ResearchPad - fruits https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![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[Brazilian vegetarians diet quality markers and comparison with the general population: A nationwide cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7851 Vegetarianism is an increasingly common practice worldwide. Despite good evidence from other countries regarding vegetarians’ diet quality, data from the Brazilian population is still scarce.ObjectiveTo characterize the vegetarian Brazilian population and evaluate their diet quality compared to the general Brazilian population.MethodsWe performed a nationwide cross-sectional study using an online self-administered questionnaire, previously validated for the Brazilian population, to evaluate diet quality markers of vegetarians. The invitation to participate in the survey was spread nationwide, aimed at vegetarian communities. Individuals who considered themselves vegetarians and were at least 18 years old were eligible to participate. The results on regular intake and intake adequacy were compared among vegetarians and between genders using the Pearson’s chi-square test. The body mass index (BMI) were analyzed by the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) followed by Tukey post-hoc test. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test verified normality. All analyses considered bilateral hypotheses and a significance level of 5% (p <0.05).ResultsBrazilian vegetarians presented better diet quality markers, such as higher regular weekly intake and adequate daily intake of fruits and vegetables, and lower regular intake of soft drinks when compared to the general Brazilian population. Vegetarians also presented a proportionally higher consumption of natural foods and lower consumption of processed foods. Among vegetarians, a higher proportion of vegans showed positive results regarding diet markers analysis, when compared to vegetarians, pesco-vegetarians, and semi-vegetarians.ConclusionsVegetarians showed better results of diet adequacy when compared to the general population in Brazil, and vegans fared better when compared with other vegetarians. Despite the good results found, a large proportion of the participants still did not achieve the fruits and vegetables daily intake, according to the World Health Organization recommendations. ]]> <![CDATA[Oral administration with a traditional fermented multi-fruit beverage modulates non-specific and antigen-specific immune responses in BALB/c mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7730 Fruits have been widely considered as the default “health foods” because they contain numerous vitamins and minerals needed to sustain human health. Fermentation strategies have been utilized to enhance the nutritive and flavor features of healthy and readily consumable fruit products while extending their shelf lives. A traditional fermented multi-fruit beverage was made from five fruits including kiwi, guava, papaya, pineapple, and grape fermented by Saccharomyces cerevisiae along with lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria. The immunomodulatory properties of the fermented multi-fruit beverage, in vivo nonspecific and ovalbumin (OVA)-specific immune response experiments using female BALB/c mice were performed. Administration of the fermented multi-fruit beverage reduced the calorie intake, thus resulting in a less weight gain in mice compared to the water (placebo)-fed mice. In the nonspecific immune study model, the fermented multi-fruit beverage enhanced phagocytosis and T cell proliferation but did not affect B cell proliferation and immunoglobulin G (IgG) production. Analysis of cytokine secretion profile also revealed that the fermented multi-fruit beverage enhanced proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and T helper (Th)1-related cytokine interferon (IFN)-γ production, thus creating an immunostimulatory effect. Nonetheless, in the specific immune study model, the results showed that the fermented multi-fruit beverage decreased the production of proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α production in OVA-immunized mice. Moreover, it also caused a decrease in the production of anti-OVA IgG1, which was accompanied by a decrease in Th2-related cytokines IL-4 and IL-5 production and an increase in Th1-related cytokine IFN-γ production, indicating that it may have the potential to shift the immune system from the allergen‐specific Th2 responses toward Th1-type responses. The results indicate that fermented multi-fruit beverage has the potential to modulate immune responses both in a nonspecific and specific manners.

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<![CDATA[Identification of early fruit development reference genes in plum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N34728444-bb7f-4d99-8469-dd5c2a1110fc

An RNAseq study of early fruit development and stone development in plum, Prunus domestica, was mined to identify sets of genes that could be used to normalize expression studies in early fruit development. The expression values of genes previously identified from Prunus as reference genes were first extracted and found to vary considerably in endocarp tissue relative to whole fruit tissue. Nine other genes were chosen that varied less than 2-fold amongst the 20 RNAseq libraries of early fruit development and endocarp tissues. These gene were tested on a series of developmental plum fruit samples to determine if any could be used as a reference gene in the analyses of fruit-based tissues in plum. The three most stable genes as determined using RefFinder were IPGD (imidazole glycerol-phosphate dehydratase), HAM1 (histone acetyltransferase) and SNX1 (sorting nexin 1). These were further tested to analyze genes expressed differentially in endocarp tissue between normal and minimal endocarp cultivars. To determine the universality of those nine genes as fruit development reference genes, three other data sets of RNAseq from peach and apple were analyzed to determine the reference gene expression. Multiple genes exhibited tissue specific patterns of expression while one gene, the SNX1, emerged as possessing a universal pattern between the Rosaceae species, at all developmental stages, and tissue types tested. The results suggest that the use of existing RNAseq data to identify standard genes can provide stable reference genes for a specific tissues or experimental conditions under exploration.

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<![CDATA[Production of a rabbit monoclonal antibody for highly sensitive detection of citrus mosaic virus and related viruses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nfb5e596f-2980-40fa-8fa6-576f474cd99c

Citrus mosaic virus (CiMV) is one of the causal viruses of citrus mosaic disease in satsuma mandarins (Citrus unshiu). Prompt detection of trees infected with citrus mosaic disease is important for preventing the spread of this disease. Although rabbit monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) exhibit high specificity and affinity, their applicability is limited by technical difficulties associated with the hybridoma-based technology used for raising these mAbs. Here, we demonstrate a feasible CiMV detection system using a specific rabbit mAb against CiMV coat protein. A conserved peptide fragment of the small subunit of CiMV coat protein was designed and used to immunize rabbits. Antigen-specific antibody-producing cells were identified by the immunospot array assay on a chip method. After cloning of variable regions in heavy or light chain by RT-PCR from these cells, a gene set of 33 mAbs was constructed and these mAbs were produced using Expi293F cells. Screening with the AlphaScreen system revealed eight mAbs exhibiting strong interaction with the antigen peptide. From subsequent sequence analysis, they were grouped into three mAbs denoted as No. 4, 9, and 20. Surface plasmon resonance analysis demonstrated that the affinity of these mAbs for the antigen peptide ranged from 8.7 × 10−10 to 5.5 × 10−11 M. In addition to CiMV, mAb No. 9 and 20 could detect CiMV-related viruses in leaf extracts by ELISA. Further, mAb No. 20 showed a high sensitivity to CiMV and CiMV-related viruses, simply by dot blot analysis. The anti-CiMV rabbit mAbs obtained in this study are envisioned to be extremely useful for practical applications of CiMV detection, such as in a virus detection kit.

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<![CDATA[Potential role of weather, soil and plant microbial communities in rapid decline of apple trees]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89776ed5eed0c4847d2c8c

An unusual decline and collapse of young established trees known as “rapid apple decline” (RAD) has become a major concern for apple growers, particularly in the northeastern United States. This decline is characterized by stunted growth, pale yellow to reddish leaves, and tree collapse within weeks after onset of symptoms. We studied declining apple trees to identify potential involvement of abiotic and biotic stresses. We used 16S and ITS to profile bacterial and fungal communities in the soil, rhizosphere, roots, and shoots and tested for the presence of six viruses in scions and rootstocks of symptomatic and asymptomatic trees. The viruses detected were not associated with RAD symptoms. Bacterial and fungal populations were highly variable in plant tissue, soil and rhizosphere samples, with bacteroidetes, firmicutes, proteobacteria, acidobacteria, and actinobacteria the predominant bacterial classes in various samples. ‘Alphaproteobacteria-rickettsiales’, a bacterial class usually reduced in water-limiting soils, had significantly low abundance in root samples of symptomatic trees. Basidiomycota and Ascomycota fungal classes were the most common fungal classes observed, but neither showed differential enrichment between symptomatic and asymptomatic trees. Analyzing weather data showed an extremely cold winter followed by drought in 2015–2016, which likely weakened the trees to make them more susceptible to varied stresses. In addition, similar physical and nutritional soil composition from symptomatic and asymptomatic trees rules out the role of nutritional stress in RAD. Necrotic lesions and wood decay symptoms dispersing from bark or vascular cambium towards the heartwood were observed primarily below the graft union of declining apple trees, suggesting that the rootstock is the originating point of RAD. We speculate that differences in abiotic factors such as moisture levels in declining roots in combination with extreme weather profiles might cause RAD but cannot clearly rule out the involvement of other factors.

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<![CDATA[A field test on the effectiveness of male annihilation technique against Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) at varying application densities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1939d5eed0c484b4d1d4

Male Annihilation Technique (MAT) is a key tool to suppress or eradicate pestiferous tephritid fruit flies for which there exist powerful male lures. In the case of Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), a highly invasive and destructive species, current implementations of MAT utilize a combination of the male attractant methyl eugenol (ME) and a toxicant such as spinosad (“SPLAT-MAT-ME”) applied at a high density with the goal of attracting and killing an extremely high proportion of males. We conducted direct comparisons of trap captures of marked B. dorsalis males released under three experimental SPLAT-MAT-ME site densities (110, 220, and 440 per km2) near Hilo, Hawaii using both fresh and aged traps to evaluate the effectiveness of varying densities and how weathering of the SPLAT-MAT-ME formulation influenced any density effects observed. Counterintuitively, we observed decreasing effectiveness (percent kill) with increasing application density. We also estimated slightly higher average kill for any given density for weathered grids compared with fresh. Spatial analysis of the recapture patterns of the first trap service per replicate x treatment reveals similar positional effects for all grid densities despite differences in overall percent kill. This study suggests that benefits for control and eradication programs would result from reducing the application density of MAT against B. dorsalis through reduced material use, labor costs, and higher effectiveness. Additional research in areas where MAT programs are currently undertaken would be helpful to corroborate this study’s findings.

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<![CDATA[Landscape and local site variables differentially influence pollinators and pollination services in urban agricultural sites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9c9d5eed0c48452a19c

Urbanization has detrimental effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, as agricultural and semi-natural habitats are converted into landscapes dominated by built features. Urban agricultural sites are a growing component of urban landscapes and have potential to serve as a source of biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service provisioning in urban areas. In 19 urban agricultural sites, we investigated how surrounding land cover and local site variables supported bees and pollination services. We found the abundance of bees differentially responded to landscape and local scale variables depending on body size and nesting habit. Large-bodied bees, Bombus and Apis species, were positively associated with increasing amounts of impervious cover, while the abundance of small-bodied soil nesting Halictus species increased as the proportion of flower area, a local variable, increased. Bee richness declined with increasing levels of impervious cover, while bee community composition changed along a gradient of increasing impervious cover. Pollination services, measured at each site using sentinel cucumber plants, declined as hardscape, a local variable, increased. To improve bee conservation and pollination services in urban agricultural sites, our results suggest urban planning strategies should minimize impervious cover at large spatial scales while land managers should focus locally on incorporating floral resources, which increases food and nesting resources especially for smaller bee species. Local site design coupled with regional urban planning can advance the success of urban agriculture, while benefiting biodiversity by creating opportunities for pollinator conservation in urban landscapes.

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<![CDATA[Comprehensive genome-wide analysis of the pear (Pyrus bretschneideri) laccase gene (PbLAC) family and functional identification of PbLAC1 involved in lignin biosynthesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75c6d5eed0c4843d0173

The content and size of stone cell clusters affects the quality of pear fruit, and monolignol polymerization and deposition in the cell walls constitute a required step for stone cell formation. Laccase (LAC) is the key enzyme responsible for the polymerization of monolignols. However, there are no reports on the LAC family in pear (Pyrus bretschneideri), and the identity of the members responsible for lignin synthesis has not been clarified. Here, 41 LACs were identified in the whole genome of pear. All Pyrus bretschneideri LACs (PbLACs) were distributed on 13 chromosomes and divided into four phylogenetic groups (I-IV). In addition, 16 segmental duplication events were found, implying that segmental duplication was a primary reason for the expansion of the PbLAC family. LACs from the genomes of three Rosaceae species (Prunus mummer, Prunus persica, and Fragaria vesca) were also identified, and an interspecies collinearity analysis was performed. The phylogenetic analysis, sequence alignments and spatiotemporal expression pattern analysis suggested that PbLAC1, 5, 6, 29, 36 and 38 were likely associated with lignin synthesis and stone cell formation in fruit. The two target genes of Pyr-miR1890 (a microRNA identified from pear fruit that is associated with lignin and stone cell accumulation), PbLAC1 and PbLAC14, were selected for genetic transformation. Interfamily transfer of PbLAC1 into Arabidopsis resulted in a significant increase (approximately 17%) in the lignin content and thicker cell walls in interfascicular fibre and xylem cells, which demonstrated that PbLAC1 is involved in lignin biosynthesis and cell wall development. However, the lignin content and cell wall thickness were not changed significantly in the PbLAC14-overexpressing transgenic Arabidopsis plants. This study revealed the function of PbLAC1 in lignin synthesis and provides important insights into the characteristics and evolution of the PbLAC family.

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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[Orangutans (Pongo abelii) make flexible decisions relative to reward quality and tool functionality in a multi-dimensional tool-use task]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca02d5eed0c48452a6b6

Making economic decisions in a natural foraging situation that involves the use of tools may require an animal to consider more levels of relational complexity than merely deciding between an immediate and a delayed food option. We used the same method previously used with Goffin´s cockatoos to investigate the orangutans’ flexibility for making the most profitable decisions when confronted with five different settings that included one or two different apparatuses, two different tools and two food items (one more preferred than the other). We found that orangutans made profitable decisions relative to reward quality, when the task required the subjects to select a tool over an immediately accessible food reward. Furthermore, most subjects were sensitive to work-effort when the immediate and the delayed option (directly accessible by using a tool) led to the same outcome. Most subjects continued to make profitable decisions that required taking into account the tool functionality. In a final multidimensional task design in which subjects had to simultaneously focus on two apparatuses, two reward qualities and two different tools, the orangutans chose the functional tool to access the high quality reward.

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<![CDATA[Tomato yellow leaf curl virus intergenic siRNAs target a host long noncoding RNA to modulate disease symptoms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c483d5eed0c4845e8853

Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) and its related begomoviruses cause fast-spreading diseases in tomato worldwide. How this virus induces diseases remains largely unclear. Here we report a noncoding RNA-mediated model to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of TYLCV-tomato interaction and disease development. The circular ssDNA genome of TYLCV contains a noncoding intergenic region (IR), which is known to mediate viral DNA replication and transcription in host cells, but has not been reported to contribute directly to viral disease development. We demonstrate that the IR is transcribed in dual orientations during plant infection and confers abnormal phenotypes in tomato independently of protein-coding regions of the viral genome. We show that the IR sequence has a 25-nt segment that is almost perfectly complementary to a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA, designated as SlLNR1) in TYLCV-susceptible tomato cultivars but not in resistant cultivars which contains a 14-nt deletion in the 25-nt region. Consequently, we show that viral small-interfering RNAs (vsRNAs) derived from the 25-nt IR sequence induces silencing of SlLNR1 in susceptible tomato plants but not resistant plants, and this SlLNR1 downregulation is associated with stunted and curled leaf phenotypes reminiscent of TYLCV symptoms. These results suggest that the lncRNA interacts with the IR-derived vsRNAs to control disease development during TYLCV infection. Consistent with its possible function in virus disease development, over-expression of SlLNR1 in tomato reduces the accumulation of TYLCV. Furthermore, gene silencing of the SlLNR1 in the tomato plants induced TYLCV-like leaf phenotypes without viral infection. Our results uncover a previously unknown interaction between vsRNAs and host lncRNA, and provide a plausible model for TYLCV-induced diseases and host antiviral immunity, which would help to develop effective strategies for the control of this important viral pathogen.

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<![CDATA[The distributional impact of a green payment policy for organic fruit]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c65dcf0d5eed0c484dec5ff

Consumer spending on organic food products has grown rapidly. Some claim that organics have ecological, equity, and health advantages over conventional food and therefore should be subsidized. Here we explore the distributive impacts of an organic fruit subsidy that reduces the retail price of organic fruit in the US by 10 percent. We estimate the impact of the subsidy on organic fruit demand in a representative poor, middle income, and rich US household using three analytical methods; including two econometric and one machine learning. We do not find strong evidence of regressive redistribution due to our simulated organic fruit subsidy; the poor household’s relative reaction to the subsidy is not much different than the reaction at the other two households. However, the infra-marginal savings from the subsidy tend to be larger in richer households.

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<![CDATA[Optimization of a polyphenol extraction method for sweet orange pulp (Citrus sinensis L.) to identify phenolic compounds consumed from sweet oranges]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5293d5eed0c4842bcbe6

The consumption of sweet oranges has been linked to several health benefits, many of which are attributed to hesperidin, a flavanone that is present in high amounts in these fruits. However, other phenolic compounds can contribute to the bioactivity of sweet orange. To link those effects to their phenolic profile, the complete characterization of the phenolic profile is mandatory. Although many studies have profiled the phenolic composition of orange juices, their pulps, which retain phenolic compounds, are overlooked. This fact is particularly relevant because dietary guidelines recommend the consumption of whole fruits. Therefore, this study aimed to develop a specific method for the optimal extraction of phenolics from orange pulp and to use this method to characterize these fruits grown at different locations by HPLC-ESI-MS/MS. The extraction conditions that reported the highest total polyphenol content (TPC) and hesperidin contents were 20 mL/g, 55 °C, and 90% methanol. The extraction time and number of sequential steps were further evaluated and optimized as 20 min and two extraction steps, respectively. Although lower extraction rates were achieved when using ethanol as the extraction solvent, high TPC and hesperidin yields were obtained, suggesting the potential use of this methodology to produce phenolic-rich extracts for the food industry. By applying the optimized methodology and analyzing the extracts by HPLC-ESI-MS/MS, geographic cultivation regions were demonstrated to affect the phenolic profiles of oranges. In short, we developed a quick, easy-to-perform methodology that can be used to extract orange phenolics from pulp for their identification and quantification and to evaluate the factors that affect the phenolic profile in sweet orange pulps.

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<![CDATA[Identification of new regulators through transcriptome analysis that regulate anthocyanin biosynthesis in apple leaves at low temperatures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fef2d5eed0c4841357fd

Anthocyanin pigments play many roles in plants, including providing protection against biotic and abiotic stresses. To identify new regulatory genes in apple (Malus domestica) that may be involved in regulating low temperature induced anthocyanin biosynthesis, we performed RNA-seq analysis of leaves from the ‘Gala’ apple cultivar following exposure to a low temperature (16 °C). A visible red color appeared on the upper leaves and the anthocyanin content increased significantly after the low temperature treatment. Genes from the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway were significantly enriched among the differentially expressed genes, and the expression of several transcription factors was shown by WGCNA (weighted gene co-expression network analysis) to correlate with anthocyanin accumulation, including members of the MYB, MADS, WRKY, WD40, Zinc Finger and HB-ZIP families. Three MYB transcription factors (MdMYB12, MdMYB22 and MdMYB114), which had several CBF/DREB response elements in their promoters, were significantly induced by low temperature exposure and their expression also correlated highly with anthocyanin accumulation. We hypothesize that they may act as regulators of anthocyanin biosynthesis and be regulated by CBF/DREB transcription factors in apple leaves under low temperature conditions. The analyses presented here provide insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying anthocyanin accumulation during low temperature exposure.

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<![CDATA[Leafflower–leafflower moth mutualism in the Neotropics: Successful transoceanic dispersal from the Old World to the New World by actively-pollinating leafflower moths]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b529ed5eed0c4842bccc2

In the Old World tropics, several hundred species of leafflowers (Phyllanthus sensu lato; Phyllanthaceae) are engaged in obligate mutualisms with species-specific leafflower moths (Epicephala; Gracillariidae) whose adults actively pollinate flowers and larvae consume the resulting seeds. Considerable diversity of Phyllanthus also exists in the New World, but whether any New World Phyllanthus is pollinated by Epicephala is unknown. We studied the pollination biology of four woody Phyllanthus species occurring in Peru over a period of four years, and found that each species is associated with a species-specific, seed-eating Epicephala moth, here described as new species. Another Epicephala species found associated with herbaceous Phyllanthus is also described. This is the first description of Epicephala from the New World. Field-collected female moths of the four Epicephala species associated with woody Phyllanthus all carried pollen on the proboscises, and active pollination behavior was observed in at least two species. Thus, Epicephala moths also pollinate New World Phyllanthus. However, not all of these Epicephala species may be mutualistic with their hosts, because we occasionally observed females laying eggs in developing fruits without pollinating. Also, the flowers of some Phyllanthus species were visited by pollen-bearing thrips or gall midges, which potentially acted as co-pollinators or primary pollinators. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the New World Epicephala associated with woody Phyllanthus are nested within lineages of Old World active pollinators. Thus, actively-pollinating Epicephala moths, which originated in the Old World, successfully colonized the New World probably across the Pacific and established mutualisms with resident Phyllanthus species, although whether any of the relationships are obligate requires further study. There is likely a major radiation of Epicephala still to be found in the New World.

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<![CDATA[Vulnerability of cotton subjected to hail damage]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b528ed5eed0c4842bcb6d

This paper establishes the quantitative relationships between hail fall parameters and crop damages by examining the impacts of 49 hail hazard scenarios on cotton in the bud stage and boll stage. This study utilizes simulated cotton hail hazard to analyze the following data: hail size, hail fall density, and crop damages (i.e., defoliation rate, branch breaking rate, and the fruit falling rate). The results are as follows: 1) cotton vulnerability increased via an increase in crop damages as the hail hazard magnitude increased; 2) crop damages exhibit significant logistic relationships with hail diameter and hail fall density, and the fit was better at the bud stage than at the boll stage; 3) cotton is more vulnerable to hail hazard at the bud stage than at the boll stage, and the bud stage is a critical period for cotton hail disaster prevention and mitigation; and 4) damages to cotton plant at the bud stage and boll stage were less sensitive to hail size from hail fall density. Thus, we suggest that hail diameter can be used as the priority indicator to predict hail-induced crop damages. These results provide a sound basis for developing a comprehensive evaluation of hail damage in cotton, which is crucial for promoting sustainable cotton production. We recommend that the impacts of hail-induced crop damages on yield and fiber quality need to be addressed further in future studies.

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<![CDATA[Detection of MCPG metabolites in horses with atypical myopathy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633980d5eed0c484ae68f5

Atypical myopathy (AM) in horses is caused by ingestion of seeds of the Acer species (Sapindaceae family). Methylenecyclopropylacetyl-CoA (MCPA-CoA), derived from hypoglycin A (HGA), is currently the only active toxin in Acer pseudoplatanus or Acer negundo seeds related to AM outbreaks. However, seeds or arils of various Sapindaceae (e.g., ackee, lychee, mamoncillo, longan fruit) also contain methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPG), which is a structural analogue of HGA that can cause hypoglycaemic encephalopathy in humans. The active poison formed from MCPG is methylenecyclopropylformyl-CoA (MCPF-CoA). MCPF-CoA and MCPA-CoA strongly inhibit enzymes that participate in β-oxidation and energy production from fat. The aim of our study was to investigate if MCPG is involved in Acer seed poisoning in horses. MCPG, as well as glycine and carnitine conjugates (MCPF-glycine, MCPF-carnitine), were quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry of serum and urine from horses that had ingested Acer pseudoplatanus seeds and developed typical AM symptoms. The results were compared to those of healthy control horses. For comparison, HGA and its glycine and carnitine derivatives were also measured. Additionally, to assess the degree of enzyme inhibition of β-oxidation, several acyl glycines and acyl carnitines were included in the analysis. In addition to HGA and the specific toxic metabolites (MCPA-carnitine and MCPA-glycine), MCPG, MCPF-glycine and MCPF-carnitine were detected in the serum and urine of affected horses. Strong inhibition of β-oxidation was demonstrated by elevated concentrations of all acyl glycines and carnitines, but the highest correlations were observed between MCPF-carnitine and isobutyryl-carnitine (r = 0.93) as well as between MCPA- (and MCPF-) glycine and valeryl-glycine with r = 0.96 (and r = 0.87). As shown here, for biochemical analysis of atypical myopathy of horses, it is necessary to take MCPG and the corresponding metabolites into consideration.

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<![CDATA[Genetics of zonal leaf chlorosis and genetic linkage to a major gene regulating skin anthocyanin production (MdMYB1) in the apple (Malus × domestica) cultivar Honeycrisp]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d667d5eed0c484031d98

‘Honeycrisp’ is a widely grown and acclaimed apple cultivar that is commonly used in breeding programs. It also has a well-documented tendency to develop the physiological disorder, zonal leaf chlorosis (ZLC). This disorder causes reduced photosynthetic capacity and is thought to be due to a problem with phloem loading, although the underlying genetics of the disorder have not previously been discerned. In order to understand the breeding implications of the disorder, six families with ‘Honeycrisp’ as a parent and one family with ‘Honeycrisp’ as both a maternal and paternal grandparent were evaluated for ZLC incidence over two years. One major quantitative trait locus (QTL) for ZLC incidence was identified on linkage group (LG) 9. A haplotype in ‘Honeycrisp’ that originated from grandparent ‘Duchess of Oldenburg’ was associated with increased ZLC incidence in offspring in both years and all families evaluated. The LG9 QTL was 5 to 10 cM from MdMYB1, which is a major gene regulating fruit skin anthocyanin production. ‘Honeycrisp’ is heterozygous for red fruit skin overcolor at MdMYB1. The ‘Honeycrisp’ haplotype at the LG9 QTL associated with increased ZLC is in linkage phase with the allele at MdMYB1 associated with red color. Selection for the red allele from ‘Honeycrisp’ at MdMYB1 will result in most offspring also inheriting the haplotype at the LG9 QTL associated with high ZLC. The occurrence of two copies of this haplotype was sub-lethal in seedlings of a family where both parents inherited both the red overcolor allele at MdMYB1 and the haplotype at the LG9 QTL associated with high ZLC. This is the first study to have identified a genetic component of ZLC with clear breeding implications.

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<![CDATA[Tandem gene duplication and recombination at the AT3 locus in the Solanaceae, a gene essential for capsaicinoid biosynthesis in Capsicum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521881d5eed0c484798b01

Capsaicinoids are compounds synthesized exclusively in the genus Capsicum and are responsible for the burning sensation experienced when consuming hot pepper fruits. To date, only one gene, AT3, a member of the BAHD family of acyltransferases, is currently known to have a measurable quantitative effect on capsaicinoid biosynthesis. Multiple AT3 paralogs exist in the Capsicum genome, but their evolutionary relationships have not been characterized well. Recessive alleles at this locus result in absence of capsaicinoids in pepper fruit. To explore the evolution of AT3 in Capsicum and the Solanaceae, we sequenced this gene from diverse Capsicum genotypes and species, along with a number of representative solanaceous taxa. Our results revealed that the coding region of AT3 is highly conserved throughout the family. Further, we uncovered a tandem duplication that predates the diversification of the Solanaceae taxa sampled in this study. This pair of tandem duplications were designated AT3-1 and AT3-2. Sequence alignments showed that the AT3-2 locus, a pseudogene, retains regions of amino acid conservation relative to AT3-1. Gene tree estimation demonstrated that AT3-1 and AT3-2 form well supported, distinct clades. In C. rhomboideum, a non-pungent basal Capsicum species, we describe a recombination event between AT3-1 and AT3-2 that modified the putative active site of AT3-1, also resulting in a frame-shift mutation in the second exon. Our data suggest that duplication of the original AT3 representative, in combination with divergence and pseudogene degeneration, may account for the patterns of sequence divergence and punctuated amino acid conservation observed in this study. Further, an early rearrangement in C. rhomboidium could account for the absence of pungency in this Capsicum species.

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