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Annals of Botany Current Issue





Published: Tue, 05 Sep 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2017 06:47:12 GMT

 



Content Snapshots

2017-09-05







Early Arabidopsis root hair growth stimulation by pathogenic strains of Pseudomonas syringae

2017-07-20

Abstract
Background and Aims
Selected beneficial Pseudomonas spp. strains have the ability to influence root architecture in Arabidopsis thaliana by inhibiting primary root elongation and promoting lateral root and root hair formation. A crucial role for auxin in this long-term (1week), long-distance plant–microbe interaction has been demonstrated.
Methods
Arabidopsis seedlings were cultivated in vitro on vertical plates and inoculated with pathogenic strains Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola (Psm) and P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Pst), as well as Agrobacterium tumefaciens (Atu) and Escherichia coli (Eco). Root hair lengths were measured after 24 and 48h of direct exposure to each bacterial strain. Several Arabidopsis mutants with impaired responses to pathogens, impaired ethylene perception and defects in the exocyst vesicle tethering complex that is involved in secretion were also analysed.
Key Results
Arabidopsis seedling roots infected with Psm or Pst responded similarly to when infected with plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria; root hair growth was stimulated and primary root growth was inhibited. Other plant- and soil-adapted bacteria induced similar root hair responses. The most compromised root hair growth stimulation response was found for the knockout mutants exo70A1 and ein2. The single immune pathways dependent on salicylic acid, jasmonic acid and PAD4 are not directly involved in root hair growth stimulation; however, in the mutual cross-talk with ethylene, they indirectly modify the extent of the stimulation of root hair growth. The Flg22 peptide does not initiate root hair stimulation as intact bacteria do, but pretreatment with Flg22 prior to Psm inoculation abolished root hair growth stimulation in an FLS2 receptor kinase-dependent manner. These early response phenomena are not associated with changes in auxin levels, as monitored with the pDR5::GUS auxin reporter.
Conclusions
Early stimulation of root hair growth is an effect of an unidentified component of living plant pathogenic bacteria. The root hair growth response is triggered in the range of hours after bacterial contact with roots and can be modulated by FLS2 signalling. Bacterial stimulation of root hair growth requires functional ethylene signalling and an efficient exocyst-dependent secretory machinery.



Wilted cucumber plants infected by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cucumerinum do not suffer from water shortage

2017-07-04

Abstract
Background and Aims
Fusarium wilt is primarily a soil-borne disease and results in yield loss and quality decline in cucumber (Cucumis sativus). The main symptom of fusarium wilt is the wilting of entire plant, which could be caused by a fungal toxin(s) or blockage of water transport. To investigate whether this wilt arises from water shortage, the physiological responses of hydroponically grown cucumber plants subjected to water stress using polyethylene glycol (PEG, 6000) were compared with those of plants infected with Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cucumerinum (FOC).
Methods
Parameters reflecting plant water status were measured 8d after the start of treatment. Leaf gas exchange parameters and temperature were measured with a LI-COR portable open photosynthesis system and by thermal imaging. Chlorophyll fluorescence and chloroplast structures were assessed by imaging pulse amplitude-modulated fluorometry and transmission electron microscopy, respectively.
Key Results
Cucumber water balance was altered after FOC infection, with decreased water absorption and hydraulic conductivity. However, the responses of cucumber leaves to FOC and PEG differed in leaf regions. Under water stress, measures of lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde) and chlorophyll fluorescence indicated that the leaf edge was more seriously injured, with a higher leaf temperature and disrupted leaf water status compared with the centre. Here, abscisic acid (ABA) and proline were negatively correlated with water potential. In contrast, under FOC infection, membrane damage and a higher temperature were observed in the leaf centre while ABA and proline did not vary with water potential. Cytologically, FOC-infected cucumber leaves exhibited circular chloroplasts and swelled starch grains in the leaf centre, in which they again differed from PEG-stressed cucumber leaves.
Conclusions
This study illustrates the non-causal relationship between fusarium wilt and water transport blockage. Although leaf wilt occurred in both water stress and FOC infection, the physiological responses were different, especially in leaf spatial distribution.



Uncertain pollination environment promotes the evolution of a stable mixed reproductive system in the self-incompatible Hypochaeris salzmanniana (Asteraceae)

2017-06-30

Abstract
Background and aims
The transition from outcrossing to selfing is a repeated pattern in angiosperm diversification and according to general theory this transition should occur quickly and mixed reproductive systems should be infrequent. However, a large proportion of flowering plants have mixed reproductive systems, even showing inbreeding depression. Recently, several theoretical studies have shown that mixed mating systems can be stable, but empirical studies supporting these assumptions are still scarce.
Methods
Hypochaeris salzmanniana, an annual species with populations differing in their self-incompatibility expression, was used as a study case to assess the stability of its mixed reproductive system. Here a descriptive study of the pollination environment was combined with measurements of the stability of the self-incompatibility system, outcrossing rate, reproductive assurance and inbreeding depression in four populations for two consecutive years.
Key Results
The reproductive system of populations exhibited a geographical pattern: the proportion of plants decreased from west to east. Pollinator environment also varied geographically, being less favourable from west to east. The self-incompatibility expression of some populations changed markedly in only one year. After selfing, progeny was mainly self-compatible, while after outcrossing both self-incompatible and self-compatible plants were produced. In general, both reproductive assurance and high inbreeding depression were found in all populations and years. The lowest values of inbreeding depression were found in 2014 in the easternmost populations, which experienced a marked increase in self-compatibility in 2015.
Conclusions
The mixed reproductive system of H. salzmanniana seems to be an evolutionarily stable strategy, with selfing conferring reproductive assurance when pollinator attendance is low, but strongly limited by inbreeding depression. The fact that the highest frequencies of self-compatible plants appeared in the environments most unfavourable to pollination suggests that these plants are selected in these sites, although high rates of inbreeding depression should impede the complete loss of self-incompatibility. In H. salzmanniana, year-to-year changes in the frequency of self-incompatible individuals are directly derived from the balance between reproductive assurance and inbreeding depression.



Quantifying rooting at depth in a wheat doubled haploid population with introgression from wild emmer

2017-06-26

Abstract
Background and Aims
The genetic basis of increased rooting below the plough layer, post-anthesis in the field, of an elite wheat line (Triticum aestivum ‘Shamrock’) with recent introgression from wild emmer (T. dicoccoides), is investigated. Shamrock has a non-glaucous canopy phenotype mapped to the short arm of chromosome 2B (2BS), derived from the wild emmer. A secondary aim was to determine whether genetic effects found in the field could have been predicted by other assessment methods.
Methods
Roots of doubled haploid (DH) lines from a winter wheat (‘Shamrock’ × ‘Shango’) population were assessed using a seedling screen in moist paper rolls, in rhizotrons to the end of tillering, and in the field post-anthesis. A linkage map was produced using single nucleotide polymorphism markers to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for rooting traits.
Key Results
Shamrock had greater root length density (RLD) at depth than Shango, in the field and within the rhizotrons. The DH population exhibited diversity for rooting traits within the three environments studied. QTLs were identified on chromosomes 5D, 6B and 7B, explaining variation in RLD post-anthesis in the field. Effects associated with the non-glaucous trait on RLD interacted significantly with depth in the field, and some of this interaction mapped to 2BS. The effect of genotype was strongly influenced by the method of root assessment, e.g. glaucousness expressed in the field was negatively associated with root length in the rhizotrons, but positively associated with length in the seedling screen.
Conclusions
To our knowledge, this is the first study to identify QTLs for rooting at depth in field-grown wheat at mature growth stages. Within the population studied here, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that some of the variation in rooting is associated with recent introgression from wild emmer. The expression of genetic effects differed between the methods of root assessment.



Nutrient availability affects floral scent much less than other floral and vegetative traits in Lithophragma bolanderi

2017-06-26

Abstract
Background and Aims
Many plant–pollinator interactions are mediated by floral scents that can vary among species, among populations within species and even among individuals within populations. This variation could be innate and unaffected by the environment, but, because many floral volatiles have amino-acid precursors, scent variation also could be affected by differences in nutrient availability among environments. In plants that have coevolved with specific pollinators, natural selection is likely to favour low phenotypic plasticity in floral scent even under different conditions of nutrient availability if particular scents or scent combinations are important for attracting local pollinators.
Methods
Clonal pairs of multiple seed-families of two Lithophragma bolanderi (Saxifragaceae) populations were subjected to a high and a low nutrient treatment. These plants are pollinated primarily by host-specific Greya moths. It was evaluated how nutrient treatment affected variation in floral scent relative to other vegetative and reproductive traits.
Key Results
Floral scent strength (the per-flower emission rate) and composition were unaffected by nutrient treatment, but low-nutrient plants produced fewer and lighter leaves, fewer scapes and fewer flowers than high-nutrient plants. The results held in both populations, which differed greatly in the number and composition of floral scents produced.
Conclusions
The results reveal a strong genetic component both to scent composition and emission level, and partly contrasts with the only previous study that has assessed the susceptibility of floral volatile signals to variation in the abundance of nutrients. These results, and the tight coevolutionary relationship between Lithophragma plants and their specialized Greya moth pollinators, indicate that reproductive traits important to coevolving interactions, such as the floral scent of L. bolanderi, may be locally specialized and more canalized than other traits important for plant fitness.



Does the seed bank contribute to the build-up of a genetic extinction debt in the grassland perennial Campanula rotundifolia ?

2017-06-21

Abstract
Background and Aims
Habitat fragmentation threatens global biodiversity. Many plant species persist in habitat fragments via persistent life cycle stages such as seed banks, generating a species extinction debt. Here, seed banks are hypothesized to cause a temporal delay in the expected loss of genetic variation, which can be referred to as a genetic extinction debt, as a possible mechanism behind species extinction debts.
Methods
Fragmented grassland populations of Campanula rotundifolia were examined for evidence of a genetic extinction debt, investigating if the seed bank contributed to the extinction debt build-up. The genetic make-up of 15 above- and below-ground populations was analysed in relation to historical and current levels of habitat fragmentation, both separately and combined.
Key Results
Genetic diversity was highest in above-ground populations, though below-ground populations contained 8 % of unique alleles that were absent above-ground. Above-ground genetic diversity and composition were related to historical patch size and connectivity, but not current patch characteristics, suggesting the presence of a genetic extinction debt in the above-ground populations. No such relationships were found for the below-ground populations. Genetic diversity measures still showed a response to historical but not present landscape characteristics when combining genetic diversity of the above- and below-ground populations.
Conclusions
The fragmented C. rotundifolia populations exhibited a genetic extinction debt. However, the role of the seed banks in the build-up of this extinction debt is probably small, since the limited, unique genetic diversity of the seed bank alone seems unable to counter the detrimental effects of habitat fragmentation on the population genetic structure of C. rotundifolia.



Effects of changes in leaf properties mediated by methyl jasmonate (MeJA) on foliar absorption of Zn, Mn and Fe

2017-06-21

Abstract
Background and Aims
Foliar fertilization to overcome nutritional deficiencies is becoming increasingly widespread. However, the processes of foliar nutrient absorption and translocation are poorly understood. The present study aimed to investigate how cuticular leaf properties affect the absorption of foliar-applied nutrients in leaf tissues.
Methods
Given that methyl jasmonate (MeJA) can cause alterations in leaf properties, we applied 1 mm MeJA to sunflower (Helianthus annuus), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and soybean (Glycine max) to assess changes in leaf properties. Using traditionally analytical approaches and synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence microscopy, the effects of these changes on the absorption and translocation of foliar-applied Zn, Mn and Fe were examined.
Key Results
The changes in leaf properties caused by the application of MeJA increased foliar absorption of Zn, Mn and Fe up to 3- to 5-fold in sunflower but decreased it by 0·5- to 0·9-fold in tomato, with no effect in soybean. These changes in the foliar absorption of nutrients could not be explained by changes in overall trichome density, which increased in both sunflower (86%) and tomato (76%) (with no change in soybean). Similarly, the changes could be not attributed to changes in stomatal density or cuticle composition, given that these properties remained constant. Rather, the changes in the foliar absorption of Zn, Mn and Fe were related to the thickness of the cuticle and epidermal cell wall. Finally, the subsequent translocation of the absorbed nutrients within the leaf tissues was limited (<1·3mm) irrespective of treatment.
Conclusions
The present study highlights the potential importance of the combined thickness of the cuticle and epidermal cell wall in the absorption of foliar-applied nutrients. This information will assist in increasing the efficacy of foliar fertilization.



Wheat seed weight and quality differ temporally in sensitivity to warm or cool conditions during seed development and maturation

2017-06-15

Abstract
Background and aims
Short periods of extreme temperature may affect wheat (Triticum aestivum) seed weight, but also quality. Temporal sensitivity to extreme temperature during seed development and maturation was investigated.
Methods
Plants of ‘Tybalt’ grown at ambient temperature were moved to growth cabinets at 29/20°C or 34/20°C (2010), or 15/10°C or 34/20°C (2011), for successive 7-d periods from 7 DAA (days after anthesis) onwards, and also 7–65 DAA in 2011. Seed samples were harvested serially and moisture content, weight, ability to germinate, subsequent longevity in air-dry storage and bread-making quality were determined.
Key Results
High temperature (34/20°C) reduced final seed weight, with greatest temporal sensitivity at 7–14 or 14–21 DAA. Several aspects of bread-making quality were also most sensitive to high temperature then, but whereas protein quality decreased protein and sulphur concentrations improved. Early exposure to high temperature provided earlier development of ability to germinate and tolerate desiccation, but had little effect on maximum germination capacity. All treatments at 15/10°C resulted in ability to germinate declining between 58 and 65 DAA. Early exposure to high temperature hastened improvement in seed storage longevity, but the subsequent decline in late maturation preceded that in the control. Long (7–65 DAA) exposure to 15/10°C disrupted the development of seed longevity, with no improvement after seed filling ended. Longevity improved during maturation drying in other treatments. Early (7–14 DAA) exposure to high temperature reduced and low temperature increased subsequent longevity at harvest maturity, whereas late (35 or 42–49 DAA) exposure to high temperature increased and low temperature reduced it.
Conclusions
Temporal sensitivity to extreme temperature was detected. It varied considerably amongst the contrasting seed variables investigated. Subsequent seed longevity at harvest maturity responded negatively to temperature early in development, but positively later in development and throughout maturation.



Phylogeography of herbarium specimens of asexually propagated paper mulberry [ Broussonetia papyrifera (L.) L’Hér. ex Vent. (Moraceae)] reveals genetic diversity across the Pacific

2017-06-14

Abstract
Background and Aims
Paper mulberry or Broussonetia papyrifera (L.) L’Hér. ex Vent. (Moraceae) is a dioecious species native to continental South-east Asia and East Asia, including Taiwan, that was introduced to the Pacific by pre-historic voyagers and transported intentionally and propagated asexually across the full range of Austronesian expansion from Taiwan to East Polynesia. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the dispersal of paper mulberry into Oceania through the genetic analysis of herbaria samples which represent a more complete coverage of the historical geographical range of the species in the Pacific before later introductions and local extinctions occurred.
Methods
DNA from 47 herbarium specimens of B. papyrifera collected from 1882 to 2006 from different islands of the Pacific was obtained under ancient DNA protocols. Genetic characterization was based on the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer ITS-1 sequence, a sex marker, the chloroplast ndhF–rpl32 intergenic spacer and a set of ten microsatellites developed for B. papyrifera.
Key Results
Microsatellites allowed detection of 15 genotypes in Near and Remote Oceanian samples, in spite of the vegetative propagation of B. papyrifera in the Pacific. These genotypes are structured in two groups separating West and East Polynesia, and place Pitcairn in a pivotal position. We also detected the presence of male plants that carry the Polynesian chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) haplotype, in contrast to findings in contemporary B. papyrifera populations where only female plants bear the Polynesian cpDNA haplotype.
Conclusions
For the first time, genetic diversity was detected among paper mulberry accessions from Remote Oceania. A clear separation between West and East Polynesia was found that may be indicative of pulses during its dispersal history. The pattern linking the genotypes within Remote Oceania reflects the importance of central Polynesia as a dispersal hub, in agreement with archaeological evidence.



Exploring fungus–plant N transfer in a tripartite ant–plant–fungus mutualism

2017-06-13

Abstract
Background and Aims
The plant Hirtella physophora, the ant Allomerus decemarticulatus and a fungus, Trimmatostroma sp., form a tripartite association. The ants manipulate both the plant trichomes and the fungus to build galleries under the stems of their host plant used to capture prey. In addition to its structural role, the fungus also improves nutrient uptake by the host plant. But it still remains unclear whether the fungus plays an indirect or a direct role in transferring nutrients to the plant. This study aimed to trace the transfer of N from the fungus to the plant’s stem tissue.
Methods
Optical microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to investigate the presence of fungal hyphae in the stem tissues. Then, a 15N-labelling experiment was combined with a nanoscale secondary-ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS 50) isotopic imaging approach to trace the movement of added 15N from the fungus to plant tissues.
Key Results
The TEM images clearly showed hyphae inside the stem tissue in the cellular compartment. Also, fungal hyphae were seen perforating the wall of the parenchyma cell. The 15N provisioning of the fungus in the galleries resulted in significant enrichment of the 15N signature of the plant’s leaves 1 d after the 15N-labelling solution was deposited on the fungus-bearing trap. Finally, NanoSIMS imaging proved that nitrogen was transferred biotrophically from the fungus to the stem tissue.
Conclusions
This study provides evidence that the fungi are connected endophytically to an ant–plant system and actively transfer nitrogen from 15N-labelling solution to the plant’s stem tissues. Overall, this study underlines how complex the trophic structure of ant–plant interactions is due to the presence of the fungus and provides insight into the possibly important nutritional aspects and tradeoffs involved in myrmecophyte–ant mutualisms.



Photoperiod- and temperature-mediated control of growth cessation and dormancy in trees: a molecular perspective

2017-06-12

Abstract
Background
How plants adapt their developmental patterns to regular seasonal changes is an important question in biology. The annual growth cycle in perennial long-lived trees is yet another example of how plants can adapt to seasonal changes. The two main signals that plants rely on to respond to seasonal changes are photoperiod and temperature, and these signals have critical roles in the temporal regulation of the annual growth cycle of trees.
Scope
This review presents the latest findings to provide insight into the molecular mechanisms that underlie how photoperiodic and temperature signals regulate seasonal growth in trees.
Conclusion
The results point to a high level of conservation in the signalling pathways that mediate photoperiodic control of seasonal growth in trees and flowering in annual plants such as arabidopsis. Furthermore, the data indicate that symplastic communication may mediate certain aspects of seasonal growth. Although considerable insight into the control of phenology in model plants such as poplar and spruce has been obtained, the future challenge is extending these studies to other, non-model trees.



Mixotrophy in Pyroleae (Ericaceae) from Estonian boreal forests does not vary with light or tissue age

2017-05-31

Abstract
Background and Aims
In temperate forests, some green plants, namely pyroloids (Pyroleae, Ericaceae) and some orchids, independently evolved a mode of nutrition mixing photosynthates and carbon gained from their mycorrhizal fungi (mixotrophy). Fungal carbon is more enriched in 13C than photosynthates, allowing estimation of the proportion of carbon acquired heterotrophically from fungi in plant biomass. Based on 13C enrichment, mixotrophic orchids have previously been shown to increase shoot autotrophy level over the growth season and with environmental light availability. But little is known about the plasticity of use of photosynthetic versus fungal carbon in pyroloids.
Methods
Plasticity of mixotrophy with leaf age or light level (estimated from canopy openness) was investigated in pyroloids from three Estonian boreal forests. Bulk leaf 13C enrichment of five pyroloid species was compared with that of control autotrophic plants along temporal series (over one growth season) and environmental light gradients (n=405 samples).
Key Results
Mixotrophic 13C enrichment was detected at studied sites for Pyrola chlorantha and Orthilia secunda (except at one site for the latter), but not for Chimaphila umbellata, Pyrola rotundifolia and Moneses uniflora. Enrichment with 13C did not vary over the growth season or between leaves from current and previous years. Finally, although one co-occurring mixotrophic orchid showed 13C depletion with increasing light availability, as expected for mixotrophs, all pyroloids responded identically to autotrophic control plants along light gradients.
Conclusions
A phylogenetic trend previously observed is further supported: mixotrophy is rarely supported by 13C enrichment in the Chimaphila + Moneses clade, whereas it is frequent in the Pyrola + Orthilia clade. Moreover, pyroloid mixotrophy does not respond plastically to ageing or to light level. This contrasts with the usual view of a convergent evolution with orchids, and casts doubt on the way pyroloids use the carbon gained from their mycorrhizal fungi, especially to replace photosynthetic carbon.