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Plants, Volume 13, Issue 10 (May-2 2024) – 142 articles

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In Europe, alkaline fens attributable to the order Caricetalia davallianae Br.–Bl. 1949 and protected 7230 EEC Habitat are primarily distributed in cold and cool temperate climates, while they become rare in southern areas where Mediterranean influences prevail. They are considered very threatened in Central and Southern Italy, and some of them have disappeared in recent decades, as is the case regarding the Colfiorito swamp, where a LIFE project is underway with the goal of restoring part of it.

This vegetation, on the plateaus of the Central Apennines, is generally linked to small springs. Extensive grazing and hay harvesting are practiced there, while agricultural exploitation is relatively modest, contributing to the preservation of these fragments of vegetation. View this paper

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18 pages, 4299 KiB  
Review
Research Progress on Plant Shaker K+ Channels
by Guang Yuan, Tongjia Nong, Oluwaseyi Setonji Hunpatin, Chuhan Shi, Xiaoqing Su, Qian Wang, Haobao Liu, Peigang Dai and Yang Ning
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1423; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101423 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 637
Abstract
Plant growth and development are driven by intricate processes, with the cell membrane serving as a crucial interface between cells and their external environment. Maintaining balance and signal transduction across the cell membrane is essential for cellular stability and a host of life [...] Read more.
Plant growth and development are driven by intricate processes, with the cell membrane serving as a crucial interface between cells and their external environment. Maintaining balance and signal transduction across the cell membrane is essential for cellular stability and a host of life processes. Ion channels play a critical role in regulating intracellular ion concentrations and potentials. Among these, K+ channels on plant cell membranes are of paramount importance. The research of Shaker K+ channels has become a paradigm in the study of plant ion channels. This study offers a comprehensive overview of advancements in Shaker K+ channels, including insights into protein structure, function, regulatory mechanisms, and research techniques. Investigating Shaker K+ channels has enhanced our understanding of the regulatory mechanisms governing ion absorption and transport in plant cells. This knowledge offers invaluable guidance for enhancing crop yields and improving resistance to environmental stressors. Moreover, an extensive review of research methodologies in Shaker K+ channel studies provides essential reference solutions for researchers, promoting further advancements in ion channel research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Signaling Networks in Plants)
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18 pages, 2435 KiB  
Article
Exploring Southern Ecuador’s Traditional Medicine: Biological Screening of Plant Extracts and Metabolites
by Nicole Bec, Christian Larroque and Chabaco Armijos
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1422; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101422 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 631
Abstract
Ecuador stands as a nation inheriting a profound ancestral legacy in the utilization of medicinal plants, reflective of the rich biodiversity embraced by various ethnic groups. Despite this heritage, many of these therapeutic resources remain insufficiently explored concerning their toxicity and potential pharmacological [...] Read more.
Ecuador stands as a nation inheriting a profound ancestral legacy in the utilization of medicinal plants, reflective of the rich biodiversity embraced by various ethnic groups. Despite this heritage, many of these therapeutic resources remain insufficiently explored concerning their toxicity and potential pharmacological effects. This study focused on a comprehensive evaluation of cytotoxicity and the potential subcellular targets within various extracts and nine isolated metabolites from carefully selected medicinal plants. Assessing their impact on the breast cancer cell line (MCF7), we subsequently examined the most active fractions for effects on the cell cycle, microtubule network, centrosome duplication, γH2AX foci, and E-cadherin. The investigated crude extracts and isolated compounds from Ecuadorian medicinal plants demonstrated cytotoxic effects, influencing diverse cellular pathways. These findings lend credence to the traditional uses of Ecuadorian medicinal plants, which have served diverse therapeutic purposes. Moreover, they beckon the exploration of the specific chemicals, whether in isolation or combination, responsible for these observed activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Extracts)
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20 pages, 4318 KiB  
Article
A SEPALLATA MADS-Box Transcription Factor, SlMBP21, Functions as a Negative Regulator of Flower Number and Fruit Yields in Tomato
by Jianling Zhang, Tingting Dong, Zongli Hu, Jing Li, Mingku Zhu and Guoping Chen
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1421; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101421 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 688
Abstract
MADS-box transcription factors act as the crucial regulators in plant organ differentiation. Crop yields are highly influenced by the flower number and fruit growth. However, flower identification is a very complex biological process, which involves many cascade regulations. The molecular mechanisms underlying the [...] Read more.
MADS-box transcription factors act as the crucial regulators in plant organ differentiation. Crop yields are highly influenced by the flower number and fruit growth. However, flower identification is a very complex biological process, which involves many cascade regulations. The molecular mechanisms underlying the genetic regulation of flower identification in cultivated plants, such as tomato, are intricate and require further exploration. In this study, we investigated the vital function of a SEPALLATA (SEP) MADS-box gene, SlMBP21, in tomato sympodial inflorescence meristem (SIM) development for the conversion from SIMs to floral meristems (FMs). SlMBP21 transcripts were primarily accumulated in young inflorescence meristem, flowers, sepals, and abscission zones. The Ailsa Craig (AC++) tomato plants with suppressed SlMBP21 mRNA levels using RNAi exhibited a large increase in flower number and fruit yields in addition to enlarged sepals and inhibited abscission zone development. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed that the maturation of inflorescence meristems (IMs) was repressed in SlMBP21-RNAi lines. RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analyses showed that numerous genes related to the flower development, plant hormone signal transduction, cell cycle, and cell proliferation et al. were dramatically changed in SlMBP21-RNAi lines. Yeast two-hybrid assay exhibited that SlMBP21 can respectively interact with SlCMB1, SFT, JOINTLESS, and MC, which play key roles in inflorescence meristems or FM development. In summary, our data demonstrate that SlMBP21 functions as a key regulator in SIM development and the conversion from SIMs to FMs, through interacting with other regulatory proteins to control the expression of related genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Flower Development and Plant Reproduction)
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30 pages, 952 KiB  
Review
Plant–Entomopathogenic Fungi Interaction: Recent Progress and Future Prospects on Endophytism-Mediated Growth Promotion and Biocontrol
by S. M. Ahsan, Md. Injamum-Ul-Hoque, Ashim Kumar Das, Md. Mezanur Rahman, Md. Mahi Imam Mollah, Narayan Chandra Paul and Hyong Woo Choi
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1420; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101420 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 922
Abstract
Entomopathogenic fungi, often acknowledged primarily for their insecticidal properties, fulfill diverse roles within ecosystems. These roles encompass endophytism, antagonism against plant diseases, promotion of the growth of plants, and inhabitation of the rhizosphere, occurring both naturally and upon artificial inoculation, as substantiated by [...] Read more.
Entomopathogenic fungi, often acknowledged primarily for their insecticidal properties, fulfill diverse roles within ecosystems. These roles encompass endophytism, antagonism against plant diseases, promotion of the growth of plants, and inhabitation of the rhizosphere, occurring both naturally and upon artificial inoculation, as substantiated by a growing body of contemporary research. Numerous studies have highlighted the beneficial aspects of endophytic colonization. This review aims to systematically organize information concerning the direct (nutrient acquisition and production of phytohormones) and indirect (resistance induction, antibiotic and secondary metabolite production, siderophore production, and mitigation of abiotic and biotic stresses) implications of endophytic colonization. Furthermore, a thorough discussion of these mechanisms is provided. Several challenges, including isolation complexities, classification of novel strains, and the impact of terrestrial location, vegetation type, and anthropogenic reluctance to use fungal entomopathogens, have been recognized as hurdles. However, recent advancements in biotechnology within microbial research hold promising solutions to many of these challenges. Ultimately, the current constraints delineate potential future avenues for leveraging endophytic fungal entomopathogens as dual microbial control agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycology and Plant Pathology)
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17 pages, 1910 KiB  
Article
Changes in the Aroma Profile and Phenolic Compound Contents of Different Strawberry Cultivars during Ripening
by Kristyna Simkova, Robert Veberic, Mariana Cecilia Grohar, Massimiliano Pelacci, Tina Smrke, Tea Ivancic, Aljaz Medic, Nika Cvelbar Weber and Jerneja Jakopic
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1419; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101419 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 522
Abstract
Secondary metabolites, namely, phenolic and volatile organic compounds, contribute to the nutritional and organoleptic quality of the strawberry fruit. This study focuses on the changes in the content of phenolic compounds and volatile organic compounds during the ripening, from green to overripe fruit, [...] Read more.
Secondary metabolites, namely, phenolic and volatile organic compounds, contribute to the nutritional and organoleptic quality of the strawberry fruit. This study focuses on the changes in the content of phenolic compounds and volatile organic compounds during the ripening, from green to overripe fruit, of five strawberry cultivars (‘Asia’, ‘CIVN 766’, ‘Aprica’, ‘Clery’, and ‘Malwina’). Additionally, these changes are compared with the colour of the fruit and peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase activity. Our results show that the accumulation of secondary metabolites (phenolic and volatile organic compounds) significantly changed during the ripening process for all of the studied cultivars. As for phenolic compounds, flavanols and hydroxybenzoic acid derivatives comprised between 87 and 95% of the total phenolic compound content in unripe green fruit. In contrast, anthocyanins and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives comprised between 64 and 77% of the total phenolic compound content in overripe fruit, except in the fruit of the cultivar ‘CIVN766’. When it comes to the aroma profile, the content of aldehydes decreased by 24–49% as the fruit ripened, and the accumulation of esters increased. Our study also shows that the ripening process differs among cultivars, and it is therefore necessary to define ripening indicators separately for each cultivar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fruit Development, Ripening and Quality)
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34 pages, 10912 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles and Salt Stress on the Morphological and Some Biochemical Characteristics of Solanum lycopersicum L. Plants
by Mostafa Ahmed, Diaa Attia Marrez, Roquia Rizk, Mostafa Zedan, Donia Abdul-Hamid, Kincső Decsi, Gergő Péter Kovács and Zoltán Tóth
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1418; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101418 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 676
Abstract
Salinity reduces crop yields and quality, causing global economic losses. Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) improve plant physiological and metabolic processes and abiotic stress resistance. This study examined the effects of foliar ZnO-NPs at 75 and 150 mg/L on tomato Kecskeméti 549 plants to [...] Read more.
Salinity reduces crop yields and quality, causing global economic losses. Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) improve plant physiological and metabolic processes and abiotic stress resistance. This study examined the effects of foliar ZnO-NPs at 75 and 150 mg/L on tomato Kecskeméti 549 plants to alleviate salt stress caused by 150 mM NaCl. The precipitation procedure produced ZnO-NPs that were characterized using UV-VIS, TEM, STEM, DLS, EDAX, Zeta potential, and FTIR. The study assessed TPCs, TFCs, total hydrolyzable sugars, total free amino acids, protein, proline, H2O2, and MDA along with plant height, stem width, leaf area, and SPAD values. The polyphenolic burden was also measured by HPLC. With salt stress, plant growth and chlorophyll content decreased significantly. The growth and development of tomato plants changed by applying the ZnO-NPs. Dosages of ZnO-NPs had a significant effect across treatments. ZnO-NPs also increased chlorophyll, reduced stress markers, and released phenolic chemicals and proteins in the leaves of tomatoes. ZnO-NPs reduce salt stress by promoting the uptake of minerals. ZnO-NPs had beneficial effects on tomato plants when subjected to salt stress, making them an alternate technique to boost resilience in saline soils or low-quality irrigation water. This study examined how foliar application of chemically synthesized ZnO-NPs to the leaves affected biochemistry, morphology, and phenolic compound synthesis with and without NaCl. Full article
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17 pages, 4050 KiB  
Article
Morphological Characterization of Fossil Vitis L. Seeds from the Gelasian of Italy by Seed Image Analysis
by Mariano Ucchesu, Edoardo Martinetto, Marco Sarigu, Martino Orrù, Michela Bornancin and Gianluigi Bacchetta
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1417; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101417 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 731
Abstract
The discovery of well-preserved fossil Vitis L. seeds from the Gelasian stage in Italy has provided a unique opportunity to investigate the systematics of fossilized Vitis species. Through seed image analyses and elliptical Fourier transforms of fossil Vitis seeds from the sites Buronzo−Gifflenga [...] Read more.
The discovery of well-preserved fossil Vitis L. seeds from the Gelasian stage in Italy has provided a unique opportunity to investigate the systematics of fossilized Vitis species. Through seed image analyses and elliptical Fourier transforms of fossil Vitis seeds from the sites Buronzo−Gifflenga and Castelletto Cervo II, we pointed out a strong relationship to the group of extant Eurasian Vitis species. However, classification analyses highlighted challenges in accurately assigning the fossil grape seeds to specific modern species. Morphological comparisons with modern Vitis species revealed striking similarities between the fossil seeds and V. vinifera subsp. sylvestris, as well as several other wild species from Asia. This close morphological resemblance suggests the existence of a population of V. vinifera sensu lato in Northen Italy during the Gelasian. These findings contributed to our understanding of the evolution and the complex interplay between ancient and modern Vitis species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Vegetation History and Archaeobotany)
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21 pages, 5814 KiB  
Article
Infraspecific Variation in Silene Seed Tubercles
by José Javier Martín-Gómez, José Luis Rodríguez-Lorenzo, Ana Juan, Ángel Tocino and Emilio Cervantes
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1416; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101416 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 571
Abstract
The seeds of many species in the order Caryophyllales exhibit surface protuberances called tubercles. While tubercle shape and distribution have often been proposed as taxonomic criteria, paradoxically, their description has primarily relied on adjectives, with quantitative data on tubercle width, height, and other [...] Read more.
The seeds of many species in the order Caryophyllales exhibit surface protuberances called tubercles. While tubercle shape and distribution have often been proposed as taxonomic criteria, paradoxically, their description has primarily relied on adjectives, with quantitative data on tubercle width, height, and other measurements lacking in the literature. Recently, a quantitative analysis of seed surface tubercles based on tubercle width, height, and curvature values (maximum and average curvature, and maximum to average curvature ratio) was proposed and applied to individual populations of a total of 31 species, with 12 belonging to Silene subg. Behenantha and 19 to S. subg. Silene. Tubercles were classified into two categories: echinate and rugose. Echinate tubercles exhibited higher values of height and curvature, and lower width, and were more prevalent in species of S. subg. Behenantha, while the rugose type was more abundant in S. subg. Silene. This work explored infraspecific differences in tubercle size and shape. For this, measurements of tubercle width, height and curvature were applied to 31 populations of eight species of Silene. Significant differences between populations were observed for most of the species examined. A particular tubercle type, previously described as umbonate or mammillate, was identified in S. nocturna seeds, characterized by high curvature values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Development and Morphogenesis)
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13 pages, 909 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Salt Stress Tolerance in Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) through Silicon Application in Roots
by Borja Ferrández-Gómez, Juana D. Jordá, Mar Cerdán and Antonio Sánchez-Sánchez
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1415; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101415 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 677
Abstract
Soil salinization poses a significant threat to agricultural productivity, necessitating innovative agronomic strategies to mitigate its impact. This study focuses on improving salt stress resistance in tomato plants through the application of silicon (Si) in roots. A greenhouse experiment was carried out under [...] Read more.
Soil salinization poses a significant threat to agricultural productivity, necessitating innovative agronomic strategies to mitigate its impact. This study focuses on improving salt stress resistance in tomato plants through the application of silicon (Si) in roots. A greenhouse experiment was carried out under normal conditions (control, and 1 and 4 mM Si) and under salinity stress (salt control, and 1 and 4 mM Si). Various parameters were analyzed in leaves and roots. Under normal conditions, tomato plants grown in non-saline conditions exhibited some toxicity when exposed to Na2SiO3. As for the experiments under salt stress conditions, Si mitigated oxidative damage, preserving root cell membrane integrity. The concentration of malondialdehyde was reduced by 69.5%, that of proline was reduced by 56.4% and there was a 57.6% decrease in catalase activity for tomato plants treated with 1 mM Si under salt stress. Furthermore, Fe uptake and distribution, under salt conditions, increased from 91 to 123 mg kg−1, the same concentration as that obtained for the normal control. In all cases, the lower dose produced better results under normal conditions than the 4 mM dose. In summary, this research provides a potential application of Si in non-fertigated crop systems through a radicular pathway. Full article
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25 pages, 5295 KiB  
Article
Expanding Possibilities for Foreign Gene Expression by Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus Genome-Based Bipartite Vector System
by Anirudha Chattopadhyay, A. Abdul Kader Jailani, Anirban Roy, Sunil Kumar Mukherjee and Bikash Mandal
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1414; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101414 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 523
Abstract
Expanding possibilities for foreign gene expression in cucurbits, we present a novel approach utilising a bipartite vector system based on the cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) genome. Traditional full-length CGMMV vectors face limitations such as a restricted cargo capacity and unstable foreign [...] Read more.
Expanding possibilities for foreign gene expression in cucurbits, we present a novel approach utilising a bipartite vector system based on the cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) genome. Traditional full-length CGMMV vectors face limitations such as a restricted cargo capacity and unstable foreign gene expression. To address these challenges, we developed two ‘deconstructed’ CGMMV genomes, DG-1 and DG-2. DG-1 features a major internal deletion, resulting in the loss of crucial replicase enzyme domains, rendering it incapable of self-replication. However, a staggered infiltration of DG-1 in CGMMV-infected plants enabled successful replication and movement, facilitating gene-silencing experiments. Conversely, DG-2 was engineered to enhance replication rates and provide multiple cloning sites. Although it exhibited higher replication rates, DG-2 remained localised within infiltrated tissue, displaying trans-replication and restricted movement. Notably, DG-2 demonstrated utility in expressing GFP, with a peak expression observed between 6 and 10 days post-infiltration. Overall, our bipartite system represents a significant advancement in functional genomics, offering a robust tool for foreign gene expression in Nicotiana benthamiana. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cross Protection and Biocontrol of Plant Viruses and Viroids)
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27 pages, 17497 KiB  
Article
Osmophore Structure and Labellum Micromorphology in Ophrys speculum (Orchidaceae): New Interpretations of Floral Features and Implications for a Specific Sexually Deceptive Pollination Interaction
by Ana Francisco and Lia Ascensão
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1413; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101413 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 730
Abstract
Pollination by sexual deception specifically attracts male insects, through the floral scent and particular morphological features of the flower that serve as visual and tactile stimuli. The unique bond between the Ophrys speculum orchid and the male Dasyscolia ciliata wasp primarily stems from [...] Read more.
Pollination by sexual deception specifically attracts male insects, through the floral scent and particular morphological features of the flower that serve as visual and tactile stimuli. The unique bond between the Ophrys speculum orchid and the male Dasyscolia ciliata wasp primarily stems from a few distinctive semiochemicals that mimic the female wasp’s sex pheromone, although the floral scent comprises a variety of compounds. An osmophore producing highly volatile compounds has been documented in four close relatives of O. speculum and is now being also investigated in this species. Given the existing debates regarding the structure of the labellum and stigmatic cavity in O. speculum, this study details their micromorphology. Additionally, comparisons of O. speculum flowers and female D. ciliata wasps under stereomicroscopy and scanning electron microscopy are conducted to seek new evidence of visual and tactile mimicry. The findings confirm that (i) an osmophore is present at the apical margin of the labellum in O. speculum flowers; (ii) the labellum features a distinct basal field homologous to those found in other Ophrys species; and (iii) the basal labellum region closely mimics the female wasp’s thorax and wings. The implications of these novel floral features are discussed within an evolutionary context. Full article
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14 pages, 1757 KiB  
Article
Antibacterial and Antibiofilm Potential of Ethanolic Extracts of Duguetia vallicola (Annonaceae) against in-Hospital Isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa
by Orfa Inés Contreras-Martínez, Daniela Sierra-Quiroz and Alberto Angulo-Ortíz
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1412; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101412 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 661
Abstract
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that is especially dominant in people with cystic fibrosis; the drug resistance expressed by this pathogen and its capacity for adaptation poses a significant challenge to its treatment and control, thereby increasing morbidity and mortality rates globally. [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that is especially dominant in people with cystic fibrosis; the drug resistance expressed by this pathogen and its capacity for adaptation poses a significant challenge to its treatment and control, thereby increasing morbidity and mortality rates globally. In this sense, the search for new treatment alternatives is imminent today, with products of plant origin being an excellent alternative for use. The objective of this research was to evaluate the antibacterial and antibiofilm potential and to explore the possible effect of ethanolic extracts from the wood and bark of Duguetia vallicola on the cell membrane. Microdilution assays showed the inhibition of bacterial growth by more than 50%, with the lowest concentration (62.5 μg/mL) of both extracts evaluated. Furthermore, we report the ability of both extracts to inhibit mature biofilms, with inhibition percentages between 48.4% and 93.7%. Intracellular material leakage experiments (260/280 nm), extracellular pH measurements, and fluorescence microscopy with acridine orange (AO) and ethidium bromide (EB) showed cell membrane damage. This indicates that the antibacterial action of ethanolic extracts of D. vallicola is associated with damage to the integrity of the cell membrane and consequent death of these pathogens. These results serve as a reference for future studies in establishing the mechanisms of action of these extracts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activities of Plant Extracts 2023)
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18 pages, 3846 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome and Metabolome Analysis of Rice Cultivar CBB23 after Inoculation by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae Strains AH28 and PXO99A
by Pingli Chen, Junjie Wang, Qing Liu, Junjie Liu, Qiaoping Mo, Bingrui Sun, Xingxue Mao, Liqun Jiang, Jing Zhang, Shuwei Lv, Hang Yu, Weixiong Chen, Wei Liu and Chen Li
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1411; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101411 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 541
Abstract
Bacterial leaf blight (BLB), among the most serious diseases in rice production, is caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo). Xa23, the broadest resistance gene against BLB in rice, is widely used in rice breeding. In this study, the rice [...] Read more.
Bacterial leaf blight (BLB), among the most serious diseases in rice production, is caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo). Xa23, the broadest resistance gene against BLB in rice, is widely used in rice breeding. In this study, the rice variety CBB23 carrying the Xa23 resistance gene was inoculated with AH28 and PXO99A to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) associated with the resistance. Transcriptome sequencing of the infected leaves showed 7997 DEGs between the two strains at different time points, most of which were up-regulated, including cloned rice anti-blight, peroxidase, pathology-related, protein kinase, glucosidase, and other coding genes, as well as genes related to lignin synthesis, salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, and secondary metabolites. Additionally, the DEGs included 40 cloned, five NBS-LRR, nine SWEET family, and seven phenylalanine aminolyase genes, and 431 transcription factors were differentially expressed, the majority of which belonged to the WRKY, NAC, AP2/ERF, bHLH, and MYB families. Metabolomics analysis showed that a large amount of alkaloid and terpenoid metabolite content decreased significantly after inoculation with AH28 compared with inoculation with PXO99A, while the content of amino acids and their derivatives significantly increased. This study is helpful in further discovering the pathogenic mechanism of AH28 and PXO99A in CBB23 rice and provides a theoretical basis for cloning and molecular mechanism research related to BLB resistance in rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Bacteria Interaction)
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19 pages, 3716 KiB  
Article
Dissection of Common Rust Resistance in Tropical Maize Multiparent Population through GWAS and Linkage Studies
by Linzhuo Li, Fuyan Jiang, Yaqi Bi, Xingfu Yin, Yudong Zhang, Shaoxiong Li, Xingjie Zhang, Meichen Liu, Jinfeng Li, Ranjan K. Shaw, Babar Ijaz and Xingming Fan
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1410; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101410 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 511
Abstract
Common rust (CR), caused by Puccina sorghi, is a major foliar disease in maize that leads to quality deterioration and yield losses. To dissect the genetic architecture of CR resistance in maize, this study utilized the susceptible temperate inbred line Ye107 as [...] Read more.
Common rust (CR), caused by Puccina sorghi, is a major foliar disease in maize that leads to quality deterioration and yield losses. To dissect the genetic architecture of CR resistance in maize, this study utilized the susceptible temperate inbred line Ye107 as the male parent crossed with three resistant tropical maize inbred lines (CML312, D39, and Y32) to generate 627 F7 recombinant inbred lines (RILs), with the aim of identifying maize disease-resistant loci and candidate genes for common rust. Phenotypic data showed good segregation between resistance and susceptibility, with varying degrees of resistance observed across different subpopulations. Significant genotype effects and genotype × environment interactions were observed, with heritability ranging from 85.7% to 92.2%. Linkage and genome-wide association analyses across the three environments identified 20 QTLs and 62 significant SNPs. Among these, seven major QTLs explained 66% of the phenotypic variance. Comparison with six SNPs repeatedly identified across different environments revealed overlap between qRUST3-3 and Snp-203,116,453, and Snp-204,202,469. Haplotype analysis indicated two different haplotypes for CR resistance for both the SNPs. Based on LD decay plots, three co-located candidate genes, Zm00001d043536, Zm00001d043566, and Zm00001d043569, were identified within 20 kb upstream and downstream of these two SNPs. Zm00001d043536 regulates hormone regulation, Zm00001d043566 controls stomatal opening and closure, related to trichome, and Zm00001d043569 is associated with plant disease immune responses. Additionally, we performed candidate gene screening for five additional SNPs that were repeatedly detected across different environments, resulting in the identification of five candidate genes. These findings contribute to the development of genetic resources for common rust resistance in maize breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Biology and Genomics of Plant-Pathogen Interactions)
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19 pages, 1327 KiB  
Article
Ethanolic Extract from Fruits of Pintoa chilensis, a Chilean Extremophile Plant. Assessment of Antioxidant Activity and In Vitro Cytotoxicity
by Dioni Arrieche, Andrés F. Olea, Carlos Jara-Gutiérrez, Joan Villena, Javier Pardo-Baeza, Sara García-Davis, Rafael Viteri, Lautaro Taborga and Héctor Carrasco
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1409; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101409 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 569
Abstract
Pintoa chilensis is a shrub with yellow flowers that reach up to two meters high, endemic of the Atacama Region in Chile. This species grows under special environmental conditions such as low altitude, arid areas, and directly sun-exposed habitats. In the present study, [...] Read more.
Pintoa chilensis is a shrub with yellow flowers that reach up to two meters high, endemic of the Atacama Region in Chile. This species grows under special environmental conditions such as low altitude, arid areas, and directly sun-exposed habitats. In the present study, ethanolic extract was obtained from fruits of P. chilensis, and then partitioned in solvents of increasing polarity to obtain five fractions: hexane (HF), dichloromethane (DF), ethyl acetate (AF), and the residual water fraction (QF). The antioxidant activity of extracts was evaluated by using the DPPH, ABTS, and FRAP methods. The results show that the antioxidant capacity of P. chilensis is higher than that reported for other plants growing in similar environments. This effect is attributed to the highest content of flavonoids and total phenols found in P. chilensis. On the other hand, the cell viability of a breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) and a non-tumor cell line (MCF-10A) was assessed in the presence of different extract fractions. The results indicate that the hexane fraction (HF) exhibits the highest cytotoxicity on both cell lines (IC50 values equal to 35 and 45 µg/mL), whereas the dichloromethane fraction (DF) is the most selective one. The GC–MS analysis of the dichloromethane fraction (DF) shows the presence of fatty acids, sugars, and polyols as major components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemical and Biological Activity of Plant Extracts)
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17 pages, 2717 KiB  
Article
Proline Metabolism in Response to Climate Extremes in Hairgrass
by Qiaoyu Luo, Yonggui Ma, Huichun Xie, Feifei Chang, Chiming Guan, Bing Yang and Yushou Ma
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1408; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101408 - 18 May 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 400
Abstract
Hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa), a widely distributed grass species considered promising in the ecological restoration of degraded grassland in the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, is likely to be subjected to frequent drought and waterlogging stress due to ongoing climate change, further aggravating the degradation [...] Read more.
Hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa), a widely distributed grass species considered promising in the ecological restoration of degraded grassland in the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, is likely to be subjected to frequent drought and waterlogging stress due to ongoing climate change, further aggravating the degradation of grassland in this region. However, whether it would acclimate to water stresses resulting from extreme climates remains unknown. Proline accumulation is a crucial metabolic response of plants to challenging environmental conditions. This study aims to investigate the changes in proline accumulation and key enzymes in hairgrass shoot and root tissues in response to distinct climate extremes including moderate drought, moderate waterlogging, and dry–wet variations over 28 days using a completely randomized block design. The proline accumulation, contribution of the glutamate and ornithine pathways, and key enzyme activities related to proline metabolism in shoot and root tissues were examined. The results showed that water stress led to proline accumulation in both shoot and root tissues of hairgrass, highlighting the importance of this osmoprotectant in mitigating the effects of environmental challenges. The differential accumulation of proline in shoots compared to roots suggests a strategic allocation of resources by the plant to cope with osmotic stress. Enzymatic activities related to proline metabolism, such as Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase, ornithine aminotransferase, Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase, Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase, and proline dehydrogenase, further emphasize the dynamic regulation of proline levels in hairgrass under water stress conditions. These findings support the potential for enhancing the stress resistance of hairgrass through the genetic manipulation of proline biosynthesis and catabolism pathways. Full article
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12 pages, 2635 KiB  
Article
Growth, Productivity, Yield Components and Seasonality of Different Genotypes of Forage Clover Lotus corniculatus L. under Varied Soil Moisture Contents
by Sahara Xolocotzi-Acoltzi, Aurelio Pedroza-Sandoval, Gabino García-De los Santos, Perpetuo Álvarez-Vázquez and Isaac Gramillo-Ávila
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1407; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101407 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 730
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the response to water deficit of different ecotypes and a variety of Lotus corniculatus on growth, productivity, and yield components, through seasonal times. A randomized block experimental design in a 2 × 5 factorial arrangement with three replicates [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the response to water deficit of different ecotypes and a variety of Lotus corniculatus on growth, productivity, and yield components, through seasonal times. A randomized block experimental design in a 2 × 5 factorial arrangement with three replicates was used. The first variation factor was soil moisture contents: field capacity (FC) was 26.5% ± 1.5, and water deficit (WD) was 85% of FC (22.5% ± 1.5); the second variation factor was the ecotypes identified with the codes 255301, 255305, 202700 and 226792 and of the variety Estanzuela Ganador. The best responses in plant cover and weight of accumulated fresh biomass were obtained in the ecotype 202700 under WD, with values of 1649.0 cm2 and 583.7 g plant−1, and 1661.2 cm2 and 740.1 g plant−1 in ecotype 255305 under FC. The leaf clover was the main component of yield during the summer and autumn seasons. Ecotype 226792 was tolerant to low temperatures during the winter season with better leaf development. Ecotype 202700 is the best option for forage clover production when water is limited, and ecotype 255305 when water is not resource-limited, but these preliminary conclusions need to be confirmed in field studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitigation Strategies and Tolerance of Plants to Abiotic Stresses)
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12 pages, 1361 KiB  
Article
Hypoglycemic Effects of Extracts Obtained from Endemic Betonica bulgarica Degen and Neič
by Iva Slavova, Tea Genisheva, Gabriela Angelova, Vasilyan Chalumov, Teodora Tomova and Mariana Argirova
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1406; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101406 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 549
Abstract
The increasing prevalence of diabetes mellitus, together with the limited access of many patients to conventional antidiabetic drugs and the side effects resulting from their use, are the reason for the ever-increasing need for new agents. One of the most important strategies used [...] Read more.
The increasing prevalence of diabetes mellitus, together with the limited access of many patients to conventional antidiabetic drugs and the side effects resulting from their use, are the reason for the ever-increasing need for new agents. One of the most important strategies used in the therapy of this disease is to reduce the postprandial blood glucose level by inhibiting the carbohydrate-degrading enzymes α-amylase and α-glucosidase. The purpose of the present study was to provide in vitro evidence for the potential hypoglycemic effect of leaf and inflorescence aqueous extracts of Bulgarian endemic species Betonica bulgarica Degen and Neič. Total phenolic and flavonoid contents and antioxidant activities were determined by spectrophotometric methods. Qualitative and quantitative determinations of principal phenolic acids and flavonoids were performed using HPLC with a dual absorbance detector. The plant extracts were able to retard the enzymatic breakdown of starch to glucose with 50% inhibiting concentrations of 1.86 mg/mL and 1.54 mg/mL respectively for leaf and flower extract. Some of the plant constituents are proven inhibitors of α-amylase and/or α-glucosidase, but their adsorption on starch seems to be one additional mechanism for the inhibition of glucose release. Combination index analysis carried out with binary mixtures of acarbose and plant extracts showed a tendency toward synergism with an increase in concentrations and level of inhibition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Extracts with Antihyperglycemic and Antidiabetic Effects)
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12 pages, 749 KiB  
Article
Inhibitory Effects on Staphylococcus aureus Sortase A by Aesculus sp. Extracts and Their Toxicity Evaluation
by Octavian Tudorel Olaru, George Mihai Nitulescu, Andreea Miruna Codreanu, Valentina-Andreea Calmuc, Luanne Venables, Maryna van de Venter, Cerasela Elena Gird, Cosmina-Gabriela Duta-Bratu and Georgiana Nitulescu
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1405; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101405 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 588
Abstract
A promising strategy for combating bacterial infections involves the development of agents that disarm the virulence factors of pathogenic bacteria, thereby reducing their pathogenicity without inducing direct lethality. Sortase A, a crucial enzyme responsible for anchoring virulence factors to the cell surface of [...] Read more.
A promising strategy for combating bacterial infections involves the development of agents that disarm the virulence factors of pathogenic bacteria, thereby reducing their pathogenicity without inducing direct lethality. Sortase A, a crucial enzyme responsible for anchoring virulence factors to the cell surface of several pathogenic bacteria, has emerged as a possible target for antivirulence strategies. A series of hippocastanum species (Aesculus pavia, A. parviflora, Aesculus x carnea, and A. hippocastanum) were used to prepare ethanol- and water-based extracts for assessing their effect on Staphylococcus aureus sortase A. The extracts were characterized through HPLC analysis, and their polyphenols content was determined using the Folin–Ciocalteu method. The specific toxicity profile was evaluated in Daphnia magna using the median lethal concentration (LC50) and against the fibroblast MRHF cell line. The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values on sortase A, determined after 30 min of incubation, ranged from 82.70 to 304.31 µg/mL, with the A. pavia water extract exhibiting the highest inhibitory effect. The assessment of the A. pavia water extract on human fibroblasts revealed no significant signs of toxicity, even at a concentration of 500 µg/mL. This reduced toxicity was further validated through the Daphnia assay. These findings highlight the low toxicity and the potential of this extract as a promising source of future development of bacteria antivirulence solutions. Full article
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19 pages, 761 KiB  
Article
Plant Biostimulants Enhance Tomato Resilience to Salinity Stress: Insights from Two Greek Landraces
by Theodora Ntanasi, Ioannis Karavidas, George P. Spyrou, Evangelos Giannothanasis, Konstantinos A. Aliferis, Costas Saitanis, Vasileios Fotopoulos, Leo Sabatino, Dimitrios Savvas and Georgia Ntatsi
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1404; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101404 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 816
Abstract
Salinity, one of the major abiotic stresses in plants, significantly hampers germination, photosynthesis, biomass production, nutrient balance, and yield of staple crops. To mitigate the impact of such stress without compromising yield and quality, sustainable agronomic practices are required. Among these practices, seaweed [...] Read more.
Salinity, one of the major abiotic stresses in plants, significantly hampers germination, photosynthesis, biomass production, nutrient balance, and yield of staple crops. To mitigate the impact of such stress without compromising yield and quality, sustainable agronomic practices are required. Among these practices, seaweed extracts (SWEs) and microbial biostimulants (PGRBs) have emerged as important categories of plant biostimulants (PBs). This research aimed at elucidating the effects on growth, yield, quality, and nutrient status of two Greek tomato landraces (‘Tomataki’ and ‘Thessaloniki’) following treatments with the Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed extract ‘Algastar’ and the PGPB ‘Nitrostim’ formulation. Plants were subjected to bi-weekly applications of biostimulants and supplied with two nutrient solutions: 0.5 mM (control) and 30 mM NaCl. The results revealed that the different mode(s) of action of the two PBs impacted the tolerance of the different landraces, since ‘Tomataki’ was benefited only from the SWE application while ‘Thessaloniki’ showed significant increase in fruit numbers and average fruit weight with the application of both PBs at 0.5 and 30 mM NaCl in the root zone. In conclusion, the stress induced by salinity can be mitigated by increasing tomato tolerance through the application of PBs, a sustainable tool for productivity enhancement, which aligns well with the strategy of the European Green Deal. Full article
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17 pages, 5206 KiB  
Article
Deficit Irrigation Effects on Cotton Growth Cycle and Preliminary Optimization of Irrigation Strategies in Arid Environment
by Meiwei Lin, Lei Wang, Gaoqiang Lv, Chen Gao, Yuhao Zhao, Xin Li, Liang He and Weihong Sun
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1403; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101403 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 594
Abstract
With the changing global climate, drought stress will pose a considerable challenge to the sustainable development of agriculture in arid regions. The objective of this study was to explore the resistance and water demand of cotton plants to water stress during the flowering [...] Read more.
With the changing global climate, drought stress will pose a considerable challenge to the sustainable development of agriculture in arid regions. The objective of this study was to explore the resistance and water demand of cotton plants to water stress during the flowering and boll setting stage. The experimental plot was in Huaxing Farm of Changji city. The plots were irrigated, respectively, at 100% (as the control), 90%, 85% and 80% of the general irrigation amount in the local area. The relationship between the various measured indexes and final yield under different deficit irrigation (DI) treatments was studied. The results showed that deficit irrigation impacted the growth and development processes of cotton during the flowering and boll setting stage. There was a high negative correlation (R2 > 0.95) between the maximum leaf area index and yield. Similarly, there was a high correlation between malondialdehyde content and yield. Meanwhile, 90% of the local cotton irrigation contributed to water saving and even increasing cotton yield. Furthermore, based on the results, the study made an initial optimization to the local irrigation scheme by utilizing the DSSAT model. It was found that changing the irrigation interval to 12 days during the stage could further enhance cotton yield and conserve resources. Full article
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19 pages, 3889 KiB  
Article
The Impacts of Planting Patterns Combined with Irrigation Management Practices on Watermelon Growth, Photosynthesis, and Yield
by Xiaolin Qiang, Zhaojun Sun, Xingqiang Li, Siqi Li, Zhao Yu, Jun He, Qian Li, Lei Han and Ling He
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1402; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101402 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 505
Abstract
(1) Background: Crop yields in China’s arid and semi-arid regions are limited by water shortages. Exploring the interactions and resource utilization among agroforestry species is key to maintaining diversified agricultural production. (2) Objective: An apple–watermelon agroforestry system and watermelon sole-cropping system were compared [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Crop yields in China’s arid and semi-arid regions are limited by water shortages. Exploring the interactions and resource utilization among agroforestry species is key to maintaining diversified agricultural production. (2) Objective: An apple–watermelon agroforestry system and watermelon sole-cropping system were compared to quantify how resource availability (light, water) and watermelon performance (leaf photosynthetic rate, growth, and yield) change with irrigation strategies. (3) Methods: A three-year apple and watermelon field experiment was conducted in a young apple orchard in the arid area of central Ningxia to test the effect of light competition and irrigation systems on light environment, leaf photosynthetic rate, plant growth, and yield in watermelon. The experiment encompassed two planting patterns: (i) apple–watermelon agroforestry (AF) and watermelon sole-cropping (SC) and (ii) three irrigation quotas (W1: 105 mm, W2: 210 mm, and W3: 315 mm). (4) Results: The results show that the agroforestry planting pattern extended the growth period of watermelon and increased the leaf area index. Mean daily shade intensity increased by 16.02% from 2020 to 2022. The land equivalent ratio (LER) was >1 in 2021 and 2022. The SWC, leaf photosynthetic rate, LAI, and yield of watermelon in an agroforestry planting pattern were lower than when in a sole-cropping planting pattern. However, under the W1 irrigation strategy, the total soluble solids of the agroforestry planting pattern were 2.27% higher than those of the sole-cropping pattern, and the yield of the agroforestry planting pattern was 2.59% higher than that of the sole-cropping pattern. Under the W3 irrigation strategy, the average watermelon weight in the agroforestry planting pattern was 2.85% higher than that of the sole-cropping pattern. A path analysis showed that the agroforestry planting pattern can increase the yield by increasing soil water content, which is different from the sole-cropping pattern. (5) Conclusions: The results confirm that the apple–watermelon agroforestry planting pattern reduced watermelon yields. However, the LER of the agroforestry system was greater than 1.0. It is reasonable to plant watermelons in young apple forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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22 pages, 3940 KiB  
Article
Exogenous Cytokinin 4PU-30 Modulates the Response of Wheat and Einkorn Seedlings to Ultraviolet B Radiation
by Elisaveta Kirova, Irina Moskova, Vasilissa Manova, Yana Koycheva, Zoia Tsekova, Denitsa Borisova, Hristo Nikolov, Ventzeslav Dimitrov, Iskren Sergiev and Konstantina Kocheva
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1401; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101401 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 503
Abstract
Abiotic stress is responsible for a significant reduction in crop plant productivity worldwide. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a natural component of sunlight and a permanent environmental stimulus. This study investigated the distinct responses of young wheat and einkorn plants to excessive UV-B radiation [...] Read more.
Abiotic stress is responsible for a significant reduction in crop plant productivity worldwide. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a natural component of sunlight and a permanent environmental stimulus. This study investigated the distinct responses of young wheat and einkorn plants to excessive UV-B radiation (180 min at λmax 312 nm) following foliar pretreatment with 1 µM synthetic cytokinin 4PU-30. Results demonstrated that UV radiation significantly amplified hydrogen peroxide levels in both wheat and einkorn, with einkorn exhibiting a more pronounced increase compared to wheat. This elevation indicated the induction of oxidative stress by UV radiation in the two genotypes. Intensified antioxidant enzyme activities and the increased accumulation of typical stress markers and non-enzyme protectants were evidenced. Transcriptional activity of genes encoding the key antioxidant enzymes POX, GST, CAT, and SOD was also investigated to shed some light on their genetic regulation in both wheat and einkorn seedlings. Our results suggested a role for POX1 and POX7 genes in the UV-B tolerance of the two wheat species as well as a cytokinin-stimulated UV-B stress response in einkorn involving the upregulation of the tau subfamily gene GSTU6. Based on all our findings, it could be concluded that 4PU-30 had the potential of alleviating oxidative stress by attenuating the symptoms of superfluous UV-B illumination in the two examined plant species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stresses in Cereals)
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23 pages, 1291 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Studies of Genomic DNA Methylation and Its Involvement in Regulating Drought Stress Response in Crops
by Youfang Fan, Chao Sun, Kan Yan, Pengcheng Li, Ingo Hein, Eleanor M. Gilroy, Philip Kear, Zhenzhen Bi, Panfeng Yao, Zhen Liu, Yuhui Liu and Jiangping Bai
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1400; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101400 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 599
Abstract
As global arid conditions worsen and groundwater resources diminish, drought stress has emerged as a critical impediment to plant growth and development globally, notably causing declines in crop yields and even the extinction of certain cultivated species. Numerous studies on drought resistance have [...] Read more.
As global arid conditions worsen and groundwater resources diminish, drought stress has emerged as a critical impediment to plant growth and development globally, notably causing declines in crop yields and even the extinction of certain cultivated species. Numerous studies on drought resistance have demonstrated that DNA methylation dynamically interacts with plant responses to drought stress by modulating gene expression and developmental processes. However, the precise mechanisms underlying these interactions remain elusive. This article consolidates the latest research on the role of DNA methylation in plant responses to drought stress across various species, focusing on methods of methylation detection, mechanisms of methylation pattern alteration (including DNA de novo methylation, DNA maintenance methylation, and DNA demethylation), and overall responses to drought conditions. While many studies have observed significant shifts in genome-wide or gene promoter methylation levels in drought-stressed plants, the identification of specific genes and pathways involved remains limited. This review aims to furnish a reference for detailed research into plant responses to drought stress through epigenetic approaches, striving to identify drought resistance genes regulated by DNA methylation, specific signaling pathways, and their molecular mechanisms of action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drought Responses and Adaptation Mechanisms in Plants)
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11 pages, 2116 KiB  
Article
Canopy Architectural Characteristics of Ten New Olive (Olea europaea L.) Genotypes and Their Potential for Cultivation in Super-High-Density Orchards
by Marina Bufacchi, Franco Famiani, Valentina Passeri, Andrea Domesi, Adolfo Rosati and Andrea Paoletti
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1399; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101399 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 556
Abstract
In recent years, there has been growing interest in olive genotypes (Olea europaea L.) suitable for super-high-density (SHD > 1200 trees/hectare) orchards. To date, only a few cultivars are considered fitting for such cultivation system. In this study, the first results on [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been growing interest in olive genotypes (Olea europaea L.) suitable for super-high-density (SHD > 1200 trees/hectare) orchards. To date, only a few cultivars are considered fitting for such cultivation system. In this study, the first results on the architectural characteristics of the canopy of ten new olive genotypes are presented. Their suitability for SHD orchards was evaluated and compared with the cultivar ‘Arbequina’, which is considered suitable for SHD olive orchards and, for this reason, was used as the control. Several canopy measurements were taken, and some architectural parameters, such as branching frequency, branching density, and branch diameter/stem diameter ratio were calculated. The branching frequency value was greater than 0.20 in ‘Arbequina’ and in only four of the genotypes. The branching density in five genotypes was similar to ‘Arbequina’. ‘Arbequina’ had the lowest value for the branch diameter/stem diameter ratio, and only three genotypes had similar values. These initial results showed that only one genotype has all canopy architectural characteristics comparable to those of the cv. ‘Arbequina’. Further studies are needed to evaluate the production traits of these new genotypes and complete their characterization. Full article
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18 pages, 3356 KiB  
Article
First Evidence of Thalassochory in the Ficus Genus: Seed Dispersal Using the Kuroshio Oceanic Current
by Shin-Hung Pan, Ying-Hsuan Sun, Hsy-Yu Tzeng, Lillian Jennifer Rodriguez and Anthony Bain
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1398; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101398 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 587
Abstract
Aim: Plants distributed between southern Taiwan and the north of the Philippines are spread among numerous small islands in an area crossed by the powerful Kuroshio current. Oceanic currents can be effective seed-dispersal agents for coastal plant species. Moreover, the Luzon Strait is [...] Read more.
Aim: Plants distributed between southern Taiwan and the north of the Philippines are spread among numerous small islands in an area crossed by the powerful Kuroshio current. Oceanic currents can be effective seed-dispersal agents for coastal plant species. Moreover, the Luzon Strait is an area prone to tropical cyclones. The aim of this study is to look at the dispersal capability of an endangered coastal plant species, the Mearns fig (Ficus pedunculosa var. mearnsii), using both experimental and population genetics methods. Location: Southern Taiwan, the Philippines, and the islands between Luzon and Taiwan Island. Methods: This study combined two types of analysis, i.e., buoyancy experiments on syconia and double digest restriction-associated DNA sequencing (ddRAD), to analyze the population genetics of the Mearns fig. Results: We first discovered that mature Mearns fig syconia could float in seawater. They have a mean float duration of 10 days to a maximum of 21 days. Germination rates varied significantly between Mearns fig seeds that had undergone different durations of flotation treatment. Population genetic analysis shows a high degree of inbreeding among various Mearns fig populations. Moreover, no isolation by distance was found between the populations and individuals. Main conclusions: From our analysis of the genetic structure of the Mearns fig populations, we can clearly highlight the effect of the Kuroshio oceanic current on the seed dispersal of this fig tree. Comprehensive analysis has shown that Mearns fig seeds are still viable before the mature syconium sinks into the seawater, and so they could use the Kuroshio Current to float to the current population locations in Taiwan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Ecology)
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17 pages, 4245 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Evaluation and Selection of 192 Maize Accessions from Different Sources
by Mengting Hu, Huijuan Tian, Kaizhi Yang, Shuqi Ding, Ying Hao, Ruohang Xu, Fulai Zhang, Hong Liu and Dan Zhang
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1397; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101397 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 533
Abstract
In the period 2022–2023, an analysis of fourteen phenotypic traits was conducted across 192 maize accessions in the Aral region of Xinjiang. The Shannon–Wiener diversity index was employed to quantify the phenotypic diversity among the accessions. Subsequently, a comprehensive evaluation of the index [...] Read more.
In the period 2022–2023, an analysis of fourteen phenotypic traits was conducted across 192 maize accessions in the Aral region of Xinjiang. The Shannon–Wiener diversity index was employed to quantify the phenotypic diversity among the accessions. Subsequently, a comprehensive evaluation of the index was performed utilizing correlation analysis, principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis. The results highlighted significant findings: (1) A pronounced diversity was evident across the 192 maize accessions, accompanied by complex interrelationships among the traits. (2) The 14 phenotypic traits were transformed into 3 independent indicators through principal component analysis: spike factor, leaf width factor, and number of spikes per plant. (3) The 192 materials were divided into three groups using cluster analysis. The phenotypes in Group III exhibited the best performance, followed by those in Group I, and finally Group II. The selection of the three groups can vary depending on the breeding objectives. This study analysed the diversity of phenotypic traits in maize germplasm resources. Maize germplasm was categorised based on similar phenotypes. These findings provide theoretical insights for the study of maize accessions under analogous climatic conditions in Alar City, which lay the groundwork for the efficient utilization of existing germplasm as well as the development and selection of new varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetic Resources)
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27 pages, 1109 KiB  
Review
Health Benefits of the Alkaloids from Lobeira (Solanum lycocarpum St. Hill): A Comprehensive Review
by Felipe Tecchio Borsoi, Glaucia Maria Pastore and Henrique Silvano Arruda
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1396; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101396 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 594
Abstract
Solanum is the largest genus within the Solanaceae family and has garnered considerable attention in chemical and biological investigations over the past 30 years. In this context, lobeira or “fruta-do-lobo” (Solanum lycocarpum St. Hill), a species predominantly found in the Brazilian Cerrado, [...] Read more.
Solanum is the largest genus within the Solanaceae family and has garnered considerable attention in chemical and biological investigations over the past 30 years. In this context, lobeira or “fruta-do-lobo” (Solanum lycocarpum St. Hill), a species predominantly found in the Brazilian Cerrado, stands out. Beyond the interesting nutritional composition of the fruits, various parts of the lobeira plant have been used in folk medicine as hypoglycemic, sedative, diuretic, antiepileptic, and antispasmodic agents. These health-beneficial effects have been correlated with various bioactive compounds found in the plant, particularly alkaloids. In this review, we summarize the alkaloid composition of the lobeira plant and its biological activities that have been reported in the scientific literature in the last decades. The compiled data showed that lobeira plants and fruits contain a wide range of alkaloids, with steroidal glycoalkaloid solamargine and solasonine being the major ones. These alkaloids, but not limited to them, contribute to different biological activities verified in alkaloid-rich extracts/fractions from the lobeira, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antigenotoxic, antidiabetic, antinociceptive, and antiparasitic effects. Despite the encouraging results, additional research, especially toxicological, pre-clinical, and clinical trials, is essential to validate these human health benefits and ensure consumers’ safety and well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alkaloids: Chemical Structures with Pharmaceutical Potential)
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15 pages, 5757 KiB  
Article
Nanotechnology in Agriculture: Manganese Ferrite Nanoparticles as a Micronutrient Fertilizer for Wheat
by Xiwei Huang, Xin Wang, Xingxing Liu, Liping Cheng, Jianqing Pan and Xiaoe Yang
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1395; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101395 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 617
Abstract
Limited research has focused on nanoparticle (NP) applications’ impact on edible wheat parts in a field environment. Here, we studied the nutritional quality of edible parts of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) with a field experiment by spraying MnFe2O4 nanoparticles. [...] Read more.
Limited research has focused on nanoparticle (NP) applications’ impact on edible wheat parts in a field environment. Here, we studied the nutritional quality of edible parts of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) with a field experiment by spraying MnFe2O4 nanoparticles. Wheat was foliar sprayed with 0, 25, 50, and 100 mg/L composite manganese ferrite (MnFe2O4) NPs during 220 d of a growth period. Ionic controls were prepared using the conventional counterparts (MnSO4·H2O and FeSO4·7H2O) to compare with the 100 mg/L MnFe2O4 NPs. After three consecutive foliar applications, nanoparticles demonstrated a substantial elevation in grain yield and harvest index, exhibiting a noteworthy increase to 5.0 ± 0.12 t/ha and 0.46 ± 0.001 in the 100 mg/L NP dose, respectively, concomitant with a 14% enhancement in the grain number per spike. Fe, Mn, and Ca content in grain increased to 77 ± 2.7 mg/kg, 119 ± 2.8 mg/kg, and 0.32 ± 7.9 g/kg in the 100 mg/L NPs, respectively. Compared to the ion treatment, the 100 mg/L NP treatments notably boosts wheat grain crude protein content (from 13 ± 0.79% to 15 ± 0.58%) and effectively lowers PA/Fe levels (from 11 ± 0.7 to 9.3 ± 0.5), thereby improving Fe bioavailability. The VSM results exhibited a slight superparamagnetic behavior, whereas the grains and stems exhibited diamagnetic behavior. The results indicate that the nanomaterial did not accumulate in the grains, suggesting its suitability as an Fe and Mn-rich fertilizer in agriculture. Above all, the foliar application of nanocomposites increased the concentrations of Fe, Mn, and Ca in wheat grains, accompanied by a significant enhancement in grain yield. Therefore, the research results indicate that the foliar application of MnFe2O4 NPs can positively regulate wheat grains’ nutritional quality and yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Nutrition)
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18 pages, 1411 KiB  
Article
Management of Secondary Metabolite Synthesis and Biomass in Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) Microgreens Using Different Continuous-Spectrum LED Lights
by Mohammad Reza Fayezizadeh, Naser Alemzadeh Ansari, Mohammad Mahmoodi Sourestani, Masayuki Fujita and Mirza Hasanuzzaman
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1394; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants13101394 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Different LED light spectra (LS) are absorbed by different plant photoreceptors and can control biomass and plant secondary metabolite synthesis. In this study, the effects of continuous-spectrum LED lights (red, blue, white, red + blue, and 12 h blue + 12 h red) [...] Read more.
Different LED light spectra (LS) are absorbed by different plant photoreceptors and can control biomass and plant secondary metabolite synthesis. In this study, the effects of continuous-spectrum LED lights (red, blue, white, red + blue, and 12 h blue + 12 h red) on the production value, antioxidant compounds, and biomass of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) microgreens (Red Rubin, Violeto, and Kapoor cultivars and the Ablagh genotype) were investigated. The results showed significant effects of LS on cultivar (Cv) and the interaction of LS and Cv on the studied traits. The highest quantitys of chlorophyll a, total chlorophyll, and nitrate were obtained in Violeto under blue lighting. Red lighting enhanced starch synthesis in Red Rubin and flavonoids in the Violeto Cv. The highest biomass (4.54 kg m−2) was observed in the Ablagh genotype and the highest carbohydrate synthesis in Violeto Cv in the red + blue treatment. The highest anthocyanin content (26.33 mg 100 g−1 FW) was observed for Red Rubin Cv under 12 h blue + 12 h red light. The greatest antioxidant capacity (83.57% inhibition), the highest levels of phenolic compounds (2027.25 mg GA 100 g−1 FW), vitamin C (405.76 mg 100 g−1 FW), proline, antioxidant potential composite index (APCI), and the greatest production values were obtained for the Ablagh genotype under blue lighting. Taken together, the experiment findings indicate that growing the Ablagh genotype under continuous blue lighting can increase the antioxidant capacity, phenolic compounds, and vitamin C and that this LED light spectrum can be used as a practical method to produce basil microgreens with high nutritional health value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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