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Plants, Volume 8, Issue 9 (September 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Herbicides are small molecules that interact with specific molecular target sites within plant [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
H2O2 Induces Association of RCA with the Thylakoid Membrane to Enhance Resistance of Oryza meyeriana to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae
Plants 2019, 8(9), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090351 - 16 Sep 2019
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Abstract
Oryza meyeriana is a wild species of rice with high resistance to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), but the detailed resistance mechanism is unclear. Ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) activase (RCA) is an important enzyme that regulates photosynthesis by activating Rubisco. We [...] Read more.
Oryza meyeriana is a wild species of rice with high resistance to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), but the detailed resistance mechanism is unclear. Ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) activase (RCA) is an important enzyme that regulates photosynthesis by activating Rubisco. We have previously reported that Xoo infection induced the relocation of RCA from the chloroplast stroma to the thylakoid membrane in O. meyeriana, but the underlying regulating mechanism and physiological significance of this association remains unknown. In this study, “H2O2 burst” with rapid and large increase in the amount of H2O2 was found to be induced by Xoo invasion in the leaves of O. meyeriana. 3, 3-diaminobenzidine (DAB) and oxidative 2, 7-Dichlorodi-hydrofluorescein diacetate (H2DCFDA) staining experiments both showed that H2O2 was generated in the chloroplast of O. meyeriana, and that this H2O2 generation as well as Xoo resistance of the wild rice were dramatically dependent on light. H2O2, methyl viologen with light, and the xanthine-xanthine oxidase system all induced RCA to associate with the thylakoid membrane in vitro, which showed that H2O2 could induce the relocation of RCA. In vitro experiments also showed that H2O2 induced changes in both the RCA and thylakoid membrane that were required for them to associate and that this association only occurred in O. meyeriana and not in the susceptible cultivated rice. These results suggest that the association of RCA with the thylakoid membrane helps to protect the thylakoid membrane against oxidative damage from H2O2. Therefore, in addition to its universal function of activating Rubisco, RCA appears to play a novel role in the resistance of O. meyeriana to Xoo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
Antimicrobial Activity, Antioxidant Potential, Cytotoxicity and Phytochemical Profiling of Four Plants Locally Used against Skin Diseases
Plants 2019, 8(9), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090350 - 15 Sep 2019
Viewed by 282
Abstract
Although orthodox medications are available for skin diseases, expensive dermatological services have necessitated the use of medicinal plants as a cheaper alternative. This study evaluated the pharmacological and phytochemical profiles of four medicinal plants (Drimia sanguinea, Elephantorrhiza elephantina, Helichrysum paronychioides [...] Read more.
Although orthodox medications are available for skin diseases, expensive dermatological services have necessitated the use of medicinal plants as a cheaper alternative. This study evaluated the pharmacological and phytochemical profiles of four medicinal plants (Drimia sanguinea, Elephantorrhiza elephantina, Helichrysum paronychioides, and Senecio longiflorus) used for treating skin diseases. Petroleum ether and 50% methanol extracts of the plants were screened for antimicrobial activity against six microbes: Bacillus cereus, Shigella flexneri, Candida glabrata, Candida krusei, Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton tonsurans using the micro-dilution technique. Antioxidant activity was conducted using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging and β-carotene linoleic acid models. Cytotoxicity was determined against African green monkey Vero kidney cells based on the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) colorimetric assay. Spectrophotometric and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) methods were used to evaluate the phytochemical constituents. All the extracts demonstrated varying degrees of antimicrobial potencies. Shigella flexneri, Candida glabrata, Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton tonsurans were most susceptible at 0.10 mg/mL. In the DPPH test, EC50 values ranged from approximately 6–93 µg/mL and 65%–85% antioxidant activity in the β-carotene linoleic acid antioxidant activity model. The phenolic and flavonoid contents ranged from 3.5–64 mg GAE/g and 1.25–28 mg CE/g DW, respectively. The LC50 values of the cytotoxicity assay ranged from 0.015–5622 µg/mL. GC-MS analysis revealed a rich pool (94–198) of bioactive compounds including dotriacontane, benzothiazole, heptacosane, bumetrizole, phthalic acid, stigmasterol, hexanoic acid and eicosanoic acid, which were common to the four plants. The current findings provide some degree of scientific evidence supporting the use of these four plants in folk medicine. However, the plants with high cytotoxicity need to be used with caution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
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Open AccessArticle
Selection of Parental Material to Maximize Heterosis Using SNP and SilicoDarT Markers in Maize
Plants 2019, 8(9), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090349 - 14 Sep 2019
Viewed by 269
Abstract
The chief aim of plant breeding is to improve varieties so as to increase their yield and breeding traits. One of the first stages of breeding is the selection of parental forms from the available gene pool of existing varieties. To date, costly [...] Read more.
The chief aim of plant breeding is to improve varieties so as to increase their yield and breeding traits. One of the first stages of breeding is the selection of parental forms from the available gene pool of existing varieties. To date, costly and laborious methods based on multiple crossbreeding and phenotypic selection have been necessary to properly assess genetic resources in terms of productivity, quality parameters, and susceptibility to biotic and abiotic stressors. The often long and complicated breeding cycle can be significantly shortened through selection using DNA markers. To this end, use is made of close couplings between the marker and the locus responsible for the inheritance of the functional trait. The aim of this study was to identify single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and SilicoDArT markers associated with yield traits and to predict the heterosis effect for yield traits in maize (Zea mays L.). The plant material used in the research consisted of 19 inbred maize lines derived from different starting materials, and 13 hybrids resulting from crossing them. A two-year field experiment with inbred lines and hybrids was established at two Polish breeding stations on 10 m2 plots in a randomized block design with three replicates. The biometric measurements included cob length, cob diameter, core length, core diameter, number of rows of grain, number of grains in a row, mass of grain from the cob, weight of one thousand grains, and yield. The isolated DNA was subjected to DArTseq genotyping. Association mapping was performed in this study using a method based on the mixed linear model with the population structure estimated by eigenanalysis (principal component analysis of all markers) and modeled by random effects. Narew, Popis, Kozak, M Glejt, and Grom were the hybrids used in the study that showed the highest significant heterosis effect in 2013 and 2014. The similarity between parental components determined on the basis of SNP and SilicoDArT marker analysis did not exceed 33%. It was found that the genetic similarity between parental components, determined on the basis of SNP and SilicoDArT markers, reflected their degree of relationship, and correlated significantly with the effect of heterosis. As the results indicate, the parental components for heterosis crosses can be selected based on genetic similarity between parental components evaluated using SNP and SilicoDArT markers, supported with information on the origin of parental forms. Of the markers we analyzed, 76 were selected as being significantly associated with at least six traits observed in 2013 and 2014 at both the Łagiewniki and Smolice stations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants Heterosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Role of the Antioxidant System and the Tetrapyrrole Cycle in Iron Deficiency Chlorosis
Plants 2019, 8(9), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090348 - 13 Sep 2019
Viewed by 213
Abstract
Iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) is an abiotic stress often experienced by soybean, owing to the low solubility of iron in alkaline soils. Here, soybean lines with contrasting Fe efficiencies were analyzed to test the hypothesis that the Fe efficiency trait is linked to [...] Read more.
Iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) is an abiotic stress often experienced by soybean, owing to the low solubility of iron in alkaline soils. Here, soybean lines with contrasting Fe efficiencies were analyzed to test the hypothesis that the Fe efficiency trait is linked to antioxidative stress signaling via proper management of tissue Fe accumulation and transport, which in turn influences the regulation of heme and non heme containing enzymes involved in Fe uptake and ROS scavenging. Inefficient plants displayed higher oxidative stress and lower ferric reductase activity, whereas root and leaf catalase activity were nine-fold and three-fold higher, respectively. Efficient plants do not activate their antioxidant system because there is no formation of ROS under iron deficiency; while inefficient plants are not able to deal with ROS produced under iron deficiency because ascorbate peroxidase and superoxide dismutase are not activated because of the lack of iron as a cofactor, and of heme as a constituent of those enzymes. Superoxide dismutase and peroxidase isoenzymatic regulation may play a determinant role: 10 superoxide dismutase isoenzymes were observed in both cultivars, but iron superoxide dismutase activity was only detected in efficient plants; 15 peroxidase isoenzymes were observed in the roots and trifoliate leaves of efficient and inefficient cultivars and peroxidase activity levels were only increased in roots of efficient plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS Responses in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Salt-Induced Damage is Alleviated by Short-Term Pre-Cold Treatment in Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon)
Plants 2019, 8(9), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090347 - 13 Sep 2019
Viewed by 184
Abstract
Excess salinity is a major environmental stress that limits growth and development of plants. Improving salt stress tolerance of plants is important in order to enhance land utilization and crop yield. Cold priming has been reported to trigger the protective processes in plants [...] Read more.
Excess salinity is a major environmental stress that limits growth and development of plants. Improving salt stress tolerance of plants is important in order to enhance land utilization and crop yield. Cold priming has been reported to trigger the protective processes in plants that increase their stress tolerance. Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) is one of the most widely used turfgrass species around the world. However, the effect of cold priming on salt tolerance of bermudagrass is largely unknown. In the present study, wild bermudagrass was pre-treated with 4 °C for 6 h before 150 mM NaCl treatment for one week. The results showed that the cell membrane stability, ion homeostasis and photosynthesis process which are usually negatively affected by salt stress in bermudagrass were alleviated by short-term pre-cold treatment. Additionally, the gene expression profile also corresponded to the change of physiological indexes in bermudagrass. The results suggest that cold priming plays a positive role in improving salt stress tolerance of bermudagrass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
Early Detection of Sage (Salvia officinalis L.) Responses to Ozone Using Reflectance Spectroscopy
Plants 2019, 8(9), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090346 - 12 Sep 2019
Viewed by 193
Abstract
Advancements in techniques to rapidly and non-destructively detect the impact of tropospheric ozone (O3) on crops are required. This study demonstrates the capability of full-range (350–2500 nm) reflectance spectroscopy to characterize responses of asymptomatic sage leaves under an acute O3 [...] Read more.
Advancements in techniques to rapidly and non-destructively detect the impact of tropospheric ozone (O3) on crops are required. This study demonstrates the capability of full-range (350–2500 nm) reflectance spectroscopy to characterize responses of asymptomatic sage leaves under an acute O3 exposure (200 ppb for 5 h). Using partial least squares regression, spectral models were developed for the estimation of several traits related to photosynthesis, the oxidative pressure induced by O3, and the antioxidant mechanisms adopted by plants to cope with the pollutant. Physiological traits were well predicted by spectroscopic models (average model goodness-of-fit for validation (R2): 0.65–0.90), whereas lower prediction performances were found for biochemical traits (R2: 0.42–0.71). Furthermore, even in the absence of visible symptoms, comparing the full-range spectral profiles, it was possible to distinguish with accuracy plants exposed to charcoal-filtered air from those exposed to O3. An O3 effect on sage spectra was detectable from 1 to 5 h from the beginning of the exposure, but ozonated plants quickly recovered after the fumigation. This O3-tolerance was confirmed by trends of vegetation indices and leaf traits derived from spectra, further highlighting the capability of reflectance spectroscopy to early detect the responses of crops to O3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ozone Tolerance Mechanisms)
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Open AccessArticle
Interaction between Bean and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides: Understanding Through a Biochemical Approach
Plants 2019, 8(9), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090345 - 12 Sep 2019
Viewed by 138
Abstract
In addition to its role in animals, nowadays nitric oxide (NO) is considered as an emerging signaling molecule in plant systems. It is now believed that NO exerts its pivotal role in various plant physiological processes, such as in seed germination, plant developmental [...] Read more.
In addition to its role in animals, nowadays nitric oxide (NO) is considered as an emerging signaling molecule in plant systems. It is now believed that NO exerts its pivotal role in various plant physiological processes, such as in seed germination, plant developmental stages, and plant defense mechanisms. In this study, we have taken an initiative to show the biochemical basis of defense response activation in bean leaves during the progression of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (Penz.) Penz. and Sacc. in detached bean leaves. Stages of pathogen penetration and colonization were successfully established in the detached bean leaves. Results showed up-regulation of different defense-related enzymes and other defense molecules, such as phenols, flavonoids, callose, and lignin molecules, along with NO at early stages of pathogen invasion. Although in the later stages of the disease, development of NO and other defense components (excluding lignin) were down-regulated, the production of reactive oxygen species in the form of H2O2 became elevated. Consequently, other stress markers, such as lipid peroxidation, proline content, and chlorophyll content, were changed accordingly. Correlation between the disease index and other defense molecules, along with NO, indicate that production of NO and reactive oxygen species (ROS) might influence the development of anthracnose in common bean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Colletotrichum Species and Plants)
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Open AccessReview
Sugarcane Omics: An Update on the Current Status of Research and Crop Improvement
Plants 2019, 8(9), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090344 - 12 Sep 2019
Viewed by 168
Abstract
Sugarcane is an important crop from Poaceae family, contributing about 80% of the total world’s sucrose with an annual value of around US$150 billion. In addition, sugarcane is utilized as a raw material for the production of bioethanol, which is an alternate source [...] Read more.
Sugarcane is an important crop from Poaceae family, contributing about 80% of the total world’s sucrose with an annual value of around US$150 billion. In addition, sugarcane is utilized as a raw material for the production of bioethanol, which is an alternate source of renewable energy. Moving towards sugarcane omics, a remarkable success has been achieved in gene transfer from a wide variety of plant and non-plant sources to sugarcane, with the accessibility of efficient transformation systems, selectable marker genes, and genetic engineering gears. Genetic engineering techniques make possible to clone and characterize useful genes and also to improve commercially important traits in elite sugarcane clones that subsequently lead to the development of an ideal cultivar. Sugarcane is a complex polyploidy crop, and hence no single technique has been found to be the best for the confirmation of polygenic and phenotypic characteristics. To better understand the application of basic omics in sugarcane regarding agronomic characters and industrial quality traits as well as responses to diverse biotic and abiotic stresses, it is important to explore the physiology, genome structure, functional integrity, and collinearity of sugarcane with other more or less similar crops/plants. Genetic improvements in this crop are hampered by its complex genome, low fertility ratio, longer production cycle, and susceptibility to several biotic and abiotic stresses. Biotechnology interventions are expected to pave the way for addressing these obstacles and improving sugarcane crop. Thus, this review article highlights up to date information with respect to how advanced data of omics (genomics, transcriptomic, proteomics and metabolomics) can be employed to improve sugarcane crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics for Plant Breeding)
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Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Analysis and Expression Profiling of Rice Hybrid Proline-Rich Proteins in Response to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses, and Hormone Treatment
Plants 2019, 8(9), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090343 - 11 Sep 2019
Viewed by 204
Abstract
Hybrid proline-rich proteins (HyPRPs) belong to the family of 8-cysteine motif (8CM) containing proteins that play important roles in plant development processes, and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. To gain insight into the rice HyPRPs, we performed a systematic genome-wide analysis and [...] Read more.
Hybrid proline-rich proteins (HyPRPs) belong to the family of 8-cysteine motif (8CM) containing proteins that play important roles in plant development processes, and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. To gain insight into the rice HyPRPs, we performed a systematic genome-wide analysis and identified 45 OsHyPRP genes encoding 46 OsHyPRP proteins. The phylogenetic relationships of OsHyPRP proteins with monocots (maize, sorghum, and Brachypodium) and a dicot (Arabidopsis) showed clustering of the majority of OsHyPRPs along with those from other monocots, which suggests lineage-specific evolution of monocots HyPRPs. Based on our previous RNA-Seq study, we selected differentially expressed OsHyPRPs genes and used quantitative real-time-PCR (qRT-PCR) to measure their transcriptional responses to biotic (Magnaporthe oryzae) and abiotic (heat, cold, and salt) stresses and hormone treatment (Abscisic acid; ABA, Methyl-Jasmonate; MeJA, and Salicylic acid; SA) in rice blast susceptible Pusa Basmati-1 (PB1) and blast-resistant near-isogenic line PB1+Pi9. The induction of OsHyPRP16 expression in response to the majority of stresses and hormonal treatments was highly correlated with the number of cis-regulatory elements present in its promoter region. In silico docking analysis of OsHyPRP16 showed its interaction with sterols of fungal/protozoan origin. The characterization of the OsHyPRP gene family enables us to recognize the plausible role of OsHyPRP16 in stress tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Cloning and Characterization of SQUAMOSA-Promoter Binding Protein-Like Gene FvSPL10 from Woodland Strawberry (Fragaria vesca)
Plants 2019, 8(9), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090342 - 11 Sep 2019
Viewed by 226
Abstract
SQUAMOSA-promoter binding protein-like (SPL) proteins are plant-specific transcript factors that play essential roles in plant growth and development. Although many SPL genes have been well characterized in model plants like Arabidopsis, rice and tomato, the functions of SPLs in strawberry are [...] Read more.
SQUAMOSA-promoter binding protein-like (SPL) proteins are plant-specific transcript factors that play essential roles in plant growth and development. Although many SPL genes have been well characterized in model plants like Arabidopsis, rice and tomato, the functions of SPLs in strawberry are still largely elusive. In the present study, we cloned and characterized FvSPL10, the ortholog of AtSPL9, from woodland strawberry. Subcellular localization shows FvSPL10 localizes in the cell nucleus. The luciferase system assay indicates FvSPL10 is a transcriptional activator, and both in vitro and in vivo assays indicate FvSPL10 could bind to the promoter of FvAP1 and activate its expression. Ectopic expression of FvSPL10 in Arabidopsis promotes early flowering and increases organs size. These results demonstrate the multiple regulatory roles of FvSPL10 in plant growth and development and lay a foundation for investigating the biological functions of FvSPL10 in strawberry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Open AccessReview
Current Status and Future Prospects in Herbicide Discovery
Plants 2019, 8(9), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090341 - 11 Sep 2019
Viewed by 458
Abstract
Herbicides represent about 60% of the pesticides (by volume) used worldwide. The success of herbicides can be attributed in part to a relatively steady discovery of one unique mechanisms of action (MOA) every two years from the early 1950s to the mid-1980s. While [...] Read more.
Herbicides represent about 60% of the pesticides (by volume) used worldwide. The success of herbicides can be attributed in part to a relatively steady discovery of one unique mechanisms of action (MOA) every two years from the early 1950s to the mid-1980s. While this situation changed dramatically after the introduction of glyphosate-resistant crops, evolution of resistance to glyphosate has renewed the agrichemical industry interest in new chemistry interacting with novel target sites. This review analyses recent characterization of new herbicide target sites, the chemical classes developed to inhibit these target sites, and where appropriate the innovative technologies used in these discovery programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbicide Resistance in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Distribution and Redistribution of 109Cd and 65Zn in the Heavy Metal Hyperaccumulator Solanum nigrum L.: Influence of Cadmium and Zinc Concentrations in the Root Medium
Plants 2019, 8(9), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090340 - 10 Sep 2019
Viewed by 254
Abstract
Heavy metal redistribution is relevant for the quality of edible crops and the suitability of hyperaccumulators for bioremediation. Root-to-shoot transfer via the xylem and redistribution in the aerial parts via the phloem differ between various heavy metals. In general, cadmium is more slowly [...] Read more.
Heavy metal redistribution is relevant for the quality of edible crops and the suitability of hyperaccumulators for bioremediation. Root-to-shoot transfer via the xylem and redistribution in the aerial parts via the phloem differ between various heavy metals. In general, cadmium is more slowly released to the shoot than zinc (e.g., in wheat, bean, and lupin). However, rapid cadmium transport to the shoot was detected in the hyperaccumulator Solanum nigrum L. This is a key aspect in this article and might be important for bioremediation. The radionuclides 109Cd and 65Zn were used to investigate the respective influence of elevated cadmium or zinc in the root medium on the dynamics of the two heavy metals in S. nigrum. Although transport via the xylem to the leaves was similar for 109Cd and 65Zn, the further redistribution from older leaves to younger leaves, flowers, and fruits via the phloem was far less efficient for 109Cd than for 65Zn. Furthermore, the redistribution of 109Cd within the shoot was negatively influenced by increased cadmium (but not by increased zinc) concentrations in the nutrient medium. The redistribution of 65Zn in the shoot was selectively decreased by increased zinc concentrations (but generally not by cadmium). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Jasmonates—the Master Regulator of Rice Development, Adaptation and Defense
Plants 2019, 8(9), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090339 - 09 Sep 2019
Viewed by 297
Abstract
Rice is one of the most important food crops worldwide, as well as the model plant in molecular studies on the cereals group. Many different biotic and abiotic agents often limit rice production and threaten food security. Understanding the molecular mechanism, by which [...] Read more.
Rice is one of the most important food crops worldwide, as well as the model plant in molecular studies on the cereals group. Many different biotic and abiotic agents often limit rice production and threaten food security. Understanding the molecular mechanism, by which the rice plant reacts and resists these constraints, is the key to improving rice production to meet the demand of an increasing population. The phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) and related compounds, collectively called jasmonates, are key regulators in plant growth and development. They are also one of the central players in plant immunity against biotic attacks and adaptation to unfavorable environmental conditions. Here, we review the most recent knowledge about jasmonates signaling in the rice crop model. We highlight the functions of jasmonates signaling in many adaptive responses, and also in rice growth and development processes. We also draw special attention to different signaling modules that are controlled by jasmonates in rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Jasmonate Pathway: New Actors, Mechanisms and Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle
SWEET Gene Family in Medicago truncatula: Genome-Wide Identification, Expression and Substrate Specificity Analysis
Plants 2019, 8(9), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090338 - 09 Sep 2019
Viewed by 255
Abstract
SWEET (Sugars Will Eventually be Exported Transporter) proteins mediate the translocation of sugars across cell membranes and play crucial roles in plant growth and development as well as stress responses. In this study, a total of 25 SWEET genes were identified from the [...] Read more.
SWEET (Sugars Will Eventually be Exported Transporter) proteins mediate the translocation of sugars across cell membranes and play crucial roles in plant growth and development as well as stress responses. In this study, a total of 25 SWEET genes were identified from the Medicago truncatula genome and were divided into four clades based on the phylogenetic analysis. The MtSWEET genes are distributed unevenly on the M. truncatula chromosomes, and eight and 12 MtSWEET genes are segmentally and tandemly duplicated, respectively. Most MtSWEET genes contain five introns and encode proteins with seven transmembrane helices (TMHs). Besides, nearly all MtSWEET proteins have relatively conserved membrane domains, and contain conserved active sites. Analysis of microarray data showed that some MtSWEET genes are specifically expressed in disparate developmental stages or tissues, such as flowers, developing seeds and nodules. RNA-seq and qRT-PCR expression analysis indicated that many MtSWEET genes are responsive to various abiotic stresses such as cold, drought, and salt treatments. Functional analysis of six selected MtSWEETs in yeast revealed that they possess diverse transport activities for sucrose, fructose, glucose, galactose, and mannose. These results provide new insights into the characteristics of the MtSWEET genes, which lay a solid foundation for further investigating their functional roles in the developmental processes and stress responses of M. truncatula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Herbicide Resistance Traits in Maize and Soybean: Current Status and Future Outlook
Plants 2019, 8(9), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090337 - 09 Sep 2019
Viewed by 256
Abstract
This article reviews, focusing on maize and soybean, previous efforts to develop nontransgenic herbicide-resistant crops (HRCs), currently available transgenic HRC traits and technologies, as well as future chemical weed management options over the horizon. Since the mid twentieth century, herbicides rapidly replaced all [...] Read more.
This article reviews, focusing on maize and soybean, previous efforts to develop nontransgenic herbicide-resistant crops (HRCs), currently available transgenic HRC traits and technologies, as well as future chemical weed management options over the horizon. Since the mid twentieth century, herbicides rapidly replaced all other means of weed management. Overreliance on ‘herbicide-only’ weed control strategies hastened evolution of HR weed species. Glyphosate-resistant (GR) crop technology revolutionized weed management in agronomic crops, but GR weeds, led by Palmer amaranth, severely reduced returns from various cropping systems and affected the bottom line of growers across the world. An additional problem was the lack of commercialization of a new herbicide mode of action since the 1990s. Auxinic HRCs offer a short-term alternative for management of GR Palmer amaranth and other weed species. New HRCs stacked with multiple herbicide resistance traits and at least two new herbicide modes of action expected to be available in the mid-2020s provide new chemical options for weed management in row crops in the next decade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbicide Resistance in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Drought Stress Affects the Response of Italian Local Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Varieties in a Genotype-Dependent Manner
Plants 2019, 8(9), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090336 - 07 Sep 2019
Viewed by 358
Abstract
Drought stress is one of the most severe conditions for plants, especially in the face of the emerging problem of global warming. This issue is important when considering economically relevant crops, including the tomato. For these plants, a promising solution is the valorization [...] Read more.
Drought stress is one of the most severe conditions for plants, especially in the face of the emerging problem of global warming. This issue is important when considering economically relevant crops, including the tomato. For these plants, a promising solution is the valorization of local agrobiodiversity as a source of genetic variability. In this paper we investigated how six Italian tomato varieties react to a prolonged period of water depletion. We used a multidisciplinary approach, from genetics to plant physiology and cytology, to provide a detailed overview of the response of plants to stress. The varieties analyzed, each characterized by a specific genetic profile, showed a genotype-specific response with the variety ‘Fragola’ being the most resistant and the variety ‘Pisanello’ the most susceptible. For all the parameters evaluated, ‘Fragola’ performed in a manner comparable to that of control plants. On the contrary, ‘Pisanello’ appeared to be more affected and showed an increase in the number of stomata and a drastic increase in antioxidants, a symptom of acute oxidative stress. Our work suggests the existence of a valuable reservoir of genetic biodiversity with more drought-tolerant tomato genotypes opening the way to further exploitation and use of local germplasm in breeding programs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Infections of the Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca Strain “De Donno” in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) Elicits an Overactive Immune Response
Plants 2019, 8(9), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090335 - 07 Sep 2019
Viewed by 414
Abstract
Diseases caused by Xylella fastidiosa are among the most destructive for several agricultural productions. A deadly disease of olive, termed olive quick decline syndrome, is one of the most recent examples of the severe impacts caused by the introduction and spread of this [...] Read more.
Diseases caused by Xylella fastidiosa are among the most destructive for several agricultural productions. A deadly disease of olive, termed olive quick decline syndrome, is one of the most recent examples of the severe impacts caused by the introduction and spread of this bacterium in new ecosystems with favorable epidemiological conditions. Deciphering the cascade of events leading to the development of severe alterations in the susceptible host plants is a priority of several research programs investigating strategies to mitigate the detrimental impacts of the infections. However, in the case of olives, the long latent period (>1 year) makes this pathosystem not amenable for such studies. We have inoculated alfalfa (Medicago sativa) with the olive-infecting strain “De Donno” isolated from a symptomatic olive in Apulia (Italy), and we demonstrated that this highly pathogenic strain causes an overactive reaction that ends up with the necrosis of the inoculated stem, a reaction that differs from the notoriously Alfalfa Dwarf disease, caused by X. fastidiosa strains isolated from grapes and almonds. RNASeq analysis showed that major plant immunity pathways are activated, in particular, several calcium transmembrane transporters and enzymes responsible for the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Signs of the necrotic reaction are anticipated by the upregulation of genes responsible for plant cell death and the hypersensitive reaction. Overall the whole infection process takes four months in alfalfa, which makes this pathosystem suitable for studies involving either the plant response to the infection or the role of Xylella genes in the expression of symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Protection)
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Open AccessArticle
Phosphorus and Nitrogen Modulate Plant Performance in Shrubby Legumes from the Iberian Peninsula
Plants 2019, 8(9), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090334 - 06 Sep 2019
Viewed by 194
Abstract
We investigated the impact of phosphorus nutrition on plant growth and biological nitrogen fixation in four leguminous plants in the Tribe Genistea. The main objective of the study was to analyze Phosphorus and Nitrogen use efficiency under drought. We also tested for [...] Read more.
We investigated the impact of phosphorus nutrition on plant growth and biological nitrogen fixation in four leguminous plants in the Tribe Genistea. The main objective of the study was to analyze Phosphorus and Nitrogen use efficiency under drought. We also tested for the effects of rhizobial inoculation on plant performance. Plants inoculated with Rhizobium strains isolated from plants of the four species growing in the wild were cropped under controlled conditions in soils with either low P (5 µM) or high P (500 µM). The experiment was replicated in the presence and absence of plant irrigation to test for the effects of drought stress of inoculated and non-inoculated plants under the two P levels of fertilization. Low-P treatments increased nodule production while plant biomass and shoot and root P and N contents where maximum at high P. Low P (5 µM) in the growing media, resulted in greater N accumulated in plants, coupled with greater phosphorus and nitrogen uptake efficiencies. Drought reduced the relative growth rate over two orders of magnitude or more, depending on the combination of plant species and treatment. Genista cinerea had the lowest tolerance to water scarcity, whereas Genista florida and Retama sphaerocarpa were the most resistant species to drought. Drought resistance was enhanced in the inoculated plants. In the four species, and particularly in Echinospartum barnadesii, the inoculation treatment clearly triggered N use efficiency, whereas P use efficiency was greater in the non-inoculated irrigated plants. Nodulation significantly increased in plants in the low P treatments, where plants showed a greater demand for N. The physiological basis for the four species being able to maintain their growth at low P levels and to respond to the greater P supply, is through balanced acquisition of P and N to meet the plants’ nutritional needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Ecology)
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Open AccessReview
Regulation of Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Legume Root Nodules
Plants 2019, 8(9), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090333 - 06 Sep 2019
Viewed by 316
Abstract
In most legume nodules, the di-nitrogen (N2)-fixing rhizobia are present as organelle-like structures inside their root host cells. Many processes operate and interact within the symbiotic relationship between plants and nodules, including nitrogen (N)/carbon (C) metabolisms, oxygen flow through nodules, oxidative [...] Read more.
In most legume nodules, the di-nitrogen (N2)-fixing rhizobia are present as organelle-like structures inside their root host cells. Many processes operate and interact within the symbiotic relationship between plants and nodules, including nitrogen (N)/carbon (C) metabolisms, oxygen flow through nodules, oxidative stress, and phosphorous (P) levels. These processes, which influence the regulation of N2 fixation and are finely tuned on a whole-plant basis, are extensively reviewed in this paper. The carbonic anhydrase (CA)-phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC)-malate dehydrogenase (MDH) is a key pathway inside nodules involved in this regulation, and malate seems to play a crucial role in many aspects of symbiotic N2 fixation control. How legumes specifically sense N-status and how this stimulates all of the regulatory factors are key issues for understanding N2 fixation regulation on a whole-plant basis. This must be thoroughly studied in the future since there is no unifying theory that explains all of the aspects involved in regulating N2 fixation rates to date. Finally, high-throughput functional genomics and molecular tools (i.e., miRNAs) are currently very valuable for the identification of many regulatory elements that are good candidates for accurately dissecting the particular N2 fixation control mechanisms associated with physiological responses to abiotic stresses. In combination with existing information, utilizing these abundant genetic molecular tools will enable us to identify the specific mechanisms underlying the regulation of N2 fixation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen-Fixing Plants )
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Open AccessArticle
Reactive Oxygen Species Alleviate Cell Death Induced by Thaxtomin A in Arabidopsis thaliana Cell Cultures
Plants 2019, 8(9), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090332 - 06 Sep 2019
Viewed by 270
Abstract
Thaxtomin A (TA) is a cellulose biosynthesis inhibitor synthesized by the soil actinobacterium Streptomyces scabies, which is the main causal agent of potato common scab. TA is essential for the induction of scab lesions on potato tubers. When added to Arabidopsis thaliana [...] Read more.
Thaxtomin A (TA) is a cellulose biosynthesis inhibitor synthesized by the soil actinobacterium Streptomyces scabies, which is the main causal agent of potato common scab. TA is essential for the induction of scab lesions on potato tubers. When added to Arabidopsis thaliana cell cultures, TA induces an atypical programmed cell death (PCD). Although production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) often correlates with the induction of PCD, we observed a decrease in ROS levels following TA treatment. We show that this decrease in ROS accumulation in TA-treated cells is not due to the activation of antioxidant enzymes. Moreover, Arabidopsis cell cultures treated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) prior to TA treatment had significantly fewer dead cells than cultures treated with TA alone. This suggests that H2O2 induces biochemical or molecular changes in cell cultures that alleviate the activation of PCD by TA. Investigation of the cell wall mechanics using atomic force microscopy showed that H2O2 treatment can prevent the decrease in cell wall rigidity observed after TA exposure. While we cannot exclude the possibility that H2O2 may promote cell survival by altering the cellular redox environment or signaling pathways, our results suggest that H2O2 may inhibit cell death, at least partially, by reinforcing the cell wall to prevent or compensate for damages induced by TA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS Responses in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
SNP and Haplotype-Based Genomic Selection of Quantitative Traits in Eucalyptus globulus
Plants 2019, 8(9), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090331 - 05 Sep 2019
Viewed by 290
Abstract
Eucalyptus globulus (Labill.) is one of the most important cultivated eucalypts in temperate and subtropical regions and has been successfully subjected to intensive breeding. In this study, Bayesian genomic models that include the effects of haplotype and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were assessed [...] Read more.
Eucalyptus globulus (Labill.) is one of the most important cultivated eucalypts in temperate and subtropical regions and has been successfully subjected to intensive breeding. In this study, Bayesian genomic models that include the effects of haplotype and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were assessed to predict quantitative traits related to wood quality and tree growth in a 6-year-old breeding population. To this end, the following markers were considered: (a) ~14 K SNP markers (SNP), (b) ~3 K haplotypes (HAP), and (c) haplotypes and SNPs that were not assigned to a haplotype (HAP-SNP). Predictive ability values (PA) were dependent on the genomic prediction models and markers. On average, Bayesian ridge regression (BRR) and Bayes C had the highest PA for the majority of traits. Notably, genomic models that included the haplotype effect (either HAP or HAP-SNP) significantly increased the PA of low-heritability traits. For instance, BRR based on HAP had the highest PA (0.58) for stem straightness. Consistently, the heritability estimates from genomic models were higher than the pedigree-based estimates for these traits. The results provide additional perspectives for the implementation of genomic selection in Eucalyptus breeding programs, which could be especially beneficial for improving traits with low heritability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics for Plant Breeding)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Markers Associated with Yield Traits and Morphological Features in Maize (Zea mays L.)
Plants 2019, 8(9), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090330 - 05 Sep 2019
Viewed by 234
Abstract
Association mapping is a powerful approach to detect associations between traits of interest and genetic markers based on linkage disequilibrium in molecular plant breeding. The aim of this study was the identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and SilicoDArT markers associated with yield [...] Read more.
Association mapping is a powerful approach to detect associations between traits of interest and genetic markers based on linkage disequilibrium in molecular plant breeding. The aim of this study was the identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and SilicoDArT markers associated with yield traits and morphological features in maize. Plant material constituted inbred lines. The field experiment with inbred lines was established on 10 m2 plots in a set of complete random blocks in three replicates. We observed 22 quantitative traits. Association mapping was performed in this study using a method based on the mixed linear model with the population structure estimated by eigenanalysis (principal component analysis applied to all markers) and modeled by random effects. As a result of mapping, 969 markers (346 SNPs and 623 SilocoDArT) were selected from 49,911 identified polymorphic molecular markers, which were significantly associated with the analyzed morphological features and yield structure traits. Markers associated with five or six traits were selected during further analyses, including SilicoDArT 4591115 (anthocyanin coloration of anthers, length of main axis above the highest lateral branch, cob length, number of grains per cob, weight of fresh grains per cob and weight of fresh grains per cob at 15% moisture), SilicoDArT 7059939 (anthocyanin coloration of glumes of cob, time of anthesis—50% of flowering plants, time of silk emergence—50% of flowering plants, anthocyanin coloration of anthers and cob diameter), SilicoDArT 5587991 (anthocyanin coloration of glumes of cob, time of anthesis—50% of flowering plants, anthocyanin coloration of anthers, curvature of lateral branches and number of rows of grain). The two genetic similarity dendrograms between the inbred lines were constructed based on all significant SNPs and SilicoDArT markers. On both dendrograms lines clustered according to the kernel structure (flint, dent) and origin. The selected markers may be useful in predicting hybrid formulas in a heterosis culture. The present study demonstrated that molecular SNP and Silico DArT markers could be used in this species to group lines in terms of origin and lines with incomplete origin data. They can also be useful in maize in predicting the hybrid formula and can find applications in the selection of parental components for heterosis crossings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrogen Peroxide and Superoxide Anion Radical Photoproduction in PSII Preparations at Various Modifications of the Water-Oxidizing Complex
Plants 2019, 8(9), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090329 - 05 Sep 2019
Viewed by 192
Abstract
The photoproduction of superoxide anion radical (O2−•) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in photosystem II (PSII) preparations depending on the damage to the water-oxidizing complex (WOC) was investigated. The light-induced formation of O2−• and H [...] Read more.
The photoproduction of superoxide anion radical (O2−•) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in photosystem II (PSII) preparations depending on the damage to the water-oxidizing complex (WOC) was investigated. The light-induced formation of O2−• and H2O2 in the PSII preparations rose with the increased destruction of the WOC. The photoproduction of superoxide both in the PSII preparations holding intact WOC and the samples with damage to the WOC was approximately two times higher than H2O2. The rise of O2−• and H2O2 photoproduction in the PSII preparations in the course of the disassembly of the WOC correlated with the increase in the fraction of the low-potential (LP) Cyt b559. The restoration of electron flow in the Mn-depleted PSII preparations by exogenous electron donors (diphenylcarbazide, Mn2+) suppressed the light-induced formation of O2−• and H2O2. The decrease of O2−• and H2O2 photoproduction upon the restoration of electron transport in the Mn-depleted PSII preparations could be due to the re-conversion of the LP Cyt b559 into higher potential forms. It is supposed that the conversion of the high potential Cyt b559 into its LP form upon damage to the WOC leads to the increase of photoproduction of O2−• and H2O2 in PSII. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROS Responses in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Discrimination of Myrtle Ecotypes from Different Geographic Areas According to Their Morphological Characteristics and Anthocyanins Composition
Plants 2019, 8(9), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090328 - 05 Sep 2019
Viewed by 176
Abstract
Myrtus communis L. is an evergreen shrub that produces berries with a high content in antioxidant compounds. Since these compounds have demonstrated a positive effect on human health, the interest on berries and their usages has increased. However, environmental conditions may affect the [...] Read more.
Myrtus communis L. is an evergreen shrub that produces berries with a high content in antioxidant compounds. Since these compounds have demonstrated a positive effect on human health, the interest on berries and their usages has increased. However, environmental conditions may affect the productivity of these species and consequently the quality of wild myrtle. Ecotypes from diverse geographical origins may result in significant variations in terms of bioactive compounds content as well as in chemical traits. For this reason, in this work ecotypes from two different localizations have been studied to determine if their differences in morphological and anthocyanins traits can be attributed to their origin and the environmental characteristics of these locations. For this, chemometric analyses such as Hierarchical Cluster Analysis and Principal Component Analysis, were employed. The results showed differences between the ecotypes depending on their location. In particular, myrtle berries from maritime zones present greater fruit size and amount of bioactive compounds, which means an improvement in the quality of the final product based on this raw material. It can be concluded that both morphological and anthocyanins traits are related to the location of the ecotype and allow selecting the best ecotype for the required applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Open AccessReview
A Review of Plant Vacuoles: Formation, Located Proteins, and Functions
Plants 2019, 8(9), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090327 - 05 Sep 2019
Viewed by 207
Abstract
Vacuoles, cellular membrane-bound organelles, are the largest compartments of cells, occupying up to 90% of the volume of plant cells. Vacuoles are formed by the biosynthetic and endocytotic pathways. In plants, the vacuole is crucial for growth and development and has a variety [...] Read more.
Vacuoles, cellular membrane-bound organelles, are the largest compartments of cells, occupying up to 90% of the volume of plant cells. Vacuoles are formed by the biosynthetic and endocytotic pathways. In plants, the vacuole is crucial for growth and development and has a variety of functions, including storage and transport, intracellular environmental stability, and response to injury. Depending on the cell type and growth conditions, the size of vacuoles is highly dynamic. Different types of cell vacuoles store different substances, such as alkaloids, protein enzymes, inorganic salts, sugars, etc., and play important roles in multiple signaling pathways. Here, we summarize vacuole formation, types, vacuole-located proteins, and functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
Distribution and Community Assembly of Trees Along an Andean Elevational Gradient
Plants 2019, 8(9), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090326 - 05 Sep 2019
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Abstract
Highlighting patterns of distribution and assembly of plants involves the use of community phylogenetic analyses and complementary traditional taxonomic metrics. However, these patterns are often unknown or in dispute, particularly along elevational gradients, with studies finding different patterns based on elevation. We investigated [...] Read more.
Highlighting patterns of distribution and assembly of plants involves the use of community phylogenetic analyses and complementary traditional taxonomic metrics. However, these patterns are often unknown or in dispute, particularly along elevational gradients, with studies finding different patterns based on elevation. We investigated how patterns of tree diversity and structure change along an elevation gradient using taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity metrics. We sampled 595 individuals (36 families; 53 genera; 88 species) across 15 plots along an elevational gradient (2440–3330 m) in Ecuador. Seventy species were sequenced for the rbcL and matK gene regions to generate a phylogeny. Species richness, Shannon–Weaver diversity, Simpson’s Dominance, Simpson’s Evenness, phylogenetic diversity (PD), mean pairwise distance (MPD), and mean nearest taxon distance (MNTD) were evaluated for each plot. Values were correlated with elevation and standardized effect sizes (SES) of MPD and MNTD were generated, including and excluding tree fern species, for comparisons across elevation. Taxonomic and phylogenetic metrics found that species diversity decreases with elevation. We also found that overall the community has a non-random phylogenetic structure, dependent on the presence of tree ferns, with stronger phylogenetic clustering at high elevations. Combined, this evidence supports the ideas that tree ferns have converged with angiosperms to occupy the same habitat and that an increased filtering of clades has led to more closely related angiosperm species at higher elevations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant DNA Barcode)
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Open AccessArticle
Management of Glyphosate-Resistant Weeds in Mexican Citrus Groves: Chemical Alternatives and Economic Viability
Plants 2019, 8(9), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090325 - 04 Sep 2019
Viewed by 235
Abstract
Glyphosate is a cheap herbicide that has been used to control a wide range of weeds (4–6 times/year) in citrus groves of the Gulf of Mexico; however, its excessive use has selected for glyphosate-resistant weeds. We evaluated the efficacy and economic viability of [...] Read more.
Glyphosate is a cheap herbicide that has been used to control a wide range of weeds (4–6 times/year) in citrus groves of the Gulf of Mexico; however, its excessive use has selected for glyphosate-resistant weeds. We evaluated the efficacy and economic viability of 13 herbicide treatments (glyphosate combined with PRE- and/or POST-emergence herbicides and other alternative treatments), applied in tank-mixture or sequence, to control glyphosate-resistant weeds in two Persian lime groves (referred to as SM-I and SM-II) of the municipality of Acateno, Puebla, during two years (2014 and 2015). The SM-I and SM-II fields had 243 and 346 weeds/m2, respectively, composed mainly of Bidens pilosa and Leptochloa virgata. Echinochloa colona was also frequent in SM-II. The glyphosate alone treatments (1080, 1440, or 1800 g ae ha−1) presented control levels of the total weed population ranging from 64% to 85% at 15, 30, and 45 d after treatment (DAT) in both fields. Mixtures of glyphosate with grass herbicides such as fluazifop-p-butyl, sethoxydim, and clethodim efficiently controlled E. colona and L. virgata, but favored the regrowth of B. pilosa. The sequential applications of glyphosate + (bromacil + diuron) and glufosinate + oxyfluorfen controlled more than 85% the total weed community for more than 75 days. However, these treatments were between 360% and 390% more expensive (1.79 and 1.89 $/day ha−1 of satisfactory weed control, respectively), compared to the representative treatment (glyphosate 1080 g ae ha−1 = USD $29.0 ha−1). In practical and economic terms, glufosinate alone was the best treatment controlling glyphosate resistant weeds maintaining control levels >80% for at least 60 DAT ($1.35/day ha−1). The rest of the treatments, applied in tank-mix or in sequence with glyphosate, had similar or lower control levels (~70%) than glyphosate at 1080 g ae ha−1. The adoption of glufosiante alone, glufosinate + oxyfluorfen or glyphosate + (bromacil + diuron) must consider the cost of satisfactory weed control per day, the period of weed control, as well as other factors associated with production costs to obtain an integrated weed management in the short and long term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbicide Resistance in Plants)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Intra-Sample Heterogeneity of Potato Starch Reveals Fluctuation of Starch-Binding Proteins According to Granule Morphology
Plants 2019, 8(9), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090324 - 04 Sep 2019
Viewed by 218
Abstract
Starch granule morphology is highly variable depending on the botanical origin. Moreover, all investigated plant species display intra-tissular variability of granule size. In potato tubers, the size distribution of starch granules follows a unimodal pattern with diameters ranging from 5 to 100 µm. [...] Read more.
Starch granule morphology is highly variable depending on the botanical origin. Moreover, all investigated plant species display intra-tissular variability of granule size. In potato tubers, the size distribution of starch granules follows a unimodal pattern with diameters ranging from 5 to 100 µm. Several evidences indicate that granule morphology in plants is related to the complex starch metabolic pathway. However, the intra-sample variability of starch-binding metabolic proteins remains unknown. Here, we report on the molecular characterization of size-fractionated potato starch granules with average diameters of 14.2 ± 3.7 µm, 24.5 ± 6.5 µm, 47.7 ± 12.8 µm, and 61.8 ± 17.4 µm. In addition to changes in the phosphate contents as well as small differences in the amylopectin structure, we found that the starch-binding protein stoichiometry varies significantly according to granule size. Label-free quantitative proteomics of each granule fraction revealed that individual proteins can be grouped according to four distinct abundance patterns. This study corroborates that the starch proteome may influence starch granule growth and architecture and opens up new perspectives in understanding the dynamics of starch biosynthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Starch Metabolism in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Genetically Modified Heat Shock Protein90s and Polyamine Oxidases in Arabidopsis Reveal Their Interaction under Heat Stress Affecting Polyamine Acetylation, Oxidation and Homeostasis of Reactive Oxygen Species
Plants 2019, 8(9), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090323 - 03 Sep 2019
Viewed by 361
Abstract
The chaperones, heat shock proteins (HSPs), stabilize proteins to minimize proteotoxic stress, especially during heat stress (HS) and polyamine (PA) oxidases (PAOs) participate in the modulation of the cellular homeostasis of PAs and reactive oxygen species (ROS). An interesting interaction of HSP90s and [...] Read more.
The chaperones, heat shock proteins (HSPs), stabilize proteins to minimize proteotoxic stress, especially during heat stress (HS) and polyamine (PA) oxidases (PAOs) participate in the modulation of the cellular homeostasis of PAs and reactive oxygen species (ROS). An interesting interaction of HSP90s and PAOs was revealed in Arabidopsis thaliana by using the pLFY:HSP90RNAi line against the four AtHSP90 genes encoding cytosolic proteins, the T-DNA Athsp90-1 and Athsp90-4 insertional mutants, the Atpao3 mutant and pharmacological inhibitors of HSP90s and PAOs. Silencing of all cytosolic HSP90 genes resulted in several-fold higher levels of soluble spermidine (S-Spd), acetylated Spd (N8-acetyl-Spd) and acetylated spermine (N1-acetyl-Spm) in the transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana leaves. Heat shock induced increase of soluble-PAs (S-PAs) and soluble hydrolyzed-PAs (SH-PAs), especially of SH-Spm, and more importantly of acetylated Spd and Spm. The silencing of HSP90 genes or pharmacological inhibition of the HSP90 proteins by the specific inhibitor radicicol, under HS stimulatory conditions, resulted in a further increase of PA titers, N8-acetyl-Spd and N1-acetyl-Spm, and also stimulated the expression of PAO genes. The increased PA titers and PAO enzymatic activity resulted in a profound increase of PAO-derived hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels, which was terminated by the addition of the PAO-specific inhibitor guazatine. Interestingly, the loss-of-function Atpao3 mutant exhibited increased mRNA levels of selected AtHSP90 genes. Taken together, the results herein reveal a novel function of HSP90 and suggest that HSP90s and PAOs cross-talk to orchestrate PA acetylation, oxidation, and PA/H2O2 homeostasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Polyamines)
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Open AccessArticle
Roles of Hardened Husks and Membranes Surrounding Brachypodium hybridum Grains on Germination and Seedling Growth
Plants 2019, 8(9), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090322 - 03 Sep 2019
Viewed by 199
Abstract
Several studies have assessed the function and significance of the presence of dead, hardened husks on germination and seedling growth in several grass species and reached to inconsistent results. Here, we assess the roles of husks (dead lemma and palea) and an inner [...] Read more.
Several studies have assessed the function and significance of the presence of dead, hardened husks on germination and seedling growth in several grass species and reached to inconsistent results. Here, we assess the roles of husks (dead lemma and palea) and an inner membrane surrounding the grains on germination behaviour and seedling growth of Brachypodium hybridum, one of three species of the genetic model B. distachyon complex, in an arid mountain of Arabia. The interactive effects between temperature and the incubation light were assessed on germination of husked and dehusked-demembraned grains. Germination and seedling growth were assessed for different combinations of grain treatments (soaked and non-soaked husked, dehusked-membraned and dehusked-demembraned). Dehusked-demembraned grains were also germinated in different dormancy regulating compounds (DRCs) and light qualities (light, dark and different red: far red [R: FR] ratios). The results indicated an insignificant difference between husked and dehusked-membraned grains on final germination and the germination rate index (GRI), with the former producing significantly bigger seedlings. Removal of the inner-membrane resulted in a significant reduction in all traits. Soaking grains in water resulted in significant enhancements in germination and seedling growth of only husked grains. Husked-membraned and demembraned grains germinated more significantly and faster at lower rather than higher temperatures. None of different concentrations of several DRCs succeeded in enhancing final germination of dehusked-demembraned grains. Red-rich light significantly enhanced germination of dehusked-membraned grains in comparison to other light qualities. It could be concluded that the role of husks is to mainly enhance seedling growth, while the major role of the membrane is to increase final germination. The ability of red-rich light in enhancing the germination of dehusked-membraned but not dehusked-demembraned grains suggest a role for the inner membrane in regulating dormancy through differential filtering of light properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants Reacts to the Changing Environment)
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