Background and Aims
Crop protection strategies, based on preventing quantitative crop losses rather than pest outbreaks, are being developed as a promising way to reduce fungicide use. The Bastiaans' model was applied to winter wheat crops (Triticum aestivum) affected by leaf rust (Puccinia triticina) and Septoria tritici blotch (STB; Mycosphaerella graminicola) under a range of crop management conditions. This study examined (a) whether green leaf area per layer accurately accounts for growth loss; and (b) whether from growth loss it is possible to derive yield loss accurately and simply.
Over 5 years of field experiments, numerous green leaf area dynamics were analysed during the post-anthesis period on wheat crops using natural aerial epidemics of leaf rust and STB.
When radiation use efficiency (RUE) was derived from bulk green leaf area index (GLAI), RUEbulk was hardly accurate and exhibited large variations among diseased wheat crops, thus extending outside the biological range. In contrast, when RUE was derived from GLAI loss per layer, RUElayer was a more accurate calculation and fell within the biological range. In one situation out of 13, no significant shift in the RUElayer of diseased crops vs. healthy crops was observed. A single linear relationship linked yield to post-anthesis accumulated growth for all treatments. Its slope, not different from 1, suggests that the allocation of post-anthesis photosynthates to grains was not affected by the late occurring diseases under study. The mobilization of pre-anthesis reserves completely accounted for the intercept value.
The results strongly suggest that a simple model based on green leaf area per layer and pre-anthesis reserves can predict both growth and yield of wheat suffering from late epidemics of foliar diseases over a range of crop practices. It could help in better understanding how crop structure and reserve management contribute to tolerance of wheat genotypes to leaf diseases.
Triticum aestivum; Puccinia triticina; Mycosphaerella graminicola; leaf rust; Septoria tritici blotch; growth loss; yield loss; green leaf area per layer; pre-anthesis reserves
Background and Aims
In traditional crop growth models assimilate production and partitioning are described with empirical equations. In the GREENLAB functional–structural model, however, allocation of carbon to different kinds of organs depends on the number and relative sink strengths of growing organs present in the crop architecture. The aim of this study is to generate sink functions of wheat (Triticum aestivum) organs by calibrating the GREENLAB model using a dedicated data set, consisting of time series on the mass of individual organs (the ‘target data’).
An experiment was conducted on spring wheat (Triticum aestivum, ‘Minaret’), in a growth chamber from, 2004 to, 2005. Four harvests were made of six plants each to determine the size and mass of individual organs, including the root system, leaf blades, sheaths, internodes and ears of the main stem and different tillers. Leaf status (appearance, expansion, maturity and death) of these 24 plants was recorded. With the structures and mass of organs of four individual sample plants, the GREENLAB model was calibrated using a non-linear least-square-root fitting method, the aim of which was to minimize the difference in mass of the organs between measured data and model output, and to provide the parameter values of the model (the sink strengths of organs of each type, age and tiller order, and two empirical parameters linked to biomass production).
Key Results and Conclusions
The masses of all measured organs from one plant from each harvest were fitted simultaneously. With estimated parameters for sink and source functions, the model predicted the mass and size of individual organs at each position of the wheat structure in a mechanistic way. In addition, there was close agreement between experimentally observed and simulated values of leaf area index.
Wheat; Triticum aestivum ‘Minaret’; tiller; GREENLAB; organ mass; functional–structural model; model calibration; multi-fitting; source–sink
The host range of the corn cyst nematode, Heterodera zeae, recently detected in Maryland, was investigated. A total of 269 plant entries, representing 68 families, 172 genera, and 204 species, was inoculated with cysts or a mixture of eggs and second-stage juveniles of H. zeae. The host range of the Maryland population of H. zeae was limited to plants of the Gramineae and included 11 tribes, 33 genera, 42 species, and 77 entries. All 22 corn (Zea mays) cultivars tested were hosts. Other economic hosts included certain cultivars of barley (Hordeum vulgare), oat (Arena sativa), rice (Oryza sativa), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), sugar cane (Saccharum interspecific hybrid), and wheat (Triticum aestivum). Fall panicum (Panicum dichotomiflorum), a weed species common to cultivated fields in Maryland, was also a host for H. zeae. Other hosts included meadow foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis), Calamagrostis eipgeios, Job's tears (Coix Lachryma-Jobi), green sprangletop (Leptochloa dubia), witchgrass (Panicum capillare), broomcorn (Panicum miliaceum), fountain grass (Pennisetum rueppeli), reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), common reed (Phragmites australis), eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides), corn (Zea mays), and teosinte (Zea mexicana).
corn; corn cyst nematode; Heterodera zeae; host range; maize; Zea mays
Plants show varied cellular responses to salinity that are partly associated with maintaining low cytosolic Na+ levels and a high K+/Na+ ratio. Plant metabolites change with elevated Na+, some changes are likely to help restore osmotic balance while others protect Na+-sensitive proteins. Metabolic responses to salt stress are described for two barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivars, Sahara and Clipper, which differed in salinity tolerance under the experimental conditions used. After 3 weeks of salt treatment, Clipper ceased growing whereas Sahara resumed growth similar to the control plants. Compared with Clipper, Sahara had significantly higher leaf Na+ levels and less leaf necrosis, suggesting they are more tolerant to accumulated Na+. Metabolite changes in response to the salt treatment also differed between the two cultivars. Clipper plants had elevated levels of amino acids, including proline and GABA, and the polyamine putrescine, consistent with earlier suggestions that such accumulation may be correlated with slower growth and/or leaf necrosis rather than being an adaptive response to salinity. It is suggested that these metabolites may be an indicator of general cellular damage in plants. By contrast, in the more tolerant Sahara plants, the levels of the hexose phosphates, TCA cycle intermediates, and metabolites involved in cellular protection increased in response to salt. These solutes remain unchanged in the more sensitive Clipper plants. It is proposed that these responses in the more tolerant Sahara are involved in cellular protection in the leaves and are involved in the tolerance of Sahara leaves to high Na+.
Barley; GC-MS; metabolomics; salt stress; tissue tolerance
Adaptation to temperate environments is common in the grass subfamily Pooideae, suggesting an ancestral origin of cold climate adaptation. Here, we investigated substitution rates of genes involved in low-temperature-induced (LTI) stress responses to test the hypothesis that adaptive molecular evolution of LTI pathway genes was important for Pooideae evolution.Substitution rates and signatures of positive selection were analyzed using 4330 gene trees including three warm climate-adapted species (maize (Zea mays), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), and rice (Oryza sativa)) and five temperate Pooideae species (Brachypodium distachyon, wheat (Triticum aestivum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), Lolium perenne and Festuca pratensis).Nonsynonymous substitution rate differences between Pooideae and warm habitat-adapted species were elevated in LTI trees compared with all trees. Furthermore, signatures of positive selection were significantly stronger in LTI trees after the rice and Pooideae split but before the Brachypodium divergence (P < 0.05). Genome-wide heterogeneity in substitution rates was also observed, reflecting divergent genome evolution processes within these grasses.Our results provide evidence for a link between adaptation to cold habitats and adaptive evolution of LTI stress responses in early Pooideae evolution and shed light on a poorly understood chapter in the evolutionary history of some of the world's most important temperate crops.
adaptive evolution; climate adaptation; cold; habitat shift; Pooideae; temperate grasses
We consider mechanisms that may determine certain simple leaf shapes. Compared with other aspects of plant morphogenesis, such as phyllotaxis or spiral leaf arrangement, rather little is known about leaf-shape-determining mechanisms. We develop mathematical models for the gross pattern of leaf shape based on reaction diffusion systems. These models are consistent with what is known about factors that might determine leaf shape. They show that diverse leaf shapes may be obtained from a single reaction diffusion system. This has implications in terms of both convergent and divergent evolution. The models make predictions that can be tested experimentally. We predict the form of pre-patterns of growth promoters in leaf primordia of different sizes when the morphogens either diffuse into the primordia or are produced locally. We also predict the effects on leaf shape of removing parts of primordia at different times. The models can also predict the effects on leaf shape of the topical application of activators and inhibitors to leaf primordia.
In plants, the C-repeat binding factors (Cbfs) are believed to regulate low-temperature (LT) tolerance. However, most functional studies of Cbfs have focused on characterizing expression after an LT shock and have not quantified differences associated with variable temperature induction or the rate of response to LT treatment. In the Triticeae, rye (Secale cereale L.) is one of the most LT-tolerant species, and is an excellent model to study and compare Cbf LT induction and expression profiles. Here, we report the isolation of rye Cbf genes (ScCbfs) and compare their expression levels in spring- and winter-habit rye cultivars and their orthologs in two winter-habit wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivars. Eleven ScCbfs were isolated spanning all four major phylogenetic groups. Nine of the ScCbfs mapped to 5RL and one to chromosome 2R. Cbf expression levels were variable, with stronger expression in winter- versus spring-habit rye cultivars but no clear relationship with cultivar differences in LT, down-stream cold-regulated gene expression and Cbf expression were detected. Some Cbfs were expressed only at warmer acclimation temperatures in all three species and their expression was repressed at the end of an 8-h dark period at warmer temperatures, which may reflect a temperature-dependent, light-regulated diurnal response. Our work indicates that Cbf expression is regulated by complex genotype by time by induction–temperature interactions, emphasizing that sample timing, induction–temperature and light-related factors must receive greater consideration in future studies involving functional characterization of LT-induced genes in cereals.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00438-009-0451-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Secale cereale; Rye; Cold acclimation; Cbf; Triticeae; Induction temperature
Changes in root- and leaf-soluble proteins were investigated in tomato after invasion by the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica, or in barley and wheat after invasion by the cereal cyst nematode Heterodera avenae. Infection of susceptible tomato plants by M. javanica did not cause any change in the soluble-protein composition of leaves or roots compared with uninoculated plants at an early infection stage. No pathogenesis-related proteins (chitinase, glucanase, or P-14) were induced in the leaf apoplast. Changes in leaf proteins were not observed after invasion of wheat cultivars by H. avenae, whereas, in barley, a few changes in intercellular leaf proteins were recorded in resistant cultivars. These changes, however, were not the same among different H. avenae-resistant cultivars. Protein changes were found at an early stage of infection in barley and wheat roots infected with H. avenae, but no difference was found between resistant and susceptible cultivars.
barley; cereal cyst nematode; chitinase; glucanase; Heterodera avenae; Hordeum vulgate; Lycopersicon esculentum; Meloidogyne javanica; nematode; pathogenesis-related proteins; root-knot nematode; tomato; Triticum aestivum; wheat
The degree of leaf dissection and the presence of leaf teeth, along with tooth size and abundance, inversely correlate with mean annual temperature (MAT) across many plant communities. These relationships form the core of several methods for reconstructing MAT from fossils, yet the direct selection of temperature on tooth morphology has not been demonstrated experimentally. It is also not known if atmospheric CO2 concentration affects leaf shape, limiting confidence in ancient climate reconstructions because CO2 has varied widely on geologic timescales. Here I report the results of growing Acer rubrum (red maple) in growth cabinets at contrasting temperature and CO2 conditions. The CO2 treatment imparted no significant differences in leaf size and shape, while plants grown at cooler temperatures tended to have more teeth and more highly dissected leaves. These results provide direct evidence for the selection of temperature on leaf shape in one species, and support a key link in many leaf-climate methods. More broadly, these results increase confidence for using leaf shape in fossils to reconstruct paleoclimate.
• Background and Aims The production of axillary shoots (tillering) in spring wheat (Triticum aestivum) depends on intraspecific competition. The mechanisms that underlie this competition are complex, but light within the wheat canopy plays a key role. The main objectives of this paper are to analyse the effects of plant population density and shade on tillering dynamics of spring wheat, to assess the canopy conditions quantitatively at the time of tillering cessation, and to analyse the relationship between the tiller bud and the leaf on the same phytomer.
• Methods Spring wheat plants were grown at three plant population densities and under two light regimes (25 % and 100 % light). Tiller appearance, fraction of the light intercepted, and red : far-red ratio at soil level were recorded. On six sampling dates the growth status of axillary buds was analysed.
• Key Results Tillering ceased earlier at high population densities and ceased earlier in the shade than in full sunlight. At cessation of tillering, both the fraction of light intercepted and the red : far-red ratio at soil level were similar in all treatments. Leaves on the same phytomer of buds that grew out showed more leaf mass per unit area than those on the same phytomer of buds that remained dormant.
• Conclusions Tillering ceases at specific light conditions within the wheat canopy, independent of population density, and to a lesser extent independent of light intensity. It is suggested that cessation of tillering is induced when the fraction of PAR intercepted by the canopy exceeds a specific threshold (0·40–0·45) and red : far-red ratio drops below 0·35–0·40.
Triticum aestivum; wheat; tiller; bud; plant population density; shade; PAR; red : far-red ratio; functional–structural model
Wheat is one of the most important crops in Australia, and the identification of young plants is an important step towards developing an automated system for monitoring crop establishment and also for differentiating crop from weeds. In this paper, a framework to differentiate early narrow-leaf wheat from two common weeds from their digital images is developed. A combination of colour, texture and shape features is used. These features are reduced to three descriptors using Principal Component Analysis. The three components provide an effective and significant means for distinguishing the three grasses. Further analysis enables threshold levels to be set for the discrimination of the plant species. The PCA model was evaluated on an independent data set of plants and the results show accuracy of 88% and 85% in the differentiation of ryegrass and brome grass from wheat, respectively. The outcomes of this study can be integrated into new knowledge in developing computer vision systems used in automated weed management.
Image analysis; image segmentation; principal component analysis; weed detection; plant differentiation
The real-time translocation of iron (Fe) in barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Ehimehadaka no. 1) was visualized using the positron-emitting tracer 52Fe and a positron-emitting tracer imaging system (PETIS). PETIS allowed us to monitor Fe translocation in barley non-destructively under various conditions. In all cases, 52Fe first accumulated at the basal part of the shoot, suggesting that this region may play an important role in Fe distribution in graminaceous plants. Fe-deficient barley showed greater translocation of 52Fe from roots to shoots than did Fe-sufficient barley, demonstrating that Fe deficiency causes enhanced 52Fe uptake and translocation to shoots. In the dark, translocation of 52Fe to the youngest leaf was equivalent to or higher than that under the light condition, while the translocation of 52Fe to the older leaves was decreased, in both Fe-deficient and Fe-sufficient barley. This suggests the possibility that the mechanism and/or pathway of Fe translocation to the youngest leaf may be different from that to the older leaves. When phloem transport in the leaf was blocked by steam treatment, 52Fe translocation from the roots to older leaves was not affected, while 52Fe translocation to the youngest leaf was reduced, indicating that Fe is translocated to the youngest leaf via phloem in addition to xylem. We propose a novel model in which root-absorbed Fe is translocated from the basal part of the shoots and/or roots to the youngest leaf via phloem in graminaceous plants.
Barley; Fe translocation; Phloem; Positron-emitting tracer; Real-time imaging; Xylem
In arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) play key roles in regulating seasonal flowering-responses to synchronize flowering with optimal conditions. FT is a promoter of flowering activated by long days and by warm conditions. FLC represses FT to delay flowering until plants experience winter.
The identification of genes controlling flowering in cereals allows comparison of the molecular pathways controlling seasonal flowering-responses in cereals with those of arabidopsis. The role of FT has been conserved between arabidopsis and cereals; FT-like genes trigger flowering in response to short days in rice or long days in temperate cereals, such as wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare). Many varieties of wheat and barley require vernalization to flower but FLC-like genes have not been identified in cereals. Instead, VERNALIZATION2 (VRN2) inhibits long-day induction of FT-like1 (FT1) prior to winter. VERNALIZATION1 (VRN1) is activated by low-temperatures during winter to repress VRN2 and to allow the long-day response to occur in spring. In rice (Oryza sativa) a VRN2-like gene Ghd7, which influences grain number, plant height and heading date, represses the FT-like gene Heading date 3a (Hd3a) in long days, suggesting a broader role for VRN2-like genes in regulating day-length responses in cereals. Other genes, including Early heading date (Ehd1), Oryza sativa MADS51 (OsMADS51) and INDETERMINATE1 (OsID1) up-regulate Hd3a in short days. These genes might account for the different day-length response of rice compared with the temperate cereals. No genes homologous to VRN2, Ehd1, Ehd2 or OsMADS51 occur in arabidopsis.
It seems that different genes regulate FT orthologues to elicit seasonal flowering-responses in arabidopsis and the cereals. This highlights the need for more detailed study into the molecular basis of seasonal flowering-responses in cereal crops or in closely related model plants such as Brachypodium distachyon.
Flowering; vernalization; photoperiod; day length; VRN1; VRN2; FLC; FT; cereals; arabidopsis; MADS
The Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov), is an invasive insect pest that causes serious yield losses in bread wheat, Triticum aestivum L., durum wheat, T. turgidum L and barley, Hordeum vulgare L. Successful management of D. noxia has been achieved through resistant varieties via plant antixenosis (aphid non-preference), antibiosis (reduced aphid growth or fecundity), tolerance (plant compensatory growth after aphid feeding), or a combination of each. Previous phenotyping experiments revealed that plants of the variety Stoneham resist D. noxia damage via tolerance. In the present study, genes involved in upstream regulation of jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA), ethylene (ET), auxin (AUX) and abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthetic pathways were monitored using qRT-PCR in Stoneham and susceptible Otis barley plants after D. noxia biotype 2 feeding. Results indicate that D. noxia tolerance in Stoneham plants is related to greater constitutive expression of JA-, ET- and AUX-biosynthetic pathway genes than in susceptible Otis plants, suggesting the possibility of immediate plant adjustments due to the stress of D. noxia feeding. There was limited induction of genes in the ET-(ACCS) and IAA (TDC) pathways in Stoneham tissues after D. noxia feeding. JA pathway genes upregulated in Otis tissues after D. noxia infestation failed to successfully defend Otis plants. AUX and ABA transcripts in Otis may be associated with developmental collapses resulting from source and sink adjustment failures.
Diuraphis noxia; barley; biotypes; qRT-PCR; resistance; tolerance
Diel (24 h) leaf growth patterns were differently affected by temperature variations and the circadian clock in several plant species. In the monocotyledon Zea mays, leaf elongation rate closely followed changes in temperature. In the dicotyledons Nicotiana tabacum, Ricinus communis, and Flaveria bidentis, the effect of temperature regimes was less obvious and leaf growth exhibited a clear circadian oscillation.These differences were related neither to primary metabolism nor to altered carbohydrate availability for growth. The effect of endogenous rhythms on leaf growth was analysed under continuous light in Arabidopsis thaliana, Ricinus communis, Zea mays, and Oryza sativa. No rythmic growth was observed under continuous light in the two monocotyledons, while growth rhythmicity persisted in the two dicotyledons. Based on model simulations it is concluded that diel leaf growth patterns in mono- and dicotyledons result from the additive effects of both circadian-clock-controlled processes and responses to environmental changes such as temperature and evaporative demand. Apparently very distinct diel leaf growth behaviour of monocotyledons and dicotyledons can thus be explained by the different degrees to which diel temperature variations affect leaf growth in the two groups of species which, in turn, depends on the extent of the leaf growth control by internal clocks.
Circadian clock; elongation; expansion; image analysis; photosynthesis; starch; sucrose
Background and Aims
Despite long-held interest, knowledge on why leaf size varies widely among species is still incomplete. This study was conducted to assess whether abiotic factors, phylogenetic histories and multi-trait interactions act together to shape leaf size.
Fifty-seven pairs of altitudinal vicariant species were selected in northern Spain, and leaf area and a number of functionally related leaf, shoot and whole plant traits were measured for each pair. Structural equation modelling helped unravel trait interactions affecting leaf size, and Mantel tests weighed the relative relevance of phylogeny, environment and trait interactions to explain leaf size reduction with altitude.
Leaves of highland vicariants were generally smaller than those of lowlands. However, the extent of leaf size reduction with increasing altitude was widely variable among genera: from approx. 700 cm2 reduction (96 % in Polystichum) to approx. 30 cm2 increase (37 % in Sorbus). This was partially explained by shifts in leaf, shoot and whole plant traits (35–64 % of explained variance, depending on models), with size/number trade-offs more influential than shifts in leaf form and leaf economics. Shifts in traits were more important than phylogenetic distances or site-specific environmental variation in explaining the degree of leaf size reduction with altitude.
Ecological filters, constraints due to phylogenetic history (albeit modest in the study system), and phenotypic integration contribute jointly to shape single-trait evolution. Here, it was found that phenotypic change was far more important than shared ancestry to explaine leaf size differences of closely related species segregated along altitudes.
Leaf size evolution; leaf economics; phylogeny; traits; altitude; indirect selection; morphological correlates; structural equation models
Background and Aims
Research on manganese (Mn) toxicity and tolerance indicates that Mn toxicity develops apoplastically through increased peroxidase activities mediated by phenolics and Mn, and Mn tolerance could be conferred by sequestration of Mn in inert cell compartments. This comparative study focuses on Mn-sensitive barley (Hordeum vulgare) and Mn-tolerant rice (Oryza sativa) as model organisms to unravel the mechanisms of Mn toxicity and/or tolerance in monocots.
Bulk leaf Mn concentrations as well as peroxidase activities and protein concentrations were analysed in apoplastic washing fluid (AWF) in both species. In rice, Mn distribution between leaf compartments and the leaf proteome using 2D isoelectic focusing IEF/SDS–PAGE and 2D Blue native BN/SDS–PAGE was studied.
The Mn sensitivity of barley was confirmed since the formation of brown spots on older leaves was induced by low bulk leaf and AWF Mn concentrations and exhibited strongly enhanced H2O2-producing and consuming peroxidase activities. In contrast, by a factor of 50, higher Mn concentrations did not produce Mn toxicity symptoms on older leaves in rice. Peroxidase activities, lower by a factor of about 100 in the rice leaf AWF compared with barley, support the view of a central role for these peroxidases in the apoplastic expression of Mn toxicity. The high Mn tolerance of old rice leaves could be related to a high Mn binding capacity of the cell walls. Proteomic studies suggest that the lower Mn tolerance of young rice leaves could be related to Mn excess-induced displacement of Mg and Fe from essential metabolic functions.
The results provide evidence that Mn toxicity in barley involves apoplastic lesions mediated by peroxidases. The high Mn tolerance of old leaves of rice involves a high Mn binding capacity of the cell walls, whereas Mn toxicity in less Mn-tolerant young leaves is related to Mn-induced Mg and Fe deficiencies.
Apoplast; compartmentation; Hordeum vulgare ‘Baroness’; Mn sensitivity; Mn tolerance; Oryza sativa var. japonica ‘Guara’; proteome; photosynthesis
Study was done to compare the response of Triticum aestivum (hexaploid), Triticum durum (tetraploid) and Triticum monococcum (diploid) wheat species to the elevated CO2 using Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) facility. It was demonstrated that the modern cultivar of wheat Triticum aestivum (hexaploid) was largely sink limited. It appeared to have less photosynthesis per unit leaf area than Triticum monococcum (diploid wheat). While leaf size, grain weight and amylase activity increased with the ploidy level from diploid to hexaploid wheat forms, the photosynthetic rate was reduced significantly. These wheat species responded differentially to the elevated CO2. The larger leaf area and greater seed weight and presence of 38 KDa protein band caused by elevated CO2 had additive effect in improving the productivity of hexaploid wheat by changing the source sink ratio. Whereas, such a source sink balance was not induced by elevated CO2 in diploid wheat. The increasing CO2 may present opportunities to breeders and possibly allow them to select for cultivars responsive to the elevated CO2 with better sink potential.
Elevated CO2; FACE technology; Photosynthesis; Seed weight; Source sink ratio; Triticum
An increased understanding of leaf area development is important in a number of fields: in food and non-food crops, for example short rotation forestry as a biofuels feedstock, leaf area is intricately linked to biomass productivity; in paleontology leaf shape characteristics are used to reconstruct paleoclimate history. Such fields require measurement of large collections of leaves, with resulting conclusions being highly influenced by the accuracy of the phenotypic measurement process.
We have developed LAMINA (Leaf shApe deterMINAtion), a new tool for the automated analysis of images of leaves. LAMINA has been designed to provide classical indicators of leaf shape (blade dimensions) and size (area), which are typically required for correlation analysis to biomass productivity, as well as measures that indicate asymmetry in leaf shape, leaf serration traits, and measures of herbivory damage (missing leaf area). In order to allow Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to be performed, the location of a chosen number of equally spaced boundary coordinates can optionally be returned.
We demonstrate the use of the software on a set of 500 scanned images, each containing multiple leaves, collected from a common garden experiment containing 116 clones of Populus tremula (European trembling aspen) that are being used for association mapping, as well as examples of leaves from other species. We show that the software provides an efficient and accurate means of analysing leaf area in large datasets in an automated or semi-automated work flow.
The beneficial effects of elevated CO2 on plants are expected to be compromised by the negative effects posed by other global changes. However, little is known about ozone (O3)-induced modulation of elevated CO2 response in plants with differential sensitivity to O3. An old (Triticum aestivum cv. Beijing 6, O3 tolerant) and a modern (T. aestivum cv. Zhongmai 9, O3 sensitive) winter wheat cultivar were exposed to elevated CO2 (714 ppm) and/or O3 (72 ppb, for 7h d–1) in open-topped chambers for 21 d. Plant responses to treatments were assessed by visible leaf symptoms, simultaneous measurements of gas exchange and chlorophyll a fluorescence, in vivo biochemical properties, and growth. It was found that elevated CO2 resulted in higher growth stimulation in the modern cultivar attributed to a higher energy capture and electron transport rate compared with the old cultivar. Exposure to O3 caused a greater growth reduction in the modern cultivar due to higher O3 uptake and a greater loss of photosystem II efficiency (mature leaf) and mesophyll cell activity (young leaf) than in the old cultivar. Elevated CO2 completely protected both cultivars against the deleterious effects of O3 under elevated CO2 and O3. The modern cultivar showed a greater relative loss of elevated CO2-induced growth stimulation due to higher O3 uptake and greater O3-induced photoinhibition than the old cultivar at elevated CO2 and O3. Our findings suggest that the elevated CO2-induced growth stimulation in the modern cultivar attributed to higher energy capture and electron transport rate can be compromised by its higher O3 uptake and greater O3-induced photoinhibition under elevated CO2 and O3 exposure.
elevated CO2; in vivo biochemical parameters; ozone; photosynthesis; relative growth rate; stomatal conductance; Tritium aestivum L.; winter wheat.
Plant geneticists have proposed that the dynamic conservation of crop plants in farm environments (in situ conservation) is complementary to static conservation in seed banks (ex situ conservation) because it may help to ensure adaptation to changing conditions. Here, we test whether collections of a traditional variety of Moroccan barley (Hordeum vulgare ssp. vulgare) conserved ex situ showed differences in qualitative and quantitative resistance to the endemic fungal pathogen, Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei, compared to collections that were continuously cultivated in situ. In detached-leaf assays for qualitative resistance, there were some significant differences between in situ and ex situ conserved collections from the same localities. Some ex situ conserved collections showed lower resistance levels, while others showed higher resistance levels than their in situ conserved counterparts. In field trials for quantitative resistance, similar results were observed, with the highest resistance observed in situ. Overall, this study identifies some cases where the Red Queen appears to drive the evolution of increased resistance in situ. However, in situ conservation does not always result in improved adaptation to pathogen virulence, suggesting a more complex evolutionary scenario, consistent with several published examples of plant–pathogen co-evolution in wild systems.
adaptation; agriculture; Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei; conservation biology; contemporary evolution; Hordeum vulgare; host–parasite interactions; landrace
The laminae of leaves optimize photosynthetic rates by serving as a platform for both light capture and gas exchange, while minimizing water losses associated with thermoregulation and transpiration. Many have speculated that plants maximize photosynthetic output and minimize associated costs through leaf size, complexity, and shape, but a unifying theory linking the plethora of observed leaf forms with the environment remains elusive. Additionally, the leaf itself is a plastic structure, responsive to its surroundings, further complicating the relationship. Despite extensive knowledge of the genetic mechanisms underlying angiosperm leaf development, little is known about how phenotypic plasticity and selective pressures converge to create the diversity of leaf shapes and sizes across lineages. Here, we use wild tomato accessions, collected from locales with diverse levels of foliar shade, temperature, and precipitation, as a model to assay the extent of shade avoidance in leaf traits and the degree to which these leaf traits correlate with environmental factors. We find that leaf size is correlated with measures of foliar shade across the wild tomato species sampled and that leaf size and serration correlate in a species-dependent fashion with temperature and precipitation. We use far-red induced changes in leaf length as a proxy measure of the shade avoidance response, and find that shade avoidance in leaves negatively correlates with the level of foliar shade recorded at the point of origin of an accession. The direction and magnitude of these correlations varies across the leaf series, suggesting that heterochronic and/or ontogenic programs are a mechanism by which selective pressures can alter leaf size and form. This study highlights the value of wild tomato accessions for studies of both morphological and light-regulated development of compound leaves, and promises to be useful in the future identification of genes regulating potentially adaptive plastic leaf traits.
Background and Aims
Chilling-stress tolerance is a prerequisite for maize production under cool climatic conditions. The main goal of this study was to evaluate the Central European dent and flint pools for chilling tolerance during heterotrophic and early autotrophic growth in field trials and growth chamber experiments.
Five European flint and five dent inbreds and their 25 factorial crosses were evaluated in six natural environments, where chilling occurred, for chlorophyll concentration and plant height at the three-leaf stage, and plant height and fresh weight at the seven-leaf stage. In growth chambers, leaf 3 growth was analysed under cold and control conditions.
Comparing the field and growth chamber data, the strongest association was found between leaf elongation rate during cold nights and plant height at the three-leaf stage, with a weaker association with the seven-leaf stage. In the field, moderate correlations were observed between plant height at the three-leaf stage, and plant height and fresh weight at the seven-leaf stage, respectively. Furthermore, mid-parent and hybrid performance were only moderately correlated.
The results suggest that heterotrophic and early autotrophic growth stages are controlled by different genetic factors or that maternal effects play a role. In addition, the findings showed that mid-parent performance is a poor predictor of hybrid performance. Consequently, test cross performance should be the target in quantitiative trait locus (QTL) mapping studies with the final goal of establishing marker-assisted breeding programmes for chilling-tolerant hybrids.
Maize; Zea mays; chilling stress; heterotrophic and autotrophic growth
Background and Aims
Manipulation of plant structure can strongly affect light distribution in the canopy and photosynthesis. The aim of this paper is to find a plant ideotype for optimization of light absorption and canopy photosynthesis. Using a static functional structural plant model (FSPM), a range of different plant architectural characteristics was tested for two different seasons in order to find the optimal architecture with respect to light absorption and photosynthesis.
Simulations were performed with an FSPM of a greenhouse-grown tomato crop. Sensitivity analyses were carried out for leaf elevation angle, leaf phyllotaxis, leaflet angle, leaf shape, leaflet arrangement and internode length. From the results of this analysis two possible ideotypes were proposed. Four different vertical light distributions were also tested, while light absorption cumulated over the whole canopy was kept the same.
Photosynthesis was augmented by 6 % in winter and reduced by 7 % in summer, when light absorption in the top part of the canopy was increased by 25 %, while not changing light absorption of the canopy as a whole. The measured plant structure was already optimal with respect to leaf elevation angle, leaflet angle and leaflet arrangement for both light absorption and photosynthesis while phyllotaxis had no effect. Increasing the length : width ratio of leaves by 1·5 or increasing internode length from 7 cm to 12 cm led to an increase of 6–10 % for light absorption and photosynthesis.
At high light intensities (summer) deeper penetration of light in the canopy improves crop photosynthesis, but not at low light intensities (winter). In particular, internode length and leaf shape affect the vertical distribution of light in the canopy. A new plant ideotype with more spacious canopy architecture due to long internodes and long and narrow leaves led to an increase in crop photosynthesis of up to 10 %.
Plant architecture; 3-D light distribution; daily assimilation; tomato; Solanum lycopersicum; functional–structural plant modelling; virtual canopy
The responses to low red light/far-red light (R/FR) ratios simulating dense stands were evaluated in wheat (Triticum aestivum L) cultivars released at different times in the 20th century and consequently resulting from an increasingly prolonged breeding and selection history. While tillering responses to the R/FR ratio were unaffected by the cultivars, low R/FR ratios reduced grain yield per plant (primarily grain number and secondarily grain weight per plant) particularly in modern cultivars. Low R/FR ratios delayed spike growth and development, reduced the expression of spike marker genes, accelerated the development of florets already initiated, and reduced the number of fertile florets at anthesis. It is noteworthy that low R/FR ratios did not promote stem or leaf sheath growth and therefore the observed reduction of yield cannot be accounted for as a consequence of divergence of resources towards increased plant stature. It is proposed that the regulation of yield components by the R/FR ratio could help plants to adjust to the limited availability of resources under crop conditions.
Grain yield; phytochrome; red/far-red ratio; shade avoidance; spike; tillering; wheat