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Plants, Volume 9, Issue 7 (July 2020) – 59 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Seedling Nitrogen Condition on Subsequent Vegetative Growth Stages and Its Relationship to the Expression of Nitrogen Transporter Genes in Rice
Plants 2020, 9(7), 861; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070861 - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
Nitrogen (N) deficiency is one of the most common problems in soils, limiting crop growth and production. However, the effects of N limitation in seedlings on vegetative growth remain poorly understood. Here, we show that N limitation in rice seedlings restricted vegetative growth [...] Read more.
Nitrogen (N) deficiency is one of the most common problems in soils, limiting crop growth and production. However, the effects of N limitation in seedlings on vegetative growth remain poorly understood. Here, we show that N limitation in rice seedlings restricted vegetative growth but not yield. Aboveground parts were affected mainly during the period of tillering, but belowground parts were sensitive throughout vegetative growth, especially during panicle development. At the tillering stage, N-limited plants had a significantly lower N content in shoots, but not in roots. On the other hand, N content in roots during the panicle development stage was significantly lower in N-limited plants. This distinct response was driven by significant changes in expression of N transporter genes during growth. Under N limitation, N translocation from roots to shoots was greatly sped up by systemic expression of N transporter genes to obtain balanced growth. N limitation during the seedling stage did not reduce any yield components. We conclude that the N condition during the seedling stage affects physiological responses such as N translocation through the expression of N transporter genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Comparative Metabolite Profiling of Wild and Cultivated Justicia procumbens L. Based on 1H-NMR Spectroscopy and HPLC-DAD Analysis
Plants 2020, 9(7), 860; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070860 - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
Justicia procumbens L. is known across Korea, India, China, and Taiwan as a remedy against fever, cough, sore throat, and cirrhosis of ascites. J. procumbens provides the raw material for a candidate anti-asthma drug (DW2008S) currently completing phase I clinical trials sponsored by [...] Read more.
Justicia procumbens L. is known across Korea, India, China, and Taiwan as a remedy against fever, cough, sore throat, and cirrhosis of ascites. J. procumbens provides the raw material for a candidate anti-asthma drug (DW2008S) currently completing phase I clinical trials sponsored by Dong Wha Pharmaceutical Company. HPLC-DAD was used to quantify phytochemical constituents of J. procumbens, and HPLC and 1H-NMR results were assessed by multivariate analysis. This is the first time a comparative study using HPLC-DAD and NMR fingerprints has been applied to identify chemical differences between wild and cultivated J. procumbens. The amount of justicidin B as the marker compound was higher in cultivated samples (0.80 ± 0.25 mg/g) than in wild ones (0.63 ± 0.30 mg/g). Orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) from HPLC and NMR data revealed that there were clear differences between wild and cultivated types and identified five secondary metabolites, which could help distinguish between wild and cultivated plants. Among these five lignans, diphyllin showed the most potent discrimination between two types and was significantly detected higher in cultivated ones than in wild ones. A combination of 1H-NMR and HPLC-DAD analysis is effective for J. procumbens standardization and metabolomics studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biochemical and Histo-Anatomical Responses of Lavandula angustifolia Mill. to Spruce and Beech Bark Extracts Application
Plants 2020, 9(7), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070859 - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
This paper aims to assess the biological responses of Lavandula angustifolia Mill. to beech and spruce bark crude extract application. Thus, the biological activity of bark extracts was assessed by determining the germination capacity, biomass production, histo-anatomical aspects and photo-assimilatory pigment accumulation, and [...] Read more.
This paper aims to assess the biological responses of Lavandula angustifolia Mill. to beech and spruce bark crude extract application. Thus, the biological activity of bark extracts was assessed by determining the germination capacity, biomass production, histo-anatomical aspects and photo-assimilatory pigment accumulation, and by quantitative and qualitative volatile compounds analysis. The application of spruce bark extract (500 mg dry bark/100 mL solvent) resulted in a better development of the leaf tissue and an increase in foliar biomass. We observed the stimulating effect of photo-assimilating pigments accumulation, for all experimental variants, compared to the control. Also, the amount of volatile oil was significantly higher in the treated plants with spruce bark extract (500 mg dry bark/100 mL solvent). Some volatile compounds (cyclen, borneol, cryptone, santalen, and caryophyllene oxide β—farnesene) were identified only in the experimental variants. Also, in the experimental variants, an increase in the quantity of limonene, linalyl acetate and lavandulol was observed. These preliminary results showed that the beech and spruce bark extracts can have biological activities and influence the production of volatile oil in Lavandula angustifolia, causing significant changes in the phytochemical profile of the essential oil. Thus, forest waste bark extracts could be recommended as natural bioregulators in lavender crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
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Open AccessCommunication
Discovery of Dihydrophaseic Acid Glucosides from the Florets of Carthamus tinctorius
Plants 2020, 9(7), 858; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070858 - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
Carthamus tinctorius L. (Compositae; safflower or Hong Hua) has been used in Korean traditional medicine for maintaining the homeostasis of body circulation. Phytochemical investigation was performed on the florets of C. tinctorius by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC/MS), which afforded two dihydrophaseic acid glucosides [...] Read more.
Carthamus tinctorius L. (Compositae; safflower or Hong Hua) has been used in Korean traditional medicine for maintaining the homeostasis of body circulation. Phytochemical investigation was performed on the florets of C. tinctorius by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC/MS), which afforded two dihydrophaseic acid glucosides (1 and 2). Isolated compounds were structurally confirmed using a combination of spectroscopic methods including 1D and 2D nuclear magnetic resonance and high-resolution electrospray ionization mass spectroscopy. Their absolute configurations were established by quantum chemical electronic circular dichroism calculations and enzymatic hydrolysis. The anti-adipogenesis activity of the isolated compounds was evaluated using 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Treatment with the dihydrophaseic acid glucoside (1) during adipocyte differentiation prevented the accumulation of lipid droplets and reduced the expression of adipogenic genes, Fabp4 and Adipsin. However, compound 2 did not affect adipogenesis. Our study yielded a dihydrophaseic acid glucoside derived from C. tinctorius, which has potential advantages for treating obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2019 Feature Papers by Plants’ Editorial Board Members)
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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Verticillium Wilt on Photosynthesis Rate, Lint Production, and Fiber Quality of Greenhouse-Grown Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum)
Plants 2020, 9(7), 857; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070857 - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
Verticillium wilt, caused by Verticillium dahliae Kleb., leads to significant losses in cotton yield and fiber quality worldwide. To investigate Verticillium wilt impact on photosynthesis rate, yield, and fiber quality, six upland cotton genotypes, namely Verticillium susceptible (DP 1612 B2XF) and partially resistant [...] Read more.
Verticillium wilt, caused by Verticillium dahliae Kleb., leads to significant losses in cotton yield and fiber quality worldwide. To investigate Verticillium wilt impact on photosynthesis rate, yield, and fiber quality, six upland cotton genotypes, namely Verticillium susceptible (DP 1612 B2XF) and partially resistant (FM 2484B2F) commercial cultivars and four breeding lines, were grown to maturity under greenhouse conditions in soil either infested or not infested with V. dahliae microsclerotia. Photosynthetic rate, lint, and seed yield were all higher (p < 0.05) for FM 2484B2F than DP 1612 B2XF when infected with V. dahliae. When comparing healthy (H) to Verticillium wilt (VW) affected plants, fiber properties were greatly impacted. Micronaire decreased from 5.0 (H) to 3.6 (VW) with DP 1612 B2XF and 4.4 (H) to 4.1 (VW) with FM 2484B2F. The maturity ratio decreased from 0.90 (H) to 0.83 (VW) for DP 1612 B2XF and was unchanged for FM 2484B2F (0.90). Fiber properties such as short fiber content, nep count, fineness, and immature fiber content were also significantly affected under Verticillium wilt pressure. With Verticillium wilt affected plants, lines 16-13-601V and 17-17-206V performed similarly to FM 2484B2F for photosynthetic rate, yield, and all fiber properties measured. When selecting for improved cultivars in the presence of Verticillium wilt, it is important to select for relatively unchanged fiber properties under disease pressure in addition to reduced disease severity and increased yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Verticillium Wilt Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
The Use of Essential Oil and Hydrosol Extracted from Satureja hellenica for the Control of Meloidogyne incognita and M. javanica
Plants 2020, 9(7), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070856 - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
Essential oil (EO) and hydrosol (HL) isolated from an indigenous plant species Satureja hellenica were evaluated against Meloidogyne incognita and M. javanica. Particularly, the activity of extracts on a second stage juvenile’s (J2s) motility, the hatching of J2s from eggs, egg differentiation [...] Read more.
Essential oil (EO) and hydrosol (HL) isolated from an indigenous plant species Satureja hellenica were evaluated against Meloidogyne incognita and M. javanica. Particularly, the activity of extracts on a second stage juvenile’s (J2s) motility, the hatching of J2s from eggs, egg differentiation and the effect on J2s in soil were tested. A paralysis of 100% of the J2s of both species was recorded after 96 h of immersion in the essential oil, at a dose of 2000 μL/L. At the same dose, the percentage of paralyzed J2s after 48 h of immersion was more than 80%, for both Meloidogyne species. The use of hydrosol has shown encouraging results only in the dilution of 50%, where for both Meloidogyne species tested, the percentage of paralyzed J2s was more than 70% after 48 h of immersion, while the percentage was increased to 90% after 96 h of immersion. Egg differentiation was ceased after immersion, either in EO or HL. However, this decrease in egg differentiation was evident only at higher concentrations of EO and at the highest HL dilution (0.5 v/v). The hatching of M. incognita J2s was decreasing as the dose was increasing. The lowest numbers of hatched J2s were recorded at the doses of 2000 and 4000 μL/L. A clear reduction in M. javanica J2s hatching was observed as the dose was increased to 250 μL/L, a fact constantly observed as the dose was increasing up to 4000 μL/L. Lower numbers of nematodes were recorded in roots grown in infested soil after the application of EO or HL at the highest doses. The EO of S. hellenica is characterized by the presence of p-cymene (27.46%) and carvacrol (23.25%), and in a lesser extent of other constituents, such as borneol (6.79%), carvacrol methylether (6.77%), γ-terpinene (4.63%) and 4-terpineol (3.65%). Carvacrol was the major constituent found in the HL (50.12%), followed by borneol and 4-terpineol (20.42 and 6.72%, respectively). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of the Volatile Compounds and Observation of the Glandular Trichomes in Opisthopappus taihangensis and Four Species of Chrysanthemum
Plants 2020, 9(7), 855; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070855 - 06 Jul 2020
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Abstract
Opisthopappus taihangensis (Ling) Shih, a wild relative germplasm of chrysanthemum, releases a completely different fragrance from chrysanthemum species. We aimed to identify the volatile compounds of the leaves of O. taihangensis and four other Chrysanthemum species using headspace solid-phase micro-extraction combined with gas [...] Read more.
Opisthopappus taihangensis (Ling) Shih, a wild relative germplasm of chrysanthemum, releases a completely different fragrance from chrysanthemum species. We aimed to identify the volatile compounds of the leaves of O. taihangensis and four other Chrysanthemum species using headspace solid-phase micro-extraction combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC/MS). In total, 70 compounds were detected, and terpenoids accounted for the largest percentage in these five species. Many specific compounds were only emitted from O. taihangensis and not from the other four species. In particular, 1,8-cineole could be responsible for the special leaf fragrance of O. taihangensis as it accounted for the largest proportion of the compounds in O. taihangensis but a small or no proportion at all in other species. The glandular trichomes (GTs) in the leaves are the main organs responsible for the emission of volatiles. To explore the relationship between the emissions and the density of the GTs on the leaf epidermis, the shape and density of the GTs were observed and calculated, respectively. The results showed that the trichomes have two shapes in these leaves: T-shaped non-glandular trichomes and capitate trichomes. Histochemical staining analyses indicated that terpenoids are mainly emitted from capitate glandular trichomes. Correlation analysis showed that the volatile amount of terpenoids is highly related to the density of capitate trichomes. In O. taihangensis, the terpenoids content and density of capitate trichomes are the highest. We identified the diversity of leaf volatiles from O. taihangensis and four other Chrysanthemum species and found a possible relationship between the content of volatile compounds and the density of capitate trichomes, which explained the cause of the fragrance of O. taihangensis leaves. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Melatonin Regulatory Mechanisms and Phylogenetic Analyses of Melatonin Biosynthesis Related Genes Extracted from Peanut under Salinity Stress
Plants 2020, 9(7), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070854 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 263
Abstract
Melatonin improves the tolerance of plants to various environmental stresses by protecting plant cells against oxidative stress damage. The objective of the current study was to determine whether exogenous melatonin (MT) treatments could help protecting peanut (Arachis hypogaea) seedlings against salinity [...] Read more.
Melatonin improves the tolerance of plants to various environmental stresses by protecting plant cells against oxidative stress damage. The objective of the current study was to determine whether exogenous melatonin (MT) treatments could help protecting peanut (Arachis hypogaea) seedlings against salinity stress. This was achieved by investigating enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant systems and the expression of melatonin biosynthesis related genes in response to salinity stress with or without exogenous MT. The results showed a significant increase in the concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in peanut seedlings under salinity stress. The exogenous application of melatonin decreased the levels of ROS through the activation of antioxidant enzymes in peanut seedlings under salinity stress. Transcription levels of melatonin biosynthesis related genes such as N‐acetylserotonin methyltransferase (ASMT1, ASMT2, ASMT3), tryptophan decarboxylase (TDC), and tryptamine 5‐hydroxylase (T5H) were up-regulated with a 150 µM melatonin treatment under salinity stress. The results indicated that melatonin regulated the redox homeostasis by its ability to induce either enzymatic or non-enzymatic antioxidant systems. In addition, phylogenetic analysis of melatonin biosynthesis genes (ASMT1, ASMT2, ASMT3, TDC, T5H) were performed on a total of 56 sequences belonging to various plant species including five new sequences extracted from Arachis hypogaea (A. hypogaea). This was based on pairwise comparison among aligned nucleotides and predicted amino acids as well as on substitution rates, and phylogenetic inference. The analyzed sequences were heterogeneous and the A. hypogaea accessions were primarily closest to those of Manihot esculenta, but this needs further clarification. Full article
Open AccessReview
A Synopsis of Sardinian Studies: Why Is it Important to Work on Island Orchids?
Plants 2020, 9(7), 853; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070853 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 257
Abstract
Biological and ecological investigations of islands are crucial to explain ecosystem functioning. Many studies on island biodiversity are carried out on oceanic islands. In contrast, information on continental islands, such as those in the Mediterranean Sea, is very often fragmented in space and [...] Read more.
Biological and ecological investigations of islands are crucial to explain ecosystem functioning. Many studies on island biodiversity are carried out on oceanic islands. In contrast, information on continental islands, such as those in the Mediterranean Sea, is very often fragmented in space and time. Here, a synopsis of the Orchidaceae of Sardinia is presented based on literature surveys and recent botanical field studies. Our final list comprises of 64 species and 14 genera: thirteen species and subspecies were recognized as endemic and four new species were recorded for the flora of the island: Anacamptis palustris (Jacq.) R.M. Bateman, Pridgeon & M.W. Chase; Himantoglossum hircinum (L.) Spreng; Orchis italica Poir.; and Platanthera kuenkelei subsp. kuenkelei var. sardoa R.Lorenz, Akhalk., H.Baumann, Cortis, Cogoni & Scrugli. This orchid richness reflects the geological history of the island that was linked to the mainland several times, facing long periods of isolation. We also discuss a critical point-of-view of the biodiversity shortfalls still problematic for insular orchids. Indeed, within the Mediterranean Basin, the greatest amount of endemism occurs mainly on large islands, and, despite a long history of botanical exploration in European countries, many of them are scarcely investigated. This annotated synopsis shows the potential of continental islands to understand trends in ecology and evolution. Further studies are required to complete our knowledge of the orchid diversity on continental islands in order to propose scientific-based conservation programs to preserve these unique taxa. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Alpha-Amylase Inhibitory, Antioxidant, and Antimicrobial Potential and Phytochemical Contents of Polygonum hydropiper L
Plants 2020, 9(7), 852; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070852 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 228
Abstract
Polygonum hydropiper L. is a traditionally used medicinal plant. The present study was designed to explore the α-amylase inhibitory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activities of Polygonum hydropiper L. Polarity-based solvent extracts (n-hexane, acetone, chloroform, methanol, ethanol, and water) of Polygonum hydropiper leaves [...] Read more.
Polygonum hydropiper L. is a traditionally used medicinal plant. The present study was designed to explore the α-amylase inhibitory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activities of Polygonum hydropiper L. Polarity-based solvent extracts (n-hexane, acetone, chloroform, methanol, ethanol, and water) of Polygonum hydropiper leaves and stem were used. Antioxidant activity was assessed by free radical scavenging assay (FRAP) and 2,2-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging activity methods. Quantitative phytochemical analyses suggested that the stem of Polygonum hydropiper L. contains higher levels of bioactive compounds than its leaves (p < 0.05). The results suggested that stem-derived extracts of Polygonum hydropiper L. are more active against bacterial species, including two Gram-positive and three Gram-negative strains. Moreover, our results showed that the bioactive compounds of Polygonum hydropiper L. significantly inhibit α-amylase activity. Finally, we reported the polarity-based solvent extracts of Polygonum hydropiper L. and revealed that the stem, rather than leaves, has a high antioxidant potential as measured by FRAP and DPPH assay with IC50 values of 1.38 and 1.59 mg/mL, respectively. It may also be deducted from the data that the Polygonum hydropiper L. could be a significant candidate, which should be subjected to further isolation and characterization, to be used as an antidiabetic, antimicrobial and antioxidant resource in many industries, like food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural and Functional Analysis of Extracts in Plants)
Open AccessArticle
Defense Priming in Nicotiana tabacum Accelerates and Amplifies ‘New’ C/N Fluxes in Key Amino Acid Biosynthetic Pathways
Plants 2020, 9(7), 851; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070851 - 06 Jul 2020
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Abstract
In the struggle to survive herbivory by leaf-feeding insects, plants employ multiple strategies to defend themselves. One mechanism by which plants increase resistance is by intensifying their responsiveness in the production of certain defense agents to create a rapid response. Known as defense [...] Read more.
In the struggle to survive herbivory by leaf-feeding insects, plants employ multiple strategies to defend themselves. One mechanism by which plants increase resistance is by intensifying their responsiveness in the production of certain defense agents to create a rapid response. Known as defense priming, this action can accelerate and amplify responses of metabolic pathways, providing plants with long-lasting resistance, especially when faced with waves of attack. In the work presented, short-lived radiotracers of carbon administered as 11CO2 and nitrogen administered as 13NH3 were applied in Nicotiana tabacum, to examine the temporal changes in ‘new’ C/N utilization in the biosynthesis of key amino acids (AAs). Responses were induced by using topical application of the defense hormone jasmonic acid (JA). After a single treatment, metabolic partitioning of recently fixed carbon (designated ‘new’ carbon and reflected as 11C) increased through the shikimate pathway, giving rise to tyrosine, phenylalanine and tryptophan. Amplification in ‘new’ carbon fluxes preceded changes in the endogenous (12C) pools of these AAs. Testing after serial JA treatments revealed that fluxes of ‘new’ carbon were accelerated, amplified and sustained over time at this higher rate, suggesting a priming effect. Similar results were observed with recently assimilated nitrogen (designated ‘new’ nitrogen reflected as 13N) with its partitioning into serine, glycine and glutamine, which play important roles supporting the shikimate pathway and downstream secondary metabolism. Finally, X-ray fluorescence imaging revealed that levels of the element Mn, an important co-factor for enzyme regulation in the shikimate pathway, increased within JA treated tissues, suggesting a link between plant metal ion regulation and C/N metabolic priming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recovery and Memory of Plants during Recurrent Stresses)
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Open AccessArticle
Overview of Schistochilopsis (Hepaticae) in Pacific Asia with the Description Protochilopsis gen. nov.
Plants 2020, 9(7), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070850 - 06 Jul 2020
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Abstract
The taxonomic diversity center of Schistochilopsis is in East Asia, where the genus also shows the highest genetic diversity and morphological plasticity. The integrative survey of Schistochilopsis in East Asia was the main goal of the present account. Plant materials were obtained from [...] Read more.
The taxonomic diversity center of Schistochilopsis is in East Asia, where the genus also shows the highest genetic diversity and morphological plasticity. The integrative survey of Schistochilopsis in East Asia was the main goal of the present account. Plant materials were obtained from recent collections made by authors in various parts of amphi-Pacific Asia; several types of specimens were also studied. The study includes phylogenetic reconstructions from nuclear ITS1,2, chloroplast trnL and trnG sequences, and anatomo-morphological, biogeographical, and taxonomical analyses. As a result, it was concluded that S. obscura should be transferred to Lophozia s. str. and S. grandiretis to the newly described genus Protochilopsis. Lophozia boliviensis was found to be part of the Andean–Sino-Himalayan taxon belonging to Schistochilopsis. The species status of S. hyperarctica and S. opacifolia was not confirmed. Substantial genetic variation is observed within S. incisa with possible cryptic sympatric distributed entities. The taxonomical section of the paper provides a discussion on the status, distinctive morphological traits, distribution, and ecology supplemented with the morphological description for poorly understood taxa. In the vast majority of cases, the illustrations and photographs made from the types and living material are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Knowledge in Bryology)
Open AccessArticle
tasiR-ARFs Production and Target Regulation during In Vitro Maize Plant Regeneration
Plants 2020, 9(7), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070849 - 06 Jul 2020
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Abstract
During in vitro maize plant regeneration somatic cells change their normal fate and undergo restructuring to generate pluripotent cells able to originate new plants. Auxins are essential to achieve such plasticity. Their physiological effects are mediated by auxin response factors (ARFs) that bind [...] Read more.
During in vitro maize plant regeneration somatic cells change their normal fate and undergo restructuring to generate pluripotent cells able to originate new plants. Auxins are essential to achieve such plasticity. Their physiological effects are mediated by auxin response factors (ARFs) that bind auxin responsive elements within gene promoters. Small trans-acting (ta)-siRNAs, originated from miR390-guided TAS3 primary transcript cleavage, target ARF3/4 class (tasiR-ARFs). Here we found that TAS3b precursor as well as derived tasiR-ARFbD5 and tasiR-ARFbD6 display significantly lower levels in non-embryogenic callus (NEC), while TAS3g, miR390 and tasiR-ARFg are more abundant in the same tissue. However, Argonaute (AGO7) and leafbladeless 1 (LBLl) required for tasiR-ARF biogenesis showed significantly higher transcript levels in EC suggesting limited tasiR-ARF biogenesis in NEC. The five maize ARFs targeted by tasiR-ARFs were also significantly enriched in EC and accompanied by higher auxin accumulation with punctuate patterns in this tissue. At hormone half-reduction and photoperiod implementation, plant regeneration initiated from EC with transient TAS3g, miR390 and tasiR-ARFg increase. Upon complete hormone depletion, TAS3b became abundant and derived tasiR-ARFs gradually increased at further regeneration stages. ZmARF transcripts targeted by tasiR-ARFs, as well as AGO7 and LBL1 showed significantly lower levels during regeneration than in EC. These results indicate a dynamic tasiR-ARF mediated regulation throughout maize in vitro plant regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Regeneration)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Defense of Yacón (Smallanthus sonchifolius) Leaves against Phytophagous Insects: Insect Antifeedants from Yacón Leaf Trichomes
Plants 2020, 9(7), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070848 - 06 Jul 2020
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Abstract
Yacón is a perennial crop with high insect resistance. Its leaves have many glandular trichomes, which may be related to pest resistance. In order to collect the constituents of glandular trichomes, leaves were rinsed using dichloromethane (DCM) to obtain the rinsate, and the [...] Read more.
Yacón is a perennial crop with high insect resistance. Its leaves have many glandular trichomes, which may be related to pest resistance. In order to collect the constituents of glandular trichomes, leaves were rinsed using dichloromethane (DCM) to obtain the rinsate, and the plant residues were subsequently extracted by DCM to obtain a DCM extract containing the internal constituents of yacón leaves. Biologic evaluations revealed that insect antifeedant activity was stronger for the rinsate than for the DCM extract against the common cutworm. The major constituents of rinsate were isolated by silica gel flash chromatography and were identified as sesquiterpene lactones (SLs), uvedalin (1) and enhydrin (2) and uvedalin aldehyde (3), collectively known as melampolides. Although SLs 1 and 2 exhibited remarkably strong insect antifeedant activity, SL 3 and reduced corresponding derivatives (4 and 5) of 1 and 2 exhibited moderate insect antifeedant activity. Additionally, the two analogs, parthenolide (6) and erioflorin (7) showed moderate insect antifeedant activity. The results indicate that the substituent patterns of SLs may be related to the insect antifeedant activities. The insect antifeedant activities of SLs 1 and 2 were similar to that of the positive control azadirachtin A (8), and thus these natural products may function in chemical defense against herbivores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Allelopathy and Allelochemicals)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Sequencing and Chemical Analysis Reveal the Formation Mechanism of White Florets in Carthamus tinctorius L.
Plants 2020, 9(7), 847; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070847 - 04 Jul 2020
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Abstract
Carthamus tinctorius L. (safflower), an economic crop and herb, has been extensively studied for its diverse chemical constituents and pharmacological effects, but the mechanism of safflower pigments (SP) leading to different colors of florets has not been clarified. In the present study, we [...] Read more.
Carthamus tinctorius L. (safflower), an economic crop and herb, has been extensively studied for its diverse chemical constituents and pharmacological effects, but the mechanism of safflower pigments (SP) leading to different colors of florets has not been clarified. In the present study, we compared the contents of SP in two varieties of safflower with white and red florets, named Xinhonghua No. 7 (WXHH) and Yunhong No. 2 (RYH). The results showed the contents of SP in RYH were higher than WXHH. To investigate genes related to SP, we obtained six cDNA libraries of florets from the two varieties by transcriptome sequencing. A total of 225,008 unigenes were assembled and 40 unigenes related to safflower pigment biosynthesis were annotated, including 7 unigenes of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), 20 unigenes of 4-coumarate-CoA ligase (4CL), 1 unigene of trans-cinnamate 4-monooxygenase (C4H), 7 unigenes of chalcone synthase (CHS), 4 unigenes of chalcone isomerase (CHI), and 1 unigene of flavanone 3-hydroxylase (F3H). Based on expression levels we selected 16 differentially expressed unigenes (DEGs) and tested them using reverse transcription-quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), which was consistent with the sequencing results. Consequently, we speculated that in WXHH, 3 PALs, 3 4CLs, 1 C4H, 1 CHS, and 1 CHI, which were down-regulated, and 1 F3H, which was up-regulated, may play a key role in the formation of white florets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying Metal Contamination and Potential Uptake by Phragmites australis Adans. (Poaceae) Along a Subtropical River System
Plants 2020, 9(7), 846; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070846 - 04 Jul 2020
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Abstract
: Metal pollution is pervasive across terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems owing to anthropogenic activities. Sediments can accrue high concentrations of metals and act as secondary sources, and thus may be valuable indicators of metal contamination across spatiotemporal scales. In aquatic systems, the extent [...] Read more.
: Metal pollution is pervasive across terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems owing to anthropogenic activities. Sediments can accrue high concentrations of metals and act as secondary sources, and thus may be valuable indicators of metal contamination across spatiotemporal scales. In aquatic systems, the extent of metal pollution may be further mediated by transference among sediments and living organisms, with plant metal contaminants potentially predictive of underlying sediment concentrations. The present study thus quantifies the extent of metal pollutants (Na, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Zn, Mn, B, Fe) across multiple study sites and seasons (cool-dry, hot-wet, hot-dry) in a subtropical river system. Furthermore, uptake by a key macrophyte species, Phragmites australis, was examined and correlated with sediment pollution levels among different plant parts. Overall, sediment pollution load indices differed seasonally, being significantly highest during the cool-dry season irrespective of sampling location, suggesting that periods with reduced water flows can exacerbate metal pollution levels in riverine sediments. Also, metal concentrations were highest in upstream wetland sites, indicating a capacity for metal sink effects in these areas. Overall, macrophytes contained high concentrations of select metals, however composition and concentrations differed across plant parts, with roots containing particularly high concentrations of Fe and B. Correlations between sediment and macrophyte concentrations were mostly non-significant, whilst stem Mn and Fe concentrations correlated significantly negatively and positively to sediment concentrations, respectively. The present study identifies key spatiotemporal differences in multiple metal contaminants in an understudied subtropical aquatic system that align with hydrological regime differences. Whilst macrophytes were not found to be major accumulators, or predictors, of metal contaminants in this study, they may collectively play a central role in concentration regulation in aquatic systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metal Pollution and Plants Growth)
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Open AccessArticle
Leaf Lipid Alterations in Response to Heat Stress of Arabidopsis thaliana
Plants 2020, 9(7), 845; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070845 - 04 Jul 2020
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Abstract
In response to elevated temperatures, plants alter the activities of enzymes that affect lipid composition. While it has long been known that plant leaf membrane lipids become less unsaturated in response to heat, other changes, including polygalactosylation of galactolipids, head group acylation of [...] Read more.
In response to elevated temperatures, plants alter the activities of enzymes that affect lipid composition. While it has long been known that plant leaf membrane lipids become less unsaturated in response to heat, other changes, including polygalactosylation of galactolipids, head group acylation of galactolipids, increases in phosphatidic acid and triacylglycerols, and formation of sterol glucosides and acyl sterol glucosides, have been observed more recently. In this work, by measuring lipid levels with mass spectrometry, we confirm the previously observed changes in Arabidopsis thaliana leaf lipids under three heat stress regimens. Additionally, in response to heat, increased oxidation of the fatty acyl chains of leaf galactolipids, sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerols, and phosphatidylglycerols, and incorporation of oxidized acyl chains into acylated monogalactosyldiacylglycerols are shown. We also observed increased levels of digalactosylmonoacylglycerols and monogalactosylmonoacylglycerols. The hypothesis that a defect in sterol glycosylation would adversely affect regrowth of plants after a severe heat stress regimen was tested, but differences between wild-type and sterol glycosylation-defective plants were not detected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Function of Lipids in Plant Stress)
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Open AccessArticle
Large-Scale Plant Production of Lycium barbarum L. by Liquid Culture in Temporary Immersion System and Possible Application to the Synthesis of Bioactive Substance
Plants 2020, 9(7), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070844 - 04 Jul 2020
Viewed by 147
Abstract
Goji (Lycium barbarum L.) has recognized nutritive and antioxidant properties and many products are commercialized for health in food market. Besides its food use, goji has been the subject of more than 2000 years of traditional Chinese medicine, using berries, root bark, [...] Read more.
Goji (Lycium barbarum L.) has recognized nutritive and antioxidant properties and many products are commercialized for health in food market. Besides its food use, goji has been the subject of more than 2000 years of traditional Chinese medicine, using berries, root bark, and leaves. Here, the potential of the liquid culture in temporary immersion system (TIS) by using the bioreactor PlantformTM was tested for the large-scale production of high-quality goji shoots and the subsequent production of total phenols and flavonoids. The three tested immersion cycles differently influenced the shoot quality in terms of proliferation and hyperhydricity. The best immersion cycle (time and frequency) was proven to have the shortest daily immersion time (6 min every 24 h) which ensured good levels of relative growth and multiplication rate, very limited onset of hyperydricity, and the longest shoots, promoting direct rooting after only 30 days of culture. In comparison with the semisolid culture, the TIS culture resulted in an increase of the total phenolic content (TPC) and in a lower value of the total flavonoid content (TFC). However, considering the higher quantity of biomass produced in the PlantformTM bioreactor, the difference in terms of TFC productivity between semisolid medium and TIS liquid culture was proven to be statistically equivalent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Development and Morphogenesis)
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Open AccessArticle
Cytogenetic Study on the Biostimulation Potential of the Aqueous Fruit Extract of Hippophae rhamnoides for a Sustainable Agricultural Ecosystem
Plants 2020, 9(7), 843; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070843 - 04 Jul 2020
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Abstract
This cytogenetic study evaluates the biostimulation potential of the aqueous extract of seabuckthorn fruits (AESF) in plant cells, using the Allium cepa species as a test plant. The effects were monitored both at the macroscopic and microscopically level. The onion bulbs were exposed [...] Read more.
This cytogenetic study evaluates the biostimulation potential of the aqueous extract of seabuckthorn fruits (AESF) in plant cells, using the Allium cepa species as a test plant. The effects were monitored both at the macroscopic and microscopically level. The onion bulbs were exposed to the action of different concentrations of AESF (0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5%) for 72 h. The obtained results showed the positive effect induced by the aqueous extract on the growth of the meristematic roots, but only at concentrations ranging between 0.5–1.5%, when the average length of the roots had values between 2.51–3.40 cm, which means an increase compared to the untreated control with 3.71–40.49%. Within the same concentration range of the AESF, an effect of intensifying the mitotic activity was recorded. On the other hand, at the 2–2.5% concentration of the AESF, there was an inhibitory effect on the growth of meristematic roots. Additionally, concentrations ≥2% of AESF induced a cytotoxic and genotoxic effect through the occurrence of some chromosomal and nuclear abnormalities in A. cepa cells (sticky, laggards, ring chromosomes, and micronucleus). The obtained results suggest the biostimulation potential of the AESF for plant cells and the possibility of using it as an eco-friendly fertilizer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessReview
Plant Molecular Farming: A Viable Platform for Recombinant Biopharmaceutical Production
Plants 2020, 9(7), 842; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070842 - 04 Jul 2020
Viewed by 193
Abstract
The demand for recombinant proteins in terms of quality, quantity, and diversity is increasing steadily, which is attracting global attention for the development of new recombinant protein production technologies and the engineering of conventional established expression systems based on bacteria or mammalian cell [...] Read more.
The demand for recombinant proteins in terms of quality, quantity, and diversity is increasing steadily, which is attracting global attention for the development of new recombinant protein production technologies and the engineering of conventional established expression systems based on bacteria or mammalian cell cultures. Since the advancements of plant genetic engineering in the 1980s, plants have been used for the production of economically valuable, biologically active non-native proteins or biopharmaceuticals, the concept termed as plant molecular farming (PMF). PMF is considered as a cost-effective technology that has grown and advanced tremendously over the past two decades. The development and improvement of the transient expression system has significantly reduced the protein production timeline and greatly improved the protein yield in plants. The major factors that drive the plant-based platform towards potential competitors for the conventional expression system are cost-effectiveness, scalability, flexibility, versatility, and robustness of the system. Many biopharmaceuticals including recombinant vaccine antigens, monoclonal antibodies, and other commercially viable proteins are produced in plants, some of which are in the pre-clinical and clinical pipeline. In this review, we consider the importance of a plant- based production system for recombinant protein production, and its potential to produce biopharmaceuticals is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Molecular Farming)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in the Phenolic Compounds of Hop (Humulus lupulus L.) Induced by Infection with Verticillium nonalfalfae, the Causal Agent of Hop Verticillium Wilt
Plants 2020, 9(7), 841; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070841 - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 204
Abstract
Phenolic compounds are involved in plant responses to various biotic and abiotic stress factors, with many studies suggesting their role in defense mechanisms against fungal pathogens. Soilborne vascular pathogen Verticillium nonalfalfae causes severe wilting and consequent dieback in a wide range of economically [...] Read more.
Phenolic compounds are involved in plant responses to various biotic and abiotic stress factors, with many studies suggesting their role in defense mechanisms against fungal pathogens. Soilborne vascular pathogen Verticillium nonalfalfae causes severe wilting and consequent dieback in a wide range of economically important crops, including hops (Humulus lupulus L.). In this study, we investigated the differential accumulation of phenolics in the susceptible “Celeia” and resistant “Wye Target” hop cultivars during the pathogenesis of Verticillium wilt. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction showed that colonization in the roots of both cultivars was intensive, but decreased continuously throughout the experiment in the resistant cultivar, while the relative fungal amount continuously increased in the stems of the susceptible cultivar. In response to colonization in the roots of the resistant cultivar, a significant increase in total flavanols was detected at three days postinoculation (dpi), suggesting a possible role in preventing fungus spread into the stems. The accumulation of phenolic compounds was less pronounced in the stems of the resistant cultivar since, compared to the latter, significant increases in flavonols at 3 and 15 dpi and hydroxycinnamic acids at 6 dpi were observed in the stems of the susceptible cultivar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Verticillium Wilt Disease)
Open AccessArticle
Knock-Down the Expression of Brassinosteroid Receptor TaBRI1 Reduces Photosynthesis, Tolerance to High Light and High Temperature Stresses and Grain Yield in Wheat
Plants 2020, 9(7), 840; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070840 - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 173
Abstract
Brassinosteroid (BR)-deficient or -insensitive mutants exhibited altered plant architecture with the potential to impact yield, the underlying physiological and molecular mechanisms are still to be explored. In this study, we cloned three BR receptor homologous genes TaBRI1-A1, -B1 and -D1 from hexaploid wheat [...] Read more.
Brassinosteroid (BR)-deficient or -insensitive mutants exhibited altered plant architecture with the potential to impact yield, the underlying physiological and molecular mechanisms are still to be explored. In this study, we cloned three BR receptor homologous genes TaBRI1-A1, -B1 and -D1 from hexaploid wheat (Triticum estivum L.) and further isolated the TaBRI1-A1, TaBRI1-D1 deletion mutants from the ion beam-induced mutants of variety Xiaoyan81, TaBRI1-A1 and TaBRI1-D1 in which the expression of total receptor TaBRI1 was significantly decreased. The TaBRI1 knock-down mutants exhibited relatively erect leaves and a significant decrease in the 1000-grain weight. Further studies showed that TaBRI1 knock-down mutants showed a significant reduction in photosynthetic rate during the whole grain-filling stage. TaBRI1 knock-down plants generated by TaBRI1-A1, TaBRI1-D1 deletion or using virus-induced gene silencing exhibited the reduction in the efficiency of photosystem II (PSII) (Fv/Fm, ΦPSII and electron transport rate, ETR) especially under high light and high temperature stresses. The 24-epibrassinolide (EBR) treatment increased CO2 assimilation rate in the wild type under both normal and high light and high temperature stresses conditions, but this increasing effect was not observed in the TaBRI1 knock-down mutants. Meanwhile, the expression levels of BR biosynthetic genes including TaDWARF4, TaCPD1 and TaCPD90C1 is not decreased or decreased to a lesser extent in the TaBRI1 knock-down mutants after EBR treatment. These results suggested that TaBRI1 is required for maintaining photosynthesis and tolerance to high light and high temperature stresses both of which are important for grain yield and will be a possible engineered target to control plant photosynthesis and yields in wheat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
Nematicidal Efficacy of Milbemectin against Root-Knot Nematodes
Plants 2020, 9(7), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070839 - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 135
Abstract
The nematicidal efficacy of milbemectin and its commercial formulate Milbeknock® on (i) egg hatching, (ii) juvenile motility and (iii) infective capacity of root-knot nematodes was evaluated in vitro and in planta assays. Serial dilutions of pure milbemectin were tested against nematode eggs [...] Read more.
The nematicidal efficacy of milbemectin and its commercial formulate Milbeknock® on (i) egg hatching, (ii) juvenile motility and (iii) infective capacity of root-knot nematodes was evaluated in vitro and in planta assays. Serial dilutions of pure milbemectin were tested against nematode eggs and juveniles and lethal concentrations LC50 and LC90 calculated. Exposure of egg masses to milbemectin at a concentration of 30 μg/mL for 72 h reduced egg hatching by 52%. The increase in exposure time to 240 h did not increase the egg hatching inhibition at the highest concentration 30 μg/mL (53%) but reduced egg hatching at 15 and 7 μg/mL by 35 and 24%, respectively, when compared to untreated controls. The inhibitory effect of milbemectin on juvenile motility ranged from 41 to 87% depending on its concentration, and this effect was persistent after rinsing the juveniles in water. The probabilistic dose–response model indicated that lethal concentrations of milbemectin for juvenile motility were LC50: 7.4 μg/mL and LC90: 29.9 μg/mL. The pre-plant application of Milbeknock® to soils infested with the nematode reduced its infective capacity by 98–99% compared to untreated soils in pot experiments. Milbeknock® reduced nematode soil population densities by 50–60% in natural infestations under field conditions. Milbemectin shows a high level of efficacy against root-knot nematodes as it reduces egg hatching, persistently immobilizes nematode juveniles, and reduces tomato root infection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antimicrobial Effects against Oral Pathogens and Cytotoxicity of Glycyrrhiza uralensis Extract
Plants 2020, 9(7), 838; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070838 - 03 Jul 2020
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Abstract
We aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial effects of Glycyrrhiza uralensis extract on Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans and its biocompatibility for dental applications. The antimicrobial activity of the G. uralensis extracts at concentrations of 50, 100, 150, and 200 µg/mL was assessed using [...] Read more.
We aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial effects of Glycyrrhiza uralensis extract on Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans and its biocompatibility for dental applications. The antimicrobial activity of the G. uralensis extracts at concentrations of 50, 100, 150, and 200 µg/mL was assessed using agar disk diffusion tests, counting the total number of colony-forming units (CFUs), spectrophotometric growth inhibitory assays, and microbial morphology observations using scanning electron microscopy (SEM; Merin, Carl Zeiss, Oberkochen, Germany). We measured the polyphenol and flavonoid contents of G. uralensis extracts using ultraviolet–visible spectrometry and the cytotoxicity of these extracts using an MTT (3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay. We identified that G. uralensis extracts had significant antimicrobial effects against S. mutans and C. albicans. The optical density of the experimental groups significantly decreased compared with that of the control group. SEM images revealed that the G. uralensis extract affected the morphology and density of S. mutans and C. albicans. The extract concentration of flavonoids, but not polyphenols, increased with increasing concentrations of the G. uralensis extract. Furthermore, cell viabilities were more than 70% for G. uralensis extracts with concentrations of 50 and 100 μg/mL. Naturally derived G. uralensis is biocompatible and exhibits an excellent antimicrobial effect against oral pathogens such as S. mutans and C. albicans. Thus, G. uralensis extracts can be used for the development of oral products that treat and prevent oral diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exogenous Carbon Compounds Modulate Tomato Root Development
Plants 2020, 9(7), 837; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070837 - 03 Jul 2020
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Abstract
NO3 is not only a nutrient, but also a signaling compound that plays an important role in several plant processes, like root development. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of three different exogenous C compounds (sucrose, glucose, 2-oxoglutarate) added [...] Read more.
NO3 is not only a nutrient, but also a signaling compound that plays an important role in several plant processes, like root development. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of three different exogenous C compounds (sucrose, glucose, 2-oxoglutarate) added to NO3 nutrition on C/N, auxin and antioxidant metabolisms in 10-day-old tomato seedlings. Sucrose and glucose supplementation enhanced primary root (PR) length, lateral root number and root density, while 2-oxoglutarate negatively affected them. This phenomenon was accompanied by a slight increase in NRT2.1 and GS1 gene expression, together with an increase in LAX2 and LAX3 and a decrease in LAX4 in the roots growing under sucrose and glucose sources. The addition of 2-oxoglutarate enhanced the expression of NiR, GDH, PEPC1, LAX1, LAX3 and the antioxidant gene SOD Cl. Taken together, these findings contribute to a better understanding of how these C sources can modulate N uptake and C/N, auxin and antioxidant gene expression, which could be useful for improving nitrogen use efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Nitrogen Assimilation and Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
QTL Mapping and Prediction of Haploid Male Fertility Traits in Maize (Zea mays L.)
Plants 2020, 9(7), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070836 - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 123
Abstract
Chromosome doubling of maize haploids is a bottleneck in the large-scale application of doubled haploid (DH) technology. Spontaneous chromosome doubling (SCD) of haploid has been taken as an important method in the production of DH lines and low haploid male fertility (HMF) is [...] Read more.
Chromosome doubling of maize haploids is a bottleneck in the large-scale application of doubled haploid (DH) technology. Spontaneous chromosome doubling (SCD) of haploid has been taken as an important method in the production of DH lines and low haploid male fertility (HMF) is a main limiting factor for the use of SCD. To study its genetic basis, haploids of 119 DH lines derived from a cross between inbred lines Qi319 and Chang7-2 were used to map the quantitative trait locus (QTL) contributing to HMF. Three traits including anther emergence rate (AER), anther emergence score (AES) and pollen production score (PPS) of the haploid population were evaluated at two locations. The heritability of the three traits ranged from 0.70 to 0.81. The QTL contributing to AER, AES and PPS were identified on the chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10. Five major QTL, qAER5-1, qAER5-2, qAES3, qPPS1 and qPPS5, were found and each could explain more than 15% of the phenotypic variance at least in one environment. Two major QTL, qPPS1 and qPPS5, and two minor QTL, qAES2 and qAER3, were repeatedly detected at both locations. To increase the application efficiency of HMF in breeding programs, genomic prediction for the three traits were carried out with ridge regression best linear unbiased prediction (rrBLUP) and rrBLUP adding QTL effects (rrBLUP-QTL). The prediction accuracies of rrBLUP-QTL were significantly higher than that by rrBLUP for three traits (p < 0.001), which indirectly indicates these QTL were effective. The prediction accuracies for PPS were 0.604 (rrBLUP) and 0.703 (rrBLUP-QTL) across both locations, which were higher than that of AER and AES. Overall, this study provides important information to understand the genetic architecture of SCD of maize haploids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Doubled Haploid Technology in Plant Breeding)
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Open AccessCommunication
Two New Putative Plant Viruses from Wood Metagenomics Analysis of an Esca Diseased Vineyard
Plants 2020, 9(7), 835; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070835 - 03 Jul 2020
Viewed by 161
Abstract
The concept of plant as a holobiont is now spreading among the scientific community and the importance to study plant-associated microorganisms is becoming more and more necessary. Along with bacteria and fungi, also viruses can play important roles during the holobiont-environment interactions. In [...] Read more.
The concept of plant as a holobiont is now spreading among the scientific community and the importance to study plant-associated microorganisms is becoming more and more necessary. Along with bacteria and fungi, also viruses can play important roles during the holobiont-environment interactions. In grapevine, viruses are studied mainly as pathological agents, and many species (more than 80) are known to be able to replicate inside its tissues. In this study two new viral species associated with grape wood tissues are presented, one belongs to the Potyviridae family and one to the Bunyavirales order. Due to the ability of potyviruses to enhance heterologous virus replication, it will be important to assess the presence of such a virus in the grapevine population to understand its ecological role. Furthermore, the association of the cogu-like virus with esca symptomatic samples opens new questions and the necessity of a more detailed characterization of this virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Control of Plant Viral Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Arabidopsis Plastid-RNA Polymerase RPOTp Is Involved in Abiotic Stress Tolerance
Plants 2020, 9(7), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070834 - 02 Jul 2020
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Abstract
Plastid gene expression (PGE) must adequately respond to changes in both development and environmental cues. The transcriptional machinery of plastids in land plants is far more complex than that of prokaryotes. Two types of DNA-dependent RNA polymerases transcribe the plastid genome: a multimeric [...] Read more.
Plastid gene expression (PGE) must adequately respond to changes in both development and environmental cues. The transcriptional machinery of plastids in land plants is far more complex than that of prokaryotes. Two types of DNA-dependent RNA polymerases transcribe the plastid genome: a multimeric plastid-encoded polymerase (PEP), and a monomeric nuclear-encoded polymerase (NEP). A single NEP in monocots (RPOTp, RNA polymerase of the T3/T7 phage-type) and two NEPs in dicots (plastid-targeted RPOTp, and plastid- and mitochondrial-targeted RPOTmp) have been hitherto identified. To unravel the role of PGE in plant responses to abiotic stress, we investigated if Arabidopsis RPOTp could function in plant salt tolerance. To this end, we studied the sensitivity of T-DNA mutants scabra3-2 (sca3-2) and sca3-3, defective in the RPOTp gene, to salinity, osmotic stress and the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) required for plants to adapt to abiotic stress. sca3 mutants were hypersensitive to NaCl, mannitol and ABA during germination and seedling establishment. Later in development, sca3 plants displayed reduced sensitivity to salt stress. A gene ontology (GO) analysis of the nuclear genes differentially expressed in the sca3-2 mutant (301) revealed that many significantly enriched GO terms were related to chloroplast function, and also to the response to several abiotic stresses. By quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR), we found that genes LHCB1 (LIGHT-HARVESTING CHLOROPHYLL a/b-BINDING1) and AOX1A (ALTERNATIVE OXIDASE 1A) were respectively down- and up-regulated in the Columbia-0 (Col-0) salt-stressed plants, which suggests the activation of plastid and mitochondria-to-nucleus retrograde signaling. The transcript levels of genes RPOTp, RPOTmp and RPOTm significantly increased in these salt-stressed seedlings, but this enhanced expression did not lead to the up-regulation of the plastid genes solely transcribed by NEP. Similar to salinity, carotenoid inhibitor norflurazon (NF) also enhanced the RPOTp transcript levels in Col-0 seedlings. This shows that besides salinity, inhibition of chloroplast biogenesis also induces RPOTp expression. Unlike salt and NF, the NEP genes were significantly down-regulated in the Col-0 seedlings grown in ABA-supplemented media. Together, our findings demonstrate that RPOTp functions in abiotic stress tolerance, and RPOTp is likely regulated positively by plastid-to-nucleus retrograde signaling, which is triggered when chloroplast functionality is perturbed by environmental stresses, e.g., salinity or NF. This suggests the existence of a compensatory mechanism, elicited by impaired chloroplast function. To our knowledge, this is the first study to suggest the role of a nuclear-encoded plastid-RNA polymerase in salt stress tolerance in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salinity Stress in Plants and Molecular Responses)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Wild Potato Germplasm for Tuber Starch Content and Nitrogen Utilization Efficiency
Plants 2020, 9(7), 833; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070833 - 02 Jul 2020
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Abstract
Potato wild relatives provide a considerable source of variation for important traits in cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) breeding. This study evaluates the variation of tuber starch content and nitrogen utilization efficiency (NutE) in wild potato germplasm. For the experiments regarding starch [...] Read more.
Potato wild relatives provide a considerable source of variation for important traits in cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) breeding. This study evaluates the variation of tuber starch content and nitrogen utilization efficiency (NutE) in wild potato germplasm. For the experiments regarding starch content, 28 accessions of ten different tuber-bearing wild Solanum-species were chosen, and in vitro plantlets were raised from seeds. Twenty plantlets (= genotypes) per accession were then cultivated in the greenhouse until natural senescence and tuber starch content was determined. The average tuber starch content across all genotypes tested was 21.7% of fresh mass. Contents above 28% of fresh mass were found in 50 genotypes, belonging to the species S. chacoense, S. commersonii, S. jamesii, and S. pinnatisectum. Subsequently, 22 wild genotypes revealing high tuber starch contents and four modern varieties of cultivated potato were studied as in vitro plantlets under optimal and low N supply (30 and 7.5 mmol L−1 N). Low N supply lead to a genotype-dependent reduction of shoot dry mass between 13 and 46%. The majority of the wild types also reduced root dry mass by 26 to 62%, while others maintained root growth and even exceeded the NutE of the varieties under low N supply. Thus, wild potato germplasm appears superior to cultivars in terms of tuber starch contents and N utilization efficiency, which should be investigated in further studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biodiversity and Genetic Resources)
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Open AccessReview
Protective Roles of Cytosolic and Plastidal Proteasomes on Abiotic Stress and Pathogen Invasion
Plants 2020, 9(7), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9070832 - 02 Jul 2020
Viewed by 144
Abstract
Protein malfunction is typically caused by abiotic stressors. To ensure cell survival during conditions of stress, it is important for plant cells to maintain proteins in their respective functional conformation. Self-compartmentalizing proteases, such as ATP-dependent Clp proteases and proteasomes are designed to act [...] Read more.
Protein malfunction is typically caused by abiotic stressors. To ensure cell survival during conditions of stress, it is important for plant cells to maintain proteins in their respective functional conformation. Self-compartmentalizing proteases, such as ATP-dependent Clp proteases and proteasomes are designed to act in the crowded cellular environment, and they are responsible for degradation of misfolded or damaged proteins within the cell. During different types of stress conditions, the levels of misfolded or orphaned proteins that are degraded by the 26S proteasome in the cytosol and nucleus and by the Clp proteases in the mitochondria and chloroplasts increase. This allows cells to uphold feedback regulations to cellular-level signals and adjust to altered environmental conditions. In this review, we summarize recent findings on plant proteolytic complexes with respect to their protective functions against abiotic and biotic stressors. Full article
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