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Plants, Volume 11, Issue 17 (September-1 2022) – 144 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Wall-associated kinases/kinase-likes (WAKs/WAKLs) are plant cell surface sensors. The role of WAKs/WAKLs during the development of the secondary cell walls (SCWs) remains unclear. In this study, we used RNA-seq data to screen Arabidopsis thaliana WAKs/WAKLs members that may be involved in SCW development and identified WAKL8 as a candidate. Decreased WAKL8 transcript levels in stems were found in wakl8-2 T-DNA insertion mutant plants, and the phenotypes observed included reduced stem length and thinner walls in cells with secondary walls, including xylem vessels and interfascicular fibers, compared with WT plants. We also found that WAKL8 had alternative spliced versions predicted to have only extracellular regions, which may interfere with the function of the full-length version of WAKL8. View this paper
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14 pages, 2713 KiB  
Article
Field Application of a Vis/NIR Hyperspectral Imaging System for Nondestructive Evaluation of Physicochemical Properties in ‘Madoka’ Peaches
by Kyeong Eun Jang, Geonwoo Kim, Mi Hee Shin, Jung Gun Cho, Jae Hoon Jeong, Seul Ki Lee, Dongyoung Kang and Jin Gook Kim
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2327; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172327 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1934
Abstract
Extensive research has been performed on the in-field nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of the physicochemical properties of ‘Madoka’ peaches, such as chromaticity (a*), soluble solids content (SSC), firmness, and titratable acidity (TA) content. To accomplish this, a snapshot-based hyperspectral imaging (HSI) approach for filed [...] Read more.
Extensive research has been performed on the in-field nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of the physicochemical properties of ‘Madoka’ peaches, such as chromaticity (a*), soluble solids content (SSC), firmness, and titratable acidity (TA) content. To accomplish this, a snapshot-based hyperspectral imaging (HSI) approach for filed application was conducted in the visible and near-infrared (Vis/NIR) region. The hyperspectral images of ‘Madoka’ samples were captured and combined with commercial HSI analysis software, and then the physicochemical properties of the ‘Madoka’ samples were predicted. To verify the performance of the field-based HSI application, a lab-based HSI application was also conducted, and their coefficient of determination values (R2) were compared. Finally, pixel-based chemical images were produced to interpret the dynamic changes of the physicochemical properties in ‘Madoka’ peach. Consequently, the a* values and SSC content shows statistically significant R2 values (0.84). On the other hand, the firmness and TA content shows relatively lower accuracy (R2 = 0.6 to 0.7). Then, the resultant chemical images of the a* values and SSC content were created and could represent their different levels using grey scale gradation. This indicates that the HSI system with integrated HSI software used in this work has promising potential as an in-field NDE for analyzing the physicochemical properties in ‘Madoka’ peaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegetable and Fruit Production)
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12 pages, 763 KiB  
Article
Nutritional Parameters, Biomass Production, and Antioxidant Activity of Festuca arundinacea Schreb. Conditioned with Selenium Nanoparticles
by Uriel González-Lemus, Gabriela Medina-Pérez, José J. Espino-García, Fabián Fernández-Luqueño, Rafael Campos-Montiel, Isaac Almaraz-Buendía, Abigail Reyes-Munguía and Thania Urrutia-Hernández
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2326; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172326 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1992
Abstract
Festuca arundinacea Schreb. is a widely used type of forage due to its great ecological breadth and adaptability. An agricultural intervention that improves the selenium content in cultivated plants has been defined as bio-fortification, a complementary strategy to improve human and non-human animals’ [...] Read more.
Festuca arundinacea Schreb. is a widely used type of forage due to its great ecological breadth and adaptability. An agricultural intervention that improves the selenium content in cultivated plants has been defined as bio-fortification, a complementary strategy to improve human and non-human animals’ nutrition. The advancement of science has led to an increased number of studies based on nanotechnologies, such as the development of nanoparticles (NPs) and their application in crop plants. Studies show that NPs have different physicochemical properties compared to bulk materials. The objectives of this study were (1) to determine the behavior of F. arundinacea Schreb. plants cultivated with Se nanoparticles, (2) to identify the specific behavior of the agronomic and productive variables of the F. arundinacea Schreb. plants, and (3) to quantify the production and quality of the forage produced from the plant (the bioactive compounds’ concentrations, antioxidant activity, and the concentration of selenium). Three different treatments of SeNPs were established (0, 1.5, 3.0, and 4.5 mg/mL). The effects of a foliar fertilization with SeNPs on the morphological parameters such as the root size, plant height, and biomass production were recorded, as well as the effects on the physicochemical parameters such as the crude protein (CP), lipids (L), crude fiber (CF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), carbohydrates (CH), the content of total phenols, total flavonoids, tannins, quantification of selenium and antioxidant activity 2,2′-Azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS), and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH). Significant differences (p < 0.05) were found between treatments in all the response variables. The best results were obtained with foliar application treatments with 3.0 and 4.5 mg/mL with respect to the root size (12.79 and 15.59 cm) and plant height (26.18 and 29.34 cm). The F. arundinacea Schreb. plants fertilized with 4.5 mg/L had selenium contents of 0.3215, 0.3191, and 0.3218 mg/Kg MS; total phenols of 249.56, 280.02, and 274 mg EAG/100 g DM; and total flavonoids of 63.56, 64.96, and 61.16 mg QE/100 g DM. The foliar biofortified treatment with a concentration of 4.5 mg/mL Se NPs had the highest antioxidant capacities (284.26, 278.35, and 289.96 mg/AAE/100 g). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Nanomaterials in Agriculture)
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15 pages, 3940 KiB  
Article
Development of a Novel Tissue Blot Hybridization Chain Reaction for the Identification of Plant Viruses
by Fiona Filardo, Peter Vukovic, Murray Sharman, Cherie Gambley and Paul Campbell
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2325; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172325 - 05 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1757
Abstract
Assays for the high throughput screening of crops for virus monitoring need to be quick, easy, and low cost. One method involves using tissue blot immunoassays (TBIA), where plant stems are blotted onto nitrocellulose membrane and screened with available antibodies against a range [...] Read more.
Assays for the high throughput screening of crops for virus monitoring need to be quick, easy, and low cost. One method involves using tissue blot immunoassays (TBIA), where plant stems are blotted onto nitrocellulose membrane and screened with available antibodies against a range of viruses. TBIAs are inexpensive but limited by antibody availability and specificity. To circumvent the antibody limitations, we developed the tissue blot hybridization chain reaction (TB-HCR). As with TBIA, plant stems are blotted onto a nitrocellulose membrane, however, TB-HCR involves using nucleic acid probes instead of antibodies. We demonstrated for the first time that TB-HCR can be used for plant viruses by designing and testing probes against species from several virus genera including begomovirus, polerovirus, luteovirus, cucumovirus, and alfamovirus. We also explored different hairpin reporter methods such as biotin/streptavidin-AP and the Alexa Fluor-488 Fluorophore. TB-HCR has applications for low-cost diagnostics for large sample numbers, rapid diagnostic deployment for new viruses, and can be performed as a preliminary triage assay prior to downstream applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Molecular Diagnostics for Plant Virology)
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17 pages, 4103 KiB  
Article
Identification of QTL under Brassinosteroid-Combined Cold Treatment at Seedling Stage in Rice Using Genotyping-by-Sequencing (GBS)
by Zhifu Guo, Jialu Yao, Yishan Cheng, Wenzhong Zhang, Zhengjin Xu, Maomao Li, Jing Huang, Dianrong Ma and Minghui Zhao
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2324; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172324 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1336
Abstract
Cold stress is a major threat to the sustainability of rice yield. Brassinosteroids (BR) application can enhance cold tolerance in rice. However, the regulatory mechanism related to cold tolerance and the BR signaling pathway in rice has not been clarified. In the current [...] Read more.
Cold stress is a major threat to the sustainability of rice yield. Brassinosteroids (BR) application can enhance cold tolerance in rice. However, the regulatory mechanism related to cold tolerance and the BR signaling pathway in rice has not been clarified. In the current study, the seedling shoot length (SSL), seedling root length (SRL), seedling dry weight (SDW), and seedling wet weight (SWW) were used as the indices for identifying cold tolerance under cold stress and BR-combined cold treatment in a backcross recombinant inbred lines (BRIL) population. According to the phenotypic characterization for cold tolerance and a high-resolution SNP genetic map obtained from the GBS technique, a total of 114 QTLs were identified, of which 27 QTLs were detected under cold stress and 87 QTLs under BR-combined cold treatment. Among them, the intervals of many QTLs were coincident under different treatments, as well as different traits. A total of 13 candidate genes associated with cold tolerance or BR pathway, such as BRASSINAZOLE RESISTANT1 (OsBZR1), OsWRKY77, AP2 domain-containing protein, zinc finger proteins, basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein, and auxin-induced protein, were predicted. Among these, the expression levels of 10 candidate genes were identified under different treatments in the parents and representative BRIL individuals. These results were helpful in understanding the regulation relationship between cold tolerance and BR pathway in rice. Full article
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27 pages, 691 KiB  
Review
Extraction Techniques and Analytical Methods for Isolation and Characterization of Lignans
by Andrzej Patyra, Małgorzata Kołtun-Jasion, Oktawia Jakubiak and Anna Karolina Kiss
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2323; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172323 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4302
Abstract
Lignans are a group of natural polyphenols present in medicinal plants and in plants which are a part of the human diet for which more and more pharmacological activities, such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, and cytoprotective, are being reported. However, it is their [...] Read more.
Lignans are a group of natural polyphenols present in medicinal plants and in plants which are a part of the human diet for which more and more pharmacological activities, such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, and cytoprotective, are being reported. However, it is their cytotoxic activities that are best understood and which have shed light on this group. Two anticancer drugs, etoposide, and teniposide, were derived from a potent cytotoxic agent—podophyllotoxin from the roots of Podophyllum peltatum. The evidence from clinical and observational studies suggests that human microbiota metabolites (enterolactone, enterodiol) of dietary lignans (secoisolariciresinol, pinoresinol, lariciresinol, matairesinol, syringaresinol, medioresinol, and sesamin) are associated with a reduced risk of some hormone-dependent cancers. The biological in vitro, pharmacological in vivo investigations, and clinical studies demand significant amounts of pure compounds, as well as the use of well-defined and standardized extracts. That is why proper extract preparation, optimization of lignan extraction, and identification are crucial steps in the development of lignan use in medicine. This review focuses on lignan extraction, purification, fractionation, separation, and isolation methods, as well as on chromatographic, spectrometric, and spectroscopic techniques for their qualitative and quantitative analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Extracts and Their Cytotoxic Activities)
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18 pages, 16876 KiB  
Article
Response Surface Methodology (RSM) Optimization of the Physicochemical Quality Attributes of Ultraviolet (UV-C)-Treated Barhi Dates
by Mahmoud Younis, Isam A. Mohamed Ahmed, Khaled A. Ahmed, Hany M. Yehia, Diaeldin O. Abdelkarim, Assem I. Zein El-Abedein and Abdulla Alhamdan
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2322; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172322 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2163
Abstract
Barhi date fruit is one of the most important fruits that has high consumer preference and market value at the Khalal maturity stage. However, this stage is very short and the fruit is vulnerable to decay and the ripening process under improper handling [...] Read more.
Barhi date fruit is one of the most important fruits that has high consumer preference and market value at the Khalal maturity stage. However, this stage is very short and the fruit is vulnerable to decay and the ripening process under improper handling and storage conditions. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of utilizing ultraviolet (UV-C) as a method to preserve the qualitative features of Barhi dates under various storage circumstances. The core of this study was defining the best conditions for UV-C treatment of Barhi dates, which was accomplished using a response surface methodology (RSM) model with a central composite, rotating four-factors-mixed-levels design (CCRD). The impacts of independent variables [UV-C exposure time (1, 2, 3, 4 min), UV-C dose (1, 3, 5, 7 kJ/m2), storage time (1, 6, 11, 16, 21 days) and storage temperature (1, 5, 15, 25 °C)] on the moisture content (MC), total soluble solids (TSS), total color changes (E), firmness, total phenolic content (TPC), total viable count (TVC), DPPH antiradical activity, fructose and glucose were investigated. The results revealed that the optimum UV-C treatment and storage settings for keeping the quality features of the dates were the UV-C exposure period and dosage of 1 min and 2.07 kJ/m2, and the storage time and temperature of 18 days and 12.36 °C, respectively. At the optimum conditions, the values of 59.66% moisture content, 38.24% TSS, 60.24 N firmness value, 48.83 ΔE, 0.07 log CFU/g TVC, 5.29 mg GAE/g TPC, 56.32% DPPH antiradical activity, 6.87 g/100 g fructose and 14.02 g/100 g glucose were comparable predicted values demonstrating the suitability of the used RSM models. Overall, the perfect UV-C treatment and storage circumstances for extending the storability and shelf life and maintaining the quality features of Barhi dates were identified in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Physiology and Biochemistry of Fruits and Vegetables)
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17 pages, 987 KiB  
Article
Protein Hydrolysates from Animal or Vegetal Sources Affect Morpho-Physiological Traits, Ornamental Quality, Mineral Composition, and Shelf-Life of Chrysanthemum in a Distinctive Manner
by Petronia Carillo, Antonio Pannico, Chiara Cirillo, Michele Ciriello, Giuseppe Colla, Mariateresa Cardarelli, Stefania De Pascale and Youssef Rouphael
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2321; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172321 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1645
Abstract
Protein hydrolysates (PHs) are a prominent category of plant biostimulants, mainly constituted of amino acids, oligopeptides and polypeptides, obtained by partial hydrolysis of animal or plant protein sources. Despite scientific evidence supporting the biostimulant action of PHs on vegetables, the morphological, physiological, and [...] Read more.
Protein hydrolysates (PHs) are a prominent category of plant biostimulants, mainly constituted of amino acids, oligopeptides and polypeptides, obtained by partial hydrolysis of animal or plant protein sources. Despite scientific evidence supporting the biostimulant action of PHs on vegetables, the morphological, physiological, and shelf-life performances underlying the PH action on cut flowers are still poorly explored. Accordingly, the aim of this research is to assess the effects of three commercial biostimulants, one animal PH (PH A, Hicure®) and two plant PHs (PH V1, Trainer® and PH V2, Vegamin©), on two chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) cultivars (Pinacolada and Radost). In both cultivars, only the plant-derived PH (V1 and V2) treatments recorded significantly higher fresh plant biomass than the control (on average +18%, in both cultivars). The foliar application of the vegetal-derived PHs but not the animal one, particularly in Pinacolada, improved the status of plants, stimulating stem elongation and the apical flower diameter. In Pinacolada, applications with PH V1 resulted in a significant increase in nitrate and P concentration in leaves and Ca content in flowers compared with the control (+43%, +27%, and +28% for nitrate, P, and Ca, respectively). In Radost, PH A and PH V2 applications caused a significant reduction in nitrate concentration in both leaves and flowers compared with the control. One week after harvest, in both cultivars, PH A applications caused flower stems to wilt faster than the control. In contrast, plants treated with PH V1 revealed significantly slower flower stem senescence compared to the control. Flower wilting during vase life was correlated to a decrease in the K-to-Na ratio in flowers due to an inability to transport K to the flowers from the leaves rather than an increase in Na in the flowers themselves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Horticultural Science and Ornamental Plants)
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13 pages, 5261 KiB  
Article
The Biomechanical Screening Game between Visitor Power and Staminode Operative Strength of Delphinium caeruleum (Ranunculaceae)
by Qin-Zheng Hou, Wen-Juan Shao, Nurbiye Ehmet, Guang Yang, Yu-Qin Zhong, Wen-Rui Min, Yi-Fan Xu and Ruo-Chun Gao
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2319; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172319 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1487
Abstract
During the evolution of angiosperm flowers, some floral traits may undergo certain changes in order to participate in screening. The stamens and pistils of Delphinium caeruleum are covered by two “door-like” staminodes, the evolutionary function of which, however, is quite unknown. In this [...] Read more.
During the evolution of angiosperm flowers, some floral traits may undergo certain changes in order to participate in screening. The stamens and pistils of Delphinium caeruleum are covered by two “door-like” staminodes, the evolutionary function of which, however, is quite unknown. In this study, we investigated whether D. caeruleum staminodes acted as visitor filters by assessing the respective strengths of staminodes and visitor insects (six bee species). We measured the operative strength required to open the staminodes and the strength that insects were capable of exerting using a biological tension sensor. Furthermore, we compared the strength required to open staminodes at different phases of the flowering period (male and female phases) and the strength of different visitors (visitors and non-visitors of D. caeruleum). The results showed that the strength needed to open staminodes in the male phase was significantly higher than that in the female phase. There was no significant difference between the strength exerted by visitors and required by staminodes of D. caeruleum in the male phase, but the visitor strength was significantly higher than that required to open staminodes in the female phase flowers. The strength of non-visitors was significantly lower than that required to open staminodes in the male phase. Furthermore, there was a significant positive association between the strength and the body weight of the bees. These results highlighted the observation that only strong visitors could press the two staminodes to access the sex organs and achieve successful pollination. Furthermore, these results revealed the function of pollinator screening by the staminodes of D. caeruleum. The biomechanical approach to the study of flowers allowed us to address relevant ecological and evolutionary questions of the plant–pollinator interaction and explore the functional modules within the flower structure in other plant species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Floral Biology 2.0)
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19 pages, 2985 KiB  
Article
The Role of Alternative Electron Pathways for Effectiveness of Photosynthetic Performance of Arabidopsis thaliana, Wt and Lut2, under Low Temperature and High Light Intensity
by Antoaneta V. Popova, Martin Stefanov, Alexander G. Ivanov and Maya Velitchkova
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2318; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172318 - 04 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1569
Abstract
A recent investigation has suggested that the enhanced capacity for PSI-dependent cyclic electron flow (CEF) and PSI-dependent energy quenching that is related to chloroplast structural changes may explain the lower susceptibility of lut2 to combined stresses—a low temperature and a high light intensity. [...] Read more.
A recent investigation has suggested that the enhanced capacity for PSI-dependent cyclic electron flow (CEF) and PSI-dependent energy quenching that is related to chloroplast structural changes may explain the lower susceptibility of lut2 to combined stresses—a low temperature and a high light intensity. The possible involvement of alternative electron transport pathways, proton gradient regulator 5 (PGR5)-dependent CEF and plastid terminal oxidase (PTOX)-mediated electron transfer to oxygen in the response of Arabidopsis plants—wild type (wt) and lut2—to treatment with these two stressors was assessed by using specific electron transport inhibitors. Re-reduction kinetics of P700+ indicated that the capacity for CEF was higher in lut2 when this was compared to wt. Exposure of wt plants to the stress conditions caused increased CEF and was accompanied by a substantial raise in PGR5 and PTOX quantities. In contrast, both PGR5 and PTOX levels decreased under the same stress conditions in lut2, and inhibiting PGR5-dependent pathway by AntA did not exhibit any significant effects on CEF during the stress treatment and recovery period. Electron microscopy observations demonstrated that under control conditions the degree of grana stacking was much lower in lut2, and it almost disappeared under the combined stresses, compared to wt. The role of differential responses of alternative electron transport pathways in the acclimation to the stress conditions that are studied is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop and Medical Plants Volume II)
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16 pages, 3371 KiB  
Article
Optimized Method for the Identification of Candidate Genes and Molecular Maker Development Related to Drought Tolerance in Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.)
by Sunya Nuanlaong, Suwit Wuthisuthimethavee, Azzreena Mohamad Azzeme and Potjamarn Suraninpong
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2317; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172317 - 04 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1831
Abstract
Drought is a major constraint in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) production. As oil palm breeding takes a long time, molecular markers of genes related to drought tolerance characteristics were developed for effective selection. Two methods of gene identification associated with drought, [...] Read more.
Drought is a major constraint in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) production. As oil palm breeding takes a long time, molecular markers of genes related to drought tolerance characteristics were developed for effective selection. Two methods of gene identification associated with drought, differential display reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (DDRT-PCR) and pyrosequencing platform, were conducted before developing the EST-SSR marker. By DDRT-PCR, fourteen out of twenty-four primer combinations yielded the polymorphism in leaf as 77.66% and root as 96.09%, respectively. BLASTN and BLASTX revealed nucleotides from 8 out of 236 different banding similarities to genes associated with drought stress. Five out of eight genes gave a similarity with our pyrosequencing sequencing database. Furthermore, pyrosequencing analysis of two oil palm libraries, drought-tolerant, and drought sensitive, found 117 proteins associated with drought tolerance. Thirteen out of sixty EST-SSR primers could be distinguished in 119 oil palm parents in our breeding program. All of our found genes revealed an ability to develop as a molecular marker for drought tolerance. However, the function of the validated genes on drought response in oil palm must be evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Strategies for Improving Agronomic Traits in Crops)
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22 pages, 4052 KiB  
Article
Salt Pretreatment-Mediated Alleviation of Boron Toxicity in Safflower Cultivars: Growth, Boron Accumulation, Photochemical Activities, Antioxidant Defense Response
by Özlem Arslan, Şeküre Çulha Erdal and Yasemin Ekmekçi
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2316; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172316 - 04 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1669
Abstract
The study aims to elucidate alleviant effects of boron (B) toxicity by salt pretreatment (SP) on growth response, phytoremediation capacity, photosynthesis, and defense mechanisms in two safflower cultivars (Carthamus tinctorius L.; Dinçer and Remzibey-05). Eighteen-day-old plants were divided into two groups: SP [...] Read more.
The study aims to elucidate alleviant effects of boron (B) toxicity by salt pretreatment (SP) on growth response, phytoremediation capacity, photosynthesis, and defense mechanisms in two safflower cultivars (Carthamus tinctorius L.; Dinçer and Remzibey-05). Eighteen-day-old plants were divided into two groups: SP (75 mM NaCl for 5 days) and/or B treatment (C, 2, 4, 6, and 8 mM B for 10 days). Depending on the applied B toxicity, B concentrations in roots and leaves of both cultivars, necrotic areas of leaves, ion leakage (RLR), and H2O2 synthesis increased, while shoot and root length as well as biomass, water, chlorophyll a+b, and carotenoid content decreased. In addition, chlorophyll a fluorescence results revealed that every stage of the light reactions of photosynthesis was adversely affected under B toxicity, resulting in decreases in performance indexes (PIABS and PITOT). However, the cultivars tended to induce the synthesis of anthocyanins and flavonoids and increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, POD, APX, and GR) to detoxify reactive oxygen species (ROS) under B toxicity. SP mitigated the negative effects of toxic B on biomass, water and pigment content, membrane integrity, photosynthetic activity, and defense systems. Considering all results, Remzibey-05 was able to better overcome the biochemical and physiological changes that may be caused by B toxicity by more effectively rendering B harmless, although it accumulated more B than Dinçer. Full article
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20 pages, 2756 KiB  
Article
Growth and Photosynthetic Responses of Cowpea Genotypes under Waterlogging at the Reproductive Stage
by Omolayo J. Olorunwa, Bikash Adhikari, Skyler Brazel, Ainong Shi, Sorina C. Popescu, George V. Popescu and T. Casey Barickman
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2315; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172315 - 04 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1605
Abstract
Waterlogging is an important environmental stress limiting the productivity of crops worldwide. Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) is particularly sensitive to waterlogging stress during the reproductive stage, with a consequent decline in pod formation and yield. However, little is known about the critical [...] Read more.
Waterlogging is an important environmental stress limiting the productivity of crops worldwide. Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) is particularly sensitive to waterlogging stress during the reproductive stage, with a consequent decline in pod formation and yield. However, little is known about the critical processes underlying cowpea’s responses to waterlogging during the reproductive stage. Thus, we investigated the key parameters influencing carbon fixation, including stomatal conductance (gs), intercellular CO2 concentration, chlorophyll content, and chlorophyll fluorescence, of two cowpea genotypes with contrasting waterlogging tolerance. These closely related genotypes have starkly contrasting responses to waterlogging during and after 7 days of waterlogging stress (DOW). In the intolerant genotype (‘EpicSelect.4’), waterlogging resulted in a gradual loss of pigment and decreased photosynthetic capacity as a consequent decline in shoot biomass. On the other hand, the waterlogging-tolerant genotype (‘UCR 369’) maintained CO2 assimilation rate (A), stomatal conductance (gs), biomass, and chlorophyll content until 5 DOW. Moreover, there was a highly specific downregulation of the mesophyll conductance (gm), maximum rate of Rubisco (Vcmax), and photosynthetic electron transport rate (Jmax) as non-stomatal limiting factors decreasing A in EpicSelect.4. Exposure of EpicSelect.4 to 2 DOW resulted in the loss of PSII photochemistry by downregulating the PSII quantum yield (Fv/Fm), photochemical efficiency (ΦPSII), and photochemical quenching (qP). In contrast, we found no substantial change in the photosynthesis and chlorophyll fluorescence of UCR 369 in the first 5 DOW. Instead, UCR 369 maintained biomass accumulation, chlorophyll content, and Rubisco activity, enabling the genotype to maintain nutrient absorption and photosynthesis during the early period of waterlogging. However, compared to the control, both cowpea genotypes could not fully recover their photosynthetic capacity after 7 DOW, with a more significant decline in EpicSelect.4. Overall, our findings suggest that the tolerant UCR 369 genotype maintains higher photosynthesis under waterlogging stress attributable to higher photochemical efficiency, Rubisco activity, and less stomatal restriction. After recovery, the incomplete recovery of A can be attributed to the reduced gs caused by severe waterlogging damage in both genotypes. Thus, promoting the rapid recovery of stomata from waterlogging stress may be crucial for the complete restoration of carbon fixation in cowpeas during the reproductive stage. Full article
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20 pages, 4155 KiB  
Article
Response of Bletilla striata to Drought: Effects on Biochemical and Physiological Parameter Also with Electric Measurements
by Yongdao Gao, Chang Cai, Qiaoan Yang, Wenxuan Quan, Chaochan Li and Yanyou Wu
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2313; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172313 - 04 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1611
Abstract
In heterogeneous landscapes with temporary water deficit characteristics in southwestern China, understanding the electrophysiological and morphological characteristics of Bletilla striata under different water conditions can help to better evaluate its suitability for planting plants in specific locations and guide planting and production. Using [...] Read more.
In heterogeneous landscapes with temporary water deficit characteristics in southwestern China, understanding the electrophysiological and morphological characteristics of Bletilla striata under different water conditions can help to better evaluate its suitability for planting plants in specific locations and guide planting and production. Using B. striata seedlings as experimental materials, the maximum field capacity (FC) was 75–80% (CK: control group), 50–60% FC (LS: light drought stress), 40–45% FC (MS: moderate drought stress), and 30–35% FC (SS: severe drought stress). In terms of physiological response, the activities of peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT) decreased under drought conditions, but the activity was well under the LS treatment, and the contents of proline (Pro) and malondialdehyde (MDA) increased. In terms of morphological responses, under drought conditions, root lengths of the rhizomes (except the LS treatment) were significantly reduced, the leaf lengths were reduced, and the biomass was significantly reduced. The stomatal size reached the maximum under the LS treatment, and the stomatal density gradually decreased with the increase in drought degree. In terms of electrophysiological responses, drought significantly decreased the net photosynthetic rate (PN) of B. striata, stomatal conductance (gs), and transpiration rate (Tr), but effectively increased the water use efficiency (WUE). The effective thickness of leaves of B. striata increased under drought conditions, and drought promoted the formation of leaf morphological diversity. Our results showed that drought stress changed the physiological and morphological characteristics of B. striata, and under light drought conditions had higher physiological activity, good morphological characteristics, higher cellular metabolic energy and ecological adaptability. Appropriate drought can promote the improvement of the quality of B. striata, and it can be widely planted in mildly arid areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change)
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9 pages, 1769 KiB  
Article
Planoplatessa gen. nov.—A New, Neglected Monoraphid Diatom Genus with a Cavum
by Maxim S. Kulikovskiy, Anton M. Glushchenko, Irina V. Kuznetsova and John Patrick Kociolek
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2314; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172314 - 03 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1361
Abstract
A new monoraphid diatom genus, Planoplatessa gen. nov., is described on the basis of a detailed morphological investigation using light and scanning electron microscopy. We transferred Achnanthes joursacensis Héribaud, a species described from fossil deposits in France, to our new genus. We investigated [...] Read more.
A new monoraphid diatom genus, Planoplatessa gen. nov., is described on the basis of a detailed morphological investigation using light and scanning electron microscopy. We transferred Achnanthes joursacensis Héribaud, a species described from fossil deposits in France, to our new genus. We investigated material from Mongolia from Recent populations. This taxon is known from fossils to Recent across the Holarctic. Achnanthes joursacensis was previously transferred to the genera Planothidium and Platessa, but the morphology of A. joursacensis does not share all morphological features with these two genera. We discuss important morphological features for the delimitation of monoraphid genera based on careful morphological and molecular investigations we presented previously. Planoplatessa gen. nov. as a genus is characterized by having uniseriate striae on both the raphe and the rapheless valves, a cavum in rapheless valves only, and straight distal raphe ends on the valve face. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Taxonomy of Plants)
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15 pages, 3625 KiB  
Article
BnGF14-2c Positively Regulates Flowering via the Vernalization Pathway in Semi-Winter Rapeseed
by Shihang Fan, Hongfang Liu, Jing Liu, Wei Hua and Jun Li
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2312; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172312 - 03 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1672
Abstract
14-3-3s are general regulatory factors (GF14s or GRFs) involved in a variety of physiological regulations in plants, including the control of flowering time. However, there are poorly relevant reports in rapeseed so far. In this study, we identified a homologous 14-3-3 gene BnGF14-2c [...] Read more.
14-3-3s are general regulatory factors (GF14s or GRFs) involved in a variety of physiological regulations in plants, including the control of flowering time. However, there are poorly relevant reports in rapeseed so far. In this study, we identified a homologous 14-3-3 gene BnGF14-2c (AtGRF2_Like in Brassica napus) in rapeseed based on bioinformatic analysis by using the sequences of the flowering-related 14-3-3s in other plant species. Then, we found that overexpression of BnGF14-2c in the semi-winter rapeseed “93275” promoted flowering without vernalization. Moreover, both yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence complementation analysis indicated that BnGF14-2c may interact with two vernalization-related flowering regulators BnFT.A02 and BnFLC.A10., respectively. qPCR analysis showed that the expression of BnFT (AtFT_Like) was increased and the expression of two selected vernalization-related genes were reduced in the overexpression transgenic plants. Further investigation on subcellular localization demonstrated that BnGF14-2c localized in the nucleus and cytoplasm. The results of RNA-seq analysis and GUS staining indicated that BnGF14-2c is ubiquitously expressed except for mature seed coat. In general, the interaction of 14-3-3 and FLC was firstly documented in this study, indicating BnGF14-2c may act as a positive regulator of flowering in rapeseed, which is worthy for more in-depth exploration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.))
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16 pages, 3527 KiB  
Article
Molecular Identification of Zantedeschia Culture with Determination of Its Morphometric and Metabolic Activities for Mediterranean Acclimatization
by Eman Tawfik, Mohamed Fathy Ahmed, Doha A. Albalawi, Bandar S. Aljuaid, Doaa Bahaa Eldin Darwish, Samy F. Mahmoud, Karim M. Hassan, Mohamed F. M. Ibrahim and Ashraf Bakry Abdel Razik
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2311; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172311 - 03 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1810
Abstract
Calla lily (Zantedeschia albomaculata (Hook.) Baill.) is an herbaceous or semi-evergreen perennial grown from rhizomes. It is commonly named “Spotted Arum”. Ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) are found in all known organisms and are known for being functionally equivalent in all of them. A [...] Read more.
Calla lily (Zantedeschia albomaculata (Hook.) Baill.) is an herbaceous or semi-evergreen perennial grown from rhizomes. It is commonly named “Spotted Arum”. Ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) are found in all known organisms and are known for being functionally equivalent in all of them. A completely new in vitro culture protocol was applied to Z. albomaculata with two hormones, 6-Benzylaminopurine (BAP) and kinetin, to obtain full growth and multiplication. Due to their highly conserved sequences, the analysis of small-subunit rRNAs (16S–18S rRNAs) can provide precise statistical evaluation of a wide variety of phylogenetic connections. As a result, the plant’s 18S rRNA gene allowed for identification and partial sequencing. Also, the traditional floral method and the novel application technique for identification were applied to Z. albomaculata. In this paper we systemically describe the structural strategies of the plant’s adaptation to the surroundings at the morphological, physiological, and anatomical scale. Most the essential oils and fatty acids found in Z. albomaculata are omega fatty acids, octadecenoic acid, linoleic acid, and palmitic acid. All these fatty acids have industrial, medicinal, and pharmaceutical applications. The significant findings are the spadix sheathing leaves, and the precipitation of raphides calcium oxalate. The mitotic index showing the division activity was recorded, and it was 17.4%. The antimicrobial activity of Z. albomaculata ethanol extract was performed via the well diffusion method. This extract has shown high activity against Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, compared to its lower activity against Bacillus cereus. By defining these characteristics and in vitro culture conditions, we will be able to acclimatize the plant in greenhouses, and then transfer it to the open field. The findings of this work identified the general characteristics of Zantedeschia albomaculata as an ornamental and medicinal plant in order to acclimatize this plant for cultivation in the Mediterranean climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mediterranean Plants II)
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11 pages, 947 KiB  
Article
Temporal Variation of Litterfall and Nutrient Return of Serianthes nelsonii Merr. in a Tropical Karst Forest
by Thomas E. Marler and Gil N. Cruz
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2310; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172310 - 03 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2301
Abstract
Trees contribute to ecosystem nutrient cycling through the amount, timing, and composition of litterfall. Understanding the nature of this contribution from endangered tree species may aid in species and habitat recovery efforts. Serianthes nelsonii is an endangered tree species from the Mariana Islands, [...] Read more.
Trees contribute to ecosystem nutrient cycling through the amount, timing, and composition of litterfall. Understanding the nature of this contribution from endangered tree species may aid in species and habitat recovery efforts. Serianthes nelsonii is an endangered tree species from the Mariana Islands, and little is known about litterfall dynamics. The timing of leaf, fruit, and stem litterfall was determined to more fully understand the return of nutrients via litter. The total annual litterfall was 272.8 g·m−2, with 45% represented by leaves, 48% represented by stems, and 7% represented by fruits. Stem litterfall weight contrasted more from month to month than the other organs, and leaf litterfall exhibited the most even distribution throughout the year. The timing of fruit and stem litterfall was influenced by the timing of extreme wind events. Leaf litter contributed nutrients in the following order: carbon > calcium > nitrogen > potassium > magnesium > iron > phosphorus > manganese > boron > zinc > copper. Fruit and stem litter contributed nutrients in the following order: carbon > calcium > nitrogen > magnesium > potassium > phosphorus > iron > manganese > boron > zinc > copper. Based on carbon/nitrogen, the stem litter exhibited the lowest quality and leaf litter exhibited the highest quality for speed of nutrient release via decomposition. Conservationists may use this knowledge to more fully integrate S. nelsonii trees into habitat management plans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Ecology)
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21 pages, 2741 KiB  
Article
Marrubium alysson L. Ameliorated Methotrexate-Induced Testicular Damage in Mice through Regulation of Apoptosis and miRNA-29a Expression: LC-MS/MS Metabolic Profiling
by Reda F. A. Abdelhameed, Asmaa I. Ali, Sameh S. Elhady, Hend E. Abo Mansour, Eman T. Mehanna, Sarah M. Mosaad, Salma A. Ibrahim, Rawan H. Hareeri, Jihan M. Badr and Nermeen A. Eltahawy
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2309; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172309 - 03 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1859
Abstract
Despite the efficient anti-cancer capabilities of methotrexate (MTX), it may induce myelosuppression, liver dysfunction and testicular toxicity. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether Marrubium alysson L. (M. alysson L.) methanolic extract and its polyphenol fraction could protect mouse testicles [...] Read more.
Despite the efficient anti-cancer capabilities of methotrexate (MTX), it may induce myelosuppression, liver dysfunction and testicular toxicity. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether Marrubium alysson L. (M. alysson L.) methanolic extract and its polyphenol fraction could protect mouse testicles from MTX-induced damage. We also investigated the protective effects of three selected pure flavonoid components of M. alysson L. extract. Mice were divided into seven groups (n = 8): (1) normal control, (2) MTX, (3) Methanolic extract + MTX, (4) Polyphenolic fraction + MTX, (5) Kaempferol + MTX, (6) Quercetin + MTX, and (7) Rutin + MTX. Pre-treatment of mice with the methanolic extract, the polyphenolic fraction of M. alysson L. and the selected pure compounds ameliorated the testicular histopathological damage and induced a significant increase in the serum testosterone level and testicular antioxidant enzymes along with a remarkable decline in the malondialdehyde (MDA) level versus MTX alone. Significant down-regulation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), p53 and miRNA-29a testicular expression was also observed in all the protected groups. Notably, the polyphenolic fraction of M. alysson L. displayed a more pronounced decline in the testicular levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and MDA, with higher testosterone levels relative to the methanolic extract. Further improvements in the Johnsen score, histopathological results and all biochemical assays were achieved by pre-treatment with the three selected pure compounds kaempferol, quercetin and rutin. In conclusion, M. alysson L. could protect against MTX-induced testicular injury by its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic activities and through the regulation of the miRNA-29a testicular expression. The present study also included chemical profiling of M. alysson L. extract, which was accomplished by LC-ESI-TOF-MS/MS analysis. Forty compounds were provisionally assigned, comprising twenty compounds discovered in the positive mode and seventeen detected in the negative mode. Full article
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11 pages, 2957 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Application of Hydrolysate of Chlorella vulgaris Extracted by Different Techniques on the Growth of Pelargonium × hortorum
by Pedro José Bayona-Morcillo, Cintia Gómez-Serrano, Cynthia Victoria González-López, Daniele Massa and Silvia Jiménez-Becker
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2308; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172308 - 03 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1154
Abstract
The extraction method used to obtain biologically active compounds from microalgal biomass may affect the biostimulant capacity of the microalgae. The objective of this assay was to determine the most efficient extraction method to release the active components of the biomass of Chlorella [...] Read more.
The extraction method used to obtain biologically active compounds from microalgal biomass may affect the biostimulant capacity of the microalgae. The objective of this assay was to determine the most efficient extraction method to release the active components of the biomass of Chlorella vulgaris (C. vulgaris). Plantlets of Pelargonium × hortorum were grown in a greenhouse and five treatments were applied: C-application with water; M-application with untreated C. vulgaris microalgae; M-US-application with C. vulgaris microalgae treated with ultrasound; M-USHY-application with C. vulgaris microalgae treated with ultrasound and enzymatic hydrolysis; and M-USHYAU-application with C. vulgaris microalgae treated with ultrasound, enzymatic hydrolysis, and autoclaving. All microalgae treatments increased shoot number and stem and plant diameter. The US-treated biomass increased the inflorescence of the plant significantly compared to the control. To extract bioactive compounds from eukaryotic microalgae for plant biostimulating purposes, the US-treatment (or any other method damaging the plasma membrane) of microalgae cell is, or seems to be, suitable.. Macronutrient content in leaves was not affected by the microalgae treatment, except for K. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Horticultural Science and Ornamental Plants)
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19 pages, 1847 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Proteomic Responses of Cassava to Short-Term Extreme Cool and Hot Temperature
by Supranee Santanoo, Kochaphan Vongcharoen, Poramate Banterng, Nimitr Vorasoot, Sanun Jogloy, Sittiruk Roytrakul and Piyada Theerakulpisut
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2307; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172307 - 03 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1899
Abstract
Temperature is one of the most critical factors affecting cassava metabolism and growth. This research was conducted to investigate the effects of short-term exposure to extreme cool (15 °C) and hot (45 °C) temperature on photosynthesis, biochemical and proteomics changes in potted plants [...] Read more.
Temperature is one of the most critical factors affecting cassava metabolism and growth. This research was conducted to investigate the effects of short-term exposure to extreme cool (15 °C) and hot (45 °C) temperature on photosynthesis, biochemical and proteomics changes in potted plants of two cassava cultivars, namely Rayong 9 and Kasetsart 50. One-month-old plants were exposed to 15, 30, and 45 °C for 60 min in a temperature chamber under light intensity of 700 μmol m−2 s−1. Compared to the optimum temperature (30 °C), exposure to 15 °C resulted in 28% reduction in stomatal conductance (gs) and 62% reduction in net photosynthesis rate (Pn). In contrast, gs under 45 °C increased 2.61 folds, while Pn was reduced by 50%. The lower Pn but higher electron transport rate (ETR) of the cold-stressed plants indicated that a greater proportion of electrons was transported via alternative pathways to protect chloroplast from being damaged by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Moreover, malondialdehyde (MDA) contents, a marker related to the amount of ROS, were significantly higher at low temperature. Proteomics analysis revealed some interesting differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) including annexin, a multi-functional protein functioning in early events of heat stress signaling. In response to low-temperature stress, AP2/ERF domain-containing protein (a cold-related transcription factor) and glutaredoxin domain-containing protein (a component of redox signaling network under cold stress) were detected. Taken together, both cultivars were more sensitive to low than high temperature. Moreover, Rayong 9 displayed higher Pn under both temperature stresses, and was more efficient in controlling ROS under cold stress than Kasetsart 50. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Temperature Stress and Responses in Plants)
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17 pages, 1993 KiB  
Article
Effects of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Regulation on Plant Type, Population Ecology and Sheath Blight of Hybrid Rice
by Guotao Yang, Rong Liu, Peng Ma, Hong Chen, Rongping Zhang, Xuechun Wang, Yongyan Li and Yungao Hu
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2306; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172306 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1203
Abstract
(1) Background: Sheath blight is one of the most economically significant rice diseases worldwide. A study was conducted in order to find the relationship and impact of the amount of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) application on the hybrid rice population microclimate and [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Sheath blight is one of the most economically significant rice diseases worldwide. A study was conducted in order to find the relationship and impact of the amount of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) application on the hybrid rice population microclimate and the severity of sheath blight. (2) Methods: Four N and four P application levels were used to determine their impact on plant type, temperature, and humidity variation in different positions of population and the severity of sheath blight in the later stage. (3) Results: We found that N and P application levels could affect the plant type and change the population temperature and humidity by increasing the leaf length and leaf angle. (4) Conclusions: N application had a more significant (p < 0.05) impact on the plant type. High N application caused decreased temperature (hybrid rice population), while increased humidity (especially the population base layer at grain filling stage) resulted in severe sheath blight. High P application had similar impacts; however, P application increased material and nitrogen transport in plants and reduced the severity of sheath blight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Physiology and Crop Production)
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10 pages, 2173 KiB  
Review
Agave americana: Characteristics and Potential Breeding Priorities
by Sarah C. Davis
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2305; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172305 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2951
Abstract
Agave americana L. is one of many Agave species that could be developed for the production of valuable agricultural products. Although all species in this genus use Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) and most have drought and heat tolerance, Agave americana also has the [...] Read more.
Agave americana L. is one of many Agave species that could be developed for the production of valuable agricultural products. Although all species in this genus use Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) and most have drought and heat tolerance, Agave americana also has the combined traits of high yield and cold tolerance. This review highlights key characteristics of Agave americana that make it an exceptional novel crop for fiber, sweeteners, bioproducts, and bioethanol with resilient traits for changing climate conditions. Then, it proposes potential directions for breeding that will support production in semi-arid climates. With selection and breeding, yields of 16 Mg ha−1 y−1 may be achieved. Current field observations, with no crop improvement, indicate ~9 Mg ha−1 is the maximum yield, and in arid regions, a yield of ~3 Mg ha−1 y−1 is observed. It may be beneficial to breed for a shorter time to flowering, as has been successful for Agave tequilana Weber var. azul, so that further breeding goals are achievable in a decadal timespan. Specific trait selection during breeding will depend on whether fiber or sugar yields are the desired products at a given location. Even without breeding, varieties of Agave americana are climate resilient alternatives for some current commodity crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Germplasm Resources and Breeding of Agave)
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15 pages, 2859 KiB  
Article
Classification and Identification of S Haplotypes in Radish Based on SRK Kinase Domain Sequence Analysis
by Meng Ni, Xiaofang Yi, Qin Wang, Juan Wang, Shuang Wang, Liwang Liu, Liang Xu and Yan Wang
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2304; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172304 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1491
Abstract
Radish is a typical self-incompatible crop. The rapid and accurate identification of S haplotypes can circumvent the blindness of the hybrid combination process, which is critical in radish heterosis utilization and the breeding of new varieties. In this study, based on the gene [...] Read more.
Radish is a typical self-incompatible crop. The rapid and accurate identification of S haplotypes can circumvent the blindness of the hybrid combination process, which is critical in radish heterosis utilization and the breeding of new varieties. In this study, based on the gene sequence which encodes the S-locus receptor kinase (SRK) of radish, and the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis, the S haplotypes were identified among 79 cultivated radish genotypes. The PCR results indicated that 79 radish genotypes could be divided into 48 Class I, 13 Class II, and 17 Class I/II S haplotypes. Sequence alignment confirmed that the Class I materials contained 19 S haplotypes, of which three haplotypes (‘NAU-S53’, ‘NAU-S54’ and ‘NAU-S55’) were identified for the first time in radish. After digestion using the Hinf I restriction endonuclease, the SRK domain of DNA fragments of different genotypes showed high polymorphism. Homozygous materials S haplotypes could be quickly distinguished by the differences in the digested bands. Molecular identification of the S haplotype was highly consistent with the field pollination and pollen tube germination results. These results would provide an important approach for the rapid identification of radish S haplotypes and the efficient utilization of self-incompatibility in heterosis breeding. Full article
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27 pages, 3648 KiB  
Article
Phylogenomics and Systematics of Overlooked Mesoamerican and South American Polyploid Broad-Leaved Festuca Grasses Differentiate F. sects. Glabricarpae and Ruprechtia and F. subgen. Asperifolia, Erosiflorae, Mallopetalon and Coironhuecu (subgen. nov.)
by María Fernanda Moreno-Aguilar, Luís. A. Inda, Aminael Sánchez-Rodríguez, Pilar Catalán and Itziar Arnelas
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2303; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172303 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1249
Abstract
Allopolyploidy is considered a driver of diversity in subtribe Loliinae. We investigate the evolution and systematics of the poorly studied Mesoamerican and South American polyploid broad-leaved Festuca L. species of uncertain origin and unclear taxonomy. A taxonomic study of seven diagnostic morphological traits [...] Read more.
Allopolyploidy is considered a driver of diversity in subtribe Loliinae. We investigate the evolution and systematics of the poorly studied Mesoamerican and South American polyploid broad-leaved Festuca L. species of uncertain origin and unclear taxonomy. A taxonomic study of seven diagnostic morphological traits was conducted on a representation of 22 species. Phylogenomic analyses were performed on a representation of these supraspecific taxa and all other Loliinae lineages using separate data from the entire plastome, nuclear rDNA 45S and 5S genes, and repetitive DNA elements. F. subgen. Mallopetalon falls within the fine-leaved (FL) Loliinae clade, whereas the remaining taxa are nested within the broad-leaved (BL) Loliinae clade forming two separate Mexico–Central–South American (MCSAI, MCSAII) lineages. MCSAI includes representatives of F. sect. Glabricarpae and F. subgen. Asperifolia plus F. superba, and MCSAII of F. subgen. Erosiflorae and F. sect. Ruprechtia plus F. argentina. MCSAII likely had a BL Leucopoa paternal ancestor, MCSAI and MCSAII a BL Meso-South American maternal ancestor, and Mallopetalon FL, American I–II ancestors. Plastome vs. nuclear topological discordances corroborated the hybrid allopolyploid origins of these taxa, some of which probably originated from Northern Hemisphere ancestors. The observed data indicate rapid reticulate radiations in the Central–South American subcontinent. Our systematic study supports the reclassification of some studied taxa in different supraspecific Festuca ranks. Full article
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20 pages, 4206 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Structural Responses of Olive Leaves Related to Tolerance/Susceptibility to Verticillium dahliae
by Martina Cardoni, José Luis Quero, Rafael Villar and Jesús Mercado-Blanco
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2302; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172302 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1624
Abstract
Verticillium wilt of olive (VWO), caused by the soil borne fungus Verticillium dahliae, is one of the most relevant diseases affecting this crop worldwide. One of the best VWO management strategies is the use of tolerant cultivars. Scarce information is available about [...] Read more.
Verticillium wilt of olive (VWO), caused by the soil borne fungus Verticillium dahliae, is one of the most relevant diseases affecting this crop worldwide. One of the best VWO management strategies is the use of tolerant cultivars. Scarce information is available about physiological and structural responses in the leaves of olive cultivars displaying different levels of tolerance to VWO. To identify links between this phenotype and variations in functional characteristics of the leaves, this study examined the structural and physiological traits and the correlations among them in different olive varieties. This evaluation was conducted in the presence/absence of V. dahliae. On the one hand, no leaf trait but the area was related to VWO tolerance in the absence of the pathogen. On the other hand, after inoculation, susceptible cultivars showed lower leaf area and higher leaf mass per area and dry matter content. Furthermore, at the physiological level, these plants showed severe symptoms resembling water stress. Analyzing the relationships among physiological and structural traits revealed differences between tolerant and susceptible cultivars both in the absence and in the presence of V. dahliae. These results showed that olive leaves of VWO-tolerant and VWO-susceptible cultivars adopt different strategies to cope with the pathogen. Full article
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15 pages, 917 KiB  
Article
A Comprehensive Study of Lupin Seed Oils and the Roasting Effect on Their Chemical and Biological Activity
by Eman F. Al-Amrousi, Ahmed N. Badr, Adel G. Abdel-Razek, Karolina Gromadzka, Kinga Drzewiecka and Minar M. M. Hassanein
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2301; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172301 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2256
Abstract
The present investigation aimed to study the impact of roasting on the chemical composition and biological activities of sweet and bitter lupin seed oils. Lupin oils were extracted using petroleum ether (40–60) with ultrasonic assisted method. Lupin Fatty acids, phytosterols, carotenoids, and total [...] Read more.
The present investigation aimed to study the impact of roasting on the chemical composition and biological activities of sweet and bitter lupin seed oils. Lupin oils were extracted using petroleum ether (40–60) with ultrasonic assisted method. Lupin Fatty acids, phytosterols, carotenoids, and total phenolic contents were determined. In addition, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antifungal activities were evaluated. The results showed a ratio between 7.50% to 9.28% of oil content in lupin seed. Unroasted (bitter and sweet) lupin oil contained a high level of oleic acid ω9 (42.65 and 50.87%), followed by linoleic acid ω6 (37.3 and 34.48%) and linolenic acid ω3 (3.35 and 6.58%), respectively. Concerning phytosterols, unroasted (bitter and sweet lupin) seed oil reflected high values (442.59 and 406.18 mg/100 g oil, respectively). Bitter lupin oil contains a high amount of phenolics, although a lower antioxidant potency compared to sweet lupin oil. This phenomenon could be connected with the synergistic effect between phenolics and carotenoids higher in sweet lupin oil. The results reflected a more efficiently bitter lupin oil against anti-toxigenic fungi than sweet lupin oil. The roasting process recorded enhances the antimicrobial activity of bitter and sweet lupin seed oil, which is linked to the increment in bioactive components during the roasting process. These results concluded that lupin oil deems a novel functional ingredient and a valuable dietary fat source. Moreover, lupin oil seemed to have antifungal properties, which recommended its utilization as a carrier for active-antifungal compounds in food products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
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17 pages, 2207 KiB  
Article
The Higher Water Absorption Capacity of Small Root System Improved the Yield and Water Use Efficiency of Maize
by Minfei Yan, Li Zhang, Yuanyuan Ren, Tingting Zhang, Shaowei Zhang, Hongbing Li, Yinglong Chen and Suiqi Zhang
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2300; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172300 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2449
Abstract
The root system in plants absorbs water and minerals. However, the relationship among root size, yield, and water use efficiency (WUE) is controversial. Two pot experiments were conducted to explore these relationships by using two maize varieties with contrasting root sizes and reducing [...] Read more.
The root system in plants absorbs water and minerals. However, the relationship among root size, yield, and water use efficiency (WUE) is controversial. Two pot experiments were conducted to explore these relationships by using two maize varieties with contrasting root sizes and reducing the root–shoot ratio (R/S) through root pruning to eliminate genotypic effects. Maize plants were grown in an open rainout shelter under both water-sufficient and deficient conditions. Yield-related parameters, root hydraulic conductivity (Lpr), and WUE were determined. The results showed that the small root variety (XY) has a higher yield and WUE compared to large root variety (QL) under both soil moisture conditions, likely related to the higher Lpr of XY. XY also had a higher leaf water potential than QL under drought stress, indicating that small root system could provide enough water to the shoot. Further pot experiment showed that both small and large root pruning on QL (cut off about 1/5 roots, RP1; and cut off about 1/3 roots, RP2, respectively) improved WUE and Lpr, and the RP1 yield increased by 12.9% compared to the control under well-watered conditions. Root pruning decreased transpiration and increased photosynthesis. Thus, this study reveals that it is possible to increase water absorption, yield, and WUE by reducing R/S in modern maize varieties, which may be important for the future breeding of new cultivars suitable for arid regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Physiology and Crop Production)
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15 pages, 11142 KiB  
Article
Reproductive Biology of the Two Varieties of Anacyclus pyrethrum L.—Anacyclus pyrethrum var. pyrethrum (L.) Link and Anacyclus pyrethrum var. depressus (Ball.) Maire—An Endemic Endangered Species
by Fatima Zahra Jawhari, Hamada Imtara, Abdelfattah El Moussaoui, Hind Khalis, Imane Es-Safi, Omkulthom Al Kamaly, Asmaa Saleh, Mohammad Khalid Parvez, Raja Guemmouh and Amina Bari
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2299; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172299 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1876
Abstract
The reproductive system is essential for the structuring and transmission of genetic diversity. Understanding the reproductive biology of threatened endemic species is considered to be a crucial element for the implementation of effective conservation strategies. Given the lack of information and the insufficient [...] Read more.
The reproductive system is essential for the structuring and transmission of genetic diversity. Understanding the reproductive biology of threatened endemic species is considered to be a crucial element for the implementation of effective conservation strategies. Given the lack of information and the insufficient state of knowledge on the reproductive system of Anacyclus pyrethrum L., a threatened medicinal species endemic to Morocco, we are the first to study the reproductive biology of two varieties of Anacyclus pyrethrum L.: Anacyclus pyrethrum var. pyrethrum (L.) Link and Anacyclus pyrethrum var. depressus (Ball.) Maire. The reproductive biology of the two varieties was examined in detail by studying the development of the inflorescence, phenology of flowering, breeding system, pollinators, production, and seed dispersal. The experimental results described in this work suggest that Anacyclus pyrethrum L. is a gynomonic species, with a mixed autogamy–allogamy reproductive regime with a high predominance of allogamy. It appears to be partially self-incompatible, with allogamy rates for Anacyclus pyrethrum var. depressus (Ball.) Maire and Anacyclus pyrethrum var. pyrethrum (L.) Link of 78.70% and 79.01%, respectively. It depends on pollination vectors to produce a large number of seeds. This study on the breeding system of Anacyclus pyrethrum L. provides a tool for developing management strategies and adequate conservation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Reproductive Development and Ecology)
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5 pages, 208 KiB  
Editorial
Plants: Sources of Diversity in Propolis Properties
by Otilia Bobiş
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2298; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172298 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
Propolis or “bee glue” is a resinous waxy substance that is produced by honeybees (Apis mellifera) by mixing the exudates collected from plants, namely tree buds, sap flows, leaves, branches and barks with their saliva and beeswax. Propolis composition is very complex. [...] Read more.
Propolis or “bee glue” is a resinous waxy substance that is produced by honeybees (Apis mellifera) by mixing the exudates collected from plants, namely tree buds, sap flows, leaves, branches and barks with their saliva and beeswax. Propolis composition is very complex. Its main constituents are resins and volatiles originating from plants and wax added by the bee. The biological activity of propolis is assigned to these plant-derived substances. The main three types of propolis are European propolis, called poplar type propolis; Green Brazilian propolis (derived mainly from the leaf resin of Baccharis dracunculifolia) and Red Cuban propolis (from the floral resin of Clusia rosea). The plant’s source gives it a specific composition and properties for the propolis types that are coming from different regions of the world. For this reason, studies on the chemical composition of propolis as well as its botanical sources resulting in its geographically conditioned diversity, were a very good theme for the present Special Issue (SI) of Plants journal. The present SI contains nine original contributions addressing propolis plant sources, their chemical composition and different bioactive properties derived from this origin. The chemical composition of propolis that is made by the bees was also discussed, as well as the different medical activities of propolis extract. The papers cover a wide range of subjects, including (i) the plant species used by the bees as raw material for propolis production, (ii) the biological activities of plant extracts related to propolis, (iii) the chemical composition of different types of propolis, (iv) the biological activity of propolis, (v) propolis and human health, and (vi) synergism between plants and propolis in human health. The studies have been carried out in both in vitro and in vivo surveys and a wide range of geographic regions are covered in the sample collection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plants: Sources of Diversity in Propolis Properties)
13 pages, 2680 KiB  
Article
WAKL8 Regulates Arabidopsis Stem Secondary Wall Development
by Yingxuan Ma, Luke Stafford, Julian Ratcliffe, Antony Bacic and Kim L. Johnson
Plants 2022, 11(17), 2297; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11172297 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2168
Abstract
Wall-associated kinases/kinase-likes (WAKs/WAKLs) are plant cell surface sensors. A variety of studies have revealed the important functions of WAKs/WAKLs in regulating cell expansion and defense in cells with primary cell walls. Less is known about their roles during the development of the secondary [...] Read more.
Wall-associated kinases/kinase-likes (WAKs/WAKLs) are plant cell surface sensors. A variety of studies have revealed the important functions of WAKs/WAKLs in regulating cell expansion and defense in cells with primary cell walls. Less is known about their roles during the development of the secondary cell walls (SCWs) that are present in xylem vessel (XV) and interfascicular fiber (IF) cells. In this study, we used RNA-seq data to screen Arabidopsis thaliana WAKs/WAKLs members that may be involved in SCW development and identified WAKL8 as a candidate. We obtained T-DNA insertion mutants wakl8-1 (inserted at the promoter region) and wakl8-2 (inserted at the first exon) and compared the phenotypes to wild-type (WT) plants. Decreased WAKL8 transcript levels in stems were found in the wakl8-2 mutant plants, and the phenotypes observed included reduced stem length and thinner walls in XV and IFs compared with those in the WT plants. Cell wall analysis showed no significant changes in the crystalline cellulose or lignin content in mutant stems compared with those in the WT. We found that WAKL8 had alternative spliced versions predicted to have only extracellular regions, which may interfere with the function of the full-length version of WAKL8. Our results suggest WAKL8 can regulate SCW thickening in Arabidopsis stems. Full article
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