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Alberto Campanaro, Raffaella Battaglia, Massimo Galbiati, Ari Sadanandom, Chiara Tonelli, Lucio Conti
SUMOylation and anther growth. During fertilization, stamen elongation needs to be synchronized with pistil growth. The phytohormone gibberellic acid (GA) promotes stamen growth by stimulating the degradation of growth repressing DELLA proteins. DELLA accumulation is negatively regulated by GAs through the ubiquitin-proteasome system. In Arabidopsis thaliana, a proportion of DELLAs is also conjugated to the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) protein, which stabilizes DELLAs. Increased DELLA levels occur in the SUMO protease-deficient OVERLY TOLERANT TO SALT 1 and 2 (ots1 ots2) double mutants, especially under salt stress conditions...
October 19, 2016: Plant Reproduction
Lingling Chen, Quanzhu Chen, Yanqiao Zhu, Longyu Hou, Peisheng Mao
Flower development, pollination, and fertilization are important stages in the sexual reproduction process of plants; they are also critical steps in the control of seed formation and development. During alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) seed production, some distinct phenomena such as a low seed setting ratio, serious flower falling, and seed abortion commonly occur. However, the causes of these phenomena are complicated and largely unknown. An understanding of the mechanisms that regulate alfalfa flowering is important in order to increase seed yield...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
Stefan Abrahamczyk, Michael Kessler, Daniel Hanley, Dirk N Karger, Matthias P J Müller, Anina C Knauer, Felix Keller, Michael Schwerdtfeger, Aelys M Humphreys
A longstanding debate concerns whether nectar sugar composition evolves as an adaptation to pollinator dietary requirements or whether it is 'phylogenetically constrained'. Here we use a modeling approach to evaluate the hypothesis that nectar sucrose proportion (NSP) is an adaptation to pollinators. We analyze ~2,100 species of asterids, spanning several plant families and pollinator groups (PGs), and show that the hypothesis of adaptation cannot be rejected: NSP evolves toward two optimal values, high NSP for specialist-pollinated and low NSP for generalist-pollinated plants...
October 16, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Yu-Bin Yan, Norm C Duke, Mei Sun
Rhizophora species are the most widely distributed mangrove trees in the Indo-West Pacific (IWP) region. Comparative studies of these species with shared life history traits can help identify evolutionary factors that have played most important roles in determining genetic diversity within and between populations in ocean-current dispersed mangrove tree species. We sampled 935 individuals from 54 natural populations for genotyping with 13 microsatellite markers to investigate the level of genetic variation, population structure, and gene flow on a broad geographic scale in Rhizophora apiculata, Rhizophora mucronata, and Rhizophora stylosa across the IWP region...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
Zachary Scott, Howard S Ginsberg, Steven R Alm
We identified 41 species of native bees from a total of 1,083 specimens collected at cultivated highbush blueberry plantings throughout Rhode Island in 2014 and 2015. Andrena spp., Bombus spp., and Xylocopa virginica (L.) were collected most often. Bombus griseocollis (DeGeer), B. impatiens Cresson, B. bimaculatus Cresson, B. perplexus Cresson, and Andrena vicina Smith collected the largest mean numbers of blueberry pollen tetrads. The largest mean percent blueberry pollen loads were carried by the miner bees Andrena bradleyi Viereck (91%), A...
October 15, 2016: Environmental Entomology
Tom D Breeze, Nicola Gallai, Lucas A Garibaldi, Xui S Li
Over the past 20 years, there has been growing interest in the possible economic impacts of pollination service loss and management. Although the literature area has expanded rapidly, there remains ongoing debate about the usefulness of such exercises. Reviewing the methods and findings of the current body of literature, this review highlights three major trends: (i) estimated benefits are heterogeneous, even when using the same method, due to several often-neglected factors. (ii) The current body of literature focuses heavily on the developed world, neglecting the effects on developing countries...
October 12, 2016: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Nicola Cicero, Clara Naccari, Gaetano Cammilleri, Giuseppe Giangrosso, Antonello Cicero, Teresa Gervasi, Alessia Tropea, Ambrogina Albergamo, Vincenzo Ferrantelli
The decline of pollinating species is correlated to the extensive use of neonicotinoids against pest insects for crop protection. In this study, the concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides were determined in honeybees, honeycomb and honey samples, collected in Spring 2015 (blooming period) from different areas in Sicily (IT), to carry out an evaluation of bees products' safety and an overview of neonicotinoid contamination in beekeeping. The results obtained showed only the presence of clothianidin in bee samples and these concentrations don't represent a risk for bees' vitality and safety...
October 13, 2016: Natural Product Research
Zhao-Tian Li, Yan-Qiong Peng, Xiao-Lan Wen, K Charlotte Jandér
Mutualisms play a key role in most ecosystems, yet the mechanisms that prevent overexploitation of the mutualistic relationship are still poorly understood. In the mutualism between fig trees and their pollinating wasps both partners depend on each other. Fig trees benefit from female wasps that disperse their pollen, whereas wasps frequently benefit from a higher ratio of male offspring. Here we use manipulative field experiments to address whether host trees (Ficus racemosa) can influence the offspring sex ratio of the pollinator wasp...
October 12, 2016: Scientific Reports
Donald A Levin, Samuel V Scarpino
Dated phylogenies rarely include the divergence times of sister intraspecific taxa, and when they do little is said about this subject. We show that over 90% of the intraspecific plant taxa found in a literature search are estimated to be 5 million yr old or younger, with only 4% of taxa estimated to be over 10 million yr old or older. A Bayesian analysis of intraspecific taxon ages indicates that indeed these taxa are expected to be < 10 million yr old. This result for the young age of intraspecific taxa is consistent with the earlier observation that post-pollination reproductive barriers develop between 5 and 10 million yr after lineage splitting, thus leading to species formation...
October 11, 2016: New Phytologist
Yuma Takahashi, Koh-Ichi Takakura, Masakado Kawata
Understanding the mechanisms shaping the spatiotemporal distribution of species has long been a central concern of ecology and evolutionary biology. Contemporary patterns of plant assemblies suggest that sexual interactions among species, i.e., reproductive interference, lead to the exclusive distributions of closely related species that share pollinators. However, the fitness consequences and the initial ecological/evolutionary responses to reproductive interference remain unclear in nature, since reproductive isolation or allopatric distribution has already been achieved in the natural community...
2016: PloS One
Annemarie Heiduk, Irina Brake, Michael von Tschirnhaus, Matthias Göhl, Andreas Jürgens, Steven D Johnson, Ulrich Meve, Stefan Dötterl
Four to six percent of plants, distributed over different angiosperm families, entice pollinators by deception [1]. In these systems, chemical mimicry is often used as an efficient way to exploit the olfactory preferences of animals for the purpose of attracting them as pollinators [2,3]. Here, we report a very specific type of chemical mimicry of a food source. Ceropegia sandersonii (Apocynaceae), a deceptive South African plant with pitfall flowers, mimics attacked honeybees. We identified kleptoparasitic Desmometopa flies (Milichiidae) as the main pollinators of C...
September 27, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Alexander J McMenamin, Laura M Brutscher, William Glenny, Michelle L Flenniken
Bees are important pollinators of plants in both agricultural and non-agricultural landscapes. Recent losses of both managed and wild bee species have negative impacts on crop production and ecosystem diversity. Therefore, in order to mitigate bee losses, it is important to identify the factors most responsible. Multiple factors including pathogens, agrochemical exposure, lack of quality forage, and reduced habitat affect bee health. Pathogen prevalence is one factor that has been associated with colony losses...
August 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Daniele Alberoni, Francesca Gaggìa, Loredana Baffoni, Diana Di Gioia
Nowadays, honey bees are stressed by a number of biotic and abiotic factors which may compromise to some extent the pollination service and the hive productivity. The EU ban of antibiotics as therapeutic agents against bee pathogens has stimulated the search for natural alternatives. The increasing knowledge on the composition and functions of the bee gut microbiota and the link between a balanced gut microbiota and health status have encouraged the research on the use of gut microorganisms to improve bee health...
October 8, 2016: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Wei Li, Qing Yang, Zhaoyu Gu, Chuanbao Wu, Dong Meng, Jie Yu, Qiuju Chen, Yang Li, Hui Yuan, Dongmei Wang, Tianzhong Li
In this study, we characterized a naturally occurring self-compatible apple cultivar, 'CAU-1' (S1S9), and studied the underlying mechanism that causes its compatibility. Analyses of both fruit set rate and seed number after self-pollination or cross-pollination with 'Fuji' (S1S9), and of pollen tube growth, demonstrated that 'CAU-1' is self-compatible. Genetic analysis by S-RNase PCR-typing of selfed progeny of 'CAU-1' revealed the presence of all progeny classes (S1S1, S1S9, and S9S9). Moreover, no evidence of S-allele duplication was found...
November 2016: Plant Science: An International Journal of Experimental Plant Biology
John R Martin, Christopher E Nelson, Mukesh K Gupta, Fang Yu, Samantha M Sarett, Kyle M Hocking, Alonda C Pollins, Lillian B Nanney, Jeffrey M Davidson, Scott A Guelcher, Craig L Duvall
Small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivered from reactive oxygen species-degradable tissue engineering scaffolds promotes diabetic wound healing in rats. Porous poly(thioketal-urethane) scaffolds implanted in diabetic wounds locally deliver siRNA that inhibits the expression of prolyl hydroxylase domain protein 2, thereby increasing the expression of progrowth genes and increasing vasculature, proliferating cells, and tissue development in diabetic wounds.
September 26, 2016: Advanced Healthcare Materials
De-Li Peng, Bo Song, Yang Yang, Yang Niu, Hang Sun
Extrafloral structures are supposed to have evolved to protect flowers from harsh physical environments but might have effects on pollination. Overlapping leaves cover flowers in Eriophyton wallichii, an alpine perennial endemic to the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains. In previous study, it has showed that these extrafloral leaves can protect interior flowers from temperature fluctuations caused by drastic solar radiation fluctuations, but these leaves may also protect interior flowers from rain wash and UVB damage, and we do not know which one is the main function...
2016: PloS One
Joana Costa, Sílvia Castro, João Loureiro, Spencer Ch Barrett
Most heterostylous plants possess a reciprocal arrangement of stigmas and anthers (reciprocal herkogamy), heteromorphic self-incompatibility and ancillary polymorphisms of pollen and stigmas. The topographical complementarity hypothesis proposes that ancillary polymorphisms function in the rejection of incompatible pollen thus promoting disassortative pollination. Here, we test this hypothesis by investigating patterns of pollen transfer and capture in populations of dimorphic Armeria maritima and A. pubigera and distylous Limonium vulgare (Plumbaginaceae), and by studying pollen adherence and germination patterns in A...
October 7, 2016: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Mario Gils
A transgene-expression system for wheat that relies on the complementation of inactive precursor protein fragments through a split-intein system is described. The N- and C-terminal fragments of a barnase gene from Bacillus amyloliquifaciens were fused to intein sequences from Synechocystis sp. and transformed into wheat plants. Upon translation, both barnase fragments are assembled by an autocatalytic intein-mediated trans-splicing reaction, thus forming a cytotoxic enzyme. This chapter focuses on the use of introns and flexible polypeptide linkers to foster the expression of a split-barnase expression system in plants...
2017: Methods in Molecular Biology
Richard Schmuck, Gavin Lewis
The nitro-substituted neonicotinoid insecticides, which include imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin, are widely used to control a range of important agricultural pests both by foliar applications and also as seed dressings and by soil application. Since they exhibit systemic properties, exposure of bees may occur as a result of residues present in the nectar and/or pollen of seed- or soil-treated crop plants and so they have been the subject of much debate about whether they cause adverse effects in pollinating insects under field conditions...
October 5, 2016: Ecotoxicology
Britta Peters, Zhenglei Gao, Ulrich Zumkier
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Elado® (10 g clothianidin & 2 g beta-cyfluthrin/kg seed)-dressed oilseed rape on the development and reproduction of mason bees (Osmia bicornis) as part of a large-scale monitoring field study in Northern Germany, where oilseed rape is usually cultivated at 25-33 % of the arable land. Both reference and test sites comprised 65 km(2) in which no other crops attractive to pollinating insects were present. Six study locations were selected per site and three nesting shelters were placed at each location...
October 5, 2016: Ecotoxicology
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