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Special Issue "Phytohormones and Their Crosstalk during Plant Growth, Development and Environmental Stress Adaptation"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Plant Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohammad Golam Mostofa

Guest Editor
JSPS Fellow, Signaling Pathway Research Unit, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, 230-0045, Japan
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Gazipur-1706, Bangladesh
Interests: phytohormones; abiotic stress; stress mitigation; gene regulation; physiology; heavy metal toxicity; antioxidant metabolism; oxidative stress; methylglyoxal; sulphur metabolism; redox balance; nutrient homeostasis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Stephan Pollmann
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM)—Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), 28223 Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid), Spain
Interests: auxin hoemostasis; plant hormonal networks; auxin–jasmonate crosstalk; metabolomics; mass spectrometry
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Phytohormones are major growth regulators, contributing to every aspect of a plant’s life. Plants produce a delicate level of hormones to support their growth and metabolism under normal conditions. Plants are also intermittently exposed to environmental stresses, both biotic and abiotic, which are major constraints to sustainable agriculture. To survive under stress situations, plants have to elicit appropriate adaptive responses, most of which are governed and directed by a number of plant hormones, including auxin, abscisic acid, cytokinins, jasmonic acids, salicylic acid, brassinosteroids and strigolactones. Phytohormones are also known to regulate plant adaptation to environmental stresses by controlling the productions of various stress proteins, osmoprotectants, antioxidants, and ion transports. Plants attain most of these strategies by modulating the cellular level of multiple phytohormones, which then relay the signals into morphological and physiological adaptations, including changes in root and shoot biomass, water transport, stomatal movement, leaf senescence and rate of grain filling. Moreover, phytohormones coordinate with various signaling molecules like hydrogen peroxide, nitric oxide and hydrogen sulphide to maintain sophisticated networks that finally determine the output of hormonal actions. Although a massive effort has been devoted to understand the regulatory networks of phytohormones, the underlying mechanisms of phytohormones-mediated plant adaptation to various stresses are still waiting to be deciphered. This Special Issue is focused on introducing the latest interesting findings on the roles of phytohormones and their crosstalk in various aspects of plant growth and development, as well as stress adaptation. The topics of this Special Issue will include, but are not limited to:

  1. the central roles of phytohormones in plant growth and development, especially under environmental stress conditions
  2. how plant hormones interact with each other and also with other signaling molecules for orchestrating signal transduction
  3. how environmental stresses modify biosynthesis and production of plant hormones
  4. how interactions between phytohormones and environmental stresses regulate induction or repression of stress-responsive genes

We welcome research and review articles that will augment our understanding in this fascinating field of phytohormonal research, in order to facilitate the development of plants with greater fitness in these ever-changing environmental conditions. 

Dr. Lam-Son Phan Tran
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohammad Golam Mostofa
Dr. Stephan Pollmann
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • plant hormones
  • hormonal crosstalk
  • signal transduction
  • stress signaling
  • root system architecture
  • shoot branching
  • leaf development
  • phytohormone-responsive factors
  • transcriptional regulators
  • gene expression
  • plant physiology
  • senescence
  • plant plasticity
  • regulatory mechanisms
  • hormone homeostasis
  • stress adaptation

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Published Papers (35 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
5-Aminolevulinic Acid Improves Nutrient Uptake and Endogenous Hormone Accumulation, Enhancing Low-Temperature Stress Tolerance in Cucumbers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(11), 3379; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19113379 - 29 Oct 2018
Cited by 14
Abstract
5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) increases plant tolerance to low-temperature stress, but the physiological and biochemical mechanisms that underlie its effects are not fully understood. To investigate them, cucumber seedlings were treated with different ALA concentrations (0, 15, 30 and 45 mg/L ALA) and subjected [...] Read more.
5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) increases plant tolerance to low-temperature stress, but the physiological and biochemical mechanisms that underlie its effects are not fully understood. To investigate them, cucumber seedlings were treated with different ALA concentrations (0, 15, 30 and 45 mg/L ALA) and subjected to low temperatures (12/8 °C day/night temperature). The another group (RT; regular temperature) was exposed to normal temperature (28/18 °C day/night temperature). Low-temperature stress decreased plant height, root length, leaf area, dry mass accumulation and the strong seedling index (SSI), chlorophyll contents, photosynthesis, leaf and root nutrient contents, antioxidant enzymatic activities, and hormone accumulation. Exogenous ALA application significantly alleviated the inhibition of seedling growth and increased plant height, root length, hypocotyl diameter, leaf area, and dry mass accumulation under low-temperature stress. Moreover, ALA increased chlorophyll content (Chl a, Chl b, Chl a+b, and Carotenoids) and photosynthetic capacity, net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs), intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci), and transpiration rate (Tr), as well as the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD, catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and glutathione reductase (GR) enzymes, while decreasing hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), superoxide (O2•−), and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents under low-temperature stress. In addition, nutrient contents (N, P, K, Mg, Ca, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn) and endogenous hormones (JA, IAA, BR, iPA, and ZR) were enhanced in roots and leaves, and GA4 and ABA were decreased. Our results suggest the up-regulation of antioxidant enzyme activities, nutrient contents, and hormone accumulation with the application of ALA increases tolerance to low-temperature stress, leading to improved cucumber seedling performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Glutathione Peroxidase (GPX) Gene Family in Rhodiola crenulata and Gene Expression Analysis under Stress Conditions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(11), 3329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19113329 - 25 Oct 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Glutathione peroxidases (GPXs) are important enzymes in the glutathione-ascorbate cycle for catalyzing the reduction of H2O2 or organic hydroperoxides to water. GPXs play an essential role in plant growth and development by participating in photosynthesis, respiration, and stress tolerance. Rhodiola [...] Read more.
Glutathione peroxidases (GPXs) are important enzymes in the glutathione-ascorbate cycle for catalyzing the reduction of H2O2 or organic hydroperoxides to water. GPXs play an essential role in plant growth and development by participating in photosynthesis, respiration, and stress tolerance. Rhodiola crenulata is a popular traditional Chinese medicinal plant which displays an extreme energy of tolerance to harsh alpine climate. The GPXs gene family might provide R. crenulata for extensively tolerance to environment stimulus. In this study, five GPX genes were isolated from R. crenulata. The protein amino acid sequences were analyzed by bioinformation softwares with the results that RcGPXs gene sequences contained three conserve cysteine residues, and the subcellular location predication were in the chloroplast, endoplasmic reticulum, or cytoplasm. Five RcGPXs members presented spatial and temporal specific expression with higher levels in young and green organs. And the expression patterns of RcGPXs in response to stresses or plant hormones were investigated by quantitative real-time PCR. In addition, the putative interaction proteins of RcGPXs were obtained by yeast two-hybrid with the results that RcGPXs could physically interact with specific proteins of multiple pathways like transcription factor, calmodulin, thioredoxin, and abscisic acid signal pathway. These results showed the regulation mechanism of RcGPXs were complicated and they were necessary for R. crenulata to adapt to the treacherous weather in highland. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification, Structural Characterization and Gene Expression Analysis of Members of the Nuclear Factor-Y Family in Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) under Dehydration and Abscisic Acid Treatments
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(11), 3290; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19113290 - 23 Oct 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
In plants, the Nuclear Factor-Y (NF-Y) transcription factors (TFs), which include three distinct types of NF-YA, NF-YB, and NF-YC TFs, have been identified to play key roles in the regulation of various plant growth and developmental processes under both normal and environmental stress [...] Read more.
In plants, the Nuclear Factor-Y (NF-Y) transcription factors (TFs), which include three distinct types of NF-YA, NF-YB, and NF-YC TFs, have been identified to play key roles in the regulation of various plant growth and developmental processes under both normal and environmental stress conditions. In this work, a total of 40 CaNF-Y-encoding genes, including eight CaNF-YAs, 21 CaNF-YBs, and 11 CaNF-YCs, were identified in chickpea, and their major gene and protein characteristics were subsequently obtained using various web-based tools. Of our interest, a phylogenetically-based analysis predicted 18 CaNF-Ys (eight CaNF-YAs, seven CaNF-YBs, and three CaNF-YCs) that potentially play roles in chickpea responses to dehydration according to their close relationship with the well-characterized GmNF-Ys in soybean. These results were in good agreement with the enrichment of drought-responsive cis-regulatory motifs and expression patterns obtained from in silico analyses using publically available transcriptome data. Most of the phylogenetically predicted drought-responsive CaNF-Y genes (15 of 18) were quantitatively validated to significantly respond to dehydration treatment in leaves and/or roots, further supporting the results of in silico analyses. Among these CaNF-Y genes, the transcript levels of CaNF-YA01 and CaNF-YC10 were the most highly accumulated in leaves (by approximately eight-fold) and roots (by approximately 18-fold), respectively, by dehydration. Furthermore, 12 of the 18 CaNF-Y genes were found to be responsive to the most well-known stress hormone, namely abscisic acid (ABA), in leaves and/or roots, suggesting that these genes may act in chickpea response to dehydration in ABA-dependent manner. Taken together, our study has provided a comprehensive and fundamental information for further functional analyses of selected CaNF-Y candidate genes, ultimately leading to the improvement of chickpea growth under water-limited conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis of Indoleacetic Acid, Gibberellic Acid and ACC-Deaminase by Mortierella Strains Promote Winter Wheat Seedlings Growth under Different Conditions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(10), 3218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19103218 - 18 Oct 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
The endogenous pool of phytoregulators in plant tissues supplied with microbial secondary metabolites may be crucial for the development of winter wheat seedlings during cool springs. The phytohormones may be synthesized by psychrotrophic microorganisms in lower temperatures occurring in a temperate climate. Two [...] Read more.
The endogenous pool of phytoregulators in plant tissues supplied with microbial secondary metabolites may be crucial for the development of winter wheat seedlings during cool springs. The phytohormones may be synthesized by psychrotrophic microorganisms in lower temperatures occurring in a temperate climate. Two fungal isolates from the Spitzbergen soils after the microscopic observations and “the internal transcribed spacer” (ITS) region molecular characterization were identified as Mortierella antarctica (MA DEM7) and Mortierella verticillata (MV DEM32). In order to study the synthesis of indoleacetic acid (IAA) and gibberellic acid (GA), Mortierella strains were grown on media supplemented with precursor of phytohormones tryptophan at 9, 15 °C, and 20 °C for nine days. The highest amount of IAA synthesis was identified in MV DEM32 nine-day-culture at 15 °C with 1.5 mM of tryptophan. At the same temperature (15 °C), the significant promoting effect (about 40% root and shoot fresh weight) of this strain on seedlings was observed. However, only MA DEM-7 had the ACC (1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate) deaminase activity with the highest efficiency at 9 °C and synthesized IAA without tryptophan. Moreover, at the same conditions, the strain was confirmed to possess the strong promoting effect (about 40% root and 24% shoot fresh weight) on seedlings. Both strains synthesized GA in all tested terms and temperatures. The studied Mortierella strains had some important traits that led them to be considered as microbial biofertilizers components, improving plant growth in difficult temperate climates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comprehensive Analysis of Cucumber Gibberellin Oxidase Family Genes and Functional Characterization of CsGA20ox1 in Root Development in Arabidopsis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(10), 3135; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19103135 - 12 Oct 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is an important vegetable crop worldwide and gibberellins (GAs) play important roles in the regulation of cucumber developmental and growth processes. GA oxidases (GAoxs), which are encoded by different gene subfamilies, are particularly important in regulating bioactive GA [...] Read more.
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is an important vegetable crop worldwide and gibberellins (GAs) play important roles in the regulation of cucumber developmental and growth processes. GA oxidases (GAoxs), which are encoded by different gene subfamilies, are particularly important in regulating bioactive GA levels by catalyzing the later steps in the biosynthetic pathway. Although GAoxs are critical enzymes in GA synthesis pathway, little is known about GAox genes in cucumber, in particular about their evolutionary relationships, expression profiles and biological function. In this study, we identified 17 GAox genes in cucumber genome and classified them into five subfamilies based on a phylogenetic tree, gene structures, and conserved motifs. Synteny analysis indicated that the tandem duplication or segmental duplication events played a minor role in the expansion of cucumber GA2ox, GA3ox and GA7ox gene families. Comparative syntenic analysis combined with phylogenetic analysis provided deep insight into the phylogenetic relationships of CsGAox genes and suggested that protein homology CsGAox are closer to AtGAox than OsGAox. In addition, candidate transcription factors BBR/BPC (BARLEY B RECOMBINANT/BASIC PENTACYSTEINE) and GRAS (GIBBERELLIC ACID-INSENSITIVE, REPRESSOR of GAI, and SCARECROW) which may directly bind promoters of CsGAox genes were predicted. Expression profiles derived from transcriptome data indicated that some CsGAox genes, especially CsGA20ox1, are highly expressed in seedling roots and were down-regulated under GA3 treatment. Ectopic over-expression of CsGA20ox1 in Arabidopsis significantly increased primary root length and lateral root number. Taken together, comprehensive analysis of CsGAoxs would provide a basis for understanding the evolution and function of the CsGAox family. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Low Infection of Phelipanche aegyptiaca in Micro-Tom Mutants Deficient in CAROTENOID CLEAVAGE DIOXYGENASE 8
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2645; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092645 - 06 Sep 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Strigolactones (SLs), a group of plant hormones, induce germination of root-parasitic plants and inhibit shoot branching in many plants. Shoot branching is an important trait that affects the number and quality of flowers and fruits. Root-parasitic plants, such as Phelipanche spp., infect tomato [...] Read more.
Strigolactones (SLs), a group of plant hormones, induce germination of root-parasitic plants and inhibit shoot branching in many plants. Shoot branching is an important trait that affects the number and quality of flowers and fruits. Root-parasitic plants, such as Phelipanche spp., infect tomato roots and cause economic damage in Europe and North Africa—hence why resistant tomato cultivars are needed. In this study, we found carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 8-defective mutants of Micro-Tom tomato (slccd8) by the “targeting induced local lesions in genomes” (TILLING) method. The mutants showed excess branching, which was suppressed by exogenously applied SL. Grafting shoot scions of the slccd8 mutants onto wild-type (WT) rootstocks restored normal branching in the scions. The levels of endogenous orobanchol and solanacol in WT were enough detectable, whereas that in the slccd8 mutants were below the detection limit of quantification analysis. Accordingly, root exudates of the slccd8 mutants hardly stimulated seed germination of root parasitic plants. In addition, SL deficiency did not critically affect the fruit traits of Micro-Tom. Using a rhizotron system, we also found that Phelipanche aegyptiaca infection was lower in the slccd8 mutants than in wild-type Micro-Tom because of the low germination. We propose that the slccd8 mutants might be useful as new tomato lines resistant to P. aegyptiaca. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
PpSARK Regulates Moss Senescence and Salt Tolerance through ABA Related Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2609; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092609 - 03 Sep 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Senescence-associated receptor-like kinase (SARK) family members in Arabidopsis, soybean, and rice are known to be positive regulators of leaf senescence. In the meantime, SARKs are extensively involved in stress response. However, their function and underlying molecular mechanism in stress responses in moss [...] Read more.
Senescence-associated receptor-like kinase (SARK) family members in Arabidopsis, soybean, and rice are known to be positive regulators of leaf senescence. In the meantime, SARKs are extensively involved in stress response. However, their function and underlying molecular mechanism in stress responses in moss are not well known. Here, we investigated functional roles of SARK isolated from Physcomitrella patens (PpSARK) in salt stress response and senescence. PpSARK transcripts significantly accumulated under NaCl and abscisic acid (ABA) treatments, with higher expression in the moss gametophyte stage. Insertional gain-of-function mutants of PpSARK (PpSARKg) were more tolerant to salt stress and ABA than wild type (WT), whereas senescence of mutants was delayed during the protonema stage. Expression of stress-responsive genes in the ABA related pathway, such as PpABI3, PpABI5, PpPP2C, and PpLEA were significantly higher in PpSARKg and WT under salt stress conditions, suggesting that PpSARK might positively regulate salt tolerance via an ABA-related pathway. Endogenous ABA contents also increased 3-fold under salt stress conditions. These results indicate that PpSARK functions as a positive regulator in salt stress responses, while possibly functioning as a negative regulator in senescence in moss. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
24-Epibrassinolide Ameliorates Endogenous Hormone Levels to Enhance Low-Temperature Stress Tolerance in Cucumber Seedlings
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2497; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092497 - 24 Aug 2018
Cited by 16
Abstract
Phytohormone biosynthesis and accumulation are essential for plant growth and development and stress responses. Here, we investigated the effects of 24-epibrassinolide (EBR) on physiological and biochemical mechanisms in cucumber leaves under low-temperature stress. The cucumber seedlings were exposed to treatments as follows: NT [...] Read more.
Phytohormone biosynthesis and accumulation are essential for plant growth and development and stress responses. Here, we investigated the effects of 24-epibrassinolide (EBR) on physiological and biochemical mechanisms in cucumber leaves under low-temperature stress. The cucumber seedlings were exposed to treatments as follows: NT (normal temperature, 26 °C/18 °C day/night), and three low-temperature (12 °C/8 °C day/night) treatments: CK (low-temperature stress); EBR (low-temperature and 0.1 μM EBR); and BZR (low-temperature and 4 μM BZR, a specific EBR biosynthesis inhibitor). The results indicated that low-temperature stress proportionately decreased cucumber seedling growth and the strong seedling index, chlorophyll (Chl) content, photosynthetic capacity, and antioxidant enzyme activities, while increasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents, hormone levels, and EBR biosynthesis gene expression level. However, EBR treatments significantly enhanced cucumber seedling growth and the strong seedling index, chlorophyll content, photosynthetic capacity, activities of antioxidant enzymes, the cell membrane stability, and endogenous hormones, and upregulated EBR biosynthesis gene expression level, while decreasing ROS and the MDA content. Based on these results, it can be concluded that exogenous EBR regulates endogenous hormones by activating at the transcript level EBR biosynthetic genes, which increases antioxidant enzyme capacity levels and reduces the overproduction of ROS and MDA, protecting chlorophyll and photosynthetic machinery, thus improving cucumber seedling growth. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modulation of Auxin Levels in Pollen Grains Affects Stamen Development and Anther Dehiscence in Arabidopsis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2480; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092480 - 22 Aug 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Auxin regulates diverse aspects of flower development in plants, such as differentiation of the apical meristem, elongation of the stamen, and maturation of anthers and pollen. It is known that auxin accumulates in pollen, but little information regarding the biological relevance of auxin [...] Read more.
Auxin regulates diverse aspects of flower development in plants, such as differentiation of the apical meristem, elongation of the stamen, and maturation of anthers and pollen. It is known that auxin accumulates in pollen, but little information regarding the biological relevance of auxin in this tissue at different times of development is available. In this work, we manipulated the amount of free auxin specifically in developing pollen, using transgenic Arabidopsis lines that express the bacterial indole-3-acetic acid-lysine synthetase (iaaL) gene driven by a collection of pollen-specific promoters. The iaaL gene codes for an indole-3-acetic acid-lysine synthetase that catalyzes the conversion of free auxin into inactive indole-3-acetyl-l-lysine. The transgenic lines showed several abnormalities, including the absence of short stamina, a diminished seed set, aberrant pollen tubes, and perturbations in the synchronization of anther dehiscence and stamina development. This article describes the importance of auxin accumulation in pollen and its role in stamina and anther development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Analysis of JA Signal Transduction, Transcription Factors, and Monoterpene Biosynthesis Pathway in Response to Methyl Jasmonate Elicitation in Mentha canadensis L.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(8), 2364; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082364 - 10 Aug 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Mentha canadensis L. has important economic value for its abundance in essential oils. Menthol is the main component of M. canadensis essential oils, which is certainly the best-known monoterpene for its simple structure and wide applications. However, the regulation of menthol biosynthesis remains [...] Read more.
Mentha canadensis L. has important economic value for its abundance in essential oils. Menthol is the main component of M. canadensis essential oils, which is certainly the best-known monoterpene for its simple structure and wide applications. However, the regulation of menthol biosynthesis remains elusive in M. canadensis. In this study, transcriptome sequencing of M. canadensis with MeJA treatment was applied to illustrate the transcriptional regulation of plant secondary metabolites, especially menthol biosynthesis. Six sequencing libraries were constructed including three replicates for both control check (CK) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treatment and at least 8 Gb clean bases was produced for each library. After assembly, a total of 81,843 unigenes were obtained with an average length of 724 bp. Functional annotation indicated that 64.55% of unigenes could be annotated in at least one database. Additionally, 4430 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with 2383 up-regulated and 2047 down-regulated transcripts were identified under MeJA treatment. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment indicated that “Monoterpenoid biosynthesis” was one of the most significantly enriched pathways in metabolism. Subsequently, DEGs involved in JA signal transduction, transcription factors, and monoterpene biosynthesis were analyzed. 9 orthologous genes involved in menthol biosynthesis were also identified. This is the first report of a transcriptome study of M. canadensis and will facilitate the studies of monoterpene biosynthesis in the genus Mentha. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fusarium graminearum ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter Gene FgABCC9 Is Required for Its Transportation of Salicylic Acid, Fungicide Resistance, Mycelial Growth and Pathogenicity towards Wheat
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(8), 2351; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082351 - 10 Aug 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters hydrolyze ATP to transport a wide range of substrates. Fusarium graminearum is a major causal agent of Fusarium head blight, which is a severe disease in wheat worldwide. FgABCC9 (FG05_07325) encodes an ABC-C (ABC transporter family C) [...] Read more.
ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters hydrolyze ATP to transport a wide range of substrates. Fusarium graminearum is a major causal agent of Fusarium head blight, which is a severe disease in wheat worldwide. FgABCC9 (FG05_07325) encodes an ABC-C (ABC transporter family C) transporter in F. graminearum, which was highly expressed during the infection in wheat and was up-regulated by the plant defense hormone salicylic acid (SA) and the fungicide tebuconazole. The predicted tertiary structure of the FgABCC9 protein was consistent with the schematic of the ABC exporter. Deletion of FgABCC9 resulted in decreased mycelial growth, increased sensitivity to SA and tebuconazole, reduced accumulation of deoxynivalenol (DON), and less pathogenicity towards wheat. Re-introduction of a functional FgABCC9 gene into ΔFgABCC9 recovered the phenotypes of the wild type strain. Transgenic expression of FgABCC9 in Arabidopsis thaliana increased the accumulation of SA in its leaves without activating SA signaling, which suggests that FgABCC9 functions as an SA exporter. Taken together, FgABCC9 encodes an ABC exporter, which is critical for fungal exportation of SA, response to tebuconazole, mycelial growth, and pathogenicity towards wheat. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Multiple Hormones, Wounding and Sugar Signaling Pathways Mediate Adventitious Root Formation in Apple Rootstock
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(8), 2201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082201 - 27 Jul 2018
Cited by 14
Abstract
Adventitious roots (AR) play an important role in the vegetative propagation of apple rootstocks. The potential role of hormone, wounding, and sugar signalling pathways in mediating AR formation has not been adequately explored and the whole co-expression network in AR formation has not [...] Read more.
Adventitious roots (AR) play an important role in the vegetative propagation of apple rootstocks. The potential role of hormone, wounding, and sugar signalling pathways in mediating AR formation has not been adequately explored and the whole co-expression network in AR formation has not been well established in apple. In order to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying AR formation in ‘T337’ apple rootstocks, transcriptomic changes that occur during four stages of AR formation (0, 3, 9 and 16 days) were analyzed using high-throughput sequencing. A total of 4294 differentially expressed genes were identified. Approximately 446 genes related to hormones, wounding, sugar signaling, root development, and cell cycle induction pathways were subsequently selected based on their potential to be involved in AR formation. RT-qPCR validation of 47 genes with known functions exhibited a strong positive correlation with the RNA-seq data. Interestingly, most of the candidate genes involved in AR formation that were identified by transcriptomic sequencing showed auxin-responsive expression patterns in an exogenous Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA)-treatment assay: Indicating that endogenous and exogenous auxin plays key roles in regulating AR formation via similar signalling pathways to some extent. In general, AR formation in apple rootstocks is a complex biological process which is mainly influenced by the auxin signaling pathway. In addition, multiple hormones-, wounding- and sugar-signaling pathways interact with the auxin signaling pathway and mediate AR formation in apple rootstocks. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Two Auxin-Regulated Potassium Transporters Involved in Seed Maturation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(7), 2132; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19072132 - 22 Jul 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
The seed is the most important plant reproductive unit responsible for the evolutionary success of flowering plants. Aside from its essential function in the sexual reproduction of plants, the seed also represents the most economically important agricultural product worldwide, providing energy, nutrients, and [...] Read more.
The seed is the most important plant reproductive unit responsible for the evolutionary success of flowering plants. Aside from its essential function in the sexual reproduction of plants, the seed also represents the most economically important agricultural product worldwide, providing energy, nutrients, and raw materials for human nutrition, livestock feed, and countless manufactured goods. Hence, improvements in seed quality or size are highly valuable, due to their economic potential in agriculture. Recently, the importance of indolic compounds in regulating these traits has been reported for Arabidopsis thaliana. The transcriptional and physiological mechanisms involved, however, remain largely undisclosed. Potassium transporters have been suggested as possible mediators of embryo cell size, controlling turgor pressure during seed maturation. In addition, it has been demonstrated that the expression of K+ transporters is effectively regulated by auxin. Here, we provide evidence for the identification of two Arabidopsis K+ transporters, HAK/KT12 (At1g60160) and KUP4 (At4g23640), that are likely to be implicated in determining seed size during seed maturation and, at the same time, show a differential regulation by indole-3-acetic acid and indole-3-acetamide. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Expression of CARK1 or RCAR11 Driven by Synthetic Promoters Increases Drought Tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(7), 1945; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19071945 - 03 Jul 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Drought stress hinders plant growth and development, and abscisic acid (ABA) stimulates plants to respond to drought. Here, to increase plant tolerance to drought, we designed three synthetic promoters (Ap, Dp, ANDp) to determine transcription activity and drought stress resistance in plants resulting [...] Read more.
Drought stress hinders plant growth and development, and abscisic acid (ABA) stimulates plants to respond to drought. Here, to increase plant tolerance to drought, we designed three synthetic promoters (Ap, Dp, ANDp) to determine transcription activity and drought stress resistance in plants resulting from combinations of (1) synthetic promoters and (2) the functional genes CARK1 (cytosolic ABA receptor kinase 1) and RCAR11 (regulatory components of ABA receptor 11). Transient expression of eGFP and the dual-luciferase assay demonstrated that the basal transcriptional activities of Ap and ANDp were present at low levels under normal conditions, while the synthetic promoters were apparently induced upon either treatment of exogenous ABA or co-transformation with effector DREB2A (dehydration-responsive element binding protein 2A). Analysis of the transgenic plants (Ap:CARK1, Dp:CARK1, ANDp:CARK1, and Dp:RCAR11-Ap:CARK1) showed that the synthetic promoters Ap, Dp, and ANDp increased the expression of exogenous genes in transgenic plants upon treatment of ABA or d-mannitol. ANDp:CARK1 and Dp:RCAR11-Ap:CARK1 transgenic plants were sensitive to ABA and d-mannitol during cotyledon greening and root growth. A drought tolerance assay revealed that ANDp:CARK1 and Dp:RCAR11-Ap:CARK1 exhibited a higher survival rate than others upon drought stress. These results indicate that the combinations ANDp:CARK1 and Dp:RCAR11-Ap:CARK1 can be used to generate drought stress resistance in plants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
ABA Receptor Subfamily III Enhances Abscisic Acid Sensitivity and Improves the Drought Tolerance of Arabidopsis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(7), 1938; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19071938 - 02 Jul 2018
Cited by 16
Abstract
The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) regulates plant growth, the developmental process, and abiotic stresses. ABA signaling is induced in response to mediate plant acclimation to environmental challenges, including high salinity and drought. The ABA-binding receptors (RCAR/PYR1/PYL), composing of 14 members, are the core [...] Read more.
The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) regulates plant growth, the developmental process, and abiotic stresses. ABA signaling is induced in response to mediate plant acclimation to environmental challenges, including high salinity and drought. The ABA-binding receptors (RCAR/PYR1/PYL), composing of 14 members, are the core components of the ABA-signaling pathway. Here, we observed that the three subfamilies within the RCARs showed different expression patterns at the basal and exogenous ABA levels. Subsequently, we generated transgenic plants overexpressing subfamily III, RCAR11–RCAR14, respectively. The transgenic plants showed increased ABA sensitivity in seed germination and post-germination seedling establishment and root length. Further studies revealed that the overexpressing subfamily III transgenic plants enhanced drought resistance, increased water-use efficiency, and accelerated stress-responsive gene expression compared with the wild-type plants. These findings confirm that the subfamily III plays a key role in ABA-mediated developmental processes and, more importantly, is involved in drought tolerance in the ABA-dependent pathway. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Selenium Improves Physiological Parameters and Alleviates Oxidative Stress in Strawberry Seedlings under Low-Temperature Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(7), 1913; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19071913 - 29 Jun 2018
Cited by 15
Abstract
Here, we investigated the effects of selenium (Se) applications on two strawberry varieties, Akihime and Benihoppe, under chilling stress and recovery conditions. Changes in photosynthetic parameters, antioxidant enzyme activities, ascorbate (AsA)-glutathione (GSH) cycle-related enzyme activities, and low-molecular-mass antioxidant contents were determined. Foliar spraying [...] Read more.
Here, we investigated the effects of selenium (Se) applications on two strawberry varieties, Akihime and Benihoppe, under chilling stress and recovery conditions. Changes in photosynthetic parameters, antioxidant enzyme activities, ascorbate (AsA)-glutathione (GSH) cycle-related enzyme activities, and low-molecular-mass antioxidant contents were determined. Foliar spraying with Se alleviated the decline in the net photosynthetic rate and chlorophyll content and increased the malondialdehyde and hydrogen peroxide contents of strawberry seedlings’ leaves under chilling stress. As the time under chilling stress increased, the stomatal conductance decreased and intercellular CO2 concentration increased, suggesting that nonstomatal factors had major limiting effects on the net photosynthetic rate’s decrease. Se applications significantly alleviated the adverse impacts of chilling stress on changes in stomatal conductance and intercellular CO2 concentration. Se, especially at lower concentrations, significantly increased superoxide dismutase, catalase, and peroxide enzyme activities during chilling stress. Approximately 5 mg·L−1 of sodium selenite solution had the greatest stress-alleviating effects. Among the AsA-GSH cycle-related enzymes, ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione reductase, dehydroascorbate reductase, and monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR) treatments, coupled with an appropriate dose of Se, significantly enhanced ascorbate peroxidase and MDHAR activities, which suggested that Se applications played important roles in strawberry leaves by affecting AsA-GSH cycle-related defenses against the oxidative damage caused by chilling stress. Furthermore, MDHAR was the key enzyme required to maintain the balance between AsA consumption and regeneration that may assist in protecting strawberry seedlings in a low-temperature environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Salicylic Acid Induces Resistance in Rubber Tree against Phytophthora palmivora
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(7), 1883; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19071883 - 26 Jun 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
Induced resistance by elicitors is considered to be an eco-friendly strategy to stimulate plant defense against pathogen attack. In this study, we elucidated the effect of salicylic acid (SA) on induced resistance in rubber tree against Phytophthora palmivora and evaluated the possible defense [...] Read more.
Induced resistance by elicitors is considered to be an eco-friendly strategy to stimulate plant defense against pathogen attack. In this study, we elucidated the effect of salicylic acid (SA) on induced resistance in rubber tree against Phytophthora palmivora and evaluated the possible defense mechanisms that were involved. For SA pretreatment, rubber tree exhibited a significant reduction in disease severity by 41%. Consistent with the occurrence of induced resistance, the pronounced increase in H2O2 level, catalase (CAT) and peroxidase (POD) activities were observed. For defense reactions, exogenous SA promoted the increases of H2O2, CAT, POD and phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) activities, including lignin, endogenous SA and scopoletin (Scp) contents. However, SA had different effects on the activity of each CAT isoform in the particular rubber tree organs. Besides, three partial cDNAs encoding CAT (HbCAT1, HbCAT2 and HbCAT3) and a partial cDNA encoding PAL (HbPAL) were isolated from rubber tree. Moreover, the expressions of HbCAT1, HbPAL and HbPR1 were induced by SA. Our findings suggested that, upon SA priming, the elevated H2O2, CAT, POD and PAL activities, lignin, endogenous SA and Scp contents, including the up-regulated HbCAT1, HbPAL and HbPR1 expressions could potentiate the resistance in rubber tree against P. palmivora. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Red to Far-Red Light Ratio Modulates Hormonal and Genetic Control of Axillary bud Outgrowth in Chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflorum ‘Jinba’)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(6), 1590; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19061590 - 28 May 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Single-flower cut Chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflorum ‘Jinba’) holds a unique status in global floriculture industry. However, the extensive axillary bud outgrowth presents a major drawback. Shade is an environment cue that inhibits shoot branching. Present study was aimed at investigating the effect of [...] Read more.
Single-flower cut Chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflorum ‘Jinba’) holds a unique status in global floriculture industry. However, the extensive axillary bud outgrowth presents a major drawback. Shade is an environment cue that inhibits shoot branching. Present study was aimed at investigating the effect of ratio of red to far-red light (R:FR) in regulating the lateral bud outgrowth of Chrysanthemum and the detailed mechanism. Results showed that the fate of axillary buds at specific positions in stem exhibited difference in response to R:FR. Decreasing R:FR resulted in elevation of abscisic acid (ABA) accumulation in axillary buds. Expression of ABA, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and strigolactones (SL) -related metabolism and signal transduction genes was significantly changed in response to low R:FR. In addition, low R:FR caused the re-distribution of sucrose across the whole plant, driving more sucrose towards bottom buds. Our results indicate that low R:FR not always inhibits bud outgrowth, rather its influence depends on the bud position in the stem. ABA, SL and auxin pathways were involved in the process. Interestingly, sucrose also appears to be involved in the process which is necessary to pay attention in the further studies. The present study also lays the foundation for developing methods to regulate axillary bud outgrowth in Chrysanthemum. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exploration of ABA Responsive miRNAs Reveals a New Hormone Signaling Crosstalk Pathway Regulating Root Growth of Populus euphratica
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1481; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19051481 - 16 May 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Abscisic acid (ABA) plays an important role in the regulation of plant adaptation, seed germination, and root development in plants. However, the mechanism of ABA regulation of root development is still poorly understood, especially through the miRNA-mediated pathway. Here, small RNA (sRNA)-seq [...] Read more.
Abscisic acid (ABA) plays an important role in the regulation of plant adaptation, seed germination, and root development in plants. However, the mechanism of ABA regulation of root development is still poorly understood, especially through the miRNA-mediated pathway. Here, small RNA (sRNA)-seq and degradome-seq were used to analyze the miRNAs’ responsive to ABA in the stems and roots of P. euphratica, a model tree species for abiotic stress-resistance research. In total, 255 unique mature sequences, containing 154 known miRNAs and 101 novel miRNAs were identified, among which 33 miRNAs and 54 miRNAs were responsive to ABA in the roots and stems, respectively. Furthermore, the analysis of these miRNAs and their targets revealed a new hormone signaling crosstalk model of ABA regulation of root growth through miRNA-mediated pathways, such as peu-miR-n68 mediation of the crosstalk between ABA and the brassinosteroid (BR) signaling pathway and peu-miR477b mediation of the crosstalk between ABA and Gibberellic acid (GA) signaling. Taken together, our genome-wide analysis of the miRNAs provides a new insight into the mechanism of ABA regulation of root growth in Populus. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Changes in the Transcription of Phytohormone-Related Genes: Some Transcription Factors Are Major Causes of the Wheat Mutant dmc Not Tillering
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19051324 - 29 Apr 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Tiller number is an important agronomic trait for grain yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). A dwarf-monoculm wheat mutant (dmc) was obtained from cultivar Guomai 301 (wild type, WT). Here, we explored the molecular basis for the restrained tiller development [...] Read more.
Tiller number is an important agronomic trait for grain yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). A dwarf-monoculm wheat mutant (dmc) was obtained from cultivar Guomai 301 (wild type, WT). Here, we explored the molecular basis for the restrained tiller development of the mutant dmc. Two bulked samples of the mutant dmc (T1, T2 and T3) and WT (T4, T5 and T6) with three biological replicates were comparatively analyzed at the transcriptional level by bulked RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). In total, 68.8 Gb data and 463 million reads were generated, 80% of which were mapped to the wheat reference genome of Chinese Spring. A total of 4904 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified between the mutant dmc and WT. DEGs and their related major biological functions were characterized based on GO (Gene Ontology) and KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) categories. These results were confirmed by quantitatively analyzing the expression profiles of twelve selected DEGs via real-time qRT-PCR. The down-regulated gene expressions related to phytohormone syntheses of auxin, zeatin, cytokinin and some transcription factor (TF) families of TALE, and WOX might be the major causes of the mutant dmc, not tillering. Our work provides a foundation for subsequent tiller development research in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Separate and Combined Response to UV-B Radiation and Jasmonic Acid on Photosynthesis and Growth Characteristics of Scutellaria baicalensis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1194; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041194 - 13 Apr 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
The negative effects of enhanced ultraviolet-B (UV-B) on plant growth and development have been reported with many species. Considering the ability of jasmonic acid (JA) to improve plant stress tolerance, the hypothesis that JA pretreatment could alleviate the adverse effects of UV-B on [...] Read more.
The negative effects of enhanced ultraviolet-B (UV-B) on plant growth and development have been reported with many species. Considering the ability of jasmonic acid (JA) to improve plant stress tolerance, the hypothesis that JA pretreatment could alleviate the adverse effects of UV-B on S. baicalensis was tested in this study with photosynthesis and growth characteristics. The results showed that UV-B or JA alone both induced photosynthesis inhibition and decreased biomass in stems and leaves. However, the photosynthetic reduction caused by increased UV-B was mainly related to the effect of nonstomatal-limitation, while that of JA was a stomatal-limitation effect. JA pretreatment prior to UV-B could remit the photosynthetic inhibition via the recovery of chlorophyll content, stomatal conductance; and intercellular CO2 concentration (especially the maximum electron transport rate increase). Furthermore, the coaction of JA and enhanced UV-B alleviated some disadvantageous effects on the leaf and did not aggravate the growth damage induced by their separate actions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Mutagenesis of Carotenoid Cleavage Dioxygenase 8 (CCD8) in Tobacco Affects Shoot and Root Architecture
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041062 - 02 Apr 2018
Cited by 12
Abstract
Strigolactones (SLs) are a class of phytohormones that regulate plant architecture. Carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase (CCD) genes are involved in the biosynthesis of SLs and are identified and characterized in many plants. However, the function of CCD genes in tobacco remains poorly [...] Read more.
Strigolactones (SLs) are a class of phytohormones that regulate plant architecture. Carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase (CCD) genes are involved in the biosynthesis of SLs and are identified and characterized in many plants. However, the function of CCD genes in tobacco remains poorly understood. In this study, two closely related genes NtCCD8A and NtCCD8B were cloned from tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.). The two NtCCD8 genes are orthologues of the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 8 (SlCCD8) gene. NtCCD8A and NtCCD8B were primarily expressed in tobacco roots, but low expression levels of these genes were detected in all plant tissues, and their transcript levels significantly increased in response to phosphate limitation. NtCCD8A and NtCCD8B mutations were introduced into tobacco using the CRISPR/Cas9 system and transgenic tobacco lines for both ntccd8 mutant alleles were identified. The ntccd8a and ntccd8b mutant alleles were inactivated by a deletion of three nucleotides and insertion of one nucleotide, respectively, both of which led to the production of premature stop codons. The ntccd8 mutants had increased shoot branching, reduced plant height, increased number of leaves and nodes, and reduced total plant biomass compared to wild-type plants; however, the root-to-shoot ratio was unchanged. In addition, mutant lines had shorter primary roots and more of lateral roots than wild type. These results suggest that NtCCD8 genes are important for changes in tobacco plant architecture. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Seed Hydropriming and Smoke Water Significantly Improve Low-Temperature Germination of Lupinus angustifolius L.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040992 - 26 Mar 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
Seed imbibition under cold temperature is dangerous when dry seeds have relatively low water content. The aim of this study was to investigate germination of 20 lines/cultivars of narrow-leaf lupine at 7 °C (cold) and 13 °C (control) under the influence of smoke [...] Read more.
Seed imbibition under cold temperature is dangerous when dry seeds have relatively low water content. The aim of this study was to investigate germination of 20 lines/cultivars of narrow-leaf lupine at 7 °C (cold) and 13 °C (control) under the influence of smoke water and following seed hydropriming for 3 h at 20 °C. The efficacy of individual treatments was examined with regard to seed protection during low-temperature germination. Based on seed germination, vigour at cold was evaluated four days after sowing by means of hypocotyl length, the studied lines/cultivars were divided into three groups with low, high and very high germination rates. Germination vigour correlated with cell membrane permeability, dehydrogenase activity and abscisic acid (ABA) content and was analysed in the seeds one day after sowing. Gibberellin content did not correlate with germination vigour. The seeds of weakly germinating lines/cultivars had the highest cell permeability and ABA content as well as the lowest amylolytic activity at both studied temperatures. Additionally, the vigour of weakly germinating seeds at 7 °C correlated with dehydrogenase activity. Three-hour hydropriming was the most effective for seed germination under cold due to reduced cell membrane permeability and ABA level. Stimulating effects of smoke water on germination under cold could be explained by enhanced dehydrogenase activity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evolution and Stress Responses of Gossypium hirsutum SWEET Genes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030769 - 08 Mar 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
The SWEET (sugars will eventually be exported transporters) proteins are sugar efflux transporters containing the MtN3_saliva domain, which affects plant development as well as responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. These proteins have not been functionally characterized in the tetraploid cotton, Gossypium hirsutum [...] Read more.
The SWEET (sugars will eventually be exported transporters) proteins are sugar efflux transporters containing the MtN3_saliva domain, which affects plant development as well as responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. These proteins have not been functionally characterized in the tetraploid cotton, Gossypium hirsutum, which is a widely cultivated cotton species. In this study, we comprehensively analyzed the cotton SWEET gene family. A total of 55 putative G. hirsutum SWEET genes were identified. The GhSWEET genes were classified into four clades based on a phylogenetic analysis and on the examination of gene structural features. Moreover, chromosomal localization and an analysis of homologous genes in Gossypium arboreum, Gossypium raimondii, and G. hirsutum suggested that a whole-genome duplication, several tandem duplications, and a polyploidy event contributed to the expansion of the cotton SWEET gene family, especially in Clade III and IV. Analyses of cis-acting regulatory elements in the promoter regions, expression profiles, and artificial selection revealed that the GhSWEET genes were likely involved in cotton developmental processes and responses to diverse stresses. These findings may clarify the evolution of G. hirsutum SWEET gene family and may provide a foundation for future functional studies of SWEET proteins regarding cotton development and responses to abiotic stresses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Functional Characterization of the Steroid Reductase Genes GmDET2a and GmDET2b from Glycine max
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030726 - 03 Mar 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Brassinosteroids are important phytohormones for plant growth and development. In soybean (Glycine max), BR receptors have been identified, but the genes encoding BR biosynthesis-related enzymes remain poorly understood. Here, we found that the soybean genome encodes eight steroid reductases (GmDET2a to [...] Read more.
Brassinosteroids are important phytohormones for plant growth and development. In soybean (Glycine max), BR receptors have been identified, but the genes encoding BR biosynthesis-related enzymes remain poorly understood. Here, we found that the soybean genome encodes eight steroid reductases (GmDET2a to GmDET2h). Phylogenetic analysis grouped 105 steroid reductases from moss, fern and higher plants into five subgroups and indicated that the steroid reductase family has experienced purifying selection. GmDET2a and GmDET2b, homologs of the Arabidopsis thaliana steroid 5 α -reductase AtDET2, are proteins of 263 amino acids. Ectopic expression of GmDET2a and GmDET2b rescued the defects of the Atdet2-1 mutant in both darkness and light. Compared to the mutant, the hypocotyl length and plant height of the transgenic lines GmDET2a and GmDET2b increased significantly, in both darkness and light, and the transcript levels of the BR biosynthesis-related genes CPD, DWF4, BR6ox-1 and BR6ox-2 were downregulated in GmDET2aOX-23 and GmDET2bOX-16 lines compared to that in Atdet2-1. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that GmDET2a and GmDET2b are ubiquitously expressed in all tested soybean organs, including roots, leaves and hypocotyls. Moreover, epibrassinosteroid negatively regulated GmDET2a and GmDET2b expression. Sulfate deficiency downregulated GmDET2a in leaves and GmDET2b in leaves and roots; by contrast, phosphate deficiency upregulated GmDET2b in roots and leaves. Taken together, our results revealed that GmDET2a and GmDET2b function as steroid reductases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Crosstalk of PmCBFs and PmDAMs Based on the Changes of Phytohormones under Seasonal Cold Stress in the Stem of Prunus mume
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020015 - 23 Jan 2018
Cited by 14
Abstract
Plants facing the seasonal variations always need a growth restraining mechanism when temperatures turn down. C-repeat binding factor (CBF) genes work essentially in the cold perception. Despite lots of researches on CBFs, the multiple crosstalk is still interesting on their [...] Read more.
Plants facing the seasonal variations always need a growth restraining mechanism when temperatures turn down. C-repeat binding factor (CBF) genes work essentially in the cold perception. Despite lots of researches on CBFs, the multiple crosstalk is still interesting on their interaction with hormones and dormancy-associated MADS (DAM) genes in the growth and dormancy control. Therefore, this study highlights roles of PmCBFs in cold-induced dormancy from different orgens. And a sense-response relationship between PmCBFs and PmDAMs is exhibited in this process, jointly regulated by six PmCBFs and PmDAM4–6. Meantime, GA3 and ABA showed negative and positive correlation with PmCBFs expression levels, respectively. We also find a high correlation between IAA and PmDAM1–3. Finally, we display the interaction mode of PmCBFs and PmDAMs, especially PmCBF1-PmDAM1. These results can disclose another view of molecular mechanism in plant growth between cold-response pathway and dormancy regulation together with genes and hormones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Abscisic Acid (ABA ) Promotes the Induction and Maintenance of Pear (Pyrus pyrifolia White Pear Group) Flower Bud Endodormancy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010310 - 20 Jan 2018
Cited by 17
Abstract
Dormancy is an adaptive mechanism that allows temperate deciduous plants to survive unfavorable winter conditions. In the present work, we investigated the possible function of abscisic acid (ABA) on the endodormancy process in pear. The ABA content increased during pear flower bud endodormancy [...] Read more.
Dormancy is an adaptive mechanism that allows temperate deciduous plants to survive unfavorable winter conditions. In the present work, we investigated the possible function of abscisic acid (ABA) on the endodormancy process in pear. The ABA content increased during pear flower bud endodormancy establishment and decreased towards endodormancy release. In total, 39 putative genes related to ABA metabolism and signal transductions were identified from pear genome. During the para- to endodormancy transition, PpNCED-2 and PpNCED-3 had high expression levels, while PpCYP707As expression levels were low. However, during endodormancy, the expression of PpCYP707A-3 sharply increased with increasing cold accumulation. At the same time, the ABA content of pear buds declined, and the percentage of bud breaks rapidly increased. On the other hand, the expression levels of PpPYLs, PpPP2Cs, PpSnRK2s, and PpABI4/ABI5s were also changed during the pear flower bud dormancy cycle. Furthermore, exogenous ABA application to para-dormant buds significantly reduced the bud breaks and accelerated the transition to endodormancy. During the whole treatment time, the expression level of PpPP2C-12 decreased to a greater extent in ABA-treated buds than in control. However, the expression levels of PpSnRK2-1, PpSnRK2-4, and PpABI5-1 were higher in ABA-treated buds. Our results indicated that PpCYP707A-3 and PpNCEDs play pivotal roles on the regulation of endodormancy release, while ABA signal transduction pathway also appears to be involved in the process. The present work provided the basic information about the function of ABA-related genes during pear flower bud dormancy process. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Crosstalk between Brassinosteroids and Ethylene during Plant Growth and under Abiotic Stress Conditions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(10), 3283; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19103283 - 22 Oct 2018
Cited by 18
Abstract
Plant hormones through signaling networks mutually regulate several signaling and metabolic systems essential for both plant development and plant responses to different environmental stresses. Extensive research has enabled the main effects of all known phytohormones classes to be identified. Therefore, it is now [...] Read more.
Plant hormones through signaling networks mutually regulate several signaling and metabolic systems essential for both plant development and plant responses to different environmental stresses. Extensive research has enabled the main effects of all known phytohormones classes to be identified. Therefore, it is now possible to investigate the interesting topic of plant hormonal crosstalk more fully. In this review, we focus on the role of brassinosteroids and ethylene during plant growth and development especially flowering, ripening of fruits, apical hook development, and root and shoot growth. As well as it summarizes their interaction during various abiotic stress conditions. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Phytohormones Regulate the Development of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(10), 3146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19103146 - 12 Oct 2018
Cited by 18
Abstract
Most terrestrial plants are able to form a root symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi for enhancing the assimilation of mineral nutrients. AM fungi are obligate symbionts that depend on host plants as their sole carbon source. Development of an AM association requires [...] Read more.
Most terrestrial plants are able to form a root symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi for enhancing the assimilation of mineral nutrients. AM fungi are obligate symbionts that depend on host plants as their sole carbon source. Development of an AM association requires a continuous signal exchange between the two symbionts, which triggers coordinated differentiation of both partners, to enable their interaction within the root cells. The control of the AM symbiosis involves a finely-tuned process, and an increasing number of studies have pointed to a pivotal role of several phytohormones, such as strigolactones (SLs), gibberellic acids (GAs), and auxin, in the modulation of AM symbiosis, through the early recognition of events up to the final arbuscular formation. SLs are involved in the presymbiotic growth of the fungus, while auxin is required for both the early steps of fungal growth and the differentiation of arbuscules. GAs modulate arbuscule formation in a dose-dependent manner, via DELLA proteins, a group of GRAS transcription factors that negatively control the GA signaling. Here, we summarize the recent findings on the roles of these plant hormones in AM symbiosis, and also explore the current understanding of how the DELLA proteins act as central regulators to coordinate plant hormone signaling, to regulate the AM symbiosis. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Hydrogen Peroxide: Its Role in Plant Biology and Crosstalk with Signalling Networks
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2812; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092812 - 18 Sep 2018
Cited by 30
Abstract
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is steadily gaining more attention in the field of molecular biology research. It is a major REDOX (reduction–oxidation reaction) metabolite and at high concentrations induces oxidative damage to biomolecules, which can culminate in cell death. However, [...] Read more.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is steadily gaining more attention in the field of molecular biology research. It is a major REDOX (reduction–oxidation reaction) metabolite and at high concentrations induces oxidative damage to biomolecules, which can culminate in cell death. However, at concentrations in the low nanomolar range, H2O2 acts as a signalling molecule and in many aspects, resembles phytohormones. Though its signalling network in plants is much less well characterized than are those of its counterparts in yeast or mammals, accumulating evidence indicates that the role of H2O2-mediated signalling in plant cells is possibly even more indispensable. In this review, we summarize hydrogen peroxide metabolism in plants, the sources and sinks of this compound and its transport via peroxiporins. We outline H2O2 perception, its direct and indirect effects and known targets in the transcriptional machinery. We focus on the role of H2O2 in plant growth and development and discuss the crosstalk between it and phytohormones. In addition to a literature review, we performed a meta-analysis of available transcriptomics data which provided further evidence for crosstalk between H2O2 and light, nutrient signalling, temperature stress, drought stress and hormonal pathways. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Crosstalk of the Brassinosteroid Signalosome with Phytohormonal and Stress Signaling Components Maintains a Balance between the Processes of Growth and Stress Tolerance
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2675; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092675 - 09 Sep 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a class of phytohormones, which regulate various processes during plant life cycle. Intensive studies conducted with genetic, physiological and molecular approaches allowed identification of various components participating in the BR signaling—from the ligand perception, through cytoplasmic signal transduction, up to [...] Read more.
Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a class of phytohormones, which regulate various processes during plant life cycle. Intensive studies conducted with genetic, physiological and molecular approaches allowed identification of various components participating in the BR signaling—from the ligand perception, through cytoplasmic signal transduction, up to the BR-dependent gene expression, which is regulated by transcription factors and chromatin modifying enzymes. The identification of new components of the BR signaling is an ongoing process, however an emerging view of the BR signalosome indicates that this process is interconnected at various stages with other metabolic pathways. The signaling crosstalk is mediated by the BR signaling proteins, which function as components of the transmembrane BR receptor, by a cytoplasmic kinase playing a role of the major negative regulator of the BR signaling, and by the transcription factors, which regulate the BR-dependent gene expression and form a complicated regulatory system. This molecular network of interdependencies allows a balance in homeostasis of various phytohormones to be maintained. Moreover, the components of the BR signalosome interact with factors regulating plant reactions to environmental cues and stress conditions. This intricate network of interactions enables a rapid adaptation of plant metabolism to constantly changing environmental conditions. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Jasmonates: News on Occurrence, Biosynthesis, Metabolism and Action of an Ancient Group of Signaling Compounds
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2539; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092539 - 27 Aug 2018
Cited by 48
Abstract
Jasmonic acid (JA) and its related derivatives are ubiquitously occurring compounds of land plants acting in numerous stress responses and development. Recent studies on evolution of JA and other oxylipins indicated conserved biosynthesis. JA formation is initiated by oxygenation of α-linolenic acid (α-LeA, [...] Read more.
Jasmonic acid (JA) and its related derivatives are ubiquitously occurring compounds of land plants acting in numerous stress responses and development. Recent studies on evolution of JA and other oxylipins indicated conserved biosynthesis. JA formation is initiated by oxygenation of α-linolenic acid (α-LeA, 18:3) or 16:3 fatty acid of chloroplast membranes leading to 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) as intermediate compound, but in Marchantia polymorpha and Physcomitrella patens, OPDA and some of its derivatives are final products active in a conserved signaling pathway. JA formation and its metabolic conversion take place in chloroplasts, peroxisomes and cytosol, respectively. Metabolites of JA are formed in 12 different pathways leading to active, inactive and partially active compounds. The isoleucine conjugate of JA (JA-Ile) is the ligand of the receptor component COI1 in vascular plants, whereas in the bryophyte M. polymorpha COI1 perceives an OPDA derivative indicating its functionally conserved activity. JA-induced gene expressions in the numerous biotic and abiotic stress responses and development are initiated in a well-studied complex regulation by homeostasis of transcription factors functioning as repressors and activators. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Cytokinin at the Crossroads of Abiotic Stress Signalling Pathways
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(8), 2450; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082450 - 19 Aug 2018
Cited by 31
Abstract
Cytokinin is a multifaceted plant hormone that plays major roles not only in diverse plant growth and development processes, but also stress responses. We summarize knowledge of the roles of its metabolism, transport, and signalling in responses to changes in levels of both [...] Read more.
Cytokinin is a multifaceted plant hormone that plays major roles not only in diverse plant growth and development processes, but also stress responses. We summarize knowledge of the roles of its metabolism, transport, and signalling in responses to changes in levels of both macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur) and micronutrients (boron, iron, silicon, selenium). We comment on cytokinin’s effects on plants’ xenobiotic resistance, and its interactions with light, temperature, drought, and salinity signals. Further, we have compiled a list of abiotic stress-related genes and demonstrate that their expression patterns overlap with those of cytokinin metabolism and signalling genes. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Regulation of Root Development and Architecture by Strigolactones under Optimal and Nutrient Deficiency Conditions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(7), 1887; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19071887 - 27 Jun 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Strigolactones (SLs) constitute a group of plant hormones which are involved in multiple aspects of plant growth and development. Beside their role in shoot and root development and plant architecture in general, SLs are also involved in plant responses to nutrient deficiency by [...] Read more.
Strigolactones (SLs) constitute a group of plant hormones which are involved in multiple aspects of plant growth and development. Beside their role in shoot and root development and plant architecture in general, SLs are also involved in plant responses to nutrient deficiency by promoting interactions with symbiotic organisms and via promotion of root elongation. Recent observations on the cross talk between SLs and other hormones demonstrate that the inhibition of adventitious root formation by ethylene is independent of SLs. Additionally, it was shown that root exposure to SLs leads to the accumulation of secondary metabolites, such as flavonols or antioxidants. These data suggest pleiotropic effects of SLs, that influence root development. The discovery that the commonly used synthetic SL analogue racGR24 might also mimic the function of other plant growth regulators, such as karrikins, has led us to consider the previously published publications under the new aspects. This review summarizes present knowledge about the function of SLs in shaping root systems under optimal and nutrient deficiency conditions. Results which appear inconsistent with the various aspects of root development are singled out. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Key Hormonal Components Regulate Agronomically Important Traits in Barley
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030795 - 10 Mar 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
The development and growth of plant organs is regulated by phytohormones, which constitute an important area of plant science. The last decade has seen a rapid increase in the unravelling of the pathways by which phytohormones exert their influence. Phytohormones function as signalling [...] Read more.
The development and growth of plant organs is regulated by phytohormones, which constitute an important area of plant science. The last decade has seen a rapid increase in the unravelling of the pathways by which phytohormones exert their influence. Phytohormones function as signalling molecules that interact through a complex network to control development traits. They integrate metabolic and developmental events and regulate plant responses to biotic and abiotic stress factors. As such, they influence the yield and quality of crops. Recent studies on barley have emphasised the importance of phytohormones in promoting agronomically important traits such as tillering, plant height, leaf blade area and spike/spikelet development. Understanding the mechanisms of how phytohormones interact may help to modify barley architecture and thereby improve its adaptation and yield. To achieve this goal, extensive functional validation analyses are necessary to better understand the complex dynamics of phytohormone interactions and phytohormone networks that underlie the biological processes. The present review summarises the current knowledge on the crosstalk between phytohormones and their roles in barley development. Furthermore, an overview of how phytohormone modulation may help to improve barley plant architecture is also provided. Full article
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