Cadmium (Cd) translocation and accumulation in the grain and aerial plant parts of rice (Oryza sativa L.) is an important aspect of food safety and phytoextraction in areas with contaminated soil. Because control of Cd translocation and accumulation is likely to be determined by the plants genetics, the Cd contents of grain and the aerial parts of rice may be manipulated to improve food safety and for phytoextraction ability. This study studied Cd translocation and accumulation and their genetic control in aerial parts of rice to provide a starting point for improving food safety and phytoextraction in Cd-contaminated soils.
In the japonica rice cultivar "Nipponbare", Cd accumulated in leaves and culms until heading, and in culms and ears after heading. Two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) from indica cv. "Kasalath", qcd4-1 and qcd4-2, affect Cd concentrations in upper plant parts just before heading. Three near-isogenic lines (NILs) with qcd4-1 and qcd4-2 were selected from the "Nipponbare" background, and were analyzed for the effects of each QTL, and for interactions between the two QTLs. From the results compared between "Nipponbare" and each NIL, neither QTL influenced total Cd accumulation in aerial parts at 5 days after heading, but the interaction between two QTLs increased Cd accumulation. At 35 days after heading, qcd4-2 had increased Cd accumulation in the aerial plant parts and decreased translocation from leaves other than flag leaf, but interaction between the two QTLs increased translocation from leaves. NILqcd4-1,2 accumulated higher concentrations of Cd in brown rice than "Nipponbare".
Three types of Cd translocation and accumulation patterns demonstrated by NILs suggested that the accumulation of Cd in leaves and culms before heading, and translocation from them after heading are responsible for Cd accumulation in grain. Cd translocation from roots to culms and ears after heading may direct Cd to the aerial organs without influencing brown rice accumulation.
Glutamine synthetase (GS) is the key enzyme involved in the assimilation of ammonia derived either from nitrate reduction, N2 fixation, photorespiration or asparagine breakdown. A small gene family is encoding for different cytosolic (GS1) or plastidic (GS2) isoforms in legumes. We summarize here the recent advances carried out concerning the quaternary structure of GS, as well as the functional relationship existing between GS2 and processes such as nodulation, photorespiration and water stress, in this latter case by means of proline production. Functional genomic analysis using GS2-minus mutant reveals the key role of GS2 in the metabolic control of the plants and, more particularly, in carbon metabolism.
glutamine synthetase; Lotus japonicus; functional genomics; nitrogen metabolism
In contrast to C3 photosynthesis, the response of C4 photosynthesis to water stress has been less-well studied in spite of the significant contribution of C4 plants to the global carbon budget and food security. The key feature of C4 photosynthesis is the operation of a CO2-concentrating mechanism in the leaves, which serves to saturate photosynthesis and suppress photorespiration in normal air. This article reviews the current state of understanding about the response of C4 photosynthesis to water stress, including the interaction with elevated CO2 concentration. Major gaps in our knowledge in this area are identified and further required research is suggested.
Evidence indicates that C4 photosynthesis is highly sensitive to water stress. With declining leaf water status, CO2 assimilation rate and stomatal conductance decrease rapidly and photosynthesis goes through three successive phases. The initial, mainly stomatal phase, may or may not be detected as a decline in assimilation rates depending on environmental conditions. This is because the CO2-concentrating mechanism is capable of saturating C4 photosynthesis under relatively low intercellular CO2 concentrations. In addition, photorespired CO2 is likely to be refixed before escaping the bundle sheath. This is followed by a mixed stomatal and non-stomatal phase and, finally, a mainly non-stomatal phase. The main non-stomatal factors include reduced activity of photosynthetic enzymes; inhibition of nitrate assimilation, induction of early senescence, and changes to the leaf anatomy and ultrastructure. Results from the literature about CO2 enrichment indicate that when C4 plants experience drought in their natural environment, elevated CO2 concentration alleviates the effect of water stress on plant productivity indirectly via improved soil moisture and plant water status as a result of decreased stomatal conductance and reduced leaf transpiration.
It is suggested that there is a limited capacity for photorespiration or the Mehler reaction to act as significant alternative electron sinks under water stress in C4 photosynthesis. This may explain why C4 photosynthesis is equally or even more sensitive to water stress than its C3 counterpart in spite of the greater capacity and water use efficiency of the C4 photosynthetic pathway.
C3 and C4 photosynthesis; stomatal and non-stomatal limitation; high CO2; water stress
Comparisons of the activities and diversities of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) in the root environment of different cultivars of rice (Oryza sativa L.) indicated marked differences despite identical environmental conditions during growth. Gross nitrification rates obtained by the 15N dilution technique were significantly higher in a modern variety, IR63087-1-17, than in two traditional varieties. Phylogenetic analysis based on the ammonium monooxygenase gene (amoA) identified strains related to Nitrosospira multiformis and Nitrosomonas europaea as the predominant AOB in our experimental rice system. A method was developed to determine the abundance of AOB on root biofilm samples using fluorescently tagged oligonucleotide probes targeting 16S rRNA. The levels of abundance detected suggested an enrichment of AOB on rice roots. We identified 40 to 69% of AOB on roots of IR63087-1-17 as Nitrosomonas spp., while this subpopulation constituted 7 to 23% of AOB on roots of the other cultivars. These results were generally supported by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of the amoA gene and analysis of libraries of cloned amoA. In hydroponic culture, oxygen concentration profiles around secondary roots differed significantly among the tested rice varieties, of which IR63087-1-17 showed maximum leakage of oxygen. The results suggest that varietal differences in the composition and activity of root-associated AOB populations may result from microscale differences in O2 availability.
To understand the physiological basis of genetic variation and resulting quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for photosynthesis in a rice (Oryza sativa L.) introgression line population, 13 lines were studied under drought and well-watered conditions, at flowering and grain filling. Simultaneous gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence measurements were conducted at various levels of incident irradiance and ambient CO2 to estimate parameters of a model that dissects photosynthesis into stomatal conductance (g
s), mesophyll conductance (g
m), electron transport capacity (J
max), and Rubisco carboxylation capacity (V
cmax). Significant genetic variation in these parameters was found, although drought and leaf age accounted for larger proportions of the total variation. Genetic variation in light-saturated photosynthesis and transpiration efficiency (TE) were mainly associated with variation in g
s and g
m. One previously mapped major QTL of photosynthesis was associated with variation in g
s and g
m, but also in J
max and V
cmax at flowering. Thus, g
s and g
m, which were demonstrated in the literature to be responsible for environmental variation in photosynthesis, were found also to be associated with genetic variation in photosynthesis. Furthermore, relationships between these parameters and leaf nitrogen or dry matter per unit area, which were previously found across environmental treatments, were shown to be valid for variation across genotypes. Finally, the extent to which photosynthesis rate and TE can be improved was evaluated. Virtual ideotypes were estimated to have 17.0% higher photosynthesis and 25.1% higher TE compared with the best genotype investigated. This analysis using introgression lines highlights possibilities of improving both photosynthesis and TE within the same genetic background.
drought; genetic variation; mesophyll conductance; modelling; Oryza sativa L.; photosynthesis; rice; stomatal conductance
Plant diurnal oscillation is a 24-hour period based variation. The correlation between diurnal genes and biological pathways was widely revealed by microarray analysis in different species. Rice (Oryza sativa) is the major food staple for about half of the world's population. The rice flag leaf is essential in providing photosynthates to the grain filling. However, there is still no comprehensive view about the diurnal transcriptome for rice leaves. In this study, we applied rice microarray to monitor the rhythmically expressed genes in rice seedling and flag leaves. We developed a new computational analysis approach and identified 6,266 (10.96%) diurnal probe sets in seedling leaves, 13,773 (24.08%) diurnal probe sets in flag leaves. About 65% of overall transcription factors were identified as flag leaf preferred. In seedling leaves, the peak of phase distribution was from 2:00am to 4:00am, whereas in flag leaves, the peak was from 8:00pm to 2:00am. The diurnal phase distribution analysis of gene ontology (GO) and cis-element enrichment indicated that, some important processes were waken by the light, such as photosynthesis and abiotic stimulus, while some genes related to the nuclear and ribosome involved processes were active mostly during the switch time of light to dark. The starch and sucrose metabolism pathway genes also showed diurnal phase. We conducted comparison analysis between Arabidopsis and rice leaf transcriptome throughout the diurnal cycle. In summary, our analysis approach is feasible for relatively unbiased identification of diurnal transcripts, efficiently detecting some special periodic patterns with non-sinusoidal periodic patterns. Compared to the rice flag leaves, the gene transcription levels of seedling leaves were relatively limited to the diurnal rhythm. Our comprehensive microarray analysis of seedling and flag leaves of rice provided an overview of the rice diurnal transcriptome and indicated some diurnal regulated biological processes and key functional pathways in rice.
Background and Aims
Increasing physical water scarcity is a major constraint for irrigated rice (Oryza sativa) production. ‘Aerobic rice culture’ aims to maximize yield per unit water input by growing plants in aerobic soil without flooding or puddling. The objective was to determine (a) the effect of water management on root morphology and hydraulic conductance, and (b) their roles in plant–water relationships and stomatal conductance in aerobic culture.
Root system development, stomatal conductance (gs) and leaf water potential (Ψleaf) were monitored in a high-yielding rice cultivar (‘Takanari’) under flooded and aerobic conditions at two soil moisture levels [nearly saturated (> –10 kPa) and mildly dry (> –30 kPa)] over 2 years. In an ancillary pot experiment, whole-plant hydraulic conductivity (soil-leaf hydraulic conductance; Kpa) was measured under flooded and aerobic conditions.
Adventitious root emergence and lateral root proliferation were restricted even under nearly saturated conditions, resulting in a 72–85 % reduction in total root length under aerobic culture conditions. Because of their reduced rooting size, plants grown under aerobic conditions tended to have lower Kpa than plants grown under flooded conditions. Ψleaf was always significantly lower in aerobic culture than in flooded culture, while gs was unchanged when the soil moisture was at around field capacity. gs was inevitably reduced when the soil water potential at 20-cm depth reached –20 kPa.
Unstable performance of rice in water-saving cultivations is often associated with reduction in Ψleaf. Ψleaf may reduce even if Kpa is not significantly changed, but the lower Ψleaf would certainly occur in case Kpa reduces as a result of lower water-uptake capacity under aerobic conditions. Rice performance in aerobic culture might be improved through genetic manipulation that promotes lateral root branching and rhizogenesis as well as deep rooting.
Aerobic rice; leaf water potential; Oryza sativa; root system architecture; stomatal conductance; water-saving technology
Using two lowland rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivars we found that in both cases submerged-induced elongation early after germination depends on gibberellins (GAs). Submergence increases the content of the active GA1 by enhancing the expression of GA biosynthesis genes, thus facilitating the seedlings to escape from the water and preventing asphyxiation. However, the two cultivars differ in their response to ethylene. The cultivar Senia (short), by contrast to cultivar Bomba (tall), does not elongate after ethylene application, and submerged-induced elongation is not negated by an inhibitor of ethylene perception. Also, while ethylene emanation in Senia is not altered by submergence, Bomba seedlings emanate more ethylene upon desubmergence, associated with enhanced expression of the ethylene biosynthesis gene OsACS5. The cultivar Senia thus allows the possibility of clarifying the role of ethylene and other factors as triggers of GA biosynthesis enhancement in rice seedlings under submergence.
gibberellins; ethylene; submergence; lowland rice; Oryza sativa
Backgrounds and Aims
Identification of physiological traits associated with leaf photosynthetic rate (Pn) is important for improving potential productivity of rice (Oryza sativa). The objectives of this study were to develop a model which can explain genotypic variation and ontogenetic change of Pn in rice under optimal conditions as a function of leaf nitrogen content per unit area (N) and stomatal conductance (gs), and to quantify the effects of interaction between N and gs on the variation of Pn.
Pn, N and gs were measured at different developmental stages for the topmost fully expanded leaves in ten rice genotypes with diverse backgrounds grown in pots (2002) and in the field (2001 and 2002). A model of Pn that accounts for carboxylation and CO2 diffusion processes, and assumes that the ratio of internal conductance to gs is constant, was constructed, and its goodness of fit was examined.
Considerable genotypic differences in Pn were evident for rice throughout development in both the pot and field experiments. The genotypic variation of Pn was correlated with that of gs at a given stage, and the change of Pn with plant development was closely related to the change of N. The variation of gs among genotypes was independent of that of N. The model explained well the variation in Pn of the ten genotypes grown under different conditions at different developmental stages.
The response of Pn to increased N differs with gs, and the increase in Pn of genotypes with low gs is smaller than that of genotypes with high gs. Therefore, simultaneous improvements of these two traits are essential for an effective breeding of rice genotypes with increased Pn.
Model; leaf photosynthesis; genotypic and ontogenetic variation; rice (Oryza sativa); leaf nitrogen content; stomatal conductance; internal conductance
Background and Aims
Leaf responses to environmental conditions have been frequently described in fruit trees, but differences among cultivars have received little attention. This study shows that parameters of Farquhar's photosynthesis and Jarvis' stomatal conductance models differed between two apple cultivars, and examines the consequences of these differences for leaf water use efficiency.
Leaf stomatal conductance (gsw), net CO2 assimilation rate (An), respiration (Rd) and transpiration (E) were measured during summer in 8-year-old ‘Braeburn’ and ‘Fuji’ apple trees under well-watered field conditions. Parameters of Farquhar's and Jarvis' models were estimated, evaluated and then compared between cultivars. Leaf carbon isotope discrimination (Δ13C) was measured at the end of the growing season.
A single positive relationship was established between VCmax (maximum carboxylation rate) and Na (leaf nitrogen concentration per unit area), and between Jmax (maximum light-driven electron transport rate) and Na. A higher leaf Rd was observed in ‘Fuji’. The gsw responded similarly to increasing irradiance and leaf temperature in both cultivars. gsw responded to lower vapour pressure deficit in ‘Fuji’ than in ‘Braeburn’. Maximal conductance (gswmax) was significantly smaller and An was more limited by gsw in ‘Braeburn’ than ‘Fuji’. Lower gsw, E and higher intrinsic water use efficiency were shown in ‘Braeburn’ and confirmed by smaller leaf Δ13C compared with ‘Fuji’ leaves.
The use of functional model parameters allowed comparison of the two cultivars and provided evidence of different water use ‘strategies’: ‘Braeburn’ was more conservative in water use than ‘Fuji’, due to stomatal limitation of An, higher intrinsic water use efficiency and lower Δ13C. These physiological traits need to be considered in relation to climate adaptation, breeding of new cultivars and horticultural practice.
Apple; carbon isotope discrimination; leaf nitrogen; leaf temperature; irradiance; Malus × domestica; modelling; photosynthesis; stomata; transpiration; vapour pressure deficit; water use efficiency
In rice (Oryza sativa L.), leaf photosynthesis is known to be highly correlated with stomatal conductance; however, it remains unclear whether stomatal conductance dominantly limits the photosynthetic rate. SLAC1 is a stomatal anion channel protein controlling stomatal closure in response to environmental [CO2]. In order to examine stomatal limitations to photosynthesis, a SLAC1-deficient mutant of rice was isolated and characterized. A TILLING screen of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-derived mutant lines was conducted for the rice SLAC1 orthologue gene Os04g0674700, and four mutant lines containing mutations within the open reading frame were obtained. A second screen using an infrared thermography camera revealed that one of the mutants, named slac1, had a constitutive low leaf temperature phenotype. Measurement of leaf gas exchange showed that slac1 plants grown in the greenhouse had significantly higher stomatal conductance (g
s), rates of photosynthesis (A), and ratios of internal [CO2] to ambient [CO2] (C
a) compared with wild-type plants, whereas there was no significant difference in the response of photosynthesis to internal [CO2] (A/C
i curves). These observations demonstrate that in well-watered conditions, stomatal conductance is a major determinant of photosynthetic rate in rice.
Anion channel; carbon dioxide; mutant; Oryza sativa; photosynthesis; SLAC1; stomatal conductance
High temperature impedes the growth and productivity of various crop species. To date, rice (Oryza sativa L.) has not been exploited to understand the molecular basis of its abnormally high level of temperature tolerance. To identify transcripts induced by heat stress, twenty-day-old rice seedlings of different rice cultivars suffering from heat stress were treated at different times, and differential gene expression analyses in leaves were performed by cDNA-AFLP and further verified by real-time RT-PCR. In aggregate, more than three thousand different fragments were indentified, and 49 fragments were selected for the sequence and differential expressed genes were classified functionally into different groups. 6 of 49 fragments were measured by real-time RT-PCR. In addition, the variations of three different polyamine contents in response to heat stress through high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis were also performed. The results and their direct and indirect relationships to heat stress tolerance mechanism were discussed.
Photorespiration is initiated by the oxygenase activity of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate-carboxylase/oxygenase (RUBISCO), the same enzyme that is also responsible for CO2 fixation in almost all photosynthetic organisms. Phosphoglycolate formed by oxygen fixation is recycled to the Calvin cycle intermediate phosphoglycerate in the photorespiratory pathway. This reaction cascade consumes energy and reducing equivalents and part of the afore fixed carbon is again released as CO2. Because of this, photorespiration was often viewed as a wasteful process. Here, we review the current knowledge on the components of the photorespiratory pathway that has been mainly achieved through genetic and biochemical studies in Arabidopsis. Based on this knowledge, the energy costs of photorespiration are calculated, but the numerous positive aspects that challenge the traditional view of photorespiration as a wasteful pathway are also discussed. An outline of possible alternative pathways beside the major pathway is provided. We summarize recent results about photorespiration in photosynthetic organisms expressing a carbon concentrating mechanism and the implications of these results for understanding Arabidopsis photorespiration. Finally, metabolic engineering approaches aiming to improve plant productivity by reducing photorespiratory losses are evaluated.
Background and Aims
The rate of photosynthesis in paddy rice often decreases at noon on sunny days because of water stress, even under submerged conditions. Maintenance of higher rates of photosynthesis during the day might improve both yield and dry matter production in paddy rice. A high-yielding indica variety, ‘Habataki’, maintains a high rate of leaf photosynthesis during the daytime because of the higher hydraulic conductance from roots to leaves than in the standard japonica variety ‘Sasanishiki’. This research was conducted to characterize the trait responsible for the higher hydraulic conductance in ‘Habataki’ and identified a chromosome region for the high hydraulic conductance.
Hydraulic conductance to passive water transport and to osmotic water transport was determined for plants under intense transpiration and for plants without transpiration, respectively. The varietal difference in hydraulic conductance was examined with respect to root surface area and hydraulic conductivity (hydraulic conductance per root surface area, Lp). To identify the chromosome region responsible for higher hydraulic conductance, chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) derived from a cross between ‘Sasanishiki’ and ‘Habataki’ were used.
The significantly higher hydraulic conductance resulted from the larger root surface area not from Lp in ‘Habataki’. A chromosome region associated with the elevated hydraulic conductance was detected between RM3916 and RM2431 on the long arm of chromosome 4. The CSSL, in which this region was substituted with the ‘Habataki’ chromosome segment in the ‘Sasanishiki’ background, had a larger root mass than ‘Sasanishiki’.
The trait for increasing plant hydraulic conductance and, therefore, maintaining the higher rate of leaf photosynthesis under the conditions of intense transpiration in ‘Habataki’ was identified, and it was estimated that there is at least one chromosome region for the trait located on chromosome 4.
Chromosome segment substitution lines; diffusive conductance; hydraulic conductance; photosynthetic rate; quantitative trait locus; rice; Oryza sativa; root hydraulic conductivity
In Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.), aroma is one of the most valuable traits in grain quality and 2-ACP is the main volatile compound contributing to the characteristic popcorn-like odour of aromatic rices. Although the major locus for grain fragrance (frg gene) has been described recently in Basmati rice, this gene has not been characterised in true japonica varieties and molecular information available on the genetic diversity and evolutionary origin of this gene among the different varieties is still limited. Here we report on characterisation of the frg gene in the Azucena variety, one of the few aromatic japonica cultivars. We used a RIL population from a cross between Azucena and IR64, a non-aromatic indica, the reference genomic sequence of Nipponbare (japonica) and 93–11 (indica) as well as an Azucena BAC library, to identify the major fragance gene in Azucena. We thus identified a betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase gene, badh2, as the candidate locus responsible for aroma, which presented exactly the same mutation as that identified in Basmati and Jasmine-like rices. Comparative genomic analyses showed very high sequence conservation between Azucena and Nipponbare BADH2, and a MITE was identified in the promotor region of the BADH2 allele in 93–11. The badh2 mutation and MITE were surveyed in a representative rice collection, including traditional aromatic and non-aromatic rice varieties, and strongly suggested a monophylogenetic origin of this badh2 mutation in Asian cultivated rices. Altogether these new data are discussed here in the light of current hypotheses on the origin of rice genetic diversity.
Maturity group (based on the number of days to maturity) is an important growth trait for determining crop productivity, but there has been no attempt to examine the effects of elevated [CO2] on yield enhancement of rice cultivars with different maturity groups. Since early-maturing cultivars generally show higher plant N concentration than late-maturing cultivars, it is hypothesized that [CO2]-induced yield enhancement might be larger for early-maturing cultivars than late-maturing cultivars. To test this hypothesis, the effects of elevated [CO2] on yield components, biomass, N uptake, and leaf photosynthesis of cultivars with different maturity groups were examined for 2 years using a free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE). Elevated [CO2] significantly increased grain yield and the magnitude significantly differed among the cultivars as detected by a significant [CO2]×cultivar interaction. Two cultivars (one with early and one with late maturity) responded more strongly to elevated [CO2] than those with intermediate maturity, resulting mainly from increases in spikelet density. Biomass and N uptake at the heading stage were closely correlated with grain yield and spikelet density over [CO2] and cultivars. Our 2 year field trial rejected the hypothesis that earlier cultivars would respond more to elevated [CO2] than later cultivars, but it is revealed that the magnitude of the growth enhancement before heading is a useful criterion for selecting rice cultivars capable of adapting to elevated [CO2].
Biomass; breeding; carbon dioxide; climate change; grain yield; photosynthesis; radiation-use efficiency; rice
Rice (Oryza sativa) productivity is adversely impacted by numerous biotic and abiotic factors. An approximate 52% of the global production of rice is lost annually owing to the damage caused by biotic factors, of which ~21% is attributed to the attack of insect pests. In this paper we report the isolation, cloning and characterization of Allium sativum leaf agglutinin (asal) gene, and its expression in elite indica rice cultivars using Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation method. The stable transgenic lines, expressing ASAL, showed explicit resistance against major sap-sucking pests.
Allium sativum leaf lectin gene (asal), coding for mannose binding homodimeric protein (ASAL) from garlic plants, has been isolated and introduced into elite indica rice cultivars susceptible to sap-sucking insects, viz., brown planthopper (BPH), green leafhopper (GLH) and whitebacked planthopper (WBPH). Embryogenic calli of rice were co-cultivated with Agrobacterium harbouring pSB111 super-binary vector comprising garlic lectin gene asal along with the herbicide resistance gene bar, both under the control of CaMV35S promoter. PCR and Southern blot analyses confirmed stable integration of transgenes into the genomes of rice plants. Northern and western blot analyses revealed expression of ASAL in different transgenic rice lines. In primary transformants, the level of ASAL protein, as estimated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, varied between 0.74% and 1.45% of the total soluble proteins. In planta insect bioassays on transgenic rice lines revealed potent entomotoxic effects of ASAL on BPH, GLH and WBPH insects, as evidenced by significant decreases in the survival, development and fecundity of the insects.
In planta insect bioassays were carried out on asal transgenic rice lines employing standard screening techniques followed in conventional breeding for selection of insect resistant plants. The ASAL expressing rice plants, bestowed with high entomotoxic effects, imparted appreciable resistance against three major sap-sucking insects. Our results amply demonstrate that transgenic indica rice harbouring asal exhibit surpassing resistance against BPH, GLH and WBPH insects. The prototypic asal transgenic rice lines appear promising for direct commercial cultivation besides serving as a potential genetic resource in recombination breeding.
The development of Casparian strips (CSs) on the endo- and exodermis and their chemical components in roots of three cultivars of rice (Oryza sativa) with different salt tolerance were compared using histochemistry and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The development and deposition of suberin lamellae of CSs on the endo- and exodermis in the salt-tolerant cultivar Liaohan 109 was earlier than in the moderately tolerant cultivar Tianfeng 202 and the sensitive cultivar Nipponbare. The detection of chemical components indicated major contributions to the structure of the outer part from aliphatic suberin, lignin and cell wall proteins and carbohydrates to the rhizodermis, exodermis, sclerenchyma and one layer of cortical cells in series (OPR) and the endodermal Casparian strip. Moreover, the amounts of these major chemical components in the outer part of the Liaohan 109 root were higher than in Tianfeng 202 and Nipponbare, but there was no distinct difference in endodermal CSs among the three rice cultivars. The results suggest that the exodermis of the salt-tolerant cultivar Liaohan 109 functions as a barrier for resisting salt stress.
casparian strip; chemical components; development; rice; root
Background and Aims
Soil phosphorus (P) solubility declines sharply when a flooded soil drains, and an important component of rice (Oryza sativa) adaptation to rainfed lowland environments is the ability to absorb and utilize P under such conditions. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that rice cultivars differ in their P responses between water regimes because P uptake mechanisms differ.
Six lowland rice cultivars (three considered tolerant of low P soils, three sensitive) were grown in a factorial experiment with three water regimes (flooded, moist and flooded-then-moist) and four soil P levels, and growth and P uptake were measured. Small volumes of soil were used to maximize inter-root competition and uptake per unit root surface. The results were compared with the predictions of a model allowing for the effects of water regime on P solubility and diffusion.
The plants were P stressed but not water stressed in all the water regimes at all P levels except the higher P additions in the flooded soil. The cultivar rankings scarcely differed between the water regimes and P additions. In all the treatments, the soil P concentrations required to explain the measured uptake were several times the concentration of freely available P in the soil.
The cultivar rankings were driven more by differences in growth habit than specific P uptake mechanisms, so the hypothesis cannot be corroborated with these data. Evidently all the plants could tap sparingly soluble forms of P by releasing a solubilizing agent or producing a greater root length than measured, or both. However, any cultivar differences in this were not apparent in greater net P uptake, possibly because the restricted rooting volume meant that additional P uptake could not be converted into new root growth to explore new soil volumes.
Oryza sativa; rainfed lowland; phosphorus efficiency; root morphology; solubilization; rice cultivar
Understanding the molecular basis of plant performance under water-limiting conditions will help to breed crop plants with a lower water demand. We investigated the physiological and gene expression response of drought-tolerant (IR57311 and LC-93-4) and drought-sensitive (Nipponbare and Taipei 309) rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivars to 18 days of drought stress in climate chamber experiments. Drought stressed plants grew significantly slower than the controls. Gene expression profiles were measured in leaf samples with the 20 K NSF oligonucleotide microarray. A linear model was fitted to the data to identify genes that were significantly regulated under drought stress. In all drought stressed cultivars, 245 genes were significantly repressed and 413 genes induced. Genes differing in their expression pattern under drought stress between tolerant and sensitive cultivars were identified by the genotype × environment (G × E) interaction term. More genes were significantly drought regulated in the sensitive than in the tolerant cultivars. Localizing all expressed genes on the rice genome map, we checked which genes with a significant G × E interaction co-localized with published quantitative trait loci regions for drought tolerance. These genes are more likely to be important for drought tolerance in an agricultural environment. To identify the metabolic processes with a significant G × E effect, we adapted the analysis software MapMan for rice. We found a drought stress induced shift toward senescence related degradation processes that was more pronounced in the sensitive than in the tolerant cultivars. In spite of higher growth rates and water use, more photosynthesis related genes were down-regulated in the tolerant than in the sensitive cultivars.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11103-008-9412-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Abiotic stress; Expression profiling; Gene × environment interaction; QTL; Water use efficiency; Water potential
• Background and Aims Influences of rising global CO2 concentration and temperature on plant growth and ecosystem function have become major concerns, but how photosynthesis changes with CO2 and temperature in the field is poorly understood. Therefore, studies were made of the effect of elevated CO2 on temperature dependence of photosynthetic rates in rice (Oryza sativa) grown in a paddy field, in relation to seasons in two years.
• Methods Photosynthetic rates were determined monthly for rice grown under free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) compared to the normal atmosphere (570 vs 370 µmol mol−1). Temperature dependence of the maximum rate of RuBP (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate) carboxylation (Vcmax) and the maximum rate of electron transport (Jmax) were analysed with the Arrhenius equation. The photosynthesis–temperature response was reconstructed to determine the optimal temperature (Topt) that maximizes the photosynthetic rate.
• Key Results and Conclusions There was both an increase in the absolute value of the light-saturated photosynthetic rate at growth CO2 (Pgrowth) and an increase in Topt for Pgrowth caused by elevated CO2 in FACE conditions. Seasonal decrease in Pgrowth was associated with a decrease in nitrogen content per unit leaf area (Narea) and thus in the maximum rate of electron transport (Jmax) and the maximum rate of RuBP carboxylation (Vcmax). At ambient CO2, Topt increased with increasing growth temperature due mainly to increasing activation energy of Vcmax. At elevated CO2, Topt did not show a clear seasonal trend. Temperature dependence of photosynthesis was changed by seasonal climate and plant nitrogen status, which differed between ambient and elevated CO2.
Temperature dependence; photosynthesis; optimal temperature; activation energy; limiting step; temperature acclimation; free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE); seasonal change; rice; Oryza sativa
The infection process of bacterial blight of anthurium was monitored with a bioluminescent strain of Xanthomonas campestris pv. dieffenbachiae. The relationship between symptom expression on infected leaves (assessed visually) and the extent of bacterial movement within tissues (evaluated by bioluminescence emission) varied among anthurium cultivars. In several cultivars previously considered susceptible on the basis of symptom development alone, bacterial invasion of leaves extended far beyond the visually affected areas. In other cultivars previously considered resistant, bacterial invasion was restricted to areas with visible symptoms. In three cultivars previously considered resistant, leaves were extensively invaded by the bacterium, and yet few or no symptoms were seen on infected leaves. The pathogen was consistently recovered from leaf sections emitting bioluminescence but not from sections emitting no light. At an early stage of infection, no significant differences in the percentages of infected areas as determined by visual assessment were observed in any of the cultivars. However, differences among cultivars were detected by bioluminescence as the disease progressed, because bacterial invasion was not always accompanied by symptom expression. In susceptible cultivars, the advancing border of infection was 5 to 10 cm inward from the margins of the visible symptoms and often reached to the leaf petiole even when symptoms were visible in <10% of the total leaf area. Comparisons of anthurium cultivars in which a nondestructive method was used to quantify the severity of leaf infection by a bioluminescent pathogen have enabled us to evaluate susceptibility and resistance to bacterial blight accurately. Such evaluations will be of importance in breeding resistant cultivars for disease control.
Effects of salt stress on polyamine metabolism and ethylene production were examined in two rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivars [I Kong Pao (IKP), salt sensitive; and Pokkali, salt resistant] grown for 5 d and 12 d in nutrient solution in the presence or absence of putrescine (1 mM) and 0, 50, and 100 mM NaCl. The salt-sensitive (IKP) and salt-resistant (Pokkali) cultivars differ not only in their mean levels of putrescine, but also in the physiological functions assumed by this molecule in stressed tissues. Salt stress increased the proportion of conjugated putrescine in salt-resistant Pokkali and decreased it in the salt-sensitive IKP, suggesting a possible protective function in response to NaCl. Activities of the enzymes ornithine decarboxylase (ODC; EC 184.108.40.206) and arginine decarboxylase (ADC; EC 220.127.116.11) involved in putrescine synthesis were higher in salt-resistant Pokkali than in salt-sensitive IKP. Both enzymes were involved in the response to salt stress. Salt stress also increased diamine oxidase (DAO; 18.104.22.168) and polyamine oxidase (PAO EC 22.214.171.124) activities in the roots of salt-resistant Pokkali and in the shoots of salt-sensitive IKP. Gene expression followed by reverse transcription-PCR suggested that putrescine could have a post-translational impact on genes coding for ADC (ADCa) and ODC (ODCa and ODCb) but could induce a transcriptional activation of genes coding for PAO (PAOb) mainly in the shoot of salt-stressed plants. The salt-resistant cultivar Pokkali produced higher amounts of ethylene than the salt-sensitive cultivar IKP, and exogenous putrescine increased ethylene synthesis in both cultivars, suggesting no direct antagonism between polyamine and ethylene pathways in rice.
Ethylene; Oryza sativa; polyamine; putrescine; rice; salinity; salt resistance
Biogenic emissions of methyl halides (CH3Cl, CH3Br and CH3I) are the major source of these compounds in the atmosphere; however, there are few reports about the halide profiles and strengths of these emissions. Halide ion methyltransferase (HMT) and halide/thiol methyltransferase (HTMT) enzymes concerning these emissions have been purified and characterized from several organisms including marine algae, fungi, and higher plants; however, the correlation between emission profiles of methyl halides and the enzymatic properties of HMT/HTMT, and their role in vivo remains unclear.
Thirty-five higher plant species were screened, and high CH3I emissions and HMT/HTMT activities were found in higher plants belonging to the Poaceae family, including wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and paddy rice (Oryza sativa L.), as well as the Brassicaceae family, including daikon radish (Raphanus sativus). The in vivo emission of CH3I clearly correlated with HMT/HTMT activity. The emission of CH3I from the sprouting leaves of R. sativus, T. aestivum and O. sativa grown hydroponically increased with increasing concentrations of supplied iodide. A gene encoding an S-adenosylmethionine halide/thiol methyltransferase (HTMT) was cloned from R. sativus and expressed in Escherichia coli as a soluble protein. The recombinant R. sativus HTMT (RsHTMT) was revealed to possess high specificity for iodide (I-), bisulfide ([SH]-), and thiocyanate ([SCN]-) ions.
The present findings suggest that HMT/HTMT activity is present in several families of higher plants including Poaceae and Brassicaceae, and is involved in the formation of methyl halides. Moreover, it was found that the emission of methyl iodide from plants was affected by the iodide concentration in the cultures. The recombinant RsHTMT demonstrated enzymatic properties similar to those of Brassica oleracea HTMT, especially in terms of its high specificity for iodide, bisulfide, and thiocyanate ions. A survey of biogenic emissions of methyl halides strongly suggests that the HTM/HTMT reaction is the key to understanding the biogenesis of methyl halides and methylated sulfur compounds in nature.
Rubisco gene expression was examined in detail in rice (Oryza sativa L.) leaves at different positions, i.e. expanding, mature, and senescent leaves. Rubisco small subunit (RBCS) synthesis and RBCS mRNA levels were maximal in expanding leaves and gradually became lower in mature and senescent leaves, with declines in those of the large subunit (RBCL) being relatively slower. The amount of synthesized RBCL per unit level of RBCL mRNA and polysome loading of RBCL mRNA declined in senescent leaves, whereas such phenomena were not observed for RBCS. These results suggested that gene expression of RBCL is downregulated at the level of its translation when a balance between RBCL and RBCS expression is disturbed by leaf senescence. It has been suggested that RBCS protein is a positive regulator for RBCL mRNA level in expanding rice leaves, as judged from their stoichiometric relationship in RBCS transgenic rice plants. However, the ratio of the RBCL mRNA level to the amount of synthesized RBCS in senescent leaves was significantly higher than that in expanding leaves. Therefore, it is suggested that the decline in RBCL mRNA level in senescent leaves is not fully accounted for by that in the amount of synthesized RBCS. Effects of other factors such as the stability of RBCL mRNA may come into play.
gene expression; leaf senescence; rice; RBCS; RBCL; Rubisco.