The crystal structure of CutA1 from the psychrotrophic bacterium Shewanella sp. SIB1 in a trimeric form was determined at 2.7 Å resolution. This is the first crystal structure of a psychrotrophic CutA1.
CutA1 is widely found in bacteria, plants and animals, including humans. The functions of CutA1, however, have not been well clarified. It is known that CutA1s from Pyrococcus horikoshii, Thermus thermophilus and Oryza sativa unfold at temperatures remarkably higher than the growth temperatures of the host organisms. In this work the crystal structure of CutA1 from the psychrotrophic bacterium Shewanella sp. SIB1 (SIB1–CutA1) in a trimeric form was determined at 2.7 Å resolution. This is the first crystal structure of a psychrotrophic CutA1. The overall structure of SIB1–CutA1 is similar to those of CutA1 from Homo sapiens, Escherichia coli, Pyrococcus horikoshii, Thermus thermophilus, Termotoga maritima, Oryza sativa and Rattus norvergicus. A peculiarity is observed in the β2 strand. The β2 strand is divided into two short β strands, β2a and β2b, in SIB1–CutA1. A thermal denaturation experiment revealed that SIB1–CutA1 does not unfold completely at 363 K at pH 7.0, although Shewanella sp. SIB1 cannot grow at temperatures exceeding 303 K. These results indicate that the trimeric structural motif of CutA1 is the critical factor in its unusually high stability and suggest that CutA1 needs to maintain its high stability in order to function, even in psychrotrophs.
CutA1; Shewanella sp. SIB1; crystal structure; thermal denaturation; trimeric structural motif
Because sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] stem cuttings regenerate very easily and quickly, a study of their early growth and development in microgravity could be useful to an understanding of morphological changes that might occur under such conditions for crops that are propagated vegetatively. An experiment was conducted aboard a U.S. Space Shuttle to investigate the impact of microgravity on root growth, distribution of amyloplasts in the root cells, and on the concentration of soluble sugars and starch in the stems of sweetpotatoes. Twelve stem cuttings of ‘Whatley/Loretan’ sweetpotato (5 cm long) with three to four nodes were grown in each of two plant growth units filled with a nutrient agarose medium impregnated with a half-strength Hoagland solution. One plant growth unit was flown on Space Shuttle Colombia for 5 days, whereas the other remained on the ground as a control. The cuttings were received within 2 h postflight and, along with ground controls, processed in ≈45 min. Adventitious roots were counted, measured, and fixed for electron microscopy and stems frozen for starch and sugar assays. Air samples were collected from the headspace of each plant growth unit for postflight determination of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and ethylene levels. All stem cuttings produced adventitious roots and growth was quite vigorous in both ground-based and flight samples and, except for a slight browning of some root tips in the flight samples, all stem cuttings appeared normal. The roots on the flight cuttings tended to grow in random directions. Also, stem cuttings grown in microgravity had more roots and greater total root length than ground-based controls. Amyloplasts in root cap cells of ground-based controls were evenly sedimented toward one end compared with a more random distribution in the flight samples. The concentration of soluble sugars, glucose, fructose, and sucrose and total starch concentration were all substantially greater in the stems of flight samples than those found in the ground-based samples. Carbon dioxide levels were 50% greater and oxygen marginally lower in the flight plants, whereas ethylene levels were similar and averaged less than 10 nL·L −1. Despite the greater accumulation of carbohydrates in the stems, and greater root growth in the flight cuttings, overall results showed minimal differences in cell development between space flight and ground-based tissues. This suggests that the space flight environment did not adversely impact sweetpotato metabolism and that vegetative cuttings should be an acceptable approach for propagating sweetpotato plants for space applications.
hypoxia; Ipomea batata; Phytagel; carbohydrate metabolism; bioregenerative life support
The southern root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) is a major parasite of cotton in the U.S., and management tactics for this nematode attempt to minimize population levels. We compared three post-harvest practices for their ability to reduce nematode population levels in the field, thereby reducing initial nematode population for the next year's crop. The three practices tested were: 1) chemical defoliation before harvest plus cutting cotton stalks after harvest, 2) chemical defoliation plus applying a herbicide to kill plants prior to cutting the stalks, and 3) chemical defoliation without cutting stalks. Experiments were conducted in both the greenhouse and in the field. The greenhouse experiments demonstrated that M. incognita reproduction (measured as egg counts and root gall rating indices) was significantly greater when stalks were not cut. Cutting stalks plus applying herbicide to kill cotton roots did not significantly reduce nematode reproduction compared to cutting stalks alone. In field experiments, cutting stalks reduced egg populations and root galling compared to defoliation without stalk cutting. In a greenhouse bioassay which used soil from the field plots, plants grown in soil from the defoliation only treatment had greater root gall ratings and egg counts than in the stalk cutting plus herbicide treatment. Therefore, we conclude that cutting cotton stalks immediately after harvest effectively reduces M. incognita reproduction, and may lead to a lower initial population density of this nematode in the following year.
Cotton; cultural control; defoliation; Gossypium hirsutum; herbicide; Meloidogyne incognita; nematode management; post-harvest; reproduction; roots; southern root-knot nematode
• Background and Aims The aim of this study was to determine the role of nitrogen- and storage-affected carbohydrate availability in rooting of pelargonium cuttings, focusing on the environmental conditions of stock plant cultivation at low latitudes, transport of cuttings, and rooting under the low light that prevails during the winter rooting period in Central European greenhouses.
• Methods Carbohydrate partitioning in high-light-adapted cuttings of the cultivar ‘Isabell’ was studied in relation to survival and adventitious root formation under low light. Effects of a graduated supply of mineral nitrogen to stock plants and of cutting storage were examined.
• Key Results Nitrogen deficiency raised starch levels in excised cuttings, whereas the concentrations of glucose and total sugars in leaves and the basal stem were positively correlated with internal total nitrogen (Nt). Storage reduced starch to trace levels in all leaves, but sugar levels were only reduced in tissues of non-nitrogen deficient cuttings. Sugars accumulated in the leaf lamina of stored cuttings during the rooting period, whereas carbohydrates were simultaneously exhausted in all other cutting parts including the petioles, thereby promoting leaf senescence. The positive correlation between initial Nt and root number disappeared after storage. Irrespectively of storage, higher pre-rooting leaf glucose promoted subsequent sugar accumulation in the basal stem and final root number. The positive relationships between initial sugar levels in the stems with cutting survival and in leaves with root formation under low light were confirmed in a sample survey with 21 cultivars provided from different sources at low latitudes.
• Conclusions The results indicate that adventitious rooting of pelargonium cuttings can be limited by the initial amount of nitrogen reserves. However, this relationship reveals only small plasticity and is superimposed by a predominant effect of carbohydrate availability that depends on the initial leaf sugar levels, when high-light adaptation and low current light conditions impair net carbon assimilation.
Adventitious rooting; senescence; nitrogen; sugars; carbohydrates; quality; storage; cuttings; geranium; Pelargonium × hortorum
TonB-dependent receptors (TBDRs) are outer membrane proteins mainly known for the active transport of iron siderophore complexes in Gram-negative bacteria. Analysis of the genome of the phytopathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), predicts 72 TBDRs. Such an overrepresentation is common in Xanthomonas species but is limited to only a small number of bacteria. Here, we show that one Xcc TBDR transports sucrose with a very high affinity, suggesting that it might be a sucrose scavenger. This TBDR acts with an inner membrane transporter, an amylosucrase and a regulator to utilize sucrose, thus defining a new type of carbohydrate utilization locus, named CUT locus, involving a TBDR for the transport of substrate across the outer membrane. This sucrose CUT locus is required for full pathogenicity on Arabidopsis, showing its importance for the adaptation to host plants. A systematic analysis of Xcc TBDR genes and a genome context survey suggested that several Xcc TBDRs belong to other CUT loci involved in the utilization of various plant carbohydrates. Interestingly, several Xcc TBDRs and CUT loci are conserved in aquatic bacteria such as Caulobacter crescentus, Colwellia psychrerythraea, Saccharophagus degradans, Shewanella spp., Sphingomonas spp. or Pseudoalteromonas spp., which share the ability to degrade a wide variety of complex carbohydrates and display TBDR overrepresentation. We therefore propose that TBDR overrepresentation and the presence of CUT loci designate the ability to scavenge carbohydrates. Thus CUT loci, which seem to participate to the adaptation of phytopathogenic bacteria to their host plants, might also play a very important role in the biogeochemical cycling of plant-derived nutrients in marine environments. Moreover, the TBDRs and CUT loci identified in this study are clearly different from those characterized in the human gut symbiont Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, which allow glycan foraging, suggesting a convergent evolution of TBDRs in Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes.
For measurements of nitrogen isotope composition at natural abundance, carry-over of pre-existing nitrogen remobilized to new plant growth can cause deviation of measured isotope composition (δ15N) from the δ15Nof newly acquired nitrogen. To account for this problem, a two-step approach was proposed to quantify and correct for remobilized nitrogen from vegetative cuttings of Populus balsamifera L. grown with either nitrate (δ15N = 58.5‰) or ammonium (δ15N = −0.96‰). First, the fraction of carry-over nitrogen remaining in the cutting was estimated by isotope mass balance. Then measured δ15N values were adjusted for the fraction of pre-existing nitrogen remobilized to the plant.
Mean plant δ15N prior to correction was 49‰ and −5.8‰ under nitrate and ammonium, respectively. Plant δ15N was non-linearly correlated to biomass (r2 = 0.331 and 0.249 for nitrate and ammonium, respectively; P < 0.05) where the δ15N of plants with low biomass approached the δ15N of the pre-existing nitrogen. Approximately 50% of cutting nitrogen was not remobilized, irrespective of size. The proportion of carry-over nitrogen in new growth was not different between sources but ranged from less than 1% to 21% and was dependent on plant biomass and, to a lesser degree, the size of the cutting. The δ15N of newly acquired nitrogen averaged 52.7‰ and −6.4‰ for nitrate and ammonium-grown plants, respectively; both lower than their source values, as expected. Since there was a greater difference in δ15N between the carried-over pre-existing and newly assimilated nitrogen where nitrate was the source, the difference between measured δ15N and adjusted δ15N was also greater. There was no significant relationship between biomass and plant δ15N with either ammonium or nitrate after adjusting for carry-over nitrogen.
Here, we provide evidence of remobilized pre-existing nitrogen influencing δ15N of new growth of P. balsamifera L. A simple, though approximate, correction is proposed that can account for the remobilized fraction in the plant. With careful sampling to quantify pre-existing nitrogen, this method can more accurately determine changes in nitrogen isotope discrimination in plants.
Nitrogen remobilization; Poplar; δ15N
Chrysanthemum has been commercially propagated by rooting of cuttings, whereas the quality will decline over multiple collections from a single plant. Therefore, we compared the vigour, rooting ability, and some physiological parameters between cuttings harvested from nongrafted “Jinba” (non-grafted cuttings) with those collected from grafted “Jinba” plants onto Artemisia scoparia as a rootstock (grafted cuttings). The yield, length, node number, stem diameter, fresh weight, and dry weight of the grafted cuttings were superior to the non-grafted cuttings. Also grafted cuttings “Jinba” rooted 1 day earlier, but showing enhanced rooting quality including number, length, diameter, and dry weight of roots, where compared to the non-grafted. The physiological parameters that indicated contents of soluble protein, peroxidase activity, soluble sugar, and starch, ratios of soluble sugar/nitrogen ratio, and carbohydrate/nitrogen (C/N), as well as contents of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and abscisic acid (ABA), and IAA/ABA ratio were significantly increased in the grafted cuttings. This suggested their important parts in mediating rooting ability. Results from this study showed that grafting improved productivity and rooting ability related to an altered physiology, which provide a means to meet the increasing demand.
In order to find a way to induce rooting on cuttings of Hemarthria compressa cv. Ya’an under controlled conditions, a project was carried out to study the effect of naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) on rooting in stem cuttings and related physiological changes during the rooting process of Hemarthria compressa. The cuttings were treated with five concentrations of NAA (0, 100, 200 300, 400 mg/l) at three soaking durations (10, 20, 30 minutes), and cuttings without treatment were considered as control. Samples were planted immediately into pots after treatment. IAA-oxidase (IAAO) activity, peroxidase (POD) activity and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity were determined after planting. Results showed that NAA had positive effect on rooting at the concentration of 200 mg/l compared to other concentrations at 30 days after planting (DAP). Among the three soaking durations, 20 minutes (min) of 200 mg/l NAA resulted in higher percentages of rooting, larger numbers of adventitious roots and heavier root dry weight per cutting. The lowest IAAO activity was obtained when soaked at 200 mg/l NAA for 20 min soaking duration. This was consistent with the best rooting ability, indicating that the lower IAAO activity, the higher POD activity and PPO activity could be used as an indicator of better rooting ability for whip grass cuttings and might serve as a good marker for rooting ability in cuttings.
The ability to form adventitious roots (AR) is an economically important trait that is lost during the juvenile-to-mature phase change in woody plants. Auxin treatment, which generally promotes rooting in juvenile cuttings, is often ineffective when applied to mature cuttings. The molecular basis for this phenomenon in Eucalyptus grandis was addressed here.
A comprehensive microarray analysis was performed in order to compare gene-expression profiles in juvenile and mature cuttings of E. grandis, with or without auxin treatment on days, 0, 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 post AR induction. Under these conditions AR primordia were formed only in auxin-treated juvenile cuttings. However, clustering the expression profiles revealed that the time after induction contributed more significantly to the differences in expression than the developmental phase of the cuttings or auxin treatment. Most detected differences which were related to the developmental phase and auxin treatment occurred on day 6, which correlated with the kinetics of AR-primordia formation. Among the functional groups of transcripts that differed between juvenile and mature cuttings was that of microtubules (MT). The expression of 42 transcripts annotated as coding for tubulin, MT-associated proteins and kinesin motor proteins was validated in the same RNA samples. The results suggest a coordinated developmental and auxin dependent regulation of several MT-related transcripts in these cuttings. To determine the relevance of MT remodeling to AR formation, MTs were subjected to subtle perturbations by trifluralin, a MT disrupting drug, applied during auxin induction. Juvenile cuttings were not affected by the treatment, but rooting of mature cuttings increased from 10 to more than 40 percent.
The data suggest that juvenile-specific MT remodeling is involved in AR formation in E. grandis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-826) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Eucalyptus grandis; Juvenile-to-mature phase change; Adventitious-roots formation; Microarray analysis; Microtubule
The ability to decrypt volatile plant signals is essential if herbivorous insects are to optimize their choice of host plants for their offspring. Green leaf volatiles (GLVs) constitute a widespread group of defensive plant volatiles that convey a herbivory-specific message via their isomeric composition: feeding of the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta converts (Z)-3- to (E)-2-GLVs thereby attracting predatory insects. Here we show that this isomer-coded message is monitored by ovipositing M. sexta females. We detected the isomeric shift in the host plant Datura wrightii and performed functional imaging in the primary olfactory center of M. sexta females with GLV structural isomers. We identified two isomer-specific regions responding to either (Z)-3- or (E)-2-hexenyl acetate. Field experiments demonstrated that ovipositing Manduca moths preferred (Z)-3-perfumed D. wrightii over (E)-2-perfumed plants. These results show that (E)-2-GLVs and/or specific (Z)-3/(E)-2-ratios provide information regarding host plant attack by conspecifics that ovipositing hawkmoths use for host plant selection.
Plants have developed a variety of strategies to defend themselves against herbivorous animals, particularly insects. In addition to mechanical defences such as thorns and spines, plants also produce compounds known as secondary metabolites that keep insects and other herbivores at bay by acting as repellents or toxins. Some of these metabolites are produced on a continuous basis by plants, whereas others—notably compounds called green-leaf volatiles—are only produced once the plant has been attacked. Green-leaf volatiles—which are also responsible for the smell of freshly cut grass—have been observed to provide plants with both direct protection, by inhibiting or repelling herbivores, and indirect protection, by attracting predators of the herbivores themselves.
The hawkmoth Manduca sexta lays its eggs on various plants, including tobacco plants and sacred Datura plants. Once the eggs have hatched into caterpillars, they start eating the leaves of their host plant, and if present in large numbers, these caterpillars can quickly defoliate and destroy it. In an effort to defend itself, the host plant releases green-leaf volatiles to attract various species of Geocoris, and these bugs eat the eggs.
One of the green-leaf volatiles released by tobacco plants is known as (Z)-3-hexenal, but enzymes released by M. sexta caterpillars change some of these molecules into (E)-2-hexenal, which has the same chemical formula but a different structure. The resulting changes in the ‘volatile profile’ alerts Geocoris bugs to the presence of M. sexta eggs and caterpillars on the plant.
Now Allmann et al. show that adult female M. sexta moths can also detect similar changes in the volatile profile emitted by sacred Datura plants that have been damaged by M. sexta caterpillars. This alerts the moths to the fact that Geocoris bugs are likely to be attacking eggs and caterpillars on the plant, or on their way to the plant, so they lay their eggs on other plants. This reduces competition for resources and also reduces the risk of newly laid eggs being eaten by predators. Allmann et al. also identified the neural mechanism that allows moths to detect changes in the volatile profile of plants—the E- and Z- odours lead to different activation patterns in the moth brain.
Manduca sexta; plant volatiles; oviposition; Ca imaging; Datura wrightii; Other
Anopheles gambiae Giles s.s. (Diptera: Culicidae) is known to feed on plant sugars, but this is the first experimental study to consider whether it discriminates between plant species. Thirteen perennial plant species were selected on the basis of their local availability within the vicinity of human dwellings and larval habitats of An. gambiae s.s. in western Kenya. Groups of 100 or 200 mosquitoes were released into cages either with a cutting of one plant type at a time (single-plant assay) or with cuttings of all 13 plants simultaneously (choice assay), respectively, and left overnight. In the choice assay, direct observations of the percentages of mosquitoes perching or feeding on each plant were recorded over four 1-h periods each night. For both types of assay, mosquitoes were recaptured and the percentage that had fed on plants was assessed by testing them individually for the presence of fructose. To identify which plants the choice-assay mosquitoes had fed on, gas chromatography (GC) profiles of samples of mosquito homogenates were compared with GC profiles of extracts from relevant parts of each plant. Four of the plants that were observed to have been fed on most frequently in the choice assay (Parthenium hysterophorus L., Tecoma stans L., Ricinus communis L., and Senna didymobotrya Fresen) were also shown to have been ingested most often by mosquitoes in both types of assay, suggesting that An. gambiae is differentially responsive to this range of plants, regardless of whether the plants were presented singly or mixed together. Significantly more females than males fed on plants, with the exception of P. hysterophorus L., one of the plants most frequently fed on. For most plant species (ten of 13), GC profiles indicated that An. gambiae obtained sugars primarily from flowers. The exceptions were P. hysterophorus L., Lantana camara L. and R. communis L., on which An. gambiae fed more often from leaves and stems than from flowers.
Anopheles gambiae; Kenya; malaria; nectar; plant-feeding
Leaf-cutting ants (LCAs) are polyphagous, yet highly selective herbivores. The factors that govern their selection of food plants, however, remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that the induction of anti-herbivore defences by attacked food plants, which are toxic to either ants or their mutualistic fungus, should significantly affect the ants' foraging behaviour. To test this “induced defence hypothesis,” we used lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus), a plant that emits many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) upon herbivore attack with known anti-fungal or ant-repellent effects. Our results provide three important insights into the foraging ecology of LCAs. First, leaf-cutting by Atta ants can induce plant defences: Lima bean plants that were repeatedly exposed to foraging workers of Atta colombica over a period of three days emitted significantly more VOCs than undamaged control plants. Second, the level to which a plant has induced its anti-herbivore defences can affect the LCAs' foraging behaviour: In dual choice bioassays, foragers discriminated control plants from plants that have been damaged mechanically or by LCAs 24 h ago. In contrast, strong induction levels of plants after treatment with the plant hormone jasmonic acid or three days of LCA feeding strongly repelled LCA foragers relative to undamaged control plants. Third, the LCA-specific mode of damaging leaves allows them to remove larger quantities of leaf material before being recognized by the plant: While leaf loss of approximately 15% due to a chewing herbivore (coccinelid beetle) was sufficient to significantly increase VOC emission levels after 24 h, the removal of even 20% of a plant's leaf area within 20 min by LCAs did not affect its VOC emission rate after 24 h. Taken together, our results support the “induced defence hypothesis” and provide first empirical evidence that the foraging behaviour of LCAs is affected by the induction of plant defence responses.
The response of softwood cuttings of Myrobalan plum infested after 50 and 105 days with 3,000 second-stage juveniles (J2) of Meloidogyne arenaria was compared to 15-month-old hardwood cuttings in 13 genotypes ranging from highly resistant to susceptible. Gall index and number of galls were recorded 30 days after infestation. Fifty-day-old cuttings rooted in perlite developed many rootlets, but had only incipient galls after infestation. In sand, rooting of 50-day-old cuttings not treated with indolebutyric acid (IBA) hormone was so variable that their resistance could not be assessed. Similar cuttings rooted with IBA developed more galls, but neither number of galls per plant nor gall index was a reliable criterion for determination of host suitability. Because of the better rooting results with IBA treatment, 105-day-old cuttings were first rooted with IBA in perlite and then transferred into sand for nematode inoculation. Known highly resistant genotypes of Myrobalan plum were gall-free and the responses of other genotypes paralleled that of the reference hardwood cuttings, although the test was less discriminating. Expression of M. arenaria host suitability in Myrobalan plum depends on root tissue maturation and cannot be reliably evaluated with 50-day-old cuttings.
hardwood cutting; host suitability; Meloidogyne arenaria; nematode; Prunus cerasifera; resistance; root galling; root-knot nematode; softwood cutting
A model system was designed to measure viral uptake through the roots of plants and translocation to distal plant parts. For this study, uptake of bacteriophage f2 was measured in corn and bean plants growing in hydroponic solutions. Few phage were detected in plants with uncut roots. However, when roots of both plant types were cut just before exposure to very high concentrations of phage, the amount of phage uptake was several orders of magnitude greater than with uncut roots, but still was considerably less than that which was theoretically possible. Furthermore, cut roots were rapidly repaired, thus inhibiting uptake, and the amount of uptake in plants with cut roots was proportional to phage exposure levels. Finally, phage were transported to all plant parts examined, but their survival times within each portion of the plants appeared to be of limited duration. All of these factors tend to minimize the possible public health significance associated with viral uptake through the root systems of plants.
• Background and Aims A reliable protocol for flowering and fruiting in cuttings was developed with the aim of (a) studying inflorescence and flower development in grapevine cuttings and field plants, and (b) assisting haploid plant production.
• Methods Inflorescence and flower development was studied in ‘Gewurztraminer’ (GW) and ‘Pinot Noir’ (PN) grape vines and cuttings grown in a glasshouse, along with variations in starch in the flowers. As there is a strong relationship between flower development and starch, the starch content of reproductive structures was estimated.
• Key Results Inflorescence and flower development were similar in the vines and cuttings with consistent differences between the two cultivars. Indeed, the ontogenesis of male and female organs is not synchronous in GW and PN, with both female and male meiosis occurring earlier in PN than in GW. Moreover, changes of starch reserves were similar in the two plant types.
• Conclusions Cuttings have a similar reproductive physiology to vines, and can be used to study grape physiology and to develop haploid plants.
Cuttings; flowering; reproductive structures; starch; vines; Vitis vinifera L
Plant species richness in central and northern European seminatural grasslands is often more closely linked to past than present habitat configuration, which is indicative of an extinction debt. In this study, we investigate whether signs of historical grassland management can be found in clear-cuts after at least 80 years as coniferous production forest by comparing floras between clear-cuts with a history as meadow and as forest in the 1870s in Sweden. Study sites were selected using old land-use maps and data on present-day clear-cuts. Species traits reflecting high capacities for dispersal and persistence were used to explain any possible links between the plants and the historical land use. Clear-cuts that were formerly meadow had, on average, 36% higher species richness and 35% higher richness of grassland indicator species, as well as a larger overall seed mass and lower anemochory, compared to clear-cuts with history as forest. We suggest that the plants in former meadows never disappeared after afforestation but survived as remnant populations. Many contemporary forests in Sweden were managed as grasslands in the 1800s. As conservation of remaining grassland fragments will not be enough to reduce the existing extinction debts of the flora, these young forests offer opportunities for grassland restoration at large scales. Our study supports the concept of remnant populations and highlights the importance of considering historical land use for understanding the distribution of grassland plant species in fragmented landscapes, as well as for policy-making and conservation.
Extinction debt; habitat fragmentation; historical maps; plant traits; production forestry; remnant populations; seminatural grasslands
A high moisture level in the top 10 cm of soil at time of cutting of alfalfa increased the incidence of plant mortality and Fusarium wilt in soil infested with Ditylenchus dipsaci and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis in greenhouse and field microplot studies. Ranger alfalfa, susceptible to both D. dipsaci and F. oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis, was less persistent than Moapa 69 (nematode susceptible and Fusarium wilt resistant) and Lahontan alfalfa (nematode resistant with low Fusarium wilt resistance). In the greenhouse, the persistence of Ranger, Moapa 69, and Lahontan alfalfa plants was 46%, 64%, and 67% respectively, in nematode + fungus infested soil at high soil moisture at time of cutting. This compared to 74%, 84%, and 73% persistence of Ranger, Moapa 69, and Lahontan, respectively, at low soil moisture at time of cutting. Shoot weights as a percentage of uninoculated controls at the high soil moisture level were 38%, 40%, and 71% for Ranger, Moapa 69, and Lahontan, respectively. Low soil moisture at time of cutting negated the effect D. dipsaci on plant persistence and growth of subsequent cuttings, and reduced Fusarium wilt of plants in the nematode-fungus treatment; shoot weights were 75%, 90%, and 74% of uninoculated controls for Ranger, Moapa 69, and Lahontan. Similar results were obtained in the field microplot study, and stand persistence and shoot weights were less in nematode + fungus-infested soil at the high soil-moisture level (early irrigation) than at the low soil-moisture level (late irrigation).
alfalfa; Ditylenchus dipsaci; Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis; interaction; irrigation timing; Medicago sativa; mortality; nematode; soil moisture; suppression
Stevia rebaudiana (Bert.) is an emerging sugar alternative and anti-diabetic plant in Pakistan. That is why people did not know the exact time of propagation. The main objective of the present study was to establish feasible propagation methods for healthy biomass production. In the present study, seed germination, stem cuttings and micropropagation were investigated for higher productivity. Fresh seeds showed better germination (25.51–40%) but lost viability after a few days of storage. In order to improve the germination percentage, seeds were irradiated with 2.5, 5.0, 7.5 and 10 Gy gamma doses. But gamma irradiation did not show any significant change in seed germination. A great variation in survival of stem cutting was observed in each month of 2012. October and November were found the most suitable months for stem cutting survival (60%). In order to enhance survival, stem cuttings were also dipped in different plant growth regulators (PGRs) solution. Only indole butyric acid (IBA; 1000 ppm) treated cutting showed a higher survival (33%) than control (11.1%). Furthermore, simple and feasible indirect regeneration system was established from leaf explants. Best callus induction (84.6%) was observed on MS-medium augmented with 6-benzyladenine (BA) and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D; 2.0 mg l−1). For the first time, we obtained the highest number of shoots (106) on a medium containing BA (1.5 mg l−1) and gibberellic acid (GA3; 0.5 mg l−1). Plantlets were successfully acclimatized in plastic pots. The current results preferred micropropagation (85%) over seed germination (25.51–40%) and stem cutting (60%).
Stevia rebaudiana; Seed germination; Seed radiation; Stem cuttings; Micropropagation
Background and Aims
The production system of cut-rose (Rosa × hybrida) involves a complex combination of plant material, management practice and environment. Plant structure is determined by bud break and shoot development while having an effect on local light climate. The aim of the present study is to cover selected aspects of the cut-rose system using functional–structural plant modelling (FSPM), in order to better understand processes contributing to produce quality and quantity.
The model describes the production system in three dimensions, including a virtual greenhouse environment with the crop, light sources (diffuse and direct sun light and lamps) and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) sensors. The crop model is designed as a multiscaled FSPM with plant organs (axillary buds, leaves, internodes, flowers) as basic units, and local light interception and photosynthesis within each leaf. A Monte-Carlo light model was used to compute the local light climate for leaf photosynthesis, the latter described using a biochemical rate model.
The model was able to reproduce PAR measurements taken at different canopy positions, different times of the day and different light regimes. Simulated incident and absorbed PAR as well as net assimilation rate in upright and bent shoots showed characteristic spatial and diurnal dynamics for different common cultivation scenarios.
The model of cut-rose presented allowed the creation of a range of initial structures thanks to interactive rules for pruning, cutting and bending. These static structures can be regarded as departure points for the dynamic simulation of production of flower canes. Furthermore, the model was able to predict local (per leaf) light absorption and photosynthesis. It can be used to investigate the physiology of ornamental plants, and provide support for the decisions of growers and consultants.
Cut-rose; Rosa × hybrida; bud break; light distribution; interactive modelling; functional–structural plant model; FSPM; L-system; virtual PAR sensor
The aim of this study was to predict crop growth of year‐round cut chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) based on an empirical model of potential crop growth rate as a function of daily incident photosynthetically active radiation (PAR, MJ m–2 d–1), using generalized estimated parameters of the expolinear growth equation. For development of the model, chrysanthemum crops were grown in four experiments at different plant densities (32, 48, 64 and 80 plants m–2), during different seasons (planting in January, May–June and September) and under different light regimes [natural light, shading to 66 and 43 % of natural light, and supplementary assimilation light (ASS, 40–48 µmol m–2 s–1)]. The expolinear growth equation as a function of time (EXPOT) or as a function of incident PAR integral (EXPOPAR) effectively described periodically measured total dry mass of shoot (R2 > 0·98). However, growth parameter estimates for the fitted EXPOPAR were more suitable as they were not correlated to each other. Coefficients of EXPOPAR characterized the relative growth rate per incident PAR integral [rm,i (MJ m–2)–1] and light use efficiency (LUE, g MJ–1) at closed canopy. In all four experiments, no interaction effects between treatments on crop growth parameters were found. rm,i and LUE were not different between ASS and natural light treatments, but were increased significantly when light levels were reduced by shading in the summer experiments. There was no consistent effect of plant density on growth parameters. rm,i and LUE showed hyperbolic relationships to average daily incident PAR averaged over 10‐d periods after planting (rm,i) or before final harvest (LUE). Based on those relationships, maximum relative growth rate (rm, g g–1 d–1) and maximum crop growth rate (cm, g m–2 d–1) were described successfully by rectangular hyperbolic relationships to daily incident PAR. In model validation, total dry mass of shoot (Wshoot, g m–2) simulated over time was in good agreement with measured ones in three independent experiments, using daily incident PAR and leaf area index as inputs. Based on these results, it is concluded that the expolinear growth equation is a useful tool for quantifying cut chrysanthemum growth parameters and comparing growth parameter values between different treatments, especially when light is the growth‐limiting factor. Under controlled environmental conditions the regression model worked satisfactorily, hence the model may be applied as a simple tool for understanding crop growth behaviour under seasonal variation in daily light integral, and for planning cropping systems of year‐round cut chrysanthemum. However, further research on leaf area development in cut chrysanthemum is required to advance chrysanthemum crop growth prediction.
Assimilation light; chrysanthemum; crop growth model; crop growth rate; expolinear; dry mass production; light use efficiency; plant density; shading; radiation use efficiency; relative growth rate
Here, we use DGGE fingerprinting and barcoded pyrosequencing data, at six cut-off levels (85–100%), of all bacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria to assess composition in the rhizosphere of nursery plants and nursery-raised transplants, native plants and bulk sediment in a mangrove habitat. When comparing compositional data based on DGGE fingerprinting and barcoded pyrosequencing at different cut-off levels, all revealed highly significant differences in composition among microhabitats. Procrustes superimposition revealed that ordination results using cut-off levels from 85–100% and DGGE fingerprint data were highly congruent with the standard 97% cut-off level. The various approaches revealed a primary gradient in composition from nursery to mangrove samples. The affinity between the nursery and transplants was greatest when using Betaproteobacteria followed by Alphaproteobacteria data. There was a distinct secondary gradient in composition from transplants to bulk sediment with native plants intermediate, which was most prevalent using all bacteria at intermediate cut-off levels (92–97%). Our results show that PCR-DGGE provides a robust and cost effective exploratory approach and is effective in distinguishing among a priori defined groups.
Meloidogyne hapla-resistant plants grown from cuttings and inoculated with M. hapla larvae were free of galls. However, 35 to 48% of the seedling intercross progeny of resistant genotypes that were inoculated in the germinated seed stage were galled. There was an inverse relationship between the age of plants grown from seed and the percentage of plants galled by M. hapla; the older the plants at inoculation, the greater the percentage of gall-free plants. The per cent of galled plants was significantly reduced when galled roots were removed and plants reinoculated. Reproduction of M. hapla on galled progeny of resistant plants was significantly less than that on susceptible plants. There were no differences in nematode reproduction on galled progeny of resistant plants, regardless of age at time of inoculation. An in,ease in inoculum levels from 100 to 10,000 M. hapla larvae did not affect resistance or susceptility. There was a direct correlation between galling of inoculated seedlings of resistant progeny and temperature; inoculated 8-week-old cuttings of resistant plants were galled only at 32 C.
Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is a member of Compositae family. Stevia plant has zero calorie content and its leaves are estimated to be 300 times sweeter than sugar. This plant is believed to be the most ideal substitute for sugar and important to assist in medicinal value especially for diabetic patients. In this study, microcutting techniques using a mist-chamber propagation box were used as it was beneficial for propagation of Stevia and gave genetic uniformity to the plant. The effects of different treatments on root stimulation of Stevia in microcuttings technique were evaluated. Treatments studied were different sizes of shoot cuttings, plant growth regulators, lights, and shades. Data logger was used to record the mean value of humidity (>90% RH), light intensity (673–2045 lx), and temperature (28.6–30.1°C) inside the mist-chamber propagation box. From analysis of variance, there were significant differences between varieties and treatments in parameters studied (P < 0.05). For the size of shoot cuttings treatment, 6 nodes cuttings were observed to increase root number. As compared to control, shoot cuttings treated with indole butyric acid (IBA) had better performance regarding root length. Yellow light and 50% shade treatments showed higher root and leaf number and these conditions can be considered as crucial for potential propagation of Stevia.
Oxamyl was applied to both uncut and cut potato tubers in aqueous solutions of 1,000 to 32,000 μg/ml. Emergence in greenhouse pots was delayed for a day or more after soaking cut tuber pieces in 32,000 μg/ml. After 10 weeks plant growth was greater, relative to the control, when Pratylenchus penetrans-infested soil was planted with cut tubers soaked for 20 minutes in 32,000 μg/ml. Soaking for 40 minutes did not increase nematode control nor affect plant growth. Oxamyl applied to tubers at 1,000 μg/ml reduced the numbers of P. penetrans in the soil by 20% and in the roots by 35%; at 32,000 μg/ml, the numbers of P. penetrans in the soil were reduced by 73-86% and in the roots by 86-97%. The numbers of P. penetrans did not increase in the roots of plants developed from cut tubers soaked in 32,000 μg/ml over a period of 10 weeks, but numbers of lesion nematodes had begun to increase in the soil.
chemical control; root-lesion nematode; Solanum tuberosum; Vydate
Differential selection between clones of apomictic species may result in ecological differentiation without mutation and recombination, thus offering a simple system to study adaptation and life-history evolution in plants.
We caused density-independent mortality by weeding to colonizer populations of the largely apomictic Taraxacum officinale (Asteraceae) over a 5-year period in a grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). We compared the offspring of colonizer populations with resident populations deliberately sown into similar communities. Plants raised from cuttings and seeds of colonizer and resident populations were grown under uniform conditions. Offspring from colonizer populations had higher reproductive output, which was in general agreement with predictions of r-selection theory. Offspring from resident populations had higher root and leaf biomass, fewer flower heads and higher individual seed mass as predicted under K-selection. Plants grown from cuttings and seeds differed to some degree in the strength, but not in the direction, of their response to the r- vs. K-selection regime. More diverse communities appeared to exert stronger K-selection on resident populations in plants grown from cuttings, while we did not find significant effects of increasing species richness on plants grown from seeds.
Differentiation into r- and K-strategists suggests that clones with characteristics of r-strategists were selected in regularly weeded plots through rapid colonization, while increasing plant diversity favoured the selection of clones with characteristics of K-strategists in resident populations. Our results show that different selection pressures may result in a rapid genetic differentiation within a largely apomictic species. Even under the assumption that colonizer and resident populations, respectively, happened to be r- vs. K-selected already at the start of the experiment, our results still indicate that the association of these strategies with the corresponding selection regimes was maintained during the 5-year experimental period.