ResearchPad - Plant Science https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Stomatal conductance bears no correlation with transpiration rate in wheat during their diurnal variation under high air humidity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11279 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[Chloroplast genomes of Rubiaceae: Comparative genomics and molecular phylogeny in subfamily Ixoroideae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11231 In Rubiaceae phylogenetics, the number of markers often proved a limitation with authors failing to provide well-supported trees at tribal and generic levels. A robust phylogeny is a prerequisite to study the evolutionary patterns of traits at different taxonomic levels. Advances in next-generation sequencing technologies have revolutionized biology by providing, at reduced cost, huge amounts of data for an increased number of species. Due to their highly conserved structure, generally recombination-free, and mostly uniparental inheritance, chloroplast DNA sequences have long been used as choice markers for plant phylogeny reconstruction. The main objectives of this study are: 1) to gain insight in chloroplast genome evolution in the Rubiaceae (Ixoroideae) through efficient methodology for de novo assembly of plastid genomes; and, 2) to test the efficiency of mining SNPs in the nuclear genome of Ixoroideae based on the use of a coffee reference genome to produce well-supported nuclear trees. We assembled whole chloroplast genome sequences for 27 species of the Rubiaceae subfamily Ixoroideae using next-generation sequences. Analysis of the plastid genome structure reveals a relatively good conservation of gene content and order. Generally, low variation was observed between taxa in the boundary regions with the exception of the inverted repeat at both the large and short single copy junctions for some taxa. An average of 79% of the SNP determined in the Coffea genus are transferable to Ixoroideae, with variation ranging from 35% to 96%. In general, the plastid and the nuclear genome phylogenies are congruent with each other. They are well-resolved with well-supported branches. Generally, the tribes form well-identified clades but the tribe Sherbournieae is shown to be polyphyletic. The results are discussed relative to the methodology used and the chloroplast genome features in Rubiaceae and compared to previous Rubiaceae phylogenies.

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<![CDATA[Extending thermotolerance to tomato seedlings by inoculation with SA1 isolate of <i>Bacillus cereus</i> and comparison with exogenous humic acid application]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11229 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[Flavonoids and antioxidant activity of rare and endangered fern: <i>Isoetes sinensis</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7844 Isoetes sinensis Palmer is a critically endangered, first-class protected plant in China. Until now, researchers have primarily focused on the ultrastructure, phylogeny, and transcriptomes of the plant. However, flavonoid profiles and bioactivity of I. sinensis have not been extensively investigated. To develop the endangered I. sinensis for edible and medicinal purposes, flavonoid content, chemical constitution, and antioxidant activities were investigated in this study. Results revealed the following. 1) The total flavonoid content was determined as 10.74 ± 0.25 mg/g., 2) Antioxidant activities were stronger than most ferns, especially ABTS free radical scavenging activities. 3) Four flavones, containing apigenin, apigenin-7-glucuronide, acacetin-7-O-glcopyranoside, and homoplantageninisoetin; four flavonols, namely, isoetin, kaempferol-3-O-glucoside, quercetin-3-O-[6”-O-(3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl)-β-D-glucopyranoside], and limocitrin-Neo; one prodelphinidin (procyanidins;) and one nothofagin (dihydrochalcone) were tentatively identified in the mass spectrometry-DAD (254nm) chromatograms. This study was the first to report on flavonoid content and antioxidant activities of I. sinensis. Stronger antioxidant activity and flavonoid content suggests that the endangered I. sinensis is an important and potentially edible and medicinal plant.

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<![CDATA[Imaging dataset of fresh hydrous plants obtained by field-emission scanning electron microscopy conducted using a protective NanoSuit]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7644 Although scanning electron microscopy (SEM) can generate high-resolution images of nanosized objects, it requires a high vacuum to do so, which precludes direct observations of living organisms and often produces unwanted structural changes. It has previously been reported that a simple surface modification gives rise to a nanoscale layer, termed the “NanoSuit”, which can keep small animals alive under the high vacuum required for field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). We have previously applied this technique to plants, and successfully observed healthy petals in a fully hydrated state using SEM. The flower petals protected with the NanoSuit appeared intact, although we still lack a fundamental understanding of the images of other plants observed using FE-SEM. This report presents and evaluates a rich set of images, acquired using the NanoSuit, for a taxonomically diverse set of plant species. This dataset of images allows the surface features of various plants to be analyzed and thus provides a further complementary morphological profile. Image data can be accessed and viewed through Figshare (https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4446026.v1).

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<![CDATA[Application of High Resolution Melt analysis (HRM) for screening haplotype variation in a non-model plant genus: Cyclopia (Honeybush)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8415 This study has three broad aims: to (a) develop genus-specific primers for High Resolution Melt analysis (HRM) of members of Cyclopia Vent., (b) test the haplotype discrimination of HRM compared to Sanger sequencing, and (c) provide an example of using HRM to detect novel haplotype variation in wild C. subternata Vogel. populations.LocationThe Cape Floristic Region (CFR), located along the southern Cape of South Africa.MethodsPolymorphic loci were detected through a screening process of sequencing 12 non-coding chloroplast DNA segments across 14 Cyclopia species. Twelve genus-specific primer combinations were designed around variable cpDNA loci, four of which failed to amplify under PCR; the eight remaining were applied to test the specificity, sensitivity and accuracy of HRM. The three top performing HRM Primer combinations were then applied to detect novel haplotypes in wild C. subternata populations, and phylogeographic patterns of C. subternata were explored.ResultsWe present a framework for applying HRM to non-model systems. HRM accuracy varied across the PCR products screened using the genus-specific primers developed, ranging between 56 and 100%. The nucleotide variation failing to produce distinct melt curves is discussed. The top three performing regions, having 100% specificity (i.e. different haplotypes were never grouped into the same cluster, no false negatives), were able to detect novel haplotypes in wild C. subternata populations with high accuracy (96%). Sensitivity below 100% (i.e. a single haplotype being clustered into multiple unique groups during HRM curve analysis, false positives) was resolved through sequence confirmation of each cluster resulting in a final accuracy of 100%. Phylogeographic analyses revealed that wild C. subternata populations tend to exhibit phylogeographic structuring across mountain ranges (accounting for 73.8% of genetic variation base on an AMOVA), and genetic differentiation between populations increases with distance (p < 0.05 for IBD analyses).ConclusionsAfter screening for regions with high HRM clustering specificity—akin to the screening process associated with most PCR based markers—the technology was found to be a high throughput tool for detecting genetic variation in non-model plants. ]]> <![CDATA[Depigmenting potential of lichen extracts evaluated by in vitro and in vivo tests]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8410 Melanin is the main pigment of human skin, playing the primary role of protection from ultraviolet radiation. Alteration of the melanin production may lead to hyperpigmentation diseases, with both aesthetic and health consequences. Thus, suppressors of melanogenesis are considered useful tools for medical and cosmetic treatments. A great interest is focused on natural sources, aimed at finding safe and quantitatively available depigmenting substances. Lichens are thought to be possible sources of this kind of compounds, as the occurrence of many phenolic molecules suggests possible effects on phenolase enzymes involved in melanin synthesis, like tyrosinase. In this work, we used four lichen species, Cetraria islandica Ach., Flavoparmelia caperata Hale, Letharia vulpina (L.) Hue, and Parmotrema perlatum (Hudson) M. Choisy, to obtain extracts in solvents of increasing polarity, viz. chloroform, chloroform-methanol, methanol, and water. Cell-free, tyrosinase inhibition experiments showed highest inhibition for L. vulpina methanol extract, followed by C. islandica chloroform-methanol one. Comparable results for depigmenting activities were observed by means of in vitro and in vivo systems, such as MeWo melanoma cells and zebrafish larvae. Our study provides first evidence of depigmenting effects of lichen extracts, from tyrosinase inhibition to cell and in vivo models, suggesting that L. vulpina and C. islandica extracts deserve to be further studied for developing skin-whitening products.

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<![CDATA[Full-length transcriptome and targeted metabolome analyses provide insights into defense mechanisms of <i>Malus sieversii</i> against <i>Agrilus mali</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8337 Malus sieversii is the wild progenitor for many cultivars of domesticated apple and an important germplasm resource for breeding. However, this valuable species faces a significant threat in the areas north of the Tianshan Mountains in China, by the invasion of Agrilus mali, a destructive pest of apple trees belonging to the family Buprestidae. Our preliminary study has has shown that there may be resistance to this insect in M. sieversii plants in the field, but the corresponding molecular mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we compared the response of insect-resistant and insect-susceptible plants of M. sieversii to insect feeding using full-length transcriptome and targeted metabolome. 112,103 non-chimeric full-length reads (FLNC) totaling 10.52 Gb of data were generating with Pacific Biosciences SingleMolecule, Real-Time (PacBio SMRT) sequencing. A total of 130.06 Gb data of long reads were acquired with an Illumina HiSeq. Function annotation indicated that the different expressed genes (DEGs) were mainly involved in signal transduction pathway of plant hormones and in the synthesis of compounds such as terpenes, quinones, flavonoids, and jasmonic acid. Through targeted metabolome analysis resistant strains showed higher levels of trans-cinnamic acid, caffeine and ferulic acid after pest infestation. This study helps to decipher the transcriptional changes and related signaling paths in M. sieversii after an insect feeding, which lays a foundation for further research on molecular mechanisms of insect resistance in apples.

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<![CDATA[Genome-wide identification and characterization of TCP family genes in <i>Brassica juncea</i> var. tumida]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8329 Teosinte branched1/Cycloidea/proliferating cell factors (TCPs) are plant-specific transcription factors widely involved in leaf development, flowering, shoot branching, the circadian rhythm, hormone signaling, and stress responses. However, the TCP function in Brassica juncea var. tumida, the tumorous stem mustard, has not yet been reported. This study identified and characterized the entire TCP family members in B. juncea var. tumida.MethodsWe identified 62 BjTCP genes from the B. juncea var. tumida genome and analyzed their phylogenetic relationship, gene structure, protein motifs, chromosome location, and expression profile in different tissues.ResultsOf the 62 BjTCP genes we identified in B. juncea var. tumida, containing 34 class I and 28 class II subfamily members, 61 were distributed on 18 chromosomes. Gene structure and conserved motif analysis showed that the same clade genes displayed a similar exon/intron gene structure and conserved motifs. Cis-acting element results showed that the same clade genes also had a similar cis-acting element; however, subtle differences implied a different regulatory pathway. The BjTCP18s members were low-expressed in Dayejie strains and the unswelling stage of Yonganxiaoye strains. Treatment with gibberellin (GA) and salicylic acid (SA) showed that GA and SA affect the expression levels of multiple TCP genes.ConclusionWe performed the first genome-wide analysis of the TCP gene family of B. juncea var. tumida. Our results have provided valuable information for understanding the classification and functions of TCP genes in B. juncea var. tumida. ]]> <![CDATA[Identification of two functional xyloglucan galactosyltransferase homologs <i>BrMUR3</i> and <i>BoMUR3</i> in brassicaceous vegetables]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8316 Xyloglucan (XyG) is the predominant hemicellulose in the primary cell walls of most dicotyledonous plants. Current models of these walls predict that XyG interacts with cellulose microfibrils to provide the wall with the rigidity and strength necessary to maintain cell integrity. Remodeling of this network is required to allow cell elongation and plant growth. In this study, homologs of Arabidopsis thaliana MURUS3 (MUR3), which encodes a XyG-specific galactosyltransferase, were obtained from Brassica rapa (BrMUR3) to Brassica oleracea (BoMUR3). Genetic complementation showed that BrMUR3 and BoMUR3 rescue the phenotypic defects of the mur3-3 mutant. Xyloglucan subunit composition analysis provided evidence that BrMUR3 and BoMUR3 encode a galactosyltransferase, which transfers a galactose residue onto XyG chains. The detection of XXFG and XLFG XyG subunits (restoration of fucosylated side chains) in mur3-3 mutants overexpressing BrMUR3 or BoMUR3 show that MUR3 from Brassica to Arabidopsis are comparable as they add Gal to the third xylosyl residue of the XXXG subunit. Our results provide additional information for functional dissection and evolutionary analysis of MUR3 genes derived from brassicaceous species.

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<![CDATA[Editorial: Proceedings of ISPMF 2018 - Plant Molecular Farming]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7575 <![CDATA[Quantifying Light Response of Leaf-Scale Water-Use Efficiency and Its Interrelationships With Photosynthesis and Stomatal Conductance in C<sub>3</sub> and C<sub>4</sub> Species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7574 Light intensity (I) is the most dynamic and significant environmental variable affecting photosynthesis (An), stomatal conductance (gs), transpiration (Tr), and water-use efficiency (WUE). Currently, studies characterizing leaf-scale WUE–I responses are rare and key questions have not been answered. In particular, (1) What shape does the response function take? (2) Are there maximum intrinsic (WUEi; WUEi–max) and instantaneous WUE (WUEinst; WUEinst–max) at the corresponding saturation irradiances (Ii–sat and Iinst–sat)? This study developed WUEiI and WUEinstI models sharing the same non-asymptotic function with previously published AnI and gsI models. Observation-modeling intercomparison was conducted for field-grown plants of soybean (C3) and grain amaranth (C4) to assess the robustness of our models versus the non-rectangular hyperbola models (NH models). Both types of models can reproduce WUE–I curves well over light-limited range. However, at light-saturated range, NH models overestimated WUEi–max and WUEinst–max and cannot return Ii–sat and Iinst–sat due to its asymptotic function. Moreover, NH models cannot describe the down-regulation of WUE induced by high light, on which our models described well. The results showed that WUEi and WUEinst increased rapidly within low range of I, driven by uncoupled photosynthesis and stomatal responsiveness. Initial response rapidity of WUEi was higher than WUEinst because the greatest increase of An and Tr occurred at low gs. C4 species showed higher WUEi–max and WUEinst–max than C3 species—at similar Ii–sat and Iinst–sat. Our intercomparison highlighted larger discrepancy between WUEiI and WUEinstI responses in C3 than C4 species, quantitatively characterizing an important advantage of C4 photosynthetic pathway—higher An gain but lower Tr cost per unit of gs change. Our models can accurately return the wealth of key quantities defining species-specific WUE–I responses—besides AnI and gsI responses. The key advantage is its robustness in characterizing these entangled responses over a wide I range from light-limited to light-inhibitory light intensities, through adopting the same analytical framework and the explicit and consistent definitions on these responses. Our models are of significance for physiologists and modelers—and also for breeders screening for genotypes concurrently achieving maximized photosynthesis and optimized WUE.

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<![CDATA[Contrasting Responses to Stress Displayed by Tobacco Overexpressing an Algal Plastid Terminal Oxidase in the Chloroplast]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7567 The plastid terminal oxidase (PTOX) – an interfacial diiron carboxylate protein found in the thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts – oxidizes plastoquinol and reduces molecular oxygen to water. It is believed to play a physiologically important role in the response of some plant species to light and salt (NaCl) stress by diverting excess electrons to oxygen thereby protecting photosystem II (PSII) from photodamage. PTOX is therefore a candidate for engineering stress tolerance in crop plants. Previously, we used chloroplast transformation technology to over express PTOX1 from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in tobacco (generating line Nt-PTOX-OE). Contrary to expectation, growth of Nt-PTOX-OE plants was more sensitive to light stress. Here we have examined in detail the effects of PTOX1 on photosynthesis in Nt-PTOX-OE tobacco plants grown at two different light intensities. Under ‘low light’ (50 μmol photons m–2 s–1) conditions, Nt-PTOX-OE and WT plants showed similar photosynthetic activities. In contrast, under ‘high light’ (125 μmol photons m–2 s–1) conditions, Nt-PTOX-OE showed less PSII activity than WT while photosystem I (PSI) activity was unaffected. Nt-PTOX-OE grown under high light also failed to increase the chlorophyll a/b ratio and the maximum rate of CO2 assimilation compared to low-light grown plants, suggesting a defect in acclimation. In contrast, Nt-PTOX-OE plants showed much better germination, root length, and shoot biomass accumulation than WT when exposed to high levels of NaCl and showed better recovery and less chlorophyll bleaching after NaCl stress when grown hydroponically. Overall, our results strengthen the link between PTOX and the resistance of plants to salt stress.

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<![CDATA[CO<sub>2</sub> Elevation and Photoperiods North of Seed Origin Change Autumn and Spring Phenology as Well as Cold Hardiness in Boreal White Birch]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7556 The distribution of tree species is expected to shift toward the pole in response to the climate change associated with the elevation of atmospheric CO2 concentration [CO2]. The shift will expose trees to a new photoperiod regime and other environmental conditions. The changes in these factors will likely have interactive effects on the ecophysiological traits of plants. This study investigated how CO2 elevation and change in photoperiod influence the timing of bud development, leaf senescence, and cold hardiness in the fall, and bud break in the spring in boreal white birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.). Seedlings were exposed to two different [CO2] (AC = 400 μmol mol–1; EC = 1000 μmol mol–1) and four simulated photoperiod regimes in the greenhouse corresponding to each latitude [48 (seed origin), 52, 55, and 58°N] for two growing seasons. We found that EC advanced the initiation of leaf color change (10% leaf color change) in the fall by 23 days, but delayed the completion date of color change (90%). Leaf senescence started earlier in the photoperiods corresponding to 55 and 58°N latitude than those at 48 and 52°N latitudes under EC, but photoperiod did not affect leaf senescence under AC. Additionally, the temperature causing 50% electrolyte leakage (a measure of susceptibility to freezing damage) was more negative under the photoperiod corresponding to 55° (−46°C) and at 58°N (−60°C) under EC than at the lower latitudes (above −40°C). Budburst in the spring occurred earlier under the photoperiods corresponding to the two highest latitudes under EC, but the trend was opposite under AC. The combination of longer photoperiods and elevated [CO2] resulted in earlier budburst in the spring and later completion of leaf senescence in the fall as well as greater cold hardiness, leading to extended growing seasons from both ends. However, the onset of leaf senescence was earlier than in other treatment combinations. Furthermore, the photoperiod effects were quite different under the ambient [CO2]. Our results suggest that it is extremely important to consider the complex interactions of [CO2] and photoperiod in planning latitudinal seed transfers and in predicting the migration of boreal trees in response to climate change.

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<![CDATA[Editorial: Evolution of Signaling in Plant Symbioses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7524 <![CDATA[Genetic Dissection of Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Tropical Maize Through Genome-Wide Association and Genomic Prediction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7508 In sub-Saharan Africa, one of the major challenges to smallholder farmers is soil with low fertility and inability to apply nitrogen fertilizer externally due to the cost. Development of maize hybrids, which perform better in nitrogen depleted soils, is one of the promising solutions. However, breeding maize for nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is hindered by expensive phenotypic evaluations and trait complexity under low N stress. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) and genomic prediction (GP) are promising tools to circumvent this interference. Here, we evaluated a mapping panel in diverse environments both under optimum and low N management. The objective of this study was to identify SNPs significantly associated with grain yield (GY) and other traits through GWAS and assess the potential of GP under low N and optimum conditions. Testcross progenies of 411 inbred lines were planted under optimum and low N conditions in several locations in Africa and Latin America. In all locations, low N fields were previously depleted over several seasons, and no N fertilizer was applied throughout the growing season. All inbred lines were genotyped with genotyping by sequencing. Genotypic and GxE interaction variances were significant, and heritability estimates were moderate to high for all traits under both optimum and low N conditions. Genome-wide LD decay at r2 = 0.2 and r2 = 0.34 were 0.24 and 0.19 Mbp, respectively. Chromosome-specific LD decays ranged from 0.13 to 0.34 Mbps with an average of 0.22 Mbp at r2 = 0.2. GWAS analyses revealed 38 and 45 significant SNPs under optimum and low N conditions, respectively. Out of these 83 significant SNPs, 3 SNPs on chromosomes 1, 2, and 6 were associated either with different traits or the same trait under different management conditions, suggesting pleiotropic effects of genes. A total of 136 putative candidate genes were associated with the significant SNPs, of which seven SNPs were linked with four known genes. Prediction accuracies were moderate to high for all traits under both optimum and low N conditions. These results can be used as useful resources for further applications to develop hybrids or lines with better performance under low N conditions.

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<![CDATA[Cultivar × Management Interaction to Reduce Lodging and Improve Grain Yield of Irrigated Spring Wheat: Optimising Plant Growth Regulator Use, N Application Timing, Row Spacing and Sowing Date]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7480 Severe lodging of irrigated spring-wheat in sub-tropical Australia has previously caused yield loss of between 1.7 and 4.6 t ha–1 (20–60% of potential yield). In response, agronomic management options were assessed for their ability to reduce lodging and increase grain yield, namely plant growth regulators (PGRs), timing of nitrogen (N) application, row spacing and sowing date, in combination with long and short duration cultivars across 15 irrigated environments from 2012 to 2016. Our study identified significant interaction between genotype, environment and agronomic management (G × E × M) for grain yield and lodging, although some combinations of agronomic techniques were broadly applicable across cultivars. PGR application improved grain yield of most cultivars in well-irrigated fields that had more than 120 kg ha–1 N (mineral N + fertiliser N) at sowing, with yield gains of up to 0.5 t ha–1 observed in both lodged and non-lodged fields. However, PGRs had little effect on grain yield when soil + fertiliser N at sowing was less than 80 kg ha–1 N. In-crop N application (compared to sowing N application) often improved grain yield of short duration, lodging resistant cultivars, but reduced the yield of long-duration, lodging susceptible cultivars in some environments. Narrow row spacing of 19 cm had the highest grain yield across cultivars in low lodging environments. At a severely lodged environment, narrow rows were the highest yielding for five out of six cultivars when PGRs were used, but was the highest yielding for only half of the tested cultivars when PGRs were not used. Cultivar × sowing date interaction for grain yield was also associated with the occurrence of lodging. Neither early nor late sowing had a consistent yield benefit across a range of cultivars, as lodging severity varied between sowing date depending on the timing of storm-induced lodging events. Lodging resistant long-duration cultivars had more stable grain yield across environments and increased grain yield in response to early sowing. Further research is needed to determine the optimum management strategy for new cultivars, because farmers do not always choose the most lodging resistant cultivars for reasons of cultivar disease resistance, grain quality and seed availability.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptomic Landscape of Medicinal <i>Dendrobium</i> Reveals Genes Associated With the Biosynthesis of Bioactive Components]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7438 Many plants of Dendrobium genus are precious traditional herbs with high commercial value and excellent medicinal effects. They are perennial aerophytes or epiphytes of terrestrial orchids growing on cliffs and tree trunks covered with mosses in forests throughout the tropical and subtropical Asia and eastern Australia. The stem contains a variety of bioactive components, including polysaccharides and alkaloids, with strong antioxidant, neuroprotective, and immunomodulatory effects. Great attention has been drawn to the Dendrobium genus regarding its medicinal effectiveness, and the related researches have been accumulating rapidly in recent years. The bioactive components are mainly the intermediates or final products produced in specialized metabolite biosynthesis. Thus far, the activity, molecular structure, and composition of major medicinal ingredients have been partially elucidated, and the sequencing of several transcriptomes has been starting to shed new light on the biosynthesis regulation mechanism. This paper reviewed the advances of researches concerning the biosynthetic pathways of medicinal specialized metabolites from Dendrobium, especially the large number of related genes, with the hope of further promoting the development and utilization of those components and correspondingly protecting the Dendrobium resources in more effective ways.

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<![CDATA[Multielemental Stoichiometry in Plant Organs: A Case Study With the Alpine Herb <i>Gentiana rigescens</i> Across Southwest China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7436 Multiple elements are required to be allocated to different organs to meet the demands for plant growth, reproduction, and maintenance. However, our knowledge remains limited on the stoichiometry in all plant organs in response to heterogeneous environments. Here, we present the systematic investigation of multielemental stoichiometry in organs of the alpine plant Gentiana rigescens across different environmental conditions. The slopes of N–P stoichiometric relationships among organs in G. rigescens did not differ significantly between environments even in flowers, the most active organ with the highest N and P level. C:P ratios had strong positive relationships with N:P ratios within and between organs. Zn had strong positive correlations with Fe, S, or Cu in each organ, indicating the potential interactions among the homeostases of these elements. The contents of macroelements, such as C, N, P, Ca, Mg, and S, were higher in plant organs than those in soil and exhibited a relatively narrow range in plant organs. However, G. rigescens reduced Fe uptake from soil and showed the strictest homeostasis in its root, implying its resistance to excess Fe. Furthermore, precipitation and temperature associated with geography, followed by soil P, were the main divers for the multielemental stoichiometry in this species. Plant stoichiometry responded differently to abiotic environmental factors, depending on organ type and element. N:P ratio, no matter in which organ, showed little flexibility to climate factors. The results have implications for understanding the regulation of multielemental stoichiometry in plant individuals to environmental changes. Further studies are needed on the interactions of multielement homeostasis in plants.

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<![CDATA[A Na<sub>2</sub>CO<sub>3</sub>-Responsive Chitinase Gene From <i>Leymus chinensis</i> Improve Pathogen Resistance and Saline-Alkali Stress Tolerance in Transgenic Tobacco and Maize]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7396 Salinity and microbial pathogens are the major limiting factors for crop production. Although the manipulation of many genes could improve plant performance under either of these stresses, few genes have reported that could improve both pathogen resistance and saline-alkali stress tolerance. In this study, we identified a new chitinase gene CHITINASE 2 (LcCHI2) that encodes a class II chitinase from Leymus chinensis, which grows naturally on alkaline-sodic soil. Overexpression of LcCHI2 increased chitinase activity in transgenic plants. The transgenic tobacco and maize exhibited improved pathogen resistance and enhanced both neutral salt and alkaline salt stress tolerance. Overexpression of LcCHI2 reduced sodium (Na+) accumulation, malondialdehyde content and relative electrical conductivity in transgenic tobacco under salt stress. In addition, the transgenic tobacco showed diminished lesion against bacterial and fungal pathogen challenge, suggesting an improved disease resistance. Similar improved performance was also observed in LcCHI2-overexpressed maize under both pathogen and salt stresses. It is worth noting that this genetic manipulation does not impair the growth and yield of transgenic tobacco and maize under normal cultivation condition. Apparently, application of LcCHI2 provides a new train of thought for genetically engineering saline-alkali and pathogen resistant crops of both dicots and monocots.

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