Next Issue
Volume 13, April-2
Previous Issue
Volume 13, March-2
 
 

Plants, Volume 13, Issue 7 (April-1 2024) – 137 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Introduction: Oceanic island flora are often thought to show reduced defense traits against herbivores; this pattern is considered part of the “Island Syndrome” in plants. However, empirical evidence for defense trait reductions on islands is mixed. Freedman et al. used a combination of field sampling and common garden experiments to test this prediction, contrasting flora from three California Channel Islands and three nearby mainland sites. Chapparal shrubs from islands showed evidence of reduced leaf spines and toxic cyanogenic glycosides, and island genotypes of a perennial herb (Stachys bullata) grown in a multi-year common garden experiment showed a near complete loss of volatile terpenes from leaf surfaces. These results point to the susceptibility of island flora to introduced animals. 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:
12 pages, 2103 KiB  
Article
Phytoremediation Performance with Ornamental Plants in Monocultures and Polycultures Conditions Using Constructed Wetlands Technology
by José Luis Marín-Muñiz, Irma Zitácuaro-Contreras, Gonzalo Ortega-Pineda, Aarón López-Roldán, Monserrat Vidal-Álvarez, Karina E. Martínez-Aguilar, Luis M. Álvarez-Hernández and Sergio Zamora-Castro
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071051 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 767
Abstract
The assessment of constructed wetlands (CWs) has gained interest in the last 20 years for wastewater treatment in Latin American regions. However, the effects of culture systems with different ornamental species in CWs for phytoremediation are little known. In this study, some chemical [...] Read more.
The assessment of constructed wetlands (CWs) has gained interest in the last 20 years for wastewater treatment in Latin American regions. However, the effects of culture systems with different ornamental species in CWs for phytoremediation are little known. In this study, some chemical parameters such as total suspended solids (TSS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), phosphate (PO4-P), and ammonium (NH4-N) were analyzed in order to prove the removal of pollutants by phytoremediation in CWs. The environmental impact index based on eutrophication reduction (EI-E) was also calculated to estimate the cause-effect relationship using CWs in different culture conditions. C. hybrids and Dieffenbachia seguine were used in monoculture and polyculture (both species mixed) mesocosm CWs. One hundred eighty days of the study showed that CWs with plants in monoculture/polyculture conditions removed significant amounts of organic matter (TSS and COD) (p > 0.05; 40–55% TSS and 80–90% COD). Nitrogen and phosphorous compounds were significantly lower in the monoculture of D. seguine (p < 0.05) than in monocultures of C. hybrids, and polyculture systems. EI-E indicator was inversely proportional to the phosphorous removed, showing a smaller environmental impact with the polyculture systems (0.006 kg PO₄3− eq removed) than monocultures, identifying the influence of polyculture systems on the potential environmental impacts compared with the phytoremediation function in monocultures (0.011–0.014 kg PO₄3− eq removed). Future research is required to determine other types of categories of environmental impact index and compare them with other wastewater treatment systems and plants. Phytoremediation with the ornamental plants studied in CWs is a good option for wastewater treatment using a plant-based cleanup technology. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 3568 KiB  
Article
Estimating the Amount of the Wild Artemisia annua in China Based on the MaxEnt Model and Spatio-Temporal Kriging Interpolation
by Juan Wang, Tingting Shi, Hui Wang, Meng Li, Xiaobo Zhang and Luqi Huang
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1050; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071050 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 654
Abstract
In order to determine the distribution area and amount of Artemisia annua Linn. (A. annua) in China, this study estimated the current amount of A. annua specimens based on the field survey sample data obtained from the Fourth National Census of [...] Read more.
In order to determine the distribution area and amount of Artemisia annua Linn. (A. annua) in China, this study estimated the current amount of A. annua specimens based on the field survey sample data obtained from the Fourth National Census of Chinese Medicinal Resources. The amount was calculated using the maximum entropy model (MaxEnt model) and spatio-temporal kriging interpolation. The influencing factors affecting spatial variations in the amount were studied using geographic probes. The results indicated that the amount of A. annua in China was about 700 billion in 2019. A. annua was mainly distributed in the circular coastal belt of Shandong Peninsula, central Hebei, Tianjin, western Liaoning, and along the Yangtze River and in the middle and lower reaches of Jiangsu, Anhui, and the northern Chongqing provinces. The main factors affecting the amount are the precipitation in the wettest and the warmest seasons, the average annual precipitation, and the average temperature in the coldest and the driest seasons. The results show that the amount of A. annua is strongly influenced by precipitation and temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Ecology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 3957 KiB  
Article
In Pursuit of Optimal Quality: Cultivar-Specific Drying Approaches for Medicinal Cannabis
by Matan Birenboim, Nimrod Brikenstein, Danielle Duanis-Assaf, Dalia Maurer, Daniel Chalupowicz, David Kenigsbuch and Jakob A. Shimshoni
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1049; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071049 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 740
Abstract
A limited number of studies have examined how drying conditions affect the cannabinoid and terpene content in cannabis inflorescences. In the present study, we evaluated the potential of controlled atmosphere drying chambers for drying medicinal cannabis inflorescence. Controlled atmosphere drying chambers were found [...] Read more.
A limited number of studies have examined how drying conditions affect the cannabinoid and terpene content in cannabis inflorescences. In the present study, we evaluated the potential of controlled atmosphere drying chambers for drying medicinal cannabis inflorescence. Controlled atmosphere drying chambers were found to reduce the drying and curing time by at least 60% compared to traditional drying methods, while preserving the volatile terpene content. On the other hand, inflorescences subjected to traditional drying were highly infested by Alternaria alternata and also revealed low infestation of Botrytis cinerea. In the high-THC chemovar (“240”), controlled N2 and atm drying conditions preserved THCA concentration as compared to the initial time point (t0). On the other hand, in the hybrid chemovar (“Gen12”) all of the employed drying conditions preserved THCA and CBDA content. The optimal drying conditions for preserving monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes in both chemovars were C5O5 (5% CO2, 5% O2, and 90% N2) and pure N2, respectively. The results of this study suggest that each chemovar may require tailored drying conditions in order to preserve specific terpenes and cannabinoids. Controlled atmosphere drying chambers could offer a cost-effective, fast, and efficient drying method for preserving cannabinoids and terpenes during the drying process while reducing the risk of mold growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2189 KiB  
Article
Cultural vs. State Borders: Plant Foraging by Hawraman and Mukriyan Kurds in Western Iran
by Naji Sulaiman, Farzad Salehi, Julia Prakofjewa, Sofia Anna Enrica Cavalleri, Hiwa M. Ahmed, Giulia Mattalia, Azad Rastegar, Manijeh Maghsudi, Hawraz M. Amin, Ahmad Rasti, Seyed Hamzeh Hosseini, Abdolbaset Ghorbani, Andrea Pieroni and Renata Sõukand
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1048; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071048 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 648
Abstract
Plant foraging is a millennia-old activity still practiced by many people in the Middle East, particularly in the Fertile Crescent region, where several socioeconomic, ecological, and cultural factors shape this practice. This study seeks to understand the drivers of plant foraging in this [...] Read more.
Plant foraging is a millennia-old activity still practiced by many people in the Middle East, particularly in the Fertile Crescent region, where several socioeconomic, ecological, and cultural factors shape this practice. This study seeks to understand the drivers of plant foraging in this complex region characterized by highly diverse linguistic, religious, and cultural groups. Our study aims to document the wild plants used by Kurds in Western Iran, identify similarities and differences among Hawraman and Mukriyan Kurdish groups in Iran, and compare our findings with a previous study on the Hawramani in Iraq. Forty-three semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted in Kurdish villages of Western Iran. The results revealed the use of 44 wild food plant taxa, their preparation, and culinary uses. Among the reported taxa, 28 plant taxa were used by Mukriyani, and 33 by Hawramani. The study revealed a significant difference between the Hawraman and Mukriyan regions in Iran, whereas there is a high similarity between Hawramani Kurds in Iran and Iraq. We found that the invisible cultural border carries more weight than political divisions, and this calls for a paradigm shift in how we perceive and map the distribution of ethnobotanical knowledge. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 647 KiB  
Review
A Review with a Focus on Vaccinium-Berries-Derived Bioactive Compounds for the Treatment of Reproductive Cancers
by Naser A. Alsharairi
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071047 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 862
Abstract
Cancers of the reproductive organs, including prostate, bladder, ovarian, and cervical cancers, are considered the most common causes of death in both sexes worldwide. The genus Vaccinium L. (Ericaceae) comprises fleshy berry crop species, including cranberries, blueberries, lingonberries, bilberries, and bog bilberries, and [...] Read more.
Cancers of the reproductive organs, including prostate, bladder, ovarian, and cervical cancers, are considered the most common causes of death in both sexes worldwide. The genus Vaccinium L. (Ericaceae) comprises fleshy berry crop species, including cranberries, blueberries, lingonberries, bilberries, and bog bilberries, and are widely distributed in many countries. Flavonols, anthocyanins (ACNs), proanthocyanidins (PACs), and phenolic acids are the most bioactive compounds naturally found in Vaccinium berries and have been extensively used as anticancer agents. However, it remains uncertain whether Vaccinium bioactives have a therapeutic role in reproductive cancers (RCs), and how these bioactives could be effective in modulating RC-related signalling pathways/molecular genes. Therefore, this article aims to review existing evidence in the PubMed/MEDLINE database on Vaccinium berries’ major bioactive compounds in RC treatment and unravel the mechanisms underlying this process. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 2083 KiB  
Article
Effects of Salt Stress on Salt-Repellent and Salt-Secreting Characteristics of Two Apple Rootstocks
by De Zhang, Zhongxing Zhang and Yanxiu Wang
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071046 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 567
Abstract
The effects of NaCl-induced salinity on biomass allocation, anatomical characteristics of leaves, ion accumulation, salt repellency, and salt secretion ability were investigated in two apple rootstock cultivars (Malus halliana ‘9-1-6’ and Malus baccata), which revealed the physiological adaptive mechanisms of M. [...] Read more.
The effects of NaCl-induced salinity on biomass allocation, anatomical characteristics of leaves, ion accumulation, salt repellency, and salt secretion ability were investigated in two apple rootstock cultivars (Malus halliana ‘9-1-6’ and Malus baccata), which revealed the physiological adaptive mechanisms of M. halliana ‘9-1-6’ in response to salt stress factors. This experiment was conducted in a greenhouse using a nutrient solution pot. Salt stress was simulated by treating the plants with a 100 mM NaCl solution, while 1/2 Hoagland nutrient solution was used as a control (CK) instead of the NaCl solution. The results showed that the two rootstocks responded to salt environments by increasing the proportion of root biomass allocation. According to the stress susceptibility index, ‘9-1-6’ exhibits a lower salt sensitivity index and a higher salt tolerance index. The thickness of the leaf, upper and lower epidermis, palisade tissue, and mesophyll tissue compactness (CTR) of the two rootstocks were significantly decreased, while the thickness of sponge tissue and mesophyll tissue looseness (SR) were significantly increased, and the range of ‘9-1-6’ was smaller than that of M. baccata. With an extension of stress time, the accumulation of Na+ increased significantly, and the accumulation of K+ decreased gradually. The stem and leaves of ‘9-1-6’ showed a lower accumulation of Na+ and a higher accumulation of K+, and the roots displayed a higher ability to reject Na+, as well as young and old leaves showed a stronger ability to secrete Na+. In conclusion, within a certain salt concentration range, the ‘9-1-6’ root part can maintain lower salt sensitivity and a higher root-to-shoot ratio by increasing the proportion of root biomass allocation; the aerial part responds to salt stress through thicker leaves and a complete double-layer fence structure; the roots and stem bases can effectively reduce the transportation of Na+ to the aerial parts, as well as effectively secrete Na+ from the aerial parts through young and old leaves, thereby maintaining a higher K+/Na+ ratio in the aerial parts, showing a strong salt tolerance. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 3343 KiB  
Article
Physio-Biochemical, Anatomical, and Molecular Analysis of Resistant and Susceptible Wheat Cultivars Infected with TTKSK, TTKST, and TTTSK Novel Puccinia graminis Races
by Hayat Ali Alafari, Yaser Hafez, Reda Omara, Rasha Murad, Khaled Abdelaal, Kotb Attia and Amr Khedr
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1045; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071045 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 656
Abstract
Stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis f.sp. tritici, is one of the most dangerous rust diseases on wheat. Through physiological, biochemical, and molecular analysis, the relationship between the change in resistance of 15 wheat cultivars to stem rust disease and the response [...] Read more.
Stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis f.sp. tritici, is one of the most dangerous rust diseases on wheat. Through physiological, biochemical, and molecular analysis, the relationship between the change in resistance of 15 wheat cultivars to stem rust disease and the response of 41 stem rust resistance genes (Sr,s) as well as TTKSK, TTKST, and TTTSK races was explained. Some cultivars and Sr genes, such as Gemmeiza-9, Gemmeiza-11, Sids-13, Sakha-94, Misr-1, Misr-2, Sr31, and Sr38, became susceptible to infection. Other new cultivars include Mir-3 and Sakha-95, and Sr genes 13, 37, 40, GT, and FR*2/SRTT3-SRTT3-SR10 remain resistant. Some resistance genes have been identified in these resistant cultivars: Sr2, Sr13, Sr24, Sr36, and Sr40. Sr31 was not detected in any cultivars. Reactive oxygen species such as hydrogen peroxide and superoxide, enzymes activities (catalase, peroxidase, and polyphenoloxidase), and electrolyte leakage were increased in the highly susceptible cultivars, while they decreased in the resistant ones. Anatomical characteristics such as the thickness of the epidermis, ground tissue, phloem tissue and vascular bundle diameter in the midrib were decreased in susceptible cultivars compared with resistant cultivars. Our results indicated that some races (TTKSK, TTKST, and TTTSK) appeared for the first time in Egypt and many other countries, which broke the resistant cultivars. The wheat rust breeding program must rely on land races and pyramiding genes in order to develop new resistance genes that will survive for a very long time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycology and Plant Pathology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 3350 KiB  
Article
A Walk on the Wild Side: Genome Editing of Tuber-Bearing Solanum bulbocastanum
by Aristotelis Azariadis, Olga A. Andrzejczak, Frida M. Carlsen, Ida Westberg, Henrik Brinch-Pedersen, Bent L. Petersen and Kim H. Hebelstrup
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071044 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 619
Abstract
Solanum bulbocastanum is a wild diploid tuber-bearing plant. We here demonstrate transgene-free genome editing of S. bulbocastanum protoplasts and regeneration of gene-edited plants. We use ribonucleoproteins, consisting of Cas9 and sgRNA, assembled in vitro, to target a gene belonging to the nitrate and [...] Read more.
Solanum bulbocastanum is a wild diploid tuber-bearing plant. We here demonstrate transgene-free genome editing of S. bulbocastanum protoplasts and regeneration of gene-edited plants. We use ribonucleoproteins, consisting of Cas9 and sgRNA, assembled in vitro, to target a gene belonging to the nitrate and peptide transporter family. Four different sgRNAs were designed and we observed efficiency in gene-editing in the protoplast pool between 8.5% and 12.4%. Twenty-one plants were re-generated from microcalli developed from individual protoplasts. In three of the plants we found that the target gene had been edited. Two of the edited plants had deletion mutations introduced into both alleles, whereas one only had a mutation in one of the alleles. Our work demonstrates that protocols for the transformation of Solanum tuberosum can be optimized to be applied to a wild Solanum species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Genomics and System Biology in Field Crops)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2020 KiB  
Article
Comparative Phytoprofiling of Achillea millefolium Morphotypes: Assessing Antioxidant Activity, Phenolic and Triterpenic Compounds Variation across Different Plant Parts
by Lina Raudone, Gabriele Vilkickyte, Mindaugas Marksa and Jolita Radusiene
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071043 - 8 Apr 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 589
Abstract
Achillea millefolium L., commonly known as yarrow, is a versatile and widely distributed plant species with a rich history of ethnopharmacological significance. This study aimed to evaluate the comparative differences of A. millefolium inflorescence morphotypes. The phytochemical profile of white and pink inflorescence [...] Read more.
Achillea millefolium L., commonly known as yarrow, is a versatile and widely distributed plant species with a rich history of ethnopharmacological significance. This study aimed to evaluate the comparative differences of A. millefolium inflorescence morphotypes. The phytochemical profile of white and pink inflorescence morphotypes was characterised by a complex of thirty-four phenolic and triterpene compounds. The species has distinct morphotypes of white and pink inflorescence. Phenolic and triterpenic profiles were determined, and individual compounds were quantified in inflorescence, leaf, and stem samples of two morphotypes tested. The antioxidant activity of plant extracts was evaluated by free radical scavenging (ABTS) and ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. Caffeoylquinic acids predominated in all parts of the plant tested. Chlorogenic acid and 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid were the principal compounds in the phenolic profile. Betulin, betulinic acid, and α-amyrin were the prevailing triterpenic components in the triterpenic profiles of Achillea millefolium morphotypes. The predominant flavonoids in inflorescences were flavones, while in leaves, flavonols were the organ-specific compounds. The quantitative differences were observed between plant parts of morphotypes. Leaves consistently displayed the highest amounts of identified compounds and have been testified as the main source of antioxidant activity. Overall, white inflorescences accumulated a higher total amount of compounds compared to pink ones. The observed differences between morphotypes derived from the same population reflect the differences in specialised metabolites and their chemotypes. This study addresses gaps in knowledge, particularly in phenolic and triterpenic profiling of coloured inflorescence morphotypes, enhancing our understanding of chemotypes and morphotypes within the species. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

40 pages, 3432 KiB  
Article
Decrypting Molecular Mechanisms Involved in Counteracting Copper and Nickel Toxicity in Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana) Based on Transcriptomic Analysis
by Alistar Moy and Kabwe Nkongolo
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071042 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 766
Abstract
The remediation of copper and nickel-afflicted sites is challenged by the different physiological effects imposed by each metal on a given plant system. Pinus banksiana is resilient against copper and nickel, providing an opportunity to build a valuable resource to investigate the responding [...] Read more.
The remediation of copper and nickel-afflicted sites is challenged by the different physiological effects imposed by each metal on a given plant system. Pinus banksiana is resilient against copper and nickel, providing an opportunity to build a valuable resource to investigate the responding gene expression toward each metal. The objectives of this study were to (1) extend the analysis of the Pinus banksiana transcriptome exposed to nickel and copper, (2) assess the differential gene expression in nickel-resistant compared to copper-resistant genotypes, and (3) identify mechanisms specific to each metal. The Illumina platform was used to sequence RNA that was extracted from seedlings treated with each of the metals. There were 449 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between copper-resistant genotypes (RGs) and nickel-resistant genotypes (RGs) at a high stringency cut-off, indicating a distinct pattern of gene expression toward each metal. For biological processes, 19.8% of DEGs were associated with the DNA metabolic process, followed by the response to stress (13.15%) and the response to chemicals (8.59%). For metabolic function, 27.9% of DEGs were associated with nuclease activity, followed by nucleotide binding (27.64%) and kinase activity (10.16%). Overall, 21.49% of DEGs were localized to the plasma membrane, followed by the cytosol (16.26%) and chloroplast (12.43%). Annotation of the top upregulated genes in copper RG compared to nickel RG identified genes and mechanisms that were specific to copper and not to nickel. NtPDR, AtHIPP10, and YSL1 were identified as genes associated with copper resistance. Various genes related to cell wall metabolism were identified, and they included genes encoding for HCT, CslE6, MPG, and polygalacturonase. Annotation of the top downregulated genes in copper RG compared to nickel RG revealed genes and mechanisms that were specific to nickel and not copper. Various regulatory and signaling-related genes associated with the stress response were identified. They included UGT, TIFY, ACC, dirigent protein, peroxidase, and glyoxyalase I. Additional research is needed to determine the specific functions of signaling and stress response mechanisms in nickel-resistant plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Plant Genomics and Transcriptome Analysis)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 6264 KiB  
Article
Transcriptomic and Metabolomic Research on the Germination Process of Panax ginseng Overwintering Buds
by Ranqi Li, Yashu Li, Miaomiao Tang, Zhengyi Qu, Cai Shao, Peihe Zheng and Wei Hou
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1041; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071041 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Ginseng (Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer) is a perennial plant with a long dormancy period. While some researchers employ gibberellin and other substances to stimulate premature germination, this method is limited to laboratory settings and cannot be applied to the field cultivation [...] Read more.
Ginseng (Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer) is a perennial plant with a long dormancy period. While some researchers employ gibberellin and other substances to stimulate premature germination, this method is limited to laboratory settings and cannot be applied to the field cultivation of ginseng. The mechanism underlying the germination of ginseng overwintering buds remains largely unexplored. Understanding the internal changes during the dormancy release process in the overwintering buds would facilitate the discovery of potential genes, metabolites, or regulatory pathways associated with it. In this study, we approximately determined the onset of dormancy release through morphological observations and investigated the process of dormancy release in ginseng overwintering buds using transcriptomic and metabolomic approaches. Our analyses revealed that the germination process of ginseng overwintering buds is regulated by multiple plant hormones, each acting at different times. Among these, abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellic acid (GA) serve as classical signaling molecules regulating the dormancy process, while other hormones may promote the subsequent growth of overwintering buds. Additionally, metabolic pathways associated with arginine may be involved in the dormancy release process. Polyamines synthesized downstream may promote the growth of overwintering buds after dormancy release and participate in subsequent reproductive growth. This study provides insights into the germination process of ginseng overwintering buds at the molecular level and serves as a reference for further exploration of the detailed mechanism underlying ginseng overwintering germination in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 2678 KiB  
Article
The Combination of Low-Cost, Red–Green–Blue (RGB) Image Analysis and Machine Learning to Screen for Barley Plant Resistance to Net Blotch
by Fernanda Leiva, Rishap Dhakal, Kristiina Himanen, Rodomiro Ortiz and Aakash Chawade
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071039 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1870
Abstract
Challenges of climate change and growth population are exacerbated by noticeable environmental changes, which can increase the range of plant diseases, for instance, net blotch (NB), a foliar disease which significantly decreases barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) grain yield and quality. A resistant [...] Read more.
Challenges of climate change and growth population are exacerbated by noticeable environmental changes, which can increase the range of plant diseases, for instance, net blotch (NB), a foliar disease which significantly decreases barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) grain yield and quality. A resistant germplasm is usually identified through visual observation and the scoring of disease symptoms; however, this is subjective and time-consuming. Thus, automated, non-destructive, and low-cost disease-scoring approaches are highly relevant to barley breeding. This study presents a novel screening method for evaluating NB severity in barley. The proposed method uses an automated RGB imaging system, together with machine learning, to evaluate different symptoms and the severity of NB. The study was performed on three barley cultivars with distinct levels of resistance to NB (resistant, moderately resistant, and susceptible). The tested approach showed mean precision of 99% for various categories of NB severity (chlorotic, necrotic, and fungal lesions, along with leaf tip necrosis). The results demonstrate that the proposed method could be effective in assessing NB from barley leaves and specifying the level of NB severity; this type of information could be pivotal to precise selection for NB resistance in barley breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Protection and Biotic Interactions)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 751 KiB  
Article
Chitosan from Mushroom Improves Drought Stress Tolerance in Tomatoes
by Olusoji Demehin, Maha Attjioui, Oscar Goñi and Shane O’Connell
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1038; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071038 - 6 Apr 2024
Viewed by 695
Abstract
Chitosan is a derivative of chitin that is one of the most abundant biopolymers in nature, found in crustacean shells as well as in fungi cell walls. Most of the commercially available chitosans are produced from the exoskeletons of crustaceans. The extraction process [...] Read more.
Chitosan is a derivative of chitin that is one of the most abundant biopolymers in nature, found in crustacean shells as well as in fungi cell walls. Most of the commercially available chitosans are produced from the exoskeletons of crustaceans. The extraction process involves harsh chemicals, has limited potential due to the seasonal and limited supply and could cause allergic reactions. However, chitosan has been shown to alleviate the negative effect of environmental stressors in plants, but there is sparse evidence of how chitosan source affects this bioactivity. The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of chitosan from mushroom in comparison to crustacean chitosan in enhancing drought stress tolerance in tomato plants (cv. MicroTom). Chitosan treatment was applied through foliar application and plants were exposed to two 14-day drought stress periods at vegetative and fruit set growth stages. Phenotypic (e.g., fruit number and weight), physiological (RWC) and biochemical-stress-related markers (osmolytes, photosynthetic pigments and malondialdehyde) were analyzed at different time points during the crop growth cycle. Our hypothesis was that this drought stress model will negatively impact tomato plants while the foliar application of chitosan extracted from either crustacean or mushroom will alleviate this effect. Our findings indicate that drought stress markedly decreased the leaf relative water content (RWC) and chlorophyll content, increased lipid peroxidation, and significantly reduced the average fruit number. Chitosan application, regardless of the source, improved these parameters and enhanced plant tolerance to drought stress. It provides a comparative study of the biostimulant activity of chitosan from diverse sources and suggests that chitosan sourced from fungi could serve as a more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to the current chitosan from crustaceans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biostimulation 2nd Edition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 1485 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Vitamin, Mineral Content, and Antioxidant Capacity in Cereals and Legumes and Influence of Thermal Process
by Corina Moisa, Anca Monica Brata, Iulia C. Muresan, Felicia Dragan, Ioana Ratiu, Oana Cadar, Anca Becze, Mihai Carbunar, Vlad Dumitru Brata and Alin Cristian Teusdea
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1037; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071037 - 6 Apr 2024
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Cereals, as the world’s most consumed food, face challenges related to nutrient quality due to climate change and increased production impacting soil health. In this study, we investigated the vitamin and mineral content, polyphenols, and antioxidant activity in cereals from Western Romania, analyzing [...] Read more.
Cereals, as the world’s most consumed food, face challenges related to nutrient quality due to climate change and increased production impacting soil health. In this study, we investigated the vitamin and mineral content, polyphenols, and antioxidant activity in cereals from Western Romania, analyzing whole and hulled wheat, rye, oat, and soybeans before and after heat treatment. Samples from 2022 crops were processed into dough and subjected to 220 °C for 30 min. The results reveal that, despite efforts to optimize nutrient content, cereals, particularly after heat processing, exhibited lower vitamin and mineral levels than the recommended daily intake. The decrease in polyphenols and antioxidant capacity was notable, with rye flour experiencing the largest decline (15%). Mineral analysis showed copper levels in decorticated wheat decreased by 82.5%, while iron in rye decreased by 5.63%. Soy flour consistently displayed the highest calcium, magnesium, and potassium levels, whereas oat flour had the highest zinc and copper levels before and after heat processing. The study highlights the concerningly low vitamins and minerals contents in cereals, as well as in the final products reaching consumers in the Western part of Romania, and contributes to the assessment of measures that are meant to improve the contents of these minerals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced in Cereal Science and Cereal Quality, Volume 2)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1448 KiB  
Article
Screening of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Genotypes for Salinity Tolerance and Dissecting Determinants of Tolerance Mechanism
by Tianxiao Chen, Yanan Niu, Changdeng Yang, Yan Liang and Jianlong Xu
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1036; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071036 - 6 Apr 2024
Viewed by 621
Abstract
Soil salinity imposes osmotic, ionic, and oxidative stresses on plants, resulting in growth inhibition, developmental changes, metabolic adaptations, and ion sequestration or exclusion. Identifying salinity-tolerant resources and understanding physiological and molecular mechanisms of salinity tolerance could lay a foundation for the improvement of [...] Read more.
Soil salinity imposes osmotic, ionic, and oxidative stresses on plants, resulting in growth inhibition, developmental changes, metabolic adaptations, and ion sequestration or exclusion. Identifying salinity-tolerant resources and understanding physiological and molecular mechanisms of salinity tolerance could lay a foundation for the improvement of salinity tolerance in rice. In this study, a series of salinity-tolerance-related morphological and physiological traits were investigated in 46 rice genotypes, including Sea Rice 86, to reveal the main strategies of rice in responding to salinity stress at the seedling stage. No genotypes showed the same tolerance level as the two landraces Pokkali and Nona Bokra, which remain the donors for improving the salinity tolerance of rice. However, due to undesirable agronomic traits of these donors, alternative cultivars such as JC118S and R1 are recommended as novel source of salinity tolerance. Correlation and principal component analyses revealed that the salinity tolerance of rice seedlings is not only controlled by growth vigor but also regulated by ion transport pathways such as long-distance Na+ transport, root Na+ sequestration, and root K+ retention. Therefore, such key traits should be targeted in future breeding programs as the strategy of obtaining better Na+ exclusion is still the bottleneck for improving salinity tolerance in rice. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 906 KiB  
Article
Unveiling the Antioxidant, Cytotoxic, and Anti-Inflammatory Activities and Chemical Compositional Information of an Invasive Plant: Lycium ferocissimum Miers
by Müberra Koşar, Gökçe Şeker Karatoprak, Beste Atlı, Selen İlgün, Esra Köngül Şafak, Nesrin Öztinen, Sena Akçakaya Mutlu and Ezgi Ak Sakallı
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1035; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071035 - 6 Apr 2024
Viewed by 761
Abstract
In this study, the antioxidant (DPPH and ABTS radical-scavenging, ferric-reducing, iron (II)-chelating), anti-inflammatory (LPS-induced Raw 264.7 cell line), and cytotoxic activities (Du145 and A549 cell lines) of raw fruit, ripe fruit and leaves of the Lycium ferocissimum species were examined. By using high-pressure [...] Read more.
In this study, the antioxidant (DPPH and ABTS radical-scavenging, ferric-reducing, iron (II)-chelating), anti-inflammatory (LPS-induced Raw 264.7 cell line), and cytotoxic activities (Du145 and A549 cell lines) of raw fruit, ripe fruit and leaves of the Lycium ferocissimum species were examined. By using high-pressure liquid chromatography, p-OH benzoic acid, caffeic acid, and rutin were detected in the ethanol and water extracts. For the most active raw fruit ethanol extract, the IC50 in terms of the DPPH-scavenging activity was 0.57 mg/mL, and the ABTS inhibition percentage was 88.73% at a 3 mg/mL concentration. The raw fruit ethanol extract exhibited significant inhibition of viability in the Du145 cell line in the concentration range of 62.5–1000 µg/mL. Additionally, the extract effectively reduced the LPS-induced inflammation parameters (TNF-α, IFN-γ, PGE 2, and NO) at a concentration of 31.25 µg/mL. The biological activities of L. ferocissimum, which have been elucidated for the first time, have yielded promising results. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1459 KiB  
Review
Hazelnut and Walnut Nutshell Features as Emerging Added-Value Byproducts of the Nut Industry: A Review
by Carlos Manterola-Barroso, Daniela Padilla Contreras, Gabrijel Ondrasek, Jelena Horvatinec, Gabriela Gavilán CuiCui and Cristian Meriño-Gergichevich
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1034; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071034 - 6 Apr 2024
Viewed by 642
Abstract
The hard-shelled seed industry plays an important role in the global agricultural economy. In fact, only considering hazelnut and walnut, the global nut supply is over 5.6 tons. As a result considerable amounts are produced year by year, burnt or discarded as waste, [...] Read more.
The hard-shelled seed industry plays an important role in the global agricultural economy. In fact, only considering hazelnut and walnut, the global nut supply is over 5.6 tons. As a result considerable amounts are produced year by year, burnt or discarded as waste, bypassing a potential source of valuable compounds or features. This review deals with the recent scientific literature on their chemical composition as well as functional applications as an approach to sustain the utilization of the main byproduct derived from industry. Indeed, nutshells have received great interest due to their lignin, antioxidant, physical and mechanical features. It was found that these properties vary among cultivars and localities of plantation, influencing physical and structural features. The inconsistencies regarding the above-mentioned properties of nutshells lead to exploring the status of hazelnut and walnut shell applications in sustainable bio-economy chains. In fact, in terms of potential applications, the state of the art links their use to the construction industry and the manufacture of materials, such as resin or plastic composites, particleboards or construction panels, or vital infrastructure and as a filler in cement pavements. However, their current use continues bypassing their great antioxidant potential and their interesting chemical and mechanical features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 1830 KiB  
Article
Low Diversity and High Genetic Structure for Platonia insignis Mart., an Endangered Fruit Tree Species
by Caroline Bertocco Garcia, Allison Vieira da Silva, Igor Araújo Santos de Carvalho, Wellington Ferreira do Nascimento, Santiago Linorio Ferreyra Ramos, Doriane Picanço Rodrigues, Maria Imaculada Zucchi, Flaviane Malaquias Costa, Alessandro Alves-Pereira, Carlos Eduardo de Araújo Batista, Dario Dantas Amaral and Elizabeth Ann Veasey
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1033; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071033 - 6 Apr 2024
Viewed by 665
Abstract
Platonia insignis is a fruit tree native to Brazil of increasing economic importance, with its pulp trading among the highest market values. This study aimed to evaluate the structure and genomic diversity of P. insignis (bacurizeiro) accessions from six locations in the Brazilian [...] Read more.
Platonia insignis is a fruit tree native to Brazil of increasing economic importance, with its pulp trading among the highest market values. This study aimed to evaluate the structure and genomic diversity of P. insignis (bacurizeiro) accessions from six locations in the Brazilian States of Roraima, Amazonas, Pará (Amazon biome), and Maranhão (Cerrado biome). A total of 2031 SNP markers were obtained using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS), from which 625 outlier SNPs were identified. High genetic structure was observed, with most of the genetic variability (59%) concentrated among locations, mainly between biomes (Amazon and Cerrado). A positive and significant correlation (r = 0.85; p < 0.005) was detected between genetic and geographic distances, indicating isolation by distance. The highest genetic diversity was observed for the location in the Cerrado biome (HE = 0.1746; HO = 0.2078). The locations in the Amazon biome showed low genetic diversity indexes with significant levels of inbreeding. The advance of urban areas, events of burning, and expansion of agricultural activities are most probably the main factors for the genetic diversity reduction of P. insignis. Approaches to functional analysis showed that most of the outlier loci found may be related to genes involved in cellular and metabolic processes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 5451 KiB  
Article
Studies on Candidate Genes Related to Flowering Time in a Multiparent Population of Maize Derived from Tropical and Temperate Germplasm
by Fengyun Ran, Yizhu Wang, Fuyan Jiang, Xingfu Yin, Yaqi Bi, Ranjan K. Shaw and Xingming Fan
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1032; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071032 - 5 Apr 2024
Viewed by 654
Abstract
A comprehensive study on maize flowering traits, focusing on the regulation of flowering time and the elucidation of molecular mechanisms underlying the genes controlling flowering, holds the potential to significantly enhance our understanding of the associated regulatory gene network. In this study, three [...] Read more.
A comprehensive study on maize flowering traits, focusing on the regulation of flowering time and the elucidation of molecular mechanisms underlying the genes controlling flowering, holds the potential to significantly enhance our understanding of the associated regulatory gene network. In this study, three tropical maize inbreds, CML384, CML171, and CML444, were used, along with a temperate maize variety, Shen137, as parental lines to cross with Ye107. The resulting F1s underwent seven consecutive generations of self-pollination through the single-seed descent (SSD) method to develop a multiparent population. To investigate the regulation of maize flowering time-related traits and to identify loci and candidate genes, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted. GWAS analysis identified 556 SNPs and 12 candidate genes that were significantly associated with flowering time-related traits. Additionally, an analysis of the effect of the estimated breeding values of the subpopulations on flowering time was conducted to further validate the findings of the present study. Collectively, this study offers valuable insights into novel candidate genes, contributing to an improved understanding of maize flowering time-related traits. This information holds practical significance for future maize breeding programs aimed at developing high-yielding hybrids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Floral Biology 3.0)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1208 KiB  
Article
Main Poisonous and Allergenic Plant Species in Sicilian Gardens and Parks: Applications and Recommendations for Use
by Gianniantonio Domina, Emilio Di Gristina and Giulio Barone
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1031; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071031 - 5 Apr 2024
Viewed by 600
Abstract
This study identified the most common poisonous and allergenic plants occurring in Sicilian gardens and parks. Based on a survey conducted at 100 sites, a list was drawn up that reports the main biological and toxicological characteristics and ornamental uses of these plants. [...] Read more.
This study identified the most common poisonous and allergenic plants occurring in Sicilian gardens and parks. Based on a survey conducted at 100 sites, a list was drawn up that reports the main biological and toxicological characteristics and ornamental uses of these plants. A total of 137 taxa were recorded, of which 108 were poisonous and 32 were allergenic. The most represented families were the Solanaceae, Moraceae, Apocynaceae and Fabaceae. The most represented geographical contingents were the European and the Mediterranean. A large number of toxic and allergenic plants recorded in Sicilian parks and gardens cause gastrointestinal disorders, 21 of which are deadly poisonous. Based on the results, actions for the management of existing gardens and the construction of new ones are discussed. The importance of environmental education for the population starting from school age is stressed. These recommendations aim to preserve cultivated biodiversity and, at the same time, protect human and pet health. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2343 KiB  
Article
Morphological and Genetic Characterization of Maize Landraces Adapted to Marginal Hills in North-West Italy
by Giovanni Maria Di Pasquale, Lorenzo Stagnati, Alessandra Lezzi, Alessandra Lanubile, Adriano Marocco, Graziano Rossi and Matteo Busconi
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1030; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071030 - 5 Apr 2024
Viewed by 531
Abstract
The growing interest in maize landraces over the past two decades has led to the need to characterize the Italian maize germplasm. In Italy, hundreds of maize landraces have been developed, but only a few of them have been genetically characterized, and even [...] Read more.
The growing interest in maize landraces over the past two decades has led to the need to characterize the Italian maize germplasm. In Italy, hundreds of maize landraces have been developed, but only a few of them have been genetically characterized, and even fewer are currently employed in agriculture or for breeding purposes. In the present study, 13 maize landraces of the west Emilia-Romagna region were morphologically and genetically characterized. These accessions were sampled in 1954 from three provinces, Modena, Parma, and Piacenza, during the characterization project of Italian maize landraces. The morphological characterization of these 13 accessions was performed according to the UPOV protocol CPVO/TP2/3, examining 34 phenotypic traits. A total of 820 individuals were genotyped with 10 SSR markers. The genetic characterization revealed 74 different alleles, a FST mean value of 0.13, and a Nm mean of 1.73 over all loci. Moreover, AMOVA analysis disclosed a low degree of differentiation among accessions, with only 13% of genetic variability found between populations, supporting PCoA analysis results, where the first two coordinates explained only 16% of variability. Structure analysis, supported by PCoA, showed that only four accessions were clearly distinguished for both K = 4 and 6. Italian landraces can be useful resources to be employed in maize breeding programs for the development of new varieties, adapted to different environmental conditions, in order to increase crop resilience and expand the maize cultivation area. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 3607 KiB  
Article
Deficit Irrigation with Silicon Application as Strategy to Increase Yield, Photosynthesis and Water Productivity in Lettuce Crops
by Vinícius Villa e Vila, Patricia Angélica Alves Marques, Tamara Maria Gomes, Alan Ferreira Nunes, Victório Goulart Montenegro, Gustavo Soares Wenneck and Laís Barreto Franco
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1029; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071029 - 5 Apr 2024
Viewed by 618
Abstract
In regions where water is a limited resource, lettuce production can be challenging. To address this, water management strategies like deficit irrigation are used to improve water-use efficiency in agriculture. Associating this strategy with silicon (Si) application could help maintain adequate levels of [...] Read more.
In regions where water is a limited resource, lettuce production can be challenging. To address this, water management strategies like deficit irrigation are used to improve water-use efficiency in agriculture. Associating this strategy with silicon (Si) application could help maintain adequate levels of agricultural production even with limited water availability. Two lettuce crop cycles were conducted in a completely randomized design, with a factorial scheme (2 × 3), with three irrigation levels (60%, 80% and 100%) of crop evapotranspiration (ETc), and with and without Si application. To explore their combined effects, morphological, productive, physiological and nutritional parameters were evaluated in the crops. The results showed that deficit irrigation and Si application had a positive interaction: lettuce yield of the treatment with 80% ETc + Si was statistically similar to 100% ETc without Si in the first cycle, and the treatment with 60% ETc + Si was similar to 100% ETc without Si in the second cycle. Photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, intercellular CO2 concentration, transpiration rate and total chlorophyll content increased under water-stress conditions with Si application; in the first cycle, the treatment with 80% ETc + Si increased by 30.1%, 31.3%, 7.8%, 28.46% and 50.3% compared to the same treatment without Si, respectively. Si application in conditions of water deficit was also beneficial to obtain a cooler canopy temperature and leaves with higher relative water content. In conclusion, we found that Si applications attenuate water deficit effects and provide a strategy to ameliorate the yield and water productivity in lettuce crops, contributing to more sustainable practices in agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Nutrient Uptake in Plants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 12955 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Proteomic Analyses of mtn1 Mutant Reveal Key Players in Centipedegrass Tiller Development
by Chenming Xie, Rongrong Chen, Qixue Sun, Dongli Hao, Junqin Zong, Hailin Guo, Jianxiu Liu and Ling Li
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1028; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071028 - 4 Apr 2024
Viewed by 655
Abstract
Tillering directly determines the seed production and propagation capacity of clonal plants. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the tiller development of clonal plants are still not fully understood. In this study, we conducted a proteome comparison between the tiller buds and stem [...] Read more.
Tillering directly determines the seed production and propagation capacity of clonal plants. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the tiller development of clonal plants are still not fully understood. In this study, we conducted a proteome comparison between the tiller buds and stem node of a multiple-tiller mutant mtn1 (more tillering number 1) and a wild type of centipedegrass. The results showed significant increases of 29.03% and 27.89% in the first and secondary tiller numbers, respectively, in the mtn1 mutant compared to the wild type. The photosynthetic rate increased by 31.44%, while the starch, soluble sugar, and sucrose contents in the tiller buds and stem node showed increases of 13.79%, 39.10%, 97.64%, 37.97%, 55.64%, and 7.68%, respectively, compared to the wild type. Two groups comprising 438 and 589 protein species, respectively, were differentially accumulated in the tiller buds and stem node in the mtn1 mutant. Consistent with the physiological characteristics, sucrose and starch metabolism as well as plant hormone signaling were found to be enriched with differentially abundant proteins (DAPs) in the mtn1 mutant. These results revealed that sugars and plant hormones may play important regulatory roles in the tiller development in centipedegrass. These results expanded our understanding of tiller development in clonal plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 7867 KiB  
Article
Potential Suitable Habitats of Chili Pepper in China under Climate Change
by Changrong Deng, Qiwen Zhong, Dengkui Shao, Yanjing Ren, Quanhui Li, Junqin Wen and Jianling Li
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1027; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071027 - 4 Apr 2024
Viewed by 751
Abstract
Chili pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) is extensively cultivated in China, with its production highly reliant on regional environmental conditions. Given ongoing climate change, it is imperative to assess its impact on chili pepper cultivation and identify suitable habitats for future cultivation. In [...] Read more.
Chili pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) is extensively cultivated in China, with its production highly reliant on regional environmental conditions. Given ongoing climate change, it is imperative to assess its impact on chili pepper cultivation and identify suitable habitats for future cultivation. In this study, the MaxEnt model was optimized and utilized to predict suitable habitats for open-field chili pepper cultivation, and changes in these habitats were analyzed using ArcGIS v10.8. Our results showed that the parameter settings of the optimal model were FC = LQPTH and RM = 2.7, and the critical environmental variables influencing chili pepper distribution were annual mean temperature, isothermality, maximum temperature of the warmest month, and precipitation of the warmest quarter. Under current climate conditions, suitable habitats were distributed across all provinces in China, with moderately- and highly-suitable habitats concentrated in the east of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau and south of the Inner Mongolia Plateau. Under future climate scenarios, the area of suitable habitats was expected to be larger than the current ones, except for SSP126-2050s, and reached the maximum under SSP126-2090s. The overlapping suitable habitats were concentrated in the east of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau and south of the Inner Mongolia Plateau under various climate scenarios. In the 2050s, the centroids of suitable habitats were predicted to shift towards the southwest, except for SSP126, whereas this trend was reversed in the 2090s. Our results suggest that climate warming is conductive to the cultivation of chili pepper, and provide scientific guidance for the introduction and cultivation of chili pepper in the face of climate warming. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 5517 KiB  
Article
Evidence for Reductions in Physical and Chemical Plant Defense Traits in Island Flora
by Micah G. Freedman, Randall W. Long, Santiago R. Ramírez and Sharon Y. Strauss
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1026; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071026 - 3 Apr 2024
Viewed by 778
Abstract
Reduced defense against large herbivores has been suggested to be part of the “island syndrome” in plants. However, empirical evidence for this pattern is mixed. In this paper, we present two studies that compare putative physical and chemical defense traits from plants on [...] Read more.
Reduced defense against large herbivores has been suggested to be part of the “island syndrome” in plants. However, empirical evidence for this pattern is mixed. In this paper, we present two studies that compare putative physical and chemical defense traits from plants on the California Channel Islands and nearby mainland based on sampling of both field and common garden plants. In the first study, we focus on five pairs of woody shrubs from three island and three mainland locations and find evidence for increased leaf area, decreased marginal leaf spines, and decreased concentrations of cyanogenic glycosides in island plants. We observed similar increases in leaf area and decreases in defense traits when comparing island and mainland genotypes grown together in botanic gardens, suggesting that trait differences are not solely driven by abiotic differences between island and mainland sites. In the second study, we conducted a common garden experiment with a perennial herb—Stachys bullata (Lamiaceae)—collected from two island and four mainland locations. Compared to their mainland relatives, island genotypes show highly reduced glandular trichomes and a nearly 100-fold reduction in mono- and sesquiterpene compounds from leaf surfaces. Island genotypes also had significantly higher specific leaf area, somewhat lower rates of gas exchange, and greater aboveground biomass than mainland genotypes across two years of study, potentially reflecting a broader shift in growth habit. Together, our results provide evidence for reduced expression of putative defense traits in island plants, though these results may reflect adaptation to both biotic (i.e., the historical absence of large herbivores) and climatic conditions on islands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution of Plant Defence to Herbivores 2nd Edition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 2886 KiB  
Article
Changes in Photosystem II Complex and Physiological Activities in Pea and Maize Plants in Response to Salt Stress
by Martin A. Stefanov, Georgi D. Rashkov, Preslava B. Borisova and Emilia L. Apostolova
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071025 - 3 Apr 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 733
Abstract
Salt stress significantly impacts the functions of the photosynthetic apparatus, with varying degrees of damage to its components. Photosystem II (PSII) is more sensitive to environmental stresses, including salinity, than photosystem I (PSI). This study investigated the effects of different salinity levels (0 [...] Read more.
Salt stress significantly impacts the functions of the photosynthetic apparatus, with varying degrees of damage to its components. Photosystem II (PSII) is more sensitive to environmental stresses, including salinity, than photosystem I (PSI). This study investigated the effects of different salinity levels (0 to 200 mM NaCl) on the PSII complex in isolated thylakoid membranes from hydroponically grown pea (Pisum sativum L.) and maize (Zea mays L.) plants treated with NaCl for 5 days. The data revealed that salt stress inhibits the photochemical activity of PSII (H2O → BQ), affecting the energy transfer between the pigment–protein complexes of PSII (as indicated by the fluorescence emission ratio F695/F685), QA reoxidation, and the function of the oxygen-evolving complex (OEC). These processes were more significantly affected in pea than in maize under salinity. Analysis of the oxygen evolution curves after flashes and continuous illumination showed a stronger influence on the PSIIα than PSIIβ centers. The inhibition of oxygen evolution was associated with an increase in misses (α), double hits (β), and blocked centers (SB) and a decrease in the rate constant of turnover of PSII reaction centers (KD). Salinity had different effects on the two pathways of QA reoxidation in maize and pea. In maize, the electron flow from QA- to plastoquinone was dominant after treatment with higher NaCl concentrations (150 mM and 200 mM), while in pea, the electron recombination on QAQB- with oxidized S2 (or S3) of the OEC was more pronounced. Analysis of the 77 K fluorescence emission spectra revealed changes in the ratio of the light-harvesting complex of PSII (LHCII) monomers and trimers to LHCII aggregates after salt treatment. There was also a decrease in pigment composition and an increase in oxidative stress markers, membrane injury index, antioxidant activity (FRAP assay), and antiradical activity (DPPH assay). These effects were more pronounced in pea than in maize after treatment with higher NaCl concentrations (150 mM–200 mM). This study provides insights into how salinity influences the processes in the donor and acceptor sides of PSII in plants with different salt sensitivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environmental Stress Physiology of Plants)
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 7225 KiB  
Review
Climate-Affected Australian Tropical Montane Cloud Forest Plants: Metabolomic Profiles, Isolated Phytochemicals, and Bioactivities
by Ngawang Gempo, Karma Yeshi, Darren Crayn and Phurpa Wangchuk
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1024; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071024 - 3 Apr 2024
Viewed by 821
Abstract
The Australian Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA) in northeast Queensland is home to approximately 18 percent of the nation’s total vascular plant species. Over the past century, human activity and industrial development have caused global climate changes, posing a severe and irreversible [...] Read more.
The Australian Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA) in northeast Queensland is home to approximately 18 percent of the nation’s total vascular plant species. Over the past century, human activity and industrial development have caused global climate changes, posing a severe and irreversible danger to the entire land-based ecosystem, and the WTWHA is no exception. The current average annual temperature of WTWHA in northeast Queensland is 24 °C. However, in the coming years (by 2030), the average annual temperature increase is estimated to be between 0.5 and 1.4 °C compared to the climate observed between 1986 and 2005. Looking further ahead to 2070, the anticipated temperature rise is projected to be between 1.0 and 3.2 °C, with the exact range depending on future emissions. We identified 84 plant species, endemic to tropical montane cloud forests (TMCF) within the WTWHA, which are already experiencing climate change threats. Some of these plants are used in herbal medicines. This study comprehensively reviewed the metabolomics studies conducted on these 84 plant species until now toward understanding their physiological and metabolomics responses to global climate change. This review also discusses the following: (i) recent developments in plant metabolomics studies that can be applied to study and better understand the interactions of wet tropics plants with climatic stress, (ii) medicinal plants and isolated phytochemicals with structural diversity, and (iii) reported biological activities of crude extracts and isolated compounds. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 5365 KiB  
Article
Deciphering Winter Sprouting Potential of Erianthus procerus Derived Sugarcane Hybrids under Subtropical Climates
by Mintu Ram Meena, K. Mohanraj, Ravinder Kumar, Raja Arun Kumar, Manohar Lal Chhabra, Neeraj Kulshreshtha, Gopalareddy Krishnappa, H. K. Mahadeva Swamy, A. Suganya, Perumal Govindaraj and Govind Hemaprabha
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1023; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071023 - 3 Apr 2024
Viewed by 620
Abstract
Winter sprouting potential and red rot resistance are two key parameters for successful sugarcane breeding in the subtropics. However, the cultivated sugarcane hybrids had a narrow genetic base; hence, the present study was planned to evaluate the Erianthus procerus genome introgressed Saccharum hybrids [...] Read more.
Winter sprouting potential and red rot resistance are two key parameters for successful sugarcane breeding in the subtropics. However, the cultivated sugarcane hybrids had a narrow genetic base; hence, the present study was planned to evaluate the Erianthus procerus genome introgressed Saccharum hybrids for their ratooning potential under subtropical climates and red rot tolerance under tropical and subtropical climates. A set of 15 Erianthus procerus derived hybrids confirmed through the 5S rDNA marker, along with five check varieties, were evaluated for agro-morphological, quality, and physiological traits for two years (2018–2019 and 2019–2020) and winter sprouting potential for three years (2018–2019, 2019–2020, and 2020–2021). The experimental material was also tested against the most prevalent isolates of the red rot pathogen in tropical (Cf671 and Cf671 + Cf9401) and subtropical regions (Cf08 and Cf09). The E. procerus hybrid GU 12—19 had the highest winter sprouting potential, with a winter sprouting index (WSI) of 10.6, followed by GU 12—22 with a WSI of 8.5. The other top-performing hybrids were as follows: GU 12—21 and GU 12—29 with a WSI of 7.2 and 6.9, respectively. A set of nine E. procerus-derived hybrids, i.e., GU04 (28) EO—2, GU12—19, GU12—21, GU12—22, GU12—23, GU12—26, GU12—27, GU12—30, and GU12—31, were resistant to the most prevalent isolates of red rot in both tropical and subtropical conditions. The association analysis revealed significant correlations between the various traits, particularly the fibre content, with a maximum number of associations, which indicates its multifaceted impact on sugarcane characteristics. Principal component analysis (PCA) summarised the data, explaining 57.6% of the total variation for the measured traits and genotypes, providing valuable insights into the performance and characteristics of the Erianthus procerus derived hybrids under subtropical climates. The anthocyanin content of Erianthus procerus hybrids was better than the check varieties, ranging from 0.123 to 0.179 (2018–2019) and 0.111 to 0.172 (2019–2020); anthocyanin plays a vital role in mitigating cold injury, acting as an antioxidant in cool weather conditions, particularly in sugarcane. Seven hybrids recorded a more than 22% fibre threshold, indicating their industrial potential. These hybrids could serve as potential donors for cold tolerance and a high ratooning ability, along with red rot resistance, under subtropical climates. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2240 KiB  
Article
Diallel Analysis of Wheat Resistance to Fusarium Head Blight and Mycotoxin Accumulation under Conditions of Artificial Inoculation and Natural Infection
by Marko Maričević, Valentina Španić, Miroslav Bukan, Bruno Rajković and Hrvoje Šarčević
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1022; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071022 - 3 Apr 2024
Viewed by 667
Abstract
Breeding resistant wheat cultivars to Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by Fusarium spp., is the best method for controlling the disease. The aim of this study was to estimate general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) for FHB resistance in a [...] Read more.
Breeding resistant wheat cultivars to Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by Fusarium spp., is the best method for controlling the disease. The aim of this study was to estimate general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) for FHB resistance in a set of eight genetically diverse winter wheat cultivars to identify potential donors of FHB resistance for crossing. FHB resistance of parents and F1 crosses produced by the half diallel scheme was evaluated under the conditions of artificial inoculation with F. graminearum and natural infection. Four FHB related traits were assessed: visual rating index (VRI), Fusarium damaged kernels (FDK), and deoxynivalenol and zearalenone content in the harvested grain samples. Significant GCA effects for FHB resistance were observed for the parental cultivars with high FHB resistance for all studied FHB resistance related traits. The significant SCA and mid-parent heterosis effects for FHB resistance were rare under both artificial inoculation and natural infection conditions and involved crosses between parents with low FHB resistance. A significant negative correlation between grain yield under natural conditions and VRI (r = −0.43) and FDK (r = −0.47) under conditions of artificial inoculation was observed in the set of the studied F1 crosses. Some crosses showed high yield and high FHB resistance, indicating that breeding of FHB resistant genotypes could be performed without yield penalty. These crosses involved resistant cultivars with significant GCA effects for FHB resistance indicating that that they could be used as good donors of FHB resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Physiology and Crop Production)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 1592 KiB  
Article
Antidiabetic Properties of the Root Extracts of Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and Burdock (Arctium lappa)
by Daria Zolotova, Renāte Teterovska, Dace Bandere, Liga Lauberte and Santa Niedra
Plants 2024, 13(7), 1021; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13071021 - 3 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1288
Abstract
Several preclinical studies suggest the potential of edible plants in controlling blood sugar levels and stabilizing diet. The goals of the study were to examine, analyze, and describe whether there are chemical compounds in dandelion and burdock roots that could have antidiabetic properties. [...] Read more.
Several preclinical studies suggest the potential of edible plants in controlling blood sugar levels and stabilizing diet. The goals of the study were to examine, analyze, and describe whether there are chemical compounds in dandelion and burdock roots that could have antidiabetic properties. The 70% ethyl alcohol and lyophilizate extracts (AE and LE, respectively), were used, and analyses were carried out on their total polysaccharide (TP), total phenolic content (TPC), tannin, and inulin. The antioxidant activity of extracts was determined using the DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) assay, and hypoglycemic properties were based on α-amylase activity. Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry was used for the tentative identification of the chemical components. Qualitative techniques confirmed the presence of inulin in both roots. Analysis of TPC, tannin content, DPPH assay, and α-amylase activity revealed higher values for burdock compared to dandelion. However, dandelion exhibited higher TP content. Burdock contained a small amount of tannin, whereas the tannin content in dandelion was insignificant. All LE consistently exhibited higher values in all analyses and assays for all roots compared to AE. Despite burdock root showing overall better results, it is uncertain whether these plants can be recommended as antidiabetic agents without in vivo studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Plant Products in Drug Discovery)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop