Background and Aims
The smoke-derived chemical karrikinolide (KAR1) shows potential as a tool to synchronize the germination of seeds for weed management and restoration. To assess its feasibility we need to understand why seeds from different populations of a species exhibit distinct responses to KAR1. Environmental conditions during seed development, known as the parental environment, influence seed dormancy so we predicted that parental environment would also drive the KAR1-responses of seeds. Specifically, we hypothesized that (a) a common environment will unify the KAR1-responses of different populations, (b) a single population grown under different environmental conditions will exhibit different KAR1-responses, and (c) drought stress, as a particular feature of the parental environment, will make seeds less dormant and more responsive to KAR1.
Seeds of the weed Brassica tournefortii were collected from four locations in Western Australia and were sown in common gardens at two field sites, to test whether their KAR1-responses could be unified by a common environment. To test the effects of drought on KAR1-response, plants were grown in a glasshouse and subjected to water stress. For each trial, the germination responses of the next generation of seeds were assessed.
The KAR1-responses of seeds differed among populations, but this variation was reduced when seeds developed in a common environment. The KAR1-responses of each population changed when seeds developed in different environments. Different parental environments affected germination responses of the populations differently, showing that parental environment interacts with genetics to determine KAR1-responses. Seeds from droughted plants were 5 % more responsive to KAR1 and 5 % less dormant than seeds from well-watered plants, but KAR1-responses and dormancy state were not intrinsically linked in all experiments.
The parental environment in which seeds develop is one of the key drivers of the KAR1-responses of seeds.
Brassica tournefortii; butenolide; drought stress; germination; karrikinolide; maternal environment; parental environment; phenotypic plasticity; physiological dormancy; seed development; seed dormancy; weed seed bank
Background and Aims
The smoke-derived compound karrikinolide (KAR1) shows significant potential as a trigger for the synchronous germination of seeds in a variety of plant-management contexts, from weed seeds in paddocks, to native seeds when restoring degraded lands. Understanding how KAR1 interacts with seed physiology is a necessary precursor to the development of the compound as an efficient and effective management tool. This study tested the ability of KAR1 to stimulate germination of seeds of the global agronomic weed Brassica tournefortii, at different hydration states, to gain insight into how the timing of KAR1 applications in the field should be managed relative to rain events.
Seeds of B. tournefortii were brought to five different hydration states [equilibrated at 15 % relative humidity (RH), 47 % RH, 96 % RH, fully imbibed, or re-dried to 15 % RH following maximum imbibition] then exposed to 1 nm or 1 µm KAR1 for one of five durations (3 min, 1 h, 24 h, 14 d or no exposure).
Dry seeds with no history of imbibition were the most sensitive to KAR1; sensitivity was lower in seeds that were fully imbibed or fully imbibed then re-dried. In addition, reduced sensitivity to KAR1 was associated with an increased sensitivity to exogenously applied abscisic acid (ABA).
Seed water content and history of imbibition were found to significantly influence whether seeds germinate in response to KAR1. To optimize the germination response of seeds, KAR1 should be applied to dry seeds, when sensitivity to ABA is minimized.
Karrikinolide; karrikins; butenolide; smoke; germination stimulant; seed water content; abscisic acid; ABA; gibberellin; weed; Brassica tournefortii
Background and Aims
Tersonia cyathiflora (Gyrostemonaceae) is a fire ephemeral with an obligate requirement for smoke to germinate. Whether it is stimulated to germinate by 3-methyl-2H-furo[2,3-c]pyran-2-one (karrikinolide, KAR1), the butenolide isolated from smoke that stimulates the germination of many other smoke-responsive species, is tested.
Seeds of T. cyathiflora were buried in autumn following collection and were exhumed 1 year later, as this alleviates dormancy and enables seeds to germinate in response to smoke-water. Exhumed seeds were tested with smoke-water and KAR1. Fresh preparations of these solutions were again tested on seeds exhumed 2 months later under a broader range of conditions. They were also tested on Grevillea eriostachya (Proteaceae) and Stylidium affine (Stylidiaceae) to confirm the activity of KAR1.
T. cyathiflora seeds germinated in response to smoke-water but not to KAR1. In contrast, G. eriostachya and S. affine germinated in response to both smoke-water and KAR1.
Although many smoke-responsive seeds germinate in the presence of KAR1, this does not apply universally. This suggests that other chemical(s) in smoke-water may play an important role in stimulating the germination of certain species.
Butenolide; germination; karrikinolide; smoke; 3-methyl-2H-furo[2,3-c]pyran-2-one; Grevillea; Stylidium; Tersonia cyathiflora; Gyrostemonaceae
Background and Aims
Dry fruits remain around the seeds at dispersal in a number of species, especially the Brassicaceae. Explanations for this vary, but usually involve mechanisms of innate dormancy. We speculate that, instead, a persistent fruit may give additional protection through control of dehydration, to species growing in arid or Mediterranean environments where water is sporadic.
X-rays and weight measurements were used to determine the extent to which Raphanus raphanistrum seeds within mature fruits imbibe water, and germination tests determined the roles of the fruit and seed coat in seed dormancy. Rates of water uptake and desiccation, and seedling emergence were compared with and without the fruit. Finally, germinability of seeds extracted from fruits was determined after various periods of moist conditions followed by a range of dry conditions.
Most seeds rapidly take up water within the fruit, but they do not fully imbibe when compared with naked seeds. The seed coat is more important than the dry fruit wall in maintaining seed dormancy. The presence of a dry fruit slows emergence from the soil by up to 6–8 weeks. The fruit slows the rate of desiccation of the seed to a limited extent. The presence of the fruit for a few days during imbibition somehow primes more seeds to germinate than if the fruit is absent; longer moist periods within the pod appear to induce dormancy.
The fruit certainly modifies the seed environment as external conditions change between wet and dry, but not to a great extent. The major role seems to be: (a) the physical restriction of imbibition and germination; and (b) the release and then re-imposition of dormancy within the seed. The ecological significance of the results requires more research under field conditions.
Wild radish; Raphanus raphanistrum; imbibition; desiccation; dry fruit wall; germination; dormancy; X-ray
Background and Aims
Chenopodium album is well-known as a serious weed and is a salt-tolerant species inhabiting semi-arid and light-saline environments in Xinjiang, China. It produces large amounts of heteromorphic (black and brown) seeds. The primary aims of the present study were to compare the germination characteristics of heteromorphic seeds, the diversity of plant growth and seed proliferation pattern of the resulting plants, and the correlation between NaCl stress and variation of seed heteromorphism.
The phenotypic characters of heteromorphic seeds, e.g. seed morphology, seed mass and total seed protein were determined. The effects of dry storage at room temperature on dormancy behaviour, the germination response of seeds to salinity stress, and the effect of salinity on growth and seed proliferation with plants derived from different seed types were investigated.
Black and brown seeds differed in seed morphology, mass, total seed protein, dormancy behaviour and salinity tolerance. Brown seeds were large, non-dormant and more salt tolerant, and could germinate rapidly to a high percentage in a wider range of environments; black seeds were salt-sensitive, and a large proportion of seeds were dormant. These characteristics varied between two populations. There was little difference in growth characteristics and seed output of plants produced from the two seed morphs except when plants were subjected to high salinity stress. Plants that suffered higher salinity stress produced more brown (salt-tolerant) seeds.
The two seed morphs of C. album exhibited distinct diversity in germination characteristics. There was a significant difference in plant development and seed proliferation pattern from the two types of seeds only when the parent plants were treated with high salinity. In addition, seed heteromorphism of C. album varied between the two populations, and such variation may be attributed, at least in part, to the salinity.
Chenopodium album; development of descendants; salinity tolerance; seed germination; variation of seed heteromorphism
A new oxyvinylglycine has been identified as a naturally occurring herbicide that irreversibly arrests germination of the seeds of grassy weeds, such as annual bluegrass (Poa annua), without significantly affecting the growth of established grass seedlings and mature plants or germination of the seeds of broadleaf plant species (dicots). Previously, Pseudomonas fluorescens WH6 and over twenty other rhizosphere bacteria were isolated and selected for their ability to arrest germination of P. annua seeds. The Germination-Arrest Factor (GAF, 1) responsible for this developmentally specific herbicidal action has now been isolated from the culture filtrate of P. fluorescens WH6. Purification of this highly polar, low molecular weight natural product allowed its structure to be assigned as 4-formylaminooxy-l-vinylglycine based on NMR spectroscopic and mass spectrometric data, in combination with d/l-amino acid oxidase reactions to establish the absolute configuration. Assay results for P. annua inhibition by related compounds known to regulate plant growth are presented, and a cellular target for 1 is proposed. Furthermore, using bioassays, TLC, and capillary NMR spectroscopy, it has been shown that GAF (1) is secreted by all other herbicidally-active rhizosphere bacteria in our collection.
Evolved herbicide resistance (EHR) is an important agronomic problem and consequently a food security problem, as it jeopardizes herbicide effectiveness and increases the difficulty and cost of weed management. EHR in weeds was first reported in 1970 and the number of cases has accelerated dramatically over the last two decades. Despite 40 years of research on EHR, why some weeds evolve resistance and others do not is poorly understood. Here we ask whether weed species that have EHR are different from weeds in general. Comparing taxonomic and life history traits of weeds with EHR to a control group (“the world's worst weeds”), we found weeds with EHR significantly over-represented in certain plant families and having certain life history biases. In particular, resistance is overrepresented in Amaranthaceae, Brassicaceae and Poaceae relative to all weeds, and annuality is ca. 1.5 times as frequent in weeds with EHR as in the control group. Also, for perennial EHR weeds, vegetative reproduction is only 60% as frequent as in the control group. We found the same trends for subsets of weeds with EHR to acetolactate synthase (ALS), photosystem II (PSII), and 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase-inhibitor herbicides and with multiple resistance. As herbicide resistant crops (transgenic or not) are increasingly deployed in developing countries, the problems of EHR could increase in those countries as it has in the USA if the selecting herbicides are heavily applied and appropriate management strategies are not employed. Given our analysis, we make some predictions about additional species that might evolve resistance.
Tropospheric ozone is one of the major drivers of global change. This stress factor alters plant growth and development. Ozone could act as a selection pressure on species communities composition, but also on population genetic background, thus affecting life history traits. Our objective was to evaluate the consequences of prolonged ozone exposure of a weed community on phenotypic traits of Spergulaarvensis linked to persistence. Specifically, we predicted that the selection pressure exerted by high ozone concentrations as well as the concomitant changes in the weed community would drive population adaptive changes which will be reflected on seed germination, dormancy and longevity. In order to test seed viability and dormancy level, we conducted germination experiments for which we used seeds produced by S. arvensis plants grown within a weed community exposed to three ozone treatments during four years (0, 90 and 120 ppb). We also performed a soil seed bank experiment to test seed longevity with seeds coming from both the four-year ozone exposure experiment and from a short-term treatment conducted at ambient and added ozone concentrations. We found that prolonged ozone exposure produced changes in seed germination, dormancy and longevity, resulting in three S. arvensis populations. Seeds from the 90 ppb ozone selection treatment had the highest level of germination when stored at 75% RH and 25 °C and then scarified. These seeds showed the lowest dormancy level when being subjected to 5 ºC/5% RH and 25 ºC/75% followed by 5% RH storage conditions. Furthermore, ozone exposure increased seed persistence in the soil through a maternal effect. Given that tropospheric ozone is an important pollutant in rural areas, changes in seed traits due to ozone exposure could increase weed persistence in fields, thus affecting weed-crop interactions, which could ultimately reduce crop production.
Direct seeding is replacing transplanting in rice. Early flooding suppresses weeds but selective action is compromised by the sharing of flood-tolerance traits. Understanding adaptive traits in both species is therefore a prerequisite for developing direct seeding systems that control weeds while leaving rice seedlings relatively unharmed.
Background and aims
Direct seeding of rice is being adopted in rainfed and irrigated lowland ecosystems because it reduces labour costs in addition to other benefits. However, early flooding due to uneven fields or rainfall slows down seed germination and hinders crop establishment. Conversely, early flooding helps suppress weeds and reduces the costs of manual weeding and/or dependence on herbicides; however, numerous weed species are adapted to lowlands and present challenges for the use of flooding to control weeds. Advancing knowledge on the mechanisms of tolerance of flooding during germination and early growth in rice and weeds could facilitate the development of improved rice varieties and effective weed management practices for direct-seeded rice.
Rice genotypes with a greater ability to germinate and establish in flooded soils were identified, providing opportunities to develop varieties suitable for direct seeding in flooded soils. Tolerance of flooding in these genotypes was mostly attributed to traits associated with better ability to mobilize stored carbohydrates and anaerobic metabolism. Limited studies were undertaken in weeds associated with lowland rice systems. Remaining studies compared rice and weeds and related weed species such as Echinochloa crus-galli and E. colona or compared ecotypes of the same species of Cyperus rotundus adapted to either aerobic or flooded soils.
Tolerant weeds and rice genotypes mostly developed similar adaptive traits that allow them to establish in flooded fields, including the ability to germinate and elongate faster under hypoxia, mobilize stored starch reserves and generate energy through fermentation pathways. Remarkably, some weeds developed additional traits such as larger storage tubers that enlarge further in deeper flooded soils (C. rotundus). Unravelling the mechanisms involved in adaptation to flooding will help design management options that will allow tolerant rice genotypes to adequately establish in flooded soils while simultaneously suppressing weeds.
Predicting outcomes of transgene flow from arable crops requires a system perspective that considers ecological and evolutionary processes within a landscape context. In Europe, the arable weed Raphanus raphanistrum is a potential hybridization partner of oilseed rape, and the two species are ecologically linked through the common herbivores Meligethes spp. Observations in Switzerland show that high densities of Meligethes beetles maintained by oilseed rape crops can lead to considerable damage on R. raphanistrum. We asked how increased insect resistance in R. raphanistrum – as might be acquired through introgression from transgenic oilseed rape – would affect seed production under natural herbivore pressure. In simulation experiments, plants protected against Meligethes beetles produced about twice as many seeds as unprotected plants. All stages in the development of reproductive structures from buds to pods were negatively affected by the herbivore, with the transition from buds to flowers being the most vulnerable. We conclude that resistance to Meligethes beetles could confer a considerable selective advantage upon R. raphanistrum in regions where oilseed rape is widely grown.
Apparent competition; crop–wild gene flow; Meligethes beetles; oilseed rape; Raphanus raphanistrum; transgenic plants
Dormancy is an adaptive trait that enables seed germination to coincide with favorable environmental conditions. It has been clearly demonstrated that dormancy is induced by abscisic acid (ABA) during seed development on the mother plant. After seed dispersal, germination is preceded by a decline in ABA in imbibed seeds, which results from ABA catabolism through 8′-hydroxylation. The hormonal balance between ABA and gibberellins (GAs) has been shown to act as an integrator of environmental cues to maintain dormancy or activate germination. The interplay of ABA with other endogenous signals is however less documented. In numerous species, ethylene counteracts ABA signaling pathways and induces germination. In Brassicaceae seeds, ethylene prevents the inhibitory effects of ABA on endosperm cap weakening, thereby facilitating endosperm rupture and radicle emergence. Moreover, enhanced seed dormancy in Arabidopsis ethylene-insensitive mutants results from greater ABA sensitivity. Conversely, ABA limits ethylene action by down-regulating its biosynthesis. Nitric oxide (NO) has been proposed as a common actor in the ABA and ethylene crosstalk in seed. Indeed, convergent evidence indicates that NO is produced rapidly after seed imbibition and promotes germination by inducing the expression of the ABA 8′-hydroxylase gene, CYP707A2, and stimulating ethylene production. The role of NO and other nitrogen-containing compounds, such as nitrate, in seed dormancy breakage and germination stimulation has been reported in several species. This review will describe our current knowledge of ABA crosstalk with ethylene and NO, both volatile compounds that have been shown to counteract ABA action in seeds and to improve dormancy release and germination.
abscisic acid; dormancy; ethylene; germination; hormone; nitric oxide; seed
Smoke released from burning vegetation functions as an important environmental signal promoting the germination of many plant species following a fire. It not only promotes the germination of species from fire-prone habitats, but several species from non-fire-prone areas also respond, including some crops. The germination stimulatory activity can largely be attributed to the presence of a highly active butenolide compound, 3-methyl-2H-furo[2,3-c]pyran-2-one (referred to as karrikin 1 or KAR1), that has previously been isolated from plant-derived smoke. Several hypotheses have arisen regarding the molecular background of smoke and KAR1 action.
In this paper we demonstrate that although smoke-water and KAR1 treatment of maize kernels result in a similar physiological response, the gene expression and the protein ubiquitination patterns are quite different. Treatment with smoke-water enhanced the ubiquitination of proteins and activated protein-degradation-related genes. This effect was completely absent from KAR1-treated kernels, in which a specific aquaporin gene was distinctly upregulated.
Our findings indicate that the array of bioactive compounds present in smoke-water form an environmental signal that may act together in germination stimulation. It is highly possible that the smoke/KAR1 'signal' is perceived by a receptor that is shared with the signal transduction system implied in perceiving environmental cues (especially stresses and light), or some kind of specialized receptor exists in fire-prone plant species which diverged from a more general one present in a common ancestor, and also found in non fire-prone plants allowing for a somewhat weaker but still significant response. Besides their obvious use in agricultural practices, smoke and KAR1 can be used in studies to gain further insight into the transcriptional changes during germination.
The micropylar endosperm is a major regulator of seed germination in endospermic species, to which the close Brassicaceae relatives Arabidopsis thaliana and Lepidium sativum (cress) belong. Cress seeds are about 20 times larger than the seeds of Arabidopsis. This advantage was used to construct a tissue-specific subtractive cDNA library of transcripts that are up-regulated late in the germination process specifically in the micropylar endosperm of cress seeds. The library showed that a number of transcripts known to be up-regulated late during germination are up-regulated in the micropylar endosperm cap. Detailed germination kinetics of SALK lines carrying insertions in genes present in our library showed that the identified transcripts do indeed play roles during germination. Three peroxidases were present in the library. These peroxidases were identified as orthologues of Arabidopsis AtAPX01, AtPrx16, and AtPrxIIE. The corresponding SALK lines displayed significant germination phenotypes. Their transcripts were quantified in specific cress seed tissues during germination in the presence and absence of ABA and they were found to be regulated in a tissue-specific manner. Peroxidase activity, and particularly its regulation by ABA, also differed between radicles and micropylar endosperm caps. Possible implications of this tissue-specificity are discussed.
Arabidopsis thaliana; cress; Lepidium sativum; micropylar endosperm cap; peroxidases; seed germination; subtractive cDNA library
Strigolactones (SL) and karrikins (KAR) both contain essential butenolide moieties, and both require the F-box protein MAX2 to control seed germination and photomorphogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. A new discovery that SL and KAR also require related α/β-hydrolase proteins for such activity suggests that they operate through a similar molecular mechanism. Based on structural similarity, a previously proposed mode of action for SL was also considered for KAR, but recent structure-activity studies suggest that this mechanism may not apply. Here we rationalise these observations into a hypothesis whereby different α/β-hydrolases distinguish SL and KAR by virtue of their non-butenolide moieties and catalyze nucleophilic attack on the butenolide. The products would be different for SL and KAR, and in the case of SL they have no biological activity. The inference is that nucleophilic attack on SL and KAR by α/β-hydrolases is required for their bioactivity, but the hydrolysis products are not.
D14; KAI2; MAX2; butenolide; karrikin; strigolactone; α/β-hydrolase
Background and Aims
It has been hypothesized that soil moisture conditions could affect the dormancy status of buried weed seeds, and, consequently, their sensitivity to light stimuli. In this study, an investigation is made of the effect of different soil moisture conditions during cold-induced dormancy loss on changes in the sensitivity of Polygonum aviculare seeds to light.
Seeds buried in pots were stored under different constant and fluctuating soil moisture environments at dormancy-releasing temperatures. Seeds were exhumed at regular intervals during storage and were exposed to different light treatments. Changes in the germination response of seeds to light treatments during storage under the different moisture environments were compared in order to determine the effect of soil moisture on the sensitivity to light of P. aviculare seeds.
Seed acquisition of low-fluence responses during dormancy release was not affected by either soil moisture fluctuations or different constant soil moisture contents. On the contrary, different soil moisture environments affected seed acquisition of very low fluence responses and the capacity of seeds to germinate in the dark.
The results indicate that under field conditions, the sensitivity to light of buried weed seeds could be affected by the soil moisture environment experienced during the dormancy release season, and this could affect their emergence pattern.
Dark germination; dormancy loss; light; low fluence response (LFR); phytochrome; Polygonum aviculare; soil moisture; soil moisture fluctuations; very low fluence response (VLFR); weed seeds
Echinochloaoryzicola(syn.E. phyllopogon) is an exotic weed of California rice paddies that has evolved resistance to multiple herbicides. Elimination of seedlingsthroughcertain weed control methods can limit the spread of this weed, but is contingent on accurate predictions of germination and emergence timing, which are influenced by seed dormancy levels.In summer annuals, dormancy can often be relieved through stratification, a period of prolonged exposure to cold and moist conditions.We used population-based threshold models to quantify the effects of stratification on seed germination of four E. Oryzicola populations at a range of water potential (Ψ) and oxygen levels. We also determined how stratification temperatures, moisture levels and durations contributed to dormancy release. Stratification released dormancy by decreasing base Ψ and hydrotimerequired for germination and by eliminating any germination sensitivity to oxygen. Stratification also increased average germination rates (GR), which were used as a proxy for relative dormancy levels. Alternating temperatures nearly doubled GR in all populations, indicating that seeds could be partially dormant despite achieving high final germination percentages. Stratification at Ψ = 0 MPa increased GR compared to stratification at lower water potentials, demonstrating that Ψ contributed to regulating dormancy release. Maximum GR occurred after 2-4 weeks of stratification at 0 MPa; GR were often more rapid for herbicide-resistant than for herbicide-susceptible seeds, implying greater dormancy in the latter. Manipulation of field conditions to promote dormancy alleviation of E. oryzicola seeds might improve the rate and uniformity of germination for seed bank depletion through seedling weed control. Our results suggest field soil saturation in winter would contribute towards E. oryzicola dormancy release and decrease the time to seedling emergence.
Twenty-four weeds commonly found in commercial potato fields in Quebec were evaluated for their host suitability to the root-lesion nematode, Pratylenchus penetrans, under greenhouse conditions. Brown mustard (Brassica juncea) and rye (Secale cereale) were included as susceptible controls and forage pearl millet hyb. CFPM 101 (Pennisetum glaucum) as a poor host. Pratylenchus penetrans multiplied well on 22 of the 24 weed species tested (Pf/Pi ≥ rye or brown mustard). Cirsium arvense, Leucanthemum vulgare and Matricaria discoida were classified as very good hosts with a Pf/Pi ranging from 1.60 to 2.54, while Ambrosia artemisiifolia and Cyperus esculentus were classified as poor hosts with a Pf/Pi from 0.01 to 0.15. Amaranthus powellii, A. retrqflexus, Raphanus raphanistrum, Rorippa palustris, Cerastium fontanum, Spergula arvensis, Stellaria media, Chenopodium album, Vicia cracca, Elytrigia repens, Digitaria ischaemum, Echinochloa crusgalli, Panicum capillare, Setaria faberii, S. pumila, S. viridis, Polygonum convolvulus, P. scabrum and P. persicaria were intermediate hosts with Pf/Pi values ranging from 0.33 to 2.01. The plant species and the botanical family had a significant impact on nematode reproduction. The Brassicaceae family resulted in the greatest reproduction of P. penetrans, and the Cyperaceae resulted in the least. The plant life-cycle (annual vs. perennial) had no impact on nematode population.
brown mustard; host range; pearl millet; potato; Pratylenchus penetrans; root-lesion nematode; rye; weed
Flavonoids are a major group of constituents and are assumed to be among the beneficial components. Recently, they have also received considerable interest as components of foodstuffs and nutraceuticals because of their antioxidant and anticancer properties.
Materials and Methods:
About 500 g of air-dried powdered seeds of C. annua were defatted seeds and extracted with 70% methanol. The combined methanol extract was partitioned with chloroform and n-butanol. The butanol extract was concentrated and subjected to column chromatography on polyamide.
The fraction eluted with aqueous methanol (40% and 50%) was found to contain three main flavonoids (1, 2, and 3). Repeated column chromatography on polyamide and Sephadex LH-20 gave compound 1. Compounds 2 and 3 were further purified using preparative paper chromatography with 20% HOAc and Sephadex LH-20 column.
Reinvestigation of the flavonoidal constituents of the butanol fraction of the aqueous methanolic extract of Carrichteraannua seeds led to isolation and identification of a new flavonoidal glycosidenamed as quercetin 3-O-[(6-sinapoyl-β-glucopyranosyl)-(1→2)-β-arabinopyranosyl]-7-O-β-glucopyranoside 1, in addition to, quarecetin-3-O-glucoside 2, isorhamnetin-3-O-β-runtinoside3, and isorhamnetin4.Structures of the isolated compounds were established by UV, MS, and 1H and 13C NMR.
Acylated flavonoid; brassicaceae; Carrichtera annua
Background and Aims
The duration of the plant life cycle is an important attribute that determines fitness and coexistence of weeds in arable fields. It depends on the timing of two key life-history traits: time from seed dispersal to germination and time from germination to flowering. These traits are components of the time to reproduction. Dormancy results in reduced and delayed germination, thus increasing time to reproduction. Genotypes in the arable seedbank predominantly have short time to flowering. Synergy between reduced seed dormancy and reduced flowering time would create stronger contrasts between genotypes, offering greater adaptation in-field. Therefore, we studied differences in seed dormancy between in-field flowering time genotypes of shepherd's purse.
Genotypes with early, intermediate or late flowering time were grown in a glasshouse to provide seed stock for germination tests. Secondary dormancy was assessed by comparing germination before and after dark-incubation. Dormancy was characterized separately for seed myxospermy heteromorphs, observed in each genotype. Seed carbon and nitrogen content and seed mass were determined as indicators of seed filling and resource partitioning associated with dormancy.
Although no differences were observed in primary dormancy, secondary dormancy was weaker among the seeds of early-flowering genotypes. On average, myxospermous seeds showed stronger secondary dormancy than non-myxospermous seeds in all genotypes. Seed filling was similar between the genotypes, but nitrogen partitioning was higher in early-flowering genotypes and in non-myxospermous seeds.
In shepherd's purse, early flowering and reduced seed dormancy coincide and appear to be linked. The seed heteromorphism contributes to variation in dormancy. Three functional groups of seed dormancy were identified, varying in dormancy depth and nitrate response. One of these groups (FG-III) was distinct for early-flowering genotypes. The weaker secondary dormancy of early-flowering genotypes confers a selective advantage in arable fields.
Co-adaptation; Capsella bursa-pastoris; shepherd's purse; seedbank; flowering time; seed heteromorphism; light; nitrate; primary dormancy; secondary dormancy; weed; myxospermy; mucilage
Meals produced when oil is extracted from seeds in the Brassicaceae have been shown to suppress weeds and soilborne pathogens. These seed meals are commonly used individually as soil amendments; the goal of this research was to evaluate seed meal mixes of Brassica juncea (Bj) and Sinapis alba (Sa) against Meloidogyne incognita. Seed meals from Bj ‘Pacific Gold’ and Sa ‘IdaGold’ were tested alone and in combinations to determine rates and application times that would suppress M. incognita on pepper (Capsicum annuum) without phytotoxicity. Rates of soil application (% w/w) for the phytotoxicity study were: 0.5 Sa, 0.2 Bj, 0.25 Sa + 0.25 Bj, 0.375 Sa + 0.125 Bj, 0.125 Sa + 0.375 Bj, and 0, applied 0 – 5 weeks before transplant. Overall, 0.2% Bj was the least toxic meal to pepper seedlings. By comparison, 0.5% S. alba seed meal did not reduce lettuce (Lactuca sativa) seed germination at week 0, but all seed meal treatments containing B. juncea prevented or significantly reduced germination at week 0. The seed meals did not affect lettuce seed germination at weeks 1-5, but hypocotyl growth was reduced by all except 0.2% Bj at weeks 1, 4 and 5. Brassica juncea and Sa meals were tested for M. incognita suppression at 0.2, 0.15, 0.1 and 0.05%; mixtures were 0.1% Sa + 0.1% Bj, 0.15% Sa + 0.05% Bj, and 0.05% Sa + 0.15% Bj. All treatments were applied 2 weeks before transplant. The 0.2% Bj and 0.05% Sa + 0.15% Bj treatments overall had the longest shoots and highest fresh weights. Eggs per g root were lowest with 0.1 – 0.2% Bj amendments and the seed meal mixtures. The results indicate that Bj and some Bj + Sa mixtures can be applied close to transplant to suppress M. incognita populations on pepper; consequently, a seed meal mixture could be selected to provide activity against more than one pest or pathogen. For pepper, care should be taken in formulating mixtures so that Sa rates are low compared to Bj.
amendment; biofuel byproducts; Brassica; glucosinolate; management; Meloidogyne incognita; mustard seed meal; root-knot nematode; Sinapis
Yellow-seed (i.e., yellow seed coat) is one of the most important agronomic traits of Brassica plants, which is correlated with seed oil and meal qualities. Previous studies on the Brassicaceae, including Arabidopsis and Brassica species, proposed that the seed-color trait is correlative to flavonoid and lignin biosynthesis, at the molecular level. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the oxidative polymerization of flavonoid and biosynthesis of lignin has been demonstrated to be catalyzed by laccase 15, a functional enzyme encoded by the AtTT10 gene. In this study, eight Brassica TT10 genes (three from B. napus, three from B. rapa and two from B. oleracea) were isolated and their roles in flavonoid oxidation/polymerization and lignin biosynthesis were investigated. Based on our phylogenetic analysis, these genes could be divided into two groups with obvious structural and functional differentiation. Expression studies showed that Brassica TT10 genes are active in developing seeds, but with differential expression patterns in yellow- and black-seeded near-isogenic lines. For functional analyses, three black-seeded B. napus cultivars were chosen for transgenic studies. Transgenic B. napus plants expressing antisense TT10 constructs exhibited retarded pigmentation in the seed coat. Chemical composition analysis revealed increased levels of soluble proanthocyanidins, and decreased extractable lignin in the seed coats of these transgenic plants compared with that of the controls. These findings indicate a role for the Brassica TT10 genes in proanthocyanidin polymerization and lignin biosynthesis, as well as seed coat pigmentation in B. napus.
Background and Aims
Pathogen–seed interactions may involve a race for seed resources, so that seeds that germinate more quickly, mobilizing reserves, will be more likely to escape seed death than slow-germinating seeds. This race-for-survival hypothesis was tested for the North American seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda on seeds of the annual grass Bromus tectorum, an invasive plant in North America. In this species, the seed germination rate varies as a function of dormancy status; dormant seeds germinate slowly if at all, whereas non-dormant seeds germinate quickly.
Three experimental approaches were utilized: (a) artificial inoculations of mature seeds that varied in primary dormancy status and wounding treatment; (b) naturally inoculated undispersed seeds that varied in primary dormancy status; and (c) naturally inoculated seeds from the carry-over seed bank that varied in degree of secondary dormancy, habitat of origin and seed age.
In all three approaches, seeds that germinated slowly were usually killed by the pathogen, whereas seeds that germinated quickly frequently escaped. Pyrenophora semeniperda reduced B. tectorum seed banks. Populations in drier habitats sustained 50 times more seed mortality than a population in a mesic habitat. Older carry-over seeds experienced 30 % more mortality than younger seeds.
Given the dramatic levels of seed death and the ability of this pathogen to reduce seed carry-over, it is intriguing to consider whether P. semeniperda could be used to control B. tectorum through direct reduction of its seed bank.
Biocontrol; biotic resistance; cheatgrass; Drechslera campanulata; invasive species; mycoherbicide; pathogen; seed bank; seed-borne
Ionotropic glutamate receptors principally mediate fast excitatory transmission in the brain. Among the three classes of ionotropic glutamate receptors, kainate receptors (KARs) display a categorical brain distribution, which has been historically defined by 3H-radiolabeled kainate binding. Compared with recombinant KARs expressed in heterologous cells, synaptic KARs exhibit characteristically slow rise-time and decay kinetics. However, the mechanisms responsible for these unique KAR properties remain unclear. Here we found that both the distinct high affinity biding pattern in the mouse brain and the channel properties of native KARs are determined by the KAR auxiliary subunit Neto1. Through modulation of agonist binding affinity and off-kinetics of KARs, but not trafficking of KARs, Neto1 determines both KAR high affinity binding pattern and the distinctively slow kinetics of postsynaptic KARs. By regulating KAR-EPSC kinetics, Neto1 can control synaptic temporal summation, spike generation and fidelity.
Plant defensins are an important component of the innate defence system of plants where they form protective antimicrobial barriers between tissue types of plant organs as well as around seeds. These peptides also have other activities that are important for agricultural applications as well as the medical sector. Amongst the numerous plant peptides isolated from a variety of plant species, a significant number of promising defensins have been isolated from Brassicaceae species. Here we report on the isolation and characterization of four defensins from Heliophila coronopifolia, a native South African Brassicaceae species.
Four defensin genes (Hc-AFP1-4) were isolated with a homology based PCR strategy. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences showed that the peptides were 72% similar and grouped closest to defensins isolated from other Brassicaceae species. The Hc-AFP1 and 3 peptides shared high homology (94%) and formed a unique grouping in the Brassicaceae defensins, whereas Hc-AFP2 and 4 formed a second homology grouping with defensins from Arabidopsis and Raphanus. Homology modelling showed that the few amino acids that differed between the four peptides had an effect on the surface properties of the defensins, specifically in the alpha-helix and the loop connecting the second and third beta-strands. These areas are implicated in determining differential activities of defensins. Comparing the activities after recombinant production of the peptides, Hc-AFP2 and 4 had IC50 values of 5-20 μg ml-1 against two test pathogens, whereas Hc-AFP1 and 3 were less active. The activity against Botrytis cinerea was associated with membrane permeabilization, hyper-branching, biomass reduction and even lytic activity. In contrast, only Hc-AFP2 and 4 caused membrane permeabilization and severe hyper-branching against the wilting pathogen Fusarium solani, while Hc-AFP1 and 3 had a mild morphogenetic effect on the fungus, without any indication of membrane activity. The peptides have a tissue-specific expression pattern since differential gene expression was observed in the native host. Hc-AFP1 and 3 expressed in mature leaves, stems and flowers, whereas Hc-AFP2 and 4 exclusively expressed in seedpods and seeds.
Two novel Brassicaceae defensin sequences were isolated amongst a group of four defensin encoding genes from the indigenous South African plant H. coronopifolia. All four peptides were active against two test pathogens, but displayed differential activities and modes of action. The expression patterns of the peptide encoding genes suggest a role in protecting either vegetative or reproductive structures in the native host against pathogen attack, or roles in unknown developmental and physiological processes in these tissues, as was shown with other defensins.
The host suitability to Ditylenchus destructor of seven common weed species in peanut (Arachis hypogaea) fields in South Africa was determined. Based on the number of nematodes per root unit, white goosefoot (Chenopodium album), feathertop chloris (Chloris virgata), purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus), jimson weed (Datura stramonium), goose grass (Eleusine indica), khaki weed (Tagetes minuta), and cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium) were poor hosts. Ditylenchus destructor survived on all weed species; population densities increased in peanut hulls and caused severe damage to seeds of peanut grown after weeds. Roots of purple nutsedge left in the soil suppressed populations of D. destructor and root and pod development in peanut grown after the weed. However, nematode populations in peanut hulls and seeds were not suppressed. Some weed species, especially purple nutsedge which is common in peanut fields, can be used to indicate the presence of D. destructor in the absence of peanut.
Arachis hypogaea; Chenopodium album; Chloris virgata; cocklebur; Cyperus rotundus; Datura stramonium; Ditylenchus destructor; Eleusine indica; feathertop chloris; goose grass; host status; jimson weed; khaki weed; peanut; purple nutsedge; South Africa; Tagetes minuta; Xanthium strumarium