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Plants, Volume 8, Issue 12 (December 2019)

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Open AccessReview
Integration of Abscisic Acid Signaling with Other Signaling Pathways in Plant Stress Responses and Development
Plants 2019, 8(12), 592; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120592 (registering DOI) - 11 Dec 2019
Abstract
: Plants are immobile and, to overcome harsh environmental conditions such as drought, salt, and cold, they have evolved complex signaling pathways. Abscisic acid (ABA), an isoprenoid phytohormone, is a critical signaling mediator that regulates diverse biological processes in various organisms. Significant progress [...] Read more.
: Plants are immobile and, to overcome harsh environmental conditions such as drought, salt, and cold, they have evolved complex signaling pathways. Abscisic acid (ABA), an isoprenoid phytohormone, is a critical signaling mediator that regulates diverse biological processes in various organisms. Significant progress has been made in the determination and characterization of key ABA-mediated molecular factors involved in different stress responses, including stomatal closure and developmental processes, such as seed germination and bud dormancy. Since ABA signaling is a complex signaling network that integrates with other signaling pathways, the dissection of its intricate regulatory network is necessary to understand the function of essential regulatory genes involved in ABA signaling. In the present review, we focus on two aspects of ABA signaling. First, we examine the perception of the stress signal (abiotic and biotic) and the response network of ABA signaling components that transduce the signal to the downstream pathway to respond to stress tolerance, regulation of stomata, and ABA signaling component ubiquitination. Second, ABA signaling in plant development processes, such as lateral root growth regulation, seed germination, and flowering time regulation is investigated. Examining such diverse signal integration dynamics could enhance our understanding of the underlying genetic, biochemical, and molecular mechanisms of ABA signaling networks in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2019 Feature Papers by Plants’ Editorial Board Members)
Open AccessArticle
New Insight into HPts as Hubs in Poplar Cytokinin and Osmosensing Multistep Phosphorelays: Cytokinin Pathway Uses Specific HPts
Plants 2019, 8(12), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120591 (registering DOI) - 11 Dec 2019
Abstract
We have previously identified proteins in poplar which belong to an osmosensing (OS) signaling pathway, called a multistep phosphorelay (MSP). The MSP comprises histidine-aspartate kinases (HK), which act as membrane receptors; histidine phosphotransfer (HPt) proteins, which act as phosphorelay proteins; and response regulators [...] Read more.
We have previously identified proteins in poplar which belong to an osmosensing (OS) signaling pathway, called a multistep phosphorelay (MSP). The MSP comprises histidine-aspartate kinases (HK), which act as membrane receptors; histidine phosphotransfer (HPt) proteins, which act as phosphorelay proteins; and response regulators (RR), some of which act as transcription factors. In this study, we identified the HK proteins homologous to the Arabidopsis cytokinin (CK) receptors, which are first partners in the poplar cytokinin MSP, and focused on specificity of these two MSPs (CK and OS), which seem to share the same pool of HPt proteins. Firstly, we isolated five CK HKs from poplar which are homologous to Arabidopsis AHK2, AHK3, and AHK4, namely, HK2, HK3a, HK3b, HK4a, HK4b. These HKs were shown to be functional kinases, as observed in a functional complementation of a yeast HK deleted strain. Moreover, one of these HKs, HK4a, was shown to have kinase activity dependent on the presence of CK. Exhaustive interaction tests between these five CK HKs and the 10 HPts characterized in poplar were performed using two-hybrid and BiFC experiments. The resulting partnership was compared to that previously identified between putative osmosensors HK1a/1b and HPt proteins. Finally, in planta coexpression analysis of genes encoding these potential partners revealed that almost all HPts are coexpressed with CK HKs in four different poplar organs. Overall, these results allowed us to unravel the common and specific partnerships existing between OS and CK MSP in Populus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Plant Two-Component System)
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Open AccessReview
New Insights into Multistep-Phosphorelay (MSP)/ Two-Component System (TCS) Regulation: Are Plants and Bacteria that Different?
Plants 2019, 8(12), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120590 (registering DOI) - 11 Dec 2019
Abstract
The Arabidopsis multistep-phosphorelay (MSP) is a signaling mechanism based on a phosphorelay that involves three different types of proteins: Histidine kinases, phosphotransfer proteins, and response regulators. Its bacterial equivalent, the two-component system (TCS), is the most predominant device for signal transduction in prokaryotes. [...] Read more.
The Arabidopsis multistep-phosphorelay (MSP) is a signaling mechanism based on a phosphorelay that involves three different types of proteins: Histidine kinases, phosphotransfer proteins, and response regulators. Its bacterial equivalent, the two-component system (TCS), is the most predominant device for signal transduction in prokaryotes. The TCS has been extensively studied and is thus generally well-understood. In contrast, the MSP in plants was first described in 1993. Although great advances have been made, MSP is far from being completely comprehended. Focusing on the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana, this review summarized recent studies that have revealed many similarities with bacterial TCSs regarding how TCS/MSP signaling is regulated by protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, protein degradation, and dimerization. Thus, comparison with better-understood bacterial systems might be relevant for an improved study of the Arabidopsis MSP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Plant Two-Component System)
Open AccessArticle
Secoiridoids Metabolism Response to Wounding in Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea Rafn) Leaves
Plants 2019, 8(12), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120589 (registering DOI) - 11 Dec 2019
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Abstract
Centaurium erythraea Rafn produces and accumulates various biologically active specialized metabolites, including secoiridoid glucosides (SGs), which help plants to cope with unfavorable environmental conditions. Specialized metabolism is commonly modulated in a way to increase the level of protective metabolites, such as SGs. Here, [...] Read more.
Centaurium erythraea Rafn produces and accumulates various biologically active specialized metabolites, including secoiridoid glucosides (SGs), which help plants to cope with unfavorable environmental conditions. Specialized metabolism is commonly modulated in a way to increase the level of protective metabolites, such as SGs. Here, we report the molecular background of the wounding-induced changes in SGs metabolism for the first time. The mechanical wounding of leaves leads to a coordinated up-regulation of SGs biosynthetic genes and corresponding JA-related transcription factors (TFs) after 24 h, which results in the increase of metabolic flux through the biosynthetic pathway and, finally, leads to the elevated accumulation of SGs 96 h upon injury. The most pronounced increase in relative expression was detected for secologanin synthase (CeSLS), highlighting this enzyme as an important point for the regulation of biosynthetic flux through the SG pathway. A similar expression pattern was observed for CeBIS1, imposing itself as the TF that is prominently involved in wound-induced regulation of SGs biosynthesis genes. The high degree of positive correlations between and among the biosynthetic genes and targeted TFs expressions indicate the transcriptional regulation of SGs biosynthesis in response to wounding with a significant role of CeBIS1, which is a known component of the jasmonic acid (JA) signaling pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2019 Feature Papers by Plants’ Editorial Board Members)
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Open AccessArticle
Seed Pretreatment and Foliar Application of Proline Regulate Morphological, Physio-Biochemical Processes and Activity of Antioxidant Enzymes in Plants of Two Cultivars of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.)
Plants 2019, 8(12), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120588 - 10 Dec 2019
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Abstract
In the current study, the effects of exogenously applied proline (25 and 50 mM) and low-temperature treatment were examined on the physiochemical parameters in the plants of two cultivars (V1 and V2) of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). The seeds [...] Read more.
In the current study, the effects of exogenously applied proline (25 and 50 mM) and low-temperature treatment were examined on the physiochemical parameters in the plants of two cultivars (V1 and V2) of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.). The seeds were also exposed to chilling stress at 4 °C before sowing. Plants raised from the seeds treated with low temperature showed reduced plant growth and contents of chlorophyll and carotenoids, but they had significantly increased contents of malondialdehyde, proline, ascorbic acid, total free amino acids, total soluble sugars, and total phenolics, as well as the activity of the peroxidase (POD) enzyme. Cold stress applied to seeds remained almost ineffective in terms of bringing about changes in plant root, hydrogen peroxide, glycine betaine and activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT) enzymes. The exogenous application of proline significantly increased plant growth, the contents of chlorophyll, carotenoids, proline, ascorbic acid, total free amino acids, phenolics, and total soluble sugars, as well as the activities of SOD, POD, and CAT, but it decreased malondialdehyde content. Overall, foliar application of proline was better than the seed treatment in improving root dry weight, root length, chlorophyll a, carotenoids, glycine betaine, ascorbic acid and superoxide dismutase activity, whereas seed pre-treatment with proline was effective in improving shoot dry weight, shoot length, hydrogen peroxide, malondialdehyde, and peroxidase activity in both quinoa cultivars. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Exploration of Common Greenhouse Gas Emissions by the Cyanobiont of the Azolla–Nostoc Symbiosis and Clues as to Nod Factors in Cyanobacteria
Plants 2019, 8(12), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120587 - 10 Dec 2019
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Abstract
Azolla is a genus of aquatic ferns that engages in a unique symbiosis with a cyanobiont that is resistant to cultivation. Azolla spp. are earmarked as a possible candidate to mitigate greenhouse gases, in particular, carbon dioxide. That opinion is underlined here in [...] Read more.
Azolla is a genus of aquatic ferns that engages in a unique symbiosis with a cyanobiont that is resistant to cultivation. Azolla spp. are earmarked as a possible candidate to mitigate greenhouse gases, in particular, carbon dioxide. That opinion is underlined here in this paper to show the broader impact of Azolla spp. on greenhouse gas mitigation by revealing the enzyme catalogue in the Nostoc cyanobiont to be a poor contributor to climate change. First, regarding carbon assimilation, it was inferred that the carboxylation activity of the Rubisco enzyme of Azolla plants is able to quench carbon dioxide on par with other C3 plants and fellow aquatic free-floating macrophytes, with the cyanobiont contributing on average ~18% of the carboxylation load. Additionally, the author demonstrates here, using bioinformatics and past literature, that the Nostoc cyanobiont of Azolla does not contain nitric oxide reductase, a key enzyme that emanates nitrous oxide. In fact, all Nostoc species, both symbiotic and nonsymbiotic, are deficient in nitric oxide reductases. Furthermore, the Azolla cyanobiont is negative for methanogenic enzymes that use coenzyme conjugates to emit methane. With the absence of nitrous oxide and methane release, and the potential ability to convert ambient nitrous oxide into nitrogen gas, it is safe to say that the Azolla cyanobiont has a myriad of features that are poor contributors to climate change, which on top of carbon dioxide quenching by the Calvin cycle in Azolla plants, makes it an efficient holistic candidate to be developed as a force for climate change mitigation, especially in irrigated urea-fed rice fields. The author also shows that Nostoc cyanobionts are theoretically capable of Nod factor synthesis, similar to Rhizobia and some Frankia species, which is a new horizon to explore in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen-Fixing Plants )
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Genetic Engineering for Global Food Security: Photosynthesis and Biofortification
Plants 2019, 8(12), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120586 - 09 Dec 2019
Viewed by 220
Abstract
Increasing demands for food and resources are challenging existing markets, driving a need to continually investigate and establish crop varieties with improved yields and health benefits. By the later part of the century, current estimates indicate that a >50% increase in the yield [...] Read more.
Increasing demands for food and resources are challenging existing markets, driving a need to continually investigate and establish crop varieties with improved yields and health benefits. By the later part of the century, current estimates indicate that a >50% increase in the yield of most of the important food crops including wheat, rice and barley will be needed to maintain food supplies and improve nutritional quality to tackle what has become known as ‘hidden hunger’. Improving the nutritional quality of crops has become a target for providing the micronutrients required in remote communities where dietary variation is often limited. A number of methods to achieve this have been investigated over recent years, from improving photosynthesis through genetic engineering, to breeding new higher yielding varieties. Recent research has shown that growing plants under elevated [CO2] can lead to an increase in Vitamin C due to changes in gene expression, demonstrating one potential route for plant biofortification. In this review, we discuss the current research being undertaken to improve photosynthesis and biofortify key crops to secure future food supplies and the potential links between improved photosynthesis and nutritional quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Feature Papers in Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
Open AccessArticle
5-Aminolevulinic Acid and Soil Fertility Enhance the Resistance of Rosemary to Alternaria dauci and Rhizoctonia solani and Modulate Plant Biochemistry
Plants 2019, 8(12), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120585 - 09 Dec 2019
Viewed by 142
Abstract
Fungal infection of horticultural and cereal crops by Alternaria dauci and Rhizoctonia solani represents an important biotic stress that could be alleviated by application of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) to fertile and poor soils. Therefore, in this study, the morphological, physiological, biochemical, and genetic [...] Read more.
Fungal infection of horticultural and cereal crops by Alternaria dauci and Rhizoctonia solani represents an important biotic stress that could be alleviated by application of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) to fertile and poor soils. Therefore, in this study, the morphological, physiological, biochemical, and genetic effects of ALA application (eight weekly applications at 3–10 ppm) to A. dauci- and R. solani-infected Salvia rosmarinus (rosemary) in fertile and poor soils were investigated. ALA-treated plants produced the longest and highest number of branches and had higher fresh and dry weights. There were increases in the major essential oil constituents (1,8-cineole, linalool, camphor, and borneol), as shown by Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS); higher antioxidant activities in DPPH and β-carotene-bleaching assays; upregulated superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) antioxidant enzyme activities; increased total phenolics, chlorophyll, soluble sugars, and proline; increased gas exchange parameters; enhanced leaf water potential and relative water content (RWC); and upregulated expression of DREB2 and ERF3 (stress-related genes) and FeSOD, Cu/ZnSOD, and MnSOD (antioxidant genes). Several mechanisms were involved, including stress tolerance, antioxidative, and transcription regulation mechanisms. Furthermore, ALA performance was increased in higher-quality soils with higher nutrient content. This study demonstrated the novel application of ALA as a biotic stress ameliorant with enhanced performance in fertile soils. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Variation Among Spring Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Genotypes in Response to the Drought Stress. II—Root System Structure
Plants 2019, 8(12), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120584 - 08 Dec 2019
Viewed by 189
Abstract
(1) Background: The study analyzed wheat morphological traits to assess the role of roots structure in the tolerance of drought and to recognize the mechanisms of root structure adjustment to dry soil environment. (2) Methods: Root-box and root-basket methods were applied to maintain [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The study analyzed wheat morphological traits to assess the role of roots structure in the tolerance of drought and to recognize the mechanisms of root structure adjustment to dry soil environment. (2) Methods: Root-box and root-basket methods were applied to maintain an intact root system for analysis. (3) Results: Phenotypic differences among six genotypes with variable drought susceptibility index were found. Under drought, the resistant genotypes lowered their shoot-to-root ratio. Dry matter, number, length, and diameter of nodal and lateral roots were higher in drought-tolerant genotypes than in sensitive ones. The differences in the surface area of the roots were greater in the upper parts of the root system (in the soil layer between 0 and 15 cm) and resulted from the growth of roots of the tolerant plant at an angle of 0–30° and 30–60°. (4) Conclusions: Regulation of root bending in a more downward direction can be important but is not a priority in avoiding drought effects by tolerant plants. If this trait is reduced and accompanied by restricted root development in the upper part of the soil, it becomes a critical factor promoting plant sensitivity to water-limiting conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Development and Morphogenesis)
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Open AccessArticle
Inheritance Pattern and Molecular Markers for Resistance to Blackleg Disease in Cabbage
Plants 2019, 8(12), 583; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120583 - 08 Dec 2019
Viewed by 212
Abstract
The inheritance and causal loci for resistance to blackleg, a devastating disease of Brassicaceous crops, are yet to be known in cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.). Here, we report the pattern of inheritance and linked molecular marker for this trait. A segregating BC [...] Read more.
The inheritance and causal loci for resistance to blackleg, a devastating disease of Brassicaceous crops, are yet to be known in cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.). Here, we report the pattern of inheritance and linked molecular marker for this trait. A segregating BC1 population consisting of 253 plants was raised from resistant and susceptible parents, L29 (♀) and L16 (♂), respectively. Cotyledon resistance bioassay of BC1 population, measured based on a scale of 0–9 at 12 days after inoculation with Leptosphaeria maculans isolate 03–02 s, revealed the segregation of resistance and ratio, indicative of dominant monogenic control of the trait. Investigation of potential polymorphism in the previously identified differentially expressed genes within the collinear region of ‘B. napus blackleg resistant loci Rlm1′ in B. oleracea identified two insertion/deletion (InDel) mutations in the intron and numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) throughout the LRR-RLK gene Bol040029, of which six SNPs in the first exon caused the loss of two LRR domains in the susceptible line. An InDel marker, BLR-C-InDel based on the InDel mutations, and a high resolution melting (HRM) marker, BLR-C-2808 based on the SNP C2808T in the second exon were developed, which predicated the resistance status of the BC1 population with 80.24%, and of 24 commercial inbred lines with 100% detection accuracy. This is the first report of inheritance and molecular markers linked with blackleg resistance in cabbage. This study will enhance our understanding of the trait, and will be helpful in marker assisted breeding aiming at developing resistant cabbage varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessCommentary
Virulent Rhodococcus fascians Produce Unique Methylated Cytokinins
Plants 2019, 8(12), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120582 - 07 Dec 2019
Viewed by 189
Abstract
Some strains of Rhodococcus fascians exist only as epiphytes on the plant surface whereas others can become endophytic and cause various abnormalities including the release of multiple buds and reduced root growth. The abnormalities reflect the action of cytokinin. The strains that can [...] Read more.
Some strains of Rhodococcus fascians exist only as epiphytes on the plant surface whereas others can become endophytic and cause various abnormalities including the release of multiple buds and reduced root growth. The abnormalities reflect the action of cytokinin. The strains that can become endophytic harbour a linear plasmid that carries cytokinin biosynthesis, activation and destruction genes. However, both epiphytic and endophytic forms can release cytokinin into culture, affect cytokinin metabolism within inoculated plants and enhance the expression of sugar and amino acid transporters and cell wall invertases, but only the endophytic form markedly affects the morphology of the plant. A unique methylated cytokinin, dimethylated N6-(∆2-isopentenyl)adenine (2-MeiP), operating in a high sugar environment, is the likely causative factor of the severe morphological abnormalities observed when plants are inoculated with R. fascians strains carrying the linear plasmid. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Herbal Teas and Drinks: Folk Medicine of the Manoor Valley, Lesser Himalaya, Pakistan
Plants 2019, 8(12), 581; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120581 - 07 Dec 2019
Viewed by 195
Abstract
In spite of the remarkable achievements in the healthcare sector over recent decades, inequities in accessibility and affordability of these facilities coexist throughout Pakistan. Thus, we aimed to explore and document the cultural knowledge of herbal teas used medicinally by the local community [...] Read more.
In spite of the remarkable achievements in the healthcare sector over recent decades, inequities in accessibility and affordability of these facilities coexist throughout Pakistan. Thus, we aimed to explore and document the cultural knowledge of herbal teas used medicinally by the local community members of Manoor Valley, Pakistan. Field investigations were undertaken during the summer season of 2015–2017, and cultural practices of medicinal plant usage for treating various ailments were gathered through interviews of the local inhabitants. Ethnomedicinal insights of the medicinal plants used in herbal teas were gained with different indexes. Our results revealed 27 plant species, comprising of herbs (70%), shrubs (26%), and trees (4%), which were used for treating 21 diseases. Plants belonged to 18 families: Asteraceae and Lamiaceae were the leading families used for treating diseases. Diarrhea and gas troubles were the most frequent diseases. Based on indexes values, Cannabis sativa was the dominant species used. The results revealed that 57% of medicinal uses are new to literature. This ethnomedicinal study is providing the first insights into the traditional medication system of Lesser Himalaya, Pakistan, through ethnomedicinal teas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Exogenous Dopamine Application Promotes Alkali Tolerance of Apple Seedlings
Plants 2019, 8(12), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120580 - 07 Dec 2019
Viewed by 206
Abstract
Arid and semiarid apple producing areas suffer from severe alkalinity of soil, which strongly affects the yield and quality of apples. Dopamine (DA) is involved in metabolic activities in response to abiotic stress in plants. To detect the effects of exogenous DA application [...] Read more.
Arid and semiarid apple producing areas suffer from severe alkalinity of soil, which strongly affects the yield and quality of apples. Dopamine (DA) is involved in metabolic activities in response to abiotic stress in plants. To detect the effects of exogenous DA application on the adaption of apple (Malus hupehensis) seedlings to alkali stress and as a protection from oxidative stress, 0.1 mM DA was identified as the most suitable concentration by hydroponic culture. Further experimentation showed that the growth and photosynthesis of apple seedlings were significantly inhibited under alkali stress, and more reactive oxygen species accumulated, compared with control. However, exogenous DA application suppressed the loss of the plant height, root length, chlorophyll levels, and photosynthetic capacity of apple seedlings that were caused by alkali stress. In the leaves of alkali stressed seedlings, the catalase, superoxide dismutase, and peroxidase activities were lower and hydrogen peroxide and malondialdehyde levels were higher than in the untreated plants. The presence of DA significantly alleviated such effects of alkali stress. In addition, exogenous DA application increased the antioxidant capacity of apple seedlings under alkali stress by increasing the level of chlorogenic acid. These results are significant for improving the alkali tolerance of apple in apple-producing areas with alkalized soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS Responses in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Drought Tolerance by AMF Inoculation in Maize (Zea mays) Involves Physiological and Biochemical Implications
Plants 2019, 8(12), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120579 - 06 Dec 2019
Viewed by 165
Abstract
The role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF, Glomus versiforme) in amelioration of drought-induced effects on growth and physio-biochemical attributes in maize (Zea mays L.) was studied. Maize plants were exposed to two drought regimes, i.e., moderate drought (MD) and severe drought (SD), [...] Read more.
The role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF, Glomus versiforme) in amelioration of drought-induced effects on growth and physio-biochemical attributes in maize (Zea mays L.) was studied. Maize plants were exposed to two drought regimes, i.e., moderate drought (MD) and severe drought (SD), with and without AMF inoculation. Drought at both levels reduced plant height, and chlorophyll and carotenoid content, thereby impeding photosynthesis. In addition, drought stress enhanced the generation of toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS), including H2O2, resulting in membrane damage reflected as increased electrolyte leakage and lipid peroxidation. Such negative effects were much more apparent under SD conditions that those of MD and the control, however, AMF inoculation significantly ameliorated the deleterious effects of drought-induced oxidative damage. Under control conditions, inoculation of AMF increased growth and photosynthesis by significantly improving chlorophyll content, mineral uptake and assimilation. AMF inoculation increased the content of compatible solutes, such as proline, sugars and free amino acids, assisting in maintaining the relative water content. Up-regulation of the antioxidant system was obvious in AMF-inoculated plants, thereby mediating quick alleviation of oxidative effects of drought through elimination of ROS. In addition, AMF mediated up-regulation of the antioxidant system contributed to maintenance of redox homeostasis, leading to protection of major metabolic pathways, including photosynthesis, as observed in the present study. Total phenols increased due to AMF inoculation under both MD and SD conditions. The present study advocates the beneficial role of G. versiforme inoculation in maize against drought stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Responses to Water-Deficit Stress)
Open AccessReview
Arabidopsis WRKY53, a Node of Multi-Layer Regulation in the Network of Senescence
Plants 2019, 8(12), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120578 - 06 Dec 2019
Viewed by 153
Abstract
Leaf senescence is an integral part of plant development aiming at the remobilization of nutrients and minerals out of the senescing tissue into developing parts of the plant. Sequential as well as monocarpic senescence maximize the usage of nitrogen, mineral, and carbon resources [...] Read more.
Leaf senescence is an integral part of plant development aiming at the remobilization of nutrients and minerals out of the senescing tissue into developing parts of the plant. Sequential as well as monocarpic senescence maximize the usage of nitrogen, mineral, and carbon resources for plant growth and the sake of the next generation. However, stress-induced premature senescence functions as an exit strategy to guarantee offspring under long-lasting unfavorable conditions. In order to coordinate this complex developmental program with all kinds of environmental input signals, complex regulatory cues have to be in place. Major changes in the transcriptome imply important roles for transcription factors. Among all transcription factor families in plants, the NAC and WRKY factors appear to play central roles in senescence regulation. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the role of WRKY factors with a special focus on WRKY53. In contrast to a holistic multi-omics view we want to exemplify the complexity of the network structure by summarizing the multilayer regulation of WRKY53 of Arabidopsis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leaf Senescence)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Evaluation of Vitality and Survival Rate of Dormant Kyoho Grape Seedlings: A Step toward Molecular Farming
Plants 2019, 8(12), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120577 - 06 Dec 2019
Viewed by 161
Abstract
Vitality and survival rate of grape seedlings are crucial factors affecting quality of vineyards. There is no comprehensive study describing accurate evaluation of dormant grapevine seedlings’ vitality and survival rate. The purpose of this study was to explore the possibility of using molecular [...] Read more.
Vitality and survival rate of grape seedlings are crucial factors affecting quality of vineyards. There is no comprehensive study describing accurate evaluation of dormant grapevine seedlings’ vitality and survival rate. The purpose of this study was to explore the possibility of using molecular information to evaluate viability and survival rate of dormant seedlings before transplanting. After bare roots treatment, 1–5 day expression levels of six HKGs in four buds of tetraploid Kyoho grape (Vitis labruscana: V. labrusca × V. vinifera) seedlings were detected by (Sq.) RT-PCR and qRT-PCR for calibration of the molecular method. The results revealed that HKGs expression indicates vitality and survival of plant, higher expression was strongly linked to higher vitality and survival rate, lower expression was associated with lower vitality, and lowest expression was significantly associated with lowest vitality and survival rate. Moreover, DNA and RNA quality can superficially determine seedling qualities. Finally, the survival rate of the seedlings produced in Juxian-Shandong, Laixi-Shandong, Huailai-Hebei, Suizhong-Liaoning, Changli-Hebei, Guanxian-Shandong, and Zhangjiagang-Jiangsu was 100.00%, 100.00%, 100.00%, 100.00%, 100.00%, 87.77%, and 93.33%, respectively. In conclusion, molecular technique is potential approach for promoting gene information to estimate vitality and survival rate of dormant grape seedlings and might contribute to viticulturists’ efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Open AccessArticle
Can Cynodon dactylon Suppress the Growth and Development of the Invasive Weeds Tagetes minuta and Gutenbergia cordifolia?
Plants 2019, 8(12), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120576 - 06 Dec 2019
Viewed by 189
Abstract
Approaches to managing invasive plants is challenging, particularly in protected areas where conventional methods, such as chemical herbicide applications are limited. We studied the effects of varying densities of Cynodon dactylon on the growth and development of the invasive weeds Tagetes minuta and [...] Read more.
Approaches to managing invasive plants is challenging, particularly in protected areas where conventional methods, such as chemical herbicide applications are limited. We studied the effects of varying densities of Cynodon dactylon on the growth and development of the invasive weeds Tagetes minuta and Gutenbergia cordifolia in northern Tanzania. We conducted pot and field plot experiments following a completely randomized block design that was replicated three times. Increasing densities of C. dactylon significantly reduced growth, leaf total chlorophyll, biomass and significantly increased leaf anthocyanin of both T. minuta and G. cordifolia invasives. Our results further showed that the critical density of C. dactylon to suppress the two invasive species is ≥ 8 plants/m2. We suggest that C. dactylon can successfully be used as an alternative eco-friendly and sustainable approach for managing invasive weeds, such as T. minuta and G. cordifolia. This management technique can additionally improve forage production and biomass for wild and domestic herbivores in the affected areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Plants)
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Open AccessReview
Mechanisms of Plant Tolerance to RNA Viruses Induced by Plant-Growth-Promoting Microorganisms
Plants 2019, 8(12), 575; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120575 - 05 Dec 2019
Viewed by 233
Abstract
Plant viruses are globally responsible for the significant crop losses of economically important plants. All common approaches are not able to eradicate viral infection. Many non-conventional strategies are currently used to control viral infection, but unfortunately, they are not always effective. Therefore, it [...] Read more.
Plant viruses are globally responsible for the significant crop losses of economically important plants. All common approaches are not able to eradicate viral infection. Many non-conventional strategies are currently used to control viral infection, but unfortunately, they are not always effective. Therefore, it is necessary to search for efficient and eco-friendly measures to prevent viral diseases. Since the genomic material of 90% higher plant viruses consists of single-stranded RNA, the best way to target the viral genome is to use ribonucleases (RNase), which can be effective against any viral disease of plants. Here, we show the importance of the search for endophytes with protease and RNase activity combined with the capacity to prime antiviral plant defense responses for their protection against viruses. This review discusses the possible mechanisms used to suppress a viral attack as well as the use of local endophytic bacteria for antiviral control in crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs and Plant Disease Resistance)
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Open AccessArticle
The Induction and Roles Played by Phi Thickenings in Orchid Roots
Plants 2019, 8(12), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120574 - 05 Dec 2019
Viewed by 199
Abstract
Phi thickenings are specialised secondary wall thickenings present in the root cortex of many plant species, including both angiosperms and gymnosperms. While environmental stresses induce phi thickenings, their role(s) in the root remain unclear. Suggested functions include regulation of transport through the apoplast [...] Read more.
Phi thickenings are specialised secondary wall thickenings present in the root cortex of many plant species, including both angiosperms and gymnosperms. While environmental stresses induce phi thickenings, their role(s) in the root remain unclear. Suggested functions include regulation of transport through the apoplast in a manner similar to the Casparian strip, limiting fungal infections, and providing mechanical support to the root. We investigated phi thickening induction and function in Miltoniopsis sp., an epiphytic orchid. As movement of a fluorescent tracer through the apoplast was not blocked by phi thickenings, and as phi thickenings developed in the roots of sterile cultures in the absence of fungus and did not prevent fungal colonisation of cortical cells, the phi thickenings in Miltoniopsis did not function as a barrier. Phi thickenings, absent in roots grown on agar, remained absent when plants were transplanted to moist soil, but were induced when plants were transplanted to well-drained media, and by the application of water stress. We suggest that it is likely that phi thickenings stabilise to the root during water stress. Nevertheless, the varied phi thickening induction responses present in different plant species suggest that the phi thickenings may play multiple adaptive roles depending on species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Wall Biology)
Open AccessArticle
AtSIBP1, a Novel BTB Domain-Containing Protein, Positively Regulates Salt Signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana
Plants 2019, 8(12), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120573 - 05 Dec 2019
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Abstract
Because they are sessile organisms, plants need rapid and finely tuned signaling pathways to adapt to adverse environments, including salt stress. In this study, we identified a gene named Arabidopsis thaliana stress-induced BTB protein 1 (AtSIBP1), which encodes a nucleus protein [...] Read more.
Because they are sessile organisms, plants need rapid and finely tuned signaling pathways to adapt to adverse environments, including salt stress. In this study, we identified a gene named Arabidopsis thaliana stress-induced BTB protein 1 (AtSIBP1), which encodes a nucleus protein with a BTB domain in its C-terminal side and is induced by salt and other stresses. The expression of the β-glucuronidase (GUS) gene driven by the AtSIBP1 promoter was found to be significantly induced in the presence of NaCl. The sibp1 mutant that lost AtSIBP1 function was found to be highly sensitive to salt stress and more vulnerable to salt stress than the wild type WT, while the overexpression of AtSIBP1 transgenic plants exhibited more tolerance to salt stress. According to the DAB staining, the sibp1 mutant accumulated more reactive oxygen species (ROS) than the WT and AtSIBP1 overexpression plants after salt stress. In addition, the expression levels of stress-induced marker genes in AtSIBP1 overexpression plants were markedly higher than those in the WT and sibp1 mutant plants. Therefore, our results demonstrate that AtSIBP1 was a positive regulator in salinity responses in Arabidopsis. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Bacterium-Mediated RNA Interference: Potential Application in Plant Protection
Plants 2019, 8(12), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120572 - 05 Dec 2019
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Abstract
RNAi has emerged as a promising tool for targeting agricultural pests and pathogens and could provide an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional means of control. However, the deployment of this technology is still limited by a lack of suitable exogenous- or externally applied [...] Read more.
RNAi has emerged as a promising tool for targeting agricultural pests and pathogens and could provide an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional means of control. However, the deployment of this technology is still limited by a lack of suitable exogenous- or externally applied delivery mechanisms. Numerous means of overcoming this limitation are being explored. One such method, bacterium-mediated RNA interference, or bmRNAi, has been explored in other systems and shows great potential for application to agriculture. Here, we review the current state of bmRNAi, examine the technical limitations and possible improvements, and discuss its potential applications in crop protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs and Plant Disease Resistance)
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Open AccessArticle
Bentonite and Biochar Mitigate Pb Toxicity in Pisum sativum by Reducing Plant Oxidative Stress and Pb Translocation
Plants 2019, 8(12), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120571 - 05 Dec 2019
Viewed by 186
Abstract
Lead (Pb)-polluted soils pose a serious threat to human health, particularly by transmitting this heavy metal to the food chain via the crops grown on them. The application of novel amendments in Pb-polluted soils can significantly reduce this problem. In this research, we [...] Read more.
Lead (Pb)-polluted soils pose a serious threat to human health, particularly by transmitting this heavy metal to the food chain via the crops grown on them. The application of novel amendments in Pb-polluted soils can significantly reduce this problem. In this research, we report the effects of various organic and inorganic amendments i.e., bentonite (BN), biochar (BR), lignin (LN), magnesium potassium phosphate cement (CM) and iron hydroxyl phosphate (FeHP), on the Pb bioavailability in Pb-polluted soil, upon Pb distribution in shoots, roots, grain, the translocation factor (TF) and the bioconcentration factor (BCF) of Pb in pea (Pisum sativum L.) grain. Furthermore, effects of the said amendments on the plant parameters, as well as grain biochemistry and nutritional quality, were also assessed. Lead pollution significantly elevated Pb concentrations in roots, shoots and grain, as well as the grain TF and BCF of Pb, while reducing the nutritional quality and biochemistry of grain, plant height, relative water content (RWC), chlorophyll contents (chl a and chl b) and the dry weight (DW) of shoot, root and grain. The lowest Pb distribution in shoots, roots and grain were found with BN, FeHP and CM, compared to our control. Likewise, the BN, FeHP and CM significantly lowered the TF and BCF values of Pb in the order FeHP > CM > BN. Similarly, the highest increase in plant height, shoot, root and grain DW, RWC, chl a and chl b contents, grain biochemistry and the micronutrient concentrations, were recorded with BR amendment. Biochar also reduced grain polyphenols as well as plant oxidative stress. Given that the BR and BN amendments gave the best results, we propose to explore their potential synergistic effect to reduce Pb toxicity by using them together in future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Responses and Tolerance to Metal/Metalloid Toxicity)
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Open AccessArticle
Generation of Transgenic Self-Incompatible Arabidopsis thaliana Shows a Genus-Specific Preference for Self-Incompatibility Genes
Plants 2019, 8(12), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120570 - 04 Dec 2019
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Abstract
Brassicaceae species employ both self-compatibility and self-incompatibility systems to regulate post-pollination events. Arabidopsis halleri is strictly self-incompatible, while the closely related Arabidopsis thaliana has transitioned to self-compatibility with the loss of functional S-locus genes during evolution. The downstream signaling protein, ARC1, is [...] Read more.
Brassicaceae species employ both self-compatibility and self-incompatibility systems to regulate post-pollination events. Arabidopsis halleri is strictly self-incompatible, while the closely related Arabidopsis thaliana has transitioned to self-compatibility with the loss of functional S-locus genes during evolution. The downstream signaling protein, ARC1, is also required for the self-incompatibility response in some Arabidopsis and Brassica species, and its gene is deleted in the A. thaliana genome. In this study, we attempted to reconstitute the SCR-SRK-ARC1 signaling pathway to restore self-incompatibility in A. thaliana using genes from A. halleri and B. napus, respectively. Several of the transgenic A. thaliana lines expressing the A. halleri SCR13-SRK13-ARC1 transgenes displayed self-incompatibility, while all the transgenic A. thaliana lines expressing the B. napus SCR1-SRK1-ARC1 transgenes failed to show any self-pollen rejection. Furthermore, our results showed that the intensity of the self-incompatibility response in transgenic A. thaliana plants was not associated with the expression levels of the transgenes. Thus, this suggests that there are differences between the Arabidopsis and Brassica self-incompatibility signaling pathways, which perhaps points to the existence of other factors downstream of B. napus SRK that are absent in Arabidopsis species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Dynamic Change in Plant Genomes)
Open AccessArticle
Nutritional Value, Mineral Composition, Secondary Metabolites, and Antioxidant Activity of Some Wild Geophyte Sedges and Grasses
Plants 2019, 8(12), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120569 - 04 Dec 2019
Viewed by 128
Abstract
Geophytes are plants with underground storage organs including bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes, often physiologically active and able to survive during harsh environmental conditions. This study is conducted to assess the nutritive value, mineral composition, bioactive metabolites, and antioxidant activity of five wild [...] Read more.
Geophytes are plants with underground storage organs including bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes, often physiologically active and able to survive during harsh environmental conditions. This study is conducted to assess the nutritive value, mineral composition, bioactive metabolites, and antioxidant activity of five wild geophytes (Cyperus capitatus, C. conglomeratus, Elymus farctus, Lasiurus scindicus, and Panicum turgidum) collected from the Nile Delta coast and inland desert. The proximate composition including dry matter, moisture content, ash content, fiber, fat, protein, sucrose, and glucose were determined. Also, total carbohydrates, total digestible nutrients (TDN), and nutritive values were calculated. Macro- and micro-minerals were also determined in the studied geophytes. Total phenolics, total flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, and tannins were determined. Antioxidant activity was evaluated based on 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicle scavenging. Based on the nutritive value, the studied geophytes are ranked as follows: E. farctus > C. conglomeratus > L. scindicus > P. turgidum > C. capitatus. The mineral analysis reveals a sufficient amount of macro- and micro-elements in the studied geophytes while the microelements levels in the studied wild plants exist as Fe > Mn > Zn > Cu. Cyperus conglomeratus attained the highest concentrations of all determined secondary metabolites. On the other hand, C. conglomeratus, C. capitatus, and P. turgidum extracts showed strong scavenging activity (EC50 < 1 mg mL−1), while extracts of E. farctus and L. scindicus exhibited moderate scavenging activity (1 ≤ EC50 ≤ 2 mg mL−1). The present data reveal that geophytes under investigation could be used as good forage plants, especially in arid habitats. In addition, C. conglomeratus could be a potentially important candidate for natural antioxidants as it attained high contents of the bioactive constituents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds in Plants)
Open AccessArticle
Trehalose Protects Maize Plants from Salt Stress and Phosphorus Deficiency
Plants 2019, 8(12), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120568 - 04 Dec 2019
Viewed by 212
Abstract
This study is undertaken to elucidate the role of trehalose (Tre) in mitigating oxidative stress under salinity and low P in maize. Eight-day-old maize seedlings of two maize varieties, BARI Hybrid Maize-7 and BARI Hybrid Maize-9, were subjected to salinity (150 mM NaCl), [...] Read more.
This study is undertaken to elucidate the role of trehalose (Tre) in mitigating oxidative stress under salinity and low P in maize. Eight-day-old maize seedlings of two maize varieties, BARI Hybrid Maize-7 and BARI Hybrid Maize-9, were subjected to salinity (150 mM NaCl), low P (5 µM KH2PO4) and their combined stress with or without 10 mM Tre for 15 d. Salinity and combined stress significantly inhibited the shoot length, root length, and root volume, whereas low P increased the root length and volume in both genotypes. Exogenous Tre in the stress treatments increased all of the growth parameters as well as decreased the salinity, low P, and combined stress-mediated Na+/K+, reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA), lipoxygenase (LOX) activity, and methylglyoxal (MG) in both genotypes. Individually, salinity and low P increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in both genotypes, but combined stress decreased the activity. Peroxidase (POD) activity increased in all stress treatments. Interestingly, Tre application enhanced the SOD activity in all the stress treatments but inhibited the POD activity. Both catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity were increased by saline and low P stress while the activities inhibited in combined stress. Similar results were found for ascorbate peroxidase (APX), glutathione peroxidase (GR), and dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) activities in both genotypes. However, monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR) activity was inhibited in all the stresses. Interestingly, Tre enhanced CAT, APX, GPX, GR, MDHAR, and DHAR activities suggesting the amelioration of ROS scavenging in maize under all the stresses. Conversely, increased glyoxalase activities in saline and low P stress in BHM-9 suggested better MG detoxification system because of the down-regulation of glyoxalase-I (Gly-I) activity in BHM-7 in those stresses. Tre also increased the glyoxalase activities in both genotypes under all the stresses. Tre improved the growth in maize seedlings by decreasing Na+/K+, ROS, MDA, and MG through regulating antioxidant and glyoxalase systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2019 Feature Papers by Plants’ Editorial Board Members)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimize, Modulate, and Scale-up Resveratrol and Resveratrol Dimers Bioproduction in Vitis labrusca L. Cell Suspension from Flasks to 20 L Bioreactor
Plants 2019, 8(12), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120567 - 04 Dec 2019
Viewed by 178
Abstract
Resveratrol and its oligomers are biologically active compounds. This work brings new insights for the bioproduction of trans-resveratrol with three dimers, pallidol, trans-ε-viniferin, and trans-δ-viniferin, in cell suspension of Vitis labrusca. Conditions of elicitation by methyl jasmonate were optimized [...] Read more.
Resveratrol and its oligomers are biologically active compounds. This work brings new insights for the bioproduction of trans-resveratrol with three dimers, pallidol, trans-ε-viniferin, and trans-δ-viniferin, in cell suspension of Vitis labrusca. Conditions of elicitation by methyl jasmonate were optimized for the production of stilbenes using statistical design of experiment. Bio-production of stilbenes was scaled-up to 5 L and in these conditions, trans-resveratrol concentrations reached 237 mg/L, and for pallidol 114 mg/L. The comparison of different elicitation modes (different elicitors, combination with cyclodextrins or adsorbent resin) allowed to reach particularly high concentrations of target molecules: Resveratrol 6.14 g/L, pallidol 0.90 g/L, δ-viniferin 0.54 g/L, and ε-viniferin 0.50 g/L. Scale-up to 20 L-stirring-bioreactor gave similar growth rates to those observed in shake flask culture, with a high production of resveratrol (4.23 g/L) and δ-viniferin (0.76 g/L). This work provides new strategies for the production of stilbenes in plant cell suspension for biological and commercial evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resveratrol in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Recombinant Human Dentin Matrix Protein 1 (hDMP1) Expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana Potentially Induces Osteogenic Differentiation
Plants 2019, 8(12), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120566 - 03 Dec 2019
Viewed by 194
Abstract
Inductive molecules are critical components for successful bone tissue engineering. Dentin matrix protein-1 (DMP1), a non-collagenous protein in the bone matrix, has been shown to play roles in osteogenic differentiation and phosphate homeostasis. This study aimed to produce recombinant human dentin matrix protein-1 [...] Read more.
Inductive molecules are critical components for successful bone tissue engineering. Dentin matrix protein-1 (DMP1), a non-collagenous protein in the bone matrix, has been shown to play roles in osteogenic differentiation and phosphate homeostasis. This study aimed to produce recombinant human dentin matrix protein-1 (hDMP1) in Nicotiana benthamiana and investigated the ability of this plant-produced DMP1 to induce osteogenesis in human periodontal ligament stem cells (hPDLSCs). The hDMP1 gene was cloned into the geminiviral vector for transient expression in N. benthamiana. We found that hDMP1 was transiently expressed in N. benthamiana leaves and could be purified by ammonium sulphate precipitation followed by nickel affinity chromatography. The effects of hDMP1 on the induction of cell proliferation and osteogenic differentiation were investigated. The results indicated that plant-produced hDMP1 could induce the cell proliferation of hPDLSCs and increase the expression levels of osteogenic genes, including osterix (OSX), type I collagen (COL1), bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP2), and Wnt3a. Moreover, the plant-produced hDMP1 promoted calcium deposition in hPDLSCs as determined by alizarin red S staining. In conclusion, our results indicated that plant-produced hDMP1 could induce osteogenic differentiation in hPDLSCs and could potentially be used as a bone inducer in bone tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Expression Systems for Bioproduct Production)
Open AccessArticle
Innovative RNAi Strategies and Tactics to Tackle Plum Pox Virus (PPV) Genome in Prunus domestica-Plum
Plants 2019, 8(12), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120565 - 02 Dec 2019
Viewed by 244
Abstract
We developed an innovative RNAi concept based on two gene constructs built from the capsid gene (CP) cistron of the Plum pox virus (PPV) genome. First, designated as amiCPRNA, a potential molecule interfering with PPV genome translation and the second one is [...] Read more.
We developed an innovative RNAi concept based on two gene constructs built from the capsid gene (CP) cistron of the Plum pox virus (PPV) genome. First, designated as amiCPRNA, a potential molecule interfering with PPV genome translation and the second one is the ami-siCPRNA to target viral genome translation and PPV RNA replication. Following the previous engineering of these constructs in an experimental herbaceous host, they were introduced into Prunus domestica (plum tree) genome. Previously propagated onto a susceptible rootstock, these clones were graft-inoculated with PPV. After four dormancy cycles, and consistent with our experience of PPV infection, some clones showed a common phenomenon of silencing that can differ between the detailed plant phenotypes. Three different phenotypes were developed by the amisiCPRNA clones. First, the high resistance character shown by the amisiCPRNA plum-7 that was similar to the resistance expressed by HoneySweet plum. Secondly, a recovery reaction was developed by the two other amisiCPRNA plum-3 and plum-4 that differed from the rest, characterized as susceptible clones, among these were the amiCPRNA plums. Having assessed the behavior of these plums versus the herbaceous host accumulating the similar form of RNAi: ami-, si-, and ami-siRNA, challenging assays in perennials consistently reflect the natural context of viral genome targeting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs and Plant Disease Resistance)
Open AccessReview
Epigenetics Regulates Reproductive Development in Plants
Plants 2019, 8(12), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120564 - 02 Dec 2019
Viewed by 295
Abstract
Seed, resulting from reproductive development, is the main nutrient source for human beings, and reproduction has been intensively studied through genetic, molecular, and epigenetic approaches. However, how different epigenetic pathways crosstalk and integrate to regulate seed development remains unknown. Here, we review the [...] Read more.
Seed, resulting from reproductive development, is the main nutrient source for human beings, and reproduction has been intensively studied through genetic, molecular, and epigenetic approaches. However, how different epigenetic pathways crosstalk and integrate to regulate seed development remains unknown. Here, we review the recent progress of epigenetic changes that affect chromatin structure, such as DNA methylation, polycomb group proteins, histone modifications, and small RNA pathways in regulating plant reproduction. In gametogenesis of flowering plants, epigenetics is dynamic between the companion cell and gametes. Cytosine DNA methylation occurs in CG, CHG, CHH contexts (H = A, C, or T) of genes and transposable elements, and undergoes dynamic changes during reproduction. Cytosine methylation in the CHH context increases significantly during embryogenesis, reaches the highest levels in mature embryos, and decreases as the seed germinates. Polycomb group proteins are important transcriptional regulators during seed development. Histone modifications and small RNA pathways add another layer of complexity in regulating seed development. In summary, multiple epigenetic pathways are pivotal in regulating seed development. It remains to be elucidated how these epigenetic pathways interplay to affect dynamic chromatin structure and control reproduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Faster Removal of 2-Phosphoglycolate through Photorespiration Improves Abiotic Stress Tolerance of Arabidopsis
Plants 2019, 8(12), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120563 - 02 Dec 2019
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Abstract
Photorespiration metabolizes 2-phosphoglyolate (2-PG) to avoid inhibition of carbon assimilation and allocation. In addition to 2-PG removal, photorespiration has been shown to play a role in stress protection. Here, we studied the impact of faster 2-PG degradation through overexpression of 2-PG phosphatase (PGLP) [...] Read more.
Photorespiration metabolizes 2-phosphoglyolate (2-PG) to avoid inhibition of carbon assimilation and allocation. In addition to 2-PG removal, photorespiration has been shown to play a role in stress protection. Here, we studied the impact of faster 2-PG degradation through overexpression of 2-PG phosphatase (PGLP) on the abiotic stress-response of Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis). Two transgenic lines and the wild type were subjected to short-time high light and elevated temperature stress during gas exchange measurements. Furthermore, the same lines were exposed to long-term water shortage and elevated temperature stresses. Faster 2-PG degradation allowed maintenance of photosynthesis at combined light and temperatures stress and under water-limiting conditions. The PGLP-overexpressing lines also showed higher photosynthesis compared to the wild type if grown in high temperatures, which also led to increased starch accumulation and shifts in soluble sugar contents. However, only minor effects were detected on amino and organic acid levels. The wild type responded to elevated temperatures with elevated mRNA and protein levels of photorespiratory enzymes, while the transgenic lines displayed only minor changes. Collectively, these results strengthen our previous hypothesis that a faster photorespiratory metabolism improves tolerance against unfavorable environmental conditions, such as high light intensity and temperature as well as drought. In case of PGLP, the likely mechanism is alleviation of inhibitory feedback of 2-PG onto the Calvin–Benson cycle, facilitating carbon assimilation and accumulation of transitory starch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Central Carbon and Amino Acid Metabolism in Plants)
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