Next Issue
Volume 12, December-2
Previous Issue
Volume 12, November-2
 
 

Plants, Volume 12, Issue 23 (December-1 2023) – 156 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Seed dormancy is a mechanism that blocks germination until environmental conditions occur that remove it. It aims at starting the plant cycle at the right time of the seasonal cycle. Dormant seeds can rest in the soil for one to several years. When environmental conditions break dormancy and become favorable for germination (for example, in springtime), some seeds germinate. This physiological process is governed by abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellins (GAs). These plant hormones act antagonistically in regulating plant growth, causing the seed to act as a system with two possible outcomes: remain dormant or germinate. These development fates can be represented as alternative routes through which the seed can slide down the slope of a development landscape. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
45 pages, 100145 KiB  
Article
The Search for Species Flocks in Marine Benthic Homoeocladia spp. (Diatomeae: Bacillariales). I. Variations on Three Themes, Seventeen New Species
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4073; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234073 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 777
Abstract
Exploration of the diversity in the diatom genus Homoeocladia across Micronesia revealed several clusters of undescribed species based on variations around several characters. Using ultrastructural data from scanning electron microscopy, we describe seventeen new species in three of these morphological groups. (1) A [...] Read more.
Exploration of the diversity in the diatom genus Homoeocladia across Micronesia revealed several clusters of undescribed species based on variations around several characters. Using ultrastructural data from scanning electron microscopy, we describe seventeen new species in three of these morphological groups. (1) A group with external thickenings includes eight new species with costae and/or bordered areolae on valve face and/or conopea and/or peri-raphe zone, and one with similar areolae but no ornamentation; this group includes the previously described H. jordanii. (2) Large, linear species, resembling H. asteropeae and H. tarangensis; we describe three new species close to the latter. (3) A sinuous-areolae group includes five new species with areola openings shaped like “~”, “s”, or “z” on the valve and/or girdle bands, or both, and leads to reconsideration of the diagnosis of Homoeocladia schefterae and the recognition that the globally widespread species in this complex is H. coacervata sp. nov. The three groups are based solely on morphology and no genetic relationships are implied within or between the groups, other than having the characteristics of the recently redefined genus Homoeocladia. However, the high diversity of species in Homoeocladia suggests the genus is a good candidate to test for species flocks in this region and in at least one other comparable location, incorporating DNA sampling through either culturing or metabarcoding. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 2746 KiB  
Article
Cambial Age Influences PCD Gene Expression during Xylem Development and Heartwood Formation
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4072; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234072 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 641
Abstract
Heartwood formation is an important ontogenetic stage in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). The amount of heartwood determines the proportion of functionally active sapwood in the total trunk biomass as well as the quality of wood. The key criterion for heartwood formation [...] Read more.
Heartwood formation is an important ontogenetic stage in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). The amount of heartwood determines the proportion of functionally active sapwood in the total trunk biomass as well as the quality of wood. The key criterion for heartwood formation is the death of xylem ray parenchyma cells. Previously, models that described the patterns of heartwood formation, depending on the cambial age, were derived from Scots pine trees of different ages. The cambial age is the number of annual xylem layers at the core sampling site at a certain trunk height. We studied the features of the occurrence of programmed cell death (PCD) processes during the xylem differentiation and heartwood formation of 80-year-old Scots pine trees, depending on the cambial age, under the lingonberry pine forest conditions in the transition area of the northern taiga subzone and tundra. We have shown that the distance from the cambial zone to the heartwood boundary does not change significantly with stem height. As the cambial age increases, the lifespan of the formed xylem ray parenchyma cells increases and the activity of PCD genes decreases during the formation of both (1) xylem (in the outer layers of sapwood) and (2) heartwood (in the inner layers of sapwood and transition zone). We hypothesized that the decisive factor in the PCD initiation during heartwood formation is the distance of the xylem ray parenchyma cells from the cambial zone. The younger cambium forms wider annual increments, and therefore the xylem ray parenchyma cells in these parts of the trunk reach the distance from the cambial zone earlier, which is necessary for PCD initiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Development and Morphogenesis)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 952 KiB  
Article
Biotechnology and Solutions: Insect-Pest-Resistance Management for Improvement and Development of Bt Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4071; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234071 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1169
Abstract
Cotton (Gossypium spp. L.) is a major origin of natural fiber, and is projected at 117 million bales worldwide for 2021/22. A variety of biotic and abiotic stresses have considerable negative impacts on cotton. The significantly decreased applications of chemical insecticidal sprays [...] Read more.
Cotton (Gossypium spp. L.) is a major origin of natural fiber, and is projected at 117 million bales worldwide for 2021/22. A variety of biotic and abiotic stresses have considerable negative impacts on cotton. The significantly decreased applications of chemical insecticidal sprays in the agro-ecosystem have greatly affected the biodiversity and dynamics of primary and secondary insects. Various control measures were taken around the globe to increase production costs. Temperature, drought, and salinity, and biotic stresses such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, nematodes, insects, and mites cause substantial losses to cotton crops. Here, we summarize a number of biotic and abiotic stresses upsetting Bt cotton crop with present and future biotechnology solution strategies that include a refuge strategy, multi-gene pyramiding, the release of sterile insects, seed mixing, RNAi, CRISPR/Cas9, biotic signaling, and the use of bioagents. Surveillance of insect resistance, monitoring of grower compliance, and implementation of remedial actions can lead to the sustainable use of cotton across the globe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Mechanisms of Plants to Biotic or Abiotic Stresses)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 8515 KiB  
Article
OsLEA1b Modulates Starch Biosynthesis at High Temperatures in Rice
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4070; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234070 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 729
Abstract
High temperatures accelerate the accumulation of storage material in seeds, often leading to defects in grain filling. However, the mechanisms regulating grain filling at high temperatures remain unknown. Here, we want to explore the quality factors influenced by the environment and have identified [...] Read more.
High temperatures accelerate the accumulation of storage material in seeds, often leading to defects in grain filling. However, the mechanisms regulating grain filling at high temperatures remain unknown. Here, we want to explore the quality factors influenced by the environment and have identified a LATE EMBROYGENESIS ABUNDANT gene, OsLEA1b, a heat-stress-responsive gene in rice grain filling. OsLEA1b is highly expressed in the endosperm, and its coding protein localizes to the nucleus and cytoplasm. Knock-out mutants of OsLEA1b had abnormal compound starch granules in endosperm cells and chalky endosperm with significantly decreased grain weight and grain number per panicle. The oslea1b mutants exhibited a lower proportion of short starch chains with degrees of polymerization values from 6 to 13 and a higher proportion of chains with degrees from 14 to 48, as well as significantly lower contents of starch, protein, and lipid compared to the wild type. The difference was exacerbated under high temperature conditions. Moreover, OsLEA1b was induced by drought stress. The survival rate of oslea1b mutants decreased significantly under drought stress treatment, with significant increase in ROS levels. These results indicate that OsLEA1b regulates starch biosynthesis and influences rice grain quality, especially under high temperatures. This provides a valuable resource for genetic improvement in rice grain quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Breeding and Germplasm Improvement of Rice)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1566 KiB  
Article
Rapid and High Throughput Hydroponics Phenotyping Method for Evaluating Chickpea Resistance to Phytophthora Root Rot
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4069; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234069 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 694
Abstract
Phytophthora root rot (PRR) is a major constraint to chickpea production in Australia. Management options for controlling the disease are limited to crop rotation and avoiding high risk paddocks for planting. Current Australian cultivars have partial PRR resistance, and new sources of resistance [...] Read more.
Phytophthora root rot (PRR) is a major constraint to chickpea production in Australia. Management options for controlling the disease are limited to crop rotation and avoiding high risk paddocks for planting. Current Australian cultivars have partial PRR resistance, and new sources of resistance are needed to breed cultivars with improved resistance. Field- and glasshouse-based PRR resistance phenotyping methods are labour intensive, time consuming, and provide seasonally variable results; hence, these methods limit breeding programs’ abilities to screen large numbers of genotypes. In this study, we developed a new space saving (400 plants/m2), rapid (<12 days), and simplified hydroponics-based PRR phenotyping method, which eliminated seedling transplant requirements following germination and preparation of zoospore inoculum. The method also provided post-phenotyping propagation all the way through to seed production for selected high-resistance lines. A test of 11 diverse chickpea genotypes provided both qualitative (PRR symptoms) and quantitative (amount of pathogen DNA in roots) results demonstrating that the method successfully differentiated between genotypes with differing PRR resistance. Furthermore, PRR resistance hydroponic assessment results for 180 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) were correlated strongly with the field-based phenotyping, indicating the field phenotype relevance of this method. Finally, post-phenotyping high-resistance genotypes were selected. These were successfully transplanted and propagated all the way through to seed production; this demonstrated the utility of the rapid hydroponics method (RHM) for selection of individuals from segregating populations. The RHM will facilitate the rapid identification and propagation of new PRR resistance sources, especially in large breeding populations at early evaluation stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Legume Crops Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 2016 KiB  
Article
Susceptibility Evaluation to Fire Blight and Genome-Wide Associations within a Collection of Asturian Apple Accessions
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4068; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234068 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 979
Abstract
Fire blight, caused by Erwinia amylovora, is one of the most devastating apple diseases. The selection of cultivars of low susceptibility and the study of the genetic mechanisms of the disease play important roles in fire blight management. The susceptibility level to [...] Read more.
Fire blight, caused by Erwinia amylovora, is one of the most devastating apple diseases. The selection of cultivars of low susceptibility and the study of the genetic mechanisms of the disease play important roles in fire blight management. The susceptibility level to fire blight was evaluated in 102 accessions originating from Asturias, a cider-producing region located in the north of Spain with a wide apple germplasm. Evaluations took place under quarantine conditions using artificial inoculations of grafted plants. The results revealed wide variation in susceptibility responses and low-susceptible cultivars were identified. In addition, 91 cultivars were genotyped using the Affymetrix Axiom® Apple 480 K SNP array to conduct genome-wide association studies (GWAS). A statistically significant signal was detected on chromosome 10 using the multi-locus mixed model (MLMM). Two genes were identified as major putative candidate genes: a TIR-NBS-LRR class disease protein and a protein containing a development and cell death (DCD) domain. The outcomes of this study provide a promising source of information, particularly in the context of cider apples, and set a starting point for future genetic and breeding approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rosaceae Fruit Genomics and Breeding)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1134 KiB  
Article
Influence of Nitrogen Supply on Growth, Antioxidant Capacity and Cadmium Absorption of Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) Seedlings
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4067; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234067 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 688
Abstract
Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) is considered suitable for the remediation of cadmium (Cd)-contaminated farmlands, because of its large biomass and resistance to Cd stress. The addition of nitrogen (N) fertilizer is an important measure used to increase crop yields, and it may [...] Read more.
Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) is considered suitable for the remediation of cadmium (Cd)-contaminated farmlands, because of its large biomass and resistance to Cd stress. The addition of nitrogen (N) fertilizer is an important measure used to increase crop yields, and it may also affect Cd accumulation in plants. To clarify the effects of different forms and concentrations of N on plant growth and Cd absorption in kenaf, a hydroponic experiment was conducted using three N forms (NH4+–N, NO3–N and urea–N) at four concentrations (0, 2, 4 and 8 mM, 0 mM as control) under Cd stress (30 μM). The plant growth, the antioxidant enzyme activity and the Cd contents of various parts of the kenaf seedlings were measured. The results showed that the N form had the greatest impact on the growth of the kenaf and the absorption and transport of the Cd, followed by the interaction effect between the N type and the concentration. Compared to the control, the addition of N fertilizer promoted the growth of kenaf to varying degrees. Among all the treatments, the use of 2 mM of NO3–N enhanced the biomass and Cd accumulation to the greatest extent compared to CK from 2.02 g to 4.35 g and 341.30 μg to 809.22 μg per plant, respectively. The NH4+–N significantly reduced the Cd contents of different parts but enhanced the translocation factors of Cd stem to root (TF S/R) and leaf to stem (TF L/S) by 34.29~78.57% and 45.10~72.55%, respectively. The peroxidase (POD), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) enzyme activities of the kenaf increased with the N treatments, especially with NH4+–N. Overall, applying low concentrations of NO3–N can better promote the extraction of Cd by kenaf. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

26 pages, 5354 KiB  
Article
Distribution Patterns of Gymnosperm Species along Elevations on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau: Effects of Climatic Seasonality, Energy–Water, and Physical Tolerance Variables
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4066; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234066 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Climate change is one of the most prominent factors influencing the spatial distribution of plants in China, including gymnosperms. Climatic factors influence gymnosperm distribution along elevational gradients on the Qinghai–Xizang (Tibet) Plateau (QTP), and understanding how species adapt to these factors is important [...] Read more.
Climate change is one of the most prominent factors influencing the spatial distribution of plants in China, including gymnosperms. Climatic factors influence gymnosperm distribution along elevational gradients on the Qinghai–Xizang (Tibet) Plateau (QTP), and understanding how species adapt to these factors is important for identifying the impacts of global climate change. For the first time, we examined the county-level distribution of gymnosperm species on QTP using data from field surveys, published works, monographs, and internet sources. We used simulated distribution data of gymnosperms (N = 79) along the elevational gradients to investigate the overall impact of environmental variables in explaining the richness pattern of gymnosperms. Eighteen environmental variables were classified into three key variable sets (climatic seasonality, energy–water, and physical tolerance). We employed principal component analysis and generalized linear models to assess the impact of climatic variables on the gymnosperm’s richness pattern. Gymnosperm species are unevenly distributed across the plateau and decline gradually from the southeast to the northwest. The altitudinal gradients have a unimodal relationship with the richness of gymnosperms, with the maximum species richness at an elevation of 3200 m. The joint effects of physical tolerance and energy–water predictors have explained the highest diversity of gymnosperms at mid-elevation. Because the richness peak correlates significantly with the wettest month’s precipitation and moisture index, this confirms the significance of moisture on gymnosperm distributions due to increased precipitation during the wet season. Furthermore, our results provide evidence that climatic seasonality factors are involved in the decline of gymnosperm richness at high elevations. A total of 37% of gymnosperm species on QTP are listed as vulnerable, nearly threatened, or endangered, with elevations ranging from 600 m to 5300 m. As a result, we conclude that gymnosperms are at high risk of extinction because of the current climate fluctuations caused by global climate change. Our research offers fundamental data for the study and protection of gymnosperm species along the steepest elevation gradients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Vegetation to Global Climate Change)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 34764 KiB  
Article
Relict Plants Are Better Able to Adapt to Climate Change: Evidence from Desert Shrub Communities
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4065; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234065 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 741
Abstract
Shrubs are the main dominant plants in arid desert systems and play an important role in maintaining the biodiversity, ecosystem services and stability of desert ecosystems. Studies have shown that the survival of a large number of shrub species in desert areas under [...] Read more.
Shrubs are the main dominant plants in arid desert systems and play an important role in maintaining the biodiversity, ecosystem services and stability of desert ecosystems. Studies have shown that the survival of a large number of shrub species in desert areas under the influence of climate change is significantly threatened, with different species showing different response strategies. To test the tolerance of different shrub species to climate change, this study selected 10 dominant shrub species (ancient relict shrub species and regional endemic shrub species) in the Alashan desert area as the research object. Based on a field survey of species distribution, a species distribution model was developed to simulate the suitable distribution area of shrub species under current conditions and under future climate change scenarios. The distribution changes of ancient relict and regional endemic shrub species under the climate change scenarios were tested, and the tolerance of the two types of shrub to climate change was analyzed. The results showed that under different climate change scenarios, except for Ammopiptanthus mongolicus, the total suitable area of four out of the five relict plants was relatively stable, the potential distribution area of Tetraena mongolica increased, and the future distribution pattern was basically consistent with the current distribution. However, the suitable area of typical desert plants was unstable under different climate change scenarios. Except for Kalidium foliatum, the suitable distribution areas of four out of the five shrubs showed different degrees of reduction, and the distribution location showed significant migration. Based on the research results, climate change will lead to the reduction and displacement of the distribution area of typical desert shrubs, while relict shrubs will be less affected by climate change. This is because, compared to desert species, relict plants have a longer evolutionary history and have developed a wider range of adaptations after experiencing dramatic environmental changes. This study provides a scientific basis for actively responding to the impacts of climate change on desert ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Processes and Sandy Plant Adaptations to Climate Change)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1599 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Analysis of ZF-HD Gene Family in Moso Bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis)
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4064; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234064 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 833
Abstract
Zinc finger-homeodomain (ZF-HD) proteins play essential roles in plant growth, development and stress responses. However, knowledge of the expression and evolutionary history of ZF-HD genes in moso bamboo remains limited. In this study, a total of 24 ZF-HD genes were found unevenly distributed [...] Read more.
Zinc finger-homeodomain (ZF-HD) proteins play essential roles in plant growth, development and stress responses. However, knowledge of the expression and evolutionary history of ZF-HD genes in moso bamboo remains limited. In this study, a total of 24 ZF-HD genes were found unevenly distributed on 12 chromosomes in moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis). Phylogenetic analysis indicated that PeZF-HDs were divided into two subfamilies: ZHD and MIF. The ZHD subfamily genes were further classified into seven groups according to their orthologous relationships among the rice and Arabidopsis ZF-HD gene family. The gene structures and conserved motifs of PeZF-HDs were analyzed. Whole-genome duplication (WGD) or segmental duplication promoted the evolution and expansion of the moso bamboo ZF-HD gene family. Ka/Ks ratios suggested that the twenty-four duplication pairs had undergone purifying selection. Promoter analysis showed that most PeZF-HDs contained cis-elements associated with stress responses and hormones. Expression analysis demonstrated that many PeZF-HDs were responsive to abiotic stress treatment. Overall, this work investigated PeZF-HD genes in moso bamboo using bioinformatic approaches. The evolutionary research on gene structure, motif distribution and cis-regulatory elements indicated that PeZF-HDs play distinct roles in biological processes, which provides a theoretical basis for exploring the physiological functions of ZF-HDs and selecting candidate stress-related genes in moso bamboo. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2631 KiB  
Article
Delayed Leaf Senescence Improves Radiation Use Efficiency and Explains Yield Advantage of Large Panicle-Type Hybrid Rice
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4063; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234063 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 680
Abstract
Super hybrid rice with predominantly large panicle types has achieved remarkable success in enhancing crop yield. However, when compared with multi-panicle-type varieties, the yield stability of large panicle-type varieties remains a challenge, and limited information is available on the comparative advantages of multi-panicle [...] Read more.
Super hybrid rice with predominantly large panicle types has achieved remarkable success in enhancing crop yield. However, when compared with multi-panicle-type varieties, the yield stability of large panicle-type varieties remains a challenge, and limited information is available on the comparative advantages of multi-panicle types. Consequently, a two-year experiment was conducted to evaluate the grain yield, biomass production, leaf area index (LAI), and radiation use efficiency (RUE) of large panicle-type hybrid rice (Y-liangyou 900, YLY900) and multi-panicle-type hybrid rice (C-liangyouhuazhan, CLYHZ) under three nitrogen (N) treatments (0, 180, 270 kg N ha−1). The effects of increased N fertilization were more pronounced in the large panicle-type varieties. YLY900 outperformed CLYHZ in terms of average yield (6% higher), and its yield advantage was attributed to higher spikelets per panicle (28%). Due to YLY900’s RUE being 9% higher than CLYHZ, it results in a 12% greater accumulation of dry matter than CLYHZ. Furthermore, YLY900 exhibited significant improvements of 16%, 4%, and 14% in specific leaf weight, effective leaf area ratio, and LAI at 20 days after the heading stage (20DAH), respectively, compared with CLYHZ. YLY900 also demonstrated a stronger correlation between rice yield and intercepted photosynthetically active radiation (IPAR) compared with CLYHZ, with R2 values of 0.80 and 0.66, respectively. These findings highlight the superior performance of YLY900, resulting from higher light interception percentage (IP) and IPAR values, which consequently led to enhanced RUE and grain yield. Our research reveals that delayed leaf senescence by increasing LAI at the post-heading stage for large panicle-type hybrid rice, thereby contributing to greater RUE, led to higher biomass production and grain yield. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 4524 KiB  
Article
Optimum Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium Fertilizer Application Increased Chrysanthemum Growth and Quality by Reinforcing the Soil Microbial Community and Nutrient Cycling Function
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4062; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234062 - 03 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1171
Abstract
Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are three macronutrients that are crucial in plant growth and development. Deficiency or excess of any or all directly decreases crop yield and quality. There is increasing awareness of the importance of rhizosphere microorganisms in plant [...] Read more.
Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are three macronutrients that are crucial in plant growth and development. Deficiency or excess of any or all directly decreases crop yield and quality. There is increasing awareness of the importance of rhizosphere microorganisms in plant growth, nutrient transportation, and nutrient uptake. Little is known about the influence of N, P, and K as nutrients for the optimal production of Chrysanthemum morifolium. In this study, a field experiment was performed to investigate the effects of N, P, and K on the growth, nutrient use efficiency, microbial diversity, and composition of C. morifolium. Significant relationships were evident between N application rates, C. morifolium nutrient use, and plant growth. The N distribution in plant locations decreased in the order of leaf > stem > root; the distributions were closely related to rates of N application. Total P fluctuated slightly during growth. No significant differences were found between total P in the roots, stems, and leaves of C. morifolium vegetative organs. Principle component analysis revealed that combinations of N, P, and K influenced soil nutrient properties through their indirect impact on operational taxonomic units, Shannon index, and abundance of predominant bacterial taxa. Treatment with N, P, and K (600, 120, and 80 mg·plant−1, respectively) significantly improved plant growth and quality and contributed to the bacterial richness and diversity more than other concentrations of N, P, and K. At the flowering time, the plant height, leaf fresh weight, root dry weight, stem and leaf dry weight were increased 10.6%, 19.0%, 40.4%, 27% and 34.0%, respectively, when compared to the CK. The optimal concentrations of N, P, and K had a positive indirect influence on the available soil nutrient content and efficiency of nutrient use by plants by increasing the abundance of Proteobacteria, decreasing the abundance of Actinobacteria, and enhancing the potential functions of nitrogen metabolism pathways. N, P, and K fertilization concentrations of 600, 120, and 80 mg·plant−1 were optimal for C. morifolium cultivation, which could change environmental niches and drive the evolution of the soil microbial community and diversity. Shifts in the composition of soil microbes and functional metabolism pathways, such as ABC transporters, nitrogen metabolism, porphyrin, and the metabolism of chlorophyll II, glyoxylate, and dicarboxylate, greatly affected soil nutrient cycling, with potential feedback on C. morifolium nutrient use efficiency and growth. These results provide new insights into the efficient cultivation and management of C. morifolium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Plants and Soil Microorganisms, 2nd Edition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2318 KiB  
Article
Post-Emergence Water-Dispersal Application Provides Equal Herbicidal Activity against Echinochloa crus-galli and Rice Safety as Foliar Spraying of Penoxsulam
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4061; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234061 - 03 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 659
Abstract
Penoxsulam is an acetolactate synthase (ALS)-inhibiting herbicide usually applied by post-emergence foliar spraying (PFS) for the control of Echinochloa crus-galli and numerous annual weeds in paddy fields. Herbicides applied by foliar spraying can have negative impacts on the environment, ecosystems, and human health. [...] Read more.
Penoxsulam is an acetolactate synthase (ALS)-inhibiting herbicide usually applied by post-emergence foliar spraying (PFS) for the control of Echinochloa crus-galli and numerous annual weeds in paddy fields. Herbicides applied by foliar spraying can have negative impacts on the environment, ecosystems, and human health. In this study, the response of E. crus-galli and rice to the PFS and post-emergence water-dispersal (PWD) applications of penoxsulam, and the differences in the detoxification displayed by them between the two treatment methods were compared. The results showed that the PWD application of penoxsulam provides a similar control efficacy against E. crus-galli as PFS at the 1-, 3-, and 5-leaf stages. Meanwhile, the PWD application had a higher safety for the rice. After being treated with 30 g a.i. ha−1 penoxsulam, residues were not detected in the rice treated by the PWD application method, whereas, with the PFS treatment, there was 59.0 µg/kg penoxsulam remaining. With the PFS application, there were many more residues of penoxsulam in the E. crus-galli than with the PWD method; the amount of residues was 32-fold higher 12 h after treatment. The in vitro enzyme activity assays revealed that the activities of ALS, glutathione-S-transferase (GST), and cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450) were increased in the PWD treatments, and were 1.5-, 1.3-, and 2.3-fold higher than with PFS 72 h after treatment. The real-time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) revealed that the GST1 and P450 genes, CYP81A14, CYP81A12, CYP81A18, and CYP81A21 were upregulated with the PWD application versus PFS in the E. crus-galli. In summary, these results demonstrate that the herbicidal activity was not affected by the upregulation of target and metabolic enzyme activities with the PWD application of penoxsulam. This research could contribute to application strategies reducing the risk of rice injury and environmental impacts by using water-dispersal formulations of penoxsulam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Weed Management II)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 6682 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Physical Strategies to Minimize Damage at the Branch–Stem Junction of Trees: Using the Finite Element Method to Analyze Stress in Four Branch–Stem Features
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4060; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234060 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 617
Abstract
This study analyzed the mechanical and physiological strategies associated with four features in the branch–stem junction of a tree, namely the U-shaped branch attachment, the branch collar, the branch bark ridge, and the roughened lower stem. Models were established for each stage of [...] Read more.
This study analyzed the mechanical and physiological strategies associated with four features in the branch–stem junction of a tree, namely the U-shaped branch attachment, the branch collar, the branch bark ridge, and the roughened lower stem. Models were established for each stage of tree growth by adding these four features sequentially to a base model, and the finite element method (FEM) was employed to create three-dimensional models of an Acer tree’s branch–stem structure for static force analysis. According to the results, the development of the branch collar shifted the point of breakage to the outer part of the collar and, thus, constituted a physiological strategy that prevented decay in the stem. Additionally, the concentration of stress in the branch bark ridge limited the area of tear in the bark following breakage. Finally, the U-shaped branch attachment reduced stress and shifted the point of peak stress toward the branch, while the thickening of the lower stem reduced the overall stress. The development of these features, including the spatial positioning of the branch bark ridge and branch collar, resulted in two breakage points constituting a physical and a physiological strategy that limited damage to the tree and protected the xylem structure. This is the part that has been challenging to decipher in previous discussions of tree-related self-protection mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Vitro Morphogenesis of Plants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 1649 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Differential Impact of Salt Stress on Root Colonization Adaptation Mechanisms in Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4059; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234059 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 736
Abstract
Salinity inhibits plant growth by affecting physiological processes, but soil microorganisms like plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can alleviate abiotic stress and enhance crop productivity. However, it should be noted that rhizobacteria employ different approaches to deal with salt stress conditions and successfully colonize [...] Read more.
Salinity inhibits plant growth by affecting physiological processes, but soil microorganisms like plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can alleviate abiotic stress and enhance crop productivity. However, it should be noted that rhizobacteria employ different approaches to deal with salt stress conditions and successfully colonize roots. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of salt stress on bacterial survival mechanisms such as mobility, biofilm formation, and the autoaggregation capacity of three plant growth-promoting strains: Pseudomonas putida SJ04, Pseudomonas simiae WCS417r, and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens GB03. These strains were grown in diluted LB medium supplemented with 0, 100, 200, or 300 mM NaCl. Swimming and swarming mobility were evaluated in media supplemented with 0.3 and 0.5% agar, respectively. Biofilm formation capacity was quantified using the crystal violet method, and the autoaggregation capacity was measured spectrophotometrically. In addition, we evaluated in vitro the capacity of the strains to ameliorate the effects of saline stress in Mentha piperita. The study found that the GB03 strain exhibited enhanced swarming mobility when the salt concentration in the medium increased, resulting in a two-fold increase in the halo diameter at 300 mM. However, high concentrations of NaCl did not affect the swimming mobility. In contrast, swimming motility was reduced in WCS417r and SJ04 under salt stress. On the other hand, exposure to 300 mM NaCl resulted in a 180% increase in biofilm formation and a 30% rise in the percentage of autoaggregation in WCS417r. Conversely, the autoaggregation percentage of the strains SJ04 and GB03 remained unaffected by saline stress. However, for GB03, biofilm formation decreased by 80% at 300 mM. Simultaneously, inoculation with the three evaluated strains alleviated the detrimental effects of salinity on plant growth. Under 150 mM salt stress, all strains showed increased fresh weight, with GB03 and WCS417r improving by 40% and SJ04 exhibiting the most remarkable effect with a 70% rise compared to non-inoculated plants. Despite their different strategies for mitigating salt stress, the application of these strains presents a promising strategy for effectively mitigating the negative consequences of salt stress on plant cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitigation Strategies and Tolerance of Plants to Abiotic Stresses)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 8605 KiB  
Article
Deficiency of Auxin Efflux Carrier OsPIN1b Impairs Chilling and Drought Tolerance in Rice
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4058; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234058 - 02 Dec 2023
Viewed by 961
Abstract
Significant progress has been made in the functions of auxin efflux transporter PIN-FORMED (PIN) genes for the regulation of growth and development in rice. However, knowledge on the roles of OsPIN genes in abiotic stresses is limited. We previously reported that [...] Read more.
Significant progress has been made in the functions of auxin efflux transporter PIN-FORMED (PIN) genes for the regulation of growth and development in rice. However, knowledge on the roles of OsPIN genes in abiotic stresses is limited. We previously reported that the mutation of OsPIN1b alters rice architecture and root gravitropism, while the role of OsPIN1b in the regulation of rice abiotic stress adaptations is still largely elusive. In the present study, two homozygous ospin1b mutants (C1b-1 and C1b-2) were employed to investigate the roles of OsPIN1b in regulating abiotic stress adaptations. Low temperature gradually suppressed OsPIN1b expression, while osmotic stress treatment firstly induced and then inhibited OsPIN1b expression. Most OsPIN genes and auxin biosynthesis key genes OsYUC were up-regulated in ospin1b leaves, implying that auxin homeostasis is probably disturbed in ospin1b mutants. The loss of function of OsPIN1b significantly decreased rice chilling tolerance, which was evidenced by decreased survival rate, increased death cells and ion leakage under chilling conditions. Compared with the wild-type (WT), ospin1b mutants accumulated more hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and less superoxide anion radicals (O2) after chilling treatment, indicating that reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis is disrupted in ospin1b mutants. Consistently, C-repeat binding factor (CBF)/dehydration-responsive element binding factor (DREB) genes were downregulated in ospin1b mutants, implying that OsDREB genes are implicated in OsPIN1b-mediated chilling impairment. Additionally, the mutation of OsPIN1b led to decreased sensitivity to abscisic acid (ABA) treatment in seed germination, impaired drought tolerance in the seedlings and changed expression of ABA-associated genes in rice roots. Taken together, our investigations revealed that OsPIN1b is implicated in chilling and drought tolerance in rice and provide new insight for improving abiotic stress tolerance in rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Auxin in Plant Growth and Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 2741 KiB  
Article
Expression of Cry1Ab/2Aj Protein in Genetically Engineered Maize Plants and Its Transfer in the Arthropod Food Web
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4057; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234057 - 02 Dec 2023
Viewed by 749
Abstract
While transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize provides pest resistance and a reduced application of chemical pesticides, a comprehensive environmental risk assessment is mandatory before its field release. This research determined the concentrations of Bt protein in plant tissue and in arthropods [...] Read more.
While transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize provides pest resistance and a reduced application of chemical pesticides, a comprehensive environmental risk assessment is mandatory before its field release. This research determined the concentrations of Bt protein in plant tissue and in arthropods under field conditions in Gongzhuling City, northeastern China, to provide guidance for the selection of indicator species for non-target risk assessment studies. Bt maize expressing Cry1Ab/2Aj and non-transformed near-isoline were grown under identical environmental and agricultural conditions. Cry1Ab/2Aj was detected in plant tissues and arthropods collected from Bt maize plots during pre-flowering, flowering, and post-flowering. The expression of Cry1Ab/2Aj varied across growth stages and maize tissues, as well as in the collected arthropods at the three growth stages. Therefore, representative species should be chosen to cover the whole growing season and to represent different habitats and ecological functions. Dalbulus maidis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), Rhopalosiphum padi (Hemiptera: Aphididae), Heteronychus arator (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), and Somaticus angulatus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) are suitable non-target herbivores. Propylea japonica (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), Paederus fuscipes (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), Chrysoperla nipponensis (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae), and spiders are suggested predators. Apis cerana and Apis mellifera ligustica (both Hymenoptera: Apidae) represent pollinators and Folsomia candida (Collembola: Isotomidae) decomposers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect-Plant Interaction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2640 KiB  
Article
Genome Studies in Four Species of Calendula L. (Asteraceae) Using Satellite DNAs as Chromosome Markers
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4056; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234056 - 02 Dec 2023
Viewed by 822
Abstract
The taxonomically challenging genus Calendula L. (Asteraceae) includes lots of medicinal species characterized by their high morphological and karyological variability. For the first time, a repeatome analysis of a valuable medicinal plant Calendula officinalis L. was carried out using high-throughput genome DNA sequencing [...] Read more.
The taxonomically challenging genus Calendula L. (Asteraceae) includes lots of medicinal species characterized by their high morphological and karyological variability. For the first time, a repeatome analysis of a valuable medicinal plant Calendula officinalis L. was carried out using high-throughput genome DNA sequencing and RepeatExplorer/TAREAN pipelines. The FISH-based visualization of the 45S rDNA, 5S rDNA, and satellite DNAs of C. officinalis was performed on the chromosomes of C. officinalis, C. stellata Cav., C. tripterocarpa Rupr., and C. arvensis L. Three satellite DNAs were demonstrated to be new molecular chromosome markers to study the karyotype structure. Karyograms of the studied species were constructed, their ploidy status was specified, and their relationships were clarified. Our results showed that the C. officinalis karyotype differed from the karyotypes of the other three species, indicating its separate position in the Calendula phylogeny. However, the presence of common repeats revealed in the genomes of all the studied species could be related to their common origin. Our findings demonstrated that C. stellata contributed its genome to allotetraploid C. tripterocarpa, and C. arvensis is an allohexaploid hybrid between C. stellata and C. tripterocarpa. At the same time, further karyotype studies of various Calendula species are required to clarify the pathways of chromosomal reorganization that occurred during speciation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 4386 KiB  
Article
New Insights on the Role of ß-Cyanoalanine Synthase CAS-C1 in Root Hair Elongation through Single-Cell Proteomics
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4055; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234055 - 02 Dec 2023
Viewed by 895
Abstract
(1) Background: Root hairs are specialized structures involved in water and plant nutrient uptake. They elongate from epidermal cells following a complex developmental program. ß-cyanoalanine synthase (CAS), which is mainly involved in hydrogen cyanide (HCN) detoxification in Arabidopsis thaliana, plays a role [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Root hairs are specialized structures involved in water and plant nutrient uptake. They elongate from epidermal cells following a complex developmental program. ß-cyanoalanine synthase (CAS), which is mainly involved in hydrogen cyanide (HCN) detoxification in Arabidopsis thaliana, plays a role in root hair elongation, as evidenced by the fact that cas-c1 mutants show a severe defect in root hair shape. In addition to root hairs, CAS C1 is expressed in the quiescent center and meristem. (2) Methods: To identify its role in root hair formation, we conducted single-cell proteomics analysis by isolating root hair cells using Fluorescence-activated Cell Sorting (FACS) from wild-type and cas-c1 mutants. We also analyzed the presence of S-cyanylation, a protein post-translational modification (PTM) mediated by HCN and affecting cysteine residues and protein activity in proteins of wild type and cas-c1 mutants. (3) Results and Conclusions: We have found that the cas-c1 mutation has no visible effect on quiescent center or meristem root tissue, in both control and nutrient-deprivation conditions. We have identified more than 3900 proteins in root hairs and we have found that several proteins involved in root hair development, related to the receptor kinase FERONIA signaling and DNA methylation, are modified by S-cyanylation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanide-Mediated Signaling in Plants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 1730 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Siderophores Generated by Pseudomonas Bacteria and Their Possible Application as Fe Biofertilizers
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4054; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234054 - 02 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1028
Abstract
The application of synthetic iron chelates to overcome iron deficiency in crops is leading to a high impact on the environment, making it necessary to find more friendly fertilizers. A promising alternative is the application of biodegradable iron chelates, such as those based [...] Read more.
The application of synthetic iron chelates to overcome iron deficiency in crops is leading to a high impact on the environment, making it necessary to find more friendly fertilizers. A promising alternative is the application of biodegradable iron chelates, such as those based on siderophores. In the present work, seven bacterial strains of the genus Pseudomonas were selected for their ability to secrete pyoverdine, a siderophore with a high affinity for iron, which could be used as a biofertilizer. The concentration of siderophores secreted by each bacterium expressed as desferrioxamine B equivalents, and the pyoverdine concentration was determined. Their potential as Fe biofertilizers was determined based on their capacity to complex Fe, determining the maximum iron complexation capacity at alkaline pH and selecting the RMC4 strain. The biostimulant capacity of the RMC4 strain was evaluated through the secretion of organic acids such as the hormone Indol-3-acetic acid or glutamic acid, among others, in a kinetic assay. Finally, the genome of RMC4 was determined, and the strain was identified as Pseudomonas monsensis. The annotated genome was screened for genes and gene clusters implicated in biofertilization and plant growth promotion. Besides iron mobilization, genes related to phosphorus solubilization, production of phytohormones and biological control, among others, were observed, indicating the suitability of RMC4 as an inoculant. In conclusion, RMC4 and its siderophores are promising sources for Fe biofertilization in agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biochemical Interactions of Iron Nutrition in Plants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 6694 KiB  
Article
Genetic Diversity and Genome-Wide Association Study for the Phenology Response of Winter Wheats of North America, Western Asia, and Europe
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4053; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234053 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1123
Abstract
Wheat is a staple food in many areas around the World. In the 20th century, breeders and scientists were able to boost wheat yield considerably. However, a yield plateau has become a concern and is threatening food security. Investments in cutting-edge technologies, including [...] Read more.
Wheat is a staple food in many areas around the World. In the 20th century, breeders and scientists were able to boost wheat yield considerably. However, a yield plateau has become a concern and is threatening food security. Investments in cutting-edge technologies, including genomics and precision phenology measurements, can provide valuable tools to drive crop improvement. The objectives of this study were to (i) investigate the genetic diversity in a set of winter wheat lines, (ii) characterize their phenological response under different vernalization and photoperiod conditions, and (iii) identify effective markers associated with the phenological traits. A total of 249 adapted genotypes of different geographical origin were genotyped using the 35K Axiom® Wheat Breeder’s Array. A total of 11,476 SNPs were used for genetic analysis. The set showed an average polymorphism information content of 0.37 and a genetic diversity of 0.43. A population structure analysis revealed three distinct subpopulations mainly related to their geographical origin (Europe, North America, and Western Asia). The lines of CGIAR origin showed the largest diversity and the lowest genetic distance to all other subpopulations. The phenology of the set was studied under controlled conditions using four combinations of long (19 h light) and short photoperiod (13 h light) and long vernalization (49 days at 5 °C) and no vernalization. With this, phenological traits such as earliness per se (Eps), relative response to vernalization (RRV), and relative response to photoperiod (RRP) were calculated. The phenotypic variation of growing degree days was significant in all phenology combinations. RRV ranged from 0 to 0.56, while RRP was higher with an overall average of 0.25. The GWAS analysis detected 30 marker-trait associations linked to five phenological traits. The highest significant marker was detected on chromosome 2D with a value of −log10(p) = 11.69. Only four loci known to regulate flowering exceeded the Bonferroni correction threshold of −log10(p) > 5.1. These results outline a solid foundation to address global food security and offer tremendous opportunities for advancing crop improvement strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cereal Genetics and Molecular Genetics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 4210 KiB  
Article
Phenotypic Diversity and Genetic Parameters of Coffea canephora Clones
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4052; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234052 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 694
Abstract
The simultaneous analysis of the maximum number of chemical elements present in plant tissues provides more comprehensive information about their chemical constitution and increases the number of characteristics for the selection process in various plant breeding programs. The objective of this study was [...] Read more.
The simultaneous analysis of the maximum number of chemical elements present in plant tissues provides more comprehensive information about their chemical constitution and increases the number of characteristics for the selection process in various plant breeding programs. The objective of this study was to analyze productivity, grain yield, and concentration of chemical elements in tissues of Coffea canephora clones to study phenotypic diversity and estimate genetic parameters for use in breeding. This experiment was carried out in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, in randomized blocks with four replications. The concentrations of elements in various organs were quantified using total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF). Genetic parameters and genetic divergence were estimated, and genotypes were clustered using the UPGMA hierarchical method and non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis. The study allowed us to differentiate the performance of the clones in terms of the absorption of essential and non-essential chemical elements for plant development and to analyze the correlation of the characteristics in the selection process. TXRF efficiently characterizes the presence and concentration of multiple elements, aiding genotype discrimination for C. canephora improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coffee Breeding and Stress Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 4633 KiB  
Article
Nitric Oxide (NO) Improves Wheat Growth under Dehydration Conditions by Regulating Phytohormone Levels and Induction of the Expression of the TADHN Dehydrin Gene
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4051; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234051 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 701
Abstract
Nitric oxide (NO) is a universal signaling molecule with important regulatory functions in the plant’s life cycle and adaptation to a wide spectrum of environmental stresses including drought. The effect of pre-sowing seed treatment with the donor of NO sodium nitroprusside (SNP, 200 [...] Read more.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a universal signaling molecule with important regulatory functions in the plant’s life cycle and adaptation to a wide spectrum of environmental stresses including drought. The effect of pre-sowing seed treatment with the donor of NO sodium nitroprusside (SNP, 200 μM) on wheat Triticum aestivum L. plants subjected to dehydration (PEG-8000, 12%) was investigated. SNP pretreatment stimulated germination and seedling growth in normal conditions and protected them under dehydration. These effects were confirmed by percentage of seed germination, changes in fresh and dry weight of 5–6-day-old seedlings, as well as by seedlings’ linear dimensions, visual appearance, and mitotic index of the root apical meristem. Assessment of the transpiration intensity (TI) and relative water content (RWC) showed that SNP pretreatment helped to maintain the water status of seedlings subjected to dehydration stress. The data obtained by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) suggested that the positive effects of SNP may be due to its influence on the phytohormonal system. SNP pretreatment induced an increase in the level of indolylacetic acid (IAA) and especially cytokinins (CK), while essential changes in ABA content were not detected. Water deficiency caused a substantial increase in ABA content and a decrease in the levels of CK and IAA. Pre-sowing SNP treatment decreased stress-induced fluctuations in the content of all studied phytohormones. Using reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR), we obtained data on the increase in expression of the TADHN dehydrin gene in SNP-pretreated seedlings under normal and, especially, under dehydration conditions. These findings may indicate the participation of dehydrins in NO-induced defense reactions in wheat plants under water stress. Furthermore, exogenous NO had a stabilizing effect on membrane cellular structures, as evidenced by the reduction of electrolyte leakage (EL) levels and malondialdehyde (MDA) content in dehydrated wheat seedlings under the influence of pre-sowing SNP treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Signaling Molecules in Plant Stress Tolerance)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 2454 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Association Study on Seedling Phenotypic Traits of Wheat under Different Nitrogen Conditions
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4050; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234050 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Nitrogen fertilizer input is the main determinant of wheat yield, and heavy nitrogen fertilizer application causes serious environmental pollution. It is important to understand the genetic response mechanism of wheat to nitrogen and select wheat germplasm with high nitrogen efficiency. In this study, [...] Read more.
Nitrogen fertilizer input is the main determinant of wheat yield, and heavy nitrogen fertilizer application causes serious environmental pollution. It is important to understand the genetic response mechanism of wheat to nitrogen and select wheat germplasm with high nitrogen efficiency. In this study, 204 wheat species were used to conduct genome-wide association analysis. Nine phenotypic characteristics were obtained at the seedling stage in hydroponic cultures under low-, normal, and high-nitrogen conditions. A total of 765 significant loci were detected, including 438, 261, and 408 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with high-, normal, and low-nitrogen conditions, respectively. Among these, 14 SNPs were identified under three conditions, for example, AX-10887638 and AX-94875830, which control shoot length and root–shoot ratio on chromosomes 6A and 6D, respectively. Additionally, 39 SNPs were pleiotropic for multiple traits. Further functional analysis of the genes near the 39 SNPs shows that some candidate genes play key roles in encoding proteins/enzymes, such as transporters, hydrolases, peroxidases, glycosyltransferases, oxidoreductases, acyltransferases, disease-resistant proteins, ubiquitin ligases, and sucrose synthetases. Our results can potentially be used to develop low-nitrogen-tolerant species using marker-assisted selection and provide a theoretical basis for breeding efficient nitrogen-using wheat species. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 9124 KiB  
Article
Biochemical and Structural Diversification of C4 Photosynthesis in Tribe Zoysieae (Poaceae)
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4049; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234049 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 539
Abstract
C4 photosynthesis has evolved independently multiple times in grass lineages with nine anatomical and three biochemical subtypes. Chloridoideae represents one of the separate events and contains species of two biochemical subtypes, NAD-ME and PEP-CK. Assessment of C4 photosynthesis diversification is limited [...] Read more.
C4 photosynthesis has evolved independently multiple times in grass lineages with nine anatomical and three biochemical subtypes. Chloridoideae represents one of the separate events and contains species of two biochemical subtypes, NAD-ME and PEP-CK. Assessment of C4 photosynthesis diversification is limited by species sampling. In this study, the biochemical subtypes together with anatomical leaf traits were analyzed in 19 species to reveal the evolutionary scenario for diversification of C4 photosynthesis in tribe Zoysieae (Chloridoideae). The effect of habitat on anatomical and biochemical diversification was also evaluated. The results for the 19 species studied indicate that 11 species have only NAD-ME as a decarboxylating enzyme, while eight species belong to the PEP-CK subtype. Leaf anatomy corresponds to the biochemical subtype. Analysis of Zoysieae phylogeny indicates multiple switches between PEP-CK and NAD-ME photosynthetic subtypes, with PEP-CK most likely as the ancestral subtype, and with multiple independent PEP-CK decarboxylase losses and its secondary acquisition. A strong correlation was detected between C4 biochemical subtypes studied and habitat annual precipitation wherein NAD-ME species are confined to drier habitats, while PEP-CK species prefer humid areas. Structural adaptations to arid climate include increases in leaf thickness and interveinal distance. Our analysis suggests that multiple loss of PEP-CK decarboxylase could have been driven by climate aridization followed by continued adaptive changes in leaf anatomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
Show Figures

Figure 1

40 pages, 8393 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Leaf Plasticity on the Isolation of Apoplastic Fluid from Leaves of Tartary Buckwheat Plants Grown In Vivo and In Vitro
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4048; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234048 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 643
Abstract
Vacuum infiltration–centrifugation (VIC) is the most reproducible technique for the isolation of apoplast washing fluid (AWF) from leaves, but its effectiveness depends on the infiltration–centrifugation conditions and the anatomical and physiological peculiarities of leaves. This study aimed to elaborate an optimal procedure for [...] Read more.
Vacuum infiltration–centrifugation (VIC) is the most reproducible technique for the isolation of apoplast washing fluid (AWF) from leaves, but its effectiveness depends on the infiltration–centrifugation conditions and the anatomical and physiological peculiarities of leaves. This study aimed to elaborate an optimal procedure for AWF isolation from the leaves of Tartary buckwheat grown in in vivo and in vitro conditions and reveal the leaf anatomical and physiological traits that could contribute to the effectiveness of AWF isolation. Here, it was demonstrated that leaves of buckwheat plants grown in vitro could be easier infiltrated, were less sensitive to higher forces of centrifugation (900× g and 1500× g), and produced more AWF yield and apoplastic protein content than in vivo leaves at the same forces of centrifugation (600× g and 900× g). The extensive study of the morphological, anatomical, and ultrastructural characteristics of buckwheat leaves grown in different conditions revealed that in vitro leaves exhibited significant plasticity in a number of interconnected morphological, anatomical, and physiological features, generally driven by high RH and low lighting; some of them, such as the reduced thickness and increased permeability of the cuticle of the epidermal cells, large intercellular spaces, increase in the size of stomata and in the area of stomatal pores, higher stomata index, drop in density, and area of calcium oxalate druses, are beneficial to the effectiveness of VIC. The size of stomata pores, which were almost twice as large in in vitro leaves as those in in vivo ones, was the main factor contributing to the isolation of AWF free of chlorophyll contamination. The opening of stomata pores by artificially created humid conditions reduced damage to the in vivo leaves and improved the VIC of them. For Fagopyrum species, this is the first study to develop a VIC technique for AWF isolation from leaves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Plasticity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 3442 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization of Long Non-Coding RNAs in Roots of Rice Seedlings under Nitrogen Deficiency
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4047; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234047 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) regulate gene expression in eukaryotic organisms. Research suggests that lncRNAs may be involved in the regulation of nitrogen use efficiency in plants. In this study, we identified 1628 lncRNAs based on the transcriptomic sequencing of rice roots under low-nitrogen [...] Read more.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) regulate gene expression in eukaryotic organisms. Research suggests that lncRNAs may be involved in the regulation of nitrogen use efficiency in plants. In this study, we identified 1628 lncRNAs based on the transcriptomic sequencing of rice roots under low-nitrogen (LN) treatment through the implementation of an integrated bioinformatics pipeline. After 4 h of LN treatment, 50 lncRNAs and 373 mRNAs were significantly upregulated, and 17 lncRNAs and 578 mRNAs were significantly downregulated. After 48 h LN treatment, 43 lncRNAs and 536 mRNAs were significantly upregulated, and 42 lncRNAs and 947 mRNAs were significantly downregulated. Moreover, the interaction network among the identified lncRNAs and mRNAs was investigated and one of the LN-induced lncRNAs (lncRNA24320.6) was further characterized. lncRNA24320.6 was demonstrated to positively regulate the expression of a flavonoid 3′-hydroxylase 5 gene (OsF3H5). The overexpression of lncRNA24320.6 was shown to improve nitrogen absorption and promote growth in rice seedlings under LN conditions. Our results provide valuable insights into the roles of lncRNAs in the rice response to nitrogen starvation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 4168 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Mediterranean Citrus Peel Flavonoids and Their Antioxidant Capacity Using an Innovative UV-Vis Spectrophotometric Approach
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4046; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234046 - 30 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 674
Abstract
Citrus fruits exert various beneficial health effects due to the large amount of polyphenols they contain. Citrus peels, often considered food waste, contain several health-promoting polyphenols. Among these, flavonoids have long been quantified through colorimetric assays which, if not adequately applied, can lead [...] Read more.
Citrus fruits exert various beneficial health effects due to the large amount of polyphenols they contain. Citrus peels, often considered food waste, contain several health-promoting polyphenols. Among these, flavonoids have long been quantified through colorimetric assays which, if not adequately applied, can lead to conflicting results. Flavonoids possess strong antioxidant properties and can decrease circulating free radicals, thereby reducing oxidative stress phenomena. Quantifying flavonoids and properly estimating their antioxidant capacity allows us to predict plausible beneficial effects of citrus fruits on human health. The aim of this research was to analyze the advantageous phenolic compounds found in the peels of citrus fruits commonly found in the Mediterranean region. The objective was to measure their antioxidant capacity and ability to neutralize free radicals. To achieve this purpose, UV-visible spectrophotometric analyses, liquid chromatography (LC) and Electron Paramagnetic Spectroscopy (EPR) were utilized and compared, finally suggesting an innovative approach for assessing the overall flavonoid content by the nitrite-aluminum assay. HPLC data demonstrated that hesperidin was the most abundant flavonoid in all peel extracts except for orange peels, in which naringin was the predominant flavonoid. The total flavonoid content was greater than 1.3 mg/mL in all extracts, with tangerine and orange yielding the best results. Citrus peel polyphenols exerted strong antioxidant and free radical scavenging effects, inhibiting up to 75% of the free radicals used as reference in the EPR analyses. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 558 KiB  
Article
Impact of Harvest Time on the Dry Matter Content, and Nutritional Parameters Related to Forage Quality of Maralfalfa (Cenchrus purpureus (Schumach.) Morrone, Poaceae) under Mediterranean Climate
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4045; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234045 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 597
Abstract
Maralfalfa (Cenchrus purpureus (Schumach.) Morrone) is a productive fodder crop in tropical regions that has been evaluated for forage nutritional value in a Mediterranean climate. To assess the nutritional value, parameters including dry matter content (DM), ash, ether extract (EE), protein (CP), [...] Read more.
Maralfalfa (Cenchrus purpureus (Schumach.) Morrone) is a productive fodder crop in tropical regions that has been evaluated for forage nutritional value in a Mediterranean climate. To assess the nutritional value, parameters including dry matter content (DM), ash, ether extract (EE), protein (CP), fiber contents (NDF and ADF), and the amino acids profile were determined at eight harvest times (HTs) in a non-fertilized and non-irrigated crop based in Silla (Valencia, Spain). The results showed significant differences in most of the parameters studied. While CP and ash significantly decreased over the eight HTs, NDF and ADF increased. In contrast, EE and the ratio of essential amino acids/total amino acids remained constant. Values of CP remained higher than 15% during the first two HTs (16 and 28 days). According to the analyses performed, the optimum HT can be stated at 28 days as it combines high levels of CP (including an optimal combination of essential amino acids) with low levels of fibers (NDF = 57.13%; ADF = 34.76%) and a considerable amount of dry matter (15.40%). Among the essential amino acids (EA) determined, lysine and histidine showed similar values (Lys ≈ 6%, His ≈ 1.70%) when comparing the composition of these EA to other forage species and cultivars studied, whereas methionine showed lower values. This work establishes the basis for the appropriate HT of maralfalfa according to the nutritional parameters measured. Further studies could be aimed to optimize the nutritional and phytogenic properties of maralfalfa to improve its value as a fodder crop, and to finally introduce it for sustainable livestock production in Mediterranean countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 3856 KiB  
Article
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Grain Size, Shape, and Weight-Related QTLs Identified Using GWAS with Multiple GAPIT Models and High-Density SNP Chip DNA Markers
Plants 2023, 12(23), 4044; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12234044 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 784
Abstract
This study investigated novel quantitative traits loci (QTLs) associated with the control of grain shape and size as well as grain weight in rice. We employed a joint-strategy multiple GAPIT (Genome Association and Prediction Integrated Tool) models [(Bayesian-information and Linkage-disequilibrium Iteratively Nested Keyway [...] Read more.
This study investigated novel quantitative traits loci (QTLs) associated with the control of grain shape and size as well as grain weight in rice. We employed a joint-strategy multiple GAPIT (Genome Association and Prediction Integrated Tool) models [(Bayesian-information and Linkage-disequilibrium Iteratively Nested Keyway (BLINK)), Fixed and random model Circulating Probability Uniform (FarmCPU), Settlement of MLM Under Progressive Exclusive Relationship (SUPER), and General Linear Model (GLM)]–High-Density SNP Chip DNA Markers (60,461) to conduct a Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS). GWAS was performed using genotype and grain-related phenotypes of 143 recombinant inbred lines (RILs). Data show that parental lines (Ilpum and Tung Tin Wan Hein 1, TTWH1, Oryza sativa L., ssp. japonica and indica, respectively) exhibited divergent phenotypes for all analyzed grain traits), which was reflected in their derived population. GWAS results revealed the association between seven SNP Chip makers and QTLs for grain length, co-detected by all GAPIT models on chromosomes (Chr) 1–3, 5, 7, and 11, were qGL1-1BFSG (AX-95918134, Chr1: 3,820,526 bp) explains 65.2–72.5% of the phenotypic variance explained (PVE). In addition, qGW1-1BFSG (AX-273945773, Chr1: 5,623,288 bp) for grain width explains 15.5–18.9% of PVE. Furthermore, BLINK or FarmCPU identified three QTLs for grain thickness independently, and explain 74.9% (qGT1Blink, AX-279261704, Chr1: 18,023,142 bp) and 54.9% (qGT2-1Farm, AX-154787777, Chr2: 2,118,477 bp) of the observed PVE. For the grain length-to-width ratio (LWR), the qLWR2BFSG (AX-274833045, Chr2: 10,000,097 bp) explains nearly 15.2–32% of the observed PVE. Likewise, the major QTL for thousand-grain weight (TGW) was detected on Chr6 (qTGW6BFSG, AX-115737727, 28,484,619 bp) and explains 32.8–54% of PVE. The qTGW6BFSG QTL coincides with qGW6-1Blink for grain width and explained 32.8–54% of PVE. Putative candidate genes pooled from major QTLs for each grain trait have interesting annotated functions that require functional studies to elucidate their function in the control of grain size, shape, or weight in rice. Genome selection analysis proposed makers useful for downstream marker-assisted selection based on genetic merit of RILs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Grain Crops)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Back to TopTop