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Eoin Byrne, Krisztina Kovacs, Ed W J van Niel, Karin Willquist, Sven-Erik Svensson, Emma Kreuger
Background: Current EU directives demand increased use of renewable fuels in the transportation sector but restrict governmental support for production of biofuels produced from crops. The use of intercropped lucerne and wheat may comply with the directives. In the current study, the combination of ensiled lucerne ( Medicago sativa L.) and wheat straw as substrate for hydrogen and methane production was investigated. Steam-pretreated and enzymatically hydrolysed wheat straw [WSH, 76% of total chemical oxygen demand (COD)] and ensiled lucerne (LH, 24% of total COD) were used for sequential hydrogen production through dark fermentation and methane production through anaerobic digestion and directly for anaerobic digestion...
2018: Biotechnology for Biofuels
Yunjian Xu, Suwen Zhu, Fang Liu, Wei Wang, Xuewen Wang, Guomin Han, Beijiu Cheng
Maize can form symbiotic relationships with arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungus to increase productivity and resistance, but the miRNAs in maize responsible for this process have not been discovered. In this study, 155 known and 28 novel miRNAs were identified by performing high-throughput sequencing of sRNA in maize roots colonized by AM fungi. Similar to the profiles in other AM-capable plants, a large proportion of identified maize miRNAs were 24 nt in length. Fourteen and two miRNAs were significantly down- and up-regulated in response to AM fungus Glomus intraradices inoculation, respectively, suggesting potential roles of these miRNAs in AM symbiosis...
October 16, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Qiang Zhou, Dong Luo, Xutian Chai, Yuguo Wu, Yanrong Wang, Zhibiao Nan, Qingchuan Yang, Wenxian Liu, Zhipeng Liu
Cultivated alfalfa ( Medicago sativa L.) is one of the most important perennial legume forages in the world, and it has considerable potential as a valuable forage crop for livestock. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying alfalfa responses to cold stress are largely unknown. In this study, the transcriptome changes in alfalfa under cold stress at 4 °C for 2, 6, 24, and 48 h (three replicates for each time point) were analyzed using the high-throughput sequencing platform, BGISEQ-500, resulting in the identification of 50,809 annotated unigenes and 5283 differentially expressed genes (DEGs)...
October 15, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Emily E Helliwell, Joshua Faber-Hammond, Zoie C Lopez, Aaron Garoutte, Eric von Wettberg, Maren L Friesen, Stephanie S Porter
To establish and spread in a new location, an invasive species must be able to carry out its life cycle in novel environmental conditions. A key trait underlying fitness is the shift from vegetative to reproductive growth through floral development. In this study, we used a common garden experiment and genotyping-by-sequencing to test whether the latitudinal flowering cline of the North American invasive plant Medicago polymorpha was translocated from its European native range through multiple introductions, or whether the cline rapidly established due to evolution following a genetic bottleneck...
October 16, 2018: Molecular Ecology
Malgorzata Szumacher-Strabel, Anna Stochmal, Adam Cieslak, Martyna Kozłowska, Dawid Kuznicki, Mariusz Kowalczyk, Wieslaw Oleszek
BACKGROUND: Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is an important legume used in animal feed. The primary objective in this study was to analyze and trace the individual saponins in fresh and ensiled alfalfa of ten varieties, with the aim of evaluating the structural changes undergone by saponins during ensiling. A secondary objective was to examine whether any of the changes in saponin content were associated with changes in the basic nutrient composition of the ensiled alfalfa. RESULTS: The total saponin concentration increased when the fresh alfalfa was processed into silage...
October 16, 2018: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Shengyang Wu, Pinhui Zhu, Bowei Jia, Junkai Yang, Yang Shen, Xiaoxi Cai, Xiaoli Sun, Yanming Zhu, Mingzhe Sun
BACKGROUND: Even though bicarbonate alkaline stress is a serious threat to crop growth and yields, it attracts much fewer researches than high salinity stress. The basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factors have been well demonstrated to function in diverse abiotic stresses; however, their biological role in alkaline tolerance still remains elusive. In this study, we functionally characterized a bZIP gene from Glycine soja GsbZIP67 in bicarbonate alkaline stress responses. RESULTS: GsbZIP67 was initially identified as a putative bicarbonate responsive gene, on the basis of previous RNA-seq data of 50 mM NaHCO3 -treated Glycine soja roots...
October 13, 2018: BMC Plant Biology
Jianyong An, Mengqian Sun, Robin van Velzen, Chuanya Ji, Zijun Zheng, Erik Limpens, Ton Bisseling, Xiuxin Deng, Shunyuan Xiao, Zhiyong Pan
The perennial woody plants of citrus are one of the most important fruit crops in the world and largely depends on arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis (AMS) to obtain essential nutrients from soil. However, the molecular aspects of AMS in citrus and perennial woody plants in general have largely been understudied. We used RNA-sequencing to identify differentially expressed genes in roots of Poncirus trifoliata upon mycorrhization by the AM fungus Glomus versiforme and evaluated their conservation by comparative transcriptome analyses with four herbaceous model plants...
October 12, 2018: Journal of Experimental Botany
Claus Lang, Melanie J Barnett, Robert F Fisher, Lucinda S Smith, Michelle E Diodati, Sharon R Long
Bacteria must sense alterations in their environment and respond with changes in function and/or structure in order to cope. Extracytoplasmic function sigma factors (ECF σs) modulate transcription in response to cellular and environmental signals. The symbiotic nitrogen-fixing alphaproteobacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti carries genes for 11 ECF-like σs (RpoE1 to -E10 and FecI). We hypothesized that some of these play a role in mediating the interaction between the bacterium and its plant symbiotic partner...
October 10, 2018: MSphere
Jie-Shun Lin, Xiaolin Li, Zhenpeng Luo Luo, Kirankumar S Mysore, Jiangqi Wen, Fang Xie
Legume plants can assimilate inorganic nitrogen and have access to fixed nitrogen through symbiotic interaction with diazotrophic bacteria called rhizobia. Symbiotic nitrogen fixation is an energy-consuming process and is strongly inhibited when sufficient levels of fixed nitrogen are available, but the molecular mechanisms governing this regulation are largely unknown. The transcription factor nodule inception (NIN) is strictly required for nodulation and belongs to a family of NIN-like proteins (NLPs), which have been implicated in the regulation of nitrogen homeostasis in Arabidopsis...
October 8, 2018: Nature Plants
Mauren Jaudal, Lulu Zhang, Chong Che, Guifen Li, Yuhong Tang, Jiangqi Wen, Kirankumar S Mysore, Joanna Putterill
Medicago flowering, like that of Arabidopsis, is promoted by vernalization and long days, but alternative mechanisms are predicted because Medicago lacks the key regulators CO and FLC. Three Medicago SOC1-like genes, including MtSOC1a, were previously implicated in flowering control, but no legume soc1 mutants with altered flowering were reported. Here, reverse transciption-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) indicated that the timing and magnitude of MtSOC1a expression was regulated by the flowering promoter FTa1, while in situ hybridization indicated that MtSOC1a expression increased in the shoot apical meristem during the floral transition...
September 14, 2018: Journal of Experimental Botany
Liujian Duan, Junqing Pei, Yaping Ren, Hao Li, Xiangzhen Zhou, Hui Zhu, Deqiang Duanmu, Jiangqi Wen, Kirankumar S Mysore, Yangrong Cao, Zhongming Zhang
In almost all symbiotic interactions between rhizobia and leguminous plants, host flavonoid-induced synthesis of Nod factors in rhizobia is required to initiate symbiotic response in plants. In this study, we found that Lotus japonicus Nod Factor Receptor 5 (LjNFR5) might directly regulate flavonoid biosynthesis during symbiotic interaction with rhizobia. A yeast two-hybrid analysis revealed that a dihydroflavonol-4-reductase-like protein (LjDFL1) interacts with LjNFR5. The interaction between MtDFL1 and MtNFP, two Medicago truncatula proteins with homology to LjDFL1 and LjNFR5, respectively, was also shown, suggesting that interaction between these two proteins might be conserved in different legumes...
October 8, 2018: Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions: MPMI
Yina Jiang, Qiujin Xie, Wanxiao Wang, Jun Yang, Xiaowei Zhang, Nan Yu, Yun Zhou, Ertao Wang
Most land plants evolve a mutualistic symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi to improve nutrient acquisition from the soil. In return, up to 20% of host plant photosynthate is transferred to the mycorrhizal fungus in the form of lipids and sugar. Nutrient exchange must be regulated by both partners in order to maintain a reliable symbiotic relationship. However, the mechanisms underlying the regulation of lipid transfer from plant to AM fungus remain elusive. Here, we show that Medicago truncatula AP2/EREBP transcription factor WRI5a, and likely its two homologs WRI5b/Erf1 and WRI5c, are master regulators of AM symbiosis by controlling lipid transfer and periarbuscular membrane formation...
October 4, 2018: Molecular Plant
Xue Xiong, Nan Liu, Yu-Qi Wei, Yi-Xian Bi, Jian-Chuan Luo, Rui-Xuan Xu, Ji-Qiong Zhou, Ying-Jun Zhang
A split-root system was established to investigate the effects of uniform (0/0, 50/50, and 200/200 mM salt [NaCl]) and non-uniform (0/200 and 50/200 mM NaCl) salt stress on growth, ion regulation, and the antioxidant defense system of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) by comparing a salt-tolerant (Zhongmu No.1) and salt-sensitive (Algonquin) cultivar. We found that non-uniform salinity was associated with greater plant growth rate and shoot dry weight, lower leaf Na+ concentration, higher leaf potassium cation (K+ ) concentration, lower lipid peroxidation, and greater superoxide dismutase (EC 1...
September 21, 2018: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: PPB
Zohreh Davoodi, Nicolás Bejerman, Cécile Richet, Denis Filloux, Safaa G Kumari, Elisavet K Chatzivassiliou, Serge Galzi, Charlotte Julian, Samira Samarfard, Verónica Trucco, Fabián Giolitti, Elvira Fiallo-Olivé, Jesús Navas-Castillo, Nader Asaad, Abdul Rahman Moukahel, Jomana Hijazi, Samia Mghandef, Jahangir Heydarnejad, Hossein Massumi, Arvind Varsani, Ralf G Dietzgen, Gordon W Harkins, Darren P Martin, Philippe Roumagnac
Alfalfa leaf curl virus (ALCV), which causes severe disease symptoms in alfalfa ( Medicago sativa L.) and is transmitted by the widespread aphid species, Aphis craccivora Koch, has been found throughout the Mediterranean basin as well as in Iran and Argentina. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of ALCV and attempt to determine whether the recent discovery and widespread detection of ALCV is attributable either to past diagnostic biases or to the emergence and global spread of the virus over the past few years...
October 4, 2018: Viruses
Corlett W Wood, Bonnie L Pilkington, Priya Vaidya, Caroline Biel, John R Stinchcombe
Genetic variation for partner quality in mutualisms is an evolutionary paradox. One possible resolution to this puzzle is that there is a tradeoff between partner quality and other fitness-related traits. Here, we tested whether susceptibility to parasitism is one such tradeoff in the mutualism between legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria (rhizobia). We performed two greenhouse experiments with the legume Medicago truncatula . In the first, we inoculated each plant with the rhizobia Ensifer meliloti and with one of 40 genotypes of the parasitic root-knot nematode Meloidogyne hapla ...
June 2018: Evolution Letters
José Chang Kee, María J Gonzales, Olga Ponce, Lorena Ramírez, Vladimir León, Adelia Torres, Melissa Corpus, Raúl Loayza-Muro
Metal contamination is a recurring problem in Peru, caused mainly by mine tailings from a past active mining activity. The Ancash region has the largest number of environmental liabilities, which mobilizes high levels of metals and acid drainages into soils and freshwater sources, posing a standing risk on human and environmental health. Native plant species spontaneously growing on naturally acidified soils and acid mine tailings show a unique tolerance to high metal concentrations and are thus potential candidates for soil phytoremediation...
October 2, 2018: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Wenjuan Kang, Lin Xu, Zhehao Jiang, Shangli Shi
Research on rhizobium diversity has paved the way for diversification of rhizobial germplasm resources. Seventy-three endophytic bacterial isolates were collected from seven tissues of five alfalfa varieties in three geographic locations in Gansu, China, and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) fingerprinting of 16S rRNA and analysis of concatenated sequence of three housekeeping genes atpD, glnII and recA, and symbiotic genes nodC and nifH were used for strain identification. Results showed that the endophytic strains were genetically diverse at different taxonomic levels, and Ensifer meliloti (31) and Agrobacterium radiobacter (12) are common Medicago sativa endophytic bacteria in Gansu, China...
October 1, 2018: Canadian Journal of Microbiology
Yingying Meng, Huan Liu, Hui Wang, Ye Liu, Butuo Zhu, Zuoyi Wang, Yaling Hou, Pengcheng Zhang, Jiangqi Wen, Hongshan Yang, Kirankumar S Mysore, Jianghua Chen, Million Tadege, Lifang Niu, Hao Lin
The formation and maintenance of the shoot apical meristem (SAM) is critical for plant development. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of regulating meristematic cell activity is poorly understood in the model legume Medicago truncatula. Using forward genetic approaches, we identified HEADLESS (HDL), a homologue of Arabidopsis WUSCHEL, required for M. truncatula SAM maintenance and leaf development. Disruption of HDL led to disorganized specification and arrest of the SAM and axillary meristems resulting in the hdl mutant being locked in the vegetative phase without apparent stem elongation...
September 29, 2018: Journal of Experimental Botany
Min Chen, Xue-Yong Zhao, Xiao-An Zuo
Medicago sativa L. is an important cash crop in the arid region of northwest China. Pollinator activity is an essential aspect of pollination success, but the relationships between pollinator visitation rate and seed set still need further study of M. sativa . We investigated the following characteristics of M. sativa in natural and managed populations: floral traits, pollinator activity, and breeding system. Our results indicated the management could affect the number of flowers produced; however, there was no detectable effect on the seed set per flower...
September 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Jaime Barros, Stephen Temple, Richard A Dixon
Reducing lignin content in forage legumes can improve digestibility and, correspondingly, animal performance, and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is the first genetically engineered crop commercialized for improved forage digestibility. Lignin reduction was achieved by downregulating the gene encoding caffeoyl-CoA 3-O-methyltransferase (CCoAOMT), and development of the commercial product, branded as HarvXtra, required the coordination of two research institutions and two companies, and more than 15 years of research and field trials...
September 27, 2018: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
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