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Plants, Volume 13, Issue 3 (February-1 2024) – 134 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In the mint family, leaf-type ferrodoxin (Fd I) and two root-type ferredoxin isoforms (Fd II and Fd III) are known. These are associated with a leaf-type (L-FNR) or root-type (R-FNR) isoform of ferredoxin NADP+ reductase. The Fd II gene is expressed very highly in metabolically active glandular trichomes (GTs), whereas Fd III is expressed at low levels in both roots and GTs. We provide evidence that high transcript levels of Fd II, and no differences in the biochemical properties of the encoded enzyme when compared to those of Fd III, are associated with high flux through the monoterpenoid pathway in peppermint GTs. View this paper
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13 pages, 1760 KiB  
Article
Increased Accumulation of Ginsenosides in Panax ginseng Sprouts Cultivated with Kelp Fermentates
by Kyung-Wuk Park, Jeong-Ho Kim, Beom-Gyun Jeong, Jun-Ki Park, Ho-Yeol Jang, Yun-Seo Oh and Kyung-Yun Kang
Plants 2024, 13(3), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030463 - 5 Feb 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1171
Abstract
Currently, new agri-tech has been developed and adapted for the cultivation of crops using smart farming technologies, e.g., plant factories and hydroponics. Kelp (Laminaria japonica), which has a high industrial value, was considered as an alternative to chemicals for its eco-friendly [...] Read more.
Currently, new agri-tech has been developed and adapted for the cultivation of crops using smart farming technologies, e.g., plant factories and hydroponics. Kelp (Laminaria japonica), which has a high industrial value, was considered as an alternative to chemicals for its eco-friendly and sustainably wide use in crop cultivation. In this study, a fermented kelp (FK) was developed for use in hydroponics. The FK contained various free and protein-bound amino acid compositions produced by fermenting the kelp with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Supplementing FK as an aeroponic medium when cultivating ginseng sprouts (GSs) elevated the total phenolic and flavonoid contents. Additionally, seven ginsenosides (Rg1, Re, Rb1, Rc, Rg2, Rb2, and Rd) in GSs cultivated with FK in a smart-farm system were identified and quantified by a high-performance liquid chromatography-evaporative light scattering detector/mass spectrometry analysis. Administering FK significantly increased the ginsenosides in the GSs compared to the control group, which was cultivated with tap water. These results indicate the FK administration contributed to the increased accumulation of ginsenosides in the GSs. Overall, this study suggests that FK, which contains abundant nutrients for plant growth, can be used as a novel nutrient solution to enhance the ginsenoside content in GSs during hydroponic cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Management for Phytochemical Enhancement)
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19 pages, 2353 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization of the TIFY Gene Family and Their Expression Patterns in Response to MeJA and Aluminum Stress in Centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiuroides)
by Haoran Wang, Yuan Zhang, Ling Zhang, Xiaohui Li, Xiang Yao, Dongli Hao, Hailin Guo, Jianxiu Liu and Jianjian Li
Plants 2024, 13(3), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030462 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1163
Abstract
The TIFY family is a group of novel plant-specific transcription factors involved in plant development, signal transduction, and responses to stress and hormones. TIFY genes have been found and functionally characterized in a number of plant species. However, there is no information about [...] Read more.
The TIFY family is a group of novel plant-specific transcription factors involved in plant development, signal transduction, and responses to stress and hormones. TIFY genes have been found and functionally characterized in a number of plant species. However, there is no information about this family in warm-season grass plants. The current study identified 24 TIFY genes in Eremochloa ophiuroides, a well-known perennial warm-season grass species with a high tolerance to aluminum toxicity and good adaptability to the barren acidic soils. All of the 24 EoTIFYs were unevenly located on six out of nine chromosomes and could be classified into two subfamilies (ZIM/ZML and JAZ), consisting of 3 and 21 genes, respectively, with the JAZ subfamily being further divided into five subgroups (JAZ I to JAZ V). The amino acids of 24 EoTIFYs showed apparent differences between the two subfamilies based on the analysis of gene structures and conserved motifs. MCScanX analysis revealed the tandem duplication and segmental duplication of several EoTIFY genes occurred during E. ophiuroides genome evolution. Syntenic analyses of TIFY genes between E. ophiuroides and other five plant species (including A. thaliana, O. sativa, B. distachyon, S. biocolor, and S. italica) provided valuable clues for understanding the potential evolution of the EoTIFY family. qRT-PCR analysis revealed that EoTIFY genes exhibited different spatial expression patterns in different tissues. In addition, the expressions of EoTIFY genes were highly induced by MeJA and all of the EoTIFY family members except for EoJAZ2 displayed upregulated expression by MeJA. Ten EoTIFY genes (EoZML1, EoZML1, EoJAZ1, EoJAZ3, EoJAZ5, EoJAZ6, EoJAZ8, EoJAZ9, EoJAZ10, and EoJAZ21) were observed to be highly expressed under both exogenous MeJA treatment and aluminum stress, respectively. These results suggest that EoTIFY genes play a role in the JA-regulated pathway of plant growth and aluminum resistance as well. The results of this study laid a foundation for further understanding the function of TIFY genes in E. ophiuroides, and provided useful information for future aluminum tolerance related breeding and gene function research in warm-season grass plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
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20 pages, 5389 KiB  
Article
Foliar Application of Amino Acids and Nutrients as a Tool to Mitigate Water Stress and Stabilize Sugarcane Yield and Bioenergy Generation
by Lucas Moraes Jacomassi, Marcela Pacola, Letusa Momesso, Josiane Viveiros, Osvaldo Araújo Júnior, Gabriela Ferraz de Siqueira, Murilo de Campos and Carlos Alexandre Costa Crusciol
Plants 2024, 13(3), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030461 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1715
Abstract
Extended periods of water stress negatively affect sugarcane crop production. The foliar application of supplements containing specific nutrients and/or organic molecules such as amino acids can improve sugarcane metabolism, stalk and sugar yields, and the quality of the extracted juice. The present study [...] Read more.
Extended periods of water stress negatively affect sugarcane crop production. The foliar application of supplements containing specific nutrients and/or organic molecules such as amino acids can improve sugarcane metabolism, stalk and sugar yields, and the quality of the extracted juice. The present study assessed the effectiveness of the foliar application of an abiotic stress protection complement (ASPC) composed of 18 amino acids and 5 macronutrients. The experiments were carried out in the field with two treatments and twelve replicates. The two treatments were no application of ASPC (control) and foliar application of ASPC. The foliar application of ASPC increased the activity of antioxidant enzymes. The Trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity (DPPH) was higher in ASPC-treated plants than in control plants, reflecting higher antioxidant enzyme activity and lower malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. The level of H2O2 was 11.27 nM g−1 protein in plants treated with ASPC but 23.71 nM g−1 protein in control plants. Moreover, the application of ASPC increased stalk yield and sucrose accumulation, thus increasing the quality of the raw material. By positively stabilizing the cellular redox balance in sugarcane plants, ASPC application also increased energy generation. Therefore, applying ASPC is an effective strategy for relieving water stress while improving crop productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Responses in Plants)
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20 pages, 3308 KiB  
Article
Using the Conditional Process Analysis Model to Characterize the Evolution of Carbon Structure in Taxodium ascendens Biochar with Varied Pyrolysis Temperature and Holding Time
by Shuai Zhang, Xiangdong Jia, Xia Wang, Jianyu Chen, Can Cheng, Xichuan Jia and Haibo Hu
Plants 2024, 13(3), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030460 - 5 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 985
Abstract
Temperature determines biochar structure during pyrolysis. However, differences in holding time and feedstock types may affect this relationship. The conditional process analysis model was used in this paper to investigate the potential to affect this mechanism. The branch and leaf parts of Taxodium [...] Read more.
Temperature determines biochar structure during pyrolysis. However, differences in holding time and feedstock types may affect this relationship. The conditional process analysis model was used in this paper to investigate the potential to affect this mechanism. The branch and leaf parts of Taxodium ascendens were separately pyrolyzed at 350, 450, 650, and 750 °C, and kept for 0.5, 1, and 2 h at each target temperature. We measured the fixed carbon and ash contents and the elemental composition (C, H, O and N) of the raw materials and their char samples. After plotting a Van Krevelen (VK) diagram to determine the aromatization of chars, the changes in the functional groups were analyzed using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), Raman, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The results revealed that pyrolysis at temperatures between 450 and 750 °C accounted for the aromatization of biochar because the atomic H/C ratio of branch-based chars (BC) decreased from 0.53–0.59 to 0.15–0.18, and the ratio of leaf-based chars (LC) decreased from 0.56–0.68 to 0.20–0.22; the atomic O/C ratio of BC decreased from 0.22–0.27 to 0.08–0.11, while that of LC decreased from 0.26–0.28 to 0.18–0.21. Moreover, the average contents of N (1.89%) and ash (13%) in LC were evidently greater than that in BC (N:0.62%; Ash: 4%). Therefore, BC was superior to LC in terms of the stability of biochar. In addition, the increasing ID/IG and ID/I(DR+GL) ratios in BC and LC indicated an increasing amount of the amorphous aromatic carbon structure with medium-sized (2~6 rings) fused benzene rings. According to the CPA analysis, an extension of the holding time significantly enhanced the increase in aromatic structures of LC with temperature. But this extension slightly reduced the growth in aromatic structures of BC. All indicate that holding time and feedstock types (branch or leaf feedstock) could significantly affect the variation in biochar aromatic structure with respect to temperature. Full article
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16 pages, 3633 KiB  
Article
Metabolic Patterns of Flavonoid and Its Key Gene Expression Characteristics of Five Cultivars of Tulipa gesneriana during Flower Development
by Shu Li, Jing Chen, Xueying Guo, Xin Li, Qiang Shen, Xueqing Fu and Dongqin Tang
Plants 2024, 13(3), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030459 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1073
Abstract
Flower color is one of the most important ornamental traits of tulips (Tulipa gesneriana). Five typical tulip cultivars were selected to identify the flavonoid components and analyze their key gene expression in their tepals. Firstly, after preliminary determination of the pigment [...] Read more.
Flower color is one of the most important ornamental traits of tulips (Tulipa gesneriana). Five typical tulip cultivars were selected to identify the flavonoid components and analyze their key gene expression in their tepals. Firstly, after preliminary determination of the pigment type, the flavonoids were identified by UPLC-Q-TOF-MS. A total of 17 anthoxanthins were detected in the five cultivars. The total anthoxanthin content in the white tulip and the red tulip showed a similar decreasing trend, while an increasing trend was observed in the black tulip. Similarly, a total of 13 anthocyanins were detected in five tulip cultivars. The black tulip contained the largest number of anthocyanins, mainly delphinidin derivatives (Dp) and cyanidin derivatives (Cy). The total anthocyanin content (TAC) in the orange, red, and black cultivars was higher than that in the white and yellow cultivars and presented an overall increase trend along with the flower development. TgCHS, TgFLS, TgF3H, TgF3′H, TgF3′5′H, and TgDFR, as key structural genes, were involved in the flavonoid synthesis pathway, and the expression patterns of these genes are basically consistent with the components and accumulation patterns of flavonoids mentioned above. Taken together, the flower color in tulips was closely related to the composition and content of anthocyanins and anthoxanthins, which were indeed regulated by certain key structural genes in the flavonoid pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Horticultural Science and Ornamental Plants)
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18 pages, 5645 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Analysis of DWARF53 Gene in Response to GA and SL Related to Plant Height in Banana
by Ning Tong, Chunyu Zhang, Xiaoqiong Xu, Zhilin Zhang, Jiahui Li, Zhaoyang Liu, Yukun Chen, Zihao Zhang, Yuji Huang, Yuling Lin and Zhongxiong Lai
Plants 2024, 13(3), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030458 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1398
Abstract
Dwarfing is one of the common phenotypic variations in asexually reproduced progeny of banana, and dwarfed banana is not only windproof and anti-fallout but also effective in increasing acreage yield. As a key gene in the strigolactone signalling pathway, DWARF53 (D53) [...] Read more.
Dwarfing is one of the common phenotypic variations in asexually reproduced progeny of banana, and dwarfed banana is not only windproof and anti-fallout but also effective in increasing acreage yield. As a key gene in the strigolactone signalling pathway, DWARF53 (D53) plays an important role in the regulation of the height of plants. In order to gain insight into the function of the banana D53 gene, this study conducted genome-wide identification of banana D53 gene based on the M. acuminata, M. balbisiana and M. itinerans genome database. Analysis of MaD53 gene expression under high temperature, low temperature and osmotic stress based on transcriptome data and RT-qPCR was used to analyse MaD53 gene expression in different tissues as well as in different concentrations of GA and SL treatments. In this study, we identified three MaD53, three MbD53 and two MiD53 genes in banana. Phylogenetic tree analysis showed that D53 Musa are equally related to D53 Asparagales and Poales. Both high and low-temperature stresses substantially reduced the expression of the MaD53 gene, but osmotic stress treatments had less effect on the expression of the MaD53 gene. GR24 treatment did not significantly promote the height of the banana, but the expression of the MaD53 gene was significantly reduced in roots and leaves. GA treatment at 100 mg/L significantly promoted the expression of the MaD53 gene in roots, but the expression of this gene was significantly reduced in leaves. In this study, we concluded that MaD53 responds to GA and SL treatments, but “Yinniaijiao” dwarf banana may not be sensitive to GA and SL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
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19 pages, 10397 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) for Identifying SNPs and Genes Related to Phosphate-Induced Phenotypic Traits in Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.)
by Haroon Rashid Hakla, Shubham Sharma, Mohammad Urfan, Rushil Mandlik, Surbhi Kumawat, Prakriti Rajput, Bhubneshwari Khajuria, Rehana Chowdhary, Rupesh Deshmukh, Rajib Roychowdhury and Sikander Pal
Plants 2024, 13(3), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030457 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1985
Abstract
Phosphate (P) is a crucial macronutrient for normal plant growth and development. The P availability in soils is a limitation factor, and understanding genetic factors playing roles in plant adaptation for improving P uptake is of great biological importance. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) [...] Read more.
Phosphate (P) is a crucial macronutrient for normal plant growth and development. The P availability in soils is a limitation factor, and understanding genetic factors playing roles in plant adaptation for improving P uptake is of great biological importance. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have become indispensable tools in unraveling the genetic basis of complex traits in various plant species. In this study, a comprehensive GWAS was conducted on diverse tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) accessions grown under normal and low P conditions for two weeks. Plant traits such as shoot height, primary root length, plant biomass, shoot inorganic content (SiP), and root inorganic content (RiP) were measured. Among several models of GWAS tested, the Bayesian-information and linkage disequilibrium iteratively nested keyway (BLINK) models were used for the identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Among all the traits analyzed, significantly associated SNPs were recorded for PB, i.e., 1 SNP (SSL4.0CH10_49261145) under control P, SiP, i.e., 1 SNP (SSL4.0CH08_58433186) under control P and 1 SNP (SSL4.0CH08_51271168) under low P and RiP i.e., 2 SNPs (SSL4.0CH04_37267952 and SSL4.0CH09_4609062) under control P and 1 SNP (SSL4.0CH09_3930922) under low P condition. The identified SNPs served as genetic markers pinpointing regions of the tomato genome linked to P-responsive traits. The novel candidate genes associated with the identified SNPs were further analyzed for their protein-protein interactions using STRING. The study provided novel candidate genes, viz. Solyc10g050370 for PB under control, Solyc08g062490, and Solyc08g062500 for SiP and Solyc09g010450, Solyc09g010460, Solyc09g010690, and Solyc09g010710 for RiP under low P condition. These findings offer a glimpse into the genetic diversity of tomato accessions’ responses to P uptake, highlighting the potential for tailored breeding programs to develop P-efficient tomato varieties that could adapt to varying soil conditions, making them crucial for sustainable agriculture and addressing global challenges, such as soil depletion and food security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Improvement under a Changing Climate)
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21 pages, 5025 KiB  
Article
Utilizing Two Populations Derived from Tropical Maize for Genome-Wide Association Analysis of Banded Leaf and Sheath Blight Resistance
by Shaoxiong Li, Fuyan Jiang, Yaqi Bi, Xingfu Yin, Linzhuo Li, Xingjie Zhang, Jinfeng Li, Meichen Liu, Ranjan K. Shaw and Xingming Fan
Plants 2024, 13(3), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030456 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1220
Abstract
Banded leaf and sheath blight (BLSB) in maize is a soil-borne fungal disease caused by Rhizoctonia solani Kühn, resulting in significant yield losses. Investigating the genes responsible for regulating resistance to BLSB is crucial for yield enhancement. In this study, a multiparent [...] Read more.
Banded leaf and sheath blight (BLSB) in maize is a soil-borne fungal disease caused by Rhizoctonia solani Kühn, resulting in significant yield losses. Investigating the genes responsible for regulating resistance to BLSB is crucial for yield enhancement. In this study, a multiparent maize population was developed, comprising two recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations totaling 442 F8RILs. The populations were generated by crossing two tropical inbred lines, CML444 and NK40-1, known for their BLSB resistance, as female parents, with the high-yielding but BLSB-susceptible inbred line Ye107 serving as the common male parent. Subsequently, we utilized 562,212 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) generated through genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) for a comprehensive genome-wide association study (GWAS) aimed at identifying genes responsible for BLSB resistance. The objectives of this study were to (1) identify SNPs associated with BLSB resistance through genome-wide association analyses, (2) explore candidate genes regulating BLSB resistance in maize, and (3) investigate pathways involved in BLSB resistance and discover key candidate genes through Gene Ontology (GO) analysis. The GWAS analysis revealed nineteen SNPs significantly associated with BLSB that were consistently identified across four environments in the GWAS, with phenotypic variation explained (PVE) ranging from 2.48% to 11.71%. Screening a 40 kb region upstream and downstream of the significant SNPs revealed several potential candidate genes. By integrating information from maize GDB and the NCBI, we identified five novel candidate genes, namely, Zm00001d009723, Zm00001d009975, Zm00001d009566, Zm00001d009567, located on chromosome 8, and Zm00001d026376, on chromosome 10, related to BLSB resistance. These candidate genes exhibit association with various aspects, including maize cell membrane proteins and cell immune proteins, as well as connections to cell metabolism, transport, transcriptional regulation, and structural proteins. These proteins and biochemical processes play crucial roles in maize defense against BLSB. When Rhizoctonia solani invades maize plants, it induces the expression of genes encoding specific proteins and regulates corresponding metabolic pathways to thwart the invasion of this fungus. The present study significantly contributes to our understanding of the genetic basis of BLSB resistance in maize, offering valuable insights into novel candidate genes that could be instrumental in future breeding efforts to develop maize varieties with enhanced BLSB resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling for Prediction of Horticultural Plant Growth and Defense)
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1 pages, 145 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Mahmoud et al. Application of Silicon, Zinc, and Zeolite Nanoparticles—A Tool to Enhance Drought Stress Tolerance in Coriander Plants for Better Growth Performance and Productivity. Plants 2023, 12, 2838
by Abdel Wahab M. Mahmoud, Hassan M. Rashad, Sanaa E. A. Esmail, Hameed Alsamadany and Emad A. Abdeldaym
Plants 2024, 13(3), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030455 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 575
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Physiology and Crop Production)
22 pages, 1568 KiB  
Article
Polyherbal Combinations Used by Traditional Health Practitioners against Mental Illnesses in Bamako, Mali, West Africa
by Nastaran Moussavi, Pierre Pakuy Mounkoro, Seydou Mamadou Dembele, Nfla Ngolo Ballo, Adiaratou Togola, Drissa Diallo, Rokia Sanogo, Helle Wangensteen and Berit Smestad Paulsen
Plants 2024, 13(3), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030454 - 4 Feb 2024
Viewed by 893
Abstract
This study explores the traditional knowledge of plants used by traditional health practitioners (THPs) in the treatment of symptoms or syndromes related to mental illnesses in the district of Bamako in Mali, along with the identification of affiliated traditional treating methods. An exploratory [...] Read more.
This study explores the traditional knowledge of plants used by traditional health practitioners (THPs) in the treatment of symptoms or syndromes related to mental illnesses in the district of Bamako in Mali, along with the identification of affiliated traditional treating methods. An exploratory and cross-sectional ethnopharmacological survey was conducted in the district of Bamako. The Malian Federation of Associations of Therapists and Herbalists (FEMATH) assisted in the identification and inclusion of the THPs. Data sampling included semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, and in-depth interviews. Quantitative data were evaluated by analysing reports of the use of different medicinal plants and the number of participants. Fifteen THPs belonging to the district of Bamako participated. In total, 43 medicinal plants belonging to 22 plant families were used by the THPs. The most cited plant species was Securidaca longepedunculata (violet tree), followed by Khaya senegalensis (African mahogany) and Boscia integrifolia (rough-leaved shepherds tree). A great number of herbal combinations, preparation methods, and administration routes were used, often with honey as an adjuvant. To our knowledge, this is the first ethnobotanical survey on the use of medicinal plants in the treatment of all types of mental disorders in Bamako. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Diversity and Conservation of Flora in Africa)
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18 pages, 1943 KiB  
Article
Spasmolytic Activity of Gentiana lutea L. Root Extracts on the Rat Ileum: Underlying Mechanisms of Action
by Nemanja Kitić, Jelena Živković, Katarina Šavikin, Milica Randjelović, Miloš Jovanović, Dušanka Kitić, Bojana Miladinović, Milica Milutinović, Nenad Stojiljković and Suzana Branković
Plants 2024, 13(3), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030453 - 4 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 951
Abstract
The roots of Gentiana lutea L. are utilized in the preparation of various beverages and herbal remedies, serving as a traditional remedy for gastrointestinal ailments. The spasmolytic activity that could substantiate the traditional use of G. lutea root had not been investigated. The [...] Read more.
The roots of Gentiana lutea L. are utilized in the preparation of various beverages and herbal remedies, serving as a traditional remedy for gastrointestinal ailments. The spasmolytic activity that could substantiate the traditional use of G. lutea root had not been investigated. The main objective goal of the study was to determine the validity of its use as a traditional remedy. The extraction of G. lutea root was performed using a 50% hydroethanolic solvent with three different extraction techniques: ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE), heat-assisted extraction, and percolation. The spasmolytic activity was tested on isolated rat ileum. The mechanism of action was monitored using the models of spontaneous contractions and acetylcholine-, histamine-, CaCl2-, Bay K8644-, L-NAME-, ODQ-, apamin-, BaCl2-, charybdotoxin-, glibenclamide-, TRAM-34-, and quinine-modified contractions. UAE, having the best bioactivity, was further subjected to a liquid–liquid extraction fractionation. HPLC phytochemical analysis was performed for all tested extracts and fractions. Gentian root extracts were rich in secoiridoids, xanthones, and flavonoids. The UAE has shown better results on spontaneous contractions in comparison to its fractions, leading to the more detailed testing of its spasmolytic mechanism of activity. The extract’s activity is primarily mediated through intermediate conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels, ATP-sensitive K+ channels, voltage-sensitive K+ channels, and mechanisms that activate Ca2+ channels. Overall, the G. lutea root shows great potential in the treatment of spasmodic gastrointestinal ailments. Full article
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23 pages, 15831 KiB  
Article
The Fitting of the OJ Phase of Chlorophyll Fluorescence Induction Based on an Analytical Solution and Its Application in Urban Heat Island Research
by Tongxin Shi, Dayong Fan, Chengyang Xu, Guoming Zheng, Chuanfei Zhong, Fei Feng and Wah Soon Chow
Plants 2024, 13(3), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030452 - 3 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1212
Abstract
Chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence induction (FI) upon a dark–light transition has been widely analyzed to derive information on initial events of energy conversion and electron transfer in photosystem II (PSII). However, currently, there is no analytical solution to the differential equation of QA [...] Read more.
Chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence induction (FI) upon a dark–light transition has been widely analyzed to derive information on initial events of energy conversion and electron transfer in photosystem II (PSII). However, currently, there is no analytical solution to the differential equation of QA reduction kinetics, raising a doubt about the fitting of FI by numerical iteration solution. We derived an analytical solution to fit the OJ phase of FI, thereby yielding estimates of three parameters: the functional absorption cross-section of PSII (σPSII), a probability parameter that describes the connectivity among PSII complexes (p), and the rate coefficient for QA oxidation (kox). We found that σPSII, p, and kox exhibited dynamic changes during the transition from O to J. We postulated that in high excitation light, some other energy dissipation pathways may vastly outcompete against excitation energy transfer from a closed PSII trap to an open PSII, thereby giving the impression that connectivity seemingly does not exist. We also conducted a case study on the urban heat island effect on the heat stability of PSII using our method and showed that higher-temperature-acclimated leaves had a greater σPSII, lower kox, and a tendency of lower p towards more shade-type characteristics. Full article
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19 pages, 4498 KiB  
Article
Calmodulin-Domain Protein Kinase PiCDPK1 Interacts with the 14-3-3-like Protein NtGF14 to Modulate Pollen Tube Growth
by Nolan Scheible, Paige M. Henning and Andrew G. McCubbin
Plants 2024, 13(3), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030451 - 3 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1765
Abstract
Calcium-mediated signaling pathways are known to play important roles in the polar growth of pollen tubes. The calcium-dependent protein kinase, PiCDPK1, has been shown to be involved in regulating this process through interaction with a guanine dissociation inhibitor, PiRhoGDI1. To more fully understand [...] Read more.
Calcium-mediated signaling pathways are known to play important roles in the polar growth of pollen tubes. The calcium-dependent protein kinase, PiCDPK1, has been shown to be involved in regulating this process through interaction with a guanine dissociation inhibitor, PiRhoGDI1. To more fully understand the role of PiCDPK1 in pollen tube extension, we designed a pull-down study to identify additional substrates of this kinase. These experiments identified 123 putative interactors. Two of the identified proteins were predicted to directly interact with PiCDPK1, and this possibility was investigated in planta. The first, NtGF14, a 14-3-3-like protein, did not produce a noticeable phenotype when overexpressed in pollen alone but partially rescued the spherical tube phenotype caused by PiCDPK1 over-expression when co-over-expressed with the kinase. The second, NtREN1, a GTPase activating protein (GAP), severely inhibited pollen tube germination when over-expressed, and its co-over-expression with PiCDPK1 did not substantially affect this phenotype. These results suggest a novel in vivo interaction between NtGF14 and PiCDPK1 but do not support the direct interaction between PiCDPK1 and NtREN1. We demonstrate the utility of the methodology used to identify potential protein interactions while confirming the necessity of additional studies to confirm their validity. Finally, additional support was found for intersection between PiCDPK1 and RopGTPase pathways to control polar growth at the pollen tube tip. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Flower Development and Plant Reproduction)
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15 pages, 1932 KiB  
Article
Effect of UV-A Irradiation on Bioactive Compounds Accumulation and Hypoglycemia-Related Enzymes Activities of Broccoli and Radish Sprouts
by Gongheng Che, Mingmei Chen, Xiaodan Li, Junxia Xiao, Liang Liu and Liping Guo
Plants 2024, 13(3), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030450 - 3 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1041
Abstract
In the present study, different intensities of UV-A were applied to compare their effects on growth, bioactive compounds and hypoglycemia-related enzyme activities in broccoli and radish sprouts. The growth of sprouts was decreased after UV-A irradiation. A total of 12 W of UV-A [...] Read more.
In the present study, different intensities of UV-A were applied to compare their effects on growth, bioactive compounds and hypoglycemia-related enzyme activities in broccoli and radish sprouts. The growth of sprouts was decreased after UV-A irradiation. A total of 12 W of UV-A irradiation resulted in the highest content of anthocyanin, chlorophyll, polyphenol and ascorbic acid in broccoli and radish sprouts. The highest soluble sugar content was recorded in sprouts under 8 W of UV-A irradiation, while no significant difference was obtained in soluble protein content among different UV-A intensities. Furthermore, 12 W of UV-A irradiation induced the highest glucosinolate accumulation, especially glucoraphanin and glucoraphenin in broccoli and radish sprouts, respectively; thus, it enhanced sulforaphane and sulforaphene formation. The α-amylase, α-glucosidase and pancrelipase inhibitory rates of two kinds of sprouts were enhanced significantly after UV-A irradiation, indicating UV-A-irradiation-treated broccoli and radish sprouts have new prospects as hypoglycemic functional foods. Full article
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18 pages, 2219 KiB  
Review
Ecophysiology of Antarctic Vascular Plants: An Update on the Extreme Environment Resistance Mechanisms and Their Importance in Facing Climate Change
by Constanza F. Ramírez, Lohengrin A. Cavieres, Carolina Sanhueza, Valentina Vallejos, Olman Gómez-Espinoza, León A. Bravo and Patricia L. Sáez
Plants 2024, 13(3), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030449 - 3 Feb 2024
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1833
Abstract
Antarctic flowering plants have become enigmatic because of their unique capability to colonize Antarctica. It has been shown that there is not a single trait that makes Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica so special, but rather a set of morphophysiological traits that coordinately [...] Read more.
Antarctic flowering plants have become enigmatic because of their unique capability to colonize Antarctica. It has been shown that there is not a single trait that makes Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica so special, but rather a set of morphophysiological traits that coordinately confer resistance to one of the harshest environments on the Earth. However, both their capacity to inhabit Antarctica and their uniqueness remain not fully explained from a biological point of view. These aspects have become more relevant due to the climatic changes already impacting Antarctica. This review aims to compile and update the recent advances in the ecophysiology of Antarctic vascular plants, deepen understanding of the mechanisms behind their notable resistance to abiotic stresses, and contribute to understanding their potential responses to environmental changes. The uniqueness of Antarctic plants has prompted research that emphasizes the role of leaf anatomical traits and cell wall properties in controlling water loss and CO2 exchange, the role of Rubisco kinetics traits in facilitating efficient carbon assimilation, and the relevance of metabolomic pathways in elucidating key processes such as gas exchange, nutrient uptake, and photoprotection. Climate change is anticipated to have significant and contrasting effects on the morphophysiological processes of Antarctic species. However, more studies in different locations outside Antarctica and using the latitudinal gradient as a natural laboratory to predict the effects of climate change are needed. Finally, we raise several questions that should be addressed, both to unravel the uniqueness of Antarctic vascular species and to understand their potential responses to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Extreme Environment Plants to Abiotic Stress)
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14 pages, 5986 KiB  
Article
Screening of Sugarcane Proteins Associated with Defense against Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli, Agent of Ratoon Stunting Disease
by Xiao-Qiu Zhang, Yong-Jian Liang, Bao-Qing Zhang, Mei-Xin Yan, Ze-Ping Wang, Dong-Mei Huang, Yu-Xin Huang, Jing-Chao Lei, Xiu-Peng Song and Dong-Liang Huang
Plants 2024, 13(3), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030448 - 3 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1173
Abstract
Sugarcane is the most important sugar crop and one of the leading energy-producing crops in the world. Ratoon stunting disease (RSD), caused by the bacterium Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli, poses a huge threat to ratoon crops, causing a significant yield loss in [...] Read more.
Sugarcane is the most important sugar crop and one of the leading energy-producing crops in the world. Ratoon stunting disease (RSD), caused by the bacterium Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli, poses a huge threat to ratoon crops, causing a significant yield loss in sugarcane. Breeding resistant varieties is considered the most effective and fundamental approach to control RSD in sugarcane. The exploration of resistance genes forms the foundation for breeding resistant varieties through molecular technology. The pglA gene is a pathogenicity gene in L. xyli subsp. xyli, encoding an endopolygalacturonase. In this study, the pglA gene from L. xyli subsp. xyli and related microorganisms was analyzed. Then, a non-toxic, non-autoactivating pglA bait was successfully expressed in yeast cells. Simultaneously the yeast two-hybrid library was generated using RNA from the L. xyli subsp. xyli-infected sugarcane. Screening the library with the pglA bait uncovered proteins that interacted with pglA, primarily associated with ABA pathways and the plant immune system, suggesting that sugarcane employs these pathways to respond to L. xyli subsp. xyli, triggering pathogenicity or resistance. The expression of genes encoding these proteins was also investigated in L. xyli subsp. xyli-infected sugarcane, suggesting multiple layers of regulatory mechanisms in the interaction between sugarcane and L. xyli subsp. xyli. This work promotes the understanding of plant–pathogen interaction and provides target proteins/genes for molecular breeding to improve sugarcane resistance to L. xyli subsp. xyli. Full article
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13 pages, 1485 KiB  
Article
Hormetic Effect of Wood Distillate on Hydroponically Grown Lettuce
by Riccardo Fedeli, Cristina Cruz, Stefano Loppi and Silvana Munzi
Plants 2024, 13(3), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030447 - 3 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
The addition of biostimulants to nutrient solutions of hydroponically grown crops to speed up plant growth and improve plant yield and quality has been attracting more and more attention. This study investigated the effects of wood distillate (WD) addition to hydroponically grown lettuce [...] Read more.
The addition of biostimulants to nutrient solutions of hydroponically grown crops to speed up plant growth and improve plant yield and quality has been attracting more and more attention. This study investigated the effects of wood distillate (WD) addition to hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) plants. Two concentrations of WD, 0.2% and 0.5%, were added to the nutrient solution, and biometric (i.e., leaf fresh weight, root fresh weight, root length and root surface area), photosynthetic (i.e., chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and carotenoid content) and biochemical (i.e., electrolyte leakage, total polyphenols, total flavonoids, and total antioxidant power content) parameters were evaluated. The effects of WD were hormetic, as the 0.2% concentration stimulated biometric and biochemical parameters, while the 0.5% concentration inhibited plant growth. Based on these results, it can be suggested that the addition of 0.2% WD to the nutrient solution has a stimulating effect on the growth of lettuce plants, and could be a successful strategy to boost the yield of crops grown hydroponically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Physiology and Crop Production)
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14 pages, 1590 KiB  
Review
Nano-Priming for Inducing Salinity Tolerance, Disease Resistance, Yield Attributes, and Alleviating Heavy Metal Toxicity in Plants
by Jisun H. J. Lee and Deepak M. Kasote
Plants 2024, 13(3), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030446 - 3 Feb 2024
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1507
Abstract
In today’s time, agricultural productivity is severely affected by climate change and increasing pollution. Hence, several biotechnological approaches, including genetic and non-genetic strategies, have been developed and adapted to increase agricultural productivity. One of them is nano-priming, i.e., seed priming with nanomaterials. Thus [...] Read more.
In today’s time, agricultural productivity is severely affected by climate change and increasing pollution. Hence, several biotechnological approaches, including genetic and non-genetic strategies, have been developed and adapted to increase agricultural productivity. One of them is nano-priming, i.e., seed priming with nanomaterials. Thus far, nano-priming methods have been successfully used to mount desired physiological responses and productivity attributes in crops. In this review, the literature about the utility of nano-priming methods for increasing seed vigor, germination, photosynthetic output, biomass, early growth, and crop yield has been summarized. Moreover, the available knowledge about the use of nano-priming methods in modulating plant antioxidant defenses and hormonal networks, inducing salinity tolerance and disease resistance, as well as alleviating heavy metal toxicity in plants, is reviewed. The significance of nano-priming methods in the context of phytotoxicity and environmental safety has also been discussed. For future perspectives, knowledge gaps in the present literature are highlighted, and the need for optimization and validation of nano-priming methods and their plant physiological outcomes, from lab to field, is emphasized. Full article
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29 pages, 13527 KiB  
Article
Integrative Taxonomy Reveals Hidden Diversity in the Aloina catillum Complex (Pottiaceae, Bryophyta)
by María J. Cano, Juan A. Jiménez, Mónica Martínez, Lars Hedenäs, M. Teresa Gallego, Omar Rodríguez and Juan Guerra
Plants 2024, 13(3), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030445 - 2 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1086
Abstract
Aloina catillum is a variable moss typical of xerophytic environments in the Neotropics, characterized against other closely allied Aloina species with well-differentiated leaf border by its setae twisted to the left throughout. In order to clarify its variability and its relationships with the [...] Read more.
Aloina catillum is a variable moss typical of xerophytic environments in the Neotropics, characterized against other closely allied Aloina species with well-differentiated leaf border by its setae twisted to the left throughout. In order to clarify its variability and its relationships with the allied species with differentiated leaf border A. brevirostris, A. obliquifolia, and A. rigida, we performed an integrative study including sequence data from four markers (nuclear ITS, plastid atpB-rbcL, trnG, trnL-F), morphometry, and species assembling by automatic partitioning (ASAP) algorithm. Our data suggest that A. catillum consists of at least three species: A. calceolifolia (an earlier name for A. catillum), and two species described here as a new, A. bracteata sp. nov. and A. limbata sp. nov. This latter species includes the specimens previously identified as A. obliquifolia from South America. Additionally, some morphological and molecular variability was also detected in A. limbata, but was not consistent enough to be recognized taxonomically. The study supports the presence of A. brevirostris in the Neotropics and A. rigida is tentatively excluded from South America. Full descriptions of the A. catillum s.l. species and a diagnostic key to this complex in South America are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Taxonomy, Systematics, and Phylogeography)
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24 pages, 4093 KiB  
Article
Effects of Straw Returning and New Fertilizer Substitution on Rice Growth, Yield, and Soil Properties in the Chaohu Lake Region of China
by Mei Luo, Ying Liu, Jing Li, Tingfeng Gao, Sheng Wu, Lei Wu, Xijun Lai, Hongjun Xu, Hongxiang Hu and Youhua Ma
Plants 2024, 13(3), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030444 - 2 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1064
Abstract
Recently, replacing chemical fertilizers with straw returning and new fertilizers has received considerable attention in the agricultural sector, as it is believed to increase rice yield and improve soil properties. However, less is known about rice growth and soil properties in paddy fields [...] Read more.
Recently, replacing chemical fertilizers with straw returning and new fertilizers has received considerable attention in the agricultural sector, as it is believed to increase rice yield and improve soil properties. However, less is known about rice growth and soil properties in paddy fields with the addition of different fertilizers. Thus, in this paper, we investigated the effects of different fertilizer treatments, including no fertilization (CK), optimized fertilization based on the medium yield recommended fertilizer amount (OF), 4.50 Mg ha−1 straw returning with chemical fertilizers (SF), 0.59 Mg ha−1 slow-release fertilizer with chemical fertilizers (SRF), and 0.60 Mg ha−1 water-soluble fertilizer with chemical fertilizers (WSF), on rice growth, yield, and soil properties through a field experiment. The results show that compared with the OF treatment, the new SF, SRF, and WSF treatments increased plant height, main root length, tiller number, leaf area index, chlorophyll content, and aboveground dry weight. The SF, SRF, and WSF treatments improved rice grain yield by 30.65–32.51% and 0.24–1.66% compared to the CK and OF treatments, respectively. The SRF treatment increased nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) uptake by 18.78% and 28.68%, the harvest indexes of N and P by 1.75% and 0.59%, and the partial productivity of N and P by 2.64% and 2.63%, respectively, compared with the OF treatment. However, fertilization did not significantly affect the average yield, harvest indexes of N and P, and partial productivity of N and P. The contents of TN, AN, SOM, TP, AP, and AK across all the treatments decreased significantly with increasing soil depth, while soil pH increased with soil depth. The SF treatment could more effectively increase soil pH and NH4+-N content compared to the SRF and WSF treatments, while the SRF treatment could greatly enhance other soil nutrients and enzyme activities compared to the SF and WSF treatments. A correlation analysis showed that rice yield was significantly positively associated with tiller number, leaf area index, chlorophyll, soil NO3-N, NH4+-N, SOM, TP, AK, and soil enzyme activity. The experimental results indicate that SRF was the best fertilization method to improve rice growth and yield and enhance soil properties, followed by the SF, WSF, and OF treatments. Hence, the results provide useful information for better fertilization management in the Chaohu Lake region of China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Fertility, Plant Nutrition and Nutrient Management)
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18 pages, 3366 KiB  
Article
Hydrogen Fertilization with Hydrogen Nanobubble Water Improves Yield and Quality of Cherry Tomatoes Compared to the Conventional Fertilizers
by Min Li, Guanjie Zhu, Ziyu Liu, Longna Li, Shu Wang, Yuhao Liu, Wei Lu, Yan Zeng, Xu Cheng and Wenbiao Shen
Plants 2024, 13(3), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030443 - 2 Feb 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1511
Abstract
Although hydrogen gas (H2)-treated soil improves crop biomass, this approach appears difficult for field application due to the flammability of H2 gas. In this report, we investigated whether and how H2 applied in hydrogen nanobubble water (HNW) improves the [...] Read more.
Although hydrogen gas (H2)-treated soil improves crop biomass, this approach appears difficult for field application due to the flammability of H2 gas. In this report, we investigated whether and how H2 applied in hydrogen nanobubble water (HNW) improves the yield and quality of cherry tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum var. cerasiforme) with and without fertilizers. Two-year-long field trials showed that compared to corresponding controls, HNW without and with fertilizers improved the cherry tomato yield per plant by 39.7% and 26.5% in 2021 (Shanghai), respectively, and by 39.4% and 28.2% in 2023 (Nanjing), respectively. Compared to surface water (SW), HNW increased the soil available nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) consumption regardless of fertilizer application, which may be attributed to the increased NPK transport-related genes in roots (LeAMT2, LePT2, LePT5, and SlHKT1,1). Furthermore, HNW-irrigated cherry tomatoes displayed a higher sugar–acid ratio (8.6%) and lycopene content (22.3%) than SW-irrigated plants without fertilizers. Importantly, the beneficial effects of HNW without fertilizers on the yield per plant (9.1%), sugar–acid ratio (31.1%), and volatiles (20.0%) and lycopene contents (54.3%) were stronger than those achieved using fertilizers alone. In short, this study clearly indicated that HNW-supplied H2 not only exhibited a fertilization effect on enhancing the tomato yield, but also improved the fruit’s quality with a lower carbon footprint. Full article
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20 pages, 9283 KiB  
Article
Determination of Medicago orbicularis Antioxidant, Antihemolytic, and Anti-Cancerous Activities and Its Augmentation of Cisplatin-Induced Cytotoxicity in A549 Lung Cancer Cells
by Abdullah A. Shaito, Islam Omairi, Najlaa Al-Thani, Fatiha Seglab, Esraa Ad-Darwish, Firas Kobeissy and Salam Nasreddine
Plants 2024, 13(3), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030442 - 2 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1281
Abstract
The anti-lung cancer properties of the plant Medicago orbicularis have not been explored yet. Therefore, we identified its phytochemical composition and investigated the antioxidant, anti-hemolytic, and anti-cancerous properties of extracts of this plant in A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cells. The results show that [...] Read more.
The anti-lung cancer properties of the plant Medicago orbicularis have not been explored yet. Therefore, we identified its phytochemical composition and investigated the antioxidant, anti-hemolytic, and anti-cancerous properties of extracts of this plant in A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cells. The results show that all parts of M. orbicularis (stems, leaves, and fruits) exhibit remarkable hemolytic activities and modest antioxidant capacity. In addition, all extracts showed a dose-dependent anti-cancerous cytotoxic activity against A549 cells, with fruit extracts being the most potent. This cytotoxic effect could be related, at least partly, to the induction of apoptosis, where M. orbicularis fruit extracts reduced the ratio of anti-apoptotic BCL-2/pro-apoptotic BAX, thereby promoting cellular death. Furthermore, the use of M. orbicularis, in combination with a conventional chemotherapeutic agent, cisplatin, was assessed. Indeed, the combination of cisplatin and M. orbicularis fruit extracts was more cytotoxic and induced more aggregation of A549 cells than either treatment alone. GC-MS analysis and total polyphenol and flavonoid content determination indicated that M. orbicularis is rich in compounds that have anti-cancerous effects. We propose M. orbicularis as a potential source of anti-cancerous agents to manage the progression of lung cancer and its resistance to therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activities of Plant Extracts II)
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14 pages, 5426 KiB  
Article
Wavelength and Light Intensity Affect Macro- and Micronutrient Uptake, Stomata Number, and Plant Morphology of Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)
by Paulo Mauricio Centenaro Bueno and Wagner A. Vendrame
Plants 2024, 13(3), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030441 - 2 Feb 2024
Viewed by 2037
Abstract
It is already known that light quality and intensity have major influences on the growth, etiolation, germination, and morphology of many plant species, but there is limited information about the effect of wavelength and light intensity on nutrient absorption by plants. Therefore, this [...] Read more.
It is already known that light quality and intensity have major influences on the growth, etiolation, germination, and morphology of many plant species, but there is limited information about the effect of wavelength and light intensity on nutrient absorption by plants. Therefore, this study was established to evaluate the plant growth, stomata formation, chlorophyll index, and absorption of macro- and micronutrients by common bean plants under six light treatments. The experimental design was completely randomized and consisted of six treatments: strong blue (blue LED at high light intensity); weak blue (blue LED at low light intensity); strong red (red LED at high light intensity); weak red (red LED at low light intensity; pink (combined red + blue LED), and white (combined red + white led). The stomatal density (stomata mm−2); the SPAD index; plant height (cm); root length (cm); plant dry weight (g); root dry weight (g); and the concentrations of N, S, K, Mg, Ca, B, Zn, Mn, and Fe on leaf analysis were influenced by all treatments. We found that plant photomorphogenesis is controlled not only by the wavelength, but also by the light intensity. Etiolation was observed in bean plants under blue light at low intensity, but when the same wavelength had more intensity, the etiolation did not happen, and the plant height was the same as plants under multichromatic lights (pink and white light). The smallest plants showed the largest roots, some of the highest chlorophyll contents, and some of the highest stomatal densities, and consequently, the highest dry weight, under white LED, showing that the multichromatic light at high intensity resulted in better conditions for the plants in carbon fixation. The effect of blue light on plant morphology is intensity-dependent. Plants under multichromatic light tend to have lower concentrations of N, K, Mg, and Cu in their leaves, but the final amount of these nutrients absorbed is higher because of the higher dry weight of these plants. Plants under blue light at high intensity tended to have lower concentrations of N, Cu, B, and Zn when compared to the same wavelength at low intensity, and their dry weight was not different from plants grown under pink light. New studies are needed to understand how and on what occasions intense blue light can replace red light in plant physiology. Full article
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17 pages, 1261 KiB  
Article
Integrating Smart Greenhouse Cover, Reduced Nitrogen Dose and Biostimulant Application as a Strategy for Sustainable Cultivation of Cherry Tomato
by Roberta Paradiso, Ida Di Mola, Lucia Ottaiano, Eugenio Cozzolino, Maria Eleonora Pelosi, Massimo Rippa, Pasquale Mormile and Mauro Mori
Plants 2024, 13(3), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030440 - 2 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1177
Abstract
Fruit yield and quality of greenhouse tomatoes are strongly influenced by light conditions and nitrogen (N) availability, however, the interaction between these factors is still unclear. We evaluated the effects on cherry tomatoes of two tunnel plastic covers with different optical properties and [...] Read more.
Fruit yield and quality of greenhouse tomatoes are strongly influenced by light conditions and nitrogen (N) availability, however, the interaction between these factors is still unclear. We evaluated the effects on cherry tomatoes of two tunnel plastic covers with different optical properties and three N doses, also in combination with a biostimulant treatment. We compared a diffuse light film (Film1) and a conventional clear film (Film2), and three N levels, corresponding to 50% (N50), 75% (N75) and 100% (N100) of the optimal dose, with and without a microbial plus a protein hydrolysed biostimulant, compared to a non-treated control. The three experimental treatments significantly interacted on several yield and quality parameters. In control plants (untreated with biostimulants), the early yield was higher at reduced N doses compared to N100, with greater increments under the diffusive Film1 compared to the clear Film2 (+57.7% and +37.0% vs. +31.7% and +16.0%, in N50 and N75 respectively). Film1 boosted the total fruit production at all the N rates and with or without biostimulants, compared to Film2, with stronger effects under sub-optimal N (+29.4% in N50, +21.2% in N75, and +7.8% in N100, in plants untreated with biostimulant). Total yield decreased with decreasing N levels, while it always increased with the application of biostimulants, which counterbalanced the detrimental effects of N shortage. Quality traits were mainly affected by the cover film and the biostimulant treatment. The diffusive film increased the content of carotenoids, lycopene and total phenols compared to the clear one, and the biostimulants increased texture, soluble solids, phenols and ascorbic acid compared to the untreated control. It is worth noting that in plants fertilized at 75% of the reference N dose, the biostimulants determined higher yield than the N100 untreated control, under both the covers (+48% in Film1 and +20% in Film2). In conclusion, the diffusive film improved the fruit yield and quality of greenhouse tomatoes in the spring–summer period, presumably avoiding plant stress due to high-intensity direct light. Reduced N rates limited the plant productivity, however, the biostimulant application was effective in compensating for the detrimental effects of sub-optimal supply of N synthetic fertilizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Light and Plant Nutrition)
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20 pages, 10498 KiB  
Article
Chromosome Doubling Enhances Biomass and Carotenoid Content in Lycium chinense
by Runan Zhang, Shupei Rao, Yuchang Wang, Yingzhi Qin, Ken Qin and Jinhuan Chen
Plants 2024, 13(3), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030439 - 2 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1061
Abstract
Lycium chinense, a type of medicinal and edible plant, is rich in bioactive compounds beneficial to human health. In order to meet the market requirements for the yield and quality of L. chinense, polyploid induction is usually an effective way to [...] Read more.
Lycium chinense, a type of medicinal and edible plant, is rich in bioactive compounds beneficial to human health. In order to meet the market requirements for the yield and quality of L. chinense, polyploid induction is usually an effective way to increase plant biomass and improve the content of bioactive components. This study established the most effective tetraploid induction protocol by assessing various preculture durations, colchicine concentrations, and exposure times. The peak tetraploid induction efficacy, 18.2%, was achieved with a 12-day preculture and 24-h exposure to 50 mg L–1 colchicine. Compared to diploids, tetraploids exhibited potentially advantageous characteristics such as larger leaves, more robust stems, and faster growth rates. Physiologically, tetraploids demonstrated increased stomatal size and chloroplast count in stomata but reduced stomatal density. Nutrient analysis revealed a substantial increase in polysaccharides, calcium, iron, and zinc in tetraploid leaves. In addition, seventeen carotenoids were identified in the leaves of L. chinense. Compared to the diploid, lutein, β-carotene, neoxanthin, violaxanthin, and (E/Z)-phytoene exhibited higher levels in tetraploid strains T39 and T1, with T39 demonstrating a greater accumulation than T1. The findings suggest that the generated tetraploids harbor potential for further exploitation and lay the foundation for the selection and breeding of novel genetic resources of Lycium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancements in Plant Polyploidy: From Methods to Mechanisms)
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19 pages, 6860 KiB  
Article
Appropriately Reduced Nitrogen and Increased Phosphorus in Ratooning Rice Increased the Yield and Reduced the Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Southeast China
by Yuncheng Yang, Feifei Yao, Yangbo Sun, Zhipeng Yang, Rong Li, Ge Bai, Wenxiong Lin and Hongfei Chen
Plants 2024, 13(3), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030438 - 2 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1089
Abstract
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions while improving productivity is the core of sustainable agriculture development. In recent years, rice ratooning has developed rapidly in China and other Asian countries, becoming an effective measure to increase rice production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in these [...] Read more.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions while improving productivity is the core of sustainable agriculture development. In recent years, rice ratooning has developed rapidly in China and other Asian countries, becoming an effective measure to increase rice production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in these regions. However, the lower yield of ratooning rice caused by the application of a single nitrogen fertilizer in the ratooning season has become one of the main reasons limiting the further development of rice ratooning. The combined application of nitrogen and phosphorus plays a crucial role in increasing crop yield and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The effects of combined nitrogen and phosphorus application on ratooning rice remain unclear. Therefore, this paper aimed to investigate the effect of combined nitrogen and phosphorus application on ratooning rice. Two hybrid rice varieties, ‘Luyou 1831’ and ‘Yongyou 1540’, were used as experimental materials. A control treatment of nitrogen-only fertilization (187.50 kg·ha−1 N) was set, and six treatments were established by reducing nitrogen fertilizer by 10% (N1) and 20% (N2), and applying three levels of phosphorus fertilizer: N1P1 (168.75 kg·ha−1 N; 13.50 kg·ha−1 P), N1P2 (168.75 kg·ha−1 N; 27.00 kg·ha−1 P), N1P3 (168.75 kg·ha−1 N; 40.50 kg·ha−1 P), N2P1 (150.00 kg·ha−1 N; 13.50 kg·ha−1 P), N2P2 (150.00 kg·ha−1 N; 27.00 kg·ha−1 P), and N2P3 (150.00 kg·ha−1 N; 40.50 kg·ha−1 P). The effects of reduced nitrogen and increased phosphorus treatments in ratooning rice on the yield, the greenhouse gas emissions, and the community structure of rhizosphere soil microbes were examined. The results showed that the yield of ratooning rice in different treatments followed the sequence N1P2 > N1P1 > N1P3 > N2P3 > N2P2 > N2P1 > N. Specifically, under the N1P2 treatment, the average two-year yields of ‘Luyou 1831’ and ‘Yongyou 1540’ reached 8520.55 kg·ha−1 and 9184.90 kg·ha−1, respectively, representing increases of 74.30% and 25.79% compared to the N treatment. Different nitrogen and phosphorus application combinations also reduced methane emissions during the ratooning season. Appropriately combined nitrogen and phosphorus application reduced the relative contribution of stochastic processes in microbial community assembly, broadened the niche breadth of microbial communities, enhanced the abundance of functional genes related to methane-oxidizing bacteria and soil ammonia-oxidizing bacteria in the rhizosphere, and decreased the abundance of functional genes related to methanogenic and denitrifying bacteria, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the ratooning season. The carbon footprint of ratooning rice for ‘Luyou 1831’ and ‘Yongyou 1540’ decreased by 25.82% and 38.99%, respectively, under the N1P2 treatment compared to the N treatment. This study offered a new fertilization pattern for the green sustainable development of rice ratooning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiology and Molecular Ecology of Ratoon Rice)
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16 pages, 14376 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification of MYC Transcription Factors and Their Potential Functions in the Growth and Development Regulation of Tree Peony (Paeonia suffruticosa)
by Qianqian Wang, Bole Li, Zefeng Qiu, Zeyun Lu, Ziying Hang, Fan Wu, Xia Chen and Xiangtao Zhu
Plants 2024, 13(3), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030437 - 2 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1040
Abstract
Tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa Andr.) is a traditional Chinese flower with significant ornamental and medicinal value. Its growth and development process is regulated by some internal and external factors, and the related regulatory mechanism is largely unknown. Myelocytomatosis transcription factors (MYCs [...] Read more.
Tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa Andr.) is a traditional Chinese flower with significant ornamental and medicinal value. Its growth and development process is regulated by some internal and external factors, and the related regulatory mechanism is largely unknown. Myelocytomatosis transcription factors (MYCs) play significant roles in various processes such as plant growth and development, the phytohormone response, and the stress response. As the identification and understanding of the MYC family in tree peony remains limited, this study aimed to address this gap by identifying a total of 15 PsMYCs in tree peony and categorizing them into six subgroups based on bioinformatics methods. Furthermore, the gene structure, conservative domains, cis-elements, and expression patterns of the PsMYCs were thoroughly analyzed to provide a comprehensive overview of their characteristics. An analysis in terms of gene structure and conserved motif composition suggested that each subtribe had similarities in function. An analysis of the promoter sequence revealed the presence of numerous cis-elements associated with plant growth and development, the hormone response, and the stress response. qRT-PCR results and the protein interaction network further demonstrated the potential functions of PsMYCs in the growth and development process. While in comparison to the control, only PsMYC2 exhibited a statistically significant variation in expression levels in response to exogenous hormone treatments and abiotic stress. A promoter activity analysis of PsMYC2 revealed its sensitivity to Flu and high temperatures, but exhibited no discernible difference under exogenous GA treatment. These findings help establish a basis for comprehending the molecular mechanism by which PsMYCs regulate the growth and development of tree peony. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Physiology and Crop Production)
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12 pages, 646 KiB  
Article
Efficient Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Marker-Assisted Selection to Fusarium Wilt in Chickpea
by Patricia Castro, Cristina Caballo, Alejandro Carmona, Teresa Millan, Juan Gil, José V. Die, Inmaculada Izquierdo and Josefa Rubio
Plants 2024, 13(3), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030436 - 1 Feb 2024
Viewed by 827
Abstract
Fusarium wilt is one of the most destructive chickpea diseases worldwide. Race 5 (Foc5) is the most harmful in the Mediterranean basin. The primary objective of this study is to validate a block of six SNP markers previously mapped in Ca2 in a [...] Read more.
Fusarium wilt is one of the most destructive chickpea diseases worldwide. Race 5 (Foc5) is the most harmful in the Mediterranean basin. The primary objective of this study is to validate a block of six SNP markers previously mapped in Ca2 in a diverse panel of cultivars, advanced and inbred lines phenotyped for resistance to fusarium wilt. Additionally, we aim to assess the effectiveness of using these markers in the selection of resistant Foc5 lines in an ongoing breeding program. The results showed a 100% coincidence between phenotype and expected haplotype in plant material evaluated for Foc5. We also analyzed 67 inbred lines previously phenotyped by different authors for fusarium wilt reaction, though the specific race was not specified. In these accessions, 65.8% of the analyzed lines exhibited complete correspondence between the phenotype and haplotype. Our results suggest that in early generations it is possible to select resistant materials with reliability, leading to the removal of a significant number of lines, thereby reducing costs and facilitating the handling of materials for additional trait evaluations. Functional annotation of genes delimited by the SNP block revealed several genes in the “response to stimulus” category with potential roles in the resistance reaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
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17 pages, 1159 KiB  
Review
A Community-Based Framework Integrates Interspecific Interactions into Forest Genetic Conservation
by Xi Wang, Yu Xiao, Yan-Wen Lv, Zi-Han He, Francis C. Yeh and Xin-Sheng Hu
Plants 2024, 13(3), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030435 - 1 Feb 2024
Viewed by 950
Abstract
Forest genetic conservation is typically species-specific and does not integrate interspecific interaction and community structure. It mainly focuses on the theories of population and quantitative genetics. This approach depicts the intraspecific patterns of population genetic structure derived from genetic markers and the genetic [...] Read more.
Forest genetic conservation is typically species-specific and does not integrate interspecific interaction and community structure. It mainly focuses on the theories of population and quantitative genetics. This approach depicts the intraspecific patterns of population genetic structure derived from genetic markers and the genetic differentiation of adaptive quantitative traits in provenance trials. However, it neglects possible interspecific interaction in natural forests and overlooks natural hybridization or subspeciation. We propose that the genetic diversity of a given species in a forest community is shaped by both intraspecific population and interspecific community evolutionary processes, and expand the traditional forest genetic conservation concept under the community ecology framework. We show that a community-specific phylogeny derived from molecular markers would allow us to explore the genetic mechanisms of a tree species interacting with other resident species. It would also facilitate the exploration of a species’ ecological role in forest community assembly and the taxonomic relationship of the species with other species specific to its resident forest community. Phylogenetic β-diversity would assess the similarities and differences of a tree species across communities regarding ecological function, the strength of selection pressure, and the nature and extent of its interaction with other species. Our forest genetic conservation proposal that integrates intraspecific population and interspecific community genetic variations is suitable for conserving a taxonomic species complex and maintaining its evolutionary potential in natural forests. This provides complementary information to conventional population and quantitative genetics-based conservation strategies. Full article
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16 pages, 2622 KiB  
Article
Beneficial Effect of Exogenously Applied Calcium Pyruvate in Alleviating Water Deficit in Sugarcane as Assessed by Chlorophyll a Fluorescence Technique
by Mirandy dos Santos Dias, Francisco de Assis da Silva, Pedro Dantas Fernandes, Carlos Henrique de Azevedo Farias, Robson Felipe de Lima, Maria de Fátima Caetano da Silva, Vitória Régia do Nascimento Lima, Andrezza Maia de Lima, Cassiano Nogueira de Lacerda, Lígia Sampaio Reis, Weslley Bruno Belo de Souza, André Alisson Rodrigues da Silva and Thiago Filipe de Lima Arruda
Plants 2024, 13(3), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13030434 - 1 Feb 2024
Viewed by 925
Abstract
The growing demand for food production has led to an increase in agricultural areas, including many with low and irregular rainfall, stressing the importance of studies aimed at mitigating the harmful effects of water stress. From this perspective, the objective of this study [...] Read more.
The growing demand for food production has led to an increase in agricultural areas, including many with low and irregular rainfall, stressing the importance of studies aimed at mitigating the harmful effects of water stress. From this perspective, the objective of this study was to evaluate calcium pyruvate as an attenuator of water deficit on chlorophyll a fluorescence of five sugarcane genotypes. The experiment was conducted in a plant nursery where three management strategies (E1—full irrigation, E2—water deficit with the application of 30 mM calcium pyruvate, and E3—water deficit without the application of calcium pyruvate) and five sugarcane genotypes (RB863129, RB92579, RB962962, RB021754, and RB041443) were tested, distributed in randomized blocks, in a 3 × 5 factorial design with three replications. There is dissimilarity in the fluorescence parameters and photosynthetic pigments of the RB863129 genotype in relation to those of the RB041443, RB96262, RB021754, and RB92579 genotypes. Foliar application of calcium pyruvate alleviates the effects of water deficit on the fluorescence parameters of chlorophyll a and photosynthetic pigments in sugarcane, without interaction with the genotypes. However, subsequent validation tests will be necessary to test and validate the adoption of this technology under field conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitigation Strategies and Tolerance of Plants to Abiotic Stresses)
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