ResearchPad - Plant Science https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Editorial: Evolution of Signaling in Plant Symbioses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nbadba3ab-fc70-4d7d-b731-454c8836516e ]]> <![CDATA[Extending thermotolerance to tomato seedlings by inoculation with SA1 isolate of Bacillus cereus and comparison with exogenous humic acid application]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N5b151d82-6b14-4a7f-beb8-82f649a56498

Heat stress is one of the major abiotic stresses that impair plant growth and crop productivity. Plant growth-promoting endophytic bacteria (PGPEB) and humic acid (HA) are used as bio-stimulants and ecofriendly approaches to improve agriculture crop production and counteract the negative effects of heat stress. Current study aimed to analyze the effect of thermotolerant SA1 an isolate of Bacillus cereus and HA on tomato seedlings. The results showed that combine application of SA1+HA significantly improved the biomass and chlorophyll fluorescence of tomato plants under normal and heat stress conditions. Heat stress increased abscisic acid (ABA) and reduced salicylic acid (SA) content; however, combined application of SA1+HA markedly reduced ABA and increased SA. Antioxidant enzymes activities revealed that SA1 and HA treated plants exhibited increased levels of ascorbate peroxidase (APX), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and reduced glutathione (GSH). In addition, heat stress markedly reduced the amino acid contents; however, the amino acids were increased with co-application of SA1+HA. Similarly, inductively-coupled plasma mass-spectrometry results showed that plants treated with SA1+HA exhibited significantly higher iron (Fe+), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K+) uptake during heat stress. Heat stress increased the relative expression of SlWRKY33b and autophagy-related (SlATG5) genes, whereas co-application of SA1+HA augmented the heat stress response and reduced SlWRKY33b and SlATG5 expression. The heat stress-responsive transcription factor (SlHsfA1a) and high-affinity potassium transporter (SlHKT1) were upregulated in SA1+HA-treated plants. In conclusion, current findings suggest that co-application with SA1+HA can be used for the mitigation of heat stress damage in tomato plants and can be commercialized as a biofertilizer.

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<![CDATA[Stomatal conductance bears no correlation with transpiration rate in wheat during their diurnal variation under high air humidity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N2197a214-d9e8-4f70-8288-b5a2d9c52a83

A good understanding of the response of photosynthesis rate (PN) and transpiration rate (Tr) to stomatal alteration during the diurnal variations is important to cumulative photosynthetic production and water loss of crops. Six wheat genotypes were studied for 2 years with pot cultivation in rain-shelter. Among different genotypes, stomatal conductance (gs) was significantly correlated with both PN and Tr. But for each genotype, though gs was significantly correlated with PN regardless of relative air humidity (RH) status and it was also significantly correlated with Tr under lower RH (LRH, 15.4%) and moderate RH (MRH, 28.3%), it was not correlated with Tr under higher RH (HRH, 36.7%) during the diurnal changes. The conditional correlation between gs and Tr of wheat evoked new thinking on the relationships among gs, PN and Tr. Path analysis was further carried out to clarify the correlations of gs with the four atmospheric factors, that of Tr with gs and the four factors and the direct and indirect effects of the factors, during their diurnal dynamic variation. The effects of these factors on gs or Tr were related to RH. All the four factors had a much higher correlation with gs under HRH than that under LRH and MRH. Air temperature (T) had a rather higher direct effect than RH and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). Also, the other factors had a much higher indirect effect on gs through vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and T. Transpiration rate was highly correlated with gs under LRH and MRH, with gs having a higher direct effect on it. In comparison, Tr was not correlated with gs under HRH but highly correlated with the atmospheric factors, with T, RH, and PAR having a higher indirect effect through VPD.

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<![CDATA[Enhancing flavonoid production by promiscuous activity of prenyltransferase, BrPT2 from Boesenbergia rotunda]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N7adc3fc8-502e-4a64-99a2-eacda43411c6

Flavonoids and prenylated flavonoids are active components in medicinal plant extracts which exhibit beneficial effects on human health. Prenylated flavonoids consist of a flavonoid core with a prenyl group attached to it. This prenylation process is catalyzed by prenyltranferases (PTs). At present, only a few flavonoid-related PT genes have been identified. In this study, we aimed to investigate the roles of PT in flavonoid production. We isolated a putative PT gene (designated as BrPT2) from a medicinal ginger, Boesenbergia rotunda. The deduced protein sequence shared highest gene sequence homology (81%) with the predicted homogentisate phytyltransferase 2 chloroplastic isoform X1 from Musa acuminata subsp. Malaccensis. We then cloned the BrPT2 into pRI vector and expressed in B. rotunda cell suspension cultures via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The BrPT2-expressing cells were fed with substrate, pinostrobin chalcone, and their products were analyzed by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. We found that the amount of flavonoids, namely alpinetin, pinostrobin, naringenin and pinocembrin, in BrPT2-expressing cells was higher than those obtained from the wild type cells. However, we were unable to detect any targeted prenylated flavonoids. Further in-vitro assay revealed that the reaction containing the BrPT2 protein produced the highest accumulation of pinostrobin from the substrate pinostrobin chalcone compared to the reaction without BrPT2 protein, suggesting that BrPT2 was able to accelerate the enzymatic reaction. The finding of this study implied that the isolated BrPT2 may not be involved in the prenylation of pinostrobin chalcone but resulted in high yield and production of other flavonoids, which is likely related to enzyme promiscuous activities.

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<![CDATA[Identification and expression analysis of the DREB transcription factor family in pineapple (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Na8e17d7a-5860-4c1a-80b8-007e7871d177

Background

Dehydration responsive element-binding (DREB) transcription factors play a crucial role in plant growth, development and stress responses. Although DREB genes have been characterized in many plant species, genome-wide identification of the DREB gene family has not yet been reported in pineapple (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.).

Results

Using comprehensive genome-wide screening, we identified 20 AcoDREB genes on 14 chromosomes. These were categorized into five subgroups. AcoDREBs within a group had similar gene structures and domain compositions. Using gene structure analysis, we showed that most AcoDREB genes (75%) lacked introns, and that the promoter regions of all 20 AcoDREB genes had at least one stress response-related cis-element. We identified four genes with high expression levels and six genes with low expression levels in all analyzed tissues. We detected expression changes under abiotic stress for eight selected AcoDREB genes.

Conclusions

This report presents the first genome-wide analysis of the DREB transcription factor family in pineapple. Our results provide preliminary data for future functional analysis of AcoDREB genes in pineapple, and useful information for developing new pineapple varieties with key agronomic traits such as stress tolerance.

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<![CDATA[Transient expression and purification of β-caryophyllene synthase in Nicotiana benthamiana to produce β-caryophyllene in vitro]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nc2169696-659d-42ae-9d3d-d108e0c26eb0

The sesquiterpene β-caryophyllene is an ubiquitous component in many plants that has commercially been used as an aroma in cosmetics and perfumes. Recent studies have shown its potential use as a therapeutic agent and biofuel. Currently, β-caryophyllene is isolated from large amounts of plant material. Molecular farming based on the Nicotiana benthamiana transient expression system may be used for a more sustainable production of β-caryophyllene. In this study, a full-length cDNA of a new duplicated β-caryophyllene synthase from Artemisia annua (AaCPS1) was isolated and functionally characterized. In order to produce β-caryophyllene in vitro, the AaCPS1 was cloned into a plant viral-based vector pEAQ-HT. Subsequently, the plasmid was transferred into the Agrobacterium and agroinfiltrated into N. benthamiana leaves. The AaCPS1 expression was analyzed by quantitative PCR at different time points after agroinfiltration. The highest level of transcripts was observed at 9 days post infiltration (dpi). The AaCPS1 protein was extracted from the leaves at 9 dpi and purified by cobalt–nitrilotriacetate (Co-NTA) affinity chromatography using histidine tag with a yield of 89 mg kg−1 fresh weight of leaves. The protein expression of AaCPS1 was also confirmed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and western blot analyses. AaCPS1 protein uses farnesyl diphosphate (FPP) as a substrate to produce β-caryophyllene. Product identification and determination of the activity of purified AaCPS1 were done by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). GC–MS results revealed that the AaCPS1 produced maximum 26.5 ± 1 mg of β-caryophyllene per kilogram fresh weight of leaves after assaying with FPP for 6 h. Using AaCPS1 as a proof of concept, we demonstrate that N. benthamiana can be considered as an expression system for production of plant proteins that catalyze the formation of valuable chemicals for industrial applications.

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<![CDATA[The mitochondrial phylogeny of land plants shows support for Setaphyta under composition-heterogeneous substitution models]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N8f14fcc2-0524-4065-b708-e2a60b264d8d

Congruence among analyses of plant genomic data partitions (nuclear, chloroplast and mitochondrial) is a strong indicator of accuracy in plant molecular phylogenetics. Recent analyses of both nuclear and chloroplast genome data of land plants (embryophytes) have, controversially, been shown to support monophyly of both bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts) and tracheophytes (lycopods, ferns, and seed plants), with mosses and liverworts forming the clade Setaphyta. However, relationships inferred from mitochondria are incongruent with these results, and typically indicate paraphyly of bryophytes with liverworts alone resolved as the earliest-branching land plant group. Here, we reconstruct the mitochondrial land plant phylogeny from a newly compiled data set. When among-lineage composition heterogeneity is accounted for in analyses of codon-degenerate nucleotide and amino acid data, the clade Setaphyta is recovered with high support, and hornworts are supported as the earliest-branching lineage of land plants. These new mitochondrial analyses demonstrate partial congruence with current hypotheses based on nuclear and chloroplast genome data, and provide further incentive for revision of how plants arose on land.

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<![CDATA[Carbon dioxide fluxes in a farmland ecosystem of the southern Chinese Loess Plateau measured using a chamber-based method]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nd70231d3-e203-4daa-b680-5eca3cdac3f9

Background

Farmland accounts for a relatively large fraction of the world’s vegetation cover, and the quantification of carbon fluxes over farmland is critical for understanding regional carbon budgets. The carbon cycle of farmland ecosystems has become a focus of global research in the field of carbon dynamics and cycling. The objectives of this study are to monitor the temporal variation in the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and soil respiration in a spring maize (Zea mays L.) farmland ecosystem of the southern Loess Plateau of China.

Methods

A fully automated temperature-controlled flux chamber system was adopted in this study. The system contained nine chambers for CO2 flux measurements, and three treatments were conducted: with and without maize plants in the chamber, as well as a bare field. Observations were conducted from June to September 2011. This time period covers the seedling, jointing, heading, grain filling, and ripening stages of spring maize. Other factors, such as air temperature (Ta), soil temperature (Ts), soil water content (SWC), photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and precipitation (P), were simultaneously monitored.

Results

There was observed diurnal variation in the NEE of the maize ecosystem (NEE-maize). A short “noon break” occurred when the PAR intensity was at its maximum, while soil respiration rates had curves with a single peak. During the overall maize growth season, the total NEE-maize was –68.61 g C m−2, and the soil respiration from the maize field (SR-maize) and bare field (SR-bare field) were 245.69 g C m−2 and 114.08 g C m−2, respectively. The temperature sensitivity of soil respiration in the maize field exceeded that in the bare field. Significant negative correlations were found between the NEE, PAR, and temperature (all p-values < 0.01), with both Ta and PAR being the primary factors that affected the CO2 fluxes, collectively contributing 61.7%, 37.2%, and 56.8% to the NEE-maize, SR-maize, and SR-bare field, respectively. It was therefore concluded that both meteorological factors and farming practices have an important impact on the carbon balance process in corn farmland ecosystems. However, it is necessary to conduct long-term observational studies, in order to get a better understanding of the driving mechanism.

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<![CDATA[Comparative Analysis of Chitin SynthaseA dsRNA Mediated RNA Interference for Management of Crop Pests of Different Families of Lepidoptera]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N847b628b-4e37-4144-8728-11ca3883b72c

RNA interference (RNAi) is a sequence-specific down-regulation in the expression of a particular gene, induced by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Feeding of dsRNA either directly or through transgenic plants expressing dsRNA of insect genes has been proven successful against lepidopteran and coleopteran pests, establishing an additional alternative to control insect pests. Lepidopteran crop pests including Spodoptera litura (Fabricius) (Noctuidae), Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) (Crambidae), Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus) (Plutellidae), and Maruca vitrata (Fabricius) (Pyralidae) are the devastating pests of a variety of crops. To tap the potential of RNAi against insect pests, a gene coding for the key enzyme in chitin biosynthesis in arthropods, the chitin synthaseA (CHSA), has been targeted through an exogenous delivery of dsRNA and plant-mediated RNAi. The introduction of dsCHSA caused “Half ecdysis” and “Black body” type lethal phenotypes and a significant reduction in larval body weight. Subsequent RT-qPCR analysis demonstrated the down-regulation of CHSA gene transcripts from 1.38- to 8.33-fold in the four target species. Meanwhile, when S. litura larvae fed with leaves of transgenic tobacco plants expressing dsSlCHSA, the mRNA abundance of CHSA gene was significantly decreased resulting in lethal phenotypes like “Double head formation,” “Half ecdysis,” and “Black body.” In addition, abnormalities in pupal–adult and adult stage were also documented, strongly suggesting the RNAi effect of CHSA gene at late developmental stages. Overall, the results demonstrated that CHSA gene expression in Lepidopteran crop pests could be suppressed by application of dsRNA either as feeding or through transgenic crop plants.

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<![CDATA[Herbal Medicine Characterization Perspectives Using Advanced FTIR Sample Techniques – Diffuse Reflectance (DRIFT) and Photoacoustic Spectroscopy (PAS)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N32f446a0-3001-43b4-b96e-9f4c21f74a48

This study demonstrates the significant potential of the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) sampling methods: cantilever-enhanced Fourier transform infrared photoacoustic spectroscopy (FTIR PAS) and diffuse reflectance infrared spectroscopy (FTIR DRIFT) in the field of herbal medicines (HM). In the present work we investigated DRIFT and PAS sampling methods because they do not require sample preparation, samples may be opaque or dark, require small amounts, both liquid and solid samples can be measured, and solid samples can be analyzed on a small scale. Experiments conducted prove high sensitivity, reproducibility and capability in combination with an unsupervised multivariate analysis technique to discriminate important characteristics of HM, such as the identification of plant parts, differentiation of samples by types, and determination of the concentration of extractable compounds in HM.

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<![CDATA[Arabidopsis Lectin EULS3 Is Involved in ABA Signaling in Roots]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N9d840c2a-f8ee-43e9-aee0-9709316da2f9

The Arabidopsis thaliana lectin ArathEULS3 is upregulated in particular stress conditions and upon abscisic acid (ABA) treatment. ABA is a plant hormone important for plant growth and stress responses. During stress ABA is perceived by PYR/PYL/RCAR receptors, inhibiting protein phosphatases PP2Cs thereby enabling SNRK2s kinases to start downstream phosphorylation cascades and signaling. PYL9, one of the ABA receptors was identified as an interacting partner for ArathEULS3. Promoter::GUS activity studies revealed the expression of ArathEULS3 in the central root cylinder and the cells flanking young lateral root primordia, and showed enhanced expression in root tips after ABA treatment. Transcript levels for ArathEULS3 increased after exposure to ABA and osmotic treatments. ArathEULS3 CRISPR KO mutants served as a tool to expand the knowledge on the role of ArathEULS3 in plant development. KO lines revealed a longer root system compared to WT plants, and showed reduced sensitivity to ABA, salt, and osmotic conditions. Additionally it was noted that the KO mutants had more emerged lateral roots when grown in high osmotic conditions. Together these data suggest that ArathEULS3 may be an important player in ABA responses in roots.

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<![CDATA[Salicylic Acid Biosynthesis in Plants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N9068d339-b0fc-40d6-a004-e0ac9ee7b09c

Salicylic acid (SA) is an important plant hormone that is best known for mediating host responses upon pathogen infection. Its role in plant defense activation is well established, but its biosynthesis in plants is not fully understood. SA is considered to be derived from two possible pathways; the ICS and PAL pathway, both starting from chorismate. The importance of both pathways for biosynthesis differs between plant species, rendering it hard to make generalizations about SA production that cover the entire plant kingdom. Yet, understanding SA biosynthesis is important to gain insight into how plant pathogen responses function and how pathogens can interfere with them. In this review, we have taken a closer look at how SA is synthesized and the importance of both biosynthesis pathways in different plant species.

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<![CDATA[The Bamboo Flowering Cycle Sheds Light on Flowering Diversity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N6f05ed79-008e-4220-8dd3-a244668b607f

Bamboo is a perennial flowering plant with a distinctive life cycle: many bamboo species remain in the vegetative phase for decades, followed by mass synchronous flowering and subsequent death. The phenomenon of bamboo flowering is not fully understood, but its periodicity is a major research focus. Here, we collected information on bamboo flowering events by investigating historical documents and field studies at the Bamboo Research Institute of Nanjing Forestry University. We compiled information on more than 630 flowering events, 124 of which accurately recorded the flowering cycle time. We summarized the specific flowering cycles of 85 bamboo species, as well as four kinds of bamboo flowering habits in detail. We present a theory of the bamboo flowering cycle and discuss the reasons for the observed variations in bamboo flowering. This review also introduces two mechanisms by which bamboo forests are rejuvenated after flowering and explains the flowering phenomena of bamboo forests using the bamboo flowering cycle theory. Finally, we present suggestions for forest management strategies. Bamboo flowering is a normal physiological phenomenon, even though it has unique elements compared with flowering in other plants. The results presented here provide valuable reference material for understanding bamboo flowering and its periodicity.

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<![CDATA[Editorial: Frontiers in Phytolith Research]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Ne87357fa-9b44-4cf8-950c-7ad92bb0dea7 ]]> <![CDATA[Proteomic analysis and interactions network in leaves of mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal sorghum plants under water deficit]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N49ee0cea-a3b9-421b-ade8-3b9313104947

For understanding the water deficit stress mechanism in sorghum, we conducted a physiological and proteomic analysis in the leaves of Sorghum bicolor L. Moench (a drought tolerant crop model) of non-colonized and colonized plants with a consortium of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Physiological results indicate that mycorrhizal fungi association enhances growth and photosynthesis in plants, under normal and water deficit conditions. 2D-electrophoresis profiles revealed 51 differentially accumulated proteins in response to water deficit, of which HPLC/MS successfully identified 49. Bioinformatics analysis of protein–protein interactions revealed the participation of different metabolic pathways in nonmycorrhizal compared to mycorrhizal sorghum plants under water deficit. In noninoculated plants, the altered proteins are related to protein synthesis and folding (50S ribosomal protein L1, 30S ribosomal protein S10, Nascent polypeptide-associated complex subunit alpha), coupled with multiple signal transduction pathways, guanine nucleotide-binding beta subunit (Rack1) and peptidyl-prolyl-cis-trans isomerase (ROC4). In contrast, in mycorrhizal plants, proteins related to energy metabolism (ATP synthase-24kDa, ATP synthase β), carbon metabolism (malate dehydrogenase, triosephosphate isomerase, sucrose-phosphatase), oxidative phosphorylation (mitochondrial-processing peptidase) and sulfur metabolism (thiosulfate/3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase) were found. Our results provide a set of proteins of different metabolic pathways involved in water deficit produced by sorghum plants alone or associated with a consortium of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi isolated from the tropical rain forest Los Tuxtlas Veracruz, México.

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<![CDATA[Site selection for subtropical thicket restoration: mapping cold-air pooling in the South African sub-escarpment lowlands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nbeca63fb-07a4-49df-acae-d8def863bbe9

Restoration of subtropical thicket in South Africa using the plant Portulacaria afra (an ecosystem engineer) has been hampered, in part, by selecting sites that are frost prone—this species is intolerant of frost. Identifying parts of the landscape that are exposed to frost is often challenging. Our aim is to calibrate an existing cold-air pooling (CAP) model to predict where frost is likely to occur in the valleys along the sub-escarpment lowlands (of South Africa) where thicket is dominant. We calibrated this model using two valleys that have been monitored during frost events. To test the calibrated CAP model, model predictions of frost-occurrence for six additional valleys were assessed using a qualitative visual comparison of existing treelines in six valleys—we observe a strong visual match between the predicted frost and frost-free zones with the subtropical thicket (frost-intolerant) and Nama-Karoo shrubland (frost-tolerant) treelines. In addition, we tested the model output using previously established transplant experiments; ∼300 plots planted with P. afra (known as the Thicket-Wide Plots) were established across the landscape—without consideration of frost—to assess the potential factors influencing the survival and growth of P. afra. Here we use a filtered subset of these plots (n = 70), and find that net primary production of P. afra was significantly lower in plots that the model predicted to be within the frost zone. We suggest using this calibrated CAP model as part of the site selection process when restoring subtropical thicket in sites that lie within valleys—avoiding frost zones will greatly increase the likelihood of restoration success.

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<![CDATA[Multi-walled carbon nanotubes produced after forest fires improve germination and development of Eysenhardtia polystachya]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nffb858f2-555c-4aeb-9da9-9dea1974e198

Background

Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are nanoparticles with countless applications. MWCNTs are typically of synthetic origin. However, recently, the formation of MWCNTs in nature after forest fires has been documented. Previous reports have demonstrated the positive effects of synthetic MWCNTs on the germination and development of species of agronomic interest; nevertheless, there is practically no information on how synthetic or natural MWCNTs affect forest plant development. In this report, based on insights from dose-response assays, we elucidate the comparative effects of synthetic MWCNTs, amorphous carbon, and natural MWCNTs obtained after a forest fire on Eysenhardtia polystachya plant.

Methods

E. polystachya seeds were sown in peat moss-agrolite substrate and conserved in a shade house. Germination was recorded daily up to 17 days after sowing, and plant development (manifested in shoot and root length, stem diameter, foliar area, and root architecture parameters) was recorded 60 days after sowing.

Results

The treatments with natural MWCNTs accelerated the emergence and improved the germination of this plant, thus while untreated seeds achieve 100% of germination within 16th day, seeds supplemented with natural MWCNTs at doses of 20 µg/mL achieve the above percentage within the 4th day. Natural MWCNTs also promoted fresh and dry biomass in all applied treatments, specially at doses of 40 µg/mL where natural MWCNTs significantly promoted leaf number, root growth, and the dry and fresh weights of shoots and roots of seedlings. Seeds supplemented with doses between 20 and 40 µg/mL of amorphous carbon achieving 100% of germination within the 6th day; however, seeds supplemented either with doses of 60 µg/mL of the above carbon or with synthetic MWCNTs at all the tested concentrations could achieve at most 80 % and 70% of germination respectively within the 17 days. Finally, neither treatments added with amorphous carbon nor those added with synthetic MWCNTs, showed significant increases in the fresh and dry biomass of the tested plant. Likewise, the survival of seedlings was reduced between 10 and 20 % with 40 and 60 µg/mL of amorphous carbon, and with synthetic MWCNTs in all the doses applied was reduced at 30% of survival plants.

Conclusions

These findings indicate that MWCNTs produced by wildfire act as plant growth promoters, contributing to the germination and development of adapted to fire-prone conditions species such as E. polystachya.

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<![CDATA[Long-reads reveal that Rhododendron delavayi plastid genome contains extensive repeat sequences, and recombination exists among plastid genomes of photosynthetic Ericaceae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N1a55085e-c879-4dc4-9aae-4b6f9aacb9e3

Background

Rhododendron delavayi Franch. var. delavayi is a wild ornamental plant species in Guizhou Province, China. The lack of its plastid genome information seriously hinders the further application and conservation of the valuable resource.

Methods

The complete plastid genome of R. delavayi was assembled from long sequence reads. The genome was then characterized, and compared with those of other photosynthetic Ericaceae species.

Results

The plastid genome of R. delavayi has a typical quadripartite structure, and a length of 202,169 bp. It contains a large number of repeat sequences and shows preference for codon usage. The comparative analysis revealed the irregular recombination of gene sets, including rearrangement and inversion, in the large single copy region. The extreme expansion of the inverted repeat region shortened the small single copy, and expanded the full length of the genome. In addition, consistent with traditional taxonomy, R. delavayi with nine other species of the same family were clustered into Ericaceae based on the homologous protein-coding sequences of the plastid genomes. Thus, the long-read assembly of the plastid genome of R. delavayi would provide basic information for the further study of the evolution, genetic diversity, and conservation of R. delavayi and its relatives.

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<![CDATA[A Soybean Deletion Mutant That Moderates the Repression of Flowering by Cool Temperatures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nf7f6090a-0032-433f-b6c7-b59367229688

Ambient growing temperature and photoperiod are major environmental stimuli that summer annual crops use to adjust their reproductive phenology so as to maximize yield. Variation in flowering time among soybean (Glycine max) cultivars results mainly from allelic diversity at loci that control photoperiod sensitivity and FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) orthologs. However, variation in the thermal regulation of flowering and its underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. In this study, we identified a novel mutant (ef1) that confers altered thermal regulation of flowering in response to cool ambient temperatures. Mapping analysis with simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers located the mutation in the upper part of chromosome 19, where no QTL for flowering has been previously reported. Fine-mapping and re-sequencing revealed that the mutation was caused by deletion of a 214 kbp genomic region that contains 11 annotated genes, including CONSTANS-LIKE 2b (COL2b), a soybean ortholog of Arabidopsis CONSTANS. Comparison of flowering times under different photo-thermal conditions revealed that early flowering in the mutant lines was most distinct under cool ambient temperatures. The expression of two FT orthologs, FT2a and FT5a, was dramatically downregulated by cool temperature, but the magnitude of the downregulation was lower in the mutant lines. Cool temperatures upregulated COL2b expression or delayed peak expression, particularly at the fourth trifoliate-leaf stage. Intriguingly, they also upregulated E1, a soybean-specific repressor of FT orthologs. Our results suggest that the ef1 mutation is involved in thermal regulation of flowering in response to cool ambient temperature, and the lack of COL2b in the mutant likely alleviates the repression of flowering by cool temperature. The ef1 mutant can be used as a novel gene resource in breeding soybean cultivars adapted to cool climate and in research to improve our understanding of thermal regulation of flowering in soybean.

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<![CDATA[Borehole Equilibration: Testing a New Method to Monitor the Isotopic Composition of Tree Xylem Water in situ]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N924629a1-17fa-479b-8919-71ed130382d7

Forest water use has been difficult to quantify. One promising approach is to measure the isotopic composition of plant water, e.g., the transpired water vapor or xylem water. Because different water sources, e.g., groundwater versus shallow soil water, often show different isotopic signatures, isotopes can be used to investigate the depths from which plants take up their water and how this changes over time. Traditionally such measurements have relied on the extraction of wood samples, which provide limited time resolution at great expense, and risk possible artifacts. Utilizing a borehole drilled through a tree's stem, we propose a new method based on the notion that water vapor in a slow-moving airstream approaches isotopic equilibration with the much greater mass of liquid water in the xylem. We present two empirical data sets showing that the method can work in practice. We then present a theoretical model estimating equilibration times and exploring the limits at which the approach will fail. The method provides a simple, cheap, and accurate means of continuously estimating the isotopic composition of the source water for transpiration.

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