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Showing papers in "Functional Plant Biology in 2005"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This review is to assess the mode of action and role of antioxidants in protecting plants from stress caused by the presence of heavy metals in the environment.
Abstract: The contamination of soils and water with metals has created a major environmental problem, leading to considerable losses in plant productivity and hazardous health effects. Exposure to toxic metals can intensify the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are continuously produced in both unstressed and stressed plants cells. Some of the ROS species are highly toxic and must be detoxified by cellular stress responses, if the plant is to survive and grow. The aim of this review is to assess the mode of action and role of antioxidants in protecting plants from stress caused by the presence of heavy metals in the environment.

1,065 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The need for a greater process-based understanding of thermal acclimation of respiration is highlighted if the authors are to successfully predict future ecosystem CO2 fluxes and potential feedbacks on atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
Abstract: When predicting the effects of climate change, global carbon circulation models that include a positive feedback effect of climate warming on the carbon cycle often assume that (1) plant respiration increases exponentially with temperature (with a constant Q10) and (2) that there is no acclimation of respiration to long-term changes in temperature. In this review, we show that these two assumptions are incorrect. While Q10 does not respond systematically to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations, other factors such as temperature, light, and water availability all have the potential to influence the temperature sensitivity of respiratory CO2 efflux. Roots and leaves can also differ in their Q10 values, as can upper and lower canopy leaves. The consequences of such variable Q10 values need to be fully explored in carbon modelling. Here, we consider the extent of variability in the degree of thermal acclimation of respiration, and discuss in detail the biochemical mechanisms underpinning this variability; the response of respiration to long-term changes in temperature is highly dependent on the effect of temperature on plant development, and on interactive effects of temperature and other abiotic factors (e.g. irradiance, drought and nutrient availability). Rather than acclimating to the daily mean temperature, recent studies suggest that other components of the daily temperature regime can be important (e.g. daily minimum and / or night temperature). In some cases, acclimation may simply reflect a passive response to changes in respiratory substrate availability, whereas in others acclimation may be critical in helping plants grow and survive at contrasting temperatures. We also consider the impact of acclimation on the balance between respiration and photosynthesis; although environmental factors such as water availability can alter the balance between these two processes, the available data suggests that temperature-mediated differences in dark leaf respiration are closely linked to concomitant differences in leaf photosynthesis. We conclude by highlighting the need for a greater process-based understanding of thermal acclimation of respiration if we are to successfully predict future ecosystem CO2 fluxes and potential feedbacks on atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

462 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The hypothesis that root architectural tradeoffs exist for multiple resource acquisition, particularly when resources are differentially localised in the soil profile, is supported.
Abstract: Root architectural traits that increase topsoil foraging are advantageous for phosphorus acquisition but may incur tradeoffs for the acquisition of deep soil resources such as water. To examine this relationship, common bean genotypes contrasting for rooting depth were grown in the field and in the greenhouse with phosphorus stress, water stress and combined phosphorus and water stress. In the greenhouse, water and phosphorus availability were vertically stratified to approximate field conditions, with higher phosphorus in the upper layer and more moisture in the bottom layer. Under phosphorus stress, shallow-rooted genotypes grew best, whereas under drought stress, deep-rooted genotypes grew best. In the combined stress treatment, the best genotype in the greenhouse had a dimorphic root system that permitted vigorous rooting throughout the soil profile. In the field, shallow-rooted genotypes surpassed deep-rooted genotypes under combined stress. This may reflect the importance of early vegetative growth in terminal drought environments. Our results support the hypothesis that root architectural tradeoffs exist for multiple resource acquisition, particularly when resources are differentially localised in the soil profile. Architectural plasticity and root dimorphism achieved through complementary growth of distinct root classes may be important means to optimise acquisition of multiple soil resources.

412 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is found that more water usually enters the leaf from the air than from the roots, and the form of the equations emphasises that the one-way fluxes of water into and out of the stomata must sometimes be considered separately, rather than as a net outward flux.
Abstract: An expression is derived for the isotopic composition of water in leaves under conditions where the composition of water entering the leaf is not necessarily the same as that of water being transpired. The treatment is simplified and considers the average composition of the lamina and of the sites of evaporation. The concept of 'isostorage' is introduced as the product of leaf water content and the isotopic enrichment of leaf water above source water. It is shown that the rate of increase of isostorage is minus the 'isoflux' through the stomata, with the latter expressed as the product of the transpiration flux and the enrichment of the transpired water beyond source water. The approach of the isostorage to the steady state depends on the deviation of the isotopic enrichment of water at the evaporating sites from the steady value, and on the gross (one way) diffusive flux out of the leaf. To achieve model closure, it is assumed that the relationship between leaf water enrichment and that at the sites of evaporation depends on the radial Peclet number in the same manner as in the steady state. The equations have an analytical solution, and we also show how to calculate the results simply using a commonly available computer tool. The form of the equations emphasises that the one-way fluxes of water into and out of the stomata must sometimes be considered separately, rather than as a net outward flux. In this narrow sense we come to the interesting conclusion that more water usually enters the leaf from the air than from the roots.

276 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Depending on the risk attitude of growers, incorporation of a maximum transpiration rate trait in sorghum cultivars could be desirable to increase yields in dry years and improve water use efficiency and crop yield stability.
Abstract: Limitations on maximum transpiration rates, which are commonly observed as midday stomatal closure, have been observed even under well-watered conditions. Such limitations may be caused by restricted hydraulic conductance in the plant or by limited supply of water to the plant from uptake by the roots. This behaviour would have the consequences of limiting photosynthetic rate, increasing transpiration efficiency, and conserving soil water. A key question is whether the conservation of water will be rewarded by sustained growth during seed fill and increased grain yield. This simulation analysis was undertaken to examine consequences on sorghum yield over several years when maximum transpiration rate was imposed in a model. Yields were simulated at four locations in the sorghum-growing area of Australia for 115 seasons at each location. Mean yield was increased slightly ( 5 - 7%) by setting maximum transpiration rate at 0.4 mm h(-1). However, the yield increase was mainly in the dry, low-yielding years in which growers may be more economically vulnerable. In years with yield less than similar to 450 g m(-2), the maximum transpiration rate trait resulted in yield increases of 9 - 13%. At higher yield levels, decreased yields were simulated. The yield responses to restricted maximum transpiration rate were associated with an increase in efficiency of water use. This arose because transpiration was reduced at times of the day when atmospheric demand was greatest. Depending on the risk attitude of growers, incorporation of a maximum transpiration rate trait in sorghum cultivars could be desirable to increase yields in dry years and improve water use efficiency and crop yield stability.

222 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is proposed that root architectural traits that enhance topsoil foraging are important traits for improved phosphorus acquisition efficiency of annual grain crops such as maize in addition to legumes.
Abstract: In soybean and common bean, enhanced topsoil foraging permitted by shallow root architectures is advantageous for phosphorus acquisition from stratified soils. The importance of this phenomenon in graminaceous crops, which have different root architecture and morphology from legumes, is unclear. In this study we evaluated the importance of shallow roots for phosphorus acquisition in maize (Zea mays L.). In a field study, maize genotypes with shallower roots had greater growth in low phosphorus soil than deep-rooted genotypes. For physiological analysis, four maize genotypes differing in root shallowness in the field were grown in solid media with stratified phosphorus availability in a controlled environment. Of the four genotypes, one shallow and one deep genotype were also inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM). Shallower genotypes had significantly greater growth and phosphorus accumulation compared with deeper genotypes at low phosphorus availability. Mycorrhizal colonisation altered root shallowness under low phosphorus conditions, increasing shallowness substantially in a deep-rooted genotype but slightly decreasing shallowness in a shallow-rooted genotype. Mycorrhizal colonisation increased phosphorus acquisition under low phosphorus availability. Respiration costs of roots and shoots of phosphorus-efficient genotypes were significantly lower under low phosphorus conditions compared with inefficient genotypes. The physiological efficiency of phosphorus acquisition, expressed as root respiration per unit of phosphorus acquisition, was greater in shallow rooted genotypes. Our results demonstrate that genetic variation for root shallowness exists in maize, that phosphorus and AM can modulate root shallowness independently, and that a shallower root system is beneficial for plant performance in maize at low phosphorus availability. We propose that root architectural traits that enhance topsoil foraging are important traits for improved phosphorus acquisition efficiency of annual grain crops such as maize in addition to legumes.

211 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Jun-Min He, Hua Xu1, Xiao-Ping She1, Xi-Gui Song1, Wen-Ming Zhao 
TL;DR: The results indicate that UV-B radiation induces stomatal closure by promoting NO and H2O2 production and that the NO in guard cells of Vicia faba is probably produced by a NOS-like enzyme.
Abstract: Previous studies have showed that UV-B can stimulate closure as well as opening of stomata. However, the mechanism of this complex effect of UV-B is not clear. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role and the interrelationship of H2O2 and NO in UV-B-induced stomatal closure in broad bean (Vicia faba L.). By epidermal strip bioassay and laser-scanning confocal microscopy, we observed that UV-B-induced stomatal closure could be largely prevented not only by NO scavenger c-PTIO or NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor l-NAME, but also by ascorbic acid (ASC, an important reducing substrate for H2O2 removal) or catalase (CAT, the H2O2 scavenger), and that UV-B-induced NO and H2O2 production in guard cells preceded UV-B-induced stomatal closure. These results indicate that UV-B radiation induces stomatal closure by promoting NO and H2O2 production. In addition, c-PTIO, l-NAME, ASC and CAT treatments could effectively inhibit not only UV-B-induced NO production, but also UV-B-induced H2O2 production. Exogenous H2O2-induced NO production and stomatal closure were partly abolished by c-PTIO and l-NAME. Similarly, exogenous NO donor sodium nitroprusside-induced H2O2 production and stomatal closure were also partly reversed by ASC and CAT. These results show a causal and interdependent relationship between NO and H2O2 during UV-B-regulated stomatal movement. Furthermore, the l-NAME data also indicate that the NO in guard cells of Vicia faba is probably produced by a NOS-like enzyme.

179 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Recent and projected increases in [CO2] could directly increase the allergenicity of ragweed pollen and consequently the prevalence and the severity of seasonal allergic disease, however, genetic and abiotic factors governingallergen expression will need to be better established.
Abstract: Although the impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) on production of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) pollen has been examined in both indoor and outdoor experiments, the relationship between allergen expression and [CO2] is not known. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to quantify Amb a 1, ragweed’s major allergen, in protein extracted from pollen of A. artemisiifolia grown at different [CO2] values in a previous experiment. The concentrations used approximated atmospheric pre-industrial conditions (i.e. at the end of the 19th century), current conditions, and the CO2 concentration projected for the middle of the 21st century (280, 370 and 600 μmol mol–1 CO2, respectively). Although total pollen protein remained unchanged, significant increases in Amb a 1 allergen were observed between pre-industrial and projected future [CO2] and between current and projected future [CO2] (1.8 and 1.6 times, respectively). These data suggest that recent and projected increases in [CO2] could directly increase the allergenicity of ragweed pollen and consequently the prevalence and / or severity of seasonal allergic disease. However, genetic and abiotic factors governing allergen expression will need to be better established to fully understand these data and their implications for public health.

164 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The synthesis of DHA, the most nutritionally important ω3 LC-PUFA, for the first time in seed oils, along with its precursor EPA and the ω6 LC- PUFA arachidonic acid (ARA) is synthesised.
Abstract: Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are nutritionally important long-chain (≥ C20) omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3 LC-PUFA) currently obtained mainly from marine sources. A set of genes encoding the fatty acid chain elongation and desaturation enzymes required for the synthesis of LC-PUFA from their C18 PUFA precursors was expressed seed-specifically in Arabidopsis thaliana. This resulted in the synthesis of DHA, the most nutritionally important ω3 LC-PUFA, for the first time in seed oils, along with its precursor EPA and the ω6 LC-PUFA arachidonic acid (ARA). The assembled pathway utilised Δ5 and Δ6 desaturases that operate on acyl-CoA substrates and led to higher levels of synthesis of LC-PUFA than previously reported with acyl-PC desaturases. This demonstrates the potential for development of land plants as alternative sources of DHA and other LC-PUFA to meet the growing demand for these nutrients.

159 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The results show that the ability of olive trees to up-regulate the enzymatic antioxidant system might be an important attribute linked to drought tolerance, which could limit cellular damage caused by active oxygen species during water deficit.
Abstract: The effects of drought on the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), guaiacol peroxidase (POD), indoleacetate oxidase (IAAox) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) were studied in 2-year old Olea europaea L. (cv. 'Coratina') plants grown under high temperatures and irradiance levels and gradually subjected to a controlled water deficit. After 20 d without irrigation, mean predawn leaf water potential fell from -0.37 to -5.37 MPa, and decreases in net photosynthesis and transpiration occurred. The activities of SOD, APX, CAT and POD increased in relation to the severity of drought stress in both leaves and roots. In particular, a marked increase in APX activity was found in leaves of plants at severe drought stress. CAT activity increased during severe water deficit conditions in leaves and fine roots. The patterns of POD and IAA oxidase activity ran in parallel and showed increases in relation to the degree of drought. In contrast, PPO activity decreased during the progression of stress in all the tissues studied. The results show that the ability of olive trees to up-regulate the enzymatic antioxidant system might be an important attribute linked to drought tolerance. This could limit cellular damage caused by active oxygen species during water deficit.

155 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It was determined that two SNPs resulting in amino acid changes close to the C-terminus most likely alter SSIIa both in terms of activity and starch granule association, which alters the branch-length distribution of amylopectin and the gelatinisation properties of starch.
Abstract: The starch synthase IIa (SSIIa) gene of rice (Oryza sativa L.) has been shown to be the alk gene that controls alkali disintegration of rice grains, although the effects of naturally occurring alk mutant alleles on enzyme function have yet to be determined. We genotyped 60 rice cultivars for two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in rice SSIIa, including one that results in an amino acid substitution. Incorporating data for three other SNPs previously genotyped in rice SSIIa, five haplotypes were found. We analysed the association of these SSIIa haplotypes with the chain-length distribution of amylopectin, the gelatinisation temperature of rice flour, the alkali spreading score, and the starch association of the enzyme. It was determined that two SNPs resulting in amino acid changes close to the C-terminus most likely alter SSIIa both in terms of activity and starch granule association. This in turn alters the branch-length distribution of amylopectin and the gelatinisation properties of starch.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This review covers the recent application of powerful genetic and genomic approaches to identify key defence signalling pathways in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh and the identification of key regulatory components of these pathways may offer new approaches to increase the defence capabilities of crop plants.
Abstract: To overcome the attack of invading pathogens, a plant's defence system relies on preformed and induced responses. The induced responses are activated following detection of a pathogen, with the subsequent transmission of signals and orchestrated cellular events aimed at eliminating the pathogen and preventing its spread. Numerous studies are proving that the activated signalling pathways are not simply linear, but rather, form complex networks where considerable cross talk takes place. This review covers the recent application of powerful genetic and genomic approaches to identify key defence signalling pathways in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. The identification of key regulatory components of these pathways may offer new approaches to increase the defence capabilities of crop plants.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is suggested that faster root growth, different exudates promoting a more beneficial rhizosphere microflora, or modified shoot responses are possible mechanisms to explain Vigour 18's superior growth.
Abstract: Conventional wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars grow slowly in unploughed soil because of physical and biological constraints. Here a conventional cultivar (Janz) is compared with a novel experimental line (Vigour 18), bred for high leaf vigour, to explore the hypothesis that a vigorous wheat grows better in unploughed soil. Roots of both genotypes in unploughed soil were three times more distorted with 30% shorter apices and 60% shorter expansion zones than roots in ploughed soil, because of voids between blocky peds and packed sand particles that impeded root apices. More than half the root length contacted dead, remnant roots. Vigour 18 roots grew 39% faster, were thicker and distorted less than Janz roots in unploughed soil, but developed similarly in ploughed soil. Vigour 18 shoots grew 64% faster in unploughed soil, but 15% faster in ploughed soil. Fumigation of unploughed soil improved the growth of Janz only. We suggest that faster root growth, different exudates promoting a more beneficial rhizosphere microflora, or modified shoot responses are possible mechanisms to explain Vigour 18's superior growth. Vigorous genotypes may present a new opportunity for increased productivity with conservation farming.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Under salinity free amino acids, in particular proline and asparagine, and glycine betaine could function as osmolytes to balance water potential within the cell, especially when nitrogen availability exceeded the need for growth.
Abstract: The combined effects of nitrate (0, 0.1, 1, 10 mm) and salt (0, 100 mm NaCl) on nitrogen metabolism in durum wheat seedlings were investigated by analysis of nitrate reductase (NR) expression and activity, and metabolite content. High salinity (100 mm NaCl) reduced shoot growth more than root growth. The effect was independent of nitrate concentration. NR mRNA was present at a low level in both leaves and roots of plants grown in a nitrogen-free medium. NaCl increased NR mRNA at low nitrate, suggesting that chloride can mimic nitrate as a signal molecule to induce transcription in both roots and leaves. However, the level of NR protein remained low in salt-stressed plants, indicating an inhibitory effect of salt on translation of NR mRNA or an increase in protein degradation. The lower activity of nitrate reductase in leaves of high-nitrate treated plants under salinity suggested a restriction of NO3- transport to the shoot under salinity. Salt treatment promoted photorespiration, inhibiting carbohydrate accumulation in plants grown on low nitrate media. Under salinity free amino acids, in particular proline and asparagine, and glycine betaine could function as osmolytes to balance water potential within the cell, especially when nitrogen availability exceeded the need for growth.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Data suggest that among CAM orchids, there may be preferential selection for species to exhibit strong CAM or weak CAM, rather than intermediate metabolism.
Abstract: Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is one of three metabolic pathways found in vascular plants for the assimilation of carbon dioxide. In this study, we investigate the occurrence of CAM photosynthesis in 200 native orchid species from Panama and 14 non-native species by carbon isotopic composition (δ 13 C) and compare these values with nocturnal acid accumulation measured by titration in 173 species. Foliar δ 13 C showed a bimodal distribution with the majority of species exhibiting values of approximately −28‰ (typically associated with the C3 pathway), or −15‰ (strong CAM). Although thick leaves were related to δ 13 C values in the CAM range, some thin-leaved orchids were capable of CAM photosynthesis, as demonstrated by acid titration. We also found species with C3 isotopic values and significant acid accumulation at night. Of 128 species with δ 13 C more negative than −22‰, 42 species showed nocturnal acid accumulation per unit fresh mass characteristic of weakly expressed CAM. These data suggest that among CAM orchids, there may be preferential selection for species to exhibit strong CAM or weak CAM, rather than intermediate metabolism.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Transpiration ratios correlated strongly with δ13C values and nocturnal CO2 gain suggesting that δ 13C value can be used to estimate both water-use efficiency and the proportion of CO2 gained by CAM species during the light and the dark integrated over the lifetime of the tissues.
Abstract: The relationship between water-use efficiency, measured as the transpiration ratio (g H2O transpired g −1 above- plus below-ground dry mass accumulated), and 13 C/ 12 C ratio (expressed as δ 13 C value) of bulk biomass carbon was compared in 15 plant species growing under tropical conditions at two field sites in the Republic of Panama. The species included five constitutive crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) species (Aloe vera (L.) Webb & Berth., Ananas comosus (L.) Merr., Euphorbia tirucalli L., Kalancho¨ e daigremontiana Hamet et Perr., Kalancho¨ e pinnata (Lam.) Pers.), two species of tropical C3 trees (Tectona grandis Linn. f. and Swietenia macrophylla King), one C4 species (Zea mays L.), and seven arborescent species of the neotropical genus Clusia, of which two exhibited pronounced CAM. The transpiration ratios of the C3 and CAM species, which ranged between 496 g H2 Og −1 dry mass in the C3-CAM species Clusia pratensis Seeman to 54 g H2 Og −1 dry mass in the constitutive CAM species Aloe vera, correlated strongly with δ 13 C values and nocturnal CO2 gain suggesting that δ 13 C value can be used to estimate both water-use efficiency and the proportion of CO2 gained by CAM species during the light and the dark integrated over the lifetime of the tissues.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The results indicate that the increase in Jmax / Vcmax at low growth temperatures relieved the limitation of RuBP regeneration on the photosynthetic rate in P. cuspidatum, but that such change in J Max’s/Vc Max would not improve the photosynthesis rate in F. crenata.
Abstract: The ratio of the capacities of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) regeneration to RuBP carboxylation (Jmax / Vcmax) (measured at a common temperature) increases in some species when they are grown at lower temperatures, but does not increase in other species. To investigate the mechanism of interspecific difference in the response of Jmax / Vcmax to growth temperature, we analysed the temperature dependence of Vcmax and Jmax in Polygonum cuspidatum and Fagus crenata with the Arrhenius function. P. cuspidatum had a higher ratio of Jmax / Vcmax in spring and autumn than in summer, while F. crenata did not show such change. The two species had a similar activation energy for Vcmax (EaV) across seasons, but P. cuspidatum had a higher activation energy for Jmax (EaJ) than F. crenata. Reconstruction of the temperature response curve of photosynthesis showed that plants with an inherently higher EaJ / EaV (P. cuspidatum) had photosynthetic rates that were limited by RuBP regeneration at low temperatures and limited by RuBP carboxylation at high temperatures, while plants with an inherently lower EaJ / EaV (F. crenata) had photosynthetic rates that were limited solely by RuBP carboxylation over the range of temperatures. These results indicate that the increase in Jmax / Vcmax at low growth temperatures relieved the limitation of RuBP regeneration on the photosynthetic rate in P. cuspidatum, but that such change in Jmax / Vcmax would not improve the photosynthetic rate in F. crenata. We suggest that whether or not the Jmax / Vcmax ratio changes with growth temperature is attributable to interspecific differences in EaJ / EaV between species.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The leaf structure of a phylogenetically diverse assemblage of 18 CAM plants was compared with six C3 plants and four C4 plants to assess whether consistent anatomical patterns that may reflect functional constraints are present.
Abstract: Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) has evolved independently on dozens of occasions and is now found in over 7% of plant species. In this study, the leaf structure of a phylogenetically diverse assemblage of 18 CAM plants was compared with six C3 plants and four C4 plants to assess whether consistent anatomical patterns that may reflect functional constraints are present. CAM plants exhibited increased cell size and increased leaf and mesophyll thickness relative to C3 and C4 species. CAM species also exhibited reduced intercellular air space (IAS) and reduced length of mesophyll surface exposed to IAS per unit area (Lmes / area). The low volume of IAS and low exposure of mesophyll surface to IAS likely increases internal resistance to CO2 in CAM tissues. While this diffusional barrier may limit uptake of CO2 during Phases II and IV, carbon economy could be enhanced through the reduced loss of internal CO2 during all four phases of CAM.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Survival of florets positioned in the middle of the spikelets could be improved by increasing spike growth through manipulation of photoperiod sensitivity during stem elongation.
Abstract: Wheat breeding has improved yield potential increasing floret survival through higher dry matter partitioning to the spikes during the stem elongation phase (from terminal spikelet initiation to anthesis). We studied survival of floret primodia in different spikelet positions along the spike in relation to dynamics of spike growth, when dynamics of dry matter partitioning to the spike was altered by photoperiod and shading treatments applied during the stem elongation phase. The cultivar Buck Manantial was exposed to (1) NP+0 un-shaded (natural photoperiod and incoming radiation of the growing season), (2) NP+0 shaded (natural photoperiod but only 33% of the incoming radiation), and (3) NP+6 un-shaded (natural photoperiod extended 6 h and natural incoming radiation). Floret survival increased, depending on spikelet position, 1.1–2.5 fold under un-shaded v. shaded treatments (both under NP+0), and 1.3–1.8 fold under NP+0 v. NP+6 treatments (both un-shaded), without any impact of treatments on the total number of initiated floret primordia. The fate of the floret primordia and its final stage at anthesis were associated with duration of floret development within the stem elongation phase (R2 = 82%, P<0.0001). Florets may be classified into three groups: (i) those that were fertile at anthesis under all treatments (mostly the two florets F1 and F2, proximal to the rachis within the spikelet), (ii) those that reached different stages at anthesis, depending on treatment, and that contributed differentially to the number of fertile florets at anthesis (mostly the florets F3, F4 and F5, positioned in the middle of the spikelet), and (iii) those that did not contribute to the number of fertile florets under any treatment (mostly the florets ≥ F6). Degeneration of florets in group (ii) was associated with spike growth at maximum rate, explaining the strong relationship observed between spike dry weight at anthesis and number of fertile florets. However, degeneration of florets in group (iii) seemed to occur before spike growth at maximum rate. Survival of florets positioned in the middle of the spikelets could be improved by increasing spike growth through manipulation of photoperiod sensitivity during stem elongation.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Taken together, the studies from three evolutionarily diverse species demonstrated a role for the CaM-binding channel, AtCNGC10, in mediating the uptake of K+ in plants.
Abstract: We have isolated and characterised AtCNGC10, one of the 20 members of the family of cyclic nucleotide (CN)-gated and calmodulin (CaM)-regulated channels (CNGCs) from Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. AtCNGC10 bound CaM in a C-terminal subregion that contains a basic amphiphillic structure characteristic of CaM-binding proteins and that also overlaps with the predicted CN-binding domain. AtCNGC10 is insensitive to the broad-range K+ channel blocker, tetraethylammonium, and lacks a typical K+-signature motif. However, AtCNGC10 complemented K+ channel uptake mutants of Escherichia coli (LB650), yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae CY162) and Arabidopsis (akt1-1). Sense 35S-AtCNGC10 transformed into the Arabidopsis akt1-1 mutant, grew 1.7-fold better on K+-limited medium relative to the vector control. Coexpression of CaM and AtCNGC10 in E. coli showed that Ca2+ / CaM inhibited cell growth by 40%, while cGMP reversed the inhibition by Ca2+ / CaM, in a AtCNGC10-dependent manner. AtCNGC10 did not confer tolerance to Cs+ in E. coli, however, it confers tolerance to toxic levels of Na+ and Cs+ in the yeast K+ uptake mutant grown on low K+ medium. Antisense AtCNGC10 plants had 50% less potassium than wild type Columbia. Taken together, the studies from three evolutionarily diverse species demonstrated a role for the CaM-binding channel, AtCNGC10, in mediating the uptake of K+ in plants.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Whether photoperiod effects on number of fertile florets and grains may be direct, that is, not mediated by assimilate supply, by comparing the magnitude of photoperio effects with those of shading the canopy is compared.
Abstract: Increasing duration of stem elongation by exposure to short photoperiod would result in higher spike dry weight at anthesis, which is positively associated with the number of fertile florets and grains in wheat. However, it is not easy to determine whether photoperiod effects on fertile florets and grains are only mediated by assimilate supply to the growing spike when spike weight variation is attained only with photoperiod treatments. The aim of this study was to determine whether photoperiod effects on number of fertile florets and grains may be direct, that is, not mediated by assimilate supply, by comparing the magnitude of photoperiod effects with those of shading the canopy. Spike dry weight at anthesis was changed through the factorial combination of different photoperiod (natural and 6 h extended photoperiod) and shading (un-shaded and 67 ± 3% shaded) treatments during stem elongation of Buck Manantial, a cultivar known for its photoperiod sensitivity in this phase. Both treatments modified spike dry weight at anthesis and the number of fertile florets and grains, independently. When duration of stem elongation was lengthened by exposure to natural photoperiod and when incident radiation was high, spike dry weight at anthesis increased by 33% (NP+0 v. NP+6) and 27% (un-shaded v. shaded), respectively. The number of fertile florets increased similarly to spike dry weight (34% NP+0 v. NP+6 and 28% un-shaded v. shaded) resulting in higher number of grains. Most photoperiod effects on the number of fertile florets and, consequently, on the number of grains, were mediated by assimilate supply to the growing spike as the same relationship between the number of fertile florets and spike dry weight at anthesis was observed for photoperiod and shading treatments (R2 = 0.99, P<0.05).

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The hypothesis that phenotypic plasticity in response to biotic and abiotic factors explains the observed differences in competitiveness between invasive and native species is explored.
Abstract: The phenotypic plasticity and the competitive ability of the invasive Acacia longifolia v. the indigenous Mediterranean dune species Halimium halimifolium and Pinus pinea were evaluated. In particular, we explored the hypothesis that phenotypic plasticity in response to biotic and abiotic factors explains the observed differences in competitiveness between invasive and native species. The seedlings' ability to exploit different resource availabilities was examined in a two factorial experimental design of light and nutrient treatments by analysing 20 physiological and morphological traits. Competitiveness was tested using an additive experimental design in combination with 15 N-labelling experiments. Light and nutrient availability had only minor effects on most physiological traits and differences between species were not significant. Plasticity in response to changes in resource availability occurred in morphological and allocation traits, revealing A. longifolia to be a species of intermediate responsiveness. The major competitive advantage of A. longifolia was its constitutively high shoot elongation rate at most resource treatments and its effective nutrient acquisition. Further, A. longifolia was found to be highly tolerant against competition from native species. In contrast to common expectations, the competition experiment indicated that A. longifolia expressed a constant allocation pattern and a phenotypic plasticity similar to that of the native species.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Sun-adapted species coping with the high water demand typical of sunny habitats appeared to have developed a highly efficient conducting system to supply living mesophyll cells with water, and species adapted to shady habitats showed higher Rvenation values according to their lower need for investment of carbon into producing wide conduits in the leaf.
Abstract: We tested the hypothesis that leaf hydraulics is correlated with the light adaptation of different plant species and specifically that the hydraulic resistance of the leaf venation (Rvenation) is lower in sun- than in shade-adapted species. Rvenation was measured in six sun- and six shade-adapted species with a high-pressure flow meter (HPFM). The number of conduits at the proximal third of the midrib was counted and the diameter of the widest conduits together with vein density were measured. Rvenation was higher in shade species than in sun species and it was negatively correlated with the mean diameter of the widest conduits. Maximum leaf conductance to water vapour recorded for the different species was negatively correlated with the corresponding Rvenation. Sun-adapted species coping with the high water demand typical of sunny habitats appeared to have developed a highly efficient conducting system to supply living mesophyll cells with water. In contrast, species adapted to shady habitats showed higher Rvenation values according to their lower need for investment of carbon into producing wide conduits in the leaf.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This review of the CAM pathways of carbon flow and intracellular transport highlights what is known and what has been postulated, and concludes that no tonoplast or mitochondrial transporter has been functionally described at a molecular level.
Abstract: The massive daily reciprocal transfer of carbon between acids and carbohydrates that is unique to crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) involves extensive and regulated transport of metabolites between chloroplasts, vacuoles, the cytosol and mitochondria. In this review of the CAM pathways of carbon flow and intracellular transport, we highlight what is known and what has been postulated. For three of the four CAM pathway variants currently known (malic enzyme- or PEP carboxykinase-type decarboxylase, and starch- or soluble sugar-type carbohydrate storage), the mechanisms of intracellular transport are still hypothetical and have yet to be demonstrated experimentally. Even in malic enzyme starch-storing species such as Kalanchoe daigremontiana Hamet et Perr. and Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L., the best-described variants of plants with the second-most common mode of photosynthetic carbon metabolism known, no tonoplast or mitochondrial transporter has been functionally described at a molecular level.

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TL;DR: It is shown how quantum chemical calculations can be adapted for calculation of isotope effects for the Rubisco-catalysed carboxylation and oxygenation reactions and the citrate synthase reaction, which has an overall isotope effect that depletes organic acids in 13C.
Abstract: Carbon isotope effects of enzymes involved in primary carbon metabolism are key parameters in our understanding of plant metabolism. Nevertheless, some of them are poorly known because of the lack of in vitro experimental data on purified enzymes. Some studies have focused on theoretical predictions of isotope effects. Here we show how quantum chemical calculations can be adapted for calculation of isotope effects for the Rubisco-catalysed carboxylation and oxygenation reactions and the citrate synthase reaction. The intrinsic isotope effect of the carboxylation by Rubisco appears to be much smaller than previously thought, being close to the overall isotope effect of the reaction that is, between 25 and 30 per mil. The same applies to the enzyme citrate synthase, that catalyses the first step of the Krebs cycle, with an isotope effect of around 23 per mil. Combined with the isotope effects of equilibrium reactions calculated with β-factors, the Krebs cycle then has an overall isotope effect that depletes organic acids in 13C.

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TL;DR: This work directly test the role of solute uptake in creating the hydrostatic pressure associated with phloem flow and observes these variables at a time resolution of minutes to have direct observation of the predictions of Münch.
Abstract: According to the Munch hypothesis, a flow of solution through the sieve tubes is driven by a hydrostatic pressure difference between the source (or collection) phloem and the sink (or release) phloem. A high hydrostatic pressure is maintained in the collection phloem by the active uptake of sugar and other solutes, with a concomitant inflow of water. A lower pressure is maintained in the release phloem through solute unloading. In this work we directly test the role of solute uptake in creating the hydrostatic pressure associated with phloem flow. Solute loading into the phloem of mature leaves of barley and sow thistle was reduced by replacing the air supply with nitrogen gas. Hydrostatic pressure in adjacent sieve elements was measured with a sieve-element pressure probe, a cell pressure probe glued to the exuding stylet of aphids that had been feeding from the phloem. Sieve element sap was sampled by aphid stylectomy; sap osmotic pressure was determined by picolitre osmometry and its sugar concentration by enzyme-linked fluorescence assays. Samples were taken with a time resolution of ~2–3 min. In accordance with Munch’s proposal a drop in osmotic and hydrostatic pressure in the source phloem following treatment of the source leaf with N2 was observed. A decrease in sugar concentration was the major contributor to the change in osmotic pressure. By observing these variables at a time resolution of minutes we have direct observation of the predictions of Munch.

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TL;DR: Significant water loss through stomata for all species is demonstrated at some time for some leaves during the night and incorporation of the one-way flux model into ecosystem respiration partitioning studies will affect model outputs and interpretation of variation in the oxygen isotope composition of atmospheric CO2.
Abstract: Variation in the oxygen isotope composition of within-canopy CO2 has potential to allow partitioning of the ecosystem respiratory flux into above- and below-ground components. Recent theoretical work has highlighted the sensitivity of the oxygen isotope composition of leaf-respired CO2 (δRl) to nocturnal stomatal conductance. When the one-way flux model was tested on Ricinus communis L. large enrichments in δRl were observed. However, most species for which the isotope flux partitioning technique has been or would be applied (i.e. temperate tree species) are much more conservative users of water than R. communis. So, high stomatal conductance and very high enrichment of δRl observed may not be typical for temperate tree species. Using existing gas-exchange measurements on six temperate tree species, we demonstrate significant water loss through stomata for all species (i.e. statistically significantly greater than cuticular loss alone) at some time for some leaves during the night. δRl values predicted by the one-way flux model revealed that δRl might be very much more enriched than when the net flux alone is considered, particularly close to sunrise and sunset. Incorporation of the one-way flux model into ecosystem respiration partitioning studies will affect model outputs and interpretation of variation in the oxygen isotope composition of atmospheric CO2.

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TL;DR: Localised contents of Ca, K and Fe in the growing tissue of the salt-stressed leaf were highly correlated with the intensity of localised tissue volumetric expansion, suggesting reduced levels of Ca and K, and toxic levels of Fe as possible causes of growth inhibition under salinity.
Abstract: Salinity-induced excess or deficiency of specific nutrients are often hypothesised to operate as causes of growth inhibition and to trigger primary responses, which directly affect growth. Information concerning salinity effects on microelement nutrition in the growing cells is limited. In this study, salinity-(80 mm NaCl) inflicted alterations in spatial profiles of essential elements (N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Mn, Cu) and the salinity source (Na and Cl) were studied along the growing zone of leaf 4 of maize (Zea mays L.). Correlations between spatial profiles of growth and nutritional status of the tissue were tested for evaluation of the hypothesis that a disturbance of specific mineral nutritional factors in the growing cells might serve as causes of salt-induced growth inhibition. Examined nutritional elements exhibited unique distribution patterns, all of which were disturbed by salinity. With the exception of Na, Cl and Fe, the deposition rates of all the studied mineral elements were reduced by salinity throughout the elongating tissue. Localised contents of Ca, K and Fe in the growing tissue of the salt-stressed leaf were highly correlated with the intensity of localised tissue volumetric expansion, suggesting reduced levels of Ca and K, and toxic levels of Fe as possible causes of growth inhibition. Na and Cl accumulation were not correlated with growth inhibition under salinity.

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TL;DR: Functional and morphological (structural) characteristics of Quercus ilex L. leaves under drought stress were studied in the forest and in a nursery and the relationship between nitrogen (N) content and LMA implied lower N investment in photosynthesis components in controls, which could be responsible for their increased non-stomatal limitation of photosynthesis.
Abstract: Functional and morphological (structural) characteristics of Quercus ilex L. leaves under drought stress were studied in the forest and in a nursery. We compared undisturbed individuals (controls) with resprouts emerging after clear-cut or excision. When soil water availability was high, gas-exchange was similar in resprouts and controls, despite higher midday leaf water potential, midday leaf hydration and relative water content (RWC). In moderate drought, stomatal closure was found to limit photosynthesis in controls, and in severe drought non-stomatal limitations of photosynthesis were also greater than in resprouts. Leaf structure and chemical composition changed under drought stress. Leaves tended to be smaller in controls with increasing drought, and resprouts had larger leaves and lower leaf mass area (LMA). The relationship between nitrogen (N) content and LMA implied lower N investment in photosynthetic components in controls, which could be responsible for their increased non-stomatal limitation of photosynthesis. Changes were more apparent in leaf density (D) and thickness (T), components of LMA. Decreases in D were related to reductions in cell wall components: hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin. In resprouts, reduced D and leaf T accounted for the higher mesophyll conductance (gmes) to CO2 measured.

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TL;DR: Current knowledge of the characteristics of the spatial distribution patterns of the mineral elements along the growing grass leaf and of the impact of salinity on these patterns are summarized.
Abstract: Salinity is increasingly limiting the production of graminaceous crops constituting the main sources of staple food (rice, wheat, barley, maize and sorghum), primarily through reductions in the expansion and photosynthetic yield of the leaves. In the present review, we summarise current knowledge of the characteristics of the spatial distribution patterns of the mineral elements along the growing grass leaf and of the impact of salinity on these patterns. Although mineral nutrients have a wide range of functions in plant tissues, their functions may differ between growing and non-growing parts of the grass leaf. To identify the physiological processes by which salinity affects leaf elongation in non-halophytic grasses, patterns of mineral nutrient deposition related to developmental and anatomical gradients along the growing grass leaf are discussed. The hypothesis that a causal link exists between ion deficiency and / or toxicity and the inhibition of leaf growth of grasses in a saline environment is tested.