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Plants, Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2021) – 185 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The recent advances in the multi-omics studies facilitated the understanding of the plant holobiont as an ecological unit with the associated living species. The plant microbiota serves various essential and beneficial roles, while pathogenic microbes can damage the plant tissues through transient blooming under specific conditions. The one pathogen–one disease hypothesis is becoming insufficient to describe the disease process in many cases, particularly when complex organismic communities are involved. Here, we cover the steady transition of plant pathology from the one pathogen–one disease hypothesis to the emerging pathobiome paradigm and review previous reports on model plant diseases in which more than one pathogen or co-operative interactions amongst pathogenic microbes are implicated. View this paper
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Open AccessReview
The Past, Present and Future of Cannabis sativa Tissue Culture
Plants 2021, 10(1), 185; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010185 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1539
Abstract
The recent legalization of Cannabis sativa L. in many regions has revealed a need for effective propagation and biotechnologies for the species. Micropropagation affords researchers and producers methods to rapidly propagate insect-/disease-/virus-free clonal plants and store germplasm and forms the basis for other [...] Read more.
The recent legalization of Cannabis sativa L. in many regions has revealed a need for effective propagation and biotechnologies for the species. Micropropagation affords researchers and producers methods to rapidly propagate insect-/disease-/virus-free clonal plants and store germplasm and forms the basis for other biotechnologies. Despite this need, research in the area is limited due to the long history of prohibitions and restrictions. Existing literature has multiple limitations: many publications use hemp as a proxy for drug-type Cannabis when it is well established that there is significant genotype specificity; studies using drug-type cultivars are predominantly optimized using a single cultivar; most protocols have not been replicated by independent groups, and some attempts demonstrate a lack of reproducibility across genotypes. Due to culture decline and other problems, the multiplication phase of micropropagation (Stage 2) has not been fully developed in many reports. This review will provide a brief background on the history and botany of Cannabis as well as a comprehensive and critical summary of Cannabis tissue culture. Special attention will be paid to current challenges faced by researchers, the limitations of existing Cannabis micropropagation studies, and recent developments and future directions of Cannabis tissue culture technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Functional Genomics in Cannabis sativa, L.)
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Open AccessReview
Taxonomy, Morphological and Molecular Identification of the Potato Cyst Nematodes, Globodera pallida and G. rostochiensis
Plants 2021, 10(1), 184; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010184 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 413
Abstract
The scope of this paper is limited to the taxonomy, detection, and reliable morphological and molecular identification of the potato cyst nematodes (PCN) Globodera pallida and G. rostochiensis. It describes the nomenclature, hosts, life cycle, pathotypes, and symptoms of the two species. [...] Read more.
The scope of this paper is limited to the taxonomy, detection, and reliable morphological and molecular identification of the potato cyst nematodes (PCN) Globodera pallida and G. rostochiensis. It describes the nomenclature, hosts, life cycle, pathotypes, and symptoms of the two species. It also provides detailed instructions for soil sampling and extraction of cysts from soil. The primary focus of the paper is the presentation of accurate and effective methods to identify the two principal PCN species. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cytotoxicity of Ficus Crocata Extract on Cervical Cancer Cells and Protective Effect against Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Oxidative Stress in HaCaT Non-Tumor Cells
Plants 2021, 10(1), 183; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010183 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 558
Abstract
Oxidative stress causes several chronic diseases including cancer. Some chemotherapeutic agents are not selective against tumor cells, causing oxidative stress in non-tumor cells. This study aimed to evaluate the cytotoxic effect of acetone extract of Ficus crocata(Miq.) Mart. ex Miq. (F. crocata) [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress causes several chronic diseases including cancer. Some chemotherapeutic agents are not selective against tumor cells, causing oxidative stress in non-tumor cells. This study aimed to evaluate the cytotoxic effect of acetone extract of Ficus crocata(Miq.) Mart. ex Miq. (F. crocata) leaves (Ace-EFc) on cervical cancer cells, as well as its protective effect on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced lipoperoxidation and cytotoxicity in non-tumor HaCaT cells. Antioxidant activity was determined using the DPPH and ABTS radicals. Cell viability and lipoperoxidation were determined with MTT and 1-methyl-2-phenylindole assays, respectively. A model of H2O2-induced cytotoxicity and oxidative damage in HaCaT cells was established. HaCaT cells were exposed to the extract before or after exposure to H2O2, and oxidative damage and cell viability were evaluated. Ace-EFc inhibited the DPPH and ABTS radicals and showed a cytotoxic effect on SiHa and HeLa cells. Furthermore, the extract treatment had a protective effect on hydrogen peroxide-induced lipoperoxidation and cytotoxicity, avoiding the increase in MalonDiAldehyde (MDA) levels and the decrease in cell viability (p < 0.001). These results suggest that the metabolites of F. crocata leaves possess antioxidant and cytoprotective activity against oxidative damage. Thus, they could be useful for protecting cells from conditions that cause oxidative stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anticancer Compounds in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Possible Role of Peroxynitrite in the Responses Induced by Fusicoccin in Plant Cultured Cells
Plants 2021, 10(1), 182; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010182 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 392
Abstract
Fusicoccin (FC) is a well-known phytotoxin able to induce in Acer pseudoplatanus L. (sycamore) cultured cells, a set of responses similar to those induced by stress conditions. In this work, the possible involvement of peroxynitrite (ONOO) in FC-induced stress responses was [...] Read more.
Fusicoccin (FC) is a well-known phytotoxin able to induce in Acer pseudoplatanus L. (sycamore) cultured cells, a set of responses similar to those induced by stress conditions. In this work, the possible involvement of peroxynitrite (ONOO) in FC-induced stress responses was studied measuring both in the presence and in the absence of 2,6,8-trihydroxypurine (urate), a specific ONOO scavenger: (1) cell death; (2) specific DNA fragmentation; (3) lipid peroxidation; (4) production of RNS and ROS; (5) activity of caspase-3-like proteases; and (6) release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, variations in the levels of molecular chaperones Hsp90 in the mitochondria and Hsp70 BiP in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and of regulatory 14-3-3 proteins in the cytosol. The obtained results indicate a role for ONOO in the FC-induced responses. In particular, ONOO seems involved in a PCD form showing apoptotic features such as specific DNA fragmentation, caspase-3-like protease activity, and cytochrome c release from mitochondria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Components in Plant Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Leaf Monoterpene Emission Limits Photosynthetic Downregulation under Heat Stress in Field-Grown Grapevine
Plants 2021, 10(1), 181; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010181 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 471
Abstract
Rising temperature is among the most remarkably stressful phenomena induced by global climate changes with negative impacts on crop productivity and quality. It has been previously shown that volatiles belonging to the isoprenoid family can confer protection against abiotic stresses. In this work, [...] Read more.
Rising temperature is among the most remarkably stressful phenomena induced by global climate changes with negative impacts on crop productivity and quality. It has been previously shown that volatiles belonging to the isoprenoid family can confer protection against abiotic stresses. In this work, two Vitis vinifera cv. ‘Chardonnay’ clones (SMA130 and INRA809) differing due to a mutation (S272P) of the DXS gene encoding for 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate (the first dedicated enzyme of the 2C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate (MEP) pathway) and involved in the regulation of isoprenoids biosynthesis were investigated in field trials and laboratory experiments. Leaf monoterpene emission, chlorophyll fluorescence and gas-exchange measurements were assessed over three seasons at different phenological stages and either carried out in in vivo or controlled conditions under contrasting temperatures. A significant (p < 0.001) increase in leaf monoterpene emission was observed in INRA809 when plants were experiencing high temperatures and over two experiments, while no differences were recorded for SMA130. Significant variation was observed for the rate of leaf CO2 assimilation under heat stress, with INRA809 maintaining higher photosynthetic rates and stomatal conductance values than SMA130 (p = 0.003) when leaf temperature increased above 30 °C. At the same time, the maximum photochemical quantum yield of PSII (Fv/Fm) was affected by heat stress in the non-emitting clone (SMA130), while the INRA809 showed a significant resilience of PSII under elevated temperature conditions. Consistent data were recorded between field seasons and temperature treatments in controlled environment conditions, suggesting a strong influence of monoterpene emission on heat tolerance under high temperatures. This work provides further insights on the photoprotective role of isoprenoids in heat-stressed Vitis vinifera, and additional studies should focus on unraveling the mechanisms underlying heat tolerance on the monoterpene-emitter grapevine clone. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ethylene and Sulfur Coordinately Modulate the Antioxidant System and ABA Accumulation in Mustard Plants under Salt Stress
Plants 2021, 10(1), 180; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010180 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 390
Abstract
This study explored the interactive effect of ethephon (2-chloroethyl phosphonic acid; an ethylene source) and sulfur (S) in regulating the antioxidant system and ABA content and in maintaining stomatal responses, chloroplast structure, and photosynthetic performance of mustard plants (Brassica juncea L. Czern.) [...] Read more.
This study explored the interactive effect of ethephon (2-chloroethyl phosphonic acid; an ethylene source) and sulfur (S) in regulating the antioxidant system and ABA content and in maintaining stomatal responses, chloroplast structure, and photosynthetic performance of mustard plants (Brassica juncea L. Czern.) grown under 100 mM NaCl stress. The treatment of ethephon (200 µL L−1) and S (200 mg S kg−1 soil) together markedly improved the activity of enzymatic and non-enzymatic components of the ascorbate-glutathione (AsA-GSH) cycle, resulting in declined oxidative stress through lesser content of sodium (Na+) ion and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in salt-stressed plants. These changes promoted the development of chloroplast thylakoids and photosynthetic performance under salt stress. Ethephon + S also reduced abscisic acid (ABA) accumulation in guard cell, leading to maximal stomatal conductance under salt stress. The inhibition of ethylene action by norbornadiene (NBD) in salt- plus non-stressed treated plants increased ABA and H2O2 contents, and reduced stomatal opening, suggesting the involvement of ethephon and S in regulating stomatal conductance. These findings suggest that ethephon and S modulate antioxidant system and ABA accumulation in guard cells, controlling stomatal conductance, and the structure and efficiency of the photosynthetic apparatus in plants under salt stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Feature Papers in Plant‒Soil Interactions)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Identification and Mapping of Tomato Genome Loci Controlling Tolerance and Resistance to Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus
Plants 2021, 10(1), 179; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010179 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) was identified in Israel during October 2014 in tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum). These plants, carrying the durable resistance gene against tomato mosaic virus, Tm-22, displayed severe disease symptoms and losses to fruit yield [...] Read more.
Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) was identified in Israel during October 2014 in tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum). These plants, carrying the durable resistance gene against tomato mosaic virus, Tm-22, displayed severe disease symptoms and losses to fruit yield and quality. These plants were found infected with a tobamovirus similar to that discovered earlier in Jordan. This study was designed to screen and identify tomato genotypes resistant or tolerant to ToBRFV. The identified resistance and tolerance traits were further characterized virologically and genetically. Finally, DNA markers linked to genes controlling these traits were developed as tools to expedite resistance breeding. To achieve these objectives, 160 genotypes were screened, resulting in the identification of an unexpectedly high number of tolerant genotypes and a single genotype resistant to the virus. A selected tolerant genotype and the resistant genotype were further analyzed. Analysis of genetic inheritance revealed that a single recessive gene controls tolerance whereas at least two genes control resistance. Allelic test between the tolerant and the resistant genotype revealed that these two genotypes share a locus controlling tolerance, mapped to chromosome 11. This locus displayed a strong association with the tolerance trait, explaining nearly 91% of its variation in segregating populations. This same locus displayed a statistically significant association with symptom levels in segregating populations based on the resistant genotype. However, in these populations, the locus was able to explain only ~41% of the variation in symptom levels, confirming that additional loci are involved in the genetic control of the resistance trait in this genotype. A locus on chromosome 2, at the region of the Tm-1 gene, was finally found to interact with the locus discovered on chromosome 11 to control resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobamoviruses and Interacting Viruses in Modern Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Whole-Genome DNA Methylation Analysis in Hydrogen Peroxide Overproducing Transgenic Tobacco Resistant to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses
Plants 2021, 10(1), 178; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010178 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 432
Abstract
Epigenetic regulation is a key component of stress responses, acclimatization and adaptation processes in plants. DNA methylation is a stable mark plausible for the inheritance of epigenetic traits, such that it is a potential scheme for plant breeding. However, the effect of modulators [...] Read more.
Epigenetic regulation is a key component of stress responses, acclimatization and adaptation processes in plants. DNA methylation is a stable mark plausible for the inheritance of epigenetic traits, such that it is a potential scheme for plant breeding. However, the effect of modulators of stress responses, as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), in the methylome status has not been elucidated. A transgenic tobacco model to the CchGLP gene displayed high H2O2 endogen levels correlated with biotic and abiotic stresses resistance. The present study aimed to determine the DNA methylation status changes in the transgenic model to obtain more information about the molecular mechanism involved in resistance phenotypes. The Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing analysis revealed a minimal impact of overall levels and distribution of methylation. A total of 9432 differential methylated sites were identified in distinct genome regions, most of them in CHG context, with a trend to hypomethylation. Of these, 1117 sites corresponded to genes, from which 83 were also differentially expressed in the plants. Several genes were associated with respiration, energy, and calcium signaling. The data obtained highlighted the relevance of the H2O2 in the homeostasis of the system in stress conditions, affecting at methylation level and suggesting an association of the H2O2 in the physiological adaptation to stress functional linkages may be regulated in part by DNA methylation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Impact of Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma on Soybean Seed Germination
Plants 2021, 10(1), 177; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010177 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 377
Abstract
The present study aims to define the effects of Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma (CAPP) exposure on seed germination of an agriculturally important crop, soybean. Seed treatment with lower doses of CAPP generated in ambient air and oxygen significantly increased the activity of succinate [...] Read more.
The present study aims to define the effects of Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma (CAPP) exposure on seed germination of an agriculturally important crop, soybean. Seed treatment with lower doses of CAPP generated in ambient air and oxygen significantly increased the activity of succinate dehydrogenase (Krebs cycle enzyme), proving the switching of the germinating seed metabolism from anoxygenic to oxygenic. In these treatments, a positive effect on seed germination was documented (the percentage of germination increased by almost 20% compared to the untreated control), while the seed and seedling vigour was also positively affected. On the other hand, higher exposure times of CAPP generated in a nitrogen atmosphere significantly inhibited succinate dehydrogenase activity, but stimulated lactate and alcohol dehydrogenase activities, suggesting anoxygenic metabolism. It was also found that plasma exposure caused a slight increment in the level of primary DNA damage in ambient air- and oxygen-CAPP treatments, and more significant DNA damage was found in nitrogen-CAPP treatments. Although a higher level of DNA damage was also detected in the negative control (untreated seeds), this might be associated with the age of seeds followed by their lower germination capacity (with the germination percentage reaching only about 60%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
LED Light Quality of Continuous Light before Harvest Affects Growth and AsA Metabolism of Hydroponic Lettuce Grown under Increasing Doses of Nitrogen
Plants 2021, 10(1), 176; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010176 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 323
Abstract
To study the effects of light quality of continuous light before harvest on the growth and ascorbic acid (AsA) metabolism of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) grown under relative high nitrogen level, lettuce plants grown under different nitrogen levels (8, 10 and 12 [...] Read more.
To study the effects of light quality of continuous light before harvest on the growth and ascorbic acid (AsA) metabolism of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) grown under relative high nitrogen level, lettuce plants grown under different nitrogen levels (8, 10 and 12 mmol·L−1) were subjected to continuous light with different red: blue light ratios (2R:1B and 4R:1B) before harvest. The results showed that the shoot fresh weight of lettuce under 12 mmol·L−1 nitrogen level was significantly higher than that under other treatments. There were no significant differences in shoot dry weight, root fresh weight, root dry weight, soluble sugar content, nitrate content and AsA content in leaves among the treatments at different nitrogen levels. The content of AsA in leaves was significantly higher than that in petioles before and after continuous light. Under the same nitrogen level, the fresh weight of lettuce under continuous light quality 4R:1B was significantly higher than that under other treatments. The content of AsA in lettuce leaves increased in different degrees after continuous light before harvest. High yield and AsA content could be obtained by 72 h continuous light with red and blue light 4R:1B at 12 mmol·L−1 nitrogen level. After continuous light, the content of AsA increased significantly due to the increase of the ratio of red light and nitrogen level, which increased the activities of L-galactono-1,4-lactone dehydrogenase (GalLDH) and dehydroascorbic acid reductase (DHAR) involved in AsA synthesis and in the recycling of DHAR to AsA respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ascorbic Acid Biosynthesis, Recycling and Oxidation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Antimycobacterial, Cytotoxic, and Antioxidant Activities of Abietane Diterpenoids Isolated from Plectranthus madagascariensis
Plants 2021, 10(1), 175; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010175 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Medicinal plants of the Plectranthus genus (Lamiaceae) are well known for their ethnomedicinal applications. Plectranthus madagascariensis, which is native to South Africa, is traditionally used in the treatment of respiratory conditions, scabies, and cutaneous wounds. The phytochemical studies of P. madagascariensis led [...] Read more.
Medicinal plants of the Plectranthus genus (Lamiaceae) are well known for their ethnomedicinal applications. Plectranthus madagascariensis, which is native to South Africa, is traditionally used in the treatment of respiratory conditions, scabies, and cutaneous wounds. The phytochemical studies of P. madagascariensis led to the isolation of five known royleanone abietanes, namely, 6β,7α-dihydroxyroyleanone (1), 7α-acetoxy-6β-hydroxyroyleanone (2), horminone (3), coleon U quinone (4), and carnosolon (5). The relative configuration of compound 2 was established by X-ray analysis. Compounds 14 showed antimycobacterial activity (Minimum inhibitory concentration for 90% inhibition, MIC90 = 5.61–179.60 μM) against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. Compound 4 and 5 showed comparable toxicity (Concentration for 50% inhibition, IC50 98.49 μM and 79.77 μM) to tamoxifen (IC50 22.00 μg/mL) against HaCaT cells. Compounds 15 showed antioxidant activity through single-electron transfer (SET) and/or hydrogen-atom transfer (HAT) with compound 5 being the most active antioxidant agent. Compounds 3 and 5 were isolated for the first time from P. madagascariensis. The observed results suggest P. madagascariensis as an important ethnomedicinal plant and as a promising source of diterpenoids with potential use in the treatment of tuberculosis and psoriasis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Shoot and Root Traits Underlying Genotypic Variation in Early Vigor and Nutrient Accumulation in Spring Wheat Grown in High-Latitude Light Conditions
Plants 2021, 10(1), 174; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010174 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Plants with improved nutrient use efficiency are needed to maintain and enhance future crop plant production. The aim of this study was to explore candidate traits for pre-breeding to improve nutrient accumulation and early vigor of spring wheat grown at high latitudes. We [...] Read more.
Plants with improved nutrient use efficiency are needed to maintain and enhance future crop plant production. The aim of this study was to explore candidate traits for pre-breeding to improve nutrient accumulation and early vigor of spring wheat grown at high latitudes. We quantified shoot and root traits together with nutrient accumulation in nine contrasting spring wheat genotypes grown in rhizoboxes for 20 days in a greenhouse. Whole-plant relative growth rate was here correlated with leaf area productivity and plant nitrogen productivity, but not leaf area ratio. Furthermore, the total leaf area was correlated with the accumulation of six macronutrients, and could be suggested as a candidate trait for the pre-breeding towards improved nutrient accumulation and early vigor in wheat to be grown in high-latitude environments. Depending on the nutrient of interest, different root system traits were identified as relevant for their accumulation. Accumulation of nitrogen, potassium, sulfur and calcium was correlated with lateral root length, whilst accumulation of phosphorus and magnesium was correlated with main root length. Therefore, special attention needs to be paid to specific root system traits in the breeding of wheat towards improved nutrient accumulation to counteract the suboptimal uptake of some nutrient elements. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Abiotic Stress Tolerance of Vicia faba L. Plants Heterologously Expressing the PR10a Gene from Potato
Plants 2021, 10(1), 173; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010173 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins are known to play relevant roles in plant defense against biotic and abiotic stresses. In the present study, we characterize the response of transgenic faba bean (Vicia faba L.) plants encoding a PR10a gene from potato (Solanum tuberosum [...] Read more.
Pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins are known to play relevant roles in plant defense against biotic and abiotic stresses. In the present study, we characterize the response of transgenic faba bean (Vicia faba L.) plants encoding a PR10a gene from potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) to salinity and drought. The transgene was under the mannopine synthetase (pMAS) promoter. PR10a-overexpressing faba bean plants showed better growth than the wild-type plants after 14 days of drought stress and 30 days of salt stress under hydroponic growth conditions. After removing the stress, the PR10a-plants returned to a normal state, while the wild-type plants could not be restored. Most importantly, there was no phenotypic difference between transgenic and non-transgenic faba bean plants under well-watered conditions. Evaluation of physiological parameters during salt stress showed lower Na+-content in the leaves of the transgenic plants, which would reduce the toxic effect. In addition, PR10a-plants were able to maintain vegetative growth and experienced fewer photosystem changes under both stresses and a lower level of osmotic stress injury under salt stress compared to wild-type plants. Taken together, our findings suggest that the PR10a gene from potato plays an important role in abiotic stress tolerance, probably by activation of stress-related physiological processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Acclimatization to Abiotic Stress)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Profiling of the Potato Exposed to French Marigold Essential Oil with a Special Emphasis on Leaf Starch Metabolism and Defense against Colorado Potato Beetle
Plants 2021, 10(1), 172; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010172 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 388
Abstract
Flower strips of French Marigold are commonly used pest repellents in potato fields. However, the effect of French Marigold volatiles on potato metabolism, physiology and induced defense is unknown. Thus, a microarray transcriptome analysis was performed to study the effects of French Marigold [...] Read more.
Flower strips of French Marigold are commonly used pest repellents in potato fields. However, the effect of French Marigold volatiles on potato metabolism, physiology and induced defense is unknown. Thus, a microarray transcriptome analysis was performed to study the effects of French Marigold essential oil (EO) on laboratory-grown potato. After 8 h of exposure to EO, with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS)-detected terpinolene and limonene as dominant compounds, 2796 transcripts were differentially expressed with fold change >2 compared to expression in controls. A slightly higher number of transcripts had suppressed expression (1493 down- vs. 1303 up-regulated). Since transcripts, annotated to different photosynthesis-related processes, were mostly down-regulated, we selected a set of 10 genes involved in the leaf starch metabolism pathway, and validated microarray patterns using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Except for decreased synthesis and induced decomposition of starch granule in leaves, 8 h long EO exposure slightly elevated the accumulation of sucrose compared to glucose and fructose in subjected potato plants. An in vitro feeding bioassay with Colorado potato beetle showed that EO-induced alternations on transcriptional level and in the sugars’ metabolism caused the enhancement of feeding behavior and overall development of the tested larvae. Results of comprehensive analysis of transcriptional responses in potato exposed to French Marigold EO provide a basis for further elucidation of molecular mechanisms underlying eco-physiological interactions in companion planting cropping systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fatty Acid Derivatives Isolated from the Oil of Persea americana (Avocado) Protects against Neomycin-Induced Hair Cell Damage
Plants 2021, 10(1), 171; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010171 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 380
Abstract
Avocado oil is beneficial to human health and has been reported to have beneficial effects on sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). However, the compounds in avocado oil that affect SNHL have not been identified. In this study, we identified 20 compounds from avocado oil, [...] Read more.
Avocado oil is beneficial to human health and has been reported to have beneficial effects on sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). However, the compounds in avocado oil that affect SNHL have not been identified. In this study, we identified 20 compounds from avocado oil, including two new and 18 known fatty acid derivatives, using extensive spectroscopic analysis. The efficacy of the isolated compounds for improving SNHL was investigated in an ototoxic zebrafish model. The two new compounds, namely (2R,4R,6Z)-1,2,4-trihydroxynonadec-6-ene and (2R,4R)-1,2,4-trihydroxyheptadecadi-14,16-ene (compounds 1 and 2), as well as compounds 7, 9, 14, 17 and 19 showed significant improvement in damaged hair cells in toxic zebrafish. These results led to the conclusion that compounds from avocado oil as well as oil itself have a regenerative effect on damaged otic hair cells in ototoxic zebrafish. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Small Number of Gametophytes with Gametangia and Stunted Sporophytes of Antrophyum obovatum Baker (Pteridaceae): The Suppression of Functional Sporophyte Production by Prezygotic and Postzygotic Sterility
Plants 2021, 10(1), 170; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010170 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 433
Abstract
Ferns have conspicuous sporophytes as the dominant phase in their life cycle; however, the gametophytes are completely separated from the sporophytes and supply their own nutrition, unlike in bryophytes and seed plants. Among the gametophytes, some maintain their populations in the gametophyte phase [...] Read more.
Ferns have conspicuous sporophytes as the dominant phase in their life cycle; however, the gametophytes are completely separated from the sporophytes and supply their own nutrition, unlike in bryophytes and seed plants. Among the gametophytes, some maintain their populations in the gametophyte phase without progressing to sporophyte production and are known as independent gametophytes. Independent gametophytes of Antrophyum obovatum Baker were recently reported in one population on Jeju Island, Korea. In the present study, we surveyed more places to find new independent gametophyte populations of A. obovatum using the rbcL gene sequence-based DNA barcoding technique. We identified two new sites inhabited by independent gametophytes. Archegonia and juvenile sporophytes were independently observed in each location under slightly different environmental conditions. Consequently, in the case of this species, functional sporophyte production is likely suppressed by prezygotic and postzygotic sterility, depending on microenvironmental factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Evolution, Systematics, and Chloroplast Genome)
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Open AccessArticle
Reproductive Output and Insect Behavior in Hybrids and Apomicts from Limonium ovalifolium and L. binervosum Complexes (Plumbaginaceae) in an Open Cross-Pollination Experiment
Plants 2021, 10(1), 169; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010169 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 408
Abstract
Ex situ plant collections established from seeds of natural populations are key tools for understanding mating systems of intricate taxonomic complexes, as in the Limonium Mill. genus (sea lavenders, Plumbaginaceae). Plants show a polymorphic sexual system associated to flower polymorphisms such as ancillary [...] Read more.
Ex situ plant collections established from seeds of natural populations are key tools for understanding mating systems of intricate taxonomic complexes, as in the Limonium Mill. genus (sea lavenders, Plumbaginaceae). Plants show a polymorphic sexual system associated to flower polymorphisms such as ancillary pollen and stigma and/or heterostyly that prevents self and intramorph mating. The main objectives of this study were to investigate the significance of pollen-stigma dimorphisms and the role of flower visitors in the reproductive output of hybrids arising from sexual diploids of Limonium ovalifolium complex and apomicts tetraploids of L. binervosum complex in an open cross-pollination experiment. Results showed that, similarly to parental plants, hybrids present inflorescence types, self-incompatible flowers, and produced regular pollen grains with the typical exine patterns, with medium to high viability. By contrast, apomicts show floral polymorphisms, inflorescences, and pollen grains of maternal phenotype but with low stainability. Several insects’ species visited the inflorescences of parental plants and both hybrids and apomicts and some of these insects carried A and/or B pollen grains on their bodies, especially Clepsis coriacana (Rebel) and Tapinoma sp. Insects’ floral visits to hybrids and apomicts seem to be independent of pollen fertility and plants’ reproductive modes. Both hybrids and apomicts were able to produce fertile seeds, although the latter showed more seedlings with developmental anomalies than the first plants. The findings demonstrate that there is a weak reproductive barrier between the diploid species of L. ovalifolium complex as they can hybridize and produce fertile hybrids, provided there is pollen transport by pollinator insects. This study supports that apomixis is a strong reproductive barrier between both L. ovalifolium and L. binervosum complexes but did not allow us to exclude reproductive interferences of apomict pollen into sexuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Diversification)
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Open AccessArticle
Morphological and Molecular Characterization of Pratylenchus dakotaensis n. sp. (Nematoda: Pratylenchidae), a New Root-Lesion Nematode Species on Soybean in North Dakota, USA
Plants 2021, 10(1), 168; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010168 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 520
Abstract
Root-lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus spp.) of the genus Pratylenchus Filipjev, 1936, are among the most important nematode pests on soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.), along with soybean cyst and root-knot nematodes. In May 2015 and 2016, a total of six soil samples [...] Read more.
Root-lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus spp.) of the genus Pratylenchus Filipjev, 1936, are among the most important nematode pests on soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.), along with soybean cyst and root-knot nematodes. In May 2015 and 2016, a total of six soil samples were collected from a soybean field in Walcott, Richland County, ND and submitted to the Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory (MNGDBL), USDA, ARS, MD for analysis. Later, in 2019, additional nematodes recovered from a greenhouse culture on soybean originally from the same field were submitted for further analysis. Males, females, and juveniles of Pratylenchus sp. were recovered from soil and root samples and were examined morphologically and molecularly. DNA from single nematodes were extracted, and the nucleotides feature of three genomic regions targeting on the D2–D3 region of 28S rDNA and ITS rDNA and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COX1) gene were characterized. Phylogeny trees were constructed to ascertain the relationships with other Pratylenchus spp., and polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) was performed to provide a rapid and reliable differentiation from other common Pratylenchus spp. Molecular features indicated that it is a new, unnamed Pratylenchus sp. that is different from morphologically closely related Pratylenchus spp., including P. convallariae, P. pratensis, P. fallax, and P. flakkensis. In conclusion, both morphological and molecular observations indicate that the North Dakota isolate on soybean represents a new root-lesion nematode species which is named and described herein as Pratylenchus dakotaensis n. sp. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physiological and Molecular Traits Associated with Nitrogen Uptake under Limited Nitrogen in Soft Red Winter Wheat
Plants 2021, 10(1), 165; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010165 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 507
Abstract
A sufficient nitrogen (N) supply is pivotal for high grain yield and desired grain protein content in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Elucidation of physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) will enhance our ability to develop new N-saving varieties in [...] Read more.
A sufficient nitrogen (N) supply is pivotal for high grain yield and desired grain protein content in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Elucidation of physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) will enhance our ability to develop new N-saving varieties in wheat. In this study, we analyzed two soft red winter wheat genotypes, VA08MAS-369 and VA07W-415, with contrasting NUE under limited N. Our previous study demonstrated that higher NUE in VA08MAS-369 resulted from accelerated senescence and N remobilization in flag leaves at low N. The present study revealed that VA08MAS-369 also exhibited higher nitrogen uptake efficiency (NUpE) than VA07W-415 under limited N. VA08MAS-369 consistently maintained root growth parameters such as maximum root depth, total root diameter, total root surface area, and total root volume under N limitation, relative to VA07W-415. Our time-course N content analysis indicated that VA08MAS-369 absorbed N more abundantly than VA07W-415 after the anthesis stage at low N. More efficient N uptake in VA08MAS-369 was associated with the increased expression of genes encoding a two-component high-affinity nitrate transport system, including four NRT2s and three NAR2s, in roots at low N. Altogether, these results demonstrate that VA08MAS-369 can absorb N efficiently even under limited N due to maintained root development and increased function of N uptake. The ability of VA08MAS-369 in N remobilization and uptake suggests that this genotype could be a valuable genetic material for the improvement of NUE in soft red winter wheat. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Analysis of the COBRA-Like Gene Family Supports Gene Expansion through Whole-Genome Duplication in Soybean (Glycine max)
Plants 2021, 10(1), 167; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010167 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 477
Abstract
The COBRA-like (COBL) gene family has been associated with the regulation of cell wall expansion and cellulose deposition. COBL mutants result in reduced levels and disorganized deposition of cellulose causing defects in the cell wall and inhibiting plant development. In this [...] Read more.
The COBRA-like (COBL) gene family has been associated with the regulation of cell wall expansion and cellulose deposition. COBL mutants result in reduced levels and disorganized deposition of cellulose causing defects in the cell wall and inhibiting plant development. In this study, we report the identification of 24 COBL genes (GmCOBL) in the soybean genome. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the COBL proteins are divided into two groups, which differ by about 170 amino acids in the N-terminal region. The GmCOBL genes were heterogeneously distributed in 14 of the 20 soybean chromosomes. This study showed that segmental duplication has contributed significantly to the expansion of the COBL family in soybean during all Glycine-specific whole-genome duplication events. The expression profile revealed that the expression of the paralogous genes is highly variable between organs and tissues of the plant. Only 20% of the paralogous gene pairs showed similar expression patterns. The high expression levels of some GmCOBLs suggest they are likely essential for regulating cell expansion during the whole soybean life cycle. Our comprehensive overview of the COBL gene family in soybean provides useful information for further understanding the evolution and diversification of COBL genes in soybean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
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Open AccessArticle
Supplemental Far-Red Light Stimulates Lettuce Growth: Disentangling Morphological and Physiological Effects
Plants 2021, 10(1), 166; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010166 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 405
Abstract
Light-emitting diodes allow for the application of specific wavelengths of light to induce various morphological and physiological responses. In lettuce (Lactuca sativa), far-red light (700–800 nm) is integral to initiating shade responses which can increase plant growth. In the first of [...] Read more.
Light-emitting diodes allow for the application of specific wavelengths of light to induce various morphological and physiological responses. In lettuce (Lactuca sativa), far-red light (700–800 nm) is integral to initiating shade responses which can increase plant growth. In the first of two studies, plants were grown with a similar photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) but different intensities of far-red light. The second study used perpendicular gradients of far-red light and PPFD, allowing for examination of interactive effects. The far-red gradient study revealed that increasing supplemental far-red light increased leaf length and width, which was associated with increased projected canopy size (PCS). The higher PCS was associated with increased cumulative incident light received by plants, which increased dry matter accumulation. In the perpendicular gradient study, far-red light was 57% and 183% more effective at increasing the amount of light received by the plant, as well as 92.5% and 162% more effective at increasing plant biomass at the early and late harvests, respectively, as compared to PPFD. Light use efficiency (LUE, biomass/mol incident light) was generally negatively correlated with specific leaf area (SLA). Far-red light provided by LEDs increases the canopy size to capture more light to drive photosynthesis and shows promise for inclusion in the growth light spectrum for lettuce under sole-source lighting. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Phenolic Composition, Antioxidant Capacity and Antibacterial Activity of White Wormwood (Artemisia herba-alba)
Plants 2021, 10(1), 164; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010164 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 477
Abstract
Artemisia herba-alba Asso. (Wormwood) is a wild aromatic herb that is popular for its healing and medicinal effects and has been used in conventional as well as modern medicine. This research aimed at the extraction, identification, and quantification of phenolic compounds in the [...] Read more.
Artemisia herba-alba Asso. (Wormwood) is a wild aromatic herb that is popular for its healing and medicinal effects and has been used in conventional as well as modern medicine. This research aimed at the extraction, identification, and quantification of phenolic compounds in the aerial parts of wormwood using Soxhlet extraction, as well as characterizing their antimicrobial and anitoxidant effects. The phenolic compounds were identified in different extracts by column chromatography, thin layer chromatography (TLC), and high performance liquid chromatography. Five different fractions, two from ethyl acetate extraction and three from ethanolic extraction were obtained and evaluated further. The antimicrobial activity of each fractions was evaluated against two Gram-positive (Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus) and two Gram-negative microorganisms (Escherichia coli and Proteus vulgaris) using the disc-diffusion assay and direct TLC bioautography assay. Fraction I inhibited B. cereus and P. vulgaris, Fraction II inhibited B. cereus and E. coli, Fraction III inhibited all, except for P. vulgaris, while Fractions IV and V did not exhibit strong antimicrobial effects. Their antioxidant capabilities were also measured by calculating their ability to scavenge the free radical using DPPH method and the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay. Ethanolic fractions III and V demonstrated excellent antioxidant properties with IC50 values less than 15.0 μg/mL, while other fractions also had IC50 values less than 80.0 μg/mL. These antioxidant effects were highly associated with the number of phenolic hydroxyl group on the phenolics they contained. These extracts demonstrated antimicrobial effects, suggesting the different phenolic compounds in these extracts had specific inhibitory effects on the growth of each bacteria. The results of this study suggested that the A. herba-alba can be a source of phenolic compounds with natural antimicrobial and antioxidant properties which can be used for potential pharmaceutical applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Botanical Families in Medicinal Ethnobotany: A Phylogenetic Perspective
Plants 2021, 10(1), 163; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010163 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 567
Abstract
Studies suggesting that medicinal plants are not chosen at random are becoming more common. The goal of this work is to shed light on the role of botanical families in ethnobotany, depicting in a molecular phylogenetic frame the relationships between families and medicinal [...] Read more.
Studies suggesting that medicinal plants are not chosen at random are becoming more common. The goal of this work is to shed light on the role of botanical families in ethnobotany, depicting in a molecular phylogenetic frame the relationships between families and medicinal uses of vascular plants in several Catalan-speaking territories. The simple quantitative analyses for ailments categories and the construction of families and disorders matrix were carried out in this study. A Bayesian approach was used to estimate the over- and underused families in the medicinal flora. Phylogenetically informed analyses were carried out to identify lineages in which there is an overrepresentation of families in a given category of use, i.e., hot nodes. The ethnobotanicity index, at a specific level, was calculated and also adapted to the family level. Two diversity indices to measure the richness of reported taxa within each family were calculated. A total of 47,630 use reports were analysed. These uses are grouped in 120 botanical families. The ethnobotanicity index for this area is 14.44% and the ethnobotanicity index at the family level is 68.21%. The most-reported families are Lamiaceae and Asteraceae and the most reported troubles are disorders of the digestive and nutritional system. Based on the meta-analytic results, indicating hot nodes of useful plants at the phylogenetic level, specific ethnopharmacological research may be suggested, including a phytochemical approach of particularly interesting taxa. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Tomato Ve1 Homologous Proteins in Flax and Assessment for Race-Specific Resistance in Two Fiber FlaxCultivars against Verticillium dahliae Race 1
Plants 2021, 10(1), 162; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010162 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 358
Abstract
In the last decade, the soil borne fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae has had an increasingly strong effect on fiber flax (Linum usitatissimum L.), thus causing important yield losses in Normandy, France. Race-specific resistance against V. dahliae race 1 is determined by tomato [...] Read more.
In the last decade, the soil borne fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae has had an increasingly strong effect on fiber flax (Linum usitatissimum L.), thus causing important yield losses in Normandy, France. Race-specific resistance against V. dahliae race 1 is determined by tomato Ve1, a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) receptor-like protein (RLP). Furthermore, homologous proteins have been found in various plant families. Herein, four homologs of tomato Ve1 were identified in the flax proteome database. The selected proteins were named LuVe11, LuVe12, LuVe13 and LuVe14 and were compared to other Ve1. Sequence alignments and phylogenic analysis were conducted and detected a high similarity in the content of amino acids and that of the Verticillium spp. race 1 resistance protein cluster. Annotations on the primary structure of these homologs reveal several features of tomato Ve1, including numerous copies of a 28 amino acids consensus motif [XXIXNLXXLXXLXLSXNXLSGXIP] in the LRR domain. An in vivo assay was performed using V. dahliae race 1 on susceptible and tolerant fiber flax cultivars. Despite the presence of homologous genes and the stronger expression of LuVe11 compared to controls, both cultivars exhibited symptoms and the pathogen was observed within the stem. Amino acid substitutions within the segments of the LRR domain could likely affect the ligand binding and thus the race-specific resistance. The results of this study indicate that complex approaches including pathogenicity tests, microscopic observations and gene expression should be implemented for assessing race-specific resistance mediated by Ve1 within the large collection of flax genotypes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Differentiation of Hedyotis diffusa and Common Adulterants Based on Chloroplast Genome Sequencing and DNA Barcoding Markers
Plants 2021, 10(1), 161; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010161 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 392
Abstract
Chinese herbal tea, also known as Liang Cha or cooling beverage, is popular in South China. It is regarded as a quick-fix remedy to relieve minor health problems. Hedyotis diffusa Willd. (colloquially Baihuasheshecao) is a common ingredient of cooling beverages. H. diffusa is [...] Read more.
Chinese herbal tea, also known as Liang Cha or cooling beverage, is popular in South China. It is regarded as a quick-fix remedy to relieve minor health problems. Hedyotis diffusa Willd. (colloquially Baihuasheshecao) is a common ingredient of cooling beverages. H. diffusa is also used to treat cancer and bacterial infections. Owing to the high demand for H. diffusa, two common adulterants, Hedyotis brachypoda (DC.) Sivar and Biju (colloquially Nidingjingcao) and Hedyotis corymbosa (L.) Lam. (colloquially Shuixiancao), are commonly encountered in the market. Owing to the close similarity of their morphological characteristics, it is difficult to differentiate them. Here, we sequenced the complete chloroplast genomes of the three species of Hedyotis using next-generation sequencing (NGS). By comparing the complete chloroplast genomes, we found that they are closely related in the subfamily Rubioideae. We also discovered that there are significant differences in the number and repeating motifs of microsatellites and complex repeats and revealed three divergent hotspots, rps16-trnQ intergenic spacer, ndhD and ycf1. By using these species-specific sequences, we propose new DNA barcoding markers for the authentication of H. diffusa and its two common adulterants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Barcoding for Herbal Medicines)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Provides New Insights into the Molecular Regulatory Mechanism of Adventitious Root Formation in Ramie (Boehmeria nivea L.)
Plants 2021, 10(1), 160; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010160 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 462
Abstract
The occurrence of adventitious roots is necessary for the survival of cuttings. In this study, comparative transcriptome analysis between two ramie (Boehmeria nivea L.) varieties with different adventitious root (AR) patterns was performed by mRNA-Seq before rooting (control, CK) and 10 days [...] Read more.
The occurrence of adventitious roots is necessary for the survival of cuttings. In this study, comparative transcriptome analysis between two ramie (Boehmeria nivea L.) varieties with different adventitious root (AR) patterns was performed by mRNA-Seq before rooting (control, CK) and 10 days water-induced adventitious rooting (treatment, T) to reveal the regulatory mechanism of rooting. Characterization of the two ramie cultivars, Zhongzhu No 2 (Z2) and Huazhu No 4 (H4), indicated that Z2 had a high adventitious rooting rate but H4 had a low rooting rate. Twelve cDNA libraries of the two varieties were constructed, and a total of 26,723 genes were expressed. In the non-water culture condition, the number of the distinctive genes in H4 was 2.7 times of that in Z2, while in the water culture condition, the number of the distinctive genes in Z2 was nearly 2 times of that in H4. A total of 4411 and 5195 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in the comparison of H4CK vs. H4T and Z2CK vs. Z2T, respectively. After the water culture, more DEGs were upregulated in Z2, but more DEGs were downregulated in H4. Gene ontology (GO) functional analysis of the DEGs indicated that the polysaccharide metabolic process, carbohydrate metabolic process, cellular carbohydrate metabolic process, cell wall macromolecule metabolic process, and photosystem GO terms were distinctively significantly enriched in H4. Simultaneously, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis showed that photosynthesis, photosynthesis antenna proteins, and starch and sucrose metabolism pathways were distinctively significantly enriched in H4. Moreover, KEGG analysis showed that jasmonic acid (JA) could interact with ethylene to regulate the occurrence and number of AR in Z2. This study reveals the transcriptomic divergence of two ramie varieties with high and low adventitious rooting rates, and provides insights into the molecular regulatory mechanism of AR formation in ramie. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Selection and Validation of Reference Genes for Quantitative RT-PCR Analysis in Corylus heterophylla Fisch. × Corylus avellana L.
Plants 2021, 10(1), 159; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010159 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 329
Abstract
(1) Background: the species of Corylus have sporophytic type of self-incompatibility. Several genes related to recognition reaction between pollen and stigma have been identified in hazelnuts. To better understand the self-incompatibility (SI) response, we screened the suitable reference genes by using quantitative real-time [...] Read more.
(1) Background: the species of Corylus have sporophytic type of self-incompatibility. Several genes related to recognition reaction between pollen and stigma have been identified in hazelnuts. To better understand the self-incompatibility (SI) response, we screened the suitable reference genes by using quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis in hazelnut for the first time. (2) Methods: the major cultivar “Dawei” was used as material. A total of 12 candidate genes were identified and their expression profiles were compared among different tissues and in response to various treatments (different times after self- and cross-pollination) by RT-qPCR. The expression stability of these 12 candidate reference genes was evaluated using geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, Delta Ct, and RefFinder programs. (3) Results: the comprehensive ranking of RefFinder indicated that ChaActin, VvActin,ChaUBQ14, and ChaEF1-α were the most suitable reference genes. According to the stability analysis of 12 candidate reference genes for each sample group based on four software packages, ChaActin and ChaEF1-α were most stable in different times after self-pollination and 4 h after self- and cross-pollination, respectively. To further validate the suitability of the reference genes identified in this study, CavPrx, which the expression profiles in Corylus have been reported, was quantified by using ChaActin and ChaEF1-α as reference genes. (4) Conclusions: our study of reference genes selection in hazelnut shows that the two reference genes, ChaActin and ChaEF1-α, are suitable for the evaluation of gene expression, and can be used for the analysis of pollen-pistil interaction in Corylus. The results supply a reliable foundation for accurate gene quantifications in Corylus species, which will facilitate the studies related to the reproductive biology in Corylus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Incompatibility in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Image-Based Methods to Score Fungal Pathogen Symptom Progression and Severity in Excised Arabidopsis Leaves
Plants 2021, 10(1), 158; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010158 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1260
Abstract
Image-based symptom scoring of plant diseases is a powerful tool for associating disease resistance with plant genotypes. Advancements in technology have enabled new imaging and image processing strategies for statistical analysis of time-course experiments. There are several tools available for analyzing symptoms on [...] Read more.
Image-based symptom scoring of plant diseases is a powerful tool for associating disease resistance with plant genotypes. Advancements in technology have enabled new imaging and image processing strategies for statistical analysis of time-course experiments. There are several tools available for analyzing symptoms on leaves and fruits of crop plants, but only a few are available for the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis). Arabidopsis and the model fungus Botrytis cinerea (Botrytis) comprise a potent model pathosystem for the identification of signaling pathways conferring immunity against this broad host-range necrotrophic fungus. Here, we present two strategies to assess severity and symptom progression of Botrytis infection over time in Arabidopsis leaves. Thus, a pixel classification strategy using color hue values from red-green-blue (RGB) images and a random forest algorithm was used to establish necrotic, chlorotic, and healthy leaf areas. Secondly, using chlorophyll fluorescence (ChlFl) imaging, the maximum quantum yield of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) was determined to define diseased areas and their proportion per total leaf area. Both RGB and ChlFl imaging strategies were employed to track disease progression over time. This has provided a robust and sensitive method for detecting sensitive or resistant genetic backgrounds. A full methodological workflow, from plant culture to data analysis, is described. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Crude Oil on Growth, Oxidative Stress and Response of Antioxidative System of Two Rye (Secale cereale L.) Varieties
Plants 2021, 10(1), 157; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010157 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 326
Abstract
Rye (Secale cereale L.) is one of the most important cereal crops in Eastern and Northern Europe, showing better tolerance to environmental stress factors compared to wheat and triticale. Plant response to the crude oil-polluted soil depends on plant species, oil concentration, [...] Read more.
Rye (Secale cereale L.) is one of the most important cereal crops in Eastern and Northern Europe, showing better tolerance to environmental stress factors compared to wheat and triticale. Plant response to the crude oil-polluted soil depends on plant species, oil concentration, time of exposure, etc. The current study is aimed at investigating the growth, oxidative stress and the response of antioxidative system of two rye varieties (Krona and Valdai) cultivated on crude oil-contaminated soils at different concentrations (1.5, 3.0, 6.0, and 12.0%). Inhibition of rye growth was observed at crude oil concentrations of above 3% for above-ground plant parts and of above 1.5% for roots. A decrease in content of chlorophyll a and total chlorophylls in Krona variety was detected at 1.5% oil concentration in soil and in Valdai variety at 3% oil concentration. Compared with the control, the content of malondialdehyde was significantly increased in the Krona variety at 3% oil concentration and in Valdai variety at 6% oil concentration. The crude oil-induced oxidative stress was minimized in rye plants by the enhanced contents of low-molecular antioxidants (proline, non-protein thiols, ascorbic acid, phenolic compounds) and activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, and glutathione peroxidase. The strongest positive correlation was detected between the content of malondialdehyde and contents of proline (r = 0.89–0.95, p ≤ 0.05) and phenolic compounds (r = 0.90–0.94, p ≤ 0.05) as well as superoxide dismutase activity (r = 0.81–0.90, p ≤ 0.05). Based on the results of a comprehensive analysis of growth and biochemical parameters and of the cluster analysis, Valdai variety proved to be more resistant to oil pollution. Due to this, Valdai variety is considered to be a promising rye variety for cultivation on moderately oil-polluted soils in order to decontaminate them. At the same time, it is necessary to conduct further studies aimed at investigating oil transformation processes in the soil-rye system, which would make it possible to determine the efficiency of using this cereal for soil remediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Responses to Environmental Pollution)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Flaxseed and Camelina Meals as Potential Sources of Health-Beneficial Compounds
Plants 2021, 10(1), 156; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10010156 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 297
Abstract
Seed meals and cakes, deriving from minor oilseed crops, represent interesting co-products for the presence of a high content of proteins and bioactive compounds that could be successfully explored as valuable plant-derived feedstocks for food and non-food purposes. In this contest, flaxseed ( [...] Read more.
Seed meals and cakes, deriving from minor oilseed crops, represent interesting co-products for the presence of a high content of proteins and bioactive compounds that could be successfully explored as valuable plant-derived feedstocks for food and non-food purposes. In this contest, flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum L.) and camelina (Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz) are becoming increasingly important in the health food market as functional foods and cosmetic ingredients. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of genetic characteristics and cultivation sites on the chemical features of seed meals deriving from two flaxseed varieties (Sideral and Buenos Aires) and a camelina cultivar (Italia), cultivated in Central and Northern Italy (Pisa and Bologna). The content of total phenols and flavonoids, seed oil, proteins and fatty acids have been evaluated, together with the chemical profiles of flaxseed and camelina meals. In addition, radical-scavenging activity has been investigated. All the examined seed meals resulted as rich in bioactive compounds. In particular, flaxseed meal is a good source of the lignan secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG) and hydroxycinnamic acid glucosides, while camelina meal contains glucosinolates and quercetin glycosides. Furthermore, all extracts exhibited a very strong radical-scavenging activity, that make these plant-derived products interesting sources for food or cosmetic ingredients with health outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality Evaluation of Plant-Derived Foods)
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