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1.  A Three-dimensional Statistical Reconstruction Model of Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) Simulating Canopy Structure Variability within and between Cultivar/Training System Pairs 
Annals of Botany  2008;101(8):1167-1184.
Background and Aims
In grapevine, canopy-structure-related variations in light interception and distribution affect productivity, yield and the quality of the harvested product. A simple statistical model for reconstructing three-dimensional (3D) canopy structures for various cultivar–training system (C × T) pairs has been implemented with special attention paid to balance the time required for model parameterization and accuracy of the representations from organ to stand scales. Such an approach particularly aims at overcoming the weak integration of interplant variability using the usual direct 3D measurement methods.
This model is original in combining a turbid-medium-like envelope enclosing the volume occupied by vine shoots with the use of discrete geometric polygons representing leaves randomly located within this volume to represent plant structure. Reconstruction rules were adapted to capture the main determinants of grapevine shoot architecture and their variability. Using a simplified set of parameters, it was possible to describe (1) the 3D path of the main shoot, (2) the volume occupied by the foliage around this path and (3) the orientation of individual leaf surfaces. Model parameterization (estimation of the probability distribution for each parameter) was carried out for eight contrasting C × T pairs.
Key Results and Conclusions
The parameter values obtained in each situation were consistent with our knowledge of grapevine architecture. Quantitative assessments for the generated virtual scenes were carried out at the canopy and plant scales. Light interception efficiency and local variations of light transmittance within and between experimental plots were correctly simulated for all canopies studied. The approach predicted these key ecophysiological variables significantly more accurately than the classical complete digitization method with a limited number of plants. In addition, this model accurately reproduced the characteristics of a wide range of individual digitized plants. Simulated leaf area density and the distribution of light interception among leaves were consistent with measurements. However, at the level of individual organs, the model tended to underestimate light interception.
PMCID: PMC2710267  PMID: 18202006
Canopy; architecture; hemispherical; picture; light interception; radiative; balance; stochastic; modelling; virtual; plants
2.  Floral sesquiterpenes and their synthesis in dioecious kiwifruit 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2010;5(1):61-63.
Kiwifruit species are vigorously growing dioecious vines that rely on bees and other insects for pollen transfer between spatially separated male and female individuals. Floral volatile terpene cues for insect pollinator attraction were characterized from flowers of the most widely grown and economically important kiwifruit cultivar Actinidia deliciosa ‘Hayward’ and its male pollinator ‘Chieftain’. The sesquiterpenes α-farnesene and germacrene D dominated in all floral tissues and the emission of these compounds was detected throughout the day, with lower levels at night. Two terpene synthase (TPS) genes were isolated from A. deliciosa petals that produced (+)-germacrene D and (E,E)-α-farnesene respectively. Both TPS genes were expressed in the same tissues and at the same times as their corresponding floral volatiles. Here we discuss these results with respect to plant and insect ecology and the evolution and structure of sesquiterpene synthases.
PMCID: PMC2835961  PMID: 20592812
terpene; dioecy; kiwifruit; volatile; ecology; evolution; flower
3.  Conservation and divergence of four kiwifruit SVP-like MADS-box genes suggest distinct roles in kiwifruit bud dormancy and flowering 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2011;63(2):797-807.
MADS-box genes similar to Arabidopsis SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) have been implicated in the regulation of flowering in annual species and bud dormancy in perennial species. Kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.) are woody perennial vines where bud dormancy and out-growth affect flower development. To determine the role of SVP-like genes in dormancy and flowering of kiwifruit, four MADS-box genes with homology to Arabidopsis SVP, designated SVP1, SVP2, SVP3, and SVP4, have been identified and analysed in kiwifruit and functionally characterized in Arabidopsis. Phylogenetic analysis indicate that these genes fall into different sub-clades within the SVP-like gene group, suggesting distinct functions. Expression was generally confined to vegetative tissues, and increased transcript accumulation in shoot buds over the winter period suggests a role for these genes in bud dormancy. Down-regulation before flower differentiation indicate possible roles as floral repressors. Over-expression and complementation studies in Arabidopsis resulted in a range of floral reversion phenotypes arising from interactions with Arabidopsis MADS-box proteins, but only SVP1 and SVP3 were able to complement the svp mutant. These results suggest that the kiwifruit SVP-like genes may have distinct roles during bud dormancy and flowering.
PMCID: PMC3254681  PMID: 22071267
Actinidia species; AGL24; Arabidopsis; budbreak; bud dormancy; flowering; hydrogen cyanamide; kiwifruit; SVP
4.  Reductions in biomass accumulation, photosynthesis in situ and net carbon balance are the costs of protecting Vitis vinifera ‘Semillon’ grapevines from heat stress with shade covering 
AoB Plants  2011;2011:plr023.
Shade cloth can be used to protect grapevines from high temperatures. However, the resulting low light intensity is shown to reduce photosynthesis, leading to lower carbon allocation to vegetative growth and sugar accumulation. Protection from heat by shading is, therefore, costly for the carbon economy of the vines.
Background and aims
Covering whole vines with shade cloth is used to protect the vines from heat stress, but may have costs on vine productivity through reduced light availability. Our aim was to assess the carbon balance of vines growing with and without shade to quantify the impact of the covering.
Whole vines were covered with 70 % shade cloth, and shoot leaf area and leaf, stem and bunch growth were followed over two growing seasons. Photosynthesis was measured in situ in all leaves along selected shoots over the growing season. A carbon balance was constructed from the difference in acquisition of carbon and the sequestration of carbon as biomass across the growing seasons.
Principal results
Shade covering had no initial impact on shoot growth but later reduced leaf growth and later still bunch growth. Stem growth was unaffected. Photosynthetic properties were characteristic of shade leaves, with lower rates and lower light saturation compared with well-exposed leaves. Overall, net photosynthesis was reduced by 40 % by the shade covering and was attributed to the reduced photon flux densities. From the carbon balance, vines were reliant on carbon reserves over 6 weeks after budbreak until current photosynthate increased sufficiently to supply the growth. Shade covering impacted most on biomass accumulation to leaves and bunches at the stage when the vines became autotrophic, consistent with the reduction in carbon acquisition. The markedly high carbon demand by bunches caused a mid-season negative carbon balance, implying that shoots had to draw further on reserves to supply the carbon.
Shade covering over whole grapevines exacerbated the imbalance between the supply of and demand for carbon and greatly reduced vine biomass, especially reproductive allocation. Covering vines with shade cloth to protect the vines from heat events, therefore, had major costs in the carbon economy.
PMCID: PMC3176522  PMID: 22476493
5.  A rapid transcriptional activation is induced by the dormancy-breaking chemical hydrogen cyanamide in kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) buds 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2009;60(13):3835-3848.
Budbreak in kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) can be poor in locations that have warm winters with insufficient winter chilling. Kiwifruit vines are often treated with the dormancy-breaking chemical hydrogen cyanamide (HC) to increase and synchronize budbreak. This treatment also offers a tool to understand the processes involved in budbreak. A genomics approach is presented here to increase our understanding of budbreak in kiwifruit. Most genes identified following HC application appear to be associated with responses to stress, but a number of genes appear to be associated with the reactivation of growth. Three patterns of gene expression were identified: Profile 1, an HC-induced transient activation; Profile 2, an HC-induced transient activation followed by a growth-related activation; and Profile 3, HC- and growth-repressed. One group of genes that was rapidly up-regulated in response to HC was the glutathione S-transferase (GST) class of genes, which have been associated with stress and signalling. Previous budbreak studies, in three other species, also report up-regulated GST expression. Phylogenetic analysis of these GSTs showed that they clustered into two sub-clades, suggesting a strong correlation between their expression and budbreak across species.
PMCID: PMC2736901  PMID: 19651683
Actinidia deliciosa; budbreak; bud dormancy; hydrogen cyanamide; glutathione S-transferase; kiwifruit; microarray
6.  Two terpene synthases are responsible for the major sesquiterpenes emitted from the flowers of kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2009;60(11):3203-3219.
Kiwifruit vines rely on bees for pollen transfer between spatially separated male and female individuals and require synchronized flowering to ensure pollination. Volatile terpene compounds, which are important cues for insect pollinator attraction, were studied by dynamic headspace sampling in the major green-fleshed kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) cultivar ‘Hayward’ and its male pollinator ‘Chieftain’. Terpene volatile levels showed a profile dominated by the sesquiterpenes α-farnesene and germacrene D. These two compounds were emitted by all floral tissues and could be observed throughout the day, with lower levels at night. The monoterpene (E)-β-ocimene was also detected in flowers but was emitted predominantly during the day and only from petal tissue. Using a functional genomics approach, two terpene synthase (TPS) genes were isolated from a ‘Hayward’ petal EST library. Bacterial expression and transient in planta data combined with analysis by enantioselective gas chromatography revealed that one TPS produced primarily (E,E)-α-farnesene and small amounts of (E)-β-ocimene, whereas the second TPS produced primarily (+)-germacrene D. Subcellular localization using GFP fusions showed that both enzymes were localized in the cytoplasm, the site for sesquiterpene production. Real-time PCR analysis revealed that both TPS genes were expressed in the same tissues and at the same times as the corresponding floral volatiles. The results indicate that two genes can account for the major floral sesquiterpene volatiles observed in both male and female A. deliciosa flowers.
PMCID: PMC2718223  PMID: 19516075
Actinidia; α-farnesene; floral volatiles; germacrene D; kiwifruit; ocimene; terpene; terpene synthases
7.  Ethylene-induced modulation of genes associated with the ethylene signalling pathway in ripening kiwifruit 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2008;59(8):2097-2108.
Gene families associated with the ethylene signal transduction pathway in ripening kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa [A. Chev.] C.F. Liang et A.R. Ferguson var. deliciosa cv. Hayward) were isolated from a kiwifruit expressed sequence tag (EST) database, including five ethylene receptor genes, two CTR1-like genes, and an EIN3-like gene AdEIL1. All were differentially expressed among various kiwifruit vine tissues, and none was fruit specific. During fruit development, levels of transcripts of AdERS1a, AdETR3, and the two CTR1-like genes decreased, whereas those of AdERS1b and AdETR2 peaked at 97 d after full bloom. In ripening kiwifruit, there was a diverse response of the ethylene receptor family to internal and external ethylene. AdERS1a, AdETR2, and AdETR3 expression increased at the climacteric stage and transcripts were induced by external ethylene treatment, while AdERS1b showed no response to ethylene. AdETR1 was negatively regulated by internal and external ethylene in ripening fruit. The two CTR1-like genes also had different expression patterns, with AdCTR1 increasing at the climacteric stage and AdCTR2 undergoing little change. 1-Methylcyclopropene treatment prevented the ethylene response of all components, but transient down-regulation was only found with AdETR2 and AdCTR1. Similar gene and ethylene responses were found in both fruit flesh and core tissues. The ethylene-induced down-regulation of AdETR1 suggests that it may have a role in sensing ethylene and transmitting this response to other members of the receptor family, thus activating the signal transduction pathway.
PMCID: PMC2413272  PMID: 18535296
Actinidia; ethylene receptor; ethylene response; ethylene signal transduction; fruit ripening; gene expression; kiwifruit; 1-MCP
8.  Identification and characterization of flowering genes in kiwifruit: sequence conservation and role in kiwifruit flower development 
BMC Plant Biology  2011;11:72.
Flower development in kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.) is initiated in the first growing season, when undifferentiated primordia are established in latent shoot buds. These primordia can differentiate into flowers in the second growing season, after the winter dormancy period and upon accumulation of adequate winter chilling. Kiwifruit is an important horticultural crop, yet little is known about the molecular regulation of flower development.
To study kiwifruit flower development, nine MADS-box genes were identified and functionally characterized. Protein sequence alignment, phenotypes obtained upon overexpression in Arabidopsis and expression patterns suggest that the identified genes are required for floral meristem and floral organ specification. Their role during budbreak and flower development was studied. A spontaneous kiwifruit mutant was utilized to correlate the extended expression domains of these flowering genes with abnormal floral development.
This study provides a description of flower development in kiwifruit at the molecular level. It has identified markers for flower development, and candidates for manipulation of kiwifruit growth, phase change and time of flowering. The expression in normal and aberrant flowers provided a model for kiwifruit flower development.
PMCID: PMC3103426  PMID: 21521532
9.  Independent Control of Organogenesis and Shoot Tip Abortion are Key Factors to Developmental Plasticity in Kiwifruit (Actinidia) 
Annals of Botany  2007;100(3):471-481.
Background and Aims
In kiwifruit (Actinidia), the number of nodes per shoot is highly variable and is influenced by genotype and environmental conditions. To understand this developmental plasticity, three key processes were studied: organogenesis by the shoot apical meristem during shoot growth; expansion of phytomers; and shoot tip abortion.
Studies were made of organogenesis and shoot tip abortion using light and scanning electron microscopy. The effect of temperature on shoot growth cessation was investigated using temperature indices over the budbreak period, and patterns of shoot tip abortion were quantified using stochastic modelling.
Key Results
All growing buds began organogenesis before budbreak. During shoot development, the number of phytomers initiated by the shoot apical meristem is correlated with the number of expanding phytomers and the mean internode length. Shoot tip abortion is preceded by growth cessation and is not brought about by the death of the shoot apical meristem, but occurs by tissue necrosis in the sub-apical zone. For most genotypes studied, the probability of shoot tip abortion is higher during expansion of the preformed part of the shoot. Lower temperatures during early growth result in a higher probability of shoot tip abortion.
Organogenesis and shoot tip abortion are controlled independently. All buds have the potential to become long shoots. Conditions that increase early growth rate postpone shoot tip abortion.
PMCID: PMC2533607  PMID: 17650513
Actinidia; kiwifruit; shoot fate; neoformation; organogenesis; shoot tip abortion; developmental plasticity; temperature
10.  Tapetum and middle layer control male fertility in Actinidia deliciosa 
Annals of Botany  2013;112(6):1045-1055.
Background and Aims
Dioecism characterizes many crop species of economic value, including kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa). Kiwifruit male sterility occurs at the microspore stage. The cell walls of the microspores and the pollen of the male-sterile and male-fertile flowers, respectively, differ in glucose and galactose levels. In numerous plants, pollen formation involves normal functioning and degeneration timing of the tapetum, with calcium and carbohydrates provided by the tapetum essential for male fertility. The aim of this study was to determine whether the anther wall controls male fertility in kiwifruit, providing calcium and carbohydrates to the microspores.
The events occurring in the anther wall and microspores of male-fertile and male-sterile anthers were investigated by analyses of light microscopy, epifluorescence, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL assay) and transmission electron microscopy coupled with electron spectroscopy. The possibility that male sterility was related to anther tissue malfunctioning with regard to calcium/glucose/galactose provision to the microspores was also investigated by in vitro anther culture.
Key Results
Both tapetum and the middle layer showed secretory activity and both degenerated by programmed cell death (PCD), but PCD was later in male-sterile than in male-fertile anthers. Calcium accumulated in cell walls of the middle layer and tapetum and in the exine of microspores and pollen, reaching higher levels in anther wall tissues and dead microspores of male-sterile anthers. A specific supply of glucose and calcium induced normal pollen formation in in vitro-cultured anthers of the male-sterile genotype.
The results show that male sterility in kiwifruit is induced by anther wall tissues through prolonged secretory activity caused by a delay in PCD, in the middle layer in particular. In vitro culture results support the sporophytic control of male fertility in kiwifruit and open the way to applications to overcome dioecism and optimize kiwifruit production.
PMCID: PMC3783237  PMID: 23965617
Actinidia deliciosa; anther; anther culture; calcium; dioecism; flower male fertility flower male sterility; glucose; middle layer; pollen; programmed cell death; tapetum
11.  Relationship of Grapevine Yield and Growth to Nematode Densities 
Journal of Nematology  1975;7(3):295-304.
Yield, growth, and vigor of individual grape vines were correlated with nematode population densities in a series of California vineyards. In a Hanford sandy loam soil, Xiphinema americanum densities showed negative correlations with yield, growth, and vigor of vines. When vines were categorized according to vigor, X. americanurn densities had little relationship to yield of high-vigor vines, but were negatively correlated with yield of low-vigor vines. Densities of Paratylenchus harnatus were positively correlated with yield, growth, and vigor of vines. Correlations between Meloidogyne spp. densities and vine performance were variable, even when the vines were separated according to soil type and plant vigor. Densities of Meloidogyne spp. populations were generally higher on coarser-textured, sandy soils and the vines were less vigorous there. Densities of P. hamatus were greater in fine-textured soils.
PMCID: PMC2620113  PMID: 19308172
Longidorus africanus; Vitis vinifera
12.  Leaf trait co-ordination in relation to construction cost, carbon gain and resource-use efficiency in exotic invasive and native woody vine species 
Annals of Botany  2010;106(2):371-380.
Background and Aims
Success of invasive plant species is thought to be linked with their higher leaf carbon fixation strategy, enabling them to capture and utilize resources better than native species, and thus pre-empt and maintain space. However, these traits are not well-defined for invasive woody vines.
In a glass house setting, experiments were conducted to examine how leaf carbon gain strategies differ between non-indigenous invasive and native woody vines of south-eastern Australia, by investigating their biomass gain, leaf structural, nutrient and physiological traits under changing light and moisture regimes.
Key Results
Leaf construction cost (CC), calorific value and carbon : nitrogen (C : N) ratio were lower in the invasive group, while ash content, N, maximum photosynthesis, light-use efficiency, photosynthetic energy-use efficiency (PEUE) and specific leaf area (SLA) were higher in this group relative to the native group. Trait plasticity, relative growth rate (RGR), photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency and water-use efficiency did not differ significantly between the groups. However, across light resource, regression analyses indicated that at a common (same) leaf CC and PEUE, a higher biomass RGR resulted for the invasive group; also at a common SLA, a lower CC but higher N resulted for the invasive group. Overall, trait co-ordination (using pair-wise correlation analyses) was better in the invasive group. Ordination using 16 leaf traits indicated that the major axis of invasive-native dichotomy is primarily driven by SLA and CC (including its components and/or derivative of PEUE) and was significantly linked with RGR.
These results demonstrated that while not all measures of leaf resource traits may differ between the two groups, the higher level of trait correlation and higher revenue returned (RGR) per unit of major resource need (CC) and use (PEUE) in the invasive group is in line with their rapid spread where introduced.
PMCID: PMC2908172  PMID: 20534595
Construction cost; leaf physico-chemical properties; plant invasion; photosynthesis; resource-use efficiency; specific leaf area; woody vines; Anredera; Araujia; Cardiospermum; Macfadyena; Pandorea; Parsonsia
13.  Switching from a mechanistic model to a continuous model to study at different scales the effect of vine growth on the dynamic of a powdery mildew epidemic 
Annals of Botany  2010;107(5):885-895.
Background and Aims
Epidemiological simulation models coupling plant growth with the dispersal and disease dynamics of an airborne plant pathogen were devised for a better understanding of host–pathogen dynamic interactions and of the capacity of grapevine development to modify the progress of powdery mildew epidemics.
The first model is a complex discrete mechanistic model (M-model) that explicitly incorporates the dynamics of host growth and the development and dispersion of the pathogen at the vine stock scale. The second model is a simpler ordinary differential equations (ODEs) compartmental SEIRT model (C-model) handling host growth (foliar surface) and the ontogenic resistance of the leaves. With the M-model various levels of vine development are simulated under three contrasting climatic scenarios and the relationship between host and disease variables are examined at key periods in the epidemic process. The ability of the C-model to retrieve the main dynamics of the disease for a range of vine growth given by the M-model is investigated.
Key Results
The M-model strengthens experimental results observed regarding the effect of the rate of leaf emergence and of the number of leaves at flowering on the severity of the disease. However, it also underlines strong variations of the dynamics of disease depending on the vigour and indirectly on the climatic scenarios. The C-model could be calibrated by using the M-model provided that different parameters before and after shoot topping and for various vigour levels and inoculation time are used. Biologically relevant estimations of the parameters that could be used for its extension to the vineyard scale are obtained.
The M-model is able to generate a wide range of growth scenarios with a strong impact on disease evolution. The C-model is a promising tool to be used at a larger scale.
PMCID: PMC3077982  PMID: 21127356
Host–pathogen models; mechanistic model; SEIRT model; host growth; powdery mildew; grapevine
14.  Early Root Herbivory Impairs Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Colonization and Shifts Defence Allocation in Establishing Plantago lanceolata 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66053.
Research into plant-mediated indirect interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and insect herbivores has focussed on those between plant shoots and above-ground herbivores, despite the fact that only below-ground herbivores share the same part of the host plant as AM fungi. Using Plantago lanceolata L., we aimed to characterise how early root herbivory by the vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus F.) affected subsequent colonization by AM fungi (Glomus spp.) and determine how the two affected plant growth and defensive chemistry. We exposed four week old P. lanceolata to root herbivory and AM fungi using a 2×2 factorial design (and quantified subsequent effects on plant biomass and iridoid glycosides (IGs) concentrations. Otiorhynchus sulcatus reduced root growth by c. 64%, whereas plant growth was unaffected by AM fungi. Root herbivory reduced extent of AM fungal colonization (by c. 61%). O. sulcatus did not influence overall IG concentrations, but caused qualitative shifts in root and shoot IGs, specifically increasing the proportion of the more toxic catalpol. These changes may reflect defensive allocation in the plant against further attack. This study demonstrates that very early root herbivory during plant development can shape future patterns of AM fungal colonization and influence defensive allocation in the plant.
PMCID: PMC3686864  PMID: 23840398
15.  Relationship between male moths of Cryptoblabes gnidiella (Millière) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) caught in sex pheromone traps and cumulative degree-days in vineyards in southern Uruguay 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:258.
Cryptoblabes gnidiella (Millière) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) has been known in Uruguay for 30 years and only in vineyards, despite being polyphagous. In recent years, this pest has caused sporadic but serious damage on some grapevine cultivars. Understanding the insect’s phenology and developing a monitoring program are essential aspects of integrated pest management. We monitored males using sexual pheromone traps on four cultivars of vine, Pinot noir, Tannat, Gewürztraminer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, in two vine-growing establishments in the Department of Canelones and compiled data on the accumulated effective temperatures for the southern area of Uruguay. We determined that this species undergoes three generations per year and overwinters without diapause as larvae on dried grapes remaining after harvest. Using the proportion of cumulative male moths caught from December to May from 2003–2007 on the four cultivars and the sum of effective temperatures above two previously-published lower-threshold temperatures for development, 12.26°C and 13°C, statistically significant logistic models were estimated. Predictions based on the resulting models suggested that they would be acceptable tools to improve the efficiency of integrated management of this pest in Uruguay.
PMCID: PMC3687110  PMID: 23795342
Honeydew moth; Flight activity; Hibernation; Degree-day models
16.  Modelling leaf photosynthetic and transpiration temperature-dependent responses in Vitis vinifera cv. Semillon grapevines growing in hot, irrigated vineyard conditions 
AoB Plants  2012;2012:pls009.
Grapevines growing in Australia suffer from high temperatures which have major effects on photosynthesis and transpiration. To learn more, gas exchange was measured over several seasons and then modelled across temperatures from 20 to 45°C and validated with independent data.
Background and aims
Grapevines growing in Australia are often exposed to very high temperatures and the question of how the gas exchange processes adjust to these conditions is not well understood. The aim was to develop a model of photosynthesis and transpiration in relation to temperature to quantify the impact of the growing conditions on vine performance.
Leaf gas exchange was measured along the grapevine shoots in accordance with their growth and development over several growing seasons. Using a general linear statistical modelling approach, photosynthesis and transpiration were modelled against leaf temperature separated into bands and the model parameters and coefficients applied to independent datasets to validate the model.
Principal results
Photosynthesis, transpiration and stomatal conductance varied along the shoot, with early emerging leaves having the highest rates, but these declined as later emerging leaves increased their gas exchange capacities in accordance with development. The general linear modelling approach applied to these data revealed that photosynthesis at each temperature was additively dependent on stomatal conductance, internal CO2 concentration and photon flux density. The temperature-dependent coefficients for these parameters applied to other datasets gave a predicted rate of photosynthesis that was linearly related to the measured rates, with a 1 : 1 slope. Temperature-dependent transpiration was multiplicatively related to stomatal conductance and the leaf to air vapour pressure deficit and applying the coefficients also showed a highly linear relationship, with a 1 : 1 slope between measured and modelled rates, when applied to independent datasets.
The models developed for the grapevines were relatively simple but accounted for much of the seasonal variation in photosynthesis and transpiration. The goodness of fit in each case demonstrated that explicitly selecting leaf temperature as a model parameter, rather than including temperature intrinsically as is usually done in more complex models, was warranted.
PMCID: PMC3345123  PMID: 22567220
17.  Allergenic Lipid Transfer Proteins from Plant-Derived Foods Do Not Immunologically and Clinically Behave Homogeneously: The Kiwifruit LTP as a Model 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27856.
Food allergy is increasingly common worldwide. Tools for allergy diagnosis measuring IgE improved much since allergenic molecules and microarrays started to be used. IgE response toward allergens belonging to the same group of molecules has not been comprehensively explored using such approach yet.
Using the model of lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) from plants as allergens, including two new structures, we sought to define how heterogeneous is the behavior of homologous proteins.
Two new allergenic LTPs, Act d 10 and Act c 10, have been identified in green (Actinidia deliciosa) and gold (Actinidia chinensis) kiwifruit (KF), respectively, using clinically characterized allergic patients, and their biochemical features comparatively evaluated by means of amino acid sequence alignments. Along with other five LTPs from peach, mulberry, hazelnut, peanut, mugwort, KF LTPs, preliminary tested positive for IgE, have been immobilized on a microarray, used for IgE testing 1,003 allergic subjects. Comparative analysis has been carried out.
Alignment of Act d 10 primary structure with the other allergenic LTPs shows amino acid identities to be in a narrow range between 40 and 55%, with a number of substitutions making the sequences quite different from each other. Although peach LTP dominates the IgE immune response in terms of prevalence, epitope recognition driven by sequence heterogeneity has been recorded to be distributed in a wide range of behaviors. KF LTPs IgE positive results were obtained in a patient subset IgE positive for the peach LTP. Anyhow, the negative results on homologous molecules allowed us to reintroduce KF in patients' diet.
The biochemical nature of allergenic molecule belonging to a group of homologous ones should not be taken as proof of immunological recognition as well. The availability of panels of homologous molecules to be tested using microarrays is valuable to address the therapeutic intervention.
PMCID: PMC3219694  PMID: 22114713
18.  A gene-rich linkage map in the dioecious species Actinidia chinensis (kiwifruit) reveals putative X/Y sex-determining chromosomes 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:102.
The genus Actinidia (kiwifruit) consists of woody, scrambling vines, native to China, and only recently propagated as a commercial crop. All species described are dioecious, but the genetic mechanism for sex-determination is unknown, as is the genetic basis for many of the cluster of characteristics making up the unique fruit. It is, however, an important crop in the New Zealand economy, and a classical breeding program would benefit greatly by knowledge of the trait alleles carried by both female and male parents. The application of marker assisted selection (MAS) in seedling populations would also aid the accurate and efficient development of novel fruit types for the market.
Gene-rich female, male and consensus linkage maps of the diploid species A. chinensis have been constructed with 644 microsatellite markers. The maps consist of twenty-nine linkage groups corresponding to the haploid number n = 29. We found that sex-linked sequence characterized amplified region (SCAR) markers and the 'Flower-sex' phenotype consistently mapped to a single linkage group, in a subtelomeric region, in a section of inconsistent marker order. The region also contained markers of expressed genes, some of unknown function. Recombination, assessed by allelic distribution and marker order stability, was, in the remainder of the linkage group, in accordance with other linkage groups. Fully informative markers to other genes in this linkage group identified the comparative linkage group in the female map, where recombination ratios determining marker order were similar to the autosomes.
We have created genetic linkage maps that define the 29 linkage groups of the haploid genome, and have revealed the position and extent of the sex-determining locus in A. chinensis. As all Actinidia species are dioecious, we suggest that the sex-determining loci of other Actinidia species will be similar to that region defined in our maps. As the extent of the non-recombining region is limited, our result supports the suggestion that the subtelomeric region of an autosome is in the early stages of developing the characteristics of a sex chromosome. The maps provide a reference of genetic information in Actinidia for use in genetic analysis and breeding programs.
PMCID: PMC2661093  PMID: 19284545
19.  Climbing plants in a temperate rainforest understorey: searching for high light or coping with deep shade? 
Annals of Botany  2011;108(2):231-239.
Background and Aims
While the climbing habit allows vines to reach well-lit canopy areas with a minimum investment in support biomass, many of them have to survive under the dim understorey light during certain stages of their life cycle. But, if the growth/survival trade-off widely reported for trees hold for climbing plants, they cannot maximize both light-interception efficiency and shade avoidance (i.e. escaping from the understorey). The seven most important woody climbers occurring in a Chilean temperate evergreen rainforest were studied with the hypothesis that light-capture efficiency of climbers would be positively associated with their abundance in the understorey.
Species abundance in the understorey was quantified from their relative frequency and density in field plots, the light environment was quantified by hemispherical photography, the photosynthetic response to light was measured with portable gas-exchange analyser, and the whole shoot light-interception efficiency and carbon gain was estimated with the 3-D computer model Y-plant.
Key Results
Species differed in specific leaf area, leaf mass fraction, above ground leaf area ratio, light-interception efficiency and potential carbon gain. Abundance of species in the understorey was related to whole shoot features but not to leaf level features such as specific leaf area. Potential carbon gain was inversely related to light-interception efficiency. Mutual shading among leaves within a shoot was very low (<20 %).
The abundance of climbing plants in this southern rainforest understorey was directly related to their capacity to intercept light efficiently but not to their potential carbon gain. The most abundant climbers in this ecosystem match well with a shade-tolerance syndrome in contrast to the pioneer-like nature of climbers observed in tropical studies. The climbers studied seem to sacrifice high-light searching for coping with the dim understorey light.
PMCID: PMC3143042  PMID: 21685433
Light-capture efficiency; 3-D canopy architecture modelling; climbing plants; temperate evergreen rainforest; shade tolerance; Mitraria coccinea; Cissus striata; Boquila trifoliolata; Hydrangea serratifolia; Elytropus chilensis; Luzuriaga radicans; Luzuriaga polyphylla
20.  Metabolic analysis of kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) berries from extreme genotypes reveals hallmarks for fruit starch metabolism 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2013;64(16):5049-5063.
Tomato, melon, grape, peach, and strawberry primarily accumulate soluble sugars during fruit development. In contrast, kiwifruit (Actinidia Lindl. spp.) and banana store a large amount of starch that is released as soluble sugars only after the fruit has reached maturity. By integrating metabolites measured by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, enzyme activities measured by a robot-based platform, and transcript data sets during fruit development of Actinidia deliciosa genotypes contrasting in starch concentration and size, this study identified the metabolic changes occurring during kiwifruit development, including the metabolic hallmarks of starch accumulation and turnover. At cell division, a rise in glucose (Glc) concentration was associated with neutral invertase (NI) activity, and the decline of both Glc and NI activity defined the transition to the cell expansion and starch accumulation phase. The high transcript levels of β-amylase 9 (BAM9) during cell division, prior to net starch accumulation, and the correlation between sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) activity and sucrose suggest the occurrence of sucrose cycling and starch turnover. ADP-Glc pyrophosphorylase (AGPase) is identified as a key enzyme for starch accumulation in kiwifruit berries, as high-starch genotypes had 2- to 5-fold higher AGPase activity, which was maintained over a longer period of time and was also associated with enhanced and extended transcription of the AGPase large subunit 4 (APL4). The data also revealed that SPS and galactinol might affect kiwifruit starch accumulation, and suggest that phloem unloading into kiwifruit is symplastic. These results are relevant to the genetic improvement of quality traits such as sweetness and sugar/acid balance in a range of fruit species.
PMCID: PMC3830485  PMID: 24058160
Actinidia deliciosa; AGPase; berry development; enzyme profiling; fruit quality; glucose; metabolite profiling; neutral invertase; planteose; primary metabolism; starch; sucrose phosphate synthase; transcript profiling.
21.  Synergistic Defensive Function of Raphides and Protease through the Needle Effect 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91341.
Raphides, needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals in tissues of many plants, have been thought to play defensive roles against herbivores without detailed bioassays for their defensive roles and modes of function using purified raphides. In order to examine the defensive roles and modes of function of raphides in a clear experimental system, we performed bioassays giving the larvae of the Eri silkmoth, Samia ricini (Saturniidae), leaves of their host plant, the castor oil plant, Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae), painted with the raphides purified from kiwifruits, Actinidia deliciosa (Actinidiaceae), in presence or absence of cysteine protease, which often coincide with raphides in plant tissues. Raphides alone or cysteine protease alone showed only weak defensive activities around experimental concentrations. However, when raphides and cysteine protease coexisted, they synergistically showed very strong growth-reducing activities, and the mortality of caterpillars was very high. In contrast, amorphous calcium oxalate did not show synergism with cysteine protease on defensive activities, indicating that the needle-shape of raphides is essential for the synergism. The present study provides the first clear experimental evidence for the synergism between raphides and other defensive factors. Further, the study suggests that “the needle effect”, which intensify the bioactivities of other bioactive factors by making holes to the barriers (cell membrane, cuticle, epithelium, the nuclear membrane, etc.) and facilitate the bioactive factors to go through them and reach the targets, is important in the defensive activities of raphides, and possibly in the allergy caused by raphides, and in the carcinogenic activities of other needle-shaped components including asbestos and plant derived silica needles.
PMCID: PMC3951349  PMID: 24621613
22.  Induced polyploidy dramatically increases the size and alters the shape of fruit in Actinidia chinensis 
Annals of Botany  2011;109(1):169-179.
Background and Aims
Some otherwise promising selections of Actinidia chinensis (kiwifruit) have fruit that are too small for successful commercialization. We have therefore made the first detailed study in diploid kiwifruit of the effects of chromosome doubling induced by colchicine on fruit size, shape and crop loading.
Flow cytometric analysis of young leaves and chromosome analysis of flower buds and root tips was used to confirm the stability of induced autotetraploids. Fruit weight, size and crop load were measured in the third year after planting in the field and for three consecutive years. DNA fingerprinting was used to confirm the origin of the material.
Key Results
There was a very significant increase in fruit size in induced autotetraploids of different genotypes of A. chinensis. With the commercially important diploid cultivar ‘Hort16A’, most regenerants, Type A plants, had fruit which were much the same shape as fruit of the diploid but, at the same fruit load, were much larger and heavier. Some regenerants, Type B plants, produced fruit similar to ‘fasciated’ fruit. Fruit of the autotetraploids induced from three female red-fleshed A. chinensis selections were also 50–60 % larger than fruit of their diploid progenitors. The main increase in fruit dimensions was in their diameters. These improved fruit characteristics were stable over several seasons.
Chromosome doubling has been shown to increase significantly fruit size in autotetraploid A. chinensis, highlighting the considerable potential of this technique to produce new cultivars with fruit of adequate size. Other variants with differently shaped fruit were also produced but the genetic basis of this variation remains to be elucidated. Autoploids of other Actinidia species with commercial potential may also show improved fruit characteristics, opening up many new possibilities for commercial development.
PMCID: PMC3241580  PMID: 21980192
Actinidia chinensis; autotetraploid; chromosome doubling; chromosome number; colchicine; DNA fingerprinting; flow cytometry; fruit shape; fruit size; kiwifruit; red-fleshed kiwifruit; somaclonal variation
23.  Signal honesty and cost of pollinator rewards in Dalechampia scandens (Euphorbiaceae) 
Annals of Botany  2012;109(7):1331-1340.
Background and Aims
Most species of Dalechampia vines (Euphorbiaceae) attract bee pollinators with terpenoid resins secreted by a gland-like structure in the inflorescence. In some species, pollinating bees appear to preferentially visit inflorescences (blossoms) with large resin-producing glands, whereas in other species bees preferentially visit blossoms with large involucral bracts. In this study, the reliability of bract and gland size as signals of the quantity of resin produced in one species, D. scandens, was assessed. Whether resin secretion has a cost with respect to the number or mass of the seeds produced by a blossom was also examined.
Measurements were made of bract size, gland size and the amount of resin secreted by blossoms of D. scandens maintained in a common environment, and the relationships between these traits were analysed. Resin production was also manipulated, and the effects of the manipulation were tested on seed set and seed mass.
Key Results
The amount of resin produced was better predicted by the size of the gland than by the size of the bract. Furthermore, when the effect of gland size was accounted for, bract size only weakly predicted the amount of resin produced. Neither an increase in resin secretion (by daily removal of the resin) nor a decrease (by removal of the resin gland) affected seed set or seed mass detectably, but resin production correlated positively with mean seed mass at the individual level once the size of the resin gland was accounted for.
Gland size is a better indicator of the amount of reward than bract size, although the latter remained an honest signal of the quantity of resin produced. Resin secretion has no detectable cost in terms of seed production, but may be condition dependent, as suggested by a positive correlation with seed mass at the individual level.
PMCID: PMC3359932  PMID: 22628366
Dalechampia scandens; blossom; signal honesty; nectar; pollination; reward; seed production; terpenoid resin; condition dependence
24.  Ecophysiological Traits May Explain the Abundance of Climbing Plant Species across the Light Gradient in a Temperate Rainforest 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e38831.
Climbing plants are a key component of rainforests, but mechanistic approaches to their distribution and abundance are scarce. In a southern temperate rainforest, we addressed whether the dominance of climbing plants across light environments is associated with the expression of ecophysiological traits. In mature forest and canopy gaps, we measured leaf size, specific leaf area, photosynthetic rate, and dark respiration in six of the most abundant woody vines. Mean values of traits and their phenotypic change (%) between mature forest and canopy gaps were predictor variables. Leaf size and specific leaf area were not significantly associated with climbing plant dominance. Variation in gas-exchange traits between mature forest and canopy gaps explained, at least partly, the dominance of climbers in this forest. A greater increase in photosynthetic rate and a lower increase in dark respiration rate when canopy openings occur were related to the success of climbing plant species. Dominant climbers showed a strategy of maximizing exploitation of resource availability but minimizing metabolic costs. Results may reflect phenotypic plasticity or genetic differentiation in ecophysiological traits between light environments. It is suggested that the dominant climbers in this temperate rainforest would be able to cope with forest clearings due to human activities.
PMCID: PMC3369858  PMID: 22685611
25.  Characterization of Activity of a Potential Food-Grade Leucine Aminopeptidase from Kiwifruit 
Enzyme Research  2010;2010:517283.
Aminopeptidase (AP) activity in ripe but firm fruit of Actinidia deliciosa was characterized using L-leucine-p-nitroanilide as a substrate. The enzyme activity was the highest under alkaline conditions and was thermolabile. EDTA, 1,10-phenanthroline, iodoacetamide, and Zn2+ had inhibitory effect while a low concentration of dithiothreitol (DTT) had stimulatory effect on kiwifruit AP activity. However, DTT was not essential for the enzyme activity. The results obtained indicated that the kiwifruit AP was a thiol-dependent metalloprotease. Its activity was the highest in the seeds, followed by the core and pericarp tissues of the fruit. The elution profile of the AP activity from a DEAE-cellulose column suggested that there were at least two AP isozymes in kiwifruit: one unadsorbed and one adsorbed fractions. It is concluded that useful food-grade aminopeptidases from kiwifruit could be revealed using more specific substrates.
PMCID: PMC2976069  PMID: 21076540

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