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Plant Biology

Amanda K Huen, Caren Rodriguez-Medina, Angela Y Y Ho, Craig A Atkins, Penelope M C Smith
Plant microRNAs are small RNAs that are important for genetic regulation of processes such as plant development or environmental responses. Specific microRNAs accumulate in the phloem during phosphate starvation, and may act as long-distance signalling molecules. We performed quantitative PCR on Arabidopsis hypocotyl micrograft tissues of wild-type and hen1-6 mutants to assess the mobility of several phosphate starvation-responsive microRNA species. In addition to the previously-confirmed mobile species miR399d, the corresponding microRNA* (miR399d*) was identified for the first time as mobile between shoots and roots...
March 21, 2017: Plant Biology
Beatriz Guzmán, José María Gómez, Pablo Vargas
The association between plants and flower visitors has been historically proposed as a main factor driving the evolutionary change of both flower and pollinator phenotypes. The considerable diversity in floral morphology within the tribe Antirrhineae has been traditionally related to pollinator types. We used empirical data on the flower visitors from 59 Antirrhineae taxa from the literature and our own field surveys, which provide an opportunity to test whether flower phenotypes are reliable predictors of visitors and pollinator niches (i...
March 17, 2017: Plant Biology
B Amato, S Petit
The knowledge of floral nectar sugar characteristics such as concentration, ratio, and mass is essential to understand the complex nature of nectar production and pollination systems. Although nectar is commonly stored in ecology, storage reliability and effectiveness have rarely been quantified. Inappropriate nectar storage between sampling and analysis can alter nectar chemistry as a result of enzyme or microbial action. Our review of the literature indicates that measures to preserve nectar sugars before analysis include refrigeration, freezing, the addition of an antimicrobial agent, spotting and drying on filter paper, the addition of a desiccant, or a combination of these storage treatments...
March 17, 2017: Plant Biology
Lucía DeSoto, Rubén Torices, Susana Rodríguez-Echeverría, Cristina Nabais
The study of intraspecific seed packaging (i.e. seed size/number strategy) variation across different populations may allow a better understanding of the ecological forces that drive seed evolution in plants. Juniperus thurifera (Cupressaceae) provides a good model to study this due to the existence of two subspecies differentiated by phenotypic traits, such as seed size and cone seediness (number of seeds inside a cone) across its range. The aim of this study was to analyse seed packaging (seed mass and cone seediness) variation at different scales (subspecies, populations and individuals) and the relationship between cone and seed traits in European and African J...
March 17, 2017: Plant Biology
Marcial Escudero, Francisco Balao, Santiago Martín-Bravo, Luis Valente, Virginia Valcárcel
The Mediterranean Basin region, home to 25,000 species of plants, is included in the worldwide list of hotspots of biodiversity. Despite the indisputably important role of chromosome transitions in plant evolution and diversification, no reference study to date has dealt with the possible relationship between chromosome evolution and lineage diversification in the Mediterranean Basin. Here we study patterns of diversification, patterns of chromosome number transition (either polyploidy or dysploidy), and the relationship between both for 14 Mediterranean Basin angiosperm lineages using previously published phylogenies...
March 13, 2017: Plant Biology
Hongjie Meng, Xinzeng Wei, Scott B Franklin, Hao Wu, Mingxi Jiang
1.Intraspecific trait variation and trait-climate relationships are crucial for understanding a species' response to climate change. However, these phenomena have been rarely studied for tree species. Euptelea pleiospermum (E. pleiospermum) is a relic tree species with a wide distribution in China that offers a novel opportunity to examine such relationships. 2.Here, we measured 13 leaf traits of E. pleiospermum in 20 sites across its natural distribution in China. We investigated the extent of trait variation at local and regional scales, and developed geographic and climatic models to explain trait variation at the regional scale...
March 13, 2017: Plant Biology
Shuoqian Liu, Liping Liu, Yuwei Tang, Shuo Xiong, Jinhua Long, Zhonghua Liu, Na Tian
(1) The regulation mechanism of flavonoids, which were found to synergize anti-malarial and anti-cancer compounds in Artemisia annua, is still unclear. (2) In this study, an anthocyanidin-accumulating mutant callus was induced from A. annua, and then comparative transcriptomic analysis of the wild-type and mutant calli was performed, based on the next-generation Illumina/Solexa sequencing platform and de novo assembly. (3) As a result, a total of 82,393 unigenes were obtained and 34,764 unigenes were annotated in the public database...
March 7, 2017: Plant Biology
Urszula Zajączkowska, Peter W Barlow
• Orbital movement of the Moon generates a system of gravitational fields which periodically alters the gravitational force on Earth. This lunar tidal acceleration (Etide) is known to act as an external environmental factor affecting many growth and developmental phenomena in plants. Our study has focused on the lunar tidal influence on stem elongation growth, nutations, and leaf movements of peppermint. • Plants were continuously recorded by time-lapse photography under constant illumination as well in constant illumination following five days of alternating dark-light cycles...
March 3, 2017: Plant Biology
Ping Li, Xiaochen Chen, Fengli Sun, Hansong Dong
Recently we elucidated that tobacco TTG2 cooperates with ARF8 to regulate the vegetative growth and seed production. Here we show that TTG2 and ARF8 control flower colorization by regulating the expression of ANS and DFR genes, which function in anthocyanin biosynthesis. Genetic modifications that substantially altered expression levels of the TTG2 gene and production quantities of the TTG2 protein were correlated with flower development and colorization. Degrees of flower colorization were increased by TTG2 overexpression but decreased by TTG2 silencing in coincidence with high and low concentrations of anthocyanins in flowers...
March 1, 2017: Plant Biology
Fabiana Alves Mourão, Rafael Barros Pereira Pinheiro, Claudia Maria Jacobi, José Eugênio Côrtes Figueira
RATIONALE: Some parasitic plants are capable of vegetative propagation that allows them access to new hosts and improve nutrient availability. We aimed to determine what factors positively influence this propagation in the xylem-tapping Struthanthus flexicaulis, focusing on the use of directed foraging as a means of optimizing access to resources. METHODS: The study site was a rupicolous plant community in southeastern Brazil. We evaluated how the success of branch propagation (by contagion) of the mistletoe is influenced by the crown height and density of its main host, the legume Mimosa calodendron...
February 28, 2017: Plant Biology
A Marcer, D S Vidigal, P M A James, M-J Fortin, B Méndez-Vigo, H W M Hilhorst, L Bentsink, C Alonso-Blanco, F X Picó
To understand how adaptive evolution in life-cycle phenology operates in plants, we need to unravel the effects of geographical variation in putative agents of natural selection on life-cycle phenology by considering all key developmental transitions and their co-variation patterns. We address this goal by quantifying the temperature-driven and geographically varying relationship between seed dormancy and flowering time in the annual Arabidopsis thaliana across the Iberian Peninsula. We used data on genetic variation in two major life-cycle traits, seed dormancy (DSDS50) and flowering time (FT), in a collection of 300 A...
February 27, 2017: Plant Biology
Xue-Fang Yang, Chui-Hua Kong
BACKGROUD: Despite increasing knowledge of allelopathy involved in negative interactions among plants, relatively little is known about its action at the root level. This study aims at further enhancing the understanding of the interactions of roots of crop and associated weeds via allelopathy. METHODS: Based on a series of experiments with window rhizobox and root segregation methods, we examined root-placement patterns and root interactions between allelopathic rice and major paddy weeds including Cyperus difformis, Echinochloa crus-galli, Eclipta prostrata, Leptochloa chinesis and Oryza sativa (weedy rice)...
February 20, 2017: Plant Biology
G Michavila, C Adler, P R De Gregorio, M J Lami, M C Caram Di Santo, A M Zenoff, R E de Cristobal, P A Vincent
Citrus canker is a worldwide-distributed disease caused by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri. One of the most used strategies to control the disease is centered on copper-based compounds that cause environmental problems. Therefore, it is of interest to develop new strategies to manage the disease. Previously, we reported the ability of the siderophore pyochelin, produced by the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, to inhibit in vitro several bacterial species including X. citri subsp. citri. The action mechanism, addressed with the model bacterium Escherichia coli, was connected to the generation of reactive oxygen species...
February 14, 2017: Plant Biology
K J Duffy, S D Johnson
Rewardless plants can attract pollinators by mimicking floral traits of rewarding heterospecific plants. This should result in the pollination success of floral mimics being dependent on the relative abundance of their models, as pollinator abundance and conditioning on model signals should be higher in the vicinity of the models. However, the attraction of pollinators to signals of the models may be partially innate, such that spatial isolation of mimics from model species may not strongly affect pollination success of mimics...
February 1, 2017: Plant Biology
T Custodio, P Comtois, A C Araujo
Triplaris gardneriana (Polygonaceae) is a dioecious pioneer tree reported as insect pollinated, despite possessing traits related to anemophily. Here, we analyze the possible roles of insects and wind on the pollination of this species to establish whether the species is ambophilous. We carried out observations of floral biology, as well as on the frequency and behaviour of pollinators visiting flowers in a population of T. gardneriana in the Chaco vegetation of Brazil. We conducted experimental pollinations to determine the maternal fertility of female plants and whether they were pollen limited and aerobiological experiments to provide evidence of how environmental factors influence atmospheric pollen dispersal...
February 1, 2017: Plant Biology
Perla Carolina Kozub, Karina Barboza, Florencia Galdeano, Camilo Luis Quarin, Juan Bruno Cavagnaro, Pablo Federico Cavagnaro
Trichloris crinita is a perennial forage grass species native to arid regions of the American continent. Due to its extensive area of distribution, good forage quality, and resistance to drought and grazing, this species is widely utilized as forage and for revegetation purposes in environments with low water availability. Despite its importance, genetic improvement of T. crinita has been very limited, partly as consequence of the lack of knowledge on its mode of reproduction. In the present work, we studied the reproductive biology of T...
January 30, 2017: Plant Biology
A M Sánchez, M Rodríguez, M J Albert, A Escudero
Pollinator guilds may change throughout extended flowering periods, affecting plant reproductive output, especially in seasonal climates. We hypothesised a seasonal shift in pollinator guild and an autumn reduction in pollinator abundance, especially in small and sparse populations. We recorded pollinator identity, abundance and behaviour in relation to flower density from plant to population throughout the extended flowering of Ononis tridentata. We evaluated female reproductive output by recording pollination success and pre-dispersal seed predation in eight populations of contrasting size and density...
January 30, 2017: Plant Biology
D I Ojeda, R Jaén-Molina, A Santos-Guerra, J Caujape-Castells, Q Cronk
In the generally bee-pollinated genus Lotus a group of four species have evolved bird-pollinated flowers. The floral changes in these species include altered petal orientation, shape and texture. In Lotus these characters are associated with dorsiventral petal identity, suggesting that shifts in the expression of dorsal identity genes may be involved in the evolution of bird pollination. Of particular interest is Lotus japonicus CYCLOIDEA 2 (LjCYC2), known to determine the presence of papillate conical cells on the dorsal petal in L...
January 30, 2017: Plant Biology
Gerardo Arceo-Gómez, C Fabian Vargas, Victor Parra-Tabla
It is well known that animals can exert strong selective pressures on plant traits. However, studies on the evolutionary consequences of plant-animal interactions have mainly focused on understanding how these interactions shape trait means, while overlooking its potential direct effect on the variability among structures within a plant (e.g. flowers and fruits). The degree of within-plant variability can have strong fitness effects but few studies have evaluated its role as a potential target of selection...
January 30, 2017: Plant Biology
X Sun, Y Gao, D Wang, J Chen, F Zhang, J Zhou, X Yan, Y Li
Variation in soil salt may change the stoichiometry of a halophyte by altering plant ecophysiology, and exert different influences on various plant organs, which has potentially important consequences for the nutrition of consumers as well as nutrient cycling in a saline ecosystem. Using a greenhouse pot experiment, we investigated the effect of salinity variability on the growth and stoichiometry of different organs of Suaeda glauca and Salicornia europaea - two dominant species of important ecological and economic value in the saline ecosystem...
January 30, 2017: Plant Biology
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