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Plants, Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2020) – 144 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Catharanthus roseus is the source of powerful anticancer monoterpene indole alkaloids (MIAs), in [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Naringenin Regulates Doxorubicin-Induced Liver Dysfunction: Impact on Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
Plants 2020, 9(4), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040550 - 24 Apr 2020
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Doxorubicin (Dox) is an operational and largely used anticancer drug, used to treat an array of malignancies. Nonetheless, its beneficial use is constrained due to its renal and hepatotoxicity dose dependently. Numerous research findings favor the use of antioxidants may impact Dox-induced liver [...] Read more.
Doxorubicin (Dox) is an operational and largely used anticancer drug, used to treat an array of malignancies. Nonetheless, its beneficial use is constrained due to its renal and hepatotoxicity dose dependently. Numerous research findings favor the use of antioxidants may impact Dox-induced liver injury/damage. In the current study, Wistar rats were given naringenin (50 and 100 mg/kg b.wt.) orally for 20 days as prophylactic dose, against the hepatotoxicity induced by single intraperitoneal injection of Dox (20 mg/kg b.wt.). Potency of naringenin against the liver damage caused by Dox was assessed by measuring malonyl aldehyde (MDA) as a by-product of lipid peroxidation, biochemical estimation of antioxidant enzyme system, reactive oxygen species (ROS) level, and inflammatory mediators. Naringenin-attenuated ROS production, ROS-induced lipid peroxidation, and replenished reduced antioxidant armory, namely, catalase (CAT), glutathione reductase (GR), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione (GSH). Naringenin similarly diminished expression of Cox-2 and levels of NF-κB and other inflammatory molecules induced by the Dox treatment. Histology added further evidence to the defensive effects of naringenin on Dox-induced liver damage. The outcomes of the current study reveal that oxidative stress and inflammation are meticulously linked with Dox-triggered damage, and naringenin illustrates the potential effect on Dox-induced hepatotoxicity probably through diminishing the oxidative stress and inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Derived Chemicals: A Source of Inspiration for New Drugs)
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Open AccessArticle
Unraveling the Phylogenomic Relationships of the Most Diverse African Palm Genus Raphia (Calamoideae, Arecaceae)
Plants 2020, 9(4), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040549 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 775
Abstract
Palms are conspicuous floristic elements across the tropics. In continental Africa, even though there are less than 70 documented species, they are omnipresent across the tropical landscape. The genus Raphia has 20 accepted species in Africa and one species endemic to the Neotropics. [...] Read more.
Palms are conspicuous floristic elements across the tropics. In continental Africa, even though there are less than 70 documented species, they are omnipresent across the tropical landscape. The genus Raphia has 20 accepted species in Africa and one species endemic to the Neotropics. It is the most economically important genus of African palms with most of its species producing food and construction material. Raphia is divided into five sections based on inflorescence morphology. Nevertheless, the taxonomy of Raphia is problematic with no intra-generic phylogenetic study available. We present a phylogenetic study of the genus using a targeted exon capture approach sequencing of 56 individuals representing 18 out of the 21 species. Our results recovered five well supported clades within the genus. Three sections correspond to those based on inflorescence morphology. R. regalis is strongly supported as sister to all other Raphia species and is placed into a newly described section: Erectae. Overall, morphological based identifications agreed well with our phylogenetic analyses, with 12 species recovered as monophyletic based on our sampling. Species delimitation analyses recovered 17 or 23 species depending on the confidence level used. Species delimitation is especially problematic in the Raphiate and Temulentae sections. In addition, our clustering analysis using SNP data suggested that individual clusters matched geographic distribution. The Neotropical species R. taedigera is supported as a distinct species, rejecting the hypothesis of a recent introduction into South America. Our analyses support the hypothesis that the Raphia individuals from Madagascar are potentially a distinct species different from the widely distributed R. farinifera. In conclusion, our results support the infra generic classification of Raphia based on inflorescence morphology, which is shown to be phylogenetically useful. Classification and species delimitation within sections remains problematic even with our phylogenomic approach. Certain widely distributed species could potentially contain cryptic species. More in-depth studies should be undertaken using morphometrics, increased sampling, and more variable markers. Our study provides a robust phylogenomic framework that enables further investigation on the biogeographic history, morphological evolution, and other eco-evolutionary aspects of this charismatic, socially, and economically important palm genus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Systematics, Taxonomy, Nomenclature and Classification)
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Open AccessArticle
Developing a Sufficient Protocol for the Enhancement of α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity by Urena lobata L. Aeroponic Hairy Roots Using Exogenous Factors, a Precursor, and an Elicitor
Plants 2020, 9(4), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040548 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 296
Abstract
Aeroponics is considered as a potential method for the culture of herbal plants due to the high growth rate, quantity and quality enhancement of secondary metabolites, and substantial environmental progress associated with this method. The aim of this study was to develop a [...] Read more.
Aeroponics is considered as a potential method for the culture of herbal plants due to the high growth rate, quantity and quality enhancement of secondary metabolites, and substantial environmental progress associated with this method. The aim of this study was to develop a sufficient protocol for successful Urena lobata hairy root induction by Agrobacterium rhizogenes ATCC 15834, using a precursor and elicitor to enhance α-glucosidase inhibitory activity (GIA) of aeroponic hairy roots (AHRs) in greenhouse conditions. In this study, we found that the optimized procedure (10 min, Woody plant medium (WPM), 1/25 salt strength) had an outstanding effect with a reduction in the rooting time (RT), promotion of the rooting rate (RR), and increase in the fresh weight (FW) and dry weight (DW) compared with the original procedure (30 min, Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium, 1/25 salt strength) after 30 days of culture. The highest DW, GIA, flavonoid (FLA) and phenolic (PHEL) contents were observed for individual addition of 10 mM phenylalanine (PA) or 50 mM chitosan (CS) in the late exponential phase (eighth week) with 15 days of elicitation compared to the control AHRs. However, individual treatment was less effective than the combination of the two. Positive correlations among the GIA, FLA and PHEL indicate that AHRs accumulated phenolic compounds, leading to an increase in the GIA by a synergistic effect. In conclusion, the culture of Urena lobata AHRs with PA and CS is an efficient procedure to produce GIA material in greenhouse conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Tissue Culture)
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Open AccessArticle
OsbHLH073 Negatively Regulates Internode Elongation and Plant Height by Modulating GA Homeostasis in Rice
Plants 2020, 9(4), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040547 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 453
Abstract
Internode elongation is one of the key agronomic traits determining a plant’s height and biomass. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling internode elongation is still limited in crop plant species. Here, we report the functional identification of an atypical basic helix-loop-helix [...] Read more.
Internode elongation is one of the key agronomic traits determining a plant’s height and biomass. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling internode elongation is still limited in crop plant species. Here, we report the functional identification of an atypical basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor (OsbHLH073) through gain-of-function studies using overexpression (OsbHLH073-OX) and activation tagging (osbhlh073-D) lines of rice. The expression of OsbHLH073 was significantly increased in the osbhlh073-D line. The phenotype of osbhlh073-D showed semi-dwarfism due to deficient elongation of the first internode and poor panicle exsertion. Transgenic lines overexpressing OsbHLH073 confirmed the phenotype of the osbhlh073-D line. Exogenous gibberellic acid (GA3) treatment recovered the semi-dwarf phenotype of osbhlh073-D plants at the seedling stage. In addition, quantitative expression analysis of genes involving in GA biosynthetic and signaling pathway revealed that the transcripts of rice ent-kaurene oxidases 1 and 2 (OsKO1 and OsKO2) encoding the GA biosynthetic enzyme were significantly downregulated in osbhlh073-D and OsbHLH073-OX lines. Yeast two-hybrid and localization assays showed that the OsbHLH073 protein is a nuclear localized-transcriptional activator. We report that OsbHLH073 participates in regulating plant height, internode elongation, and panicle exsertion by regulating GA biosynthesis associated with the OsKO1 and OsKO2 genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Frequency, Spectrum, and Stability of Leaf Mutants Induced by Diverse γ-Ray Treatments in Two Cymbidium Hybrids
Plants 2020, 9(4), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040546 - 23 Apr 2020
Viewed by 273
Abstract
Ionizing radiation combined with in vitro tissue culture has been used for development of new cultivars in diverse crops. The effects of ionizing radiation on mutation induction have been analyzed on several orchid species, including Cymbidium. Limited information is available on the [...] Read more.
Ionizing radiation combined with in vitro tissue culture has been used for development of new cultivars in diverse crops. The effects of ionizing radiation on mutation induction have been analyzed on several orchid species, including Cymbidium. Limited information is available on the comparison of mutation frequency and spectrum based on phenotypes in Cymbidium species. In addition, the stability of induced chimera mutants in Cymbidium is unknown. In this study, we analyzed the radiation sensitivity, mutation frequency, and spectrum of mutants induced by diverse γ-ray treatments, and analyzed the stability of induced chimera mutants in the Cymbidium hybrid cultivars RB003 and RB012. The optimal γ-irradiation conditions of each cultivar differed as follows: RB003, mutation frequency of 4.06% (under 35 Gy/4 h); RB012, 1.51% (20 Gy/1 h). Re-irradiation of γ-rays broadened the mutation spectrum observed in RB012. The stability of leaf-color chimera mutants was higher than that of leaf-shape chimeras, and stability was dependent on the chimera type and location of a mutation in the cell layers of the shoot apical meristem. These results indicated that short-term γ-irradiation was more effective to induce mutations in Cymbidium. Information on the stability of chimera mutants will be useful for mutation breeding of diverse ornamental plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Mutation Breeding)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptional Dynamics and Candidate Genes Involved in Pod Maturation of Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)
Plants 2020, 9(4), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040545 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 520
Abstract
Pod maturation of common bean relies upon complex gene expression changes, which in turn are crucial for seed formation and dispersal. Hence, dissecting the transcriptional regulation of pod maturation would be of great significance for breeding programs. In this study, a comprehensive characterization [...] Read more.
Pod maturation of common bean relies upon complex gene expression changes, which in turn are crucial for seed formation and dispersal. Hence, dissecting the transcriptional regulation of pod maturation would be of great significance for breeding programs. In this study, a comprehensive characterization of expression changes has been performed in two common bean cultivars (ancient and modern) by analyzing the transcriptomes of five developmental pod stages, from fruit setting to maturation. RNA-seq analysis allowed for the identification of key genes shared by both accessions, which in turn were homologous to known Arabidopsis maturation genes and furthermore showed a similar expression pattern along the maturation process. Gene- expression changes suggested a role in promoting an accelerated breakdown of photosynthetic and ribosomal machinery associated with chlorophyll degradation and early activation of alpha-linolenic acid metabolism. A further study of transcription factors and their DNA binding sites revealed three candidate genes whose functions may play a dominant role in regulating pod maturation. Altogether, this research identifies the first maturation gene set reported in common bean so far and contributes to a better understanding of the dynamic mechanisms of pod maturation, providing potentially useful information for genomic-assisted breeding of common bean yield and pod quality attributes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Breeding for Fruit Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Mosquito Larvicidal Activity, Antimicrobial Activity, and Chemical Compositions of Essential Oils from Four Species of Myrtaceae from Central Vietnam
Plants 2020, 9(4), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040544 - 22 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 724
Abstract
Mosquitoes are important vectors of several diseases, and control of these insects is imperative for human health. Insecticides have proven useful in controlling mosquito populations, but insecticide resistance and environmental concerns are increasing. Additionally, emerging and re-emerging microbial infections are problematic. Essential oils [...] Read more.
Mosquitoes are important vectors of several diseases, and control of these insects is imperative for human health. Insecticides have proven useful in controlling mosquito populations, but insecticide resistance and environmental concerns are increasing. Additionally, emerging and re-emerging microbial infections are problematic. Essential oils have been shown to be promising mosquito larvicidal agents as well as antimicrobial agents. In this work, the essential oils from four species of Myrtaceae (Baeckea frutescens, Callistemon citrinus, Melaleuca leucadendra, and Syzygium nervosum) growing wild in central Vietnam have been obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatographic techniques. The essential oils have been screened for mosquito larvicidal activity against Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, and Culex quinquefasciatus, and for antimicrobial activity against Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. Callistemon citrinus fruit essential oil, rich in α-pinene (35.1%), 1,8-cineole (32.4%), limonene (8.2%), and α-terpineol (5.8%) showed good larvicidal activity with 24-h LC50 = 17.3 μg/mL against both Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus, and good antibacterial activity against E. faecalis (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) = 16 μg/mL) The 48-h larvicidal activities of M. leucadendra leaf essential oil, rich in α-eudesmol (17.6%), guaiol (10.9%), linalool (5.1%), (E)-caryophyllene (7.0%), and bulnesol (3.6%) were particularly notable, with LC50 of 1.4 and 1.8 μg/mL on Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus. Similarly, M. leucadendra bark essential oil, with α-eudesmol (24.1%) and guaiol (11.3%), showed good antibacterial activity against. E. faecalis. Both B. frutescens and C. citrinus leaf essential oils demonstrated anti-Candida activities with MIC values of 16 μg/mL. The results of this investigation suggest that essential oils derived from the Myrtaceae may serve as “green” alternatives for the control of mosquitoes and/or complementary antimicrobial agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2019 Feature Papers by Plants’ Editorial Board Members)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Analysis of the Complete Plastid Genome of Five Bupleurum Species and New Insights into DNA Barcoding and Phylogenetic Relationship
Plants 2020, 9(4), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040543 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 358
Abstract
Bupleurum L. (Apiaceae) is a perennial and herbal genus, most species of which have high medicinal value. However, few studies have been performed using plastome data in this genus, and the phylogenetic relationships have always been controversial. In this study, the plastid genomes [...] Read more.
Bupleurum L. (Apiaceae) is a perennial and herbal genus, most species of which have high medicinal value. However, few studies have been performed using plastome data in this genus, and the phylogenetic relationships have always been controversial. In this study, the plastid genomes of Bupleurum chinense and Bupleurum commelynoideum were sequenced, and their gene content, order, and structure were counted and analyzed. The only three published Bupleurum species (B. boissieuanum, B. falcatum, and B. latissimum) and other fifteen allied species were selected to conduct a series of comparative and phylogenetic analyses. The genomes of B. chinense and B. commelynoideum were 155,869 and 155,629 bp in length, respectively, both of which had a typical quadripartite structure. The genome length, structure, guanine and cytosine (GC) content, and gene distribution were highly similar to the other three Bupleurum species. The five Bupleurum species had nearly the same codon usages, and eight regions (petN-psbM, rbcL-accD, ccsA-ndhD, trnK(UUU)-rps16, rpl32-trnL(UAG)-ccsA, petA-psbJ, ndhF-rpl32, and trnP(UGG)-psaJ-rpl33) were found to possess relatively higher nucleotide diversity, which may be the promising DNA barcodes in Bupleurum. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that all Bupleurum species clustered into a monophyletic clade with high bootstrap support and diverged after the Chamaesium clade. Overall, our study provides new insights into DNA barcoding and phylogenetic relationship between Bupleurum and its related genera, and will facilitate the population genomics, conservation genetics, and phylogenetics of Bupleurum in Apiaceae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolutionary Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Insight into the Chromosome Structure of the Cultivated Tetraploid Alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp. sativa L.) by a Combined Use of GISH and FISH Techniques
Plants 2020, 9(4), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040542 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 271
Abstract
Cytogenetic research in Medicago sativa subsp. sativa L., the cultivated tetraploid alfalfa (2n = 4x = 32), has lagged behind other crops mostly due to the small size and the uniform morphology of its chromosomes. However, in the last decades, the development of [...] Read more.
Cytogenetic research in Medicago sativa subsp. sativa L., the cultivated tetraploid alfalfa (2n = 4x = 32), has lagged behind other crops mostly due to the small size and the uniform morphology of its chromosomes. However, in the last decades, the development of molecular cytogenetic techniques based on in situ hybridization has largely contributed to overcoming these limitations. The purpose of this study was to extend our knowledge about the chromosome structure of alfalfa by using a combination of genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) techniques. The results of self-GISH (sGISH) suggested that a substantial part of the repetitive fraction of the genome of subsp. sativa is constituted by tandem repeats typical of satellite DNA. The coincidence of sGISH and C-banding patterns supported this assumption. The FISH mapping of the Arabidopsis-type TTTAGGG telomeric repeats demonstrated, for the first time, that the alfalfa telomeres consist of this type of sequence and revealed a massive presence of interstitial telomeric repeats (ITRs). In the light of this finding M. sativa appears to be a suitable material for studying the origin and function of such extra telomeric repeats. To further exploit this result, investigation will be extended to the diploid subspp. coerulea and falcata in order to explore possible connections between the distribution of ITRs, the ploidy level, and the evolutionary pathway of the taxa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Climate Change Enhanced Carotenoid Pro-Vitamin A Levels of Selected Plantain Cultivars
Plants 2020, 9(4), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040541 - 22 Apr 2020
Viewed by 351
Abstract
Diet diversification and the exploitation of traditional, micronutrient-rich germplasm of staple crops are generally regarded as sustainable and low-cost approaches to increase the micronutrient intake of resource-poor people. Sun’s UV index was collected daily throughout the year. The study assessed the seasonality of [...] Read more.
Diet diversification and the exploitation of traditional, micronutrient-rich germplasm of staple crops are generally regarded as sustainable and low-cost approaches to increase the micronutrient intake of resource-poor people. Sun’s UV index was collected daily throughout the year. The study assessed the seasonality of provitamin A carotenoids in three plantain cultivars in response to climatic condition. Fruits were harvested at three maturities and freeze-dried before analysis. The results showed that there were high levels of the sun’s UV-B radiations throughout the year with the highest occurring from November to May when the area experienced clear skies with minimal cloud cover. These high levels of the sun’s UV-B index occurred between 9.00 h GMT and 17.00 h GMT. The study also showed that α-carotene content increased with maturity in “Apantu” during the rainy seasons ranging from 95 to 172 μg/100 g of dry pulp. Similar trends were observed during the dry season with a range of 28 to 489 μg/100 g. The α-carotene contents were very high in the periods of high sun’s UV-B radiations compared to the periods of low sun’s UV-B radiations. The α-carotene levels in the giant French plantains showed similar trends. Intermediate French “Oniaba” and False Horn “Apantu” plantain cultivar showed the highest content of β-carotene during the dry season. The high provitamin A carotenoid levels in the cultivars coincided with the high levels of the sun’s UV index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Profiling of Ornithogalum dubium Leaves and Flowers to Identify Key Carotenoid Genes for CRISPR Gene Editing
Plants 2020, 9(4), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040540 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 403
Abstract
Ornithogalum dubium is a popular ornamental monocot native to South Africa with flower colors ranging from pure white to deep orange. Gene editing based on the CRISPR/Cas9 system has recently been shown to hold potential for color improvement in ornamental flower crops. To [...] Read more.
Ornithogalum dubium is a popular ornamental monocot native to South Africa with flower colors ranging from pure white to deep orange. Gene editing based on the CRISPR/Cas9 system has recently been shown to hold potential for color improvement in ornamental flower crops. To apply this approach to Ornithogalum color manipulation, genomic or transcriptomic data must first be collected. Here, cDNA libraries of O. dubium leaves and flowers were constructed and sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2500. Over 155 million 100-bp paired-end reads were assembled into a transcriptome database of 360,689 contigs, of which 18,660 contigs were differentially expressed between leaves and flowers. Carotenoids are the main pigment imparting spectrum of orange hues to O. dubium flowers. By querying our database, we identified a total of 16 unique transcripts (unigenes) predicted to be involved in the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway of Ornithogalum. Combining carotenoid profiles, we further inferred several key unigenes responsible for floral coloration and accumulation in O. dubium, of which the gene LCYB/comp146645_c0 was found as a suitable target to generate potentially red flower varieties of O. dubium. Our research thus provides a framework for the application of CRISPR/Cas9 technology to improve this ornamental crop. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Performance of Dry-Seeded Rice Genotypes under Varied Soil Moisture Regimes and Foliar-Applied Hormones
Plants 2020, 9(4), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040539 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 280
Abstract
Plant hormones influence various physiological processes during the growth and development of plants, but their critical roles in influencing yield and antioxidant activities in dry-seeded rice (DSR) have not been adequately explored. This study aims to analyze the performance and antioxidant activity of [...] Read more.
Plant hormones influence various physiological processes during the growth and development of plants, but their critical roles in influencing yield and antioxidant activities in dry-seeded rice (DSR) have not been adequately explored. This study aims to analyze the performance and antioxidant activity of contrasting genotypes of DSR in response to soil moisture regimes and foliar-applied hormones. The study comprised sixteen treatments that were evaluated under field conditions as per split-plot design in three replications. Treatments comprised combinations of two soil moisture tension regimes (10 kPa and 20 kPa) and two genotypes (PR-111, non-stay-green type and PR-123, stay-green type) applied to the main plots and foliar application of three hormones (gibberellic acid (GA3) 40 mg kg−1, abscisic acid (ABA) 20 mg kg−1, and cytokinin (CK) 40 mg kg−1)) and a control (unsprayed) to subplots. The non-stay-green genotype (PR-111) resulted in 34.6% more grain yield (6.48 t ha−1) than the stay-green genotype (PR-123) at the lower soil moisture tension regime (SMTR) (10 kPa) due to the increased number of filled grains per panicle and improvement in harvest index (HI). At the higher SMTR (20 kPa), the stay-green genotype (PR-123) produced 26.4% more grain yield (5.21 t ha−1) than non-stay green genotype (4.12 t ha−1) and showed enhanced superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxide dismutase (POD) activity that may have contributed in maintaining sink size through improved chlorophyll content. Grain yield (6.35 t ha−1) with foliar-applied GA3 (40 mg kg−1) at SMTR of 10 kPa was higher by 12.2% and 24.0% than with foliar-applied ABA (20 mg kg−1) and unsprayed treatments, respectively. Irrigation application at SMTR of 20 kPa and foliar application of ABA gave 24.1% higher grain yield (5.15 t ha−1) than the unsprayed treatment, but it was similar to foliar-applied GA3 and CK. This study implied that the stay-green genotype (PR-123) was more suitable under moisture stress conditions (20 kPa) in DSR, as it maintained sink size even under moisture stress conditions by improving dry matter translocation and enhancing SOD and POD activity. The study suggests the need to find out the endogenous level of these plant hormones in rice genotypes under a range of water regimes to develop high yielding and water use efficient genotypes of DSR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Eco-Physiological Traits Related to Recovery from Complete Submergence in the Model Legume Lotus japonicus
Plants 2020, 9(4), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040538 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 287
Abstract
Submergence is a severe form of stress for most plants. Lotus japonicus is a model legume with potential use in assisting breeding programs of closely related forage Lotus species. Twelve L. japonicus genotypes (10 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and 2 parental accessions) with [...] Read more.
Submergence is a severe form of stress for most plants. Lotus japonicus is a model legume with potential use in assisting breeding programs of closely related forage Lotus species. Twelve L. japonicus genotypes (10 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and 2 parental accessions) with different constitutive shoot to root dry mass ratios (S:R) were subjected to 7 days of submergence in clear water and allowed to recover for two weeks post-submergence; a set of non-submerged plants served as controls. Relative growth rate (RGR) was used to indicate the recovery ability of the plants. Leaf relative water content (RWC), stomatal conductance (gs), greenness of basal and apical leaves, and chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm, as a measure of photoinhibition) were monitored during recovery, and relationships among these variables and RGR were explored across genotypes. The main results showed (i) variation in recovery ability (RGR) from short-term complete submergence among genotypes, (ii) a trade-off between growth during vs. after the stress indicated by a negative correlation between RGR during submergence and RGR post-submergence, (iii) an inverse relationship between RGR during recovery and S:R upon de-submergence, (iv) positive relationships between RGR at early recovery and RWC and gs, which were negatively related to S:R, suggesting this parameter as a good estimator of plant water balance post-submergence, (v) chlorophyll retention allowed fast recovery as revealed by the positive relationship between greenness of basal and apical leaves and RGR during the first recovery week, and (vi) full repair of the submergence-damaged photosynthetic apparatus occurred more slowly (second recovery week) than full recovery of plant water relations. The inclusion of these traits contributing to submergence recovery in L. japonicus should be considered to speed up the breeding process of the closely related forage Lotus spp. used in current agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Responses to Hypoxia)
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Open AccessArticle
Agrobacterium-Mediated Transformation of Chrysanthemum with Artemisinin Biosynthesis Pathway Genes
Plants 2020, 9(4), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040537 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Artemisinin-based drugs are the most effective medicine for the malaria treatment. To date, the main method of artemisinin production is its extraction from wormwood plants Artemisia annua L. Due to the limitation of this source, considerable efforts are now directed to the development [...] Read more.
Artemisinin-based drugs are the most effective medicine for the malaria treatment. To date, the main method of artemisinin production is its extraction from wormwood plants Artemisia annua L. Due to the limitation of this source, considerable efforts are now directed to the development of methods for artemisinin production using heterologous expression systems. Artemisinin is a sesquiterpene lactone, synthesized through the cyclization of farnesyl diphosphate involved in other sesquiterpene biosynthetic systems. Chrysanthemum species as well as A. annua, belong to Asteraceae family, and had been characterized by containing highly content of sesquiterpenes and their precursors. This makes chrysanthemum a promising target for the production of artemisinin in heterologous host plants. Chrysanthemum (C. morifolium Ramat.) was transformed by Agrobacterium tumefaciens carrying with the binary vectors p1240 and p1250, bearing artemisinin biosynthesis genes coding: amorpha-4,11-diene synthase, artemisinic aldehyde Δ11(13) reductase, amorpha-4,11-diene monooxygenase (p1240 was targeted to the mitochondria and p1250 was targeted to the cytosol), cytochrome P450 reductase from A. annua, as well as yeast truncated 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutarylcoenzyme A reductase. This study obtained 8 kanamycin-resistant lines after transformation with the p1240 and 2 lines from p1250. All target genes were detected in 2 and 1 transgenic lines of the 2 vectors. The transformation frequency of all target genes were 0.33% and 0.17% for p1240 and p1250, relative to the total transformed explant numbers. RT-PCR analysis revealed the transcription of all transferred genes in two lines obtained after transformation with the p1240 vector, confirming the possibility of transferring genetic modules encoding entire biochemical pathways into the chrysanthemum genome. This holds promise for the development of a chrysanthemum-based expression system to produce non-protein substances, such as artemisinin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Expression Systems for Bioproduct Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Tolerance of Douglas Fir Somatic Plantlets to Aluminum Stress: Biological, Cytological, and Mineral Studies
Plants 2020, 9(4), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040536 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 318
Abstract
Aluminum (Al) is well known as a potent inhibitor of plant growth and development. It is notably present in soils in the soluble and bioavailable form Al3+ when the soil pH drops below 5. This situation is frequent, especially in softwood forests [...] Read more.
Aluminum (Al) is well known as a potent inhibitor of plant growth and development. It is notably present in soils in the soluble and bioavailable form Al3+ when the soil pH drops below 5. This situation is frequent, especially in softwood forests when litter decomposition is slow. In the present work, we studied the effects of Al3+ on the growth and development of Douglas fir plantlets. Somatic plantlets, regenerated via somatic embryogenesis, were grown in vitro on media supplemented with different concentrations of aluminum chloride (AlCl3): 0 µM, 200 µM, 500 µM. and 1 mM. We show that a concentration of 500 µM AlCl3 in medium significantly reduced root elongation (−21.8%), as well as stem growth (−14.6%). Also, a 25% reduction in dry mass of the plantlets was observed in presence of a concentration of 200 µM of AlCl3. Histological analysis of root tissues revealed significant damage, especially in conducting vessels. In addition, mineral cation content of plantlets was disturbed under Al exposure. More particularly, the Mg and K contents of needles and the Ca content of stems and needles were significantly reduced in presence of a concentration of 500 µM AlCl3 in the culture medium (−35.6%, −33.5%, −24%, and −34% respectively). However, all these damages appeared at relatively high Al concentrations when compared with other herbaceous species. This study shed light on the ability of Douglas fir in vitro plantlets to cope with the acid-driven toxicity of Al. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Abiotic Stress on Plants 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Preliminary Investigation of Effect of Neem-Derived Pesticides on Plasmopara halstedii Pathotype 704 in Sunflower under In Vitro and In Vivo Conditions
Plants 2020, 9(4), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040535 - 21 Apr 2020
Viewed by 295
Abstract
Two neem-derived pesticides were examined under in vitro and in vivo conditions to test their efficacy in controlling Plasmopara halstedii pathotype 704, a causal agent of downy mildew in sunflower. All the tested concentrations of neem leaf extract and the highest concentration of [...] Read more.
Two neem-derived pesticides were examined under in vitro and in vivo conditions to test their efficacy in controlling Plasmopara halstedii pathotype 704, a causal agent of downy mildew in sunflower. All the tested concentrations of neem leaf extract and the highest concentration of commercial neem product significantly reduced the sporangial germination under in vitro conditions. In in vivo experiment, 3-days old pre-treated seedlings with both concentrations of neem leaf extract and the highest concentration of commercial product showed a significant reduction in the infection indicating possible systemic effect of neem. When the seedlings were treated following the infection with P. halstedii (i.e., post-treatment), only the highest concentrations of neem leaf extract and the commercial product showed a significant reduction in the infection indicating curative effect of neem. Possibilities for the control of P. halstedii with neem-derived pesticides are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Studies of Fraxinus Species from Korea Using Microscopic Characterization, Phytochemical Analysis, and Anti-Lipase Enzyme Activity
Plants 2020, 9(4), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040534 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 347
Abstract
Fraxinus species belongs to the Oleaceae family, commonly known as Ash tree, and has been utilized as a folk medicine with various medicinal properties, including anti-obesity activity. The goal of the present study was to establish quality control parameters using microscopic characterization, phytochemical [...] Read more.
Fraxinus species belongs to the Oleaceae family, commonly known as Ash tree, and has been utilized as a folk medicine with various medicinal properties, including anti-obesity activity. The goal of the present study was to establish quality control parameters using microscopic characterization, phytochemical differentiation, and anti-lipase activity evaluation of five Fraxinus plants in Korea. Microscopic evaluation of the lower surface, petiole, and midrib of leaves, and stem bark showed discriminative anatomical characteristics, such as the stomatal index of the lower leaf surface; the number of sclerenchyma cells, and the diameter of parenchyma cells in the petiole and midrib; and the cork cell size and fiber frequency in the stem bark. Phytochemical analysis using high-performance liquid chromatography revealed the significant variation in the chemical profiles of the 12 major secondary metabolites among the samples. The orthogonal projections to latent structure-discrimination analysis efficiently differentiated each group belonging to each Fraxinus plant with the anatomical and quantification data. F. rhynchophylla and ligstroside showed the most potent anti-lipase activity among the plants and the 12 major metabolites, respectively. These findings could serve as the scientific criteria for the appropriate identification and establishment of standards for the use of Fraxinus species as medicinal plants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Allelochemical Activity of Eugenol-Derived Coumarins on Lactuca sativa L.
Plants 2020, 9(4), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040533 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Coumarins are widely distributed substances in plant species that promote phytotoxic effects, allowing them to be exploited as herbicides less harmful to the environment, since many invasive species have demonstrated resistance to commercially available products. The derived coumarins used in this study had [...] Read more.
Coumarins are widely distributed substances in plant species that promote phytotoxic effects, allowing them to be exploited as herbicides less harmful to the environment, since many invasive species have demonstrated resistance to commercially available products. The derived coumarins used in this study had not been tested in plant models and their effect on plants was unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the phytotoxic action of these coumarins in bioassays with Lactuca sativa L., in order to select the most responsive substance whose toxicity was best elucidated by chromosomal complement and enzymatic antioxidant metabolism studies. From the phytotoxicity assays, coumarin 8-methoxy-2-oxo-6-(prop-2-en-1-yl)-2H-chromene-3-carboxylic acid (A1), reported here for the first time, was selected as the most responsive and caused a reduction in the following parameters: number of normal seedlings, fresh biomass, root length and shoot length. Subsequent studies demonstrated that this coumarin is cytogenotoxic due to damage caused to the cell cycle and the occurrence of chromosomal abnormalities. However, it did not interfere with antioxidant enzyme activity and did not cause lipid peroxidation. The changes caused by coumarin A1 described herein can contribute to better understanding the allelochemical actions of coumarins and the potential use of these substances in the production of natural herbicides. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Dark/Light Treatments Followed by γ-Irradiation Increase the Frequency of Leaf-Color Mutants in Cymbidium
Plants 2020, 9(4), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040532 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 322
Abstract
Radiation randomly induces chromosomal mutations in plants. However, it was recently found that the frequency of flower-color mutants could be specifically increased by upregulating anthocyanin pathway gene expression before radiation treatments. The mechanisms of chlorophyll biosynthesis and degradation are active areas of plant [...] Read more.
Radiation randomly induces chromosomal mutations in plants. However, it was recently found that the frequency of flower-color mutants could be specifically increased by upregulating anthocyanin pathway gene expression before radiation treatments. The mechanisms of chlorophyll biosynthesis and degradation are active areas of plant study because chlorophyll metabolism is closely connected to photosynthesis. In this study, we determined the dark/light treatment conditions that resulted in upregulation of the expression levels of six chlorophyll pathway genes, uroporphyrinogen III synthase (HEMD), uroporphyrinogen III decarboxylase (HEME2), NADPH-protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (POR) A (PORA), chlorophyll synthase (CHLG), chlorophyllase (CLH2), and red chlorophyll catabolite reductase (RCCR), and measured their effects on the γ-irradiation-induced frequencies of leaf-color mutants in two Cymbidium cultivars. To degrade chlorophyll in rhizomes, 60–75 days of dark treatment were required. To upregulate the expressions of chlorophyll pathway genes, 10 days of light treatment appeared to be optimal. Dark/light treatments followed by γ-irradiation increased chlorophyll-related leaf mutants by 1.4- to 2.0-fold compared with γ-ray treatment alone. Dark/light treatments combined with γ-irradiation increased the frequency of leaf-color mutants in Cymbidium, which supports the wider implementation of a plant breeding methodology that increases the mutation frequency of a target trait by controlling the expression of target trait-related genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Mutation Breeding)
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Open AccessArticle
Management of Verticillium Wilt of Avocado Using Tolerant Rootstocks
Plants 2020, 9(4), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040531 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 293
Abstract
The global avocado industry is growing, and farmers are seeking to expand their plantations. However, many lands suitable for avocado planting were previously cultivated with hosts of the soil-borne fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae, which is the causal agent of Verticillium wilt (VW). [...] Read more.
The global avocado industry is growing, and farmers are seeking to expand their plantations. However, many lands suitable for avocado planting were previously cultivated with hosts of the soil-borne fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae, which is the causal agent of Verticillium wilt (VW). VW can seriously impair avocado orchards, and therefore, planting on infested soil is not recommended. The use of different rootstock types allows avocado cultivation in various regions with diverse biotic and abiotic constraints. Hence, we tested whether genetic variance among rootstocks may also be used to manage avocado VW. Six hundred trees, mostly Hass and some Ettinger, grafted on 23 selected rootstocks were evaluated for five years in a highly V. dahliae-inoculated plot for VW symptoms, fungal infection, and productivity. The selected rootstocks displayed a significant variation related to VW tolerance, and productive avocado rootstocks with potential VW tolerance were identified. Moreover, the rootstock productivity appears to correlate negatively to the susceptibility level. In conclusion, planting susceptible rootstocks (e.g., VC66, VC152, and VC26) in infested soil increases the likelihood of massive tree loss and low productivity. Whereas, tolerant rootstocks (e.g., VC804 and Dusa) may restrict VW and enable avocado cultivation on infested soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Verticillium Wilt Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Cadmium Tolerance and Pea Plant Health through Enterobacter sp. MN17 Inoculation Together with Biochar and Gravel Sand
Plants 2020, 9(4), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040530 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 324
Abstract
Contamination of soils with heavy metals, particularly cadmium (Cd), is an increasingly alarming environmental issue around the world. Application of organic and inorganic immobilizing amendments such as biochar and gravel sand in combination with metal-tolerant microbes has the potential to minimize the bioavailability [...] Read more.
Contamination of soils with heavy metals, particularly cadmium (Cd), is an increasingly alarming environmental issue around the world. Application of organic and inorganic immobilizing amendments such as biochar and gravel sand in combination with metal-tolerant microbes has the potential to minimize the bioavailability of Cd to plants. The present study was designed to identify the possible additive effects of the application of Enterobacter sp. MN17 as well as biochar and gravel sand on the reduction of Cd stress in plants and improvement of growth and nutritional quality of pea (Pisum sativum) plants through the reduction of Cd uptake. Pea seeds were surface sterilized then non-inoculated seeds and seeds inoculated with Enterobacter sp. MN17 were planted in artificially Cd-polluted soil, amended with the immobilizing agents biochar and gravel sand. Application of biochar and gravel sand alone and in combination not only improved the growth and nutritional quality of pea plants by in situ immobilization but also reduced the uptake of Cd by plant roots and its transport to shoots. However, microbial inoculation further enhanced the overall plant health as well as alleviated the toxic effects of Cd on the pea plants. These soil treatments also improved rates of photosynthesis and transpiration. The combined use of biochar and gravel sand with bacterial inoculation resulted in an increase in plant height (47%), shoot dry weight (42%), root dry weight (57%), and 100 seeds weight (49%) as compared to control plants in Cd contaminated soil. Likewise, biochemical constituents of pea seeds (protein, fat, fiber, and ash) were significantly increased up to 41%, 74%, 32%, and 72%, respectively, with the combined use of these immobilizing agents and bacterium. Overall, this study demonstrated that the combined application of biochar and gravel sand, particularly in combination with Enterobacter sp. MN17, could be an efficient strategy for the remediation of Cd contaminated soil. It could support better growth and nutritional quality of pea plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Acclimatization to Abiotic Stress)
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Open AccessArticle
Early Identification of Herbicide Modes of Action by the Use of Chlorophyll Fluorescence Measurements
Plants 2020, 9(4), 529; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040529 - 20 Apr 2020
Viewed by 306
Abstract
The effect of seven herbicides (U-46 Combi Fluid, Cruz, MR, Basagran Bromicide, Lumax, and Gramoxone) on Xanthium strumarium plants was studied. Chlorophyll content and fluorescence, leaf temperature, and stomatal conductance were evaluated at 12 h, 36 h, 60 h, and 84 h after [...] Read more.
The effect of seven herbicides (U-46 Combi Fluid, Cruz, MR, Basagran Bromicide, Lumax, and Gramoxone) on Xanthium strumarium plants was studied. Chlorophyll content and fluorescence, leaf temperature, and stomatal conductance were evaluated at 12 h, 36 h, 60 h, and 84 h after herbicides application. U46 Combi Fluid, Cruz, and MR did not have a significant effect on chlorophyll fluorescence induction curves as compared to the control treatment. However, Basagran, Bromicide, Lumax, and Gramoxone showed significant changes in the shape of polyphasic fluorescence transients (OJIP transients). Variations in chlorophyll content index, leaf temperature, and stomatal conductance parameters were dependent on the type of applied herbicide. Our study revealed that the specific impact of the applied herbicides on the photosynthetic efficiency of plants is related to their chemical groups and their mechanism of action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Open AccessReview
Selenium Interactions with Algae: Chemical Processes at Biological Uptake Sites, Bioaccumulation, and Intracellular Metabolism
Plants 2020, 9(4), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040528 - 19 Apr 2020
Viewed by 491
Abstract
Selenium (Se) uptake by primary producers is the most variable and important step in determining Se concentrations at higher trophic levels in aquatic food webs. We gathered data available about the Se bioaccumulation at the base of aquatic food webs and analyzed its [...] Read more.
Selenium (Se) uptake by primary producers is the most variable and important step in determining Se concentrations at higher trophic levels in aquatic food webs. We gathered data available about the Se bioaccumulation at the base of aquatic food webs and analyzed its relationship with Se concentrations in water. This important dataset was separated into lotic and lentic systems to provide a reliable model to estimate Se in primary producers from aqueous exposure. We observed that lentic systems had higher organic selenium and selenite concentrations than in lotic systems and selenate concentrations were higher in lotic environments. Selenium uptake by algae is mostly driven by Se concentrations, speciation and competition with other anions, and is as well influenced by pH. Based on Se species uptake by algae in the laboratory, we proposed an accurate mechanistic model of competition between sulfate and inorganic Se species at algal uptake sites. Intracellular Se transformations and incorporation into selenoproteins as well as the mechanisms through which Se can induce toxicity in algae has also been reviewed. We provided a new tool for risk assessment strategies to better predict accumulation in primary consumers and consequently to higher trophic levels, and we identified some research needs that could fill knowledge gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selenium Metabolism and Accumulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Paternity Assignment in White Guinea Yam (Dioscorea Rotundata) Half-Sib Progenies from Polycross Mating Design Using SNP Markers
Plants 2020, 9(4), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040527 - 19 Apr 2020
Viewed by 313
Abstract
White Guinea yam is mostly a dioecious outcrossing crop with male and female flowers produced on distinct plants. Fertile parents produce high fruit set in an open pollination polycross block, which is a cost-effective and convenient way of generating variability in yam breeding. [...] Read more.
White Guinea yam is mostly a dioecious outcrossing crop with male and female flowers produced on distinct plants. Fertile parents produce high fruit set in an open pollination polycross block, which is a cost-effective and convenient way of generating variability in yam breeding. However, the pollen parent of progeny from polycross mating is usually unknown. This study aimed to determine paternity in white Guinea yam half-sib progenies from polycross mating design. A total of 394 half-sib progenies from random open pollination involving nine female and three male parents was genotyped with 6602 SNP markers from DArTSeq platform to recover full pedigree. A higher proportion of expected heterozygosity, allelic richness, and evenness were observed in the half-sib progenies. A complete pedigree was established for all progenies from two families (TDr1685 and TDr1688) with 100% accuracy, while in the remaining families, paternity was assigned successfully only for 56 to 98% of the progenies. Our results indicated unequal paternal contribution under natural open pollination in yam, suggesting unequal pollen migrations or gene flow among the crossing parents. A total of 3.8% of progenies lacking paternal identity due to foreign pollen contamination outside the polycross block was observed. This study established the efficient determination of parental reconstruction and allelic contributions in the white Guinea yam half-sib progenies generated from open pollination polycross using SNP markers. Findings are useful for parental reconstruction, accurate dissection of the genetic effects, and selection in white Guinea yam breeding program utilizing polycross mating design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparing Salt Tolerance at Seedling and Germination Stages in Local Populations of Medicago ciliaris L. to Medicago intertexta L. and Medicago scutellata L.
Plants 2020, 9(4), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040526 - 19 Apr 2020
Viewed by 380
Abstract
Salt stress is one of the most serious environmental stressors that affect productivity of salt-sensitive crops. Medicago ciliaris is an annual legume whose adaptation to agroclimatic conditions has not been well described. This study focused on the salinity tolerance of M. ciliaris genotypes [...] Read more.
Salt stress is one of the most serious environmental stressors that affect productivity of salt-sensitive crops. Medicago ciliaris is an annual legume whose adaptation to agroclimatic conditions has not been well described. This study focused on the salinity tolerance of M. ciliaris genotypes compared to M. intertexta and M. scutellata in terms of plant growth, physiology, and biochemistry. Salt tolerance was determined at both germination and early seedling growth. Germination and hydroponic assays were used with exposing seeds to 0, 50, 100, 150, and 200 mM NaCl. Among seven genotypes of M. ciliaris studied, Pop1, 355, and 667, were most salt tolerant. Populations like 355 and 667 showed marked tolerance to salinity at both germination and seedling stages (TI ≤1, SI(FGP) > 0 increased FGP 20% and SI(DW) < 0 (DW decline ≤ 20%); at 100 mM); while Pop1 was the most salt tolerant one at seedling stages with (TI =1.79, SI(FGP) < 0 decline of FGP ≤ 40% and with increased DW to 79%); at 150 mM NaCl). The genotypes, 306, 773, and M. scutellata, were moderately tolerant to salt stress depending on salt concentration. Our study may be used as an efficient strategy to reveal genetic variation in response to salt stress. This approach allows selection for desirable traits, enabling more efficient applications in breeding methods to achieve stress-tolerant M. ciliaris populations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Low-Copy Genes in Terpenoid Metabolism: The Evolution and Expression of MVK and DXR Genes in Angiosperms
Plants 2020, 9(4), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040525 - 19 Apr 2020
Viewed by 421
Abstract
Terpenoids are a diverse class of metabolites that impact plant metabolism in response to environmental cues. They are synthesized either via a predominantly cytosolic (MVA) pathway or a plastidic pathway (MEP). In Arabidopsis, several enzymes from the MVA and MEP pathways are [...] Read more.
Terpenoids are a diverse class of metabolites that impact plant metabolism in response to environmental cues. They are synthesized either via a predominantly cytosolic (MVA) pathway or a plastidic pathway (MEP). In Arabidopsis, several enzymes from the MVA and MEP pathways are encoded by gene families, excluding MVK and DXR, which are single-copy genes. In this study, we assess the diversity, evolution and expression of DXR and MVK genes in selected angiosperms and Coffea arabica in particular. Evolutionary analysis revealed that DXR and MVK underwent purifying selection, but the selection effect for DXR was stronger than it was for MVK. Digital gene expression (DGE) profile analysis of six species revealed that expression levels of MVK in flowers and roots were high, whereas for DXR peak values were observed in leaves. In C. arabica, both genes were highly expressed in flowers, and CaDXR was upregulated in response to methyl jasmonate. C. arabica DGE data were validated by assessing gene expression in selected organs, and by plants treated with hexanoic acid (Hx) using RT-qPCR. MVK expression was upregulated in roots treated with Hx. CaDXR was downregulated in leaves by Hx treatment in a genotype-specific manner, indicating a differential response to priming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Propagation of Gastrochilus matsuran (Makino) Schltr., an Endangered Epiphytic Orchid
Plants 2020, 9(4), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040524 - 18 Apr 2020
Viewed by 406
Abstract
Gastrochilus matsuran (Makino) Schltr. (Orchidaceae) populations are declining quickly because of overexploitation, climatic changes, and deforestation; therefore, mass-production protocols are required for this orchid. Natural propagation of this species is often hampered by meager seed germination and slow growth. Thus, our aim was [...] Read more.
Gastrochilus matsuran (Makino) Schltr. (Orchidaceae) populations are declining quickly because of overexploitation, climatic changes, and deforestation; therefore, mass-production protocols are required for this orchid. Natural propagation of this species is often hampered by meager seed germination and slow growth. Thus, our aim was to establish an effective protocol for the in vitro propagation of G. matsuran and reduce the risk of its extinction. We investigated the impacts of culture media, coconut water (CW), and plant hormones (gibberellic acid (GA3), indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), and thidiazuron (TDZ)) on asymbiotic germination, multiplication and conversion of protocorms, and plantlet development. Maximal seed germination (93.3%) was achieved on ½ MS medium without vitamins plus 5% CW, 1 µM NAA, and 1.5 µM GA3. Secondary protocorm formation was best achieved on ½ MS medium without vitamins plus 2 µM TDZ. The conversion of protocorms into seedlings was maximized by supplementation with 2 µM IBA or 1 µM NAA. Acclimatized plantlets that exhibited exuberant growth on sphagnum moss were reintroduced to tree trunks in a natural habitat, with a 67% survival rate. This in vitro propagation procedure would be helpful for the mass production and conservation of this rare epiphytic orchid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Tissue Culture)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Structural Variants in Two Novel Genomes of Maize Inbred Lines Possibly Related to Glyphosate Tolerance
Plants 2020, 9(4), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040523 - 18 Apr 2020
Viewed by 394
Abstract
To study genetic variations between genomes of plants that are naturally tolerant and sensitive to glyphosate, we used two Zea mays L. lines traditionally bred in Poland. To overcome the complexity of the maize genome, two sequencing technologies were employed: Illumina and Single [...] Read more.
To study genetic variations between genomes of plants that are naturally tolerant and sensitive to glyphosate, we used two Zea mays L. lines traditionally bred in Poland. To overcome the complexity of the maize genome, two sequencing technologies were employed: Illumina and Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) PacBio. Eleven thousand structural variants, 4 million SNPs and approximately 800 thousand indels differentiating the two genomes were identified. Detailed analyses allowed to identify 20 variations within the EPSPS gene, but all of them were predicted to have moderate or unknown effects on gene expression. Other genes of the shikimate pathway encoding bifunctional 3-dehydroquinate dehydratase/shikimate dehydrogenase and chorismate synthase were altered by variants predicted to have a high impact on gene expression. Additionally, high-impact variants located within the genes involved in the active transport of glyphosate through the cell membrane encoding phosphate transporters as well as multidrug and toxic compound extrusion have been identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Bamboo Plantations for Phytoremediation of Pig Slurry: Plant Response and Nutrient Uptake
Plants 2020, 9(4), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040522 - 17 Apr 2020
Viewed by 336
Abstract
On Réunion Island, a French overseas territory located in the western Indian Ocean, increasing pig livestock farming is generating large quantities of slurry. Most of it is spread on a little agricultural land due to the insular context. Considering the limitation of the [...] Read more.
On Réunion Island, a French overseas territory located in the western Indian Ocean, increasing pig livestock farming is generating large quantities of slurry. Most of it is spread on a little agricultural land due to the insular context. Considering the limitation of the quantities that can be spread on agricultural areas (European “Nitrate Directive” 91/676/EEC), the use of wastewater treatment systems using phytoremediation principles is an attractive option for the pig slurry treatment. A wastewater treatment system using bamboo groves was assessed for the pig slurry treatment. Three field plots were designed on an agricultural area and planted with 40 bamboo clumps on each plot. A total of 67 m3 of pig slurry was spread on two plots in two forms: raw slurry and centrifuged slurry. The latter plot was watered with tap water. The total amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium was 5.3, 1.4 and 5.5 t·ha−1, respectively, for the raw slurry treatment and 4.2, 0.4 and 5.1 t·ha−1, respectively, for the centrifuged slurry treatment. The response of bamboo species to pig slurry application was determined using morphologic parameters, Chlorophyll a fluorescence measurements and biomass yield. Compared to the control, the biomass increased by 1.8 to 6 times, depending on the species and the form of slurry. Depending on the species, the average biomass ranged from 52 to 135 t.DM.ha−1 in two years of experiment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Severe Plastid Genome Size Reduction in a Mycoheterotrophic Orchid, Danxiaorchis singchiana, Reveals Heavy Gene Loss and Gene Relocations
Plants 2020, 9(4), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040521 - 17 Apr 2020
Viewed by 280
Abstract
Danxiaorchis singchiana (Orchidaceae) is a leafless mycoheterotrophic orchid in the subfamily Epidendroideae. We sequenced the complete plastome of D. singchiana. The plastome has a reduced size of 87,931 bp, which includes a pair of inverted repeat (IR) regions of 13,762 bp each [...] Read more.
Danxiaorchis singchiana (Orchidaceae) is a leafless mycoheterotrophic orchid in the subfamily Epidendroideae. We sequenced the complete plastome of D. singchiana. The plastome has a reduced size of 87,931 bp, which includes a pair of inverted repeat (IR) regions of 13,762 bp each that are separated by a large single copy (LSC) region of 42,575 bp and a small single copy (SSC) region of 17,831 bp. When compared to its sister taxa, Cremastra appendiculata and Corallorhiza striata var. involuta, D. singchiana showed an inverted gene block in the LSC and SSC regions. A total of 61 genes were predicted, including 21 tRNA, 4 rRNA, and 36 protein-coding genes. While most of the housekeeping genes were still intact and seem to be protein-coding, only four photosynthesis-related genes appeared presumably intact. The majority of the presumably intact protein-coding genes seem to have undergone purifying selection (dN/dS < 1), and only the psaC gene was positively selected (dN/dS > 1) when compared to that in Cr. appendiculata. Phylogenetic analysis of 26 complete plastome sequences from 24 species of the tribe Epidendreae had revealed that D. singchiana diverged after Cr. appendiculata and is sister to the genus Corallorhiza with strong bootstrap support (100%). Full article
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