954 KiB  
Article
Effect of Mn Deficiency on Carbon and Nitrogen Metabolism of Different Genotypes Seedlings in Maize (Zea mays L.)
by Yuzhao Tao, Changzhuang Liu, Lin Piao, Fuqiang Yang, Jiaqi Liu, Muhammad Faheem Jan and Ming Li
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1407; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061407 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1597
Abstract
Manganese deficiency critically impairs the function and stability of photosystem II (PSII) and negatively impacts crop growth and yield. However, the response mechanisms of carbon and nitrogen metabolism to Mn deficiency in different genotypes of maize and the differences in Mn deficiency tolerance [...] Read more.
Manganese deficiency critically impairs the function and stability of photosystem II (PSII) and negatively impacts crop growth and yield. However, the response mechanisms of carbon and nitrogen metabolism to Mn deficiency in different genotypes of maize and the differences in Mn deficiency tolerance are unclear. Herein, three different genotypes of maize seedlings (sensitive genotype: Mo17, tolerant genotype: B73, and B73 × Mo17) were exposed to Mn deficiency treatment for 16 days using liquid culture with different concentrations of MnSO4 [0.00, 2.23, 11.65, and 22.30 mg/L (control)]. We found that complete Mn deficiency significantly reduced maize seedling biomass; negatively affected the photosynthetic and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters; and depressed nitrate reductase, glutamine synthetase, and glutamate synthase activity. This resulted in reduced leaf and root nitrogen uptake, with Mo17 being most severely inhibited. B73 and B73 × Mo17 maintained higher sucrose phosphate synthase and sucrose synthase activities and lower neutral convertase activity compared to Mo17, which resulted in higher accumulation of soluble sugars and sucrose and maintenance of the osmoregulation capacity of leaves, which helped mitigate damage caused by Mn deficiency. The findings revealed the physiological regulation mechanism of carbon and nitrogen metabolism in different genotypes of maize seedlings that resist Mn deficiency stress, providing a theoretical basis for developing high yield and quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Nutrition Volume II)
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12 pages, 1913 KiB  
Article
Increased Leaf Bacterial Network Complexity along the Native Plant Diversity Gradient Facilitates Plant Invasion?
by Xiang-Deng Du, Jiang Wang, Congcong Shen, Jichen Wang, Zhongwang Jing, Li-Nan Huang, Zhen-Hao Luo and Yuan Ge
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1406; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061406 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1178
Abstract
Understanding the mechanisms of biological invasion is critical to biodiversity protection. Previous studies have produced inconsistent relationships between native species richness and invasibility, referred to as the invasion paradox. Although facilitative interactions among species have been proposed to explain the non-negative diversity–invasibility relationship, [...] Read more.
Understanding the mechanisms of biological invasion is critical to biodiversity protection. Previous studies have produced inconsistent relationships between native species richness and invasibility, referred to as the invasion paradox. Although facilitative interactions among species have been proposed to explain the non-negative diversity–invasibility relationship, little is known about the facilitation of plant-associated microbes in invasions. We established a two-year field biodiversity experiment with a native plant species richness gradient (1, 2, 4, or 8 species) and analyzed the effects of community structure and network complexity of leaf bacteria on invasion success. Our results indicated a positive relationship between invasibility and network complexity of leaf bacteria of the invader. Consistent with previous studies, we also found that native plant species richness increased the leaf bacterial diversity and network complexity. Moreover, the results of the leaf bacteria community assembly of the invader suggested that the complex bacteria community resulted from higher native diversity rather than higher invader biomass. We concluded that increased leaf bacterial network complexity along the native plant diversity gradient likely facilitated plant invasion. Our findings provided evidence of a potential mechanism by which microbes may affect the plant community invasibility, hopefully helping to explain the non-negative relationship between native diversity and invasibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Invasion Ecology)
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17 pages, 2786 KiB  
Article
Discovering the Repeatome of Five Species Belonging to the Asteraceae Family: A Computational Study
by Maria Ventimiglia, Marco Castellacci, Gabriele Usai, Alberto Vangelisti, Samuel Simoni, Lucia Natali, Andrea Cavallini, Flavia Mascagni and Tommaso Giordani
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1405; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061405 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1327
Abstract
Genome divergence by repeat proliferation and/or loss is a process that plays a crucial role in species evolution. Nevertheless, knowledge of the variability related to repeat proliferation among species of the same family is still limited. Considering the importance of the Asteraceae family, [...] Read more.
Genome divergence by repeat proliferation and/or loss is a process that plays a crucial role in species evolution. Nevertheless, knowledge of the variability related to repeat proliferation among species of the same family is still limited. Considering the importance of the Asteraceae family, here we present a first contribution towards the metarepeatome of five Asteraceae species. A comprehensive picture of the repetitive components of all genomes was obtained by genome skimming with Illumina sequence reads and by analyzing a pool of full-length long terminal repeat retrotransposons (LTR-REs). Genome skimming allowed us to estimate the abundance and variability of repetitive components. The structure of the metagenome of the selected species was composed of 67% repetitive sequences, of which LTR-REs represented the bulk of annotated clusters. The species essentially shared ribosomal DNA sequences, whereas the other classes of repetitive DNA were highly variable among species. The pool of full-length LTR-REs was retrieved from all the species and their age of insertion was established, showing several lineage-specific proliferation peaks over the last 15-million years. Overall, a large variability of repeat abundance at superfamily, lineage, and sublineage levels was observed, indicating that repeats within individual genomes followed different evolutionary and temporal dynamics, and that different events of amplification or loss of these sequences may have occurred after species differentiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
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9 pages, 3222 KiB  
Communication
Time Effects of Global Change on Forest Productivity in China from 2001 to 2017
by Jiangfeng Wang, Yanhong Li and Jie Gao
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1404; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061404 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1322
Abstract
With global warming, the concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and greenhouse gases, such as CO2, are increasing. However, it is still unknown whether these increases will affect vegetation productivity. Exploring the impacts of global warming on net primary [...] Read more.
With global warming, the concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and greenhouse gases, such as CO2, are increasing. However, it is still unknown whether these increases will affect vegetation productivity. Exploring the impacts of global warming on net primary productivity (NPP) will help us understand how ecosystem function responds to climate change in China. Using the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach (CASA) ecosystem model based on remote sensing, we investigated the spatiotemporal changes in NPP across 1137 sites in China from 2001 to 2017. Our results revealed that: (1) Mean Annual Temperature (MAT) and Mean Annual Precipitation (MAP) were significantly positively correlated with NPP (p < 0.01), while PM2.5 concentration and CO2 emissions were significantly negatively correlated with NPP (p < 0.01). (2) The positive correlation between temperature, rainfall and NPP gradually weakened over time, while the negative correlation between PM2.5 concentration, CO2 emissions and NPP gradually strengthened over time. (3) High levels of PM2.5 concentration and CO2 emissions had negative effects on NPP, while high levels of MAT and MAP had positive effects on NPP. Full article
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19 pages, 5153 KiB  
Article
Allelopathic Potential of the Cyanotoxins Microcystin-LR and Cylindrospermopsin on Green Algae
by Ivanka Teneva, Violeta Velikova, Detelina Belkinova, Dzhemal Moten and Balik Dzhambazov
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1403; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061403 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1477
Abstract
Allelopathic interactions are widespread in all aquatic habitats, among all groups of aquatic primary biomass producers, including cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are producers of potent toxins called cyanotoxins, whose biological and ecological roles, including their allelopathic influence, are still incompletely understood. The allelopathic potential of [...] Read more.
Allelopathic interactions are widespread in all aquatic habitats, among all groups of aquatic primary biomass producers, including cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are producers of potent toxins called cyanotoxins, whose biological and ecological roles, including their allelopathic influence, are still incompletely understood. The allelopathic potential of the cyanotoxins microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and cylindrospermopsin (CYL) on green algae (Chlamydomonas asymmetrica, Dunaliella salina, and Scenedesmus obtusiusculus) was established. Time-dependent inhibitory effects on the growth and motility of the green algae exposed to cyanotoxins were detected. Changes in their morphology (cell shape, granulation of the cytoplasm, and loss of flagella) were also observed. The cyanotoxins MC-LR and CYL were found to affect photosynthesis to varying degrees in the green algae Chlamydomonas asymmetrica, Dunaliella salina, and Scenedesmus obtusiusculus, affecting chlorophyll fluorescence parameters such as the maximum photochemical activity (Fv/Fm) of photosystem II (PSII), the non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence (NPQ), and the quantum yield of the unregulated energy dissipation Y(NO) in PSII. In the context of ongoing climate change and the associated expectations of the increased frequency of cyanobacterial blooms and released cyanotoxins, our results demonstrated the possible allelopathic role of cyanotoxins on competing autotrophs in the phytoplankton communities. Full article
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26 pages, 1264 KiB  
Article
Plant Species as Potential Forage for Honey Bees in the Al-Baha Mountain Region in Southwestern Saudi Arabia
by Ahmad A. Al-Ghamdi and Nageeb A. Al-Sagheer
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1402; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061402 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1976
Abstract
The contribution of bee forages in the form of nectar, pollen, and propolis to beekeeping development depends on plant species diversity. The data concerning the increase in honey production in southwestern Saudi Arabia, which was unexpected with the deterioration of the vegetation cover, [...] Read more.
The contribution of bee forages in the form of nectar, pollen, and propolis to beekeeping development depends on plant species diversity. The data concerning the increase in honey production in southwestern Saudi Arabia, which was unexpected with the deterioration of the vegetation cover, becomes a concrete background for this study, which planned to list the bee plant species contributing as sources of nectar, pollen, and propolis. The sampling method followed a purposive random sampling approach, and 20 × 20 m plots were considered with a total of 450 sample plots. Bee forage plants were identified based on flower morphology and honey bees’ actions during floral visits at active foraging hours. A checklist of bee forages containing 268 plants species belonging to 62 families was documented. The number of pollen source plants (122) was more than nectar (92) and propolis (10) source plants. Regarding seasonal distribution, spring and winter were relatively good seasons for honey bees in terms of pollen, nectar, and propolis availability. Generally, this study is an essential step towards understanding, conserving, and rehabilitating plant species providing nectar, forage, and propolis to honey bees in Al-Baha Region of Saudi Arabia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants: Sources of Diversity in Propolis and Honey Properties)
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12 pages, 1718 KiB  
Article
Identification of Candidate Genes for Salt Tolerance at the Seedling Stage Using Integrated Genome-Wide Association Study and Transcriptome Analysis in Rice
by Tae-Heon Kim and Suk-Man Kim
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1401; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061401 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2000
Abstract
Salt stress is a major constraint in rice production worldwide. Salt stress is estimated to cause annual losses of 30–50% in rice production. Discovering and deploying salt-resistance genes are the most effective ways to control salt stress. We performed a genome-wide association study [...] Read more.
Salt stress is a major constraint in rice production worldwide. Salt stress is estimated to cause annual losses of 30–50% in rice production. Discovering and deploying salt-resistance genes are the most effective ways to control salt stress. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to detect QTLs related to salt tolerance at the seedling stage using the japonica-multiparent advanced generation intercross (MAGIC) population. Four QTLs (qDTS1-1, qDTS1-2, qDTS2, and qDTS9) associated with salt tolerance were identified on chromosomes 1, 2, and 9. Among these QTLs, a novel QTL, qDTS1-2, was located between flanking SNPs (1354576 and id1028360) on chromosome 1, with the largest −log10(P) value of 5.81 and a total phenotypic variance of 15.2%. RNA-seq analysis revealed that among the seven differentially expressed genes (DEGs) commonly identified in both P6 and JM298 showing salt tolerance, two upregulated genes, Os01g0963600 (ASR transcription factor) and Os01g0975300 (OsMYB48), related to salt and drought tolerance, were also involved in the target region of qDTS1-2. The results of this study can provide insights into further understanding of salt tolerance mechanisms and developing DNA markers for marker-assisted selection (MAS) breeding to improve the salt tolerance of cultivars in rice breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
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21 pages, 2258 KiB  
Article
Heat-Stress-Induced Changes in Physio-Biochemical Parameters of Mustard Cultivars and Their Role in Heat Stress Tolerance at the Seedling Stage
by Ashwini Sakpal, Sangita Yadav, Ravish Choudhary, Navinder Saini, Sujata Vasudev, Devendra K. Yadava, Sezai Ercişli, Romina Alina Marc and Shiv K. Yadav
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1400; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061400 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1919
Abstract
In the era of global warming, heat stress, particularly at the seedling stage, is a major problem that affects the production and productivity of crops such as mustard that are grown in cooler climates. Nineteen mustard cultivars were exposed to contrasting temperature regimes—20 [...] Read more.
In the era of global warming, heat stress, particularly at the seedling stage, is a major problem that affects the production and productivity of crops such as mustard that are grown in cooler climates. Nineteen mustard cultivars were exposed to contrasting temperature regimes—20 °C, 30 °C, 40 °C and a variable range of 25–40 °C—and evaluated for changes in physiological and biochemical parameters at the seedling stage to study their role in heat-stress tolerance. Exposure to heat stress showed detrimental effects on seedling growth as revealed by reduced vigor indices, survival percentages, antioxidant activity and proline content. The cultivars were grouped into tolerant, moderately tolerant and susceptible based on the survival percentage and biochemical parameters. All the conventional and three single-zero cultivars were found to be tolerant and moderately tolerant, respectively, while double-zero cultivars were reckoned to be susceptible except for two cultivars. Significant increases in proline content and catalase and peroxidase activities were found associated with thermo-tolerant cultivars. More efficient antioxidant system activity and proline accumulation were noticed in conventional along with three single-zero (PM-21, PM-22, PM-30) and two double-zero (JC-21, JC-33) cultivars that might have provided better protection to them under heat stress than the remaining one single- and nine double-zero cultivars. Tolerant cultivars also resulted in significantly higher values of most of the yield attributing traits. Heat-stress-tolerant cultivars could easily be selected based on the survival percentage, proline and antioxidants at the seedling stage and included as efficient cultivars in breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Plant Resistance to Stress)
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12 pages, 1407 KiB  
Article
Alleviation of Associated Drought and Salinity Stress’ Detrimental Impacts on an Eggplant Cultivar (‘Bonica F1’) by Adding Biochar
by Sami Hannachi, Angelo Signore and Lassaad Mechi
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1399; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061399 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1654
Abstract
To investigate the impact of biochar on eggplant growth, physiology, and yield parameters under separate and associated drought and salt stress, a pot experiment was carried out. An eggplant variety (‘Bonica F1’) was exposed to one NaCl concentration (S1 = 300 mM), three [...] Read more.
To investigate the impact of biochar on eggplant growth, physiology, and yield parameters under separate and associated drought and salt stress, a pot experiment was carried out. An eggplant variety (‘Bonica F1’) was exposed to one NaCl concentration (S1 = 300 mM), three irrigation regimes (FI: full irrigation; DI: deficit irrigation; ARD: alternate root-zone drying irrigation), and one dose of biochar (B1 = 6% by weight). Our findings demonstrated that associated drought and salt stress had a greater negative impact on ‘Bonica F1’ performance in comparison to single drought or salt stress. Whereas, adding biochar to the soil improved the ability of ‘Bonica F1’ to alleviate the single and associated effects of salt and drought stress. Moreover, in comparison to DI under salinity, biochar addition in ARD significantly increased plant height, aerial biomass, fruit number per plant, and mean fresh weight per fruit by 18.4%, 39.7%, 37.5%, and 36.3%, respectively. Furthermore, under limited and saline irrigation, photosynthetic rate (An), transpiration rate (E), and stomatal conductance (gs) declined. In addition, the interaction between ARD and biochar effectively restored the equilibrium between the plant chemical signal (ABA) and hydraulic signal (leaf water potential). As a result, mainly under salt stress, with ARD treatment, intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) and yield traits were much higher than those in DI. Overall, biochar in combination with ARD could be an efficient approach for preserving crop productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Stress and Metabolism)
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16 pages, 1257 KiB  
Article
Aggressiveness and Patulin Production in Penicillium expansum Multidrug Resistant Strains with Different Expression Levels of MFS and ABC Transporters, in the Presence or Absence of Fludioxonil
by Panagiota Ntasiou, Anastasios Samaras, Emmanouil-Nikolaos Papadakis, Urania Menkissoglu-Spiroudi and George S. Karaoglanidis
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1398; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061398 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1874
Abstract
Penicillium expansum is the most common postharvest pathogen of apple fruit, causing blue mold disease. Due to the extensive use of fungicides, strains resistant to multiple chemical classes have been selected. A previous study by our group proposed that the overexpression of MFS [...] Read more.
Penicillium expansum is the most common postharvest pathogen of apple fruit, causing blue mold disease. Due to the extensive use of fungicides, strains resistant to multiple chemical classes have been selected. A previous study by our group proposed that the overexpression of MFS (major facilitator superfamily) and ABC (ATP binding cassette) transporters constitute an alternative resistance mechanism in Multi Drug resistant (MDR) strains of this pathogen. This study was initiated to determine two main biological fitness parameters of MDR strains: aggressiveness against apple fruit and patulin production. In addition, the expression pattern of efflux transporters and hydroxylase-encoding genes that belong to the patulin biosynthesis pathway, in the presence or absence of fludioxonil and under in vitro and in vivo conditions were investigated. Results showed that the MDR strains produced higher concentrations of patulin but showed a lower pathogenicity compared to the wild-type isolates. Moreover, expression analysis of patC, patM and patH genes indicated that the higher expression levels do not correlate with the detected patulin concentration. The selection of MDR strains in P. expansum populations and the fact that they produce more patulin, constitutes a serious concern not only for successful disease control but also for human health. The above-mentioned data represent the first report of MDR in P. expansum associated with its patulin-production ability and the expression level of patulin biosynthesis pathway genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Protection)
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16 pages, 2124 KiB  
Article
Formulation and Biopharmaceutical Evaluation of Capsules Containing Freeze-Dried Cranberry Fruit Powder
by Rima Šedbarė, Valdimaras Janulis and Kristina Ramanauskiene
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1397; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061397 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2072
Abstract
Cranberry fruits are an important source of anthocyanins and anthocyanidins. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of excipients on the solubility of cranberry anthocyanins and their dissolution kinetics as well as on the disintegration time of the capsules. [...] Read more.
Cranberry fruits are an important source of anthocyanins and anthocyanidins. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of excipients on the solubility of cranberry anthocyanins and their dissolution kinetics as well as on the disintegration time of the capsules. Selected excipients (sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, beta-cyclodextrin and chitosan) were found to affect the solubility and release kinetics of anthocyanins in freeze-dried cranberry powder. Capsule formulations N1–N9 had a disintegration time of less than 10 min, and capsule formulation N10 containing 0.200 g of freeze-dried cranberry powder, 0.100 g of Prosolv (combination of microcrystalline cellulose and colloidal silicon dioxide), and 0.100 g of chitosan had a capsule disintegration time of over 30 min. The total amount of anthocyanins released into the acceptor medium ranged from 1.26 ± 0.06 mg to 1.56 ± 0.03 mg. Capsule dissolution test data showed that the time to release into the acceptor medium was statistically significantly longer for the chitosan-containing capsule formulations compared to the control capsules (p < 0.05). Freeze-dried cranberry fruit powder is a potential source of anthocyanin-rich dietary supplements, and the choice of excipient chitosan could be a suitable solution in capsule formulations providing greater anthocyanin stability and modified release in the gastrointestinal tract. Full article
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16 pages, 2890 KiB  
Article
Seed Transmission of Begomoviruses: A Potential Threat for Bitter Gourd Cultivation
by Ravisankar Gomathi Devi, Chinnaraj Jothika, Arjunan Sankari, Sethuraman Lakshmi, Varagur Ganesan Malathi and Perumal Renukadevi
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1396; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061396 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2719
Abstract
Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.), one of the valued vegetable crops in India, is severely affected by yellow mosaic disease caused by two begomoviruses, tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) and bitter gourd yellow mosaic virus (BgYMV). The symptoms are yellowing, [...] Read more.
Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.), one of the valued vegetable crops in India, is severely affected by yellow mosaic disease caused by two begomoviruses, tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) and bitter gourd yellow mosaic virus (BgYMV). The symptoms are yellowing, distortion of leaf, puckering, and malformed fruits. Increased incidence of the disease and appearance of symptoms even in young emerging seedling stage were suggestive of seed transmission of the viruses, which was examined in detail. To study the seed transmission, two sources—seeds of elite hybrids H1, H2, H3, H4, and Co1 procured from a seed market; and seeds from infected plants in the farmer’s field were tested. Detection of the virus by DAS-ELISA using polyclonal antibody indicated embryo infection up to 63%, 26%, 20%, and 10% in hybrids H1, H2, H3, and H4, respectively, for market-procured seeds. In PCR analysis with primers specific for ToLCNDV and BgYMV, infection by ToLCNDV was as high as 76% and mixed infection was 24%. In contrast, in seeds derived from field-infected plants, the percentage detection was less. Grow-out tests with market-procured seeds revealed no transmission for BgYMV compared with 5% transmission for ToLCNDV. Whether seed-borne inocula could serve as an inoculum for new infection in a field and further progress of the disease was investigated in a microplot study. The study clearly revealed variation in seed transmission between different sources, lots, cultivars, and viruses. The virus present in symptomatic and asymptomatic plants was easily transmitted by whitefly. In another microplot experiment, the potential of seed-borne virus as inoculum was proved. There was 43.3% initial seed transmission in the microplot, increasing to 70% after release of 60 whiteflies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Virus)
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18 pages, 1782 KiB  
Article
Interactive Temperature and CO2 Rise, Salinity, Drought, and Bacterial Inoculation Alter the Content of Fatty Acids, Total Phenols, and Oxalates in the Edible Halophyte Salicornia ramosissima
by Jennifer Mesa-Marín, Enrique Mateos-Naranjo, João Carreiras, Eduardo Feijão, Bernardo Duarte, Ana Rita Matos, Marco Betti, Carmen Del Rio, Marina Romero-Bernal, Joan Montaner and Susana Redondo-Gómez
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1395; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061395 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1392
Abstract
In this work, we studied the combined effect of increased temperature and atmospheric CO2, salt and drought stress, and inoculation with plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) on the growth and some nutritional parameters of the edible halophyte Salicornia ramosissima. We found that [...] Read more.
In this work, we studied the combined effect of increased temperature and atmospheric CO2, salt and drought stress, and inoculation with plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) on the growth and some nutritional parameters of the edible halophyte Salicornia ramosissima. We found that the increase in temperature and atmospheric CO2, combined with salt and drought stresses, led to important changes in S. ramosissima fatty acids (FA), phenols, and oxalate contents, which are compounds of great importance for human health. Our results suggest that the S. ramosissima lipid profile will change in a future climate change scenario, and that levels of oxalate and phenolic compounds may change in response to salt and drought stress. The effect of inoculation with PGPR depended on the strains used. Some strains induced the accumulation of phenols in S. ramosissima leaves at higher temperature and CO2 while not altering FA profile but also led to an accumulation of oxalate under salt stress. In a climate change scenario, a combination of stressors (temperature, salinity, drought) and environmental conditions (atmospheric CO2, PGPR) will lead to important changes in the nutritional profiles of edible plants. These results may open new perspectives for the nutritional and economical valorization of S. ramosissima. Full article
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16 pages, 742 KiB  
Article
Quick Decline and Stem Pitting Citrus tristeza virus Isolates Induce a Distinct Metabolomic Profile and Antioxidant Enzyme Activity in the Phloem Sap of Two Citrus Species
by Susana A. Dandlen, José P. Da Silva, Maria Graça Miguel, Amílcar Duarte, Deborah M. Power and Natália Tomás Marques
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1394; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061394 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1234
Abstract
Susceptibility to the severe Citrus tristeza virus (CTV), T36, is higher for Citrus macrophylla (CM) than for C. aurantium (CA). How host-virus interactions are reflected in host physiology is largely unknown. In this study, the profile of metabolites and the antioxidant activity in [...] Read more.
Susceptibility to the severe Citrus tristeza virus (CTV), T36, is higher for Citrus macrophylla (CM) than for C. aurantium (CA). How host-virus interactions are reflected in host physiology is largely unknown. In this study, the profile of metabolites and the antioxidant activity in the phloem sap of healthy and infected CA and CM plants were evaluated. The phloem sap of quick decline (T36) and stem pitting (T318A) infected citrus, and control plants was collected by centrifugation, and the enzymes and metabolites analyzed. The activity of the antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT), in infected plants increased significantly in CM and decreased in CA, compared to the healthy controls. Using LC-HRMS2 a metabolic profile rich in secondary metabolites was assigned to healthy CA, compared to healthy CM. CTV infection of CA caused a drastic reduction in secondary metabolites, but not in CM. In conclusion, CA and CM have a different response to severe CTV isolates and we propose that the low susceptibility of CA to T36 may be related to the interaction of the virus with the host’s metabolism, which reduces significantly the synthesis of flavonoids and antioxidant enzyme activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Basis of Disease Resistance in Plants)
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14 pages, 5636 KiB  
Article
Characterization of the NAC Transcription Factor in Passion Fruit (Passiflora edulis) and Functional Identification of PeNAC-19 in Cold Stress
by Yi Xu, Pengfei Li, Funing Ma, Dongmei Huang, Wenting Xing, Bin Wu, Peiguang Sun, Binqiang Xu and Shun Song
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1393; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061393 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
The NAC (NAM, ATAF and CUC) gene family plays an important role in plant development and abiotic stress response. However, up to now, the identification and research of the NAC (PeNAC) family members of passion fruit are still lacking. In this [...] Read more.
The NAC (NAM, ATAF and CUC) gene family plays an important role in plant development and abiotic stress response. However, up to now, the identification and research of the NAC (PeNAC) family members of passion fruit are still lacking. In this study, 25 PeNACs were identified from the passion fruit genome, and their functions under abiotic stress and at different fruit-ripening stages were analyzed. Furthermore, we analyzed the transcriptome sequencing results of PeNACs under four various abiotic stresses (drought, salt, cold and high temperature) and three different fruit-ripening stages, and verified the expression results of some genes by qRT-PCR. Additionally, tissue-specific analysis showed that most PeNACs were mainly expressed in flowers. In particular, PeNAC-19 was induced by four various abiotic stresses. At present, low temperatures have seriously endangered the development of passion fruit cultivation. Therefore, PeNAC-19 was transformed into tobacco, yeast and Arabidopsis to study their function of resisting low temperature. The results show that PeNAC-19 responded to cold stress significantly in tobacco and Arabidopsis, and could improve the low temperature tolerance of yeast. This study not only improved the understanding of the PeNAC gene family characteristics and evolution, but also provided new insights into the regulation of the PeNAC gene at different stages of fruit maturation and abiotic stresses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology)
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14 pages, 2680 KiB  
Article
Development and the Effect of Weather and Mineral Fertilization on Grain Yield and Stability of Winter Wheat following Alfalfa—Analysis of Long-Term Field Trial
by Lukáš Hlisnikovský, Ladislav Menšík and Eva Kunzová
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1392; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061392 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1346
Abstract
Within the framework of a long-term experiment, established in 1955, we evaluated the development and effects of weather and mineral fertilization (Control, NPK1, NPK2, NPK3, NPK4) on the yield and stability of winter wheat following alfalfa. In total, 19 seasons were analysed. The [...] Read more.
Within the framework of a long-term experiment, established in 1955, we evaluated the development and effects of weather and mineral fertilization (Control, NPK1, NPK2, NPK3, NPK4) on the yield and stability of winter wheat following alfalfa. In total, 19 seasons were analysed. The weather changed considerably at the experimental site. Significant increases in minimal, mean, and maximal temperatures were dated to the period 1987–1988, while precipitation remained the same to this day (insignificantly increasing trend by 0.5 mm per annum). Rising temperatures in November, May, and July positively affected wheat grain yield, especially in treatments with higher N doses. No relationship between yield and precipitation was recorded. Highest inter-annual yield variability was recorded in Control and NPK4 treatments. Although minerally fertilized treatments provided slightly higher yields, the difference between Control and NPK treatments was insignificant. According to the linear-plateau response model, the recommended dose of 44 kg ha−1 N corresponds with yield of 7.4 t ha−1, while Control provides an average yield of 6.8 t ha−1. The application of higher doses did not lead to significant grain yield increase. Alfalfa as a preceding crop reduces the need of N fertilization and contributes to sustainable conventional agriculture, however, its share in crop rotations is decreasing both in the Czech Republic and in Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Physiology and Crop Production)
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17 pages, 1381 KiB  
Article
Kinetics of Microwave-Assisted Extraction Process Applied on Recovery of Peppermint Polyphenols: Experiments and Modeling
by Branimir Pavlić, Muammer Kaplan, Zoran Zeković, Oltan Canli, Nebojša Jovičić, Danijela Bursać Kovačević, Anica Bebek Markovinović, Predrag Putnik and Oskar Bera
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1391; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061391 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1862
Abstract
The aim of this work was to investigate the microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) kinetics of polyphenolic compounds from organic peppermint leaves. The phytochemicals of peppermint (Mentha piperita L.) are increasingly used in food technology due to their numerous biological activities. The processing of [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to investigate the microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) kinetics of polyphenolic compounds from organic peppermint leaves. The phytochemicals of peppermint (Mentha piperita L.) are increasingly used in food technology due to their numerous biological activities. The processing of various plant materials by MAE and the production of high-quality extracts is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, the influence of microwave irradiation power (90, 180, 360, 600, and 800 W) on total extraction yield (Y), total polyphenols yield (TP), and flavonoid yield (TF) were investigated. Common empirical models (first-order, Peleg’s hyperbolic, Elovich’s logarithmic, and power-law model) were applied to the extraction process. The first-order kinetics model provided the best agreement with the experimental results in terms of statistical parameters (SSer, R2, and AARD). Therefore, the influences of irradiation power on the adjustable model parameters (k and Ceq) were investigated. It was found that irradiation power exerted a significant influence on k, while its influence on the asymptotic value of the response was negligible. The highest experimentally determined k (2.28 min−1) was obtained at an irradiation power of 600 W, while the optimal irradiation power determined by the maximum fitting curve determination predicted the highest k (2.36 min−1) at 665 W. Full article
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16 pages, 12234 KiB  
Article
Production of Secondary Metabolites from Cell Cultures of Sageretia thea (Osbeck) M.C. Johnst. Using Balloon-Type Bubble Bioreactors
by Ji-Hye Kim, Jong-Eun Han, Hosakatte Niranjana Murthy, Ja-Young Kim, Mi-Jin Kim, Taek-Kyu Jeong and So-Young Park
Plants 2023, 12(6), 1390; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12061390 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2542
Abstract
Sageretia thea is used in the preparation of herbal medicine in China and Korea; this plant is rich in various bioactive compounds, including phenolics and flavonoids. The objective of the current study was to enhance the production of phenolic compounds in plant cell [...] Read more.
Sageretia thea is used in the preparation of herbal medicine in China and Korea; this plant is rich in various bioactive compounds, including phenolics and flavonoids. The objective of the current study was to enhance the production of phenolic compounds in plant cell suspension cultures of Sageretia thea. Optimum callus was induced from cotyledon explants on MS medium containing 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D; 0.5 mg L−1), naphthalene acetic acid (NAA, 0.5 mg L−1), kinetin (KN; 0.1 mg L−1) and sucrose (30 g L−1). Browning of callus was successfully avoided by using 200 mg L−1 ascorbic acid in the callus cultures. The elicitor effect of methyl jasmonate (MeJA), salicylic acid (SA), and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) was studied in cell suspension cultures, and the addition of 200 µM MeJA was found suitable for elicitation of phenolic accumulation in the cultured cells. Phenolic and flavonoid content and antioxidant activity were determined using 2,2 Diphenyl 1 picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethybenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays and results showed that cell cultures possessed highest phenolic and flavonoid content as well as highest DPPH, ABTS, and FRAP activities. Cell suspension cultures were established using 5 L capacity balloon-type bubble bioreactors using 2 L of MS medium 30 g L−1 sucrose and 0.5 mg L−1 2,4-D, 0.5 mg L−1 NAA, and 0.1 mg L−1 KN. The optimum yield of 230.81 g of fresh biomass and 16.48 g of dry biomass was evident after four weeks of cultures. High-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed the cell biomass produced in bioreactors possessed higher concentrations of catechin hydrate, chlorogenic acid, naringenin, and other phenolic compounds. Full article
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