Next Issue
Volume 9, July
Previous Issue
Volume 9, May

Plants, Volume 9, Issue 6 (June 2020) – 134 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Heterostyly uses bisexual floral morphs differing in structure and physiology to promote outbreeding. Identification of S-genes controlling heterostyly has opened opportunities for mechanistic investigations. Using transcriptomics we investigated S-gene functions, incompatibility mechanisms, and genet networks underpinning heterostyly in Turnera. We find evidence for reciprocal differences between morphs in auxin and brassinosteroid levels, consistent with hypothesized activities of S-genes TsYUC6 and TsBAHD, and these differences contributing to incompatibility. These genes appear to affect a signaling hub, intriguingly three distinct S-genes that control pistil characters all potentially intersect with phytochrome-interacting factor network hubs that mediate red/far-red light signaling. View this paper.
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
Popular Biofortified Cassava Cultivars Are Heavily Impacted by Plant Parasitic Nematodes, Especially Meloidogyne Spp.
Plants 2020, 9(6), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060802 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 1192
Abstract
The development of new biofortified cassava cultivars, with higher micronutrient contents, offers great potential to enhance food and nutrition security prospects. Among the various constraints affecting cassava production are plant parasitic nematodes (PPN), especially root-knot nematodes. In this study, six popular biofortified cultivars [...] Read more.
The development of new biofortified cassava cultivars, with higher micronutrient contents, offers great potential to enhance food and nutrition security prospects. Among the various constraints affecting cassava production are plant parasitic nematodes (PPN), especially root-knot nematodes. In this study, six popular biofortified cultivars were field-evaluated for their response to PPN in Nigeria. A field naturally infested with a diversity of PPN but dominated by root-knot nematodes was used. Application of the nematicide carbofuran significantly reduced PPN densities, and at harvest, no root galling damage was observed, compared with untreated plots, which had heavy galling damage. Plant height, stem girth, plant weight, marketable storage root number and weight were significantly lower for most cultivars in untreated plots. Percentage yield losses in the range of 21.3–63.7% were recorded from two separate trials conducted for 12 months each. Lower total carotenoid and dry matter contents were associated with higher PPN densities in some biofortified cultivars, resulting in a loss of as much as 63% of total carotenoid and 52% of dry matter contents. The number and weight of rotted storage roots were significantly greater in untreated plots across cultivars, reducing in-field and post-harvest storability. This study demonstrates that natural field populations of PPN can substantially affect yield, quality and nutritional value of released biofortified cassava cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Parasitic Nematodes)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Selenium Enrichment Enhances the Quality and Shelf Life of Basil Leaves
Plants 2020, 9(6), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060801 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1083
Abstract
The biofortification of leafy vegetables with selenium (Se) is a good way to increase human dietary Se intake. In addition, selenium delays plant senescence by enhancing the antioxidant capacity of plant tissues, decreasing postharvest losses. We investigated the effects of selenium addition on [...] Read more.
The biofortification of leafy vegetables with selenium (Se) is a good way to increase human dietary Se intake. In addition, selenium delays plant senescence by enhancing the antioxidant capacity of plant tissues, decreasing postharvest losses. We investigated the effects of selenium addition on the production and quality of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) leaves of two harvesting phases, hereafter referred to as cuts, during the crop cycle. Plants were hydroponically grown and treated with 0 (control), 4, 8 and 12 mg Se L−1 as selenate. To evaluate the growth, nutritional value and quality of the basil leaves, selected qualitative parameters were determined at harvest and after five days of storage. Application of Se at varying rates (4, 8 and 12 mg L−1) was associated with an increased leaf selenium concentration in the first, but not the second cut. The application of Se significantly affected the antioxidant capacity as well as the total phenol and rosmarinic acid contents at harvest. The reduction in ethylene production observed in the plants at 4 mg Se L−1 after five days of storage suggests that this Se treatment could be used to prolong and enhance the shelf-life of basil. The daily consumption of 10 g of Se-enriched basil leaves, which, as an example, are contained in a single portion of Italian pesto sauce, would also satisfy the recommended selenium supplementation in humans. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Aromatic Herbs, Medicinal Plant-Derived Essential Oils, and Phytochemical Extracts as Potential Therapies for Coronaviruses: Future Perspectives
Plants 2020, 9(6), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060800 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4463
Abstract
After its recent discovery in patients with serious pneumonia in Wuhan (China), the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), named also Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread quickly. Unfortunately, no drug or vaccine for treating human this coronavirus infection is available yet. [...] Read more.
After its recent discovery in patients with serious pneumonia in Wuhan (China), the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), named also Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread quickly. Unfortunately, no drug or vaccine for treating human this coronavirus infection is available yet. Numerous options for controlling or preventing emerging 2019-nCoV infections may be predicted, including vaccines, interferon therapies, and small-molecule drugs. However, new interventions are likely to require months to years to develop. In addition, most of the existing antiviral treatments frequently lead to the development of viral resistance combined with the problem of side effects, viral re-emergence, and viral dormancy. The pharmaceutical industry is progressively targeting phytochemical extracts, medicinal plants, and aromatic herbs with the aim of identifying lead compounds, focusing principally on appropriate alternative antiviral drugs. Spices, herbal medicines, essential oils (EOs), and distilled natural products provide a rich source of compounds for the discovery and production of novel antiviral drugs. The determination of the antiviral mechanisms of these natural products has revealed how they interfere with the viral life cycle, i.e., during viral entry, replication, assembly, or discharge, as well as virus-specific host targets. Presently, there are no appropriate or approved drugs against CoVs, but some potential natural treatments and cures have been proposed. Given the perseverance of the 2019-nCoV outbreak, this review paper will illustrate several of the potent antiviral chemical constituents extracted from medicinal and aromatic plants, natural products, and herbal medicines with recognized in vitro and in vivo effects, along with their structure–effect relationships. As this review shows, numerous potentially valuable aromatic herbs and phytochemicals are awaiting assessment and exploitation for therapeutic use against genetically and functionally different virus families, including coronaviruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Evolutionary Understanding of Aquaporin Transport System in the Basal Eudicot Model Species Aquilegia coerulea
Plants 2020, 9(6), 799; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060799 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1449
Abstract
Aquaporins (AQPs) play a pivotal role in the cellular transport of water and many other small solutes, influencing many physiological and developmental processes in plants. In the present study, extensive bioinformatics analysis of AQPs was performed in Aquilegia coerulea L., a model species [...] Read more.
Aquaporins (AQPs) play a pivotal role in the cellular transport of water and many other small solutes, influencing many physiological and developmental processes in plants. In the present study, extensive bioinformatics analysis of AQPs was performed in Aquilegia coerulea L., a model species belonging to basal eudicots, with a particular focus on understanding the AQPs role in the developing petal nectar spur. A total of 29 AQPs were identified in Aquilegia, and their phylogenetic analysis performed with previously reported AQPs from rice, poplar and Arabidopsis depicted five distinct subfamilies of AQPs. Interestingly, comparative analysis revealed the loss of an uncharacterized intrinsic protein II (XIP-II) group in Aquilegia. The absence of the entire XIP subfamily has been reported in several previous studies, however, the loss of a single clade within the XIP family has not been characterized. Furthermore, protein structure analysis of AQPs was performed to understand pore diversity, which is helpful for the prediction of solute specificity. Similarly, an AQP AqcNIP2-1 was identified in Aquilegia, predicted as a silicon influx transporter based on the presence of features such as the G-S-G-R aromatic arginine selectivity filter, the spacing between asparagine-proline-alanine (NPA) motifs and pore morphology. RNA-seq analysis showed a high expression of tonoplast intrinsic proteins (TIPs) and plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs) in the developing petal spur. The results presented here will be helpful in understanding the AQP evolution in Aquilegia and their expression regulation, particularly during floral development. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Essential Oil of Salvia rosmarinus Spenn. from Italy as a Source of Health-Promoting Compounds: Chemical Profile and Antioxidant and Cholinesterase Inhibitory Activity
Plants 2020, 9(6), 798; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060798 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1118
Abstract
The chemical composition of the essential oil from Salvia rosmarinus Spenn. collected in Calabrian Ionian (R1) and Tyrrhenian (R2) coast (Southern Italy) was examined by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Essential oils are mainly characterized by monoterpene hydrocarbons (39.32–40.70%) and [...] Read more.
The chemical composition of the essential oil from Salvia rosmarinus Spenn. collected in Calabrian Ionian (R1) and Tyrrhenian (R2) coast (Southern Italy) was examined by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Essential oils are mainly characterized by monoterpene hydrocarbons (39.32–40.70%) and oxygenated monoterpenes (36.08-39.47%). The 1,8-cineole, α-pinene, camphor, and trans-caryophyllene are the most representative compounds. S. rosmarinus essential oils were investigated for their antioxidant activity by using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS), ferric reducing ability power (FRAP), and β-carotene bleaching tests. Additionally, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) inhibitory activity assays were used to screen the neuroprotective effects of S. rosmarinus. R2 showed the highest antioxidant potential as confirmed by relative antioxidant capacity index (RACI) and exhibited a selective activity against AChE (half maximal inhibitory concentration, IC50, value of 41.86 μg/mL). These results suggest S. rosmarinus essential oil as a potential source of bioactive compounds. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Short-Term Pre-Harvest UV-B Supplement Enhances the Polyphenol Content and Antioxidant Capacity of Ocimum basilicum Leaves during Storage
Plants 2020, 9(6), 797; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060797 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 993
Abstract
Ocimum basilicum (basil) leaves are rich in polyphenols, conferring them a high antioxidant activity. The application of UV-B can be used to maintain the post-harvest nutraceutical quality of basil leaves. We aimed to investigate the effects of pre-harvest UV-B application on polyphenolic and [...] Read more.
Ocimum basilicum (basil) leaves are rich in polyphenols, conferring them a high antioxidant activity. The application of UV-B can be used to maintain the post-harvest nutraceutical quality of basil leaves. We aimed to investigate the effects of pre-harvest UV-B application on polyphenolic and pigment contents, antioxidant capacity, and the visual quality of basil stored leaves. We also evaluated the applicability of the non-invasive Dualex® for monitoring the accumulation of leaf epidermal phenolics (Flav Index). After exposing plants to white light (control) and to supplemental UV-B radiation for 4 d, the leaves were harvested and stored for 7d (TS7). The UV-B leaves showed both a higher phenolic content and antioxidant capacity than the controls at TS7. In addition, the correlations between the Flav Index and phenolic content demonstrated that Dualex® can reliably assess the content of epidermal phenolics, thus confirming its promising utilization as a non-destructive method for monitoring the phytochemical quality of O. basilicum leaves. In conclusion, a pre-harvesting UV-B application may be a tool for enhancing the content of polyphenols and the antioxidant potential of basil stored leaves without detrimental effects on their visual quality. These results are important considering the nutraceutical value of this plant and its wide commercial distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Phenolics: Occurrence, Biosynthesis, and Biological Roles)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Thermal Requirements Underpinning Germination Allude to Risk of Species Decline from Climate Warming
Plants 2020, 9(6), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060796 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 884
Abstract
The storage of seeds is a commonly used means of preserving plant genetic diversity in the face of rising threats such as climate change. Here, the findings of research from the past decade into thermal requirements for germination are synthesised for more than [...] Read more.
The storage of seeds is a commonly used means of preserving plant genetic diversity in the face of rising threats such as climate change. Here, the findings of research from the past decade into thermal requirements for germination are synthesised for more than 100 plant species from southern Western Australia. This global biodiversity hotspot is predicted to suffer major plant collapse under forecast climate change. A temperature gradient plate was used to assess the thermal requirements underpinning seed germination in both commonly occurring and geographically restricted species. The results suggest that the local climate of the seed source sites does not drive seed responses, neither is it indicative of temperatures for optimal germination. The low diurnal phase of the temperature regime provided the most significant impact on germination timing. Several species germinated optimally at mean temperatures below or close to current wet quarter temperatures, and more than 40% of species were likely to be impacted in the future, with germination occurring under supra-optimal temperature conditions. This research highlights both species vulnerability and resilience to a warming climate during the regeneration phase of the life cycle and provides vital information for those aiming to manage, conserve and restore this regional flora. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Physiological Basis of Salt Stress Tolerance in a Landrace and a Commercial Variety of Sweet Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.)
Plants 2020, 9(6), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060795 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 826
Abstract
Salt stress is one of the most impactful abiotic stresses that plants must cope with. Plants’ ability to tolerate salt stress relies on multiple mechanisms, which are associated with biomass and yield reductions. Sweet pepper is a salt-sensitive crop that in Mediterranean regions [...] Read more.
Salt stress is one of the most impactful abiotic stresses that plants must cope with. Plants’ ability to tolerate salt stress relies on multiple mechanisms, which are associated with biomass and yield reductions. Sweet pepper is a salt-sensitive crop that in Mediterranean regions can be exposed to salt build-up in the root zone due to irrigation. Understanding the physiological mechanisms that plants activate to adapt to soil salinization is essential to develop breeding programs and agricultural practices that counteract this phenomenon and ultimately minimize yield reductions. With this aim, the physiological and productive performances of Quadrato D’Asti, a common commercial sweet pepper cultivar in Italy, and Cazzone Giallo, a landrace of the Campania region (Italy), were compared under different salt stress treatments. Quadrato D’Asti had higher tolerance to salt stress when compared to Cazzone Giallo in terms of yield, which was associated with higher leaf biomass vs. fruit ratio in the former. Ion accumulation and profiling between the two genoptypes revealed that Quadrato D’Asti was more efficient at excluding chloride from green tissues, allowing the maintenance of photosystem functionality under stress. In contrast, Cazzone Giallo seemed to compartmentalize most sodium in the stem. While sodium accumulation in the stems has been shown to protect shoots from sodium toxicity, in pepper and/or in the specific experimental conditions imposed, this strategy was less efficient than chloride exclusion for salt stress tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Genomic and Transcriptomic Overview of MATE, ABC, and MFS Transporters in Citrus sinensis Interaction with Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri
Plants 2020, 9(6), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060794 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
The multi-antimicrobial extrusion (MATE), ATP-binding cassette (ABC), and major facilitator superfamily (MFS) are the main plant transporters families, playing an essential role in the membrane-trafficking network and plant-defense mechanism. The citrus canker type A (CC), is a devastating disease caused by Xanthomonas citri [...] Read more.
The multi-antimicrobial extrusion (MATE), ATP-binding cassette (ABC), and major facilitator superfamily (MFS) are the main plant transporters families, playing an essential role in the membrane-trafficking network and plant-defense mechanism. The citrus canker type A (CC), is a devastating disease caused by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xac), affecting all citrus species. In this work, we performed an in silico analysis of genes and transcripts from MATE, ABC, and MFS families to infer the role of membrane transporters in Citrus-Xac interaction. Using as reference, the available Citrus sinensis genome and the citrus reference transcriptome from CitrusKB database, 67 MATE, 91 MFS, and 143 ABC genes and 82 MATE, 139 MFS, and 226 ABC transcripts were identified and classified into subfamilies. Duplications, alternative-splicing, and potentially non-transcribed transporters’ genes were revealed. Interestingly, MATE I and ABC G subfamilies appear differently regulated during Xac infection. Furthermore, Citrus spp. showing distinct levels of CC susceptibility exhibited different sets of transporters transcripts, supporting dissimilar molecular patterns of membrane transporters in Citrus-Xac interaction. According to our findings, 4 MATE, 10 ABC, and 3 MFS are potentially related to plant-defense mechanisms. Overall, this work provides an extensive analysis of MATE, ABC, and MFS transporters’ in Citrus-Xac interaction, bringing new insights on membrane transporters in plant-pathogen interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effects of Concentration and Temperature of Nutrient Solution on Growth and Camptothecin Accumulation of Ophiorrhiza pumila
Plants 2020, 9(6), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060793 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
The medicinal plant, Ophiorrhiza pumila, naturally grows on the floors of humid inland forests in subtropical areas. It accumulates camptothecin (CPT), which is used as an anti-tumor agent, in all organs. We investigated the optimal hydroponic root-zone environments for growth and CPT [...] Read more.
The medicinal plant, Ophiorrhiza pumila, naturally grows on the floors of humid inland forests in subtropical areas. It accumulates camptothecin (CPT), which is used as an anti-tumor agent, in all organs. We investigated the optimal hydroponic root-zone environments for growth and CPT accumulation in O. pumila in a plant factory. In experiment 1, to determine the appropriate nutrient solution concentration (NSC), O. pumila was cultivated using four concentrations (0.125, 0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 times) of a commercial solution for 63 days after the start of treatment (DAT). The electrical conductivity of these NSCs was 0.6, 0.9, 1.5, and 2.7 dS m−1, respectively. The total dry weights at 0.25 and 0.5 NSCs were higher than those at the other two NSCs. CPT content at 0.25 NSC was significantly higher than those at other NSCs. In experiment 2, to investigate an appropriate nutrient solution temperature (NST), O. pumila was cultivated at four NSTs (10, 20, 26, and 35 °C, named as T10, T20, T26, and T36, respectively) for 35 DAT. The growth and CPT content at T20 was the highest among the treatments. Therefore, root-zone environments of 0.25 NSC and 20 °C of NST produced the best growth and CPT accumulation in O. pumila. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
GmNMHC5, A Neoteric Positive Transcription Factor of Flowering and Maturity in Soybean
Plants 2020, 9(6), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060792 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 830
Abstract
The soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) is an important oil and food crop. Its growth and development is regulated by complex genetic networks, and there are still many genes with unknown functions in regulation pathways. In this study, GmNMHC5, a member [...] Read more.
The soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) is an important oil and food crop. Its growth and development is regulated by complex genetic networks, and there are still many genes with unknown functions in regulation pathways. In this study, GmNMHC5, a member of the MADS-box protein family, was found to promote flowering and maturity in the soybean. Gene expression profiling in transgenic plants confirmed that the 35S:GmNMHC5 T3 generation had early flowering and precocity. We used CRISPR-Cas9 to edit GmNMHC5 and found that late flowering and maturity occurred in Gmnmhc5 lines with stable inheritance. Remarkably, in the 35S:GmNMHC5 plants, the expression of flowering inhibitors GmFT1a and GmFT4 was inhibited. In addition, overexpression of GmNMHC5 in ft-10 (a late flowering Arabidopsis thaliana mutant lacking Flowering Locus T (FT) function) rescued the extremely late-flowering phenotype of the mutant A. thaliana. These results suggest that GmNMHC5 is a positive transcription factor of flowering and maturity in the soybean, which has a close relationship with FT homologs in the flowering regulation pathway. This discovery provides new ideas for the improvement of the flowering regulation network, and can also provide guidance for future breeding work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Molecular Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Chemical and Enantioselective Analysis of the Leaf Essential Oil from Piper coruscans Kunth (Piperaceae), a Costal and Amazonian Native Species of Ecuador
Plants 2020, 9(6), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060791 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 918
Abstract
In the present study, an essential oil was distilled from the leaves of Piper coruscans Kunth, a native Amazonian species belonging to the family Piperaceae and quite common in Ecuador. The chemical analysis was performed by GC-MS (qualitative) and GC-FID (quantitative), on polar [...] Read more.
In the present study, an essential oil was distilled from the leaves of Piper coruscans Kunth, a native Amazonian species belonging to the family Piperaceae and quite common in Ecuador. The chemical analysis was performed by GC-MS (qualitative) and GC-FID (quantitative), on polar and non-polar columns, detecting a total of 58 compounds of which 52 were identified. All the identified compounds were quantified. The essential oil was mainly constituted of sesquiterpenes (54.1–55.0%) and oxygenated sesquiterpenoids (32.5–33.6%), the major constituents being: (E)-β-caryophyllene (24.1–25.0%), α-humulene (11.6–12.0%), caryophyllene oxide (9.3–10.9%), linalool (4.5–5.2%), humulene epoxide II (3.6–4.1%), (E)-nerolidol (3.7–4.0%), α-copaene (3.7–3.9%), α-muurolol (3.4–3.7%), α-selinene (3.4–3.5%), β-selinene (3.1–3.3%), and one undetermined oxygenated sesquiterpenoid (3.1–3.3%). The aqueous phase (hydrolate) of the distillation process was also submitted to chemical analysis, showing linalool as the main organic compound in solution, with a concentration of 12.3–15.7 mg/100 mL. The essential oil was than analyzed for the enantiomeric distribution of its monoterpene constituents, affording the following enantiomeric excesses in two β-cyclodextrin-based enantioselective columns: (1S,5S)-(-)-α-pinene (60.0–69.6%), (1S,5S)-(-)-β-pinene (5.2–7.2%), (R)-(-)-α-phellandrene (72.5–78.2%), (R)-(+)-limonene (28.6%) and (R)-(-)-linalool (1.8–3.1%). Full article
Article
Mitigation of the Adverse Effects of the El Niño (El Niño, La Niña) Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Phenomenon and the Most Important Diseases in Avocado cv. Hass Crops
Plants 2020, 9(6), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060790 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1123
Abstract
Areas cultivated with Hass avocado crops in Colombia have growth rapidly. One of the major limitations is the avocado wilt complex disease (AWC) caused by biotic and abiotic factors which have increased under the El Niño southern oscillation ENSO phenomenon (El Niño, La [...] Read more.
Areas cultivated with Hass avocado crops in Colombia have growth rapidly. One of the major limitations is the avocado wilt complex disease (AWC) caused by biotic and abiotic factors which have increased under the El Niño southern oscillation ENSO phenomenon (El Niño, La Niña). The objective of this study was to evaluate different strategies for mitigating the adverse effects associated with the ENSO phenomenon and AWC in avocado crops. We evaluated native materials, mulches, and parameters associated with the production of seedlings and planting practices in the field. The response variables tested were plant development, incidence, severity, mortality, and microbial dynamics, among others. The results indicated that native genotypes of Persea americana had different levels of adaptability to drought and flooding conditions. These genotypes also showed some degree of resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi and Verticillium sp. infection with several degrees of rootstock-scion incompatibility with the Hass cultivar. In addition, mulch reduced the variability of soil moisture and temperature in the soil profile. Adequate selection of genotypes and new tools for planting have decreased the susceptibility to adverse effects associated with the ENSO phenomenon and the incidence and mortality caused by diseases under drought and flooding conditions. This work presents alternatives to mitigate adverse effects of climate variability in avocado crops under tropical conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Phytochemical Analysis and Establishment of Embryogenic Cell Suspension and Agrobacterium-mediated Transformation for Farmer Preferred Cultivars of West African Plantain (Musa spp.)
Plants 2020, 9(6), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060789 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1419
Abstract
Banana and plantain are among the foremost staple food crops providing food and livelihood to over 500 million people in tropical countries. Despite the importance, their production is hampered due to several biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant tissue culture techniques such as somatic [...] Read more.
Banana and plantain are among the foremost staple food crops providing food and livelihood to over 500 million people in tropical countries. Despite the importance, their production is hampered due to several biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant tissue culture techniques such as somatic embryogenesis and genetic transformation offer a valuable tool for genetic improvement. Identification and quantification of phytochemicals found in banana and plantain are essential in optimizing in vitro activities for crop improvement. Total antioxidants, phenolics, flavonoids, and tannins were quantified in various explants obtained from the field, as well as in vitro plants of banana and plantain cultivars. The result showed genotypic variation in the phytochemicals of selected cultivars. The embryogenic cell suspensions were developed for three farmer-preferred plantain cultivars, Agbagba, Obino l’Ewai, and Orishele, using different MS and B5-based culture media. Both culture media supported the development of friable embryogenic calli (FEC), while MS culture media supported the proliferation of fine cell suspension in liquid culture media. The percentage of FEC generated for Agbagba, Obino l’Ewai, and Orishele were 22 ± 24%, 13 ± 28%, and 9 ± 16%, respectively. Cell suspensions produced from FECs were successfully transformed by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation with reporter gene constructs and regenerated into whole plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Tissue Culture)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Generation of High Yielding and Fragrant Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Lines by CRISPR/Cas9 Targeted Mutagenesis of Three Homoeologs of Cytochrome P450 Gene Family and OsBADH2 and Transcriptome and Proteome Profiling of Revealed Changes Triggered by Mutations
Plants 2020, 9(6), 788; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060788 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1709
Abstract
The significant increase in grain yield and quality are often antagonistic but a constant demand for breeders and consumers. Some genes related to cytochrome P450 family are known for rice organ growth but their role in controlling grain yield is still unknown. Here, [...] Read more.
The significant increase in grain yield and quality are often antagonistic but a constant demand for breeders and consumers. Some genes related to cytochrome P450 family are known for rice organ growth but their role in controlling grain yield is still unknown. Here, we generated new rice mutants with high yield and improved aroma by simultaneously editing three cytochrome P450 homoeologs (Os03g0603100, Os03g0568400, and GL3.2) and OsBADH2 with the CRISPR/Cas9 system, and RNA-sequencing and proteomic analysis were performed to unveil the subsequent changes. High mutation efficiency was achieved in both target sites of each gene and the mutations were predominantly only deletions, while insertions were rare, and no mutations were detected in the five most likely off-target sites against each sgRNA. Mutants exhibited increased grain size, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2AP) content, and grain cell numbers while there was no change in other agronomic traits. Transgene-DNA-free mutant lines appeared with a frequency of 44.44% and homozygous mutations were stably transmitted, and bi-allelic and heterozygous mutations followed Mendelian inheritance, while the inheritance of chimeric mutations was unpredictable. Deep RNA sequencing and proteomic results revealed the regulation of genes and proteins related to cytochrome P450 family, grain size and development, and cell cycle. The KEGG and hub-gene and protein network analysis showed that the gene and proteins related to ribosomal and photosynthesis pathways were mainly enriched, respectively. Our findings provide a broad and detailed basis to understand the role of CRISPR/Cas9 in rice yield and quality improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Molecular Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Radiation Interception, Conversion and Partitioning Efficiency in Potato Landraces: How Far Are We from the Optimum?
Plants 2020, 9(6), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060787 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 1642
Abstract
Crop efficiencies associated with intercepted radiation, conversion into biomass and allocation to edible organs are essential for yield improvement strategies that would enhance genetic properties to maximize carbon gain without increasing crop inputs. The production of 20 potato landraces—never studied before—was analyzed for [...] Read more.
Crop efficiencies associated with intercepted radiation, conversion into biomass and allocation to edible organs are essential for yield improvement strategies that would enhance genetic properties to maximize carbon gain without increasing crop inputs. The production of 20 potato landraces—never studied before—was analyzed for radiation interception ( ε i ), conversion ( ε c ) and partitioning ( ε p ) efficiencies. Additionally, other physiological traits related to senescence delay (normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) s l p ), tuberization precocity ( t u ), photosynthetic performance and dry tuber yield per plant (TY) were also assessed. Vegetation reflectance was remotely acquired and the efficiencies estimated through a process-based model parameterized by a time-series of airborne imageries. The combination of ε i and ε c , closely associated with an early tuber maturity and a NDVI s l p explained 39% of the variability grouping the most productive genotypes. TY was closely correlated to senescence delay (r P e a r s o n = 0.74), indicating the usefulness of remote sensing methods for potato yield diversity characterization. About 89% of TY was explained by the first three principal components, associated mainly to t u , ε c and ε i , respectively. When comparing potato with other major crops, its ε p is very close to the theoretical maximum. These findings suggest that there is room for improving ε i and ε c to enhance potato production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Germplasm Diversity for Sustainability and Crop Improvement)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Comparative Functional Analysis of Class II Potassium Transporters, SvHKT2;1, SvHKT2;2, and HvHKT2;1, on Ionic Transport and Salt Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis
Plants 2020, 9(6), 786; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060786 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1029
Abstract
Class II high-affinity potassium transporters (HKT2s) mediate Na+–K+ cotransport and Na+/K+ homeostasis under K+-starved or saline conditions. Their functions have been studied in yeast and X. laevis oocytes; however, little is known about their respective [...] Read more.
Class II high-affinity potassium transporters (HKT2s) mediate Na+–K+ cotransport and Na+/K+ homeostasis under K+-starved or saline conditions. Their functions have been studied in yeast and X. laevis oocytes; however, little is known about their respective properties in plant cells. In this study, we characterized the Na+ and K+ transport properties of SvHKT2;1, SvHKT2;2 and HvHKT2;1 in Arabidopsis under different ionic conditions. The differences were detected in shoot K+ accumulation and root K+ uptake under salt stress conditions, K+ accumulation in roots and phloem sap under K+-starved conditions, and shoot and root Na+ accumulation under K+-starved conditions among the HKT2s transgenic lines and WT plants. These results indicate the diverse ionic transport properties of these HKT2s in plant cells, which could not be detected using yeast or X. laevis oocytes. Furthermore, Arabidopsis expressing HKT2s showed reduced salt tolerance, while over-expression of HvHKT2;1 in barley, which has the ability to sequestrate Na+, showed enhanced salt tolerance by accumulating Na+ in the shoots. These results suggest that the coordinated enhancement of Na+ accumulation and sequestration mechanisms in shoots could be a promising strategy to confer salt tolerance to glycophytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2019 Feature Papers by Plants’ Editorial Board Members)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Molecular Cloning and Functional Characterization of CpMYC2 and CpBHLH13 Transcription Factors from Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox L.)
Plants 2020, 9(6), 785; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060785 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 966
Abstract
Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox L.) is an ornamental and economically significant shrub known for its unique flowering characteristics, especially the emission of abundant floral volatile organic compounds. Thus, an understanding of the molecular mechanism of the production of these compounds is necessary to [...] Read more.
Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox L.) is an ornamental and economically significant shrub known for its unique flowering characteristics, especially the emission of abundant floral volatile organic compounds. Thus, an understanding of the molecular mechanism of the production of these compounds is necessary to create new breeds with high volatile production. In this study, two bHLH transcription factors (CpMYC2 and CpbHLH13) of Wintersweet H29 were functionally characterized to illustrate their possible role in the production of volatile compounds. The qRT-PCR results showed that the expression of CpMYC2 and CpbHLH13 increased from the flower budding to full bloom stage, indicating that these two genes may play an essential role in blooming and aroma production in wintersweet. Gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) analysis revealed that the overexpression of CpMYC2 in arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) AtMYC2-2 mutant (Salk_083483) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabaccum) genotype Petit Havana SR1 significantly increased floral volatile monoterpene, especially linalool, while the overexpression of CpbHLH13 in Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype Columbia-0 (Col-0) and tobacco genotype SR1 increased floral sesquiterpene β-caryophyllene production in both types of transgenic plants respectively. High expression of terpene synthase (TPS) genes in transgenic A. thaliana along with high expression of CpMYC2 and CpbHLH13 in transgenic plants was also observed. The application of a combination of methyl jasmonic acid (MeJA) and gibberellic acid (GA3) showed an increment in linalool production in CpMYC2-overexpressing arabidopsis plants, and the high transcript level of TPS genes also suggested the involvement of CpMYC2 in the jasmonic acid (JA) signaling pathway. These results indicate that both the CpMYC2 and CpbHLH13 transcription factors of wintersweet are possibly involved in the positive regulation and biosynthesis of monoterpene (linalool) and sesquiterpene (β-caryophyllene) in transgenic plants. This study also indicates the potential application of wintersweet as a valuable genomic material for the genetic modification of floral scent in other flowering plants that produce less volatile compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosynthesis and Functions of Terpenoids in Plants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Photosynthetic Metabolism and Nitrogen Reshuffling Are Regulated by Reversible Cysteine Thiol Oxidation Following Nitrogen Deprivation in Chlamydomonas
Plants 2020, 9(6), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060784 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1083
Abstract
As global temperatures climb to historic highs, the far-reaching effects of climate change have impacted agricultural nutrient availability. This has extended to low latitude oceans, where a deficit in both nitrogen and phosphorus stores has led to dramatic decreases in carbon sequestration in [...] Read more.
As global temperatures climb to historic highs, the far-reaching effects of climate change have impacted agricultural nutrient availability. This has extended to low latitude oceans, where a deficit in both nitrogen and phosphorus stores has led to dramatic decreases in carbon sequestration in oceanic phytoplankton. Although Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a freshwater model green alga, has shown drastic systems-level alterations following nitrogen deprivation, the mechanisms through which these alterations are triggered and regulated are not fully understood. This study examined the role of reversible oxidative signaling in the nitrogen stress response of C. reinhardtii. Using oxidized cysteine resin-assisted capture enrichment coupled with label-free quantitative proteomics, 7889 unique oxidized cysteine thiol identifiers were quantified, with 231 significantly changing peptides from 184 proteins following 2 h of nitrogen deprivation. These results demonstrate that the cellular response to nitrogen assimilation, photosynthesis, pigment biosynthesis, and lipid metabolism are regulated by reversible oxidation. An enhanced role of non-damaging oxidative pathways is observed throughout the photosynthetic apparatus that provides a framework for further analysis in phototrophs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthetic Metabolism under Stressful Growth Conditions)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
A Revision of the Taxonomy and Identification of Epipactis greuteri (Orchidaceae, Neottieae)
Plants 2020, 9(6), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060783 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Epipactis greuteri is an obligate autogamous orchid species. Due to large differences in the interpretation of the diagnosis of this species, it is often mistakenly identified by botanists, which results in erroneous information provided in the literature about its distribution in Europe. In [...] Read more.
Epipactis greuteri is an obligate autogamous orchid species. Due to large differences in the interpretation of the diagnosis of this species, it is often mistakenly identified by botanists, which results in erroneous information provided in the literature about its distribution in Europe. In the present paper we review its description, including flower details, gynostemium features, and papillae morphology and compare it to E. helleborine, with which it is often confused. Based on thorough study of herbarium material (including holotype and isotype) and field research in Greece, Romania, and Poland, we confirm that gynostemium of E. greuteri has strongly reduced clinandrium and does not produce viscidium. We also discuss taxonomic treatment of E. preinensis and E. flaminia, two recently described taxa related to E. greuteri. The results of genetic analyses, as well as the range of phenotypic variability of E. greuteri individuals from various regions of Europe were presented and discussed. The analysis based on the ITS (internal transcribed spacer) nuclear marker showed no differences among E. helleborine, E. purpurata, E. albensis, and E. greuteri, which probably indicates their close relationship. Based on the analysis of plastid regions, six haplotypes were detected in all investigated samples. An exhaustive description of morphological features of E. greuteri is provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Systematics, Taxonomy, Nomenclature and Classification)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
The Recovery of Soybean Plants after Short-Term Cadmium Stress
Plants 2020, 9(6), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060782 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1003
Abstract
Background: Cadmium is a non-essential heavy metal, which is toxic even in relatively low concentrations. Although the mechanisms of Cd toxicity are well documented, there is limited information concerning the recovery of plants after exposure to this metal. Methods: The present study describes [...] Read more.
Background: Cadmium is a non-essential heavy metal, which is toxic even in relatively low concentrations. Although the mechanisms of Cd toxicity are well documented, there is limited information concerning the recovery of plants after exposure to this metal. Methods: The present study describes the recovery of soybean plants treated for 48 h with Cd at two concentrations: 10 and 25 mg/L. In the frame of the study the growth, cell viability, level of membrane damage makers, mineral content, photosynthesis parameters, and global methylation level have been assessed directly after Cd treatment and/or after 7 days of growth in optimal conditions. Results: The results show that exposure to Cd leads to the development of toxicity symptoms such as growth inhibition, increased cell mortality, and membrane damage. After a recovery period of 7 days, the exposed plants showed no differences in relation to the control in all analyzed parameters, with an exception of a slight reduction in root length and changed content of potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Conclusions: The results indicate that soybean plants are able to efficiently recover even after relatively severe Cd stress. On the other hand, previous exposure to Cd stress modulated their mineral uptake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Technical Note
Rpv Mediated Defense Responses in Grapevine Offspring Resistant to Plasmopara viticola
Plants 2020, 9(6), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060781 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1025
Abstract
Downy mildew, caused by the biotrophic oomycete Plasmopara viticola, is one of the most serious grapevine diseases. The development of new varieties, showing partial resistance to downy mildew, through traditional breeding provides a sustainable and effective solution for disease management. Marker-assisted-selection (MAS) [...] Read more.
Downy mildew, caused by the biotrophic oomycete Plasmopara viticola, is one of the most serious grapevine diseases. The development of new varieties, showing partial resistance to downy mildew, through traditional breeding provides a sustainable and effective solution for disease management. Marker-assisted-selection (MAS) provide fast and cost-effective genotyping methods, but phenotyping remains necessary to characterize the host–pathogen interaction and assess the effective resistance level of new varieties as well as to validate MAS selection. In this study, the Rpv mediated defense responses were investigated in 31 genotypes, encompassing susceptible and resistant varieties and 26 seedlings, following inoculation of leaf discs with P. viticola. The offspring differed in Rpv loci inherited (none, one or two): Rpv3-3 and Rpv10 from Solaris and Rpv3-1 and Rpv12 from Kozma 20-3. To improve the assessment of different resistance responses, pathogen reaction (sporulation) and host reaction (necrosis) were scored separately as independent features. They were differently expressed depending on Rpv locus: offspring carrying Rpv3-1 and Rpv12 loci showed the strongest resistance response (scarce sporulation and necrosis), those carrying Rpv3-3 locus showed the highest levels of necrosis while Rpv10 carrying genotypes showed intermediate levels of both sporulation and necrosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2019 Feature Papers by Plants’ Editorial Board Members)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Transcriptome Analysis of Wounding in the Model Grass Lolium temulentum
Plants 2020, 9(6), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060780 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 936
Abstract
For forage and turf grasses, wounding is a predominant stress that often results in extensive loss of vegetative tissues followed by rapid regrowth. Currently, little is known concerning the perception, signaling, or molecular responses associated with wound stress in forage- and turf-related grasses. [...] Read more.
For forage and turf grasses, wounding is a predominant stress that often results in extensive loss of vegetative tissues followed by rapid regrowth. Currently, little is known concerning the perception, signaling, or molecular responses associated with wound stress in forage- and turf-related grasses. A transcriptome analysis of Lolium temulentum plants subjected to severe wounding revealed 9413 upregulated and 7704 downregulated, distinct, differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Categories related to signaling, transcription, and response to stimuli were enriched in the upregulated DEGs. Specifically, sequences annotated as enzymes involved in hormone biosynthesis/action and cell wall modifications, mitogen-activated protein kinases, WRKY transcription factors, proteinase inhibitors, and pathogen defense-related DEGs were identified. Surprisingly, DEGs related to heat shock and chaperones were more prevalent in the downregulated DEGs when compared with the upregulated DEGs. This wound transcriptome analysis is the first step in identifying the molecular components and pathways used by grasses in response to wounding. The information gained from the analysis will provide a valuable molecular resource that will be used to develop approaches that can improve the recovery, regrowth, and long-term fitness of forage and turf grasses before/after cutting or grazing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Technical Note
Easy-to-Use InDel Markers for Genetic Mapping between Col-0 and Ler-0 Accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana
Plants 2020, 9(6), 779; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060779 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 970
Abstract
Map-based gene cloning has played a key role in many genetic studies using the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. In the post- next generation sequencing era, identification of point mutations and their corresponding genes is increasingly becoming a powerful and important approach to [...] Read more.
Map-based gene cloning has played a key role in many genetic studies using the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. In the post- next generation sequencing era, identification of point mutations and their corresponding genes is increasingly becoming a powerful and important approach to define plant gene function. To perform initial mapping experiments efficiently on Arabidopsis mutants, enrichment of easy-to-use and reliable polymorphic DNA markers would be desirable. We present here a list of InDel polymorphic markers between Col-0 and Ler-0 accessions that can be detected in standard agarose gel electrophoresis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2019 Feature Papers by Plants’ Editorial Board Members)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Local Factors Rather than the Landscape Context Explain Species Richness and Functional Trait Diversity and Responses of Plant Assemblages of Mediterranean Cereal Field Margins
Plants 2020, 9(6), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060778 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 706
Abstract
Arable field margins are valuable habitats providing a wide range of ecosystem services in rural landscapes. Agricultural intensification in recent decades has been a major cause of decline in plant diversity in these habitats. However, the concomitant effects on plant functional diversity are [...] Read more.
Arable field margins are valuable habitats providing a wide range of ecosystem services in rural landscapes. Agricultural intensification in recent decades has been a major cause of decline in plant diversity in these habitats. However, the concomitant effects on plant functional diversity are less documented, particularly in Mediterranean areas. In this paper, we analyzed the effect of margin width and surrounding landscape (cover and diversity of land use and field size), used as proxies for management intensity at local and landscape scales, on plant species richness, functional diversity and functional trait values in margins of winter cereal fields in southern Spain. Five functional traits were selected: life form, growth form, seed mass, seed dispersal mode and pollination type. RLQ and fourth-corner analyses were used to link functional traits and landscape variables. A total of 306 plant species were recorded. Species richness and functional diversity were positively related to margin width but showed no response to landscape variables. Functional trait values were affected neither by the local nor landscape variables. Our results suggest that increasing the margin width of conventionally managed cereal fields would enhance both taxonomic and functional diversity of margin plant assemblages, and thus the services they provide to the agro-ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2019 Feature Papers by Plants’ Editorial Board Members)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Presence of Plant-Associated Bacteria Alters Responses to N-acyl Homoserine Lactone Quorum Sensing Signals that Modulate Nodulation in Medicago Truncatula
Plants 2020, 9(6), 777; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060777 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 893
Abstract
Bacteria use quorum sensing signaling for cell-to-cell communication, which is also important for their interactions with plant hosts. Quorum sensing via N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) is important for successful symbioses between legumes and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. Previous studies have shown that plant hosts can [...] Read more.
Bacteria use quorum sensing signaling for cell-to-cell communication, which is also important for their interactions with plant hosts. Quorum sensing via N-acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) is important for successful symbioses between legumes and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. Previous studies have shown that plant hosts can recognize and respond to AHLs. Here, we tested whether the response of the model legume Medicago truncatula to AHLs from its symbiont and other bacteria could be modulated by the abundance and composition of plant-associated microbial communities. Temporary antibiotic treatment of the seeds removed the majority of bacterial taxa associated with M. truncatula roots and significantly altered the effect of AHLs on nodule numbers, but lateral root density, biomass, and root length responses were much less affected. The AHL 3-oxo-C14-HSL (homoserine lactone) specifically increased nodule numbers but only after the treatment of seeds with antibiotics. This increase was associated with increased expression of the early nodulation genes RIP1 and ENOD11 at 24 h after infection. A 454 pyrosequencing analysis of the plant-associated bacteria showed that antibiotic treatment had the biggest effect on bacterial community composition. However, we also found distinct effects of 3-oxo-C14-HSL on the abundance of specific bacterial taxa. Our results revealed a complex interaction between plants and their associated microbiome that could modify plant responses to AHLs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant–Soil Interactions)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Nitric Oxide Pre-Treatment Advances Seed Germination and Alleviates Copper-Induced Photosynthetic Inhibition in Indian Mustard
Plants 2020, 9(6), 776; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060776 - 20 Jun 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1308
Abstract
This investigation tested the efficiency of nitric oxide (NO) in alleviation of Cu-induced adverse impacts on seed germination and photosynthesis in Indian mustard (Brassica juncea L.). Pre-treatment of B. juncea seeds with sodium nitroprusside (SNP; NO donor) significantly improved the seed germination [...] Read more.
This investigation tested the efficiency of nitric oxide (NO) in alleviation of Cu-induced adverse impacts on seed germination and photosynthesis in Indian mustard (Brassica juncea L.). Pre-treatment of B. juncea seeds with sodium nitroprusside (SNP; NO donor) significantly improved the seed germination rate and also alleviated Cu-accrued oxidative stress. However, in the absence of NO, Cu caused a higher reduction in seed germination rate. The presence of NO strengthened the antioxidant defense system (glutathione reductase, ascorbate peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase) and thereby sustained the lower lipid peroxidation, reduced H2O2 content, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances in Cu-exposed seeds. NO pre-treated seeds also retained a higher amylase activity and exhibited an improved seed germination rate. This effect of NO under Cu stress was also seen in plants originated from the NO pre-treated seeds, where the role of NO pre-treatment was reflected in the improved photosynthetic potential of B. juncea. Overall, NO pre-treatment not only improved the germination rate in seeds but also carried its effects in the grown seedlings evidenced as improved photosynthesis and growth. Potential mechanisms involved in the action of NO pre-treatment included NO-mediated significant strengthening of the antioxidant defense system and decreases in Cu-caused oxidative stress parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metal Stress in Plants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effects of Biostimulants on Annurca Fruit Quality and Potential Nutraceutical Compounds at Harvest and during Storage
Plants 2020, 9(6), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060775 - 20 Jun 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1009
Abstract
The cultivar Annurca is an apple that is cultivated in southern Italy that undergoes a typical redding treatment and it is appreciated for organoleptic characteristics, high pulp firmness, and nutritional profile. In this study, the effects of three different biostimulants (Micro-algae (MA), Protein [...] Read more.
The cultivar Annurca is an apple that is cultivated in southern Italy that undergoes a typical redding treatment and it is appreciated for organoleptic characteristics, high pulp firmness, and nutritional profile. In this study, the effects of three different biostimulants (Micro-algae (MA), Protein hydrolysate (PEP), and Macro-algae mixed with zinc and potassium (LG)), with foliar application, on the quality parameters of Annurca apple fruits at the harvest, after redding, and at +60 and +120 days of cold storage were analyzed: total soluble solids (TSS) content, total acidity (TA), pH, firmness flesh, and red coloration of epicarp. Additionally, the polyphenolic quali-quantitative profile of pulp and peel was analyzed by UHPLC-Q-Orbitrap HRMS and Folin-Ciocalteu and the antioxidant capacity with the methods 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ferric-reducing antioxidant capacity (FRAP). The results obtained suggest that biostimulants are involved in the regulation of the secondary metabolism of the treated plants, acting positively on the quality of the Annurca fruits and their nutritional value. Fruits treated with PEP have shown, during cold storage, a significantly higher content of total polyphenols in flesh and a higher concentration of phloretin xylo-glucoside and phloridzin (350.53 and 43.58 mg/kg dw respectively). MA treatment caused, at the same time, an enhancement of flavonols between 0.6–28% and showed the highest total polyphenol content in the peel after 60 and 120 days of cold storage, with 2696.048 and 2570.457 mg/kg dw, respectively. The long-term cold storage (120 days) satisfactorily maintained phenolic content of fruits deriving from MA and PEP application, in accordance with data that were obtained for peel, showed an increase of 7.8 and 5.8%, respectively, when compared to the fruits cold stored for 60 days. This study represents the first detailed research on the use of different types of biostimulants on the quality of the Annurca apple from harvest to storage. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Flavonoids and Isoflavonoids Biosynthesis in the Model Legume Lotus japonicus; Connections to Nitrogen Metabolism and Photorespiration
Plants 2020, 9(6), 774; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060774 - 20 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1219
Abstract
Phenylpropanoid metabolism represents an important metabolic pathway from which originates a wide number of secondary metabolites derived from phenylalanine or tyrosine, such as flavonoids and isoflavonoids, crucial molecules in plants implicated in a large number of biological processes. Therefore, various types of interconnection [...] Read more.
Phenylpropanoid metabolism represents an important metabolic pathway from which originates a wide number of secondary metabolites derived from phenylalanine or tyrosine, such as flavonoids and isoflavonoids, crucial molecules in plants implicated in a large number of biological processes. Therefore, various types of interconnection exist between different aspects of nitrogen metabolism and the biosynthesis of these compounds. For legumes, flavonoids and isoflavonoids are postulated to play pivotal roles in adaptation to their biological environments, both as defensive compounds (phytoalexins) and as chemical signals in symbiotic nitrogen fixation with rhizobia. In this paper, we summarize the recent progress made in the characterization of flavonoid and isoflavonoid biosynthetic pathways in the model legume Lotus japonicus (Regel) Larsen under different abiotic stress situations, such as drought, the impairment of photorespiration and UV-B irradiation. Emphasis is placed on results obtained using photorespiratory mutants deficient in glutamine synthetase. The results provide different types of evidence showing that an enhancement of isoflavonoid compared to standard flavonol metabolism frequently occurs in Lotus under abiotic stress conditions. The advance produced in the analysis of isoflavonoid regulatory proteins by the use of co-expression networks, particularly MYB transcription factors, is also described. The results obtained in Lotus japonicus plants can be also extrapolated to other cultivated legume species, such as soybean, of extraordinary agronomic importance with a high impact in feeding, oil production and human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Nitrogen Assimilation and Metabolism)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
MYO, a Candidate Gene for Haploid Induction in Maize Causes Male Sterility
Plants 2020, 9(6), 773; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060773 - 19 Jun 2020
Viewed by 965
Abstract
Doubled haploid technology is highly successful in maize breeding programs and is contingent on the ability of maize inducers to efficiently produce haploids. Knowledge of the genes involved in haploid induction is important for not only developing better maize inducers, but also to [...] Read more.
Doubled haploid technology is highly successful in maize breeding programs and is contingent on the ability of maize inducers to efficiently produce haploids. Knowledge of the genes involved in haploid induction is important for not only developing better maize inducers, but also to create inducers in other crops. The main quantitative trait loci involved in maize haploid induction are qhir1 and qhir8. The gene underlying qhir1 has been discovered and validated by independent research groups. Prior to initiation of this study, the gene associated with qhir8 had yet to be recognized. Therefore, this research focused on characterizing positional candidate genes underlying qhir8. Pursuing this goal, a strong candidate for qhir8, GRMZM2G435294 (MYO), was silenced by RNAi. Analysis of crosses with these heterozygous RNAi-transgenic lines for haploid induction rate revealed that the silencing of MYO significantly enhanced haploid induction rate by an average of 0.6% in the presence of qhir1. Recently, GRMZM2G465053 (ZmDMP) was identified by map-based gene isolation and shown to be responsible for qhir8. While our results suggest that MYO may contribute to haploid induction rate, results were inconsistent and only showing minor increases in haploid induction rate compared to ZmDMP. Instead, reciprocal crosses clearly revealed that the silencing of MYO causes male sterility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Doubled Haploid Technology in Plant Breeding)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop