ResearchPad - seeds https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Production location of the gelling agent Phytagel has a significant impact on <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i> seedling phenotypic analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14611 Recently, it was found that 1% Phytagel plates used to conduct Arabidopsis thaliana seedling phenotypic analysis no longer reproduced previously published results. This Phytagel, which is produced in China (Phytagel C), has replace American-made Phytagel (Phytagel), which is no longer commercially available. In this study, we present the impact of Phytagel produced in the United States vs. China on seedling phenotypic analysis. As a part of this study, an alternative gelling agent has been identified that is capable of reproducing previously published seedling morphometrics.ResultsPhytagel and Phytagel C were investigated based on their ability to reproduce the subtle phenotype of the sob3-4 esc-8 double mutant. Fluence-rate-response analysis of seedlings grown on 1% Phytagel C plates failed to replicate the sob3-4 esc-8 subtle phenotype seen on 1% Phytagel. Furthermore, root penetrance analysis showed a significant difference between sob3-4 esc-8 seedlings grown on 1% Phytagel and 1% Phytagel C. It was also found that 1% Phytagel C was significantly harder than 1% Phytagel. As a replacement for Phytagel C, Gellan was tested. 1% Gellan was able to reproduce the subtle phenotype of sob3-4 esc-8. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in root penetration of the wild type or sob3-4 esc-8 seedlings between 1% Phytagel and 1% Gellan. This may be due to the significant reduction in hardness in 1% Gellan plates compared to 1% Phytagel plates. Finally, we tested additional concentrations of Gellan and found that seedlings on 0.6% Gellan looked more uniform while also being able to reproduce previously published results.ConclusionsPhytagel has been the standard gelling agent for several studies involving the characterization of subtle seedling phenotypes. After production was moved to China, Phytagel C was no longer capable of reproducing these previously published results. An alternative gelling agent, Gellan, was able to reproduce previously published seedling phenotypes at both 1% and 0.6% concentrations. The information provided in this manuscript is beneficial to the scientific community as whole, specifically phenomics labs, as it details key problematic differences between gelling agents that should be performing identically (Phytagel and Phytagel C). ]]> <![CDATA[Impact of fruit orientation and pelleting material on water uptake and germination performance in artificial substrate for sugar beet]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14564 Water uptake into seeds is a fundamental prerequisite of germination and commonly influenced by commercial seed enhancement technologies. The effect of fruit orientation and contrasting pelleting materials on germination and biological performance of sugar beet was assessed. The results indicated there was orientation dependent fruit shrinkage of 37% for the operculum side supplied by moisture compared to 4% for the basal pore side. The expansion rate of 5% compared to the original size, which was also observed for non-shrinking seeds, indicated this was a temporary effect. This behaviour has importance for the application pelleting materials to seeds. Pellets composed of materials exhibiting low levels of swelling act as a water distribution layer which increased germination rates. Careful selection of pelleting material is crucial as it has direct implications on germination speed and subsequent establishment rates.

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<![CDATA[Seed germination of <i>Bidens subalternans</i> DC. exposed to different environmental factors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14560 Bidens subalternans DC. is a weed found in several tropical countries such as Brazil. Large number of produced seeds and easy dispersion favor the colonization of agricultural fields by this species. To know the factors that affect the germination of B. subalternans can help to understand its ecology, permitting to develop control strategies. Laboratory experiments were carried out to evaluate how the temperature, photoperiod, burial depth, water deficit, and salt stress affect the seed germination of B. subalternans. The means of the treatments of each experiment were shown in scatter plots with the bars indicating the least significant difference (LSD, p≤0.05). The results showed a germination percentage above 77% for a wide alternating temperature (15/20 C to 30/35 C night/day). The highest germination and uniformity occurred at 25/30°C night/day. Only 11% of the seeds germinated at a temperature of 35/40°C night/day. The deeper burial of seeds reduced their germination. Only 17% of the seeds germinated in darkness conditions. However, in constant light and 12 hours of light/dark conditions the germination percentage was over 96%, confirming the light dependence of the B. subalternans during germination. In constant light and 12 hours of light/dark, the germination was over 96%. B. subalternans seeds showed sensitivity to water and salt stress, and their germination was inhibited under a water potential of -0.4 MPa and 100.09 mM, respectively. The sensitivity of B. subalternans seeds to high temperatures, water stress, and salt stress explains the high frequency of this weed in south-central Brazil. The light and sowing depth showed that burial of seeds by mechanical control is a strategy to reduce the high infestation of B. subalternans.

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<![CDATA[Uptake and speciation of zinc in edible plants grown in smelter contaminated soils]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N21b4cc8f-fdc5-4198-8cfa-2868c1971919

Heavy metal accumulation in edible plants grown in contaminated soils poses a major environmental risk to humans and grazing animals. This study focused on the concentration and speciation of Zn in different edible plants grown in soils contaminated with smelter wastes (Spelter, WV, USA) containing high levels of the metals Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd. Their accumulation was examined in different parts (roots, stem, and leaves) of plants and as a function of growth stage (dry seed, sprouting seed, cotyledon, and leaves) in the root vegetables radish, the leafy vegetable spinach and the legume clover. Although the accumulation of metals varied significantly with plant species, the average metal concentrations were [Zn] > [Pb] > [Cu] > [Cd]. Metal uptake studies were complemented with bulk and micro X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) at Zn K-edge and micro X-ray fluorescence (μXRF) measurements to evaluate the speciation and distribution of Zn in these plant species. Dynamic interplay between the histidine and malate complexation of Zn was observed in all plant species. XRF mapping of spinach leaves at micron spatial resolution demonstrated the accumulation of Zn in vacuoles and leaf tips. Radish root showed accumulation of Zn in root hairs, likely as ZnS nanoparticles. At locations of high Zn concentration in spinach leaves, μXANES suggests Zn complexation with histidine, as opposed to malate in the bulk leaf. These findings shed new light on the dynamic nature of Zn speciation in plants.

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<![CDATA[Mutations on ent-kaurene oxidase 1 encoding gene attenuate its enzyme activity of catalyzing the reaction from ent-kaurene to ent-kaurenoic acid and lead to delayed germination in rice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3fbe67d9-408b-4f07-a6d8-c659dfb628bd

Rice seed germination is a critical step that determines its entire life circle, with seeds failing to germinate or pre-harvest sprouting both reduce grain yield. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying this complex biological event remain unclear. Previously, gibberellin has been shown to promote seed germination. In this study, a delayed seed germination rice mutant was obtained through screening of the EMS induced mutants. Besides of delayed germination, it also shows semi-dwarfism phenotype, which could be recovered by exogenous GA. Through re-sequencing on the mutant, wild-type and their F2 populations, we identified two continuous mutated sites on ent-kaurene oxidase 1 (OsKO1) gene, which result in the conversion from Thr to Met in the cytochrome P450 domain. Genetic complementary analysis and enzyme assay verified that the mutations in OsKO1 gene block the biosynthesis of GA and result in the defect phenotypes. Further analyses proved that OsKO1 could catalyze the reaction from ent-kaurene into ent-kaurenoic acid in GA biosynthesis mainly at seed germination and seedling stages, and the mutations decrease its activity to catalyze the step from ent-kaurenol to ent-kaurenoic acid in this reaction. Transcriptomic and proteomic data indicate that the defect on GA biosynthesis decreases its ability to mobilize starch and attenuate ABA signaling, therefore delay the germination process. The results provide some new insights into both GA biosynthesis and seed germination regulatory pathway in rice.

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<![CDATA[Combining biophysical parameters, spectral indices and multivariate hyperspectral models for estimating yield and water productivity of spring wheat across different agronomic practices]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897762d5eed0c4847d2b85

Manipulating plant densities under different irrigation rates can have a significant impact on grain yield and water use efficiency by exerting positive or negative effects on ET. Whereas traditional spectral reflectance indices (SRIs) have been used to assess biophysical parameters and yield, the potential of multivariate models has little been investigated to estimate these parameters under multiple agronomic practices. Therefore, both simple indices and multivariate models (partial least square regression (PLSR) and support vector machines (SVR)) obtained from hyperspectral reflectance data were compared for their applicability for assessing the biophysical parameters in a field experiment involving different combinations of three irrigation rates (1.00, 0.75, and 0.50 ET) and five plant densities (D1: 150, D2: 250, D3: 350, D4: 450, and D5: 550 seeds m-2) in order to improve productivity and water use efficiency of wheat. Results show that the highest values for green leaf area, aboveground biomass, and grain yield were obtained from the combination of D3 or D4 with 1.00 ET, while the combination of 0.75 ET and D3 was the best treatment for achieving the highest values for water use efficiency. Wheat yield response factor (ky) was acceptable when the 0.75 ET was combined with D2, D3, or D4 or when the 0.50 ET was combined with D2 or D3, as the ky values of these combinations were less than or around one. The production function indicated that about 75% grain yield variation could be attributed to the variation in seasonal ET. Results also show that the performance of the SRIs fluctuated when regressions were analyzed for each irrigation rate or plant density specifically, or when the data of all irrigation rates or plant densities were combined. Most of the SRIs failed to assess biophysical parameters under specific irrigation rates and some specific plant densities, but performance improved substantially for combined data of irrigation rates and some specific plant densities. PLSR and SVR produced more accurate estimations of biophysical parameters than SRIs under specific irrigation rates and plant densities. In conclusion, hyperspectral data are useful for predicting and monitoring yield and water productivity of spring wheat across multiple agronomic practices.

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<![CDATA[Biological soil crusts inhibit seed germination in a temperate pine barren ecosystem]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe25d5eed0c484e5b5ce

Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are known to affect plants’ germination and seedling establishment in arid ecosystems, but their ecological role in more mesic climates is not so well-known. We tested the effects of moss-crusted versus uncrusted soils on seed germination dynamics in a temperate pine barren ecosystem. We conducted a 35-day laboratory assay of seed germination on moss-crusted soils versus uncrusted soils from the Albany (NY) Pine Bush Preserve. We compared total seed germination and the number of days to 50% of total germination of two herbaceous perennial forb species in each soil type. Three and five times more seeds germinated on uncrusted soil than on crusted soil for bush clover (Lespedeza capitata) and wild lupine (Lupinus perennis), respectively. Seeds of both species also germinated approximately 10 days earlier on uncrusted soil than on crusted soil. This study, and others in similar habitats, show that BSCs in mesic climates can influence germination and other early life-history stages of plants. We hope that further study of the interactions between BSCs and vascular plants in mesic climates will contribute to our understanding of the ecology of BSCs outside the arid and semiarid climates where they are more extensively studied.

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<![CDATA[Effects of the electrical conductivity of a soilless culture system on gamma linolenic acid levels in borage seed oil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac6dd5eed0c484d0875e

Borage is a well-known plant of great importance in human nutrition and health. Expanding knowledge of particular plants that have anti-cancer products is a global concern. There is substantial information regarding the benefits, presence and extraction of gamma linolenic acid (GLA; 18:3n6) in different plants around the world, especially in borage seeds. However, there is little information concerning the effects of the salinity of the nutrient solution on the growth and presence of GLA in borage seeds. The objective of this work was to determine the optimal salinity of the nutrient solution for obtaining GLA in soilless cultivation systems. Borage plants were grown in coconut fibre and provided three treatments of nutrient solution of 2.20, 3.35 and 4.50 dS m-1, increasing solution salinity with the standard nutrient solution of concentrated macronutrients as a reference. Vegetative growth, seed production and GLA ratio were measured. The results of vegetative development and GLA production doubled and tripled with the increase in salinity of the nutrient solution, respectively.

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<![CDATA[An invasive legume increases perennial grass biomass: An indirect pathway for plant community change]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e68ed5eed0c484ef3703

The presence of native grasses in communities can suppress native forbs through competition and indirectly benefit these forbs by suppressing the invasion of highly competitive exotic species. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to examine the potential of direct and indirect interactions to influence the aboveground biomass of four native forb species in the presence of the native perennial grass Schizachyrium scoparium and exotic invasive Lespedeza cuneata. We examined patterns of growth for the invasive legume, the perennial grass, and four native species in four scenarios: 1) native species grown with the grass, 2) native species grown with the legume, 3) native species grown with both the grass and legume together, and 4) native species grown alone. Schizachyrium scoparium significantly decreased biomass of all forb species (p<0.05). In contrast, L. cuneata alone only significantly affected biomass of Asclepias tuberosa; L. cuneata increased the biomass of A. tuberosa only when the grass was present. When S. scoparium and L. cuneata were grown together, L. cuneata had significantly lower biomass (p = 0.007) and S. scoparium had significantly greater biomass (p = 0.002) than when each grew alone. These reciprocal effects suggest a potential pathway by which L. cuneata could alter forb diversity in grassland communities In this scenario, L. cuneata facilitates grass growth and competition with other natives. Our results emphasize the importance of monitoring interactions between exotic invasive plant species and dominant native species in grassland communities to understand pathways of plant community change.

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<![CDATA[Fine mapping of the major QTL for seed coat color in Brassica rapa var. Yellow Sarson by use of NIL populations and transcriptome sequencing for identification of the candidate genes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e930d5eed0c48496f960

Yellow seed is a desirable trait in Brassica oilseed crops. The B. rapa var. Yellow Sarson carry unique yellow seed color genes which are not only important for the development of yellow-seeded oilseed B. rapa cultivars but this variant can also be used to develop yellow-seeded B. napus. In this study, we developed near-isogenic lines (NILs) of Yellow Sarson for the major seed coat color QTL SCA9-2 of the chromosome A9 and used the NILs to fine map this QTL region and to identify the candidate genes through linkage mapping and transcriptome sequencing of the developing seeds. From the 18.4 to 22.79 Mb region of SCA9-2, six SSR markers showing 0.63 to 5.65% recombination were developed through linkage analysis and physical mapping. A total of 55 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in the SCA9-2 region through transcriptome analysis; these included three transcription factors, Bra028039 (NAC), Bra023223 (C2H2 type zinc finger), Bra032362 (TIFY), and several other genes which encode unknown or nucleic acid binding protein; these genes might be the candidates and involved in the regulation of seed coat color in the materials used in this study. Several biosynthetic pathways, including the flavonoid, phenylpropanoid and suberin biosynthetic pathways were significantly enriched through GO and KEGG enrichment analysis of the DEGs. This is the first comprehensive study to understand the yellow seed trait of Yellow Sarson through employing linkage mapping and global transcriptome analysis approaches.

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<![CDATA[Rainfall affects leaching of pre-emergent herbicide from wheat residue into the soil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df35fd5eed0c4845811ca

No-tillage with stubble retention is a widely used cropping system for its conservation and yield benefits. The no-tillage farming system in southern Australia relies heavily on herbicides for weed management, but heavy crop residues may have a negative impact on the activity of pre-emergent herbicides applied. Any herbicide intercepted by the crop residue may not reach the soil surface without timely rainfall and may dissipate due to volatilisation, photo-degradation and/or microbial activity. Two experiments were carried out to investigate the interception of prosulfocarb, pyroxasulfone, and trifluralin herbicides by wheat residue and retention following simulated rainfall. For the first experiment, there were four simulated rainfall amounts (0, 5, 10, and 20 mm), three intensities (5, 10, and 20 mm h–1) and five application times (immediately after spraying herbicide, 6 h, 1, 7, and 14 days after spraying). In the second experiment, 20 mm of rainfall was applied at 10 mm h–1 in either 4 × 5 mm rainfall events over two days, 2 × 10 mm rainfall events over one day, or a single 20 mm rainfall event, with a no-rainfall control treatment. Bioassays were used to assess the herbicide activity/availability in the soil and remaining on the residue, using cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) as indicator plants. At higher rainfall amounts, most of the herbicide leached from the stubble into the soil soon after application; more so with rain in one event rather than multiple events. However, the intensity of rainfall had no effect. Pyroxasulfone leached easily from the residue to the soil to potentially offer good weed control, prosulfocarb had an intermediary leaching effect, while only a small amount of trifluralin leached from stubble after rain. Therefore, in no-tillage situations with large amounts of crop residue present on the soil surface, herbicides that leach easily from the residue should be considered, like pyroxasulfone.

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<![CDATA[Determination of absorption dose in chemical mutagenesis in plants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c46658ad5eed0c484519ad7

Chemical mutagenesis is a useful tool for inducing mutations in plants. Seeds are often used as the material for chemical mutagenesis. The biological effect of a chemical mutagen on seeds is determined by absorption dose (the product of mutagen concentration and acting time, which starts after the mutagen is absorbed by the seeds). In practice, however, the concept of exposure dose (the product of mutagen concentration and treating time) is usually used instead because the time for absorbing mutagen is unknown. In this study, we conducted an experiment using ethyl methane sulphonate (EMS) to treat cauliflower seeds, in which five EMS concentrations (0%, 0.5%, 1.0%, 1.5% and 2.0%), three treating time lengths (4 h, 6 h and 8 h) and two pretreatments (non-presoaking and presoaking of seeds for 2 h) were set. We obtained a well-fitted nonlinear regression model for the relationship between seedling survival rate and the EMS treatment, and its marginal models for the two pretreatments. Based on the models, we determined the EMS absorption doses under the two different pretreatments and identified their 50% lethality dose (LD50). We found that presoaking could delay EMS absorption and therefore reduce the injury caused by EMS within a given treating time, but could hardly change the biological effect of EMS after it is absorbed. The conclusions about absorption dose and presoaking effect obtained in this study might be generally applicable to plant chemical mutagenesis in principle.

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<![CDATA[A cation diffusion facilitator, GmCDF1, negatively regulates salt tolerance in soybean]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d00f4d5eed0c48403708b

Salt stress is one of the major abiotic factors that affect the metabolism, growth and development of plants, and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] germination is sensitive to salt stress. Thus, to ensure the successful establishment and productivity of soybeans in saline soil, the genetic mechanisms of salt tolerance at the soybean germination stage need to be explored. In this study, a population of 184 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) was utilized to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs) related to salt tolerance. A major QTL related to salt tolerance at the soybean germination stage named qST-8 was closely linked with the marker Sat_162 and detected on chromosome 8. Interestingly, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) significantly associated with salt tolerance in the same genetic region on chromosome 8. Resequencing, bioinformatics and gene expression analyses were implemented to identify the candidate gene Glyma.08g102000, which belongs to the cation diffusion facilitator (CDF) family and was named GmCDF1. Overexpression and RNA interference of GmCDF1 in soybean hairy roots resulted in increased sensitivity and tolerance to salt stress, respectively. This report provides the first demonstration that GmCDF1 negatively regulates salt tolerance by maintaining K+-Na+ homeostasis in soybean. In addition, GmCDF1 affected the expression of two ion homeostasis-associated genes, salt overly sensitive 1 (GmSOS1) and Na+/H+ exchanger 1 (GmNHX1), in transgenic hairy roots. Moreover, a haplotype analysis detected ten haplotypes of GmCDF1 in 31 soybean genotypes. A candidate-gene association analysis showed that two SNPs in GmCDF1 were significantly associated with salt tolerance and that Hap1 was more sensitive to salt stress than Hap2. The results demonstrated that the expression level of GmCDF1 was negatively correlated with salt tolerance in the 31 soybean accessions (r = -0.56, P < 0.01). Taken together, these results not only indicate that GmCDF1 plays a negative role in soybean salt tolerance but also help elucidate the molecular mechanisms of salt tolerance and accelerate the breeding of salt-tolerant soybean.

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<![CDATA[Characterization and performance of castor bean lineages and parents at the UFRB germplasm bank]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d0120d5eed0c48403885a

The objective of this work was to characterize 203 lineages and five parents of Ricinus communis L. from the germplasm bank at the Federal University of Recôncavo da Bahia (UFRB), which was established by the Genetic Improvement and Biotechnology Program (NBIO) at the Center for Agrarian, Environmental and Biological Sciences. The study used 35 morpho-agronomic descriptors, proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, and 12 quantitative descriptors suggested by NBIO. The experiment was conducted in a randomized block design, composed of four blocks, in the experimental field at UFRB in 2014. The frequency and entropy level of the qualitative descriptors were estimated with the Renyi procedure, and an analysis of variance was used for the quantitative descriptors. The analyses were made with the statistical program R. Of the qualitative morpho-agronomic descriptors evaluated, 22.86% had a high level of entropy (above 1.0), and all 12 quantitative descriptors showed significant differences. This indicates genetic variability in the germplasm bank and a satisfactory performance for most of the descriptors evaluated, as well as the possibility of direct and indirect use of the lineages and parents in genetic improvement programs of the species.

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<![CDATA[RSM1, an Arabidopsis MYB protein, interacts with HY5/HYH to modulate seed germination and seedling development in response to abscisic acid and salinity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c23f311d5eed0c48404a31b

MYB transcription factors are involved in many biological processes, including metabolism, development and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. RADIALIS-LIKE SANT/MYB 1 (RSM1) belongs to a MYB-related subfamily, and previous transcriptome analysis suggests that RSM1 may play roles in plant development, stress responses and plant hormone signaling. However, the molecular mechanisms of RSM1 action in response to abiotic stresses remain obscure. We show that down-regulation or up-regulation of RSM1 expression alters the sensitivity of seed germination and cotyledon greening to abscisic acid (ABA), NaCl and mannitol in Arabidopsis. The expression of RSM1 is dynamically regulated by ABA and NaCl. Transcription factors ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL 5 (HY5) and HY5 HOMOLOG (HYH) regulate RSM1 expression via binding to the RSM1 promoter. Genetic analyses reveal that RSM1 mediates multiple functions of HY5 in responses of seed germination, post-germination development to ABA and abiotic stresses, and seedling tolerance to salinity. Pull-down and BiFC assays show that RSM1 interacts with HY5/HYH in vitro and in vivo. RSM1 and HY5/HYH may function as a regulatory module in responses to ABA and abiotic stresses. RSM1 binds to the promoter of ABA INSENSITIVE 5 (ABI5), thereby regulating its expression, while RSM1 interaction also stimulates HY5 binding to the ABI5 promoter. However, no evidence was found in the dual-luciferase transient expression assay to support that RSM enhances the activation of ABI5 expression by HY. In summary, HY5/HYH and RSM1 may converge on the ABI5 promoter and independently or somehow dependently regulate ABI5 expression and ABI5-downstream ABA and abiotic stress-responsive genes, thereby improving the adaption of plants to the environment.

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<![CDATA[Trait expression and signatures of adaptation in response to nitrogen addition in the common wetland plant Juncus effusus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bd1d5eed0c48491e7f7

Wetland ecosystems are known to mitigate high nutrient loadings and thus can improve water quality and prevent potential biodiversity loss caused by eutrophication. Plant traits affect wetland processes directly through effects on accumulation or metabolization of substances, and indirectly by affecting microbial transformation processes in the soil. Understanding the causes and consequences of intraspecific variation in plant functional traits and associated ecosystem processes can aid applied ecological approaches such as wetland restoration and construction. Here we investigated molecular variation and phenotypic variation in response to three levels of nitrogen availability for a regional set of populations of the common wetland plant Juncus effusus. We asked whether trait expression reveals signatures of adaptive differentiation by comparing genetic differentiation in quantitative traits and neutral molecular markers (QSTFST comparisons) and relating trait variation to soil conditions of the plant’s origin. Molecular analyses showed that samples clustered into three very distinct genetic lineages with strong population differentiation within and among lineages. Differentiation for quantitative traits was substantial but did not exceed neutral expectations when compared across treatments or for each treatment and lineage separately. However, variation in trait expression could be explained by local soil environmental conditions of sample origin, e.g. for aboveground carbon-to-nitrogen (C:N) ratios, suggesting adaptive differentiation to contribute to trait expression even at regional level.

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<![CDATA[Morphology and genetics of Lythrum salicaria from latitudinal gradients of the Northern Hemisphere grown in cold and hot common gardens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b7c1d5eed0c484490bd7

The aim of this project was to compare the phenotypic responses of global populations of Lythrum salicaria in cold/dry and hot/humid environments to determine if phenotypic plasticity varied between the native and invasive ranges, and secondarily if this variation was linked to genetic diversity. Common garden studies were conducted in Třeboň, Czech Republic, and Lafayette, Louisiana, USA (cold/dry vs. hot/humid garden, respectively), using populations from latitudinal gradients in Eurasia and North America. Lythrum salicaria seeds collected from the same maternal plants across these latitudinal gradients were germinated and grown in Třeboň and Lafayette. Tissue masses (above-, below-ground, inflorescence and total) of these individuals were assessed at the end of each growing season (2006–2008). Worldwide field measurements of L. salicaria height were made by volunteers from 2004–2016. Biomass and height data were analyzed using the General Linear Model framework and multivariate techniques. Molecular markers (amplified fragment length polymorphisms) of individuals used in the common garden study were analyzed using traditional genetic diversity metrics and Bayesian clustering algorithms in STRUCTURE. Reaction norms were developed from differences in maternal plant responses in Třeboň versus Lafayette. In the common garden studies, stem/leaf, root and total biomass generally were highest for individuals grown from seeds collected in the southern part of the range in the cold garden, particularly by the third year of the study. In contrast, inflorescence biomass in the cold garden was higher by the third year in individuals from mid-latitude populations. As measured by volunteers, plants were taller in Eurasia than in North America moving from north to south with the pattern switching southward of 40°N latitude. Genetic diversity was similar between native and non-native invasive populations regardless of geographical origin of the seed and was not significantly different in the GLM Select model (p > 0.05). Reaction norm slopes showed that Eurasia had larger values than North America for reaction norms for above-ground and total biomass. Plants from the seeds of mother plants from Turkey had wide variation in total biomass when grown in Třeboň versus Lafayette; this variation in response within certain populations may have contributed to the lack of population-level differences in plasticity. These results indicate no loss of genetic diversity for L. salicaria during its North American invasion, nor reduction in plastic tissue allocation responses to a varying environment, which may help explain some of its invasive qualities and which could be of adaptive value under changing future environments.

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<![CDATA[Reproductive trade-offs maintain bract color polymorphism in Scarlet Indian paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3667c9d5eed0c4841a6427

Populations of scarlet Indian paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea) in the Midwestern United States exhibit a bract color polymorphism, with each population having predominantly yellow or scarlet bracts. We investigated a possible mechanism for this maintenance of bract color polymorphism in C. coccinea by conducting hand-pollination experiments in two nearby populations, one predominantly yellow and one predominantly scarlet. The hand-pollination treatments were either self-pollination or cross pollination using pollen from within and between populations. Both color morphs were used as pollen donors for the within and between crosses. We found that both color morphs of C. coccinea were self-compatible. When the scarlet morph was the maternal plant it had higher seed set. When pollinators were excluded, the yellow morph outperformed the scarlet morph in fruit set and seed set. The apparent trade-offs between a higher reproductive output in the scarlet morph and a reproductive assurance advantage in the yellow morph may explain the maintenance of the polymorphism in C. coccinea. While many previous studies have provided evidence for pollinator preference playing a role in floral color polymorphism, the results of the current study indicate that reproductive assurance, which would be important for fluctuations in pollinator abundance or colonizing new areas, may act as a selective agent to maintain such polymorphisms.

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<![CDATA[Identification of barley powdery mildew resistances in gene bank accessions and the use of gene diversity for verifying seed purity and authenticity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141ec3d5eed0c484d2821a

Human activities including those in crop gene banks are subject to errors, especially during seed multiplication and maintenance of seed germination. Therefore, the most serious problem of gene banks is authenticity of the accessions and their genotypic purity. There are many methods for determining the identity of varieties, but comparisons between current data and past records are not easy since the latter are often missing. Breeding barley resistant to powdery mildew caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei (Bgh) was traditionally based on incorporating major genes into new varieties and the results have been published. Our goal was to identify resistance genes to powdery mildew in accessions of the Czech spring barley core collection and compare these data with earlier information to establish the authenticity of the accessions. Two hundred and twenty-three accessions of the collection including 665 single plant progenies were tested. Sixty-four selected reference isolates of Bgh representing the world diversity of the pathogen were used for resistance tests. Twenty-two known resistance genes were postulated either separately or in combinations. In the collection, 151 homogeneous accessions were found, but the resistances of nine of them were inconsistent with published data and in 12 accessions their authenticity is doubtful. The remaining 72 accessions were heterogeneous and comprised 176 resistance genotypes, 54 of which were probably mechanical admixtures of other varieties. There are several pathogens of cereals, e.g. rusts and mildews, against which many resistance genes in host crops have also been exploited. Knowledge of these resistances can assist in maintaining pure and genuine stocks in gene banks. Seed purity and the authenticity of accessions can subsequently be checked with more advanced methods.

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<![CDATA[Effective chemical protection against the maize late wilt causal agent, Harpophora maydis, in the field]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c22a0bed5eed0c4849ebffa

Late wilt, a disease severely affecting maize fields throughout Israel, is characterized by relatively rapid wilting of maize plants before tasseling and until shortly before maturity. The disease’s causal agent is the fungus Harpophora maydis, a soil-borne and seed-borne pathogen, which is currently controlled using reduced sensitivity maize cultivars. In a former study, we showed that Azoxystrobin (AS) injected into a drip irrigation line assigned for each row can suppress H. maydis in the field and that AS seed coating can provide an additional layer of protection. In the present study, we examine a more cost-effective protective treatment using this fungicide with Difenoconazole mixture (AS+DC), or Fluazinam, or Fluopyram and Trifloxystrobin mixture, or Prothioconazole and Tebuconazole mixture in combined treatment of seed coating and a drip irrigation line for two coupling rows. A recently developed Real-Time PCR method revealed that protecting the plants using AS+DC seed coating alone managed to delay pathogen DNA spread in the maize tissues, in the early stages of the growth season (up to the age of 50 days from sowing), but was less effective in protecting the crops later. AS+DC seed coating combined with drip irrigation using AS+DC was the most successful treatment, and in the double-row cultivation, it reduced fungal DNA in the host tissues to near zero levels. This treatment minimized the development of wilt symptoms by 41% and recovered cob yield by a factor of 1.6 (to the level common in healthy fields). Moreover, the yield classified as A class (cob weight of more than 250 g) increased from 58% to 75% in this treatment. This successful treatment against H. maydis in Israel can now be applied in vast areas to protect sensitive maize cultivars against maize late wilt disease.

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