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Plants, Volume 13, Issue 9 (May-1 2024) – 113 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Diatoms are one of the most abundant photosynthetic organisms on our planet, inhabiting diverse environments from sea ice to estuaries to open oceans. This important group of silicified algae therefore requires sophisticated signalling mechanisms to perceive and respond to environmental stimuli. Calcium signalling is central to these processes, although the cellular mechanisms that diatoms use to generate calcium signals still remain poorly understood. Here, we examine the different classes of calcium channels that are present in diatom genomes to help understand how diatoms may respond to different stimuli. The findings highlight the unique calcium signalling toolkit of diatoms and indicate that evolutionary gains or losses of different calcium channels are likely to contribute to important differences in the cellular signalling mechanisms present in each diatom lineage. View this paper
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12 pages, 2388 KiB  
Article
New Understanding of Meta-Topolin Riboside Metabolism in Micropropagated Woody Plants
by Maroua Grira, Els Prinsen and Stefaan Werbrouck
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1281; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091281 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 624
Abstract
Topolin cytokinins have emerged as valuable tools in micropropagation. This study investigates the metabolism of meta-topolin riboside (mTR) in three distinct tree species: Handroanthus guayacan and Tabebuia rosea (Bignoniaceae), and Tectona grandis (Lamiaceae). Employing labeled N15 mTR, we [...] Read more.
Topolin cytokinins have emerged as valuable tools in micropropagation. This study investigates the metabolism of meta-topolin riboside (mTR) in three distinct tree species: Handroanthus guayacan and Tabebuia rosea (Bignoniaceae), and Tectona grandis (Lamiaceae). Employing labeled N15 mTR, we unraveled the complex mechanisms underlying cytokinin homeostasis, identifying N9-glucosylation as the principal deactivation pathway. Our findings demonstrate a capacity in T. rosea and H. guayacan to reposition the hydroxyl group on the cytokinin molecule, a previously unexplored metabolic pathway. Notably, this study reveals remarkable interfamilial and interspecies differences in mTR metabolism, challenging established perspectives on the role of callus tissue in cytokinin storage. These insights not only illuminate the metabolic intricacies of mTR, a cytokinin with interesting applications in plant tissue culture, but also enhances our understanding of cytokinin dynamics in plant systems, thereby enriching the scientific discourse on plant physiology and cytokinin biology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Propagation)
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10 pages, 1156 KiB  
Technical Note
The Effect of Temperature on the Inflorescence Formation Model for Phalaenopsis
by Jiunyuan Chen and Chiachung Chen
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091280 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 422
Abstract
Phalaenopsis orchids are a popular ornamental plant in the flower market. During some festivals, demand increases significantly. These mature orchids must be placed in cooling rooms for inflorescence formation at specific times to increase the financial return from their sale. The purpose of [...] Read more.
Phalaenopsis orchids are a popular ornamental plant in the flower market. During some festivals, demand increases significantly. These mature orchids must be placed in cooling rooms for inflorescence formation at specific times to increase the financial return from their sale. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of day and night temperatures on the inflorescence formation percentage using the proposed sigmoid model. Four varieties that are cultured in different vegetative temperature regimes are placed in a cooling room. An empirical inflorescence formation model is proposed as a management tool to predict the inflorescence formation percentage for Phalaenopsis. Some data sets from previous studies are used for comparison. The accumulation temperature is calculated using the day and night temperatures and is an index to predict the inflorescence formation percentage. The results show that there is a similar distribution of the inflorescence formation percentage and accumulation temperature for the four varieties. The proposed sigmoid model has a good fitting ability for the inflorescence formation percentage. This inflorescence formation model from the pooled data sets allows quantitative microclimate management of the vegetative and cooling room. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling for Prediction of Horticultural Plant Growth and Defense)
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15 pages, 1056 KiB  
Article
Microplastic Has No Effect on Rice Yield and Gaseous N Emission from an Infertile Soil with High Inorganic N Inputs
by Si Wu, Haiying Lu, Zhenghua Yi, Gui Chen and Haijun Sun
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1279; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091279 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 415
Abstract
Microplastic might affect the crop yield, nitrogen (N) use efficiency and reactive N losses from agricultural soil systems. However, evaluation of these effects in infertile soil planted with different rice cultivars is lacking. We conducted a soil column experiment to determine the influence [...] Read more.
Microplastic might affect the crop yield, nitrogen (N) use efficiency and reactive N losses from agricultural soil systems. However, evaluation of these effects in infertile soil planted with different rice cultivars is lacking. We conducted a soil column experiment to determine the influence of a typical microplastic polyethylene (PE) input into an infertile soil with 270 kg N ha−1 and planted with two rice cultivars, i.e., a common rice Nangeng 5055 (NG) and a hybrid rice Jiafengyou 6 (JFY). The results showed that JFY produced a significantly (p < 0.05) greater grain yield than NG (61.6–66.2 vs. 48.2–52.5 g pot−1) but was not influenced by PE. Overall, PE hardly changed the N use efficiency of NG and JFY. Unexpectedly, PE significantly (p < 0.05) increased the total amino acid content of NG. Compared with JFY, NG volatilized significantly (p < 0.05) more ammonia (NH3) (0.84–0.92 vs. 0.64–0.67 g N pot−1) but emitted equal nitrous oxide (N2O). PE exerted no effect on either NH3 volatilization or the N2O emission flux pattern and cumulative losses of the rice growth cycle, whether with NG or JFY. Some properties of tested soils changed after planting with different rice cultivars and incorporating with microplastic. In conclusion, the rice production, N use efficiency, NH3 volatilization and N2O emission from the N-fertilized infertile soil were pronouncedly influenced by the rice cultivar, but not the PE. However, PE influenced the grain quality of common rice and some properties of tested soils with both rice cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant–Soil Interactions)
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22 pages, 2894 KiB  
Article
Micropropagation and Genetic Fidelity of Fegra Fig (Ficus palmata Forssk.) and Grafting Compatibility of the Regenerated Plants with Ficus carica
by Ahmed Ali Al-Aizari, Yaser Hassan Dewir, Abdel-Halim Ghazy, Abdullah Al-Doss and Rashid Sultan Al-Obeed
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1278; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091278 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 641
Abstract
Ficus palmata is an important fig species that produces edible and nutritious fruit and possesses several therapeutic uses. This study reports an effective method for the micropropagation of F. palmata using nodal explants. In vitro shoots were cultured for 7 weeks onto MS [...] Read more.
Ficus palmata is an important fig species that produces edible and nutritious fruit and possesses several therapeutic uses. This study reports an effective method for the micropropagation of F. palmata using nodal explants. In vitro shoots were cultured for 7 weeks onto MS medium fortified with different concentrations of cytokinins, light intensities, sucrose concentrations, and light/dark incubation treatments. Optimal axillary shoot proliferation (10.9 shoots per explant) was obtained on a medium containing 30 g/L sucrose and supplemented with 2 mg/L 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) under 35 μmol/m2/s light intensity. Dark incubation limited the foliage growth but favored shoot elongation and rooting compared with light incubation. Elongated shoots, under dark conditions, were rooted (100%; 6.67 roots per explant) onto MS medium containing 1 mg/L indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and 1.5 g/L activated charcoal. The micropropagated plantlets were acclimatized with a 95% survival rate. In this study, the genetic fidelity of micropropagated F. palmata clones along with their mother plant was tested using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR), and start codon targeted (SCoT) molecular markers. The genetic similarity between the micropropagated plantlets and the mother plant of F. palmata was nearly 95.9%, assuring high uniformity and true-to-type regenerated plants. Using micropropagated F. palmata plantlets as a rootstock proved appropriate for the grafting F. carica ‘Brown Turkey’. These findings contribute to the commercial propagation and production of the fig crop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
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20 pages, 14746 KiB  
Article
Gibberellin Positively Regulates Tomato Resistance to Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV)
by Chenwei Zhang, Dandan Wang, Yan Li, Zifan Wang, Zhiming Wu, Qingyin Zhang, Hongwei Jia, Xiaoxu Dong, Lianfen Qi, Jianhua Shi and Zhonglin Shang
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1277; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091277 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 600
Abstract
Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is a prominent viral pathogen that adversely affects tomato plants. Effective strategies for mitigating the impact of TYLCV include isolating tomato plants from the whitefly, which is the vector of the virus, and utilizing transgenic lines that [...] Read more.
Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is a prominent viral pathogen that adversely affects tomato plants. Effective strategies for mitigating the impact of TYLCV include isolating tomato plants from the whitefly, which is the vector of the virus, and utilizing transgenic lines that are resistant to the virus. In our preliminary investigations, we observed that the use of growth retardants increased the rate of TYLCV infection and intensified the damage to the tomato plants, suggesting a potential involvement of gibberellic acid (GA) in the conferring of resistance to TYLCV. In this study, we employed an infectious clone of TYLCV to inoculate tomato plants, which resulted in leaf curling and growth inhibition. Remarkably, this inoculation also led to the accumulation of GA3 and several other phytohormones. Subsequent treatment with GA3 effectively alleviated the TYLCV-induced leaf curling and growth inhibition, reduced TYLCV abundance in the leaves, enhanced the activity of antioxidant enzymes, and lowered the reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in the leaves. Conversely, the treatment with PP333 exacerbated TYLCV-induced leaf curling and growth suppression, increased TYLCV abundance, decreased antioxidant enzyme activity, and elevated ROS levels in the leaves. The analysis of the gene expression profiles revealed that GA3 up-regulated the genes associated with disease resistance, such as WRKYs, NACs, MYBs, Cyt P450s, and ERFs, while it down-regulated the DELLA protein, a key agent in GA signaling. In contrast, PP333 induced gene expression changes that were the opposite of those caused by the GA3 treatment. These findings suggest that GA plays an essential role in the tomato’s defense response against TYLCV and acts as a positive regulator of ROS scavenging and the expression of resistance-related genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Horticultural Science and Ornamental Plants)
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20 pages, 4839 KiB  
Article
Identification of Novel Regulators of Leaf Senescence Using a Deep Learning Model
by Chaocheng Guo, Zhuoran Huang, Jiahao Chen, Guolong Yu, Yudong Wang and Xu Wang
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1276; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091276 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Deep learning has emerged as a powerful tool for investigating intricate biological processes in plants by harnessing the potential of large-scale data. Gene regulation is a complex process that transcription factors (TFs), cooperating with their target genes, participate in through various aspects of [...] Read more.
Deep learning has emerged as a powerful tool for investigating intricate biological processes in plants by harnessing the potential of large-scale data. Gene regulation is a complex process that transcription factors (TFs), cooperating with their target genes, participate in through various aspects of biological processes. Despite its significance, the study of gene regulation has primarily focused on a limited number of notable instances, leaving numerous aspects and interactions yet to be explored comprehensively. Here, we developed DEGRN (Deep learning on Expression for Gene Regulatory Network), an innovative deep learning model designed to decipher gene interactions by leveraging high-dimensional expression data obtained from bulk RNA-Seq and scRNA-Seq data in the model plant Arabidopsis. DEGRN exhibited a compared level of predictive power when applied to various datasets. Through the utilization of DEGRN, we successfully identified an extensive set of 3,053,363 high-quality interactions, encompassing 1430 TFs and 13,739 non-TF genes. Notably, DEGRN’s predictive capabilities allowed us to uncover novel regulators involved in a range of complex biological processes, including development, metabolism, and stress responses. Using leaf senescence as an example, we revealed a complex network underpinning this process composed of diverse TF families, including bHLH, ERF, and MYB. We also identified a novel TF, named MAF5, whose expression showed a strong linear regression relation during the progression of senescence. The mutant maf5 showed early leaf decay compared to the wild type, indicating a potential role in the regulation of leaf senescence. This hypothesis was further supported by the expression patterns observed across four stages of leaf development, as well as transcriptomics analysis. Overall, the comprehensive coverage provided by DEGRN expands our understanding of gene regulatory networks and paves the way for further investigations into their functional implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
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21 pages, 20225 KiB  
Article
Genetic Dissection of Diverse Seed Coat Patterns in Cowpea through a Comprehensive GWAS Approach
by Haizheng Xiong, Yilin Chen, Waltram Ravelombola, Beiquan Mou, Xiaolun Sun, Qingyang Zhang, Yiting Xiao, Yang Tian, Qun Luo, Ibtisam Alatawi, Kenani Edward Chiwina, Hanan Mohammedsaeed Alkabkabi and Ainong Shi
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1275; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091275 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 602
Abstract
This study investigates the genetic determinants of seed coat color and pattern variations in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), employing a genome-wide association approach. Analyzing a mapping panel of 296 cowpea varieties with 110,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we focused on eight unique [...] Read more.
This study investigates the genetic determinants of seed coat color and pattern variations in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), employing a genome-wide association approach. Analyzing a mapping panel of 296 cowpea varieties with 110,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we focused on eight unique coat patterns: (1) Red and (2) Cream seed; (3) White and (4) Brown/Tan seed coat; (5) Pink, (6) Black, (7) Browneye and (8) Red/Brown Holstein. Across six GWAS models (GLM, SRM, MLM, MLMM, FarmCPU from GAPIT3, and TASSEL5), 13 significant SNP markers were identified and led to the discovery of 23 candidate genes. Among these, four specific genes may play a direct role in determining seed coat pigment. These findings lay a foundational basis for future breeding programs aimed at creating cowpea varieties aligned with consumer preferences and market requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity of Germplasm Resources in Cereals and Legumes)
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15 pages, 5985 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Evolutionary Analysis of Receptor-like Kinase Family Genes Provides Insights into Anthracnose Resistance of Dioscorea alata
by Yuqian Jiang, Xin-Yu Lu, Ya-Li Qin, Yan-Mei Zhang and Zhu-Qing Shao
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1274; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091274 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 471
Abstract
Dioscorea alata, commonly known as “greater yam”, is a vital crop in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, yet it faces significant threats from anthracnose disease, mainly caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. However, exploring disease resistance genes in this species has [...] Read more.
Dioscorea alata, commonly known as “greater yam”, is a vital crop in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, yet it faces significant threats from anthracnose disease, mainly caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. However, exploring disease resistance genes in this species has been challenging due to the difficulty of genetic mapping resulting from the loss of the flowering trait in many varieties. The receptor-like kinase (RLK) gene family represents essential immune receptors in plants. In this study, genomic analysis revealed 467 RLK genes in D. alata. The identified RLKs were distributed unevenly across chromosomes, likely due to tandem duplication events. However, a considerable number of ancient whole-genome or segmental duplications dating back over 100 million years contributed to the diversity of RLK genes. Phylogenetic analysis unveiled at least 356 ancient RLK lineages in the common ancestor of Dioscoreaceae, which differentially inherited and expanded to form the current RLK profiles of D. alata and its relatives. The analysis of cis-regulatory elements indicated the involvement of RLK genes in diverse stress responses. Transcriptome analysis identified RLKs that were up-regulated in response to C. gloeosporioides infection, suggesting their potential role in resisting anthracnose disease. These findings provide novel insights into the evolution of RLK genes in D. alata and their potential contribution to disease resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Origin, Evolution and Functional Mechanisms of Plant Immune System)
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14 pages, 2551 KiB  
Article
Identification of Key Genes of Fruit Shape Variation in Jujube with Integrating Elliptic Fourier Descriptors and Transcriptome
by Yue Ren, Wenqing Fu, Yi Gao, Yuhan Chen, Decang Kong, Ming Cao, Xiaoming Pang and Wenhao Bo
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1273; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091273 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 442
Abstract
Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) exhibits a rich diversity in fruit shape, with natural occurrences of gourd-like, flattened, and other special shapes. Despite the ongoing research into fruit shape, studies integrating elliptical Fourier descriptors (EFDs) with both Short Time-series Expression Miner (STEM) and [...] Read more.
Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) exhibits a rich diversity in fruit shape, with natural occurrences of gourd-like, flattened, and other special shapes. Despite the ongoing research into fruit shape, studies integrating elliptical Fourier descriptors (EFDs) with both Short Time-series Expression Miner (STEM) and weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) for gene discovery remain scarce. In this study, six cultivars of jujube fruits with distinct shapes were selected, and samples were collected from the fruit set period to the white mature stage across five time points for shape analysis and transcriptome studies. By combining EFDs with WGCNA and STEM, the study aimed to identify the critical periods and key genes involved in the formation of jujube fruit shape. The findings indicated that the D25 (25 days after flowering) is crucial for the development of jujube fruit shape. Moreover, ZjAGL80, ZjABI3, and eight other genes have been implicated to regulate the shape development of jujubes at different periods of fruit development, through seed development and fruit development pathway. In this research, EFDs were employed to precisely delineate the shape of jujube fruits. This approach, in conjunction with transcriptome, enhanced the precision of gene identification, and offered an innovative methodology for fruit shape analysis. This integration facilitates the advancement of research into the morphological characteristics of plant fruits, underpinning the development of a refined framework for the genetic underpinnings of fruit shape variation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Breeding of Trees)
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29 pages, 2701 KiB  
Review
Application of Developmental Regulators for Enhancing Plant Regeneration and Genetic Transformation
by Pingjun Xu, Yinxiao Zhong, Ang Xu, Bingshuang Liu, Yue Zhang, Anqi Zhao, Xiaoming Yang, Meiling Ming, Fuliang Cao and Fangfang Fu
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1272; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091272 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 649
Abstract
Establishing plant regeneration systems and efficient genetic transformation techniques plays a crucial role in plant functional genomics research and the development of new crop varieties. The inefficient methods of transformation and regeneration of recalcitrant species and the genetic dependence of the transformation process [...] Read more.
Establishing plant regeneration systems and efficient genetic transformation techniques plays a crucial role in plant functional genomics research and the development of new crop varieties. The inefficient methods of transformation and regeneration of recalcitrant species and the genetic dependence of the transformation process remain major obstacles. With the advancement of plant meristematic tissues and somatic embryogenesis research, several key regulatory genes, collectively known as developmental regulators, have been identified. In the field of plant genetic transformation, the application of developmental regulators has recently garnered significant interest. These regulators play important roles in plant growth and development, and when applied in plant genetic transformation, they can effectively enhance the induction and regeneration capabilities of plant meristematic tissues, thus providing important opportunities for improving genetic transformation efficiency. This review focuses on the introduction of several commonly used developmental regulators. By gaining an in-depth understanding of and applying these developmental regulators, it is possible to further enhance the efficiency and success rate of plant genetic transformation, providing strong support for plant breeding and genetic engineering research. Full article
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26 pages, 3117 KiB  
Article
Environmental and Biogeographic Drivers behind Alpine Plant Thermal Tolerance and Genetic Variation
by Lisa M. Danzey, Verónica F. Briceño, Alicia M. Cook, Adrienne B. Nicotra, Gwendolyn Peyre, Maurizio Rossetto, Jia-Yee S. Yap and Andrea Leigh
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091271 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 613
Abstract
In alpine ecosystems, elevation broadly functions as a steep thermal gradient, with plant communities exposed to regular fluctuations in hot and cold temperatures. These conditions lead to selective filtering, potentially contributing to species-level variation in thermal tolerance and population-level genetic divergence. Few studies [...] Read more.
In alpine ecosystems, elevation broadly functions as a steep thermal gradient, with plant communities exposed to regular fluctuations in hot and cold temperatures. These conditions lead to selective filtering, potentially contributing to species-level variation in thermal tolerance and population-level genetic divergence. Few studies have explored the breadth of alpine plant thermal tolerances across a thermal gradient or the underlying genetic variation thereof. We measured photosystem heat (Tcrit-hot) and cold (Tcrit-cold) thresholds of ten Australian alpine species across elevation gradients and characterised their neutral genetic variation. To reveal the biogeographical drivers of present-day genetic signatures, we also reconstructed temporal changes in habitat suitability across potential distributional ranges. We found intraspecific variation in thermal thresholds, but this was not associated with elevation, nor underpinned by genetic differentiation on a local scale. Instead, regional population differentiation and considerable homozygosity within populations may, in part, be driven by distributional contractions, long-term persistence, and migrations following habitat suitability. Our habitat suitability models suggest that cool-climate-distributed alpine plants may be threatened by a warming climate. Yet, the observed wide thermal tolerances did not reflect this vulnerability. Conservation efforts should seek to understand variations in species-level thermal tolerance across alpine microclimates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Ecology)
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18 pages, 3258 KiB  
Article
Hyperspectral and Fluorescence Imaging Approaches for Nondestructive Detection of Rice Chlorophyll
by Ju Zhou, Feiyi Li, Xinwu Wang, Heng Yin, Wenjing Zhang, Jiaoyang Du and Haibo Pu
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1270; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091270 - 3 May 2024
Viewed by 635
Abstract
Estimating and monitoring chlorophyll content is a critical step in crop spectral image analysis. The quick, non-destructive assessment of chlorophyll content in rice leaves can optimize nitrogen fertilization, benefit the environment and economy, and improve rice production management and quality. In this research, [...] Read more.
Estimating and monitoring chlorophyll content is a critical step in crop spectral image analysis. The quick, non-destructive assessment of chlorophyll content in rice leaves can optimize nitrogen fertilization, benefit the environment and economy, and improve rice production management and quality. In this research, spectral analysis of rice leaves is performed using hyperspectral and fluorescence spectroscopy for the detection of chlorophyll content in rice leaves. This study generated ninety experimental spectral datasets by collecting rice leaf samples from a farm in Sichuan Province, China. By implementing a feature extraction algorithm, this study compresses redundant spectral bands and subsequently constructs machine learning models to reveal latent correlations among the extracted features. The prediction capabilities of six feature extraction methods and four machine learning algorithms in two types of spectral data are examined, and an accurate method of predicting chlorophyll concentration in rice leaves was devised. The IVSO-IVISSA (Iteratively Variable Subset Optimization–Interval Variable Iterative Space Shrinkage Approach) quadratic feature combination approach, based on fluorescence spectrum data, has the best prediction performance among the CNN+LSTM (Convolutional Neural Network Long Short-Term Memory) algorithms, with corresponding RMSE-Train (Root Mean Squared Error), RMSE-Test, and RPD (Ratio of standard deviation of the validation set to standard error of prediction) indexes of 0.26, 0.29, and 2.64, respectively. We demonstrated in this study that hyperspectral and fluorescence spectroscopy, when analyzed with feature extraction and machine learning methods, provide a new avenue for rapid and non-destructive crop health monitoring, which is critical to the advancement of smart and precision agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Spectral Techniques in Plant Physiology)
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14 pages, 4356 KiB  
Article
Interaction of Norsecurinine-Type Oligomeric Alkaloids with α-Tubulin: A Molecular Docking Study
by Gérard Vergoten and Christian Bailly
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091269 - 3 May 2024
Viewed by 439
Abstract
The medicinal plant Securinega virosa (Roxb ex. Willd) Baill., also known as Flueggea virosa (Roxb. ex Willd.) Royle, is commonly used in traditional medicine in Africa and Asia for the management of diverse pathologies, such as parasite infections, diabetes, and gastrointestinal diseases. Numerous [...] Read more.
The medicinal plant Securinega virosa (Roxb ex. Willd) Baill., also known as Flueggea virosa (Roxb. ex Willd.) Royle, is commonly used in traditional medicine in Africa and Asia for the management of diverse pathologies, such as parasite infections, diabetes, and gastrointestinal diseases. Numerous alkaloids have been isolated from the twigs and leaves of the plant, notably a variety of oligomeric indolizidine alkaloids derived from the monomers securinine and norsecurinine which both display anticancer properties. The recent discovery that securinine can bind to tubulin and inhibit microtubule assembly prompted us to investigate the potential binding of two series of alkaloids, fluevirosines A–H and fluevirosinine A–J, with the tubulin dimer by means of molecular modeling. These natural products are rare high-order alkaloids with tri-, tetra-, and pentameric norsecurinine motifs. Despite their large size (up to 2500 Å3), these alkaloids can bind easily to the large drug-binding cavity (about 4800 Å3) on α-tubulin facing the β-tubulin unit. The molecular docking analysis suggests that these hydrophobic macro-alkaloids can form stable complexes with α/β-tubulin. The tubulin-binding capacity varies depending on the alkaloid size and structure. Structure-binding relationships are discussed. The docking analysis identifies the trimer fluevirosine D, tetramer fluevirosinine D, and pentamer fluevirosinine H as the most interesting tubulin ligands in the series. This study is the first to propose a molecular target for these atypical oligomeric Securinega alkaloids. Full article
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18 pages, 1011 KiB  
Article
Salicylic Acid and Calcium Chloride Seed Priming: A Prominent Frontier in Inducing Mineral Nutrition Balance and Antioxidant System Capacity to Enhance the Tolerance of Barley Plants to Salinity
by Rim Ben Youssef, Nahida Jelali, Cristina Martínez-Andújar, Chedly Abdelly and José Antonio Hernández
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091268 - 2 May 2024
Viewed by 546
Abstract
The current investigation aims to underline the impact of salicylic acid or calcium chloride seed pre-treatments on mineral status and oxidative stress markers, namely levels of electrolyte leakage (EL) and lipid peroxidation levels, measured as thiobarbituric reactive substances (TBARS), and the activity of [...] Read more.
The current investigation aims to underline the impact of salicylic acid or calcium chloride seed pre-treatments on mineral status and oxidative stress markers, namely levels of electrolyte leakage (EL) and lipid peroxidation levels, measured as thiobarbituric reactive substances (TBARS), and the activity of some antioxidant enzymes in roots and leaves of plants in two barley species grown under various salt treatments. Overall, our results revealed that salinity inhibits essential nutrient absorption such as iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium and stimulates the absorption of sodium. Also, this environmental constraint induced oxidative stress in plants in comparison with the control conditions. This state of oxidative stress is reflected by an increase in TBARS content as well as the stimulation of EL values. In addition, salinity induced disturbances in the activity of antioxidant enzymes, which were mainly dependent on the applied salt concentration and the species. In addition, Hordeum marinum maintained high antioxidant enzyme activity and low levels of oxidative stress parameters, which reinforces its salt-tolerant character. Importantly, salicylic acid or calcium chloride seed priming alleviated the mineral imbalance and the oxidative damage induced by salinity. Moreover, seed priming improves iron, calcium magnesium and potassium content and limitsthe accumulation of sodium. Also, both treatments not only decrease TBARS levels and limit EL, but they also stimulate the antioxidant enzyme activities in the leaves and roots of the stressed plants as compared with stressed plants grown from non-primed seeds. Interestingly, the beneficial effects of the mentioned treatments were more notable on Hordeum vulgare species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biostimulation 2nd Edition)
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11 pages, 903 KiB  
Article
Tracking Sweet Potato Leaf Curl Virus through Field Production: Implications for Sustainable Sweetpotato Production and Breeding Practices
by Sharon A. Andreason, Petrina McKenzie-Reynolds, Kaitlyn M. Whitley, John Coffey, Alvin M. Simmons and Phillip A. Wadl
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091267 - 2 May 2024
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Sweet potato leaf curl virus (SPLCV) is a whitefly-transmitted begomovirus infecting sweetpotato and other morning glory (Convolvulaceae) species worldwide. The virus is widespread at the USDA, ARS, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory (USVL), and testing of germplasm maintained in the breeding program indicates nearly 100% [...] Read more.
Sweet potato leaf curl virus (SPLCV) is a whitefly-transmitted begomovirus infecting sweetpotato and other morning glory (Convolvulaceae) species worldwide. The virus is widespread at the USDA, ARS, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory (USVL), and testing of germplasm maintained in the breeding program indicates nearly 100% infection in storage roots of materials propagated for at least four years. Prior to the public release of new germplasm, viruses must be eliminated via laborious and time-consuming meristem-tip culture. The identification of virus-free seedlings early in the selection process can offer an alternative to meristem-tip culture. In this study, we investigated the transmission of SPLCV over two years of consecutive field plantings (early and late) of sweetpotato. While SPLCV is endemic at the USVL, virus transmission pressure over the typical cultivation season is unknown, and avoidance of virus transmission paired with the selection and maintenance of clean material may be a viable alternative to virus elimination. In 2022, the storage roots of 39 first-year seedling (FYS) selections were tested for SPLCV after early-season cultivation, revealing a single selection (2.6%) with a positive test. Similar testing was conducted in 2023 with no SPLCV-positive FYS selections detected. To further assess SPLCV acquisition in the field, replicated late-season plantings of each selected FYS (n = 37) were monitored from planting to harvest. Testing was conducted at 60 and 120 days after planting (DAP). Approximately 35% of the bulk samples were infected at 60 DAP, and infection increased to 52.3% by 120 DAP. Testing of individuals within selected positive bulked samples did not support 100% infection at harvest. Altogether, these results demonstrate that SPLCV transmission during early planting is sufficiently low to facilitate the maintenance of virus-free selections, offering an alternative to virus cleaning and a cultivation strategy that may be leveraged for production. Full article
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13 pages, 2667 KiB  
Article
Rosarugosides A and D from Rosa rugosa Flower Buds: Their Potential Anti-Skin-Aging Effects in TNF-α-Induced Human Dermal Fibroblasts
by Kang Sub Kim, So-Ri Son, Yea Jung Choi, Yejin Kim, Si-Young Ahn, Dae Sik Jang and Sullim Lee
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1266; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091266 - 2 May 2024
Viewed by 568
Abstract
This present study investigated the anti-skin-aging properties of Rosa rugosa. Initially, phenolic compounds were isolated from a hot water extract of Rosa rugosa’s flower buds. Through repeated chromatography (column chromatography, MPLC, and prep HPLC), we identified nine phenolic compounds (1 [...] Read more.
This present study investigated the anti-skin-aging properties of Rosa rugosa. Initially, phenolic compounds were isolated from a hot water extract of Rosa rugosa’s flower buds. Through repeated chromatography (column chromatography, MPLC, and prep HPLC), we identified nine phenolic compounds (19), including a previously undescribed depside, rosarugoside D (1). The chemical structure of 1 was elucidated via NMR, HR-MS, UV, and hydrolysis. Next, in order to identify bioactive compounds that are effective against TNF-α-induced NHDF cells, we measured intracellular ROS production in samples treated with each of the isolated compounds (19). All isolates reduced the level of ROS at a concentration of 10 μM. Particularly, two depsides—rosarugosides A and D (2 and 1)—significantly inhibited ROS expression in TNF-α-induced NHDFs compared to the other phenolic compounds. Subsequently, the production of MMP-1 and procollagen type Ι α1 by these two depsides was examined. Remarkably, rosarugoside A (2) significantly decreased MMP-1 secretion at all concentrations. In contrast, rosarugoside D (1) regulated the expression of procollagen type Ι α1. These findings collectively suggest that Rosa rugosa extracts and their isolated compounds, rosarugosides A (2) and D (1), hold significant potential for protecting against aging and skin damage. Overall, these findings suggest that Rosa rugosa extracts and their isolated compounds, rosarugosides A (2) and D (1), have the potential to prevent and protect against aging and skin damage, although more specific quantitative analysis is needed. Full article
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14 pages, 6180 KiB  
Article
Plastid Molecular Chaperone HSP90C Interacts with the SecA1 Subunit of Sec Translocase for Thylakoid Protein Transport
by Adheip Monikantan Nair, Tim Jiang, Bona Mu and Rongmin Zhao
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1265; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091265 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 671
Abstract
The plastid stroma-localized chaperone HSP90C plays a crucial role in maintaining optimal proteostasis within chloroplasts and participates in protein translocation processes. While existing studies have revealed HSP90C’s direct interaction with the Sec translocase-dependent client pre-protein PsbO1 and the SecY1 subunit of the thylakoid [...] Read more.
The plastid stroma-localized chaperone HSP90C plays a crucial role in maintaining optimal proteostasis within chloroplasts and participates in protein translocation processes. While existing studies have revealed HSP90C’s direct interaction with the Sec translocase-dependent client pre-protein PsbO1 and the SecY1 subunit of the thylakoid membrane-bound Sec1 translocase channel system, its direct involvement with the extrinsic homodimeric Sec translocase subunit, SecA1, remains elusive. Employing bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assay and other in vitro analyses, we unraveled potential interactions between HSP90C and SecA1. Our investigation revealed dynamic interactions between HSP90C and SecA1 at the thylakoid membrane and stroma. The thylakoid membrane localization of this interaction was contingent upon active HSP90C ATPase activity, whereas their stromal interaction was associated with active SecA1 ATPase activity. Furthermore, we observed a direct interaction between these two proteins by analyzing their ATP hydrolysis activities, and their interaction likely impacts their respective functional cycles. Additionally, using PsbO1, a model Sec translocase client pre-protein, we studied the intricacies of HSP90C’s possible involvement in pre-protein translocation via the Sec1 system in chloroplasts. The results suggest a complex nature of the HSP90C-SecA1 interaction, possibly mediated by the Sec client protein. Our studies shed light on the nuanced aspects of HSP90C’s engagement in orchestrating pre-protein translocation, and we propose a potential collaborative role of HSP90C with SecA1 in actively facilitating pre-protein transport across the thylakoid membrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Protein Biochemistry and Biomolecular Interactions)
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12 pages, 3479 KiB  
Article
The Application of Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization in the Prescreening of Veronica Hybrids
by Hye-Wan Park, Samantha Serafin Sevilleno, My Khanh Tran Thi Ha, Raisa Aone Cabahug-Braza, Ji-Hun Yi, Ki-Byung Lim, Wonwoo Cho and Yoon-Jung Hwang
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1264; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091264 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 569
Abstract
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), a molecular cytogenetic technique that enables the visualization and identification of specific DNA sequences within chromosomes, has emerged as a pivotal tool in plant breeding programs, particularly in the case of Veronica species. Veronica, a genus with [...] Read more.
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), a molecular cytogenetic technique that enables the visualization and identification of specific DNA sequences within chromosomes, has emerged as a pivotal tool in plant breeding programs, particularly in the case of Veronica species. Veronica, a genus with a complex reproductive system, often poses challenges in accurately identifying hybrids because of its tendency to hybridize, which leads to intricate genetic variation. This study focused on the use of FISH as a prescreening method to identify true hybrids in Veronica breeding programs. FISH analysis was first performed on the parents to identify their 45S and 5S rDNA signals, along with their respective chromosome numbers. The signals were then compared with those of the twenty progenies with reference to their supposed parents. Five true hybrids, seven self-pollinated progenies, and eight false hybrids were identified through FISH. The findings highlight the significance of FISH as a screening method that contributes significantly to the efficiency of Veronica breeding programs by ensuring the preservation of desired genetic traits and minimizing the inadvertent inclusion of misidentified hybrids. To conclude, this study underscores the vital role of FISH in enhancing the precision and success of breeding programs and opens new avenues for improved breeding strategies and crop development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
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19 pages, 9353 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Structural Changes in Leaves of Platycrater arguta Seedlings Exposed to Increasing Light Intensities
by Chunyan Wei, Guangyu Luo, Zexin Jin, Junmin Li and Yueling Li
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1263; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091263 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 606
Abstract
Understanding the light adaptation of plants is critical for conservation. Platycrater arguta, an endangered deciduous shrub endemic to East Asia, possesses high ornamental and phylogeographic value. However, the weak environmental adaptability of P. arguta species has limited its general growth and conservation. [...] Read more.
Understanding the light adaptation of plants is critical for conservation. Platycrater arguta, an endangered deciduous shrub endemic to East Asia, possesses high ornamental and phylogeographic value. However, the weak environmental adaptability of P. arguta species has limited its general growth and conservation. To obtain a deeper understanding of the P. arguta growth conditions, we examined the leaf morphology and physiology via anatomical and chloroplast ultrastructural analyses following exposure to different natural light intensities (full light, 40%, and 10%). The findings indicated that P. arguta seedings in the 10% light intensity had significantly improved leaf morphological characteristics and specific leaf area compared to those exposed to other intensities. The net photosynthetic rate, chlorophyll (Chl) content, photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency (PNUE), and photosynthetic phosphorus use efficiency (PPUE) exhibited marked increases at a 10% light intensity compared to both 40% light and full light intensities, whereas the light compensation point and dark respiration levels reached their lowest values under the 10% light condition. With reduced light, leaf thickness, palisade tissue, spongy tissue, and stomatal density significantly decreased, whereas the stomatal length, stomatal width, and stomatal aperture were significantly elevated. When exposed to 10% light intensity, the ultrastructure of chloroplasts was well developed, chloroplasts and starch grain size, the number of grana, and thylakoids all increased significantly, while the number of plastoglobules was significantly reduced. Relative distance phenotypic plasticity index analysis exhibited that P. arguta adapts to varying light environments predominantly by adjusting PPUE, Chl b, PNUE, chloroplast area, and the activity of PSII reaction centers. We proposed that P. arguta efficiently utilizes low light to reconfigure its energy metabolism by regulating its leaf structure, photosynthetic capacity, nutrient use efficiency, and chloroplast development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microscopy Techniques in Plant Studies)
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31 pages, 1303 KiB  
Review
RGB Imaging as a Tool for Remote Sensing of Characteristics of Terrestrial Plants: A Review
by Anastasiia Kior, Lyubov Yudina, Yuriy Zolin, Vladimir Sukhov and Ekaterina Sukhova
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091262 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Approaches for remote sensing can be used to estimate the influence of changes in environmental conditions on terrestrial plants, providing timely protection of their growth, development, and productivity. Different optical methods, including the informative multispectral and hyperspectral imaging of reflected light, can be [...] Read more.
Approaches for remote sensing can be used to estimate the influence of changes in environmental conditions on terrestrial plants, providing timely protection of their growth, development, and productivity. Different optical methods, including the informative multispectral and hyperspectral imaging of reflected light, can be used for plant remote sensing; however, multispectral and hyperspectral cameras are technically complex and have a high cost. RGB imaging based on the analysis of color images of plants is definitely simpler and more accessible, but using this tool for remote sensing plant characteristics under changeable environmental conditions requires the development of methods to increase its informativity. Our review focused on using RGB imaging for remote sensing the characteristics of terrestrial plants. In this review, we considered different color models, methods of exclusion of background in color images of plant canopies, and various color indices and their relations to characteristics of plants, using regression models, texture analysis, and machine learning for the estimation of these characteristics based on color images, and some approaches to provide transformation of simple color images to hyperspectral and multispectral images. As a whole, our review shows that RGB imaging can be an effective tool for estimating plant characteristics; however, further development of methods to analyze color images of plants is necessary. Full article
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19 pages, 3621 KiB  
Article
Au-Based Nanoparticles Enhance Low Temperature Tolerance in Wheat by Regulating Some Physiological Parameters and Gene Expression
by Yuliya Venzhik, Alexander Deryabin and Kseniya Zhukova
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091261 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 526
Abstract
One of the key problems of biology is how plants adapt to unfavorable conditions, such as low temperatures. A special focus is placed on finding ways to increase tolerance in important agricultural crops like wheat. Au-based nanoparticles (Au-NPs) have been employed extensively in [...] Read more.
One of the key problems of biology is how plants adapt to unfavorable conditions, such as low temperatures. A special focus is placed on finding ways to increase tolerance in important agricultural crops like wheat. Au-based nanoparticles (Au-NPs) have been employed extensively in this area in recent years. Au-NPs can be produced fast and easily using low-cost chemical reagents. When employed in microdoses, Au-NPs are often non-toxic to plants, animals, and people. In addition, Au-NPs mainly have favorable impacts on plants. In this study, we investigated the effect of Au-NP seed nanopriming (diameter 15.3 nm, Au concentration 5–50 µg mL−1) on cold tolerance, as well as some physiological, biochemical and molecular parameters, of cold-sustainable wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotype Zlata. The treatment with Au-NPs improved tolerance to low temperatures in control conditions and after cold hardening. Au-NPs treatment boosted the intensity of growth processes, the quantity of photosynthetic pigments, sucrose in leaves, and the expressions of encoded RuBisCo and Wcor15 genes. The potential mechanisms of Au-NPs’ influence on the cold tolerance of wheat varieties were considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress Responses in Plants)
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21 pages, 1852 KiB  
Article
Ability of Genomic Prediction to Bi-Parent-Derived Breeding Population Using Public Data for Soybean Oil and Protein Content
by Chenhui Li, Qing Yang, Bingqiang Liu, Xiaolei Shi, Zhi Liu, Chunyan Yang, Tao Wang, Fuming Xiao, Mengchen Zhang, Ainong Shi and Long Yan
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091260 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 544
Abstract
Genomic selection (GS) is a marker-based selection method used to improve the genetic gain of quantitative traits in plant breeding. A large number of breeding datasets are available in the soybean database, and the application of these public datasets in GS will improve [...] Read more.
Genomic selection (GS) is a marker-based selection method used to improve the genetic gain of quantitative traits in plant breeding. A large number of breeding datasets are available in the soybean database, and the application of these public datasets in GS will improve breeding efficiency and reduce time and cost. However, the most important problem to be solved is how to improve the ability of across-population prediction. The objectives of this study were to perform genomic prediction (GP) and estimate the prediction ability (PA) for seed oil and protein contents in soybean using available public datasets to predict breeding populations in current, ongoing breeding programs. In this study, six public datasets of USDA GRIN soybean germplasm accessions with available phenotypic data of seed oil and protein contents from different experimental populations and their genotypic data of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used to perform GP and to predict a bi-parent-derived breeding population in our experiment. The average PA was 0.55 and 0.50 for seed oil and protein contents within the bi-parents population according to the within-population prediction; and 0.45 for oil and 0.39 for protein content when the six USDA populations were combined and employed as training sets to predict the bi-parent-derived population. The results showed that four USDA-cultivated populations can be used as a training set individually or combined to predict oil and protein contents in GS when using 800 or more USDA germplasm accessions as a training set. The smaller the genetic distance between training population and testing population, the higher the PA. The PA increased as the population size increased. In across-population prediction, no significant difference was observed in PA for oil and protein content among different models. The PA increased as the SNP number increased until a marker set consisted of 10,000 SNPs. This study provides reasonable suggestions and methods for breeders to utilize public datasets for GS. It will aid breeders in developing GS-assisted breeding strategies to develop elite soybean cultivars with high oil and protein contents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Germplasm Resources and Molecular Breeding of Soybean)
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14 pages, 3327 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Comparative Analysis of the JAZ Gene Family in Common Wheat (Triticum aestivum) and Its D-Subgenome Donor Aegilops tauschii
by Zhiwen Zhai, Yuqing Che, Shuaifeng Geng, Shaoshuai Liu, Shuqin Zhang, Dada Cui, Zhongyin Deng, Mingxue Fu, Yang Li, Xinyu Zou, Jun Liu, Aili Li and Long Mao
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1259; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091259 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 506
Abstract
JASMONATE-ZIM DOMAIN (JAZ) repressor proteins work as co-receptors in the jasmonic acid (JA) signalling pathway and are essential for plant development and environmental adaptation. Despite wheat being one of the main staple food crops, until recently, comprehensive analysis of its JAZ gene family [...] Read more.
JASMONATE-ZIM DOMAIN (JAZ) repressor proteins work as co-receptors in the jasmonic acid (JA) signalling pathway and are essential for plant development and environmental adaptation. Despite wheat being one of the main staple food crops, until recently, comprehensive analysis of its JAZ gene family has been limited due to the lack of complete and high-quality reference genomes. Here, using the latest reference genome, we identified 17 JAZ genes in the wheat D-genome donor Aegilops tauschii. Then, 54 TaJAZs were identified in common wheat. A systematic examination of the gene structures, conserved protein domains, and phylogenetic relationships of this gene family was performed. Five new JAZ genes were identified as being derived from tandem duplication after wheat divergence from other species. We integrated RNA-seq data and yield QTL information and found that tandemly duplicated TaJAZ genes were prone to association with spike-related traits. Moreover, 12 TaJAZ genes were located within breeding selection sweeps, including 9 tandemly duplicated ones. Haplotype variation analysis of selected JAZ genes showed significant association of TaJAZ7A and TaJAZ13A with thousand-grain weight. Our work provides a clearer picture of wheat JAZ gene evolution and puts forward the possibility of using these genes for wheat yield improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Analysis of Important Agronomic Trait Genes in Wheat)
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19 pages, 6996 KiB  
Article
Morphological and Molecular Identification of Ulva spp. (Ulvophyceae; Chlorophyta) from Algarrobo Bay, Chile: Understanding the Composition of Green Tides
by Javiera Mutizabal-Aros, María Eliana Ramírez, Pilar A. Haye, Andrés Meynard, Benjamín Pinilla-Rojas, Alejandra Núñez, Nicolás Latorre-Padilla, Francesca V. Search, Fabian J. Tapia, Gonzalo S. Saldías, Sergio A. Navarrete and Loretto Contreras-Porcia
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1258; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091258 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 782
Abstract
Green algae blooms of the genus Ulva are occurring globally and are primarily attributed to anthropogenic factors. At Los Tubos beach in Algarrobo Bay along the central Chilean coast, there have been blooms of these algae that persist almost year-round over the past [...] Read more.
Green algae blooms of the genus Ulva are occurring globally and are primarily attributed to anthropogenic factors. At Los Tubos beach in Algarrobo Bay along the central Chilean coast, there have been blooms of these algae that persist almost year-round over the past 20 years, leading to environmental, economic, and social issues that affect the local government and communities. The objective of this study was to characterize the species that form these green tides based on a combination of ecological, morpho-anatomical, and molecular information. For this purpose, seasonal surveys of beached algal fronds were conducted between 2021 and 2022. Subsequently, the sampled algae were analyzed morphologically and phylogenetically using the molecular markers ITS1 and tufA, allowing for the identification of at least five taxa. Of these five taxa, three (U. stenophylloides, U. uncialis, U. australis) have laminar, foliose, and distromatic morphology, while the other two (U. compressa, U. aragoensis) have tubular, filamentous, and monostromatic fronds. Intertidal surveys showed that U. stenophylloides showed the highest relative coverage throughout the seasons and all intertidal levels, followed by U. uncialis. Therefore, we can establish that the green tides on the coast of Algarrobo in Chile are multispecific, with differences in relative abundance during different seasons and across the intertidal zone, opening opportunities for diverse future studies, ranging from ecology to algal biotechnology. Full article
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19 pages, 3063 KiB  
Article
Identification of the Gossypium hirsutum SDG Gene Family and Functional Study of GhSDG59 in Response to Drought Stress
by Ziyu Wang, Wanwan Fu, Xin Zhang, Yunhao Liusui, Gulisitan Saimi, Huixin Zhao, Jingbo Zhang and Yanjun Guo
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1257; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091257 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 521
Abstract
SET-domain group histone methyltransferases (SDGs) are known to play crucial roles in plant responses to abiotic stress. However, their specific function in cotton’s response to drought stress has not been well understood. This study conducted a comprehensive analysis of the SDG gene family [...] Read more.
SET-domain group histone methyltransferases (SDGs) are known to play crucial roles in plant responses to abiotic stress. However, their specific function in cotton’s response to drought stress has not been well understood. This study conducted a comprehensive analysis of the SDG gene family in Gossypium hirsutum, identifying a total of 82 SDG genes. An evolutionary analysis revealed that the SDG gene family can be divided into eight subgroups. The expression analysis shows that some GhSDG genes are preferentially expressed in specific tissues, indicating their involvement in cotton growth and development. The transcription level of some GhSDG genes is induced by PEG, with GhSDG59 showing significant upregulation upon polyethylene glycol (PEG) treatment. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis showed that the accumulation of transcripts of the GhSDG59 gene was significantly upregulated under drought stress. Further functional studies using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) revealed that silencing GhSDG59 reduced cotton tolerance to drought stress. Under drought conditions, the proline content, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) enzyme activities in the GhSDG59-silenced plants were significantly lower than in the control plants, while the malondialdehyde (MDA) content was significantly higher. Transcriptome sequencing showed that silencing the GhSDG59 gene led to significant changes in the expression levels of 1156 genes. The KEGG enrichment analysis revealed that these differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were mainly enriched in the carbon metabolism and the starch and sucrose metabolism pathways. The functional annotation analysis identified known drought-responsive genes, such as ERF, CIPK, and WRKY, among these DEGs. This indicates that GhSDG59 is involved in the drought-stress response in cotton by affecting the expression of genes related to the carbon metabolism and the starch and sucrose metabolism pathways, as well as known drought-responsive genes. This analysis provides valuable information for the functional genomic study of SDGs and highlights potential beneficial genes for genetic improvement and breeding in cotton. Full article
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24 pages, 10280 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Propagation Techniques for Cannabis sativa L. Cultivation: A Comparative Analysis of Soilless Methods and Aeroponic Parameters
by Matthew Weingarten, Neil Mattson and Heather Grab
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1256; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091256 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 832
Abstract
Given the rapid growth of the Cannabis industry, developing practices for producing young plants with limited genetic variation and efficient growth is crucial to achieving reliable and successful cultivation results. This study presents a multi-faceted experiment series analyzing propagation techniques for evaluating proficiency [...] Read more.
Given the rapid growth of the Cannabis industry, developing practices for producing young plants with limited genetic variation and efficient growth is crucial to achieving reliable and successful cultivation results. This study presents a multi-faceted experiment series analyzing propagation techniques for evaluating proficiency in the growth and development of Cannabis vegetative cuttings. This research encompasses various (1) soilless propagation methods including aeroponics, horticultural (phenolic) foam, and rockwool; (2) transplant timings; (3) aeroponic spray intervals; and (4) aeroponic reservoir nutrient concentrations, to elucidate their impact on rooting and growth parameters amongst two Cannabis cultivars. Aeroponics was as effective as, and in some cases more effective than, soilless propagation media for root development and plant growth. In aeroponic systems, continuous spray intervals, compared to intermittent, result in a better promotion of root initiation and plant growth. Moreover, raised nutrient concentrations in aeroponic propagation demonstrated greater rooting and growth. The effects of experimental treatment were dependent on the cultivar and sampling day. These findings offer valuable insights into how various propagation techniques and growth parameters can be tailored to enhance the production of vegetative cuttings. These results hold critical implications for cultivators intending to achieve premium harvests through efficient propagule methods and optimization strategies in the competitive Cannabis industry. Ultimately, our findings suggest that aeroponic propagation, compared to alternative soilless methods, is a rapid and efficient process for cultivating vegetative cuttings of Cannabis and offers sustainable advantages in resource conservation and preservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cannabis sativa: Advances in Biology and Cultivation)
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13 pages, 10730 KiB  
Article
Green Synthesis and Characterization of Ginger-Derived Silver Nanoparticles and Evaluation of Their Antioxidant, Antibacterial, and Anticancer Activities
by Shweta Mehrotra, Vinod Goyal, Christian O. Dimkpa and Vinod Chhokar
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1255; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091255 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 813
Abstract
The efficacy, targeting ability, and biocompatibility of plant-based nanoparticles can be exploited in fields such as agriculture and medicine. This study highlights the use of plant-based ginger nanoparticles as an effective and promising strategy against cancer and for the treatment and prevention of [...] Read more.
The efficacy, targeting ability, and biocompatibility of plant-based nanoparticles can be exploited in fields such as agriculture and medicine. This study highlights the use of plant-based ginger nanoparticles as an effective and promising strategy against cancer and for the treatment and prevention of bacterial infections and related disorders. Ginger is a well-known spice with significant medicinal value due to its phytochemical constituents including gingerols, shogaols, zingerones, and paradols. The silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) derived from ginger extracts could be an important non-toxic and eco-friendly nanomaterial for widespread use in medicine. In this study, AgNPs were biosynthesized using an ethanolic extract of ginger rhizome and their phytochemical, antioxidant, antibacterial, and cytotoxic properties were evaluated. UV–visible spectral analysis confirmed the formation of spherical AgNPs. FTIR analysis revealed that the NPs were associated with various functional biomolecules that were associated with the NPs during stabilization. The particle size and SEM analyses revealed that the AgNPs were in the size range of 80–100 nm, with a polydispersity index (PDI) of 0.510, and a zeta potential of −17.1 mV. The purity and crystalline nature of the AgNPs were confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis. The simple and repeatable phyto-fabrication method reported here may be used for scaling up for large-scale production of ginger-derived NPs. A phytochemical analysis of the ginger extract revealed the presence of alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, phenolics, tannins, saponins, and terpenoids, which can serve as active biocatalysts and natural stabilizers of metallic NPs. The ginger extracts at low concentrations demonstrated promising cytotoxicity against Vero cell lines with a 50% reduction in cell viability at 0.6–6 μg/mL. When evaluated for biological activity, the AgNPs exhibited significant antioxidant and antibacterial activity on several Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species, including Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus. This suggests that the AgNPs may be used against multi-drug-resistant bacteria. Ginger-derived AgNPs have a considerable potential for use in the development of broad-spectrum antimicrobial and anticancer medications, and an optimistic perspective for their use in medicine and pharmaceutical industry. Full article
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17 pages, 3452 KiB  
Article
Impact of Preseason Climate Factors on Vegetation Photosynthetic Phenology in Mid–High Latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere
by Kunlun Xiang, Qian Guo, Beibei Zhang, Jiaming Wang, Ning Jin, Zicheng Wang, Jiahui Liu, Chenggong Wang, Ziqiang Du, Liang Wang and Jie Zhao
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1254; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091254 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 541
Abstract
During the period preceding the vegetation growing season (GS), temperature emerges as the pivotal factor determining phenology in northern terrestrial ecosystems. Despite extensive research on the impact of daily mean temperature (Tmean) during the preseason period, the influence of diurnal temperature [...] Read more.
During the period preceding the vegetation growing season (GS), temperature emerges as the pivotal factor determining phenology in northern terrestrial ecosystems. Despite extensive research on the impact of daily mean temperature (Tmean) during the preseason period, the influence of diurnal temperature range (DTR) on vegetation photosynthetic phenology (i.e., the impact of the plant photosynthetic cycle on seasonal time scale) has largely been neglected. Using a long-term vegetation photosynthetic phenology dataset and historical climate data, we examine vegetation photosynthetic phenology dynamics and responses to climate change across the mid–high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere from 2001 to 2020. Our data reveal an advancing trend in the start of the GS (SOS) by −0.15 days per year (days yr−1), affecting 72.1% of the studied area. This is particularly pronounced in western Canada, Alaska, eastern Asia, and latitudes north of 60°N. Conversely, the end of the GS (EOS) displays a delaying trend of 0.17 days yr−1, impacting 62.4% of the studied area, especially northern North America and northern Eurasia. The collective influence of an earlier SOS and a delayed EOS has resulted in the notably prolonged length of the GS (LOS) by 0.32 days yr−1 in the last two decades, affecting 70.9% of the studied area, with Eurasia and western North America being particularly noteworthy. Partial correlation coefficients of the SOS with preseason Tmean, DTR, and accumulated precipitation exhibited negative values in 98.4%, 93.0%, and 39.2% of the study area, respectively. However, there were distinct regional variations in the influence of climate factors on the EOS. The partial correlation coefficients of the EOS with preseason Tmean, DTR, and precipitation were positive in 58.6%, 50.1%, and 36.3% of the region, respectively. Our findings unveil the intricate mechanisms influencing vegetation photosynthetic phenology, holding crucial significance in understanding the dynamics of carbon sequestration within terrestrial ecosystems amidst climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Vegetation to Global Climate Change)
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19 pages, 3443 KiB  
Article
The Reaction of Rice Growth to the Arsenic Contamination under Various Irrigation Methods
by Tímea Szalóki, Árpád Székely, Noémi J. Valkovszki, Ákos Tarnawa and Mihály Jancsó
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1253; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091253 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Several studies have explored how arsenic (As) is absorbed and transported in plants, but less attention has been paid to its impact on rice growth and yield in relation to water management. We aimed to assess how arsenic affects plant development under different [...] Read more.
Several studies have explored how arsenic (As) is absorbed and transported in plants, but less attention has been paid to its impact on rice growth and yield in relation to water management. We aimed to assess how arsenic affects plant development under different irrigation methods. The growth and yield parameters of four rice varieties (‘M 488’, ‘Janka’, ‘Szellő’, and ‘Nembo’) in two greenhouse experiments were analyzed in 2021 and 2022 under different irrigation methods (flooded (F), intermittent (I), and aerobic (A)). Three different As concentrations were set up in the soil: 43 mg kg−1, 24 mg kg−1, and 4 mg kg−1. Our results showed that the high As treatment caused severe damage to the plants including leaf yellowing as well as reduced growth and decreased yield parameters. Alternative water management practices such as I and A irrigation could reduce the negative effects of As. At the high level of As stress (43 mg kg−1), the I irrigation had the most favorable effect on the yield of ’Janka’ among the tested cultivars compared to the F irrigation (in F: 1.64 ± 1.13 g; in I: 5.45 ± 3.69 g). However, the use of fully aerobic conditions increased the likelihood of drought stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Metal Stress on Crops)
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20 pages, 3744 KiB  
Article
Chemical Relationship among Genetically Authenticated Medicinal Species of Genus Angelica
by Jung-Hoon Kim, Eui-Jeong Doh, Han-Young Kim and Guemsan Lee
Plants 2024, 13(9), 1252; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13091252 - 30 Apr 2024
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Abstract
The genus Angelica comprises various species utilized for diverse medicinal purposes, with differences attributed to the varying levels or types of inherent chemical components in each species. This study employed DNA barcode analysis and HPLC analysis to genetically authenticate and chemically classify eight [...] Read more.
The genus Angelica comprises various species utilized for diverse medicinal purposes, with differences attributed to the varying levels or types of inherent chemical components in each species. This study employed DNA barcode analysis and HPLC analysis to genetically authenticate and chemically classify eight medicinal Angelica species (n = 106) as well as two non-medicinal species (n = 14) that have been misused. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region revealed differences ranging from 11 to 117 bp, while psbA-trnH showed variances of 3 to 95 bp, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis grouped all samples except Angelica sinensis into the same cluster, with some counterfeits forming separate clusters. Verification using the NCBI database confirmed the feasibility of species identification. For chemical identification, a robust quantitative HPLC analysis method was developed for 46 marker compounds. Subsequently, two A. reflexa-specific and seven A. biserrata-specific marker compounds were identified, alongside non-specific markers. Moreover, chemometric clustering analysis reflecting differences in chemical content between species revealed that most samples formed distinct clusters according to the plant species. However, some samples formed mixed clusters containing different species. These findings offer crucial insights for the standardization and quality control of medicinal Angelica species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemistry)
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