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Plants, Volume 11, Issue 1 (January-1 2022) – 143 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Plants often live in adverse environmental conditions and are exposed to various stresses, such as heat, cold, heavy metals, salt, radiation, poor lighting, nutrient deficiency, drought, or flooding. To adapt to unfavorable environments, plants have evolved specialized molecular mechanisms that serve to balance the trade-off between abiotic stress responses and growth. These mechanisms enable plants to continue to develop and reproduce even under adverse conditions. Ethylene, as a key growth regulator, is leveraged by plants to mitigate the negative effects of some of these stresses on plant development and growth. By cooperating with other hormones, ethylene triggers defense and survival mechanisms, thereby coordinating plant growth and development in response to abiotic stresses. View this paper.
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12 pages, 3498 KiB  
Article
Different LED Light Wavelengths and Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density Effect on Colletotrichum acutatum Growth
by Neringa Rasiukevičiūtė, Aušra Brazaitytė, Viktorija Vaštakaitė-Kairienė and Alma Valiuškaitė
Plants 2022, 11(1), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010143 - 05 Jan 2022
Viewed by 3006
Abstract
The study aimed to evaluate the effect of different photon flux density (PFD) and light-emitting diodes (LED) wavelengths on strawberry Colletotrichum acutatum growth characteristics. The C. acutatum growth characteristics under the blue 450 nm (B), green 530 nm (G), red 660 nm (R), [...] Read more.
The study aimed to evaluate the effect of different photon flux density (PFD) and light-emitting diodes (LED) wavelengths on strawberry Colletotrichum acutatum growth characteristics. The C. acutatum growth characteristics under the blue 450 nm (B), green 530 nm (G), red 660 nm (R), far-red 735 nm (FR), and white 5700 K (W) LEDs at PFD 50, 100 and 200 μmol m2 s−1 were evaluated. The effect on C. acutatum mycelial growth evaluated by daily measuring until five days after inoculation (DAI). The presence of conidia and size (width and length) evaluated after 5 DAI. The results showed that the highest inhibition of fungus growth was achieved after 1 DAI under B and G at 50 μmol m−2 s−1 PFD. Additionally, after 1–4 DAI under B at 200 μmol m−2 s−1 PFD. The lowest conidia width was under FR at 50 μmol m−2 s−1 PFD and length under FR at 100 μmol m−2 s−1 PFD. Various LED light wavelengths influenced differences in C. acutatum colonies color. In conclusion, different photosynthetic photon flux densities and wavelengths influence C. acutatum growth characteristics. The changes in C. acutatum morphological and phenotypical characteristics could be related to its ability to spread and infect plant tissues. This study’s findings could potentially help to manage C. acutatum by LEDs in controlled environment conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Young Investigators in Plant Sciences)
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21 pages, 2428 KiB  
Article
Integrated Nutrient Management Improves the Growth and Yield of Rice and Greengram in a Rice—Greengram Cropping System under the Coastal Plain Agro-Climatic Condition
by Satyabrata Mangaraj, Rabindra Kumar Paikaray, Sagar Maitra, Shriram Ratan Pradhan, Lalita Mohan Garnayak, Manoranjan Satapathy, Barsita Swain, Satyananda Jena, Bijayalaxmi Nayak, Tanmoy Shankar, Mohammed Alorabi, Ahmed Gaber and Akbar Hossain
Plants 2022, 11(1), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010142 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3817
Abstract
Continuous mono-cropping of rice has resulted in decline or stagnation of yield output due to the occurrence of multiple nutrient deficiencies and worsening of soil physicochemical properties accompanying increased pressure of insect pests and diseases. The basic concept of integrated nutrient management (INM) [...] Read more.
Continuous mono-cropping of rice has resulted in decline or stagnation of yield output due to the occurrence of multiple nutrient deficiencies and worsening of soil physicochemical properties accompanying increased pressure of insect pests and diseases. The basic concept of integrated nutrient management (INM) is maintenance or adjustment of soil fertility and supply of plant nutrients to an optimum level for sustaining the desired crop productivity through optimisation of benefits from all possible sources of plant nutrients in an integrated way. Augmenting a rice-based cropping system with pulses is a prevalent and indigenous cropping system under rainfed conditions. Considering the above facts, experiments were conducted to evaluate the impacts of integrated nutrient management on productivity of aromatic rice–greengram cropping system and nutrient balance of the post-harvest soil for agricultural sustainability under rainfed conditions in two consecutive years (2017–2018 and 2018–2019) with six main plots and three subplots. The experimental findings revealed that the treatment comprised of 50% recommended dose of fertiliser (RDF) through chemicals + 50% recommended dose of nitrogen (RDN) through farmyard manure (FYM) increased the plant height, tillers, dry matter accumulation, leaf area and leaf area duration, and yield parameters in short grain aromatic rice. Similarly, preceding application of 50% RDF + 50% RDN through FYM to rice and further application 75% RDF + Rhizobium+ phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) to greengram increased the growth characteristics and yield parameters—such as pods/plant, seeds/pod, grain yield, stover yield, and harvest index—in greengram. It was concluded that the treatment consisting of 50% RDF (chemical fertiliser) + 50% RDN (FYM) to rice and 75% RDF + Rhizobium + PSB to greengram increased the productivity of the rice–greengram cropping system. Furthermore, the adoption of INM has positively impacted post-harvest soil nutrient balance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Nutrient Management for Climate-Smart Agriculture)
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18 pages, 4148 KiB  
Article
Volatile Metabolism of Wine Grape Trincadeira: Impact of Infection with Botrytis cinerea
by Helena Santos, Catarina Augusto, Pedro Reis, Cecília Rego, Ana Cristina Figueiredo and Ana Margarida Fortes
Plants 2022, 11(1), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010141 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3927
Abstract
The aroma of grapes is cultivar dependent and is influenced by terroir, vineyard practices, and abiotic and biotic stresses. Trincadeira is a non-aromatic variety associated with low phenolic content and high sugar and organic acid levels. This cultivar, widely used in Portuguese [...] Read more.
The aroma of grapes is cultivar dependent and is influenced by terroir, vineyard practices, and abiotic and biotic stresses. Trincadeira is a non-aromatic variety associated with low phenolic content and high sugar and organic acid levels. This cultivar, widely used in Portuguese wines, presents high susceptibility to Botrytis cinerea. This work aimed to characterise the volatile profile of Trincadeira grapes and how it changes under infection with B. cinerea. Thirty-six volatile organic compounds were identified, from different functional groups, namely alcohols, ester acetates, fatty acid esters, fatty acids, aldehydes, and products of the lipoxygenase pathway. Both free and glycosidic volatile organic compounds were analysed by Gas Chromatography and Gas Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry for component quantification and identification, respectively. A multivariance analysis showed a clear discrimination between healthy and infected grapes with 2-trans-hexenal and isoamyl-acetate among the compounds identified as negative and positive markers of infection, respectively. Ester acetates such as 2-phenylethyl acetate, isoamyl acetate, and 2-methylbutyl acetate were present in higher contents in infected samples, whereas the contents of several fatty acid esters, such as ethyl decanoate and ethyl dodecanoate, decreased. These data were integrated with quantitative PCR data regarding genes involved in volatile metabolism and showed up-regulation of a gene coding for Hydroperoxide Lyase 2 in infected grapes. Altogether, these changes in volatile metabolism indicate an impact on the grape quality and may be related to defence against B. cinerea. The presence/absence of specific compounds might be used as infection biomarkers in the assessment of Trincadeira grapes’ quality. Full article
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16 pages, 1448 KiB  
Article
Impact of Harvest Time and Pruning Technique on Total CBD Concentration and Yield of Medicinal Cannabis
by Danilo Crispim Massuela, Jens Hartung, Sebastian Munz, Federico Erpenbach and Simone Graeff-Hönninger
Plants 2022, 11(1), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010140 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 14987
Abstract
The definition of optimum harvest and pruning interventions are important factors varying inflorescence yield and cannabinoid composition. This study investigated the impact of (i) harvest time (HT) and (ii) pruning techniques (PT) on plant biomass accumulation, CBD and CBDA-concentrations and total CBD yield [...] Read more.
The definition of optimum harvest and pruning interventions are important factors varying inflorescence yield and cannabinoid composition. This study investigated the impact of (i) harvest time (HT) and (ii) pruning techniques (PT) on plant biomass accumulation, CBD and CBDA-concentrations and total CBD yield of a chemotype III medical cannabis genotype under indoor cultivation. The experiment consisted of four HTs between 5 and 11 weeks of flowering and three PTs-apical cut (T); removal of side shoots (L) and control (C), not pruned plants. Results showed that inflorescence dry weight increased continuously, while the total CBD concentration did not differ significantly over time. For the studied genotype, optimum harvest time defined by highest total CBD yield was found at 9 weeks of flowering. Total CBD-concentration of inflorescences in different fractions of the plant’s height was significantly higher in the top (9.9%) in comparison with mid (8.2%) and low (7.7%) fractions. The T plants produced significantly higher dry weight of inflorescences and leaves than L and C. Total CBD yield of inflorescences for PTs were significantly different among pruned groups, but do not differ from the control group. However, a trend for higher yields was observed (T > C > L). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Studies on Cannabis sativa and Cannabinoids)
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10 pages, 1410 KiB  
Article
An R2R3-MYB Transcription Factor OsMYBAS1 Promotes Seed Germination under Different Sowing Depths in Transgenic Rice
by Xiaomin Wang, Rong Wu, Tongshu Shen, Zhenan Li, Chengyong Li, Bangkui Wu, Hongye Jiang and Guangwu Zhao
Plants 2022, 11(1), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010139 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1895
Abstract
MYB-type transcription factors play essential regulatory roles in seed germination and the response to seedling establishment stress. This study isolated a rice R2R3-MYB gene, OsMYBAS1, and functionally characterized its role in seed germination by generating transgenic rice plants with the overexpression and [...] Read more.
MYB-type transcription factors play essential regulatory roles in seed germination and the response to seedling establishment stress. This study isolated a rice R2R3-MYB gene, OsMYBAS1, and functionally characterized its role in seed germination by generating transgenic rice plants with the overexpression and knockout of OsMYBAS1. Gene expression analysis suggested that OsMYBAS1 was highly expressed in brown rice and root, respectively. Subcellular localization analysis determined that OsMYBAS1 was localized in the nucleus. No significant differences in seed germination rate were observed among wild-type (WT) and transgenic rice plants at the 0-cm sowing depth. However, when sown at a depth of 4 cm, higher germination rates, root lengths and seedling heights were obtained in OsMYBAS1-overexpressing plants than in WT. Furthermore, the opposite results were recorded between the osmybas1 mutants and WT. Moreover, OsMYBAS1-overexpressing plants significantly enhanced superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzyme activity and suppressed the accumulation of malondialdehyde (MDA) content at the 4-cm sowing depth. These results indicate that the MYB transcription factor OsMYBAS1 may promote rice seed germination and subsequent seedling establishment under deep-sowing conditions. These findings can provide valuable insight into rice seed-quality breeding to facilitate the development of a dry, direct-seeding production system. Full article
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17 pages, 978 KiB  
Article
Integrated Nutrient Management for Rice Yield, Soil Fertility, and Carbon Sequestration
by Tahmina Akter Urmi, Md. Mizanur Rahman, Md. Moshiul Islam, Md. Ariful Islam, Nilufar Akhtar Jahan, Md. Abdul Baset Mia, Sohela Akhter, Manzer H. Siddiqui and Hazem M. Kalaji
Plants 2022, 11(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010138 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3405
Abstract
Reliance on inorganic fertilizers with less or no use of organic fertilizers has impaired the productivity of soils worldwide. Therefore, the present study was conducted to quantify the effects of integrated nutrient management on rice yield, nutrient use efficiency, soil fertility, and carbon [...] Read more.
Reliance on inorganic fertilizers with less or no use of organic fertilizers has impaired the productivity of soils worldwide. Therefore, the present study was conducted to quantify the effects of integrated nutrient management on rice yield, nutrient use efficiency, soil fertility, and carbon (C) sequestration in cultivated land. The experiment was designed with seven treatments comprising of a zero input control, recommended inorganic fertilizers (RD), poultry manure (PM) (5 t ha−1) + 50% RD, PM (2.5 t ha−1) + 75% RD, vermicompost (VC) (5 t ha−1) + 50% RD, VC (2.5 t ha−1) + 75% RD, and farmers’ practice (FP) with three replications that were laid out in a randomized complete block design. The highest grain yield (6.16–6.27 t ha−1) was attained when VC and PM were applied at the rate of 2.5 t ha−1 along with 75% RD. Uptake of nutrients and their subsequent use efficiencies appeared higher and satisfactory from the combined application of organic and inorganic fertilizers. The addition of organic fertilizer significantly influenced the organic carbon, total carbon, total nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen, soil pH, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, calcium, and magnesium contents in post-harvest soil, which indicated enhancement of soil fertility. The maximum value of the organic carbon stock (18.70 t ha−1), total carbon stock (20.81 t ha−1), and organic carbon sequestration (1.75 t ha−1) was observed in poultry manure at the rate of 5 t ha−1 with 50% RD. The soil bulk density decreased slightly more than that of the control, which indicated the improvement of the physical properties of soil using organic manures. Therefore, regular nourishment of soil with organic and inorganic fertilizers might help rejuvenate the soils and ensure agricultural sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant–Soil Interactions)
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26 pages, 2875 KiB  
Review
Challenges in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants DNA Barcoding—Lessons from the Lamiaceae
by Nazia Nazar, Caroline Howard, Adrian Slater and Tiziana Sgamma
Plants 2022, 11(1), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010137 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5699
Abstract
The potential value of DNA barcoding for the identification of medicinal plants and authentication of traded plant materials has been widely recognized; however, a number of challenges remain before DNA methods are fully accepted as an essential quality control method by industry and [...] Read more.
The potential value of DNA barcoding for the identification of medicinal plants and authentication of traded plant materials has been widely recognized; however, a number of challenges remain before DNA methods are fully accepted as an essential quality control method by industry and regulatory authorities. The successes and limitations of conventional DNA barcoding are considered in relation to important members of the Lamiaceae. The mint family (Lamiaceae) contains over one thousand species recorded as having a medicinal use, with many more exploited in food and cosmetics for their aromatic properties. The family is characterized by a diversity of secondary products, most notably the essential oils (EOs) produced in external glandular structures on the aerial parts of the plant that typify well-known plants of the basil (Ocimum), lavender (Lavandula), mint (Mentha), thyme (Thymus), sage (Salvia) and related genera. This complex, species-rich family includes widely cultivated commercial hybrids and endangered wild-harvested traditional medicines, and examples of potential toxic adulterants within the family are explored in detail. The opportunities provided by next generation sequencing technologies to whole plastome barcoding and nuclear genome sequencing are also discussed with relevant examples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Barcoding for Herbal Medicines)
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17 pages, 2606 KiB  
Article
DeepLRR: An Online Webserver for Leucine-Rich-Repeat Containing Protein Characterization Based on Deep Learning
by Zhenya Liu, Zirui Ren, Lunyi Yan and Feng Li
Plants 2022, 11(1), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010136 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2512
Abstract
Members of the leucine-rich repeat (LRR) superfamily play critical roles in multiple biological processes. As the LRR unit sequence is highly variable, accurately predicting the number and location of LRR units in proteins is a highly challenging task in the field of bioinformatics. [...] Read more.
Members of the leucine-rich repeat (LRR) superfamily play critical roles in multiple biological processes. As the LRR unit sequence is highly variable, accurately predicting the number and location of LRR units in proteins is a highly challenging task in the field of bioinformatics. Existing methods still need to be improved, especially when it comes to similarity-based methods. We introduce our DeepLRR method based on a convolutional neural network (CNN) model and LRR features to predict the number and location of LRR units in proteins. We compared DeepLRR with six existing methods using a dataset containing 572 LRR proteins and it outperformed all of them when it comes to overall F1 score. In addition, DeepLRR has integrated identifying plant disease-resistance proteins (NLR, LRR-RLK, LRR-RLP) and non-canonical domains. With DeepLRR, 223, 191 and 183 LRR-RLK genes in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), rice (Oryza sativa ssp. Japonica) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) genomes were re-annotated, respectively. Chromosome mapping and gene cluster analysis revealed that 24.2% (54/223), 29.8% (57/191) and 16.9% (31/183) of LRR-RLK genes formed gene cluster structures in Arabidopsis, rice and tomato, respectively. Finally, we explored the evolutionary relationship and domain composition of LRR-RLK genes in each plant and distributions of known receptor and co-receptor pairs. This provides a new perspective for the identification of potential receptors and co-receptors. Full article
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10 pages, 1513 KiB  
Article
Comparative Study on Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activities of Hop (Humulus lupulus L.) Strobile Extracts
by Jae Il Lyu, Jaihyunk Ryu, Kyoung-Sun Seo, Kyung-Yun Kang, Sang Hoon Park, Tae Hyun Ha, Joon-Woo Ahn and Si-Yong Kang
Plants 2022, 11(1), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010135 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2574
Abstract
In this study, we investigated the phenolic compounds in hop strobile extracts and evaluated their antioxidant property using DPPH and ABTS assay. The total phenolic compound (TPC) and total flavonoid compound (TFC) estimated in two different solvent extracts considerably varied depending on the [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated the phenolic compounds in hop strobile extracts and evaluated their antioxidant property using DPPH and ABTS assay. The total phenolic compound (TPC) and total flavonoid compound (TFC) estimated in two different solvent extracts considerably varied depending on the extraction solvent. The most abundant phenolic compound in hop strobile was humulones (α-acid) with levels ranging from 50.44 to 193.25 µg/g. El Dorado accession revealed higher antioxidant activity in ethanol extracts (DPPH: IC50 124.3 µg/mL; ABTS: IC50 95.4 µg/mL) when compared with that of the other accessions. Correlations between DPPH (IC50) scavenging TFC in ethanol extract (TFC_E, −0.941), and TPC_E (−0.901), and between ABTS (IC50) scavenging TFC_E (−0.853), and TPC_E (−0.826), were statistically significant at p < 0.01 level, whereas no significant correlation was observed between antioxidant activities, TPC and TFC in water extract. This study is the first to report that variations in the level of phenolic contents and antioxidant activity of various hop cultivars depended on the type of extraction solvent used and the cultivation regions. These results could provide valuable information on developing hop products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activities of Plant Extracts)
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20 pages, 2680 KiB  
Article
LC-MS Characterization and Biological Activities of Cuban Cultivars of Plectranthus neochilus Schltr
by Annarli O. Rodríguez-Ferreiro, Ania Ochoa-Pacheco, Daniel Méndez-Rodriguez, Emilia Ortiz-Beatón, Oneida Font-Salmo, Frenkel Guisado-Bourzac, Silvia Molina-Bertrán, Lianet Monzote, Paul Cos, Kenn Foubert, Luc Pieters, Claudina Perez-Novo, Wim Vanden Berghe, Julio C. Escalona-Arranz and William N. Setzer
Plants 2022, 11(1), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010134 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2959
Abstract
Plectranthus neochilus Schltr. (Lamiaceae) is a plant recently introduced in Cuba. Worldwide, it is an ethnomedicinal alternative for its use against microbial infections, but the Cuban population use the extracts to treat sleep disorders. To address this apparent incongruity, four collections (from different [...] Read more.
Plectranthus neochilus Schltr. (Lamiaceae) is a plant recently introduced in Cuba. Worldwide, it is an ethnomedicinal alternative for its use against microbial infections, but the Cuban population use the extracts to treat sleep disorders. To address this apparent incongruity, four collections (from different seasonal conditions in the year) of Cuban P. neochilus cultivars were analyzed in terms of their pharmacognostic characteristics. Three extracts using fresh and dried leaves were chemically and biologically characterized. UPLC-DAD-MS/MS analysis was performed to determine their chemical composition, while a panel of nine microorganisms was used to evaluate their antimicrobial activity. Finally, cytotoxic effects of different fractions were measured in three cell lines by the resazurin viability assay. In contrast to previously reported micro and macromorphological properties of P. neochilus, the leaves from the Cuban cultivars did not present glandular trichomes, nor did they produce quantifiable levels of essential oils. Moreover, aqueous extracts used by the population revealed no significant antimicrobial activity and were not cytotoxic. The three extracts showed a similar phytochemical composition, i.e., eight flavonoids, seven abietane diterpenes, and rosmarinic acid as the major constituent, most of them reported for the first time in this species. The low yield of essential oil, the absence of glandular trichomes, compounds with a high level of oxidation, and a moderate antimicrobial activity detected were the most distinctive pharmacognostic and biological characteristics of P. neochilus grown in Cuba. These aspects could explain its non-use as an antimicrobial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemistry of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants)
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19 pages, 1760 KiB  
Article
Use of Biostimulants: Towards Sustainable Approach to Enhance Durum Wheat Performances
by Sourour Ayed, Imen Bouhaouel, Hayet Jebari and Walid Hamada
Plants 2022, 11(1), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010133 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2562
Abstract
The use of biostimulant (BS) holds a promising and environmental-friendly innovation to address current needs of sustainable agriculture. The aim of the present study is twofold: (i) assess the potential of durum wheat seed coating with microbial BS (‘Panoramix’, Koppert), a mix of [...] Read more.
The use of biostimulant (BS) holds a promising and environmental-friendly innovation to address current needs of sustainable agriculture. The aim of the present study is twofold: (i) assess the potential of durum wheat seed coating with microbial BS (‘Panoramix’, Koppert), a mix of Bacillus spp., Trichoderma spp., and endomycorrhiza, compared to two chemical products (‘Spectro’ and ‘Mycoseeds’) through germination bioassay, pot and field trials under semi-arid conditions, and (ii) identify the most effective method of BS supply (‘seed coating’, ‘foliar spray’, and ‘seed coating + foliar spray’) under field conditions. For this purpose, three modern durum wheat cultivars were tested. ‘Panoramix’ was the most efficient treatment and enhanced all germination (germination rate, and coleoptile and radicle length), physiological (relative water content, chlorophyll content, and leaf area), and agro-morphological (plant height, biomass, seed number per spike, thousand kernel weight, and grain yield) attributes. Unexpectedly, the individual application of ‘Panoramix’ showed better performance than the combined treatment ‘Panoramix + Spectro’. Considering the physiological and agro-morphological traits, the combined method ‘seed coating + foliar spray’ displayed the best results. Principal component analysis confirmed the superiority of ‘Panoramix’ treatment or ‘seed coating + foliar spray’ method. Among tested durum wheat cultivars, ‘Salim’ performed better especially under ‘Panoramix’ treatment, but in some case ‘Karim’ valorized better this BS showing the highest increase rates. Based on these study outcomes, ‘Panoramix’ might be used as promising sustainable approach to stimulate durum wheat performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biostimulants as Growth Promoting and Stress Protecting Compounds)
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16 pages, 4636 KiB  
Article
Polyploidization Increases the Lipid Content and Improves the Nutritional Quality of Rice
by Wei Wang, Qiang Tu, Rongrong Chen, Pincang Lv, Yanqing Xu, Qian Xie, Zhaojian Song, Yuchi He, Detian Cai and Xianhua Zhang
Plants 2022, 11(1), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010132 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1750
Abstract
Plant polyploidization is frequently associated with changes in nutrient contents. However, the possible contribution of metabolites to this change has not been investigated by characterizing the metabolite contents of diploid and tetraploid forms of rice (Oryza sativa L.). We compared the metabolites [...] Read more.
Plant polyploidization is frequently associated with changes in nutrient contents. However, the possible contribution of metabolites to this change has not been investigated by characterizing the metabolite contents of diploid and tetraploid forms of rice (Oryza sativa L.). We compared the metabolites of a group of diploid–tetraploid japonica brown rice and a group of diploid–tetraploid indica brown rice based on liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. In total, 401 metabolites were identified; of these, between the two diploid–tetraploid groups, 180 showed opposite expression trends, but 221 showed the same trends (147 higher abundance vs. 74 lower abundance). Hierarchical cluster analysis of differential metabolites between diploid and tetraploid species showed a clear grouping pattern, in which the expression abundance of lipids, amino acids and derivatives, and phenolic acids increased in tetraploids. Further analysis revealed that the lipids in tetraploid rice increased significantly, especially unsaturated fatty acids and phospholipids. This study provides further basis for understanding the changes in rice nutritional quality following polyploidization and may serve as a new theoretical reference for breeding eutrophic or functional rice varieties via polyploidization. Full article
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17 pages, 4164 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Systematic Review on Opuntia (Cactaceae; Opuntioideae) Flower-Visiting Insects in the World with Emphasis on Mexico: Implications for Biodiversity Conservation
by Perla Tenorio-Escandón, Alfredo Ramírez-Hernández, Joel Flores, Jorge Juan-Vicedo and Ana Paola Martínez-Falcón
Plants 2022, 11(1), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010131 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3838
Abstract
Opuntia spp. are cacti with high ecological, economic and conservation interest in semiarid environments, particularly in Mexico. We conducted a systematic search of the existing peer-reviewed literature about the state of knowledge of pollination ecology on these plants. We documented the most studied [...] Read more.
Opuntia spp. are cacti with high ecological, economic and conservation interest in semiarid environments, particularly in Mexico. We conducted a systematic search of the existing peer-reviewed literature about the state of knowledge of pollination ecology on these plants. We documented the most studied Opuntia species worldwide with an emphasis on Mexico. We found that only 15% of Opuntia species described have been investigated so far, and studies were mainly focused on comprehension of the biology of a single species. Despite the economic and cultural importance of Opuntia, there is a significant lack of knowledge about the flower-visiting insects and their taxonomic identity. We provide a checklist of the insect species associated with Opuntia spp. Through a circular network, we visualize the complex Opuntia flower-visiting insect relationship, and we detected a set of key species constituting the generalist core of the networks constructed. Since pollination is crucial for crop production, a better understanding of ecological interactions would inform management measures to strengthen biodiversity and agriculture sustainability as well as productivity in arid and marginal lands. Further research on pollination ecology is needed to improve the conservation status of the insects associated with Opuntia species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Ecology)
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15 pages, 2283 KiB  
Article
Genetic and Morpho-Agronomic Characterization of Sicilian Tetraploid Wheat Germplasm
by Angelo Sicilia, Umberto Anastasi, Michele Bizzini, Stefania Montemagno, Carmelo Nicotra, Sebastiano Blangiforti, Alfio Spina, Salvatore Luciano Cosentino and Angela Roberta Lo Piero
Plants 2022, 11(1), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010130 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1797
Abstract
Cereal landraces are a very valuable resource in contemporary agriculture. A renewed focus for breeding purposes could ameliorate some negative consequences of modern agriculture and conventional breeding, such as the loss of genetic diversity. One strategy combining molecular genotyping and characterization of morpho-agronomic [...] Read more.
Cereal landraces are a very valuable resource in contemporary agriculture. A renewed focus for breeding purposes could ameliorate some negative consequences of modern agriculture and conventional breeding, such as the loss of genetic diversity. One strategy combining molecular genotyping and characterization of morpho-agronomic traits related to productivity is proposed to assess a group of tetraploid wheat landraces named Bufala, historically cultivated in the mountain areas of Sicily and characterized by adaptability in terms of cold tolerance, ability to grow in marginal soils, weed competitiveness and resistance to diseases. A total of 55 SSR molecular markers were used to detect patterns of diversity in 30 rivet and durum wheat genotypes. Furthermore, phenotyping was then conducted for 8 morpho-agronomic traits. Discriminant analysis of principal components (DAPC), STRUCTURE and phylogenetical analysis allowed to identify three groups, two of them genetically close and including both Bufala and Bufala-related rivet landraces. To the third group, old and more recent durum wheat varieties, constituting the outgroup, were assigned. Clustering was confirmed by Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Finally, a correlation analysis showed that Bufala genotypes are characterized by lower ear density, major ear length and later earing time compared with the other studied genotypes. The levels of diversity and population structure could be an important contribution to parent selection in tetraploid wheat breeding programs, as well as to germplasm conservation and management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Breeding, Genomic Selection, and Phenomics)
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18 pages, 3337 KiB  
Article
THC and CBD Fingerprinting of an Elite Cannabis Collection from Iran: Quantifying Diversity to Underpin Future Cannabis Breeding
by Mahboubeh Mostafaei Dehnavi, Ali Ebadi, Afshin Peirovi, Gail Taylor and Seyed Alireza Salami
Plants 2022, 11(1), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010129 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 7177
Abstract
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) has a rich history of human use, and the therapeutic importance of compounds produced by this species is recognized by the medical community. The active constituents of cannabis, collectively called cannabinoids, encompass hundreds of distinct molecules, the most [...] Read more.
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) has a rich history of human use, and the therapeutic importance of compounds produced by this species is recognized by the medical community. The active constituents of cannabis, collectively called cannabinoids, encompass hundreds of distinct molecules, the most well-characterized of which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which have been used for centuries as recreational drugs and medicinal agents. As a first step to establish a cannabis breeding program, we initiated this study to describe the HPLC-measured quantity of THC and CBD biochemistry profiles of 161 feral pistillate cannabis plants from 20 geographical regions of Iran. Our data showed that Iran can be considered a new region of high potential for distribution of cannabis landraces with diverse THC and CBD content, predominantly falling into three groups, as Type I = THC-predominant, Type II = approximately equal proportions of THC and CBD (both CBD and THC in a ratio close to the unity), and Type III = CBD-predominant. Correlation analysis among two target cannabinoids and environmental and geographical variables indicated that both THC and CBD contents were strongly influenced by several environmental–geographical factors, such that THC and CBD contents were positively correlated with mean, min and max annual temperature and negatively correlated with latitude, elevation, and humidity. Additionally, a negative correlation was observed between THC and CBD concentrations, suggesting that further studies to unravel these genotype × environment interactions (G × E interactions) are warranted. The results of this study provide important pre-breeding information on a collection of cannabis that will underpin future breeding programs. Full article
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20 pages, 2700 KiB  
Article
Arabidopsis Growth-Promotion and Root Architecture Responses to the Beneficial Rhizobacterium Phyllobacterium brassicacearum Strain STM196 Are Independent of the Nitrate Assimilatory Pathway
by Maya Kechid, Guilhem Desbrosses, Lydia Gamet, Loren Castaings, Fabrice Varoquaux, Abdelhamid Djekoun and Bruno Touraine
Plants 2022, 11(1), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010128 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1603
Abstract
Phyllobacterium brassicacearum STM196, a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium isolated from roots of oilseed rape, stimulates Arabidopsis growth. We have previously shown that the NRT2.5 and NRT2.6 genes are required for this growth promotion response. Since these genes are members of the NRT2 family of [...] Read more.
Phyllobacterium brassicacearum STM196, a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium isolated from roots of oilseed rape, stimulates Arabidopsis growth. We have previously shown that the NRT2.5 and NRT2.6 genes are required for this growth promotion response. Since these genes are members of the NRT2 family of nitrate transporters, the nitrogen assimilatory pathway could be involved in growth promotion by STM196. We address this hypothesis using two nitrate reductase mutants, G5 deleted in the major nitrate reductase gene NIA2 and G′4-3 altered in both NIA1 and NIA2 genes. Both mutants had a reduced growth rate and STM196 failed to increase their biomass production on a medium containing NO3 as the sole nitrogen source. However, they both displayed similar growth promotion by STM196 when grown on an NH4+ medium. STM196 was able to stimulate lateral roots development of the mutants under both nutrition conditions. Altogether, our results indicate that the nitrate assimilatory metabolism is not a primary target of STM196 interaction and is not involved in the root developmental response. The NIA1 transcript level was reduced in the shoots of nrt2.5 and nrt2.6 mutants suggesting a role for this nitrate reductase isoform independently from its role in nitrate assimilation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Protection and Biotic Interactions)
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19 pages, 49250 KiB  
Article
Oil Palm’s Empty Fruit Bunch as a Sorbent Material in Filter System for Oil-Spill Clean Up
by Nurul Aini Puasa, Siti Aqlima Ahmad, Nur Nadhirah Zakaria, Khalilah Abdul Khalil, Siti Hajar Taufik, Azham Zulkharnain, Alyza Azzura Azmi, Claudio Gomez-Fuentes, Chiew-Yen Wong and Noor Azmi Shaharuddin
Plants 2022, 11(1), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010127 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2718
Abstract
Oil pollution such as diesel poses a significant threat to the environment. Due to this, there is increasing interest in using natural materials mainly from agricultural waste as organic oil spill sorbents. Oil palm’s empty fruit bunch (EFB), a cost-effective material, non-toxic, renewable [...] Read more.
Oil pollution such as diesel poses a significant threat to the environment. Due to this, there is increasing interest in using natural materials mainly from agricultural waste as organic oil spill sorbents. Oil palm’s empty fruit bunch (EFB), a cost-effective material, non-toxic, renewable resource, and abundantly available in Malaysia, contains cellulosic materials that have been proven to show a good result in pollution treatment. This study evaluated the optimum screening part of EFB that efficiently absorbs oil and the physicochemical characterisation of untreated and treated EFB fibre using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The treatment conditions were optimised using one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT), which identified optimal treatment conditions of 170 °C, 20 min, 0.1 g/cm3, and 10% diesel, resulting in 23 mL of oil absorbed. The predicted model was highly significant in statistical Response Surface Methodology (RSM) and confirmed that all the parameters (temperature, time, packing density, and diesel concentration) significantly influenced the oil absorbed. The predicted values in RSM were 175 °C, 22.5 min, 0.095 g/cm3, and 10%, which resulted in 24 mL of oil absorbed. Using the experimental values generated by RSM, 175 °C, 22.5 min, 0.095 g/cm3, and 10%, the highest oil absorption achieved was 24.33 mL. This study provides further evidence, as the data suggested that RSM provided a better approach to obtain a high efficiency of oil absorbed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Potential of Plants to Absorb Xenobiotics)
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12 pages, 1580 KiB  
Article
Pipes and Potions: Testing the Efficacy of European Folk Preparation Methods for Anticholinergic Solanaceae Plants
by Karsten Fatur, Matjaž Ravnikar, Vitjan Fras and Samo Kreft
Plants 2022, 11(1), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010126 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2053
Abstract
The present article sought to evaluate the efficiency of various folk preparation methods commonly used in Europe for employing anticholinergic Solanaceae plants. The study aimed to uncover which folk methods were effective for the extraction of the anticholinergic tropane alkaloids of these plants, [...] Read more.
The present article sought to evaluate the efficiency of various folk preparation methods commonly used in Europe for employing anticholinergic Solanaceae plants. The study aimed to uncover which folk methods were effective for the extraction of the anticholinergic tropane alkaloids of these plants, atropine and scopolamine. The folk extractions that were tested sought to simulate the preparation of teas, cold-water infusions, unguents, tinctures, fortified wines, and smoking. All preparation types and a control were then put through an extraction process to see what amount of the alkaloids had been maintained. These extractions were then analysed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Cold- and hot-water preparations, tinctures, and fortified wines all proved to be effective means of extracting atropine and scopolamine from plant material under conditions seen in folk usage. Smoking and the oil-based unguent, however, yielded no alkaloids, suggesting a lack of efficiency for these preparations, a problem with our methodology, or possible chemical changes and losses associated with the preparation procedure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural and Functional Analysis of Extracts in Plants II)
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32 pages, 1403 KiB  
Review
Genomic and Meiotic Changes Accompanying Polyploidization
by Francesco Blasio, Pilar Prieto, Mónica Pradillo and Tomás Naranjo
Plants 2022, 11(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010125 - 03 Jan 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3668
Abstract
Hybridization and polyploidy have been considered as significant evolutionary forces in adaptation and speciation, especially among plants. Interspecific gene flow generates novel genetic variants adaptable to different environments, but it is also a gene introgression mechanism in crops to increase their agronomical yield. [...] Read more.
Hybridization and polyploidy have been considered as significant evolutionary forces in adaptation and speciation, especially among plants. Interspecific gene flow generates novel genetic variants adaptable to different environments, but it is also a gene introgression mechanism in crops to increase their agronomical yield. An estimate of 9% of interspecific hybridization has been reported although the frequency varies among taxa. Homoploid hybrid speciation is rare compared to allopolyploidy. Chromosome doubling after hybridization is the result of cellular defects produced mainly during meiosis. Unreduced gametes, which are formed at an average frequency of 2.52% across species, are the result of altered spindle organization or orientation, disturbed kinetochore functioning, abnormal cytokinesis, or loss of any meiotic division. Meiotic changes and their genetic basis, leading to the cytological diploidization of allopolyploids, are just beginning to be understood especially in wheat. However, the nature and mode of action of homoeologous recombination suppressor genes are poorly understood in other allopolyploids. The merger of two independent genomes causes a deep modification of their architecture, gene expression, and molecular interactions leading to the phenotype. We provide an overview of genomic changes and transcriptomic modifications that particularly occur at the early stages of allopolyploid formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Plants—Recent Advances and Perspectives)
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17 pages, 4771 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Biomass Accumulation and Production of Phenolic Compounds in Callus Cultures of Rhodiola rosea L. Using Design of Experiments
by Anna A. Erst, Anastasia A. Petruk, Andrey S. Erst, Denis A. Krivenko, Nadezhda V. Filinova, Svetlana Y. Maltseva, Maxim S. Kulikovskiy and Evgeny V. Banaev
Plants 2022, 11(1), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010124 - 02 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2479
Abstract
Rhodiola rosea L. is a valuable medicinal plant with adaptogenic, neuroprotective, antitumor, cardioprotective, and antidepressant effects. In this study, design of experiments methodology was employed to analyze and optimize the interacting effects of mineral compounds (concentration of NO3 and the ratio [...] Read more.
Rhodiola rosea L. is a valuable medicinal plant with adaptogenic, neuroprotective, antitumor, cardioprotective, and antidepressant effects. In this study, design of experiments methodology was employed to analyze and optimize the interacting effects of mineral compounds (concentration of NO3 and the ratio of NH4+ to K+) and two plant growth regulators [total 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) and α-naphthylacetic acid (NAA) concentration and the ratio of BAP to NAA] on the growth and the production of total phenolic compounds (TPCs) in R. rosea calluses. The overall effect of the model was highly significant (p < 0.0001), indicating that NH4+, K+, NO3, BAP, and NAA significantly affected growth. The best callus growth (703%) and the highest production of TPCs (75.17 mg/g) were achieved at an NH4+/K+ ratio of 0.33 and BAP/NAA of 0.33, provided that the concentration of plant growth regulators was 30 μM and that of NO3 was ≤40 mM. According to high-performance liquid chromatography analyses of aerial parts (leaves and stems), in vitro seedlings and callus cultures of R. rosea contain no detectable rosarin, rosavin, rosin, and cinnamyl alcohol. This is the first report on the creation of an experiment for the significant improvement of biomass accumulation and TPC production in callus cultures of R. rosea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Tissue Culture and Secondary Metabolites Production)
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19 pages, 2366 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Seasonality on Secondary Metabolite Profiles and Neuroprotective Activities of Moss Hypnum cupressiforme Extracts: In Vitro and In Silico Study
by Tanja M. Lunić, Marija R. Mandić, Mariana M. Oalđe Pavlović, Aneta D. Sabovljević, Marko S. Sabovljević, Biljana Đ. Božić Nedeljković and Bojan Đ. Božić
Plants 2022, 11(1), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010123 - 01 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2578
Abstract
Numerous representatives of mosses, including Hypnum cupressiforme, have been used to alleviate different inflammation-related conditions. However, the mode of action underlying this anti-inflammatory potential has been poorly understood. Moreover, the influence of seasonality on the chemical composition and biological activity of mosses [...] Read more.
Numerous representatives of mosses, including Hypnum cupressiforme, have been used to alleviate different inflammation-related conditions. However, the mode of action underlying this anti-inflammatory potential has been poorly understood. Moreover, the influence of seasonality on the chemical composition and biological activity of mosses is generally overlooked. This study aimed to investigate the influence of seasonal changes (spring, summer, and autumn) on secondary metabolite composition and biological activities of ethyl acetate H. cupressiforme extracts. Antioxidant activity was measured using β-carotene bleaching assay, while MTT, NBT, ELISA, and Griess assays were carried out to explore the anti-neuroinflammatory and neuroprotective potential of extracts. Inhibitory activities on acetylcholinesterase and tyrosinase were assessed experimentally and by docking analysis. The highest content of secondary metabolites and antioxidant activity were observed in moss during the summer. Extracts inhibited the secretion of ROS, NO, TNF-α, and IL-6, alleviating the inflammatory potential of H2O2 and LPS in microglial and neuronal cells. Strong inhibitory effects on acetylcholinesterase and tyrosinase were observed in vitro. Docking analyses revealed high-affinity interactions of secondary metabolites present in H. cupressiforme with important enzyme residues. Altogether, these results reveal the neuroprotective potential and the significance of seasonal fluctuations on secondary metabolite content and biological activities in moss H. cupressiforme. Full article
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16 pages, 1297 KiB  
Article
Mineral Fertilization Influences the Growth, Cryptolepine Yield, and Bioefficacy of Cryptolepis sanguinolenta (Lindl.) Schlt.
by Jacqueline Naalamle Amissah, Forgive Enyonam Alorvor, Benjamin Azu Okorley, Chris Mpere Asare, Dorcas Osei-Safo, Regina Appiah-Opong and Ivan Addae-Mensah
Plants 2022, 11(1), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010122 - 01 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2009
Abstract
Cryptolepis sanguinolenta (Lindl.) Schlt., the main source of cryptolepine alkaloid, is intensively exploited in the wild to treat malaria and Lyme disease. In this study, the influence of four inorganic fertilizers (supplying N, P, K, or NPK) and four growth periods (3, 6, [...] Read more.
Cryptolepis sanguinolenta (Lindl.) Schlt., the main source of cryptolepine alkaloid, is intensively exploited in the wild to treat malaria and Lyme disease. In this study, the influence of four inorganic fertilizers (supplying N, P, K, or NPK) and four growth periods (3, 6, 9, and 12 months after transplanting) on the herb’s root biomass, cryptolepine content and yield, and biological activities were investigated in a pot and field trial. The results showed the application of N (in the form of Urea or NPK) increased root biomass yield, cryptolepine content, and cryptolepine yield compared to unfertilized plants. The 9-month-old plants recorded the maximum cryptolepine content (2.26 mg/100 mg dry root) and cryptolepine yield (304.08 mg/plant), indicating the perfect time to harvest the herb. Plant age at harvest had a more significant influence (50.6–55.7%) on cryptolepine production than fertilizer application (29.2–33.3%). Cryptolepine extracts from 9- to 12-month-old plants had the highest antiplasmodial activity (IC50 = 2.56–4.65 µg/mL) and drug selectivity index (2.15–3.91) against Plasmodium falciparum Dd2. These extracts were also cytotoxic to Jurkat leukaemia cell lines (CC50 < 62.56 µg/mL), indicating the possible use of cryptolepine for cancer management. Growing the herb in the field increased cryptolepine yield 2.5 times compared to growth in a pot, but this did not influence the antiplasmodial activity of the extract. Commercial cultivation of C. sanguinolenta for 9 months combined with N application could be a promising solution to the sustainable use of this threatened medicinal species. Full article
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18 pages, 1180 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density and Light Quality for Increasing Radiation-Use Efficiency in Dwarf Tomato under LED Light at the Vegetative Growth Stage
by Xinglin Ke, Hideo Yoshida, Shoko Hikosaka and Eiji Goto
Plants 2022, 11(1), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010121 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4974
Abstract
Dwarf tomatoes are advantageous when cultivated in a plant factory with artificial light because they can grow well in a small volume. However, few studies have been reported on cultivation in a controlled environment for improving productivity. We performed two experiments to investigate [...] Read more.
Dwarf tomatoes are advantageous when cultivated in a plant factory with artificial light because they can grow well in a small volume. However, few studies have been reported on cultivation in a controlled environment for improving productivity. We performed two experiments to investigate the effects of photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD; 300, 500, and 700 μmol m−2 s−1) with white light and light quality (white, R3B1 (red:blue = 3:1), and R9B1) with a PPFD of 300 μmol m−2 s−1 on plant growth and radiation-use efficiency (RUE) of a dwarf tomato cultivar (‘Micro-Tom’) at the vegetative growth stage. The results clearly demonstrated that higher PPFD leads to higher dry mass and lower specific leaf area, but it does not affect the stem length. Furthermore, high PPFD increased the photosynthetic rate (Pn) of individual leaves but decreased RUE. A higher blue light proportion inhibited dry mass production with the same intercepted light because the leaves under high blue light proportion had low Pn and photosynthetic light-use efficiency. In conclusion, 300 μmol m−2 s−1 PPFD and R9B1 are the recommended proper PPFD and light quality, respectively, for ‘Micro-Tom’ cultivation at the vegetative growth stage to increase the RUE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulations by Light Quantity and Quality and Their Effects on Crops)
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17 pages, 2343 KiB  
Article
Phenotypic Plasticity and Local Adaptation of Leaf Cuticular Waxes Favor Perennial Alpine Herbs under Climate Change
by Luhua Yao, Dengke Wang, Dangjun Wang, Shixiong Li, Youjun Chen and Yanjun Guo
Plants 2022, 11(1), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010120 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1693
Abstract
Six perennial herbs (Plantago asiatica, Polygonum viviparum, Anaphalis lactea, Kobresia humilis, Leontopodium nanum and Potentilla chinensis) widely distributed in alpine meadows were reciprocally transplanted at two sites in eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Hongyuan (3434 m, 2.97 [...] Read more.
Six perennial herbs (Plantago asiatica, Polygonum viviparum, Anaphalis lactea, Kobresia humilis, Leontopodium nanum and Potentilla chinensis) widely distributed in alpine meadows were reciprocally transplanted at two sites in eastern edge of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Hongyuan (3434 m, 2.97 °C, 911 mm) and Qilian (3701 m, 2.52 °C, 472 mm), aiming to evaluate the responses of alpine plants to changing environments. When plants were transplanted from Hongyuan to Qilian, most plant species showed a decrease of total wax coverage in first year and reverse trend was observed for some plant species in second year. However, when plants were transplanted from Qilian to Hongyuan, the response of total wax coverage differed greatly between plant species. When compared with those in first year, plasticity index of average chain length of alkane decreased whereas carbon preference index of alkane increased at both Hongyuan and Qilian in second year. The total wax coverage differed between local and transplanted plants, suggesting both environmental and genetic factors controlled the wax depositions. Structural equation modeling indicated that co-variations existed between leaf cuticular waxes and leaf functional traits. These results suggest that alpine herbs adjust both wax depositions and chain length distributions to adapt to changing environment, showing climate adaptations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alpine Ecosystems in a Changing World)
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12 pages, 1900 KiB  
Article
Comparative Study of Temporal Changes in Pigments and Optical Properties in Sepals of Helleborus odorus and H. niger from Prebloom to Seed Production
by Mateja Grašič, Maja Dacar and Alenka Gaberščik
Plants 2022, 11(1), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010119 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1539
Abstract
Helleborus niger is an evergreen species, while H. odorus is an herbaceous understorey species. They both develop flowers before the forest canopy layer closes. Their sepals remain after flowering and have multiple biological functions. To further elucidate the functions of sepals during flower [...] Read more.
Helleborus niger is an evergreen species, while H. odorus is an herbaceous understorey species. They both develop flowers before the forest canopy layer closes. Their sepals remain after flowering and have multiple biological functions. To further elucidate the functions of sepals during flower development, we examined their optical and chemical properties, and the photochemical efficiency of photosystem II in the developing, flowering, and fruiting flowers. Sepals of the two species differed significantly in the contents of photosynthetic pigments and anthocyanins, but less in the UV-absorbing substances’ contents. Significant differences in photosynthetic pigment contents were also revealed within different developmental phases. The sepal potential photochemical efficiency of photosystem II was high in all developmental phases in H. odorus, whereas in H. niger, it was initially low and later increased. In the green H. odorus sepals, we obtained typical green leaf spectra with peaks in the green and NIR regions, and a low reflectance and transmittance in the UV region. On the other hand, in the white H. niger sepals in the developing and flowering phases, the response was relatively constant along the visible and NIR regions. Pigment profiles, especially chlorophylls, were shown to be important in shaping sepal optical properties, which confirms their role in light harvesting. All significant parameters together accounted for 44% and 34% of the reflectance and transmittance spectra variability, respectively. These results may contribute to the selection of Helleborus species and to a greater understanding of the ecological diversity of understorey plants in the forests. Full article
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30 pages, 7304 KiB  
Review
Pharmacological Efficacy of Tamarix aphylla: A Comprehensive Review
by Saad Ali Alshehri, Shadma Wahab, Shahabe Saquib Abullais, Gotam Das, Umme Hani, Wasim Ahmad, Mohd Amir, Ayaz Ahmad, Geetha Kandasamy and Rajalakshimi Vasudevan
Plants 2022, 11(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010118 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4478
Abstract
Tamarix aphylla is a well-known species of the genus Tamarix. T. aphylla (Tamaricaceae) is a perennial tree in Asia, the Middle East, and Central Africa. It is used as a carminative diuretic in tuberculosis, leprosy, and hepatitis. Various pharmacological properties have been [...] Read more.
Tamarix aphylla is a well-known species of the genus Tamarix. T. aphylla (Tamaricaceae) is a perennial tree in Asia, the Middle East, and Central Africa. It is used as a carminative diuretic in tuberculosis, leprosy, and hepatitis. Various pharmacological properties have been shown by T. aphylla, such as antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, anticholinesterase, and wound-healing activity. However, T. aphylla has not received much attention for its secondary metabolites and bioactive constituents. Research has shown that this plant has hidden potential that needs to be explored. This review aims to cover botanical classification, geographical distribution, taxonomy, ethnobotanical uses, and the phytochemical compounds found in T. aphylla. The toxicology and pharmacological effects of T. aphylla are also discussed. We examined various scholarly resources to gather information on T. aphylla, including Google Scholar, Scopus, Science Direct, Springer Link, PubMed, and Web of Science. The finding of this work validates a connection between T. aphylla in conventional medicine and its antidiabetic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, antifungal, anticholinesterase, and other biological effects. T. aphylla’s entire plant (such as bark, leaves, fruits) and root extracts have been used to treat hypertension, stomach discomfort, hair loss, cough and asthma, abscesses, wounds, rheumatism, jaundice, fever, tuberculosis, and gum and tooth infection. The phytochemical screening revealed that noticeably all extracts were devoid of alkaloids, followed by the presence of tannins. In addition, different parts have revealed the existence of steroids, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides, and byproducts of gallic acid and ellagic acid. T. aphylla has shown many valuable activities against different diseases and supports its traditional uses. Therefore, high-quality preclinical research and well-designated clinical trials are needed to establish the efficacy and safety of this plant in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Medicinal Chemistry of Aromatic Plants)
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16 pages, 4995 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification of Stress-Associated Proteins (SAPs) Encoding A20/AN1 Zinc Finger in Almond (Prunus dulcis) and Their Differential Expression during Fruit Development
by Sidra Fatima, Zeeshan Zafar, Alvina Gul and Muhammad Faraz Bhatti
Plants 2022, 11(1), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010117 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2130
Abstract
Stress-associated proteins (SAPs) are zinc finger proteins involved in the regulation of various stresses in a variety of plant species. A total of nine PdSAP genes were identified in Prunus dulcis. Phylogenetic and synteny analyses were performed to analyze the homology and [...] Read more.
Stress-associated proteins (SAPs) are zinc finger proteins involved in the regulation of various stresses in a variety of plant species. A total of nine PdSAP genes were identified in Prunus dulcis. Phylogenetic and synteny analyses were performed to analyze the homology and evolutionary relationship of PdSAP genes. The functions of PdSAP genes were assessed by further analyses, including cis-regulatory elements, gene duplication, gene ontology, gene structure, subcellular localization, and motif pattern. This study found that PdSAP genes were unevenly distributed on chromosomes 2, 3, 6, and 7. Phylogenetic analysis of PdSAP genes with Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa suggested that six subgroups have a similar pattern of AN1 and A20 domains in each subgroup. PdSAP genes lacked duplicated blocks. The majority of PdSAP genes were localized in the nucleus region. Three hormonal and five stress cis-regulatory elements were found in the upstream promoter region of the PdSAP gene family. RNA-seq analysis revealed differential gene expression of PdSAP genes at days 12, 17, 22, 27, 32, and 37 of fruitlet development after flowering. This study identifies the SAP genes in P. dulcis and also provides insights into the expression of PdSAP genes in abnormal fruitlets with diapause atrophic growth at various developmental stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fruit Quality and Ripening in Prunus)
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20 pages, 46084 KiB  
Article
Physiological Characteristics of Cultivated Tepary Bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray) and Its Wild Relatives Grown at High Temperature and Acid Soil Stress Conditions in the Amazon Region of Colombia
by Juan Carlos Suárez, Amara Tatiana Contreras, José Alexander Anzola, José Iván Vanegas and Idupulapati M. Rao
Plants 2022, 11(1), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010116 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2416
Abstract
Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is sensitive to different types of abiotic stresses (drought, high temperature, low soil fertility, and acid soil), and this may limit its adaptation and consequently to its yield under stress. Because of this, a sister species, tepary [...] Read more.
Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is sensitive to different types of abiotic stresses (drought, high temperature, low soil fertility, and acid soil), and this may limit its adaptation and consequently to its yield under stress. Because of this, a sister species, tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray), has recently gained attention in breeding for improved abiotic stress tolerance in common bean. In this study, we evaluated the adaptation of 302 accessions of tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius A. Gray) and its wild relatives (grouped in four types of tepary bean genetic resource: cultivated, acutifolius regressive, acutifolius wild, tenuifolius wild) when grown under high temperature and acid soil conditions with aluminum toxicity in the Amazon region of Colombia. Our objective was to determine differences among four types of tepary bean genetic resource in their morpho-phenological, agronomic, and physiological responses to combined high temperature and acid soil stress conditions. We found that cultivated P. acutifolius var acutifolius presented a greater number of pods per plant, as well as larger seeds and a greater number of seeds per pod. Some traits, such as root biomass, days to flowering and physiological maturity, specific leaf area, and stomatal density, showed significant differences between types of tepary bean genetic resource, probably contributing to difference in adaptation to combined stress conditions of high temperature and acid soil conditions. The photochemical quenching (qP) was higher in cultivated P. acutifolius var. acutifolius, while energy dissipation by non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) in the form of heat and the coefficient of non-photochemical dissipation (qN) were higher in acutifolius regressive and tenuifolius wild accessions. We have identified 6 accessions of cultivated and 19 accessions of tenuifolius wild that exhibited grain yields above 1800 kg ha−1. These accessions could be suitable to use as parents to improve dry seed production of tepary bean under combined stress conditions of high temperature and acid soil. Full article
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15 pages, 3325 KiB  
Article
Effect of Salt Stress and Foliar Application of Salicylic Acid on Morphological, Biochemical, Anatomical, and Productivity Characteristics of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) Plants
by Ahmed M. El-Taher, Hany S. Abd El-Raouf, Nahid A. Osman, Samah N. Azoz, Magdy A. Omar, Amr Elkelish and Mahmoud A. M. Abd El-Hady
Plants 2022, 11(1), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010115 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 40 | Viewed by 4858
Abstract
The present study aimed to investigate the impact of salinity on vegetative growth, chemical constituents, and yields of cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata) and the possible benefits of salicylic acid (SA) on these plants after damage from salinity. To achieve these objectives, two [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to investigate the impact of salinity on vegetative growth, chemical constituents, and yields of cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata) and the possible benefits of salicylic acid (SA) on these plants after damage from salinity. To achieve these objectives, two pot experiments were carried out at the Faculty of Agriculture, Al-Azhar University, Egypt, during the two growing seasons of 2019 and 2020. The results revealed that salinity significantly decreased, and SA treatment substantially increased the plant height, number of compound leaves, number of internodes per plant, fresh weights of leaves and stems, productivity, photosynthetic pigments content, and concentrations of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) of the cowpea plants compared with the control. The anatomical structure of stems and leaves of the plants were also investigated, and it was found that positive variations in the anatomical structure of the median portion of the main stems and blades of mature foliage leaves were detected in the stressed and SA-treated plants. In conclusion, SA treatment increased the salt stress tolerance of cowpea plants by improving the morphological and physiological attributes of the plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salinity Stress Tolerance in Plants)
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21 pages, 3517 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Investigation and Reproductive Capacity of the Bulgarian Endemic Plant Species Marrubium friwaldskyanum Boiss. (Lamiaceae)
by Valtcho D. Zheljazkov, Ivanka B. Semerdjieva, Jan F. Stevens, Wenbin Wu, Charles L. Cantrell, Elina Yankova-Tsvetkova, Lyubka H. Koleva-Valkova, Albena Stoyanova and Tess Astatkie
Plants 2022, 11(1), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010114 - 30 Dec 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2233
Abstract
Marrubium friwaldskyanum Boiss (Lamiaceae) is a Bulgarian endemic species. Overall, the essential oil (EO) composition of M. friwaldskyanum was different from that of the other Marrubium species reported in the literature. The main EO constituents of M. friwaldskyanum were (E)-caryophyllene, germacrene [...] Read more.
Marrubium friwaldskyanum Boiss (Lamiaceae) is a Bulgarian endemic species. Overall, the essential oil (EO) composition of M. friwaldskyanum was different from that of the other Marrubium species reported in the literature. The main EO constituents of M. friwaldskyanum were (E)-caryophyllene, germacrene D, and caryophyllene oxide. The effect of the harvest stage was significant only on α-copaene, (E)-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, and τ-muurolol. The concentration of α-copaene (1.26–1.83% range of the total oil), (E)-caryophyllene (31–41%), caryophyllene oxide (6.4–11.8%), and τ-muurolol (1.3–2.8%) were the highest at 2–3 pair of leaves or before flowering and lower at flowering. The harvest stage did not significantly affect the concentrations of the other six identified EO compounds β-bourbonene (1.1%), α-humulene (2.8%), germacrene D (23.3%), bicyclogermacrene (2.85%), δ-cadinene (1.1%), and spathulenol (2.8%). In a separate experiment, grinding of the biomass prior to EO extraction had a significant effect only on the concentrations of D-limonene (0.24–3.3%) and bicyclogermacrene (3.6–9.1%). Grinding in water or without water, maceration, and addition of Tween®20 had rather small effects on the EO profile. The identified EO constituents and their mean concentrations in this experiment were (E)-caryophyllene (25.4%), germacrene D (17.6%), caryophyllene oxide (9.1%), spathulenol (6.5%), τ-muurolol (5.0%), carvacrol (3.9%), α-copaene (2.5%), β-bourbonene (2.5%), δ-cadinene (2.4%), α-humulene (1.8%), and Z-β-farnesene (1.3%). Embryological studies observed anther and the development of the male gametophyte and ovule and development of the female gametophyte of M. friwaldskyanum. Furthermore, pollen and seed viability assays were conducted, and mass spectrometry-based metabolomics analysis of an extract from shoots revealed the presence of 45 natural products, identified as flavonoids, phenolic acids, and (tri)terpenoids. Overall, the phytochemistry and some of the microscopic analyses distinguished this endemic species from other species in Marrubium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
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