Calotropis procera, belonging to the Asclepidaceae family, is present more or less throughout India and in other warm, dry places such as, Warizistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, and tropical Africa. Its common names are Akra, Akanal, and Madar. The leaves of Calotropis procera are said to be valuable as an antidote for snake bite, sinus fistula, rheumatism, mumps, burn injuries, and body pain. The leaves of Calotropis procera are also used to treat jaundice. A study on Calotropis procera leaf samples extracted the air-dried leaf powder with different solvents such as petroleum-ether (60-80°C), benzene, chloroform, ethanol, and sterile water. Preliminary phytochemical analysis was done long with measurement of the leaf constants, fluorescence characteristics, and extractive values. Quantitative estimation of total ash value, acid insoluble ash, and water- soluble ash may serve as useful indices for identification of the powdered drug. Histochemical studies which reveal rows of cylindrical palisade cells and, vascular bundles may also serve as useful indices for identification of the tissues. These studies suggested that the observed pharmacognostic and physiochemical parameters are of great value in quality control and formulation development of Calotropis procera.
Calotropis procera leaves; fluorescence analysis; macroscopy; microscopy; pharmacognostic standardization; phytochemical screening
Responses of plant leaf stomatal conductance and photosynthesis to water deficit have been extensively reported; however, little is known concerning the relationships of stomatal density with regard to water status and gas exchange. The responses of stomatal density to leaf water status were determined, and correlation with specific leaf area (SLA) in a photosynthetic study of a perennial grass, Leymus chinensis, subjected to different soil moisture contents. Moderate water deficits had positive effects on stomatal number, but more severe deficits led to a reduction, described in a quadratic parabolic curve. The stomatal size obviously decreased with water deficit, and stomatal density was positively correlated with stomatal conductance (gs), net CO2 assimilation rate (An), and water use efficiency (WUE). A significantly negative correlation of SLA with stomatal density was also observed, suggesting that the balance between leaf area and its matter may be associated with the guard cell number. The present results indicate that high flexibilities in stomatal density and guard cell size will change in response to water status, and this process may be closely associated with photosynthesis and water use efficiency.
Gas exchange; guard cell size; photosynthesis; stomatal density; water stress; water use efficiency (WUE)
A comparative study has been made of the photosynthetic physiological ecology and carbon isotope discrimination characteristics for modern-day bryophytes and closely related algal groups. Firstly, the extent of bryophyte distribution and diversification as compared with more advanced land plant groups is considered. Secondly, measurements of instantaneous carbon isotope discrimination (Δ), photosynthetic CO2 assimilation and electron transport rates were compared during the drying cycles. The extent of surface diffusion limitation (when wetted), internal conductance and water use efficiency (WUE) at optimal tissue water content (TWC) were derived for liverworts and a hornwort from contrasting habitats and with differing degrees of thallus ventilation (as intra-thalline cavities and internal airspaces). We also explore how the operation of a biophysical carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM) tempers isotope discrimination characteristics in two other hornworts, as well as the green algae Coleochaete orbicularis and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The magnitude of Δ was compared for each life form over a drying curve and used to derive the surface liquid-phase conductance (when wetted) and internal conductance (at optimal TWC). The magnitude of external and internal conductances, and WUE, was higher for ventilated, compared with non-ventilated, liverworts and hornworts, but the values were similar within each group, suggesting that both factors have been optimized for each life form. For the hornworts, leakiness of the CCM was highest for Megaceros vincentianus and C. orbicularis (approx. 30%) and, at 5%, lowest in C. reinhardtii grown under ambient CO2 concentrations. Finally, evidence for the operation of a CCM in algae and hornworts is considered in terms of the probable role of the chloroplast pyrenoid, as the origins, structure and function of this enigmatic organelle are explored during the evolution of land plants.
bryophytes; carbon-concentrating mechanisms; carbon isotopes; mesophyll conductance; pyrenoid
Root chicory (Cichorium intybus var. sativum) is a cash crop cultivated for inulin production in Western Europe. This plant can be exposed to severe water stress during the last 3 months of its 6-month growing period. The aim of this study was to quantify the effect of a progressive decline in water availability on plant growth, photosynthesis, and sugar metabolism and to determine its impact on inulin production. Water stress drastically decreased fresh and dry root weight, leaf number, total leaf area, and stomatal conductance. Stressed plants, however, increased their water-use efficiency and leaf soluble sugar concentration, decreased the shoot-to-root ratio and lowered their osmotic potential. Despite a decrease in photosynthetic pigments, the photosynthesis light phase remained unaffected under water stress. Water stress increased sucrose phosphate synthase activity in the leaves but not in the roots. Water stress inhibited sucrose:sucrose 1-fructosyltransferase and fructan:fructan 1 fructosyltransferase after 19 weeks of culture and slightly increased fructan 1-exohydrolase activity. The root inulin concentration, expressed on a dry-weight basis, and the mean degree of polymerization of the inulin chain remained unaffected by water stress. Root chicory displayed resistance to water stress, but that resistance was obtained at the expense of growth, which in turn led to a significant decrease in inulin production.
Cichorium intybus; drought; growth; inulin; photosynthesis; root chicory; sugar metabolism; water deficit; water stress
Lianas are an important component of most tropical forests, where they vary in abundance from high in seasonal forests to low in aseasonal forests. We tested the hypothesis that the physiological ability of lianas to fix carbon (and thus grow) during seasonal drought may confer a distinct advantage in seasonal tropical forests, which may explain pan-tropical liana distributions. We compared a range of leaf-level physiological attributes of 18 co-occurring liana and 16 tree species during the wet and dry seasons in a tropical seasonal forest in Xishuangbanna, China. We found that, during the wet season, lianas had significantly higher CO2 assimilation per unit mass (Amass), nitrogen concentration (Nmass), and δ13C values, and lower leaf mass per unit area (LMA) than trees, indicating that lianas have higher assimilation rates per unit leaf mass and higher integrated water-use efficiency (WUE), but lower leaf structural investments. Seasonal variation in CO2 assimilation per unit area (Aarea), phosphorus concentration per unit mass (Pmass), and photosynthetic N-use efficiency (PNUE), however, was significantly lower in lianas than in trees. For instance, mean tree Aarea decreased by 30.1% from wet to dry season, compared with only 12.8% for lianas. In contrast, from the wet to dry season mean liana δ13C increased four times more than tree δ13C, with no reduction in PNUE, whereas trees had a significant reduction in PNUE. Lianas had higher Amass than trees throughout the year, regardless of season. Collectively, our findings indicate that lianas fix more carbon and use water and nitrogen more efficiently than trees, particularly during seasonal drought, which may confer a competitive advantage to lianas during the dry season, and thus may explain their high relative abundance in seasonal tropical forests.
Liana distribution; Nitrogen-use efficiency; Tropical forest physiology; Water-use efficiency
The regeneration niche has been little investigated in studies of community assembly and plant distribution. We examined adaptive associations between seedling traits and habitat specialization. Two habitat contrasts were investigated across several evolutionary lineages of angiosperms: species specialized to forest vs. open habitats and to dry vs. wet habitats. We also tested whether effects of shade and drought vary independently or, alternatively, if shade may amplify effects on drought-stressed plants. Seedling response in terms of growth rate, height, slenderness, specific leaf area (SLA) and degree of elongation (longest internode; petiole or leaf-sheath depending on species' morphology) to light and watering treatments was assessed. We used a factorial design involving three light regimes and two watering frequencies. The open-shaded habitat contrast and the dry-wet habitat contrast were investigated using six and five pairs of congeneric species, respectively. The congeneric species pair design controlled for confounding effects of evolutionary history prior to divergence in habitat specialization. Seedling growth rate generally decreased with shade and reduced watering frequency. Plant height was generally largest at intermediate light. Specialization to shaded habitats was associated with a more conservative growth strategy, i.e. showing a more modest growth response to increasing light. Species from all habitats showed the highest relative elongation at intermediate light, except for the moist-habitat species, for which elongation increased with shade. Contrary to our expectations, species from dry habitats grew bigger than species from moist habitats in all treatments. SLA responded to the light treatment, but not to watering regime. The contrasting light and moisture conditions across habitats appear to not have selected for differences in SLA. We conclude that seedling phase strategies of resource allocation in temperate herbs contribute to their habitat specialization. Habitat-specific seedling strategies and trade-offs in response to resource availability and environmental conditions may be important to adaptive specialization.
The tolerance of lettuce plants (Lactuca sativa L. cv. Romana) to drought stress differed with the arbuscular-mycorrhizal fungal isolate with which the plants were associated. Seven fungal species belonging to the genus Glomus were studied for their ability to enhance the drought tolerance of lettuce plants. These fungi had different traits that affected the drought resistance of host plants. The ranking of arbuscular-mycorrhizal fungal effects on drought tolerance, based on the relative decreases in shoot dry weight, was as follows: Glomus deserticola > Glomus fasciculatum > Glomus mosseae > Glomus etunicatum > Glomus intraradices > Glomus caledonium > Glomus occultum. In this comparative study specific mycorrhizal fungi had consistent effects on plant growth, mineral uptake, the CO(inf2) exchange rate, water use efficiency, transpiration, stomatal conductance, photosynthetic phosphorus use efficiency, and proline accumulation under either well-watered or drought-stressed conditions. The ability of the isolates to maintain plant growth effectively under water stress conditions was related to higher transpiration rates, levels of leaf conductance, and proline, N, and P contents. Differences in proline accumulation in leaves among the fungal symbioses suggested that the fungi were able to induce different degrees of osmotic adjustment. The detrimental effects of drought were not related to decreases in photosynthesis or water use efficiency. Neither of these parameters was related to P nutrition. The differences in P and K acquisition, transpiration, and stomatal conductance were related to the mycorrhizal efficiencies of the different fungi. Our observations revealed the propensities of different Glomus species to assert their protective effects during plant water stress. The greater effectiveness of G. deserticola in improving water deficit tolerance was associated with the lowest level of growth reduction (9%) under stress conditions. The growth of plants colonized by G. occultum was reduced by 70% after a progressive drought stress period. In general, the different protective effects of the mycorrhizal isolates were not associated with colonizing ability. Nevertheless, G. deserticola was the most efficient fungus and exhibited the highest levels of mycorrhizal colonization, as well as the greatest stimulation of physiological parameters.
The latex of the wild growing plant Calotropis procera
produces inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes upon
accidental exposure. On local administration it elicits an intense
inflammatory response due to the release of histamine and
prostaglandins that is associated with hyperalgesia. In the
present study we have evaluated the anti-inflammatory and
antinociceptive activity of oxytocin and melatonin against rat
paw edema induced by dried latex (DL) of C procera and
compared it with that against carrageenan-induced paw edema.
Aqueous extract of DL of C procera or carrageenan (1%)
was injected into the subplantar surface of the rat paw and the
paw volume was measured at 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, and 24 hours. The
associated hyperalgesic response and functional impairment were
also evaluated concomitantly by dorsal flexion pain test, motility
test, and stair climbing ability test. The inhibitory effect of
oxytocin and melatonin on edema formation and hyperalgesic
response was compared with dexamethasone. DL-induced edema
formation was maximum at 2 hours and was associated with decreased
pain threshold and functional impairment. Treatment with melatonin
significantly attenuated the edematous response while both
oxytocin and melatonin increased the pain threshold and improved
functional parameters. Both oxytocin and melatonin significantly
inhibited the hyperalgesia associated with DL-induced paw edema.
Oxytocin was found to be as effective as melatonin in ameliorating
the hyperalgesic response. However, it was found to be less
effective than melatonin in attenuating edema formation.
Global change factors affect plant carbon uptake in concert. In order to investigate the response directions and potential interactive effects, and to understand the underlying mechanisms, multifactor experiments are needed. The focus of this study was on the photosynthetic response to elevated CO2 [CO2; free air CO2 enrichment (FACE)], drought (D; water-excluding curtains), and night-time warming (T; infrared-reflective curtains) in a temperate heath. A/Ci curves were measured, allowing analysis of light-saturated net photosynthesis (Pn), light- and CO2-saturated net photosynthesis (Pmax), stomatal conductance (gs), the maximal rate of Rubisco carboxylation (Vcmax), and the maximal rate of ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) regeneration (Jmax) along with leaf δ13C, and carbon and nitrogen concentration on a monthly basis in the grass Deschampsia flexuosa. Seasonal drought reduced Pn via gs, but severe (experimental) drought decreased Pn via a reduction in photosynthetic capacity (Pmax, Jmax, and Vcmax). The effects were completely reversed by rewetting and stimulated Pn via photosynthetic capacity stimulation. Warming increased early and late season Pn via higher Pmax and Jmax. Elevated CO2 did not decrease gs, but stimulated Pn via increased Ci. The T×CO2 synergistically increased plant carbon uptake via photosynthetic capacity up-regulation in early season and by better access to water after rewetting. The effects of the combination of drought and elevated CO2 depended on soil water availability, with additive effects when the soil water content was low and D×CO2 synergistic stimulation of Pn after rewetting. The photosynthetic responses appeared to be highly influenced by growth pattern. The grass has opportunistic water consumption, and a biphasic growth pattern allowing for leaf dieback at low soil water availability followed by rapid re-growth of active leaves when rewetted and possibly a large resource allocation capability mediated by the rhizome. This growth characteristic allowed for the photosynthetic capacity up-regulations that mediated the T×CO2 and D×CO2 synergistic effects on photosynthesis. These are clearly advantageous characteristics when exposed to climate changes. In conclusion, after 1 year of experimentation, the limitations by low soil water availability and stimulation in early and late season by warming clearly structure and interact with the photosynthetic response to elevated CO2 in this grassland species.
CLIMAITE; climate change; FACE; grassland; leaf δ13C; multifactor experiment; stomatal conductance; water use efficiency
Changing water condition represents a dramatic impact on global terrestrial ecosystem productivity, mainly by limiting plant functions, including growth and photosynthesis, particularly in arid and semiarid areas. However, responses of the potential photosynthetic capacity to soil water status in a wide range of soil moisture levels, and determination of their thresholds are poorly understood. This study examined the response patterns of plant photosynthetic capacity and their thresholds to a soil moisture gradient in a perennial rhizome grass, Leymus chinensis, and a perennial bunchgrass, Stipa grandis, both dominant in the Eurasian Steppe.
Severe water deficit produced negative effects on light-saturated net CO2 assimilation rate (Asat), stomatal conductance (gs), mesophyll conductance (gm), maximum carboxylation velocity (Vc,max), and maximal efficiency of PSII photochemistry (Fv/Fm). Photosynthetic activity was enhanced under moderate soil moisture with reductions under both severe water deficit and excessive water conditions, which may represent the response patterns of plant growth and photosynthetic capacity to the soil water gradient. Our results also showed that S. grandis had lower productivity and photosynthetic potentials under moderate water status, although it demonstrated generally similar relationship patterns between photosynthetic potentials and water status relative to L. chinensis.
The experiments tested and confirmed the hypothesis that responsive threshold points appear when plants are exposed to a broad water status range, with different responses between the two key species. It is suggested that vegetation structure and function may be shifted when a turning point of soil moisture occurs, which translates to terms of future climatic change prediction in semiarid grasslands.
Water stress decreases the availability of the gaseous substrate for ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) by decreasing leaf conductance to CO2. In spite of limiting photosynthetic carbon assimilation, especially in those environments where drought is the predominant factor affecting plant growth and yield, the effects of water deprivation on the mechanisms that control Rubisco activity are unclear. In the present study, 11 Mediterranean species, representing different growth forms, were subject to increasing levels of drought stress, the most severe one followed by rewatering. The results confirmed species-specific patterns in the decrease in the initial activity and activation state of Rubisco as drought stress and leaf dehydration intensified. Nevertheless, all species followed roughly the same trend when Rubisco activity was related to stomatal conductance (gs) and chloroplastic CO2 concentration (Cc), suggesting that deactivation of Rubisco sites could be induced by low Cc, as a result of water stress. The threshold level of Cc that triggered Rubisco deactivation was dependent on leaf characteristics and was related to the maximum attained for each species under non-stressing conditions. Those species adapted to low Cc were more capable of maintaining active Rubisco as drought stress intensified.
Drought; mesophyll conductance; photosynthesis; stomatal conductance
The interaction of photosynthesis and respiration has been studied in vivo under conditions of limited water supply and after consecutive rewatering. The role of the alternative (valt) and cytochrome (vcyt) pathways on drought stress-induced suppression of photosynthesis and during photosynthetic recovery was examined in the Nicotiana sylvestris wild type (WT) and the complex I-deficient CMSII mutant. Although photosynthetic traits, including net photosynthesis (AN), stomatal (gs) and mesophyll conductances (gm), as well as respiration (vcyt and valt) differed between well-watered CMSII and WT, similar reductions of AN, gs, and gm were observed during severe drought stress. However, total respiration (Vt) remained slightly higher in CMSII due to the still increased vcyt (to match ATP demand). valt and maximum carboxylation rates remained almost unaltered in both genotypes, while in CMSII, changes in photosynthetic light harvesting (i.e. Chl a/b ratio) were detected. In both genotypes, photosynthesis and respiration were restored after 2 d of rewatering, predominantly limited by a delayed stomatal response. Despite complex I dysfunction and hence altered redox balance, the CMSII mutant seems to be able to adjust its photosynthetic machinery during and after drought stress to reduce photo-oxidation and to maintain the cell redox state and the ATP level.
Alternative oxidase (AOX); complex I dysfunction; drought stress; mesophyll conductance; photosynthesis; recovery
Background and Aims
Many Australian legumes have evolved in low-phosphorus (P) soils and low-rainfall areas. Therefore a study was made of the interaction of soil [P] and water availability on growth, photosynthesis, water-use efficiency (WUE) and P nutrition of two Australian native legumes with pasture potential, Cullen australasicum and C. pallidum, and the widely grown exotic pasture legume, lucerne (Medicago sativa).
Plants were grown in a glasshouse at 3, 10 and 30 mg P kg−1 dry soil for 5 months. At week 10, two drought treatments were imposed, total pot dried (all-dry) and only top soil dried (top-dry), while control pots were maintained at field capacity.
Shoot dry weight produced by lucerne was never higher than that of C. australasicum. For C. pallidum only, shoot dry weight was reduced at 30 mg P kg−1 dry soil. The small root system of the Cullen species was quite plastic, allowing plants to access P and moisture efficiently. Lucerne always had a higher proportion of its large root system in the top soil layer compared with Cullen species. All species showed decreased photosynthesis, leaf water potential and stomatal conductance when exposed to drought, but the reductions were less for Cullen species, due to tighter stomatal control, and consequently they achieved a higher WUE. All species showed highest rhizosphere carboxylate concentrations in the all-dry treatment. For lucerne only, carboxylates decreased as P supply increased. Citrate was the main carboxylate in the control and top-dry treatments, and malate in the all-dry treatment.
Multiple adaptive responses of Cullen species and lucerne favoured exploitation of low-P soils under drought. The performance of undomesticated Cullen species, relative to that of lucerne, shows their promise as pasture species for environments such as in south-western Australia where water and P are limiting, especially in view of a predicted drying and warming climate.
Australian native legumes; carboxylates; climate change; Cullen spp.; drought; Medicago sativa; novel crops; perennial pastures; phosphorus; photosynthesis; root distribution; water-use efficiency
Cuscuta reflexa (whole plant) and Calotropis procera (leaves) are used in folk medicine of Bangladesh to control blood sugar in patients suffering from diabetes mellitus. The hypoglycemic effects of methanol and chloroform extracts of whole plants of Cuscuta reflexa, and methanol extract of leaves of Calotropis procera were investigated in oral glucose tolerance tests in Long Evans rats and Swiss albino mice, respectively. Both methanol and chloroform extracts of Cuscuta reflexa whole plant demonstrated significant oral hypoglycemic activity in glucose-loaded rats at doses of 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight. The methanol extract of leaves of Calotropis procera, when tested at doses of 100 and 250 mg/kg body weight did not demonstrate any oral hypoglycemic effect when tested in glucose-loaded mice.
Cuscuta reflexa; Calotropis procera; hypoglycemic activity; oral glucose tolerance test
The anticancer properties of Apocynaceae species are well known in barks and roots but less so in leaves.
Materials and Methods:
In this study, leaf extracts of 10 Apocynaceae species were assessed for antiproliferative (APF) activities using the sulforhodamine B assay. Their extracts were also analyzed for total alkaloid content (TAC), total phenolic content (TPC), and radical scavenging activity (RSA) using the Dragendorff precipitation, Folin–Ciocalteu, and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays, respectively.
Leaf extracts of Alstonia angustiloba, Calotropis gigantea, Catharanthus roseus, Nerium oleander, Plumeria obtusa, and Vallaris glabra displayed positive APF activities. Extracts of Allamanda cathartica, Cerbera odollam, Dyera costulata, and Kopsia fruticosa did not show any APF activity. Dichloromethane (DCM) extract of C. gigantea, and DCM and DCM:MeOH extracts of V. glabra showed strong APF activities against all six human cancer cell lines. Against breast cancer cells of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231, DCM extracts of C. gigantea and N. oleander were stronger than or comparable to standard drugs of xanthorrhizol, curcumin, and tamoxifen. All four extracts of N. oleander were effective against MCF-7 cells. Extracts of Kopsia fruticosa had the highest TAC while those of Dyera costulata had the highest TPC and RSA. Extracts of C. gigantea and V. glabra inhibited the growth of all six cancer cell lines while all extracts of N. oleander were effective against MCF-7 cells.
Extracts of C. gigantea, V. glabra, and N. oleander therefore showed great promise as potential candidates for anticancer drugs. The wide-spectrum APF activities of these three species are reported for the first time and their bioactive compounds warrant further investigation.
Antiproliferative; Apocynaceae; radical scavenging; total alkaloid content; total phenolic content
Plants are often subjected to periods of soil and atmospheric water deficits during their life cycle as well as, in many areas of the globe, to high soil salinity. Understanding how plants respond to drought, salt and co-occurring stresses can play a major role in stabilizing crop performance under drought and saline conditions and in the protection of natural vegetation. Photosynthesis, together with cell growth, is among the primary processes to be affected by water or salt stress.
The effects of drought and salt stresses on photosynthesis are either direct (as the diffusion limitations through the stomata and the mesophyll and the alterations in photosynthetic metabolism) or secondary, such as the oxidative stress arising from the superimposition of multiple stresses. The carbon balance of a plant during a period of salt/water stress and recovery may depend as much on the velocity and degree of photosynthetic recovery, as it depends on the degree and velocity of photosynthesis decline during water depletion. Current knowledge about physiological limitations to photosynthetic recovery after different intensities of water and salt stress is still scarce. From the large amount of data available on transcript-profiling studies in plants subjected to drought and salt it is becoming apparent that plants perceive and respond to these stresses by quickly altering gene expression in parallel with physiological and biochemical alterations; this occurs even under mild to moderate stress conditions. From a recent comprehensive study that compared salt and drought stress it is apparent that both stresses led to down-regulation of some photosynthetic genes, with most of the changes being small (ratio threshold lower than 1) possibly reflecting the mild stress imposed. When compared with drought, salt stress affected more genes and more intensely, possibly reflecting the combined effects of dehydration and osmotic stress in salt-stressed plants.
Photosynthesis; stress; drought; salt; stomatal; mesophyll and biochemical limitations; gene expression; signalling
Background and Aims
Stomata play an important role in both the CO2 assimilation and water relations of trees. Therefore, stomatal traits have been suggested as criteria for selection of clones or genotypes which are more productive and have larger water-use efficiency (WUE) than others. However, the relationships between plant growth, WUE and stomatal traits are still unclear depending on plant material (genus, species, families, genotypes) and, more precisely, on the strength of the relationships between the plants. In this study, the correlations between these three traits categories, i.e. plant growth, WUE and stomatal traits, were compared in two related poplar families.
Stomatal traits (stomatal density, length and ratio adaxial : abaxial stomatal densities) of a selection of F1 genotypes and the parents of two hybrid poplar families Populus deltoides ‘S9-2’ × P. nigra ‘Ghoy’ (D × N family, 50 F1) and P. deltoides ‘S9-2’ × P. trichocarpa ‘V24’ (D × T family, 50 F1) were measured, together with stem height and circumference. Carbon isotope discrimination (Δ) was determined and used as an indicator of leaf-level intrinsic WUE.
Leaves of hybrids and parents were amphistomatous, except for the P. trichocarpa parent. Both families displayed high values of heritability for stomatal traits and Δ. In the progeny, the relationship between stem circumference and Δ was weak for the D × N family, while abaxial and total stomatal density were positively associated with stem dimensions for the D × T family only.
Genetic variation in stomatal traits and Δ was large within as well as between the different poplar species and their hybrids, but there were no direct relationships between stomatal traits and plant growth or Δ. As already noticed in various poplar hybrids, the absence of, or the weak, relationship between Δ and plant growth allows the possibility of selecting poplar genotypes combining high productivity and high WUE. In this study, stomatal traits are of limited value as criteria for selection of genotypes with good growth and large WUE.
Adaxial and abaxial stomatal density; stomatal length; heritability; water-use efficiency (WUE); F1 hybrids; breeding; Populus deltoides; Populus nigra; Populus trichocarpa
Crops with the C4 photosynthetic pathway are vital to global food supply, particularly in the tropical regions where human well-being and agricultural productivity are most closely linked. While rising atmospheric [CO2] is the driving force behind the greater temperatures and water stress, which threaten to reduce future crop yields, it also has the potential to directly benefit crop physiology. The nature of C4 plant responses to elevated [CO2] has been controversial. Recent evidence from free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments suggests that elevated [CO2] does not directly stimulate C4 photosynthesis. Nonetheless, drought stress can be ameliorated at elevated [CO2] as a result of lower stomatal conductance and greater intercellular [CO2]. Therefore, unlike C3 crops for which there is a direct enhancement of photosynthesis by elevated [CO2], C4 crops will only benefit from elevated [CO2] in times and places of drought stress. Current projections of future crop yields have assumed that rising [CO2] will directly enhance photosynthesis in all situations and, therefore, are likely to be overly optimistic. Additional experiments are needed to evaluate the extent to which amelioration of drought stress by elevated [CO2] will improve C4 crop yields for food and fuel over the range of C4 crop growing conditions and genotypes.
climate change; photosynthesis; CO2 fertilization; maize; sorghum; food security
Large spatial, seasonal and annual variability of major drivers of the carbon cycle (precipitation, temperature, fire regime and nutrient availability) are common in the Sahel region. This causes large variability in net ecosystem exchange and in vegetation productivity, the subsistence basis for a major part of the rural population in Sahel. This study compares the 2005 dry and wet season fluxes of CO2 for a grass land/sparse savanna site in semi arid Sudan and relates these fluxes to water availability and incoming photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD). Data from this site could complement the current sparse observation network in Africa, a continent where climatic change could significantly impact the future and which constitute a weak link in our understanding of the global carbon cycle.
The dry season (represented by Julian day 35–46, February 2005) was characterized by low soil moisture availability, low evapotranspiration and a high vapor pressure deficit. The mean daily NEE (net ecosystem exchange, Eq. 1) was -14.7 mmol d-1 for the 12 day period (negative numbers denote sinks, i.e. flux from the atmosphere to the biosphere). The water use efficiency (WUE) was 1.6 mmol CO2 mol H2O-1 and the light use efficiency (LUE) was 0.95 mmol CO2 mol PPFD-1. Photosynthesis is a weak, but linear function of PPFD. The wet season (represented by Julian day 266–273, September 2005) was, compared to the dry season, characterized by slightly higher soil moisture availability, higher evapotranspiration and a slightly lower vapor pressure deficit. The mean daily NEE was -152 mmol d-1 for the 8 day period. The WUE was lower, 0.97 mmol CO2 mol H2O-1 and the LUE was higher, 7.2 μmol CO2 mmol PPFD-1 during the wet season compared to the dry season. During the wet season photosynthesis increases with PPFD to about 1600 μmol m-2s-1 and then levels off.
Based on data collected during two short periods, the studied ecosystem was a sink of carbon both during the dry and wet season 2005. The small sink during the dry season is surprising and similar dry season sinks have not to our knowledge been reported from other similar savanna ecosystems and could have potential management implications for agroforestry. A strong response of NEE versus small changes in plant available soil water content was found. Collection and analysis of flux data for several consecutive years including variations in precipitation, available soil moisture and labile soil carbon are needed for understanding the year to year variation of the carbon budget of this grass land/sparse savanna site in semi arid Sudan.
Plants would be more vulnerable to water stress and thereafter rewatering or a cycled water environmental change, which occur more frequently under climatic change conditions in terms of the prediction scenarios. Effects of water stress on plants alone have been well-documented in many reports. However, the combined responses to drought and rewatering and its mechanism are relatively scant. As we know, plant growth, photosynthesis and stomatal aperture may be limited under water deficit, which would be regulated by physical and chemical signals. Under severe drought, while peroxidation may be provoked, the relevant antioxidant metabolism would be involved to annihilate the damage of reactive oxygen species. As rewatering, the recoveries of plant growth and photosynthesis would appear immediately through growing new plant parts, re-opening the stomata, and decreasing peroxidation; the recovery extents (reversely: pre-drought limitation) due to rewatering strongly depend on pre-drought intensity, duration and species. Understanding how plants respond to episodic drought and watering pulse and the underlying mechanism is remarkably helpful to implement vegetation management practices in climatic changing.
drought stress; peroxidation; photosynthesis; relative growth rate; pre-drought limitation; rewatering; signals; stomatal conductance
Theobroma cacao (cacao) is cultivated in tropical climates and is exposed to drought stress. The impact of the endophytic fungus Trichoderma hamatum isolate DIS 219b on cacao's response to drought was studied. Colonization by DIS 219b delayed drought-induced changes in stomatal conductance, net photosynthesis, and green fluorescence emissions. The altered expression of 19 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) (seven in leaves and 17 in roots with some overlap) by drought was detected using quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR. Roots tended to respond earlier to drought than leaves, with the drought-induced changes in expression of seven ESTs being observed after 7 d of withholding water. Changes in gene expression in leaves were not observed until after 10 d of withholding water. DIS 219b colonization delayed the drought-altered expression of all seven ESTs responsive to drought in leaves by ≥3 d, but had less influence on the expression pattern of the drought-responsive ESTs in roots. DIS 219b colonization had minimal direct influence on the expression of drought-responsive ESTs in 32-d-old seedlings. By contrast, DIS 219b colonization of 9-d-old seedlings altered expression of drought-responsive ESTs, sometimes in patterns opposite of that observed in response to drought. Drought induced an increase in the concentration of many amino acids in cacao leaves, while DIS 219b colonization caused a decrease in aspartic acid and glutamic acid concentrations and an increase in alanine and γ-aminobutyric acid concentrations. With or without exposure to drought conditions, colonization by DIS 219b promoted seedling growth, the most consistent effects being an increase in root fresh weight, root dry weight, and root water content. Colonized seedlings were slower to wilt in response to drought as measured by a decrease in the leaf angle drop. The primary direct effect of DIS 219b colonization was promotion of root growth, regardless of water status, and an increase in water content which it is proposed caused a delay in many aspects of the drought response of cacao.
Drought stress; fungal endophyte; Theobroma cacao; Trichoderma hamatum
To evaluate the hypoglycemic and anti-diabetic activity of chloroform extract of Calotropis gigantea leaves and flowers in normal rats and streptozotocin induced diabetes.
The hypoglycemic activity in normal rats was carried out by treatment using chloroform extract of Calotropis gigantea leaf and flower 10, 20 and 50 mg/kg, orally. The oral glucose tolerance test was carried out by administering glucose (2 g/kg, p.o), to non-diabetic rats treated with leaf and flowers extracts at oral doses 10, 20 and 50 mg/kg, p.o and glibenclamide 10 mg/kg. The serum glucose was then measured at 0, 1.5, 3 and 5 hr after administration of extracts/drug. Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were administered the same doses of leaf and flower extracts, and standard drugs glibenclamide was given to the normal rats or 0.5 ml of 5% Tween-80, for 27 days. The blood sample from all groups collected by retro-orbital puncture on 7, 14, 21 and 27th days after administration of the extracts/drug and used for the estimation of serum glucose levels using the glucose kit.
The Calotropis gigantea leaves and flowers extracts were effective in lowering serum glucose levels in normal rats. Improvement in oral glucose tolerance was also registered by treatment with Calotropis gigantean. The administration of leaf and flower extracts to streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats showed a significant reduction in serum glucose levels.
It is concluded that chloroform extracts of Calotropis gigantea leaves and flowers have significant anti-diabetic activity.
Diabetes; Antidiabetic; Calotropis gigantea; Oral glucose tolerance test; OGTT; Hypoglycemic
The large carpenter bees (Xylocopinae, Xylocopa Latreille) occurring in central Saudi Arabia are reviewed. Two species are recognized in the fauna, Xylocopa (Koptortosoma) aestuans (Linnaeus) and Xylocopa (Ctenoxylocopa) sulcatipes Maa. Diagnoses for and keys to the species of these prominent components of the central Saudi Arabian bee fauna are provided to aid their identification by pollination researchers active in the region. Females and males of both species are figured and biological notes provided for Xylocopa sulcatipes. Notes on the nesting biology and ecology of Xylocopa sulcatipes are appended. As in studies for this species from elsewhere, nests were found in dried stems of Calotropis procera (Aiton) (Asclepiadaceae) and Phoenix dactylifera L. (Arecaceae).
Apoidea; Anthophila; Xylocopini; Arabian Peninsula; systematics; biology; host plants; nesting
Flood-tolerant tree species of the Amazonian floodplain forests are subjected to an annual dry period of variable severity imposed when low river-water levels coincide with minimal precipitation. Although the responses of these species to flooding have been examined extensively, their responses to drought, in terms of phenology, growth and physiology, have been neglected hitherto, although some information is found in publications that focus on flooding.
The present review examines the dry phase of the annual flooding cycle. It consolidates existing knowledge regarding responses to drought among adult trees and seedlings of many Amazonian floodplain species.
Flood-tolerant species display variable physiological responses to dry periods and drought that indicate desiccation avoidance, such as reduced photosynthetic activity and reduced root respiration. However, tolerance and avoidance strategies for drought vary markedly among species. Drought can substantially decrease growth, biomass and photosynthetic activity among seedlings in field and laboratory studies. When compared with the responses to flooding, drought can impose higher seedling mortality and slower growth rates, especially among evergreen species. Results indicate that tolerance and avoidance strategies for drought vary markedly between species. Both seedling recruitment and photosynthetic activity are affected by drought,
For many species, the effects of drought can be as important as flooding for survival and growth, particularly at the seedling phase of establishment, ultimately influencing species composition. In the context of climate change and predicted decreases in precipitation in the Amazon Basin, the effects of drought on plant physiology and species distribution in tropical floodplain forest ecosystems should not be overlooked.
Drought responses; Amazonia; floodplain forests; tree ecology; várzea
Plants may exhibit some degree of acclimation after experiencing drought, but physiological adjustments to consecutive cycles of drought and re-watering (recovery) have scarcely been studied. The Mediterranean evergreen holm oak (Q. ilex) and the semi-deciduous rockrose (C. albidus) showed some degree of acclimation after the first of three drought cycles (S1, S2, and S3). For instance, during S2 and S3 both species retained higher relative leaf water contents than during S1, despite reaching similar leaf water potentials. However, both species showed remarkable differences in their photosynthetic acclimation to repeated drought cycles. Both species decreased photosynthesis to a similar extent during the three cycles (20–40% of control values). However, after S1 and S2, photosynthesis recovered only to 80% of control values in holm oak, due to persistently low stomatal (gs) and mesophyll (gm) conductances to CO2. Moreover, leaf intrinsic water use efficiency (WUE) was kept almost constant in this species during the entire experiment. By contrast, photosynthesis of rockrose recovered almost completely after each drought cycle (90–100% of control values), while the WUE was largely and permanently increased (by 50–150%, depending on the day) after S1. This was due to a regulation which consisted in keeping gs low (recovering to 50–60% of control values after re-watering) while maintaining a high gm (even exceeding control values during re-watering). While the mechanisms to achieve such particular regulation of water and CO2 diffusion in leaves are unknown, it clearly represents a unique acclimation feature of this species after a drought cycle, which allows it a much better performance during successive drought events. Thus, differences in the photosynthetic acclimation to repeated drought cycles can have important consequences on the relative fitness of different Mediterranean species or growth forms within the frame of climate change scenarios.
Acclimation; drought–recovery cycles; mesophyll and stomatal conductance; osmotic adjustment; photosynthetic limitation analysis; water use efficiency