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Plant functional traits

Antanas Spokevicius, Lynette Taylor, Emma Melder, Kim Van Beveren, Josquin Tibbits, Nicky Creux, Gerd Bossinger
Secondary stem growth in trees and associated wood formation are significant both from biological and commercial perspectives. However, relatively little is known about the molecular control that governs their development. This is in part due to physical, resource and time limitations often associated with the study of secondary growth processes. A number of in vitro techniques have been used involving either plant part or whole plant system in both woody and non-woody plant species. However, questions about their applicability for the study of secondary stem growth processes, the recalcitrance of certain species and labor intensity are often prohibitive for medium to high throughput applications...
October 5, 2016: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Si Wu, Saleh Alseekh, Álvaro Cuadros-Inostroza, Corina M Fusari, Marek Mutwil, Rik Kooke, Joost B Keurentjes, Alisdair R Fernie, Lothar Willmitzer, Yariv Brotman
Plant primary metabolism is a highly coordinated, central, and complex network of biochemical processes regulated at both the genetic and post-translational levels. The genetic basis of this network can be explored by analyzing the metabolic composition of genetically diverse genotypes in a given plant species. Here, we report an integrative strategy combining quantitative genetic mapping and metabolite‒transcript correlation networks to identify functional associations between genes and primary metabolites in Arabidopsis thaliana...
October 2016: PLoS Genetics
Jianshuang Wu, Susanne Wurst, Xianzhou Zhang
The biodiversity-productivity relationship is still under debate for alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau. We know little about direct and indirect effects of biotic and abiotic drivers on this relationship, especially in regard to plant functional trait diversity. Here, we examine how aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) respond to climate, soil and community structure across alpine grasslands on the Northern Tibetan Plateau. We found that both ANPP and PUE showed nonlinear patterns along water availability and site altitude variation, which together accounted for 80...
October 19, 2016: Scientific Reports
Udaya C Kalluri, Raja S Payyavula, Jessy L Labbé, Nancy Engle, Garima Bali, Sara S Jawdy, Robert W Sykes, Mark Davis, Arthur Ragauskas, Gerald A Tuskan, Timothy J Tschaplinski
A greater understanding of the genetic regulation of plant cell wall remodeling and the impact of modified cell walls on plant performance is important for the development of sustainable biofuel crops. Here, we studied the impact of down-regulating KORRIGAN-like cell wall biosynthesis genes, belonging to the endo-β-1,4-glucanase gene family, on Populus growth, metabolism and the ability to interact with symbiotic microbes. The reductions in cellulose content and lignin syringyl-to-guaiacyl unit ratio, and increase in cellulose crystallinity of cell walls of PdKOR RNAi plants corroborated the functional role of PdKOR in cell wall biosynthesis...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
Mincheol Kim, Ji Young Jung, Dominique Laffly, Hye Young Kwon, Yoo Kyung Lee
Primary succession after glacier retreat has been widely studied in plant communities, but bacterial succession is still poorly understood. In particular, few studies of microbial succession have been performed in the Arctic. We investigated the shifts in bacterial community structure and soil physicochemical properties along a successional gradient in a 100-year glacier foreland of the High Arctic. Multivariate analyses revealed that time after glacier retreat played a key role in associated bacterial community structure during succession...
October 17, 2016: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
David P Blair, Lachlan M McBurney, Wade Blanchard, Sam C Banks, David B Lindenmayer
Understanding the impacts of natural and human disturbances on forest biota is critical for improving forest management. Many studies have examined the separate impacts on fauna and flora of wildfire, conventional logging, and salvage logging, but empirical comparisons across a broad gradient of simultaneous disturbances are lacking. We quantified species richness and frequency of occurrence of vascular plants, and functional group responses, across a gradient of disturbances that occurred concurrently in 2009 in the mountain ash forests of southeastern Australia...
October 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Julia C Sfair, Víctor Arroyo-Rodríguez, Bráulio A Santos, Marcelo Tabarelli
Tropical forests are being exposed to increasing levels of habitat loss and fragmentation, threatening the maintenance of global biodiversity. However, the effect that land-use change may have on the spatial dissimilarities in taxonomic and functional composition of remaining assemblages (i.e., taxonomic/functional β-diversity) remains poorly understood. We examined a large vegetation database from an old and severely fragmented Atlantic forest landscape to test two alternative hypotheses: (1) tree assemblages experience a taxonomic and functional homogenization (reduced β-diversity) between forest fragments and along forest edges, or alternatively, (2) these edge-affected forests show increased taxonomic and functional differentiation (increased β-diversity) when compared to forest interior (reference) stands...
September 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Elpida K Karadimou, Athanasios S Kallimanis, Ioannis Tsiripidis, Panayotis Dimopoulos
The relationship between species richness and area is one of the few well-established laws in ecology, and one might expect a similar relationship with functional diversity (FD). However, only a few studies investigate the relationship between trait-based FD and area, the Functional Diversity - Area Relationship (FDAR). To examine FDAR, we constructed the species accumulation curve and the corresponding FD curve. We used plant diversity data from nested plots (1-128 m(2)), recorded on the Volcanic islands of Santorini Archipelagos, Greece...
October 18, 2016: Scientific Reports
Solange E Brandão, Patricia Bulbovas, Marcos E L Lima, Marisa Domingos
The tolerance potential against the oxidative injury in native plants from forest ecosystems affected by environmental stressors depends on how efficiently they keep their pro-oxidant/antioxidant balance. Great variations in plant tolerance are expected, highlighting the higher relevance of measuring biochemical leaf trait indicators of oxidative injury in species with similar functions in the forest than in single species. The use of this functional approach seems very useful in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest because it still holds high plant diversity and was the focus of this study...
October 13, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Bernardo Duarte, Maria Teresa Cabrita, Carla Gameiro, Ana Rita Matos, Rita Godinho, João Carlos Marques, Isabel Caçador
A profound analysis of A. tripolium photochemical traits under salinity exposure is lacking in the literature, with very few references focusing on its fatty acid profile role in photophysiology. To address this, the deep photochemical processes were evaluated by Pulse Amplitude Modulated (PAM) Fluorometry coupled with a discrimination of its leaf fatty acid profile. Plants exposed to 125-250 mM NaCl showed higher photochemical light harvesting efficiencies and lower energy dissipation rates. under higher NaCl exposure, there is evident damage of the oxygen evolving complexes (OECs)...
October 17, 2016: Plant Biology
Jan Plue, Floriane Colas, Alistair G Auffret, Sara A O Cousins
Persistent seed banks are a key plant regeneration strategy, buffering environmental variation to allow population and species persistence. Understanding seed bank functioning within herb layer dynamics is therefore important. However, rather than assessing emergence from the seed bank in herb layer gaps, most studies evaluate the seed bank functioning via a greenhouse census. We hypothesize that greenhouse data may not reflect seed bank driven emergence in disturbance gaps due to methodological differences...
October 14, 2016: Plant Biology
Jean-Christophe Domec, Duncan D Smith, Kate McCulloh
Here we summarize studies on the effects of elevated [CO2 ] (CO2(e) ) on the structure and function of plant hydraulic architecture, and explore the implications of those changes using a model. Changes in conduit diameter and hydraulic conductance due to CO2(e) vary among species. Ring-porous species tend toward an increase in conduit size and consequently conductivity. The effect in diffuse-porous species is much more limited. In conifers the results are mixed, some species showing minor changes in xylem structure, while other studies found increases in tracheid density and diameter...
October 14, 2016: Plant, Cell & Environment
Etienne Laliberté
I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. References SUMMARY: Trait-based approaches have led to significant advances in plant ecology, but are currently biased toward above-ground traits. It is becoming clear that a stronger emphasis on below-ground traits is needed to better predict future changes in plant biodiversity and their consequences for ecosystem functioning. Here I propose six 'below-ground frontiers' in trait-based plant ecology, with an emphasis on traits governing soil nutrient acquisition: redefining fine roots; quantifying root trait dimensionality; integrating mycorrhizas; broadening the suite of root traits; determining linkages between root traits and abiotic and biotic factors; and understanding ecosystem-level consequences of root traits...
October 13, 2016: New Phytologist
Wu Di, Huang Linzhou, Gao Jin, Wang Yonghong
Gravity is an important environmental factor that regulates plant growth and morphogenesis. In response to gravity stimulus, plants can set the optimum angle between the organs and the gravity vector. Plant gravitropism is divided into four sequential steps, including gravity perception, signal transduction, asymmetrical distribution of auxin, and organ curvature. In recent years, large numbers of mutants with defective gravitropism have been identified and genes involved in the regulation of gravitropism have been functionally characterized...
July 20, 2016: Yi Chuan, Hereditas
Johan Asplund, David A Wardle
Lichens occur in most terrestrial ecosystems; they are often present as minor contributors, but in some forests, drylands and tundras they can make up most of the ground layer biomass. As such, lichens dominate approximately 8% of the Earth's land surface. Despite their potential importance in driving ecosystem biogeochemistry, the influence of lichens on community processes and ecosystem functioning have attracted relatively little attention. Here, we review the role of lichens in terrestrial ecosystems and draw attention to the important, but often overlooked role of lichens as determinants of ecological processes...
October 11, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Van N T Nguyen, Kieu T X Vo, Hyon Park, Jong-Seong Jeon, Ki-Hong Jung
The Mildew resistance Locus O (MLO) family is unique to plants, containing genes that were initially identified as a susceptibility factor to powdery mildew pathogens. However, little is known about the roles and functional diversity of this family in rice, a model crop plant. The rice genome has 12 potential MLO family members. To achieve systematic functional assignments, we performed a phylogenomic analysis by integrating meta-expression data obtained from public sources of microarray data and real-time expression data into a phylogenic tree...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
Pieter Clauw, Frederik Coppens, Arthur Korte, Dorota Herman, Bram Slabbinck, Stijn Dhondt, Twiggy Van Daele, Liesbeth De Milde, Mattias Vermeersch, Katrien Maleux, Steven Maere, Nathalie Gonzalez, Dirk Inzé
Plant growth and crop yield are negatively affected by a reduction in water availability. However, a clear understanding of how growth is regulated under non-lethal drought conditions is lacking. Recent advances in genomics, phenomics and transcriptomics allow in-depth analysis of natural variation. In this study, we conducted a detailed screening of leaf growth responses to mild drought in a worldwide collection of Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. The genetic architecture of the growth responses upon mild drought was investigated by subjecting the different leaf growth phenotypes to genome-wide association mapping and by characterizing the transcriptome of young developing leaves...
October 11, 2016: Plant Cell
Vishal Kumar, Mehak Baweja, Puneet K Singh, Pratyoosh Shukla
Microorganisms play a crucial role in the sustainability of the various ecosystems. The characterization of various interactions between microorganisms and other biotic factors is a necessary footstep to understand the association and functions of microbial communities. Among the different microbial interactions in an ecosystem, plant-microbe interaction plays an important role to balance the ecosystem. The present review explores plant-microbe interactions using gene editing and system biology tools toward the comprehension in improvement of plant traits...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
Longxin Wang, Bowen Wang, Qingzhang Du, Jinhui Chen, Jiaxing Tian, Xiaohui Yang, Deqiang Zhang
Photosynthesis is one of the most important reactions on earth. PsbW, a nuclear-encoded subunit of photosystem II (PSII), stabilizes PSII structure and plays an important role in photosynthesis. Here, we used candidate gene-based linkage disequilibrium (LD) mapping to detect significant associations between allelic variations of PtoPsbW and traits related to photosynthesis, growth, and wood properties in Populus tomentosa. PtoPsbW showed the highest expression in leaves and it increased during the development of these leaves, suggesting that PtoPsbW may play an important role in plant growth and development...
October 8, 2016: Molecular Genetics and Genomics: MGG
Didier Bouchon, Martin Zimmer, Jessica Dittmer
Bacterial symbionts represent essential drivers of arthropod ecology and evolution, influencing host traits such as nutrition, reproduction, immunity, and speciation. However, the majority of work on arthropod microbiota has been conducted in insects and more studies in non-model species across different ecological niches will be needed to complete our understanding of host-microbiota interactions. In this review, we present terrestrial isopod crustaceans as an emerging model organism to investigate symbiotic associations with potential relevance to ecosystem functioning...
2016: Frontiers in Microbiology
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