ResearchPad - tomatoes https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Identification of a new R3 MYB type repressor and functional characterization of the members of the MBW transcriptional complex involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis in eggplant (<i>S</i>. <i>melongena</i> L.)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14583 Here we focus on the highly conserved MYB-bHLH-WD repeat (MBW) transcriptional complex model in eggplant, which is pivotal in the transcriptional regulation of the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway. Through a genome-wide approach performed on the recently released Eggplant Genome (cv. 67/3) previously identified, and reconfirmed by us, members belonging to the MBW complex (SmelANT1, SmelAN2, SmelJAF13, SmelAN1) were functionally characterized. Furthermore, a regulatory R3 MYB type repressor (SmelMYBL1), never reported before, was identified and characterized as well.

Through a qPCR approach, we revealed specific transcriptional patterns of candidate genes in different plant tissue/organs at two stages of fruit development. Two strategies were adopted for investigating the interactions of bHLH partners (SmelAN1, SmelJAF13) with MYB counterparts (SmelANT1, SmelAN2 and SmelMYBL1): Yeast Two Hybrid (Y2H) and Bimolecular Fluorescent Complementation (BiFC) in A. thaliana mesophylls protoplast. Agro-infiltration experiments highlighted that N. benthamiana leaves transiently expressing SmelANT1 and SmelAN2 showed an anthocyanin-pigmented phenotype, while their co-expression with SmelMYBL1 prevented anthocyanin accumulation. Our results suggest that SmelMYBL1 may inhibits the MBW complex via the competition with MYB activators for bHLH binding site, although this hypothesis requires further elucidation.

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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[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[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[LncRNA expression profile and ceRNA analysis in tomato during flowering]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6059f3d5eed0c4847cc4eb

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs that play essential regulatory roles in various developmental processes and stress responses. However, the functions of lncRNAs during the flowering period of tomato are largely unknown. To explore the lncRNA profiles and functions during flowering in tomato, we performed strand-specific paired-end RNA sequencing of tomato leaves, flowers and roots, with three biological replicates. We identified 10919 lncRNAs including 248 novel lncRNAs, of which 65 novel lncRNAs were significantly differentially expressed (DE) in the flowers, leaves, and roots. The Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analyses were carried out to identify the cis target gene of DE lncRNAs. The results showed that the lncRNAs might play an important role in the growth, development, and apoptosis of flowering tomato plant by regulating the formation of intima in flower tissues, binding to various molecules, influencing metabolic pathways, and inducing apoptosis. Moreover, we identified the interaction between 32, 78, and 397 kinds of miRNAs, lncRNAs, and mRNAs. The results suggest that the lncRNAs can regulate the expression of mRNA during flowering period in tomato by forming competitive endogenous RNA, and further regulate various biological metabolism pathways in tomato.

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<![CDATA[The bumblebee Bombus terrestris carries a primary inoculum of Tomato brown rugose fruit virus contributing to disease spread in tomatoes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c605a0ed5eed0c4847cc8a8

The bumblebee Bombus terrestris is a beneficial pollinator extensively used in tomato production. Our hypothesis was that bumblebee hives collected from a Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) infected tomato greenhouse, preserve an infectious primary inoculum. Placing a bumblebee hive collected from a ToBRFV contaminated greenhouse, in a glass-/net-house containing only uninfected healthy tomato plants, spread ToBRFV disease. Control uninfected tomato plants grown in a glass-/net-house devoid of any beehive remained uninfected. ToBRFV-contaminated hives carried infectious viral particles as demonstrated in a biological assay on laboratory test plants of virus extracted from hive components. Viral particles isolated from a contaminated hive had a typical tobamovirus morphology observed in transmission electron microscopy. Assembly of ToBRFV genome was achieved by next generation sequencing analysis of RNA adhering to the bumblebee body. Bumblebee dissection showed that ToBRFV was mostly present in the abdomen suggesting viral disease spread via buzz pollination. These results demonstrate that bumblebee hives collected from ToBRFV-contaminated greenhouses carry a primary inoculum that reflects the status of viruses in the growing area. This new mode of ToBRFV spread by pollinators opens an avenue for detection of viruses in a growing area through analysis of the pollinators, as well as emphasizes the need to reevaluate the appropriate disease management protocols.

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<![CDATA[Integrative network-centric approach reveals signaling pathways associated with plant resistance and susceptibility to Pseudomonas syringae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab846d5eed0c484027628

Plant protein kinases form redundant signaling pathways to perceive microbial pathogens and activate immunity. Bacterial pathogens repress cellular immune responses by secreting effectors, some of which bind and inhibit multiple host kinases. To understand how broadly bacterial effectors may bind protein kinases and the function of these kinase interactors, we first tested kinase–effector (K-E) interactions using the Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato–tomato pathosystem. We tested interactions between five individual effectors (HopAI1, AvrPto, HopA1, HopM1, and HopAF1) and 279 tomato kinases in tomato cells. Over half of the tested kinases interacted with at least one effector, and 48% of these kinases interacted with more than three effectors, suggesting a role in the defense. Next, we characterized the role of select multi-effector–interacting kinases and revealed their roles in basal resistance, effector-triggered immunity (ETI), or programmed cell death (PCD). The immune function of several of these kinases was only detectable in the presence of effectors, suggesting that these kinases are critical when particular cell functions are perturbed or that their role is typically masked. To visualize the kinase networks underlying the cellular responses, we derived signal-specific networks. A comparison of the networks revealed a limited overlap between ETI and basal immunity networks. In addition, the basal immune network complexity increased when exposed to some of the effectors. The networks were used to successfully predict the role of a new set of kinases in basal immunity. Our work indicates the complexity of the larger kinase-based defense network and demonstrates how virulence- and avirulence-associated bacterial effectors alter sectors of the defense network.

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<![CDATA[Comparative transcriptome analysis provides insights into dwarfism in cherry tomato (Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141ef4d5eed0c484d28ff7

Tomato, which can be eaten as a vegetable or fruit, is one of the most popular and nutritionally important crops around the world. Although most plants of the cherry tomato cultivar ‘Minichal’ have a normal phenotype, some plants have a stunted phenotype with reduced plant height, leaf size, and fruit size, as well as altered leaf and fruit shape. To investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying these differences, we generated RNA-seq libraries from pooled leaf samples of 10 normal (N) and 10 stunted (S) plants. Using the Illumina sequencing platform, we obtained a total of 115.45 million high-quality clean reads assembled into 35,216 genes and 35,216 transcripts. A total of 661 genes were differentially expressed between N and S plants. Of these, 420 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were up-regulated, and 221 DEGs were down-regulated. The RNA-seq data were validated using quantitative reverse-transcription PCR. Enrichment analysis of DEGs using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) showed that the enriched pathways were involved in steroid biosynthesis, homologous recombination, and mismatch repair. Among these, three genes related to steroid biosynthesis, including 3BETAHSD/D2, DIM and DWF5 were down-regulated in S compared to N. Of these, DIM and DWF5 are known to be involved in brassinosteroid biosynthesis. Our results thus provide a useful insight into dwarfism in cherry tomato, and offer a platform for evaluating related species.

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<![CDATA[Methyl benzoate exhibits insecticidal and repellent activities against Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1028e8d5eed0c48424871b

Methyl benzoate (MB) is a plant-derived volatile organic compound with insecticidal properties, but such activity has not been evaluated against the sweetpotato whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), a major crop pest. In this study, we tested methyl benzoate control efficacy on B. tabaci infecting tomato plants in a greenhouse, specifically measuring contact and fumigant toxicity, as well as repellent activity. For direct spray applications of 0% (control), 0.1%, 0.25%, 0.5%, 1%, 2% MB onto tomato leaves infested with adults of B. tabaci (< 5-d-old), 2% MB showed the highest corrected mortality (100%) at 24 h post-treatment. For residual toxicity in which the same MB solutions were sprayed onto tomato leaves and allowed to dry for 2 h before < 5-d-old adults were released, the 2% MB also showed the highest corrected mortality (100%) at 48 h post-treatment. The lethal median concentration (LC50) for eggs, fourth-instar nymphs, and adults were 0.3%, 0.2%, and 0.2%, respectively. In pot culture experiments, 1% MB concentration was found more effective at killing nymphs and preventing adult eclosion than all other concentrations, and gave 100 percent population reduction compared with the control. MB repelled adult whiteflies and caused 96.5% fumigant toxicity within 10 h post-treatment. Repellency and anti-oviposition rates against B. tabaci had median effective doses of 0.24% and 0.16%, respectively. Our results suggest that MB has strong potential as an environmentally friendly biopesticide for control of B. tabaci but field trials and further greenhouse studies are required to establish efficacy under more natural conditions.

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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[Genome-wide analysis of ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters in tomato]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b694664463d7e3867f4ad09

ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters are proteins that actively mediate the transport of a wide range of molecules, such as organic acids, metal ions, phytohormones and secondary metabolites. Therefore, ABC transporters must play indispensable roles in growth and development of tomato, including fruit development. Most ABC transporters have transmembrane domains (TMDs) and belong to the ABC protein family, which includes not only ABC transporters but also soluble ABC proteins lacking TMDs. In this study, we performed a genome-wide identification and expression analysis of genes encoding ABC proteins in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), which is a valuable horticultural crop and a model plant for studying fleshy fruits. In the tomato genome, a total of 154 genes putatively encoding ABC transporters, including 9 ABCAs, 29 ABCBs, 26 ABCCs, 2 ABCDs, 2 ABCEs, 6 ABCFs, 70 ABCGs and 10 ABCIs, were identified. Gene expression data from the eFP Browser and reverse transcription-semi-quantitative PCR analysis revealed their tissue-specific and development-specific expression profiles. This work suggests physiological roles of ABC transporters in tomato and provides fundamental information for future studies of ABC transporters not only in tomato but also in other Solanaceae species.

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<![CDATA[Screen of Non-annotated Small Secreted Proteins of Pseudomonas syringae Reveals a Virulence Factor That Inhibits Tomato Immune Proteases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e2ab0ee8fa60b69f3b

Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (PtoDC3000) is an extracellular model plant pathogen, yet its potential to produce secreted effectors that manipulate the apoplast has been under investigated. Here we identified 131 candidate small, secreted, non-annotated proteins from the PtoDC3000 genome, most of which are common to Pseudomonas species and potentially expressed during apoplastic colonization. We produced 43 of these proteins through a custom-made gateway-compatible expression system for extracellular bacterial proteins, and screened them for their ability to inhibit the secreted immune protease C14 of tomato using competitive activity-based protein profiling. This screen revealed C14-inhibiting protein-1 (Cip1), which contains motifs of the chagasin-like protease inhibitors. Cip1 mutants are less virulent on tomato, demonstrating the importance of this effector in apoplastic immunity. Cip1 also inhibits immune protease Pip1, which is known to suppress PtoDC3000 infection, but has a lower affinity for its close homolog Rcr3, explaining why this protein is not recognized in tomato plants carrying the Cf-2 resistance gene, which uses Rcr3 as a co-receptor to detect pathogen-derived protease inhibitors. Thus, this approach uncovered a protease inhibitor of P. syringae, indicating that also P. syringae secretes effectors that selectively target apoplastic host proteases of tomato, similar to tomato pathogenic fungi, oomycetes and nematodes.

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<![CDATA[High-Temperature-Induced Defects in Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Anther and Pollen Development Are Associated with Reduced Expression of B-Class Floral Patterning Genes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dfab0ee8fa60b68e44

Sexual reproduction is a critical process in the life-cycle of plants and very sensitive to environmental perturbations. To better understand the effect of high temperature on plant reproduction, we cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants in continuous mild heat. Under this condition we observed a simultaneous reduction in pollen viability and appearance of anthers with pistil-like structures, while in a more thermotolerant genotype, both traits were improved. Ectopic expression of two pistil-specific genes, TRANSMITTING TISSUE SPECIFIC and TOMATO AGAMOUS LIKE11, in the anthers confirmed that the anthers had gained partial pistil identity. Concomitantly, expression of the B-class genes TOMATO APETALA3, TOMATO MADS BOX GENE6 (TM6) and LePISTILLATA was reduced in anthers under continuous mild heat. Plants in which TM6 was partially silenced reacted hypersensitively to temperature elevation with regard to the frequency of pistilloid anthers, pollen viability and pollen quantity. Taken together, these results suggest that high-temperature-induced down-regulation of tomato B-class genes contributes to anther deformations and reduced male fertility. Improving our understanding of how temperature perturbs the molecular mechanisms of anther and pollen development will be important in the view of maintaining agricultural output under current climate changes.

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<![CDATA[Impedance Flow Cytometry: A Novel Technique in Pollen Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daabab0ee8fa60ba9539

Introduction

An efficient and reliable method to estimate plant cell viability, especially of pollen, is important for plant breeding research and plant production processes. Pollen quality is determined by classical methods, like staining techniques or in vitro pollen germination, each having disadvantages with respect to reliability, analysis speed, and species dependency. Analysing single cells based on their dielectric properties by impedance flow cytometry (IFC) has developed into a common method for cellular characterisation in microbiology and medicine during the last decade. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the potential of IFC in plant cell analysis with the focus on pollen.

Method

Developing and mature pollen grains were analysed during their passage through a microfluidic chip to which radio frequencies of 0.5 to 12 MHz were applied. The acquired data provided information about the developmental stage, viability, and germination capacity. The biological relevance of the acquired IFC data was confirmed by classical staining methods, inactivation controls, as well as pollen germination assays.

Results

Different stages of developing pollen, dead, viable and germinating pollen populations could be detected and quantified by IFC. Pollen viability analysis by classical FDA staining showed a high correlation with IFC data. In parallel, pollen with active germination potential could be discriminated from the dead and the viable but non-germinating population.

Conclusion

The presented data demonstrate that IFC is an efficient, label-free, reliable and non-destructive technique to analyse pollen quality in a species-independent manner.

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<![CDATA[Salicylic Acid Is Involved in the Basal Resistance of Tomato Plants to Citrus Exocortis Viroid and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f6ab0ee8fa60b70649

Tomato plants expressing the NahG transgene, which prevents accumulation of endogenous salicylic acid (SA), were used to study the importance of the SA signalling pathway in basal defence against Citrus Exocortis Viroid (CEVd) or Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV). The lack of SA accumulation in the CEVd- or TSWV-infected NahG tomato plants led to an early and dramatic disease phenotype, as compared to that observed in the corresponding parental Money Maker. Addition of acibenzolar-S-methyl, a benzothiadiazole (BTH), which activates the systemic acquired resistance pathway downstream of SA signalling, improves resistance of NahG tomato plants to CEVd and TSWV. CEVd and TSWV inoculation induced the accumulation of the hydroxycinnamic amides p-coumaroyltyramine, feruloyltyramine, caffeoylputrescine, and feruloylputrescine, and the defence related proteins PR1 and P23 in NahG plants earlier and with more intensity than in Money Maker plants, indicating that SA is not essential for the induction of these plant defence metabolites and proteins. In addition, NahG plants produced very high levels of ethylene upon CEVd or TSWV infection when compared with infected Money Maker plants, indicating that the absence of SA produced additional effects on other metabolic pathways. This is the first report to show that SA is an important component of basal resistance of tomato plants to both CEVd and TSWV, indicating that SA-dependent defence mechanisms play a key role in limiting the severity of symptoms in CEVd- and TSWV-infected NahG tomato plants.

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<![CDATA[Insight on Genes Affecting Tuber Development in Potato upon Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) Infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa5ab0ee8fa60ba756d

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L) is a natural host of Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) which can cause characteristic symptoms on developing plants including stunting phenotype and distortion of leaves and tubers. PSTVd is the type species of the family Pospiviroidae, and can replicate in the nucleus and move systemically throughout the plant. It is not well understood how the viroid can affect host genes for successful invasion and which genes show altered expression levels upon infection. Our primary focus in this study is the identification of genes which can affect tuber formation since viroid infection can strongly influence tuber development and especially tuber shape. In this study, we used a large-scale method to identify differentially expressed genes in potato. We have identified defence, stress and sugar metabolism related genes having altered expression levels upon infection. Additionally, hormone pathway related genes showed significant up- or down-regulation. DWARF1/DIMINUTO, Gibberellin 7-oxidase and BEL5 transcripts were identified and validated showing differential expression in viroid infected tissues. Our study suggests that gibberellin and brassinosteroid pathways have a possible role in tuber development upon PSTVd infection.

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<![CDATA[Surface Drainage and Mulching Drip-Irrigated Tomatoes Reduces Soil Salinity and Improves Fruit Yield]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db11ab0ee8fa60bcc218

A study on the effects of mulched drip irrigation combined with surface drainage on saline soil and tomatoes was conducted in coastal areas of eastern China, where the crops are subjected to excessive salt. The treatments contained three irrigation rates—200, 250 and 300 m3/ha—and three drain ditch depths—10, 20 and 30 cm. The contents of soil salinity, organic matter and available nutrient were observed, and the tomato plant height, stem diameter and leaf area index during different growth periods were recorded. Results showed that the total removal rate of salt from soil at a 0–1 m depth was 8.7–13.2% for the three drainages. Compared with the control, the treatments increased the content of available N (by 12.1–47.1%) and available K (by 5.0–21.9%) in the soils inside the mulch and decreased the content of available N (by 3.4–22.1%) and available K (by 7.5–16.4%) in the soils outside the mulch. For tomatoes, the plant height and the stem diameter was increased significantly by the irrigations but was not significantly affected by the drainages, and the leaf area index was increased by 0.39~1.76, 1.10~2.90 and 2.80~6.86 respectively in corresponding to the seedling, flowering and fruit-set stage. Moreover, yield-increase rates of 7.9–27.6% were found for the treatments compared to the control with a similar amount of applied water.

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<![CDATA[Adaptive Response of Listeria monocytogenes to Heat, Salinity and Low pH, after Habituation on Cherry Tomatoes and Lettuce Leaves]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabfab0ee8fa60bb0479

Pathogens found on fresh produce may encounter low temperatures, high acidity and limited nutrient availability. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of habituation of Listeria monocytogenes on cherry tomatoes or lettuce leaves on its subsequent response to inhibitory levels of acid, osmotic and heat stress. Habituation was performed by inoculating lettuce coupons, whole cherry tomatoes or tryptic soy broth (TSB) with a three-strains composite of L. monocytogenes, which were further incubated at 5°C for 24 hours or 5 days. Additionally, cells grown overnight in TSB supplemented with 0.6% yeast extract (TSBYE) at 30°C were used as control cells. Following habituation, L. monocytogenes cells were harvested and exposed to: (i) pH 3.5 adjusted with lactic acid, acetic acid or hydrochloric acid (HCl), and pH 1.5 (HCl) for 6 h; (ii) 20% NaCl and (iii) 60°C for 150 s. Results showed that tomato-habituated L. monocytogenes cells were more tolerant (P < 0.05) to acid or osmotic stress than those habituated on lettuce, and habituation on both foods resulted in more stress resistant cells than prior growth in TSB. On the contrary, the highest resistance to heat stress (P < 0.05) was exhibited by the lettuce-habituated L. monocytogenes cells followed by TSB-grown cells at 5°C for 24 h, whereas tomato-habituated cells were highly sensitized. Prolonged starvation on fresh produce (5 days vs. 24 h) increased resistance to osmotic and acid stress, but reduced thermotolerance, regardless of the pre-exposure environment (i.e., tomatoes, lettuce or TSB). These results indicate that L. monocytogenes cells habituated on fresh produce at low temperatures might acquire resistance to subsequent antimicrobial treatments raising important food safety implications.

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<![CDATA[Characterizing nutrient uptake kinetics for efficient crop production during Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme Alef. growth in a closed indoor hydroponic system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf66c

A balanced nutrient supply is essential for the healthy growth of plants in hydroponic systems. However, the commonly used electrical conductivity (EC)-based nutrient control for plant cultivation can provide amounts of nutrients that are excessive or inadequate for proper plant growth. In this study, we investigated the kinetics of major and minor nutrient uptake in a nutrient solution during the growth of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme Alef.) in a closed hydroponic system. The concentrations of major and minor ions in the nutrient solution were determined by various analytical methods including inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), ion chromatography (IC), ion specific electrodes, and/or colorimetric methods. The concentrations of the individual nutrient ions were compared with changes in the EC. The EC of the nutrient solution varied according to the different growth stages of tomato plants. Variation in the concentrations of NO3, SO42−, Mg2+, Ca2+, and K+ was similar to the EC variation. However, in the cases of PO43−, Na+, Cl, dissolved Fe and Mn, Cu2+, and Zn2+, variation did not correspond with that of EC. These ions were generally depleted (to 0 mg L−1) during tomato growth, suggesting that these specific ions should be monitored individually and their supply increased. Nutrient uptake rates of major ions increased gradually at different growth stages until harvest (from < 3 mg L−1 d−1 to > 15 mg L−1 d−1). Saturation indices determined by MINEQL+ simulation and a mineral precipitation experiment demonstrated the potential for amorphous calcium phosphate precipitation, which may facilitate the abiotic adsorptive removal of dissolved Fe, dissolved Mn, Cu2+, and Zn2+.

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<![CDATA[Gene Expression and Silencing Studies in Phytophthora infestans Reveal Infection-Specific Nutrient Transporters and a Role for the Nitrate Reductase Pathway in Plant Pathogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d5ab0ee8fa60b65af8

To help learn how phytopathogens feed from their hosts, genes for nutrient transporters from the hemibiotrophic potato and tomato pest Phytophthora infestans were annotated. This identified 453 genes from 19 families. Comparisons with a necrotrophic oomycete, Pythium ultimum var. ultimum, and a hemibiotrophic fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae, revealed diversity in the size of some families although a similar fraction of genes encoded transporters. RNA-seq of infected potato tubers, tomato leaves, and several artificial media revealed that 56 and 207 transporters from P. infestans were significantly up- or down-regulated, respectively, during early infection timepoints of leaves or tubers versus media. About 17 were up-regulated >4-fold in both leaves and tubers compared to media and expressed primarily in the biotrophic stage. The transcription pattern of many genes was host-organ specific. For example, the mRNA level of a nitrate transporter (NRT) was about 100-fold higher during mid-infection in leaves, which are nitrate-rich, than in tubers and three types of artificial media, which are nitrate-poor. The NRT gene is physically linked with genes encoding nitrate reductase (NR) and nitrite reductase (NiR), which mobilize nitrate into ammonium and amino acids. All three genes were coregulated. For example, the three genes were expressed primarily at mid-stage infection timepoints in both potato and tomato leaves, but showed little expression in potato tubers. Transformants down-regulated for all three genes were generated by DNA-directed RNAi, with silencing spreading from the NR target to the flanking NRT and NiR genes. The silenced strains were nonpathogenic on leaves but colonized tubers. We propose that the nitrate assimilation genes play roles both in obtaining nitrogen for amino acid biosynthesis and protecting P. infestans from natural or fertilization-induced nitrate and nitrite toxicity.

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