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Plants, Volume 13, Issue 4 (February-2 2024) – 97 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Theobroma cacao seedlings were grown hydroponically in eight treatments, which included/excluded zinc (Zn) and/or iron (Fe) and added Cd. Analyses of Cd concentrations and naturally stable isotope compositions revealed synergy between Fe availability and Cd uptake and translocation and a possible increase in Cd translocation with the application of foliar Zn. Data from all treatments fit a single isotope fractionation model associated with the sequestration of isotopically light Cd in roots and mobilization of isotopically heavier Cd to the leaves. The different Cd dynamics seen in response to Fe availability and exhibited by 19 genetically diverse cacao clones grown under similar conditions are likely due to the same physiological processes, such as regulating specific transporter proteins. View this paper
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13 pages, 2802 KiB  
Article
Purification Effect of Water Eutrophication Using the Mosaic System of Submerged–Emerged Plants and Growth Response
by Baoliang Chang, Yingchun Xu, Ze Zhang, Xiaowen Wang, Qijiang Jin and Yanjie Wang
Plants 2024, 13(4), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040560 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 613
Abstract
Aquatic plants play a crucial role in the sustainable management of eutrophic water bodies, serving as a valuable tool for water purification. However, the effectiveness of using aquatic plants for improving water quality is influenced by landscape considerations. In practical applications, challenges arise [...] Read more.
Aquatic plants play a crucial role in the sustainable management of eutrophic water bodies, serving as a valuable tool for water purification. However, the effectiveness of using aquatic plants for improving water quality is influenced by landscape considerations. In practical applications, challenges arise concerning low purification efficiency and compromised aesthetic appeal when utilizing plants for water purification. To address these issues, this study aimed to examine the impact of aquatic plants on the purification of simulated landscape water bodies, specifically focusing on the effectiveness of the mosaic system of submerged–emerged plants in remediating eutrophic water bodies. Our findings indicated that individual aquatic plants exhibited limited efficacy in pollutant (total nitrogen, total phosphorus, ammonia nitrogen, and chemical oxygen demand) removal. However, when combined in appropriate proportions, submerged plants could enhance species growth and improve the purification efficiency of polluted water bodies. Notably, the mosaic system of submerged–emerged plants neither significantly promoted nor inhibited the growth of each other, but it effectively removed pollutants from the simulated water bodies and inhibited turbidity increase. The comprehensive evaluation ranked the purification capacity as Canna indica-submerged plants combination (C + S) > Thalia dealbata-submerged plants combination (T + S) > Iris pseudacorus-submerged plants combination (I + S) > Lythrum salicaria-submerged plants combination (L + S). Both C + S and T + S configurations effectively mitigated the rise of water turbidity and offered appealing landscape benefits, making them viable options for practical applications in urban landscape water bodies. Our study highlights that a submerged–emerged mosaic combination is a means of water purification that combines landscape aesthetics and purification efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Aquatic Plants Research)
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13 pages, 3643 KiB  
Article
Allelopathy and Identification of Five Allelochemicals in the Leaves of the Aromatic Medicinal Tree Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa
by Seinn Moh Moh, Shunya Tojo, Toshiaki Teruya and Hisashi Kato-Noguchi
Plants 2024, 13(4), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040559 - 19 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 568
Abstract
Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa is an economically and therapeutically valuable tree. It is cultivated as a fruit plant in southeast Asian countries. In this research, we investigated the allelopathy and possible allelochemicals in the leaves of A. marmelos. Aqueous methanol extracts of [...] Read more.
Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa is an economically and therapeutically valuable tree. It is cultivated as a fruit plant in southeast Asian countries. In this research, we investigated the allelopathy and possible allelochemicals in the leaves of A. marmelos. Aqueous methanol extracts of A. marmelos exhibited significant inhibitory effects against the growth of Lepidium sativum, Lactuca sativa, Medicago sativa, Echinochloa crusgalli, Lolium multiflorum, and Phleum pratense. Bioassay-directed chromatographic purification of the A. marmelos extracts resulted in identifying five active compounds: umbelliferone (1), trans-ferulic acid (2), (E)-4-hydroxycinnamic acid methyl ester (3), trans-cinnamic acid (4), and methyl (E)-3’-hydroxyl-4’-methoxycinnamate (5). The hypocotyl and root growth of L. sativum were considerably suppressed by these compounds. Methyl (E)-3’-hydroxyl-4’-methoxycinnamate also suppressed the coleoptile and root growth of E. crusgalli. The concentrations of these compounds, causing 50% growth reduction (I50) of L. sativum, were in the range of 74.19–785.4 μM. The findings suggest that these isolated compounds might function in the allelopathy of A. marmelos. Full article
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13 pages, 2010 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Evaluation of Appreciation of Rhododendron Based on Analytic Hierarchy Process
by Jincheng Liang, Yaoli Chen, Xuexiao Tang, Yin Lu, Jinghui Yu, Zongbo Wang, Zetian Zhang, Hao Ji, Yu Li, Purui Wu, Yue Liu, Ling Wang, Chuanhuang Huang, Bizhu He, Wei Lin and Lijin Guo
Plants 2024, 13(4), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040558 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 446
Abstract
Qinting Lake Park has effectively imported Rhododendron varieties from Zhejiang Province. The analytic hierarchy process was employed to devise an evaluation framework to evaluate the ornamental and adaptive features of these species. Subsequently, we conducted a standardized evaluation of 24 species for their [...] Read more.
Qinting Lake Park has effectively imported Rhododendron varieties from Zhejiang Province. The analytic hierarchy process was employed to devise an evaluation framework to evaluate the ornamental and adaptive features of these species. Subsequently, we conducted a standardized evaluation of 24 species for their ornamental and adaptive traits under controlled cultivation conditions. The findings indicated that the percentage of ornamental flowers in the first-level index was significantly greater than the other two factors, indicating that the ornamental value of flowers was the most important in the evaluation of Rhododendron ornamental value. Among the secondary indicators, the proportion of flower color and flower weight was significantly higher than that of other factors, which had the greatest impact on the evaluation results. The 24 Rhododendron species were classified into two grades based on their ornamental value, as determined by index weights and scoring standards. Rhododendron ‘Xueqing’, Rhododendron ‘Big Qinglian’, and Rhododendron ‘Jinyang No. 9’ exhibited superior ornamental value and demonstrated more favorable suitability for garden applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ornamental Plants and Urban Gardening II)
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21 pages, 6788 KiB  
Article
Potential Response Patterns of Endogenous Hormones in Cliff Species Opisthopappus taihangensis and Opisthopappus longilobus under Salt Stress
by Yimeng Zhang, Yuexin Shen, Mian Han, Yu Su, Xiaolong Feng, Ting Gao, Xiaojuan Zhou, Qi Wu, Genlou Sun and Yiling Wang
Plants 2024, 13(4), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040557 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 534
Abstract
When plants are exposed to salt stress, endogenous hormones are essential for their responses through biosynthesis and signal transduction pathways. However, the roles of endogenous hormones in two cliff species (Opisthopappus taihangensis and Opisthopappus longilobus (Opisthopappus genus)) in the Taihang Mountains [...] Read more.
When plants are exposed to salt stress, endogenous hormones are essential for their responses through biosynthesis and signal transduction pathways. However, the roles of endogenous hormones in two cliff species (Opisthopappus taihangensis and Opisthopappus longilobus (Opisthopappus genus)) in the Taihang Mountains under salt stress have not been investigated to date. Following different time treatments under 500 mM salt concentrations, 239 differentially expressed gene (DEG)-related endogenous hormones were identified that exhibited four change trends, which in Profile 47 were upregulated in both species. The C-DEG genes of AUX, GA, JA, BR, ETH, and ABA endogenous hormones were significantly enriched in Opisthopappus taihangensis (O. taihangensis) and Opisthopappus longilobus (O. longilobus). During the responsive process, mainly AUX, GA, and JA biosynthesis and signal transduction were triggered in the two species. Subsequently, crosstalk further influenced BR, EHT, ABA, and MAPK signal transduction pathways to improve the salt resistance of the two species. Within the protein–protein interactions (PPI), seven proteins exhibited the highest interactions, which primarily involved two downregulated genes (SAUR and GA3ox) and eight upregulated genes (ACX, MFP2, JAZ, BRI1, BAK1, ETR, EIN2, and SNRK2) of the above pathways. The more upregulated expression of ZEP (in the ABA biosynthesis pathway), DELLA (in the GA signaling pathway), ABF (in the ABA signaling pathway), and ERF1 (in the ETH signaling pathway) in O. taihangensis revealed that it had a relatively higher salt resistance than O. longilobus. This revealed that the responsive patterns to salt stress between the two species had both similarities and differences. The results of this investigation shed light on the potential adaptive mechanisms of O. taihangensis and O. longilobus under cliff environments, while laying a foundation for the study of other cliff species in the Taihang Mountains. Full article
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15 pages, 906 KiB  
Review
Prefoldin Subunits and Its Associate Partners: Conservations and Specificities in Plants
by Yi Yang, Gang Zhang, Mengyu Su, Qingbiao Shi and Qingshuai Chen
Plants 2024, 13(4), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040556 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 585
Abstract
Prefoldins (PFDs) are ubiquitous co-chaperone proteins that originated in archaea during evolution and are present in all eukaryotes, including yeast, mammals, and plants. Typically, prefoldin subunits form hexameric PFD complex (PFDc) that, together with class II chaperonins, mediate the folding of nascent proteins, [...] Read more.
Prefoldins (PFDs) are ubiquitous co-chaperone proteins that originated in archaea during evolution and are present in all eukaryotes, including yeast, mammals, and plants. Typically, prefoldin subunits form hexameric PFD complex (PFDc) that, together with class II chaperonins, mediate the folding of nascent proteins, such as actin and tubulin. In addition to functioning as a co-chaperone in cytoplasm, prefoldin subunits are also localized in the nucleus, which is essential for transcription and post-transcription regulation. However, the specific and critical roles of prefoldins in plants have not been well summarized. In this review, we present an overview of plant prefoldin and its related proteins, summarize the structure of prefoldin/prefoldin-like complex (PFD/PFDLc), and analyze the versatile landscape by prefoldin subunits, from cytoplasm to nucleus regulation. We also focus the specific role of prefoldin-mediated phytohormone response and global plant development. Finally, we overview the emerging prefoldin-like (PFDL) subunits in plants and the novel roles in related processes, and discuss the next direction in further studies. Full article
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14 pages, 16838 KiB  
Article
Rapid Visual Detection of Peronophythora litchii on Lychees Using Recombinase Polymerase Amplification Combined with Lateral Flow Assay Based on the Unique Target Gene Pl_101565
by Rongbo Wang, Benjin Li, Mingyue Shi, Yumei Zhao, Jinlong Lin, Qinghe Chen and Peiqing Liu
Plants 2024, 13(4), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040555 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 599
Abstract
Downy blight, caused by Peronophythora litchii, is a destructive disease that impacts lychee fruit throughout the pre-harvest, post-harvest, and transportation phases. Therefore, the prompt and precise identification of P. litchii is crucial for the effective management of the disease. A novel gene [...] Read more.
Downy blight, caused by Peronophythora litchii, is a destructive disease that impacts lychee fruit throughout the pre-harvest, post-harvest, and transportation phases. Therefore, the prompt and precise identification of P. litchii is crucial for the effective management of the disease. A novel gene encoding a Rh-type ammonium transporter, Pl_101565, was identified in P. litchii through bioinformatic analysis in this study. Based on this gene, a coupled recombinase polymerase amplification–lateral flow (RPA-LF) assay for the rapid visual detection of P. litchii was developed. The assay has been shown to detect P. litchii accurately, without cross-reactivity to related pathogenic oomycetes or fungi. Moreover, it can be performed effectively within 15 to 25 min at temperatures ranging from 28 to 46 °C. Under optimized conditions, the RPA-LF assay could detect as low as 1 pg of P. litchii genomic DNA in a 25 μL reaction system. Furthermore, the RPA-LF assay successfully detected P. litchii in infected lychee samples within a 30 min timeframe. These attributes establish the RPA-LF assay as a rapid, sensitive, and specific method for diagnosing P. litchii early; it is particularly suitable for applications in resource-limited settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Protection and Biotic Interactions)
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17 pages, 3460 KiB  
Article
New Insights into the Bio-Chemical Changes in Wheat Induced by Cd and Drought: What Can We Learn on Cd Stress Using Neutron Imaging?
by Yuzhou Lan, Genoveva Burca, Jean Wan Hong Yong, Eva Johansson and Ramune Kuktaite
Plants 2024, 13(4), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040554 - 18 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 538
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) and drought stresses are becoming dominant in a changing climate. This study explored the impact of Cd and Cd + drought stress on durum wheat grown in soil and sand at two Cd levels. The physiological parameters were studied using classical [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) and drought stresses are becoming dominant in a changing climate. This study explored the impact of Cd and Cd + drought stress on durum wheat grown in soil and sand at two Cd levels. The physiological parameters were studied using classical methods, while the root architecture was explored using non-invasive neutron computed tomography (NCT) for the first time. Under Cd + drought, all the gas exchange parameters were significantly affected, especially at 120 mg/kg Cd + drought. Elevated Cd was found in the sand-grown roots. We innovatively show the Cd stress impact on the wheat root volume and architecture, and the water distribution in the “root-growing media” was successfully visualized using NCT. Diverse and varying root architectures were observed for soil and sand under the Cd stress compared to the non-stress conditions, as revealed using NCT. The intrinsic structure of the growing medium was responsible for a variation in the water distribution pattern. This study demonstrated a pilot approach to use NCT for quantitative and in situ mapping of Cd stress on wheat roots and visualized the water dynamics in the rhizosphere. The physiological and NCT data provide valuable information to relate further to genetic information for the identification of Cd-resilient wheat varieties in the changing climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change)
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20 pages, 3985 KiB  
Article
Unlocking Nature’s Secrets: Molecular Insights into Postharvest Pathogens Impacting Moroccan Apples and Innovations in the Assessment of Storage Conditions
by Mohammed Khadiri, Hassan Boubaker, Salah-Eddine Laasli, Abdelaaziz Farhaoui, Said Ezrari, Nabil Radouane, Mohammed Radi, Latifa Askarne, Essaid Ait Barka and Rachid Lahlali
Plants 2024, 13(4), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040553 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 858
Abstract
Apple production holds a prominent position in Morocco’s Rosaceae family. However, annual production can fluctuate due to substantial losses caused by fungal diseases affecting stored apples. Our findings emphasize that the pre-storage treatment of apples, disinfection of storage facilities, box type, and fruit [...] Read more.
Apple production holds a prominent position in Morocco’s Rosaceae family. However, annual production can fluctuate due to substantial losses caused by fungal diseases affecting stored apples. Our findings emphasize that the pre-storage treatment of apples, disinfection of storage facilities, box type, and fruit sorting are pivotal factors affecting apple losses during storage. Additionally, the adopted preservation technique was significantly correlated with the percentage of damage caused by fungal infections. Blue mold accounts for nearly three-quarters of the diseases detected, followed by gray rot with a relatively significant incidence. This study has revealed several fungal diseases affecting stored apples caused by pathogens such as Penicillium expansum, Botrytis cinerea, Alternaria alternata, Trichothecium roseum, Fusarium avenaceum, Cadophora malorum, and Neofabraea vagabunda. Notably, these last two fungal species have been reported for the first time in Morocco as pathogens of stored apples. These data affirm that the high losses of apples in Morocco, attributed primarily to P. expansum and B. cinerea, pose a significant threat in terms of reduced production and diminished fruit quality. Hence, adopting controlled atmosphere storage chambers and implementing good practices before apple storage is crucial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis and Disease Control in Crops—2nd Edition)
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12 pages, 4355 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Harvesting Mechanization on Oolong Tea Quality
by Junling Zhou, Shuilian Gao, Zhenghua Du, Tongda Xu, Chao Zheng and Ying Liu
Plants 2024, 13(4), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040552 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 725
Abstract
Mechanization is the inevitable future of tea harvesting, but its impact on tea chemistry and quality remains uncertain. Our study examines untargeted metabolomic data from 185 oolong tea products (Tieguanyin) made from leaves harvested by hand or machine based on UPLC-QToF-MS analysis. The [...] Read more.
Mechanization is the inevitable future of tea harvesting, but its impact on tea chemistry and quality remains uncertain. Our study examines untargeted metabolomic data from 185 oolong tea products (Tieguanyin) made from leaves harvested by hand or machine based on UPLC-QToF-MS analysis. The data revealed a minimum 50% loss for over half of the chemicals in the machine-harvested group, including catechins, theaflavin, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, and kaempferol-3-gluocside. Integrating sensory evaluation, OPLS-DA identified the six most important metabolites as significant contributors to sensory decline caused by harvesting mechanization. Furthermore, our research validates the possibility of using DD-SIMCA modelling with untargeted metabolomic data for distinguishing handpicked from machine-harvested tea products. The model was able to achieve 93% accuracy. This study provides crucial insights into the chemical and sensory shifts during mechanization, along with tools to manage and monitor these changes. Full article
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17 pages, 1791 KiB  
Article
Stable Isotope Analyses Reveal Impact of Fe and Zn on Cd Uptake and Translocation by Theobroma cacao
by Rebekah E. T. Moore, Ihsan Ullah, Jim M. Dunwell and Mark Rehkämper
Plants 2024, 13(4), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040551 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 775
Abstract
High concentrations of toxic cadmium (Cd) in soils are problematic as the element accumulates in food crops such as rice and cacao. A mitigation strategy to minimise Cd accumulation is to enhance the competitive uptake of plant-essential metals. Theobroma cacao seedlings were grown [...] Read more.
High concentrations of toxic cadmium (Cd) in soils are problematic as the element accumulates in food crops such as rice and cacao. A mitigation strategy to minimise Cd accumulation is to enhance the competitive uptake of plant-essential metals. Theobroma cacao seedlings were grown hydroponically with added Cd. Eight different treatments were used, which included/excluded hydroponic or foliar zinc (Zn) and/or iron (Fe) for the final growth period. Analyses of Cd concentrations and natural stable isotope compositions by multiple collector ICP-MS were conducted. Cadmium uptake and translocation decreased when Fe was removed from the hydroponic solutions, while the application of foliar Zn-EDTA may enhance Cd translocation. No significant differences in isotope fractionation during uptake were found between treatments. Data from all treatments fit a single Cd isotope fractionation model associated with sequestration (seq) of isotopically light Cd in roots and unidirectional mobilisation (mob) of isotopically heavier Cd to the leaves (ε114Cdseq-mob = −0.13‰). This result is in excellent agreement with data from an investigation of 19 genetically diverse cacao clones. The different Cd dynamics exhibited by the clones and seen in response to different Fe availability may be linked to similar physiological processes, such as the regulation of specific transporter proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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15 pages, 2029 KiB  
Article
Crithmum maritimum L.—Study on the Histochemical Localization of Essential Oil
by Velina Dzhoglova, Kalin Ivanov, Niko Benbassat, Yoana Georgieva-Dimova, Rayna Ardasheva, Diana Karcheva-Bahchevanska and Stanislava Ivanova
Plants 2024, 13(4), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040550 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 575
Abstract
Crithmum maritimum L. is a perennial halophyte plant that is a medicinal herb known by people from different cultures since ancient times. However, the therapeutic potential of this halophyte has not been completely investigated, and the scientific data on it are limited. The [...] Read more.
Crithmum maritimum L. is a perennial halophyte plant that is a medicinal herb known by people from different cultures since ancient times. However, the therapeutic potential of this halophyte has not been completely investigated, and the scientific data on it are limited. The purpose of the present study was to estimate the chemical composition of the essential oil (EO) obtained from the aerial parts of Crithmum maritimum L. growing wild in Bulgaria, as well as the histolocalization of secretory structures for the synthesis and accumulation of volatile oils. The results obtained on the EO composition of Bulgarian Crithmum maritimum L. provide an opportunity to reveal potential future applications in various fields, such as medicine, pharmacy, agriculture, food, and the cosmetic industry. Gas chromatography with mass spectrometry was performed to assess the chemical profile of the isolated EO. The phenylpropanoid dillapiole was identified as the major compound in the EO, accounting for 34.09% of the total EO. Monoterpene hydrocarbons represented 62.07% of the total oil composition. γ-Terpinene, D-limonene, and β-pinene were the most abundant monoterpene hydrocarbons in the composition of the EO. In addition, histochemical localization of EO in the stem and leaves of Crithmum maritimum L. was carried out. The secretory structures were located in the cortical region of the stem and in the mesophyll tissues of the leaves in the form of secretory ducts. The performed histochemical analysis confirmed the lipophilic nature of the secretion from the duct cells. This is the first report related to the histolocalization and chemical composition of the EO from Bulgarian Crithmum maritimum L. Furthermore, our data indicate some potential possibilities for the evaluation of the therapeutic activity of the EO obtained from this plant species and outline its future applications as a therapeutic agent. Also, the EO from the studied halophyte plant has prominent potential to be used as a biopesticide, which is an environmentally friendly option compared to standard pesticides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Essential Oils from Medicinal Plants)
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19 pages, 5637 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Analysis of C-Repeat Binding Factor Gene Family in Capsicum baccatum and Functional Exploration in Low-Temperature Response
by Yanbo Yang, Qihang Cai, Li Luo, Zhenghai Sun and Liping Li
Plants 2024, 13(4), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040549 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 571
Abstract
Capsicum baccatum is a close relative of edible chili peppers (Capsicum annuum) with high economic value. The CBF gene family plays an important role in plant stress resistance physiology. We detected a total of five CBF genes in the C. baccatum [...] Read more.
Capsicum baccatum is a close relative of edible chili peppers (Capsicum annuum) with high economic value. The CBF gene family plays an important role in plant stress resistance physiology. We detected a total of five CBF genes in the C. baccatum genome-wide sequencing data. These genes were scattered irregularly across four chromosomes. The genes were categorized into three groupings according to their evolutionary relationships, with genes in the same category showing comparable principles for motif composition. The 2000 bp upstream of CbCBF contains many resistance-responsive elements, hormone-responsive elements, and transcription factor binding sites. These findings emphasize the crucial functions of these genes in responding to challenging conditions and physiological regulation. Analysis of tissue-specific expression revealed that CbCBF3 exhibited the greatest level of expression among all tissues. Under conditions of low-temperature stress, all CbCBF genes exhibited different levels of responsiveness, with CbCBF3 showing a considerable up-regulation after 0.25 h of cold stress, indicating a high sensitivity to low-temperature response. The importance of the CbCBF3 gene in the cold response of C. baccatum was confirmed by the use of virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) technology, as well as the prediction of its protein interaction network. To summarize, this study conducts a thorough bioinformatics investigation of the CbCBF gene family, showcases the practicality of employing VIGS technology in C. baccatum, and confirms the significance of the CbCBF3 gene in response to low temperatures. These findings provide significant references for future research on the adaptation of C. baccatum to low temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
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17 pages, 7046 KiB  
Article
The Estimation of Grassland Aboveground Biomass and Analysis of Its Response to Climatic Factors Using a Random Forest Algorithm in Xinjiang, China
by Ping Dong, Changqing Jing, Gongxin Wang, Yuqing Shao and Yingzhi Gao
Plants 2024, 13(4), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040548 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 539
Abstract
Aboveground biomass (AGB) is a key indicator of the physiological status and productivity of grasslands, and its accurate estimation is essential for understanding regional carbon cycles. In this study, we developed a suitable AGB model for grasslands in Xinjiang based on the random [...] Read more.
Aboveground biomass (AGB) is a key indicator of the physiological status and productivity of grasslands, and its accurate estimation is essential for understanding regional carbon cycles. In this study, we developed a suitable AGB model for grasslands in Xinjiang based on the random forest algorithm, using AGB observation data, remote sensing vegetation indices, and meteorological data. We estimated the grassland AGB from 2000 to 2022, analyzed its spatiotemporal changes, and explored its response to climatic factors. The results showed that (1) the model was reliable (R2 = 0.55, RMSE = 64.33 g·m−2) and accurately estimated the AGB of grassland in Xinjiang; (2) the spatial distribution of grassland AGB in Xinjiang showed high levels in the northwest and low values in the southeast. AGB showed a growing trend in most areas, with a share of 61.19%. Among these areas, lowland meadows showed the fastest growth, with an average annual increment of 0.65 g·m−2·a−1; and (3) Xinjiang’s climate exhibited characteristics of warm humidification, and grassland AGB showed a higher correlation with precipitation than temperature. Developing remote sensing models based on random forest algorithms proves an effective approach for estimating AGB, providing fundamental data for maintaining the balance between grass and livestock and for the sustainable use and conservation of grassland resources in Xinjiang, China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Vegetation to Global Climate Change)
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12 pages, 5300 KiB  
Article
Effects of Florivory on Floral Visitors and Reproductive Success of Sagittaria lancifolia (Alismataceae) in a Mexican Wetland
by Dulce Rodríguez-Morales, Armando Aguirre-Jaimes and José G. García-Franco
Plants 2024, 13(4), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040547 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 496
Abstract
Florivores consume floral structures with negative effects on plant fitness and pollinator attraction. Several studies have evaluated these consequences in hermaphroditic plants, but little is known about the effects on monoecious and dioecious species. We characterize the florivory and its effects on floral [...] Read more.
Florivores consume floral structures with negative effects on plant fitness and pollinator attraction. Several studies have evaluated these consequences in hermaphroditic plants, but little is known about the effects on monoecious and dioecious species. We characterize the florivory and its effects on floral visitors and reproductive success in a monoecious population of Sagittaria lancifolia. Five categories of florivory were established according to the petal area consumed. Visits were recorded in male and female flowers within the different damage categories. Reproductive success was evaluated through fruit number and weight, as well as the number of seeds per fruit. Our results show that the weevil Tanysphyrus lemnae is the main florivore, and it mainly damages the female flowers. Hymenoptera were recorded as the most frequent visitors of both male and female flowers. Male and female flowers showed differences in visit frequency, which decreases as flower damage increases. Reproductive success was negatively related to the level of damage. We found that florivory is common in the population of S. lancifolia, which can exert a strong selective pressure by making the flowers less attractive and reducing the number of seeds per fruit. Future studies are needed to know how florivores affect plant male fitness. Full article
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10 pages, 398 KiB  
Article
Topographic Complexity Is a Principal Driver of Plant Endemism in Mediterranean Islands
by Leanne Camilleri, Katya Debono, Francesca Grech, Andrea Francesca Bellia, Gyllain Pace and Sandro Lanfranco
Plants 2024, 13(4), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040546 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 544
Abstract
The frequency of endemism in the flora of Mediterranean Islands does not follow a straightforward species–area relationship, and the determinants of endemism are several and complex. The aim of this study was to estimate the explanatory power of a small number of variables [...] Read more.
The frequency of endemism in the flora of Mediterranean Islands does not follow a straightforward species–area relationship, and the determinants of endemism are several and complex. The aim of this study was to estimate the explanatory power of a small number of variables on the species richness of vascular plants on selected Mediterranean islands and archipelagos, and on the proportion of narrow endemism in each. We used a novel approach whereby the topographic complexity and isolation of an island were estimated through more detailed methods than those utilised previously. These parameters, along with island area and human population density, were used in a number of regression models with the number of taxa or proportion of endemics as the dependent variables. The results demonstrated that ‘topography’, a factor that was not specifically included in previous models for Mediterranean islands, exerted a consistent, statistically significant effect on both the number of taxa as well as the proportion of endemic taxa, in all models tested. The ‘isolation’ factor was not a significant predictor of the number of taxa in any of the models but was a statistically significant predictor of the proportion of endemic taxa in two of the models. The results can be used to make broad predictions about the expected number of taxa and endemics on an island, enabling the categorisation of islands as ‘species-poor’ or ‘species-rich’, potentially aiding conservation efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Taxonomy, Biodiversity and Ecology of Mediterranean Plants)
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13 pages, 1756 KiB  
Article
Fatty Acid Profiling as a Tool for Fostering the Traceability of the Halophyte Plant Salicornia ramosissima and Contributing to Its Nutritional Valorization
by Fernando Ricardo, Ana Carolina Veríssimo, Elisabete Maciel, Maria Rosário Domingues and Ricardo Calado
Plants 2024, 13(4), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040545 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 704
Abstract
Salicornia ramosissima, commonly known as glasswort or sea asparagus, is a halophyte plant cultivated for human consumption that is often referred to as a sea vegetable rich in health-promoting n-3 fatty acids (FAs). Yet, the effect of abiotic conditions, such as [...] Read more.
Salicornia ramosissima, commonly known as glasswort or sea asparagus, is a halophyte plant cultivated for human consumption that is often referred to as a sea vegetable rich in health-promoting n-3 fatty acids (FAs). Yet, the effect of abiotic conditions, such as salinity and temperature, on the FA profile of S. ramosissima remains largely unknown. These factors can potentially shape its nutritional composition and yield unique fatty acid signatures that can reveal its geographical origin. In this context, samples of S. ramosissima were collected from four different locations along the coastline of mainland Portugal and their FAs were profiled through gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The lipid extracts displayed a high content of essential FAs, such as 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-3. In addition to an epoxide fatty acid exclusively identified in samples from the Mondego estuary, the relative abundance of FAs varied between origin sites, revealing that FA profiles can be used as site-specific lipid fingerprints. This study highlights the role of abiotic conditions on the nutritional profile of S. ramosissima and establishes FA profiling as a potential avenue to trace the geographic origin of this halophyte plant. Overall, the present approach can make origin certification possible, safeguard quality, and enhance consumers’ trust in novel foods. Full article
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17 pages, 1968 KiB  
Article
Antioxidant Activity and Seasonal Variations in the Composition of Insoluble Fiber from the Cladodes of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller: Development of New Extraction Procedures to Improve Fiber Yield
by Rosamaria Caminiti, Maria Serra, Saverio Nucera, Stefano Ruga, Francesca Oppedisano, Federica Scarano, Roberta Macrì, Carolina Muscoli, Ernesto Palma, Vincenzo Musolino, Giancarlo Statti, Vincenzo Mollace and Jessica Maiuolo
Plants 2024, 13(4), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040544 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 621
Abstract
Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller is a plant belonging to the Cactaceae family adapted to live in environments characterized by long periods of drought and arid or desert climates. This plant is characterized by an aerial part composed of structures transformed by branches, called [...] Read more.
Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller is a plant belonging to the Cactaceae family adapted to live in environments characterized by long periods of drought and arid or desert climates. This plant is characterized by an aerial part composed of structures transformed by branches, called “cladodes”, which are essential to reduce excessive perspiration of water and appear covered with thorns. The composition of the cladodes includes water, polysaccharides, fiber, proteins, vitamins, fatty acids, sterols, polyphenols, and minerals. The main purposes of this scientific work are (a) to compare the insoluble fiber (IF) extracted from the cladodes of O. ficus-indica belonging to the same plant but collected in different seasonal periods (winter and summer) and develop new extraction protocols that are able to improve the yield obtained and (b) evaluate the antioxidant potential of the fiber and study possible variations as a result of the extraction protocol chosen. The first objective was achieved (1) by measuring the amount of IF extracted from cladodes harvested in winter and summer (CW and CS, respectively) and (2) by modifying three variables involved in the fiber extraction protocol. To achieve the second objective, the following experiments were carried out: (1) measurement of the antioxidant potential of IF in CW and CS; (2) measurement of cellular reactive oxygen species; (3) measurement of the activity of some antioxidant enzymes; and (4) comparison of the polyphenol content in CW and CS. In conclusion, the results obtained showed that the IF extraction process can be improved, achieving a uniform yield regardless of seasonality; the antioxidant effect may vary depending on the extraction protocol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
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14 pages, 2244 KiB  
Article
Gibberellin-Mediated Sensitivity of Rice Roots to Aluminum Stress
by Long Lu, Xinyu Chen, Qinyan Tan, Wenqian Li, Yanyan Sun, Zaoli Zhang, Yuanyuan Song and Rensen Zeng
Plants 2024, 13(4), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040543 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Aluminum toxicity poses a significant constraint on crop production in acidic soils. While phytohormones are recognized for their pivotal role in mediating plant responses to aluminum stress, the specific involvement of gibberellin (GA) in regulating aluminum tolerance remains unexplored. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Aluminum toxicity poses a significant constraint on crop production in acidic soils. While phytohormones are recognized for their pivotal role in mediating plant responses to aluminum stress, the specific involvement of gibberellin (GA) in regulating aluminum tolerance remains unexplored. In this study, we demonstrate that external GA exacerbates the inhibitory impact of aluminum stress on root growth of rice seedlings, concurrently promoting reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation. Furthermore, rice plants overexpressing the GA synthesis gene SD1 exhibit enhanced sensitivity to aluminum stress. In contrast, the slr1 gain-of-function mutant, characterized by impeded GA signaling, displays enhanced tolerance to aluminum stress, suggesting the negative regulatory role of GA in rice resistance to aluminum-induced toxicity. We also reveal that GA application suppresses the expression of crucial aluminum tolerance genes in rice, including Al resistance transcription factor 1 (ART1), Nramp aluminum transporter 1 (OsNramp4), and Sensitive to Aluminum 1 (SAL1). Conversely, the slr1 mutant exhibits up-regulated expression of these genes compared to the wild type. In summary, our results shed light on the inhibitory effect of GA in rice resistance to aluminum stress, contributing to a theoretical foundation for unraveling the intricate mechanisms of plant hormones in regulating aluminum tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metal Tolerance in Plants and Algae)
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20 pages, 2598 KiB  
Article
Growth Enhancement and Resistance of Banana Plants to Fusarium Wilt Disease as Affected by Silicate Compounds and Application Frequency
by Md Aiman Takrim Zakaria, Siti Zaharah Sakimin, Mohd Razi Ismail, Khairulmazmi Ahmad and Susilawati Kasim
Plants 2024, 13(4), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040542 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 757
Abstract
The amendment of soils with silicate (Si) compounds is essential to promote growth performance and control Fusarium wilt disease in bananas. Two successive greenhouse trials were conducted at the experimental farm of the University of Putra Malaysia. The treatments were arranged in split [...] Read more.
The amendment of soils with silicate (Si) compounds is essential to promote growth performance and control Fusarium wilt disease in bananas. Two successive greenhouse trials were conducted at the experimental farm of the University of Putra Malaysia. The treatments were arranged in split plots using a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replicates to investigate the effects of Si compounds and application frequency on controlling FOC. Si compounds were used at a constant concentration of 0.1%: T0 (control), T1 (13% SiO2:20% K2O), T2 (26.6% SiO2:13.4% K2O) and T3 (36.2% SiO2:17% Na2O). There were three application frequencies by day intervals (DI): 0DI (without any application), 7DI (12× within 12 weeks after transplanting (WAT)), 15DI (6× within 12 WAT) and 30DI (3× within 12 WAT). From these findings, we observed that the photosynthesis rate started to increase from 10.6 to 19.4 µmol CO2 m−2s−1, when the total chlorophyll content started to increase from 3.85 to 7.61 mgcm−2. The transpiration rate started to increase from a value of 1.94 to 4.31 mmol H2O m−2s−1, when the stomata conductance started to increase from 0.237 to 0.958 mmol m−2s1. The proline content started to increase from 22.89 to 55.07 µmg−1, when the relative water content started to increase from 42.92 to 83.57%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotic-Abiotic Stress on Young Seedlings)
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18 pages, 4912 KiB  
Article
Simultaneous Application of Several Exogenous dsRNAs for the Regulation of Anthocyanin Biosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana
by Konstantin V. Kiselev, Andrey R. Suprun, Olga A. Aleynova, Zlata V. Ogneva and Alexandra S. Dubrovina
Plants 2024, 13(4), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040541 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 489
Abstract
Plant surface treatment with double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) has gained recognition as a promising method for inducing gene silencing and combating plant pathogens. However, the regulation of endogenous plant genes by external dsRNAs has not been sufficiently investigated. Also, the effect of the simultaneous [...] Read more.
Plant surface treatment with double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) has gained recognition as a promising method for inducing gene silencing and combating plant pathogens. However, the regulation of endogenous plant genes by external dsRNAs has not been sufficiently investigated. Also, the effect of the simultaneous application of multiple gene-specific dsRNAs has not been analyzed. The aim of this study was to exogenously target five genes in Arabidopsis thaliana, namely, three transcription factor genes (AtCPC, AtMybL2, AtANAC032), a calmodulin-binding protein gene (AtCBP60g), and an anthocyanidin reductase gene (AtBAN), which are known as negative regulators of anthocyanin accumulation. Exogenous dsRNAs encoding these genes were applied to the leaf surface of A. thaliana either individually or in mixtures. The mRNA levels of the five targets were analyzed using qRT-PCR, and anthocyanin content was evaluated through HPLC-MS. The results demonstrated significant downregulation of all five target genes by the exogenous dsRNAs, resulting in enhanced expression of chalcone synthase (AtCHS) gene and increased anthocyanin content. The simultaneous foliar application of the five dsRNAs proved to be more efficient in activating anthocyanin accumulation compared to the application of individual dsRNAs. These findings hold considerable importance in plant biotechnology and gene function studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Plant Genomics and Breeding 2023)
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23 pages, 7013 KiB  
Article
Almond By-Products Substrates as Sustainable Amendments for Green Bean Cultivation
by Vânia Silva, Ivo Oliveira, José Alberto Pereira and Berta Gonçalves
Plants 2024, 13(4), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040540 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 430
Abstract
Almond processing generates a high quantity of by-products, presenting the untapped potential for alternative applications and improved sustainability in production. This study aimed to evaluate whether the incorporation of almond by-products (hulls/shells) can improve the biochemical characteristics of green bean pods when used [...] Read more.
Almond processing generates a high quantity of by-products, presenting the untapped potential for alternative applications and improved sustainability in production. This study aimed to evaluate whether the incorporation of almond by-products (hulls/shells) can improve the biochemical characteristics of green bean pods when used as an alternative to traditional growing media in green bean plants. Four substrates were prepared: the Control substrate (C): 70% peat + 30% perlite; substrate (AS): 70% peat + 30% shells; substrate (AH): 70% peat + 30% perlite + 1 cm hulls as mulch; substrate (MIX): 70% peat + 15% shells + 15% hulls. Plants were grown in each of these substrates and subjected to two irrigation levels, 100% and 50% of their water-holding capacity. Biochemical parameters (photosynthetic pigments, total phenolics, flavonoids, ortho-diphenols, soluble proteins, antioxidant capacity) and color were evaluated in the harvested pods. Results showed that pods from plants growing in AH substrate presented statistically significant higher values in their total phenolic content, while AS and MIX substrates did not reveal significant benefits. Summarily, this study highlights the potential of almond hulls as a promising medium for green bean cultivation, particularly when employed as mulch. Further research is recommended to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the application of almond by-products as natural fertilizers/mulch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights in Quality Evaluation of Plant-Derived Foods)
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18 pages, 1663 KiB  
Article
From Primary Data to Ethnopharmacological Investigations on Achillea erba-rotta subsp. moschata (Wulfen) I.Richardson as a Remedy against Gastric Ailments in Valmalenco (Italy)
by Martina Bottoni, Giulia Martinelli, Nicole Maranta, Emanuela Sabato, Fabrizia Milani, Lorenzo Colombo, Paola Sira Colombo, Stefano Piazza, Enrico Sangiovanni, Claudia Giuliani, Piero Bruschi, Giulio Vistoli, Mario Dell’Agli and Gelsomina Fico
Plants 2024, 13(4), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040539 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 470
Abstract
(1) Background: Within the framework of the European Interreg Italy–Switzerland B-ICE & Heritage project (2018–2022), this study originated from a three-year ethnobotanical survey in Valmalenco (Sondrio, Italy). Following a preliminary work published by our group, this research further explored the folk therapeutic use [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Within the framework of the European Interreg Italy–Switzerland B-ICE & Heritage project (2018–2022), this study originated from a three-year ethnobotanical survey in Valmalenco (Sondrio, Italy). Following a preliminary work published by our group, this research further explored the folk therapeutic use of Achillea erba-rotta subsp. moschata (Wulfen) I.Richardson (Asteraceae) for dyspepsia disorders, specifically its anti-inflammatory potential at a gastrointestinal level. (2) Methods: Semi-structured interviews were performed. The bitter taste was investigated through molecular docking software (PLANTS, GOLD), while the anti-inflammatory activity of the hydroethanolic extract, infusion, and decoction was evaluated based on the release of IL-8 and IL-6 after treatment with TNFα or Helicobacter pylori. The minimum inhibitory concentration and bacterial adhesion on the gastric epithelium were evaluated. (3) Results: In total, 401 respondents were interviewed. Molecular docking highlighted di-caffeoylquinic acids as the main compounds responsible for the interaction with bitter taste receptors. The moderate inhibition of IL-6 and IL-8 release was recorded, while, in the co-culture with H. pylori, stronger anti-inflammatory potential was expressed (29–45 μg/mL). The concentration-dependent inhibition of H. pylori growth was recorded (MIC = 100 μg/mL), with a significant anti-adhesive effect. (4) Conclusions: Confirming the folk tradition, the study emphasizes the species’ potentiality for dyspepsia disorders. Future studies are needed to identify the components mostly responsible for the biological effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
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19 pages, 2676 KiB  
Article
The Antioxidant, Antibacterial and Cell-Protective Properties of Bioactive Compounds Extracted from Rowanberry (Sorbus aucuparia L.) Fruits In Vitro
by Mara Aurori, Mihaela Niculae, Daniela Hanganu, Emoke Pall, Mihai Cenariu, Dan Cristian Vodnar, Nicodim Fiţ and Sanda Andrei
Plants 2024, 13(4), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040538 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 666
Abstract
Considering that Sorbus aucuparia fruits have been underutilized despite their tremendous potential, this study aimed to correlate the in vitro antioxidant, antibacterial and cell-protective abilities of fruit extracts derived from Sorbus aucuparia Romanian cultivars with their phytochemical composition. Therefore, following the preparation of [...] Read more.
Considering that Sorbus aucuparia fruits have been underutilized despite their tremendous potential, this study aimed to correlate the in vitro antioxidant, antibacterial and cell-protective abilities of fruit extracts derived from Sorbus aucuparia Romanian cultivars with their phytochemical composition. Therefore, following the preparation of ethanolic and carotenoid extracts, phytochemical screening was performed using UV–Vis and HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS methods. The antioxidant activity was analyzed using DPPH and FRAP tests. As the results revealed high contents of bioactive compounds (polyphenols 1.11 mg GAE/g DM, flavonoids 430.06 µg QE/g DM and carotenoids 95.68 µg/g DM) and an important antiradical action (DPPH 24.51 mg/mL and FRAP 0.016 µM TE/mL), we chose to further examine the fruits’ biological properties. The antibacterial capacity was assessed employing agar well diffusion and broth microdilution techniques, with fruits displaying an intense activity against MSSA, MRSA and Enterococcus faecalis, but also E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The cell-protective activity was analyzed on gentamicin-stressed renal cells, through MTT and Annexin V-FITC assays. Importantly, a significant increase in viability was registered on stressed cells following extract administration in low doses; nevertheless, viability was noticed to decline when exposed to elevated concentrations, potentially due to the cumulative actions of the extract and gentamicin. These findings offer novel light on the antibacterial activity of Sorbus aucuparia Romanian cultivars, as well as their cell-protective ability in renal cell injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidant Activity of Plant Extracts—Volume II)
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15 pages, 3078 KiB  
Article
Safe Farming: Ultrafine Bubble Water Reduces Insect Infestation and Improves Melon Yield and Quality
by Jo-Chi Hung, Ning-Juan Li, Ching-Yen Peng, Ching-Chieh Yang and Swee-Suak Ko
Plants 2024, 13(4), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040537 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1115
Abstract
Melon pest management relies on the excessive application of pesticides. Reducing pesticide spraying has become a global issue for environmental sustainability and human health. Therefore, developing a new cropping system that is sustainable and eco-friendly is important. This study found that melon seedlings [...] Read more.
Melon pest management relies on the excessive application of pesticides. Reducing pesticide spraying has become a global issue for environmental sustainability and human health. Therefore, developing a new cropping system that is sustainable and eco-friendly is important. This study found that melon seedlings irrigated with ultrafine water containing H2 and O2 (UFW) produced more root hairs, increased shoot height, and produced more flowers than the control irrigated with reverse osmosis (RO) water. Surprisingly, we also discovered that UFW irrigation significantly reduced aphid infestation in melons. Based on cryo-scanning electron microscope (cryo-SEM) observations, UFW treatment enhanced trichome development and prevented aphid infestation. To investigate whether it was H2 or O2 that helped to deter insect infestation, we prepared UF water enrichment of H2 (UF+H2) and O2 (UF+O2) separately and irrigated melons. Cryo-SEM results indicated that both UF+H2 and UF+O2 can increase the density of trichomes in melon leaves and petioles. RT-qPCR showed that UF+H2 significantly increased the gene expression level of the trichome-related gene GLABRA2 (GL2). We planted melons in a plastic greenhouse and irrigated them with ultrafine water enrichment of hydrogen (UF+H2) and oxygen (UF+O2). The SPAD value, photosynthetic parameters, root weight, fruit weight, and fruit sweetness were all better than the control without ultrafine water irrigation. UFW significantly increased trichome development, enhanced insect resistance, and improved fruit traits. This system thus provides useful water management for pest control and sustainable agricultural production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies to Improve Water-Use Efficiency in Plant Production)
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14 pages, 2160 KiB  
Article
Adaptation Strategies of Seedling Root Response to Nitrogen and Phosphorus Addition
by Xing Jin, Jing Zhu, Xin Wei, Qianru Xiao, Jingyu Xiao, Lan Jiang, Daowei Xu, Caixia Shen, Jinfu Liu and Zhongsheng He
Plants 2024, 13(4), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040536 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 745
Abstract
The escalation of global nitrogen deposition levels has heightened the inhibitory impact of phosphorus limitation on plant growth in subtropical forests. Plant roots area particularly sensitive tissue to nitrogen and phosphorus elements. Changes in the morphological characteristics of plant roots signify alterations in [...] Read more.
The escalation of global nitrogen deposition levels has heightened the inhibitory impact of phosphorus limitation on plant growth in subtropical forests. Plant roots area particularly sensitive tissue to nitrogen and phosphorus elements. Changes in the morphological characteristics of plant roots signify alterations in adaptive strategies. However, our understanding of resource-use strategies of roots in this environment remains limited. In this study, we conducted a 10-month experiment at the Castanopsis kawakamii Nature Reserve to evaluate the response of traits of seedling roots (such as specific root length, average diameter, nitrogen content, and phosphorus content) to nitrogen and phosphorus addition. The aim was to reveal the adaptation strategies of roots in different nitrogen and phosphorus addition concentrations. The results showed that: (1) The single phosphorus and nitrogen–phosphorus interaction addition increased the specific root length, surface area, and root phosphorus content. In addition, single nitrogen addition promotes an increase in the average root diameter. (2) Non-nitrogen phosphorus addition and single nitrogen addition tended to adopt a conservative resource-use strategy to maintain growth under low phosphorus conditions. (3) Under the single phosphorus addition and interactive addition of phosphorus and nitrogen, the roots adopted an acquisitive resource-use strategy to obtain more available phosphorus resources. Accordingly, the adaptation strategy of seedling roots can be regulated by adding appropriate concentrations of nitrogen or phosphorus, thereby promoting the natural regeneration of subtropical forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Development and Morphogenesis)
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19 pages, 7212 KiB  
Article
A MaxEnt Model of Citrus Black Fly Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) under Different Climate Change Scenarios
by Nilson Rodrigues da Silva, Philipe Guilherme Corcino Souza, Gildriano Soares de Oliveira, Alisson da Silva Santana, Leandro Bacci, Gerson Adriano Silva, Edmond Joseph Djibril Victor Barry, Fernanda de Aguiar Coelho, Marcus Alvarenga Soares, Marcelo Coutinho Picanço, Renato Almeida Sarmento and Ricardo Siqueira da Silva
Plants 2024, 13(4), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040535 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 715
Abstract
The citrus blackfly (CBF), Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby, is an exotic pest native to Southeast Asia that has spread rapidly to the world’s main centers of citrus production, having been recently introduced to Brazil. In this study, a maximum entropy niche model (MaxEnt) was [...] Read more.
The citrus blackfly (CBF), Aleurocanthus woglumi Ashby, is an exotic pest native to Southeast Asia that has spread rapidly to the world’s main centers of citrus production, having been recently introduced to Brazil. In this study, a maximum entropy niche model (MaxEnt) was used to predict the potential worldwide distribution of CBF under current and future climate change scenarios for 2030 and 2050. These future scenarios came from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6), SSP1-2.6, and SSP5-8.5. The MaxEnt model predicted the potential distribution of CBF with area under receiver operator curve (AUC) values of 0.953 and 0.930 in the initial and final models, respectively. The average temperature of the coldest quarter months, precipitation of the rainiest month, isothermality, and precipitation of the driest month were the strongest predictors of CBF distribution, with contributions of 36.7%, 14.7%, 13.2%, and 10.2%, respectively. The model based on the current time conditions predicted that suitable areas for the potential occurrence of CBF, including countries such as Brazil, China, the European Union, the USA, Egypt, Turkey, and Morocco, are located in tropical and subtropical regions. Models from SSP1-2.6 (2030 and 2050) and SSP5-8.5 (2030) predicted that suitable habitats for CBF are increasing dramatically worldwide under future climate change scenarios, particularly in areas located in the southern US, southern Europe, North Africa, South China, and part of Australia. On the other hand, the SSP5-8.5 model of 2050 indicated a great retraction of the areas suitable for CBF located in the tropical region, with an emphasis on countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and India. In general, the CMIP6 models predicted greater risks of invasion and dissemination of CBF until 2030 and 2050 in the southern regions of the USA, European Union, and China, which are some of the world’s largest orange producers. Knowledge of the current situation and future propagation paths of the pest serve as tools to improve the strategic government policies employed in CBF’s regulation, commercialization, inspection, combat, and phytosanitary management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Pest Management and Plants Health)
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17 pages, 2862 KiB  
Article
Nitrogen Nutrition Modulates the Response to Alternaria brassicicola Infection via Metabolic Modifications in Arabidopsis Seedlings
by Thibault Barrit, Elisabeth Planchet, Jérémy Lothier, Pascale Satour, Sophie Aligon, Guillaume Tcherkez, Anis M. Limami, Claire Campion and Béatrice Teulat
Plants 2024, 13(4), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040534 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 664
Abstract
Little is known about the effect of nitrogen nutrition on seedling susceptibility to seed-borne pathogens. We have previously shown that seedlings grown under high nitrate (5 mM) conditions are less susceptible than those grown under low nitrate (0.1 mM) and ammonium (5 mM) [...] Read more.
Little is known about the effect of nitrogen nutrition on seedling susceptibility to seed-borne pathogens. We have previously shown that seedlings grown under high nitrate (5 mM) conditions are less susceptible than those grown under low nitrate (0.1 mM) and ammonium (5 mM) in the Arabidopsis-Alternaria brassicicola pathosystem. However, it is not known how seedling metabolism is modulated by nitrogen nutrition, nor what is its response to pathogen infection. Here, we addressed this question using the same pathosystem and nutritive conditions, examining germination kinetics, seedling development, but also shoot ion contents, metabolome, and selected gene expression. Nitrogen nutrition clearly altered the seedling metabolome. A similar metabolomic profile was observed in inoculated seedlings grown at high nitrate levels and in not inoculated-seedlings. High nitrate levels also led to specific gene expression patterns (e.g., polyamine metabolism), while other genes responded to inoculation regardless of nitrogen supply conditions. Furthermore, the metabolites best correlated with high disease symptoms were coumarate, tyrosine, hemicellulose sugars, and polyamines, and those associated with low symptoms were organic acids (tricarboxylic acid pathway, glycerate, shikimate), sugars derivatives and β-alanine. Overall, our results suggest that the beneficial effect of high nitrate nutrition on seedling susceptibility is likely due to nutritive and signaling mechanisms affecting developmental plant processes detrimental to the pathogen. In particular, it may be due to a constitutively high tryptophan metabolism, as well as down regulation of oxidative stress caused by polyamine catabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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28 pages, 405 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Efficacy of Four Apiaceae Essential Oils against Nine Stored-Product Pests in Wheat Protection
by Nickolas G. Kavallieratos, Nikoleta Eleftheriadou, Maria C. Boukouvala, Anna Skourti, Constantin S. Filintas, Demeter Lorentha S. Gidari, Filippo Maggi, Paolo Rossi, Ettore Drenaggi, Mohammad Reza Morshedloo, Marta Ferrati and Eleonora Spinozzi
Plants 2024, 13(4), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040533 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 661
Abstract
The Apiaceae family, known for aromatic plants producing bioactive essential oils (EOs), holds significance across sectors, including agrochemicals. This study evaluated the insecticidal potential of four Apiaceae EOs from Crithmum maritimum L., Trachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague ex Turrill, Smyrnium olusatrum L., and Elwendia persica (Boiss.) [...] Read more.
The Apiaceae family, known for aromatic plants producing bioactive essential oils (EOs), holds significance across sectors, including agrochemicals. This study evaluated the insecticidal potential of four Apiaceae EOs from Crithmum maritimum L., Trachyspermum ammi (L.) Sprague ex Turrill, Smyrnium olusatrum L., and Elwendia persica (Boiss.) Pimenov and Kljuykov against various significant storage pests (Sitophilus oryzae (L.), Trogoderma granarium Everts, Rhyzopertha dominica (F.), Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), T. confusum Jacquelin du Val, Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L.), Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer), Acarus siro L., and Tenebrio molitor L.) on wheat. Insect mortality rates were monitored at intervals of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 days. Smyrnium olusatrum EO exhibited the highest efficacy, followed by T. ammi, C. maritimum, and E. persica EOs, although efficacy varied by species, developmental stage, and concentration. Notably, complete mortality occurred for several pests at 1000 ppm of S. olusatrum and T. ammi EOs. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analysis revealed key compounds in these EOs, including myrcene, germacrone, and curzerene in S. olusatrum EO, and thymol, γ-terpinene, and p-cymene in T. ammi EO. These findings emphasize their potential as botanical insecticides. Smyrnium olusatrum and T. ammi EOs emerge as promising eco-friendly pest management options due to their efficacy, highlighted compound composition, and availability of biomass from both wild and cultivated sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Insect Control: The Potential Impact of Plant Essential Oils)
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17 pages, 6748 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Mining of CULLIN E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Genes from Uncaria rhynchophylla
by Yingying Shao, Detian Mu, Yu Zhou, Xinghui Liu, Xueshuang Huang, Iain W. Wilson, Yuxin Qi, Ying Lu, Lina Zhu, Yao Zhang, Deyou Qiu and Qi Tang
Plants 2024, 13(4), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040532 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 589
Abstract
CULLIN (CUL) protein is a subtype of E3 ubiquitin ligase that is involved in a variety of biological processes and responses to stress in plants. In Uncaria rhynchophylla, the CUL gene family has not been identified and its role in plant development, [...] Read more.
CULLIN (CUL) protein is a subtype of E3 ubiquitin ligase that is involved in a variety of biological processes and responses to stress in plants. In Uncaria rhynchophylla, the CUL gene family has not been identified and its role in plant development, stress response and secondary metabolite synthesis has not been studied. In this study, 12 UrCUL gene members all contained the typical N-terminal domain and C-terminal domain identified from the U. rhynchophylla genome and were classified into four subfamilies based on the phylogenetic relationship with CULs in Arabidopsis thaliana. They were unevenly distributed on eight chromosomes but had a similar structural composition in the same subfamily, indicating that they were relatively conserved and potentially had similar gene functions. An interspecific and intraspecific collinearity analysis showed that fragment duplication played an important role in the evolution of the CUL gene family. The analysis of the cis-acting elements suggests that the UrCULs may play an important role in various biological processes, including the abscisic acid (ABA) response. To investigate this hypothesis, we treated the roots of U. rhynchophylla tissue-cultured seedlings with ABA. The expression pattern analysis showed that all the UrCUL genes were widely expressed in roots with various expression patterns. The co-expression association analysis of the UrCULs and key enzyme genes in the terpenoid indole alkaloid (TIA) synthesis pathway revealed the complex expression patterns of 12 UrCUL genes and some key TIA enzyme genes, especially UrCUL1, UrCUL1-likeA, UrCUL2-likeA and UrCUL2-likeB, which might be involved in the biosynthesis of TIAs. The results showed that the UrCULs were involved in the response to ABA hormones, providing important information for elucidating the function of UrCULs in U. rhynchophylla. The mining of UrCULs in the whole genome of U. rhynchophylla provided new information for understanding the CUL gene and its function in plant secondary metabolites, growth and development. Full article
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25 pages, 4956 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Biochemical Aspects of Silicon-Mediated Resistance in Maize against Maydis Leaf Blight
by Luis Felipe Lata-Tenesaca, Marcos José Barbosa Oliveira, Aline Vieira Barros, Bárbara Bezerra Menezes Picanço and Fabrício Ávila Rodrigues
Plants 2024, 13(4), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13040531 - 15 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Maydis leaf blight (MLB), caused by the necrotrophic fungus Bipolaris maydis, has caused considerable yield losses in maize production. The hypothesis that maize plants with higher foliar silicon (Si) concentration can be more resistant against MLB was investigated in this study. This [...] Read more.
Maydis leaf blight (MLB), caused by the necrotrophic fungus Bipolaris maydis, has caused considerable yield losses in maize production. The hypothesis that maize plants with higher foliar silicon (Si) concentration can be more resistant against MLB was investigated in this study. This goal was achieved through an in-depth analysis of the photosynthetic apparatus (parameters of leaf gas exchange chlorophyll (Chl) a fluorescence and photosynthetic pigments) changes in activities of defense and antioxidative enzymes in leaves of maize plants with (+Si; 2 mM) and without (−Si; 0 mM) Si supplied, as well as challenged and not with B. maydis. The +Si plants showed reduced MLB symptoms (smaller lesions and lower disease severity) due to higher foliar Si concentration and less production of malondialdehyde, hydrogen peroxide, and radical anion superoxide compared to −Si plants. Higher values for leaf gas exchange (rate of net CO2 assimilation, stomatal conductance to water vapor, and transpiration rate) and Chl a fluorescence (variable-to-maximum Chl a fluorescence ratio, photochemical yield, and yield for dissipation by downregulation) parameters along with preserved pool of chlorophyll a+b and carotenoids were noticed for infected +Si plants compared to infected −Si plants. Activities of defense (chitinase, β-1,3-glucanase, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, polyphenoloxidase, peroxidase, and lipoxygenase) and antioxidative (ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione reductase) enzymes were higher for infected +Si plants compared to infected −Si plants. Collectively, this study highlights the importance of using Si to boost maize resistance against MLB considering the more operative defense reactions and the robustness of the antioxidative metabolism of plants along with the preservation of their photosynthetic apparatus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Protection)
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