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Plants, Volume 12, Issue 21 (November-1 2023) – 123 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): We investigate the phylogenetic status and reproductive mode of many southern European members of the Ranunculus auricomus species complex. We find a phylogenetic split largely along geographical lines between western and eastern populations. This is, however, complicated by the evidence of a hybrid origin in a majority of polyploid populations. We investigate this hybrid origin through the detection of genetic contributions from basal progenitor lineages in relatively young polyploid apomictic taxa. Here, we again observe geographic trends in the contributions of progenitor lineages to hybrid populations. Our results support the recognition of many southern European Ranunculus auricomus agg. taxa as nothotaxa. View this paper
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30 pages, 6326 KiB  
Article
Physiological, Cytological, and Transcriptomic Analysis of Magnesium Protoporphyrin IX Methyltransferase Mutant Reveal Complex Genetic Regulatory Network Linking Chlorophyll Synthesis and Chloroplast Development in Rice
by Youming Yao, Hongyu Zhang, Rong Guo, Jiangmin Fan, Siyi Liu, Jianglin Liao, Yingjin Huang and Zhaohai Wang
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3785; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213785 - 06 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1210
Abstract
Functional defects in key genes for chlorophyll synthesis usually cause abnormal chloroplast development, but the genetic regulatory network for these key genes in regulating chloroplast development is still unclear. Magnesium protoporphyrin IX methyltransferase (ChlM) is a key rate-limiting enzyme in the process of [...] Read more.
Functional defects in key genes for chlorophyll synthesis usually cause abnormal chloroplast development, but the genetic regulatory network for these key genes in regulating chloroplast development is still unclear. Magnesium protoporphyrin IX methyltransferase (ChlM) is a key rate-limiting enzyme in the process of chlorophyll synthesis. Physiological analysis showed that the chlorophyll and carotenoid contents were significantly decreased in the chlm mutant. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that the chloroplasts of the chlm mutant were not well developed, with poor, loose, and indistinct thylakoid membranes. Hormone content analysis found that jasmonic acid, salicylic acid, and auxin accumulated in the mutant. A comparative transcriptome profiling identified 1534 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between chlm and the wild type, including 876 up-regulated genes and 658 down-regulated genes. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis revealed that these DEGs were highly involved in chlorophyll metabolism, chloroplast development, and photosynthesis. Protein−protein interaction network analysis found that protein translation played an essential role in the ChlM gene-regulated process. Specifically, 62 and 6 DEGs were annotated to regulate chlorophyll and carotenoid metabolism, respectively; 278 DEGs were predicted to be involved in regulating chloroplast development; 59 DEGs were found to regulate hormone regulatory pathways; 192 DEGs were annotated to regulate signal pathways; and 49 DEGs were putatively identified as transcription factors. Dozens of these genes have been well studied and reported to play essential roles in chlorophyll accumulation or chloroplast development, providing direct evidence for the reliability of the role of the identified DEGs. These findings suggest that chlorophyll synthesis and chloroplast development are actively regulated by the ChlM gene. And it is suggested that hormones, signal pathways, and transcription regulation were all involved in these regulation processes. The accuracy of transcriptome data was validated by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis. This study reveals a complex genetic regulatory network of the ChlM gene regulating chlorophyll synthesis and chloroplast development. The ChlM gene’s role in retrograde signaling was discussed. Jasmonic acid, salicylic acid, or their derivatives in a certain unknown state were proposed as retrograde signaling molecules in one of the signaling pathways from the chloroplast to nucleus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Regulation of Rice Development)
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14 pages, 2521 KiB  
Article
Effect of Exogenous Calcium on Tolerance of Winter Wheat to Cold Stress during Stem Elongation Stage
by Maguje Masa Malko, Xinyue Peng, Xing Gao, Jian Cai, Qin Zhou, Xiao Wang and Dong Jiang
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3784; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213784 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 979
Abstract
Low-temperature stress during stem elongation is a major factor limiting wheat yield. While calcium (Ca2+) is known to enhance stress tolerance, it’s potential as an alternative to cold priming and the underlying mechanisms in wheat remains unclear. The current study assessed [...] Read more.
Low-temperature stress during stem elongation is a major factor limiting wheat yield. While calcium (Ca2+) is known to enhance stress tolerance, it’s potential as an alternative to cold priming and the underlying mechanisms in wheat remains unclear. The current study assessed the effects of exogenous Ca2+ and calcium inhibitors on wheat growth and related physiology mechanisms under low-temperature stress. The results revealed that exogenous Ca2+ increased photosynthesis and antioxidant capacity, lowered cell membrane damage, and ultimately enhanced tolerance to low-temperature stress during the stem elongation stage, compared with the non-exogenous Ca2+ treatment. Moreover, exogenous Ca2+ induced endogenous Ca2+ content and triggered the upregulation of Ca2+ signaling and cold-responsive related genes. This study highlights the significance of exogenous Ca2+ in enhancing stress tolerance and contributing to wheat yield improvement under low-temperature stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies and Mechanisms for Enhancing Stress Tolerance in Wheat)
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23 pages, 2563 KiB  
Article
Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, and Insecticidal Properties of Chemically Characterized Essential Oils Extracted from Mentha longifolia: In Vitro and In Silico Analysis
by Meryem Tourabi, Ghizlane Nouioura, Hanane Touijer, Asmae Baghouz, Asmae El Ghouizi, Mohamed Chebaibi, Meryem Bakour, Driss Ousaaid, Khalid S. Almaary, Hiba-Allah Nafidi, Mohammed Bourhia, Khallouki Farid, Badiaa Lyoussi and Elhoussine Derwich
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3783; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213783 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1184
Abstract
The present study aimed to explore the phytochemical profile, and evaluate the antioxidant, antimicrobial, and insecticidal properties, of Moroccan Mentha longifolia L. essential oil (ML-EO) using in vitro and in silico assays. Noteworthily, as chromatography (GC-MS/MS) revealed that ML-EO is majorly composed of [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to explore the phytochemical profile, and evaluate the antioxidant, antimicrobial, and insecticidal properties, of Moroccan Mentha longifolia L. essential oil (ML-EO) using in vitro and in silico assays. Noteworthily, as chromatography (GC-MS/MS) revealed that ML-EO is majorly composed of piperitenone oxide (53.43%), caryophyllene (20.02%), and (−) germacrene D (16.53%). It possesses excellent antioxidant activity with an IC50 of 1.49 ± 0.00 for DPPH and 0.051 ± 0.06 μg/mL for ABTS. Moreover, the RP and TAC activities were 0.80 ± 0.01 μg/mL and 315.532 ± 0.00 mg EAA/g, respectively. ML-EO exhibited a potent antimicrobial effect, specifically against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It also exhibited strong antifungal ability, especially against Candida albicans. Regarding insecticidal activity, for ML-EO, a dose of 20 µL/mL produced a complete reduction in fecundity, fertility, and emergence of adult C. maculatus with mortality rates reaching 100%. In silico results showed that the antioxidant activity is mostly attributed to α-Cadinol, the antibacterial efficiency is attributed to piperitenone oxide, and antifungal capacity is related to cis-Muurola-4(15),5-diene and piperitenone oxide. Accordingly, ML-EO has high potential to be used as an alternative for preserving food and stored grain and protecting them against microbes and insect pests in the food and pharmaceutical sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibacterial and Antioxidant Activities of Medicinal Plant Extracts)
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20 pages, 363 KiB  
Review
From Petri Dish to Field: Plant Tissue Culture and Genetic Engineering of Oats for Improved Agricultural Outcomes
by Krishna Mohan Pathi and Thorben Sprink
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3782; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213782 - 06 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2256
Abstract
Oats (Avena sativa) hold immense economic and nutritional value as a versatile crop. They have long been recognized as an exceptional choice for human consumption and animal feed. Oats’ unique components, including proteins, starches, and β-glucans, have led to its widespread [...] Read more.
Oats (Avena sativa) hold immense economic and nutritional value as a versatile crop. They have long been recognized as an exceptional choice for human consumption and animal feed. Oats’ unique components, including proteins, starches, and β-glucans, have led to its widespread use in various food products such as bread, noodles, flakes, and milk. The popularity of oat milk as a vegan alternative to dairy milk has soared due to the increasing number of vegetarians/vegans and growing environmental awareness. Oat milk offers a sustainable option with reduced greenhouse gas emissions during its production, rendering it an appropriate choice for individuals who are lactose-intolerant or have dairy allergies. To ensure improved adaptability and enhanced nutrition, the development of new oat varieties is crucial, considering factors like cultivation, climate, and growing conditions. Plant cell culture plays a crucial role in both traditional and contemporary breeding methods. In classical breeding, plant cell culture facilitates the rapid production of double haploid plants, which can be employed to accelerate the breeding process. In modern breeding methods, it enables genetic manipulation and precise genome editing at the cellular level. This review delves into the importance of oats and their diverse applications, highlighting the advantages of plant cell culture in both classical and modern breeding methods. Specifically, it provides an overview of plant tissue culture, encompassing genetic transformation, haploid technology, protoplast technology, and genome editing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Applications in Plant Tissue Culture)
17 pages, 6212 KiB  
Article
Main Habitat Factors Driving the Phenotypic Diversity of Litsea cubeba in China
by Guoxiang Liao, Xiaodan Ning, Yuling Yang, Zongde Wang, Guorong Fan, Xuefang Wang, Dan Fu, Juan Liu, Ming Tang, Shangxing Chen and Jiawei Wang
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3781; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213781 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1109
Abstract
Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Pers. is an important woody spice tree in southern China, and its fruit is a rich source of valuable essential oil. We surveyed and sampled L. cubeba germplasm resources from 36 provenances in nine Chinese provinces, and detected rich phenotypic [...] Read more.
Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Pers. is an important woody spice tree in southern China, and its fruit is a rich source of valuable essential oil. We surveyed and sampled L. cubeba germplasm resources from 36 provenances in nine Chinese provinces, and detected rich phenotypic diversity. The survey results showed that plants of SC-KJ, SC-HJ, and SC-LS provenance presented higher leaf area (LA); YN-SM and YN-XC plants had larger thousand-grain fresh weight (TFW); and HN-DX plants had the highest essential oil content (EOC). To explain the large differences in the phenotypes of L. cubeba among different habitats, we used Pearson’s correlation analysis, multiple stepwise regression path analysis, and redundancy analysis to evaluate the phenotypic diversity of L. cubeba. It was found that compared to other traits, leaf and fruit traits had more significant geographical distributions, and that leaf phenotypes were correlated to fruit phenotypes. The results showed that elevation, latitude, longitude, total soil porosity (SP), soil bulk density (SBD), and average annual rainfall (AAR, mm) contributed significantly to the phenotypic diversity of L. cubeba. Geographical factors explained a higher percentage of variation in phenotypic diversity than did soil factors and climate factors. Plants of SC-KJ and HN-DX provenances could be important resources for domestication and breeding to develop new high-yielding varieties of this woody aromatic plant. This study describes significant phenotypic differences in L. cubeba related to adaptation to different environments, and provides a theoretical basis for the development of a breeding strategy and for optimizing L. cubeba cultivation. Full article
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24 pages, 5592 KiB  
Article
Bioactivity of Fractions and Pure Compounds from Jatropha cordata (Ortega) Müll. Arg. Bark Extracts
by Yazmín B. Jiménez-Nevárez, Julio Montes-Avila, Miguel Angel Angulo-Escalante, Ninfa Yaret Nolasco-Quintana, Judith González Christen, Israel Hurtado-Díaz, Eber Addí Quintana-Obregón, J. Basilio Heredia, José Benigno Valdez-Torres and Laura Alvarez
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3780; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213780 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1220
Abstract
Medicines for chronic inflammation can cause gastric ulcers and hepatic and renal issues. An alternative treatment for chronic inflammation is that of natural bioactive compounds, which present low side effects. Extracts of Jatropha cordata (Ortega) Müll. Arg. have been evaluated for their cytotoxicity [...] Read more.
Medicines for chronic inflammation can cause gastric ulcers and hepatic and renal issues. An alternative treatment for chronic inflammation is that of natural bioactive compounds, which present low side effects. Extracts of Jatropha cordata (Ortega) Müll. Arg. have been evaluated for their cytotoxicity and anti-inflammatory activity; however, testing pure compounds would be of greater interest. Campesteryl palmitate, n-heptyl ferulate, palmitic acid, and a mixture of sterols, i.e., brassicasterol, campesterol, β-sitosterol, and stigmasterol, were obtained from an ethyl acetate extract from J. cordata (Ortega) Müll. Arg. bark using column chromatography. The toxicity and in vitro anti-inflammatory activities were evaluated using RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cells. None of the products assessed exhibited toxicity. The sterol mixture exhibited greater anti-inflammatory activity than the positive control, and nitric oxide (NO) inhibition percentages were 37.97% and 41.68% at 22.5 μg/mL and 30 μg/mL, respectively. In addition, n-heptyl ferulate decreased NO by 30.61% at 30 μg/mL, while campesteryl palmitate did not show anti-inflammatory activity greater than the positive control. The mixture and n-heptyl ferulate showed NO inhibition; hence, we may conclude that these compounds have anti-inflammatory potential. Additionally, further research and clinical trials are needed to fully explore the therapeutic potential of these bioactive compounds and their efficacy in treating chronic inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds in Plants)
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17 pages, 4337 KiB  
Article
Full-Length Transcriptome Sequencing Analysis and Characterization of WRKY Transcription Factors Responsive to Cadmium Stress in Arabis paniculata
by Tianjiao Chen, Dan Zuo, Jie Yu, Yunyan Hou, Hongcheng Wang, Lei Gu, Bin Zhu, Huinan Wang and Xuye Du
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3779; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213779 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 992
Abstract
Arabis paniculata is a newly discovered hyperaccumulator known for its ability to accumulate multiple metals. WRKY proteins play a significant role in plant responses to various stresses, including cadmium (Cd) stress. However, there is limited research on the molecular biology of Arabis paniculata [...] Read more.
Arabis paniculata is a newly discovered hyperaccumulator known for its ability to accumulate multiple metals. WRKY proteins play a significant role in plant responses to various stresses, including cadmium (Cd) stress. However, there is limited research on the molecular biology of Arabis paniculata, especially regarding the WRKY family. In this study, we conducted third-generation sequencing for functional annotation and structural analysis of Arabis paniculata. We obtained 41,196 high-quality isoforms from the full-length transcriptome, with an average length of 1043 bp. A total of 26,670 genes were predicted against NR, Swissprot, KOG, and KEGG databases. Functional comparison using the KOG database revealed excellent annotation in 25 functional categories, with general function prediction (1822 items) being the most predominant. MISA analysis identified 12,593 SSR loci, with single nucleotide repeats being the largest category (44.83% of the total). Moreover, our predictions provide insights into 20,022 coding sequences (CDS), 811 transcription factors, and 17,963 LncRNAs. In total, 34 WRKY gene sequences were identified in Arabis paniculata. Bioinformatics analysis revealed diverse numbers of amino acids in these WRKYs (113 to 545 aa), and a conserved WRKYGQK sequence within the N-terminus of the WRKY protein. Furthermore, all WRKYs were found to be localized in the nucleus. Phylogenetic analysis classified the WRKY genes into three categories: I (14 members), II (17 members), and III (3 members). Category II was subsequently divided into four sub-categories: II-a (8 members), II-b (1 member), II-c (1 member), and II-d (7 members). Our quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) experiments revealed that ApWRKY23 and ApWRKY34 exhibited the highest expression levels at the 24-h time point, suggesting their potential role as the candidate genes for Cd stress response. These findings contribute to our understanding of the genomic information of Arabis paniculata and provide a basis for the analysis of its genetic diversity. Additionally, this study paves the way for a comprehensive exploration of the molecular mechanisms underlying the WRKY genes in Arabis paniculata under Cd stress conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microelements in Plant and Soil)
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14 pages, 4001 KiB  
Article
Cross-Regional Pollination Behavior of Trichoplusia ni between China and the Indo-China Peninsula
by Xianyong Zhou, Huiru Jia, Haowen Zhang and Kongming Wu
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3778; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213778 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 892
Abstract
Noctuid moths, a group of “non-bee” pollinators, are essential but frequently underappreciated. To elucidate their roles in cross-regional pollination, this study selected the agriculturally significant species, cabbage looper (CL) Trichoplusia ni, as a representative model. From 2017 to 2021, this study was [...] Read more.
Noctuid moths, a group of “non-bee” pollinators, are essential but frequently underappreciated. To elucidate their roles in cross-regional pollination, this study selected the agriculturally significant species, cabbage looper (CL) Trichoplusia ni, as a representative model. From 2017 to 2021, this study was conducted on Yongxing Island, situated at the center of the South China Sea. We investigated the flower-visiting activities of CL, including its occurrence, potential host species, and geographic distribution in the surrounding areas of the South China Sea. First, the potential transoceanic migratory behavior and regional distribution of CL were systematically monitored through a comprehensive integration of the data obtained from a searchlight trap. The transoceanic migratory behavior of CL was characterized by intermittent occurrence, with the major migratory periods and the peak outbreak yearly. Furthermore, trajectory analysis confirmed the ability of CL to engage in periodic, round-trip, migratory flights between Southeast Asian countries and China. More importantly, an observation of pollen on the body surface demonstrated that 95.59% (130/136) of the migrating individuals carried pollen. The proboscis and compound eyes were identified as the primary pollen-carrying parts, with no observable gender-based differences in pollen-carrying rates. Further, identifying the pollen carried by CL using morphological and molecular methods revealed a diverse range of pollen types from at least 17 plant families and 31 species. Notably, CL predominantly visited eudicot and herbaceous plants. In conclusion, this pioneering study has not only revealed the long-distance migration activities of these noctuid moths in the East Asian region but also provided direct evidence supporting their role as potential pollinators. These findings offer a critical theoretical basis to guide the development of scientific management strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Protection and Biotic Interactions)
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17 pages, 1003 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Antimicrobial Properties of 99 Natural Flavour and Fragrance Raw Materials against Pathogenic Bacteria: A Comparative Study with Antibiotics
by Zuzanna Bacińska, Kinga Baberowska, Alicja Karolina Surowiak, Lucyna Balcerzak and Daniel Jan Strub
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3777; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213777 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1271
Abstract
Currently, one of the most serious global problems is the increasing incidence of infectious diseases. This is closely related to the increase in antibiotic use, which has resulted in the development of multidrug resistance in microorganisms. Another problem is the numerous microbiological contaminations [...] Read more.
Currently, one of the most serious global problems is the increasing incidence of infectious diseases. This is closely related to the increase in antibiotic use, which has resulted in the development of multidrug resistance in microorganisms. Another problem is the numerous microbiological contaminations of cosmetic products, which can lead to dangerous bacterial infections in humans. Natural fragrance raw materials exhibit a wide spectrum of biological properties, including antimicrobial properties. Despite their prevalence and availability on the commercial market, there is little research into their effects on multidrug-resistant microorganisms. This study examines the inhibitory effect of natural substances on Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. For this purpose, screening and appropriate assays were carried out to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of individual substances, using the alamarBlueTM reagent. The lowest MIC values were observed for Staphylococcus aureus (black seed (Nigella sativa) expressed oil, MIC = 25 µg/mL), Kocuria rhizophila (fir balsam absolute, MIC = 12.5 µg/mL), and Pseudomonas putida (cubeb oil and fir balsam absolute, MIC = 12.5 µg/mL). The most resistant Gram-negative species was Enterobacter gergoviae, while Staphylococcus epidermidis was the most resistant Gram-positive species. Full article
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15 pages, 1552 KiB  
Article
Diverse Bradyrhizobium spp. with Similar Symbiosis Genes Nodulate Peanut in Different Regions of China: Characterization of Symbiovar sv. Arachis
by Junjie Zhang, Yufeng Feng, Jingqi Wang, Entao Wang and Mitchell Andrews
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3776; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213776 - 06 Nov 2023
Viewed by 802
Abstract
A total of 219 rhizobial strains isolated from peanut grown in soils from six peanut croplands in Zhengyang county, Henan Province, were typed by PCR-RFLP of IGS sequences. Their phylogenetic relationships were refined on representative strains using sequence analyses of 16S rRNA genes, [...] Read more.
A total of 219 rhizobial strains isolated from peanut grown in soils from six peanut croplands in Zhengyang county, Henan Province, were typed by PCR-RFLP of IGS sequences. Their phylogenetic relationships were refined on representative strains using sequence analyses of 16S rRNA genes, housekeeping genes (atpD, recA, glnII) and symbiosis genes (nodA, nodC and nifH). The 219 rhizobial isolates were classified into 13 IGS types, and twenty representatives were defined within eight Bradyrhizobium genospecies: B. guangdongense covering 5 IGS types (75.2% of total isolates), B. guangzhouense (2 IGS types, 2.7% total isolates), B. zhengyangense (1 IGS type, 11.3% total isolates) and five novel genospecies (5 IGS types, 0.9 to 3.2% total isolates). All representative strains had identical nodA, nodC and nifH sequences except for one nifH sequence. With this one exception, these sequences were identical to those of the type strains of Bradyrhizobium species and several Bradyrhizobium genospecies isolated from peanut in different regions of China. The nodC sequences of all strains showed < 67% similarity to the closest strains on the Genbank database indicating that they are representative of a novel Bradyrhiobium symbiovar. This study has shown that (1) diverse Bradyrhizobium spp. with similar symbiosis genes nodulate peanut in different regions of China. (2) Horizontal transfer of genes involved in nodulating peanut is common between Bradyrhizobium species in soils used to grow the crop in China. (3) The strains studied here are representative of a novel Bradyrhizobium symbiovar that nodulates peanut in China. We propose the name sv. arachis for this novel symbiovar indicating that the strains were isolated from Arachis hypogaea. Results here have practical implications in relation to the selection of rhizobial inoculants for peanut in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms in Root Nodule Symbiosis)
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20 pages, 3208 KiB  
Article
Bio-Monitoring of Metal(loid)s Pollution in Dry Riverbeds Affected by Mining Activity
by José Cuevas, Ángel Faz, Silvia Martínez-Martínez, María Gabarrón, Juan Beltrá, Jacinto Martínez and José A. Acosta
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3775; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213775 - 05 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1010
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the most abundant native plants that could be used as a bio-monitor of metal(loid) concentration in dry riverbeds affected by mining activities. Three plants species and their respective rhizospheric soils were sampled from the El [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the most abundant native plants that could be used as a bio-monitor of metal(loid) concentration in dry riverbeds affected by mining activities. Three plants species and their respective rhizospheric soils were sampled from the El Beal (Piptatherum miliaceum, 15 samples), La Carrasquilla (Foeniculum vulgare, 10 samples), and Ponce (Dittrichia viscosa, 12 samples) dry riverbeds from the mining district of Cartegena-La Unión (SE Spain). There is scanty bibliography of the capacity of these species to be used as bio-monitors in the dry riverbeds. Plants categorized as a bio-monitor were established according to the bioaccumulation factor (BF), mobility ratio (MR), and linear correlations between metal(loid) concentrations in plants tissues (root or stem)-rhizospheric soils. The rhizospheric soils were highly contaminated for As, Cd, Pb, and Zn (Cf ≥ 6), and moderately contaminated for Mn (1 ≤ Cf < 3). Piptatherum miliaceum presented on Cd similar mean concentrations on rhizospheric soil and root, BF = 1.07, with a strong correlation soil–root (r = 0.61, p = 0.02). Therefore, of the three species with the capacity to grow in the area, Piptatherum miliaceum showed characteristics to be considered as a bio-monitor for Cd, with a BF > 1, and a positive–significant correlation between the rhizospheric soil and roots. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metal Tolerance in Plants and Algae)
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11 pages, 1988 KiB  
Article
Alleviative Effect of Ficus formosana Extract on Peripheral Neuropathy in Ovariectomized Diabetic Mice
by Chih-Yuan Ko, Chung-Hsin Wu, Thi Kim Ngan Nguyen, Li-Wen Chen, James Swi-Bea Wu, Wen-Chung Huang and Szu-Chuan Shen
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3774; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213774 - 05 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1038
Abstract
In diabetes mellitus, Ficus formosana has been reported to ameliorate blood sugar levels and inhibit inflammation through its polyphenol and flavonoid contents. However, its effect on diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) remains unknown. This study aimed to investigate the effect of Ficus formosana extract [...] Read more.
In diabetes mellitus, Ficus formosana has been reported to ameliorate blood sugar levels and inhibit inflammation through its polyphenol and flavonoid contents. However, its effect on diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) remains unknown. This study aimed to investigate the effect of Ficus formosana extract (FFE) on DPN in ovariectomized diabetic mice. Ovariectomized female C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet plus streptozotocin injections to induce type 2 diabetes were orally administered FEE at 20 or 200 mg/kg BW daily, for 6 weeks. To evaluate the pain responses in the paws of the mice, a von Frey filament test and a thermal hyperalgesia test were performed. Additionally, the intraepidermal and sciatic nerve sections were examined, along with an assessment of inflammation- and pain response-related mRNA expression in the paws of the mice. The results showed that the oral administration of both 20 and 200 mg/kg BW FEE significantly alleviated the hypersensitivity of the paw and the abnormal proliferation and rupture of the C fiber, and reduced the mRNA expression of interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, interferon-γ, cyclooxygenase-2, and voltage-gated sodium channel 1.8 in the sciatic nerve of ovariectomized diabetic mice. We propose that FFE ameliorates peripheral neuropathy by suppressing oxidative damage in ovariectomized diabetic mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Therapeutics 2.0)
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16 pages, 2575 KiB  
Article
Further Molecular Diagnosis Determines Lack of Evidence for Real Seed Transmission of Tomato Leaf Curl New Delhi Virus in Cucurbits
by Cristina Sáez, Amina Kheireddine, Arcadio García, Alicia Sifres, Alejandro Moreno, María Isabel Font-San-Ambrosio, Belén Picó and Carmelo López
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3773; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213773 - 04 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1334
Abstract
Begomoviruses (family Geminiviridae) cause serious diseases in many crop families. Since 2013, the Spanish isolate of tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) has been a limiting factor for cucurbits production in the Mediterranean basin, forcing farmers to adapt new management and control [...] Read more.
Begomoviruses (family Geminiviridae) cause serious diseases in many crop families. Since 2013, the Spanish isolate of tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) has been a limiting factor for cucurbits production in the Mediterranean basin, forcing farmers to adapt new management and control techniques. Although it is well-known that begomoviruses are naturally transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci, the capacity of these viruses to be vertically transmitted through seeds remains controversial. Clarifying the potential ToLCNDV seed transmission is essential to understand the epidemiology of this threating-for-cucurbits virus and to design appropriate control strategies. We assessed ToLCNDV distribution in the leaves, flowers and seeds of the infected plants of susceptible Cucumis melo accessions and toleration to the infected genotypes of Cucurbita moschata by conventional and quantitative PCR. We analyzed whether the viral particle was transmitted to offspring. We also evaluated ToLCNDV presence in commercial seeds of cucurbits (zucchini (Cucurbita pepo), melon (C. melo), cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)) and in their progenies. As the assayed seedlings remained symptomless, we increased the reliability and accuracy of detection in these samples by searching for replicative forms of ToLCNDV by combining Southern blot hybridization and rolling-circle amplification (RCA). However, integral genomic DNA was not identified in the plants of offspring. Although the seedborne nature of ToLCNDV was confirmed, our results do not support the transmission of this virus from contaminated seeds to progeny. Full article
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23 pages, 3602 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Illumination Patterns during Mung Bean Seed Germination on the Metabolite Composition of the Sprouts
by Irina N. Perchuk, Tatyana. V. Shelenga and Marina. O. Burlyaeva
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3772; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213772 - 04 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1576
Abstract
Mung bean (Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek) sprouts are popular over the world because of their taste, nutritional value, well-balanced biochemical composition, and other properties beneficial for human health. Germination conditions affect the composition of metabolites in mung bean sprouts, so a detailed [...] Read more.
Mung bean (Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek) sprouts are popular over the world because of their taste, nutritional value, well-balanced biochemical composition, and other properties beneficial for human health. Germination conditions affect the composition of metabolites in mung bean sprouts, so a detailed study into its variability is required. This article presents the results of a comparison of the metabolite composition in the leaves of mung bean sprouts germinated first in the dark (DS) and then in the light (LS). Gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC–MS) made it possible to identify more than 100 compounds representing various groups of phytochemicals. Alcohols, amino acids, and saccharides predominated in the total amount of compounds. The analysis of metabolomic profiles exposed a fairly high intra- and intervarietal variability in the metabolite content. DS and LS differed in the qualitative and quantitative content of the identified compounds. The intravarietal variability was more pronounced in DS than in LS. DS demonstrated higher levels of saccharides, fatty acids, acylglycerols, and phenolic compounds, while amino acids were higher in LS. Changes were recorded in the quantitative content of metabolites participating in the response of plants to stressors—ornithine, proline, GABA, inositol derivatives, etc. The changes were probably induced by the stress experienced by the sprouts when they were transferred from shade to light. The analysis of variance and principal factor analysis showed the statistically significant effect of germination conditions on the content of individual compounds in leaves. The identified features of metabolite variability in mung bean genotypes grown under different conditions will contribute to more accurate selection of an illumination pattern to obtain sprouts with desirable biochemical compositions for use in various diets and products with high nutritional value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemical Analysis and Metabolic Profiling in Plants)
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18 pages, 1180 KiB  
Review
Systematically and Comprehensively Understanding the Regulation of Cotton Fiber Initiation: A Review
by Zeyang Zhai, Kaixin Zhang, Yao Fang, Yujie Yang, Xu Cao, Li Liu and Yue Tian
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3771; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213771 - 04 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1158
Abstract
Cotton fibers provide an important source of raw materials for the textile industry worldwide. Cotton fiber is a kind of single cell that differentiates from the epidermis of the ovule and provides a perfect research model for the differentiation and elongation of plant [...] Read more.
Cotton fibers provide an important source of raw materials for the textile industry worldwide. Cotton fiber is a kind of single cell that differentiates from the epidermis of the ovule and provides a perfect research model for the differentiation and elongation of plant cells. Cotton fiber initiation is the first stage throughout the entire developmental process. The number of fiber cell initials on the seed ovule epidermis decides the final fiber yield. Thus, it is of great significance to clarify the mechanism underlying cotton fiber initiation. Fiber cell initiation is controlled by complex and interrelated regulatory networks. Plant phytohormones, transcription factors, sugar signals, small signal molecules, functional genes, non-coding RNAs, and histone modification play important roles during this process. Here, we not only summarize the different kinds of factors involved in fiber cell initiation but also discuss the mechanisms of these factors that act together to regulate cotton fiber initiation. Our aim is to synthesize a systematic and comprehensive review of different factors during fiber initiation that will provide the basics for further illustrating these mechanisms and offer theoretical guidance for improving fiber yield in future molecular breeding work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cotton Genomics, Genetics and Breeding)
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13 pages, 4162 KiB  
Article
Biochemical and Molecular Characterization of Musa sp. Cultured in Temporary Immersion Bioreactor
by Christopher A. Sambolín Pérez, Rosalinda Aybar Batista, Sullymar Morales Marrero, Dinorah Andino Santiago, Axel Reyes Colón, Juan A. Negrón Berríos, Ángel Núñez Marrero and Alok Arun
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3770; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213770 - 04 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1029
Abstract
The genus Musa sp. contains commercially important fleshy fruit-producing plants, including plantains and bananas, with a strong potential for providing food security and sources of revenue to farmers. Concerns with the quality of vegetative tissues along with the possibility of the transmission of [...] Read more.
The genus Musa sp. contains commercially important fleshy fruit-producing plants, including plantains and bananas, with a strong potential for providing food security and sources of revenue to farmers. Concerns with the quality of vegetative tissues along with the possibility of the transmission of phytopathogens makes the availability of healthy plantlets limited for farmers. Micropropagation of plantains offers an alternative to producing large numbers of plantlets. However, conventional methods of micropropagation have high production costs and are labor-intensive. Recently, the temporary immersion bioreactor (TIB) has emerged as an alternative to conventional micropropagation (CM) methods. Our work utilized SEM microscopy (scanning electron microscope) and molecular and biochemical tools (qRT-PCR and ICP-OES) to characterize and compare the morphological properties, elemental composition, and photosynthetic gene expression of plantains cultured on TIB. Additionally, morphological features of growth and propagation rates were analyzed to compare outputs obtained from TIB and CM. Results showed higher growth and multiplication rates for plantlets cultivated in TIB. Gene expression analysis of selected photosynthetic genes demonstrated high transcript abundance of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) in plantain tissues obtained by TIB. Elemental composition analysis showed higher content of iron in plantains grown in TIB, suggesting a potential correlation with PEPC expression. These results demonstrate that micropropagation of Musa sp. via the liquid medium in TIB is an efficient and low-cost approach in comparison with solid media in CM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Vitro Morphogenesis of Plants)
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20 pages, 997 KiB  
Article
Genotype-by-Environment Interaction Analysis for Quantity and Quality Traits in Faba Beans Using AMMI, GGE Models, and Stability Indices
by Vasileios Greveniotis, Elisavet Bouloumpasi, Stylianos Zotis, Athanasios Korkovelos, Dimitrios Kantas and Constantinos G. Ipsilandis
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3769; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213769 - 04 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1073
Abstract
Faba beans are considered one of the most important crops for animal feed. The genotype × environment interaction (GEI) has a considerable effect on faba bean seed production. The objectives of this study included assessing multiple locations and genotypes to understand how various [...] Read more.
Faba beans are considered one of the most important crops for animal feed. The genotype × environment interaction (GEI) has a considerable effect on faba bean seed production. The objectives of this study included assessing multiple locations and genotypes to understand how various ecosystems and faba bean genotypes relate to one another, and suggesting the ideal climatic conditions, crop management system, and genotypes so that they are carefully chosen for their stability. A 2-year experiment was conducted in order to define the stability across four environments based on stability indices for certain characteristics: moisture (%), ash content (%), crude protein content (%), crude fat (%), total starch (%), and crude fiber content (%). Statistically significant differences indicated that GEIs were present. The heritability was generally high for qualitative traits in comparison with quantitative traits. The crude protein content, plant height, and thousand-seed weight were all positively correlated with the seed yield; however, the other qualitative variables were adversely correlated. The crude protein content of the cultivar Tanagra displayed a high stability index, followed by Ste1. Under conventional management, Tanagra demonstrated high values for the seed yield in Giannitsa and Florina. Ste1 and Ste2 are particularly promising genetic materials that showed high values under low-input conditions. The best genotypes to use and the most favorable environments/types of cultivation were the Tanagra cultivar, followed by the Ste2 genotype, according to the additive main effects and multiplicative interaction (AMMI) and genotype plus genotype-by-environment (GGE) biplot models. Earliness showed significant heritability values and very high stability indices, again indicating qualitative behavior according to genetic parameters. With the exception of the number of pods per plant, which demonstrated low heritability while having excellent index values, traits like seed yield showed relatively low-stability-based heritability values. Global efforts aimed at improving the genetics of faba beans might benefit from genotypes that exhibit consistent yields in various conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Improvement under a Changing Climate)
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20 pages, 8556 KiB  
Article
Identification of the High-Affinity Potassium Transporter Gene Family (HKT) in Brassica U-Triangle Species and Its Potential Roles in Abiotic Stress in Brassica napus L.
by Xiaoran Yang, Ran Hu, Fujun Sun, Shulin Shen, Mengzhen Zhang, Yiwei Liu, Yi Zhang, Hai Du, Kun Lu, Cunmin Qu and Nengwen Yin
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3768; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213768 - 04 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1145
Abstract
Members of the high-affinity potassium transporter (HKT) protein family regulate the uptake and homeostasis of sodium and potassium ions, but little research describes their roles in response to abiotic stresses in rapeseed (Brassica napus L.). In this study, we identified and characterized [...] Read more.
Members of the high-affinity potassium transporter (HKT) protein family regulate the uptake and homeostasis of sodium and potassium ions, but little research describes their roles in response to abiotic stresses in rapeseed (Brassica napus L.). In this study, we identified and characterized a total of 36 HKT genes from the species comprising the triangle of U model (U-triangle species): B. rapa, B. nigra, B. oleracea, B. juncea, B. napus, and B. carinata. We analyzed the phylogenetic relationships, gene structures, motif compositions, and chromosomal distributions of the HKT family members of rapeseed. Based on their phylogenetic relationships and assemblage of functional domains, we classified the HKT members into four subgroups, HKT1;1 to HKT1;4. Analysis of the nonsynonymous substitutions (Ka), synonymous substitutions (Ks), and the Ka/Ks ratios of HKT gene pairs suggested that these genes have experienced strong purifying selective pressure after duplication, with their evolutionary relationships supporting the U-triangle theory. Furthermore, the expression profiles of BnaHKT genes varies among potassium, phytohormone and heavy-metal treatment. Their repression provides resistance to heavy-metal stress, possibly by limiting uptake. Our results systematically reveal the characteristics of HKT family proteins and their encoding genes in six Brassica species and lay a foundation for further exploration of the role of HKT family genes in heavy-metal tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Breeding of Oilseed Crops)
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15 pages, 2049 KiB  
Article
Effects of Vegetation Types and Soil Properties on Regional Soil Carbon and Nitrogen in Salinized Reservoir Wetland, Northeast China
by Yuchen Wang, Heng Bao, David J. Kavana, Yuncong Li, Xiaoyu Li, Linlu Yan, Wenjing Xu and Bing Yu
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3767; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213767 - 03 Nov 2023
Viewed by 731
Abstract
This study investigated the spatial variability in soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC), soil microbial biomass nitrogen (SMBN) and their possible relationships with other soil properties in the Hongqipao reservoir, which is dominated by different vegetation types. [...] Read more.
This study investigated the spatial variability in soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC), soil microbial biomass nitrogen (SMBN) and their possible relationships with other soil properties in the Hongqipao reservoir, which is dominated by different vegetation types. The results showed that there were high spatial variabilities in SOC, TN, SMBC and SMBN, and that the SOC, TN, SMBC and SMBN contents decreased with increasing soil depth in the Hongqipao reservoir. The SOC was significantly positively correlated with TN, SMBC, moisture content (MC) and negatively correlated with carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N ratio) and bulk density (BD). Soil TN was significantly positively correlated with SMBC, SMBN, MC and negatively correlated with the C:N ratio, BD and pH. The SMBC was significantly positively correlated with SMBN, MC and negatively correlated with the C:N ratio, BD and pH. The SMBN was significantly negatively correlated with the C:N ratio and BD. All of the measures of soil properties in this study could explain the higher significant variability in the response variables (SOC, TN, SMBC and SMBN contents). The generalized additive model (GAM) showed that SOC and TN had different influencing factors in different soil depths. The structural equation model (SEM) showed that vegetation types had a significantly positive effect on TN and SMBN, and the soil depths had a significantly positive effect on SOC and a significantly negative effect on TN and SMBC. This study further suggests that vegetation types play a major role in determining the spatial characteristics of soil carbon and nitrogen, and any changes in the vegetation types in the reservoir may influence the distributions of soil carbon and nitrogen. This may affect the global carbon and nitrogen budgets and the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration significantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alpine Ecosystems in a Changing World)
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17 pages, 3877 KiB  
Article
Analyzing Morphology, Metabolomics, and Transcriptomics Offers Invaluable Insights into the Mechanisms of Pigment Accumulation in the Diverse-Colored Labellum Tissues of Alpinia
by Tong Zhao, Qianxia Yu, Canjia Lin, Huanfang Liu, Limei Dong, Xinxin Feng and Jingping Liao
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3766; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213766 - 03 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 653
Abstract
Alpinia plants are widely cherished for their vibrant and captivating flowers. The unique feature of this genus lies in their labellum, a specialized floral structure resulting from the fusion of two non-fertile staminodes. However, the intricate process of pigment formation, leading to distinct [...] Read more.
Alpinia plants are widely cherished for their vibrant and captivating flowers. The unique feature of this genus lies in their labellum, a specialized floral structure resulting from the fusion of two non-fertile staminodes. However, the intricate process of pigment formation, leading to distinct color patterns in the various labellum segments of Alpinia, remains a subject of limited understanding. In this study, labellum tissues of two Alpinia species, A. zerumbet (yellow–orange flowers) and A. oxyphylla (white–purple flowers), were sampled and analyzed through morphological structure observation, metabolite analysis, and transcriptome analyses. We found that hemispherical/spherical epidermal cells and undulate cell population morphology usually display darker flower colors, while flat epidermal cells and cell populations usually exhibit lighter flower colors. Metabolomic analysis identified a high concentration of anthocyanins, particularly peonidin derivatives, in segments with orange and purple pigments. Additionally, segments with yellow pigments showed significant accumulations of flavones, flavanols, flavanones, and xanthophylls. Furthermore, our investigation into gene expression levels through qRT-PCR revealed notable differences in several genes that participated in anthocyanin and carotenoid biosynthesis among the four pigmented segments. Collectively, these findings offer a comprehensive understanding of pigmentation in Alpinia flowers and serve as a valuable resource for guiding future breeding efforts aimed at developing Alpinia varieties with novel flower colors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Morphology and Phylogenetic Evolution)
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15 pages, 7043 KiB  
Article
Improvement of the YOLOv5 Model in the Optimization of the Brown Spot Disease Recognition Algorithm of Kidney Bean
by Pengyan Su, Hao Li, Xiaoyun Wang, Qianyu Wang, Bokun Hao, Meichen Feng, Xinkai Sun, Zhongyu Yang, Binghan Jing, Chao Wang, Mingxing Qin, Xiaoyan Song, Lujie Xiao, Jingjing Sun, Meijun Zhang and Wude Yang
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3765; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213765 - 03 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 881
Abstract
The kidney bean is an important cash crop whose growth and yield are severely affected by brown spot disease. Traditional target detection models cannot effectively screen out key features, resulting in model overfitting and weak generalization ability. In this study, a Bi-Directional Feature [...] Read more.
The kidney bean is an important cash crop whose growth and yield are severely affected by brown spot disease. Traditional target detection models cannot effectively screen out key features, resulting in model overfitting and weak generalization ability. In this study, a Bi-Directional Feature Pyramid Network (BiFPN) and Squeeze and Excitation (SE) module were added to a YOLOv5 model to improve the multi-scale feature fusion and key feature extraction abilities of the improved model. The results show that the BiFPN and SE modules show higher heat in the target location region and pay less attention to irrelevant environmental information in the non-target region. The detection Precision, Recall, and mean average Precision (mAP@0.5) of the improved YOLOv5 model are 94.7%, 88.2%, and 92.5%, respectively, which are 4.9% higher in Precision, 0.5% higher in Recall, and 25.6% higher in the mean average Precision compared to the original YOLOv5 model. Compared with the YOLOv5-SE, YOLOv5-BiFPN, FasterR-CNN, and EfficientDet models, detection Precision improved by 1.8%, 3.0%, 9.4%, and 9.5%, respectively. Moreover, the rate of missed and wrong detection in the improved YOLOv5 model is only 8.16%. Therefore, the YOLOv5-SE-BiFPN model can more effectively detect the brown spot area of kidney beans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Modeling)
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20 pages, 7688 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization of the bHLH Gene Family and Its Response to Abiotic Stresses in Carthamus tinctorius
by Zhengwei Tan, Dandan Lu, Yongliang Yu, Lei Li, Wei Dong, Lanjie Xu, Qing Yang, Xiufu Wan and Huizhen Liang
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3764; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213764 - 03 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1043
Abstract
The basic helix–loop–helix (bHLH) transcription factors possess DNA-binding and dimerization domains and are involved in various biological and physiological processes, such as growth and development, the regulation of secondary metabolites, and stress response. However, the bHLH gene family in C. tinctorius has not [...] Read more.
The basic helix–loop–helix (bHLH) transcription factors possess DNA-binding and dimerization domains and are involved in various biological and physiological processes, such as growth and development, the regulation of secondary metabolites, and stress response. However, the bHLH gene family in C. tinctorius has not been investigated. In this study, we performed a genome-wide identification and analysis of bHLH transcription factors in C. tinctorius. A total of 120 CtbHLH genes were identified, distributed across all 12 chromosomes, and classified into 24 subfamilies based on their phylogenetic relationships. Moreover, the 120 CtbHLH genes were subjected to comprehensive analyses, including protein sequence alignment, evolutionary assessment, motif prediction, and the analysis of promoter cis-acting elements. The promoter region analysis revealed that CtbHLH genes encompass cis-acting elements and were associated with various aspects of plant growth and development, responses to phytohormones, as well as responses to both abiotic and biotic stresses. Expression profiles, sourced from transcriptome databases, indicated distinct expression patterns among these CtbHLH genes, which appeared to be either tissue-specific or specific to certain cultivars. To further explore their functionality, we determined the expression levels of fifteen CtbHLH genes known to harbor motifs related to abiotic and hormone responses. This investigation encompassed treatments with ABA, salt, drought, and MeJA. The results demonstrated substantial variations in the expression patterns of CtbHLH genes in response to these abiotic and hormonal treatments. In summary, our study establishes a solid foundation for future inquiries into the roles and regulatory mechanisms of the CtbHLH gene family. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Responses in Plants)
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18 pages, 8229 KiB  
Article
Pyramiding Breeding of Low-Glutelin-Content Indica Rice with Good Quality and Resistance
by Da-Gang Chen, Jie Guo, Ke Chen, Chan-Juan Ye, Juan Liu, You-Ding Chen, Xin-Qiao Zhou and Chuan-Guang Liu
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3763; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213763 - 03 Nov 2023
Viewed by 699
Abstract
Low-glutelin-content rice, a type of functional rice with glutelin levels below 4%, is an essential dietary supplement for chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. Developing low-glutelin-content rice varieties is crucial to catering to the growing CKD population. In this study, we aimed to create [...] Read more.
Low-glutelin-content rice, a type of functional rice with glutelin levels below 4%, is an essential dietary supplement for chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. Developing low-glutelin-content rice varieties is crucial to catering to the growing CKD population. In this study, we aimed to create a new low-glutelin indica rice variety with excellent agronomic traits. To achieve this, we employed a combination of molecular-marker-assisted selection and traditional breeding techniques. The cultivars W3660, Wushansimiao (WSSM), and Nantaixiangzhan (NTXZ) were crossbred, incorporating the Lgc-1, Pi-2, Xa23, and fgr alleles into a single line. The result of this breeding effort was “Yishenxiangsimiao”, a new indica rice variety that inherits the desirable characteristics of its parent lines. Yishenxiangsimiao (YSXSM) possesses not only a low glutelin content but also dual resistance to blast and bacterial blight (BB). It exhibits high-quality grains with a fragrant aroma. This new low-glutelin indica cultivar not only ensures a stable food supply for CKD patients but also serves as a healthy dietary option for the general public. We also performed RNA-seq of these rice varieties to investigate their internal gene expression differences. The YSXSM exhibited a higher biotic-resistance gene expression in comparison to NTXZ. In summary, we successfully developed a novel low-glutelin indica rice variety, “Yishenxiangsimiao”, with superior agronomic traits. This rice variety addresses the dietary needs of CKD patients and offers a nutritious choice for all consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics, Genomics, and Biotechnology for Cereal Crop Improvements)
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17 pages, 1907 KiB  
Article
No-Tillage System Can Improve Soybean Grain Production More Than Conventional Tillage System
by Gustavo Ferreira da Silva, Juliano Carlos Calonego, Bruno Cesar Ottoboni Luperini, Vinicius Brasil Silveira, Larissa Chamma, Rogério Peres Soratto and Fernando Ferrari Putti
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3762; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213762 - 03 Nov 2023
Viewed by 623
Abstract
Soil management systems can directly interfere with crop yield via changes in the soil’s physical and hydraulic properties. However, short- to medium-term experiments of conduction do not always demonstrate the modifications of the management systems in these properties. Thus, the aim of this [...] Read more.
Soil management systems can directly interfere with crop yield via changes in the soil’s physical and hydraulic properties. However, short- to medium-term experiments of conduction do not always demonstrate the modifications of the management systems in these properties. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the physical properties of the soil in a long-term management system and to relate it to the storage and availability of water to plants, verifying its effect on soybean yield. The experiment was conducted in randomized blocks in a split-plot scheme with four replications. Plots were composed by soil management (conventional tillage and no-tillage), and subplots represented three soil depths (0.0–0.1, 0.1–0.2, and 0.2–0.4 m). The soil’s physical and hydraulic properties, root development, and soybean yield were evaluated. The no-tillage system not only presented higher bulk density and soil resistance to compaction up to a depth of 0.2 m but also greater root development. This management also did not affect the process of water infiltration in the soil and presented an increase in soybean grain yield by 6.5%. The long-term no-tillage system (33 years) offers less risk of water stress to soybean plants; it contributes to greater grain yield of this crop when compared to the conventional tillage system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Nutrient Uptake in Plants)
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24 pages, 16739 KiB  
Article
Potential of Trichoderma virens HZA14 in Controlling Verticillium Wilt Disease of Eggplant and Analysis of Its Genes Responsible for Microsclerotial Degradation
by Ali Athafah Tomah, Iman Sabah Abd Alamer, Arif Ali Khattak, Temoor Ahmed, Ashraf Atef Hatamleh, Munirah Abdullah Al-Dosary, Hayssam M. Ali, Daoze Wang, Jingze Zhang, Lihui Xu and Bin Li
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3761; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213761 - 03 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 942
Abstract
Verticillium dahliae is a soilborne fungal pathogen that causes vascular wilt diseases in a wide range of economically important crops, including eggplant. Trichoderma spp. are effective biological control agents that suppress a wide range of plant pathogens through a variety of mechanisms, including [...] Read more.
Verticillium dahliae is a soilborne fungal pathogen that causes vascular wilt diseases in a wide range of economically important crops, including eggplant. Trichoderma spp. are effective biological control agents that suppress a wide range of plant pathogens through a variety of mechanisms, including mycoparasitism. However, the molecular mechanisms of mycoparasitism of Trichoderma spp. in the degradation of microsclerotia of V. dahliae are not yet fully understood. In this study, the ability of 15 isolates of Trichoderma to degrade microsclerotia of V. dahliae was evaluated using a dual culture method. After 15 days, isolate HZA14 showed the greatest potential for microsclerotial degradation. The culture filtrate of isolate HZA14 also significantly inhibited the mycelial growth and conidia germination of V. dahliae at different dilutions. Moreover, this study showed that T. virens produced siderophores and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). In disease control tests, T. virens HZA14 reduced disease severity in eggplant seedlings by up to 2.77%, resulting in a control efficacy of 96.59% at 30 days after inoculation. Additionally, inoculation with an HZA14 isolate increased stem and root length and fresh and dry weight, demonstrating plant growth promotion efficacy. To further investigate the mycoparasitism mechanism of T. virens HZA14, transcriptomics sequencing and real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) were used to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of T. virens HZA14 at 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 days of the interaction with microsclerotia of V. dahliae. In contrast to the control group, the mycoparasitic process of T. virens HZA14 exhibited differential gene expression, with 1197, 1758, 1936, and 1914 genes being up-regulated and 1191, 1963, 2050, and 2114 genes being down-regulated, respectively. Among these genes, enzymes associated with the degradation of microsclerotia, such as endochitinase A1, endochitinase 3, endo-1,3-beta-glucanase, alpha-N-acetylglucosaminidase, laccase-1, and peroxidase were predicted based on bioinformatics analysis. The RT-qPCR results confirmed the RNA-sequencing data, showing that the expression trend of the genes was consistent. These results provide important information for understanding molecular mechanisms of microsclerotial degradation and integrated management of Verticillium wilt in eggplant and other crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis and Disease Control in Crops)
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21 pages, 23175 KiB  
Article
Isolation and Characterization of Erianthus arundinaceus Phosphate Transporter 1 (PHT1) Gene Promoter and 5′ Deletion Analysis of Transcriptional Regulation Regions under Phosphate Stress in Transgenic Tobacco
by Murugan Naveenarani, Huskur Kumaraswamy Mahadeva Swamy, Sakthivel Surya Krishna, Channappa Mahadevaiah, Ramanathan Valarmathi, Markandan Manickavasagam, Muthukrishnan Arun, Govindakurup Hemaprabha and Chinnaswamy Appunu
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3760; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213760 - 03 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 880
Abstract
Phosphorus deficiency highly interferes with plant growth and development. Plants respond to persistent P deficiency by coordinating the expression of genes involved in the alleviation of stress. Promoters of phosphate transporter genes are a great choice for the development of genetically modified plants [...] Read more.
Phosphorus deficiency highly interferes with plant growth and development. Plants respond to persistent P deficiency by coordinating the expression of genes involved in the alleviation of stress. Promoters of phosphate transporter genes are a great choice for the development of genetically modified plants with enhanced phosphate uptake abilities, which improve crop yields in phosphate-deficient soils. In our previous study, the sugarcane phosphate transporter PHT1;2 gene showed a significantly high expression under salinity stress. In this study, the Erianthus arundinaceus EaPHT1;2 gene was isolated and characterized using various in silico tools. The deduced 542 amino acid residues have 10 transmembrane domains, with a molecular weight and isoelectric point of 58.9 kDa and 9.80, respectively. They displayed 71–96% similarity with Arabidopsis thaliana, Zea mays, and the Saccharum hybrid. To elucidate the function of the 5′ regulatory region, the 1.1 kb promoter was isolated and validated in tobacco transgenics under Pi stress. The EaPHT1;2 promoter activity was detected using a β-glucuronidase (GUS) assay. The EaPHT1;2 promoter showed 3- to 4.2-fold higher expression than the most widely used CaMV35S promoter. The 5′ deletion analysis with and without 5′ UTRs revealed a small-sized 374 bp fragment with the highest promoter activity among 5′ truncated fragments, which was 2.7 and 4.2 times higher than the well-used CaMV35S promoter under normal and Pi deprivation conditions, respectively. The strong and short promoter of EaPHT1;2 with 374 bp showed significant expression in low-Pi-stress conditions and it could be a valuable source for the development of stress-tolerant transgenic crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phosphorus Dynamics: From Soil to Plant)
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11 pages, 2526 KiB  
Article
Phylogeny and Genetic Divergence among Sorghum Mosaic Virus Isolates Infecting Sugarcane
by Hui-Mei Xu, Er-Qi He, Zu-Li Yang, Zheng-Wang Bi, Wen-Qing Bao, Sheng-Ren Sun, Jia-Ju Lu and San-Ji Gao
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3759; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213759 - 02 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 917
Abstract
Sorghum mosaic virus (SrMV, the genus Potyvirus of the family Potyviridae) is a causal agent of common mosaic in sugarcane and poses a threat to the global sugar industry. In this study, a total of 901 sugarcane leaf samples with mosaic symptom [...] Read more.
Sorghum mosaic virus (SrMV, the genus Potyvirus of the family Potyviridae) is a causal agent of common mosaic in sugarcane and poses a threat to the global sugar industry. In this study, a total of 901 sugarcane leaf samples with mosaic symptom were collected from eight provinces in China and were detected via RT-PCR using a primer pair specific to the SrMV coat protein (CP). These leaf samples included 839 samples from modern cultivars (Saccharum spp. hybrids) and 62 samples from chewing cane (S. officinarum). Among these, 632 out of 901 (70.1%) samples were tested positive for SrMV. The incidences of SrMV infection were 72.3% and 40.3% in modern cultivars and chewing cane, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all tested SrMV isolates were clustered into three clades consisting of six phylogenetic groups based on 306 CP sequences (this study = 265 and GenBank database = 41). A total of 10 SrMV isolates from South America (the United States and Argentina) along with 106 isolates from China were clustered in group D, while the remaining 190 SrMV isolates from Asia (China and Vietnam) were dispersed in five groups. The SrMV isolates in group F were limited to Yunnan province in China, and those in group A were spread over eight provinces. A significant genetic heterogeneity was elucidated in the nucleotide sequence identities of all SrMV CPs, ranging from 69.0% to 100%. A potential recombination event was postulated among SrMV isolates based on CP sequences. All tested SrMV CPs underwent dominant negative selection. Geographical isolation (South America vs. Asia) and host types (modern cultivars vs. chewing cane) are important factors promoting the genetic differentiation of SrMV populations. Overall, this study contributes to the global understanding of the genetic evolution of SrMV and provides a valuable resource for the epidemiology and management of the mosaic in sugarcane. Full article
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17 pages, 1455 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Harvest Dates for Three Major Cultivars of Blue Honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea L.) in China
by Min Yu, Songlin Li, Ying Zhan, Zhiqiang Huang, Jinjiao Lv, Yu Liu, Xin Quan, Jinyu Xiong, Dong Qin, Junwei Huo and Chenqiao Zhu
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3758; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213758 - 02 Nov 2023
Viewed by 936
Abstract
Blue honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea L.) is an emerging fruit crop; however, determining its proper harvest time in commercial cultivation remains challenging due to its rapid fruit development characteristics. In this study, we investigated 17 agronomic traits of three blue honeysuckle cultivars harvested [...] Read more.
Blue honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea L.) is an emerging fruit crop; however, determining its proper harvest time in commercial cultivation remains challenging due to its rapid fruit development characteristics. In this study, we investigated 17 agronomic traits of three blue honeysuckle cultivars harvested on 5 successive dates within their respective harvest windows. ‘Lanjingling’, ‘Wulan’, and ‘Berel’ showed solid–acid ratios (SS:TA) ranging from 10.00 to 16.01, 8.13 to 10.23, and 5.77 to 7.11, respectively; anthocyanin contents ranged from 233.85 to 276.83 mg/100 g, 236.38 to 312.23 mg/100 g, and 235.71 to 334.98 mg/100 g, respectively; vitamin C contents ranged from 88.43 to 99.68 mg/100 g, 108.13 to 191.23 mg/100 g, and 89.71 to 120.40 mg/100 g, respectively; phenolic contents ranged from 25.22 to 37.59 mg/g, 25.40 to 36.52 mg/g, and 37.66 to 50.00 mg/g, respectively. The results revealed the SS:TA value consistently increased with delayed harvesting and were significantly negatively correlated with fruit firmness, total acidity, shelf life, and respiration intensity, suggesting it is an ideal maturity indicator for blue honeysuckle berries. The factor analysis suggests that the suitable harvest date for ‘Lanjingling’ could be either 47 days after flowering (DAF) with an SS:TA value of approximately 10.0, characterized by high firmness, extended shelf life, and elevated levels of anthocyanins and phenolics; or 67 DAF (SS:TA ≈ 16.0), characterized by high vitamin C content and sweetness, and larger size and weight. For ‘Wulan’, it suggests the suitable harvest date is either 54 DAF (SS:TA ≈ 9.0), yielding fruit with high levels of anthocyanins and vitamin C; or 62 DAF (SS:TA > 10.0), yielding fruit with high sweetness and large size and weight. For ‘Berel’, it is suggested to be either 52 DAF (SS:TA ≈ 6.5), resulting in fruit with high levels of anthocyanins and vitamin C; or 62 DAF (SS:TA > 7.0), resulting in balanced levels of the fruit quality traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart and Sustainable Development of Nonarboreal Berry Crops)
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16 pages, 4042 KiB  
Article
Antitumor Effect of Epigallocatechin Gallate and Vincristine in Mice with L5178Y Lymphoma
by Georgina Almaguer, Gustavo Almaguer-Vargas, Eva María Molina-Trinidad, Marco Antonio Becerril-Flores, Brenda Montejano, Eduardo Madrigal-Santillan, Alejandra Hernández-Ceruelos, Ana Hilda Figueroa-Gutiérrez, Ethoan Montejano and José Ramón Montejano-Rodríguez
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3757; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213757 - 02 Nov 2023
Viewed by 902
Abstract
The main objective of research into new therapies is the search for more efficacy and fewer toxic effects in cancer treatments. On one hand, vincristine (VCR) is a chemotherapeutic used in different kinds of tumors. On the other hand, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is [...] Read more.
The main objective of research into new therapies is the search for more efficacy and fewer toxic effects in cancer treatments. On one hand, vincristine (VCR) is a chemotherapeutic used in different kinds of tumors. On the other hand, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a green tea metabolite that has shown an antineoplastic effect in diverse investigations, so the objective of this work is to evaluate the antitumor effects of the EGCG/VCR combination on tumor volume and survival. To achieve this objective, the solid model of lymphoma L5178Y was used in BALB/c mice with different doses of VCR, EGCG, and their combination allowed tumor growth and survival time recording. After tumor collection, measurements, and immunohistochemistry for p53, Bcl2, and Cyclin D1 were performed. The results showed that the EGCG/vincristine combination had a greater antitumor effect than those effects of vincristine and EGCG. It can be attributed to the fact that the greatest inhibition of Bcl2 was present in gathering of EGCG harvest with vincristine. Therefore, the combination of EGCG with vincristine has a better antineoplastic effect by inhibiting tumor development and increasing survival on both substances independently. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Relevance of Plant Phytochemicals in the Promotion of Human Health)
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17 pages, 2444 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Phenotypic Characterization of Diverse Drug-Type Cannabis Varieties from the Canadian Legal Market
by Éliana Lapierre, Maxime de Ronne, Rosemarie Boulanger and Davoud Torkamaneh
Plants 2023, 12(21), 3756; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12213756 - 02 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2159
Abstract
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) stands as a historically significant and culturally important plant, embodying economic, social, and medicinal relevance for human societies. However, years of prohibition and stigmatization have hindered the cannabis research community, which is hugely undersized and suffers from a [...] Read more.
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) stands as a historically significant and culturally important plant, embodying economic, social, and medicinal relevance for human societies. However, years of prohibition and stigmatization have hindered the cannabis research community, which is hugely undersized and suffers from a scarcity of understanding of cannabis genetics and how key traits are expressed or inherited. In this study, we conducted a comprehensive phenotypic characterization of 176 drug-type cannabis accessions, representative of Canada’s legal market. We assessed germination methods, evaluated various traits including agronomic, morphological, and cannabinoid profiles, and uncovered significant variation within this population. Notably, the yield displayed a negative correlation with maturity-related traits but a positive correlation with the fresh biomass. Additionally, the potential THC content showed a positive correlation with maturity-related traits but a negative correlation with the yield. Significant differences were observed between the plants derived from regular female seeds and feminized seeds, as well as between the plants derived from cuttings and seeds for different traits. This study advances our understanding of cannabis cultivation, offering insights into germination practices, agronomic traits, morphological characteristics, and biochemical diversity. These findings establish a foundation for precise breeding and cultivar development, enhancing cannabis’s potential in the legal market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cannabis sativa: Advances in Biology and Cultivation)
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