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Plants, Volume 8, Issue 11 (November 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Himantoglossum robertianum (Loisel.) P. Delforge is a Mediterranean species, known as the giant [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Citric Acid Enhances Plant Growth, Photosynthesis, and Phytoextraction of Lead by Alleviating the Oxidative Stress in Castor Beans
Plants 2019, 8(11), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110525 - 19 Nov 2019
Abstract
Lead (Pb) toxicity has a great impact in terms of toxicity towards living organisms as it severely affects crop growth, yield, and food security; thus, warranting appropriate measures for the remediation of Pb polluted soils. Phytoextraction of heavy metals (HMs) using tolerant plants [...] Read more.
Lead (Pb) toxicity has a great impact in terms of toxicity towards living organisms as it severely affects crop growth, yield, and food security; thus, warranting appropriate measures for the remediation of Pb polluted soils. Phytoextraction of heavy metals (HMs) using tolerant plants along with organic chelators has gained global attention. Thus, this study examines the possible influence of citric acid (CA) on unveiling the potential phytoextraction of Pb by using castor beans. For this purpose, different levels of Pb (0, 300, 600 mg kg−1 of soil) and CA (0, 2.5, and 5 mM) were supplied alone and in all possible combinations. The results indicate that elevated levels of Pb (especially 600 mg kg−1 soil) induce oxidative stress, including hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malanodialdehyde (MDA) production in plants. The Pb stress reduces the photosynthetic traits (chlorophyll and gas exchange parameters) in the tissues of plants (leaves and roots), which ultimately lead to a reduction in growth as well as biomass. Enzyme activities such as guaiacol peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, and catalase are also linearly increased in a dose-dependent manner under Pb stress. The exogenous application of CA reduced the Pb toxicity in plants by improving photosynthesis and, ultimately, plant growth. The upsurge in antioxidants against oxidative stress shows the potential of CA-treated castor beans plants to counteract stress injuries by lowering H2O2 and MDA levels. From the results of this study, it can be concluded that CA treatments play a promising role in increasing the uptake of Pb and reducing its phytotoxicity. These outcomes recommend that CA application could be an effective approach for the phytoextraction of Pb from polluted soils by growing castor beans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Responses and Tolerance to Metal/Metalloid Toxicity)
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Open AccessReview
Valuable Fatty Acids in Bryophytes—Production, Biosynthesis, Analysis and Applications
Plants 2019, 8(11), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110524 - 19 Nov 2019
Abstract
Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) often produce high amounts of very long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (vl-PUFAs) including arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4 Δ5,8,11,14) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 Δ5,8,11,14,17). The presence of vl-PUFAs is common for marine organisms such as algae, but rarely found [...] Read more.
Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) often produce high amounts of very long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (vl-PUFAs) including arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4 Δ5,8,11,14) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5 Δ5,8,11,14,17). The presence of vl-PUFAs is common for marine organisms such as algae, but rarely found in higher plants. This could indicate that bryophytes did not lose their marine origin completely when they landed into the non-aqueous environment. Vl-PUFA, especially the omega-3 fatty acid EPA, is essential in human diet for its benefits on healthy brain development and inflammation modulation. Recent studies are committed to finding new sources of vl-PUFAs instead of fish and algae oil. In this review, we summarize the fatty acid compositions and contents in the previous studies, as well as the approaches for qualification and quantification. We also conclude different approaches to enhance AA and EPA productions including biotic and abiotic stresses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2019 Feature Papers by Plants’ Editorial Board Members)
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Open AccessReview
A World of Gorse: Persistence of Ulex europaeus in Managed Landscapes
Plants 2019, 8(11), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110523 - 19 Nov 2019
Abstract
Gorse (Ulex europeus L.) is a woody legume and invasive woody weed that has been introduced to temperate pastoral landscapes worldwide. Despite the apparent cosmopolitan distribution of gorse across much of the temperate agroecological landscapes of the world, research and practice pertaining [...] Read more.
Gorse (Ulex europeus L.) is a woody legume and invasive woody weed that has been introduced to temperate pastoral landscapes worldwide. Despite the apparent cosmopolitan distribution of gorse across much of the temperate agroecological landscapes of the world, research and practice pertaining to the management of gorse has been largely constrained to single-treatments, regions, or timeframes. Gorse eradication has been widely attempted, with limited success. Using the PRISMA (preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis) method and a quasi-metanalytical approach, we reviewed the seminal ~299 papers pertaining to gorse management. We identified (i) the ecological characteristics of the species that predispose gorse to behaving invasively, and (ii) the success of management actions (from a plant ecological life history perspective) in reducing weed vigour and impact. A broad ecological niche, high reproductive output, propagule persistence, and low vulnerability to pests allow for rapid landscape exploitation by gorse throughout much the world. Additionally, there are differences in flowering duration and season in the northern and southern hemisphere that make gorse particularly pernicious in the latter, as gorse flowers twice per year. The implications of these life history stages and resistance to environmental sieves after establishment are that activity and efficacy of control is more likely to be favourable in juvenile stages. Common approaches to gorse control, including herbicides, biological controls, and fire have not been ubiquitously successful, and may in fact target the very site resources—sward cover, soil stability, hydrological balance—that, when degraded, facilitate gorse invasion. Ongoing seedling regeneration presents difficulties if eradication is a goal, but facilitated competition may reduce costs via natural suppression. Mechanical methods of gorse removal, though highly successful, induce chronic soil erosion and land degradation and should hence be used sparingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Plant-Based Biostimulants Influence the Agronomical, Physiological, and Qualitative Responses of Baby Rocket Leaves under Diverse Nitrogen Conditions
Plants 2019, 8(11), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110522 - 19 Nov 2019
Abstract
Nitrogen is the primary technical means responsible for food production increase, but on the other hand, wise management is needed because its excessive use can have a negative impact on the environment and on green leafy vegetable quality, such as that rocket. Rocket [...] Read more.
Nitrogen is the primary technical means responsible for food production increase, but on the other hand, wise management is needed because its excessive use can have a negative impact on the environment and on green leafy vegetable quality, such as that rocket. Rocket has the characteristics of accumulating nitrate in leaves with possible impacts on human health. In order to overcome this issue, researchers are focusing their attention on the use of alternative means, such as plant biostimulant application. The scope of this study was to assess the effect of legume-derived protein hydrolysate(LDPH) and tropical plant extract(TPE), combined with various doses of nitrogen (0 kg ha−1 non-fertilized; N0); 60 kg ha−1 (sub-optimal; N1); 80 kg ha−1 (optimal; N2); and 100 kg ha−1 (supra-optimal; N3)), in order to reduce nitrogen use, boost yield, and enhance the chemical and nutritional value of leaves without significantly accumulating nitrate. Both vegetal-based plant biostimulants enhanced plant growth, boosted the marketable yield (especially at N0 and N1 levels, by 38.2% and 28.2%, respectively, compared to the non-treated control), and increased the SPAD (Soil Plant Analysis Development) index and leaf pigments content, such as chlorophyll and carotenoids, especially in treated-LDPH rocket. The plant-based biostimulants also produced a major amplification in lipophilic antioxidant activity (+ 48%) and total ascorbic acid content (average + 95.6%), especially at low nitrogen fertilization levels, and maintained nitrate content under the legal European Comission limits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Responses of Rice Growth to Day and Night Temperature and Relative Air Humidity—Dry Matter, Leaf Area, and Partitioning
Plants 2019, 8(11), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110521 - 18 Nov 2019
Abstract
Asymmetric changes of day and night temperature have already been observed because of Climate Change. However, knowledge on environmental conditions either during day or night serving as trigger for growth processes is scarce. In this study, one rice (Oryza sativa) variety [...] Read more.
Asymmetric changes of day and night temperature have already been observed because of Climate Change. However, knowledge on environmental conditions either during day or night serving as trigger for growth processes is scarce. In this study, one rice (Oryza sativa) variety (IR64) was examined to assess the impact of varying temperatures and relative air humidities during day and night periods on biomass, leaf area, and dry matter partitioning between organs. Three different day and night temperature (30/20 °C, 25/25 °C, 20/30 °C) and relative air humidity (40/90%, 65/65%, 90/40%) regimes were established. The effect of relative air humidity on both plant dry matter and leaf area was larger than the effect of temperature, in particular low humidity had a strong negative impact during the night. With high day temperature, the shoot mass fraction increased, whereas the root mass fraction decreased. Specific leaf area increased at high night temperatures and led, along with the high leaf mass fraction at high night humidities, to higher growth rates. The results emphasize the importance of considering relative air humidity when focusing on plant responses to temperature, and strongly suggest that under asymmetric day and night temperature increases in the future, biomass partitioning rather than biomass itself will be affected. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cunninghamia lanceolata PSK Peptide Hormone Genes Promote Primary Root Growth and Adventitious Root Formation
Plants 2019, 8(11), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110520 - 18 Nov 2019
Abstract
Phytosulfokine-α (PSK-α) is a newly discovered short peptide that acts as a phytohormone in various plants. Previous studies have shown that PSK-α is critical for many biological processes in plants, such as cell division and differentiation, somatic embryogenesis, pollen germination and plant resistance. [...] Read more.
Phytosulfokine-α (PSK-α) is a newly discovered short peptide that acts as a phytohormone in various plants. Previous studies have shown that PSK-α is critical for many biological processes in plants, such as cell division and differentiation, somatic embryogenesis, pollen germination and plant resistance. In this study, we cloned two PSK homolog genes from Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook (Chinese fir), ClPSK1 and ClPSK2, and characterized their function in root development. Quantitative RT-PCR analyses showed that both ClPSK1 and ClPSK2 were expressed in vegetative organs, mainly in roots. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing ClPSK1 or ClPSK2 showed a higher frequency of adventitious root formation and increased root length. The expression of genes in Arabidopsis that are involved in stem cell activity (PLT1, PLT2 and WOX5), radial organization of the root (SHR and SCR) and cell cycle (CYCB1;1, CYCD4;1, CDKB1;1 and RBR) were significantly up-regulated, which may contribute to the elongation of the primary root and the formation of adventitious root in transgenic lines. Our results suggest that ClPSKs play an important role during root growth and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Development and Morphogenesis)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Endogenous Hormones on the Flowering and Fruiting of Glycyrrhiza uralensis
Plants 2019, 8(11), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110519 - 17 Nov 2019
Abstract
Although endogenous hormones play an important role in flower bud differentiation and seed-filling, their effects on the flowering and fruiting of Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch. remain unknown. In the present study, we investigate the differences in the levels of endogenous hormones gibberellic acid (GA), [...] Read more.
Although endogenous hormones play an important role in flower bud differentiation and seed-filling, their effects on the flowering and fruiting of Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch. remain unknown. In the present study, we investigate the differences in the levels of endogenous hormones gibberellic acid (GA), abscisic acid (ABA), zeatin riboside (ZR), and indoleacetic acid (IAA) between the fruiting and seedless plants of G. uralensis Fisch. at different growth stages. We also determine the correlations of the endogenous hormone with the rates of flower and fruit falling, rate of empty seeds, rate of shrunken grains, and thousand kernel weight (TKW). The results demonstrate that the IAA and ZR levels of the flowering plants are significantly higher than those of the nonflowering plants at the flower bud differentiation stage. The GA and ABA levels of exfoliated inflorescence plants are considerably higher than those of the flowering and fruiting plants; the rates of falling flowers and fruit are negatively correlated with the IAA level and positively correlated with the ABA level. The ABA content of nonflowering plants is significantly higher than that of fruiting plants. The ZR:GA and IAA:ABA ratios are significantly positively correlated with TKW. The IAA:GA and IAA:ABA ratios are significantly negatively correlated with the rates of empty and shrunken seeds. Thus, we speculate that high IAA and ZR contents are good for flower bud differentiation and seed-filling, and low ABA and ZR contents are beneficial to flower bud development and seed-filling. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Genetic Diversity for Drought, Heat and Combined Drought and Heat Stress Tolerance in Early Maturing Maize Landraces
Plants 2019, 8(11), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110518 - 17 Nov 2019
Abstract
Climate change is expected to aggravate the effects of drought, heat and combined drought and heat stresses. An important step in developing ‘climate smart’ maize varieties is to identify germplasm with good levels of tolerance to the abiotic stresses. The primary objective of [...] Read more.
Climate change is expected to aggravate the effects of drought, heat and combined drought and heat stresses. An important step in developing ‘climate smart’ maize varieties is to identify germplasm with good levels of tolerance to the abiotic stresses. The primary objective of this study was to identify landraces with combined high yield potential and desirable secondary traits under drought, heat and combined drought and heat stresses. Thirty-three landraces from Burkina Faso (6), Ghana (6) and Togo (21), and three drought-tolerant populations/varieties from the Maize Improvement Program at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture were evaluated under three conditions, namely managed drought stress, heat stress and combined drought and heat stress, with optimal growing conditions as control, for two years. The phenotypic and genetic correlations between grain yield of the different treatments were very weak, suggesting the presence of independent genetic control of yield to these stresses. However, grain yield under heat and combined drought and heat stresses were highly and positively correlated, indicating that heat-tolerant genotypes would most likely tolerate combined drought and stress. Yield reduction averaged 46% under managed drought stress, 55% under heat stress, and 66% under combined drought and heat stress, which reflected hypo-additive effect of drought and heat stress on grain yield of the maize accessions. Accession GH-3505 was highly tolerant to drought, while GH-4859 and TZm-1353 were tolerant to the three stresses. These landrace accessions can be invaluable sources of genes/alleles for breeding for adaptation of maize to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biodiversity and Genetic Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Metabolic Changes Induced by Silver Ions in Carlina acaulis
Plants 2019, 8(11), 517; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110517 - 17 Nov 2019
Abstract
Silver is one of the most toxic heavy metals for plants, inducing various toxic symptoms and metabolic changes. Here, the impact of Ag(I) on Carlina acaulis physiology and selected metabolites was studied using two Ag concentrations (1 or 10 µM) after 14 days [...] Read more.
Silver is one of the most toxic heavy metals for plants, inducing various toxic symptoms and metabolic changes. Here, the impact of Ag(I) on Carlina acaulis physiology and selected metabolites was studied using two Ag concentrations (1 or 10 µM) after 14 days of exposure. The higher concentration of Ag(I) evoked reduction of growth, while 1 µM Ag had a growth-promoting effect on root biomass. The translocation factor (<0.04) showed that Ag was mainly retained in the roots. The 1 µM Ag concentration increased the level of low-molecular-weight organic acids (LMWOAs), while 10 µM Ag depleted these compounds in the roots. The increased concentration of Ag(I) elevated the accumulation of phytochelatins (PCs) in the roots and reduced glutathione (GSH) in the shoots (but not in the roots). At 1 µM, Ag(I) elevated the level of phenolic and triterpene acids, while the 10 µM Ag treatment increased the carlina oxide content in the roots. The obtained results indicate an alteration of metabolic pathways of C. acaulis to cope with different levels of Ag(I) stress. Our data imply that the intracellular binding of Ag(I) and nonenzymatic antioxidants contribute to the protection against low concentrations of Ag ions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Responses and Tolerance to Metal/Metalloid Toxicity)
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Open AccessReview
The Suitability of Orthogonal Hosts to Study Plant Cell Wall Biosynthesis
Plants 2019, 8(11), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110516 - 17 Nov 2019
Abstract
Plant cells are surrounded by an extracellular matrix that consists mainly of polysaccharides. Many molecular components involved in plant cell wall polymer synthesis have been identified, but it remains largely unknown how these molecular players function together to define the length and decoration [...] Read more.
Plant cells are surrounded by an extracellular matrix that consists mainly of polysaccharides. Many molecular components involved in plant cell wall polymer synthesis have been identified, but it remains largely unknown how these molecular players function together to define the length and decoration pattern of a polysaccharide. Synthetic biology can be applied to answer questions beyond individual glycosyltransferases by reconstructing entire biosynthetic machineries required to produce a complete wall polysaccharide. Recently, this approach was successful in establishing the production of heteromannan from several plant species in an orthogonal host—a yeast—illuminating the role of an auxiliary protein in the biosynthetic process. In this review we evaluate to what extent a selection of organisms from three kingdoms of life (Bacteria, Fungi and Animalia) might be suitable for the synthesis of plant cell wall polysaccharides. By identifying their key attributes for glycoengineering as well as analyzing the glycosidic linkages of their native polymers, we present a valuable comparison of their key advantages and limitations for the production of different classes of plant polysaccharides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Wall Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Hexavalent Chromium [Cr(VI)] on Phytoremediation Potential and Biochemical Response of Hybrid Napier Grass with and without EDTA Application
Plants 2019, 8(11), 515; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110515 - 17 Nov 2019
Abstract
Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] contamination has become an emergent concern in China. Previous field investigations have found that hybrid Napier grass is widely distributed in Cr(VI) contaminated areas. This study investigated the phytoremediation potential and biochemical response of hybrid Napier grass (Pennisetum americanus [...] Read more.
Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] contamination has become an emergent concern in China. Previous field investigations have found that hybrid Napier grass is widely distributed in Cr(VI) contaminated areas. This study investigated the phytoremediation potential and biochemical response of hybrid Napier grass (Pennisetum americanus L. × Pennisetum purpureum Schumach) grown in soil contaminated with Cr(VI) (0, 20, 40, and 60 mg kg−1) with and without Ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA) (4 mM) application. The results indicated that root length, shoot height, dry weight, leaf area, chlorophyll, and photosystem II (PSII) parameters viz.; apparent electron transport rate (ETR), effective quantum yield of PSII (ΦPSⅡ), maximal PSII photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm), potential activity of PSII (Fv/Fo), photochemical quenching (qP), and non-photochemical quenching (qN) decreased with the increasing Cr(VI) concentration. EDTA application further aggravated reduction of dry biomass and photosystem II. The concentration and the accumulation of Cr in shoot and root, and both the bioaccumulation factor (BAF) and transfer factor (TF) increased with increasing Cr(VI) concentrations and further enhanced with EDTA application. Though the Cr(VI) and Ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA) stress reduced tolerance, but, even at highest Cr(VI) concentration, plant could exhibited strong resistance, as evidenced by increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) activities. Hybrid Napier grass, due to its BAF > 1 and a TF < 1, would be applicable for Cr phytostabilization. Moreover, limiting metal transport to aerial parts of plant would prevent animal’s ingestion, restrict soil mobility, and consequently reduce transmission across the food chain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Cover Crop Rooting Types from Integration of Rhizobox Imaging and Root Atlas Information
Plants 2019, 8(11), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110514 - 17 Nov 2019
Abstract
Plant root systems are essential for sustainable agriculture, conveying resource-efficient genotypes and species with benefits to soil ecosystem functions. Targeted selection of species/genotypes depends on available root system information. Currently there is no standardized approach for comprehensive root system characterization, suggesting the need [...] Read more.
Plant root systems are essential for sustainable agriculture, conveying resource-efficient genotypes and species with benefits to soil ecosystem functions. Targeted selection of species/genotypes depends on available root system information. Currently there is no standardized approach for comprehensive root system characterization, suggesting the need for data integration across methods and sources. Here, we combine field measured root descriptors from the classical Root Atlas series with traits from controlled-environment root imaging for 10 cover crop species to (i) detect descriptors scaling between distant experimental methods, (ii) provide traits for species classification, and (iii) discuss implications for cover crop ecosystem functions. Results revealed relation of single axes measures from root imaging (convex hull, primary-lateral length ratio) to Root Atlas field descriptors (depth, branching order). Using composite root variables (principal components) for branching, morphology, and assimilate investment traits, cover crops were classified into species with (i) topsoil-allocated large diameter rooting type, (ii) low-branched primary/shoot-born axes-dominated rooting type, and (iii) highly branched dense rooting type, with classification trait-dependent distinction according to depth distribution. Data integration facilitated identification of root classification variables to derive root-related cover crop distinction, indicating their agro-ecological functions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Protein Carbonylation As a Biomarker of Heavy Metal, Cd and Pb, Damage in Paspalum fasciculatum Willd. ex Flüggé
Plants 2019, 8(11), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110513 - 16 Nov 2019
Abstract
Heavy metal tolerant plants have phytoremediation potential for the recovery of contaminated soils, and the characterization of their metabolic adaptation processes is an important starting point to elucidate their tolerance mechanisms at molecular, biochemical and physiological levels. In this research, the effects of [...] Read more.
Heavy metal tolerant plants have phytoremediation potential for the recovery of contaminated soils, and the characterization of their metabolic adaptation processes is an important starting point to elucidate their tolerance mechanisms at molecular, biochemical and physiological levels. In this research, the effects of Cd and Pb on growth and protein carbonylation in tissues of Paspalum fasciculatum exposed to 30 and 50 mg·Kg−1 Cd and Pb respectively were determined. P. fasciculatum seedlings exposed to metals grew more than controls until 60 days of cultivation and limited their oxidative effects to a reduced protein group. Carbonyl indexes in leaf and root proteins reached a significant increase concerning their controls in plants exposed 30 days to Cd and 60 days to Pb. From the combined approach of Western Blot with Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate-Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and protein analysis by Matrix Asisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation-Time Of Flight (MALDI-TOF/TOF) mass spectrometry, chloroplastic proteins were identified into the main oxidative stress-inducible proteins to Cd and Pb, such as subunits α, γ of ATP synthetase, Chlorophyll CP26 binding protein, fructose-bisphosphate aldolase and long-chain ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase (RuBisCO LSU). Cd generated damage in the photosynthetic machinery of the leaves of P. fasciculatum into the first 30 days of treatment; five of the oxidized proteins are involved in photosynthesis processes. Moreover, there was a proteolytic fragmentation of the RuBisCO LSU. Results showed that intrinsic tolerance of P. fasciculatum to these metals reached 60 days in our conditions, along with the bioaccumulating appreciable quantities of metals in their roots. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Responses and Tolerance to Metal/Metalloid Toxicity)
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Open AccessArticle
Evolution of Target-Site Resistance to Glyphosate in an Amaranthus palmeri Population from Argentina and Its Expression at Different Plant Growth Temperatures
Plants 2019, 8(11), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110512 - 16 Nov 2019
Abstract
The mechanism and expression of resistance to glyphosate at different plant growing temperatures was investigated in an Amaranthus palmeri population (VM1) from a soybean field in Vicuña Mackenna, Cordoba, Argentina. Resistance was not due to reduced glyphosate translocation to the meristem or to [...] Read more.
The mechanism and expression of resistance to glyphosate at different plant growing temperatures was investigated in an Amaranthus palmeri population (VM1) from a soybean field in Vicuña Mackenna, Cordoba, Argentina. Resistance was not due to reduced glyphosate translocation to the meristem or to EPSPS duplication, as reported for most US samples. In contrast, a proline 106 to serine target-site mutation acting additively with EPSPS over-expression (1.8-fold increase) was respectively a major and minor contributor to glyphosate resistance in VM1. Resistance indices based on LD50 values generated using progenies from a cross between 52 PS106 VM1 individuals were estimated at 7.1 for homozygous SS106 and 4.3 for heterozygous PS106 compared with homozygous wild PP106 plants grown at a medium temperature of 24 °C day/18 °C night. A larger proportion of wild and mutant progenies survived a single commonly employed glyphosate rate when maintained at 30 °C day/26 °C night compared with 20 °C day/16 night in a subsequent experiment. Interestingly, the P106S mutation was not identified in any of the 920 plants analysed from 115 US populations, thereby potentially reflecting the difference in A. palmeri control practices in Argentina and USA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Protection)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Composition, Enantiomeric Distribution, and Sensory Evaluation of the Essential Oils Distilled from the Ecuadorian Species Myrcianthes myrsinoides (Kunth) Grifo and Myrcia mollis (Kunth) DC. (Myrtaceae)
Plants 2019, 8(11), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110511 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
The essential oils of Myrcianthes myrsinoides and Myrcia mollis, belonging to the Myrtaceae family, were obtained by steam distillation. They were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID), enantioselective gas chromatography, and gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O). A total of [...] Read more.
The essential oils of Myrcianthes myrsinoides and Myrcia mollis, belonging to the Myrtaceae family, were obtained by steam distillation. They were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID), enantioselective gas chromatography, and gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O). A total of 58 compounds for Myrcianthes myrsinoides essential oil (EO) and 22 compounds for Myrcia mollis EO were identified and quantified by GC-MS with apolar and polar columns (including undetermined components). Major compounds (>5.0%) were limonene (5.3%–5.2%), 1,8-cineole (10.4%–11.6%), (Z)-caryophyllene (16.6%–16.8%), trans-calamenene (15.9%–14.6%), and spathulenol (6.2%–6.5%). The enantiomeric excess of eight chiral constituents was determined, being (+)-limonene and (+)-germacrene D enantiomerically pure. Eight components were identified as determinant in the aromatic profile: α-pinene, β-pinene, (+)-limonene, γ-terpinene, terpinolene, linalool, β-elemene and spathulenol. For M. mollis, the major compounds (>5.0%) were α-pinene (29.2%–27.7%), β-pinene (31.3%–30.0%), myrcene (5.0%–5.2%), 1,8-cineole (8.5%–8.7%), and linalool (7.7%–8.2%). The enantiomeric excess of five chiral constituents was determined, with (S)-α-pinene and (+)-germacrene D enantiomerically pure. The metabolites β-pinene, 1,8-cineole, γ-terpinene, terpinolene, linalool, and (E)-β-caryophyllene were mainly responsible for the aroma of the EO. Finally, the M. myrsinoides essential oil has an inhibitory activity for cholinesterase enzymes (IC50 of 78.6 μg/mL and 18.4 μg/mL vs. acethylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) respectively). This activity is of interest to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Scribbling the Cat: A Case of the “Miracle” Plant, Moringa oleifera
Plants 2019, 8(11), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110510 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
This paper reviews the properties of the most cultivated species of the Moringaceae family, Moringa oleifera Lam. The paper takes a critical look at the positive and the associated negative properties of the plant, with particular emphasis on its chemistry, selected medicinal and [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the properties of the most cultivated species of the Moringaceae family, Moringa oleifera Lam. The paper takes a critical look at the positive and the associated negative properties of the plant, with particular emphasis on its chemistry, selected medicinal and nutritional properties, as well as some ecological implications of the plant. The review highlights the importance of glucosinolates (GS) compounds which are relatively unique to the Moringa species family, with glucomoriginin and its acylated derivative being the most abundant. We highlight some new research findings revealing that not all M. oleifera cultivars contain an important flavonoid, rutin. The review also focuses on phenolic acids, tannin, minerals and vitamins, which are in high amounts when compared to most vegetables and fruits. Although there are numerous benefits of using M. oleifera for medicinal purposes, there are reports of contraindications. Nonetheless, we note that there are no major harmful effects of M. oleifera that have been reported by the scientific community. M. oleifera is suspected to be potentially invasive and moderately invasive in some regions of the world because of its ability to grow in a wide range of environmental conditions. However, the plant is currently classified as a low potential invasive species and thus there is a need to constantly monitor the species. Despite the numerous benefits associated with the plant, there is still a paucity of data on clinical trials proving both the positive and negative effects of the plant. We recommend further clinical trials to ascertain the properties associated with the plant, especially regarding long term use. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Bactericera cockerelli Herbivory on Volatile Emissions of Three Varieties of Solanum lycopersicum
Plants 2019, 8(11), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110509 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
Domesticated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) crops have presented an increased susceptibility to pests under field and greenhouse conditions. Among these pests is tomato/potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli Sulc (Hemiptera: Triozidae), a major pest in solanaceous crops. In this study, we evaluated volatile organic [...] Read more.
Domesticated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) crops have presented an increased susceptibility to pests under field and greenhouse conditions. Among these pests is tomato/potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli Sulc (Hemiptera: Triozidae), a major pest in solanaceous crops. In this study, we evaluated volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from the headspace in three healthy varieties of tomato plants (Floradade, Micro-Tom and wild) under greenhouse conditions using solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (SPME/GC-MS). Later, independent bioassays were performed to evaluate VOC emissions with three varieties infested with nymphs of B. cockerelli. The results in healthy plants showed markedly different VOC profiles in each variety (14 compounds for wild, 17 for Floradade and 4 for Micro-Tom). Plants infested with nymphs showed changes in VOC emissions distinctly in Floradade and wild varieties. We suggest that these qualitative differences in VOC profiles by the degree of domestication could explain the preferences of B. cockerelli. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Ecology)
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Open AccessReview
Mechanisms and Adaptation Strategies to Improve Heat Tolerance in Rice. A Review
Plants 2019, 8(11), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110508 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
The incidence of short episodes of high temperature in the most productive rice growing region is a severe threat for sustainable rice production. Screening for heat tolerance and breeding to increase the heat tolerance of rice is major objective in the situation of [...] Read more.
The incidence of short episodes of high temperature in the most productive rice growing region is a severe threat for sustainable rice production. Screening for heat tolerance and breeding to increase the heat tolerance of rice is major objective in the situation of recent climate change. Replacing sensitive genotypes with heat tolerant cultivars, modification in sowing time, and use of growth regulators are some of the adaptive strategies for the mitigation of yield reduction by climate change. Different strategies could be adopted to enhance the thermos-tolerance of rice by (1) the modification of agronomic practices i.e., adjusting sowing time or selecting early morning flowering cultivars; (2) induction of acclimation by using growth regulators and fertilizers; (3) selecting the genetically heat resistant cultivars by breeding; and, (4) developing genetic modification. Understanding the differences among the genotypes could be exploited for the identification of traits that are responsible for thermo-tolerance for breeding purpose. The selection of cultivars that flowers in early morning before the increase of temperature, and having larger anthers with long basal pore, higher basal dehiscence, and pollen viability could induce higher thermo-tolerance. Furthermore, the high expression of heat shock proteins could impart thermo-tolerance by protecting structural proteins and enzymes. Thus, these traits could be considered for breeding programs to develop resistant cultivars under a changing climate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mycorrhization Mitigates Disease Caused by “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum” in Tomato
Plants 2019, 8(11), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110507 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
Disease caused by the bacterial pathogen “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum” (Lso) represents a serious threat to solanaceous crop production. Insecticide applications to control the psyllid vector, Bactericera cockerelli Šulc (Hemiptera: Triozidae) has led to the emergence of resistance in psyllids populations. Efforts to [...] Read more.
Disease caused by the bacterial pathogen “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum” (Lso) represents a serious threat to solanaceous crop production. Insecticide applications to control the psyllid vector, Bactericera cockerelli Šulc (Hemiptera: Triozidae) has led to the emergence of resistance in psyllids populations. Efforts to select natural resistant cultivars have been marginally successful and have been complicated by the presence of distinct Lso haplotypes (LsoA, LsoB) differing in symptoms severity on potato and tomato. A potentially promising management tool is to boost host resistance to the pathogen and/or the insect vector by promoting mycorrhization. Here we tested the hypothesis that mycorrhizal fungi can mitigate the effect of Lso infection on tomato plants. The presence of mycorrhizal fungi substantially delayed and reduced the incidence of Lso-induced symptoms on tomato as compared to non-mycorrhized plants. However, PCR with specific Lso primers revealed that mycorrhization did not prevent Lso transmission or translocation to newly formed leaves. Mycorrhization significantly reduced oviposition by psyllids harboring LsoA and survival of nymphs from these eggs. However, mycorrhization had no effect on oviposition by psyllids harboring LsoB or the survival of nymphs from parents harboring LsoB. These findings indicate the use of mycorrhizal fungi is a promising strategy for the mitigation of disease caused by both LsoA and LsoB and warrants additional field testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect-Plant-Microbe Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
Qualitative and Quantitative Differences in Osmolytes Accumulation and Antioxidant Activities in Response to Water Deficit in Four Mediterranean Limonium Species
Plants 2019, 8(11), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110506 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
Limonium is a genus represented in the Iberian Peninsula by numerous halophytic species that are affected in nature by salinity, and often by prolonged drought episodes. Responses to water deficit have been studied in four Mediterranean Limonium species, previously investigated regarding salt tolerance [...] Read more.
Limonium is a genus represented in the Iberian Peninsula by numerous halophytic species that are affected in nature by salinity, and often by prolonged drought episodes. Responses to water deficit have been studied in four Mediterranean Limonium species, previously investigated regarding salt tolerance mechanisms. The levels of biochemical markers, associated with specific responses—photosynthetic pigments, mono- and divalent ions, osmolytes, antioxidant compounds and enzymes—were determined in the control and water-stressed plants, and correlated with their relative degree of stress-induced growth inhibition. All the tested Limonium taxa are relatively resistant to drought on the basis of both the constitutive presence of high leaf ion levels that contribute to osmotic adjustment, and the stress-induced accumulation of osmolytes and increased activity of antioxidant enzymes, albeit with different qualitative and quantitative induction patterns. Limonium santapolense activated the strongest responses and clearly differed from Limonium virgatum, Limonium girardianum, and Limonium narbonense, as indicated by cluster and principal component analysis (PCA) analyses in agreement with its drier natural habitat, and compared to that of the other plants. Somewhat surprisingly, however, L. santapolense was the species most affected by water deficit in growth inhibition terms, which suggests the existence of additional mechanisms of defense operating in the field that cannot be mimicked in greenhouses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Responses to Water-Deficit Stress)
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Open AccessArticle
Chenopodium album L. and Sisymbrium officinale (L.) Scop.: Phytochemical Content and In Vitro Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Potential
Plants 2019, 8(11), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110505 - 15 Nov 2019
Abstract
Spontaneous edible plants have an old history of use in popular traditions all around the world, and the rediscovery of these species could also be useful for the search of new drugs. Chenopodium album L. (Amaranthaceae) and Sisymbrium officinale (L.) Scop. (Brassicaceae) are [...] Read more.
Spontaneous edible plants have an old history of use in popular traditions all around the world, and the rediscovery of these species could also be useful for the search of new drugs. Chenopodium album L. (Amaranthaceae) and Sisymbrium officinale (L.) Scop. (Brassicaceae) are two annual plants traditionally used both as food and herbal remedies against inflammatory disorders. In this work, the potential anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activities of these plant species have been investigated, together with their antioxidant potential. The phytochemical composition was assessed as well by means of gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC). The antioxidant properties were assessed using the DPPH and β-carotene bleaching test. The ability of extracts to protect against lipid peroxidation was also examined in rat-liver microsomal membranes. All the samples showed a preservation of antioxidant activity up to 60 min. A significant inhibitory activity on the production of the pro-inflammatory mediator nitric oxide was induced in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells by the dichloromethane fraction of C. album extract, with an IC50 value equal to 81.7 ± 0.9 μg/mL. The same sample showed also a concentration-dependent anti-denaturation effect on heat-treated bovine serum albumin (IC50 = 975.6 ± 5.5 μg/mL), even if the best in vitro anti-arthritic activity was observed for the dichloromethane fraction of S. officinale extract, with an IC50 value of 680.9 ± 13.2 μg/mL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of PGPB Inoculation on HSP70 and HMA3 Gene Expression in Switchgrass under Cadmium Stress
Plants 2019, 8(11), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110504 - 14 Nov 2019
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the gene expression of HSP70 and HMA3 in the switchgrass inoculated with plant-growth-promoting-bacteria (PGPB) under cadmium (Cd) stress and to observe the benefit of PGPB in plant growth and development. Plants were grown in hydroponic culture and treated [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the gene expression of HSP70 and HMA3 in the switchgrass inoculated with plant-growth-promoting-bacteria (PGPB) under cadmium (Cd) stress and to observe the benefit of PGPB in plant growth and development. Plants were grown in hydroponic culture and treated with PGPB inoculants: Pseudomonas grimontii, Pantoea vagans, Pseudomonas veronii, and Pseudomonas fluorescens with the strains Bc09, So23, E02, and Oj24, respectively. The experimental results revealed that HSP70 and HMA3 genes expressed highly in the PGPB-inoculated plants under Cd stress. In addition, the expression of HSP70 and HMA3 genes was considerably higher in the first two days after successive four-day exposure of Cd in plants compared to the last two days of exposure. Increased biomass and indole-3-acetic-acid production with reduced Cd accumulation were observed in the PGPB-inoculated plants under Cd stress compared to the Cd-control plants. These PGPB, with their beneficial mechanisms, protect plants by modifying the gene expression profile that arises during Cd-toxic conditions and increased the healthy biomass of switchgrass. This demonstrates there is a correlation among the growth parameters under Cd stress. The PGPB in this study may help to intensify agriculture by triggering mechanisms to encourage plant growth and development under heavy metal stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Responses and Tolerance to Metal/Metalloid Toxicity)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Wheat Straw as a Cover Crop on the Chlorophyll, Seed, and Oilseed Yield of Trigonella foeunm graecum L under Water Deficiency and Weed Competition
Plants 2019, 8(11), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110503 - 14 Nov 2019
Abstract
The effects of water stress on fenugreek crops are well documented. However, little is known about how these plants respond to water deficits under a soil-mulching system when the surface is protected. Therefore, the current research aims to demonstrate the possibility of reducing [...] Read more.
The effects of water stress on fenugreek crops are well documented. However, little is known about how these plants respond to water deficits under a soil-mulching system when the surface is protected. Therefore, the current research aims to demonstrate the possibility of reducing the impact of water stress and weed competition on the fenugreek crop through the use of wheat residues as a cover crop on the soil surface. A field experiment was carried out during the winter season (2016–2017) using a split-plot design arrangement with three replicates. The experiments included four levels of water deficit, which consisted of a 40% depletion treatment as a control plot, and 50%, 60%, and 70% depletion from the field capacity (DFC) for the other studied fields. The subplot division consisted of mulching the soil with wheat residues. The results demonstrated that soil-mulching systems and a water deficit are able to impact the fenugreek yield of seed and oil. Additionally, soil mulching led to a decrease in weed density and biomass, chlorophyll content, and biological yield. Although high water deficit (70% DFC) led to yield and growth reduction, the use of wheat residue as a cover crop moderated the effect of a strong water deficit on plants and showed clear reduction of weed growth. Therefore, the results suggest that soil mulching can mitigate the adverse effects of water deficit by conserving soil moisture and decreasing weeds, which can be considered an acclimation mechanism under water-deficit conditions to avoid yield loss. Moreover, the allelopathic effects of wheat residue were observed on fenugreek crops subjected to irrigation after depleting 40% soil water moisture, but these effects disappeared within 90 days of sowing. We conclude that these results can help future agricultural planning and systems in order to increase productivity, reduce irrigation costs, and conserve soil quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Responses to Water-Deficit Stress)
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Open AccessArticle
Polyphenol Characterization and Skin-Preserving Properties of Hydroalcoholic Flower Extract from Himantoglossum robertianum (Orchidaceae)
Plants 2019, 8(11), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110502 - 14 Nov 2019
Abstract
Himantoglossum robertianum (Loisel.) P. Delforge is a Mediterranean orchid whose propagation in vitro has been achieved, making it eligible as a source of bioactive substances. Flowers were analyzed by light and SEM microscopy and used to obtain a polyphenol-rich, hydroalcoholic flower extract (HFE). [...] Read more.
Himantoglossum robertianum (Loisel.) P. Delforge is a Mediterranean orchid whose propagation in vitro has been achieved, making it eligible as a source of bioactive substances. Flowers were analyzed by light and SEM microscopy and used to obtain a polyphenol-rich, hydroalcoholic flower extract (HFE). HFE was characterized for total phenols, flavonoids and proanthocyanidins, and for polyphenol profile by RP-LC-DAD. Antioxidant assays, in vitro collagenase and elastase inhibition, and MTT and cell motility assays on HaCaT keratinocytes were done. Microscopy showed epidermal cells containing anthocyanins in the flower labellum. Flavonoids (flavones and flavan-3-ols) represented the most abundant compounds (42.91%), followed by scopoletin (33.79%), and phenolic acids (23.3%). Antioxidant assays showed strong activities, rating ORAC > FRAP > TEAC > β-carotene bleaching > DPPH > iron-chelation. Biological assays showed elastase and collagenase inhibition (up to 42% and 78%, respectively), improvement of HaCaT cell viability after treatment with 500 μM H2O2 (from 30% to 84% of control), and stimulation of cell migration rate up to 210% of control. In summary, HFE counteracted different free radicals, while protective properties were shown by cell-free and cell-based bioassays, suggesting the possible use of H. robertianum flowers for skin-preserving, repair, and anti-aging applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Phenotypic Plasticity in the Structure of Fine Adventitious Metasequoia glyptostroboides Roots Allows Adaptation to Aquatic and Terrestrial Environments
Plants 2019, 8(11), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110501 - 14 Nov 2019
Abstract
Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Cupressaceae) is a rare deciduous conifer which grows successfully in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. This tree has a narrow natural distribution in central China but is cultivated worldwide. Using histochemical staining and microscopy (both brightfield and epifluorescent), we investigated whether [...] Read more.
Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Cupressaceae) is a rare deciduous conifer which grows successfully in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. This tree has a narrow natural distribution in central China but is cultivated worldwide. Using histochemical staining and microscopy (both brightfield and epifluorescent), we investigated whether the phenotypic anatomical and histochemical plasticity in the fine adventitious roots of M. glyptostroboides has promoted the adaptation of this plant to aquatic and terrestrial environments. The fine root development and cortex sloughing of M. glyptostroboides occurs later in aquatic habitats than in terrestrial habitats. Anatomical and histochemical analyses have revealed that the apoplastic barriers in the primary growth of the fine roots consist of the endodermis and exodermis with Casparian bands, suberin lamellae, and secondarily lignified cell walls. There were also lignified phi (Φ) thickenings in the cortex. In both aquatic and terrestrial roots, secondary growth was observed in the vascular cambium, which produced secondary xylem and phloem, as well as in the phellogen, which produced cork. As compared to terrestrial adventitious roots, aquatic adventitious roots had multiple lignified Φ thickenings throughout the cortex, larger air spaces, dilated parenchyma, and dense suberin and lignin depositions in the exodermis. Our results thus indicate that phenotypic plasticity in the anatomical features of the fine adventitious roots, including apoplastic barriers, air spaces, and lignified Φ thickenings, might support the adaptation of M. glyptostroboides to both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Root Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Exotic Plants Used by the Hmong in Thailand
Plants 2019, 8(11), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110500 - 14 Nov 2019
Abstract
Exotic species are an integral part of the plants used by many ethnic groups, but they usually receive little attention and have been considered alien to the ethnobotanical data. Here, we analyze the plants used by Thai Hmong refugees that are not native [...] Read more.
Exotic species are an integral part of the plants used by many ethnic groups, but they usually receive little attention and have been considered alien to the ethnobotanical data. Here, we analyze the plants used by Thai Hmong refugees that are not native to their current habitats in Thailand. We attempt to understand the sources of this knowledge. Do people maintain the original traditional knowledge related to exotic species when they migrate to a new region, or does new knowledge originate from acculturation? We interviewed 16 specialist Hmong informants in Nan province, Thailand, about their traditional knowledge of 69 exotic species used. Acquisition of this knowledge has a long history; several species are the same as plants used by the Hmong in China and other countries, others are globally useful species which have become part of the pool of species that the Hmong have developed local knowledge about. However, migration also involves the integration of local knowledge from other cultures, and also adapts them to function in urban settings. This includes using closely related exotic taxa that replace some of the species they used in their original homelands. The migrants’ traditional knowledge in their new habitats is more complicated and also involves the development of local knowledge that is entirely new. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Glyphosate: Its Environmental Persistence and Impact on Crop Health and Nutrition
Plants 2019, 8(11), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110499 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
Glyphosate-based herbicide products are the most widely used broad-spectrum herbicides in the world for postemergent weed control. There are ever-increasing concerns that glyphosate, if not used judiciously, may cause adverse nontarget impacts in agroecosystems. The purpose of this brief review is to present [...] Read more.
Glyphosate-based herbicide products are the most widely used broad-spectrum herbicides in the world for postemergent weed control. There are ever-increasing concerns that glyphosate, if not used judiciously, may cause adverse nontarget impacts in agroecosystems. The purpose of this brief review is to present and discuss the state of knowledge with respect to its persistence in the environment, possible effects on crop health, and impacts on crop nutrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Protection)
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Open AccessArticle
The Development and Characterization of Near-Isogenic and Pyramided Lines Carrying Resistance Genes to Brown Planthopper with the Genetic Background of Japonica Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
Plants 2019, 8(11), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110498 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
The brown planthopper (BPH: Nilaparvata lugens Stål.) is a major pest of rice, Oryza sativa, in Asia. Host plant resistance has tremendous potential to reduce the damage caused to rice by the planthopper. However, the effectiveness of resistance genes varies spatially and [...] Read more.
The brown planthopper (BPH: Nilaparvata lugens Stål.) is a major pest of rice, Oryza sativa, in Asia. Host plant resistance has tremendous potential to reduce the damage caused to rice by the planthopper. However, the effectiveness of resistance genes varies spatially and temporally according to BPH virulence. Understanding patterns in BPH virulence against resistance genes is necessary to efficiently and sustainably deploy resistant rice varieties. To survey BPH virulence patterns, seven near-isogenic lines (NILs), each with a single BPH resistance gene (BPH2-NIL, BPH3-NIL, BPH17-NIL, BPH20-NIL, BPH21-NIL, BPH32-NIL and BPH17-ptb-NIL) and fifteen pyramided lines (PYLs) carrying multiple resistance genes were developed with the genetic background of the japonica rice variety, Taichung 65 (T65), and assessed for resistance levels against two BPH populations (Hadano-66 and Koshi-2013 collected in Japan in 1966 and 2013, respectively). Many of the NILs and PYLs were resistant against the Hadano-66 population but were less effective against the Koshi-2013 population. Among PYLs, BPH20+BPH32-PYL and BPH2+BPH3+BPH17-PYL granted relatively high BPH resistance against Koshi-2013. The NILs and PYLs developed in this research will be useful to monitor BPH virulence prior to deploying resistant rice varieties and improve rice’s resistance to BPH in the context of regionally increasing levels of virulence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics in Rice)
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Open AccessArticle
Phenolic Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of Different Emirati Date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Pits: A Comparative Study
Plants 2019, 8(11), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110497 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
The biochemical composition, secondary metabolites (phenolic compounds, flavonoids) and antimicrobial potential of different varieties of Emirati date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) pits were investigated. Total phenolic acids (TPC) and total flavonoid contents (TFC) of the different date pits were measured using a Folin–Ciocalteau [...] Read more.
The biochemical composition, secondary metabolites (phenolic compounds, flavonoids) and antimicrobial potential of different varieties of Emirati date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) pits were investigated. Total phenolic acids (TPC) and total flavonoid contents (TFC) of the different date pits were measured using a Folin–Ciocalteau reagent. Different organic solvents [(n-hexane; H2O: EtOH (1:1); ethyl acetate; acetone: Water (1:1); and methanol: Chloroform (1:1)] were compared to evaluate the phytotoxicity of Ajwa, Fard, Khalas, Khodari, Abu Maan, Lulu, and Mabroom date pits. The antimicrobial activity of the date pit extracts were evaluated by means of agar-well diffusion assay on Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 29123), Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) and Candida albicans (ATCC 66027). Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were measured following clinical laboratory standardization institute (CLSI) protocol. The biochemical analyses of date pits indicate that TPC were ranged from 7.80 mg of equivalent gallic acid⁄100 g dry weight in Ajwa to 4.65 mg in Mabroom. The TFC were ranged between 1.6–4.54 mg of equivalent catechin⁄100 g dry weight. Ajwa pit extract showed good quality traits (higher protein, lower ash content, and intermediate dietary fiber). The results indicate that the ethyl acetate extract of Khalas and Khodari inhibited S. aureus with an inhibition zone diameter of 20 mm and MIC of 10 mg/mL. Abu Mann pit extract inhibited the S. aureus and also decreased the population of E. coli. The diameter of inhibition zone was 15, 16, and 18 mm after treatment with Ajwa extracts, while the MICs were 7.5 and 5 mg/mL. The MeOH: CFM extract of Abu Mann and Ajwa was more potent against E. coli bacteria than any other extract. This work demonstrates that the Emirati date pits extract has antimicrobial (antibacterial, antifungal) potential and can be used as phytotoxic natural compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Highly Predictive Genetic Markers Distinguish Drug-Type from Fiber-Type Cannabis sativa L
Plants 2019, 8(11), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110496 - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Genetic markers can be used in seeds and in plants to distinguish drug-type from fiber-type Cannabis Sativa L. varieties even at early stages, including pre-germination when cannabinoids are not accumulated yet. With this aim, this paper reports sequencing results for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase [...] Read more.
Genetic markers can be used in seeds and in plants to distinguish drug-type from fiber-type Cannabis Sativa L. varieties even at early stages, including pre-germination when cannabinoids are not accumulated yet. With this aim, this paper reports sequencing results for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase (THCAS) and cannabidiolic acid synthase (CBDAS) genes from 21 C. sativa L. varieties. Taking into account that THCAS- and CBDAS-derived enzymes compete for the same substrate, the novelty of this work relies in the identification of markers based on both THCAS and CBDAS rather than THCAS alone. Notably, in our panel, we achieved an adequate degree of discrimination (AUC 100%) between drug-type and fiber-type cannabis samples. Our sequencing approach allowed identifying multiple genetic markers (single-nucleotide polymorphisms—SNPs—and a deletion/insertion) that effectively discriminate between the two subgroups of cannabis, namely fiber type vs. drug type. We identified four functional SNPs that are likely to induce decreased THCAS activity in the fiber-type cannabis plants. We also report the finding on a deletion in the CBDAS gene sequence that produces a truncated protein, possibly resulting in loss of function of the enzyme in the drug-type varieties. Chemical analyses for the actual concentration of cannabinoids confirmed the identification of drug-type rather than fiber-type genotypes. Genetic markers permit an early identification process for forensic applications while simplifying the procedures related to detection of therapeutic or industrial hemp. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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