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Plant functional traits

Renáta Schnablová, Tomáš Herben, Jitka Klimešová
Background and Aims: The shoot apical meristem (SAM) is the key organizing element in the plant body and is responsible for the core of plant body organization and shape. Surprisingly, there are almost no comparative data that would show links between parameters of the SAM and whole-plant traits as drivers of the plant's response to the environment. Methods: Interspecific differences in SAM anatomy were examined in 104 perennial herbaceous angiosperms. Key Results: There were differences in SAM parameters among individual species, their phylogenetic patterns, and how their variation is linked to variation in plant above-ground organs and hence species' environmental niches...
November 10, 2017: Annals of Botany
Xian Xiao, Yuting Liang, Sai Zhou, Shunyao Zhuang, Bo Sun
A central aim of current microbial ecology research is to investigate the mechanisms shaping the assembly of soil microbial communities. Despite the importance of bacterial and fungal mediation of carbon cycling in forest ecosystems, knowledge concerning their distribution patterns and underlying mechanisms remains insufficient. Here, soils were sampled from six bamboo forests across the main planting area of Moso bamboo in southern China. The bacterial and fungal diversities were assessed by sequencing 16S rRNA and ITS gene amplicons, respectively, with an Illumina MiSeq...
November 13, 2017: Molecular Ecology
Loïc Chalmandrier, Camille Albouy, Loïc Pellissier
Grasslands deliver the resources for food production and are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems. These characteristics are often in conflict as increasing yield through fertilization can lead to biodiversity loss. Thus, the challenge in grassland management is to sustain both yield and diversity. Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments typically reveal a positive relationship between manipulated species diversity and productivity. In contrast, observations of the effect of increasing productivity via fertilization suggest a negative association with biodiversity...
November 13, 2017: Scientific Reports
Sunok Moon, Anil Kumar Nalini Chandran, Yun-Shil Gho, Sun-A Park, Sung-Ryul Kim, Yo-Han Yoo, Ki-Hong Jung
Plant root systems play essential roles in developmental processes, such as the absorption of water and inorganic nutrients, and structural support. Gene expression is affected by growth conditions and the genetic background of plants. To identify highly conserved root-preferred genes in rice across diverse growth conditions and varieties, we used two independent meta-anatomical expression profiles based on a large collection of Affymetrix and Agilent 44K microarray data sets available for public use. We then identified 684 loci with root-preferred expression, which were validated with in silico analysis using both meta-expression profiles...
October 26, 2017: Journal of Plant Physiology
Chris J Thorogood, Ulrike Bauer, Simon J Hiscock
Contents I. II. III. IV. V. VI. References SUMMARY: The pitcher trap is a striking example of convergent evolution across unrelated carnivorous plant lineages. Convergent traits that have evolved across pitcher plant lineages are essential for trap function, suggesting that key selective pressures are in action. Recent studies have also revealed patterns of divergent evolution in functional pitcher morphology within genera. Adaptations to differences in local prey assemblages may drive such divergence and, ultimately, speciation...
November 13, 2017: New Phytologist
Fabian D Schneider, Felix Morsdorf, Bernhard Schmid, Owen L Petchey, Andreas Hueni, David S Schimel, Michael E Schaepman
Assessing functional diversity from space can help predict productivity and stability of forest ecosystems at global scale using biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. We present a new spatially continuous method to map regional patterns of tree functional diversity using combined laser scanning and imaging spectroscopy. The method does not require prior taxonomic information and integrates variation in plant functional traits between and within plant species. We compare our method with leaf-level field measurements and species-level plot inventory data and find reasonable agreement...
November 13, 2017: Nature Communications
Antonio R Castilla, Nathaniel S Pope, Megan O'Connell, María F Rodriguez, Laurel Treviño, Alonso Santos, Shalene Jha
Animal pollination mediates both reproduction and gene flow for the majority of plant species across the globe. However, past functional studies have focused largely on seed production; although useful, this focus on seed set does not provide information regarding species-specific contributions to pollen-mediated gene flow. Here we quantify pollen dispersal for individual pollinator species across more than 690 ha of tropical forest. Specifically, we examine visitation, seed production, and pollen-dispersal ability for the entire pollinator community of a common tropical tree using a series of individual-based pollinator-exclusion experiments followed by molecular-based fractional paternity analyses...
November 10, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Roxanne van Rooijen, Willem Kruijer, René Boesten, Fred A van Eeuwijk, Jeremy Harbinson, Mark G M Aarts
Exploiting genetic variation for more efficient photosynthesis is an underexplored route towards new crop varieties. This study demonstrates the genetic dissection of higher plant photosynthesis efficiency down to the genomic DNA level, by confirming that allelic sequence variation at the Arabidopsis thaliana YELLOW SEEDLING1 (YS1) gene explains natural diversity in photosynthesis acclimation to high irradiance. We use a genome-wide association study to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) involved in the Arabidopsis photosynthetic acclimation response...
November 10, 2017: Nature Communications
Bryndís Marteinsdóttir, Kristín Svavarsdóttir, Thóra Ellen Thórhallsdóttir
Initial plant establishment is one of the most critical phases in ecosystem development, where an early suite of physical (environmental filtering), biological (seed limitation, species interactions) and stochastic factors may affect successional trajectories and rates. While functional traits are commonly used to study processes that influence plant community assembly in late successional communities, few studies have applied them to primary succession. The objective here was to determine the importance of these factors in shaping early plant community assembly on a glacial outwash plain, Skeiðarársandur, in SE Iceland using a trait based approach...
November 9, 2017: Ecology
Marcos Fernández-Martínez, Joan Llusià, Iolanda Filella, Ülo Niinemets, Almut Arneth, Ian J Wright, Francesco Loreto, Josep Peñuelas
The emission of isoprenoids (e.g. isoprene and monoterpenes) by plants plays an important defensive role against biotic and abiotic stresses. Little is known, however, about the functional traits linked to species-specific variability in the types and rates of isoprenoids emitted and about possible co-evolution of functional traits with isoprenoid emission type (isoprene emitter, monoterpene emitter or both). We combined data for isoprene and monoterpene emission rates per unit dry mass with key functional traits (foliar nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations, and leaf mass per area) and climate for 113 plant species, covering the boreal, wet temperate, Mediterranean and tropical biomes...
November 9, 2017: New Phytologist
Nathan Hughes, Karen Askew, Callum P Scotson, Kevin Williams, Colin Sauze, Fiona Corke, John H Doonan, Candida Nibau
Background: Wheat is one of the most widely grown crop in temperate climates for food and animal feed. In order to meet the demands of the predicted population increase in an ever-changing climate, wheat production needs to dramatically increase. Spike and grain traits are critical determinants of final yield and grain uniformity a commercially desired trait, but their analysis is laborious and often requires destructive harvest. One of the current challenges is to develop an accurate, non-destructive method for spike and grain trait analysis capable of handling large populations...
2017: Plant Methods
S D Keyes, L Cooper, S Duncan, N Koebernick, D M McKay Fletcher, C P Scotson, A van Veelen, I Sinclair, T Roose
This study applied time lapse (four-dimensional) synchrotron X-ray computed tomography to observe micro-scale interactions between plant roots and soil. Functionally contrasting maize root tips were repeatedly imaged during ingress into soil columns of varying water content and compaction. This yielded sequences of three-dimensional densiometric data, representing time-resolved geometric soil and root configurations at the micronmetre scale. These data were used as inputs for two full-field kinematic quantification methods, which enabled the analysis of three-dimensional soil deformation around elongating roots...
November 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Pratishtha Gupta, Vipin Kumar, Zeba Usmani, Rupa Rani, Avantika Chandra
In this study, an effort was made to identify an efficient phosphate solubilizing bacterial strain from chromium contaminated agricultural soils. Based on the formation of a solubilized halo around the colonies on Pikovskaya's agar amended with chromium (VI), 10 strains were initially screened out. Out of 10, strain CPSB4, which showed significantly high solubilization zone at different chromium concentrations, was selected for further study. The strain CPSB4 showed significant plant growth promotion traits with chromium (VI) stress under in-vitro conditions in broth...
October 30, 2017: Chemosphere
J C Lopes, L W Chatrou, R Mello-Silva, P J Rudall, M G Sajo
Androdioecy is the rarest sexual system among plants. The majority of androdioecious species are herbaceous plants that have evolved from dioecious ancestors. Nevertheless, some woody and androdioecious plants have hermaphrodite ancestors, as in the Annonaceae, where androdioecious genera have arisen several times in different lineages. The majority of androdioecious species of Annonaceae belong to the Neotropical tribe Malmeeae. In addition to these species, Pseudoxandra spiritus-sancti was recently confirmed to be androdioecious...
October 27, 2017: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Álvaro López-García, Sara Varela-Cervero, Martti Vasar, Maarja Öpik, José M Barea, Concepción Azcón-Aguilar
Functional diversity in ecosystems has traditionally been studied using aboveground plant traits. Despite the known effect of plant traits on the microbial community composition, their effects on the microbial functional diversity are only starting to be assessed. In this study, the phylogenetic structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal communities associated to plant species differing in life cycle and growth form, i.e. plant life forms, was determined to unravel the effect of plant traits on the functional diversity of this fungal group...
November 7, 2017: Molecular Ecology
Anthony P Walker, M Luke McCormack, Julie Messier, Isla H Myers-Smith, Stan D Wullschleger
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 2017: New Phytologist
Gayathri Ilangumaran, Donald L Smith
Salinity affects plant growth and is a major abiotic stress that limits crop productivity. It is well-understood that environmental adaptations and genetic traits regulate salinity tolerance in plants, but imparting the knowledge gained towards crop improvement remain arduous. Harnessing the potential of beneficial microorganisms present in the rhizosphere is an alternative strategy for improving plant stress tolerance. This review intends to elucidate the understanding of salinity tolerance mechanisms attributed by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR)...
2017: Frontiers in Plant Science
Rocío Pérez-Barrales, César A Abarca, Rocío Santos-Gally, Florian P Schiestl, Juan Arroyo
Narcissus papyraceus is a style dimorphic species with two floral forms, with anthers at similar height and stigmas above (long-styled L) and below (short-styled S) the anther level. The species is self-incompatible, but intra and inter-morph compatible. Populations are either dimorphic (including both morphs) in the region of the Strait of Gibraltar, or L-monomorphic (with only L plants) in the inland of the Iberian Peninsula. This variation correlates with the most common floral visitors, be these primarily long-tongued and short-tongued pollinators respectively, a rare condition in Mediterranean plants...
November 4, 2017: Plant Biology
Jérémy S P Froidevaux, Bastien Louboutin, Gareth Jones
The effectiveness of organic farming for promoting biodiversity has been widely documented, yet most studies have been undertaken in temperate agroecosystems with a focus on birds, insects and plants. Despite the Mediterranean basin being a biodiversity hotspot for conservation priorities, the potential benefits of organic farming for biodiversity there has received little attention. Here, we assessed the effect of farming system, landscape characteristics and habitat structure on biodiversity in Mediterranean vineyards using two taxa with different functional traits (in terms of mobility, dispersal ability and home range size): bats and arachnids...
November 1, 2017: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
Tapan Kumar Mohanta, Tufail Bashir, Abeer Hashem, Elsayed Fathi Abd Allah
Plant abiotic stresses are the major constraint on plant growth and development, causing enormous crop losses across the world. Plants have unique features to defend themselves against these challenging adverse stress conditions. They modulate their phenotypes upon changes in physiological, biochemical, molecular and genetic information, thus making them tolerant against abiotic stresses. It is of paramount importance to determine the stress-tolerant traits of a diverse range of genotypes of plant species and integrate those traits for crop improvement...
October 21, 2017: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: PPB
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