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Plants, Volume 12, Issue 14 (July-2 2023) – 165 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The taxonomy and phylogenetics of several southern African perennial sea-heath taxa related to Frankenia repens are discussed. Frankenia nodiflora Lam., a misunderstood species described from the Cape region and synonymised to F. pulverulenta, is restored for plants endemic to the coastal lowlands across the Cape Flats (Western Cape province, South Africa). Further, a revision of morphologically close plants of inland western South Africa, including molecular analyses of nuclear ribosomal (ITS) DNA sequence data and morphology, revealed the existence of two distinct new species: F. nummularia from the Nama-Karoo Biome (Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces), and F. anneliseae from the Succulent Karoo Biome (Northern Cape province). An identification key, full morphological description and type designation are reported for the accepted species. View this paper
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16 pages, 1182 KiB  
Article
Carbon Storage in Different Compartments in Eucalyptus Stands and Native Cerrado Vegetation
by Fabiana Piontekowski Ribeiro, Alcides Gatto, Alexsandra Duarte de Oliveira, Karina Pulrolnik, Marco Bruno Xavier Valadão, Juliana Baldan Costa Neves Araújo, Arminda Moreira de Carvalho and Eloisa Aparecida Belleza Ferreira
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2751; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142751 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2429
Abstract
This study evaluated Carbon (C) storage in different compartments in eucalyptus stands and native Cerrado vegetation. To determine C above ground, an inventory was carried out in the areas where diameter at breast height (DBH), diameter at base height (Db), and total tree [...] Read more.
This study evaluated Carbon (C) storage in different compartments in eucalyptus stands and native Cerrado vegetation. To determine C above ground, an inventory was carried out in the areas where diameter at breast height (DBH), diameter at base height (Db), and total tree height (H) were measured. In the stands, the rigorous cubage was made by the direct method, and in the native vegetation, it was determined by the indirect method through an allometric equation. Roots were collected by direct method using circular monoliths to a depth of 60 cm and determined by the volume of the cylinder. Samples were collected up to 100 cm deep to estimate C stock in the soil. All samples collected directly had C determined using the CHNS elemental analyzer. Gas samples were collected using a manually closed chamber, and the gas concentration was determined by gas chromatography. The results indicate high C storage in the studied areas > 183.99 Mg ha−1, could contribute to CO2 mitigation > 674.17 Mg ha−1. In addition to low emissions (<1 kg ha−1 yr−1) for the three evaluated areas, with no statistical difference in relation to the Global Warming Potential. Concerning the native cerrado vegetation conversion, the “4-year-old eucalyptus stand” seemed to restore the original soil carbon stocks in the first-meter depth, regardless of some losses that might have occurred right after establishment. Conversely, a significant loss of carbon in the soil was observed due to the alternative setting, where similar natural land was converted into agriculture, mostly soybean, and then, years later, turned into the “6-year-old eucalyptus stand” (28.43 Mg ha−1). Under this study, these mixed series of C baselines in landscape transitions have reflected on unlike C dynamics outcomes, whereas at the bottom line, total C stocks were higher in the younger forest (4-year-old stand). Therefore, our finding indicates that we should be thoughtful regarding upscaling carbon emissions and sequestration from small-scale measurements to regional scales Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Physiology and Crop Production)
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21 pages, 1872 KiB  
Review
Unveiling Plant-Based Pectins: Exploring the Interplay of Direct Effects, Fermentation, and Technological Applications in Clinical Research with a Focus on the Chemical Structure
by Lucas de Freitas Pedrosa, Karen Rebouças Nascimento, Caroline Giacomelli Soares, Débora Preceliano de Oliveira, Paul de Vos and João Paulo Fabi
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2750; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142750 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2117
Abstract
Pectin, a plant-derived polysaccharide, possesses immense technological and biological application value. Several variables influence pectin’s physicochemical aspects, resulting in different fermentations, interactions with receptors, and other functional properties. Some of those variables are molecular weight, degree of methylation and blockiness, and monosaccharide composition. [...] Read more.
Pectin, a plant-derived polysaccharide, possesses immense technological and biological application value. Several variables influence pectin’s physicochemical aspects, resulting in different fermentations, interactions with receptors, and other functional properties. Some of those variables are molecular weight, degree of methylation and blockiness, and monosaccharide composition. Cancer cell cytotoxicity, important fermentation-related byproducts, immunomodulation, and technological application were found in cell culture, animal models, and preclinical and clinical assessments. One of the greater extents of recent pectin technological usage involves nanoencapsulation methods for many different compounds, ranging from chemotherapy and immunotherapy to natural extracts from fruits and other sources. Structural modification (modified pectin) is also utilized to enhance the use of dietary fiber. Although pectin is already recognized as a component of significant importance, there is still a need for a comprehensive review that delves into its intricate relationships with biological effects, which depend on the source and structure of pectin. This review covers all levels of clinical research, including cell culture, animal studies, and clinical trials, to understand how the plant source and pectin structures influence the biological effects in humans and some technological applications of pectin regarding human health. Full article
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15 pages, 2101 KiB  
Article
Chemical Variability of the Essential Oils from Two Portuguese Apiaceae: Coriandrum sativum L. and Foeniculum vulgare Mill.
by Alexandra M. Machado, Violeta Lopes, Ana Maria Barata, Orlanda Póvoa, Noémia Farinha and Ana Cristina Figueiredo
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2749; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142749 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1232
Abstract
Coriandrum sativum L. and Foeniculum vulgare Mill. are two aromatic and medicinal Apiaceae species commonly grown in Portugal, whose essential oils (EOs) are used in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industries. The present study evaluated EOs isolated from the fruits and vegetative aerial [...] Read more.
Coriandrum sativum L. and Foeniculum vulgare Mill. are two aromatic and medicinal Apiaceae species commonly grown in Portugal, whose essential oils (EOs) are used in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industries. The present study evaluated EOs isolated from the fruits and vegetative aerial parts (VAPs) of 11 samples of Coriandrum sativum L. and from the fruits of 19 samples of Foeniculum vulgare Mill. The plant material was grown in experimental fields, after collection from several regions of mainland Portugal. The EOs were isolated by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The coriander EOs analysis evidenced two main clusters, with the first containing the fruits’ EOs dominated by linalool (60–73%), γ-terpinene, and α-pinene and the second with the VAPs’ EOs, which showed 2-trans-decenal (37–63%) and n-decanal (13–30%) as the main compounds. The fennel EOs analysis revealed two well correlated clusters, the first dominated by estragole (34–76%) and fenchone (16–30%) and the other dominated by trans-anethole (37–56%) and fenchone (14–34%). The present data suggest coriander EOs’ chemical descriptors as linalool for the fruits’ EOs and 2-trans-decenal with n-decanal for the VAPs’ EOs. For the fennel fruit EOs, the putative descriptors were trans-anethole and estragole, with variable fenchone content. The gathered data reinforce the relevance of clarifying variability of these species’ EOs, particularly when considering aromatic and medicinal plants with such a wide range of applications. Full article
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26 pages, 3107 KiB  
Article
Remnants from the Past: From an 18th Century Manuscript to 21st Century Ethnobotany in Valle Imagna (Bergamo, Italy)
by Fabrizia Milani, Martina Bottoni, Laura Bardelli, Lorenzo Colombo, Paola Sira Colombo, Piero Bruschi, Claudia Giuliani and Gelsomina Fico
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2748; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142748 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1708
Abstract
Background: This project originated from the study of an 18th century manuscript found in Valle Imagna (Bergamo, Italy) which contains 200 plant-based medicinal remedies. A first comparison with published books concerning 20th century folk medicine in the Valley led to the designing of [...] Read more.
Background: This project originated from the study of an 18th century manuscript found in Valle Imagna (Bergamo, Italy) which contains 200 plant-based medicinal remedies. A first comparison with published books concerning 20th century folk medicine in the Valley led to the designing of an ethnobotanical investigation, aimed at making a thorough comparison between past and current phytotherapy knowledge in this territory. Methods: The field investigation was conducted through semi-structured interviews. All data collected was entered in a database and subsequently processed. A diachronic comparison between the field results, the manuscript, and a 20th century book was then performed. Results: A total of 109 interviews were conducted and the use of 103 medicinal plants, belonging to 46 families, was noted. A decrease in number of plant taxa and uses was observed over time, with only 42 taxa and 34 uses reported in the manuscript being currently known by the people of the valley. A thorough comparison with the remedies in the manuscript highlighted similar recipes for 12 species. Specifically, the use of agrimony in Valle Imagna for the treatment of deep wounds calls back to an ancient remedy against leg ulcers based on this species. Conclusions: The preliminary results of this study allow us to outline the partial passage through time fragments of ancient plant-based remedies once used in the investigated area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historical Ethnobotany: Interpreting the Old Records)
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14 pages, 2711 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification, Expression and Evolution Analysis of m6A Writers, Readers and Erasers in Aegilops_tauschii
by Huiyuan Lin, Tingrui Shi, Ying Zhang, Chuyang He, Qiying Zhang, Zhiping Mo, Wenqiu Pan and Xiaojun Nie
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2747; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142747 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1297
Abstract
N6-methyladenosine modifications (m6A) is one of the most abundant and prevalent post-transcriptional RNA modifications in plants, playing the crucial role in plant growth and development and stress adaptation. However, the m6A regulatory machinery in Aegilops_tauschii, the D genome progenitor of common wheat, [...] Read more.
N6-methyladenosine modifications (m6A) is one of the most abundant and prevalent post-transcriptional RNA modifications in plants, playing the crucial role in plant growth and development and stress adaptation. However, the m6A regulatory machinery in Aegilops_tauschii, the D genome progenitor of common wheat, is not well understood at present. Here, we systematically identified the m6A-related genes in Aegilops with a genome-wide search approach. In total, 25 putative m6A genes composed of 5 writers, 13 readers and 7 erasers were obtained. A phylogenetic analysis clearly grouped them into three subfamilies with the same subfamily showing similar gene structures and conserved domains. These m6A genes were found to contain a large number of cis-acting elements associating with plant hormones, regulation of growth and development as well as stress response, suggesting their widespread regulation function. Furthermore, the expression profiling of them was investigated using RNA-seq data to obtain stress-responsive candidates, of which 5 were further validated with a qPCR analysis. Finally, the genetic variation of m6A-related genes was investigated between Aegilops and D subgenome of wheat based on re-sequencing data, and an obvious genetic bottleneck occurred on them during the wheat domestication process. The promising haplotype association with domestication and agronomic traits was also detected. This study provided some insights on the genomic organization and evolutionary features of m6A-related genes in Aegilops, which will facilitate the further functional study and also contribute to broaden the genetic basis for genetic improvement in wheat and other crops. Full article
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15 pages, 3560 KiB  
Review
The Role of Light Quality in Regulating Early Seedling Development
by Yunmin Wei, Shuwei Wang and Dashi Yu
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2746; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142746 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4882
Abstract
It is well−established that plants are sessile and photoautotrophic organisms that rely on light throughout their entire life cycle. Light quality (spectral composition) is especially important as it provides energy for photosynthesis and influences signaling pathways that regulate plant development in the complex [...] Read more.
It is well−established that plants are sessile and photoautotrophic organisms that rely on light throughout their entire life cycle. Light quality (spectral composition) is especially important as it provides energy for photosynthesis and influences signaling pathways that regulate plant development in the complex process of photomorphogenesis. During previous years, significant progress has been made in light quality’s physiological and biochemical effects on crops. However, understanding how light quality modulates plant growth and development remains a complex challenge. In this review, we provide an overview of the role of light quality in regulating the early development of plants, encompassing processes such as seed germination, seedling de−etiolation, and seedling establishment. These insights can be harnessed to improve production planning and crop quality by producing high−quality seedlings in plant factories and improving the theoretical framework for modern agriculture. Full article
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14 pages, 3722 KiB  
Article
Using the Aqueous Phase Produced from Hydrothermal Carbonization Process of Brown Seaweed to Improve the Growth of Phaseolus vulgaris
by Damiano Spagnuolo, Viviana Bressi, Maria Teresa Chiofalo, Marina Morabito, Claudia Espro, Giuseppa Genovese, Daniela Iannazzo and Patrizia Trifilò
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2745; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142745 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1127
Abstract
Seaweeds are considered a biomass for third-generation biofuel, and hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is a valuable process for efficiently disposing of the excess of macroalgae biomass for conversion into multiple value-added products. However, the HTC process produces a liquid phase to be disposed of. [...] Read more.
Seaweeds are considered a biomass for third-generation biofuel, and hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is a valuable process for efficiently disposing of the excess of macroalgae biomass for conversion into multiple value-added products. However, the HTC process produces a liquid phase to be disposed of. The present study aims to investigate the effects of seed-priming treatment with three HTC-discarded liquid phases (namely AHL180, AHL240, and AHL300), obtained from different experimental procedures, on seed germination and plant growth and productivity of Phaseolus vulgaris L. To disentangle the osmotic effects from the use of AHL, isotonic solutions of polyethylene glycol (PEG) 6000 have also been tested. Seed germination was not affected by AHL seed-priming treatment. In contrast, PEG-treated samples showed significantly lower seed germination success. AHL-treated samples showed changes in plant biomass: higher shoot biomass was recorded especially in AHL180 samples. Conversely, AHL240 and AHL300 samples showed higher root biomass. The higher plant biomass values recorded in AHL-treated samples were the consequence of higher values of photosynthesis rate and water use efficiency, which, in turn, were related to higher stomatal density. Recorded data strongly support the hypothesis of the AHL solution reuse in agriculture in the framework of resource management and circular green economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Legumes and Stressful Conditions)
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36 pages, 2280 KiB  
Article
From Aloe vera Leaf Waste to the Extracts with Biological Potential: Optimization of the Extractions, Physicochemical Characterization, and Biological Activities
by Muna Rajab Elferjane, Aleksandra A. Jovanović, Violeta Milutinović, Natalija Čutović, Milica Jovanović Krivokuća and Aleksandar Marinković
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2744; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142744 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2492
Abstract
In the study, the optimization of the extraction from Aloe vera leaf waste was performed via varying solid-to-solvent ratio, solvent type, extraction time, and technique (maceration, heat-, ultrasound-, and microwave-assisted extractions—HAE, UAE, and MAE, respectively). The optimal extraction conditions for achieving the highest [...] Read more.
In the study, the optimization of the extraction from Aloe vera leaf waste was performed via varying solid-to-solvent ratio, solvent type, extraction time, and technique (maceration, heat-, ultrasound-, and microwave-assisted extractions—HAE, UAE, and MAE, respectively). The optimal extraction conditions for achieving the highest polyphenol content are a 1:30 ratio, 70% ethanol, and 30 min of HAE. Total flavonoid and protein contents were significantly higher in the extract from MAE, while total condensed tannin content was the highest in HAE. LC-MS analysis quantified 13 anthraquinone and chromone compounds. The variations in the FT-IR spectra of the extracts obtained by different extraction procedures are minor. The influence of extraction conditions on the antioxidant ability of the extracts depended on applied antioxidant assays. The extracts possessed medium inhibition properties against Staphylococcus aureus and weak inhibitory activity against Enterococcus feacalis. The extracts had stimulative effect on HaCaT cell viability. Regarding the extraction yield, there was a significant difference between the used extraction techniques (MAE > HAE > maceration and UAE). The presented study is an initial step in the production of polyphenol-rich extracts from A. vera leaf waste aimed to be used for the potential preparation of pharmaceutical and cosmetic formulations for the skin. Full article
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13 pages, 1912 KiB  
Article
Identification of Genetic Loci for Rice Seedling Mesocotyl Elongation in Both Natural and Artificial Segregating Populations
by Fangjun Feng, Xiaosong Ma, Ming Yan, Hong Zhang, Daoliang Mei, Peiqing Fan, Xiaoyan Xu, Chunlong Wei, Qiaojun Lou, Tianfei Li, Hongyan Liu, Lijun Luo and Hanwei Mei
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2743; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142743 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1101
Abstract
Mesocotyl elongation of rice seedlings is a key trait for deep sowing tolerance and well seedling establishment in dry direct sowing rice (DDSR) production. Subsets of the Rice Diversity Panel 1 (RDP1, 294 accessions) and Hanyou 73 (HY73) recombinant inbred line (RIL) population [...] Read more.
Mesocotyl elongation of rice seedlings is a key trait for deep sowing tolerance and well seedling establishment in dry direct sowing rice (DDSR) production. Subsets of the Rice Diversity Panel 1 (RDP1, 294 accessions) and Hanyou 73 (HY73) recombinant inbred line (RIL) population (312 lines) were screened for mesocotyl length (ML) via dark germination. Six RDP1 accessions (Phudugey, Kasalath, CA902B21, Surjamkuhi, Djimoron, and Goria) had an ML longer than 10 cm, with the other 19 accessions being over 4 cm. A GWAS in RDP1 detected 118 associated SNPs on all 12 chromosomes using a threshold of FDR-adjusted p < 0.05, including 11 SNPs on chromosomes 1, 4, 5, 7, 10, and 12 declared by −log10(P) > 5.868 as the Bonferroni-corrected threshold. Using phenotypic data of three successive trials and a high-density bin map from resequencing genotypic data, four to six QTLs were detected on chromosomes 1, 2, 5, 6, and 10, including three loci repeatedly mapped for ML from two or three replicated trials. Candidate genes were predicted from the chromosomal regions covered by the associated LD blocks and the confidence intervals (CIs) of QTLs and partially validated by the dynamic RNA-seq data in the mesocotyl along different periods of light exposure. Potential strategies of donor parent selection for seedling establishment in DDSR breeding were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Breeding and Germplasm Improvement of Rice)
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18 pages, 3152 KiB  
Article
Post-Intensification Poaceae Cropping: Declining Soil, Unfilled Grain Potential, Time to Act
by Geoffrey R. Squire, Mark W. Young and Gillian Banks
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2742; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142742 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 830
Abstract
The status and sustainability of Poaceae crops, wheat and barley, were examined in an Atlantic zone climate. Intensification had caused yield to rise 3-fold over the last 50 years but had also degraded soil and biodiversity. Soil carbon and nitrogen were compared with [...] Read more.
The status and sustainability of Poaceae crops, wheat and barley, were examined in an Atlantic zone climate. Intensification had caused yield to rise 3-fold over the last 50 years but had also degraded soil and biodiversity. Soil carbon and nitrogen were compared with current growth and yield of crops. The yield gap was estimated and options considered for raising yield. Organic carbon stores in the soil (C-soil) ranged from <2% in intensified systems growing long-season wheat to >4% in low-input, short-season barley and grass. Carbon acquisition by crops (C-crop) was driven mainly by length of season and nitrogen input. The highest C-crop was 8320 kg ha−1 C in long-season wheat supported by >250 kg ha−1 mineral N fertiliser and the lowest 1420 kg ha−1 in short-season barley fertilised by livestock grazing. Sites were quantified in terms of the ratio C-crop to C-soil, the latter estimated as the mass of carbon in the upper 0.25 m of soil. C-crop/C-soil was <1% for barley in low-input systems, indicating the potential of the region for long-term carbon sequestration. In contrast, C-crop/C-soil was >10% in high-input wheat, indicating vulnerability of the soil to continued severe annual disturbance. The yield gap between the current average and the highest attainable yield was quantified in terms of the proportion of grain sink that was unfilled. Intensification had raised yield through a 3- to 4-fold increase in grain number per unit field area, but the potential grain sink was still much higher than the current average yield. Filling the yield gap may be possible but could only be achieved with a major rise in applied nitrogen. Sustainability in Poaceae cropping now faces conflicting demands: (a) conserving and regenerating soil carbon stores in high-input systems, (b) reducing GHG emissions and other pollution from N fertiliser, (c) maintaining the yield or closing the yield gap, and (d) readjusting production among food, feed, and alcohol markets. Current cropping systems are unlikely to satisfy these demands. Transitions are needed to alternative systems based on agroecological management and biological nitrogen fixation. Full article
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13 pages, 1186 KiB  
Article
Antifungal Activity of Glucosinolate-Derived Nitriles and Their Synergistic Activity with Glucosinolate-Derived Isothiocyanates Distinguishes Various Taxa of Brassicaceae Endophytes and Soil Fungi
by Zsolt Szűcs, Tamás Plaszkó, Eszter Bódor, Hajnalka Csoma, Lajos Ács-Szabó, Attila Kiss-Szikszai, Gábor Vasas and Sándor Gonda
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2741; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142741 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1028
Abstract
The glucosinolates of Brassicaceae plants are converted into bioactive isothiocyanates and other volatiles during a challenge by pathogens and other biotic stressors. However, the role of alternative downstream products with weaker potency (e.g., nitriles) is far from being fully understood. This study tested [...] Read more.
The glucosinolates of Brassicaceae plants are converted into bioactive isothiocyanates and other volatiles during a challenge by pathogens and other biotic stressors. However, the role of alternative downstream products with weaker potency (e.g., nitriles) is far from being fully understood. This study tested the possible synergistic antifungal interaction between various glucosinolate-derived nitriles and 2-phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) on 45 fungal strains, including endophytes from horseradish roots (Brassicaceae) and soil fungi, using an airtight system enabling the accurate study of extremely volatile antifungal agents. The median minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were 1.28, 6.10, 27.00 and 49.72 mM for 1H-indole-3-acetonitrile (IAN), 3-phenylpropanenitrile (PPN), 4-(methylsulfanyl)-butanenitrile (MSBN) and 3-butenenitrile (BN, = allyl cyanide), respectively. Thus, nitriles were considerably weaker antifungal agents compared to PEITC with a median MIC of 0.04 mM. For the same nitriles, the median fractional inhibitory concentration indices (FICIs) of the combinations were 0.562, 0.531, 0.562 and 0.625, respectively. Altogether, 47.7%, 56.8%, 50.0% and 27.3% of tested fungal strains showed a synergistic antifungal activity (FICI ≤ 0.5) for the nitrile–isothiocyanate combinations, respectively. Hypocreales strains showed the least sensitivity towards the GSL decomposition products and their combinations. The mean MIC values for PEITC showed 0.0679 ± 0.0358, 0.0400 ± 0.0214, 0.0319 ± 0.0087 and 0.0178 ± 0.0171 mM for Hypocreales, Eurotiales, Glomerellales and Pleosporales, respectively. In addition, nitriles, especially IAN, also showed significant differences. For the same fungi, the median FICI values fell in the ranges of 0.61–0.67, 0.52–0.61, 0.40–0.50 and 0.48–0.67, respectively, depending on the nitrile. Our results suggest that glucosinolate-derived nitriles may enhance isothiocyanate antifungal activity and that they may play an active role in shaping the plant microbiome and contribute to the filtering of microbes by plants. Full article
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17 pages, 27280 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Two AGAMOUS-like Genes and Their Promoters from the Cymbidium faberi (Orchidaceae)
by Jiayi Li, Ling Wang, Xiangjian Chen, Lingtian Zeng, Yalan Su and Zhixiong Liu
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2740; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142740 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1091
Abstract
Arabidopsis AGAMOUS (AG) play roles in determining stamens’ and carpels’ identities, floral meristem determinacy, and repression of the A-function. Gynostemium fused by stamens and carpels is a characteristic reproductive structure in orchid flowers, which shows a considerable difference from the reproductive organs [...] Read more.
Arabidopsis AGAMOUS (AG) play roles in determining stamens’ and carpels’ identities, floral meristem determinacy, and repression of the A-function. Gynostemium fused by stamens and carpels is a characteristic reproductive structure in orchid flowers, which shows a considerable difference from the reproductive organs of eudicots and other monocot species. The molecular basis of orchid gynostemium development remains largely unknown. Here, we report the identification and functional characterization of two AG-like genes, CyfaAG1 and CyfaAG2, and their promoters from C. faberi. Both CyfaAG1 and CyfaAG2 are highly expressed in the anther cap, gynostemium, and ovary. Ectopic expression of CyfaAG1 and CyfaAG2 promotes early flowering of wild-type Arabidopsis. Moreover, ectopic expression of CyfaAG1 completely rescues floral defects in the Arabidopsis ag-1 mutant, while ectopic expression of CyfaAG2 only completes filament and carpel development. Our findings suggest that CyfaAG1 acts as an evolutionarily conserved C-function gene in determining reproductive organ identity and mediating floral meristem determinacy. CyfaAG2 redundantly mediates the C-function in floral meristem determinacy and gynostemium development. Our results provided more details to understand how the C-class function has been partitioned in orchids, and the roles of two AG orthologs in regulating gynostemium development in C. faberi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flower Development in Ornamental Plants)
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21 pages, 4165 KiB  
Article
Sedum Growth Patterns under Different Pedoclimatic Conditions
by Alex-Péter Cotoz, Valentin-Sebastian Dan, Tincuța-Marta Gocan, Ileana Andreica, Sándor Rózsa and Maria Cantor
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2739; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142739 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1778
Abstract
This research paper presents a case study analysis of the behavior of three Sedum varieties and their growth in three different types of substrates without additional watering or fertilizing. The study aims to identify a suitable substrate for propagation and to provide insight [...] Read more.
This research paper presents a case study analysis of the behavior of three Sedum varieties and their growth in three different types of substrates without additional watering or fertilizing. The study aims to identify a suitable substrate for propagation and to provide insight into the plant’s growth patterns. By analyzing the growth of the Sedum species and varieties—SS’PW’, SS’CB’, and SS’P’—without intervening in their growth process, we were able to identify factors that play a more crucial role in promoting root growth, plant growth, aesthetic value, and use. Over a 20-month period, various technical tools were employed to conduct observations and measurements for both plants and weather conditions. The type of substrate significantly affected plant growth, with the green roof substrate exhibiting the highest overall average monthly root growth rate (0.92 ± 0.05 d, 1.01 ± 0.05 b, 0.96 ± 0.05 c) while in the case of stem growth, among all three varieties, the best results were obtained in the commercial mix (0.87 ± 0.04 a, 0.40 ± 0.02 c, 0.35 ± 0.02 d). Based on the morphological analyses, all values were significantly lower than the control. Best results for leaf weight and surface area were noticed in the green roof substrate with an average growth of 46%, 53%, 55%, and for stem weight, length, and thickness in the commercial mix with 64%, 61%, and 55% compared to the control, respectively. Leaves had varying morphological characteristics, but the chromatic characteristics were preserved. The plants had an overall poor growth which may not be desirable in landscape designs. The findings of this study are applicable in the planning and execution of eco-friendly infrastructure initiatives, leading to the development of more robust and environmentally friendly urban settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Floriculture and Landscape Architecture)
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12 pages, 2720 KiB  
Article
Low-Oxygen Responses of Cut Carnation Flowers Associated with Modified Atmosphere Packaging
by Misaki Nakayama, Nao Harada, Ai Murai, Sayaka Ueyama and Taro Harada
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2738; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142738 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1375
Abstract
Gaseous factors affect post-harvest physiological processes in horticultural crops, including ornamental flowers. However, the molecular responses of cut flowers to the low-oxygen conditions associated with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) have not yet been elucidated. Here, we show that storage of cut carnation flowers [...] Read more.
Gaseous factors affect post-harvest physiological processes in horticultural crops, including ornamental flowers. However, the molecular responses of cut flowers to the low-oxygen conditions associated with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) have not yet been elucidated. Here, we show that storage of cut carnation flowers in a sealed polypropylene bag decreased the oxygen concentration in the bag to 3–5% and slowed flower opening. The vase life of carnation flowers after storage for seven days under MAP conditions was comparable to that without storage and was improved by the application of a commercial-quality preservative. The adenylate energy charge (AEC) was maintained at high levels in petals from florets stored under MAP conditions. This was accompanied by the upregulation of four hypoxia-related genes, among which the HYPOXIA-RESPONSIVE ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR and PHYTOGLOBIN genes (DcERF19 and DcPGB1) were newly identified. These results suggest that hypoxia-responsive genes contribute to the maintenance of the energy status in carnation flowers stored under MAP conditions, making this gas-controlling technique potentially effective for maintaining cut flower quality without cooling. Full article
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19 pages, 1489 KiB  
Article
Effects of Harvesting Time on Fruit Development Process and Oil Content of Selected Iranian and Foreign Olive Cultivars under Subtropical Conditions
by Narjes Fahadi Hoveizeh, Rahmatollah Gholami, Seyed Morteza Zahedi, Hojattollah Gholami and Petronia Carillo
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2737; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142737 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 976
Abstract
Climate change and rising global average temperatures across the year may strongly affect olive fruits’ development process and their oil yield and quality. There is therefore an urgency to take immediate actions to characterize the wide variability of cultivars in order to identify [...] Read more.
Climate change and rising global average temperatures across the year may strongly affect olive fruits’ development process and their oil yield and quality. There is therefore an urgency to take immediate actions to characterize the wide variability of cultivars in order to identify those with a stable response to high temperatures, particularly in areas like the west of Iran, which is characterized by a warm summer continental climate. The objective of this study is to investigate the process of fruit development and oil accumulation in response to high summer temperature conditions in a set of four Iranian olive cultivars (Shengeh, Roughani, Zard Aliabad, and Dezful) in comparison with four foreign olive cultivars (Konservolia, Sevillana, Manzanilla, and Mission) in seven various harvesting times (20 July, 5 and 20 August, 5 and 20 September, 6 and 21 October). The obtained results evidence a significant positive correlation between fruit dry matter and oil content. High temperatures reduced the oil and dry matter accumulation in the second half of the summer, with severe thermal conditions adversely affecting oil synthesis. Paramount variations were observed among the cultivars regarding oil accumulation, dry matter, and pomological attributes. All of them showed the highest oil content at the last harvest. Among all analyzed varieties, Roughani showed the highest tolerance and adaptive capacity to high temperatures as it accumulated the greatest amount of dry matter as well as oil content in all of the harvesting times, demonstrating a positive correlation between these two traits. Although Shengeh showed the lowest oil content on a dry and fresh weight basis at the first harvesting time, this cultivar generally presented higher fruit development attributes than the other cultivars, highlighting that it benefits from a high temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Crop Growth and Development under Adverse Conditions)
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36 pages, 1502 KiB  
Review
Soil and Phytomicrobiome for Plant Disease Suppression and Management under Climate Change: A Review
by Wen Chen, Dixi Modi and Adeline Picot
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2736; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142736 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 7050
Abstract
The phytomicrobiome plays a crucial role in soil and ecosystem health, encompassing both beneficial members providing critical ecosystem goods and services and pathogens threatening food safety and security. The potential benefits of harnessing the power of the phytomicrobiome for plant disease suppression and [...] Read more.
The phytomicrobiome plays a crucial role in soil and ecosystem health, encompassing both beneficial members providing critical ecosystem goods and services and pathogens threatening food safety and security. The potential benefits of harnessing the power of the phytomicrobiome for plant disease suppression and management are indisputable and of interest in agriculture but also in forestry and landscaping. Indeed, plant diseases can be mitigated by in situ manipulations of resident microorganisms through agronomic practices (such as minimum tillage, crop rotation, cover cropping, organic mulching, etc.) as well as by applying microbial inoculants. However, numerous challenges, such as the lack of standardized methods for microbiome analysis and the difficulty in translating research findings into practical applications are at stake. Moreover, climate change is affecting the distribution, abundance, and virulence of many plant pathogens, while also altering the phytomicrobiome functioning, further compounding disease management strategies. Here, we will first review literature demonstrating how agricultural practices have been found effective in promoting soil health and enhancing disease suppressiveness and mitigation through a shift of the phytomicrobiome. Challenges and barriers to the identification and use of the phytomicrobiome for plant disease management will then be discussed before focusing on the potential impacts of climate change on the phytomicrobiome functioning and disease outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytomicrobiome Research for Disease and Pathogen Management)
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42 pages, 25055 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Anthropogenic Activities and Climate Change on Forage Nutrition Storage in Tibetan Grasslands
by Shaowei Li and Gang Fu
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2735; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142735 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1127
Abstract
Uncertainties about the impacts of anthropogenic activities and climate change on forage nutrition storage of grasslands can limit the adaptive management of grasslands across the whole Tibetan Plateau. The main objective was to investigate the impacts of anthropogenic activities and climate change on [...] Read more.
Uncertainties about the impacts of anthropogenic activities and climate change on forage nutrition storage of grasslands can limit the adaptive management of grasslands across the whole Tibetan Plateau. The main objective was to investigate the impacts of anthropogenic activities and climate change on the forage nutrition storage of grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau. Based on random forest models, we quantified the responses of forage nutrition storage to anthropogenic activities and climate change across the whole Tibetan grasslands from 2000 to 2020. Warming and increased precipitation did not always increase forage nutrition storage, and cooling and decreased precipitation did not always reduce forage nutrition storage. Compared to temperature and precipitation changes, radiation change had stronger contributions to potential and actual forage nutrition storage. Humankind’s activities altered the impacts of climate change on forage nutrition storage. The impacts of anthropogenic activities on forage nutrition storage increased linearly with increasing mean annual temperature and decreasing elevation but showed quadratic relationships with longitude, mean annual precipitation and radiation. The change in the impacts of humankind’s activities on forage nutrition storage was more closely related to radiation change than temperature and precipitation changes. The findings observed by this study caution that the impacts of radiation change on forage nutrition forage should be taken seriously under global change. Both climate change and humankind activities cannot always increase forage nutrition storage but may cause the degradation of forage nutrition storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change)
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9 pages, 924 KiB  
Communication
Application of Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy for Predicting Damage Severity in a Diverse Panel of Tectona grandis Caused by Ceratocystis fimbriata
by Isabela Vera dos Anjos, Mohsin Ali, Freddy Mora-Poblete, Kelly Lana Araujo, Thiago Alexandre Santana Gilio and Leonarda Grillo Neves
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2734; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142734 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1027
Abstract
Tectona grandis Linn., also known as teak, is a highly valued species with adaptability to a wide range of climatic conditions and high tolerance to soil variations, making it an attractive option for both commercial and conservation purposes. In this sense, the classification [...] Read more.
Tectona grandis Linn., also known as teak, is a highly valued species with adaptability to a wide range of climatic conditions and high tolerance to soil variations, making it an attractive option for both commercial and conservation purposes. In this sense, the classification of cultivated teak genotypes is crucial for both breeding programs and conservation efforts. This study examined the relationship between traits related to damage in the stem of teak plants caused by Ceratocystis fimbriata (a soil-borne pathogen that negatively impacts the productivity of teak plantations) and the spectral reflectance of 110 diverse clones, using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) data and partial least squares regression (PLSR) analysis. Cross-validation models had R2 = 0.894 (ratio of standard error of prediction to standard deviation: RPD = 3.1), R2 = 0.883 (RPD = 2.7), and R2 = 0.893 (RPD = 2.8) for predicting stem lesion area, lesion length, and severity of infection, respectively. Teak genotypes (clones) can benefit from the creation of a calibration model utilizing NIRS-generated data paired with PLSR, which can effectively screen the magnitude of damage caused by the fungus. Overall, while the study provides valuable information for teak breeding and conservation efforts, a long-term perspective would be essential to evaluate the sustainability of teak genotypes over various growth stages and under continuous pathogen pressure. Full article
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17 pages, 2877 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Profiling and Biological Potential of Prunus dulcis Shell Extracts
by Talel Ben Khadher, Sameh Sassi-Aydi, Samir Aydi, Mohamed Mars and Jalloul Bouajila
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2733; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142733 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1590
Abstract
Prunus dulcis is one of the most widely cultivated species in the world. Its fruit (almond) is rich in various nutritious and bioactive compounds that exert several beneficial effects. The aim of this study was to determine the chemical profile and evaluate the [...] Read more.
Prunus dulcis is one of the most widely cultivated species in the world. Its fruit (almond) is rich in various nutritious and bioactive compounds that exert several beneficial effects. The aim of this study was to determine the chemical profile and evaluate the biological potential in vitro of almond shell extracts. The chemical analysis of shell extracts led to the identification of 15 compounds by HPLC-DAD, of which 11 were first detected in the almond plant. Twenty-six volatile compounds were identified by the GC-MS technique; among them, seven were firstly detected in the studied plant. For the biological activities, the extracts demonstrated moderate inhibition potential against the antioxidant, antidiabetic, and cytotoxic activities. The methanol extract at 50 µg/mL showed the highest antioxidant (45%) and antidiabetic activities (45% against alpha-glucosidase and 31% against alpha-amylase extracts), while the cyclohexane and dichloromethane at 50 µg/mL showed the highest cytotoxic activity towards Hela (32.2% with cyclohexane) and RAW 264-7 (45% with dichloromethane). Overall, these findings demonstrate the potential of almond shell extracts as a source of bioactive compounds that could be applied in the pharmaceutical and medical fields. Full article
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25 pages, 6238 KiB  
Review
Flavonoids: Overview of Biosynthesis, Biological Activity, and Current Extraction Techniques
by Sergio Liga, Cristina Paul and Francisc Péter
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2732; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142732 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 7845
Abstract
Recently, increased attention has been paid to natural sources as raw materials for the development of new added-value products. Flavonoids are a large family of polyphenols which include several classes based on their basic structure: flavanones, flavones, isoflavones, flavonols, flavanols, and anthocyanins. They [...] Read more.
Recently, increased attention has been paid to natural sources as raw materials for the development of new added-value products. Flavonoids are a large family of polyphenols which include several classes based on their basic structure: flavanones, flavones, isoflavones, flavonols, flavanols, and anthocyanins. They have a multitude of biological properties, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antimicrobial, anticancer, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective effects. Current trends of research and development on flavonoids relate to identification, extraction, isolation, physico-chemical characterization, and their applications to health benefits. This review presents an up-to-date survey of the most recent developments in the natural flavonoid classes, the biological activity of representative flavonoids, current extraction techniques, and perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds in Plants)
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19 pages, 4268 KiB  
Article
SNAC3 Transcription Factor Enhances Arsenic Stress Tolerance and Grain Yield in Rice (Oryza sativa L.) through Regulating Physio-Biochemical Mechanisms, Stress-Responsive Genes, and Cryptochrome 1b
by Marootpong Pooam, Enas M. El-Ballat, Nathalie Jourdan, Hayssam M. Ali, Christophe Hano, Margaret Ahmad and Mohamed A. El-Esawi
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2731; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142731 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1228
Abstract
Arsenic (As) is one of the toxic heavy metal pollutants found in the environment. An excess of As poses serious threats to plants and diminishes their growth and productivity. NAC transcription factors revealed a pivotal role in enhancing crops tolerance to different environmental [...] Read more.
Arsenic (As) is one of the toxic heavy metal pollutants found in the environment. An excess of As poses serious threats to plants and diminishes their growth and productivity. NAC transcription factors revealed a pivotal role in enhancing crops tolerance to different environmental stresses. The present study investigated, for the first time, the functional role of SNAC3 in boosting As stress tolerance and grain productivity in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Two SNAC3-overexpressing (SNAC3-OX) and two SNAC3-RNAi transgenic lines were created and validated. The wild-type and transgenic rice plants were exposed to different As stress levels (0, 25, and 50 µM). The results revealed that SNAC3 overexpression significantly improved rice tolerance to As stress and boosted grain yield traits. Under both levels of As stress (25 and 50 µM), SNAC3-OX rice lines exhibited significantly lower levels of oxidative stress biomarkers and OsCRY1b (cryptochrome 1b) expression, but they revealed increased levels of gas exchange characters, chlorophyll, osmolytes (soluble sugars, proteins, proline, phenols, and flavonoids), antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, APX, and POD), and stress-tolerant genes expression (OsSOD-Cu/Zn, OsCATA, OsCATB, OsAPX2, OsLEA3, OsDREB2B, OsDREB2A, OsSNAC2, and OsSNAC1) in comparison to wild-type plants. By contrast, SNAC3 suppression (RNAi) reduced grain yield components and reversed the aforementioned measured physio-biochemical and molecular traits. Taken together, this study is the first to demonstrate that SNAC3 plays a vital role in boosting As stress resistance and grain productivity in rice through modulating antioxidants, photosynthesis, osmolyte accumulation, and stress-related genes expression, and may be a useful candidate for further genetic enhancement of stress resistance in many crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving the Tolerance of Crop Plants to Heavy Metal Stress)
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11 pages, 2694 KiB  
Article
A Double Mutation in the ALS Gene Confers a High Level of Resistance to Mesosulfuron-Methyl in Shepherd’s-Purse
by Huan Lu, Yingze Liu, Dexiao Bu, Fan Yang, Zheng Zhang and Sheng Qiang
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2730; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142730 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1080
Abstract
Shepherd’s-purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), a globally distributed noxious weed species often found in wheat, has evolved resistance to ALS-inhibiting herbicides mainly due to single mutations in the ALS gene. In the present study, dose–response bioassays showed that a shepherd’s-purse population (R), collected [...] Read more.
Shepherd’s-purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), a globally distributed noxious weed species often found in wheat, has evolved resistance to ALS-inhibiting herbicides mainly due to single mutations in the ALS gene. In the present study, dose–response bioassays showed that a shepherd’s-purse population (R), collected from Xinghua, Jiangsu Province, China, had high level of resistance to the ALS-inhibiting herbicide, mesosulfuron-methyl (800-fold), and even much higher resistance levels to other reported ALS-inhibiting herbicides, tribenuron-methyl (1313-fold), bensulfuron-methyl (969-fold) and penoxsulam (613-fold). Sequencing of the open reading frame of the ALS gene revealed a double ALS gene mutation (Pro197-Ser plus Trp574-Leu) conferring the high resistance in the R plants. Docking analysis of the ALS protein and mesosulfuron-methyl predicts that the two amino acid substitutions in the R samples reduces the binding energy to the herbicide by decreasing the hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) and other interactions, thus endowing resistance to ALS-inhibiting herbicides. These results demonstrate that the double ALS mutation confers high resistance levels to ALS-inhibiting herbicides. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of the double ALS mutation in shepherd’s-purse endowing ALS-inhibiting herbicide resistance. Full article
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23 pages, 3393 KiB  
Article
Metabolomic Characterization of Phoradendron brachystachyum Mistletoe and In-Silico and In-Vitro Investigation of Its Therapeutic Potential in Metabolic Disorders
by Luis Aurelio Montoya-Inzunza, Aldo Moreno-Ulloa, Rommel A. Carballo-Castañeda, Jorge Xool-Tamayo, Laura Aracely Contreras-Angulo, Nayely Leyva-López, Marilena Antunes-Ricardo, Jose Reyes Gonzalez-Galaviz, José Basilio Heredia and Erick Paul Gutiérrez-Grijalva
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2729; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142729 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1292
Abstract
Plants of the Phoradendron genus have been traditionally used for their lipid- and glucose-lowering effects. However, the compounds responsible for these effects and the overall chemical profile of these plants have not been thoroughly investigated. We aimed to characterize the metabolome of leaves, [...] Read more.
Plants of the Phoradendron genus have been traditionally used for their lipid- and glucose-lowering effects. However, the compounds responsible for these effects and the overall chemical profile of these plants have not been thoroughly investigated. We aimed to characterize the metabolome of leaves, stems, and aerial parts of the Phoradendron brachystachyum plant. We used mass spectrometry and colorimetric screening techniques (with various solvents) to identify and characterize the metabolites present. We also evaluated the antioxidant (FRAP, ORAC, TEAC, and DPPH assays) and inhibitory effects on pancreatic lipase and α-glucosidase enzymes of hydrophilic extracts. Furthermore, we compared the molecular fingerprints between the identified metabolites and FDA-approved drugs to gain insights into the metabolites that might be responsible for the observed effects on enzymes. Our findings revealed the presence of 59 putative metabolites, primarily flavonoids. However, we also hint at the presence of peptide and carbohydrate derivatives. The leaf extracts demonstrated the most promising metrics across all assays, exhibiting strong antioxidant and enzyme inhibitory effects as well as high levels of phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and tannins. Fingerprint analysis suggested potential peptide and carbohydrate metabolites as pancreatic lipase and α-glucosidase inhibitors. Overall, our study provides evidence on specific metabolites in Phoradendron brachystachyum that could be responsible for the therapeutic effects noted in obese and type 2 diabetes subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds in Plants: Store House of Modern Drugs)
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20 pages, 6062 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis Reveals the Response Mechanism of Digitaria sanguinalis, Arabidopsis thaliana and Poa annua under 4,8-Dihydroxy-1-tetralone Treatment
by Qiumin Sun, Tao Wang, Jiu Huang, Xinyi Gu, Yanling Dong, Ying Yang, Xiaowen Da, Xiaorong Mo, Xiaoting Xie, Hangjin Jiang, Daoliang Yan, Bingsong Zheng and Yi He
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2728; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142728 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1211
Abstract
4,8-dihydroxy-l-tetralone (4,8-DHT) is an allelochemical isolated from the outer bark of Carya cathayensis that acts as a plant growth inhibitor. In order to explore the mechanism of 4,8-DHT inhibiting weed activity, we treated three species of Digitaria sanguinalis, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Poa [...] Read more.
4,8-dihydroxy-l-tetralone (4,8-DHT) is an allelochemical isolated from the outer bark of Carya cathayensis that acts as a plant growth inhibitor. In order to explore the mechanism of 4,8-DHT inhibiting weed activity, we treated three species of Digitaria sanguinalis, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Poa annua with different concentrations of 4,8-DHT and performed phenotype observation and transcriptome sequencing. The results showed that with an increase in 4,8-DHT concentration, the degree of plant damage gradually deepened. Under the same concentration of 4,8-DHT, the damage degree of leaves and roots of Digitaria sanguinalis was the greatest, followed by Arabidopsis thaliana, while Poa annua had the least damage, and the leaves turned slightly yellow. Transcriptome data showed that 24536, 9913, and 1662 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in Digitaria sanguinalis, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Poa annua, respectively. These DEGs were significantly enriched in photosynthesis, carbon fixation, glutathione metabolism, phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, and oxidative phosphorylation pathways. In addition, DEGs were also enriched in plant hormone signal transduction and the MAPK signal pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana. Further analysis showed that after 4,8-DHT treatment, the transcript levels of photosynthesis PSI- and PSII-related genes, LHCA/B-related genes, Rubisco, and PEPC were significantly decreased in Digitaria sanguinalis and Arabidopsis thaliana. At the same time, the transcription levels of genes related to glutathione metabolism and the phenylpropanoid biosynthesis pathway in Digitaria sanguinalis were also significantly decreased. However, the expression of these genes was upregulated in Arabidopsis thaliana and Poa annua. These indicated that 4,8-DHT affected the growth of the three plants through different physiological pathways, and then played a role in inhibiting plant growth. Simultaneously, the extent to which plants were affected depended on the tested plants and the content of 4,8-DHT. The identification of weed genes that respond to 4,8-DHT has helped us to further understand the inhibition of plant growth by allelochemicals and has provided a scientific basis for the development of allelochemicals as herbicides. Full article
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17 pages, 2371 KiB  
Article
Effect of the Combination of Phosphate-Solubilizing Bacteria with Orange Residue-Based Activator on the Phytoremediation of Cadmium by Ryegrass
by Xin Peng, Rule Zhao, Yuan Yang, Yaoyu Zhou, Yichun Zhu, Pufeng Qin, Mi Wang and Hongli Huang
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2727; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142727 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1135
Abstract
Amendments with activators or microorganisms to enhance phytoremediation in toxic-metal-polluted soils have been widely studied. In this research, the production of indoleacetic acid, siderophore, and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase by phosphate-solubilizing bacteria was investigated during a pure culture experiment. Pot experiments were performed using [...] Read more.
Amendments with activators or microorganisms to enhance phytoremediation in toxic-metal-polluted soils have been widely studied. In this research, the production of indoleacetic acid, siderophore, and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase by phosphate-solubilizing bacteria was investigated during a pure culture experiment. Pot experiments were performed using Cd-polluted soil with the following treatments: control (CK, only ultrapure water), orange-peel-based activator (OG), and a combination of phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (Acinetobacter pitti) and OG (APOG). Ryegrass plant height and fresh weight, Cd content in ryegrass, total and available Cd soil content, soil enzyme activity, and soil bacterial diversity were determined in this work. The findings showed that the height of ryegrass in OG and APOG increased by 14.78% and 21.23%. In the APOG group, a decreased ratio of Cd was 3.37 times that of CK, and the bioconcentration factor was 1.28 times that of CK. The neutral phosphatase activity of APOG was 1.33 times that of CK and catalase activity was 1.95 times that of CK. The activity of urease was increased by 35.48%. APOG increased the abundance of beneficial bacteria and Proteobacteria was the dominant bacterium, accounting for 57.38% in APOG. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that nutrient elements were conducive to the propagation of the dominant bacteria, the secretion of enzymes, and the extraction rate of Cd in the soil. The possible enhancement mechanism of phytoremediation of cadmium by A. pitti combined with OG was that, on the one hand, APOG increased soil nutrient elements and enzyme activities promoted the growth of ryegrass. On the other hand, APOG activated Cd and boosted the movement of Cd from soil to ryegrass. This research offers insight for the combination of phosphate-solubilizing bacteria with an orange-peel-based activator to improve phytoremediation of Cd-contaminated soils and also provides a new way for the resource utilization of fruit residue. Full article
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15 pages, 7379 KiB  
Article
Endosperm Persistence in Arabidopsis Results in Seed Coat Fractures and Loss of Seed Longevity
by Joan Renard, Gaetano Bissoli, María Dolores Planes, José Gadea, Miguel Ángel Naranjo, Ramón Serrano, Gwyneth Ingram and Eduardo Bueso
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2726; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142726 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1559
Abstract
Seeds are specialized plant organs that carry, nurture, and protect plant offspring. Developmental coordination between the three genetically distinct seed tissues (the embryo, endosperm, and seed coat) is crucial for seed viability. In this study, we explore the relationship between the TFs AtHB25 [...] Read more.
Seeds are specialized plant organs that carry, nurture, and protect plant offspring. Developmental coordination between the three genetically distinct seed tissues (the embryo, endosperm, and seed coat) is crucial for seed viability. In this study, we explore the relationship between the TFs AtHB25 and ICE1. Previous results identified ICE1 as a target gene of AtHB25. In seeds, a lack of ICE1 (ice1-2) suppresses the enhanced seed longevity and impermeability of the overexpressing mutant athb25-1D, but surprisingly, seed coat lipid polyester deposition is not affected, as shown by the double-mutant athb25-1D ice1-2 seeds. zou-4, another mutant lacking the transcriptional program for proper endosperm maturation and for which the endosperm persists, also presents a high sensitivity to seed aging. Analysis of gso1, gso2, and tws1-4 mutants revealed that a loss of embryo cuticle integrity does not underlie the seed-aging sensitivity of ice1-2 and zou-4. However, scanning electron microscopy revealed the presence of multiple fractures in the seed coats of the ice1 and zou mutants. Thus, this study highlights the importance of both seed coat composition and integrity in ensuring longevity and demonstrates that these parameters depend on multiple factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Seed Longevity)
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12 pages, 1453 KiB  
Review
Epigenetic Regulation of Nitrogen Signaling and Adaptation in Plants
by Hao Zhang, Xiaoyu Zhang and Jun Xiao
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2725; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142725 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1375
Abstract
Nitrogen (N) is a crucial nutrient that plays a significant role in enhancing crop yield. Its availability, including both supply and deficiency, serves as a crucial signal for plant development. However, excessive N use in agriculture leads to environmental and economic issues. Enhancing [...] Read more.
Nitrogen (N) is a crucial nutrient that plays a significant role in enhancing crop yield. Its availability, including both supply and deficiency, serves as a crucial signal for plant development. However, excessive N use in agriculture leads to environmental and economic issues. Enhancing nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is, therefore, essential to minimize negative impacts. Prior studies have investigated the genetic factors involved in N responses and the process of low-nitrogen (LN) adaptation. In this review, we discuss recent advances in understanding how epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, histone modification, and small RNA, participate in the regulation of N response and LN adaptation. We highlight the importance of decoding the epigenome at various levels to accelerate the functional study of how plants respond to N availability. Understanding the epigenetic control of N signaling and adaptation can lead to new strategies to improve NUE and enhance crop productivity sustainably. Full article
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18 pages, 5691 KiB  
Article
Efficacy of Aspergillus tubingensis GX3′ Fermentation against Meloidogyne enterolobii in Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.)
by Aatika Sikandar, Fukun Gao, Yixue Mo, Qian Chen, Rana Muhammad Kaleem Ullah and Haiyan Wu
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2724; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142724 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1186
Abstract
Meloidogyne enterolobii is one of the most virulent root-knot nematodes (RKNs). Aspergillus tubingensis Raoul Mosseray, 1934, is used to produce bioactive substances, enzymes, and secondary metabolites. However, no research has been conducted yet on the efficacy of A. tubingensis against plant-parasitic nematodes. Thus, [...] Read more.
Meloidogyne enterolobii is one of the most virulent root-knot nematodes (RKNs). Aspergillus tubingensis Raoul Mosseray, 1934, is used to produce bioactive substances, enzymes, and secondary metabolites. However, no research has been conducted yet on the efficacy of A. tubingensis against plant-parasitic nematodes. Thus, the novel research was planned to evaluate the biocontrol efficacy of A. tubingensis fermentation against M. enterolobii. The findings showed that egg hatching inhibition and mortality of M. enterolobii increased with increasing concentration of fermentation and exposure time. The maximum second-stage juveniles (J2s) mortality was achieved via 100% fermentation at 72 h. Similarly, 100% fermentation inhibited 99.9% of egg hatching at 8 d. A. tubingensis fermentation increased plant biomass, decreased second-stage juvenile invasion, and inhibited nematode development and reproduction in greenhouse conditions. A. tubingensis reduced J2 invasion into tomato roots by 42.84% with CS+ (coated seeds plants with nematodes inoculum) and 27.04% with T+ (100% fermentation broth and nematodes inoculum both) treatments. Moreover, CS+ and T+ treatments decreased nematode development by 54.31% and 21.48%, respectively. It is concluded that the A. tubingensis GX3 strain can be used as a novel microbial biocontrol agent against M. enterolobii. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Protection and Biotic Interactions)
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12 pages, 2292 KiB  
Article
Environmental Adaptability and Energy Investment Strategy of Different Cunninghamia lanceolata Clones Based on Leaf Calorific Value and Construction Cost Characteristics
by Nana Li, Yue Cao, Jinghui Wu, Ting Zhang, Xianhua Zou, Xiangqing Ma and Pengfei Wu
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2723; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142723 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 737
Abstract
The calorific value and construction cost of leaves reflect the utilization strategy of plants for environmental resources. Their genetic characteristics and leaf functional traits as well as climate change affect the calorific values. This study explores the differences in energy investment strategies and [...] Read more.
The calorific value and construction cost of leaves reflect the utilization strategy of plants for environmental resources. Their genetic characteristics and leaf functional traits as well as climate change affect the calorific values. This study explores the differences in energy investment strategies and the response characteristics of energy utilization in leaves to climate change among nine clones of Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata). Considering the objectives, the differences in the energy utilization strategies were analyzed by determining the leaf nutrients, specific leaf area, and leaf calorific value and by calculating the construction cost. The results showed a significant difference in the ash-free calorific value and construction cost of leaves among different Chinese fir clones (p < 0.05). There were also significant differences in leaf carbon (C) content, leaf nitrogen (N) content, specific leaf area, and ash content. The correlation analysis showed that leaves’ ash-free calorific value and construction cost were positively correlated with the C content. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that P2 is inclined to the “fast investment return” energy investment strategy, while L27 is inclined to the “slow investment return” energy investment strategy. Redundancy analysis (RDA) indicates that the monthly average temperature strongly correlates positively with leaf construction cost, N content, and specific leaf area. The monthly average precipitation positively impacts the ash-free calorific value and construction cost of leaves. In conclusion, there are obvious differences in energy investment strategies among different Chinese fir clones. When temperature and precipitation change, Chinese fir leaves can adjust their energy investment to adapt to environmental changes. In the future, attention should be paid to the impact of climate change–related aspects on the growth and development of Chinese fir plantations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycle and Hydrological Process of Plant Ecosystems)
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21 pages, 6638 KiB  
Article
45S rDNA Diversity In Natura as One Step towards Ribosomal Heterogeneity in Arabidopsis thaliana
by Valérie Delorme-Hinoux, Assane Mbodj, Sophie Brando, Anne De Bures, Christel Llauro, Fabrice Covato, Joseph Garrigue, Claude Guisset, Jacques Borrut, Marie Mirouze, Jean-Philippe Reichheld and Julio Sáez-Vásquez
Plants 2023, 12(14), 2722; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12142722 - 21 Jul 2023
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Abstract
The keystone of ribosome biogenesis is the transcription of 45S rDNA. The Arabidopsis thaliana genome contains hundreds of 45S rDNA units; however, they are not all transcribed. Notably, 45S rDNA units contain insertions/deletions revealing the existence of heterogeneous rRNA genes and, likely, heterogeneous [...] Read more.
The keystone of ribosome biogenesis is the transcription of 45S rDNA. The Arabidopsis thaliana genome contains hundreds of 45S rDNA units; however, they are not all transcribed. Notably, 45S rDNA units contain insertions/deletions revealing the existence of heterogeneous rRNA genes and, likely, heterogeneous ribosomes for rRNAs. In order to obtain an overall picture of 45S rDNA diversity sustaining the synthesis of rRNAs and, subsequently, of ribosomes in natura, we took advantage of 320 new occurrences of Arabidopsis thaliana as a metapopulation named At66, sampled from 0 to 1900 m of altitude in the eastern Pyrenees in France. We found that the 45S rDNA copy number is very dynamic in natura and identified new genotypes for both 5′ and 3′ External Transcribed Spacers (ETS). Interestingly, the highest 5′ETS genotype diversity is found in altitude while the highest 3′ETS genotype diversity is found at sea level. Structural analysis of 45S rDNA also shows conservation in natura of specific 5′ETS and 3′ETS sequences/features required to control rDNA expression and the processing of rRNAs. In conclusion, At66 is a worthwhile natural laboratory, and unraveled 45S rDNA diversity represents an interesting starting material to select subsets for rDNA transcription and alter the rRNA composition of ribosomes both intra- and inter-site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ribosome Heterogeneity in Plants)
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