The negative effects of climate change are already evident for many of the 25 million coffee farmers across the tropics and the 90 billion dollar (US) coffee industry. The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei), the most important pest of coffee worldwide, has already benefited from the temperature rise in East Africa: increased damage to coffee crops and expansion in its distribution range have been reported. In order to anticipate threats and prioritize management actions for H. hampei we present here, maps on future distributions of H. hampei in coffee producing areas of East Africa. Using the CLIMEX model we relate present-day insect distributions to current climate and then project the fitted climatic envelopes under future scenarios A2A and B2B (for HADCM3 model). In both scenarios, the situation with H. hampei is forecasted to worsen in the current Coffea arabica producing areas of Ethiopia, the Ugandan part of the Lake Victoria and Mt. Elgon regions, Mt. Kenya and the Kenyan side of Mt. Elgon, and most of Rwanda and Burundi. The calculated hypothetical number of generations per year of H. hampei is predicted to increase in all C. arabica-producing areas from five to ten. These outcomes will have serious implications for C. arabica production and livelihoods in East Africa. We suggest that the best way to adapt to a rise of temperatures in coffee plantations could be via the introduction of shade trees in sun grown plantations. The aims of this study are to fill knowledge gaps existing in the coffee industry, and to draft an outline for the development of an adaptation strategy package for climate change on coffee production. An abstract in Spanish is provided as Abstract S1.
Coffee is one of the most important plantation crops, grown in about 80 countries across the world. The genus Coffea comprises approximately 100 species of which only two species, that is, Coffea arabica (commonly known as arabica coffee) and Coffea canephora (known as robusta coffee), are commercially cultivated. Genetic improvement of coffee through traditional breeding is slow due to the perennial nature of the plant. Genetic transformation has tremendous potential in developing improved coffee varieties with desired agronomic traits, which are otherwise difficult to achieve through traditional breeding. During the last twenty years, significant progress has been made in coffee biotechnology, particularly in the area of transgenic technology. This paper provides a detailed account of the advances made in the genetic transformation of coffee and their potential applications.
The coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is endemic to Africa and is the most devastating pest of coffee worldwide. The female bores a hole in the coffee berry and deposits her eggs inside. Upon hatching, larvae feed on the seeds, thus reducing both quality and yields of the marketable product. The coffee berry borer was found in the district of Kona on the island of Hawaii in August 2010 and appears to be restricted to that area.
bark beetle; broca; Scolytinae
The coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei, reproduces and feeds exclusively on the mature endosperm of the coffee seed, which has a cell wall composed mainly of a heterogeneous mixture of hemicellulose polysaccharides, including arabinoxylans. Xylanases are digestive enzymes responsible for the degradation of xylan based polymers, hydrolyzing them into smaller molecules that are easier to assimilate by insects. We report the cloning, expression and enzymatic characterization of a xylanase gene that was identified in the digestive tract of the coffee berry borer.
The complete DNA sequence encoding a H. hampei xylanase (HhXyl) was obtained using a genome walking technique in a cDNA library derived from the borer digestive tract. The XIP-I gene was amplified from wheat (Triticum aestivum variety Soisson). A Pichia pastoris expression system was used to express the recombinant form of these enzymes. The xylanase activity and XIP-I inhibitory activity was quantified by the 3,5-dinitrosalicylic (DNS). The biological effects of XIP-I on borer individuals were evaluated by providing an artificial diet enriched with the recombinant XIP-I protein to the insects.
The borer xylanase sequence contains a 951 bp open reading frame that is predicted to encode a 317-amino acid protein, with an estimated molecular weight of 34.92 kDa and a pI of 4.84. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that HhXyl exhibits high sequence homology with endo-β-D-xylanases of Streptomyces bingchenggensis from glycosyl hydrolase 10 (GH10). The recombinant xylanase showed maximal activity at pH 5.5 and 37°C. XIP-I expressed as a recombinant protein inhibited HhXyl activity in vitro and caused individual H. hampei mortality in bioassays when included as a supplement in artificial diets.
A xylanase from the digestive tract of the coffee berry borer was identified and functionally characterized. A xylanase inhibitor protein, XIP-I, from wheat was shown to be a potent inhibitor of this xylanase, suggesting that its deployment has potential as a strategy to control coffee berry borer colonization of coffee plants.
Two genes from Streptomyces albidoflavus, one exochitinase (905-bp) and an endochitinase (1100-bp) were functionally expressed in Escherichia coli in form of a fusion protein with a maltose binding protein (MBP). The goal was to produce and test proteins that inhibit both the coffee berry borer insect Hypothenemus hampei and the coffee rust fungus Hemileia vastatrix. Both recombinant proteins MBP/exochitinase and MBP/endochitinase showed chitinolytic activity. When recombinant purified proteins were added to an artificial coffee-based diet for the coffee berry borer, MBP/exochitinase at a concentration of 0.5% W/W caused delayed growth of larvae and 100% mortality between days 8 and 15, while MBP/endochitinase caused 100% mortality at day 35. H. vastatrix urediniospores presented total cell wall degradation in their germinative tubes within 18 h of exposure to the proteins at enzyme concentrations of 5 and 6 mg ml-1, with exochitinase having the greatest effect. The dual deleterious effect of S. albidoflavus chitinases on two of the most limiting coffee pests worldwide, the coffee borer and the coffee rust, make them potential elements to be incorporated in integrated control strategies.
Coffee-based artificial diet; Uredinospores; Arrested development; Fungal cell wall; Growth; Mortality
Coffee is predicted to be severely affected by climate change. We determined the thermal tolerance of the coffee berry borer , Hypothenemus hampei, the most devastating pest of coffee worldwide, and make inferences on the possible effects of climate change using climatic data from Colombia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. For this, the effect of eight temperature regimes (15, 20, 23, 25, 27, 30, 33 and 35°C) on the bionomics of H. hampei was studied. Successful egg to adult development occurred between 20–30°C. Using linear regression and a modified Logan model, the lower and upper thresholds for development were estimated at 14.9 and 32°C, respectively. In Kenya and Colombia, the number of pest generations per year was considerably and positively correlated with the warming tolerance. Analysing 32 years of climatic data from Jimma (Ethiopia) revealed that before 1984 it was too cold for H. hampei to complete even one generation per year, but thereafter, because of rising temperatures in the area, 1–2 generations per year/coffee season could be completed. Calculated data on warming tolerance and thermal safety margins of H. hampei for the three East African locations showed considerably high variability compared to the Colombian site. The model indicates that for every 1°C rise in thermal optimum (Topt.), the maximum intrinsic rate of increase (rmax) will increase by an average of 8.5%. The effects of climate change on the further range of H. hampei distribution and possible adaption strategies are discussed. Abstracts in Spanish and French are provided as supplementary material Abstract S1 and Abstract S2.
Background and Aims
Galactomannans act as storage reserves for the seeds in some plants, such as guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) and coffee (Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora). In coffee, the galactomannans can represent up to 25 % of the mass of the mature green coffee grain, and they exert a significant influence on the production of different types of coffee products. The objective of the current work was to isolate and characterize cDNA encoding proteins responsible for galactomannan synthesis in coffee and to study the expression of the corresponding transcripts in the developing coffee grain from C. arabica and C. canephora, which potentially exhibit slight galactomannan variations. Comparative gene expression analysis was also carried out for several other tissues of C. arabica and C. canephora.
cDNA banks, RACE-PCR and genome walking were used to generate full-length cDNA for two putative coffee mannan synthases (ManS) and two galactomannan galactosyl transferases (GMGT). Gene-specific probe-primer sets were then generated and used to carry out comparative expression analysis of the corresponding genes in different coffee tissues using quantitative RT-PCR
Two of the putative galactomannan biosynthetic genes, ManS1 and GMGT1, were demonstrated to have very high expression in the developing coffee grain of both Coffea species during endosperm development, consistent with our proposal that these two genes are responsible for the production of the majority of the galactomannans found in the grain. In contrast, the expression data presented indicates that the ManS2 gene product is probably involved in the synthesis of the galactomannans found in green tissue.
The identification of genes implicated in galactomannan synthesis in coffee are presented. The data obtained will enable more detailed studies on the biosynthesis of this important component of coffee grain and contribute to a better understanding of some functional differences between grain from C. arabica and C. canephora.
Coffea; galactomannans; mannan synthase; galactomannan galactosyl transferase; coffee grain
Coffee is one of the world's most important crops; it is consumed worldwide and plays a significant role in the economy of producing countries. Coffea arabica and C. canephora are responsible for 70 and 30% of commercial production, respectively. C. arabica is an allotetraploid from a recent hybridization of the diploid species, C. canephora and C. eugenioides. C. arabica has lower genetic diversity and results in a higher quality beverage than C. canephora. Research initiatives have been launched to produce genomic and transcriptomic data about Coffea spp. as a strategy to improve breeding efficiency.
Assembling the expressed sequence tags (ESTs) of C. arabica and C. canephora produced by the Brazilian Coffee Genome Project and the Nestlé-Cornell Consortium revealed 32,007 clusters of C. arabica and 16,665 clusters of C. canephora. We detected different GC3 profiles between these species that are related to their genome structure and mating system. BLAST analysis revealed similarities between coffee and grape (Vitis vinifera) genes. Using KA/KS analysis, we identified coffee genes under purifying and positive selection. Protein domain and gene ontology analyses suggested differences between Coffea spp. data, mainly in relation to complex sugar synthases and nucleotide binding proteins. OrthoMCL was used to identify specific and prevalent coffee protein families when compared to five other plant species. Among the interesting families annotated are new cystatins, glycine-rich proteins and RALF-like peptides. Hierarchical clustering was used to independently group C. arabica and C. canephora expression clusters according to expression data extracted from EST libraries, resulting in the identification of differentially expressed genes. Based on these results, we emphasize gene annotation and discuss plant defenses, abiotic stress and cup quality-related functional categories.
We present the first comprehensive genome-wide transcript profile study of C. arabica and C. canephora, which can be freely assessed by the scientific community at http://www.lge.ibi.unicamp.br/coffea. Our data reveal the presence of species-specific/prevalent genes in coffee that may help to explain particular characteristics of these two crops. The identification of differentially expressed transcripts offers a starting point for the correlation between gene expression profiles and Coffea spp. developmental traits, providing valuable insights for coffee breeding and biotechnology, especially concerning sugar metabolism and stress tolerance.
Coffea arabica L. (arabica coffee), the only tetraploid species in the genus Coffea, represents the majority of the world's coffee production and has a significant contribution to Nicaragua's economy. The present paper was conducted to determine the genetic diversity of arabica coffee in Nicaragua for its conservation and breeding values. Twenty-six populations that represent eight varieties in Nicaragua were investigated using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. A total of 24 alleles were obtained from the 12 loci investigated across 260 individual plants. The total Nei's gene diversity (HT) and the within-population gene diversity (HS) were 0.35 and 0.29, respectively, which is comparable with that previously reported from other countries and regions. Among the varieties, the highest diversity was recorded in the variety Catimor. Analysis of variance (AMOVA) revealed that about 87% of the total genetic variation was found within populations and the remaining 13% differentiate the populations (FST = 0.13; P < 0.001). The variation among the varieties was also significant. The genetic variation in Nicaraguan coffee is significant enough to be used in the breeding programs, and most of this variation can be conserved through ex situ conservation of a low number of populations from each variety.
Two isolates of fungal entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) were grown on cooked rice using diphasic liquid-solid fermentation in plastic bags to produce and harvest spore powder. The cultures were dried and significant differences were found for isolates and time of harvest. The spores were harvested manually and mechanically and after the cultures were dried for nine days, when moisture content was near 10%. After harvesting, spores were submitted to quality control to assess concentration, germination, purity, moisture content, particle size and pathogenicity to the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Spore productivity on cooked rice was less than 1×1010 spores/g using both manually and mechanically harvesting methodologies. Germination at 24 hours was over 75% and pathogenicity against H. hampei was over 92.5%. This methodology is suitable for laboratory and field studies, but not for industrial production when a high concentration of spores are required for formulation and field applications.
spore harvesting; germination; pathogenicity; broca
Microsatellite markers, also known as SSRs (Simple Sequence Repeats), have proved to be excellent tools for identifying variety and determining genetic relationships. A set of 127 SSR markers was used to analyze genetic similarity in twenty five Coffea arabica varieties. These were composed of nineteen commercially important Brazilians and six interspecific hybrids of Coffea arabica, Coffea canephora and Coffealiberica. The set used comprised 52 newly developed SSR markers derived from microsatellite enriched libraries, 56 designed on the basis of coffee SSR sequences available from public databases, 6 already published, and 13 universal chloroplast microsatellite markers. Only 22 were polymorphic, these detecting 2-7 alleles per marker, an average of 2.5. Based on the banding patterns generated by polymorphic SSR loci, the set of twenty-five coffee varieties were clustered into two main groups, one composed of only Brazilian varieties, and the other of interspecific hybrids, with a few Brazilians. Color mutants could not be separated. Clustering was in accordance with material genealogy thereby revealing high similarity.
SSR; coffee; genetic similarity; molecular marker
Most disease-resistance (R) genes in plants encode NBS-LRR proteins and belong to one of the largest and most variable gene families among plant genomes. However, the specific evolutionary routes of NBS-LRR encoding genes remain elusive. Recently in coffee tree (Coffea arabica), a region spanning the SH3 locus that confers resistance to coffee leaf rust, one of the most serious coffee diseases, was identified and characterized. Using comparative sequence analysis, the purpose of the present study was to gain insight into the genomic organization and evolution of the SH3 locus.
Sequence analysis of the SH3 region in three coffee genomes, Ea and Ca subgenomes from the allotetraploid C. arabica and Cc genome from the diploid C. canephora, revealed the presence of 5, 3 and 4 R genes in Ea, Ca, and Cc genomes, respectively. All these R-gene sequences appeared to be members of a CC-NBS-LRR (CNL) gene family that was only found at the SH3 locus in C. arabica. Furthermore, while homologs were found in several dicot species, comparative genomic analysis failed to find any CNL R-gene in the orthologous regions of other eudicot species. The orthology relationship among the SH3-CNL copies in the three analyzed genomes was determined and the duplication/deletion events that shaped the SH3 locus were traced back. Gene conversion events were detected between paralogs in all three genomes and also between the two sub-genomes of C. arabica. Significant positive selection was detected in the solvent-exposed residues of the SH3-CNL copies.
The ancestral SH3-CNL copy was inserted in the SH3 locus after the divergence between Solanales and Rubiales lineages. Moreover, the origin of most of the SH3-CNL copies predates the divergence between Coffea species. The SH3-CNL family appeared to evolve following the birth-and-death model, since duplications and deletions were inferred in the evolution of the SH3 locus. Gene conversion between paralog members, inter-subgenome sequence exchanges and positive selection appear to be the major forces acting on the evolution of SH3-CNL in coffee trees.
Global environmental changes (GEC) such as climate change (CC) and climate variability have serious impacts in the tropics, particularly in Africa. These are compounded by changes in land use/land cover, which in turn are driven mainly by economic and population growth, and urbanization. These factors create a feedback loop, which affects ecosystems and particularly ecosystem services, for example plant-insect interactions, and by consequence agricultural productivity. We studied effects of GEC at a local level, using a traditional coffee production area in greater Nairobi, Kenya. We chose coffee, the most valuable agricultural commodity worldwide, as it generates income for 100 million people, mainly in the developing world. Using the coffee berry borer, the most serious biotic threat to global coffee production, we show how environmental changes and different production systems (shaded and sun-grown coffee) can affect the crop. We combined detailed entomological assessments with historic climate records (from 1929–2011), and spatial and demographic data, to assess GEC's impact on coffee at a local scale. Additionally, we tested the utility of an adaptation strategy that is simple and easy to implement. Our results show that while interactions between CC and migration/urbanization, with its resultant landscape modifications, create a feedback loop whereby agroecosystems such as coffee are adversely affected, bio-diverse shaded coffee proved far more resilient and productive than coffee grown in monoculture, and was significantly less harmed by its insect pest. Thus, a relatively simple strategy such as shading coffee can tremendously improve resilience of agro-ecosystems, providing small-scale farmers in Africa with an easily implemented tool to safeguard their livelihoods in a changing climate.
Five mealybug (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) plant pest species: Dysmicoccus grassii (Leonardi), Ferrisia malvastra (McDaniel), Ferrisia virgata (Cockerell), Phenacoccus tucumanus Granara de Willink, and Pseudococcus elisae Borchsenius are recorded for the first time in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil. These are the first records of D. grassii in Brazil, from papaya (Carica papaya, Caricaceae), and from coffee (Coffea canephora, Rubiaceae). Ferrisia malvastra is also newly recorded in Brazil, where it was found on Bidens pilosa (Asteraceae). Ferrisia virgata was collected from an unidentified weed and Phenacoccus tucumanus from Citrus sp. (Rutaceae). Plotococcus capixaba Kondo was found on pitanga (Eugenia cf. pitanga, Myrtaceae) and Pseudococcus elisae on Coffea canephora, which are new host records for these mealybugs.
Dysmicoccus grassii; Ferrisia malvastra; Ferrisia virgata; Phenacoccus tucumanus; Planococcus minor; Plotococcus capixaba; Pseudococcus elisae; Coffea canephora; Carica papaya; Bidens pilosa; Eugenia cf. pitanga
Two experiments were carried out to evaluate the effects of Pratylenchus brachyurus and P. coffeae on Coffea arabica. The first experiment was conducted in a greenhouse to determine the effects of Pratylenchus brachyurus and P. coffeae on seedlings of Coffea arabica cv. Mundo Novo. Both Pratylenchus spp. reduced the growth of coffee seedlings. Higher contents of soluble sugars were detected in the leaves of infected plants. The reproduction rate of P. brachyurus was very low on cv. Mundo Novo, indicating an intolerance to this nematode. In a second experiment, C. arabica cultivars Mundo Novo and Catuaf both were intolerant hosts of P. brachyurus.
caffeine; carbohydrates; chlorophyll; coffee; intolerance; Pratylenchus brachyurus; Pratylenchus coffeae; protein susceptibility
Leaf rust, which is caused by the fungus Hemileia vastatrix (Pucciniales), is a devastating disease that affects coffee plants (Coffea arabica L.). Disadvantages that are associated with currently developed phytoprotection approaches have recently led to the search for alternative strategies. These include genetic manipulations that constitutively activate disease resistance signaling pathways. However, molecular actors of such pathways still remain unknown in C. arabica. In this study, we have isolated and characterized the coffee NDR1 gene, whose Arabidopsis ortholog is a well-known master regulator of the hypersensitive response that is dependent on coiled-coil type R-proteins.
Two highly homologous cDNAs coding for putative NDR1 proteins were identified and cloned from leaves of coffee plants. One of the candidate coding sequences was then expressed in the Arabidopsis knock-out null mutant ndr1-1. Upon a challenge with a specific strain of the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae (DC3000::AvrRpt2), analysis of both macroscopic symptoms and in planta microbial growth showed that the coffee cDNA was able to restore the resistance phenotype in the mutant genetic background. Thus, the cDNA was dubbed CaNDR1a (standing for Coffea arabica Non-race specific Disease Resistance 1a). Finally, biochemical and microscopy data were obtained that strongly suggest the mechanistic conservation of the NDR1-driven function within coffee and Arabidopsis plants. Using a transient expression system, it was indeed shown that the CaNDR1a protein, like its Arabidopsis counterpart, is localized to the plasma membrane, where it is possibly tethered by means of a GPI anchor.
Our data provide molecular and genetic evidence for the identification of a novel functional NDR1 homolog in plants. As a key regulator initiating hypersensitive signalling pathways, CaNDR1 gene(s) might be target(s) of choice for manipulating the coffee innate immune system and achieving broad spectrum resistance to pathogens. Given the potential conservation of NDR1-dependent defense mechanisms between Arabidopsis and coffee plants, our work also suggests new ways to isolate the as-yet-unidentified R-gene(s) responsible for resistance to H. vastatrix.
Asian rust (Phakopsora pachyrhizi) is a common disease in Brazilian soybean fields and it is difficult to control. To identify a biochemical candidate with potential to combat this disease, a new chitinase-like xylanase inhibitor protein (XIP) from coffee (Coffea arabica) (CaclXIP) leaves was cloned into the pGAPZα-B vector for expression in Pichia pastoris.
A cDNA encoding a chitinase-like xylanase inhibitor protein (XIP) from coffee (Coffea arabica) (CaclXIP), was isolated from leaves. The amino acid sequence predicts a (β/α)8 topology common to Class III Chitinases (glycoside hydrolase family 18 proteins; GH18), and shares similarity with other GH18 members, although it lacks the glutamic acid residue essential for catalysis, which is replaced by glutamine. CaclXIP was expressed as a recombinant protein in Pichia pastoris. Enzymatic assay showed that purified recombinant CaclXIP had only residual chitinolytic activity. However, it inhibited xylanases from Acrophialophora nainiana by approx. 60% when present at 12:1 (w/w) enzyme:inhibitor ratio. Additionally, CaclXIP at 1.5 μg/μL inhibited the germination of spores of Phakopsora pachyrhizi by 45%.
Our data suggests that CaclXIP belongs to a class of naturally inactive chitinases that have evolved to act in plant cell defence as xylanase inhibitors. Its role on inhibiting germination of fungal spores makes it an eligible candidate gene for the control of Asian rust.
The genomic era facilitates the understanding of how transcriptional networks are interconnected to program seed development and filling. However, to date, little information is available regarding dicot seeds with a transient perisperm and a persistent, copious endosperm. Coffea arabica is the subject of increasing genomic research and is a model for nonorthodox albuminous dicot seeds of tropical origin.The aim of this study was to reconstruct the metabolic pathways involved in the biosynthesis of the main coffee seed storage compounds, namely cell wall polysaccharides, triacylglycerols, sucrose, and chlorogenic acids. For this purpose, we integrated transcriptomic and metabolite analyses, combining real-time RT-PCR performed on 137 selected genes (of which 79 were uncharacterized in Coffea) and metabolite profiling.Our map-drawing approach derived from model plants enabled us to propose a rationale for the peculiar traits of the coffee endosperm, such as its unusual fatty acid composition, remarkable accumulation of chlorogenic acid and cell wall polysaccharides.Comparison with the developmental features of exalbuminous seeds described in the literature revealed that the two seed types share important regulatory mechanisms for reserve biosynthesis, independent of the origin and ploidy level of the storage tissue.
albuminous seed development; Coffea arabica (coffee); gene profiling; metabolic pathways
The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying drought acclimation in coffee plants by the identification of candidate genes (CGs) using different approaches. The first approach used the data generated during the Brazilian Coffee expressed sequence tag (EST) project to select 13 CGs by an in silico analysis (electronic northern). The second approach was based on screening macroarrays spotted with plasmid DNA (coffee ESTs) with separate hybridizations using leaf cDNA probes from drought-tolerant and susceptible clones of Coffea canephora var. Conilon, grown under different water regimes. This allowed the isolation of seven additional CGs. The third approach used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis to identify proteins displaying differential accumulation in leaves of drought-tolerant and susceptible clones of C. canephora. Six of them were characterized by MALDI-TOF-MS/MS (matrix-assisted laser desorption-time of flight-tandem mass spectrometry) and the corresponding proteins were identified. Finally, additional CGs were selected from the literature, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was performed to analyse the expression of all identified CGs. Altogether, >40 genes presenting differential gene expression during drought acclimation were identified, some of them showing different expression profiles between drought-tolerant and susceptible clones. Based on the obtained results, it can be concluded that factors involved a complex network of responses probably involving the abscisic signalling pathway and nitric oxide are major molecular determinants that might explain the better efficiency in controlling stomata closure and transpiration displayed by drought-tolerant clones of C. canephora.
Coffea canephora; differential expression; drought acclimation; proteomic; real-time PCR; candidate gene
Phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) is the first entry enzyme of the phenylpropanoid pathway producing phenolics, widespread constituents of plant foods and beverages, including chlorogenic acids, polyphenols found at remarkably high levels in the coffee bean and long recognized as powerful antioxidants. To date, whereas PAL is generally encoded by a small gene family, only one gene has been characterized in Coffea canephora (CcPAL1), an economically important species of cultivated coffee. In this study, a molecular- and bioinformatic-based search for CcPAL1 paralogues resulted successfully in identifying two additional genes, CcPAL2 and CcPAL3, presenting similar genomic structures and encoding proteins with close sequences. Genetic mapping helped position each gene in three different coffee linkage groups, CcPAL2 in particular, located in a coffee genome linkage group (F) which is syntenic to a region of Tomato Chromosome 9 containing a PAL gene. These results, combined with a phylogenetic study, strongly suggest that CcPAL2 may be the ancestral gene of C. canephora. A quantitative gene expression analysis was also conducted in coffee tissues, showing that all genes are transcriptionally active, but they present distinct expression levels and patterns. We discovered that CcPAL2 transcripts appeared predominantly in flower, fruit pericarp and vegetative/lignifying tissues like roots and branches, whereas CcPAL1 and CcPAL3 were highly expressed in immature fruit. This is the first comprehensive study dedicated to PAL gene family characterization in coffee, allowing us to advance functional studies which are indispensable to learning to decipher what role this family plays in channeling the metabolism of coffee phenylpropanoids.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00425-012-1613-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Chlorogenic acids; Coffea; Gene expression; Gene structure; Mapping; Phenylalanine ammonia lyase
Two experiments were conducted to assess nutrient partitioning in coffee (Coffea arabica cv. Typica land race Guatemala) infected with Meloidogyne konaensis. Nutrient levels were quantified from soil, roots, and leaves. In the first experiment, 500-cm3 aliquants of a Kealakekua Andisol were infested with four initial population densities of M. konaensis ranging from 0 to 1,500 freshly hatched second-stage juveniles. Coffee plants (~3 months old) were transplanted into the soil and grown for 25 weeks. Plants responded to nematode infection with decreases (P < 0.05) in concentrations of Ca, Mg, P, and B and increases (P < 0.05) in concentrations of Mn, Cu, Zn, and Ca/B in the roots. Mn and Cu uptake by roots was decreased (P < 0.05) by nematode infection even though concentrations of Mn and Cu increased (P < 0.05) in the roots. Concentrations of Ca and Mg also decreased (P < 0.05) in the leaves, whereas the concentration of Zn increased (P < 0.05). In the second experiment, the soil was amended with Zn at 0 or 5 mg/kg soil and infested with M. konaensis at 0, 100, 1,000 or 10,000 eggs/1,200 cm3 soil. Three-month-old coffee seedlings of similar height were weighed and transplanted into pots and then placed in a greenhouse and grown under 50% shade for 23 weeks. Concentrations of P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, B, and Zn increased in roots of nematode-free plants growing in Zn-amended soil. The beneficial effects due to the Zn amendment were not apparent in nematode-infected plants. Mn, B, and Zn uptake by coffee roots and P and B concentrations in coffee leaves responded similarly. Management of M. konaensis is necessary to achieve optimal nutrient management in coffee.
aluminum; boron; calcium; Coffea arabica; coffee; copper; kona coffee root-knot nematode; macronutrient; magnesium; manganese; ?; micronutrient; nematode; phosphorus; plant nutrition; potassium; zinc
The worldwide decline of pollinators may negatively affect the fruit set of wild and cultivated plants. Here, we show that fruit set of the self-fertilizing highland coffee (Coffea arabica) is highly variable and related to bee pollination. In a comparison of 24 agroforestry systems in Indonesia, the fruit set of coffee could be predicted by the number of flower-visiting bee species, and it ranged from ca. 60% (three species) to 90% (20 species). Diversity, not abundance, explained variation in fruit set, so the collective role of a species-rich bee community was important for pollination success. Additional experiments showed that single flower visits from rare solitary species led to higher fruit set than with abundant social species. Pollinator diversity was affected by two habitat parameters indicating guild-specific nesting requirements: the diversity of social bees decreased with forest distance, whereas the diversity of solitary bees increased with light intensity of the agroforestry systems. These results give empirical evidence for a positive relationship between ecosystem functions such as pollination and biodiversity. Conservation of rainforest adjacent to adequately managed agroforestry systems could improve the yields of farmers.
In Brazil, coffee (Coffea arabica) husks are reused in several ways due to their abundance, including as stall bedding. However, field veterinarians have reported that horses become intoxicated after ingesting the coffee husks that are used as bedding. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether coffee husk consumption causes intoxication in horses.
Six horses fed coast cross hay ad libitum were given access to coffee husks and excitability, restlessness, involuntary muscle tremors, chewing movements and constant tremors of the lips and tongue, excessive sweating and increased respiration and heart rates were the most evident clinical signs. Caffeine levels were measured in the plasma and urine of these horses on two occasions: immediately before the coffee husks were made available to the animals (T0) and at the time of the clinical presentation of intoxication, 56 h after the animals started to consume the husks (T56). The concentrations of caffeine in the plasma (p < 0.001) and urine (p < 0.001) of these animals were significantly greater at T56 than at T0.
It was concluded that consumption of coffee husks was toxic to horses due to the high levels of caffeine present in their composition. Therefore, coffee husks pose a risk when used as bedding or as feed for horses.
Understanding the genetic elements that contribute to key aspects of coffee biology will have an impact on future agronomical improvements for this economically important tree. During the past years, EST collections were generated in Coffee, opening the possibility to create new tools for functional genomics.
The "PUCE CAFE" Project, organized by the scientific consortium NESTLE/IRD/CIRAD, has developed an oligo-based microarray using 15,721 unigenes derived from published coffee EST sequences mostly obtained from different stages of fruit development and leaves in Coffea Canephora (Robusta). Hybridizations for two independent experiments served to compare global gene expression profiles in three types of tissue matter (mature beans, leaves and flowers) in C. canephora as well as in the leaves of three different coffee species (C. canephora, C. eugenoides and C. arabica). Microarray construction, statistical analyses and validation by Q-PCR analysis are presented in this study.
We have generated the first 15 K coffee array during this PUCE CAFE project, granted by Génoplante (the French consortium for plant genomics). This new tool will help study functional genomics in a wide range of experiments on various plant tissues, such as analyzing bean maturation or resistance to pathogens or drought. Furthermore, the use of this array has proven to be valid in different coffee species (diploid or tetraploid), drastically enlarging its impact for high-throughput gene expression in the community of coffee research.
Fifty Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) strains isolated from the coffee berry borer were used to develop a novel screening method aimed at selecting strains with the highest biocontrol potential. The screening method is based on percent insect mortality, average survival time, mortality distribution, percent spore germination, fungal life cycle duration, and spore production on the insect. Based on these parameters, only 11 strains merited further study. The use of a sound scientific protocol for the selection of promising fungal entomopathogens should lead to more efficient use of time, labor, and financial resources in biological control programs.
Hypothenemus hampei; coffee berry borer; broca; Beauveria; bioassays