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Plants, Volume 8, Issue 7 (July 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Cichorium intybus L., well known in Italy by the common name Radicchio, is an important leafy [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Growth and Physiology of Two Psammophytes to Precipitation Manipulation in Horqin Sandy Land, Eastern China
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 23 July 2019
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Abstract
The availability of water is the critical factor driving plant growth, physiological responses, population and community succession in arid and semiarid regions, thus a precipitation addition-reduction platform with five experimental treatments, was established to explore the growth and physiology of two psammophytes (also [...] Read more.
The availability of water is the critical factor driving plant growth, physiological responses, population and community succession in arid and semiarid regions, thus a precipitation addition-reduction platform with five experimental treatments, was established to explore the growth and physiology of two psammophytes (also known as psammophiles) to precipitation manipulation in Horqin Sandy Land. Changes in coverage and density were measured, and antioxidant enzymes and osmoregulatory substances in both of the studied species were determined. Investigation results showed that the average vegetation coverage increased with an increasing precipitation, and reached a maximum in July. Under the −60% precipitation treatment, Tribulus terrestris accounted for a large proportion of the area, but Bassia dasyphylla was the dominant species in the +60% treatment. T. terrestris was found to have higher a drought stress resistance than B. dasyphylla. From days 4 to 7 after rainfall, B. dasyphylla under precipitation reduction showed obvious water stress. The malondialdehyde (MDA) content of B. dasyphylla was higher than that of T. terrestris, but that of B. dasyphylla had the lower relative water content (RWC). The MDA content in the precipitation reduction treatments of the two studied species was higher than that in the precipitation addition treatments from days 4 to 10. Peroxidase (POD) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and the soluble proteins and free proline content of T. terrestris were higher than those of B. dasyphylla. The free proline content of T. terrestris and B. dasyphylla increased with increasing drought stress. Our data illustrated that T. terrestris had a higher drought stress resistance than B. dasyphylla, which was correlated with the augmentation of some antioxidant enzymes and osmoregulatory substance. The adaptive mechanism provides solid physiological support for an understanding of psammophyte adaptation to drought stress, and of community succession or species manipulation for desertified land restoration. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Diverse Roles of Auxin in Regulating Leaf Development
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 23 July 2019
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Abstract
Leaves, the primary plant organs that function in photosynthesis and respiration, have highly organized, flat structures that vary within and among species. In recent years, it has become evident that auxin plays central roles in leaf development, including leaf initiation, blade formation, and [...] Read more.
Leaves, the primary plant organs that function in photosynthesis and respiration, have highly organized, flat structures that vary within and among species. In recent years, it has become evident that auxin plays central roles in leaf development, including leaf initiation, blade formation, and compound leaf patterning. In this review, we discuss how auxin maxima form to define leaf primordium formation. We summarize recent progress in understanding of how spatial auxin signaling promotes leaf blade formation. Finally, we discuss how spatial auxin transport and signaling regulate the patterning of compound leaves and leaf serration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Genes to Shape and Function: Leaf Morphogenesis at Play)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Auxin Response Factor-Encoding Genes Expressed in Distinct Phases of Leaf Vein Development and with Overlapping Functions in Leaf Formation
Received: 1 July 2019 / Revised: 18 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 23 July 2019
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Abstract
Based on mutant phenotypes the MONOPTEROS (MP)/Auxin Response Factor 5 (ARF5) gene acts in several developmental processes including leaf vein development. Since overlapping functions among ARF genes are common, we assessed the related ARF 3-8 and 19 genes for potential overlap in expression [...] Read more.
Based on mutant phenotypes the MONOPTEROS (MP)/Auxin Response Factor 5 (ARF5) gene acts in several developmental processes including leaf vein development. Since overlapping functions among ARF genes are common, we assessed the related ARF 3-8 and 19 genes for potential overlap in expression during vein development using in-situ hybridization. Like MP/ARF5, ARF3 was expressed in preprocambial and procambial cells. ARF7 was also expressed in procambial cells, close to and during vein differentiation. ARF19 was expressed in differentiating vessel elements. To assess if genes with vein expression have overlapping functions, double mutants were generated. While arf3, 5 and 7 mutants formed leaves normally, double mutant combinations of mp/arf5 with arf3 or arf7 resulted in a breakdown of leaf formation. Instead, novel structures not present in any of the single mutants formed. The results implicate ARF3 and ARF7 in rosette leaf formation and suggest that their functions overlap and act in parallel with MP/ARF5 in this process. The observed vascular expression patterns suggest unique functions (ARF7 and 19) and potentially overlapping functions (ARF3 and 5) in vein development. Since arf3 arf5 double mutants do not form leaves, assessment of their potential combined action in vein development will require the use of conditional mutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Development and Morphogenesis)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Phytotoxic Effect of Essential Oil of Non-Native Species Impatiens parviflora DC.
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 23 July 2019
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Abstract
Impatiens parviflora is non-native invasive plant species occupying large areas all over the Europe and threatens native communities by altering their species composition and reducing native biodiversity. The factor responsible for its spreading could be explained by releasing biochemical to the environment. On [...] Read more.
Impatiens parviflora is non-native invasive plant species occupying large areas all over the Europe and threatens native communities by altering their species composition and reducing native biodiversity. The factor responsible for its spreading could be explained by releasing biochemical to the environment. On the other hands, high demand on secondary metabolites as potential source of new ecofriendly biocides could be beneficial. The analysis of I. parviflora essential oil (EO) led us to identify more than 60 volatiles. The main compound was hexahydrofarnesyl acetone, other dominant components were phytol, carvacrol, germacra-4(15),5,10(14)-trien-1-α-ol, and pentacosane. The potential phytotoxic effect of I. parviflora EO collected in two vegetation periods (summer and autumn) was evaluated on seed germination and root elongation of three dicot species (Raphanus sativus, Lepidum sativum, and Lactuca sativa) and on one monocot species (Triticum aestivum). The seed germination of only one dicot species, L. sativa, was affected by both EOs. In contrast, seed germination of monocot species T. aestivum was influenced only by the highest doses of EOs isolated from I. parviflora in autumn. The root elongation of tested plant species was less influenced by I. parviflora EOs. L. sativum showed sensitivity to one dose of EOs hydrodistilled in summer, while the monocot species was influenced by both EOs samples in highest doses. Our findings revealed that I. parviflora contained phenolics that were phytotoxic to the germination of some plant species, mainly at higher EOs doses, while root elongation of tested plants was not suppressed by essential oils. Full article
Open AccessReview
What Makes Adventitious Roots?
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
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Abstract
The spermatophyte root system is composed of a primary root that develops from an embryonically formed root meristem, and of different post-embryonic root types: lateral and adventitious roots. Adventitious roots, arising from the stem of the plants, are the main component of the [...] Read more.
The spermatophyte root system is composed of a primary root that develops from an embryonically formed root meristem, and of different post-embryonic root types: lateral and adventitious roots. Adventitious roots, arising from the stem of the plants, are the main component of the mature root system of many plants. Their development can also be induced in response to adverse environmental conditions or stresses. Here, in this review, we report on the morphological and functional diversity of adventitious roots and their origin. The hormonal and molecular regulation of the constitutive and inducible adventitious root initiation and development is discussed. Recent data confirmed the crucial role of the auxin/cytokinin balance in adventitious rooting. Nevertheless, other hormones must be considered. At the genetic level, adventitious root formation integrates the transduction of external signals, as well as a core auxin-regulated developmental pathway that is shared with lateral root formation. The knowledge acquired from adventitious root development opens new perspectives to improve micropropagation by cutting in recalcitrant species, root system architecture of crops such as cereals, and to understand how plants adapted during evolution to the terrestrial environment by producing different post-embryonic root types. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Factors Linked to Higher Water-Deficit Stress Tolerance in Amaranthus hypochondriacus Compared to Other Grain Amaranths and A. hybridus, Their Shared Ancestor
Received: 8 June 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
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Abstract
Water deficit stress (WDS)-tolerance in grain amaranths (Amaranthus hypochondriacus, A. cruentus and A. caudatus), and A. hybridus, their presumed shared ancestor, was examined. A. hypochondriacus was the most WDS-tolerant species, a trait that correlated with an enhanced osmotic adjustment [...] Read more.
Water deficit stress (WDS)-tolerance in grain amaranths (Amaranthus hypochondriacus, A. cruentus and A. caudatus), and A. hybridus, their presumed shared ancestor, was examined. A. hypochondriacus was the most WDS-tolerant species, a trait that correlated with an enhanced osmotic adjustment (OA), a stronger expression of abscisic acid (ABA) marker genes and a more robust sugar starvation response (SSR). Superior OA was supported by higher basal hexose (Hex) levels and high Hex/sucrose (Suc) ratios in A. hypochondriacus roots, which were further increased during WDS. This coincided with increased invertase, amylase and sucrose synthase activities and a strong depletion of the starch reserves in leaves and roots. The OA was complemented by the higher accumulation of proline, raffinose, and other probable raffinose-family oligosaccharides of unknown structure in leaves and/or roots. The latter coincided with a stronger expression of Galactinol synthase 1 and Raffinose synthase in leaves. Increased SnRK1 activity and expression levels of the class II AhTPS9 and AhTPS11 trehalose phosphate synthase genes, recognized as part of the SSR network in Arabidopsis, were induced in roots of stressed A. hypochondriacus. It is concluded that these physiological modifications improved WDS in A. hypochondriacus by raising its water use efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Responses to Water-Deficit Stress)
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Open AccessReview
WRINKLED1, a “Master Regulator” in Transcriptional Control of Plant Oil Biosynthesis
Received: 20 June 2019 / Revised: 18 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
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Abstract
A majority of plant species generate and accumulate triacylglycerol (TAG) in their seeds, which is the main resource of carbon and energy supporting the process of seedling development. Plant seed oils have broad ranges of uses, being not only important for human diets [...] Read more.
A majority of plant species generate and accumulate triacylglycerol (TAG) in their seeds, which is the main resource of carbon and energy supporting the process of seedling development. Plant seed oils have broad ranges of uses, being not only important for human diets but also renewable feedstock of industrial applications. The WRINKLED1 (WRI1) transcription factor is vital for the transcriptional control of plant oil biosynthetic pathways. Since the identification of the Arabidopsis WRI1 gene (AtWRI1) fifteen years ago, tremendous progress has been made in understanding the functions of WRI1 at multiple levels, ranging from the identification of AtWRI1 target genes to location of the AtWRI1 binding motif, and from discovery of intrinsic structural disorder in WRI1 to fine-tuning of WRI1 modulation by post-translational modifications and protein-protein interactions. The expanding knowledge on the functional understanding of the WRI1 regulatory mechanism not only provides a clearer picture of transcriptional regulation of plant oil biosynthetic pathway, but also helps generate new strategies to better utilize WRI1 for developing novel oil crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipid Metabolism in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Characterisation of a Supergene Conditioning Super-High Vitamin C in Kiwifruit Hybrids
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
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Abstract
During analysis of kiwifruit derived from hybrids between the high vitamin C (ascorbic acid; AsA) species Actinidia eriantha and A. chinensis, we observed bimodal segregation of fruit AsA concentration suggesting major gene segregation. To test this hypothesis, we performed whole-genome sequencing on [...] Read more.
During analysis of kiwifruit derived from hybrids between the high vitamin C (ascorbic acid; AsA) species Actinidia eriantha and A. chinensis, we observed bimodal segregation of fruit AsA concentration suggesting major gene segregation. To test this hypothesis, we performed whole-genome sequencing on pools of hybrid genotypes with either high or low AsA fruit. Pool-GWAS (genome-wide association study) revealed a single Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) spanning more than 5 Mbp on chromosome 26, which we denote as qAsA26.1. A co-dominant PCR marker was used to validate this association in four diploid (A. chinensis × A. eriantha) × A. chinensis backcross families, showing that the A. eriantha allele at this locus increases fruit AsA levels by 250 mg/100 g fresh weight. Inspection of genome composition and recombination in other A. chinensis genetic maps confirmed that the qAsA26.1 region bears hallmarks of suppressed recombination. The molecular fingerprint of this locus was examined in leaves of backcross validation families by RNA sequencing (RNASEQ). This confirmed strong allelic expression bias across this region as well as differential expression of transcripts on other chromosomes. This evidence suggests that the region harbouring qAsA26.1 constitutes a supergene, which may condition multiple pleiotropic effects on metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessReview
Root Plasticity in the Pursuit of Water
Received: 24 June 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
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Abstract
One of the greatest challenges of terrestrial vegetation is to acquire water through soil-grown roots. Owing to the scarcity of high-quality water in the soil and the environment’s spatial heterogeneity and temporal variability, ranging from extreme flooding to drought, roots have evolutionarily acquired [...] Read more.
One of the greatest challenges of terrestrial vegetation is to acquire water through soil-grown roots. Owing to the scarcity of high-quality water in the soil and the environment’s spatial heterogeneity and temporal variability, ranging from extreme flooding to drought, roots have evolutionarily acquired tremendous plasticity regarding their geometric arrangement of individual roots and their three-dimensional organization within the soil. Water deficiency has also become an increasing threat to agriculture and dryland ecosystems due to climate change. As a result, roots have become important targets for genetic selection and modification in an effort to improve crop resilience under water-limiting conditions. This review addresses root plasticity from different angles: Their structures and geometry in response to the environment, potential genetic control of root traits suitable for water-limiting conditions, and contemporary and future studies of the principles underlying root plasticity post-Darwin’s ‘root-brain’ hypothesis. Our increasing knowledge of different disciplines of plant sciences and agriculture should contribute to a sustainable management of natural and agricultural ecosystems for the future of mankind. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Leaf Traits That Contribute to Differential Ozone Response in Ozone-Tolerant and Sensitive Soybean Genotypes
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 14 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 20 July 2019
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Abstract
Ozone (O3) is a phytotoxic air pollutant that limits crop productivity. Breeding efforts to improve yield under elevated O3 conditions will benefit from understanding the mechanisms that contribute to O3 tolerance. In this study, leaf gas exchange and antioxidant [...] Read more.
Ozone (O3) is a phytotoxic air pollutant that limits crop productivity. Breeding efforts to improve yield under elevated O3 conditions will benefit from understanding the mechanisms that contribute to O3 tolerance. In this study, leaf gas exchange and antioxidant metabolites were compared in soybean genotypes (Glycine max (L.) Merr) differing in ozone sensitivity. Mandarin (Ottawa) (O3-sensitive) and Fiskeby III (O3-tolerant) plants grown under charcoal-filtered (CF) air conditions for three weeks were exposed for five days to either CF conditions or 70 ppb O3 in continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTRs) in a greenhouse. In the CF controls, stomatal conductance was approximately 36% lower for Fiskeby III relative to Mandarin (Ottawa) while the two genotypes exhibited similar levels of photosynthesis. Ozone exposure induced significant foliar injury on leaves of Mandarin (Ottawa) associated with declines in both stomatal conductance (by 77%) and photosynthesis (by 38%). In contrast, O3 exposure resulted in minimal foliar injury on leaves of Fiskeby III with only a small decline in photosynthesis (by 5%), and a further decline in stomatal conductance (by 30%). There was a general trend towards higher ascorbic acid content in leaves of Fiskeby III than in Mandarin (Ottawa) regardless of treatment. The results confirm Fiskeby III to be an O3-tolerant genotype and suggest that reduced stomatal conductance contributes to the observed O3 tolerance through limiting O3 uptake by the plant. Reduced stomatal conductance was associated with enhanced water-use efficiency, providing a potential link between O3 tolerance and drought tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ozone Tolerance Mechanisms)
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Open AccessArticle
Variations of Secondary Metabolites among Natural Populations of Sub-Antarctic Ranunculus Species Suggest Functional Redundancy and Versatility
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
Plants produce a high diversity of metabolites which help them sustain environmental stresses and are involved in local adaptation. However, shaped by both the genome and the environment, the patterns of variation of the metabolome in nature are difficult to decipher. Few studies [...] Read more.
Plants produce a high diversity of metabolites which help them sustain environmental stresses and are involved in local adaptation. However, shaped by both the genome and the environment, the patterns of variation of the metabolome in nature are difficult to decipher. Few studies have explored the relative parts of geographical region versus environment or phenotype in metabolomic variability within species and none have discussed a possible effect of the region on the correlations between metabolites and environments or phenotypes. In three sub-Antarctic Ranunculus species, we examined the role of region in metabolite differences and in the relationship between individual compounds and environmental conditions or phenotypic traits. Populations of three Ranunculus species were sampled across similar environmental gradients in two distinct geographical regions in îles Kerguelen. Two metabolite classes were studied, amines (quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography and fluorescence spectrophotometry) and flavonols (quantified by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry). Depending on regions, the same environment or the same trait may be related to different metabolites, suggesting metabolite redundancy within species. In several cases, a given metabolite showed different or even opposite relations with the same environmental condition or the same trait across the two regions, suggesting metabolite versatility within species. Our results suggest that metabolites may be functionally redundant and versatile within species, both in their response to environments and in their relation with the phenotype. These findings open new perspectives for understanding evolutionary responses of plants to environmental changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Polyamines)
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Open AccessArticle
Allelopathic and Autotoxic Effects of Medicago sativa—Derived Allelochemicals
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
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Abstract
In this study, the allelopathic properties of Medicago sativa on different weeds were investigated under in vitro conditions. The compounds involved in the autotoxicity of M. sativa were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography. The extracts of all concentrations inhibited the growth of the [...] Read more.
In this study, the allelopathic properties of Medicago sativa on different weeds were investigated under in vitro conditions. The compounds involved in the autotoxicity of M. sativa were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography. The extracts of all concentrations inhibited the growth of the calluses of Digitaria ciliaris, Chenopodium album, Amaranthus lividus, Portulaca oleracea, and Commelina communis. Six allelopathic compounds in alfalfa were identified and quantified, and the most predominant phenolic compounds were salicylic acid and p-hydroxybenzoic acid. Various concentrations (10−2, 10−3, and 10−5 M) of all the tested phenolic compounds exerted inhibitory effects on callus fresh weight. Rutin, salicylic acid, scopoletin, and quercetin significantly inhibited alfalfa seed germination. Of the seven identified saponins, medicagenic acid saponins exhibited the highest autotoxic effect and significantly lowered seed germination rate. Principal component analysis showed that the phenolic compounds and saponin composition significantly contributed to the different variables. The highly phytotoxic properties of the alfalfa-derived phenolic compounds and saponins indicate that these phytochemicals can be a potential source of bioherbicides. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Drought Stress Effects and Olive Tree Acclimation under a Changing Climate
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
Increasing consciousness regarding the nutritional value of olive oil has enhanced the demand for this product and, consequently, the expansion of olive tree cultivation. Although it is considered a highly resilient and tolerant crop to several abiotic stresses, olive growing areas are usually [...] Read more.
Increasing consciousness regarding the nutritional value of olive oil has enhanced the demand for this product and, consequently, the expansion of olive tree cultivation. Although it is considered a highly resilient and tolerant crop to several abiotic stresses, olive growing areas are usually affected by adverse environmental factors, namely, water scarcity, heat and high irradiance, and are especially vulnerable to climate change. In this context, it is imperative to improve agronomic strategies to offset the loss of productivity and possible changes in fruit and oil quality. To develop more efficient and precise measures, it is important to look for new insights concerning response mechanisms to drought stress. In this review, we provided an overview of the global status of olive tree ecology and relevance, as well the influence of environmental abiotic stresses in olive cultivation. Finally, we explored and analysed the deleterious effects caused by drought (e.g., water status and photosynthetic performance impairment, oxidative stress and imbalance in plant nutrition), the most critical stressor to agricultural crops in the Mediterranean region, and the main olive tree responses to withstand this stressor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Target β-Protease Inhibitors from Andrographis paniculata: In Silico and In Vitro Studies
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 15 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
Natural products derived from plants play a vital role in the discovery of new drug candidates, and these are used for novel therapeutic drug development. Andrographis paniculata and Spilanthes paniculata are used extensively as medicinal herbs for the treatment of various ailments, and [...] Read more.
Natural products derived from plants play a vital role in the discovery of new drug candidates, and these are used for novel therapeutic drug development. Andrographis paniculata and Spilanthes paniculata are used extensively as medicinal herbs for the treatment of various ailments, and are reported to have neuroprotective properties. β-amyloid is a microscopic brain protein whose significant aggregation is detected in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brains. The accumulation of β-amyloid disrupts cell communication and triggers inflammation by activating immune cells, leading to neuronal cell death and cognitive disabilities. The proteases acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and beta secretase-1 (BACE-1) have been reported to be correlated with the synthesis and growth of β-amyloid plaques in the brains of AD patients. In the present study, the phenolic compounds from A. paniculata and S. paniculata that have been reported in the literature were selected for the current investigation. Furthermore, we employed molecular docking and molecular dynamics studies of the phenolic compounds with the proteins AChE, BChE, and BACE-1 in order to evaluate the binding characteristics and identify potent anti-amyloid agents against the neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. In this investigation, we predicted three compounds from A. paniculata with maximum binding affinities with cholinesterases and BACE-1. The computational investigations predicted that these compounds follow the rule of five. We further evaluated these molecules for in vitro inhibition activity against all the enzymes. In the in vitro investigations, 3,4-di-o-caffeoylquinic acid (5281780), apigenin (5280443), and 7-o-methylwogonin (188316) were found to be strong inhibitors of AChE, BChE, and BACE-1. These findings suggest that these compounds can be potent multi-target inhibitors of the proteases that might cumulatively work and inhibit the initiation and formation of β-amyloid plaques, which is a prime cause of neurotoxicity and dementia. According to our knowledge, these findings are the first report on natural compounds isolated from A. paniculata as multi-target potent inhibitors and anti-amyloid agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
Developing an Accurate and Fast Non-Destructive Single Leaf Area Model for Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl) Cultivars
Received: 22 June 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
In this research, seven different models to predict leaf area (LA) of loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl) were tested and evaluated. This species was chosen due to the relevant importance of its fruit as an appreciated early summer product and of its leaves [...] Read more.
In this research, seven different models to predict leaf area (LA) of loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl) were tested and evaluated. This species was chosen due to the relevant importance of its fruit as an appreciated early summer product and of its leaves and flower as a source of additional income within the nutraceutical and functional food markets. The analysis (calibration and validation) was made using a large dataset (2190) of leaf width (W), leaf length (L), and single LA collected in ten common loquat cultivars. During the analysis, the results obtained using one- and two-regressor models were also evaluated to assess the need for fast measurements against different levels of accuracy achieved during the final estimate. The analysis permitted to finally select two different models: 1) a model based on a single measurement and quadratic relationship between the single LA and W (R2 = 0.894; root mean squared error [RMSE] = 12.98) and another model 2) based, instead, on two measurements (L and W), and on the linear relationship between single LA and the product of L × W (R2 = 0.980; RMSE = 5.61). Both models were finally validated with an independent dataset (cultivar ‘Tanaka’) confirming the quality of fitting and accuracy already observed during the calibration phase. The analysis permitted to select two different models to be used according to the aims and accuracy required by the analysis. One, based on a single-regressor quadratic model and W (rather than L) as a proxy variable, is capable of obtaining a good quality of fitting of the single LA of loquat cultivars (R2 = 0.894; RMSE = 12.98), whereas, the other, a linear two-regressor (i.e., W and L) model, permitted to achieve the highest prediction (R2 = 0.980; RMSE = 5.61) of the observed variable, but double the time required for leaf measurement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Modeling)
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Open AccessArticle
Diversion of Carbon Flux from Sugars to Lipids Improves the Growth of an Arabidopsis Starchless Mutant
Received: 21 June 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 13 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
Inactivation of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase1 (ADG1) causes a starchless phenotype in Arabidopsis. Mutants defective in ADG1 show severe growth retardation in day/night conditions but exhibit similar growth to wild type under continuous light, implying that starch plays an important role in supporting respiration, metabolism [...] Read more.
Inactivation of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase1 (ADG1) causes a starchless phenotype in Arabidopsis. Mutants defective in ADG1 show severe growth retardation in day/night conditions but exhibit similar growth to wild type under continuous light, implying that starch plays an important role in supporting respiration, metabolism and growth at night. In addition to carbohydrates, lipids and proteins can serve as alternative respiratory substrates for the energy production in mature plants. To test the role of lipids in plant growth, we generated transgenic plants overexpressing phospholipid:diacylglycerol acyltransferase1 (PDAT1) in adg1. We found that PDAT1 overexpression caused an increase in both fatty acid synthesis and turnover and increased the accumulation of triacylglycerol (TAG) at the expense of sugars, and enhanced the growth of adg1. We demonstrated that unlike sugars, which were metabolized within a few hours of darkness, TAG breakdown was slow, occurring throughout the entire dark period. The slow pace of TAG hydrolysis provided a sustained supply of fatty acids for energy production, thereby alleviating energy deficiency at night and thereby improving the growth of the starchless mutants. We conclude that lipids can contribute to plant growth by providing a constant supply of fatty acids as an alternative energy source in mature starchless mutant plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipid Metabolism in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Phenolic Compounds as Unambiguous Chemical Markers for the Identification of Keystone Plant Species in the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
Despite the fact that the vegetation pattern and history of the Bale Mountains in Ethiopia were reconstructed using pollen, little is known about the former extent of Erica species. The main objective of the present study is to identify unambiguous chemical proxies from [...] Read more.
Despite the fact that the vegetation pattern and history of the Bale Mountains in Ethiopia were reconstructed using pollen, little is known about the former extent of Erica species. The main objective of the present study is to identify unambiguous chemical proxies from plant-derived phenolic compounds to characterize Erica and other keystone species. Mild alkaline CuO oxidation has been used to extract sixteen phenolic compounds. After removal of undesired impurities, individual phenols were separated by gas chromatography and were detected by mass spectrometry. While conventional phenol ratios such as syringyl vs. vanillyl and cinnamyl vs. vanillyl and hierarchical cluster analysis of phenols failed for unambiguous Erica identification, the relative abundance of coumaryl phenols (>0.20) and benzoic acids (0.05—0.12) can be used as a proxy to distinguish Erica from other plant species. Moreover, a Random Forest decision tree based on syringyl phenols, benzoic acids (>0.06), coumaryl phenols (<0.21), hydroxybenzoic acids, and vanillyl phenols (>0.3) could be established for unambiguous Erica identification. In conclusion, serious caution should be given before interpreting this calibration study in paleovegetation reconstruction in respect of degradation and underground inputs of soil organic matter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Growth and Physiological Responses of Temperate Pasture Species to Consecutive Heat and Drought Stresses
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 13 July 2019 / Accepted: 14 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
Heat and drought are two major limiting factors for perennial pasture production in south eastern Australia. Although previous studies have focused on the effects of prolonged heat and drought stresses on pasture growth and physiology, the effects of short term recurring combined heat [...] Read more.
Heat and drought are two major limiting factors for perennial pasture production in south eastern Australia. Although previous studies have focused on the effects of prolonged heat and drought stresses on pasture growth and physiology, the effects of short term recurring combined heat and drought stresses and the recovery from them have not been studied in detail. A controlled environment experiment was conducted to investigate the growth and physiological responses of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.), tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) plants exposed to two consecutive seven day heat (control = 25/15 °C day/night; moderate = 30/20 °C day/night and severe = 35/30 °C day/night) and/or drought stresses each followed by a seven day recovery period. During the first moderate and severe heat and drought treatments, maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm), cell membrane permeability and relative leaf water content decreased in chicory and tall fescue compared to perennial ryegrass and cocksfoot. However, during the second moderate heat and drought treatment, all species showed less reduction in the same parameters suggesting that these species acclimated to consecutive moderate heat and drought stresses. Chicory was the only species that was not affected by the second severe heat and drought stress while physiological parameters of all grass species were reduced closer to minimum values. Irrigation mitigated the negative effects of heat stress by cooling the canopies 1–3 °C below air temperatures with the most cooling observed in chicory. All the species exposed to moderate heat and drought were fully recovered and those exposed to severe heat and drought recovered partially at the end of the experiment. These findings suggest that chicory may be a potential species for areas subject to frequent heat and drought stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adapting Crops to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Integration of Phenotype and Hormone Data during Adventitious Rooting in Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) Stem Cuttings
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
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Abstract
The rooting of stem cuttings is a highly efficient procedure for the vegetative propagation of ornamental plants. In cultivated carnations, an increased auxin level in the stem cutting base produced by active auxin transport from the leaves triggers adventitious root (AR) formation from [...] Read more.
The rooting of stem cuttings is a highly efficient procedure for the vegetative propagation of ornamental plants. In cultivated carnations, an increased auxin level in the stem cutting base produced by active auxin transport from the leaves triggers adventitious root (AR) formation from the cambium. To provide additional insight into the physiological and genetic basis of this complex trait, we studied AR formation in a collection of 159 F1 lines derived from a cross between two hybrid cultivars (2003 R 8 and 2101-02 MFR) showing contrasting rooting performances. In three different experiments, time-series for several stem and root architectural traits were quantified in detail in a subset of these double-cross hybrid lines displaying extreme rooting phenotypes and their parental genotypes. Our results indicate that the water content and area of the AR system directly contributed to the shoot water content and shoot growth. Moreover, morphometric data and rooting quality parameters were found to be associated with some stress-related metabolites such as 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), the ethylene precursor, and the conjugated auxin indol-3-acetic acid-aspartic acid (IAA-Asp). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adventitious Root Formation in Tree Species)
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Open AccessReview
Control of Organ Abscission and Other Cell Separation Processes by Evolutionary Conserved Peptide Signaling
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 6 July 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
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Abstract
Plants both generate and shed organs throughout their lifetime. Cell separation is in function during opening of anthers to release pollen; floral organs are detached after pollination when they have served their purpose; unfertilized flowers are shed; fruits and seeds are abscised from [...] Read more.
Plants both generate and shed organs throughout their lifetime. Cell separation is in function during opening of anthers to release pollen; floral organs are detached after pollination when they have served their purpose; unfertilized flowers are shed; fruits and seeds are abscised from the mother plant to secure the propagation of new generations. Organ abscission takes place in specialized abscission zone (AZ) cells where the middle lamella between adjacent cell files is broken down. The plant hormone ethylene has a well-documented promoting effect on abscission, but mutation in ethylene receptor genes in Arabidopsis thaliana only delays the abscission process. Microarray and RNA sequencing have identified a large number of genes differentially expressed in the AZs, especially genes encoding enzymes involved in cell wall remodelling and disassembly. Mutations in such genes rarely give a phenotype, most likely due to functional redundancy. In contrast, mutation in the INFLORESCENCE DEFICIENT IN ABSCISSION (IDA) blocks floral organ abscission in Arabidopsis. IDA encodes a small peptide that signals through the leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases HAESA (HAE) and HAE-LIKE2 (HSL2) to control floral organ abscission and facilitate lateral root emergence. Untimely abscission is a severe problem in many crops, and in a more applied perspective, it is of interest to investigate whether IDA-HAE/HSL2 is involved in other cell separation processes and other species. Genes encoding IDA and HSL2 orthologues have been identified in all orders of flowering plants. Angiosperms have had enormous success, with species adapted to all kinds of environments, adaptations which include variation with respect to which organs they shed. Here we review, from an evolutionary perspective, the properties of the IDA-HAE/HSL2 signaling module and the evidence for its hypothesized involvement in various cell separation processes in angiosperms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Phenotypic and Genetic Variation of an Interspecific Centaurium Hybrid (Gentianaceae) and Its Parental Species
Received: 29 June 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 14 July 2019
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Abstract
Interspecific hybridization is one of the major actuators of evolutionary changes in plants. As the result of allopolyploid hybridization, offspring may gain different ploidy levels in comparison to parental species, which can provide them instant reproductive isolation. Two tetraploid sister species, Centaurium erythraea [...] Read more.
Interspecific hybridization is one of the major actuators of evolutionary changes in plants. As the result of allopolyploid hybridization, offspring may gain different ploidy levels in comparison to parental species, which can provide them instant reproductive isolation. Two tetraploid sister species, Centaurium erythraea and C. littorale, readily cross-fertilize, resulting in hybrids of various ploidy. In northern Serbia, two stable populations of a hexaploid taxon C. pannonicum have been documented. It has been proposed previously that this taxon emerged after an interspecific hybridization event between two tetraploid sister-species: C. erythraea and C. littorale subsp. compressum. The existing populations of the hybridogenic taxon, as well as neighboring populations of the two parental taxa were here characterized by both morphometrics and molecular markers (EST-SSR and trnL-F). Three leaf and two flower characteristics were found to be informative in delimitation of the parental taxa and in their discernment from hybrid individuals, the latter having intermediate values. Eight microsatellite markers were found to have good ability to distinguish studied taxa, placing C. pannonicum in closer relationship with C. erythraea. Conversely, trnL-F plastid marker nominated C. littorale subsp. compressum to be the donor of the C. pannonicum plastid DNA. Reproductive isolation of the hexaploid hybrid individuals from the parental species should be examined as the next logical step in describing the new species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Systematics, Taxonomy and Classification)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Composition of the Oleogum Resin Essential Oils of Boswellia dalzielii from Burkina Faso
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 29 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 14 July 2019
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Abstract
Frankincense, the oleogum resin from members of Boswellia, has been used as medicine and incense for thousands of years, and essential oils derived from frankincense are important articles of commerce today. A new source of frankincense resin, Boswellia dalzielii from West Africa [...] Read more.
Frankincense, the oleogum resin from members of Boswellia, has been used as medicine and incense for thousands of years, and essential oils derived from frankincense are important articles of commerce today. A new source of frankincense resin, Boswellia dalzielii from West Africa has been presented as a new, alternative source of frankincense. In this work, the oleogum resins from 20 different Boswellia dalzielii trees growing in Burkina Faso, West Africa were collected. Hydrodistillation of the resins gave essential oils that were analyzed by GC-MS and GC-FID. The essential oils were dominated by α-pinene (21.0%–56.0%), followed by carvone (2.1%–5.4%) and α-copaene (1.8%–5.0%). Interestingly, there was one individual tree that, although rich in α-pinene (21.0%), also had a substantial concentration of myrcene (19.2%) and α-thujene (9.8%). In conclusion, the oleogum resin essential oil compositions of B. dalzielii, rich in α-pinene, are comparable in composition to other frankincense essential oils, including B. sacra, B. carteri, and B. frereana. Additionally, the differences in composition between samples from Burkina Faso and those from Nigeria are very slight. There is, however, a rare chemotype of B. dalzielii that is dominated by myrcene, found both in Burkina Faso as well as Nigeria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Detection of the Seed-Borne Pathogen Colletotrichum lupini Targeting the Hyper-Variable IGS Region of the Ribosomal Cluster
Received: 20 June 2019 / Revised: 7 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 14 July 2019
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Abstract
Lupins anthracnose is a destructive seed and airborne disease caused by Colletotrichum lupini, affecting stems and pods. Primary seed infections as low as 0.01–0.1% can cause very severe yield losses. One of the most effective management strategies is the development of a [...] Read more.
Lupins anthracnose is a destructive seed and airborne disease caused by Colletotrichum lupini, affecting stems and pods. Primary seed infections as low as 0.01–0.1% can cause very severe yield losses. One of the most effective management strategies is the development of a robust and sensitive seed detection assay to screen seed lots before planting. PCR-based detection systems exhibit higher levels of sensitivity than conventional techniques, but when applied to seed tests they require the extraction of PCR-quality DNA from target organisms in backgrounds of saprophytic organisms and inhibitory seed-derived compounds. To overcome these limitations, a new detection protocol for C. lupini based on a biological enrichment step followed by a PCR assay was developed. Several enrichment protocols were compared with Yeast Malt Broth amended with ampicillin, streptomycin, and lactic acid were the most efficient. A species-specific C. lupini primer pair was developed based on rDNA IGS sequences. The specificity was evaluated against 17 strains of C. lupini, 23 different Colletotrichum species, and 21 different organisms isolated from seeds of Lupinus albus cv. Multitalia, L. luteus cv. Mister, and L. angustifolius cv. Tango. The protocol described here enabled the detection of C. lupini in samples artificially infected with less than 1/10,000 infected seed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Colletotrichum Species and Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
The NAC Protein from Tamarix hispida, ThNAC7, Confers Salt and Osmotic Stress Tolerance by Increasing Reactive Oxygen Species Scavenging Capability
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
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Abstract
Plant specific NAC (NAM, ATAF1/2 and CUC2) transcription factors (TFs) play important roles in response to abiotic stress. In this study, we identified and characterized a NAC protein, ThNAC7, from Tamarix hispida. ThNAC7 is a nuclear localized protein and has transcriptional activation [...] Read more.
Plant specific NAC (NAM, ATAF1/2 and CUC2) transcription factors (TFs) play important roles in response to abiotic stress. In this study, we identified and characterized a NAC protein, ThNAC7, from Tamarix hispida. ThNAC7 is a nuclear localized protein and has transcriptional activation activity. ThNAC7 expression was markedly induced by salt and osmotic stresses. Transiently transformed T. hispida seedlings overexpressing ThNAC7 (OE) or with RNA interference (RNAi) silenced ThNAC7 were generated to investigate abiotic stress tolerance via the gain- and loss- of function. Overexpressing ThNAC7 showed an increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging capabilities and proline content, which was accomplished by enhancing the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) in transiently transformed T. hispida and stably transformed Arabidopsis plants. Additionally, ThNAC7 activated these physiological changes by regulating the transcription level of P5CS, SOD and POD genes. RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) comparison between wild-type and ThNAC7-transformed Arabidopsis showed that more than 40 known salt tolerance genes might regulated by ThNAC7, including stress tolerance-related genes and TF genes. The results indicated that ThNAC7 induces the transcription level of genes associated with stress tolerance to enhance salt and osmotic stress tolerance via an increase in osmotic potential and enhanced ROS scavenging. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Can Reduced Irrigation Mitigate Ozone Impacts on an Ozone-Sensitive African Wheat Variety?
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
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Abstract
Ground-level ozone (O3) pollution is known to adversely affect the production of O3-sensitive crops such as wheat. The magnitude of impact is dependent on the accumulated stomatal flux of O3 into the leaves. In well-irrigated plants, the leaf [...] Read more.
Ground-level ozone (O3) pollution is known to adversely affect the production of O3-sensitive crops such as wheat. The magnitude of impact is dependent on the accumulated stomatal flux of O3 into the leaves. In well-irrigated plants, the leaf pores (stomata) tend to be wide open, which stimulates the stomatal flux and therefore the adverse impact of O3 on yield. To test whether reduced irrigation might mitigate O3 impacts on flag leaf photosynthesis and yield parameters, we exposed an O3-sensitive Kenyan wheat variety to peak concentrations of 30 and 80 ppb O3 for four weeks in solardomes and applied three irrigation regimes (well-watered, frequent deficit, and infrequent deficit irrigation) during the flowering and grain filling stage. Reduced irrigation stimulated 1000-grain weight and harvest index by 33% and 13%, respectively (when O3 treatments were pooled), which compensated for the O3-induced reductions observed in well-watered plants. Whilst full irrigation accelerated the O3-induced reduction in photosynthesis by a week, such an effect was not observed for the chlorophyll content index of the flag leaf. Further studies under field conditions are required to test whether reduced irrigation can be applied as a management tool to mitigate adverse impacts of O3 on wheat yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ozone Tolerance Mechanisms)
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Open AccessArticle
Using Game Theory to Understand Systemic Acquired Resistance as a Bet-Hedging Option for Increasing Fitness When Disease Is Uncertain
Received: 23 June 2019 / Revised: 6 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
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Abstract
Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is a mechanism through which plants may respond to initial challenge by a pathogen through activation of inducible defense responses, thereby increasing resistance to subsequent infection attempts. Fitness costs are assumed to be incurred by plants induced for SAR, [...] Read more.
Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is a mechanism through which plants may respond to initial challenge by a pathogen through activation of inducible defense responses, thereby increasing resistance to subsequent infection attempts. Fitness costs are assumed to be incurred by plants induced for SAR, and several studies have attempted to quantify these costs. We developed a mathematical model, motivated by game-theoretic concepts, to simulate competition between hypothetical plant populations with and without SAR to examine conditions under which the phenomenon of SAR may have evolved. Data were gathered from various studies on fitness costs of induced resistance on life history traits in different plant hosts and scaled as a proportion of the values in control cohorts in each study (i.e., healthy plants unprimed for SAR). With unprimed healthy control plants set to a fitness value of 1, primed healthy plants incurred a fitness cost of about 10.4% (0.896, n = 157), primed diseased plants incurred a fitness cost of about 15.5% (0.845, n = 54), and unprimed diseased plants incurred a fitness cost of about 28.9% (0.711, n = 69). Starting from a small proportion of the population (0.5%) and competing against a population with constitutive defenses alone in stochastic simulations, the SAR phenotype almost always dominated the population after 1000 generations when the probability of disease was greater than or equal to 0.5 regardless of the probability for priming errors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Induced Resistance (IR) of Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
A Linear Model to Describe Branching and Allometry in Root Architecture
Received: 1 June 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
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Abstract
Root architecture is a complex structure that comprises multiple traits of the root phenotype. Novel platforms and models have been developed to better understand root architecture. In this methods paper, we introduce a novel allometric model, named rhizochron index (m), which [...] Read more.
Root architecture is a complex structure that comprises multiple traits of the root phenotype. Novel platforms and models have been developed to better understand root architecture. In this methods paper, we introduce a novel allometric model, named rhizochron index (m), which describes lateral root (LR) branching and elongation patterns across the primary root (PR). To test our model, we obtained data from 16 natural accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana at three stages of early root development to measure conventional traits of root architecture (e.g., PR and LR length), and extracted the rhizochron index (m). In addition, we tested previously published datasets to assess the utility of the rhizochron index (m) to distinguish mutants and environmental effects on root architecture. Our results indicate that rhizochron index (m) is useful to distinguish the natural variations of root architecture between A. thaliana accessions, but not across early stages of root development. Correlation analyses in these accessions showed that m is a novel trait that partially captures information from other root architecture traits such as total lateral root length, and the ratio between lateral root and primary root lengths. Moreover, we found that the rhizochron index was useful to distinguish ABA effect on root architecture, as well as the mutant pho1 phenotype. We propose the rhizochron index (m) as a new feature of the root architectural system to be considered, in addition to conventional traits in future investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Modeling)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Selenium on Alleviating Oxidative Stress Caused by a Water Deficit in Cucumber Roots
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
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Abstract
The aim of the study was to evaluate the antioxidant activity of selenium in the roots of Cucumis sativus L. seedlings pre-treated with selenium (Se) in the form of sodium selenite at concentrations of 1, 5, and 10 µM, and then subjected to [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the antioxidant activity of selenium in the roots of Cucumis sativus L. seedlings pre-treated with selenium (Se) in the form of sodium selenite at concentrations of 1, 5, and 10 µM, and then subjected to a water deficit (WD). It has been hypothesized that Se, in low concentrations, alleviates an oxidative stress caused by a WD in the cucumber roots. A WD was introduced by the surface dehydration of roots. The aim of the research was to compare the changes accompanying oxidative stress in plants growing in the presence of Se and in its absence. The study concerns the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS)—superoxide anions (O2•−), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and hydroxyl radicals (OH)—as well the activities of the antioxidant enzymes lowering the ROS level—ascorbate peroxidase (APX), peroxidase (POX), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD). A WD caused oxidative stress, i.e., the enhanced generation of ROS. Selenium at the concentrations of 1 and 5 μM increased the tolerance of cucumber seedlings to oxidative stress caused by a WD by increasing the activities of the antioxidant enzymes, and it also limited the damage of plasma membranes as a result of the inhibition of lipid peroxidation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selenium Metabolism and Accumulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
The AabHLH35 Transcription Factor Identified from Anthurium andraeanum is Involved in Cold and Drought Tolerance
Received: 21 June 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
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Abstract
Anthurium andraeanum Lind. is a popular potted and cut-flower plant with an attractive spathe and foliage. It is native to tropical rainforest areas and is able to blossom throughout the year under suitable conditions. However, various abiotic stresses seriously restrict the ornamental value [...] Read more.
Anthurium andraeanum Lind. is a popular potted and cut-flower plant with an attractive spathe and foliage. It is native to tropical rainforest areas and is able to blossom throughout the year under suitable conditions. However, various abiotic stresses seriously restrict the ornamental value of A. andraeanum and increase the costs of cultivation. A dark green (dg) leaf color mutant of A. andraeanum ‘Sonate’, which accumulates high levels of anthocyanin, has shown increased vigor and tolerance to stresses during cultivation and is, thus, an ideal germplasm for studying stress tolerance in this species. Here, we show that the anthocyanin content in dg mutant plants at different stages of leaf development was higher than in wild-type (WT) plants, and the ability to tolerate under low-temperature (LT, 14 °C) stress was stronger in dg than in WT plants. RNA-Seq of cDNA libraries from young leaves of dg and WT identified AabHLH35 as a differentially expressed gene (DEG) that was significantly up-regulated in dg. Furthermore, heterologous expression of AabHLH35 improved tolerance to cold and drought stresses in Arabidopsis. These results have built an important molecular foundation for further study of stress tolerance in A. andraeanum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Analysis of the WOX Gene Family and Function Exploration of GmWOX18 in Soybean
Received: 12 June 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
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Abstract
WUSCHEL-related homeobox (WOX) is a family of transcription factors that are unique to plants and is characterized by the presence of a homeodomain. The WOX transcription factor plays an important role in regulating plant growth and development and the response to abiotic stress. [...] Read more.
WUSCHEL-related homeobox (WOX) is a family of transcription factors that are unique to plants and is characterized by the presence of a homeodomain. The WOX transcription factor plays an important role in regulating plant growth and development and the response to abiotic stress. Soybean is one of the most important oil crops worldwide. In this study, based on the available genome data of soybean, the WOX gene family was identified by bioinformatics analysis. The chromosome distribution, gene and protein structures, phylogenetic relationship and gene expression patterns of this family were comprehensively compared. The results showed that a total of 33 putative WOX genes in the soybean genome were found and then designated as GmWOX1- GmWOX33, which were distributed across 19 chromosomes except chromosome 16. Multiple sequence analysis of the GmWOX gene family revealed a highly conserved homeodomain. Phylogenetic tree analysis showed that 33 WOX genes could be divided into three major clades (modern/WUS, intermediate and ancient) in soybean. Of these 33 WOX genes, some showed differential expression patterns in the tested tissues (leaves, pods, unopen and open flowers, nodules, seed, roots, root hairs, stems, shoot apical meristems and shoot tips). In addition, the expression profile and qRT-PCR analysis showed that most of the GmWOX genes responded to different abiotic stress treatments (cold and drought). According to the expression pattern of GmWOX genes in the high regeneration capacity soybean material P3, overexpression of GmWOX18 was selected for function analysis. The overexpression of GmWOX18 increased the regeneration ability of clustered buds. The results will provide valuable information for further studies on the roles of WOX genes in regulating soybean growth, development and responses to abiotic stress, as well as a basis for the functional identification and analysis of WOX genes in soybean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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