Plant Gene Seeker -PGS
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Plant Gene Seeker -PGS
Absolutely Fascinated for plant & genomes
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Science Special Issue Once and Future Climate Change

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Anthropogenic climate change is now a part of our reality. Even the most optimistic estimates of the effects of contemporary fossil fuel use suggest that mean global temperature will rise by a minimum of 2°C before the end of this century and that CO2 emissions will affect climate for tens of thousands of years. A key goal of current research is to predict how these changes will affect global ecosystems and the human population that depends on them. This special section ofScience focuses on the current state of knowledge about the effects of climate change on natural systems, with particular emphasis on how knowledge of the past is helping us to understand potential biological impacts and improve predictive power.

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Photosynthesis of Root Chloroplasts Developed in Arabidopsis Lines Overexpressing GOLDEN2-LIKE Transcription Factors

Photosynthesis of Root Chloroplasts Developed in Arabidopsis Lines Overexpressing GOLDEN2-LIKE Transcription Factors | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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In plants, genes involved in photosynthesis are encoded separately in nuclei and plastids, and tight cooperation between these two genomes is therefore required for the development of functional chloroplasts. Golden2-like (GLK) transcription factors are involved in chloroplast development, directly targeting photosynthesis-associated nuclear genes for up-regulation. Although overexpression of GLKs leads to chloroplast development in non-photosynthetic organs, the mechanisms of coordination between the nuclear gene expression influenced by GLKs and the photosynthetic processes inside chloroplasts are largely unknown. To elucidate the impact of GLK-induced expression of photosynthesis-associated nuclear genes on the construction of photosynthetic systems, chloroplast morphology and photosynthetic characteristics in greenish roots of Arabidopsis thaliana lines overexpressing GLKs were compared with those in wild-type roots and leaves. Overexpression of GLKs caused up-regulation of not only their direct targets but also non-target nuclear and plastid genes, leading to global induction of chloroplast biogenesis in the root. Large antennae relative to reaction centers were observed in wild-type roots and were further enhanced by GLK overexpression due to the increased expression of target genes associated with peripheral light-harvesting antennae. Photochemical efficiency was lower in the root chloroplasts than in leaf chloroplasts, suggesting that the imbalance in the photosynthetic machinery decreases the efficiency of light utilization in root chloroplasts. Despite the low photochemical efficiency, root photosynthesis contributed to carbon assimilation in Arabidopsis. Moreover, GLK overexpression increased CO2 fixation and promoted phototrophic performance of the root, showing the potential of root photosynthesis to improve effective carbon utilization in plants.


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The Agony of Choice: How Plants Balance Growth and Survival under Water-Limiting Conditions

The Agony of Choice: How Plants Balance Growth and Survival under Water-Limiting Conditions | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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When confronted with water limitation, plants actively reprogram their metabolism and growth. Recently, it has become clear that growing tissues show specific and highly dynamic responses to drought, which differ from the well-studied responses in mature tissues. Here, we provide an overview of recent advances in understanding shoot growth regulation in water-limiting conditions. Of special interest is the balance between maintained growth and competitiveness on the one hand and ensured survival on the other hand. A number of master regulators controlling this balance have been identified, such as DELLAs and APETALA2/ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR-type transcription factors. The possibilities of engineering or breeding crops that maintain growth in periods of mild drought, while still being able to activate protective tolerance mechanisms, are discussed.


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PLOS ONE: Climate-Induced Changes in Grapevine Yield and Must Sugar Content in Franconia (Germany) between 1805 and 2010

PLOS ONE: Climate-Induced Changes in Grapevine Yield and Must Sugar Content in Franconia (Germany) between 1805 and 2010 | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
Andres Zurita's insight:

When attempting to estimate the impacts of future climate change it is important to reflect on information gathered during the past. Understanding historical trends may also aid in the assessment of likely future agricultural and horticultural changes. The timing of agricultural activities, such as grape harvest dates, is known to be influenced by climate and weather. However, fewer studies have been carried out on grapevine yield and quality. In this paper an analysis is undertaken of long-term data from the period 1805–2010 on grapevine yield (hl/ha) and must sugar content (°Oe) and their relation to temperature. Monthly mean temperatures were obtained for the same time period. Multiple regression was used to relate the viticulture variables to temperature, and long-term trends were calculated. Overall, the observed trends over time are compatible with results from other long term studies. The findings confirm a relationship between yield, must sugar content and temperature data; increased temperatures were associated with higher yields and higher must sugar content. However, the potential increase in yield is currently limited by legislation, while must sugar content is likely to further increase with rising temperatures.

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News: Concern grows over fire blight treatment options among organic producers after oxytetracyclin antibiotic ban (2013)

News: Concern grows over fire blight treatment options among organic producers after oxytetracyclin antibiotic ban (2013) | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it

In October 2014, organic regulations in the United States are set to change drastically in the fight against fire blight, a contagious disease that affects apple and pear trees. A regulatory ban established by the National Organic Standards Board will take effect against the antibiotic oxytetracycline to treat the potentially devastating disease. Although the government restriction keeps consumer interests in mind, concern is growing among organic producers about alternative treatment options.

 

Jessica Shade, director of science programs at the Organic Center, explained that organic farmers may not yet have the tools or knowledge necessary to drop oxytetracycline. “It’s one of the only things that has really been proven to prevent fire blight. It’s not the only material out there but it’s the one farmers trust the most,” Shade said. “When farmers are handling trees that they’ve invested thousands of dollars in, they really want to have something they know for sure is going to work when the lives of their trees are at stake. That’s why it has been so widely used up until this point.”

 

Concern about the pending ban does not, however, stem solely from the fact that farmers currently prefer the agent. As Shade explained, the problem is that many do not know what to do without it. “One of the researchers who’s working on this project, David Granatstein, did polls throughout Washington State of organic growers and came up with some really frightening numbers that 70-90% of all organic producers might drop out of organic production if there aren’t alternatives available for them,” Shade said. “It’s not worth it for them to gamble their really expensive trees on organic practices that may put the lives of their trees at risk.”


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Epigenetic mechanisms of plant stress responses and adaptation - Plant Cell Reports

Epigenetic mechanisms of plant stress responses and adaptation - Plant Cell Reports | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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Epigenetics has become one of the hottest topics of research in plant functional genomics since it appears promising in deciphering and imparting stress-adaptive potential in crops and other plant species. Recently, numerous studies have provided new insights into the epigenetic control of stress adaptation. Epigenetic control of stress-induced phenotypic response of plants involves gene regulation. Growing evidence suggest that methylation of DNA in response to stress leads to the variation in phenotype. Transposon mobility, siRNA-mediated methylation and host methyltransferase activation have been implicated in this process. This review presents the current status of epigenetics of plant stress responses with a view to use this knowledge towards engineering plants for stress tolerance.

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US: new wild strawberry found in Oregon - Fresh Fruit Portal

US: new wild strawberry found in Oregon - Fresh Fruit Portal | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it

US: new wild strawberry found in Oregon Fresh Fruit Portal The strawberry is now included in the Corvallis repository genebank that collects genetic material on a variety of temperate fruits, including berries and nuts.


Via Luigi Guarino
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Enhanced drought and heat stress tolerance of tobacco plants with ectopically enhanced cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase gene expression

Enhanced drought and heat stress tolerance of tobacco plants with ectopically enhanced cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase gene expression | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

Responses to drought, heat, and combined stress were compared in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) plants ectopically expressing the cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase CKX1 gene of Arabidopsis thaliana L. under the control of either the predominantly root-expressed WRKY6 promoter or the constitutive 35S promoter, and in the wild type. WRKY6:CKX1 plants exhibited high CKX activity in the roots under control conditions. Under stress, the activity of the WRKY6 promoter was down-regulated and the concomitantly reduced cytokinin degradation coincided with raised bioactive cytokinin levels during the early phase of the stress response, which might contribute to enhanced stress tolerance of this genotype. Constitutive expression of CKX1 resulted in an enlarged root system, a stunted, dwarf shoot phenotype, and a low basal level of expression of the dehydration marker gene ERD10B. The high drought tolerance of this genotype was associated with a relatively moderate drop in leaf water potential and a significant decrease in leaf osmotic potential. Basal expression of the proline biosynthetic gene P5CSA was raised. Both wild-type and WRKY6:CKX1 plants responded to heat stress by transient elevation of stomatal conductance, which correlated with an enhanced abscisic acid catabolism. 35S:CKX1 transgenic plants exhibited a small and delayed stomatal response. Nevertheless, they maintained a lower leaf temperature than the other genotypes. Heat shock applied to drought-stressed plants exaggerated the negative stress effects, probably due to the additional water loss caused by a transient stimulation of transpiration. The results indicate that modulation of cytokinin levels may positively affect plant responses to abiotic stress through a variety of physiological mechanisms.

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Music meets science : Naturejobs

Music meets science : Naturejobs | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Successful musical composition and scientific research share important traits, argues Stephane Detournay.
Andres Zurita's insight:

The relationship between science, music and the arts has been demonstrated in various contexts. In the 1979 book Gödel, Escher, Bach(Basic Books), for example, author Douglas Hofstadter used the exploits of mathematician Kurt Gödel, artist Maurits Cornelis Escher and composer Johann Sebastian Bach to illustrate the cognitive underpinnings that their fields have in common.

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A Glorious Half-Century of Microtubules - The Plant Journal

A Glorious Half-Century of Microtubules -  The Plant Journal | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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Special Issue: A Glorious Half-Century of Microtubules.

Several Open Access reviews and commemorates the discovery of Microtubules.

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LcSAIN1, a Novel Salt-Induced Gene from SheepGrass, Confers Salt Stress Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis and Rice

LcSAIN1, a Novel Salt-Induced Gene from SheepGrass, Confers Salt Stress Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis and Rice | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

Previously, we identified >1,500 genes that were induced by high salt stress in sheepgrass (Leymus chinensis, Gramineae: Triticeae) when comparing the changes in their transcription levels in response to high salt stress by next-generation sequencing. Among the identified genes, a gene of unknown function (designated as Leymus chinensis salt-induced 1,LcSAIN1) showed a high sequence identity to its homologs from wheat,Hordeum vulgare and Oryza sativa, but LcSAIN1 and its homologs produce hypothetical proteins with no conserved functional domains. Transcription of the LcSAIN1 gene was up-regulated by various stresses. The overexpression of LcSAIN1 in Arabidopsis and rice increased the greening rate of cotyledons, the fresh weight, root elongation, plant height and the plant survival rate when compared with control plants and conferred a tolerance against salt stress. Subcellular localization analysis indicated that LcSAIN1 is localized predominantly in the nucleus. Our results show that the LcSAIN1 gene might play an important positive modulation role in increasing the expression of transcription factors (MYB2 and DREB2A) and functional genes (P5CS and RAB18) in transgenic plants under salt stress and that it augments stress tolerance through the accumulation of compatible solutes (proline and soluble sugar) and the alleviation of changes in reactive oxygen species. The LcSAIN1 gene could be a potential resource for engineering salinity tolerance in important crop species.

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Arabidopsis Enhanced Drought Tolerance1/HOMEODOMAIN GLABROUS11 Confers Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Rice without Yield Penalty

Arabidopsis Enhanced Drought Tolerance1/HOMEODOMAIN GLABROUS11 Confers Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Rice without Yield Penalty | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

Enhancing drought tolerance without yield decrease has been a great challenge in crop improvement. Here, we report the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) homodomain-leucine zipper transcription factor Enhanced Drought Tolerance/HOMEODOMAIN GLABROUS11 (EDT1/HDG11) was able to confer drought tolerance and increase grain yield in transgenic rice (Oryza sativa) plants. The improved drought tolerance was associated with a more extensive root system, reduced stomatal density, and higher water use efficiency. The transgenic rice plants also had higher levels of abscisic acid, proline, soluble sugar, and reactive oxygen species-scavenging enzyme activities during stress treatments. The increased grain yield of the transgenic rice was contributed by improved seed setting, larger panicle, and more tillers as well as increased photosynthetic capacity. Digital gene expression analysis indicated that AtEDT1/HDG11 had a significant influence on gene expression profile in rice, which was consistent with the observed phenotypes of transgenic rice plants. Our study shows thatAtEDT1/HDG11 can improve both stress tolerance and grain yield in rice, demonstrating the efficacy of AtEDT1/HDG11 in crop improvement.



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Annals of Botany, SPECIAL ISSUE: Matching Roots to Environment

Annals of Botany, SPECIAL ISSUE: Matching Roots to Environment | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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Matching roots to their environment 

Plants rely on their roots to acquire the water and mineral elements necessary for their survival in nature, and their yield and nutritional quality in agriculture. White et al. (pp. 207–222) examine how the roots of land plants evolved, describe how the ecology of roots and their rhizospheres affects the utilization of soil resources, and discuss the influence of plant roots on biogeochemical cycles. They then describe the roles of roots in overcoming the constraints to crop production imposed by hostile or infertile soils, illustrate root phenotypes that improve the acquisition of soil resources, and discuss high-throughput methods to screen for these traits in the laboratory, glasshouse and field. Finally, they consider how adaptations to root systems might enable sustainable agriculture in the future.

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Properties of the halophyte microbiome and their implications for plant salt tolerance - Functional Plant Biology

Functional Plant Biology is an international journal of plant function publishing high quality research papers in all areas of plant physiology, applied agricultural research and pure molecular biology...
Andres Zurita's insight:

Saline habitats cover a wide area of our planet and halophytes (plants growing naturally in saline soils) are increasingly used for human benefits. Beside their genetic and physiological adaptations to salt, complex ecological processes affect the salinity tolerance of halophytes. Hence, prokaryotes and fungi inhabiting roots and leaves can contribute significantly to plant performance. Members of the two prokaryotic domains Bacteria and Archaea, as well as of the fungal kingdom are known to be able to adapt to a range of changes in external osmolarity. Shifts in the microbial community composition with increasing soil salinity have been suggested and research in functional interactions between plants and micro-organisms contributing to salt stress tolerance is gaining interest. Among others, microbial biosynthesis of polymers, exopolysaccharides, phytohormones and phytohormones-degrading enzymes could be involved.

 Open Access
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Improving Photosynthesis

Improving Photosynthesis | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

Photosynthesis is the basis of plant growth, and improving photosynthesis can contribute toward greater food security in the coming decades as world population increases. Multiple targets have been identified that could be manipulated to increase crop photosynthesis. The most important target is Rubisco because it catalyses both carboxylation and oxygenation reactions and the majority of responses of photosynthesis to light, CO2, and temperature are reflected in its kinetic properties. Oxygenase activity can be reduced either by concentrating CO2 around Rubisco or by modifying the kinetic properties of Rubisco. The C4 photosynthetic pathway is a CO2-concentrating mechanism that generally enables C4 plants to achieve greater efficiency in their use of light, nitrogen, and water than C3 plants. To capitalize on these advantages, attempts have been made to engineer the C4 pathway into C3 rice (Oryza sativa). A simpler approach is to transfer bicarbonate transporters from cyanobacteria into chloroplasts and prevent CO2 leakage. Recent technological breakthroughs now allow higher plant Rubisco to be engineered and assembled successfully in planta. Novel amino acid sequences can be introduced that have been impossible to reach via normal evolution, potentially enlarging the range of kinetic properties and breaking free from the constraints associated with covariation that have been observed between certain kinetic parameters. Capturing the promise of improved photosynthesis in greater yield potential will require continued efforts to improve carbon allocation within the plant as well as to maintain grain quality and resistance to disease and lodging.

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Systems approaches map regulatory networks downstream of the auxin receptor AFB3 in the nitrate response of Arabidopsis thaliana roots

Andres Zurita's insight:

Auxin is a key phytohormone regulating central processes in plants. Although the mechanism by which auxin triggers changes in gene expression is well understood, little is known about the specific role of the individual members of the TIR1/AFB auxin receptors, Aux/IAA repressors, and ARF transcription factors and/or molecular pathways acting downstream leading to plant responses to the environment. We previously reported a role for AFB3 in coordinating primary and lateral root growth to nitrate availability. In this work, we used an integrated genomics, bioinformatics, and molecular genetics approach to dissect regulatory networks acting downstream of AFB3 that are activated by nitrate in roots. We found that the NAC4 transcription factor is a key regulatory element controlling a nitrate-responsive network, and that nac4mutants have altered lateral root growth but normal primary root growth in response to nitrate. This finding suggests that AFB3 is able to activate two independent pathways to control root system architecture. Our systems approach has unraveled key components of the AFB3 regulatory network leading to changes in lateral root growth in response to nitrate.

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Oil palm genome sequence reveals divergence of interfertile species in Old and New worlds : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

Oil palm genome sequence reveals divergence of interfertile species in Old and New worlds : Nature : Nature Publishing Group | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Oil palm is the most productive oil-bearing crop.
Andres Zurita's insight:

Oil palm is the most productive oil-bearing crop. Although it is planted on only 5% of the total world vegetable oil acreage, palm oil accounts for 33% of vegetable oil and 45% of edible oil worldwide, but increased cultivation competes with dwindling rainforest reserves. We report the 1.8-gigabase (Gb) genome sequence of the African oil palm Elaeis guineensis, the predominant source of worldwide oil production. A total of 1.535 Gb of assembled sequence and transcriptome data from 30 tissue types were used to predict at least 34,802 genes, including oil biosynthesis genes and homologues of WRINKLED1(WRI1), and other transcriptional regulators1, which are highly expressed in the kernel. We also report the draft sequence of the South American oil palm Elaeis oleifera, which has the same number of chromosomes (2n = 32) and produces fertile interspecific hybrids with E. guineensis2 but seems to have diverged in the New World. Segmental duplications of chromosome arms define the palaeotetraploid origin of palm trees. The oil palm sequence enables the discovery of genes for important traits as well as somaclonal epigenetic alterations that restrict the use of clones in commercial plantings3, and should therefore help to achieve sustainability for biofuels and edible oils, reducing the rainforest footprint of this tropical plantation crop.

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Global crop yields fail to keep pace with demand

Global crop yields fail to keep pace with demand | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
The world is facing a 'looming agricultural crisis' as yields rise slower than needed to feed a growing population.
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Food production is not increasing quickly enough, a study has found

Yields must increase by up to 110 per cent to cope with the growing population

Solutions may also include expanding cropland, reducing food waste and eating less meat

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Why we listen to sad music - Research Highlights - RIKEN RESEARCH

Why we listen to sad music - Research Highlights - RIKEN RESEARCH | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it

Listening to sad music can be a pleasant experience.

Andres Zurita's insight:

Music is found to evoke not real, but vicarious emotions

 Musicologists, psychologists and philosophers have long puzzled over the fact that, despite sadness being an emotion normally avoided, people often voluntarily listen to sad music. New research from Ai Kawakami, Kazuo Okanoya and colleagues from the Emotional Information Joint Research Laboratory at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute shows that we listen to sad music because the emotion it induces is vicarious and not born of events in our own daily life1. RIKEN Brain Science Institute
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Insights into the phylogeny and coding potential of microbial dark matter : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

Insights into the phylogeny and coding potential of microbial dark matter : Nature : Nature Publishing Group | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

Genome sequencing enhances our understanding of the biological world by providing blueprints for the evolutionary and functional diversity that shapes the biosphere. However, microbial genomes that are currently available are of limited phylogenetic breadth, owing to our historical inability to cultivate most microorganisms in the laboratory. We apply single-cell genomics to target and sequence 201 uncultivated archaeal and bacterial cells from nine diverse habitats belonging to 29 major mostly uncharted branches of the tree of life, so-called ‘microbial dark matter’. With this additional genomic information, we are able to resolve many intra- and inter-phylum-level relationships and to propose two new superphyla. We uncover unexpected metabolic features that extend our understanding of biology and challenge established boundaries between the three domains of life. These include a novel amino acid use for the opal stop codon, an archaeal-type purine synthesis in Bacteria and complete sigma factors in Archaea similar to those in Bacteria. The single-cell genomes also served to phylogenetically anchor up to 20% of metagenomic reads in some habitats, facilitating organism-level interpretation of ecosystem function. This study greatly expands the genomic representation of the tree of life and provides a systematic step towards a better understanding of biological evolution on our planet.

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Growth and nodulation of symbiotic Medicago truncatula at different levels of phosphorus availability

Growth and nodulation of symbiotic Medicago truncatula at different levels of phosphorus availability | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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Medicago truncatula is an important model plant for characterization of P deficiency on leguminous plants at the physiological and molecular levels. Growth optimization of this plant with regard to P supply is the first essential step for elucidation of the role of P in regulation of nodulation. Hence, a study was carried out to address the growth pattern of M. truncatula hydroponically grown at different gradual increases in P levels. The findings revealed that M. truncatula had a narrow P regime, with an optimum P level (12 μM P) which is relatively close to the concentration that induces P toxicity. The accumulated P concentration (2.7 mg g–1 dry matter), which is normal for other crops and legumes, adversely affected the growth of M. truncatula plants. Under P deficiency, M. truncatula showed a higher symbiotic efficiency with Sinorhizobium meliloti 2011 in comparison with S. meliloti 102F51, partially as a result of higher electron allocation to N2 versus H+. The total composition of free amino acids in the phloem was significantly affected by P deprivation. This pattern was found to be almost exclusively the result of the increase in the asparagine level, suggesting that asparagine might be the shoot-derived signal that translocates to the nodules and exerts the down-regulation of nitrogenase activity. Additionally, P deprivation was found to have a strong influence on the contents of the nodule carbon metabolites. While levels of sucrose and succinate tended to decrease, a higher accumulation of malate was observed. These findings have provided evidence that N2 fixation of M. truncatula is mediated through an N feedback mechanism which is closely related to nodule carbon metabolism.
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The Brassinosteroid Signaling Pathway - New Key Players and Interconnections with Other Signaling Networks Crucial for Plant Development and Stress Tolerance

The Brassinosteroid Signaling Pathway - New Key Players and Interconnections with Other Signaling Networks Crucial for Plant Development and Stress Tolerance | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it

Recent studies clearly indicated that some of the components of BR signaling pathway act as multifunctional proteins involved in other signaling networks regulating diverse physiological processes, such as photomorphogenesis, cell death control, stomatal development, flowering, plant immunity to pathogens and metabolic responses to stress conditions, including salinity. Regulation of some of these processes is mediated through a crosstalk between BR signalosome and the signaling cascades of other hormones, including auxin, abscisic acid, ethylene and salicylic acid. Unravelling the complicated mechanisms of BR signaling and its interconnections with other molecular networks may be of great importance for future practical applications in agriculture.


Via Elsa Ballini
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PLOS ONE: Plant Water Use Efficiency over Geological Time – Evolution of Leaf Stomata Configurations Affecting Plant Gas Exchange

PLOS ONE: Plant Water Use Efficiency over Geological Time – Evolution of Leaf Stomata Configurations Affecting Plant Gas Exchange | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
Andres Zurita's insight:

Plant gas exchange is a key process shaping global hydrological and carbon cycles and is often characterized by plant water use efficiency (WUE - the ratio of CO2 gain to water vapor loss). Plant fossil record suggests that plant adaptation to changing atmospheric CO2 involved correlated evolution of stomata density (d) and size (s), and related maximal aperture, amax. We interpreted the fossil record of s and d correlated evolution during the Phanerozoic to quantify impacts on gas conductance affecting plant transpiration, E, and CO2 uptake, A,independently, and consequently, on plant WUE. A shift in stomata configuration from large s-low d to small s-high d in response to decreasing atmospheric CO2 resulted in large changes in plant gas exchange characteristics. The relationships between gas conductance, gws, A and Eand maximal relative transpiring leaf area, (amax⋅d), exhibited hysteretic-like behavior. The new WUE trend derived from independent estimates of A and E differs from established WUE-CO2trends for atmospheric CO2 concentrations exceeding 1,200 ppm. In contrast with a nearly-linear decrease in WUE with decreasing CO2 obtained by standard methods, the newly estimated WUE trend exhibits remarkably stable values for an extended geologic period during which atmospheric CO2 dropped from 3,500 to 1,200 ppm. Pending additional tests, the findings may affect projected impacts of increased atmospheric CO2 on components of the global hydrological cycle.

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Thermotolerance Responses in Ripening Berries of Vitis vinifera L. cv Muscat Hamburg

Thermotolerance Responses in Ripening Berries of Vitis vinifera L. cv Muscat Hamburg | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

Berry organoleptic properties are highly influenced by ripening environmental conditions. In this study, we used grapevine fruiting cuttings to follow berry ripening under different controlled conditions of temperature and irradiation intensity. Berries ripened at higher temperatures showed reduced anthocyanin accumulation and hastened ripening, leading to a characteristic drop in malic acid and total acidity. The GrapeGen GeneChip® combined with a newly developed GrapeGen 12Xv1 MapMan version were utilized for the functional analysis of berry transcriptomic differences after 2 week treatments from veraison onset. These analyses revealed the establishment of a thermotolerance response in berries under high temperatures marked by the induction of heat shock protein (HSP) chaperones and the repression of transmembrane transporter-encoding transcripts. The thermotolerance response was coincident with up-regulation of ERF subfamily transcription factors and increased ABA levels, suggesting their participation in the maintenance of the acclimation response. Lower expression of amino acid transporter-encoding transcripts at high temperature correlated with balanced amino acid content, suggesting a transcriptional compensation of temperature effects on protein and membrane stability to allow for completion of berry ripening. In contrast, the lower accumulation of anthocyanins and higher malate metabolization measured under high temperature might partly result from imbalance in the expression and function of their specific transmembrane transporters and expression changes in genes involved in their metabolic pathways. These results open up new views to improve our understanding of berry ripening under high temperatures.

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Potassium Ion Channels: Could They Have Evolved from Viruses?

Potassium Ion Channels: Could They Have Evolved from Viruses? | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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Cells communicate among themselves by electrical activity. Sophisticated membrane-embedded proteins, called ion channels, catalyze rapid, selective, and regulated ion fluxes across membranes (Hille, 2001). The resulting membrane currents are responsible for neuronal activity and the systemic propagation of electrical signals in animals. The activity of some channels is important for muscle movement in animals or growth in plants; other channels sense the concentration of physiological signals and modulate key processes in all kinds of eukaryotic cells. Among the many diverse ion channels in higher organisms, K+channels are among the most important. One feature of K+ channels is that they conduct K+ ions much better than slightly smaller Na+ ions (Hille, 2001). The selective transport of K+ is involved in many physiological functions, including homeostasis of the membrane potential and the repolarization of the action potential in excitable cells. Because of a universal requirement for selective K+fluxes across membranes, K+ channels are present in plasma membranes of all cell types in animals and plants. K+ channels also exist in organellar membranes, including mitochondria, chloroplasts, and endoplasmic reticula.


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