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Plants, Volume 11, Issue 4 (February-2 2022) – 108 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Plants have a complex anatomy, and visualising it in 3D is essential to many aspects of plant biology. However, 3D imaging of entire organs remain challenging, particularly for thick samples with a complex organisation (e.g., the wrapped monocotyledons’ leaf primordia). The Flip-Flap is a simple dual view imaging method suitable for any confocal microscope that allows 3D reconstruction of such plant samples. This method enabled 3D reconstruction of Barley vegetative meristem, Marchantia gemma, and leaf primordia and roots of Rice. View this paper.
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18 pages, 5866 KiB  
Article
The Relevance of Discovering and Recovering the Biodiversity of Apulian Almond Germplasm by Means of Molecular and Phenotypic Markers
by Michele Antonio Savoia, Loredana Del Faro, Pasquale Venerito, Liliana Gaeta, Marino Palasciano, Cinzia Montemurro and Wilma Sabetta
Plants 2022, 11(4), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040574 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2006
Abstract
Almond cultivation has great traditional and economic relevance in Southern Italy, especially in the Apulia region, where almond trees feature an ample and ancient varietal richness. To contrast the loss of plant genetic erosion and to safeguard the available bioresources, as well as [...] Read more.
Almond cultivation has great traditional and economic relevance in Southern Italy, especially in the Apulia region, where almond trees feature an ample and ancient varietal richness. To contrast the loss of plant genetic erosion and to safeguard the available bioresources, as well as to reinforce the local production, the regional Re.Ge.Fru.P. project aimed to re-evaluate, identify, and characterize the Apulian almond germplasm that is still uncharacterized and not jet studied using a dual (genetic and morphological) approach. Collection was conducted in the regional territory of 187 among the most widespread and minor or marginalized genotypes that were molecularly fingerprinted by means of 18 nuclear microsatellites (simple sequence repeats, SSRs). The high number of scored alleles reflected the great level of diversification within the Apulian germplasm, as also confirmed by neighbor joining and structure analysis, that clearly distinguished different genotype clusters. The phenotypic characterization using 17 morphological and phenological descriptors mirrored the genetic results, revealing a high degree of variability. The morphological traits with the best discriminatory ability were nut ventral suture, shell softness and shape and petal color. This work emphasizes the importance of recovering the genetic variability of Apulian almond germplasm, and the need to promote added value and enhance the local agri-food economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematics and the Conservation of Plant Diversity)
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23 pages, 3127 KiB  
Article
Metabolomic Fingerprinting and Molecular Characterization of the Rock Samphire Germplasm Collection from the Balkan Botanic Garden of Kroussia, Northern Greece
by Kalliopi Kadoglidou, Maria Irakli, Anastasia Boutsika, Ifigeneia Mellidou, Nikolas Maninis, Eirini Sarrou, Vasiliki Georgiadou, Nikolaos Tourvas, Nikos Krigas, Theodoros Moysiadis, Katerina Grigoriadou, Eleni Maloupa, Aliki Xanthopoulou and Ioannis Ganopoulos
Plants 2022, 11(4), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040573 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1971
Abstract
The traditionally edible aerial parts of rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum L.) could be a valuable functional food or feed ingredient due to their high antioxidant capacity, ascorbic acid content, and rich content in secondary metabolites such as phenolics and flavonoids. The first [...] Read more.
The traditionally edible aerial parts of rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum L.) could be a valuable functional food or feed ingredient due to their high antioxidant capacity, ascorbic acid content, and rich content in secondary metabolites such as phenolics and flavonoids. The first objective of this study was to evaluate eighteen genotypes derived from different regions of Greece regarding the phytochemical contents of their soluble extracts in total phenolics, total flavonoids, and individual polyphenols as determined by LC-MS analysis, as well as ascorbic acid content and their antioxidant capacity as determined by different assays, including ABTS (2,2-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid), DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity), and FRAP (ferric reducing antioxidant power) assays. The second objective of the study was the molecular characterization of native Greek C. maritimum genotypes. Great variation among genotypes was observed in terms of the antioxidant capacity, ascorbic acid content, and phenolic compounds (total phenolic content and total flavonoid content), as well as in caffeolquinic acids and flavonoids. The principal component analysis highlighted genotypes with a higher potential in antioxidants and polyphenolics. The most promising genotypes were G9 from Kefalonia, followed by G4 from Ikaria, where both clearly exhibited a similar response with high values of evaluated traits. The molecular characterization of genotypes revealed low variability and low to moderate genetic diversity between populations. Our data indicated that the rock samphire germplasm collection from the Balkan Botanic Garden of Kroussia could serve as an important source of documented genetic material and, thus, it is suggested for further investigation to provide insight regarding cultivation and agro-processing aspects, artificial selection, or plant breeding aimed at developing C. maritimum genotypes of high-bioactive value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Plants—Recent Advances and Perspectives)
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14 pages, 2560 KiB  
Article
Neurotherapy of Yi-Gan-San, a Traditional Herbal Medicine, in an Alzheimer’s Disease Model of Drosophila melanogaster by Alleviating Aβ42 Expression
by Ming-Tsan Su, Yong-Sin Jheng, Chen-Wen Lu, Wen-Jhen Wu, Shieh-Yueh Yang, Wu-Chang Chuang, Ming-Chung Lee and Chung-Hsin Wu
Plants 2022, 11(4), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040572 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4257
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a main cause of dementia, is the most common neurodegenerative disease that is related to the abnormal accumulation of amyloid β (Aβ) proteins. Yi-Gan-San (YGS), a traditional herbal medicine, has been used for the management of neurodegenerative disorders and for [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a main cause of dementia, is the most common neurodegenerative disease that is related to the abnormal accumulation of amyloid β (Aβ) proteins. Yi-Gan-San (YGS), a traditional herbal medicine, has been used for the management of neurodegenerative disorders and for the treatment of neurosis, insomnia and dementia. The aim of this study was to examine antioxidant capacity and cytotoxicity of YGS treatment by using 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays in vitro. We explored neuroprotective effects of YGS treatment in alleviating Aβ neurotoxicity of Drosophila melanogaster in vivo by comparing survival rate, climbing index, and Aβ expressions through retinal green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression, highly sensitive immunomagnetic reduction (IMR) and Western blotting assays. In the in vitro study, our results showed that scavenging activities of free radical and SH-SY5Y nerve cell viability were increased significantly (p < 0.01–0.05). In the in vivo study, Aβ42-expressing flies (Aβ42-GFP flies) and their WT flies (mCD8-GFP flies) were used as an animal model to examine the neurotherapeutic effects of YGS treatment. Our results showed that, in comparison with those Aβ42 flies under sham treatments, Aβ42 flies under YGS treatments showed a greater survival rate, better climbing speed, and lower Aβ42 aggregation in Drosophila brain tissue (p < 0.01). Our findings suggest that YGS should have a beneficial alternative therapy for AD and dementia via alleviating Aβ neurotoxicity in the brain tissue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Therapeutics)
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35 pages, 2611 KiB  
Review
Sprouts and Microgreens—Novel Food Sources for Healthy Diets
by Andreas W. Ebert
Plants 2022, 11(4), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040571 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 70 | Viewed by 12863
Abstract
With the growing interest of society in healthy eating, the interest in fresh, ready-to-eat, functional food, such as microscale vegetables (sprouted seeds and microgreens), has been on the rise in recent years globally. This review briefly describes the crops commonly used for microscale [...] Read more.
With the growing interest of society in healthy eating, the interest in fresh, ready-to-eat, functional food, such as microscale vegetables (sprouted seeds and microgreens), has been on the rise in recent years globally. This review briefly describes the crops commonly used for microscale vegetable production, highlights Brassica vegetables because of their health-promoting secondary metabolites (polyphenols, glucosinolates), and looks at consumer acceptance of sprouts and microgreens. Apart from the main crops used for microscale vegetable production, landraces, wild food plants, and crops’ wild relatives often have high phytonutrient density and exciting flavors and tastes, thus providing the scope to widen the range of crops and species used for this purpose. Moreover, the nutritional value and content of phytochemicals often vary with plant growth and development within the same crop. Sprouted seeds and microgreens are often more nutrient-dense than ungerminated seeds or mature vegetables. This review also describes the environmental and priming factors that may impact the nutritional value and content of phytochemicals of microscale vegetables. These factors include the growth environment, growing substrates, imposed environmental stresses, seed priming and biostimulants, biofortification, and the effect of light in controlled environments. This review also touches on microgreen market trends. Due to their short growth cycle, nutrient-dense sprouts and microgreens can be produced with minimal input; without pesticides, they can even be home-grown and harvested as needed, hence having low environmental impacts and a broad acceptance among health-conscious consumers. Full article
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16 pages, 5319 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Genomic Survey, Evolution, and Expression Analysis of GIF Gene Family during the Development and Metal Ion Stress Responses in Soybean
by Intikhab Alam, Xueting Wu and Liangfa Ge
Plants 2022, 11(4), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040570 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2155
Abstract
The GIF gene family is one of the plant transcription factors specific to seed plants. The family members are expressed in all lateral organs produced by apical and floral meristems and contribute to the development of leaves, shoots, flowers, and seeds. This study [...] Read more.
The GIF gene family is one of the plant transcription factors specific to seed plants. The family members are expressed in all lateral organs produced by apical and floral meristems and contribute to the development of leaves, shoots, flowers, and seeds. This study identified eight GIF genes in the soybean genome and clustered them into three groups. Analyses of Ka/Ks ratios and divergence times indicated that they had undergone purifying selection during species evolution. RNA-sequence and relative expression patterns of these GmGIF genes tended to be conserved, while different expression patterns were also observed between the duplicated GIF members in soybean. Numerous cis-regulatory elements related to plant hormones, light, and stresses were found in the promoter regions of these GmGIF genes. Moreover, the expression patterns of GmGIF members were confirmed in soybean roots under cadmium (Cd) and copper (Cu) stress, indicating their potential functions in the heavy metal response in soybean. Our research provides valuable information for the functional characterization of each GmGIF gene in different legumes in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomic Dissection in Soybean)
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18 pages, 1489 KiB  
Article
Are Methionine Sulfoxide-Containing Proteins Related to Seed Longevity? A Case Study of Arabidopsis thaliana Dry Mature Seeds Using Cyanogen Bromide Attack and Two-Dimensional-Diagonal Electrophoresis
by Ewa Marzena Kalemba, Benoît Valot, Dominique Job, Christophe Bailly and Patrice Meimoun
Plants 2022, 11(4), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040569 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1901
Abstract
In recent years, several reports pointed out the role of protein oxidation in seed longevity, notably regarding the oxidation of methionine (Met) residues to methionine sulfoxide (MetO) in proteins. To further consider this question, we present a handy proteomic method based on the [...] Read more.
In recent years, several reports pointed out the role of protein oxidation in seed longevity, notably regarding the oxidation of methionine (Met) residues to methionine sulfoxide (MetO) in proteins. To further consider this question, we present a handy proteomic method based on the use of two-dimensional diagonal electrophoresis (2Dd) and cyanogen bromide (CNBr) cleavage, which we refer to as 2Dd-CNBr. CNBr treatment of proteins causes the non-enzymatic hydrolysis of peptide bonds on the carboxyl side of reduced Met residues. However, Met oxidation causes a lack of cleavage, thus modifying the electrophoretic mobility of CNBr-induced peptides. This approach was first validated using bovine serum albumin as a model protein, which confirmed the possibility of distinguishing between oxidized and non-oxidized forms of Met-containing peptides in gels. Then, the 2Dd-CNBr method was applied to the Arabidopsis thaliana seed protein extract in a control (non-oxidized) condition and in an oxidized one (as obtained following hypochlorous acid treatment). Twenty-four oxidized Met residues in 19 proteins identified by mass spectrometry were found to be surface exposed in these proteins. In the three-dimensional environment of the oxidized Met, we detected amino acid residues that could be converted by oxidation (carbonylation) or by phosphorylation, suggesting a possible interplay between Met oxidation and the other protein modifications. The identification of the proteins oxidatively modified in Met residues revealed the finding that MetO-containing proteins are related to seed longevity. Based on these results, we suggest that the method presently described also has the potential for wider applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seed Physiology)
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12 pages, 1016 KiB  
Article
Effective Utilization of Vaccinium virgatum Aiton Stems as Functional Materials: Major Constituent Analysis and Bioactivity Evaluation
by Hisahiro Kai, Kazuhiro Sugamoto, Saki Toshima, Yo Goto, Takayuki Nakayama, Kazuhiro Morishita and Hisato Kunitake
Plants 2022, 11(4), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040568 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1777
Abstract
We previously reported that rabbit-eye blueberry (Vaccinium virgatum Aiton) leaves exhibit multiple functions. In this study, we evaluated whether V. virgatum stems can also be used as functional materials similar to leaves and clarified the major constituents and their biological activity (antioxidant [...] Read more.
We previously reported that rabbit-eye blueberry (Vaccinium virgatum Aiton) leaves exhibit multiple functions. In this study, we evaluated whether V. virgatum stems can also be used as functional materials similar to leaves and clarified the major constituents and their biological activity (antioxidant activity and anti–adult T cell leukemia (ATL) activity). Water extracts of V. virgatum stems were separated into 19 fractions using a Diaion HP-20 open column. Sugars and organic acids were detected in the highly water-soluble fractions. Polyphenols and proanthocyanidin were detected in the hydrous methanol-soluble fractions. In biological activity evaluations, a difference in antioxidant activity was observed in the water-containing methanol-eluted fractions, and fractions exhibiting anti-ATL activity differed depending on cell type. These results suggest that blueberry stems, like leaves, are rich in polyphenols and exhibit antioxidant activity and inhibit ATL cell growth. In the future, aerial parts of blueberries, including stems and leaves, could be used as functional materials and/or medicinal resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivity of Blueberry Extracts)
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15 pages, 2358 KiB  
Article
Genome Estimation and Phytochemical Compound Identification in the Leaves and Callus of Abrus precatorius: A Locally Endangered Plant from the Flora of Saudi Arabia
by Fahad Al-Qurainy, Mohamed Tarroum, Salim Khan, Mohammad Nadeem, Abdel-Rhman Z. Gaafar, Saleh Alansi and Norah S. Alfarraj
Plants 2022, 11(4), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040567 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2641
Abstract
Abrus precatorius is considered to be a valuable source of natural products for the development of drugs against various diseases. Herein, the genome size and phytochemical compounds in the leaves and callus of A. precatorius were evaluated. The endangered A. precatorius was collected [...] Read more.
Abrus precatorius is considered to be a valuable source of natural products for the development of drugs against various diseases. Herein, the genome size and phytochemical compounds in the leaves and callus of A. precatorius were evaluated. The endangered A. precatorius was collected from the Al-Baha mountains, Saudi Arabia and identified based on the phylogenetic analysis of a DNA sequence amplified by ITS1 and ITS4 primers. The callus was induced by the culture of stem explants onto Murashige and Skoog medium (MS) supplemented with various combinations of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4D) and 6-Benzylaminopurine (BAP). The callus with the highest fresh weight (2.03 g) was obtained in the medium containing 0.5µM BA and 5 µM 2,4-D after 8 weeks of culture; thus, the callus of this combination was selected for the genome estimation and phytochemical compound extraction. The genetic stability of the leaves from the donor as well as in the regenerated callus was analyzed by flow cytometry with optimized tomato (2C = 1.96 pg) as an external reference standard. The 2C DNA content was estimated to 1.810 pg ± 0.008 and 1.813 pg ± 0.004 for the leaves and callus, respectively. Then, the total phenol and total flavonoid contents in the methanol extract of the callus and leaves were measured using a spectrophotometer and the High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC ) methods. The results showed that the methanolic extract of the leaves was higher in total phenols and total flavonoids than the callus extract. Finally, the extracts of callus and leaves were analyzed for phytochemical compound through the Gas chromatography and Mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). A total of 22 and 28 compounds were detected in the callus and leaves, respectively. The comparative analysis showed that 12 compounds of the secondary metabolites were present in both extracts. Full article
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17 pages, 6275 KiB  
Article
Identification of QTL Associated with Regrowth Vigor Using the Nested Association Mapping Population in Switchgrass
by Santosh Nayak, Hem Bhandari, Malay C. Saha, Shahjahan Ali, Carl Sams and Vince Pantalone
Plants 2022, 11(4), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040566 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1825
Abstract
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a warm-season perennial grass species that is utilized as forage for livestock and biofuel feedstock. The stability of biomass yield and regrowth vigor under changing harvest frequency would help manage potential fluctuations in the feedstock market and [...] Read more.
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a warm-season perennial grass species that is utilized as forage for livestock and biofuel feedstock. The stability of biomass yield and regrowth vigor under changing harvest frequency would help manage potential fluctuations in the feedstock market and would provide a continuous supply of quality forage for livestock. This study was conducted to (i) assess the genetic variation and (ii) identify the quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with regrowth vigor after multiple cuttings in lowland switchgrass. A nested association mapping (NAM) population comprising 2000 pseudo F2 progenies was genotyped with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers derived from exome-capture sequencing and was evaluated for regrowth vigor in 2017 and 2018. The results showed significant variation among the NAM families in terms of regrowth vigor (p < 0.05). A total of 10 QTL were detected on 6 chromosomes: 1B, 5A, 5B, 6B, 7B, and 8A, explaining the phenotypic variation by up to 4.7%. The additive genetic effects of an individual QTL ranged from −0.13 to 0.26. No single QTL showed a markedly large effect, suggesting complex genetics underlying regrowth vigor in switchgrass. The homologs of candidate genes that play a variety of roles in developmental processes, including plant hormonal signal transduction, nucleotide biosynthesis, secondary metabolism, senescence, and responses to both biotic and abiotic stresses, were identified in the vicinity of QTL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
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11 pages, 426 KiB  
Article
Exchangeable and Plant-Available Macronutrients in a Long-Term Tillage and Crop Rotation Experiment after 15 Years
by Reinhard W. Neugschwandtner, Jiřina Száková, Vera Pachtrog, Pavel Tlustoš, Martin Kulhánek, Jindřich Černý, Hans-Peter Kaul, Helmut Wagentristl, Gerhard Moitzi and Pia Euteneuer
Plants 2022, 11(4), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040565 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1929
Abstract
The status of macronutrients phosphorus (P), potassium (K), sulphur (S), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) was assessed 15 years after the establishment of a long-term crop rotation and soil tillage trial with mouldboard ploughing (MP), no-till (NT), deep conservation tillage (CTd) and shallow [...] Read more.
The status of macronutrients phosphorus (P), potassium (K), sulphur (S), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) was assessed 15 years after the establishment of a long-term crop rotation and soil tillage trial with mouldboard ploughing (MP), no-till (NT), deep conservation tillage (CTd) and shallow conservation tillage (CTs). The mobile proportions of macronutrients in an Austrian Chernozem soil were determined to a depth of 50 cm with the single reagent extractant acetic acid (AA) and Mehlich 3 (M3), which uses several reagents as extractants. AA revealed less P and K, but more Ca and Mg compared to M3. Both extractants could capture the distribution pattern of the nutrients in the soil profile, but M3 showed higher differences among the soil layers. In the first 5 cm in NT, the P concentration was higher than in MP, CTd and CTs. The concentration of K was higher in NT, CTd and CTs than in MP in the first 10 cm of the soil. Phosphorus and K concentrations did not differ between tillage treatments below these soil layers, and S, Ca and Mg were similar in all soil layers. As none of the analysed elements except for Ca were fertilized and no accumulation of S, Ca and Mg was observed in the upper soil layer, the higher concentrations are attributed to accumulation through crop residues and then less leaching of P and K. Crop rotation did not affect the distribution of the analysed macronutrients in the soil but affected the nutrient uptake by winter wheat mostly due to the yield differences of winter wheat in the two crop rotations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Nutrition Volume II)
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18 pages, 5301 KiB  
Review
Diversification of Chemical Structures of Methoxylated Flavonoids and Genes Encoding Flavonoid-O-Methyltransferases
by Yuting Liu, Alisdair R. Fernie and Takayuki Tohge
Plants 2022, 11(4), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040564 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3379
Abstract
The O-methylation of specialized metabolites in plants is a unique decoration that provides structural and functional diversity of the metabolites with changes in chemical properties and intracellular localizations. The O-methylation of flavonoids, which is a class of plant specialized metabolites, promotes [...] Read more.
The O-methylation of specialized metabolites in plants is a unique decoration that provides structural and functional diversity of the metabolites with changes in chemical properties and intracellular localizations. The O-methylation of flavonoids, which is a class of plant specialized metabolites, promotes their antimicrobial activities and liposolubility. Flavonoid O-methyltransferases (FOMTs), which are responsible for the O-methylation process of the flavonoid aglycone, generally accept a broad range of substrates across flavones, flavonols and lignin precursors, with different substrate preferences. Therefore, the characterization of FOMTs with the physiology roles of methoxylated flavonoids is useful for crop improvement and metabolic engineering. In this review, we summarized the chemodiversity and physiology roles of methoxylated flavonoids, which were already reported, and we performed a cross-species comparison to illustrate an overview of diversification and conserved catalytic sites of the flavonoid O-methyltransferases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Phenolics: Occurrence, Biosynthesis, and Biological Roles)
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15 pages, 29051 KiB  
Article
The PAP Gene Family in Tomato: Comprehensive Comparative Analysis, Phylogenetic Relationships and Expression Profiles
by Xin Pang, Yuan Cheng, Meiying Ruan, Qingjing Ye, Rongqing Wang, Zhuping Yao, Guozhi Zhou and Hongjian Wan
Plants 2022, 11(4), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040563 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1810
Abstract
Purple acid phosphatase (PAP) plays a vital role in plant phosphate acquisition and utilization, as well as cell wall synthesis and redox reactions. In this study, comprehensive comparative analyses of PAP genes were carried out using the integration of phylogeny, chromosomal [...] Read more.
Purple acid phosphatase (PAP) plays a vital role in plant phosphate acquisition and utilization, as well as cell wall synthesis and redox reactions. In this study, comprehensive comparative analyses of PAP genes were carried out using the integration of phylogeny, chromosomal localization, intron/exon structural characteristics, and expression profiling. It was shown that the number of introns of the PAP genes, which were distributed unevenly on 12 chromosomes, ranged from 1 to 12. These findings pointed to the existence of complex structures. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that PAPs from tomato, rice, and Arabidopsis could be divided into three groups (Groups I, II, and III). It was assumed that the diversity of these PAP genes occurred before the monocot–dicot split. RNA-seq analysis revealed that most of the genes were expressed in all of the tissues analyzed, with the exception of SlPAP02, SlPAP11, and SlPAP14, which were not detected. It was also found that expression levels of most of the SlPAP gene family of members were changed under phosphorus stress conditions, suggesting potential functional diversification. The findings of this work will help us to achieve a better insight into the function of SlPAP genes in the future, as well as enhance our understanding of their evolutionary relationships in plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Abiotic Stress Responses in Vegetable Crops)
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19 pages, 3817 KiB  
Article
Anti-Diabetic Activity of Bioactive Compound Extracted from Spondias mangifera Fruit: In-Vitro and Molecular Docking Approaches
by Mohammad Khalid, Mohammed H. Alqarni, Abdulrhman Alsayari, Ahmed I. Foudah, Tariq M. Aljarba, Mohammad Mukim, Mubarak A. Alamri, Shahabe Saquib Abullais and Shadma Wahab
Plants 2022, 11(4), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040562 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2996
Abstract
Spondias mangifera is a drupaceous fruit popular for its flavour and health advantages. There is little scientific knowledge about S. mangifera, despite its widespread usage in traditional medicine, in the North-Eastern region of India. Inhibiting the key carbohydrate hydrolysing enzymes is one [...] Read more.
Spondias mangifera is a drupaceous fruit popular for its flavour and health advantages. There is little scientific knowledge about S. mangifera, despite its widespread usage in traditional medicine, in the North-Eastern region of India. Inhibiting the key carbohydrate hydrolysing enzymes is one of the strategies for managing diabetes. Therefore, this study studied the antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties of different fraction S. mangifera fruit extract (SMFFs) from Indian geographical origin by in vitro experimental assays and silico docking simulation studies. The ADMET prediction for active substances was also investigated using the AdmetSAR database. Based on the binding affinity/molecular interactions between phytocompounds and target enzymes, in silico investigations were done to confirm the in vitro enzymatic inhibitory capability. β-sitosterol in EtOH-F was analysed using RP-HPLC with RP-C18 column as stationary phase and photo diode array detector. The percentage of β-sitosterol was found to be 1.21% ± 0.17% of total weight of extract (w/w). S. mangifera fruit ethanolic extract had a significant inhibitory concentration of 50% against free radicals produced by ABTS (89.71 ± 2.73%) and lipid peroxidation assay (88.26 ± 2.17%) tests. Similarly, the in vitro antidiabetic test findings indicated that S. mangifera inhibited alpha-amylase (73.42 ± 2.01%) and alpha-glucosidase (79.23 ± 1.98%) enzymes dose-dependently. The maximum glycosylated Hb percentage inhibitory activity shown in the ethanolic fraction was (83.97 ± 2.88%) at 500 µg/mL. The glucose uptake of the ethanolic fraction by the yeast cell showed significant (p < 0.05) at 500 µg/mL when compared with metformin (91.37 ± 1.59%), whereas the other fraction did not show the uptake of glucose by the yeast cell at the same concentration. In the docking study, the main phytoconstituents of S. mangifera fruit, such as oleanolic acid, beta-sitosterol, and beta amyrin, show strong affinity for pancreatic α-amylase. These results imply that S. mangifera has α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory properties and may be used as antidiabetic with antioxidant characteristics. Full article
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15 pages, 3028 KiB  
Article
Electrophysiological, Morphologic, and Transcriptomic Profiling of the Ogura-CMS, DGMS and Maintainer Broccoli Lines
by Zhansheng Li, Lixiao Song, Yumei Liu, Fengqing Han and Wei Liu
Plants 2022, 11(4), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040561 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1969
Abstract
To better serve breeding of broccoli, the electrophysiological, morphological and transcriptomic profiling of the isogenic Ogura-CMS, DGMS and their maintainer fertile lines, were carried out by scanning electron microscopy, investigation of agronomic traits and RNA-sequencing analysis. The agronomic traits of plant height, length [...] Read more.
To better serve breeding of broccoli, the electrophysiological, morphological and transcriptomic profiling of the isogenic Ogura-CMS, DGMS and their maintainer fertile lines, were carried out by scanning electron microscopy, investigation of agronomic traits and RNA-sequencing analysis. The agronomic traits of plant height, length of the largest leaf, plant spread angle, single head weight, head width and stem diameter showed stronger performance in Ogura-CMS broccoli than in DGMS line or maintainer fertile line. However, the Ogura-CMS broccoli was poorer in the seed yield and seed germination than in the DGMS line and maintainer fertile line. Additionally, the DGMS broccoli had longer maturation and flowering periods than the Ogura-CMS and maintainer fertile lines. There were obvious differences in the honey gland, happening in the male sterility and fertile lines of broccoli. Additionally, the mechanism regulating Ogura-CMS and DGMS in broccoli was investigated using florets transcriptome analyses of the Ogura-CMS, DGMS and maintainer fertile lines. As a result, a total of 2670 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were detected, including 1054 up- and 1616 downregulated genes in the Ogura-CMS and DGMS lines compared to the maintainer fertile line. A number of functionally known genes involved in plant hormones (auxin, salicylic acid and brassinosteroid), five Mitochondrial Oxidative Phosphorylation (OXPHOS) genes of atp8, LOC106319879, LOC106324734, LOC106314622 and LOC106298585, and three upregulated genes (Lhcb1, Lhcb3 and Lhcb5) associated with the photosynthesis-antenna protein pathway, were obviously detected to be highly associated with reproductive development including flowering time, maturity and reproductive period in the Ogura-CMS and DGMS broccoli comparing to their maintainer fertile line. Our research would provide a comprehensive foundation for understanding the differences of electrophysiological, morphological and transcriptomic profiles in the Ogura-CMS, DGMS and maintainer broccoli, and as well as being beneficial to exploring the mechanism of male sterility in Brassica crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics)
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16 pages, 686 KiB  
Article
Examining the Interaction between Phytophthora sojae and Soybean Cyst Nematode on Soybean (Glycine max)
by Rawnaq N. Chowdhury, Paul N. Okello and Emmanuel Byamukama
Plants 2022, 11(4), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040560 - 21 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1807
Abstract
Phytophthora sojae and soybean cyst nematode (SCN) are important pathogens of soybean. Although these pathogens infect soybean roots, there is limited evidence of any interaction between them. The objective of this study was to examine the interaction between SCN and P. sojae on [...] Read more.
Phytophthora sojae and soybean cyst nematode (SCN) are important pathogens of soybean. Although these pathogens infect soybean roots, there is limited evidence of any interaction between them. The objective of this study was to examine the interaction between SCN and P. sojae on soybean in the greenhouse. Seeds of four soybean cultivars (Jack, Surge, Williams 82, Williams) were pre-germinated and placed in cone-tainers (Stuewe and Sons Inc., Tangent, OR, USA), containing a steam pasteurized sand-clay mixture. The experiment was set up in a completely randomized design with five replications and performed twice. Two P. sojae isolates were used in this study that represented two different virulence pathotypes (simple and complex pathotypes). For each isolate, soybean plants were not inoculated, inoculated with one of the treatments—SCN, P. sojae, and combination of P. sojae and SCN. After 35 DOI, stem length, root length, plant weight, root weight, lesion length, and SCN population were recorded. On all soybean cultivars with different types of incomplete resistance, the complex pathotype (PS-15-TF3) influenced the lesion length (mm) in the presence of SCN. However, the SCN population was reduced by both complex and simple pathotypes of P. sojae. This suggests that use both SCN and P. sojae resistance cultivars, can manage the disease complex and reduce soybean yield loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Mycology and Virology)
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17 pages, 3716 KiB  
Article
Water Stress Alters Morphophysiological, Grain Quality and Vegetation Indices of Soybean Cultivars
by Cássio Jardim Tavares, Walter Quadros Ribeiro Junior, Maria Lucrecia Gerosa Ramos, Lucas Felisberto Pereira, Raphael Augusto das Chagas Noqueli Casari, André Ferreira Pereira, Carlos Antonio Ferreira de Sousa, Anderson Rodrigo da Silva, Sebastião Pedro da Silva Neto and Liliane Marcia Mertz-Henning
Plants 2022, 11(4), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040559 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2693
Abstract
Rainfall is among the climatic factors that most affect production, as in the Brazilian Cerrado. Non-destructive and automated phenotyping methods are fast and efficient for genotype selection. The objective of this work was to evaluate, under field conditions, the morphophysiological changes, yield, and [...] Read more.
Rainfall is among the climatic factors that most affect production, as in the Brazilian Cerrado. Non-destructive and automated phenotyping methods are fast and efficient for genotype selection. The objective of this work was to evaluate, under field conditions, the morphophysiological changes, yield, and grain quality of soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) under water stress in the Brazilian Cerrado. The plots comprised six soybean cultivars and the subplots of four water regimes, corresponding to 31, 44, 64 and 100% of crop evapotranspiration replacement. The experiments were conducted from May to September 2018 and 2019. An irrigation system with a bar of sprinklers with different flow rates was used. Gas exchange, vegetation indices (measured using a hyperspectral sensor embedded in a drone), yield and grain quality were evaluated. Water stress had different effects on gas exchange, vegetation indices, grain yield and chemical composition among the cultivars. Embrapa cultivar BRS 7280 Roundup ready (RR) and Nidera cultivar NA 5909 RG (glyphosate resistant) are yield stable and have a greater tolerance to drought. BRS 7280RR showed a higher tolerance to drought and higher water use efficiency (WUE) than all other tested cultivars. Vegetation indices, such as the NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), correlated with the morphophysiological traits, such as plant height, were the most responsive variables to water stress. The NDVI can be used to predict soybean yield as a tool in a selection program under drought. Full article
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17 pages, 4508 KiB  
Article
Chemical and Biological Characterization of Melaleuca alternifolia Essential Oil
by Petra Borotová, Lucia Galovičová, Nenad L. Vukovic, Milena Vukic, Eva Tvrdá and Miroslava Kačániová
Plants 2022, 11(4), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040558 - 20 Feb 2022
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 4928
Abstract
The essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia, commonly known as tea tree oil, has many beneficial properties due to its bioactive compounds. The aim of this research was to characterize the tea tree essential oil (TTEO) from Slovakia and its biological properties, which [...] Read more.
The essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia, commonly known as tea tree oil, has many beneficial properties due to its bioactive compounds. The aim of this research was to characterize the tea tree essential oil (TTEO) from Slovakia and its biological properties, which are specific to the chemical composition of essential oil. Gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy revealed that terpinen-4-ol was dominant with a content of 40.3%. γ-Terpinene, 1,8-cineole, and p-cymene were identified in contents of 11.7%, 7.0%, and 6.2%, respectively. Antioxidant activity was determined at 41.6% radical inhibition, which was equivalent to 447 μg Trolox to 1 mL sample. Antimicrobial activity was observed by the disk diffusion method against Gram-positive (G+), Gram-negative (G) bacteria and against yeasts, where the best antimicrobial activity was against Enterococcus faecalis and Candida albicans with an inhibition zone of 10.67 mm. The minimum inhibitory concentration showed better susceptibility by G+ and G planktonic cells, while yeast species and biofilm-forming bacteria strains were more resistant. Antibiofilm activity was observed against Pseudomonas fluorescens and Salmonella enterica by MALDI-TOF, where degradation of the protein spectra after the addition of essential oil was obtained. Good biological properties of tea tree essential oil allow its use in the food industry or in medicine as an antioxidant and antimicrobial agent. Full article
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14 pages, 1339 KiB  
Article
Influence of Cultivar and Biocontrol Treatments on the Effect of Olive Stem Extracts on the Viability of Verticillium dahliae Conidia
by Ana López-Moral, Carlos Agustí-Brisach, Francisco M. Leiva-Egea and Antonio Trapero
Plants 2022, 11(4), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040554 - 20 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1619
Abstract
The effect of olive (Olea europaea) stem extract (OSE) on the viability of conidia of Verticillium dahliae, the causal agent of Verticillium wilt of olive (VWO), is not yet well understood. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine [...] Read more.
The effect of olive (Olea europaea) stem extract (OSE) on the viability of conidia of Verticillium dahliae, the causal agent of Verticillium wilt of olive (VWO), is not yet well understood. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the influence of the olive genotype (cultivar resistance) and the interaction between olive cultivars and biocontrol treatments on the effect of OSE on conidial germination of V. dahliae by in vitro sensitivity tests. To this end, OSE from cultivars Frantoio, Arbequina, and Picual, respectively tolerant, moderately susceptible, and highly susceptible to V. dahliae, were tested alone or after treatments with biological control agents (BCAs) and commercial products efficient at reducing the progress of VWO. Aureobasidium pullulans strain AP08, Phoma sp. strain ColPat-375, and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain PAB-24 were considered as BCAs. Aluminium lignosulfonate (IDAI Brotaverd®), copper phosphite (Phoscuprico®), potassium phosphite (Naturfos®), and salicylic acid were selected as commercial products. Our results indicate that the influence of biological treatments against the pathogen depends on the genotype, since the higher the resistance of the cultivar, the lower the effect of the treatments on the ability of OSE to inhibit the germination of conidia. In ‘Picual’, the BCA B. amyloliquefaciens PAB024 and copper phosphite were the most effective treatments in inhibiting conidia germination by the OSE. This work represents a first approach to elucidate the role of cultivar and biological treatments in modifying the effect on the pathogen of the endosphere content of olive plants. Full article
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12 pages, 1235 KiB  
Article
Quercus suber Roots Activate Antioxidant and Membrane Protective Processes in Response to High Salinity
by Maria Celeste Dias, Conceição Santos, Márcia Araújo, Pedro M. Barros, Margarida Oliveira and José Miguel P. Ferreira de Oliveira
Plants 2022, 11(4), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040557 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1873
Abstract
Cork oak (Quercus suber) is a species native to Mediterranean areas and its adaptation to the increasingly prevalent abiotic stresses, such as soil salinization, remain unknown. In sequence with recent studies on salt stress response in the leaf, it is fundamental [...] Read more.
Cork oak (Quercus suber) is a species native to Mediterranean areas and its adaptation to the increasingly prevalent abiotic stresses, such as soil salinization, remain unknown. In sequence with recent studies on salt stress response in the leaf, it is fundamental to uncover the plasticity of roots directly exposed to high salinity to better understand how Q. suber copes with salt stress. In the present study we aimed to unveil the antioxidants and key-genes involved in the stress-responses (early vs. later responses) of Q. suber roots exposed to high salinity. Two-month-old Q. suber plants were watered with 300 mM NaCl solution and enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, lipid peroxidation and the relative expression of genes related to stress response were analysed 8 h and 6 days after salt treatment. After an 8 h of exposure, roots activated the expression of QsLTI30 and QsFAD7 genes involved in stress membrane protection, and QsRAV1 and QsCZF1 genes involved in tolerance and adaptation. As a result of the continued salinity stress (6 days), lipid peroxidation increased, which was associated with an upregulation of QsLTI30 gene. Moreover, other protective mechanisms were activated, such as the upregulation of genes related to antioxidant status, QsCSD1 and QsAPX2, and the increase of the antioxidant enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and ascorbate peroxidase, concomitantly with total antioxidant activity and phenols. These data suggest a response dependent on the time of salinity exposure, leading Q. suber roots to adopt protective complementary strategies to deal with salt stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell Signalling under Stress)
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17 pages, 2479 KiB  
Article
Identification of the Potential Genes Regulating Seed Germination Speed in Maize
by Huairen Zhang, Jie Zang, Yanqing Huo, Zhaogui Zhang, Huabang Chen, Xunji Chen and Juan Liu
Plants 2022, 11(4), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040556 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2294
Abstract
Seed germination is the crucial stage in plant life cycle. Rapid and uniform germination plays an essential role in plant development and grain yield improvement. However, the molecular mechanism underlying seed germination speed is largely unknown due to the complexity of the dynamic [...] Read more.
Seed germination is the crucial stage in plant life cycle. Rapid and uniform germination plays an essential role in plant development and grain yield improvement. However, the molecular mechanism underlying seed germination speed is largely unknown due to the complexity of the dynamic process and the difficulty in phenotyping. Here, we conducted a time-series comparative transcriptome study of two elite maize inbred lines, 72-3 and F9721, with striking difference in seed germination speed, and identified a major locus underlying maize germination speed through genome-wide association analysis (GWAS) of an F2 segregation population. Comparative transcriptome study identified 12 h after imbibition (HAI) as the critical stage responsible for the variation in germination speed. The differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between 72-3 and F9721 were mainly enriched in metabolic pathways, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, oxidoreductase activity pathways, hormone signal transduction, and amino acid transporter activity pathways. GWAS revealed that germination speed was controlled by a major locus on chromosome 1 with the leading SNP as AX-91332814, explaining 10.63% of phenotypic variation. A total of 87 proposed protein-coding genes surrounding the locus were integrated with DEGs. Combined with evidence from the gene expression database and gene synteny with other model species, we finally anchored three genes as the likely candidates regulating germination speed in maize. This study provides clues for the further exploration of genes controlling the maize seed germination speed, thus facilitating breeding of rapid germinated elite lines through marker assistant selection. Full article
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32 pages, 3143 KiB  
Review
Suberin Biosynthesis, Assembly, and Regulation
by Kathlyn N. Woolfson, Mina Esfandiari and Mark A. Bernards
Plants 2022, 11(4), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040555 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 42 | Viewed by 8806
Abstract
Suberin is a specialized cell wall modifying polymer comprising both phenolic-derived and fatty acid-derived monomers, which is deposited in below-ground dermal tissues (epidermis, endodermis, periderm) and above-ground periderm (i.e., bark). Suberized cells are largely impermeable to water and provide a critical protective layer [...] Read more.
Suberin is a specialized cell wall modifying polymer comprising both phenolic-derived and fatty acid-derived monomers, which is deposited in below-ground dermal tissues (epidermis, endodermis, periderm) and above-ground periderm (i.e., bark). Suberized cells are largely impermeable to water and provide a critical protective layer preventing water loss and pathogen infection. The deposition of suberin is part of the skin maturation process of important tuber crops such as potato and can affect storage longevity. Historically, the term “suberin” has been used to describe a polyester of largely aliphatic monomers (fatty acids, ω-hydroxy fatty acids, α,ω-dioic acids, 1-alkanols), hydroxycinnamic acids, and glycerol. However, exhaustive alkaline hydrolysis, which removes esterified aliphatics and phenolics from suberized tissue, reveals a core poly(phenolic) macromolecule, the depolymerization of which yields phenolics not found in the aliphatic polyester. Time course analysis of suberin deposition, at both the transcriptional and metabolite levels, supports a temporal regulation of suberin deposition, with phenolics being polymerized into a poly(phenolic) domain in advance of the bulk of the poly(aliphatics) that characterize suberized cells. In the present review, we summarize the literature describing suberin monomer biosynthesis and speculate on aspects of suberin assembly. In addition, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of how suberization may be regulated, including at the phytohormone, transcription factor, and protein scaffold levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Periderm (Cork) Tissue Development in Plants)
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18 pages, 5777 KiB  
Article
The Fruit Proteome Response to the Ripening Stages in Three Tomato Genotypes
by Hyo-Gil Choi, Dong-Young Park and Nam-Jun Kang
Plants 2022, 11(4), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040553 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1894
Abstract
The tomato is a horticultural crop that appears in various colors as it ripens. Differences in the proteome expression abundance of a tomato depend on its genotype and ripening stage. Thus, this study aimed to confirm the differences in changes in the proteome [...] Read more.
The tomato is a horticultural crop that appears in various colors as it ripens. Differences in the proteome expression abundance of a tomato depend on its genotype and ripening stage. Thus, this study aimed to confirm the differences in changes in the proteome according to four ripening stages (green, breaker, turning, and mature) of three tomato genotypes, i.e., yellow, black, and red tomatoes, using a gel-based proteomic technique. The number of protein spots shown as two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) gels differed according to tomato genotype and ripening stage. A total of 286 variant proteins were determined using matrix-assisted laser desorption-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) analysis, confirming 233 identified protein functions. In three tomato genotypes in each ripening stage, grouping according to the Munich Information Center for Protein Sequences (MIPS) functional categories confirmed the variant proteins involved in the following: energy processes (21%); metabolism (20%); protein fate (15%); protein synthesis (10%); a protein with a binding function or cofactor requirement (8%); cell rescue, defense, and virulence (8%); cellular transport, transport facilitation, and transport routes (6%); the biogenesis of cellular components (5%); cell cycle and DNA processing (2%); others (5%). Among the identified protein spots in the function category, two proteins related to metabolism, four related to energy, four related to protein synthesis, and two related to interaction with the cellular environment showed significantly different changes according to the fruit color by the ripening stage. This study reveals the physiological changes in different types of tomatoes according to their ripening stage and provides information on the proteome for further improvement. Full article
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11 pages, 943 KiB  
Review
The Passage of H2O2 from Chloroplasts to Their Associated Nucleus during Retrograde Signalling: Reflections on the Role of the Nuclear Envelope
by Emily Breeze and Philip M. Mullineaux
Plants 2022, 11(4), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040552 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3472
Abstract
The response of chloroplasts to adverse environmental cues, principally increases in light intensity, stimulates chloroplast-to-nucleus retrograde signalling, which leads to the induction of immediate protective responses and longer-term acclimation. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), generated during photosynthesis, is proposed to both [...] Read more.
The response of chloroplasts to adverse environmental cues, principally increases in light intensity, stimulates chloroplast-to-nucleus retrograde signalling, which leads to the induction of immediate protective responses and longer-term acclimation. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), generated during photosynthesis, is proposed to both initiate and transduce a retrograde signal in response to photoinhibitory light intensities. Signalling specificity achieved by chloroplast-sourced H2O2 for signal transduction may be dependent upon the oft-observed close association of a proportion of these organelles with the nucleus. In this review, we consider more precisely the nature of the close association between a chloroplast appressed to the nucleus and the requirement for H2O2 to cross both the double membranes of the chloroplast and nuclear envelopes. Of particular relevance is that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has close physical contact with chloroplasts and is contiguous with the nuclear envelope. Therefore, the perinuclear space, which transducing H2O2 molecules would have to cross, may have an oxidising environment the same as the ER lumen. Based on studies in animal cells, the ER lumen may be a significant source of H2O2 in plant cells arising from the oxidative folding of proteins. If this is the case, then there is potential for the ER lumen/perinuclear space to be an important location to modify chloroplast-to-nucleus H2O2 signal transduction and thereby introduce modulation of it by additional different environmental cues. These would include for example, heat stress and pathogen infection, which induce the unfolded protein response characterised by an increased H2O2 level in the ER lumen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chloroplast Biology in Plant Stress Response)
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11 pages, 611 KiB  
Article
Variation in the Primary and Secondary Metabolites, Antioxidant and Antibacterial Potentials of Tomatoes, Grown in Soil Blended with Different Concentration of Fly Ash
by Sajid Dominic, Abdullah Ijaz Hussain, Muhammad Hamzah Saleem, Huda Alshaya, Basit Latief Jan, Shafaqat Ali and Xiukang Wang
Plants 2022, 11(4), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040551 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1900
Abstract
The aim of the study was to investigate the variation in nutritional composition, antioxidant, and antibacterial activities of tomatoes grown in fly ash blended soils, i.e.,T1 (soil 100% + 0% fly ash), T2 (soil 75%+ 25% fly ash), and T3 (soil 50% + [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to investigate the variation in nutritional composition, antioxidant, and antibacterial activities of tomatoes grown in fly ash blended soils, i.e.,T1 (soil 100% + 0% fly ash), T2 (soil 75%+ 25% fly ash), and T3 (soil 50% + 50% fly ash) soils. The tomato samples were harvested and screened for their proximate analysis, mineral composition, vitamin C contents, phenolic profile, and antioxidant and antibacterial activities. Results showed that T3 soil crop has high proximate composition, vitamin C, and phenolic contents as compared with T2 and T1 soil crops. Furthermore, significant variation in the elements analysis was observed in the crops grown in T1, T2, and T3 soils. T3 soil crop exhibited better antioxidant activity in term of total phenolic contents (TPC), total flavonoids contents (TFC), DPPH radical scavenging capacity, and ferric reducing potential as compared with T2 and T1 soil crops. Similarly, maximum inhibition zones were observed for T3 soil crop when tested for Staphylococcus aureus isolate 1 and 3 and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In conclusion, the crop grown in T3 blended soil had high antioxidant and antibacterial potentials and better nutritional composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances on Plant Cell Responses to Environmental Pollutants)
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14 pages, 728 KiB  
Article
Dwarf Pomegranate (Punica granatum L. var. nana): Source of 5-HMF and Bioactive Compounds with Applications in the Protection of Woody Crops
by Eva Sánchez-Hernández, Laura Buzón-Durán, José A. Cuchí-Oterino, Jesús Martín-Gil, Belén Lorenzo-Vidal and Pablo Martín-Ramos
Plants 2022, 11(4), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040550 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2464
Abstract
While the properties of edible pomegranate varieties have been widely explored, there is little information on ornamental types. In this study, possible alternatives for the valorization of dwarf pomegranate fruits have been explored. The characterization of their hydromethanolic extract by gas chromatography−mass spectrometry [...] Read more.
While the properties of edible pomegranate varieties have been widely explored, there is little information on ornamental types. In this study, possible alternatives for the valorization of dwarf pomegranate fruits have been explored. The characterization of their hydromethanolic extract by gas chromatography−mass spectrometry evidenced the presence of high contents of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (a carbon-neutral feedstock for the production of fuels and other chemicals) and β- and γ-sitosterol stereoisomers. The microbicidal activity of the crude extract, both alone and in a conjugate complex with chitosan oligomers (COS), was investigated against three plant pathogenic microorganisms that cause significant losses in woody crops: Erwinia amylovora, E. vitivora, and Diplodia seriata. In in vitro assays, a strong synergistic behavior was found after conjugation of the bioactive constituents of the fruit extract with COS, resulting in minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of 750 and 375 μg·mL−1 against E. amylovora and E. vitivora, respectively, and an EC90 value of 993 μg·mL−1 against D. seriata. Hence, extracts from the non-edible fruits of this Punicaceae may hold promise as a source of high value-added phytochemicals or as environmentally friendly agrochemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Extracts as Biological Protective Agents)
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47 pages, 3080 KiB  
Article
Natural Products as Novel Neuroprotective Agents; Computational Predictions of the Molecular Targets, ADME Properties, and Safety Profile
by Sahar Saleh Alghamdi, Rasha Saad Suliman, Norah Abdulaziz Aljammaz, Khawla Mohammed Kahtani, Dimah Abdulqader Aljatli and Ghadeer M. Albadrani
Plants 2022, 11(4), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040549 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3423
Abstract
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are one of the most challenging public health issues. Despite tremendous advances in our understanding of NDs, little progress has been made in establishing effective treatments. Natural products may have enormous potential in preventing and treating NDs by targeting microglia; [...] Read more.
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are one of the most challenging public health issues. Despite tremendous advances in our understanding of NDs, little progress has been made in establishing effective treatments. Natural products may have enormous potential in preventing and treating NDs by targeting microglia; yet, there have been several clinical concerns about their usage, primarily due to a lack of scientific evidence for their efficacy, molecular targets, physicochemical properties, and safety. To solve this problem, the secondary bioactive metabolites derived from neuroprotective medicinal plants were identified and selected for computational predictions for anti-inflammatory activity, possible molecular targets, physicochemical properties, and safety evaluation using PASS online, Molinspiration, SwissADME, and ProTox-II, respectively. Most of the phytochemicals were active as anti-inflammatory agents as predicted using the PASS online webserver. Moreover, the molecular target predictions for some phytochemicals were similar to the reported experimental targets. Moreover, the phytochemicals that did not violate important physicochemical properties, including blood-brain barrier penetration, GI absorption, molecular weight, and lipophilicity, were selected for further safety evaluation. After screening 54 neuroprotective phytochemicals, our findings suggest that Aromatic-turmerone, Apocynin, and Matrine are the most promising compounds that could be considered when designing novel neuroprotective agents to treat neurodegenerative diseases via modulating microglial polarization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds in Plants and Their Anti-inflammatory Activity)
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10 pages, 1757 KiB  
Article
Absolute Quantification of Isoflavones in the Flowers of Pueraria lobata by qHNMR
by Punam Thapa, Hye Mi Kim, Joon-Pyo Hong, Ranhee Kim, Sunil Babu Paudel, Hyukjae Choi, Dae Sik Jang and Joo-Won Nam
Plants 2022, 11(4), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040548 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2009
Abstract
Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi. is a widely used medicinal plant in Korea, China, and Japan. The flower of P. lobata (Puerariae Flos) contains various bioactive substances such as triterpenoidal saponins and isoflavonoids. In this study, we developed a quantitative analysis of the isoflavones [...] Read more.
Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi. is a widely used medicinal plant in Korea, China, and Japan. The flower of P. lobata (Puerariae Flos) contains various bioactive substances such as triterpenoidal saponins and isoflavonoids. In this study, we developed a quantitative analysis of the isoflavones of Puerariae Flos by quantitative proton nuclear magnetic resonance (qHNMR) spectroscopy using the internal calibrant (IC). From the qHNMR results, the isoflavone content was found to be 7.99% and 10.57% for the MeOH sonication extract (PLs) and the MeOH reflux extract (PLr) of Puerariae Flos, respectively. The quantified isoflavone content was validated using the conventional analytical method, high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection (HPLC-UV). The present study shows that validated qHNMR spectroscopy is a reliable method for quantifying and standardizing the isoflavone content in Puerariae Flos. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
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28 pages, 3023 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Novel Packaging Technologies for Shelf-Life Extension of Guava Fruits for Retaining Health Benefits for Longer Duration
by Ajay Yadav, Nishant Kumar, Ashutosh Upadhyay, Olaniyi Amos Fawole, Manoj Kumar Mahawar, Kirti Jalgaonkar, Deepak Chandran, Sureshkumar Rajalingam, Gokhan Zengin, Manoj Kumar and Mohamed Mekhemar
Plants 2022, 11(4), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040547 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 5994
Abstract
Guava (Psidium guajava L.) fruit is also known as the apple of tropics, belongs to the family of genus Psidium, and is widely cultivated in tropical zones of the world. Recently, the importance of guava fruit has increased due to its inherent [...] Read more.
Guava (Psidium guajava L.) fruit is also known as the apple of tropics, belongs to the family of genus Psidium, and is widely cultivated in tropical zones of the world. Recently, the importance of guava fruit has increased due to its inherent nutritional content, pleasant aroma, excellent flavor, and delicious taste. It is considered an excellent source of nutrients and phytochemicals. Guava is a climacteric fruit that continues to mature or ripen even after harvest, showing an increase in the rate of respiration and metabolic activities within a short period, leading to rapid senescence or spoilage of fruit. It has limitations in terms of commercialization due to short storage life after harvest and sensitivity to diseases and chilling injury during the storage period. Many postharvest technologies such as edible packaging, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), composite packaging, controlled atmosphere packaging (CAP), antimicrobial/antifungal packaging, and nano packaging have been used to retard the chilling injury and enhance the keeping quality of guava fruits during the storage period to control respiration rate, reduce weight loss, minimize lipid oxidation, and maintain organoleptic properties. However, these packaging technologies have varied effects on the internal and external quality attributes of guava fruits. This review, therefore, discusses the physiology, mechanism of ripening, oxidation, and ethylene production of guava fruits. The review also discusses the packaging technologies and their effect on the postharvest characteristics of guava fruits during the storage period. Full article
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12 pages, 1715 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Profiling and Assessment of Anticancer Activity of Leptocarpha rivularis Extracts Obtained from In Vitro Cultures
by Julia Rubio, Guisselle Arias, Christian Robles-Kelly, Evelyn Silva-Moreno, Luis Espinoza, Héctor Carrasco and Andrés F. Olea
Plants 2022, 11(4), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040546 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2612
Abstract
Plant cell culture is a source of plant material from which bioactive metabolites can be extracted. In this work, the in vitro propagation of Leptocarpha rivularis, an endemic Chilean shrub with anticancer activity, is described. Different media were tested and optimized for [...] Read more.
Plant cell culture is a source of plant material from which bioactive metabolites can be extracted. In this work, the in vitro propagation of Leptocarpha rivularis, an endemic Chilean shrub with anticancer activity, is described. Different media were tested and optimized for the introduction, propagation, and rooting steps of the micropropagation process. At the end of this process, 83% of plants were successfully acclimatized under greenhouse conditions. Callus induction from the internodal stem segment was performed using various combinations of phytohormones. Green-colored, friable, and non-organogenic callus was generated with a callus induction index higher than 90%. The chemical composition of extracts and callus, obtained from clonal plants, was assessed and the results indicate that the phytochemical profiles of extracts from micropropagated plants are like those found for plants collected from natural habitats, leptocarpine (LTC) being the major component. However, no LTC was detected in callus extract. HeLa and CoN cells, treated with LTC or extract of micropropagated plants, exhibit important diminution on cell viability and a drastic decrease in gene expression of IL-6 and mmp2, genes associated with carcinogenic activity. These effects are more important in cancer cells than in normal cells. Thus, micropropagated L. rivularis could be developed as a potential source of efficient antiproliferative agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Frontiers in Phytochemicals)
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23 pages, 4767 KiB  
Article
Effects of Different Inter-Row Soil Management and Intra-Row Living Mulch on Spontaneous Flora, Beneficial Insects, and Growth of Young Olive Trees in Southern Italy
by Giuseppina Las Casas, Corrado Ciaccia, Valeria Iovino, Filippo Ferlito, Biagio Torrisi, Enrico Maria Lodolini, Alessio Giuffrida, Roberto Catania, Elisabetta Nicolosi and Salvatore Bella
Plants 2022, 11(4), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11040545 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2587
Abstract
Conservation agriculture (i.e., minimized soil disturbance and permanent soil covering) and living mulches represent two agroecological practices that can improve soil fertility, spontaneous flora, and beneficial insect communities. This research studied the effect of these practices in a young olive orchard in the [...] Read more.
Conservation agriculture (i.e., minimized soil disturbance and permanent soil covering) and living mulches represent two agroecological practices that can improve soil fertility, spontaneous flora, and beneficial insect communities. This research studied the effect of these practices in a young olive orchard in the Mediterranean area. Two Sicilian olive cultivars (‘Nocellara del Belice’ and ‘Nocellara etnea’) were used for the field experiment; inter-row minimum and zero tillage and four species of aromatic plants as living mulch along the row were tested. Spontaneous flora and beneficial insect communities, as well as tree growth, were monitored. The inter-row management did not influence the spontaneous flora dynamics. The species adopted for living mulch showed a very different degree of development and soil cover; 69 insect species (pollinators and predators) belonging to five orders (Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera, Neuroptera, and Coleoptera) and 17 families were recorded. The growth of the olive trees was not affected by the conservative strategies.: In the inter-row, the growth of the spontaneous flora was limited by the high temperatures during the summer. Among the living mulch species, sage and lemongrass guaranteed an almost full soil cover, reducing the need for weed management along the row, as well as increasing the beneficial insects without influencing the young tree growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Weed Management)
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