Invasion of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) roots by combined and sequential inoculations of Meloidogyne hapla and a tomato population of Heterodera schachtii was affected more by soil temperature than by nematode competition. Maximum invasion of tomato roots, by M. hapla and H. schachtii occurred at 30 and 26 C, respectively. Female development and nematode reproduction (eggs per plant) of M. hapla was adversely affected by H. schachtii in combined inoculations of the two nematode species. Inhibition of M. hapla development and reproduction on tomato roots from combined nematode inoculations was more pronounced as soil temperature was increased over a range of 18-30 C and with prior inoculation of tomato with H. schachtii. M. hapla minimally affected H. schachtii female development, but there was significant reduction in the buildup of H. schachtii when M. hapla inoculation preceded that of H. schachtii by 20 days.
northern root-knot nematode; sugarbeet cyst nematode; invasion; soil temperature; populations; inoculum density; development; reproduction; Lycopersicon esculentum
Response of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) cultivars to a range of conductivity levels was tested in the presence and absence of Meloidogyne incognita. The conductivity levels were produced by appropriate adjustment of a 1:1 solution of sodium chloride and calcium chloride. The growth of M. incognita resistant ('Beefmaster' and 'Atkinson') and susceptible ('Hunts 2580' and 'Ronita') tomato plants was inversely related to soil salinity between ECe 0 and 5 mmhos/cm. Nematode inoculation of salt-stressed plants significantly reduced plant height, fresh and dry weight, number of flowers, and fruit weight in most cultivars. In Hunts 2580, flower number and fruit weight increased; apparently flower production shifted from determinate to indeterminate, with negative implications for mechanical harvesting. Nematode reproduction on susceptible varieties also decreased with increase in salinity.
Lycopersicon esculentum; salt stress; root-knot
Nine resistant processing tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) cultivars and advanced lines were compared with four susceptible cultivars in 1,3-dichloropropene-fumigated and nontreated plots on Meloidogyne incognita-infested sites over 3 years. Yield of all resistant genotypes grown in nontreated and nematicide-treated plots did not differ and was greater than yield of susceptible genotypes. M. incognita initial soil population densities caused 39.3-56.5% significant (P = 0.05) yield suppressions of susceptible genotypes. Nematode injury to susceptible plants usually caused both fruit soluble solids content and pH to increase significantly (P = 0.05). Only trace nematode reproduction occurred on resistant genotypes in nontreated plots, whereas large population density increases occurred on susceptible genotypes. Slightly greater nematode reproduction occurred on resistant genotypes at the southern desert location, where soil temperature exceeded 30 C, than at other locations. At two locations resistant MOX 3076 supported greater reproduction than other resistant genotypes.
fruit quality; fruit yield; Lycopersicon esculentum; tomato; Meloidogyne incognita; root-knot nematode; population dynamics; resistance; soil fumigation; 1,3-dichloropropene
The effects of different-colored polyethylene mulches on the quantity and spectra of reflected light, earliness of fruit set, fruit yield and quality, and root-knot disease were studied in field-grown, staked tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). White mulch reflected more photosynthetic light and a lower far-red-to-red ratio than red mulch, whereas black mulch reflected less than 5 percent of any color. Soil temperatures and fruit yields were recorded for tomato plants inoculated with Meloidogyne incognita race 3 at initial populations of 0, 1,000, 10,000, 50,000, or 100,000 eggs/plant and grown over black, white, or red plastic mulch in both spring and fall. Soil temperatures were lower under white mulch than under red or black mulch. Tomato yields declined as inoculum level increased. Plants grown over red mulch in the spring and inoculated with 50,000 eggs of M. incognita had greater early marketable yields than similarly inoculated plants grown over black or white mulch. Tomato plants inoculated with 100,000 eggs and grown over white mulch or red mulch in the spring had greater total yields per plot than similar plants grown over black mulch (7.39 kg and 7.71 kg vs. 3.65 kg, respectively).
colored mulch; light quality; Lycopersicon esculentum; Meloidogyne incognita; nematode; photomorphogenesis; photospectrum; physiology; root-knot nematode; tomato
The free proline content in maize ear-leaves, silk and pollen were analyzed in field grown plants which had matured to the pollination stage. Using maize hybrids PR34F02, PR35P12 and PR36B08 field trials were set up at two locations in eastern Croatia in two different years. Two enzymes of proline metabolism were analyzed in the same leaf samples and specific activities of synthetase (P5CS) and proline dehydrogenase (PDH). Plant productivity was evaluated at harvest by the estimation of total and fully developed grain number per ear and per plant, the mean single grain mass, and the mass of grain per plant. The year in which the plants were grown had a very significant effect on the free proline content in the leaf and pollen, as well as on the enzyme activities assayed. The differences between the plants from the two localities were very significant in all tested parameters of plant grain productivity. There was a significant genotype effect on proline content and P5CS total activity in leaf and on all the productivity parameters. Some of the correlations established suggest that the rate of proline synthesis and degradation in maize ear-leaf at pollination might contribute to the final grain production of the maize plant. Multiple regression analyses was used to further analyze the relationship between proline and grain productivity, but it is clear that future work should include other environmental conditions, plant species and organs such as roots.
maize; maize silk; plant productivity; pollen; proline; proline dehydrogenase; Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase; Zea mays L.
Growth room and glasshouse experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of constant and fluctuating temperatures on the development of Pasteuria penetrans a hyperparasite of root-knot nematodes. Tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) were inoculated with Meloidogyne javanica second-stage juveniles attached with endospores of P. penetrans and were grown in growth room at 26–29 °C and in glasshouse at 20–32 °C. The tomato plants were sampled from the growth room after 600 degree-days based on 17 °C/d, accumulating each day above a base temperature of 10 °C and from the glasshouse after 36 calendar days. Temperature affected the development of P. penetrans directly. The rate of development at constant temperature in growth room was faster than that in the glasshouse at fluctuating temperatures.
Pasteuria penetrans; Meloidogyne javanica; Development and tomato plants
The paper supports the view that ethylene plays a significant role in maintaining tomato pollen thermotolerance. Interfering with the ethylene signalling pathway or reducing ethylene levels and increased tomato pollen sensitivity to heat stress. On the other hand, increasing ethylene levels before heat-stress improved pollen quality.
Background and aims
Exposure to higher-than-optimal temperatures reduces crop yield and quality, mainly due to sensitivity of developing pollen grains. The mechanisms maintaining high pollen quality under heat-stress conditions are poorly understood. Our recently published data indicate high heat-stress-induced expression of ethylene-responsive genes in tomato pollen, indicating ethylene involvement in the pollen heat-stress response. Here we elucidated ethylene's involvement in pollen heat-stress response and thermotolerance by assessing the effects of interfering with the ethylene signalling pathway and altering ethylene levels on tomato pollen functioning under heat stress.
Plants of the ethylene-insensitive mutant Never ripe (Nr)—defective in an ethylene response sensor (ERS)-like ethylene receptor—and the corresponding wild type were exposed to control or heat-stress growing conditions, and pollen quality was determined. Starch and carbohydrates were measured in isolated pollen grains from these plants. The effect of pretreating cv. Micro-Tom tomato plants, prior to heat-stress exposure, with an ethylene releaser or inhibitor of ethylene biosynthesis on pollen quality was assessed.
Never ripe pollen grains exhibited higher heat-stress sensitivity, manifested by a significant reduction in the total number of pollen grains, reduction in the number of viable pollen and elevation of the number of non-viable pollen, compared with wild-type plants. Mature Nr pollen grains accumulated only 40 % of the sucrose level accumulated by the wild type. Pretreatment of tomato plants with an ethylene releaser increased pollen quality under heat stress, with an over 5-fold increase in the number of germinating pollen grains per flower. Pretreatment with an ethylene biosynthesis inhibitor reduced the number of germinating pollen grains following heat-stress exposure over 5-fold compared with non-treated controls.
Ethylene plays a significant role in tomato pollen thermotolerance. Interfering with the ethylene signalling pathway or reducing ethylene levels increased tomato pollen sensitivity to heat stress, whereas increasing ethylene levels prior to heat-stress exposure increased pollen quality.
The reproductive (gametophytic) phase in flowering plants is often highly sensitive to hot or cold temperature stresses, with even a single hot day or cold night sometimes being fatal to reproductive success. This review describes studies of temperature stress on several crop plants, which suggest that pollen development and fertilization may often be the most sensitive reproductive stage. Transcriptome and proteomic studies on several plant species are beginning to identify stress response pathways that function during pollen development. An example is provided here of genotypic differences in the reproductive stress tolerance between two ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana Columbia (Col) and Hilversum (Hi-0), when reproducing under conditions of hot days and cold nights. Hi-0 exhibited a more severe reduction in seed set, correlated with a reduction in pollen tube growth potential and tropism defects. Hi-0 thus provides an Arabidopsis model to investigate strategies for improved stress tolerance in pollen. Understanding how different plants cope with stress during reproductive development offers the potential to identify genetic traits that could be manipulated to improve temperature tolerance in selected crop species being cultivated in marginal climates.
Cold stress; fertilization; gene expression; heat stress; plant reproduction; pollen; pollen tropism; seed set
Agrobacterium tumefaciens stimulated and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici inhibited development and reproduction of Meloidogyne incognita when applied to the opposite split root of tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Tropic, plants. The lowest rate of nematode reproduction occurred after 2,000 juveniles were applied and the fungus was present in the opposite split root. The effects of all three pathogens alone on the growth of roots and shoots of tomato plants were evident, but M. incognita had a greater effect alone than did either of the other pathogens. The length of split roots was reduced by the infection of M. incognita and A. tumefaciens or F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici. The number of galls induced by nematodes on roots was higher where the bacterium was applied and lower where the fungus was applied to the opposite split root.
Agrobacterium tumefaciens; Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici; interaction; Lycopersicon esculentum; Meloidogyne incognita; split-root technique; tomato
Field trials were conducted at the Delhi Research Station, Ontario, Canada, on a Fox loamy sand soil during 1987 and 1988 to evaluate the effects of row application of the fumigants Telone II, Telone C-17, Vorlex Plus, and Vorlex Plus CP on the yield and quality of paste tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Ferry Morse 6203). The four fumigants were equally effective in controlling the natural field populations of root lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus penetrans Cobb). A significant reduction in marketable red fruit yield due to different nematode densities at time of transplanting was observed in 1988. Fumigation did not significantly affect the yield of nonmarketable fruit, the relative maturation rate, or the processing quality in either year.
chloropicrin; 1,3-dichloropropene; fumigation; Lycopersicon esculentum; methyl isothiocyanate; nematode; paste tomato; Pratylenchus penetrans; tomato
Background and Aims
Resource allocation to flowers, fruits and seeds can vary greatly within an inflorescence. For example, distal fruits are often smaller and produce fewer and smaller fruits and seeds than more basal fruits. To assess the causes and functional significance of intra-inflorescence variation, pollen and resources were manipulated to test whether such patterns could be altered within racemes of Stylidum armeria, a perennial Australian herb.
Pollen and resource levels were manipulated over two flowering seasons. How the number of ovules, fertilized ovules and seeds, the probability of fruit set, and the biomass of floral and fruiting structures varied with their position on the raceme were analysed.
Most plants showed a decline in ovule and seed number toward the distal positions on the raceme, but plants differed in their pattern of intra-inflorescence allocation: racemes with greater investment in basal fruits displayed a stronger trade-off with distal investment than did racemes that made smaller initial investments. This trade-off was (a) much stronger for ovule number than for seed number, (b) ameliorated but not erased by resource addition, and (c) exacerbated by resource reduction. There was large and seemingly erratic variation across fruit positions in ovule fertilization and seed set following both natural and supplemental pollination.
In S. armeria, allocation to reproductive traits within the inflorescence is influenced by dynamic trade-offs in resource allocation between early and late fruits, and may also be subject to inherent architectural effects. Large, unpredictable variation among fruits in fertilization success and seed set may influence the evolution of inflorescence size, ovule number and floral dimorphism.
Architectural effects; floral biomass; intra-inflorescence; pollen limitation; resource pre-emption; Stylidium armeria
Background and Aims
Allocation of resources to floral traits often declines distally within inflorescences in flowering plants. Architecture and resource competition have been proposed as underlying mechanisms. The aim of the present study is to assess the relative importance of resource competition and architectural effects in pollen and ovule production on racemes of Hosta ventricosa, an apomictic perennial herb.
Combinations of two defoliation treatments (intact and defoliated) and two fruit-set treatments (no-fruit and fruit) were created, and the roles of architecture and resource competition at each resource level were assessed.
Pollen and ovule number per flower increased after defoliation, but pollen to ovule ratio per flower did not change. Pollen, ovules and the pollen to ovule ratio per flower declined distally on racemes at each resource level. In the intact treatment, fruit development of early flowers did not affect either pollen or ovule number of late flowers. In the defoliated treatment, fruit development of early flowers reduced both pollen and ovule numbers of late flowers due to over-compensation caused by defoliation. Late flowers on defoliated fruit racemes produced less pollen than intact fruit racemes but the same number of ovules; therefore, the reduction in pollen number was not caused by over-compensation. In addition, the fruit-set rate of early flowers during flowering was higher in intact racemes than in defoliated racemes.
In flowering plants, the relative importance of architecture and resource competition in allocation to pollen and ovules may vary with the resource pools or the overall resource availability of maternal plants.
Apomixis; architectural effects; Hosta ventricosa; ovule number; pollen number; pollen to ovule ratio; resource competition; resource pools; within inflorescences
Reproductive development in sexual plants is substantially more sensitive to high temperature stress than vegetative development, resulting in negative implications for food and fiber production under the moderate temperature increases projected to result from global climate change. High temperature exposure either during early pollen development or during the progamic phase of pollen development will negatively impact pollen performance and reproductive output; both phases of pollen development are considered exceptionally sensitive to moderate heat stress. However, moderately elevated temperatures either before or during the progamic phase can limit fertilization by negatively impacting important pollen pistil interactions required for successful pollen tube growth toward the ovules. This mini-review identifies the impacts of heat stress on pollen-pistil interactions and sexual reproduction in angiosperms. A special emphasis is placed on the biochemical response of the pistil to moderately high temperature and the resultant influence on in vivo pollen performance and fertilization.
pollen-pistil interaction; carbohydrates; heat stress; fertilization; pollen tube growth; climate change
The size-advantage model predicts that hermaphroditic organisms adjust sex allocation depending on their resource status. We investigated the relationship between size and sex allocation in the co-sexual perennial herbs Trillium erectum and Trillium grandiflorum at two sites in southern Ontario, Canada by measuring pollen and ovule production and biomass allocation at flowering and fruiting. In both species, there was a strong relationship between size and gender; larger plants allocated proportionately more biomass to female reproduction and produced fewer pollen grains relative to ovules than smaller plants. Variation in gender was better explained by size than age, although age and size were correlated. While the relationship between size and gender was similar between species, T. erectum allocated proportionately more to female reproduction than T. grandiflorum, independent of size. In the absence of pollen limitation, there was no evidence of secondary adjustment of gender at fruiting. The results are discussed in the context of models predicting size-dependent gender modification in animal-pollinated plants. Evidence about the pollination and seed dispersal biology of Trillium spp. suggests that the relative effects of local mate and resource competition may be important in driving size-dependent sex allocation in these species.
Root-knot nematode resistance of F₁ progeny of an intraspecific hybrid (Lycopersicon peruvianum var. glandulosum Acc. No. 126443 x L. peruvianum Acc. No. 270435), L. esculentum cv. Piersol (possessing resistance gene Mi), and L. esculentum cv. St. Pierre (susceptible) was compared. Resistance to 1) isolates of two Meloidogyne incognita populations artificially selected for parasitism on tomato plants possessing the Mi gene, 2) the wild type parent populations, 3) four naturally occurring resistance (Mi gene)-breaking populations of M. incognita, M. arenaria, and two undesignated Meloidogyne spp., and 4) a population of M. hapla was indexed by numbers of egg masses produced on root systems in a greenhouse experiment. Artificially selected M. incognita isolates reproduced abundantly on Piersol, but not (P = 0.01) on resistant F₁ hybrids. Thus, the gene(s) for resistance in the F₁ hybrid differs from the Mi gene in Piersol. Four naturally occurring resistance-breaking populations reproduced extensively on Piersol and on the F₁ hybrid, demonstrating ability to circumvent both types of resistance. Meloidogyne hapla reproduced on F₁ hybrid plants, but at significantly (P = 0.01) lower levels than on Piersol.
Lycopersicon esculentum; Lycopersicon peruvianum; Meloidogyne arenaria; Meloidogyne hapla; Meloidogyne incognita; Meloidogyne javanica; resistance; root-knot nematode; tomato
Many flowering plants are unable to set seeds with their own pollen because a system known as gametophytic self-incompatibility is operating. The basis of this system is a single multiallelic locus S, and if the S allele carried by a pollen grain matches one of the two S alleles carried in the style, as it is certain to do upon self-pollination, then pollen tube growth is inhibited. Should one of the self-pollen grains carry a mutated S allele, however, it would not match either of those carried in the style and would therefore, not be inhibited. Gametophytic self-incompatibility thus provides a mechanism for discriminating between such mutant and nonmutant pollen grains. Knowing the numbers of pollen grains available to the stigma, and also the numbers of seeds produced, it becomes possible to estimate the frequency with which mutations occur at the S locus. Assay systems of mutagenesis which employ gametophytic self incompatibility will allow very large numbers of pollen grains to be screened for S allele mutants, which should indicate the mutagenicity of the environment. These systems have the added benefit that screening is done by the stylar tissues, rather than technicians. Finally, they may be used to construct largely autonomous assay systems which would provide continuous monitoring of the environment.
Grapevine flower development and fruit set are influenced by cold nights in the vineyard. To investigate the impact of cold stress on carbon metabolism in the inflorescence, we exposed the inflorescences of fruiting cuttings to chilling and freezing temperatures overnight and measured fluctuations in photosynthesis and sugar content. Whatever the temperature, after the stress treatment photosynthesis was modified in the inflorescence, but the nature of the alteration depended on the intensity of the cold stress. At 4°C, photosynthesis in the inflorescence was impaired through non-stomatal limitations, whereas at 0°C it was affected through stomatal limitations. A freezing night (−3°C) severely deregulated photosynthesis in the inflorescence, acting primarily on photosystem II. Cold nights also induced accumulation of sugars. Soluble carbohydrates increased in inflorescences exposed to −3°C, 0°C and 4°C, but starch accumulated only in inflorescences of plants treated at 0 and −3°C. These results suggest that inflorescences are able to cope with cold temperatures by adapting their carbohydrate metabolism using mechanisms that are differentially induced according to stress intensity.
Reproduction of Meloidogyne javanica on Crotalaria juncea PI 207657 and cv. Tropic Sun, Sesamum indicum, Dolichos lablab, and Elymus glaucus was assessed using a root-gall index, a reproductive index obtained by dividing the final population of juveniles (J2) in soil by the initial J2 population (Pf/Pi), and the number of J2 per gram of root recovered from roots by mist chamber extraction. Lycopersicon esculentum (cv. UC 204 C) was included as a susceptible host. The root-gall index and soil reproductive index were poor indicators of the host status of our test plants as compared with mist chamber extraction of J2 from roots. Lycopersicon esculentum had a mean root-gall index of 7.8. Some plants of S. indicum and E. glaucus had a few galls and other plants had none, with mean root-gall indices of 1.6 and 0.8, respectively. No galls were observed in C. juncea and D. lablab. Lycopersicon esculentum had the highest mean soil Pf/Pi value (mean = 1.93), while in C. juncea and some replicates of S. indicum no soil J2 were found. Even though some replicates had no galls, all replicates supported nematode reproduction. The mean numbers of J2 per gram root after 5 days of mist extraction were 447.7, 223.3, 165.5, 96.9, 42.3, and 41.9 for D. lablab, L. esculentum, E. glaucus, S. indicum, and C. juncea PI 207657 and cv. Tropic Sun, respectively. Accurate assessment of nematode resistance was influenced by sampling time and the nematode extraction technique used. Individual plants of both C. juncea and S. indicum supported nematode reproduction to some extent; however, both C. juncea and S. indicum have potential as cover crops to reduce M. javanica numbers.
Crotalaria; Dolichos; Elymus; host status; Meloidogyne javanica; nematode; nematode reproduction; Pf/Pi; reproductive index; resistance evaluation; root-gall index; Sesamum
The effects of soil solarization and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) genotype on populations of plant-parasitic nematodes and bacterial wilt were examined in North Florida. Maximum soil temperatures achieved under solarization treatments using a photoselective polyethylene mulch were 49.5, 46, and 40.5 C at depths of 5, 15, and 25 cm, respectively. Soil solarization reduced (P < 0.05) populations of Paratrichodorus minor, Rotylenchulus reniformis, and Criconemella spp. 85 days after transplanting on the cultivar Solar Set. Soil solarization reduced (P < 0.10) populations of P. minor, R. reniformis, and Criconemella spp. on the breeding line Fla. 7421. Reductions of P. minor and Criconemella spp. on Solar Set and Fla. 7421 were similar to those achieved by fumigation with a 67:33 mixture of methyl bromide and chloropicrin (448 kg/ha). Fla. 7421 reduced (P < 0.10) populations of R. reniformis compared with Solar Set. Neither soil solarization nor fumigation reduced the incidence of bacterial wilt on the susceptible cultivar Solar Set. This study demonstrates the ability of soil solarization to provide season-long control of plant-parasitic nematodes of tomato under a climatic regime characterized by periods of abundant rainfall and extended cloud cover.
bacterial wilt; Criconemella spp.; Helicotylenchus spp.; Lycopersicon esculentum; Meloidogyne incognita; nematode; Paratrichodorus minor; Pseudomonas solanacearum; Rotylenchulus reniformis; soil solarization; tomato
Arabidopsis has three cytokinin receptors genes: CRE1, AHK2 and AHK3. Availability of plants that are homozygous mutant for these three genes indicates that cytokinin receptors in the haploid cells are dispensable for the development of male and female gametophytes. The triple mutants form a few flowers but never set seed, indicating that reproductive growth is impaired. We investigated which reproductive processes are affected in the triple mutants. Anthers of mutant plants contained fewer pollen grains and did not dehisce. Pollen in the anthers completed the formation of the one vegetative nucleus and the two sperm nuclei, as seen in wild type. The majority of the ovules were abnormal: 78% lacked the embryo sac, 10% carried a female gametophyte that terminated its development before completing three rounds of nuclear division, and about 12% completed three rounds of nuclear division but the gametophytes were smaller than those of the wild type. Reciprocal crosses between the wild type and the triple mutants indicated that pollen from mutant plants did not germinate on wild-type stigmas, and wild-type pollen did not germinate on mutant stigmas. These results suggest that cytokinin receptors in the sporophyte are indispensable for anther dehiscence, pollen maturation, induction of pollen germination by the stigma and female gametophyte formation and maturation.
cytokinin; cytokinin receptor; female gametophyte; male gametophyte; stigma
High salinity and drought have received much attention because they severely affect crop production worldwide. Analysis and comprehension of the plant's response to excessive salt and dehydration will aid in the development of stress-tolerant crop varieties. Signal transduction lies at the basis of the response to these stresses, and numerous signaling pathways have been implicated. Here, we provide further evidence for the involvement of phospholipase D (PLD) in the plant's response to high salinity and dehydration. A tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) α-class PLD, LePLDα1, is transcriptionally up-regulated and activated in cell suspension cultures treated with salt. Gene silencing revealed that this PLD is indeed involved in the salt-induced phosphatidic acid production, but not exclusively. Genetically modified tomato plants with reduced LePLDα1 protein levels did not reveal altered salt tolerance. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), both AtPLDα1 and AtPLDδ were found to be activated in response to salt stress. Moreover, pldα1 and pldδ single and double knock-out mutants exhibited enhanced sensitivity to high salinity stress in a plate assay. Furthermore, we show that both PLDs are activated upon dehydration and the knock-out mutants are hypersensitive to hyperosmotic stress, displaying strongly reduced growth.
Phospholipase D; High salinity; Drought; Phosphatidic acid; Arabidopsis; Tomato
Plant reproductive development is more sensitive than vegetative growth to many environmental stresses. High temperature (HT) injury is becoming an increasingly serious problem due to recent global warming. In wheat, barley, and other crops, the early phase of anther development is most susceptible to HT. I and my colleagues recently demonstrated that HT causes cell proliferation arrest and represses auxin signaling in a tissue-specific manner in the anther cells of barley and Arabidopsis. HT also caused comprehensive alterations in transcription. The application of auxin at the same time blocked the transcriptional alterations, led to the production of normal pollen grains, and restored the normal seed setting rate under increasing temperatures. Although synthetic auxins have been used widely as potent and selective herbicides, these recent results indicate that auxin is useful for the promotion of fertility and maintenance of crop yields under the threat of global warming.
anther development; Arabidopsis; auxin; barley; high temperature injury; male sterility; tapetal degeneration; YUCCA
Episodes of high temperature at anthesis, which in rice is the most sensitive stage to temperature, are expected to occur more frequently in future climates. The morphology of the reproductive organs and pollen number, and changes in anther protein expression, were studied in response to high temperature at anthesis in three rice (Oryza sativa L.) genotypes. Plants were exposed to 6 h of high (38 °C) and control (29 °C) temperature at anthesis and spikelets collected for morphological and proteomic analysis. Moroberekan was the most heat-sensitive genotype (18% spikelet fertility at 38 °C), while IR64 (48%) and N22 (71%) were moderately and highly heat tolerant, respectively. There were significant differences among the genotypes in anther length and width, apical and basal pore lengths, apical pore area, and stigma and pistil length. Temperature also affected some of these traits, increasing anther pore size and reducing stigma length. Nonetheless, variation in the number of pollen on the stigma could not be related to measured morphological traits. Variation in spikelet fertility was highly correlated (r=0.97, n=6) with the proportion of spikelets with ≥20 germinated pollen grains on the stigma. A 2D-gel electrophoresis showed 46 protein spots changing in abundance, of which 13 differentially expressed protein spots were analysed by MS/MALDI-TOF. A cold and a heat shock protein were found significantly up-regulated in N22, and this may have contributed to the greater heat tolerance of N22. The role of differentially expressed proteins and morphology during anther dehiscence and pollination in shaping heat tolerance and susceptibility is discussed.
Anther; high temperature; pollen; proteomics; rice; spikelet fertility
Over a season, plant condition, amount of ongoing reproduction and biotic and abiotic environmental factors vary. As flowers age, flower condition and amount of pollen donated and received also vary. These internal and external changes are significant for fitness if they result in changes in reproduction and mating.
Literature from several fields was reviewed to provide a picture of the changes that occur in plants and flowers that can affect mating over a season. As flowers age, both the entire flower and individual floral whorls show changes in appearance and function. Over a season, changes in mating often appear as alteration in seed production vs. pollen donation. In several species, older, unpollinated flowers are more likely to self. If flowers are receiving pollen, staying open longer may increase the number of mates. In wild radish, for which there is considerable information on seed paternity, older flowers produce fewer seeds and appear to discriminate less among pollen donors. Pollen donor performance can also be linked to maternal plant age. Different pollinators and mates are available across the season. Also in wild radish, maternal plants appear to exert the most control over paternity when they are of intermediate age.
Although much is known about the characters of plants and flowers that can change over a season, there is less information on the effects of age on mating. Several studies document changes in self-pollination over time, but very few, other than those on wild radish, consider more subtle aspects of differential success of pollen donors over time.
Mating patterns; plant age; flower age; wild radish; Raphanus
Fluctuations in temperature occur naturally during plant growth and reproduction. However, in the hot summers this variation may become stressful and damaging for the molecular mechanisms involved in proper cell growth, impairing thus plant development and particularly fruit-set in many crop plants. Tolerance to such a stress can be achieved by constitutive gene expression or by rapid changes in gene expression, which ultimately leads to protection against thermal damage. We have used cDNA-AFLP and microarray analyses to compare the early response of the tomato meiotic anther transcriptome to moderate heat stress conditions (32°C) in a heat-tolerant and a heat-sensitive tomato genotype. In the light of the expected global temperature increases, elucidating such protective mechanisms and identifying candidate tolerance genes can be used to improve breeding strategies for crop tolerance to heat stress.
The cDNA-AFLP analysis shows that 30 h of moderate heat stress (MHS) alter the expression of approximately 1% of the studied transcript-derived fragments in a heat-sensitive genotype. The major effect is gene down-regulation after the first 2 h of stress. The microarray analysis subsequently applied to elucidate early responses of a heat-tolerant and a heat-sensitive tomato genotype, also shows about 1% of the genes having significant changes in expression after the 2 h of stress. The tolerant genotype not only reacts with moderate transcriptomic changes but also exhibits constitutively higher expression levels of genes involved in protection and thermotolerance.
In contrast to the heat-sensitive genotype, the heat-tolerant genotype exhibits moderate transcriptional changes under moderate heat stress. Moreover, the heat-tolerant genotype also shows a different constitutive gene expression profile compared to the heat-sensitive genotype, indicating genetic differences in adaptation to increased temperatures. In the heat-tolerant genotype, the majority of changes in gene expression is represented by up-regulation, while in the heat-sensitive genotype there is a general trend to down-regulate gene expression upon MHS. The putative functions associated with the genes identified by cDNA-AFLP or microarray indicate the involvement of heat shock, metabolism, antioxidant and development pathways. Based on the observed differences in response to MHS and on literature sources, we identified a number of candidate transcripts involved in heat-tolerance.