ResearchPad - chloroplasts https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The <i>G123</i> rice mutant, carrying a mutation in <i>SE13</i>, presents alterations in the expression patterns of photosynthetic and major flowering regulatory genes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15737 Day length is a determinant of flowering time in rice. Phytochromes participate in flowering regulation by measuring the number of daylight hours to which the plant is exposed. Here we describe G123, a rice mutant generated by irradiation, which displays insensitivity to the photoperiod and early flowering under both long day and short day conditions. To detect the mutation responsible for the early flowering phenotype exhibited by G123, we generated an F2 population, derived from crossing with the wild-type, and used a pipeline to detect genomic structural variation, initially developed for human genomes. We detected a deletion in the G123 genome that affects the PHOTOPERIOD SENSITIVITY13 (SE13) gene, which encodes a phytochromobilin synthase, an enzyme implicated in phytochrome chromophore biosynthesis. The transcriptomic analysis, performed by RNA-seq, in the G123 plants indicated an alteration in photosynthesis and other processes related to response to light. The expression patterns of the main flowering regulatory genes, such as Ghd7, Ghd8 and PRR37, were altered in the plants grown under both long day and short day conditions. These findings indicate that phytochromes are also involved in the regulation of these genes under short day conditions, and extend the role of phytochromes in flowering regulation in rice.

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<![CDATA[Response of cytokinins and nitrogen metabolism in the fronds of <i>Pteris</i> sp. under arsenic stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14748 Given the close relationship between cytokinins (CKs), photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism, this study assessed the effect of arsenic (As) contamination on these metabolic components in the As-hyperaccumulators Pteris cretica L. var. Albo-lineata (Pc-A) and var. Parkerii (Pc-P) as well as the As-non-hyperaccumulator Pteris straminea Mett. ex Baker (Ps). The ferns were cultivated in a pot experiment for 23 weeks in soil spiked with As at the levels 20 and 100 mg·kg-1. For the purpose of this study, the CKs were placed into five functionally different groups according to their structure and physiological roles: bioactive forms (bCKs; CK free bases); inactive or weakly active forms (dCKs; CK N-glucosides); transport forms (tCKs; CK ribosides); storage forms (sCKs; O-glucosides); and primary products of CK biosynthesis (ppbCKs; CK nucleotides). An important finding was higher CKs total content, accumulation of sCKs and reduction of dCKs in As-hyperaccumulators in contrast to non-hyperaccumulator ferns. A significant depletion of C resources was confirmed in ferns, especially Ps, which was determined by measuring the photosynthetic rate and chlorophyll fluorescence. A fluorescence decrease signified a reduction in the C/N ratio, inducing an increase of bioactive CKs forms in Pc-P and Ps. The impact of As on N utilization was significant in As-hyperaccumulators. The glutamic acid/glutamine ratio, an indicator of primary N assimilation, diminished in all ferns with increased As level in the soil. In conclusion, the results indicate a large phenotypic diversity of Pteris species to As and suggest that the CKs composition and the glutamic acid/glutamine ratio can be used as a tool to diagnose As stress in plants.

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<![CDATA[Terminal drought and heat stress alter physiological and biochemical attributes in flag leaf of bread wheat]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14475 Heat stress along with low water availability at reproductive stage (terminal growth phase of wheat crop) is major contributing factor towards less wheat production in tropics and sub-tropics. Flag leaf plays a pivotal role in assimilate partitioning and stress tolerance of wheat during terminal growth phase. However, limited is known about biochemical response of flag leaf to combined and individual heat and drought stress during terminal growth phase. Therefore, current study investigated combined and individual effect of terminal drought and heat stress on water relations, photosynthetic pigments, osmolytes accumulation and antioxidants defense mechanism in flag leaf of bread wheat. Experimental treatments comprised of control, terminal drought stress alone (50% field capacity during reproductive phase), terminal heat stress alone (wheat grown inside plastic tunnel during reproductive phase) and terminal drought stress + terminal heat stress. Individual and combined imposition of drought and heat stresses significantly (p≤0.05) altered water relations, osmolyte contents, soluble proteins and sugars along with activated antioxidant defensive system in terms of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX). Turgor potential, POD and APX activities were lowest under individual heat stress; however, these were improved when drought stress was combined with heat stress. It is concluded that combined effect of drought and heat stress was more detrimental than individual stresses. The interactive effect of both stresses was hypo-additive in nature, but for some traits (like turgor potential and APX) effect of one stress neutralized the other. To best of our knowledge, this is the first report on physiological and biochemical response of flag leaf of wheat to combine heat and drought stress. These results will help future studies dealing with improved stress tolerance in wheat. However, detailed studies are needed to fully understand the genetic mechanisms behind these physiological and biochemical changes in flag leaf in response to combined heat and drought stress.

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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[Increasing atmospheric CO2 and canopy temperature induces anatomical and physiological changes in leaves of the C4 forage species Panicum maximum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac6cd5eed0c484d08750

Changes in leaf anatomy and ultrastructure are associated with physiological performance in the context of plant adaptations to climate change. In this study, we investigated the isolated and combined effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]) up to 600 μmol mol-1 (eC) and elevated temperature (eT) to 2°C more than the ambient canopy temperature on the ultrastructure, leaf anatomy, and physiology of Panicum maximum Jacq. grown under field conditions using combined free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) and temperature free-air controlled enhancement (T-FACE) systems. Plants grown under eC showed reduced stomatal density, stomatal index, stomatal conductance (gs), and leaf transpiration rate (E), increased soil-water content (SWC) conservation and adaxial epidermis thickness were also observed. The net photosynthesis rate (A) and intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE) were enhanced by 25% and 71%, respectively, with a concomitant increase in the size of starch grains in bundle sheath cells. Under air warming, we observed an increase in the thickness of the adaxial cuticle and a decrease in the leaf thickness, size of vascular bundles and bulliform cells, and starch content. Under eCeT, air warming offset the eC effects on SWC and E, and no interactions between [CO2] and temperature for leaf anatomy were observed. Elevated [CO2] exerted more effects on external characteristics, such as the epidermis anatomy and leaf gas exchange, while air warming affected mainly the leaf structure. We conclude that differential anatomical and physiological adjustments contributed to the acclimation of P. maximum growing under elevated [CO2] and air warming, improving the leaf biomass production under these conditions.

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<![CDATA[Solanum lycopersicum GOLDEN 2-LIKE 2 transcription factor affects fruit quality in a light- and auxin-dependent manner]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75a8d5eed0c4843cff97

Plastids are organelles responsible for essential aspects of plant development, including carbon fixation and synthesis of several secondary metabolites. Chloroplast differentiation and activity are highly regulated by light, and several proteins involved in these processes have been characterised. Such is the case of the GOLDEN 2-LIKE (GLK) transcription factors, which induces the expression of genes related to chloroplast differentiation and photosynthesis. The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) genome harbours two copies of this gene, SlGLK1 and SlGLK2, each with distinct expression patterns. While the former predominates in leaves, the latter is mainly expressed in fruits, precisely at the pedicel region. During tomato domestication, the selection of fruits with uniform ripening fixed the mutation Slglk2, nowadays present in most cultivated varieties, what penalised fruit metabolic composition. In this study, we investigated how SlGLK2 is regulated by light, auxin and cytokinin and determined the effect of SlGLK2 on tocopherol (vitamin E) and sugar metabolism, which are components of the fruit nutritional and industrial quality. To achieve this, transcriptional profiling and biochemical analysis were performed throughout fruit development and ripening from SlGLK2, Slglk2, SlGLK2-overexpressing genotypes, as well as from phytochrome and hormonal deficient mutants. The results revealed that SlGLK2 expression is regulated by phytochrome-mediated light perception, yet this gene can induce chloroplast differentiation even in a phytochrome-independent manner. Moreover, auxin was found to be a negative regulator of SlGLK2 expression, while SlGLK2 enhances cytokinin responsiveness. Additionally, SlGLK2 enhanced chlorophyll content in immature green fruits, leading to an increment in tocopherol level in ripe fruits. Finally, SlGLK2 overexpression resulted in higher total soluble solid content, possibly by the regulation of sugar metabolism enzyme-encoding genes. The results obtained here shed light on the regulatory network that interconnects SlGLK2, phytohormones and light signal, promoting the plastidial activity and consequently, influencing the quality of tomato fruit.

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<![CDATA[High-resolution imagery acquired from an unmanned platform to estimate biophysical and geometrical parameters of olive trees under different irrigation regimes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c493d5eed0c4845e895b

The experiments were conducted in a fully-productive olive orchard (cv. Frantoio) at the experimental farm of University of Pisa at Venturina (Italy) in 2015 to assess the ability of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with RGB-NIR cameras to estimate leaf area index (LAI), tree height, canopy diameter and canopy volume of olive trees that were either irrigated or rainfed. Irrigated trees received water 4–5 days a week (1348 m3 ha-1), whereas the rainfed ones received a single irrigation of 19 m3 ha-1 to relieve the extreme stress. The flight altitude was 70 m above ground level (AGL), except for one flight (50 m AGL). The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was calculated by means of the map algebra technique. Canopy volume, canopy height and diameter were obtained from the digital surface model (DSM) obtained through automatic aerial triangulation, bundle block adjustment and camera calibration methods. The NDVI estimated on the day of the year (DOY) 130 was linearly correlated with both LAI and leaf chlorophyll measured on the same date (R2 = 0.78 and 0.80, respectively). The correlation between the on ground measured canopy volumes and the ones by the UAV-RGB camera techniques yielded an R2 of 0.71–0.86. The monthly canopy volume increment estimated from UAV surveys between (DOY) 130 and 244 was highly correlated with the daily water stress integral of rainfed trees (R2 = 0.99). The effect of water stress on the seasonal pattern of canopy growth was detected by these techniques in correspondence of the maximum level of stress experienced by the rainfed trees. The highest level of accuracy (RMSE = 0.16 m) in canopy height estimation was obtained when the flight altitude was 50 m AGL, yielding an R2 value of 0.87 and an almost 1:1 ratio of measured versus estimated canopy height.

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<![CDATA[Integrating ecosystem services considerations within a GIS-based habitat suitability index for oyster restoration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e667d5eed0c484ef3039

Geospatial habitat suitability index (HSI) models have emerged as powerful tools that integrate pertinent spatial information to guide habitat restoration efforts, but have rarely accounted for spatial variation in ecosystem service provision. In this study, we utilized satellite-derived chlorophyll a concentrations for Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, USA in conjunction with data on water flow velocities and dissolved oxygen concentrations to identify potential restoration locations that would maximize the oyster reef-associated ecosystem service of water filtration. We integrated these novel factors associated with oyster water filtration ecosystem services within an existing, ‘Metapopulation Persistence’ focused GIS-based, HSI model containing biophysical (e.g., salinity, oyster larval connectivity) and logistical (e.g., distance to nearest restoration material stockpile site) factors to identify suitable locations for oyster restoration that maximize long-term persistence of restored oyster populations and water filtration ecosystem service provision. Furthermore, we compared the ‘Water Filtration’ optimized HSI with the HSI optimized for ‘Metapopulation Persistence,’ as well as a hybrid model that optimized for both water filtration and metapopulation persistence. Optimal restoration locations (i.e., locations corresponding to the top 1% of suitability scores) were identified that were consistent among the three HSI scenarios (i.e., “win-win” locations), as well as optimal locations unique to a given HSI scenario (i.e., “tradeoff” locations). The modeling framework utilized in this study can provide guidance to restoration practitioners to maximize the cost-efficiency and ecosystem services value of habitat restoration efforts. Furthermore, the functional relationships between oyster water filtration and chlorophyll a concentrations, water flow velocities, and dissolved oxygen applied in this study can guide field- and lab-testing of hypotheses related to optimal conditions for oyster reef restoration to maximize water quality enhancement benefits.

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<![CDATA[Production of santalenes and bergamotene in Nicotiana tabacum plants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bcad5eed0c48491e5a0

Terpenes play an important role in plant–insect relationships, and these relationships can potentially be modified by altering the profile of terpenes emitted from plants using metabolic engineering methods. Transgenic plants generated by employing such methods offer the prospect of low-cost sustainable pest management; in this regard, we used chloroplast targeting and cytosolic mevalonic acid pathway enhancement in this study to investigate the interaction of santalenes and bergamotene with insects. The santalene- and bergamotene-emitting transgenic tobacco plants thus generated were utilized to study host preference in the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae (Sulzer)). The results showed that co-expression of either 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) or truncated HMGR with santalene synthase led to the production of higher amounts of santalenes and bergamotene in transgenic tobacco plants, and that these santalene- and bergamotene-emitting plants were attractive to green peach aphids. We accordingly propose that such transgenic plants may have potential application in pest management as a trap crop to prevent green peach aphid infestation of wild-type tobacco plants.

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<![CDATA[Unique photosynthetic electron transport tuning and excitation distribution in heterokont algae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa591d5eed0c484ca5e0e

Heterokont algae are significant contributors to marine primary productivity. These algae have a photosynthetic machinery that shares many common features with that of Viridiplantae (green algae and land plants). Here we demonstrate, however, that the photosynthetic machinery of heterokont algae responds to light fundamentally differently than that of Viridiplantae. While exposure to high light leads to electron accumulation within the photosynthetic electron transport chain in Viridiplantae, this is not the case in heterokont algae. We use this insight to manipulate the photosynthetic electron transport chain and demonstrate that heterokont algae can dynamically distribute excitation energy between the two types of photosystems. We suggest that the reported electron transport and excitation distribution features are adaptations to the marine light environment.

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<![CDATA[Coral-dwelling fish moderate bleaching susceptibility of coral hosts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1d5bd2d5eed0c4846ecafb

Global environmental change has the potential to disrupt well established species interactions, with impacts on nutrient cycling and ecosystem function. On coral reefs, fish living within the branches of coral colonies can promote coral performance, and it has been hypothesized that the enhanced water flow and nutrients provided by fish to corals could ameliorate coral bleaching. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of small, aggregating damselfish on the health of their host corals (physiology, recovery, and survival) before, during, and after a thermal-bleaching event. When comparing coral colonies with and without fish, those with resident fish exhibited higher Symbiodinium densities and chlorophyll in both field and experimentally-induced bleaching conditions, and higher protein concentrations in field colonies. Additionally, colonies with damselfish in aquaria exhibited both higher photosynthetic efficiency (FV/FM) during bleaching stress and post-bleaching recovery, compared to uninhabited colonies. These results demonstrate that symbiotic damselfishes, and the services they provide, translate into measureable impacts on coral tissue, and can influence coral bleaching susceptibility/resilience and recovery. By mediating how external abiotic stressors influence coral colony health, damselfish can affect the functional responses of these interspecific interactions in a warming ocean.

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<![CDATA[Modeling the spatial and seasonal distribution of offshore recreational vessels in the southeast United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841e3d5eed0c484fcb11d

Understanding the distribution and intensity of recreational boating activities is key for managing safety as well as environmental and social impacts. Recreational boating is a very important component of the diverse maritime traffic in the southeastern United States. The seasonal distribution of offshore recreational vessels in waters off the coast of Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia was modeled using several techniques (Poisson, negative binomial, hurdle and zero inflated modes, generalized additive models, and generalized mixed models) and by combining map-based information provided by recreational boaters with environmental and geographical variables to find the most parsimonious model. Based on model performance, the final model analysis was conducted using a GAM approach with a negative binomial distribution. The best seasonal models explained between 86.1%– 88.6% of the total deviance. For most seasons, a model that included latitude, longitude, interaction between latitude and longitude, chlorophyll a concentration, and abundance of artificial reefs resulted in the best fit. The only exception was the model for the summer season, which did not include chlorophyll a concentration. Given the complexity of the study area, with a number of maritime activities and several marine species co-occurring, these models could provide information to analyze the distribution and overlap of recreational boating trips with other maritime activities (e.g., cargo ships, commercial vessels) and species (e.g., right whales, sea turtles, sharks). These analyses could be used to decrease harmful interactions among these groups and activities.

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<![CDATA[Effect of elevated CO2 and spectral quality on whole plant gas exchange patterns in tomatoes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bd2325040307c60de5e9972

In controlled environment plant production facilities, elevating either light or CO2 levels generally has led to increased biomass and yield due to enhanced canopy photosynthesis. Today, advancements in light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have made this technology a viable option for both supplementary lighting in greenhouses and a sole lighting source in controlled environment chambers. Our study used tomato plants grown under both ambient CO2 (AC) and elevated CO2 (EC) conditions then exposed them to various CO2 and lighting treatments during both whole plant and leaf level measurements. Plants grown under EC reached the first flower developmental stage 8 days sooner and were approximately 15cm taller than those grown under AC. However, under AC plants had more leaf area while their dry weights were similar. Of note, under EC chlorophyll a and b were lower, as were carotenoids per unit leaf area. Whole plant analyses, under all CO2 challenges, showed that plants exposed to high-pressure sodium (HPS), red-blue LED, and red-white LED had similar photosynthesis, respiration, and daily carbon gain. Under different light qualities, day-time transpiration rates were similar among CO2 conditions. Day-time water-use efficiency (WUE) was higher in plants grown and exposed to EC. Similarly, WUE of plants grown under AC but exposed to short-term elevated CO2 conditions was higher than those grown and tested under AC during all light treatments. Under all CO2 conditions, plants exposed to red-white and red-blue LEDs had lower WUE than those exposed to HPS lighting. Assessing alterations due to CO2 and light quality on a whole plant basis, not merely on an individual leaf basis, furthers our understanding of the interactions between these two parameters during controlled environment production. Principle component analyses of both whole plant and leaf data indicates that increasing CO2 supply has a more dramatic effect on photosynthesis and WUE than on transpiration.

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<![CDATA[Quillworts from the Amazon: A multidisciplinary populational study on Isoetes serracarajensis and Isoetes cangae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b87837240307c3c45097671

Isoetes are ancient quillworts members of the only genus of the order Isoetales. The genus is slow evolving but is resilient, and widespread worldwide. Two recently described species occur in the Eastern Brazilian Amazon, Isoetes serracarajensis and Isoetes cangae. They are found in the ironstone grasslands known as Canga. While I. serracarajensis is present mostly in seasonal water bodies, I. cangae is known to occur in a single permanent lake at the South mountain range. In this work, we undertake an extensive morphological, physiological and genetic characterization of both species to establish species boundaries and better understand the morphological and genetic features of these two species. Our results indicate that the morphological differentiation of the species is subtle and requires a quantitative assessment of morphological elements of the megaspore for diagnosis. We did not detect differences in microspore output, but morphological peculiarities may establish a reproductive barrier. Additionally, genetic analysis using DNA barcodes and whole chloroplast genomes indicate that although the plants are genetically very similar both approaches provide diagnostic characters. There was no indication of population structuring I. serracarajensis. These results set the basis for a deeper understanding of the evolution of the Isoetes genus.

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<![CDATA[Simultaneous quantum yield measurements of carbon uptake and oxygen evolution in microalgal cultures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b49a28a463d7e0f6c98de32

The photosynthetic quantum yield (Φ), defined as carbon fixed or oxygen evolved per unit of light absorbed, is a fundamental but rarely determined biophysical parameter. A method to estimate Φ for both net carbon uptake and net oxygen evolution simultaneously can provide important insights into energy and mass fluxes. Here we present details for a novel system that allows quantification of carbon fluxes using pH oscillation and simultaneous oxygen fluxes by integration with a membrane inlet mass spectrometer. The pHOS system was validated using Phaeodactylum tricornutum cultured with continuous illumination of 110 μmole quanta m-2 s-1 at 25°C. Furthermore, simultaneous measurements of carbon and oxygen flux using the pHOS-MIMS and photon flux based on spectral absorption were carried out to explore the kinetics of Φ in P. tricornutum during its acclimation from low to high light (110 to 750 μmole quanta m-2 s-1). Comparing results at 0 and 24 hours, we observed strong decreases in cellular chlorophyll a (0.58 to 0.21 pg cell-1), Fv/Fm (0.71 to 0.59) and maximum ΦCO2 (0.019 to 0.004) and ΦO2 (0.028 to 0.007), confirming the transition toward high light acclimation. The Φ time-series indicated a non-synchronized acclimation response between carbon uptake and oxygen evolution, which has been previously inferred based on transcriptomic changes for a similar experimental design with the same diatom that lacked physiological data. The integrated pHOS-MIMS system can provide simultaneous carbon and oxygen measurements accurately, and at the time-resolution required to resolve high-resolution carbon and oxygen physiological dynamics.

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<![CDATA[Complete Chloroplast Genome Sequence of Poisonous and Medicinal Plant Datura stramonium: Organizations and Implications for Genetic Engineering]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dacfab0ee8fa60bb58b4

Datura stramonium is a widely used poisonous plant with great medicinal and economic value. Its chloroplast (cp) genome is 155,871 bp in length with a typical quadripartite structure of the large (LSC, 86,302 bp) and small (SSC, 18,367 bp) single-copy regions, separated by a pair of inverted repeats (IRs, 25,601 bp). The genome contains 113 unique genes, including 80 protein-coding genes, 29 tRNAs and four rRNAs. A total of 11 forward, 9 palindromic and 13 tandem repeats were detected in the D. stramonium cp genome. Most simple sequence repeats (SSR) are AT-rich and are less abundant in coding regions than in non-coding regions. Both SSRs and GC content were unevenly distributed in the entire cp genome. All preferred synonymous codons were found to use A/T ending codons. The difference in GC contents of entire genomes and of the three-codon positions suggests that the D. stramonium cp genome might possess different genomic organization, in part due to different mutational pressures. The five most divergent coding regions and four non-coding regions (trnH-psbA, rps4-trnS, ndhD-ccsA, and ndhI-ndhG) were identified using whole plastome alignment, which can be used to develop molecular markers for phylogenetics and barcoding studies within the Solanaceae. Phylogenetic analysis based on 68 protein-coding genes supported Datura as a sister to Solanum. This study provides valuable information for phylogenetic and cp genetic engineering studies of this poisonous and medicinal plant.

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<![CDATA[Diversity and Composition of the Leaf Mycobiome of Beech (Fagus sylvatica) Are Affected by Local Habitat Conditions and Leaf Biochemistry]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5dab0ee8fa60b9037d

Comparative investigations of plant-associated fungal communities (mycobiomes) in distinct habitats and under distinct climate regimes have been rarely conducted in the past. Nowadays, high-throughput sequencing allows routine examination of mycobiome responses to environmental changes and results at an unprecedented level of detail. In the present study, we analysed Illumina-generated fungal ITS1 sequences from European beech (Fagus sylvatica) originating from natural habitats at two different altitudes in the German Alps and from a managed tree nursery in northern Germany. In general, leaf-inhabiting mycobiome diversity and composition correlated significantly with the origin of the trees. Under natural condition the mycobiome was more diverse at lower than at higher elevation, whereas fungal diversity was lowest in the artificial habitat of the tree nursery. We further identified significant correlation of leaf chlorophylls and flavonoids with both habitat parameters and mycobiome biodiversity. The present results clearly point towards a pronounced importance of local stand conditions for the structure of beech leaf mycobiomes and for a close interrelation of phyllosphere fungi and leaf physiology.

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<![CDATA[Impaired Chloroplast Biogenesis in Immutans, an Arabidopsis Variegation Mutant, Modifies Developmental Programming, Cell Wall Composition and Resistance to Pseudomonas syringae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e1ab0ee8fa60b698f3

The immutans (im) variegation mutation of Arabidopsis has green- and white- sectored leaves due to action of a nuclear recessive gene. IM codes for PTOX, a plastoquinol oxidase in plastid membranes. Previous studies have revealed that the green and white sectors develop into sources (green tissues) and sinks (white tissues) early in leaf development. In this report we focus on white sectors, and show that their transformation into effective sinks involves a sharp reduction in plastid number and size. Despite these reductions, cells in the white sectors have near-normal amounts of plastid RNA and protein, and surprisingly, a marked amplification of chloroplast DNA. The maintenance of protein synthesis capacity in the white sectors might poise plastids for their development into other plastid types. The green and white im sectors have different cell wall compositions: whereas cell walls in the green sectors resemble those in wild type, cell walls in the white sectors have reduced lignin and cellulose microfibrils, as well as alterations in galactomannans and the decoration of xyloglucan. These changes promote susceptibility to the pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. Enhanced susceptibility can also be explained by repressed expression of some, but not all, defense genes. We suggest that differences in morphology, physiology and biochemistry between the green and white sectors is caused by a reprogramming of leaf development that is coordinated, in part, by mechanisms of retrograde (plastid-to-nucleus) signaling, perhaps mediated by ROS. We conclude that variegation mutants offer a novel system to study leaf developmental programming, cell wall metabolism and host-pathogen interactions.

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<![CDATA[Phytoplankton Distribution in Relation to Environmental Drivers on the North West European Shelf Sea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da36ab0ee8fa60b863ff

The edge of the North West European Shelf (NWES) is characterised by a steep continental slope and a northward flowing slope current. These topographic/hydrographic features separate oceanic water and shelf water masses hence potentially separate phytoplankton communities. The slope current may facilitate the advective transport of phytoplankton, with mixing at the shelf edge supporting nutrient supply and therefore phytoplankton production. On the west Scottish shelf in particular, little is known about the phytoplankton communities in and around the shelf break and adjacent waters. Hence, to improve our understanding of environmental drivers of phytoplankton communities, biological and environmental data were collected on seven cross-shelf transects across the Malin and Hebridean Shelves during autumn 2014. Density profiles indicated that shelf break and oceanic stations had a 100 m deep mixed surface layer while stations on the shelf were generally well mixed. Analysis of similarity and multidimensional scaling of phytoplankton counts revealed that phytoplankton communities on the shelf were significantly different to those found at the shelf break and at oceanic stations. Shelf stations were dominated by dinoflagellates, with diatoms contributing a maximum of 37% of cells. Shelf break and oceanic stations were also dinoflagellate dominated but displayed a lower species diversity. Significant difference between shelf and shelf break stations suggested that the continental slope limited cross shelf phytoplankton exchange. Northern and southern phytoplankton communities on the shelf were approximately 15% dissimilar while there was no latitudinal gradient for stations along the slope current, suggesting this current provided south to north connectivity. Fitting environmental data to phytoplankton ordination showed a significant relationship between phytoplankton community dissimilarities and nutrient concentrations and light availability on the shelf compared to shelf break and oceanic stations in the study area.

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<![CDATA[Enhanced Nitrogen Loss by Eddy-Induced Vertical Transport in the Offshore Peruvian Oxygen Minimum Zone]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc8c7

The eastern tropical South Pacific (ETSP) upwelling region is one of the ocean’s largest sinks of fixed nitrogen, which is lost as N2 via the anaerobic processes of anammox and denitrification. One-third of nitrogen loss occurs in productive shelf waters stimulated by organic matter export as a result of eastern boundary upwelling. Offshore, nitrogen loss rates are lower, but due to its sheer size this area accounts for ~70% of ETSP nitrogen loss. How nitrogen loss and primary production are regulated in the offshore ETSP region where coastal upwelling is less influential remains unclear. Mesoscale eddies, ubiquitous in the ETSP region, have been suggested to enhance vertical nutrient transport and thereby regulate primary productivity and hence organic matter export. Here, we investigated the impact of mesoscale eddies on anammox and denitrification activity using 15N-labelled in situ incubation experiments. Anammox was shown to be the dominant nitrogen loss process, but varied across the eddy, whereas denitrification was below detection at all stations. Anammox rates at the eddy periphery were greater than at the center. Similarly, depth-integrated chlorophyll paralleled anammox activity, increasing at the periphery relative to the eddy center; suggestive of enhanced organic matter export along the periphery supporting nitrogen loss. This can be attributed to enhanced vertical nutrient transport caused by an eddy-driven submesoscale mechanism operating at the eddy periphery. In the ETSP region, the widespread distribution of eddies and the large heterogeneity observed in anammox rates from a compilation of stations suggests that eddy-driven vertical nutrient transport may regulate offshore primary production and thereby nitrogen loss.

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