Science.gov

Sample records for improves plant architecture

  1. Potential of hypocotyl diameter in family selection aiming at plant architecture improvement of common bean.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, A M C; Batista, R O; Carneiro, P C S; Carneiro, J E S; Cruz, C D

    2015-01-01

    Cultivars of common bean with more erect plant architecture and greater tolerance to degree of lodging are required by producers. Thus, to evaluate the potential of hypocotyl diameter (HD) in family selection for plant architecture improvement of common bean, the HDs of 32 F2 plants were measured in 3 distinct populations, and the characteristics related to plant architecture were analyzed in their progenies. Ninety-six F2:3 families and 4 controls were evaluated in a randomized block design, with 3 replications, analyzing plant architecture grade, HD, and grain yield during the winter 2010 and drought 2011 seasons. We found that the correlation between the HD of F2 plants and traits related to plant architecture of F2:3 progenies were of low magnitude compared to the estimates for correlations considering the parents, indicating a high environmental influence on HD in bean plants. There was a predominance of additive genetic effects on the determination of hypocotyl diameter, which showed higher precision and accuracy compared to plant architecture grade. Thus, this characteristic can be used to select progenies in plant architecture improvement of common beans; however, selection must be based on the means of at least 39 plants in the plot, according to the results of repeatability analysis. PMID:26436392

  2. Exploring high throughput phenotyping, plant architecture and plant-boll distribution for improving drought tolerance in cotton

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There is a pressing need to identify and understand the effects of different irrigation regimes on plant-boll distribution, seed cotton yield, and plant architecture for improving yield and fiber quality under stress and/or drought tolerance of cotton (Gossypium spp.) cultivars. To identify the impa...

  3. Shaping plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Teichmann, Thomas; Muhr, Merlin

    2015-01-01

    Plants exhibit phenotypical plasticity. Their general body plan is genetically determined, but plant architecture and branching patterns are variable and can be adjusted to the prevailing environmental conditions. The modular design of the plant facilitates such morphological adaptations. The prerequisite for the formation of a branch is the initiation of an axillary meristem. Here, we review the current knowledge about this process. After its establishment, the meristem can develop into a bud which can either become dormant or grow out and form a branch. Many endogenous factors, such as photoassimilate availability, and exogenous factors like nutrient availability or shading, have to be integrated in the decision whether a branch is formed. The underlying regulatory network is complex and involves phytohormones and transcription factors. The hormone auxin is derived from the shoot apex and inhibits bud outgrowth indirectly in a process termed apical dominance. Strigolactones appear to modulate apical dominance by modification of auxin fluxes. Furthermore, the transcription factor BRANCHED1 plays a central role. The exact interplay of all these factors still remains obscure and there are alternative models. We discuss recent findings in the field along with the major models. Plant architecture is economically significant because it affects important traits of crop and ornamental plants, as well as trees cultivated in forestry or on short rotation coppices. As a consequence, plant architecture has been modified during plant domestication. Research revealed that only few key genes have been the target of selection during plant domestication and in breeding programs. Here, we discuss such findings on the basis of various examples. Architectural ideotypes that provide advantages for crop plant management and yield are described. We also outline the potential of breeding and biotechnological approaches to further modify and improve plant architecture for economic needs

  4. Shaping plant architecture

    PubMed Central

    Teichmann, Thomas; Muhr, Merlin

    2015-01-01

    Plants exhibit phenotypical plasticity. Their general body plan is genetically determined, but plant architecture and branching patterns are variable and can be adjusted to the prevailing environmental conditions. The modular design of the plant facilitates such morphological adaptations. The prerequisite for the formation of a branch is the initiation of an axillary meristem. Here, we review the current knowledge about this process. After its establishment, the meristem can develop into a bud which can either become dormant or grow out and form a branch. Many endogenous factors, such as photoassimilate availability, and exogenous factors like nutrient availability or shading, have to be integrated in the decision whether a branch is formed. The underlying regulatory network is complex and involves phytohormones and transcription factors. The hormone auxin is derived from the shoot apex and inhibits bud outgrowth indirectly in a process termed apical dominance. Strigolactones appear to modulate apical dominance by modification of auxin fluxes. Furthermore, the transcription factor BRANCHED1 plays a central role. The exact interplay of all these factors still remains obscure and there are alternative models. We discuss recent findings in the field along with the major models. Plant architecture is economically significant because it affects important traits of crop and ornamental plants, as well as trees cultivated in forestry or on short rotation coppices. As a consequence, plant architecture has been modified during plant domestication. Research revealed that only few key genes have been the target of selection during plant domestication and in breeding programs. Here, we discuss such findings on the basis of various examples. Architectural ideotypes that provide advantages for crop plant management and yield are described. We also outline the potential of breeding and biotechnological approaches to further modify and improve plant architecture for economic needs

  5. Short leaf mutation and modified plant architecture as potential traits for improving biomass and abiotic stress tolerance in sorghum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The significant contributions of plant architecture to yield and biomass production have been the focus of attention in a number of crop plants. Recently, the relationship between plant architecture, biomass characteristics and responses to abiotic stresses has also been a subject of considerable in...

  6. Evolution of plant genome architecture.

    PubMed

    Wendel, Jonathan F; Jackson, Scott A; Meyers, Blake C; Wing, Rod A

    2016-01-01

    We have witnessed an explosion in our understanding of the evolution and structure of plant genomes in recent years. Here, we highlight three important emergent realizations: (1) that the evolutionary history of all plant genomes contains multiple, cyclical episodes of whole-genome doubling that were followed by myriad fractionation processes; (2) that the vast majority of the variation in genome size reflects the dynamics of proliferation and loss of lineage-specific transposable elements; and (3) that various classes of small RNAs help shape genomic architecture and function. We illustrate ways in which understanding these organism-level and molecular genetic processes can be used for crop plant improvement. PMID:26926526

  7. Identification and overexpression of gibberellin 2-oxidase (GA2ox) in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) for improved plant architecture and reduced biomass recalcitrance.

    PubMed

    Wuddineh, Wegi A; Mazarei, Mitra; Zhang, Jiyi; Poovaiah, Charleson R; Mann, David G J; Ziebell, Angela; Sykes, Robert W; Davis, Mark F; Udvardi, Michael K; Stewart, Charles Neal

    2015-06-01

    Gibberellin 2-oxidases (GA2oxs) are a group of 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases that catalyse the deactivation of bioactive GA or its precursors through 2β-hydroxylation reaction. In this study, putatively novel switchgrass C20 GA2ox genes were identified with the aim of genetically engineering switchgrass for improved architecture and reduced biomass recalcitrance for biofuel. Three C20 GA2ox genes showed differential regulation patterns among tissues including roots, seedlings and reproductive parts. Using a transgenic approach, we showed that overexpression of two C20 GA2ox genes, that is PvGA2ox5 and PvGA2ox9, resulted in characteristic GA-deficient phenotypes with dark-green leaves and modified plant architecture. The changes in plant morphology appeared to be associated with GA2ox transcript abundance. Exogenous application of GA rescued the GA-deficient phenotypes in transgenic lines. Transgenic semi-dwarf lines displayed increased tillering and reduced lignin content, and the syringyl/guaiacyl lignin monomer ratio accompanied by the reduced expression of lignin biosynthetic genes compared to nontransgenic plants. A moderate increase in the level of glucose release in these transgenic lines might be attributed to reduced biomass recalcitrance as a result of reduced lignin content and lignin composition. Our results suggest that overexpression of GA2ox genes in switchgrass is a feasible strategy to improve plant architecture and reduce biomass recalcitrance for biofuel. PMID:25400275

  8. The Genetic Architecture of Barley Plant Stature

    PubMed Central

    Alqudah, Ahmad M.; Koppolu, Ravi; Wolde, Gizaw M.; Graner, Andreas; Schnurbusch, Thorsten

    2016-01-01

    Plant stature in temperate cereals is predominantly controlled by tillering and plant height as complex agronomic traits, representing important determinants of grain yield. This study was designed to reveal the genetic basis of tillering at five developmental stages and plant height at harvest in 218 worldwide spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) accessions under greenhouse conditions. The accessions were structured based on row-type classes [two- vs. six-rowed] and photoperiod response [photoperiod-sensitive (Ppd-H1) vs. reduced photoperiod sensitivity (ppd-H1)]. Phenotypic analyses of both factors revealed profound between group effects on tiller development. To further verify the row-type effect on the studied traits, Six-rowed spike 1 (vrs1) mutants and their two-rowed progenitors were examined for tiller number per plant and plant height. Here, wild-type (Vrs1) plants were significantly taller and had more tillers than mutants suggesting a negative pleiotropic effect of this row-type locus on both traits. Our genome-wide association scans further revealed highly significant associations, thereby establishing a link between the genetic control of row-type, heading time, tillering, and plant height. We further show that associations for tillering and plant height are co-localized with chromosomal segments harboring known plant stature-related phytohormone and sugar-related genes. This work demonstrates the feasibility of the GWAS approach for identifying putative candidate genes for improving plant architecture. PMID:27446200

  9. The Genetic Architecture of Barley Plant Stature.

    PubMed

    Alqudah, Ahmad M; Koppolu, Ravi; Wolde, Gizaw M; Graner, Andreas; Schnurbusch, Thorsten

    2016-01-01

    Plant stature in temperate cereals is predominantly controlled by tillering and plant height as complex agronomic traits, representing important determinants of grain yield. This study was designed to reveal the genetic basis of tillering at five developmental stages and plant height at harvest in 218 worldwide spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) accessions under greenhouse conditions. The accessions were structured based on row-type classes [two- vs. six-rowed] and photoperiod response [photoperiod-sensitive (Ppd-H1) vs. reduced photoperiod sensitivity (ppd-H1)]. Phenotypic analyses of both factors revealed profound between group effects on tiller development. To further verify the row-type effect on the studied traits, Six-rowed spike 1 (vrs1) mutants and their two-rowed progenitors were examined for tiller number per plant and plant height. Here, wild-type (Vrs1) plants were significantly taller and had more tillers than mutants suggesting a negative pleiotropic effect of this row-type locus on both traits. Our genome-wide association scans further revealed highly significant associations, thereby establishing a link between the genetic control of row-type, heading time, tillering, and plant height. We further show that associations for tillering and plant height are co-localized with chromosomal segments harboring known plant stature-related phytohormone and sugar-related genes. This work demonstrates the feasibility of the GWAS approach for identifying putative candidate genes for improving plant architecture. PMID:27446200

  10. The Architecture of School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this paper is to present a comprehensive framework for capturing the complex concept the authors call school improvement. Design/methodology/approach: The author begins by anchoring that framework on an historical understanding of school improvement. The framework itself is then presented. Five dimensions are described: the…

  11. An improved distributed arithmetic architecture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guo, X.; Lynn, D. W.

    1991-01-01

    Speed requirements have been, and will continue to be, a major consideration in the design of hardware to implement digital signal processing functions like digital filters and transforms like the DFT and DCT. The conventional approach is to increase speed by adding hardware and increasing chip area. The real challenge is to save chip area while still maintaining high speed performance. The approach we propose is based on the distributed arithmetic implementation (DA) of digital filters. The improvement is based on two observations. Firstly, a single memory element can replace several identical memory elements in a fully parallel DA implementation. Secondly, truncation or rounding may be introduced into the computation at strategic points without increasing error unduly. Both of these approaches can be used to attain area savings without impairing speed of operation.

  12. Improving crop nutrient efficiency through root architecture modifications.

    PubMed

    Li, Xinxin; Zeng, Rensen; Liao, Hong

    2016-03-01

    Improving crop nutrient efficiency becomes an essential consideration for environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture. Plant growth and development is dependent on 17 essential nutrient elements, among them, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are the two most important mineral nutrients. Hence it is not surprising that low N and/or low P availability in soils severely constrains crop growth and productivity, and thereby have become high priority targets for improving nutrient efficiency in crops. Root exploration largely determines the ability of plants to acquire mineral nutrients from soils. Therefore, root architecture, the 3-dimensional configuration of the plant's root system in the soil, is of great importance for improving crop nutrient efficiency. Furthermore, the symbiotic associations between host plants and arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi/rhizobial bacteria, are additional important strategies to enhance nutrient acquisition. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the current understanding of crop species control of root architecture alterations in response to nutrient availability and root/microbe symbioses, through gene or QTL regulation, which results in enhanced nutrient acquisition. PMID:26460087

  13. An Analysis of an Improved Bus-Based Multiprocessor Architecture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ricks, Kenneth G.; Wells, B. Earl

    1998-01-01

    This paper analyses the effectiveness of a hybrid multiprocessing/multicomputing architecture that is based upon a single-board-computer multiprocessor (SBCM) architecture. Based upon empirical analysis using discrete event simulations and Monte Carlo techniques, this hybrid architecture, called the enhanced single-board-computer multiprocessor (ESBCM), is shown to have improved performance and scalability characteristics over current SBCM designs.

  14. Genetic Architecture of Complex Traits in Plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genetic architecture refers to the numbers and genome locations of genes affecting a trait, the magnitude of their effects, and the relative contributions of additive, dominant, and epistatic gene effects. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping techniques are commonly used to investigate genetic ar...

  15. ARCHITECTURAL EXTERIOR ELEVATIONS AND DETAILS. WELLTONMOHAWK PUMPING PLANT NO. 2. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    ARCHITECTURAL EXTERIOR ELEVATIONS AND DETAILS. WELLTON-MOHAWK PUMPING PLANT NO. 2. United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation; Gila Project, Arizona, Wellton-Mohawk Division. Drawing No. 50-D-2360, dated Novermber 24, 1948, Denver Colorado - Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation System, Pumping Plant No. 2, Bounded by Interstate 8 to south, Wellton, Yuma County, AZ

  16. ARCHITECTURAL EXTERIOR ELEVATIONS AND DETAILS, WELLTONMOHAWK PUMPING PLANT NO. 1. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    ARCHITECTURAL EXTERIOR ELEVATIONS AND DETAILS, WELLTON-MOHAWK PUMPING PLANT NO. 1. United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation; Gila Project, Arizona, Wellton-Mohawk Division. Drawing No. 50-D-2359, dated November 24, 1948, Denver, Colorado. - Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation System, Pumping Plant No. 1, Bounded by Gila River & Union Pacific Railroad, Wellton, Yuma County, AZ

  17. ARCHITECTURAL EXTERIOR ELEVATIONS AND DETAILS. WELLTONMOHAWK PUMPING PLANT NO. 3. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    ARCHITECTURAL EXTERIOR ELEVATIONS AND DETAILS. WELLTON-MOHAWK PUMPING PLANT NO. 3. United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation; Gila Project, Arizona, Wellton-Mohawk Division. Drawing No. 50-D-2361, dated November 24, 1948, Denver, Colorado - Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation System, Pumping Plant No. 3, South of Interstate 8, Wellton, Yuma County, AZ

  18. ARCHITECTURAL ROOF PLAN AND WESTSOUTHEAST ELEVATIONS OF HOT PILOT PLANT ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    ARCHITECTURAL ROOF PLAN AND WEST-SOUTHEAST ELEVATIONS OF HOT PILOT PLANT (CPP-640). INL DRAWING NUMBER 200-0640-00-279-111680. ALTERNATE ID NUMBER 8952-CPP-640-A-3. - Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Chemical Processing Plant, Fuel Reprocessing Complex, Scoville, Butte County, ID

  19. ARCHITECTURAL SECTIONS A, B, C, D, OF HOT PILOT PLANT ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    ARCHITECTURAL SECTIONS A, B, C, D, OF HOT PILOT PLANT (CPP-640). INL DRAWING NUMBER 200-0640-00-279-111681. ALTERNATE ID NUMBER 8952-CPP-640-A-5. - Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Chemical Processing Plant, Fuel Reprocessing Complex, Scoville, Butte County, ID

  20. How plant architecture affects light absorption and photosynthesis in tomato: towards an ideotype for plant architecture using a functional–structural plant model

    PubMed Central

    Sarlikioti, V.; de Visser, P. H. B.; Buck-Sorlin, G. H.; Marcelis, L. F. M.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Manipulation of plant structure can strongly affect light distribution in the canopy and photosynthesis. The aim of this paper is to find a plant ideotype for optimization of light absorption and canopy photosynthesis. Using a static functional structural plant model (FSPM), a range of different plant architectural characteristics was tested for two different seasons in order to find the optimal architecture with respect to light absorption and photosynthesis. Methods Simulations were performed with an FSPM of a greenhouse-grown tomato crop. Sensitivity analyses were carried out for leaf elevation angle, leaf phyllotaxis, leaflet angle, leaf shape, leaflet arrangement and internode length. From the results of this analysis two possible ideotypes were proposed. Four different vertical light distributions were also tested, while light absorption cumulated over the whole canopy was kept the same. Key Results Photosynthesis was augmented by 6 % in winter and reduced by 7 % in summer, when light absorption in the top part of the canopy was increased by 25 %, while not changing light absorption of the canopy as a whole. The measured plant structure was already optimal with respect to leaf elevation angle, leaflet angle and leaflet arrangement for both light absorption and photosynthesis while phyllotaxis had no effect. Increasing the length : width ratio of leaves by 1·5 or increasing internode length from 7 cm to 12 cm led to an increase of 6–10 % for light absorption and photosynthesis. Conclusions At high light intensities (summer) deeper penetration of light in the canopy improves crop photosynthesis, but not at low light intensities (winter). In particular, internode length and leaf shape affect the vertical distribution of light in the canopy. A new plant ideotype with more spacious canopy architecture due to long internodes and long and narrow leaves led to an increase in crop photosynthesis of up to 10 %. PMID:21865217

  1. Architecture and function of plant light-harvesting complexes II.

    PubMed

    Pan, Xiaowei; Liu, Zhenfeng; Li, Mei; Chang, Wenrui

    2013-08-01

    The antenna system associated with plant photosystem II (PSII) comprises a series of light-harvesting complexes II (LHCIIs) which are supramolecular assemblies of chlorophylls, carotenoids, lipids and integral membrane proteins. These complexes not only function in capturing and transmitting light energy, but also have pivotal roles in photoprotection under high-light conditions through a mechanism known as non-photochemical quenching process. Among them, the most abundant major species (majLHCII) is located at the periphery of PSII and forms homo/hetero-trimers. Besides, three minor species, named CP29, CP26 and CP24, are adjacent to the PSII core, exist in monomeric form and bridge the majLHCII trimers with the core complex. Structural studies on majLHCII and CP29 have revealed the overall architecture of plant LHC family, the binding sites of pigment molecules and the distribution pattern of chromophores in three-dimensional space. The high-resolution structural data of LHCIIs serve as fundamental bases for an improved understanding on the mechanisms of light harvesting, energy transfer and photoprotection processes in plants. PMID:23623335

  2. Improving neural network performance on SIMD architectures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limonova, Elena; Ilin, Dmitry; Nikolaev, Dmitry

    2015-12-01

    Neural network calculations for the image recognition problems can be very time consuming. In this paper we propose three methods of increasing neural network performance on SIMD architectures. The usage of SIMD extensions is a way to speed up neural network processing available for a number of modern CPUs. In our experiments, we use ARM NEON as SIMD architecture example. The first method deals with half float data type for matrix computations. The second method describes fixed-point data type for the same purpose. The third method considers vectorized activation functions implementation. For each method we set up a series of experiments for convolutional and fully connected networks designed for image recognition task.

  3. The dynamic relationship between plant architecture and competition

    PubMed Central

    Ford, E. David

    2014-01-01

    In this review, structural and functional changes are described in single-species, even-aged, stands undergoing competition for light. Theories of the competition process as interactions between whole plants have been advanced but have not been successful in explaining these changes and how they vary between species or growing conditions. This task now falls to researchers in plant architecture. Research in plant architecture has defined three important functions of individual plants that determine the process of canopy development and competition: (i) resource acquisition plasticity; (ii) morphogenetic plasticity; (iii) architectural variation in efficiency of interception and utilization of light. In this review, this research is synthesized into a theory for competition based on five groups of postulates about the functioning of plants in stands. Group 1: competition for light takes place at the level of component foliage and branches. Group 2: the outcome of competition is determined by the dynamic interaction between processes that exert dominance and processes that react to suppression. Group 3: species differences may affect both exertion of dominance and reaction to suppression. Group 4: individual plants may simultaneously exhibit, in different component parts, resource acquisition and morphogenetic plasticity. Group 5: mortality is a time-delayed response to suppression. Development of architectural models when combined with field investigations is identifying research needed to develop a theory of architectural influences on the competition process. These include analyses of the integration of foliage and branch components into whole-plant growth and precise definitions of environmental control of morphogenetic plasticity and its interaction with acquisition of carbon for plant growth. PMID:24987396

  4. Laser Processing Architecture for Improved Material Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livingston, Frank E.; Helvajian, Henry

    This chapter presents a novel architecture and software-hardware design system for materials processing techniques that are widely applicable to laser direct-write patterning tools. This new laser material processing approach has been crafted by association with the genome and genotype concepts, where predetermined and prescribed laser pulse scripts are synchronously linked with the tool path geometry, and each concatenated pulse sequence is intended to induce a specific material transformation event and thereby express a particular material attribute. While the experimental approach depends on the delivery of discrete amplitude modulated laser pulses to each focused volume element with high fidelity, the architecture is highly versatile and capable of more advanced functionality. The capabilities of this novel architecture fall short of the coherent spatial control techniques that are now emerging, but can be readily applied to fundamental investigations of complex laser-material interaction phenomena, and easily integrated into commercial and industrial laser material processing applications. Section 9.1 provides a brief overview of laser-based machining and materials processing, with particular emphasis on the advantages of controlling energy deposition in light-matter interactions to subtly affect a material's thermodynamic properties. This section also includes a brief discussion of conventional approaches to photon modulation and process control. Section 9.2 comprehensively describes the development and capabilities of our novel laser genotype pulse modulation technique that facilitates the controlled and precise delivery of photons to a host material during direct-write patterning. This section also reviews the experimental design setup and synchronized photon control scheme, along with performance tests and diagnostic results. Section 9.3 discusses selected applications of the new laser genotype processing technique, including optical property variations

  5. Association mapping for plant architecture in sorghum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant height in sorghum is a complex trait with at least 4 major loci, of which only Dw3 has been characterized. Dw3 encodes a phosphoglycoprotein auxin efflux carrier orthologous to PGP1 in Arabidopsis. The recessive dw3 allele contains a tandem duplication and reverts back to a wild-type allele at...

  6. Plant growth and architectural modelling and its applications

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yan; Fourcaud, Thierry; Jaeger, Marc; Zhang, Xiaopeng; Li, Baoguo

    2011-01-01

    Over the last decade, a growing number of scientists around the world have invested in research on plant growth and architectural modelling and applications (often abbreviated to plant modelling and applications, PMA). By combining physical and biological processes, spatially explicit models have shown their ability to help in understanding plant–environment interactions. This Special Issue on plant growth modelling presents new information within this topic, which are summarized in this preface. Research results for a variety of plant species growing in the field, in greenhouses and in natural environments are presented. Various models and simulation platforms are developed in this field of research, opening new features to a wider community of researchers and end users. New modelling technologies relating to the structure and function of plant shoots and root systems are explored from the cellular to the whole-plant and plant-community levels. PMID:21638797

  7. The meiotic transcriptome architecture of plants

    PubMed Central

    Dukowic-Schulze, Stefanie; Chen, Changbin

    2014-01-01

    Although a number of genes that play key roles during the meiotic process have been characterized in great detail, the whole process of meiosis is still not completely unraveled. To gain insight into the bigger picture, large-scale approaches like RNA-seq and microarray can help to elucidate the transcriptome landscape during plant meiosis, discover co-regulated genes, enriched processes, and highly expressed known and unknown genes which might be important for meiosis. These high-throughput studies are gaining more and more popularity, but their beginnings in plant systems reach back as far as the 1960's. Frequently, whole anthers or post-meiotic pollen were investigated, while less data is available on isolated cells during meiosis, and only few studies addressed the transcriptome of female meiosis. For this review, we compiled meiotic transcriptome studies covering different plant species, and summarized and compared their key findings. Besides pointing to consistent as well as unique discoveries, we finally draw conclusions what can be learned from these studies so far and what should be addressed next. PMID:24926296

  8. Towards elucidation of dynamic structural changes of plant thylakoid architecture

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Jan M.; Horton, Peter; Kim, Eun-Ha; Chow, Wah Soon

    2012-01-01

    Long-term acclimation of shade versus sun plants modulates the composition, function and structural organization of the architecture of the thylakoid membrane network. Significantly, these changes in the macroscopic structural organization of shade and sun plant chloroplasts during long-term acclimation are also mimicked following rapid transitions in irradiance: reversible ultrastructural changes in the entire thylakoid membrane network increase the number of grana per chloroplast, but decrease the number of stacked thylakoids per granum in seconds to minutes in leaves. It is proposed that these dynamic changes depend on reversible macro-reorganization of some light-harvesting complex IIb and photosystem II supracomplexes within the plant thylakoid network owing to differential phosphorylation cycles and other biochemical changes known to ensure flexibility in photosynthetic function in vivo. Some lingering grana enigmas remain: elucidation of the mechanisms involved in the dynamic architecture of the thylakoid membrane network under fluctuating irradiance and its implications for function merit extensive further studies. PMID:23148278

  9. Plant Architecture: A Dynamic, Multilevel and Comprehensive Approach to Plant Form, Structure and Ontogeny

    PubMed Central

    Barthélémy, Daniel; Caraglio, Yves

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims The architecture of a plant depends on the nature and relative arrangement of each of its parts; it is, at any given time, the expression of an equilibrium between endogenous growth processes and exogenous constraints exerted by the environment. The aim of architectural analysis is, by means of observation and sometimes experimentation, to identify and understand these endogenous processes and to separate them from the plasticity of their expression resulting from external influences. Scope Using the identification of several morphological criteria and considering the plant as a whole, from germination to death, architectural analysis is essentially a detailed, multilevel, comprehensive and dynamic approach to plant development. Despite their recent origin, architectural concepts and analysis methods provide a powerful tool for studying plant form and ontogeny. Completed by precise morphological observations and appropriated quantitative methods of analysis, recent researches in this field have greatly increased our understanding of plant structure and development and have led to the establishment of a real conceptual and methodological framework for plant form and structure analysis and representation. This paper is a summarized update of current knowledge on plant architecture and morphology; its implication and possible role in various aspects of modern plant biology is also discussed. PMID:17218346

  10. Architectures for Improved Organic Semiconductor Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, Jonathan H.

    , semiconductors and substrates compatible with low-temperature, flexible, and oxygenated and aromatic solvent-free fabrication. Materials and processes must be capable of future high volume production in order to enable low costs. In this thesis we explore several techniques to improve organic semiconductor device performance and enable new fabrication processes. In Chapter 2, I describe the integration of sub-optical-wavelength nanostructured electrodes that improve fill factor and power conversion efficiency in organic photovoltaic devices. Photovoltaic fill factor performance is one of the primary challenges facing organic photovoltaics because most organic semiconductors have poor charge mobility. Our electrical and optical measurements and simulations indicate that nanostructured electrodes improve charge extraction in organic photovoltaics. In Chapter 3, I describe a general method for maximizing the efficiency of organic photovoltaic devices by simultaneously optimizing light absorption and charge carrier collection. We analyze the potential benefits of light trapping strategies for maximizing the overall power conversion efficiency of organic photovoltaic devices. This technique may be used to improve organic photovoltaic materials with low absorption, or short exciton diffusion and carrier-recombination lengths, opening up the device design space. In Chapter 4, I describe a process for high-quality graphene transfer onto chemically sensitive, weakly interacting organic semiconductor thin-films. Graphene is a promising flexible and highly transparent electrode for organic electronics; however, transferring graphene films onto organic semiconductor devices was previously impossible. We demonstrate a new transfer technique based on an elastomeric stamp coated with an fluorinated polymer release layer. We fabricate three classes of organic semiconductor devices: field effect transistors without high temperature annealing, transparent organic light-emitting diodes, and

  11. How neighbor canopy architecture affects target plant performance

    SciTech Connect

    Tremmel, D.C.; Bazzaz, F.A. )

    1993-10-01

    Plant competition occurs through the negative effects that individual plants have on resource availability to neighboring individuals. Therefore competition experiments need to examine how different species change resource availability to their neighbors, and how different species respond to these changes-allocationally, architecturally, and physiologically-through time. In a greenhouse study we used a model system of annuals to examine how canopies of species having differing morphologies differed in their architectures and light-interception abilities, and how different species performed when grown in these canopies. Abutilon theophrasti, Datura stramonium, and Polygonum pensylvanicum were grown as [open quotes]targets[close quotes]. Plants were grown in pots, with one target plant and four neighbor plants. Detailed measurements of neighbor canopy structure and target plant canopy architecture were made at five harvests. Species with different morphologies showed large differences in canopy structure, particularly when grass and forb species were compared. Setaria, a grass, had a more open canopy than the other species (all forbs), and was a consistently weak competitor. Overall, however, the relative effects of different neighbors on target biomass varied with target species. Target biomass was poorly correlated with neighbor biomass and leaf area, but was highly correlated with a measure of target light-interception ability that took into account both target leaf deployment and neighbor light interception. Despite clear differences among neighbor species in canopy structure and effect on light penetration, the results suggest no broad generalizations about the effects of different species as neighbors. Knowledge of morphological, physiological, and life history characteristics of both the target and neighbor species may be necessary to explain the results of their competition. 53 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs.

  12. Improving Project Management Using Formal Models and Architectures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahn, Theodore; Sturken, Ian

    2011-01-01

    This talk discusses the advantages formal modeling and architecture brings to project management. These emerging technologies have both great potential and challenges for improving information available for decision-making. The presentation covers standards, tools and cultural issues needing consideration, and includes lessons learned from projects the presenters have worked on.

  13. Architecture and evolution of a minute plant genome

    PubMed Central

    Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Lyons, Eric; Hernández-Guzmán, Gustavo; Pérez-Torres, Claudia Anahí; Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Chang, Tien-Hao; Lan, Tianying; Welch, Andreanna J.; Juárez, María Jazmín Abraham; Simpson, June; Fernández-Cortés, Araceli; Arteaga-Vázquez, Mario; Góngora-Castillo, Elsa; Acevedo-Hernández, Gustavo; Schuster, Stephan C.; Himmelbauer, Heinz; Minoche, André E.; Xu, Sen; Lynch, Michael; Oropeza-Aburto, Araceli; Cervantes-Pérez, Sergio Alan; de Jesús Ortega-Estrada, María; Cervantes-Luevano, Jacob Israel; Michael, Todd P.; Mockler, Todd; Bryant, Douglas; Herrera-Estrella, Alfredo; Albert, Victor A.; Herrera-Estrella, Luis

    2016-01-01

    It has been argued that the evolution of plant genome size is principally unidirectional and increasing owing to the varied action of whole-genome duplications (WGDs) and mobile element proliferation1. However, extreme genome size reductions have been reported in the angiosperm family tree. Here we report the sequence of the 82-megabase genome of the carnivorous bladderwort plant Utricularia gibba. Despite its tiny size, the U. gibba genome accommodates a typical number of genes for a plant, with the main difference from other plant genomes arising from a drastic reduction in non-genic DNA. Unexpectedly, we identified at least three rounds of WGD in U. gibba since common ancestry with tomato (Solanum) and grape (Vitis). The compressed architecture of the U. gibba genome indicates that a small fraction of intergenic DNA, with few or no active retrotransposons, is sufficient to regulate and integrate all the processes required for the development and reproduction of a complex organism. PMID:23665961

  14. Architecture and evolution of a minute plant genome.

    PubMed

    Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Lyons, Eric; Hernández-Guzmán, Gustavo; Pérez-Torres, Claudia Anahí; Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Chang, Tien-Hao; Lan, Tianying; Welch, Andreanna J; Juárez, María Jazmín Abraham; Simpson, June; Fernández-Cortés, Araceli; Arteaga-Vázquez, Mario; Góngora-Castillo, Elsa; Acevedo-Hernández, Gustavo; Schuster, Stephan C; Himmelbauer, Heinz; Minoche, André E; Xu, Sen; Lynch, Michael; Oropeza-Aburto, Araceli; Cervantes-Pérez, Sergio Alan; de Jesús Ortega-Estrada, María; Cervantes-Luevano, Jacob Israel; Michael, Todd P; Mockler, Todd; Bryant, Douglas; Herrera-Estrella, Alfredo; Albert, Victor A; Herrera-Estrella, Luis

    2013-06-01

    It has been argued that the evolution of plant genome size is principally unidirectional and increasing owing to the varied action of whole-genome duplications (WGDs) and mobile element proliferation. However, extreme genome size reductions have been reported in the angiosperm family tree. Here we report the sequence of the 82-megabase genome of the carnivorous bladderwort plant Utricularia gibba. Despite its tiny size, the U. gibba genome accommodates a typical number of genes for a plant, with the main difference from other plant genomes arising from a drastic reduction in non-genic DNA. Unexpectedly, we identified at least three rounds of WGD in U. gibba since common ancestry with tomato (Solanum) and grape (Vitis). The compressed architecture of the U. gibba genome indicates that a small fraction of intergenic DNA, with few or no active retrotransposons, is sufficient to regulate and integrate all the processes required for the development and reproduction of a complex organism. PMID:23665961

  15. An improved architecture for video rate image transformations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fisher, Timothy E.; Juday, Richard D.

    1989-01-01

    Geometric image transformations are of interest to pattern recognition algorithms for their use in simplifying some aspects of the pattern recognition process. Examples include reducing sensitivity to rotation, scale, and perspective of the object being recognized. The NASA Programmable Remapper can perform a wide variety of geometric transforms at full video rate. An architecture is proposed that extends its abilities and alleviates many of the first version's shortcomings. The need for the improvements are discussed in the context of the initial Programmable Remapper and the benefits and limitations it has delivered. The implementation and capabilities of the proposed architecture are discussed.

  16. A Survey of Architectural Techniques For Improving Cache Power Efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Mittal, Sparsh

    2013-01-01

    Modern processors are using increasingly larger sized on-chip caches. Also, with each CMOS technology generation, there has been a significant increase in their leakage energy consumption. For this reason, cache power management has become a crucial research issue in modern processor design. To address this challenge and also meet the goals of sustainable computing, researchers have proposed several techniques for improving energy efficiency of cache architectures. This paper surveys recent architectural techniques for improving cache power efficiency and also presents a classification of these techniques based on their characteristics. For providing an application perspective, this paper also reviews several real-world processor chips that employ cache energy saving techniques. The aim of this survey is to enable engineers and researchers to get insights into the techniques for improving cache power efficiency and motivate them to invent novel solutions for enabling low-power operation of caches.

  17. Regulation of plant root system architecture: implications for crop advancement.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Eric D; Benfey, Philip N

    2015-04-01

    Root system architecture (RSA) plays a major role in plant fitness, crop performance, and grain yield yet only recently has this role been appreciated. RSA describes the spatial arrangement of root tissue within the soil and is therefore crucial to nutrient and water uptake. Recent studies have identified many of the genetic and environmental factors influencing root growth that contribute to RSA. Some of the identified genes have the potential to limit crop loss caused by environmental extremes and are currently being used to confer drought tolerance. It is hypothesized that manipulating these and other genes that influence RSA will be pivotal for future crop advancements worldwide. PMID:25448235

  18. Establishing the Architecture of Plant Gene Regulatory Networks.

    PubMed

    Yang, F; Ouma, W Z; Li, W; Doseff, A I; Grotewold, E

    2016-01-01

    Gene regulatory grids (GRGs) encompass the space of all the possible transcription factor (TF)-target gene interactions that regulate gene expression, with gene regulatory networks (GRNs) representing a temporal and spatial manifestation of a portion of the GRG, essential for the specification of gene expression. Thus, understanding GRG architecture provides a valuable tool to explain how genes are expressed in an organism, an important aspect of synthetic biology and essential toward the development of the "in silico" cell. Progress has been made in some unicellular model systems (eg, yeast), but significant challenges remain in more complex multicellular organisms such as plants. Key to understanding the organization of GRGs is therefore identifying the genes that TFs bind to, and control. The application of sensitive and high-throughput methods to investigate genome-wide TF-target gene interactions is providing a wealth of information that can be linked to important agronomic traits. We describe here the methods and resources that have been developed to investigate the architecture of plant GRGs and GRNs. We also provide information regarding where to obtain clones or other resources necessary for synthetic biology or metabolic engineering. PMID:27480690

  19. Improvements in plant performance [Sequoyah Nuclear Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Lorek, M.J.

    1999-11-01

    The improvements in plant reliability and performance at Sequoyah in the last two years can be directly attributed to ten key ingredients; teamwork, management stability, a management team that believes in teamwork, clear direction from the top, a strong focus on human performance, the company wide STAR 7 initiative, strong succession planning, a very seasoned and effective outage management organization, an infrastructure that ensures that the station is focused on the right hardware priorities, and a very strong line organization owned self-assessment program. Continued focus on these key ingredients and realization on a daily basis that good performance can lead to complacency will ensure that performance at Sequoyah will remain at a very high level well into the 21st century.

  20. Biotechnological interventions to improve plant developmental traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Developmental traits are coordinated at various levels in a plant and involve organ to organ communications via long distance signaling processes that integrate transcription, hormonal action and environmental cues. Thus, plant architecture, root-soil-microbe interactions, flowering, fruit (and seed...

  1. The Airspace Concepts Evaluation System Architecture and System Plant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Windhorst, Robert; Meyn, Larry; Manikonda, Vikram; Carlos, Patrick; Capozzi, Brian

    2006-01-01

    The Airspace Concepts Evaluation System is a simulation of the National Airspace System. It includes models of flights, airports, airspaces, air traffic controls, traffic flow managements, and airline operation centers operating throughout the United States. It is used to predict system delays in response to future capacity and demand scenarios and perform benefits assessments of current and future airspace technologies and operational concepts. Facilitation of these studies requires that the simulation architecture supports plug and play of different air traffic control, traffic flow management, and airline operation center models and multi-fidelity modeling of flights, airports, and airspaces. The simulation is divided into two parts that are named, borrowing from classical control theory terminology, control and plant. The control consists of air traffic control, traffic flow management, and airline operation center models, and the plant consists of flight, airport, and airspace models. The plant can run open loop, in the absence of the control. However, undesired affects, such as conflicts and over congestions in the airspaces and airports, can occur. Different controls are applied, "plug and played", to the plant. A particular control is evaluated by analyzing how well it managed conflicts and congestions. Furthermore, the terminal area plants consist of models of airports and terminal airspaces. Each model consists of a set of nodes and links which are connected by the user to form a network. Nodes model runways, fixes, taxi intersections, gates, and/or other points of interest, and links model taxiways, departure paths, and arrival paths. Metering, flow distribution, and sequencing functions can be applied at nodes. Different fidelity model of how a flight transits are can be used by links. The fidelity of the model can be adjusted by the user by either changing the complexity of the node/link network-or the way that the link models how the flights transit

  2. Controlled architecture for improved macromolecular memory within polymer networks.

    PubMed

    DiPasquale, Stephen A; Byrne, Mark E

    2016-08-01

    This brief review analyzes recent developments in the field of living/controlled polymerization and the potential of this technique for creating imprinted polymers with highly structured architecture with macromolecular memory. As a result, it is possible to engineer polymers at the molecular level with increased homogeneity relating to enhanced template binding and transport. Only recently has living/controlled polymerization been exploited to decrease heterogeneity and substantially improve the efficiency of the imprinting process for both highly and weakly crosslinked imprinted polymers. Living polymerization can be utilized to create imprinted networks that are vastly more efficient than similar polymers produced using conventional free radical polymerization, and these improvements increase the role that macromolecular memory can play in the design and engineering of new drug delivery and sensing platforms. PMID:27322505

  3. Genetic dissection of plant architecture and yield-related traits in Brassica napus

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Guangqin; Yang, Qingyong; Chen, Hao; Yang, Qian; Zhang, Chunyu; Fan, Chuchuan; Zhou, Yongming

    2016-01-01

    An optimized plant architecture (PA) is fundamental for high-yield breeding but the genetic control of the important trait is largely unknown in rapeseed. Here plant architecture factors (PAFs) were proposed to consist of main inflorescence length proportion (MILP), branch height proportion (BHP), and branch segment proportion (BSP). Comparison of different genotypes in a DH population grown in diverse environments showed that an optimized PAF performance with MILP and BHP between 0.3–0.4 was important for high yield potential. In total, 163 unique quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for PA- and plant yield (PY)-related traits were mapped onto a high-density genetic map. Furthermore, 190 PA-related candidate genes for 91 unique PA QTLs and 2350 PY epistatic interaction loci-pairs were identified, which explain 2.8–51.8% and 5.2–23.6% of phenotypic variation, respectively. Three gene categories, transcription factor, auxin/IAA, and gibberellin, comprise the largest proportions of candidate genes for PA-related QTLs. The effectiveness of QTL candidate genes prediction was demonstrated by cloning of three candidate genes, Bna.A02.CLV2, Bna.A09.SLY2, and Bna.C07.AHK4. The study thus outlines a gene network for control of PA-related traits and provides novel information for understanding the establishment of ideal PA and for developing effective breeding strategies for yield improvement in rapeseed and other crops. PMID:26880301

  4. Genetic dissection of plant architecture and yield-related traits in Brassica napus.

    PubMed

    Cai, Guangqin; Yang, Qingyong; Chen, Hao; Yang, Qian; Zhang, Chunyu; Fan, Chuchuan; Zhou, Yongming

    2016-01-01

    An optimized plant architecture (PA) is fundamental for high-yield breeding but the genetic control of the important trait is largely unknown in rapeseed. Here plant architecture factors (PAFs) were proposed to consist of main inflorescence length proportion (MILP), branch height proportion (BHP), and branch segment proportion (BSP). Comparison of different genotypes in a DH population grown in diverse environments showed that an optimized PAF performance with MILP and BHP between 0.3-0.4 was important for high yield potential. In total, 163 unique quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for PA- and plant yield (PY)-related traits were mapped onto a high-density genetic map. Furthermore, 190 PA-related candidate genes for 91 unique PA QTLs and 2350 PY epistatic interaction loci-pairs were identified, which explain 2.8-51.8% and 5.2-23.6% of phenotypic variation, respectively. Three gene categories, transcription factor, auxin/IAA, and gibberellin, comprise the largest proportions of candidate genes for PA-related QTLs. The effectiveness of QTL candidate genes prediction was demonstrated by cloning of three candidate genes, Bna.A02.CLV2, Bna.A09.SLY2, and Bna.C07.AHK4. The study thus outlines a gene network for control of PA-related traits and provides novel information for understanding the establishment of ideal PA and for developing effective breeding strategies for yield improvement in rapeseed and other crops. PMID:26880301

  5. Transcriptomic Analysis Using Olive Varieties and Breeding Progenies Identifies Candidate Genes Involved in Plant Architecture.

    PubMed

    González-Plaza, Juan J; Ortiz-Martín, Inmaculada; Muñoz-Mérida, Antonio; García-López, Carmen; Sánchez-Sevilla, José F; Luque, Francisco; Trelles, Oswaldo; Bejarano, Eduardo R; De La Rosa, Raúl; Valpuesta, Victoriano; Beuzón, Carmen R

    2016-01-01

    Plant architecture is a critical trait in fruit crops that can significantly influence yield, pruning, planting density and harvesting. Little is known about how plant architecture is genetically determined in olive, were most of the existing varieties are traditional with an architecture poorly suited for modern growing and harvesting systems. In the present study, we have carried out microarray analysis of meristematic tissue to compare expression profiles of olive varieties displaying differences in architecture, as well as seedlings from their cross pooled on the basis of their sharing architecture-related phenotypes. The microarray used, previously developed by our group has already been applied to identify candidates genes involved in regulating juvenile to adult transition in the shoot apex of seedlings. Varieties with distinct architecture phenotypes and individuals from segregating progenies displaying opposite architecture features were used to link phenotype to expression. Here, we identify 2252 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) associated to differences in plant architecture. Microarray results were validated by quantitative RT-PCR carried out on genes with functional annotation likely related to plant architecture. Twelve of these genes were further analyzed in individual seedlings of the corresponding pool. We also examined Arabidopsis mutants in putative orthologs of these targeted candidate genes, finding altered architecture for most of them. This supports a functional conservation between species and potential biological relevance of the candidate genes identified. This study is the first to identify genes associated to plant architecture in olive, and the results obtained could be of great help in future programs aimed at selecting phenotypes adapted to modern cultivation practices in this species. PMID:26973682

  6. Transcriptomic Analysis Using Olive Varieties and Breeding Progenies Identifies Candidate Genes Involved in Plant Architecture

    PubMed Central

    González-Plaza, Juan J.; Ortiz-Martín, Inmaculada; Muñoz-Mérida, Antonio; García-López, Carmen; Sánchez-Sevilla, José F.; Luque, Francisco; Trelles, Oswaldo; Bejarano, Eduardo R.; De La Rosa, Raúl; Valpuesta, Victoriano; Beuzón, Carmen R.

    2016-01-01

    Plant architecture is a critical trait in fruit crops that can significantly influence yield, pruning, planting density and harvesting. Little is known about how plant architecture is genetically determined in olive, were most of the existing varieties are traditional with an architecture poorly suited for modern growing and harvesting systems. In the present study, we have carried out microarray analysis of meristematic tissue to compare expression profiles of olive varieties displaying differences in architecture, as well as seedlings from their cross pooled on the basis of their sharing architecture-related phenotypes. The microarray used, previously developed by our group has already been applied to identify candidates genes involved in regulating juvenile to adult transition in the shoot apex of seedlings. Varieties with distinct architecture phenotypes and individuals from segregating progenies displaying opposite architecture features were used to link phenotype to expression. Here, we identify 2252 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) associated to differences in plant architecture. Microarray results were validated by quantitative RT-PCR carried out on genes with functional annotation likely related to plant architecture. Twelve of these genes were further analyzed in individual seedlings of the corresponding pool. We also examined Arabidopsis mutants in putative orthologs of these targeted candidate genes, finding altered architecture for most of them. This supports a functional conservation between species and potential biological relevance of the candidate genes identified. This study is the first to identify genes associated to plant architecture in olive, and the results obtained could be of great help in future programs aimed at selecting phenotypes adapted to modern cultivation practices in this species. PMID:26973682

  7. Policy improvement by a model-free Dyna architecture.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Kao-Shing; Lo, Chia-Yue

    2013-05-01

    The objective of this paper is to accelerate the process of policy improvement in reinforcement learning. The proposed Dyna-style system combines two learning schemes, one of which utilizes a temporal difference method for direct learning; the other uses relative values for indirect learning in planning between two successive direct learning cycles. Instead of establishing a complicated world model, the approach introduces a simple predictor of average rewards to actor-critic architecture in the simulation (planning) mode. The relative value of a state, defined as the accumulated differences between immediate reward and average reward, is used to steer the improvement process in the right direction. The proposed learning scheme is applied to control a pendulum system for tracking a desired trajectory to demonstrate its adaptability and robustness. Through reinforcement signals from the environment, the system takes the appropriate action to drive an unknown dynamic to track desired outputs in few learning cycles. Comparisons are made between the proposed model-free method, a connectionist adaptive heuristic critic, and an advanced method of Dyna-Q learning in the experiments of labyrinth exploration. The proposed method outperforms its counterparts in terms of elapsed time and convergence rate. PMID:24808427

  8. Plant architecture, growth and radiative transfer for terrestrial and space environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norman, John M.; Goel, Narendra S.

    1993-01-01

    The overall objective of this research was to develop a hardware implemented model that would incorporate realistic and dynamic descriptions of canopy architecture in physiologically based models of plant growth and functioning, with an emphasis on radiative transfer while accommodating other environmental constraints. The general approach has five parts: a realistic mathematical treatment of canopy architecture, a methodology for combining this general canopy architectural description with a general radiative transfer model, the inclusion of physiological and environmental aspects of plant growth, inclusion of plant phenology, and integration.

  9. Nanosatellite Architectures for Improved Study of the Hydrologic Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blackwell, W. J.; Osaretin, I.; Cahoy, K.

    2012-12-01

    The need for low-cost, mission-flexible, and rapidly deployable spaceborne sensors that meet stringent performance requirements pervades the NASA Earth Science measurement programs, including especially the recommended NRC Decadal Survey missions. To address these challenges, we present nanosatellite constellation architectures that would profoundly improve both the performance and cost/risk/schedule profiles of NASA Earth and Space Science missions by leveraging recent technology advancements. As a key enabling element, we describe a scalable and mission-flexible 6U CubeSat-based self-organizing constellation architecture (the Distributed Observatory for Monitoring of Earth, henceforth "DOME") that will achieve state-of-the-art performance (and beyond) relative to current systems with respect to spatial, spectral, and radiometric resolution. A focus of this presentation is an assessment of the viability of a cross-linked CubeSat constellation with onboard propulsion systems for high-fidelity Earth and Space Science research. Such architecture could provide game-changing advances by reducing costs by at least an order of magnitude while increasing robustness to launch and sensor failures, allowing fast-track insertion of new technologies, and improving science performance. High-resolution passive microwave atmospheric sounding is an ideal sensing modality for nanosatellite implementation due to rapidly advancing microwave and millimeterwave receiver technology. The DOME constellation would nominally comprise 6U CubeSat Microwave Atmospheric Sounder (CMAS) satellites. Each CMAS satellite would host a complete 6U CubeSat atmospheric sounder, including a radiometer payload module with passive microwave receivers operating near atmospheric absorption lines near 60 and 183.31 GHz, and a spacecraft bus with attitude determination and control, avionics, power, cross-linked communications (spacecraft-to-spacecraft and spacecraft-to-ground), and propulsion systems. A

  10. ESP IMPROVEMENTS AT POWER PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    An on-going ORD and OIA collaborative project in the Newly Independent States (NIS) is designed to upgrade ESPs used in NIS power plants and has laid the foundation for implementing cost-effective ESP modernization efforts at power plants. Thus far, state-of-the-art ESP performan...

  11. Evolving technologies for growing, imaging and analyzing 3D root system architecture of crop plants.

    PubMed

    Piñeros, Miguel A; Larson, Brandon G; Shaff, Jon E; Schneider, David J; Falcão, Alexandre Xavier; Yuan, Lixing; Clark, Randy T; Craft, Eric J; Davis, Tyler W; Pradier, Pierre-Luc; Shaw, Nathanael M; Assaranurak, Ithipong; McCouch, Susan R; Sturrock, Craig; Bennett, Malcolm; Kochian, Leon V

    2016-03-01

    A plant's ability to maintain or improve its yield under limiting conditions, such as nutrient deficiency or drought, can be strongly influenced by root system architecture (RSA), the three-dimensional distribution of the different root types in the soil. The ability to image, track and quantify these root system attributes in a dynamic fashion is a useful tool in assessing desirable genetic and physiological root traits. Recent advances in imaging technology and phenotyping software have resulted in substantive progress in describing and quantifying RSA. We have designed a hydroponic growth system which retains the three-dimensional RSA of the plant root system, while allowing for aeration, solution replenishment and the imposition of nutrient treatments, as well as high-quality imaging of the root system. The simplicity and flexibility of the system allows for modifications tailored to the RSA of different crop species and improved throughput. This paper details the recent improvements and innovations in our root growth and imaging system which allows for greater image sensitivity (detection of fine roots and other root details), higher efficiency, and a broad array of growing conditions for plants that more closely mimic those found under field conditions. PMID:26683583

  12. Plant cell wall architecture. Final report, 1 June 1994--30 October 1996

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-31

    The authors have successfully finished the DOE-supported project entitled ``Plant cell wall architecture.`` During the funding period (June 1, 1994--October 30, 1996), they have published 6 research papers and 2 review articles. A brief description of these accomplishments is outlined as follows: (1) Improved and extended tissue printing techniques to reveal different surface and wall architectures, and to localized proteins and RNA. (2) Identification of an auxin- and cytokinin-regulated gene from Zinnia which is mainly expressed in cambium. (3) It was found that caffeoyl CoA 3-O-methyltransferase is involved in an alternative methylation pathway of lignin biosynthesis. (4) It was found that two different O-methyltransferases involved in lignification are differentially regulated in different lignifying tissues during development. They propose a scheme of monolignol biosynthesis combining both methylation pathways. (5) Identification of cysteine and serine proteases which are preferentially expressed during xylogenesis. This is the first report to identify an autolysis-associated cDNA in plants. (6) Characterization of two ribonuclease genes which are induced during xylogenesis and by wounding. (7) Isolation of cinnamic acid 4-hydroxylase gene and analysis of its expression patterns during lignification.

  13. Architectures for High-Performance Ceramic Composites Being Improved

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yun, Hee Mann; DiCarlo, James A.

    2002-01-01

    A major thrust of the Ultra-Efficient Engine Technology (UEET) Program at the NASA Glenn Research Center is to develop advanced hot-section engine components using SiC/SiC ceramic matrix composites (CMC's) with thermostructural capability to 2400 F (1315 C). In previous studies, UEET determined that the higher the ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of the as-fabricated CMC, the greater its structural performance at 2400 F. Thus efforts have been ongoing within UEET to understand and develop fiber architecture approaches that can improve the UTS of SiC/SiC CMC's. Under UEET, SiC/SiC test panels and demonstration engine components are currently produced by the multi-ply layup of two-dimensional fabric pieces. The fabric is typically formed of multifilament tows containing high-performance Sylramic (Dow Corning) SiC fiber that is woven into two-dimensional five-harness satin fabric with 20 ends per inch in the 0 degree and 90 degree directions. In some cases, fabric pieces containing woven Sylramic fiber tows are thermally treated at NASA to form Sylramic-iBN fibers that contain a very thin in-situ-grown boron nitride layer on their surfaces. The final SiC/SiC panels and components are fabricated at the CMC vendor by compressing the fabric pieces in tools and then depositing a thin BN interphase coating on the fibers by chemical vapor deposition. The last step at the vendor is to infiltrate the BN-coated fiber architecture with SiC and silicon matrix constituents to form a dense product. Because the as-produced Sylramic fiber tows are sized with a thin polymer coating to facilitate handling and weaving, the individual fibers within the tows and fabric are in close contact with each other. This contact is further increased during fabric compression. One important recent finding is that increasing Sylramic fiber tow width in a fabric increases the UTS of the final SiC/SiC CMC. This effect is presumably related to minimizing fiber/fiber contact, which can be detrimental to

  14. Overexpression of wheat gene TaMOR improves root system architecture and grain yield in Oryza sativa.

    PubMed

    Li, Bo; Liu, Dan; Li, Qiaoru; Mao, Xinguo; Li, Ang; Wang, Jingyi; Chang, Xiaoping; Jing, Ruilian

    2016-07-01

    Improved root architecture is an effective strategy to increase crop yield. We demonstrate that overexpression of transcription factor gene MORE ROOT (TaMOR) from wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) results in more roots and higher grain yield in rice (Oryza sativa). TaMOR, encoding a plant-specific transcription factor belonging to the ASYMMETRIC LEAVES2/LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES (AS2/LOB) protein family, is highly conserved in wheat and its wild relatives. In this study, tissue expression patterns indicated that TaMOR mainly localizes to root initiation sites. The consistent gene expression pattern suggests that TaMOR is involved in root initiation. Exogenous auxin treatment induced TaMOR expression without de novo protein biosynthesis. Both in vivo and in vitro experiments demonstrated that TaMOR interacts with TaMOR-related protein TaMRRP, which contains a four-tandem-pentatricopeptide repeat motif. Overexpression of TaMOR led to more lateral roots in Arabidopsis thaliana, and TaMOR-overexpressing rice plants had more crown roots, a longer main panicle, a higher number of primary branches on the main panicle, a higher grain number per plant, and higher yield per plant than the plants of wild type. In general, TaMOR-D-overexpressing lines had larger root systems in Arabidopsis and rice, and produce a higher grain yield per plant. TaMOR therefore offers an opportunity to improve root architecture and increase yield in crop plants. PMID:27229732

  15. A gain-of-function mutation in the ROC1 gene alters plant architecture in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Ma, Xiqing; Song, Li; Yang, Yaxuan; Liu, Dong

    2013-02-01

    Plant architecture is an important agronomic trait and is useful for identification of plant species. The molecular basis of plant architecture, however, is largely unknown. Forward genetics was used to identify an Arabidopsis mutant with altered plant architecture. Using genetic and molecular approaches, we analyzed the roles of a mutated cyclophilin in the control of plant architecture. The Arabidopsis mutant roc1 has reduced stem elongation and increased shoot branching, and the mutant phenotypes are strongly affected by temperature and photoperiod. Map-based cloning and transgenic experiments demonstrated that the roc1 mutant phenotypes are caused by a gain-of-function mutation in a cyclophilin gene, ROC1. Besides, application of the plant hormone gibberellic acid (GA) further suppresses stem elongation in the mutant. GA treatment enhances the accumulation of mutated but not of wildtype (WT) ROC1 proteins. The roc1 mutation does not seem to interfere with GA biosynthesis or signaling. GA signaling, however, antagonizes the effect of the roc1 mutation on stem elongation. The altered plant architecture may result from the activation of an R gene by the roc1 protein. We also present a working model for the interaction between the roc1 mutation and GA signaling in regulating stem elongation. PMID:23206262

  16. Quantitative Trait Locus Mapping and Candidate Gene Analysis for Plant Architecture Traits Using Whole Genome Re-Sequencing in Rice

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Jung-Hyun; Yang, Hyun-Jung; Jung, Ki-Hong; Yoo, Soo-Cheul; Paek, Nam-Chon

    2014-01-01

    Plant breeders have focused on improving plant architecture as an effective means to increase crop yield. Here, we identify the main-effect quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for plant shape-related traits in rice (Oryza sativa) and find candidate genes by applying whole genome re-sequencing of two parental cultivars using next-generation sequencing. To identify QTLs influencing plant shape, we analyzed six traits: plant height, tiller number, panicle diameter, panicle length, flag leaf length, and flag leaf width. We performed QTL analysis with 178 F7 recombinant in-bred lines (RILs) from a cross of japonica rice line ‘SNUSG1’ and indica rice line ‘Milyang23’. Using 131 molecular markers, including 28 insertion/deletion markers, we identified 11 main- and 16 minor-effect QTLs for the six traits with a threshold LOD value > 2.8. Our sequence analysis identified fifty-four candidate genes for the main-effect QTLs. By further comparison of coding sequences and meta-expression profiles between japonica and indica rice varieties, we finally chose 15 strong candidate genes for the 11 main-effect QTLs. Our study shows that the whole-genome sequence data substantially enhanced the efficiency of polymorphic marker development for QTL fine-mapping and the identification of possible candidate genes. This yields useful genetic resources for breeding high-yielding rice cultivars with improved plant architecture. PMID:24599000

  17. ARCHITECTURAL WALL SECTIONS OF HOT PILOT PLANT (CPP640). INL DRAWING ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    ARCHITECTURAL WALL SECTIONS OF HOT PILOT PLANT (CPP-640). INL DRAWING NUMBER 200-0640-00-279-111682. ALTERNATE ID NUMBER 8952-CPP-640-A-5. - Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Chemical Processing Plant, Fuel Reprocessing Complex, Scoville, Butte County, ID

  18. ARCHITECTURAL FLOOR PLAN OF OPERATING AREA HOT PILOT PLANT (CPP640). ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    ARCHITECTURAL FLOOR PLAN OF OPERATING AREA HOT PILOT PLANT (CPP-640). INL DRAWING NUMBER 200-0640-00-279-111678. ALTERNATE ID NUMBER 8952-CPP-640-A-1. - Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Chemical Processing Plant, Fuel Reprocessing Complex, Scoville, Butte County, ID

  19. MISCELLANEOUS ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS OF HOT PILOT PLANT (CPP640). INL DRAWING ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    MISCELLANEOUS ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS OF HOT PILOT PLANT (CPP-640). INL DRAWING NUMBER 200-640-00-279-111684. ALTERNATE ID NUMBER 8952-CPP-640-A-7. - Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Chemical Processing Plant, Fuel Reprocessing Complex, Scoville, Butte County, ID

  20. ARCHITECTURAL DOOR DETAILS AND SCHEDULE OF HOT PILOT PLANT (CPP640). ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    ARCHITECTURAL DOOR DETAILS AND SCHEDULE OF HOT PILOT PLANT (CPP-640). INL DRAWING NUMBER 200-640-00-279-111683. ALTERNATE ID NUMBER 8952-CPP-640-A-6. - Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Chemical Processing Plant, Fuel Reprocessing Complex, Scoville, Butte County, ID

  1. How Predictive Analytics and Choice Architecture Can Improve Student Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Denley, Tristan

    2014-01-01

    This article explores the challenges that students face in navigating the curricular structure of post-secondary degree programs, and how predictive analytics and choice architecture can play a role. It examines Degree Compass, a course recommendation system that successfully pairs current students with the courses that best fit their talents and…

  2. Using Three-dimensional Plant Root Architecture in Models of Shallow-slope Stability

    PubMed Central

    Danjon, Frédéric; Barker, David H.; Drexhage, Michael; Stokes, Alexia

    2008-01-01

    Background The contribution of vegetation to shallow-slope stability is of major importance in landslide-prone regions. However, existing slope stability models use only limited plant root architectural parameters. This study aims to provide a chain of tools useful for determining the contribution of tree roots to soil reinforcement. Methods Three-dimensional digitizing in situ was used to obtain accurate root system architecture data for mature Quercus alba in two forest stands. These data were used as input to tools developed, which analyse the spatial position of roots, topology and geometry. The contribution of roots to soil reinforcement was determined by calculating additional soil cohesion using the limit equilibrium model, and the factor of safety (FOS) using an existing slope stability model, Slip4Ex. Key Results Existing models may incorrectly estimate the additional soil cohesion provided by roots, as the spatial position of roots crossing the potential slip surface is usually not taken into account. However, most soil reinforcement by roots occurs close to the tree stem and is negligible at a distance >1·0 m from the tree, and therefore global values of FOS for a slope do not take into account local slippage along the slope. Conclusions Within a forest stand on a landslide-prone slope, soil fixation by roots can be minimal between uniform rows of trees, leading to local soil slippage. Therefore, staggered rows of trees would improve overall slope stability, as trees would arrest the downward movement of soil. The chain of tools consisting of both software (free for non-commercial use) and functions available from the first author will enable a more accurate description and use of root architectural parameters in standard slope stability analyses. PMID:17766845

  3. Roots Withstanding their Environment: Exploiting Root System Architecture Responses to Abiotic Stress to Improve Crop Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Koevoets, Iko T.; Venema, Jan Henk; Elzenga, J. Theo. M.; Testerink, Christa

    2016-01-01

    To face future challenges in crop production dictated by global climate changes, breeders and plant researchers collaborate to develop productive crops that are able to withstand a wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses. However, crop selection is often focused on shoot performance alone, as observation of root properties is more complex and asks for artificial and extensive phenotyping platforms. In addition, most root research focuses on development, while a direct link to the functionality of plasticity in root development for tolerance is often lacking. In this paper we review the currently known root system architecture (RSA) responses in Arabidopsis and a number of crop species to a range of abiotic stresses, including nutrient limitation, drought, salinity, flooding, and extreme temperatures. For each of these stresses, the key molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the RSA response are highlighted. To explore the relevance for crop selection, we especially review and discuss studies linking root architectural responses to stress tolerance. This will provide a first step toward understanding the relevance of adaptive root development for a plant’s response to its environment. We suggest that functional evidence on the role of root plasticity will support breeders in their efforts to include root properties in their current selection pipeline for abiotic stress tolerance, aimed to improve the robustness of crops.

  4. Multi-scale evaporator architectures for geothermal binary power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Sabau, Adrian S; Nejad, Ali; Klett, James William; Bejan, Adrian

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, novel geometries of heat exchanger architectures are proposed for evaporators that are used in Organic Rankine Cycles. A multi-scale heat exchanger concept was developed by employing successive plenums at several length-scale levels. Flow passages contain features at both macro-scale and micro-scale, which are designed from Constructal Theory principles. Aside from pumping power and overall thermal resistance, several factors were considered in order to fully assess the performance of the new heat exchangers, such as weight of metal structures, surface area per unit volume, and total footprint. Component simulations based on laminar flow correlations for supercritical R134a were used to obtain performance indicators.

  5. Power plant productivity improvement in New York

    SciTech Connect

    1981-03-01

    The New York Public Service Commission (PSC), under contract with the US Department of Energy (DOE), began a joint program in September 1978 to improve the productivity of coal and nuclear electric generating units in New York State. The project had dual objectives: to ensure that the utilities in New York State have or develop a systematic permanent, cost-effective productivity improvement program based on sound engineering and economic considerations, and to develop a model program for Power Plant Productivity Improvement, which, through DOE, can also be utilized by other regulatory commissions in the country. To accomplish these objectives, the program was organized into the following sequence of activities: compilation and analysis of power plant performance data; evaluation and comparison of utility responses to outage/derating events; power plant productivity improvement project cost-benefit analysis; and evaluation of regulatory procedures and policies for improving productivity. The program that developed for improving the productivity of coal units is substantially different than for nuclear units. Each program is presented, and recommendations are made for activities of both the utilities and regulatory agencies which will promote improved productivity.

  6. Boll distribution and plant architecture of 14 commercial cultivars under five different irrigation regimes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There is a pressing need to identify and understand the effects of different irrigation regimes on the boll distribution, seed cotton yield, and plant architecture of commercial cultivars of cotton (Gossypium spp.). To identify the impact of different irrigation levels on the Texas High Plains 14 co...

  7. Developmental and genetic analysis of a short leaf mutant, a key resource for plant architecture modification in sorghum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Modification in plant architecture have been demonstrated as one of the major contributing factors that ushered in the Green Revolution resulting in achieving dramatic increases in grain yield for wheat and rice. For sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench.), possible alteration in plant architecture is ...

  8. Impact of plant shoot architecture on leaf cooling: a coupled heat and mass transfer model

    PubMed Central

    Bridge, L. J.; Franklin, K. A.; Homer, M. E.

    2013-01-01

    Plants display a range of striking architectural adaptations when grown at elevated temperatures. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, these include elongation of petioles, and increased petiole and leaf angles from the soil surface. The potential physiological significance of these architectural changes remains speculative. We address this issue computationally by formulating a mathematical model and performing numerical simulations, testing the hypothesis that elongated and elevated plant configurations may reflect a leaf-cooling strategy. This sets in place a new basic model of plant water use and interaction with the surrounding air, which couples heat and mass transfer within a plant to water vapour diffusion in the air, using a transpiration term that depends on saturation, temperature and vapour concentration. A two-dimensional, multi-petiole shoot geometry is considered, with added leaf-blade shape detail. Our simulations show that increased petiole length and angle generally result in enhanced transpiration rates and reduced leaf temperatures in well-watered conditions. Furthermore, our computations also reveal plant configurations for which elongation may result in decreased transpiration rate owing to decreased leaf liquid saturation. We offer further qualitative and quantitative insights into the role of architectural parameters as key determinants of leaf-cooling capacity. PMID:23720538

  9. An improved TIGER2 implementation for NAMD suitable for the Blue Gene architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Aaron H.; Walsh, Tiffany R.

    2015-07-01

    Here we present an improved implementation of the TIGER2 Replica Exchange Molecular Dynamics (REMD) method, using the replica exchange Application Programming Interface (API) found in contemporary versions of the NAMD Molecular Dynamics Package. The implementation takes the form of a TCL script which is used in conjunction with the standard configuration file. This implementation is validated against a previous TIGER2 implementation, as well as data reported for the original TIGER2 simulations. Our implementation is compatible with a range of architectures; crucially it enables the use of this wrapper with the BlueGene/Q architecture, in addition to the x86 architecture.

  10. Foliage Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolverton, B. C.

    1988-01-01

    NASA's research with foliage houseplants during the past 10 years has produced a new concept in indoor air quality improvement. This new and exciting technology is quite simple. Both plant leaves and roots are utilized in removing trace levels of toxic vapors from inside tightly sealed buildings. Low levels of chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde can be removed from indoor environments by plant leaves alone, while higher concentrations of numerous toxic chemicals can be removed by filtering indoor air through the plant roots surrounded by activated carbon. The activated carbon absorbs large quantities of the toxic chemicals and retains them until the plant roots and associated microorganisms degrade and assimilate these chemicals.

  11. Functional divergence of BAK1 genes from Brassica rapa in regulating plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Zhang, S; Li, C; Li, Q; Wang, Q N; Huang, S H; Zhang, Y F; Wang, X F

    2015-01-01

    BAK1 is a co-receptor of BRI1 in early signaling pathways mediated by brassinosteroids (BRs) and is thought to play a major role in plant growth and development. As the role of BAK1 has not yet been fully elucidated then further research is required to explore its potential for use in genetic modification to improve crops. In this study, three BAK1 genes from the amphidiploid species Brassica rapa were isolated and their kinase functions were predicted following DNA sequence analysis. A bioinformatic analysis revealed that two genes, BrBAK1-1 and BrBAK1-8, shared a conserved kinase domain and 5 tandem leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) that are characteristic of a BAK1 receptor for BR perception, whereas the third gene, BrBAK1-3, was deficient for a signal peptide, but had 4 leucine zippers and 3 leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) in an extracellular domain. All three BrBAK1 kinases localized on the cellular membrane. Ectopic expression of each BrBAK1 gene in BR-insensitive (bri1-5 mutant) Arabidopsis plants indicated that BrBAK1-1 and BrBAK1-8 were functional homologues of AtBAK1 based on the rescue of growth in the bri1-5 mutant. Overexpression of BrBAK1-3 caused a severe dwarf phenotype resembling the phenotype of null BRI1 alleles. The results here suggest there are significant differences among the three BrBAK1 kinases for their effects on plant architecture. This conclusion has important implications for genetic modification of B. rapa. PMID:26600518

  12. Role of RNA interference in plant improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jagtap, Umesh Balkrishna; Gurav, Ranjit Gajanan; Bapat, Vishwas Anant

    2011-06-01

    Research to alter crops for their better performance involving modern technology is underway in numerous plants, and achievements in transgenic plants are impacting crop improvements in unparalleled ways. Striking progress has been made using genetic engineering technology over the past two decades in manipulating genes from diverse and exotic sources, and inserting them into crop plants for inducing desirable characteristics. RNA interference (RNAi) has recently been identified as a natural mechanism for regulation of gene expression in all higher organisms from plants to humans and promises greater accuracy and precision to plant improvement. The expression of any gene can be down-regulated in a highly explicit manner exclusive of affecting the expression of any other gene by using RNAi technologies. Additional research in this field has been focused on a number of other areas including microRNAs, hairpin RNA, and promoter methylation. Manipulating new RNAi pathways, which generate small RNA molecules to amend gene expression in crops, can produce new quality traits and having better potentiality of protection against abiotic and biotic stresses. Nutritional improvement, change in morphology, or enhanced secondary metabolite synthesis are some of the other advantages of RNAi technology. In addition to its roles in regulating gene expression, RNAi is also used as a natural defense mechanism against molecular parasites such as jumping genes and viral genetic elements that affect genome stability. Even though much advancement has been made on the field of RNAi over the preceding few years, the full prospective of RNAi for crop improvement remains to be fully realized. The intricacy of RNAi pathway, the molecular machineries, and how it relates to plant development are still to be explained.

  13. OsPIN5b modulates rice (Oryza sativa) plant architecture and yield by changing auxin homeostasis, transport and distribution.

    PubMed

    Lu, Guangwen; Coneva, Viktoriya; Casaretto, José A; Ying, Shan; Mahmood, Kashif; Liu, Fang; Nambara, Eiji; Bi, Yong-Mei; Rothstein, Steven J

    2015-09-01

    Plant architecture attributes such as tillering, plant height and panicle size are important agronomic traits that determine rice (Oryza sativa) productivity. Here, we report that altered auxin content, transport and distribution affect these traits, and hence rice yield. Overexpression of the auxin efflux carrier-like gene OsPIN5b causes pleiotropic effects, mainly reducing plant height, leaf and tiller number, shoot and root biomass, seed-setting rate, panicle length and yield parameters. Conversely, reduced expression of OsPIN5b results in higher tiller number, more vigorous root system, longer panicles and increased yield. We show that OsPIN5b is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) -localized protein that participates in auxin homeostasis, transport and distribution in vivo. This work describes an example of an auxin-related gene where modulating its expression can simultaneously improve plant architecture and yield potential in rice, and reveals an important effect of hormonal signaling on these traits. PMID:26213119

  14. Functional architecture of higher plant photosystem II supercomplexes

    PubMed Central

    Caffarri, Stefano; Kouřil, Roman; Kereïche, Sami; Boekema, Egbert J; Croce, Roberta

    2009-01-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) is a large multiprotein complex, which catalyses water splitting and plastoquinone reduction necessary to transform sunlight into chemical energy. Detailed functional and structural studies of the complex from higher plants have been hampered by the impossibility to purify it to homogeneity. In this work, homogeneous preparations ranging from a newly identified particle composed by a monomeric core and antenna proteins to the largest C2S2M2 supercomplex were isolated. Characterization by biochemical methods and single particle electron microscopy allowed to relate for the first time the supramolecular organization to the protein content. A projection map of C2S2M2 at 12 Å resolution was obtained, which allowed determining the location and the orientation of the antenna proteins. Comparison of the supercomplexes obtained from WT and Lhcb-deficient plants reveals the importance of the individual subunits for the supramolecular organization. The functional implications of these findings are discussed and allow redefining previous suggestions on PSII energy transfer, assembly, photoinhibition, state transition and non-photochemical quenching. PMID:19696744

  15. Overexpression of OsDof12 affects plant architecture in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Qi; Li, Dayong; Li, Dejun; Liu, Xue; Zhao, Xianfeng; Li, Xiaobing; Li, Shigui; Zhu, Lihuang

    2015-01-01

    Dof (DNA binding with one finger) proteins, a class of plant-specific transcription factors, are involved in plant growth and developmental processes and stress responses. However, their biological functions remain to be elucidated, especially in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Previously, we have reported that OsDof12 can promote rice flowering under long-day conditions. Here, we further investigated the other important agronomical traits of the transgenic plants overexpressing OsDof12 and found that overexpressing OsDof12 could lead to reduced plant height, erected leaf, shortened leaf blade, and smaller panicle resulted from decreased primary and secondary branches number. These results implied that OsDof12 is involved in rice plant architecture formation. Furthermore, we performed a series of Brassinosteroid (BR)-responsive tests and found that overexpression of OsDof12 could also result in BR hyposensitivity. Of note, in WT plants the expression of OsDof12 was found up-regulated by BR treatment while in OsDof12 overexpression plants two positive BR signaling regulators, OsBRI1 and OsBZR1, were significantly down-regulated, indicating that OsDof12 may act as a negative BR regulator in rice. Taken together, our results suggested that overexpression of OsDof12 could lead to altered plant architecture by suppressing BR signaling. Thus, OsDof12 might be used as a new potential genetic regulator for future rice molecular breeding. PMID:26500670

  16. Auxin-mediated plant architectural changes in response to shade and high temperature.

    PubMed

    de Wit, Mieke; Lorrain, Séverine; Fankhauser, Christian

    2014-05-01

    The remarkable plasticity of their architecture allows plants to adjust growth to the environment and to overcome adverse conditions. Two examples of environmental stresses that drastically affect shoot development are imminent shade and high temperature. Plants in crowded environments and plants in elevated ambient temperature display very similar phenotypic adaptations of elongated hypocotyls in seedlings and elevated and elongated leaves at later developmental stages. The comparable growth responses to shade and high temperature are partly regulated through shared signaling pathways, of which the phytohormone auxin and the phytochrome interacting factors (PIFs) are important components. During both shade- and temperature-induced elongation growth auxin biosynthesis and signaling are upregulated in a PIF-dependent manner. In this review we will discuss recent progress in our understanding of how auxin mediates architectural adaptations to shade and high temperature. PMID:24011166

  17. Improving plant transformation using Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro Neto, L V; Oliveira, A P; Lourenço, M V; Bertoni, B W; França, S C; Rosa-Santos, T M; Zingaretti, S M

    2015-01-01

    Here, we report a quick and low-cost method to improve plant transformation using Agrobacterium tumefaciens. This method involves the use of physical wounding, ultrasound, and an increase in exposure time to the bacteria. We show how the transformation rate increased from 0 to 14% when an ultrasound pulse of 10 s was used in conjunction with 96 h of bacterial exposure in Eclipta alba explants. PMID:26125878

  18. Effect of the Gall Wasp Leptocybe invasa on Hydraulic Architecture in Eucalyptus camaldulensis Plants.

    PubMed

    Tong, You-Gui; Ding, Xiao-Xi; Zhang, Kai-Cun; Yang, Xin; Huang, Wei

    2016-01-01

    The gall wasp, Leptocybe invasa (Hymenoptera; Eulophidae), is a devastating pest of eucalypt plantations in the Middle East, the Mediterranean basin, Africa, India, South-East Asia, and China. Heavy galling causes the leaves to warp and in extreme cases it may stunt the growth of the trees of Eucalyptus camaldulensis. However, the physiological mechanisms underlying how L. invasa inhibits the growth of plants of E. camaldulensis are unclear. Because the growth rate of plants is mainly dependent on photosynthesis that is largely correlated with hydraulic architecture, we speculate that galling of L. invasa depresses hydraulic conductance of stem and leaf. In the present study, we examined the effects of L. invasa galling on hydraulic architecture and photosynthetic parameters in E. camaldulensis plants. We found that galling of L. invasa significantly decreased stem hydraulic conductance (K stem), midday leaf water potential (Ψmd), minor vein density, and stomatal density (SD). Furthermore, the stomatal conductance (g s), chlorophyll content, CO2 assimilation rate (A n) and photosynthetic electron flow were reduced in infected plants. Therefore, the galling of L. invasa not only declined the water supply from stem to leaves, but also restricted water transport within leaf. As a result, galled plants of E. camaldulensis reduced leaf number, leaf area, SD and g s to balance water supply and transpirational demand. Furthermore, galled plants had lower leaf nitrogen content, leading to decreases in chlorophyll content, CO2 assimilation rate and photosynthetic electron flow. These results indicate that the change in hydraulic architecture is responsible for the inhibition of growth rate in galled plants. PMID:26913043

  19. Effect of the Gall Wasp Leptocybe invasa on Hydraulic Architecture in Eucalyptus camaldulensis Plants

    PubMed Central

    Tong, You-Gui; Ding, Xiao-Xi; Zhang, Kai-Cun; Yang, Xin; Huang, Wei

    2016-01-01

    The gall wasp, Leptocybe invasa (Hymenoptera; Eulophidae), is a devastating pest of eucalypt plantations in the Middle East, the Mediterranean basin, Africa, India, South-East Asia, and China. Heavy galling causes the leaves to warp and in extreme cases it may stunt the growth of the trees of Eucalyptus camaldulensis. However, the physiological mechanisms underlying how L. invasa inhibits the growth of plants of E. camaldulensis are unclear. Because the growth rate of plants is mainly dependent on photosynthesis that is largely correlated with hydraulic architecture, we speculate that galling of L. invasa depresses hydraulic conductance of stem and leaf. In the present study, we examined the effects of L. invasa galling on hydraulic architecture and photosynthetic parameters in E. camaldulensis plants. We found that galling of L. invasa significantly decreased stem hydraulic conductance (Kstem), midday leaf water potential (Ψmd), minor vein density, and stomatal density (SD). Furthermore, the stomatal conductance (gs), chlorophyll content, CO2 assimilation rate (An) and photosynthetic electron flow were reduced in infected plants. Therefore, the galling of L. invasa not only declined the water supply from stem to leaves, but also restricted water transport within leaf. As a result, galled plants of E. camaldulensis reduced leaf number, leaf area, SD and gs to balance water supply and transpirational demand. Furthermore, galled plants had lower leaf nitrogen content, leading to decreases in chlorophyll content, CO2 assimilation rate and photosynthetic electron flow. These results indicate that the change in hydraulic architecture is responsible for the inhibition of growth rate in galled plants. PMID:26913043

  20. Architecture and design of third Qinshan nuclear power plant risk monitor

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, F.; Li, Y.; Wang, J.; Wang, J.; Hu, L.

    2012-07-01

    Risk monitor is a real-time analysis tool to determine the point-in-time risk based on actual plant configuration, which is an important application of PSA (Probabilistic Safety Assessment). In this study the status and development trend of risk monitor were investigated and a risk monitor named TQRM (Third Qinshan nuclear power plant Risk Monitor) was developed. The B/S architecture and the two key computing methods pre-solved and resolving PSA model method adopted in TQRM were introduced. The functions and technical features were also presented. Now TQRM has been on-line for more than one year and used in the operation and maintenance of TQNPP. The experience demonstrates that TQRM's results are accurate and real-time, the architecture is stable, and it could be extended and maintained conveniently for any other Risk-Informed Application. (authors)

  1. Plant Vascular Architecture Determines the Pattern of Herbivore-Induced Systemic Responses in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Ferrieri, Abigail P.; Appel, Heidi M.; Schultz, Jack C.

    2015-01-01

    The induction of systemic responses in plants is associated with the connectivity between damaged and undamaged leaves, as determined by vascular architecture. Despite the widespread appreciation for studying variation in induced plant defense, few studies have characterized spatial variability of induction in the model species, Arabidopsis thaliana. Here we show that plant architecture generates fine scale spatial variation in the systemic induction of invertase and phenolic compounds. We examined whether the arrangement of leaves along the stem (phyllotaxy) produces predictable spatial patterns of cell-wall bound and soluble invertase activities, and downstream phenolic accumulation following feeding by the dietary specialist herbivore, Pieris rapae and the generalist, Spodoptera exigua. Responses were measured in leaves within and outside of the damaged orthostichy (leaves sharing direct vascular connections), and compared to those from plants where source-sink transport was disrupted by source leaf removal and by an insertional mutation in a sucrose transporter gene (suc2-1). Following herbivore damage to a single, middle-aged leaf, induction of cell-wall and soluble invertase was most pronounced in young and old leaves within the damaged orthostichy. The pattern of accumulation of phenolics was also predicted by these vascular connections and was, in part, dependent on the presence of source leaves and intact sucrose transporter function. Induction also occurred in leaves outside of the damaged orthostichy, suggesting that mechanisms may exist to overcome vascular constraints in this system. Our results demonstrate that systemic responses vary widely according to orthostichy, are often herbivore-specific, and partially rely on transport between source and sink leaves. We also provide evidence that patterns of induction are more integrated in A. thaliana than previously described. This work highlights the importance of plant vascular architecture in determining

  2. Plant vascular architecture determines the pattern of herbivore-induced systemic responses in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Ferrieri, Abigail P; Appel, Heidi M; Schultz, Jack C

    2015-01-01

    The induction of systemic responses in plants is associated with the connectivity between damaged and undamaged leaves, as determined by vascular architecture. Despite the widespread appreciation for studying variation in induced plant defense, few studies have characterized spatial variability of induction in the model species, Arabidopsis thaliana. Here we show that plant architecture generates fine scale spatial variation in the systemic induction of invertase and phenolic compounds. We examined whether the arrangement of leaves along the stem (phyllotaxy) produces predictable spatial patterns of cell-wall bound and soluble invertase activities, and downstream phenolic accumulation following feeding by the dietary specialist herbivore, Pieris rapae and the generalist, Spodoptera exigua. Responses were measured in leaves within and outside of the damaged orthostichy (leaves sharing direct vascular connections), and compared to those from plants where source-sink transport was disrupted by source leaf removal and by an insertional mutation in a sucrose transporter gene (suc2-1). Following herbivore damage to a single, middle-aged leaf, induction of cell-wall and soluble invertase was most pronounced in young and old leaves within the damaged orthostichy. The pattern of accumulation of phenolics was also predicted by these vascular connections and was, in part, dependent on the presence of source leaves and intact sucrose transporter function. Induction also occurred in leaves outside of the damaged orthostichy, suggesting that mechanisms may exist to overcome vascular constraints in this system. Our results demonstrate that systemic responses vary widely according to orthostichy, are often herbivore-specific, and partially rely on transport between source and sink leaves. We also provide evidence that patterns of induction are more integrated in A. thaliana than previously described. This work highlights the importance of plant vascular architecture in determining

  3. Efficiency improvement of thermal coal power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Hourfar, D.

    1996-12-31

    The discussion concerning an increase of the natural greenhouse effect by anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere has increased over the past years. The greenhouse effect has become an issue of worldwide debate. Carbon dioxide is the most serious emission of the greenhouse gases. Fossil-fired power plants have in the recent past been responsible for almost 30 % of the total CO{sub 2} emissions in Germany. Against this background the paper will describe the present development of CO{sub 2} emissions from power stations and present actual and future opportunities for CO{sub 2} reduction. The significance attached to hard coal as one of today`s prime sources of energy with the largest reserves worldwide, and, consequently, its importance for use in power generation, is certain to increase in the years to come. The further development of conventional power plant technology, therefore, is vital, and must be carried out on the basis of proven operational experience. The main incentive behind the development work completed so far has been, and continues to be, the achievement of cost reductions and environmental benefits in the generation of electricity by increasing plant efficiency, and this means that, in both the short and the long term, power plants with improved conventional technology will be used for environmentally acceptable coal-fired power generation.

  4. Plant Nitrogen Acquisition Under Low Availability: Regulation of Uptake and Root Architecture.

    PubMed

    Kiba, Takatoshi; Krapp, Anne

    2016-04-01

    Nitrogen availability is a major factor determining plant growth and productivity. Plants acquire nitrogen nutrients from the soil through their roots mostly in the form of ammonium and nitrate. Since these nutrients are scarce in natural soils, plants have evolved adaptive responses to cope with the environment. One of the most important responses is the regulation of nitrogen acquisition efficiency. This review provides an update on the molecular determinants of two major drivers of the nitrogen acquisition efficiency: (i) uptake activity (e.g. high-affinity nitrogen transporters) and (ii) root architecture (e.g. low-nitrogen-availability-specific regulators of primary and lateral root growth). Major emphasis is laid on the regulation of these determinants by nitrogen supply at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, which enables plants to optimize nitrogen acquisition efficiency under low nitrogen availability. PMID:27025887

  5. Plant Nitrogen Acquisition Under Low Availability: Regulation of Uptake and Root Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Kiba, Takatoshi; Krapp, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen availability is a major factor determining plant growth and productivity. Plants acquire nitrogen nutrients from the soil through their roots mostly in the form of ammonium and nitrate. Since these nutrients are scarce in natural soils, plants have evolved adaptive responses to cope with the environment. One of the most important responses is the regulation of nitrogen acquisition efficiency. This review provides an update on the molecular determinants of two major drivers of the nitrogen acquisition efficiency: (i) uptake activity (e.g. high-affinity nitrogen transporters) and (ii) root architecture (e.g. low-nitrogen-availability-specific regulators of primary and lateral root growth). Major emphasis is laid on the regulation of these determinants by nitrogen supply at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, which enables plants to optimize nitrogen acquisition efficiency under low nitrogen availability. PMID:27025887

  6. Insights into plant cell wall structure, architecture, and integrity using glycome profiling of native and AFEXTM -pre-treated biomass

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G.; Dale, Bruce E.; Chundawat, Shishir P. S.

    2015-04-23

    We report that cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, vary considerably in their structure, composition, and architecture. Studies on plant cell walls can be conducted on both native and pre-treated plant biomass samples, allowing an enhanced understanding of these structural and compositional variations. Here glycome profiling was employed to determine the relative abundance of matrix polysaccharides in several phylogenetically distinct native and pre-treated plant biomasses. Eight distinct biomass types belonging to four different subgroups (i.e. monocot grasses, woody dicots, herbaceous dicots, and softwoods) were subjected to various regimes of AFEX™ (ammonia fiber expansion) pre-treatment [AFEX is amore » trademark of MBI, Lansing (http://www.mbi.org]. This approach allowed detailed analysis of close to 200 cell wall glycan epitopes and their relative extractability using a high-throughput platform. In general, irrespective of the phylogenetic origin, AFEX™ pre-treatment appeared to cause loosening and improved accessibility of various xylan epitope subclasses in most plant biomass materials studied. For most biomass types analysed, such loosening was also evident for other major non-cellulosic components including subclasses of pectin and xyloglucan epitopes. The studies also demonstrate that AFEX™ pre-treatment significantly reduced cell wall recalcitrance among diverse phylogenies (except softwoods) by inducing structural modifications to polysaccharides that were not detectable by conventional gross composition analyses. Lastly, we found that monitoring changes in cell wall glycan compositions and their relative extractability for untreated and pre-treated plant biomass can provide an improved understanding of variations in structure and composition of plant cell walls and delineate the role(s) of matrix polysaccharides in cell wall recalcitrance.« less

  7. Insights into plant cell wall structure, architecture, and integrity using glycome profiling of native and AFEXTM-pre-treated biomass.

    PubMed

    Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G; Dale, Bruce E; Chundawat, Shishir P S

    2015-07-01

    Cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, vary considerably in their structure, composition, and architecture. Studies on plant cell walls can be conducted on both native and pre-treated plant biomass samples, allowing an enhanced understanding of these structural and compositional variations. Here glycome profiling was employed to determine the relative abundance of matrix polysaccharides in several phylogenetically distinct native and pre-treated plant biomasses. Eight distinct biomass types belonging to four different subgroups (i.e. monocot grasses, woody dicots, herbaceous dicots, and softwoods) were subjected to various regimes of AFEX™ (ammonia fiber expansion) pre-treatment [AFEX is a trademark of MBI, Lansing (http://www.mbi.org]. This approach allowed detailed analysis of close to 200 cell wall glycan epitopes and their relative extractability using a high-throughput platform. In general, irrespective of the phylogenetic origin, AFEX™ pre-treatment appeared to cause loosening and improved accessibility of various xylan epitope subclasses in most plant biomass materials studied. For most biomass types analysed, such loosening was also evident for other major non-cellulosic components including subclasses of pectin and xyloglucan epitopes. The studies also demonstrate that AFEX™ pre-treatment significantly reduced cell wall recalcitrance among diverse phylogenies (except softwoods) by inducing structural modifications to polysaccharides that were not detectable by conventional gross composition analyses. It was found that monitoring changes in cell wall glycan compositions and their relative extractability for untreated and pre-treated plant biomass can provide an improved understanding of variations in structure and composition of plant cell walls and delineate the role(s) of matrix polysaccharides in cell wall recalcitrance. PMID:25911738

  8. Insights into plant cell wall structure, architecture, and integrity using glycome profiling of native and AFEXTM-pre-treated biomass

    PubMed Central

    Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G.; Dale, Bruce E.; Chundawat, Shishir P. S.

    2015-01-01

    Cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, vary considerably in their structure, composition, and architecture. Studies on plant cell walls can be conducted on both native and pre-treated plant biomass samples, allowing an enhanced understanding of these structural and compositional variations. Here glycome profiling was employed to determine the relative abundance of matrix polysaccharides in several phylogenetically distinct native and pre-treated plant biomasses. Eight distinct biomass types belonging to four different subgroups (i.e. monocot grasses, woody dicots, herbaceous dicots, and softwoods) were subjected to various regimes of AFEX™ (ammonia fiber expansion) pre-treatment [AFEX is a trademark of MBI, Lansing (http://www.mbi.org]. This approach allowed detailed analysis of close to 200 cell wall glycan epitopes and their relative extractability using a high-throughput platform. In general, irrespective of the phylogenetic origin, AFEX™ pre-treatment appeared to cause loosening and improved accessibility of various xylan epitope subclasses in most plant biomass materials studied. For most biomass types analysed, such loosening was also evident for other major non-cellulosic components including subclasses of pectin and xyloglucan epitopes. The studies also demonstrate that AFEX™ pre-treatment significantly reduced cell wall recalcitrance among diverse phylogenies (except softwoods) by inducing structural modifications to polysaccharides that were not detectable by conventional gross composition analyses. It was found that monitoring changes in cell wall glycan compositions and their relative extractability for untreated and pre-treated plant biomass can provide an improved understanding of variations in structure and composition of plant cell walls and delineate the role(s) of matrix polysaccharides in cell wall recalcitrance. PMID:25911738

  9. Idaho Chemical Processing Plant Process Efficiency improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Griebenow, B.

    1996-03-01

    In response to decreasing funding levels available to support activities at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant (ICPP) and a desire to be cost competitive, the Department of Energy Idaho Operations Office (DOE-ID) and Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company have increased their emphasis on cost-saving measures. The ICPP Effectiveness Improvement Initiative involves many activities to improve cost effectiveness and competitiveness. This report documents the methodology and results of one of those cost cutting measures, the Process Efficiency Improvement Activity. The Process Efficiency Improvement Activity performed a systematic review of major work processes at the ICPP to increase productivity and to identify nonvalue-added requirements. A two-phase approach was selected for the activity to allow for near-term implementation of relatively easy process modifications in the first phase while obtaining long-term continuous improvement in the second phase and beyond. Phase I of the initiative included a concentrated review of processes that had a high potential for cost savings with the intent of realizing savings in Fiscal Year 1996 (FY-96.) Phase II consists of implementing long-term strategies too complex for Phase I implementation and evaluation of processes not targeted for Phase I review. The Phase II effort is targeted for realizing cost savings in FY-97 and beyond.

  10. Development and Genetic Control of Plant Architecture and Biomass in the Panicoid Grass, Setaria

    PubMed Central

    Mauro-Herrera, Margarita; Doust, Andrew N.

    2016-01-01

    The architecture of a plant affects its ability to compete for light and to respond to environmental stresses, thus affecting overall fitness and productivity. Two components of architecture, branching and height, were studied in 182 F7 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) at the vegetative, flowering and mature developmental stages in the panicoid C4 model grass system, Setaria. The RIL population was derived from a cross between domesticated S. italica (foxtail millet) and its wild relative S. viridis (green foxtail). In both field and greenhouse trials the wild parent was taller initially, started branching earlier, and flowered earlier, while the domesticated parent was shorter initially, but flowered later, producing a robust tall plant architecture with more nodes and leaves on the main culm and few or no branches. Biomass was highly correlated with height of the plant and number of nodes on the main culm, and generally showed a negative relationship with branch number. However, several of the RILs with the highest biomass in both trials were significantly more branched than the domesticated parent of the cross. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analyses indicate that both height and branching are controlled by multiple genetic regions, often with QTL for both traits colocalizing in the same genomic regions. Genomic positions of several QTL colocalize with QTL in syntenic regions in other species and contain genes known to control branching and height in sorghum, maize, and switchgrass. Included in these is the ortholog of the rice SD-1 semi-dwarfing gene, which underlies one of the major Setaria height QTL. Understanding the relationships between height and branching patterns in Setaria, and their genetic control, is an important step to gaining a comprehensive knowledge of the development and genetic regulation of panicoid grass architecture. PMID:26985990

  11. Development and Genetic Control of Plant Architecture and Biomass in the Panicoid Grass, Setaria.

    PubMed

    Mauro-Herrera, Margarita; Doust, Andrew N

    2016-01-01

    The architecture of a plant affects its ability to compete for light and to respond to environmental stresses, thus affecting overall fitness and productivity. Two components of architecture, branching and height, were studied in 182 F7 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) at the vegetative, flowering and mature developmental stages in the panicoid C4 model grass system, Setaria. The RIL population was derived from a cross between domesticated S. italica (foxtail millet) and its wild relative S. viridis (green foxtail). In both field and greenhouse trials the wild parent was taller initially, started branching earlier, and flowered earlier, while the domesticated parent was shorter initially, but flowered later, producing a robust tall plant architecture with more nodes and leaves on the main culm and few or no branches. Biomass was highly correlated with height of the plant and number of nodes on the main culm, and generally showed a negative relationship with branch number. However, several of the RILs with the highest biomass in both trials were significantly more branched than the domesticated parent of the cross. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analyses indicate that both height and branching are controlled by multiple genetic regions, often with QTL for both traits colocalizing in the same genomic regions. Genomic positions of several QTL colocalize with QTL in syntenic regions in other species and contain genes known to control branching and height in sorghum, maize, and switchgrass. Included in these is the ortholog of the rice SD-1 semi-dwarfing gene, which underlies one of the major Setaria height QTL. Understanding the relationships between height and branching patterns in Setaria, and their genetic control, is an important step to gaining a comprehensive knowledge of the development and genetic regulation of panicoid grass architecture. PMID:26985990

  12. Can diversity in root architecture explain plant water use efficiency? A modeling study

    PubMed Central

    Tron, Stefania; Bodner, Gernot; Laio, Francesco; Ridolfi, Luca; Leitner, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Drought stress is a dominant constraint to crop production. Breeding crops with adapted root systems for effective uptake of water represents a novel strategy to increase crop drought resistance. Due to complex interaction between root traits and high diversity of hydrological conditions, modeling provides important information for trait based selection. In this work we use a root architecture model combined with a soil-hydrological model to analyze whether there is a root system ideotype of general adaptation to drought or water uptake efficiency of root systems is a function of specific hydrological conditions. This was done by modeling transpiration of 48 root architectures in 16 drought scenarios with distinct soil textures, rainfall distributions, and initial soil moisture availability. We find that the efficiency in water uptake of root architecture is strictly dependent on the hydrological scenario. Even dense and deep root systems are not superior in water uptake under all hydrological scenarios. Our results demonstrate that mere architectural description is insufficient to find root systems of optimum functionality. We find that in environments with sufficient rainfall before the growing season, root depth represents the key trait for the exploration of stored water, especially in fine soils. Root density, instead, especially near the soil surface, becomes the most relevant trait for exploiting soil moisture when plant water supply is mainly provided by rainfall events during the root system development. We therefore concluded that trait based root breeding has to consider root systems with specific adaptation to the hydrology of the target environment. PMID:26412932

  13. Food Choice Architecture: An Intervention in a Secondary School and its Impact on Students’ Plant-based Food Choices

    PubMed Central

    Ensaff, Hannah; Homer, Matt; Sahota, Pinki; Braybrook, Debbie; Coan, Susan; McLeod, Helen

    2015-01-01

    With growing evidence for the positive health outcomes associated with a plant-based diet, the study’s purpose was to examine the potential of shifting adolescents’ food choices towards plant-based foods. Using a real world setting of a school canteen, a set of small changes to the choice architecture was designed and deployed in a secondary school in Yorkshire, England. Focussing on designated food items (whole fruit, fruit salad, vegetarian daily specials, and sandwiches containing salad) the changes were implemented for six weeks. Data collected on students’ food choice (218,796 transactions) enabled students’ (980 students) selections to be examined. Students’ food choice was compared for three periods: baseline (29 weeks); intervention (six weeks); and post-intervention (three weeks). Selection of designated food items significantly increased during the intervention and post-intervention periods, compared to baseline (baseline, 1.4%; intervention 3.0%; post-intervention, 2.2%) χ2(2) = 68.1, p < 0.001. Logistic regression modelling also revealed the independent effect of the intervention, with students 2.5 times as likely (p < 0.001) to select the designated food items during the intervention period, compared to baseline. The study’s results point to the influence of choice architecture within secondary school settings, and its potential role in improving adolescents’ daily food choices. PMID:26043039

  14. Correction to the plant canopy gap-size analysis theory used by the Tracing Radiation and Architecture of Canopies instrument.

    PubMed

    Leblanc, Sylvain G

    2002-12-20

    A plant canopy gap-size analyzer, the Tracing Radiation and Architecture of Canopies (TRAC), developed by Chen and Cihlar [Appl Opt. 34, 6211(1995)] and commercialized and by 3rd Wave Engineering (Nepean, Canada), has been used around the world to quantify the fraction of photosynthetically activeradiation absorbed by plant canopies, the leaf area index (LAI), and canopy architectural parameters. The TRAC is walked under a canopy along transects to measure sunflecks that are converted into a gap-size distribution. A numerical gap-removal technique is performed to remove gaps that are not theoretically possible in a random canopy. The resulting reduced gap-size distribution is used to quantify the heterogeneity of the canopy and to improve LAI measurements. It is explicitly shown here that the original derivation of the clumping index was missing a normalization factor. For a very clumped canopy with a large gap faction, the resulting LAI can be more than 100% smaller than previously estimated. A test case is used to demonstrate that the new clumping index derivation allows a more accurate change of LAI to be measured. PMID:12510936

  15. Food Choice Architecture: An Intervention in a Secondary School and its Impact on Students' Plant-based Food Choices.

    PubMed

    Ensaff, Hannah; Homer, Matt; Sahota, Pinki; Braybrook, Debbie; Coan, Susan; McLeod, Helen

    2015-06-01

    With growing evidence for the positive health outcomes associated with a plant-based diet, the study's purpose was to examine the potential of shifting adolescents' food choices towards plant-based foods. Using a real world setting of a school canteen, a set of small changes to the choice architecture was designed and deployed in a secondary school in Yorkshire, England. Focussing on designated food items (whole fruit, fruit salad, vegetarian daily specials, and sandwiches containing salad) the changes were implemented for six weeks. Data collected on students' food choice (218,796 transactions) enabled students' (980 students) selections to be examined. Students' food choice was compared for three periods: baseline (29 weeks); intervention (six weeks); and post-intervention (three weeks). Selection of designated food items significantly increased during the intervention and post-intervention periods, compared to baseline (baseline, 1.4%; intervention 3.0%; post-intervention, 2.2%) χ(2)(2) = 68.1, p < 0.001. Logistic regression modelling also revealed the independent effect of the intervention, with students 2.5 times as likely (p < 0.001) to select the designated food items during the intervention period, compared to baseline. The study's results point to the influence of choice architecture within secondary school settings, and its potential role in improving adolescents' daily food choices. PMID:26043039

  16. GiA Roots: software for the high throughput analysis of plant root system architecture

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Characterizing root system architecture (RSA) is essential to understanding the development and function of vascular plants. Identifying RSA-associated genes also represents an underexplored opportunity for crop improvement. Software tools are needed to accelerate the pace at which quantitative traits of RSA are estimated from images of root networks. Results We have developed GiA Roots (General Image Analysis of Roots), a semi-automated software tool designed specifically for the high-throughput analysis of root system images. GiA Roots includes user-assisted algorithms to distinguish root from background and a fully automated pipeline that extracts dozens of root system phenotypes. Quantitative information on each phenotype, along with intermediate steps for full reproducibility, is returned to the end-user for downstream analysis. GiA Roots has a GUI front end and a command-line interface for interweaving the software into large-scale workflows. GiA Roots can also be extended to estimate novel phenotypes specified by the end-user. Conclusions We demonstrate the use of GiA Roots on a set of 2393 images of rice roots representing 12 genotypes from the species Oryza sativa. We validate trait measurements against prior analyses of this image set that demonstrated that RSA traits are likely heritable and associated with genotypic differences. Moreover, we demonstrate that GiA Roots is extensible and an end-user can add functionality so that GiA Roots can estimate novel RSA traits. In summary, we show that the software can function as an efficient tool as part of a workflow to move from large numbers of root images to downstream analysis. PMID:22834569

  17. Approaches to understanding the functional architecture of the plant cell wall.

    PubMed

    McCann, M C; Bush, M; Milioni, D; Sado, P; Stacey, N J; Catchpole, G; Defernez, M; Carpita, N C; Hofte, H; Ulvskov, P; Wilson, R H; Roberts, K

    2001-07-01

    Cell wall polysaccharides are some of the most complex biopolymers known, and yet their functions remain largely mysterious. Advances in imaging methods permit direct visualisation of the molecular architecture of cell walls and the modifications that occur to polymers during growth and development. To address the structural and functional relationships of individual cell wall components, we need to better characterise a broad range of structural and architectural alterations in cell walls, appearing as a consequence of developmental regulation, environmental adaptation or genetic modification. We have developed a rapid method to screen large numbers of plants for a broad range of cell wall phenotypes using Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy and Principal Component Analysis. We are using model systems to uncover the genes that encode some of the cell-wall-related biosynthetic and hydrolytic enzymes, and structural proteins. PMID:11423133

  18. Resilient Monitoring Systems: Architecture, Design, and Application to Boiler/Turbine Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia, Humberto E.; Lin, Wen-Chiao; Meerkov, Semyon M.; Ravichandran, Maruthi T.

    2014-11-01

    Resilient monitoring systems, considered in this paper, are sensor networks that degrade gracefully under malicious attacks on their sensors, causing them to project misleading information. The goal of this work is to design, analyze, and evaluate the performance of a resilient monitoring system intended to monitor plant conditions (normal or anomalous). The architecture developed consists of four layers: data quality assessment, process variable assessment, plant condition assessment, and sensor network adaptation. Each of these layers is analyzed by either analytical or numerical tools. The performance of the overall system is evaluated using a simplified boiler/turbine plant. The measure of resiliency is quantified using Kullback-Leibler divergence, and is shown to be sufficiently high in all scenarios considered.

  19. Resilient Monitoring Systems: Architecture, Design, and Application to Boiler/Turbine Plant

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Garcia, Humberto E.; Lin, Wen-Chiao; Meerkov, Semyon M.; Ravichandran, Maruthi T.

    2014-11-01

    Resilient monitoring systems, considered in this paper, are sensor networks that degrade gracefully under malicious attacks on their sensors, causing them to project misleading information. The goal of this work is to design, analyze, and evaluate the performance of a resilient monitoring system intended to monitor plant conditions (normal or anomalous). The architecture developed consists of four layers: data quality assessment, process variable assessment, plant condition assessment, and sensor network adaptation. Each of these layers is analyzed by either analytical or numerical tools. The performance of the overall system is evaluated using a simplified boiler/turbine plant. The measure of resiliencymore » is quantified using Kullback-Leibler divergence, and is shown to be sufficiently high in all scenarios considered.« less

  20. Resilient monitoring systems: architecture, design, and application to boiler/turbine plant.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Humberto E; Lin, Wen-Chiao; Meerkov, Semyon M; Ravichandran, Maruthi T

    2014-11-01

    Resilient monitoring systems, considered in this paper, are sensor networks that degrade gracefully under malicious attacks on their sensors, causing them to project misleading information. The goal of this paper is to design, analyze, and evaluate the performance of a resilient monitoring system intended to monitor plant conditions (normal or anomalous). The architecture developed consists of four layers: data quality assessment, process variable assessment, plant condition assessment, and sensor network adaptation. Each of these layers is analyzed by either analytical or numerical tools. The performance of the overall system is evaluated using a simplified boiler/turbine plant. The measure of resiliency is quantified based on the Kullback-Leibler divergence and shown to be sufficiently high in all scenarios considered. PMID:24816628

  1. Photosynthetic Membranes of Synechocystis or Plants Convert Sunlight to Photocurrent through Different Pathways due to Different Architectures

    PubMed Central

    Pinhassi, Roy I.; Larom, Shirley; Linkov, Artyom; Boulouis, Alix; Schöttler, Mark-Aurel; Bock, Ralph; Rothschild, Avner; Adir, Noam; Schuster, Gadi

    2015-01-01

    Thylakoid membranes contain the redox active complexes catalyzing the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis in cyanobacteria, algae and plants. Crude thylakoid membranes or purified photosystems from different organisms have previously been utilized for generation of electrical power and/or fuels. Here we investigate the electron transferability from thylakoid preparations from plants or the cyanobacterium Synechocystis. We show that upon illumination, crude Synechocystis thylakoids can reduce cytochrome c. In addition, this crude preparation can transfer electrons to a graphite electrode, producing an unmediated photocurrent of 15 μA/cm2. Photocurrent could be obtained in the presence of the PSII inhibitor DCMU, indicating that the source of electrons is QA, the primary Photosystem II acceptor. In contrast, thylakoids purified from plants could not reduce cyt c, nor produced a photocurrent in the photocell in the presence of DCMU. The production of significant photocurrent (100 μA/cm2) from plant thylakoids required the addition of the soluble electron mediator DCBQ. Furthermore, we demonstrate that use of crude thylakoids from the D1-K238E mutant in Synechocystis resulted in improved electron transferability, increasing the direct photocurrent to 35 μA/cm2. Applying the analogous mutation to tobacco plants did not achieve an equivalent effect. While electron abstraction from crude thylakoids of cyanobacteria or plants is feasible, we conclude that the site of the abstraction of the electrons from the thylakoids, the architecture of the thylakoid preparations influence the site of the electron abstraction, as well as the transfer pathway to the electrode. This dictates the use of different strategies for production of sustainable electrical current from photosynthetic thylakoid membranes of cyanobacteria or higher plants. PMID:25915422

  2. Photosynthetic Membranes of Synechocystis or Plants Convert Sunlight to Photocurrent through Different Pathways due to Different Architectures.

    PubMed

    Pinhassi, Roy I; Kallmann, Dan; Saper, Gadiel; Larom, Shirley; Linkov, Artyom; Boulouis, Alix; Schöttler, Mark-Aurel; Bock, Ralph; Rothschild, Avner; Adir, Noam; Schuster, Gadi

    2015-01-01

    Thylakoid membranes contain the redox active complexes catalyzing the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis in cyanobacteria, algae and plants. Crude thylakoid membranes or purified photosystems from different organisms have previously been utilized for generation of electrical power and/or fuels. Here we investigate the electron transferability from thylakoid preparations from plants or the cyanobacterium Synechocystis. We show that upon illumination, crude Synechocystis thylakoids can reduce cytochrome c. In addition, this crude preparation can transfer electrons to a graphite electrode, producing an unmediated photocurrent of 15 μA/cm2. Photocurrent could be obtained in the presence of the PSII inhibitor DCMU, indicating that the source of electrons is QA, the primary Photosystem II acceptor. In contrast, thylakoids purified from plants could not reduce cyt c, nor produced a photocurrent in the photocell in the presence of DCMU. The production of significant photocurrent (100 μA/cm2) from plant thylakoids required the addition of the soluble electron mediator DCBQ. Furthermore, we demonstrate that use of crude thylakoids from the D1-K238E mutant in Synechocystis resulted in improved electron transferability, increasing the direct photocurrent to 35 μA/cm2. Applying the analogous mutation to tobacco plants did not achieve an equivalent effect. While electron abstraction from crude thylakoids of cyanobacteria or plants is feasible, we conclude that the site of the abstraction of the electrons from the thylakoids, the architecture of the thylakoid preparations influence the site of the electron abstraction, as well as the transfer pathway to the electrode. This dictates the use of different strategies for production of sustainable electrical current from photosynthetic thylakoid membranes of cyanobacteria or higher plants. PMID:25915422

  3. Two Novel AP2/EREBP Transcription Factor Genes TaPARG Have Pleiotropic Functions on Plant Architecture and Yield-Related Traits in Common Wheat

    PubMed Central

    Li, Bo; Li, Qiaoru; Mao, Xinguo; Li, Ang; Wang, Jingyi; Chang, Xiaoping; Hao, Chenyang; Zhang, Xueyong; Jing, Ruilian

    2016-01-01

    AP2/EREBPs play significant roles in plant growth and development. A novel, pleiotropic TaPARG (PLANT ARCHITECTURE-RELATED GENE), a member of the AP2/EREBP transcription factor gene family, and its flanking sequences were isolated in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Two TaPARG genes were identified and named as TaPARG-2A and TaPARG-2D. Their amino acid sequences were highly similar especially in the functional domains. TaPARG-2A on chromosome 2A was flanked by markers Xwmc63 and Xgwm372. TaPARG-2D was mapped to chromosome 2D. Subcellular localization revealed that TaPARG-2D was localized in the nucleus. The results of tissue expression pattern, overexpression in rice, association analysis and distinct population verification jointly revealed that TaPARG functions during the entire growth cycle of wheat. Its functions include regulation of plant architecture-related and yield-related traits. Association analysis, geographic distribution and allelic frequencies suggested that favored haplotypes Hap-2A-2 and Hap-2A-3 were selected in Chinese wheat breeding programs. Both favored haplotypes might be caused by a single amino acid substitution (His/Tyr). These results suggest that TaPARG is a regulatory factor in plant growth and development, and that the favored alleles might be useful for improving plant architecture and grain yield of wheat. PMID:27555860

  4. Two Novel AP2/EREBP Transcription Factor Genes TaPARG Have Pleiotropic Functions on Plant Architecture and Yield-Related Traits in Common Wheat.

    PubMed

    Li, Bo; Li, Qiaoru; Mao, Xinguo; Li, Ang; Wang, Jingyi; Chang, Xiaoping; Hao, Chenyang; Zhang, Xueyong; Jing, Ruilian

    2016-01-01

    AP2/EREBPs play significant roles in plant growth and development. A novel, pleiotropic TaPARG (PLANT ARCHITECTURE-RELATED GENE), a member of the AP2/EREBP transcription factor gene family, and its flanking sequences were isolated in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Two TaPARG genes were identified and named as TaPARG-2A and TaPARG-2D. Their amino acid sequences were highly similar especially in the functional domains. TaPARG-2A on chromosome 2A was flanked by markers Xwmc63 and Xgwm372. TaPARG-2D was mapped to chromosome 2D. Subcellular localization revealed that TaPARG-2D was localized in the nucleus. The results of tissue expression pattern, overexpression in rice, association analysis and distinct population verification jointly revealed that TaPARG functions during the entire growth cycle of wheat. Its functions include regulation of plant architecture-related and yield-related traits. Association analysis, geographic distribution and allelic frequencies suggested that favored haplotypes Hap-2A-2 and Hap-2A-3 were selected in Chinese wheat breeding programs. Both favored haplotypes might be caused by a single amino acid substitution (His/Tyr). These results suggest that TaPARG is a regulatory factor in plant growth and development, and that the favored alleles might be useful for improving plant architecture and grain yield of wheat. PMID:27555860

  5. Relationship between plant vascular architecture and within-plant distribution of 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' in potato

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum” is an important pathogen of Solanaceous crops that causes zebra chip disease of potato. This pathogen is transmitted among plants by the potato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli. Within-plant variability in Liberibacter infection impedes the ability to detect Lib...

  6. Estimation of vegetation LAI from hyperspectral reflectance data: Effects of soil type and plant architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darvishzadeh, Roshanak; Skidmore, Andrew; Atzberger, Clement; van Wieren, Sip

    2008-09-01

    The retrieval of canopy biophysical variables is known to be affected by confounding factors such as plant type and background reflectance. The effects of soil type and plant architecture on the retrieval of vegetation leaf area index (LAI) from hyperspectral data were assessed in this study. In situ measurements of LAI were related to reflectances in the red and near-infrared and also to five widely used spectral vegetation indices (VIs). The study confirmed that the spectral contrast between leaves and soil background determines the strength of the LAI-reflectance relationship. It was shown that within a given vegetation species, the optimum spectral regions for LAI estimation were similar across the investigated VIs, indicating that the various VIs are basically summarizing the same spectral information for a given vegetation species. Cross-validated results revealed that, narrow-band PVI was less influenced by soil background effects (0.15 ≤ RMSE cv ≤ 0.56). The results suggest that, when using remote sensing VIs for LAI estimation, not only is the choice of VI of importance but also prior knowledge of plant architecture and soil background. Hence, some kind of landscape stratification is required before using hyperspectral imagery for large-scale mapping of vegetation biophysical variables.

  7. Gravity response mechanisms of lateral organs and the control of plant architecture in Arabidopsis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullen, J.; Hangarter, R.

    Most research on gravity responses in plants has focused on primary roots and shoots, which typically grow in a vertical orientation. However, the patterns of lateral organ formation and their growth orientation, which typically are not vertical, govern plant architecture. For example, in Arabidopsis, when lateral roots emerge from the primary root, they grow at a nearly horizontal orientation. As they elongate, the roots slowly curve until they eventually reach a vertical orientation. The regulation of this lateral root orientation is an important component affecting the overall root system architecture. We have found that this change in orientation is not simply due to the onset of gravitropic competence, as non-vertical lateral roots are capable of both positive and negative gravitropism. Thus, the horizontal growth of the new lateral roots is determined by what is called the gravitropic set-point angle (GSA). In Arabidopsis shoots, rosette leaves and inflorescence branches also display GSA-dependent developmental changes in their orientation. The developmental control of the GSA of lateral organs in Arabidopsis provides us with a useful system for investigating the components involved in regulating directionality of tropistic responses. We have identified several Arabidopsis mutants that have either altered lateral root orientations, altered orientation of lateral organs in the shoot, or both, but maintain normal primary organ orientation. The mgsa ({m}odified {g}ravitropic {s}et-point {a}ngle) mutants with both altered lateral root and shoot orientation show that there are common components in the regulation of growth orientation in the different organs. Rosette leaves and lateral roots also have in common a regulation of positioning by red light. Further molecular and physiological analyses of the GSA mutants will provide insight into the basis of GSA regulation and, thus, a better understanding of how gravity controls plant architecture. [This work was

  8. Genetic architecture of adaptation to novel environmental conditions in a predominantly selfing allopolyploid plant.

    PubMed

    Volis, S; Ormanbekova, D; Yermekbayev, K; Abugalieva, S; Turuspekov, Y; Shulgina, I

    2016-06-01

    Genetic architecture of adaptation is traditionally studied in the context of local adaptation, viz. spatially varying conditions experienced by the species. However, anthropogenic changes in the natural environment pose a new context to this issue, that is, adaptation to an environment that is new for the species. In this study, we used crossbreeding to analyze genetic architecture of adaptation to conditions not currently experienced by the species but with high probability of encounter in the near future due to global climate change. We performed targeted interpopulation crossing using genotypes from two core and two peripheral Triticum dicoccoides populations and raised the parents and three generations of hybrids in a greenhouse under simulated desert conditions to analyze the genetic architecture of adaptation to these conditions and an effect of gene flow from plants having different origin. The hybrid (F1) fitness did not differ from that of the parents in crosses where both plants originated from the species core, but in crosses involving one parent from the species core and another one from the species periphery the fitness of F1 was consistently higher than that of the periphery-originated parent. Plant fitness in the next two generations (F2 and F3) did not differ from the F1, suggesting that effects of epistatic interactions between recombining and segregating alleles of genes contributing to fitness were minor or absent. The observed low importance of epistatic gene interactions in allopolyploid T. dicoccoides and low probability of hybrid breakdown appear to be the result of permanent fixation of heterozygosity and lack of intergenomic recombination in this species. At the same time, predominant but not complete selfing combined with an advantage of bivalent pairing of homologous chromosomes appears to maintain high genetic variability in T. dicoccoides, greatly enhancing its adaptive ability. PMID:26837272

  9. DC-DC Converter Topology Assessment for Large Scale Distributed Photovoltaic Plant Architectures

    SciTech Connect

    Agamy, Mohammed S; Harfman-Todorovic, Maja; Elasser, Ahmed; Sabate, Juan A; Steigerwald, Robert L; Jiang, Yan; Essakiappan, Somasundaram

    2011-07-01

    Distributed photovoltaic (PV) plant architectures are emerging as a replacement for the classical central inverter based systems. However, power converters of smaller ratings may have a negative impact on system efficiency, reliability and cost. Therefore, it is necessary to design converters with very high efficiency and simpler topologies in order not to offset the benefits gained by using distributed PV systems. In this paper an evaluation of the selection criteria for dc-dc converters for distributed PV systems is performed; this evaluation includes efficiency, simplicity of design, reliability and cost. Based on this evaluation, recommendations can be made as to which class of converters is best fit for this application.

  10. Method to improve drought tolerance in plants

    DOEpatents

    Schroeder, Julian I.; Kwak, June Myoung

    2003-10-21

    A method to increase drought resistance in plants is provided. The method comprises inhibiting or disabling inward-rectifying K.sup.+ (K.sup.+.sub.in) channels in the stomatal guard cells of the plant.

  11. Distributed Hierarchical Control Architecture for Transient Dynamics Improvement in Power Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Marinovici, Laurentiu D.; Lian, Jianming; Kalsi, Karanjit; Du, Pengwei; Elizondo, Marcelo A.

    2013-08-24

    In this paper, a novel distributed hierarchical coordinated control architecture is proposed for large scale power systems. The newly considered architecture facilitates frequency restoration and power balancing functions to be decoupled and implemented at different levels. At the local level, decentralized robust generator controllers are designed to quickly restore frequency after large faults and disturbances in the system. The controllers presented herein are shown to improve transient stability performance, as compared to conventional governor and excitation control. At the area level, Automatic Generation Control (AGC) is modified and coordinates with the decentralized robust controllers to reach the interchange schedule in the tie lines. The interaction of local and zonal controllers is validated through detailed simulations.

  12. Plant canopy gap-size analysis theory for improving optical measurements of leaf-area index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jing M.; Cihlar, Josef

    1995-09-01

    Optical instruments currently available for measuring the leaf-area index (LAI) of a plant canopy all utilize only the canopy gap-fraction information. These instruments include the Li-Cor LAI-2000 Plant Canopy Analyzer, Decagon, and Demon. The advantages of utilizing both the canopy gap-fraction and gap-size information are shown. For the purpose of measuring the canopy gap size, a prototype sunfleck-LAI instrument named Tracing Radiation and Architecture of Canopies (TRAC), has been developed and tested in two pure conifer plantations, red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb). A new gap-size-analysis theory is presented to quantify the effect of canopy architecture on optical measurements of LAI based on the gap-fraction principle. The theory is an improvement on that of Lang and Xiang [Agric. For. Meteorol. 37, 229 (1986)]. In principle, this theory can be used for any heterogeneous canopies.

  13. A reciprocal cross design to map the genetic architecture of complex traits in apomictic plants.

    PubMed

    Yin, Danni; Zhu, Xuli; Jiang, Libo; Zhang, Jian; Zeng, Yanru; Wu, Rongling

    2015-02-01

    Many higher plants of economic and biological importance undergo apomixis in which the maternal tissue of the ovule forms a seed, without experiencing meiosis and fertilization. This feature of apomixis has made it difficult to perform linkage mapping which relies on meiotic recombination. Here, we describe a computational model for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that control complex traits in apomictic plants. The model is founded on the mixture model-based likelihood in which maternal genotypes are dissolved into two possible components generated by meiotic and apomictic processes, respectively. The EM algorithm was implemented to discern meiotic and apomictic genotypes and, therefore, allow the marker-QTL linkage relationship to be estimated. By capitalizing on reciprocal crosses, the model is renovated to estimate and test imprinting effects of QTLs, providing a better gateway to characterize the genetic architecture of complex traits. The model was validated through computer simulation and further demonstrated for its usefulness by analyzing a real data for an apomictic woody plant. The model has for the first time provided a unique tool for genetic mapping in apomictic plants. PMID:25354995

  14. A multivariate study of mangrove morphology (Rhizophora mangle) using both above and below-water plant architecture

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, R.A.; Bell, S.S.

    2005-01-01

    A descriptive study of the architecture of the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle L., habitat of Tampa Bay, FL, was conducted to assess if plant architecture could be used to discriminate overwash from fringing forest type. Seven above-water (e.g., tree height, diameter at breast height, and leaf area) and 10 below-water (e.g., root density, root complexity, and maximum root order) architectural features were measured in eight mangrove stands. A multivariate technique (discriminant analysis) was used to test the ability of different models comprising above-water, below-water, or whole tree architecture to classify forest type. Root architectural features appear to be better than classical forestry measurements at discriminating between fringing and overwash forests but, regardless of the features loaded into the model, misclassification rates were high as forest type was only correctly classified in 66% of the cases. Based upon habitat architecture, the results of this study do not support a sharp distinction between overwash and fringing red mangrove forests in Tampa Bay but rather indicate that the two are architecturally undistinguishable. Therefore, within this northern portion of the geographic range of red mangroves, a more appropriate classification system based upon architecture may be one in which overwash and fringing forest types are combined into a single, "tide dominated" category. ?? 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. An Improved Ward Architecture for Treatment of Patients with Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia.

    PubMed

    You, Jianping; Mao, Qing

    2016-04-01

    During the recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in west Africa, we established an Ebola treatment center (ETC) with improved ward architecture. The ETC was built with movable prefabricated boards according to infectious disease unit standard requirements. The clinical staff ensured their own security while providing patients with effective treatment. Of the 180 admissions to the ETC, 10 cases were confirmed with EVD of which six patients survived. None of the clinical staff was infected. We hope that our experience will enable others to avoid unnecessary risks while delivering EVD care. PMID:26755568

  16. Hierarchical Surface Architecture of Plants as an Inspiration for Biomimetic Fog Collectors.

    PubMed

    Azad, M A K; Barthlott, W; Koch, K

    2015-12-01

    Fog collectors can enable us to alleviate the water crisis in certain arid regions of the world. A continuous fog-collection cycle consisting of a persistent capture of fog droplets and their fast transport to the target is a prerequisite for developing an efficient fog collector. In regard to this topic, a biological superior design has been found in the hierarchical surface architecture of barley (Hordeum vulgare) awns. We demonstrate here the highly wettable (advancing contact angle 16° ± 2.7 and receding contact angle 9° ± 2.6) barbed (barb = conical structure) awn as a model to develop optimized fog collectors with a high fog-capturing capability, an effective water transport, and above all an efficient fog collection. We compare the fog-collection efficiency of the model sample with other plant samples naturally grown in foggy habitats that are supposed to be very efficient fog collectors. The model sample, consisting of dry hydrophilized awns (DH awns), is found to be about twice as efficient (fog-collection rate 563.7 ± 23.2 μg/cm(2) over 10 min) as any other samples investigated under controlled experimental conditions. Finally, a design based on the hierarchical surface architecture of the model sample is proposed for the development of optimized biomimetic fog collectors. PMID:26561871

  17. Plant architecture without multicellularity: quandaries over patterning and the soma-germline divide in siphonous algae

    PubMed Central

    Coneva, Viktoriya; Chitwood, Daniel H.

    2015-01-01

    Multicellularity has independently evolved numerous times throughout the major lineages of life. Often, multicellularity can enable complex, macroscopic organismal architectures but it is not required for the elaboration of morphology. Several alternative cellular strategies have arisen as solutions permitting exquisite forms. The green algae class Ulvophyceae, for example, contains truly multicellular organisms, as well as macroscopic siphonous cells harboring one or multiple nuclei, and siphonocladous species, which are multinucleate and multicellular. These diverse cellular organizations raise a number of questions about the evolutionary and molecular mechanisms underlying complex organismal morphology in the green plants. Importantly, how does morphological patterning arise in giant coenocytes, and do nuclei, analogous to cells in multicellular organisms, take on distinct somatic and germline identities? Here, we comparatively explore examples of patterning and differentiation in diverse coenocytic and single-cell organisms and discuss possible mechanisms of development and nuclear differentiation in the siphonous algae. PMID:25964794

  18. Plant architecture without multicellularity: quandaries over patterning and the soma-germline divide in siphonous algae.

    PubMed

    Coneva, Viktoriya; Chitwood, Daniel H

    2015-01-01

    Multicellularity has independently evolved numerous times throughout the major lineages of life. Often, multicellularity can enable complex, macroscopic organismal architectures but it is not required for the elaboration of morphology. Several alternative cellular strategies have arisen as solutions permitting exquisite forms. The green algae class Ulvophyceae, for example, contains truly multicellular organisms, as well as macroscopic siphonous cells harboring one or multiple nuclei, and siphonocladous species, which are multinucleate and multicellular. These diverse cellular organizations raise a number of questions about the evolutionary and molecular mechanisms underlying complex organismal morphology in the green plants. Importantly, how does morphological patterning arise in giant coenocytes, and do nuclei, analogous to cells in multicellular organisms, take on distinct somatic and germline identities? Here, we comparatively explore examples of patterning and differentiation in diverse coenocytic and single-cell organisms and discuss possible mechanisms of development and nuclear differentiation in the siphonous algae. PMID:25964794

  19. Improvement of water treatment at thermal power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larin, B. M.; Bushuev, E. N.; Larin, A. B.; Karpychev, E. A.; Zhadan, A. V.

    2015-04-01

    Prospective and existing technologies for water treatment at thermal power plants, including pretreatment, ion exchange, and membrane method are considered. The results obtained from laboratory investigations and industrial tests of the proposed technologies carried out at different thermal power plants are presented. The possibilities of improving the process and environmental indicators of water treatment plants are shown.

  20. ALA Pretreatment Improves Waterlogging Tolerance of Fig Plants.

    PubMed

    An, Yuyan; Qi, Lin; Wang, Liangju

    2016-01-01

    5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), a natural and environmentally friendly plant growth regulator, can improve plant tolerance to various environmental stresses. However, whether ALA can improve plant waterlogging tolerance is unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of ALA pretreatment on the waterlogging-induced damage of fig (Ficus carica Linn.) plants, which often suffer from waterlogging stress. ALA pretreatment significantly alleviated stress-induced morphological damage, increased leaf relative water content (RWC), and reduced leaf superoxide anion ([Formula: see text]) production rate and malonaldehyde (MDA) content in fig leaves, indicating ALA mitigates waterlogging stress of fig plants. We further demonstrated that ALA pretreatment largely promoted leaf chlorophyll content, photosynthetic electron transfer ability, and photosynthetic performance index, indicating ALA significantly improves plant photosynthetic efficiency under waterlogging stress. Moreover, ALA pretreatment significantly increased activities of leaf superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD), root vigor, and activities of root alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), indicating ALA also significantly improves antioxidant ability and root function of fig plants under waterlogging stress. Taken together, ALA pretreatment improves waterlogging tolerance of fig plants significantly, and the promoted root respiration, leaf photosynthesis, and antioxidant ability may contribute greatly to this improvement. Our data firstly shows that ALA can improve plant waterlogging tolerance. PMID:26789407

  1. ALA Pretreatment Improves Waterlogging Tolerance of Fig Plants

    PubMed Central

    An, Yuyan; Qi, Lin; Wang, Liangju

    2016-01-01

    5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), a natural and environmentally friendly plant growth regulator, can improve plant tolerance to various environmental stresses. However, whether ALA can improve plant waterlogging tolerance is unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of ALA pretreatment on the waterlogging-induced damage of fig (Ficus carica Linn.) plants, which often suffer from waterlogging stress. ALA pretreatment significantly alleviated stress-induced morphological damage, increased leaf relative water content (RWC), and reduced leaf superoxide anion (O2⋅¯) production rate and malonaldehyde (MDA) content in fig leaves, indicating ALA mitigates waterlogging stress of fig plants. We further demonstrated that ALA pretreatment largely promoted leaf chlorophyll content, photosynthetic electron transfer ability, and photosynthetic performance index, indicating ALA significantly improves plant photosynthetic efficiency under waterlogging stress. Moreover, ALA pretreatment significantly increased activities of leaf superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD), root vigor, and activities of root alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), indicating ALA also significantly improves antioxidant ability and root function of fig plants under waterlogging stress. Taken together, ALA pretreatment improves waterlogging tolerance of fig plants significantly, and the promoted root respiration, leaf photosynthesis, and antioxidant ability may contribute greatly to this improvement. Our data firstly shows that ALA can improve plant waterlogging tolerance. PMID:26789407

  2. Root Traits and Phenotyping Strategies for Plant Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Paez-Garcia, Ana; Motes, Christy M.; Scheible, Wolf-Rüdiger; Chen, Rujin; Blancaflor, Elison B.; Monteros, Maria J.

    2015-01-01

    Roots are crucial for nutrient and water acquisition and can be targeted to enhance plant productivity under a broad range of growing conditions. A current challenge for plant breeding is the limited ability to phenotype and select for desirable root characteristics due to their underground location. Plant breeding efforts aimed at modifying root traits can result in novel, more stress-tolerant crops and increased yield by enhancing the capacity of the plant for soil exploration and, thus, water and nutrient acquisition. Available approaches for root phenotyping in laboratory, greenhouse and field encompass simple agar plates to labor-intensive root digging (i.e., shovelomics) and soil boring methods, the construction of underground root observation stations and sophisticated computer-assisted root imaging. Here, we summarize root architectural traits relevant to crop productivity, survey root phenotyping strategies and describe their advantages, limitations and practical value for crop and forage breeding programs. PMID:27135332

  3. Root Traits and Phenotyping Strategies for Plant Improvement.

    PubMed

    Paez-Garcia, Ana; Motes, Christy M; Scheible, Wolf-Rüdiger; Chen, Rujin; Blancaflor, Elison B; Monteros, Maria J

    2015-01-01

    Roots are crucial for nutrient and water acquisition and can be targeted to enhance plant productivity under a broad range of growing conditions. A current challenge for plant breeding is the limited ability to phenotype and select for desirable root characteristics due to their underground location. Plant breeding efforts aimed at modifying root traits can result in novel, more stress-tolerant crops and increased yield by enhancing the capacity of the plant for soil exploration and, thus, water and nutrient acquisition. Available approaches for root phenotyping in laboratory, greenhouse and field encompass simple agar plates to labor-intensive root digging (i.e., shovelomics) and soil boring methods, the construction of underground root observation stations and sophisticated computer-assisted root imaging. Here, we summarize root architectural traits relevant to crop productivity, survey root phenotyping strategies and describe their advantages, limitations and practical value for crop and forage breeding programs. PMID:27135332

  4. Improving pumping system efficiency at coal plants

    SciTech Connect

    Livoti, W.C.; McCandless, S.; Poltorak, R.

    2009-03-15

    The industry must employ ultramodern technologies when building or upgrading power plant pumping systems thereby using fuels more efficiently. The article discusses the uses and efficiencies of positive displacement pumps, centrifugal pumps and multiple screw pumps. 1 ref., 4 figs.

  5. Compositions and methods for improved plant feedstock

    DOEpatents

    Shen, Hui; Chen, Fang; Dixon, Richard A

    2014-12-02

    The invention provides methods for modifying lignin content and composition in plants and achieving associated benefits therefrom involving altered expression of newly discovered MYB4 transcription factors. Nucleic acid constructs for modifying MYB4 transcription factor expression are described. By over-expressing the identified MYB4 transcription factors, for example, an accompanying decrease in lignin content may be achieved. Plants are provided by the invention comprising such modifications, as are methods for their preparation and use.

  6. Improving Memory Subsystem Performance Using ViVA: Virtual Vector Architecture

    SciTech Connect

    Gebis, Joseph; Oliker, Leonid; Shalf, John; Williams, Samuel; Yelick, Katherine

    2009-01-12

    The disparity between microprocessor clock frequencies and memory latency is a primary reason why many demanding applications run well below peak achievable performance. Software controlled scratchpad memories, such as the Cell local store, attempt to ameliorate this discrepancy by enabling precise control over memory movement; however, scratchpad technology confronts the programmer and compiler with an unfamiliar and difficult programming model. In this work, we present the Virtual Vector Architecture (ViVA), which combines the memory semantics of vector computers with a software-controlled scratchpad memory in order to provide a more effective and practical approach to latency hiding. ViVA requires minimal changes to the core design and could thus be easily integrated with conventional processor cores. To validate our approach, we implemented ViVA on the Mambo cycle-accurate full system simulator, which was carefully calibrated to match the performance on our underlying PowerPC Apple G5 architecture. Results show that ViVA is able to deliver significant performance benefits over scalar techniques for a variety of memory access patterns as well as two important memory-bound compact kernels, corner turn and sparse matrix-vector multiplication -- achieving 2x-13x improvement compared the scalar version. Overall, our preliminary ViVA exploration points to a promising approach for improving application performance on leading microprocessors with minimal design and complexity costs, in a power efficient manner.

  7. Improved Economics of Nuclear Plant Life Management

    SciTech Connect

    Bond, Leonard J.; Doctor, Steven R.; Jarrell, Donald B.; Bond, Joseph W D.

    2007-07-31

    The adoption of new on-line monitoring, diagnostic and eventually prognostics technologies has the potential to impact the economics of the existing nuclear power plant fleet, new plants and future advanced designs. To move from periodic inspection to on-line monitoring for condition based maintenance and eventually prognostics will require advances in sensors, better understanding of what and how to measure within the plant; enhanced data interrogation, communication and integration; new predictive models for damage/aging evolution; system integration for real world deployments; quantification of uncertainties in what are inherently ill-posed problems and integration of enhanced condition based maintenance/prognostics philosophies into new plant designs, operation and O&M approaches. The move to digital systems in petrochemical, process and fossil fuel power plants is enabling major advances to occur in the instrumentation, controls and monitoring systems and approaches employed. The adoption within the nuclear power community of advanced on-line monitoring and advanced diagnostics has the potential for the reduction in costly periodic surveillance that requires plant shut-down , more accurate cost-benefit analysis, “just-in-time” maintenance, pre-staging of maintenance tasks, move towards true “operation without failures” and a jump start on advanced technologies for new plant concepts, such as those under the International Gen IV Program. There are significant opportunities to adopt condition-based maintenance when upgrades are implemented at existing facilities. The economic benefit from a predictive maintenance program based upon advanced on-line monitoring and advanced diagnostics can be demonstrated from a cost/benefit analysis. An analysis of the 104 US legacy systems has indicated potential savings at over $1B per year when applied to all key equipment; a summary of the supporting analysis is provided in this paper.

  8. Biogeography of Alaska paper birch (Betula neoalaskana): latitudinal patterns in chemical defense and plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Michael T; Brown, Sarah C; Bothwell, Helen M; Bryant, John P

    2016-02-01

    The latitudinal herbivory-defense hypothesis (LHDH) predicts that plants near the equator will be more heavily defended against herbivores than are plants at higher latitudes. Although this idea is widely found in the literature, recent studies have called this biogeographic pattern into question. We sought to evaluate the LHDH in a high-latitude terrestrial ecosystem where fire and mammalian herbivores may contribute to selection for higher levels of defensive chemistry. To address this objective, we collected seeds of Alaska paper birch (Betula neoalaskana) from nine locations along two north-south transects between 55 degrees N and 62 degrees N latitudes in western, interior Canada. The birch seeds were planted in pots in a common garden in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. From the resulting seedlings, we determined levels of chemical defense by assessing the density of resin glands, which have been shown to be negatively correlated with browsing. To assess plant architectural traits such as height, mean individual leaf area, and root-to-shoot ratio, we harvested a subset of the birch seedlings. Further, we used these traits to examine growth-defense trade-offs. Contrary to the LHDH, we found a positive correlation between chemical defense and latitude. Investigating relationships with fire, we found a strong positive correlation between resin gland density and percentage of area annually burned (PAAB) around each collection location and also between PAAB and latitude. Additionally, birch seedlings originating from higher latitudes were shorter, smaller-leaved, and rootier than their lower-latitude counterparts. Growth-defense trade-offs were observed in negative correlations between resin gland density and height and leaf size. Seedlings with higher resin gland densities also allocated less biomass to shoots and more to roots. These results further call into question the LHDH and provide specific information about latitudinal trends in plant defense at high, northern

  9. Flexible control of plant architecture and yield via switchable expression of Arabidopsis gai.

    PubMed

    Ait-ali, Tahar; Rands, Carley; Harberd, Nicholas P

    2003-09-01

    The growth of plants is repressed by DELLA proteins, nuclear regulators whose activities are opposed by the growth-promoting phytohormone gibberellin (GA). Mutations affecting DELLA protein function were previously used by plant breeders to create the high-yielding semidwarf wheat varieties of the green revolution. gai is an Arabidopsis mutant DELLA protein-encoding orthologue of the wheat semidwarfing genes. Here we describe the development of a transgene that confers ethanol-inducible gai expression. Transient induction of gai causes transient growth repression: growth prior to and after treatment is unaffected. Appropriate ethanol treatments result in dwarf plants that produce the same numbers of seeds as untreated controls. This new technology represents a substantial advance in the applicability of genes encoding mutant DELLA proteins to agricultural and horticultural improvement, enhancing the flexibity with which these genes can be used for the sustainable achievement of increased crop plant yields. PMID:17166132

  10. Fine genetic mapping of Cp, a recessive gene for compact (dwarf) plant architecture in cucumber, cucumis sativus L

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The compact or dwarf plant architecture is an important trait in cucumber breeding. Compact cucumber has the potential to be used in once-over mechanical harvest of pickling cucumber production. Compact growth habit is controlled by a simply inherited recessive gene. To facilitate markers assisted s...

  11. Effects of Plant Architecture, Bed Position, and Fish Predation on Hydrilla-Dwelling Macroinvertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, J. C.; Kelso, W. E.; Rutherford, D. A.

    2005-05-01

    Hydrilla verticillata invaded south central Louisiana during the 1970s and has become the dominant submerged macrophyte in floodplain habitats of the Atchafalaya River Basin. This plant has had pervasive effects on littoral habitat structure and water quality, and we hypothesized that dense hydrilla stands would also impact vertebrate predation on resident macroinvertebrates, although predation effects would likely be mediated by bed position. During 2003 and 2004 we conducted exclosure experiments in the Basin with artificial substrates to examine variations in hydrilla-dwelling macroinvertebrate communities due to predation, plant architecture, and bed position, and also examined stomach contents of potentially invertivorous fishes associated with these beds. Preliminary results indicate that bed position is more important in determining macroinvertebrate abundance than predation. Diet analyses indicate that the most common fishes either do not feed extensively on macroinvertebrates or are generalist browsers. Although predation by fishes may reduce abundances of specific invertebrate taxa, other factors may also be important in structuring macroinvertebrate communities inhabiting hydrilla beds.

  12. Architecture for Improving Terrestrial Logistics Based on the Web of Things

    PubMed Central

    Castro, Miguel; Jara, Antonio J.; Skarmeta, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Technological advances for improving supply chain efficiency present three key challenges for managing goods: tracking, tracing and monitoring (TTM), in order to satisfy the requirements for products such as perishable goods where the European Legislations requires them to ship within a prescribed temperature range to ensure freshness and suitability for consumption. The proposed system integrates RFID for tracking and tracing through a distributed architecture developed for heavy goods vehicles, and the sensors embedded in the SunSPOT platform for monitoring the goods transported based on the concept of the Internet of Things. This paper presents how the Internet of Things is integrated for improving terrestrial logistics offering a comprehensive and flexible architecture, with high scalability, according to the specific needs for reaching an item-level continuous monitoring solution. The major contribution from this work is the optimization of the Embedded Web Services based on RESTful (Web of Things) for the access to TTM services at any time during the transportation of goods. Specifically, it has been extended the monitoring patterns such as observe and blockwise transfer for the requirements from the continuous conditional monitoring, and for the transfer of full inventories and partial ones based on conditional queries. In definitive, this work presents an evolution of the previous TTM solutions, which were limited to trailer identification and environment monitoring, to a solution which is able to provide an exhaustive item-level monitoring, required for several use cases. This exhaustive monitoring has required new communication capabilities through the Web of Things, which has been optimized with the use and improvement of a set of communications patterns. PMID:22778657

  13. Architecture for improving terrestrial logistics based on the Web of Things.

    PubMed

    Castro, Miguel; Jara, Antonio J; Skarmeta, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Technological advances for improving supply chain efficiency present three key challenges for managing goods: tracking, tracing and monitoring (TTM), in order to satisfy the requirements for products such as perishable goods where the European Legislations requires them to ship within a prescribed temperature range to ensure freshness and suitability for consumption. The proposed system integrates RFID for tracking and tracing through a distributed architecture developed for heavy goods vehicles, and the sensors embedded in the SunSPOT platform for monitoring the goods transported based on the concept of the Internet of Things. This paper presents how the Internet of Things is integrated for improving terrestrial logistics offering a comprehensive and flexible architecture, with high scalability, according to the specific needs for reaching an item-level continuous monitoring solution. The major contribution from this work is the optimization of the Embedded Web Services based on RESTful (Web of Things) for the access to TTM services at any time during the transportation of goods. Specifically, it has been extended the monitoring patterns such as observe and blockwise transfer for the requirements from the continuous conditional monitoring, and for the transfer of full inventories and partial ones based on conditional queries. In definitive, this work presents an evolution of the previous TTM solutions, which were limited to trailer identification and environment monitoring, to a solution which is able to provide an exhaustive item-level monitoring, required for several use cases. This exhaustive monitoring has required new communication capabilities through the Web of Things, which has been optimized with the use and improvement of a set of communications patterns. PMID:22778657

  14. Strigolactone pathway genes and plant architecture: association analysis and QTL detection for horticultural traits in chrysanthemum.

    PubMed

    Klie, Maik; Menz, Ina; Linde, Marcus; Debener, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Chrysanthemums are important ornamental plants with abundant phenotypic diversity. Especially in cut-flower breeding, shoot branching is important for the success of new varieties. To assess the genetic regulation of shoot branching and other horticultural important traits, we phenotyped and genotyped two types of chrysanthemum populations: a genotype collection of 86 varieties and a biparental F1-population (MK11/3) of 160 individuals. Using two different statistical approaches, a genome-wide association analysis and a single marker ANOVA, with AFLP marker data and candidate gene markers for shoot branching, we tried to identify markers correlated to the traits of interest. As expected for the outcrossing hexasomic chrysanthemums most of the phenotypic traits showed a continuous variation in both populations. With the candidate gene approach we identified 11 significantly associated marker alleles for all 4 strigolactone pathway genes BRC1, CCD7, CCD8 and MAX2 regulating shoot branching in the genotype collection. In the MK11/3 we detected seven markers for all candidate genes except MAX2 explaining a large proportion of the variation. Using anonymous AFLP markers in the GWA with the 86 genotypes and the single locus analysis with the F1-population we could detect 15 and 17 additional marker-trait associations, respectively. Our analyses indicate a polygenic inheritance of the shoot branching in the chrysanthemum, with a fundamental role of the strigolactone pathway genes BRC1, CCD7, CCD8 and MAX2 and we identified 50 associated markers to all traits under study. These markers could be used in the selection of the parental plants for breeding chrysanthemums to enrich them for positive alleles influencing plant architecture traits. PMID:26780913

  15. Novel Molecular Architectures Developed for Improved Solid Polymer Electrolytes for Lithium Polymer Batteries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meador, Mary Ann B.; Kinder, James D.; Bennett, William R.

    2002-01-01

    Lithium-based polymer batteries for aerospace applications need the ability to operate in temperatures ranging from -70 to 70 C. Current state-of-the-art solid polymer electrolytes (based on amorphous polyethylene oxide, PEO) have acceptable ionic conductivities (10-4 to 10-3 S/cm) only above 60 C. Higher conductivity can be achieved in the current systems by adding solvent or plasticizers to the solid polymer to improve ion transport. However, this can compromise the dimensional and thermal stability of the electrolyte, as well as compatibility with electrode materials. One of NASA Glenn Research Center's objectives in the PERS program is to develop new electrolytes having unique molecular architectures and/or novel ion transport mechanisms, leading to good ionic conductivity at room temperature and below without solvents or plasticizers.

  16. Rehabilitation of masticatory function improves the alveolar bone architecture of the mandible in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Mavropoulos, Anestis; Odman, Anna; Ammann, Patrick; Kiliaridis, Stavros

    2010-09-01

    Masticatory functional changes have been shown to influence the quantity and quality of the alveolar bone during growth. This study was designed to investigate the effect of masticatory function rehabilitation on the morphology and the trabecular architecture of the mandibular alveolar bone after cessation of growth. Forty-four Sprague-Dawley male rats received soft diet in order to develop masticatory muscle hypofunction. After 21 weeks, after cessation of growth, the animals were divided into two groups: the first group continued receiving soft diet for six more weeks (hypofunction group), while the second group changed to ordinary (hard) diet with the aim to restore a normal masticatory function (rehabilitation group). A third group of 16 male rats (normal group) received ordinary (hard) diet during the whole experimental period and served as control. Micro-tomographic histomorphometry was used to evaluate the architecture of the mandibular alveolar bone (e.g. bone volume fraction, trabecular thickness, trabecular separation, etc.) at the end of the experiment (27 weeks). The height and width of the alveolar process were measured as well. The alveolar process trabecular bone volume fraction (BV/TV) was lower for the animals of the hypofunctional group as compared to those of the normal (p<0.01) and the rehabilitation (p<0.05) groups. Despite the significant improvement observed in the rehabilitation group, their BV/TV was lower in comparison to the normal group (p<0.05) at the end of this experiment. All the other micro-tomographic parameters followed the same pattern of change between groups; values of the rehabilitation group were between the values of the two other groups, differing significantly from both of them. The alveolar process was significantly shorter in the normal group in comparison to both the hypofunctional and rehabilitation groups (p<0.05). On the other hand, both the normal and rehabilitation groups were had a wider alveolar process than the

  17. Overexpression of OsEXPA8, a Root-Specific Gene, Improves Rice Growth and Root System Architecture by Facilitating Cell Extension

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Nana; Wang, Ying; Qiu, Shichun; Kang, Zhenhui; Che, Shugang; Wang, Guixue; Huang, Junli

    2013-01-01

    Expansins are unique plant cell wall proteins that are involved in cell wall modifications underlying many plant developmental processes. In this work, we investigated the possible biological role of the root-specific α-expansin gene OsEXPA8 in rice growth and development by generating transgenic plants. Overexpression of OsEXPA8 in rice plants yielded pleiotropic phenotypes of improved root system architecture (longer primary roots, more lateral roots and root hairs), increased plant height, enhanced leaf number and enlarged leaf size. Further study indicated that the average cell length in both leaf and root vascular bundles was enhanced, and the cell growth in suspension cultures was increased, which revealed the cellular basis for OsEXPA8-mediated rice plant growth acceleration. Expansins are thought to be a key factor required for cell enlargement and wall loosening. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) technology revealed that average wall stiffness values for 35S::OsEXPA8 transgenic suspension-cultured cells decreased over six-fold compared to wild-type counterparts during different growth phases. Moreover, a prominent change in the wall polymer composition of suspension cells was observed, and Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectra revealed a relative increase in the ratios of the polysaccharide/lignin content in cell wall compositions of OsEXPA8 overexpressors. These results support a role for expansins in cell expansion and plant growth. PMID:24124527

  18. Improved plant performance through evaporative steam condensing

    SciTech Connect

    Hutton, D.

    1998-07-01

    Combining an open cooling tower and a steam condenser into one common unit is a proven technology with many advantages in power generation application, including reduced first cost of equipment, reduced parasitic energy consumption, simplified design, reduced maintenance, and simplified water treatment, Performance of the steam turbine benefits from the direct approach to wet bulb temperature, and operating flexibility and reliability improve compared to a system with a cooling tower and surface condenser. System comparisons and case histories will be presented to substantiate improved systems economies.

  19. Rhizobacterial Strain Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 Induces Cellular Polyamine Changes that Improve Plant Growth and Drought Resistance.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Cheng; Ma, Zhongyou; Zhu, Lin; Xiao, Xin; Xie, Yue; Zhu, Jian; Wang, Jianfei

    2016-01-01

    Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria can improve plant growth, development, and stress adaptation. However, the underlying mechanisms are still largely unclear. We investigated the effects of Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 on Arabidopsis plants. BOFC15 produced and secreted spermidine (Spd), a type of polyamine (PA) that plays an important role in plant growth. Moreover, BOFC15 induced changes in the cellular PAs of plants that promoted an increase of free Spd and spermine levels. However, these effects were remarkably abolished by the addition of dicyclohexylamine (DCHA), a Spd biosynthetic inhibitor. Additionally, the inoculation with BOFC15 remarkably increased plant biomass, improved root system architecture, and augmented photosynthetic capacity. Inoculated plants also displayed stronger ability to tolerate drought stress than non-inoculated (control) plants. Abscisic acid (ABA) content was notably higher in the inoculated plants than in the control plants under drought stress and polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced stress conditions. However, the BOFC15-induced ABA synthesis was markedly inhibited by DCHA. Thus, microbial Spd participated in the modulation of the ABA levels. The Spd-producing BOFC15 improved plant drought tolerance, which was associated with altered cellular ABA levels and activated adaptive responses. PMID:27338359

  20. Rhizobacterial Strain Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 Induces Cellular Polyamine Changes that Improve Plant Growth and Drought Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Cheng; Ma, Zhongyou; Zhu, Lin; Xiao, Xin; Xie, Yue; Zhu, Jian; Wang, Jianfei

    2016-01-01

    Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria can improve plant growth, development, and stress adaptation. However, the underlying mechanisms are still largely unclear. We investigated the effects of Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 on Arabidopsis plants. BOFC15 produced and secreted spermidine (Spd), a type of polyamine (PA) that plays an important role in plant growth. Moreover, BOFC15 induced changes in the cellular PAs of plants that promoted an increase of free Spd and spermine levels. However, these effects were remarkably abolished by the addition of dicyclohexylamine (DCHA), a Spd biosynthetic inhibitor. Additionally, the inoculation with BOFC15 remarkably increased plant biomass, improved root system architecture, and augmented photosynthetic capacity. Inoculated plants also displayed stronger ability to tolerate drought stress than non-inoculated (control) plants. Abscisic acid (ABA) content was notably higher in the inoculated plants than in the control plants under drought stress and polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced stress conditions. However, the BOFC15-induced ABA synthesis was markedly inhibited by DCHA. Thus, microbial Spd participated in the modulation of the ABA levels. The Spd-producing BOFC15 improved plant drought tolerance, which was associated with altered cellular ABA levels and activated adaptive responses. PMID:27338359

  1. Nutritional improvements in plants: Time to bite on biofortified foods

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Modern breeding, molecular genetic and biotechnology studies frequently describe changes in plant metabolism to improve nutritional content; however, this is often where the process of assessing biofortification ends. Ideally, these modified plants need to be used in controlled animal and human feed...

  2. Compressed Air System Optimization Project Improves Production at a Metal Forging Plant (Modern Forge, TN, Plant)

    SciTech Connect

    2000-12-01

    In 1995, Modern Forge of Tennessee implemented a compressed air system improvement project at its Piney Flats, Tennessee, forging plant. Due to the project’s implementation, the plant was able to operate with fewer compressors and improve its product quality, thus allowing it to increase productivity. The project also resulted in considerable energy and maintenance savings.

  3. Plant microRNAs: key regulators of root architecture and biotic interactions.

    PubMed

    Couzigou, Jean-Malo; Combier, Jean-Philippe

    2016-10-01

    Contents 22 I. 22 II. 24 III. 25 IV. 27 V. 29 VI. 10 31 References 32 SUMMARY: Plants have evolved a remarkable faculty of adaptation to deal with various and changing environmental conditions. In this context, the roots have taken over nutritional aspects and the root system architecture can be modulated in response to nutrient availability or biotic interactions with soil microorganisms. This adaptability requires a fine tuning of gene expression. Indeed, root specification and development are highly complex processes requiring gene regulatory networks involved in hormonal regulations and cell identity. Among the different molecular partners governing root development, microRNAs (miRNAs) are key players for the fast regulation of gene expression. miRNAs are small RNAs involved in most developmental processes and are required for the normal growth of organisms, by the negative regulation of key genes, such as transcription factors and hormone receptors. Here, we review the known roles of miRNAs in root specification and development, from the embryonic roots to the establishment of root symbioses, highlighting the major roles of miRNAs in these processes. PMID:27292927

  4. Evolutionary divergence of the genetic architecture underlying photoperiodism in the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii.

    PubMed

    Lair, K P; Bradshaw, W E; Holzapfel, C M

    1997-12-01

    We determine the contribution of composite additive, dominance, and epistatic effects to the genetic divergence of photoperiodic response along latitudinal, altitudinal, and longitudinal gradients in the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii. Joint scaling tests of crosses between populations showed widespread epistasis as well as additive and dominance differences among populations. There were differences due to epistasis between an alpine population in North Carolina and populations in Florida, lowland North Carolina, and Maine. Longitudinal displacement resulted in differences due to epistasis between Florida and Alabama populations separated by 300 km but not between Maine and Wisconsin populations separated by 2000 km. Genetic differences between New Jersey and Ontario did not involve either dominance or epistasis and we estimated the minimum number of effective factors contributing to a difference in mean critical photoperiod of 5 SD between them as nE = 5. We propose that the genetic similarity of populations within a broad northern region is due to their more recent origin since recession of the Laurentide Ice Sheet and that the unique genetic architecture of each population is the result of both mutation and repeated migration-founder-flush episodes during the dispersal of W. smithii in North America. Our results suggest that differences in composite additive and dominance effects arise early in the genetic divergence of populations while differences due to epistasis accumulate after more prolonged isolation. PMID:9409843

  5. Evolutionary Divergence of the Genetic Architecture Underlying Photoperiodism in the Pitcher-Plant Mosquito, Wyeomyia Smithii

    PubMed Central

    Lair, K. P.; Bradshaw, W. E.; Holzapfel, C. M.

    1997-01-01

    We determine the contribution of composite additive, dominance, and epistatic effects to the genetic divergence of photoperiodic response along latitudinal, altitudinal, and longitudinal gradients in the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii. Joint scaling tests of crosses between populations showed wide-spread epistasis as well as additive and dominance differences among populations. There were differences due to epistasis between an alpine population in North Carolina and populations in Florida, lowland North Carolina, and Maine. Longitudinal displacement resulted in differences due to epistasis between Florida and Alabama populations separated by 300 km but not between Maine and Wisconsin populations separated by 2000 km. Genetic differences between New Jersey and Ontario did not involve either dominance or epistasis and we estimated the minimum number of effective factors contributing to a difference in mean critical photoperiod of 5 SD between them as n(E) = 5. We propose that the genetic similarity of populations within a broad northern region is due to their more recent origin since recession of the Laurentide Ice Sheet and that the unique genetic architecture of each population is the result of both mutation and repeated migration-founder-flush episodes during the dispersal of W. smithii in North America. Our results suggest that differences in composite additive and dominance effects arise early in the genetic divergence of populations while differences due to epistasis accumulate after more prolonged isolation. PMID:9409843

  6. Genetic architecture of sexual dimorphism in a subdioecious plant with a proto-sex chromosome.

    PubMed

    Spigler, Rachel B; Lewers, Kim S; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2011-04-01

    The rise of sexual dimorphism is thought to coincide with the evolution of sex chromosomes. Yet because sex chromosomes in many species are ancient, we lack empirical evidence of the earliest stages of this transition. We use QTL analysis to examine the genetic architecture of sexual dimorphism in subdioecious octoploid Fragaria virginiana. We demonstrate that the region housing the male-function locus controls the majority of quantitative variation in proportion fruit set, confirming the existence of a proto-sex chromosome, and houses major QTL for eight additional sexually dimorphic traits, consistent with theory and data from animals and plants with more advanced sex chromosomes. We also detected autosomal QTL, demonstrating contributions to phenotypic variation in sexually dimorphic traits outside the sex-determining region. Moreover, for proportion seed set we found significant epistatic interactions between autosomal QTL and the male-function locus, indicating sex-limited QTL. We identified linked QTL reflecting trade-offs between male and female traits expected from theory and positive integration of male traits. These findings indicate the potential for the evolution of greater sexual dimorphism. Involvement of linkage groups homeologous to the proto-sex chromosome in these correlations reflects the polyploid origin of F. virginiana and raises the possibility that chromosomes in this homeologous group were predisposed to become the sex chromosome. PMID:21062281

  7. Dietary Pseudopurpurin Improves Bone Geometry Architecture and Metabolism in Red-Bone Guishan Goats

    PubMed Central

    Han, TieSuo; Li, Peng; Wang, JianGuo; Liu, GuoWen; Wang, Zhe; Ge, ChangRong; Gao, ShiZheng

    2012-01-01

    Red-colored bones were found initially in some Guishan goats in the 1980s, and they were designated red-boned goats. However, it is not understood what causes the red color in the bone, or whether the red material changes the bone geometry, architecture, and metabolism of red-boned goats. Pseudopurpurin was identified in the red-colored material of the bone in red-boned goats by high-performance liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization–mass spetrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. Pseudopurpurin is one of the main constituents of Rubia cordifolia L, which is eaten by the goats. The assessment of the mechanical properties and micro-computed tomography showed that the red-boned goats displayed an increase in the trabecular volume fraction, trabecular thickness, and the number of trabeculae in the distal femur. The mean thickness, inner perimeter, outer perimeter, and area of the femoral diaphysis were also increased. In addition, the trabecular separation and structure model index of the distal femur were decreased, but the bone mineral density of the whole femur and the mechanical properties of the femoral diaphysis were enhanced in the red-boned goats. Meanwhile, expression of alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin mRNA was higher, and the ratio of the receptor activator of the nuclear factor kappa B ligand to osteoprotegerin was markedly lower in the bone marrow of the red-boned goats compared with common goats. To confirm further the effect of pseudopurpurin on bone geometry, architecture, and metabolism, Wistar rats were fed diets to which pseudopurpurin was added for 5 months. Similar changes were observed in the femurs of the treated rats. The above results demonstrate that pseudopurpurin has a close affinity with the mineral salts of bone, and consequently a high level of mineral salts in the bone cause an improvement in bone strength and an enhancement in the structure and metabolic functions of the bone. PMID:22624037

  8. Quantification of risks from technology for improved plant reliability

    SciTech Connect

    Rode, D.M.

    1996-12-31

    One of the least understood and therefore appreciated threats to profitability are risks from power plant technologies such as steam generators, turbines, and electrical systems. To effectively manage technological risks, business decisions need to be based on knowledge. The scope of the paper describes a quantification or risk process that combines technical knowledge and judgments with commercial consequences. The three principle alternatives to manage risks as well as risk mitigation techniques for significant equipment within a power plant are reported. The result is to equip the decision maker with a comprehensive picture of the risk exposures enabling cost effective activities to be undertaken to improve a plant`s reliability.

  9. Overexpression of AtLOV1 in Switchgrass Alters Plant Architecture, Lignin Content, and Flowering Time

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Bin; Sathitsuksanoh, Noppadon; Tang, Yuhong; Udvardi, Michael K.; Zhang, Ji-Yi; Shen, Zhengxing; Balota, Maria; Harich, Kim; Zhang, Percival Y.-H.; Zhao, Bingyu

    2012-01-01

    Background Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a prime candidate crop for biofuel feedstock production in the United States. As it is a self-incompatible polyploid perennial species, breeding elite and stable switchgrass cultivars with traditional breeding methods is very challenging. Translational genomics may contribute significantly to the genetic improvement of switchgrass, especially for the incorporation of elite traits that are absent in natural switchgrass populations. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, we constitutively expressed an Arabidopsis NAC transcriptional factor gene, LONG VEGETATIVE PHASE ONE (AtLOV1), in switchgrass. Overexpression of AtLOV1 in switchgrass caused the plants to have a smaller leaf angle by changing the morphology and organization of epidermal cells in the leaf collar region. Also, overexpression of AtLOV1 altered the lignin content and the monolignol composition of cell walls, and caused delayed flowering time. Global gene-expression analysis of the transgenic plants revealed an array of responding genes with predicted functions in plant development, cell wall biosynthesis, and flowering. Conclusions/Significance To our knowledge, this is the first report of a single ectopically expressed transcription factor altering the leaf angle, cell wall composition, and flowering time of switchgrass, therefore demonstrating the potential advantage of translational genomics for the genetic improvement of this crop. PMID:23300513

  10. Strategies for Improving Potassium Use Efficiency in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Ryoung

    2014-01-01

    Potassium is a macronutrient that is crucial for healthy plant growth. Potassium availability, however, is often limited in agricultural fields and thus crop yields and quality are reduced. Therefore, improving the efficiency of potassium uptake and transport, as well as its utilization, in plants is important for agricultural sustainability. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms involved in potassium uptake and transport in plants, and the molecular response of plants to different levels of potassium availability. Based on this information, four strategies for improving potassium use efficiency in plants are proposed; 1) increased root volume, 2) increasing efficiency of potassium uptake from the soil and translocation in planta, 3) increasing mobility of potassium in soil, and 4) molecular breeding new varieties with greater potassium efficiency through marker assisted selection which will require identification and utilization of potassium associated quantitative trait loci. PMID:24938230

  11. Strategies for improving potassium use efficiency in plants.

    PubMed

    Shin, Ryoung

    2014-08-01

    Potassium is a macronutrient that is crucial for healthy plant growth. Potassium availability, however, is often limited in agricultural fields and thus crop yields and quality are reduced. Therefore, improving the efficiency of potassium uptake and transport, as well as its utilization, in plants is important for agricultural sustainability. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms involved in potassium uptake and transport in plants, and the molecular response of plants to different levels of potassium availability. Based on this information, four strategies for improving potassium use efficiency in plants are proposed; 1) increased root volume, 2) increasing efficiency of potassium uptake from the soil and translocation in planta, 3) increasing mobility of potassium in soil, and 4) molecular breeding new varieties with greater potassium efficiency through marker assisted selection which will require identification and utilization of potassium associated quantitative trait loci. PMID:24938230

  12. IMPROVING TACONITE PROCESSING PLANT EFFICIENCY BY COMPUTER SIMULATION, Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    William M. Bond; Salih Ersayin

    2007-03-30

    This project involved industrial scale testing of a mineral processing simulator to improve the efficiency of a taconite processing plant, namely the Minorca mine. The Concentrator Modeling Center at the Coleraine Minerals Research Laboratory, University of Minnesota Duluth, enhanced the capabilities of available software, Usim Pac, by developing mathematical models needed for accurate simulation of taconite plants. This project provided funding for this technology to prove itself in the industrial environment. As the first step, data representing existing plant conditions were collected by sampling and sample analysis. Data were then balanced and provided a basis for assessing the efficiency of individual devices and the plant, and also for performing simulations aimed at improving plant efficiency. Performance evaluation served as a guide in developing alternative process strategies for more efficient production. A large number of computer simulations were then performed to quantify the benefits and effects of implementing these alternative schemes. Modification of makeup ball size was selected as the most feasible option for the target performance improvement. This was combined with replacement of existing hydrocyclones with more efficient ones. After plant implementation of these modifications, plant sampling surveys were carried out to validate findings of the simulation-based study. Plant data showed very good agreement with the simulated data, confirming results of simulation. After the implementation of modifications in the plant, several upstream bottlenecks became visible. Despite these bottlenecks limiting full capacity, concentrator energy improvement of 7% was obtained. Further improvements in energy efficiency are expected in the near future. The success of this project demonstrated the feasibility of a simulation-based approach. Currently, the Center provides simulation-based service to all the iron ore mining companies operating in northern

  13. A general approach for combining diverse rare variant association tests provides improved robustness across a wider range of genetic architectures.

    PubMed

    Greco, Brian; Hainline, Allison; Arbet, Jaron; Grinde, Kelsey; Benitez, Alejandra; Tintle, Nathan

    2016-05-01

    The widespread availability of genome sequencing data made possible by way of next-generation technologies has yielded a flood of different gene-based rare variant association tests. Most of these tests have been published because they have superior power for particular genetic architectures. However, for applied researchers it is challenging to know which test to choose in practice when little is known a priori about genetic architecture. Recently, tests have been proposed which combine two particular individual tests (one burden and one variance components) to minimize power loss while improving robustness to a wider range of genetic architectures. In our analysis we propose an expansion of these approaches, yielding a general method that works for combining any number of individual tests. We demonstrate that running multiple different tests on the same data set and using a Bonferroni correction for multiple testing is never better than combining tests using our general method. We also find that using a test statistic that is highly robust to the inclusion of non-causal variants (joint-infinity) together with a previously published combined test (sequence kernel adaptive test-optimal) provides improved robustness to a wide range of genetic architectures and should be considered for use in practice. Software for this approach is supplied. We support the increased use of combined tests in practice - as well as further exploration of novel combined testing approaches using the general framework provided here - to maximize robustness of rare variant testing strategies against a wide range of genetic architectures. PMID:26508571

  14. Electron tomography of cryo-immobilized plant tissue: a novel approach to studying 3D macromolecular architecture of mature plant cell walls in situ.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Purbasha; Bosneaga, Elena; Yap, Edgar G; Das, Jyotirmoy; Tsai, Wen-Ting; Cabal, Angelo; Neuhaus, Erica; Maji, Dolonchampa; Kumar, Shailabh; Joo, Michael; Yakovlev, Sergey; Csencsits, Roseann; Yu, Zeyun; Bajaj, Chandrajit; Downing, Kenneth H; Auer, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    Cost-effective production of lignocellulosic biofuel requires efficient breakdown of cell walls present in plant biomass to retrieve the wall polysaccharides for fermentation. In-depth knowledge of plant cell wall composition is therefore essential for improving the fuel production process. The precise spatial three-dimensional (3D) organization of cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin and lignin within plant cell walls remains unclear to date since the microscopy techniques used so far have been limited to two-dimensional, topographic or low-resolution imaging, or required isolation or chemical extraction of the cell walls. In this paper we demonstrate that by cryo-immobilizing fresh tissue, then either cryo-sectioning or freeze-substituting and resin embedding, followed by cryo- or room temperature (RT) electron tomography, respectively, we can visualize previously unseen details of plant cell wall architecture in 3D, at macromolecular resolution (∼ 2 nm), and in near-native state. Qualitative and quantitative analyses showed that wall organization of cryo-immobilized samples were preserved remarkably better than conventionally prepared samples that suffer substantial extraction. Lignin-less primary cell walls were well preserved in both self-pressurized rapidly frozen (SPRF), cryo-sectioned samples as well as high-pressure frozen, freeze-substituted and resin embedded (HPF-FS-resin) samples. Lignin-rich secondary cell walls appeared featureless in HPF-FS-resin sections presumably due to poor stain penetration, but their macromolecular features could be visualized in unprecedented details in our cryo-sections. While cryo-tomography of vitreous tissue sections is currently proving to be instrumental in developing 3D models of lignin-rich secondary cell walls, here we confirm that the technically easier method of RT-tomography of HPF-FS-resin sections could be used immediately for routine study of low-lignin cell walls. As a proof of principle, we characterized the

  15. Electron Tomography of Cryo-Immobilized Plant Tissue: A Novel Approach to Studying 3D Macromolecular Architecture of Mature Plant Cell Walls In Situ

    PubMed Central

    Sarkar, Purbasha; Bosneaga, Elena; Yap, Edgar G.; Das, Jyotirmoy; Tsai, Wen-Ting; Cabal, Angelo; Neuhaus, Erica; Maji, Dolonchampa; Kumar, Shailabh; Joo, Michael; Yakovlev, Sergey; Csencsits, Roseann; Yu, Zeyun; Bajaj, Chandrajit; Downing, Kenneth H.; Auer, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    Cost-effective production of lignocellulosic biofuel requires efficient breakdown of cell walls present in plant biomass to retrieve the wall polysaccharides for fermentation. In-depth knowledge of plant cell wall composition is therefore essential for improving the fuel production process. The precise spatial three-dimensional (3D) organization of cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin and lignin within plant cell walls remains unclear to date since the microscopy techniques used so far have been limited to two-dimensional, topographic or low-resolution imaging, or required isolation or chemical extraction of the cell walls. In this paper we demonstrate that by cryo-immobilizing fresh tissue, then either cryo-sectioning or freeze-substituting and resin embedding, followed by cryo- or room temperature (RT) electron tomography, respectively, we can visualize previously unseen details of plant cell wall architecture in 3D, at macromolecular resolution (∼2 nm), and in near-native state. Qualitative and quantitative analyses showed that wall organization of cryo-immobilized samples were preserved remarkably better than conventionally prepared samples that suffer substantial extraction. Lignin-less primary cell walls were well preserved in both self-pressurized rapidly frozen (SPRF), cryo-sectioned samples as well as high-pressure frozen, freeze-substituted and resin embedded (HPF-FS-resin) samples. Lignin-rich secondary cell walls appeared featureless in HPF-FS-resin sections presumably due to poor stain penetration, but their macromolecular features could be visualized in unprecedented details in our cryo-sections. While cryo-tomography of vitreous tissue sections is currently proving to be instrumental in developing 3D models of lignin-rich secondary cell walls, here we confirm that the technically easier method of RT-tomography of HPF-FS-resin sections could be used immediately for routine study of low-lignin cell walls. As a proof of principle, we characterized the

  16. Improving the durability of methanol oxidation reaction electro-catalysts through the modification of carbon architectures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Kevin N.

    Carbon materials represent one of the largest areas of studied research today, having integrated applications stretching from energy production and storage to medical use and far beyond. One of these many intriguing applications is fuel cells, which offers the promise of clean electricity through a direct electrochemical energy conversion process. Unfortunately, at the present time the cost per watt-hour produced by fuel cells is more expensive than conventional methods of energy production/storage (i.e. combustion engines, batteries, etc.). Under the umbrella of fuel cell systems, methanol is a promising fuel source because of its high energy density and convenience of direct liquid fuel operation. In this field, recent advancements are bringing direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) closer to commercial viability. However, just as in other fuel cell systems, further improvements are greatly needed, particularly in the area of catalyst durability. This need for improved durability has led to increased research activity focused on improving catalyst stability and utilization. This thesis explores one of the most promising areas of enhancing catalyst-support interactions; namely, modification of carbon support architectures. Through the use of heteroatom modifiers, such as nitrogen, fuel cell support systems can be enhanced in such a way as to improve metal nucleation and growth, catalyst durability and catalytic activity. To this end, this thesis employs advanced characterization techniques to study the changes in catalyst particle morphology before and after nitrogen modification of the support structure. These results clearly show the beneficial effects of nitrogen moieties on carbon structures and help elucidate the effects of nitrogen on the stability of supported catalytic nanoparticles systems. Similarly, the novel concept of post-modifying commercially available supported catalysts with nitrogen ion implantation gives further insight into the behavior of

  17. First evidence of root morphological and architectural variations in young Posidonia oceanica plants colonizing different substrate typologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balestri, Elena; de Battisti, Davide; Vallerini, Flavia; Lardicci, Claudio

    2015-03-01

    Root morphology and root system architecture of young Posidonia oceanica plants established on two contrasting substrate types, sand and rock, were examined to provide insights into the strategy of adaptation of seagrasses to their environment. After germination, seedlings were planted on sandy patches and on rock within the same area, and survived plants were collected five years later for measurements of the size of the entire root complex and analysis of individual morphological and architectural root traits. Collected plants exhibited up to nine highly intermingled root systems and approx. 2.5 m of total root length. Maximum horizontal extension, total biomass and total length of roots were not significantly affected by substrate. However, on sand roots grew vertically reaching up to 13 cm, while on rock they extended more horizontally and did not penetrate deeper than 5-7 cm leading to the formation of a shallow, densely packed root complex. On rock, the number and the length of second-order laterals on an individual root system were reduced and the topological index higher than on sand (0.8 vs. 0.7) reflecting a more simple (herringbone) branching pattern. Again, root diameter was greater than on sand. The results suggest that P. oceanica can adjust root traits early during plant development according to substrate typology to maximize anchorage and substrate exploration efficiency. This plasticity enables the species to establish and persist also on rocky bottoms which generally prevent establishment of the majority of seagrasses.

  18. Guide for prioritizing power plant productivity improvement projects: handbook of availability improvement methodology

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-09-15

    As part of its program to help improve electrical power plant productivity, the Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a methodology for evaluating productivity improvement projects. This handbook presents a simplified version of this methodology called the Availability Improvement Methodology (AIM), which provides a systematic approach for prioritizing plant improvement projects. Also included in this handbook is a description of data taking requirements necessary to support the AIM methodology, benefit/cost analysis, and root cause analysis for tracing persistent power plant problems. In applying the AIM methodology, utility engineers should be mindful that replacement power costs are frequently greater for forced outages than for planned outages. Equivalent availability includes both. A cost-effective ranking of alternative plant improvement projects must discern between those projects which will reduce forced outages and those which might reduce planned outages. As is the case with any analytical procedure, engineering judgement must be exercised with respect to results of purely mathematical calculations.

  19. Insights into plant cell wall structure, architecture, and integrity using glycome profiling of native and AFEXTM -pre-treated biomass

    SciTech Connect

    Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G.; Dale, Bruce E.; Chundawat, Shishir P. S.

    2015-04-23

    We report that cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, vary considerably in their structure, composition, and architecture. Studies on plant cell walls can be conducted on both native and pre-treated plant biomass samples, allowing an enhanced understanding of these structural and compositional variations. Here glycome profiling was employed to determine the relative abundance of matrix polysaccharides in several phylogenetically distinct native and pre-treated plant biomasses. Eight distinct biomass types belonging to four different subgroups (i.e. monocot grasses, woody dicots, herbaceous dicots, and softwoods) were subjected to various regimes of AFEX™ (ammonia fiber expansion) pre-treatment [AFEX is a trademark of MBI, Lansing (http://www.mbi.org]. This approach allowed detailed analysis of close to 200 cell wall glycan epitopes and their relative extractability using a high-throughput platform. In general, irrespective of the phylogenetic origin, AFEX™ pre-treatment appeared to cause loosening and improved accessibility of various xylan epitope subclasses in most plant biomass materials studied. For most biomass types analysed, such loosening was also evident for other major non-cellulosic components including subclasses of pectin and xyloglucan epitopes. The studies also demonstrate that AFEX™ pre-treatment significantly reduced cell wall recalcitrance among diverse phylogenies (except softwoods) by inducing structural modifications to polysaccharides that were not detectable by conventional gross composition analyses. Lastly, we found that monitoring changes in cell wall glycan compositions and their relative extractability for untreated and pre-treated plant biomass can provide an improved understanding of variations in structure and composition of plant cell walls and delineate the role(s) of matrix polysaccharides in cell wall recalcitrance.

  20. Improving Polymerase Activity with Unnatural Substrates by Sampling Mutations in Homologous Protein Architectures.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Matthew R; Otto, Carine; Fenton, Kathryn E; Chaput, John C

    2016-05-20

    The ability to synthesize and propagate genetic information encoded in the framework of xeno-nucleic acid (XNA) polymers would inform a wide range of topics from the origins of life to synthetic biology. While directed evolution has produced examples of engineered polymerases that can accept XNA substrates, these enzymes function with reduced activity relative to their natural counterparts. Here, we describe a biochemical strategy that enables the discovery of engineered polymerases with improved activity for a given unnatural polymerase function. Our approach involves identifying specificity determining residues (SDRs) that control polymerase activity, screening mutations at SDR positions in a model polymerase scaffold, and assaying key gain-of-function mutations in orthologous protein architectures. By transferring beneficial mutations between homologous protein structures, we show that new polymerases can be identified that function with superior activity relative to their starting donor scaffold. This concept, which we call scaffold sampling, was used to generate engineered DNA polymerases that can faithfully synthesize RNA and TNA (threose nucleic acid), respectively, on a DNA template with high primer-extension efficiency and low template sequence bias. We suggest that the ability to combine phenotypes from different donor and recipient scaffolds provides a new paradigm in polymerase engineering where natural structural diversity can be used to refine the catalytic activity of synthetic enzymes. PMID:26860781

  1. The involvement of expansins in responses to phosphorus availability in wheat, and its potentials in improving phosphorus efficiency of plants.

    PubMed

    Han, Yang-yang; Zhou, Shan; Chen, Yan-hui; Kong, Xiangzhu; Xu, Ying; Wang, Wei

    2014-05-01

    Phosphorus (P) is a critical macronutrient required for numerous functions in plants and is one of the limiting factors for plant growth. Phosphate availability has a strong effect on root system architecture. Expansins are encoded by a superfamily of genes that are organized into four families, and growing evidence has demonstrated that expansins are involved in almost all aspects of plant development, especially root development. In the current study, we demonstrate that expansins may be involved in increasing phosphorus availability by regulating the growth and development of plant roots. Multiple expansins (five α- and nine β-expansin genes) were up- or down-regulated in response to phosphorus and showed different expression patterns in wheat. Meanwhile, the expression level of TaEXPB23 was up-regulated at excess-P condition, suggesting the involvement of TaEXPB23 in phosphorus adaptability. Overexpression of the TaEXPB23 resulted in improved phenotypes, particularly improved root system architecture, as indicated by the increased number of lateral roots in transgenic tobacco plants under excess-P and low-P conditions. Thus, these transgenic plants maintained better photosynthetic gas exchange ability than the control under both P-sufficient and P-deficient conditions. PMID:24636907

  2. Centralized and Modular Architectures for Photovoltaic Panels with Improved Efficiency: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Dhakal, B.; Mancilla-David, F.; Muljadi, E.

    2012-07-01

    The most common type of photovoltaic installation in residential applications is the centralized architecture, but the performance of a centralized architecture is adversely affected when it is subject to partial shading effects due to clouds or surrounding obstacles, such as trees. An alternative modular approach can be implemented using several power converters with partial throughput power processing capability. This paper presents a detailed study of these two architectures for the same throughput power level and compares the overall efficiencies using a set of rapidly changing real solar irradiance data collected by the Solar Radiation Research Laboratory at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

  3. Advanced thermometrics for fossil power plant process improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Shepard, R.L.; Weiss, J.M.; Holcomb, D.E.

    1996-04-30

    Improved temperature measurements in fossil power plants can reduce heat rate and uncertainties in power production efficiencies, extend the life of plant components, reduce maintenance costs, and lessen emissions. Conventional instruments for measurement of combustion temperatures, steam temperatures, and structural component temperatures can be improved by better specification, in situ calibration, signal processing, and performance monitoring. Innovative instruments can enhance, augment, or replace conventional instruments. Several critical temperatures can be accessed using new methods that were impossible with conventional instruments. Such instruments include high temperature resistance temperature detectors (RTDs), thermometric phosphors, inductive thermometry, and ultrasonic thermometry.

  4. Improving the safety of LWR power plants. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-04-01

    This report documents the results of the Study to identify current, potential research issues and efforts for improving the safety of Light Water Reactor (LWR) power plants. This final report describes the work accomplished, the results obtained, the problem areas, and the recommended solutions. Specifically, for each of the issues identified in this report for improving the safety of LWR power plants, a description is provided in detail of the safety significance, the current status (including information sources, status of technical knowledge, problem solution and current activities), and the suggestions for further research and development. Further, the issues are ranked for action into high, medium, and low priority with respect to primarily (a) improved safety (e.g. potential reduction in public risk and occupational exposure), and secondly (b) reduction in safety-related costs (improving or maintaining level of safety with simpler systems or in a more cost-effective manner).

  5. L-Py: An L-System Simulation Framework for Modeling Plant Architecture Development Based on a Dynamic Language

    PubMed Central

    Boudon, Frédéric; Pradal, Christophe; Cokelaer, Thomas; Prusinkiewicz, Przemyslaw; Godin, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    The study of plant development requires increasingly powerful modeling tools to help understand and simulate the growth and functioning of plants. In the last decade, the formalism of L-systems has emerged as a major paradigm for modeling plant development. Previous implementations of this formalism were made based on static languages, i.e., languages that require explicit definition of variable types before using them. These languages are often efficient but involve quite a lot of syntactic overhead, thus restricting the flexibility of use for modelers. In this work, we present an adaptation of L-systems to the Python language, a popular and powerful open-license dynamic language. We show that the use of dynamic language properties makes it possible to enhance the development of plant growth models: (i) by keeping a simple syntax while allowing for high-level programming constructs, (ii) by making code execution easy and avoiding compilation overhead, (iii) by allowing a high-level of model reusability and the building of complex modular models, and (iv) by providing powerful solutions to integrate MTG data-structures (that are a common way to represent plants at several scales) into L-systems and thus enabling to use a wide spectrum of computer tools based on MTGs developed for plant architecture. We then illustrate the use of L-Py in real applications to build complex models or to teach plant modeling in the classroom. PMID:22670147

  6. L-py: an L-system simulation framework for modeling plant architecture development based on a dynamic language.

    PubMed

    Boudon, Frédéric; Pradal, Christophe; Cokelaer, Thomas; Prusinkiewicz, Przemyslaw; Godin, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    The study of plant development requires increasingly powerful modeling tools to help understand and simulate the growth and functioning of plants. In the last decade, the formalism of L-systems has emerged as a major paradigm for modeling plant development. Previous implementations of this formalism were made based on static languages, i.e., languages that require explicit definition of variable types before using them. These languages are often efficient but involve quite a lot of syntactic overhead, thus restricting the flexibility of use for modelers. In this work, we present an adaptation of L-systems to the Python language, a popular and powerful open-license dynamic language. We show that the use of dynamic language properties makes it possible to enhance the development of plant growth models: (i) by keeping a simple syntax while allowing for high-level programming constructs, (ii) by making code execution easy and avoiding compilation overhead, (iii) by allowing a high-level of model reusability and the building of complex modular models, and (iv) by providing powerful solutions to integrate MTG data-structures (that are a common way to represent plants at several scales) into L-systems and thus enabling to use a wide spectrum of computer tools based on MTGs developed for plant architecture. We then illustrate the use of L-Py in real applications to build complex models or to teach plant modeling in the classroom. PMID:22670147

  7. Integrating New Technology Solutions to Improve Plant Operations

    SciTech Connect

    HEAVIN, ERIC

    2004-06-29

    Continuing advancements in software and hardware technology are providing facilities the opportunity for improvements in the areas of safety, regulatory compliance, administrative control, data collection, and reporting. Implementing these changes to improve plant operating efficiency can also create many challenges which include but are not limited to: justifying cost, planning for scalability, implementing applications across varied platforms, integrating multitudes of proprietary vendor applications, and creating a common vision for diverse process improvement projects. The Defense Programs (DP) facility at the Savannah River Site meets these challenges on a daily basis. Like many other plants, DP, has room for improvement when it comes to effective and clear communication, data entry, data storage, and system integration. Specific examples of areas targeted for improvement include: shift turnover meetings using system status data one to two hours old, lockouts and alarm inhibits performed on points on the Distributed Control System (DCS) and tracked in a paper logbook, disconnected systems preventing preemptive correction of regulatory compliance issues, and countless examples of additional task and data duplication on independent systems. Investment of time, money, and careful planning addressing these issues are already providing returns in the form of increased efficiency, improved plant tracking and reduced cost of implementing the next process improvement. Specific examples of improving plant operations through thoroughly planned Rapid Application Development of new applications are discussed. Integration of dissimilar and independent data sources (NovaTech D/3 DCS, SQL Server, Access, Filemaker Pro, etc.) is also explored. The tangible benefits of the implementation of the different programs to solve the operational problems previously described are analyzed in an in-depth and comparative manner.

  8. In vivo assessment of a new multifunctional coating architecture for improved Mg alloy biocompatibility.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Pedro S; Zomorodian, Amir; Kwiatkowski, Lech; Lutze, Rafal; Balkowiec, Alicja; Colaço, Bruno; Pinheiro, Vitor; Fernandes, João C S; Montemor, Maria F; Fernandes, Maria H

    2016-01-01

    Magnesium alloys are regarded as potential biodegradable load-bearing biomaterials for orthopedic applications due to their physico-chemical and biomechanical properties. However, their clinical applicability is restricted by their high degradation rate, which limits the physiological reconstruction of the neighbouring tissues. In this work, a multifunctional coating architecture was developed on an AZ31 alloy by conjoining an anodization process with the deposition of a polymeric-based layer consisting of polyether imine reinforced with hydroxyapatite nanoparticles, aiming at improved control of the corrosion activity and biological performance of the Mg substrate. Anodization and coating protocols were evaluated either independently or combined for corrosion resistance and biological behaviour, i.e. the irritation potential and angiogenic capability within a chicken chorioallantoic membrane assay, and bone tissue response following tibia implantation within a rabbit model. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) analysis showed that coated Mg constructs, particularly anodized plus coated with AZ31, exhibited excellent stability compared to the anodized alloy and, particularly, to the bare AZ31. Microtomographic evaluation of the implanted samples correlated with these degradation results. Mg constructs displayed a non-irritating behaviour, and were associated with high levels of vascular ingrowth. Bone ingrowth neighbouring the implanted constructs was observed for all samples, with coated and anodized plus coated samples presenting the highest bone formation. Gene expression analysis suggested that the enhanced bone tissue formation was associated with the boost in osteogenic activity through Runx2 upregulation, following the activation of PGC-1α/ERRα signaling. Overall, the developed multifunctional coatings appear to be a promising strategy to obtain safe and bioactive biodegradable Mg-based implants with potential applications within bone tissue. PMID

  9. New catalyst improves sulfur recovery at Canadian plant

    SciTech Connect

    Nasato, E. ); MacDougall, R.S. ); Lagas, J.A. )

    1994-02-28

    Installation at Mobil Oil Canada Ltd.'s Lone Pine Creek, Alta., gas plant of a second-generation Superclaus catalyst has, combined with the first-generation catalyst, resulted in higher overall sulfur recovery at lower reactor temperatures. Superclaus reactor inlet temperatures have been reduced from 255 to 200 C. and as a result have saved on utility costs and reduced tail-gas flow and CO[sub 2] emissions. Initial results indicate overall plant sulfur recovery has improved to the 98.7--98.9% range, up from the 98.0--98.3% first-generation catalyst performance level. The enhanced second-generation catalyst has also proven more operationally flexible than the first-generation catalyst. The paper describes the improved catalyst, the Superclaus process, catalyst performance, catalyst loading, equipment modifications, and performance of the plant.

  10. Genomics Approaches For Improving Salinity Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants.

    PubMed

    Nongpiur, Ramsong Chantre; Singla-Pareek, Sneh Lata; Pareek, Ashwani

    2016-08-01

    Salinity is one of the major factors which reduces crop production worldwide. Plant responses to salinity are highly complex and involve a plethora of genes. Due to its multigenicity, it has been difficult to attain a complete understanding of how plants respond to salinity. Genomics has progressed tremendously over the past decade and has played a crucial role towards providing necessary knowledge for crop improvement. Through genomics, we have been able to identify and characterize the genes involved in salinity stress response, map out signaling pathways and ultimately utilize this information for improving the salinity tolerance of existing crops. The use of new tools, such as gene pyramiding, in genetic engineering and marker assisted breeding has tremendously enhanced our ability to generate stress tolerant crops. Genome editing technologies such as Zinc finger nucleases, TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 also provide newer and faster avenues for plant biologists to generate precisely engineered crops. PMID:27499683

  11. Conservation and restoration of indigenous plants to improve community livelihoods: the Useful Plants Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulian, Tiziana; Sacandé, Moctar; Mattana, Efisio

    2014-05-01

    Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership (MSBP) is one of the largest ex situ plant conservation initiatives, which is focused on saving plants in and from regions most at risk, particularly in drylands. Seeds are collected and stored in seed banks in the country of origin and duplicated in the Millennium Seed Bank in the UK. The MSBP also strengthens the capacity of local communities to successfully conserve and sustainably use indigenous plants, which are important for their wellbeing. Since 2007, high quality seed collections and research information have been gathered on ca. 700 useful indigenous plant species that were selected by communities in Botswana, Kenya, Mali, Mexico and South Africa through Project MGU - The Useful Plants Project. These communities range from various farmer's groups and organisations to traditional healers, organic cotton/crop producers and primary schools. The information on seed conservation and plant propagation was used to train communities and to propagate ca. 200 species that were then planted in local gardens, and as species reintroduced for reforestation programmes and enriching village forests. Experimental plots have also been established to further investigate the field performance (plant survival and growth rate) of indigenous species, using low cost procedures. In addition, the activities support revenue generation for local communities directly through the sustainable use of plant products or indirectly through wider environmental and cultural services. This project has confirmed the potential of biodiversity conservation to improve food security and human health, enhance community livelihoods and strengthen the resilience of land and people to the changing climate. This approach of using indigenous species and having local communities play a central role from the selection of species to their planting and establishment, supported by complementary research, may represent a model for other regions of the world, where

  12. Engineering performance monitoring: Sustained contributions to plant performance improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Bebko, J.J. )

    1992-01-01

    With the aim of achieving excellence in an engineering department that makes both individual project-by-project contributions to plant performance improvement and sustained overall contributions to plant performance, the Niagara Mohawk Nuclear Engineering Department went back to the basics of running a business and established an Engineering Performance Monitoring System. This system focused on the unique products and services of the department and their cost, schedule, and quality parameters. The goals were to provide the best possible service to customers and the generation department and to be one of the best engineering departments in the industry.

  13. Improving geothermal power plants with a binary cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomarov, G. V.; Shipkov, A. A.; Sorokina, E. V.

    2015-12-01

    The recent development of binary geothermal technology is analyzed. General trends in the introduction of low-temperature geothermal sources are summarized. The use of single-phase low-temperature geothermal fluids in binary power plants proves possible and expedient. The benefits of power plants with a binary cycle in comparison with traditional systems are shown. The selection of the working fluid is considered, and the influence of the fluid's physicochemical properties on the design of the binary power plant is discussed. The design of binary power plants is based on the chemical composition and energy potential of the geothermal fluids and on the landscape and climatic conditions at the intended location. Experience in developing a prototype 2.5 MW Russian binary power unit at Pauzhetka geothermal power plant (Kamchatka) is outlined. Most binary systems are designed individually for a specific location. Means of improving the technology and equipment at binary geothermal power plants are identified. One option is the development of modular systems based on several binary systems that employ the heat from the working fluid at different temperatures.

  14. Population rules can apply to individual plants and affect their architecture: an evaluation on the cushion plant Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Puntieri, Javier G.; Damascos, María A.; Llancaqueo, Yanina; Svriz, Maya

    2010-01-01

    Background and aims Plants are regarded as populations of modules such as axes and growth units (GUs, i.e. seasonally produced axis segments). Due to their dense arrays of GUs, cushion plants may resemble crowded plant populations in the way the number of components (GUs in plants, individuals in populations) relates to their individual sizes. Methodology The morphological differentiation of GUs and its relationship with biomass accumulation and plant size were studied for the cushion subshrub Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae), a widespread species in dry areas of Patagonia. In 2009, GUs were sampled from one-quarter of each of 24 adult plants. Within- and between-plant variations in GU length, diameter, number of nodes and biomass were analysed and related to whole-plant size. Principal results Each year, an M. spinosum cushion develops flowering GUs and vegetative GUs. Flowering GUs are larger, twice as numerous and contain two to four times more dry mass (excluding reproductive structures) than vegetative GUs. The hemispherical area of the cushions was positively correlated with the biomass of last-year GUs. The biomass of flowering GUs was negatively correlated with the density of GUs. Mulinum spinosum plants exhibited a notable differentiation between flowering and vegetative GUs, but their axes, i.e. the sequences of GUs, were not differentiated throughout the plants. Flowering GUs comprised a major proportion of each plant's photosynthetic tissues. Conclusions A decrease in the size of flowering GUs and in their number relative to the total number of GUs per plant, parallel to an increase in GU density, is predicted as M. spinosum plants age over years. The assimilative role of vegetative GUs is expected to increase in summer because of their less exposed position in the cushion. These GUs would therefore gain more from warm and dry conditions than flowering GUs. PMID:22476077

  15. Convergence in light capture efficiencies among tropical forest understory plants with contrasting crown architectures: a case of morphological compensation.

    PubMed

    Valladares, Fernando; Skillman, John B; Pearcy, Robert W

    2002-08-01

    Leaf and crown characteristics were examined for 24 tree and herbaceous species of contrasting architectures from the understory of a lowland rainforest. Light-capture efficiency was estimated for the crowns of the different species with a three-dimensional geometric modeling program. Causal relationships among traits affecting light absorption at two hierarchical levels (leaf and whole crown) were quantified using path analysis. Light-capture and foliage display efficiency were found to be very similar among the 24 species studied, with most converging on a narrow range of light absorption efficiencies (ratio of absorbed vs. available light of 0.60-0.75). Exceptionally low values were found for the climber vines and, to a lesser extent, for the Bromeliad Aechmea magdalenae. Differences in photosynthetic photon flux density (PFD) absorbed per unit leaf area by individual plants were mostly determined by site to site variation in PFD and not by the differences in crown architecture among individuals or species. Leaf angle, and to a lesser extent also supporting biomass, specific leaf area, and internode length, had a significant effect on foliage display efficiency. Potential constraints on light capture such as the phyllotactic pattern were generally offset by other compensatory adjustments of crown structure such as internode length, arching stems, and plagiotropy. The variety of shoot morphologies capable of efficiently capturing light in tropical forest understories is greater than initially thought, extending over species with very different phyllotactic patterns, crown architectures, leaf sizes, and morphologies. PMID:21665729

  16. Fuzzy Logic Controller Architecture for Water Level Control in Nuclear Power Plant Steam Generator (SG) Using ANFIS Training Method

    SciTech Connect

    Vosoughi, Naser; Naseri, Zahra

    2002-07-01

    Since suitable control of water level can greatly enhance the operation of a power station, a Fuzzy logic controller architecture is applied to show desired control of the water level in a Nuclear steam generator. with regard to the physics of the system, it is shown that two inputs, a single output and the least number of rules (9 rules) are considered for a controller, and the ANFIS training method is employed to model functions in a controlled system. By using ANFIS training method, initial member functions will be trained and appropriate functions are generated to control water level inside the steam generators while using the stated rules. The proposed architecture can construct an input output mapping based on both human knowledge (in from of Fuzzy if then rules) and stipulated input output data. In this paper with a simple test it has been shown that the architecture fuzzy logic controller has a reasonable response to one step input at a constant power. Through computer simulation, it is found that Fuzzy logic controller is suitable, especially for the water level deviation and abrupt steam flow disturbances that are typical in the existing power plant. (authors)

  17. Local and Systemic Regulation of Plant Root System Architecture and Symbiotic Nodulation by a Receptor-Like Kinase

    PubMed Central

    Huault, Emeline; Laffont, Carole; Wen, Jiangqi; Mysore, Kirankumar S.; Ratet, Pascal; Duc, Gérard; Frugier, Florian

    2014-01-01

    In plants, root system architecture is determined by the activity of root apical meristems, which control the root growth rate, and by the formation of lateral roots. In legumes, an additional root lateral organ can develop: the symbiotic nitrogen-fixing nodule. We identified in Medicago truncatula ten allelic mutants showing a compact root architecture phenotype (cra2) independent of any major shoot phenotype, and that consisted of shorter roots, an increased number of lateral roots, and a reduced number of nodules. The CRA2 gene encodes a Leucine-Rich Repeat Receptor-Like Kinase (LRR-RLK) that primarily negatively regulates lateral root formation and positively regulates symbiotic nodulation. Grafting experiments revealed that CRA2 acts through different pathways to regulate these lateral organs originating from the roots, locally controlling the lateral root development and nodule formation systemically from the shoots. The CRA2 LRR-RLK therefore integrates short- and long-distance regulations to control root system architecture under non-symbiotic and symbiotic conditions. PMID:25521478

  18. The economic valuation of improved process plant decision support technology.

    PubMed

    White, Douglas C

    2007-06-01

    How can investments that would potentially improve a manufacturing plant's decision process be economically justified? What is the value of "better information," "more flexibility," or "improved integration" and the technologies that provide these effects? Technology investments such as improved process modelling, new real time historians and other databases, "smart" instrumentation, better data analysis and visualization software, and/or improved user interfaces often include these benefits as part of their valuation. How are these "soft" benefits to be converted to a quantitative economic return? Quantification is important if rational management decisions are to be made about the correct amount of money to invest in the technologies, and which technologies to choose among the many available ones. Modelling the plant operational decision cycle-detect, analyse, forecast, choose and implement--provides a basis for this economic quantification. In this paper a new economic model is proposed for estimation of the value of decision support investments based on their effect upon the uncertainty in forecasting plant financial performance. This model leads to quantitative benefit estimates that have a realistic financial basis. An example is presented demonstrating the application of the method. PMID:17434170

  19. A Graphical Journey of Innovative Organic Architectures that Have Improved Our Lives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGrath, Nicholas A.; Brichacek, Matthew; Njardarson, Jon T.

    2010-01-01

    A new free graphical teaching tool that highlights the beautiful organic architectures of the top selling pharmaceuticals is detailed on two posters. In addition to the multitude of teaching and data-mining opportunities these posters offer, they were also created to emphasize the central role organic chemists play in the development of new…

  20. Systems Level Engineering of Plant Cell Wall Biosynthesis to Improve Biofuel Feedstock Quality

    SciTech Connect

    Hazen, Samuel

    2013-09-27

    Our new regulatory model of cell wall biosynthesis proposes original network architecture with several newly incorporated components. The mapped set of protein-DNA interactions will serve as a foundation for 1) understanding the regulation of a complex and integral plant component and 2) the manipulation of crop species for biofuel and biotechnology purposes. This study revealed interesting and novel aspects of grass growth and development and further enforce the importance of a grass model system. By functionally characterizing a suite of genes, we have begun to improve the sparse model for transcription regulation of biomass accumulation in grasses. In the process, we have advanced methodology and brachy molecular genetic tools that will serve as valuable community resource.

  1. Genome-Wide Association Study for Traits Related to Plant and Grain Morphology, and Root Architecture in Temperate Rice Accessions

    PubMed Central

    Cozzi, Paolo; Casella, Laura; Riccardi, Paolo; Vattari, Alessandra; Orasen, Gabriele; Perrini, Rosaria; Tacconi, Gianni; Tondelli, Alessandro; Biselli, Chiara; Cattivelli, Luigi; Spindel, Jennifer; McCouch, Susan; Abbruscato, Pamela; Valé, Giampiero; Piffanelli, Pietro; Greco, Raffaella

    2016-01-01

    Background In this study we carried out a genome-wide association analysis for plant and grain morphology and root architecture in a unique panel of temperate rice accessions adapted to European pedo-climatic conditions. This is the first study to assess the association of selected phenotypic traits to specific genomic regions in the narrow genetic pool of temperate japonica. A set of 391 rice accessions were GBS-genotyped yielding—after data editing—57000 polymorphic and informative SNPS, among which 54% were in genic regions. Results In total, 42 significant genotype-phenotype associations were detected: 21 for plant morphology traits, 11 for grain quality traits, 10 for root architecture traits. The FDR of detected associations ranged from 3 · 10−7 to 0.92 (median: 0.25). In most cases, the significant detected associations co-localised with QTLs and candidate genes controlling the phenotypic variation of single or multiple traits. The most significant associations were those for flag leaf width on chromosome 4 (FDR = 3 · 10−7) and for plant height on chromosome 6 (FDR = 0.011). Conclusions We demonstrate the effectiveness and resolution of the developed platform for high-throughput phenotyping, genotyping and GWAS in detecting major QTLs for relevant traits in rice. We identified strong associations that may be used for selection in temperate irrigated rice breeding: e.g. associations for flag leaf width, plant height, root volume and length, grain length, grain width and their ratio. Our findings pave the way to successfully exploit the narrow genetic pool of European temperate rice and to pinpoint the most relevant genetic components contributing to the adaptability and high yield of this germplasm. The generated data could be of direct use in genomic-assisted breeding strategies. PMID:27228161

  2. Seed size plasticity in response to embryonic lethality conferred by ectopic CYCD activation is dependent on plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Sornay, E; Dewitte, W; Murray, J A H

    2016-07-01

    The size of seeds is the result of cell proliferation and growth in the three seed compartments: the embryo, endosperm and integuments. Targeting expression of the D-type cyclin CYCD7;1 to the central cell and early endosperm (FWA:CYCD7;1) triggered nuclear divisions and partial ovule abortion, reducing seed number in each silique and leading to increased seed size. A similar effect on seed size was observed with other segregating embryo lethal mutations, suggesting caution is needed in interpreting apparent seed size phenotypes. Here, we show that the positive effect of FWA:CYCD7;1 on Arabidopsis seed size is modulated by the architecture of the mother plant. Larger seeds were produced in FWA:CYCD7;1 lines with unmodified inflorescences, and also upon removal of side branches and axillary stems. This phenotype was absent from inflorescences with increased axillary floral stems produced by pruning of the main stem. Given this apparent confounding influence of resource allocation on transgenes effect, we conclude that plant architecture is a further important factor to consider in appraising seed phenotypes. PMID:27286190

  3. Seed size plasticity in response to embryonic lethality conferred by ectopic CYCD activation is dependent on plant architecture

    PubMed Central

    Sornay, E.; Dewitte, W.; Murray, J. A. H.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The size of seeds is the result of cell proliferation and growth in the three seed compartments: the embryo, endosperm and integuments. Targeting expression of the D-type cyclin CYCD7;1 to the central cell and early endosperm (FWA:CYCD7;1) triggered nuclear divisions and partial ovule abortion, reducing seed number in each silique and leading to increased seed size. A similar effect on seed size was observed with other segregating embryo lethal mutations, suggesting caution is needed in interpreting apparent seed size phenotypes. Here, we show that the positive effect of FWA:CYCD7;1 on Arabidopsis seed size is modulated by the architecture of the mother plant. Larger seeds were produced in FWA:CYCD7;1 lines with unmodified inflorescences, and also upon removal of side branches and axillary stems. This phenotype was absent from inflorescences with increased axillary floral stems produced by pruning of the main stem. Given this apparent confounding influence of resource allocation on transgenes effect, we conclude that plant architecture is a further important factor to consider in appraising seed phenotypes. PMID:27286190

  4. When History Repeats Itself: Exploring the Genetic Architecture of Host-Plant Adaptation in Two Closely Related Lepidopteran Species

    PubMed Central

    Alexandre, Hermine; Ponsard, Sergine; Bourguet, Denis; Vitalis, Renaud; Audiot, Philippe; Cros-Arteil, Sandrine; Streiff, Réjane

    2013-01-01

    The genus Ostrinia includes two allopatric maize pests across Eurasia, namely the European corn borer (ECB, O. nubilalis) and the Asian corn borer (ACB, O. furnacalis). A third species, the Adzuki bean borer (ABB, O. scapulalis), occurs in sympatry with both the ECB and the ACB. The ABB mostly feeds on native dicots, which probably correspond to the ancestral host plant type for the genus Ostrinia. This situation offers the opportunity to characterize the two presumably independent adaptations or preadaptations to maize that occurred in the ECB and ACB. In the present study, we aimed at deciphering the genetic architecture of these two adaptations to maize, a monocot host plant recently introduced into Eurasia. To this end, we performed a genome scan analysis based on 684 AFLP markers in 12 populations of ECB, ACB and ABB. We detected 2 outlier AFLP loci when comparing French populations of the ECB and ABB, and 9 outliers when comparing Chinese populations of the ACB and ABB. These outliers were different in both countries, and we found no evidence of linkage disequilibrium between any two of them. These results suggest that adaptation or preadaptation to maize relies on a different genetic architecture in the ECB and ACB. However, this conclusion must be considered in light of the constraints inherent to genome scan approaches and of the intricate evolution of adaptation and reproductive isolation in the Ostrinia spp. complex. PMID:23874914

  5. MAPK transgenic circuit to improve plant stress-tolerance?

    PubMed Central

    Moustafa, Khaled

    2014-01-01

    Thanks to their distinctive mode of action in a coordinated switch-like way, their multi-tiered signaling cascades and their involvement in cell responses to multiple internal and external stimuli, MAP kinases offer a remarkable possibility to be assembled into what we can call “MAPK transgenic circuits” to improve cell functions. Such circuit could be used to enhance cell signaling efficiency and boost cell functions for several purposes in plant biotechnology, medicine, and pharmaceutical industry. PMID:25482799

  6. Improving the Energy Efficiency of Pumped-Storage Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Artyukh, S. F.; Galat, V. V.; Kuz’min, V. V.; Chervonenko, I. I.; Shakaryan, Yu. G.; Sokur, P. V.

    2015-01-15

    Possible ways to improve the energy efficiency of hydroelectric generating sets of pumped-storage power plants (PSPPs) are studied. The Kiev PSPP is used as an example to show how its generating sets can be upgraded. It is concluded based on studies conducted that synchronous motor-generators should be replaced with asynchronized motor-generators. The feasibility of changing over the turbine to variable-speed operation is shown.

  7. Improving situation awareness using a hub architecture for friendly force tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karkkainen, Anssi P.

    2010-04-01

    Situation Awareness (SA) is the perception of environmental elements within a volume of time and space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their future status. In a military environment the most critical elements to be tracked are followed elements are either friendly or hostile forces. Poor knowledge of locations of friendly forces easily leads into the situation in which the troops could be under firing by own troops or in which decisions in a command and control system are based on incorrect tracking. Thus the Friendly Force Tracking (FFT) is a vital part of building situation awareness. FFT is basically quite simple in theory; collected tracks are shared through the networks to all troops. In real world, the situation is not so clear. Poor communication capabilities, lack of continuous connectivity n and large number of user on different level provide high requirements for FFT systems. In this paper a simple architecture for Friendly Force Tracking is presented. The architecture is based on NFFI (NATO Friendly Force Information) hubs which have two key features; an ability to forward tracking information and an ability to convert information into the desired format. The hub based approach provides a lightweight and scalable solution, which is able to use several types of communication media (GSM, tactical radios, TETRA etc.). The system is also simple to configure and maintain. One main benefit of the proposed architecture is that it is independent on a message format. It communicates using NFFI messages, but national formats are also allowed.

  8. VLN2 Regulates Plant Architecture by Affecting Microfilament Dynamics and Polar Auxin Transport in Rice[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Shengyang; Xie, Yurong; Guo, Xiuping; Sheng, Peike; Wang, Juan; Wu, Chuanyin; Wang, Haiyang; Wan, Jianmin

    2015-01-01

    As a fundamental and dynamic cytoskeleton network, microfilaments (MFs) are regulated by diverse actin binding proteins (ABPs). Villins are one type of ABPs belonging to the villin/gelsolin superfamily, and their function is poorly understood in monocotyledonous plants. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of a rice (Oryza sativa) mutant defective in VILLIN2 (VLN2), which exhibits malformed organs, including twisted roots and shoots at the seedling stage. Cellular examination revealed that the twisted phenotype of the vln2 mutant is mainly caused by asymmetrical expansion of cells on the opposite sides of an organ. VLN2 is preferentially expressed in growing tissues, consistent with a role in regulating cell expansion in developing organs. Biochemically, VLN2 exhibits conserved actin filament bundling, severing and capping activities in vitro, with bundling and stabilizing activity being confirmed in vivo. In line with these findings, the vln2 mutant plants exhibit a more dynamic actin cytoskeleton network than the wild type. We show that vln2 mutant plants exhibit a hypersensitive gravitropic response, faster recycling of PIN2 (an auxin efflux carrier), and altered auxin distribution. Together, our results demonstrate that VLN2 plays an important role in regulating plant architecture by modulating MF dynamics, recycling of PIN2, and polar auxin transport. PMID:26486445

  9. Compressed Air System Modifications Improve Efficiency at a Plastics Blow Molding Plant (Southeastern Container Plant)

    SciTech Connect

    2001-06-01

    This case study is one in a series on industrial firms who are implementing energy efficient technologies and system improvements into their manufacturing processes. This case study documents the activities, savings, and lessons learned on the plastics blow molding plant project.

  10. Phytoplasmal infection derails genetically preprogrammed meristem fate and alters plant architecture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the life cycle of higher plants, it is the fate of meristem cells that determines the pattern of growth and development, and therefore plant morphotype and fertility. Floral transition, the turning point from vegetative growth to reproductive development, is achieved via genetically-programmed s...

  11. Controlling plant architecture by manipulation of gibberellic acid signalling in petunia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gibberellic acid (GA), a plant hormone, regulates many crucial growth and developmental processes, including seed germination, leaf expansion, induction of flowering and stem elongation. A common problem in the production of ornamental potted plants is undesirably tall growth, so inhibitors of gibbe...

  12. Plant exomics: Concepts, applications and methodologies in crop improvement

    PubMed Central

    Hashmi, Uzair; Shafqat, Samia; Khan, Faria; Majid, Misbah; Hussain, Harris; Kazi, Alvina Gul; John, Riffat; Ahmad, Parvaiz

    2015-01-01

    Molecular breeding has a crucial role in improvement of crops. Conventional breeding techniques have failed to ameliorate food production. Next generation sequencing has established new concepts of molecular breeding. Exome sequencing has proven to be a significant tool for assessing natural evolution in plants, studying host pathogen interactions and betterment of crop production as exons assist in interpretation of allelic variation with respect to their phenotype. This review covers the platforms for exome sequencing, next generation sequencing technologies that have revolutionized exome sequencing and led toward development of third generation sequencing. Also discussed in this review are the uses of these sequencing technologies to improve wheat, rice and cotton yield and how these technologies are used in exploring the biodiversity of crops, providing better understanding of plant-host pathogen interaction and assessing the process of natural evolution in crops and it also covers how exome sequencing identifies the gene pool involved in symbiotic and other co-existential systems. Furthermore, we conclude how integration of other methodologies including whole genome sequencing, proteomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics with plant exomics covers the areas which are left untouched with exomics alone and in the end how these integration will transform the future of crops. PMID:25482786

  13. Plant exomics: concepts, applications and methodologies in crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Hashmi, Uzair; Shafqat, Samia; Khan, Faria; Majid, Misbah; Hussain, Harris; Kazi, Alvina Gul; John, Riffat; Ahmad, Parvaiz

    2015-01-01

    Molecular breeding has a crucial role in improvement of crops. Conventional breeding techniques have failed to ameliorate food production. Next generation sequencing has established new concepts of molecular breeding. Exome sequencing has proven to be a significant tool for assessing natural evolution in plants, studying host pathogen interactions and betterment of crop production as exons assist in interpretation of allelic variation with respect to their phenotype. This review covers the platforms for exome sequencing, next generation sequencing technologies that have revolutionized exome sequencing and led toward development of third generation sequencing. Also discussed in this review are the uses of these sequencing technologies to improve wheat, rice and cotton yield and how these technologies are used in exploring the biodiversity of crops, providing better understanding of plant-host pathogen interaction and assessing the process of natural evolution in crops and it also covers how exome sequencing identifies the gene pool involved in symbiotic and other co-existential systems. Furthermore, we conclude how integration of other methodologies including whole genome sequencing, proteomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics with plant exomics covers the areas which are left untouched with exomics alone and in the end how these integration will transform the future of crops. PMID:25482786

  14. Structure determination and improved model of plant photosystem I.

    PubMed

    Amunts, Alexey; Toporik, Hila; Borovikova, Anna; Nelson, Nathan

    2010-01-29

    Photosystem I functions as a sunlight energy converter, catalyzing one of the initial steps in driving oxygenic photosynthesis in cyanobacteria, algae, and higher plants. Functionally, Photosystem I captures sunlight and transfers the excitation energy through an intricate and precisely organized antenna system, consisting of a pigment network, to the center of the molecule, where it is used in the transmembrane electron transfer reaction. Our current understanding of the sophisticated mechanisms underlying these processes has profited greatly from elucidation of the crystal structures of the Photosystem I complex. In this report, we describe the developments that ultimately led to enhanced structural information of plant Photosystem I. In addition, we report an improved crystallographic model at 3.3-A resolution, which allows analysis of the structure in more detail. An improved electron density map yielded identification and tracing of subunit PsaK. The location of an additional ten beta-carotenes as well as five chlorophylls and several loop regions, which were previously uninterpretable, are now modeled. This represents the most complete plant Photosystem I structure obtained thus far, revealing the locations of and interactions among 17 protein subunits and 193 non-covalently bound photochemical cofactors. Using the new crystal structure, we examine the network of contacts among the protein subunits from the structural perspective, which provide the basis for elucidating the functional organization of the complex. PMID:19923216

  15. Acclimation improves salt stress tolerance in Zea mays plants.

    PubMed

    Pandolfi, Camilla; Azzarello, Elisa; Mancuso, Stefano; Shabala, Sergey

    2016-08-20

    Plants exposure to low level salinity activates an array of processes leading to an improvement of plant stress tolerance. Although the beneficial effect of acclimation was demonstrated in many herbaceous species, underlying mechanisms behind this phenomenon remain poorly understood. In the present study we have addressed this issue by investigating ionic mechanisms underlying the process of plant acclimation to salinity stress in Zea mays. Effect of acclimation were examined in two parallel sets of experiments: a growth experiment for agronomic assessments, sap analysis, stomatal conductance, chlorophyll content, and confocal laser scanning imaging; and a lab experiment for in vivo ion flux measurements from root tissues. Being exposed to salinity, acclimated plants (1) retain more K(+) but accumulate less Na(+) in roots; (2) have better vacuolar Na(+) sequestration ability in leaves and thus are capable of accumulating larger amounts of Na(+) in the shoot without having any detrimental effect on leaf photochemistry; and (3) rely more on Na(+) for osmotic adjustment in the shoot. At the same time, acclimation affect was not related in increased root Na(+) exclusion ability. It appears that even in a such salt-sensitive species as maize, Na(+) exclusion from uptake is of a much less importance compared with the efficient vacuolar Na(+) sequestration in the shoot. PMID:27372277

  16. Improvements in plant growth rate using underwater discharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takaki, K.; Takahata, J.; Watanabe, S.; Satta, N.; Yamada, O.; Fujio, T.; Sasaki, Y.

    2013-03-01

    The drainage water from plant pots was irradiated by plasma and then recycled to irrigate plants for improving the growth rate by supplying nutrients to plants and inactivating the bacteria in the bed-soil. Brassica rapa var. perviridis (Chinese cabbage; Brassica campestris) plants were cultivated in pots filled with artificial soil, which included the use of chicken droppings as a fertiliser. The water was recycled once per day from a drainage water pool and added to the bed-soil in the pots. A magnetic compression type pulsed power generator was used to produce underwater discharge with repetition rate of 250 pps. The plasma irradiation times were set as 10 and 20 minutes per day over 28 days of cultivation. The experimental results showed that the growth rate increased significantly with plasma irradiation into the drainage water. The growth rate increased with the plasma irradiation time. The nitrogen concentration of the leaves increased as a result of plasma irradiation based on chlorophyll content analysis. The bacteria in the drainage water were inactivated by the plasma irradiation.

  17. Integrating mixed-effect models into an architectural plant model to simulate inter- and intra-progeny variability: a case study on oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.).

    PubMed

    Perez, Raphaël P A; Pallas, Benoît; Le Moguédec, Gilles; Rey, Hervé; Griffon, Sébastien; Caliman, Jean-Pierre; Costes, Evelyne; Dauzat, Jean

    2016-08-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of plants is time-consuming and involves considerable levels of data acquisition. This is possibly one reason why the integration of genetic variability into 3D architectural models has so far been largely overlooked. In this study, an allometry-based approach was developed to account for architectural variability in 3D architectural models of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) as a case study. Allometric relationships were used to model architectural traits from individual leaflets to the entire crown while accounting for ontogenetic and morphogenetic gradients. Inter- and intra-progeny variabilities were evaluated for each trait and mixed-effect models were used to estimate the mean and variance parameters required for complete 3D virtual plants. Significant differences in leaf geometry (petiole length, density of leaflets, and rachis curvature) and leaflet morphology (gradients of leaflet length and width) were detected between and within progenies and were modelled in order to generate populations of plants that were consistent with the observed populations. The application of mixed-effect models on allometric relationships highlighted an interesting trade-off between model accuracy and ease of defining parameters for the 3D reconstruction of plants while at the same time integrating their observed variability. Future research will be dedicated to sensitivity analyses coupling the structural model presented here with a radiative balance model in order to identify the key architectural traits involved in light interception efficiency. PMID:27302128

  18. Improving Nutritional Quality of Plant Proteins Through Genetic Engineering.

    PubMed

    Le, Dung Tien; Chu, Ha Duc; Le, Ngoc Quynh

    2016-06-01

    Humans and animals are unable to synthesize essential amino acids such as branch chain amino acids methionine (Met), lysine (Lys) and tryptophan (Trp). Therefore, these amino acids need to be supplied through the diets. Several essential amino acids are deficient or completely lacking among crops used for human food and animal feed. For example, soybean is deficient in Met; Lys and Trp are lacking in maize. In this mini review, we will first summarize the roles of essential amino acids in animal nutrition. Next, we will address the question: "What are the amino acids deficient in various plants and their biosynthesis pathways?" And: "What approaches are being used to improve the availability of essential amino acids in plants?" The potential targets for metabolic engineering will also be discussed, including what has already been done and what remains to be tested. PMID:27252589

  19. Genomic architecture of phenotypic divergence between two hybridizing plant species along an elevational gradient

    PubMed Central

    Brennan, Adrian C.; Hiscock, Simon J.; Abbott, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge of the genetic basis of phenotypic divergence between species and how such divergence is caused and maintained is crucial to an understanding of speciation and the generation of biodiversity. The hybrid zone between Senecio aethnensis and S. chrysanthemifolius on Mount Etna, Sicily, provides a well-studied example of species divergence in response to conditions at different elevations, despite hybridization and gene flow. Here, we investigate the genetic architecture of divergence between these two species using a combination of quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping and genetic differentiation measures based on genetic marker analysis. A QTL architecture characterized by physical QTL clustering, epistatic interactions between QTLs, and pleiotropy was identified, and is consistent with the presence of divergent QTL complexes resistant to gene flow. A role for divergent selection between species was indicated by significant negative associations between levels of interspecific genetic differentiation at mapped marker gene loci and map distance from QTLs and hybrid incompatibility loci. Within-species selection contributing to interspecific differentiation was evidenced by negative associations between interspecific genetic differentiation and genetic diversity within species. These results show that the two Senecio species, while subject to gene flow, maintain divergent genomic regions consistent with local selection within species and selection against hybrids between species which, in turn, contribute to the maintenance of their distinct phenotypic differences. PMID:27083198

  20. Soil management systems to improve water availability for plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klik, A.; Rosner, J.

    2009-04-01

    Due to climate change it is expected that the air temperature will increase and the amount as well as the variability of rainfall will change drastically within this century. Higher temperatures and fewer rainy days with more extreme events will increase the risk of surface runoff and erosion. This will lead to reduced soil water storage and therefore to a lower water use efficiency of plants. Soil and land management systems need to be applied and adapted to improve the amount of water stored in the soil and to ensure crop productivity functions of soils under changing climatic conditions. In a 14-yr. long field experiment, the effects of three soil management systems have been studied at three sites in Austria with respect to surface runoff, soil erosion, losses of nutrients and pesticides. Eight years after beginning of the project soil samples have been taken from different depth throughout the root zone to investigate the effects on soil properties. The results show that soil management systems with reduced tillage intensity are able to improve infiltration and soil water storage. More soil water enables plant development during longer dry periods and decreases amounts of irrigation. Overall, the higher water retention in the landscape improves the regional water balance and reduces environmental problems like soil erosion and nutrient and pesticide losses

  1. Trophic network architecture of root-associated bacterial communities determines pathogen invasion and plant health

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Zhong; Yang, Tianjie; Friman, Ville-Petri; Xu, Yangchun; Shen, Qirong; Jousset, Alexandre

    2015-01-01

    Host-associated bacterial communities can function as an important line of defence against pathogens in animals and plants. Empirical evidence and theoretical predictions suggest that species-rich communities are more resistant to pathogen invasions. Yet, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we experimentally test how the underlying resource competition networks of resident bacterial communities affect invasion resistance to the plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum in microcosms and in tomato plant rhizosphere. We find that bipartite resource competition networks are better predictors of invasion resistance compared with resident community diversity. Specifically, communities with a combination of stabilizing configurations (low nestedness and high connectance), and a clear niche overlap with the pathogen, reduce pathogen invasion success, constrain pathogen growth within invaded communities and have lower levels of diseased plants in greenhouse experiments. Bacterial resource competition network characteristics can thus be important in explaining positive diversity–invasion resistance relationships in bacterial rhizosphere communities. PMID:26400552

  2. Trophic network architecture of root-associated bacterial communities determines pathogen invasion and plant health.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zhong; Yang, Tianjie; Friman, Ville-Petri; Xu, Yangchun; Shen, Qirong; Jousset, Alexandre

    2015-01-01

    Host-associated bacterial communities can function as an important line of defence against pathogens in animals and plants. Empirical evidence and theoretical predictions suggest that species-rich communities are more resistant to pathogen invasions. Yet, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we experimentally test how the underlying resource competition networks of resident bacterial communities affect invasion resistance to the plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum in microcosms and in tomato plant rhizosphere. We find that bipartite resource competition networks are better predictors of invasion resistance compared with resident community diversity. Specifically, communities with a combination of stabilizing configurations (low nestedness and high connectance), and a clear niche overlap with the pathogen, reduce pathogen invasion success, constrain pathogen growth within invaded communities and have lower levels of diseased plants in greenhouse experiments. Bacterial resource competition network characteristics can thus be important in explaining positive diversity-invasion resistance relationships in bacterial rhizosphere communities. PMID:26400552

  3. Architectural Improvements and New Processing Tools for the Open XAL Online Model

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, Christopher K; Pelaia II, Tom; Freed, Jonathan M

    2015-01-01

    The online model is the component of Open XAL providing accelerator modeling, simulation, and dynamic synchronization to live hardware. Significant architectural changes and feature additions have been recently made in two separate areas: 1) the managing and processing of simulation data, and 2) the modeling of RF cavities. Simulation data and data processing have been completely decoupled. A single class manages all simulation data while standard tools were developed for processing the simulation results. RF accelerating cavities are now modeled as composite structures where parameter and dynamics computations are distributed. The beam and hardware models both maintain their relative phase information, which allows for dynamic phase slip and elapsed time computation.

  4. Nuclear power plant status diagnostics using a neural network with dynamic node architecture

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, A.

    1992-12-31

    This thesis is part of an ongoing project at Iowa State University to develop ANN based fault diagnostic systems to detect and classify operational transients at nuclear power plants. The project envisages the deployment of such an advisor at Iowa Electric Light and Power Company`s Duane Arnold Energy Center nuclear power plant located at Palo, IA. This advisor is expected to make status diagnosis in real time, thus providing the operators with more time for corrective measures.

  5. Nuclear power plant status diagnostics using a neural network with dynamic node architecture

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, A.

    1992-01-01

    This thesis is part of an ongoing project at Iowa State University to develop ANN based fault diagnostic systems to detect and classify operational transients at nuclear power plants. The project envisages the deployment of such an advisor at Iowa Electric Light and Power Company's Duane Arnold Energy Center nuclear power plant located at Palo, IA. This advisor is expected to make status diagnosis in real time, thus providing the operators with more time for corrective measures.

  6. POGs2: A Web Portal to Facilitate Cross-Species Inferences About Protein Architecture and Function in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Tomcal, Michael; Stiffler, Nicholas; Barkan, Alice

    2013-01-01

    The Putative orthologous Groups 2 Database (POGs2) (http://pogs.uoregon.edu/) integrates information about the inferred proteomes of four plant species (Arabidopsis thaliana, Zea mays, Orza sativa, and Populus trichocarpa) in a display that facilitates comparisons among orthologs and extrapolation of annotations among species. A single-page view collates key functional data for members of each Putative Orthologous Group (POG): graphical representations of InterPro domains, predicted and established intracellular locations, and imported gene descriptions. The display incorporates POGs predicted by two different algorithms as well as gene trees, allowing users to evaluate the validity of POG memberships. The web interface provides ready access to sequences and alignments of POG members, as well as sequences, alignments, and domain architectures of closely-related paralogs. A simple and flexible search interface permits queries by BLAST and by any combination of gene identifier, keywords, domain names, InterPro identifiers, and intracellular location. The concurrent display of domain architectures for orthologous proteins highlights errors in gene models and false-negatives in domain predictions. The POGs2 layout is also useful for exploring candidate genes identified by transposon tagging, QTL mapping, map-based cloning, and proteomics, and for navigating between orthologous groups that belong to the same gene family. PMID:24340041

  7. POGs2: a web portal to facilitate cross-species inferences about protein architecture and function in plants.

    PubMed

    Tomcal, Michael; Stiffler, Nicholas; Barkan, Alice

    2013-01-01

    The Putative orthologous Groups 2 Database (POGs2) (http://pogs.uoregon.edu/) integrates information about the inferred proteomes of four plant species (Arabidopsis thaliana, Zea mays, Orza sativa, and Populus trichocarpa) in a display that facilitates comparisons among orthologs and extrapolation of annotations among species. A single-page view collates key functional data for members of each Putative Orthologous Group (POG): graphical representations of InterPro domains, predicted and established intracellular locations, and imported gene descriptions. The display incorporates POGs predicted by two different algorithms as well as gene trees, allowing users to evaluate the validity of POG memberships. The web interface provides ready access to sequences and alignments of POG members, as well as sequences, alignments, and domain architectures of closely-related paralogs. A simple and flexible search interface permits queries by BLAST and by any combination of gene identifier, keywords, domain names, InterPro identifiers, and intracellular location. The concurrent display of domain architectures for orthologous proteins highlights errors in gene models and false-negatives in domain predictions. The POGs2 layout is also useful for exploring candidate genes identified by transposon tagging, QTL mapping, map-based cloning, and proteomics, and for navigating between orthologous groups that belong to the same gene family. PMID:24340041

  8. Understanding How the Complex Molecular Architecture of Mannan-degrading Hydrolases Contributes to Plant Cell Wall Degradation*

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaoyang; Rogowski, Artur; Zhao, Lei; Hahn, Michael G.; Avci, Utku; Knox, J. Paul; Gilbert, Harry J.

    2014-01-01

    Microbial degradation of plant cell walls is a central component of the carbon cycle and is of increasing importance in environmentally significant industries. Plant cell wall-degrading enzymes have a complex molecular architecture consisting of catalytic modules and, frequently, multiple non-catalytic carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs). It is currently unclear whether the specificities of the CBMs or the topology of the catalytic modules are the primary drivers for the specificity of these enzymes against plant cell walls. Here, we have evaluated the relationship between CBM specificity and their capacity to enhance the activity of GH5 and GH26 mannanases and CE2 esterases against intact plant cell walls. The data show that cellulose and mannan binding CBMs have the greatest impact on the removal of mannan from tobacco and Physcomitrella cell walls, respectively. Although the action of the GH5 mannanase was independent of the context of mannan in tobacco cell walls, a significant proportion of the polysaccharide was inaccessible to the GH26 enzyme. The recalcitrant mannan, however, was fully accessible to the GH26 mannanase appended to a cellulose binding CBM. Although CE2 esterases display similar specificities against acetylated substrates in vitro, only CjCE2C was active against acetylated mannan in Physcomitrella. Appending a mannan binding CBM27 to CjCE2C potentiated its activity against Physcomitrella walls, whereas a xylan binding CBM reduced the capacity of esterases to deacetylate xylan in tobacco walls. This work provides insight into the biological significance for the complex array of hydrolytic enzymes expressed by plant cell wall-degrading microorganisms. PMID:24297170

  9. Phytoplasmal infection derails genetically preprogrammed meristem fate and alters plant architecture

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Wei; Davis, Robert Edward; Nuss, Donald L.; Zhao, Yan

    2013-01-01

    In the life cycle of higher plants, it is the fate of meristem cells that determines the pattern of growth and development, and therefore plant morphotype and fertility. Floral transition, the turning point from vegetative growth to reproductive development, is achieved via genetically programmed sequential changes in meristem fate from vegetative to inflorescence, and to floral, leading to flower formation and eventual seed production. The transition is rarely reversible once initiated. In this communication, we report that a bacterial infection can derail the genetically programmed fate of meristem cells, thereby drastically altering the growth pattern of the host plant. We identified four characteristic symptoms in tomato plants infected with a cell wall-less bacterium, phytoplasma. The symptoms are a manifestation of the pathogen-induced alterations of growth pattern, whereas each symptom corresponds to a distinct phase in the derailment of shoot apical meristem fate. The phases include premature floral meristem termination, suppressed floral meristem initiation, delayed conversion of vegetative meristem to inflorescence meristem, and repetitive initiation and outgrowth of lateral vegetative meristems. We further found that the pathogen-induced alterations of growth pattern were correlated with transcriptional reprogramming of key meristem switching genes. Our findings open an avenue toward understanding pathological alterations in patterns of plant growth and development, thus aiding identification of molecular targets for disease control and symptom alleviation. The findings also provide insights for understanding stem cell pluripotency and raise a tantalizing possibility for using phytoplasma as a tool to dissect the course of normal plant development and to modify plant morphogenesis by manipulating meristem fate. PMID:24191032

  10. Controlling plant architecture by manipulation of gibberellic acid signalling in petunia.

    PubMed

    Liang, Yin-Chih; Reid, Michael S; Jiang, Cai-Zhong

    2014-01-01

    Since stem elongation is a gibberellic acid (GA) response, GA inhibitors are commonly used to control plant height in the production of potted ornamentals and bedding plants. In this study, we investigated interfering with GA signaling by using molecular techniques as an alternative approach. We isolated three putative GID1 genes (PhGID1A, PhGID1B and PhGID1C) encoding GA receptors from petunia. Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of these genes results in stunted growth, dark-green leaves and late-flowering. We also isolated the gai mutant gene (gai-1) from Arabidopsis. We have generated transgenic petunia plants in which the gai mutant protein is over-expressed under the control of a dexamethasone-inducible promoter. This system permits induction of the dominant Arabidopsis gai mutant gene at a desired stage of plant development in petunia plants by the application of dexamethasone (Dex). The induction of gai in Dex-treated T1 petunia seedlings caused dramatic growth retardation with short internodes. PMID:26504556

  11. Improving hot gas filtration behavior in PFBC power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Romeo, L.M.; Gil, A.; Cortes, C.

    1999-07-01

    According to a previous paper, a laboratory-scale cold flow model of the hot gas filtration system in Escatron PFBC power plant has been built. The main objectives were to establish the validity of the scaling laws for cyclone separator systems (cyclone and dipleg) and to perform detailed room temperature studies in a rapid and cost effective manner. In Escatron PFBC power plant, the hot gas filtration equipment is a two-stage process performed in nine streams between the fluidized bed and the gas turbine. Due to the unsteadiness in the dipleg and the suction nozzle, and the effect of sintered deposit, the cyclone performance is modified. The performances of cyclone separator system and suction nozzle diplegs are scarcely reported in the open literature. This paper presents the results of a detailed research in which some important conclusions of well known studies about cyclones are verified. Also remarkable is the increase in cyclone efficiency and decrease in pressure drop when the solid load to the cyclone is increased. The possibility to check the fouling by means of pressure drop has not been previously addressed. Finally, the influences of gas input velocity to the cyclone, the transport gas to the ash conveying lines, the solid load and the cyclone fouling have been analyzed. This study has allowed characterizing the performance of the full-scale ash removal system, establishing safe limits of operation and testing design improvements as the two suction nozzle dipleg, pointing out important conclusions for the filtration process in PFBC power plants.

  12. Improved conventional testing of power plant cables. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Anadakumaran, K.; Braun, J.M.; DiPaul, J.A. |

    1995-09-01

    The objective of the project is to develop improved condition monitoring techniques to assess the condition of power plant cables, particularly the unshielded cables found in older thermal plants. The cables of interest were insulated with PVC, butyl rubber, SBR (styrene butadiene rubber), EPR (ethylene propylene rubber), PE and XLPE (crosslinked polyethylene) as either single conductor, twisted pair, shielded and unshielded. The cables were thermally aged to embrittlement and characterized by physical, chemical and electrical tests. Physical characterization included, in addition to reference tensile elongation, tests performed on microscopic samples for quasi-nondestructive examination. Different tests proved particularly suited to different types of insulation. The dielectric characterization underlined the value of performing tests at other than power frequency and/or dc. Electric field calculations were carried out to develop a field testing strategy for unshielded cables and notably to investigate the feasibility of providing a suitable ground plane by testing conductor to grounded conductors(s). Two major electrical diagnostic test techniques were investigated in detail, low frequency insulation analysis to probe the bulk condition of insulations and partial discharge (PD) testing to detect cracks and defects. PD testing is well established but more challenging to perform with unshielded cables. Because of the attenuation properties of typical plant cables, a dual ended detector configuration is necessary. Two novel techniques were developed to provide dual ended detection without need for a second cable as the return path from the far end detector.

  13. Power plant performance monitoring and improvement. Volume 1. Boiler optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Crim, H.G.

    1986-02-01

    The boiler portion of RP1681/2153 deals with the development of procedures for determining the optimum fireside operating conditions in a coal fired power plant and the development of instrumentation and monitoring systems for achieving the resulting improvements in heat rate. This annual report describes the rsults of the project for the period beginning in October, 1982. A computer code was developed which takes information on the plant and calculates heat rate as a function of parameters such as excess air and steam flow rate. Computational results obtained to date for Potomac Electric Power Company's Morgantown Unit No. 2 show that the net unit heat rate is a very sensitive function of grind size of the coal, level of excess air and exit gas temperature. The theoretical calculations suggest that by optimizing these three parameters, improvements in net unit heat rate of the order of 100 Btu/Kwh may be possible at Morgantown. An intrumentation assessment was carried out. Preparations are underway for boiler tests.

  14. Ebola and Its Global Research Architecture--Need for an Improvement.

    PubMed

    Quarcoo, David; Brüggmann, Dörthe; Klingelhöfer, Doris; Groneberg, David A

    2015-09-01

    The current Ebola outbreak poses a threat to individual and global public health. Although the disease has been of interest to the scientific community since 1976, an effective vaccination approach is still lacking. This fact questions past global public health strategies, which have not foreseen the possible impact of this infectious disease. To quantify the global research activity in this field, a scientometric investigation was conducted. We analyzed the research output of countries, individual institutions and their collaborative networks. The resulting research architecture indicated that American and European countries played a leading role regarding output activity, citations and multi- and bilateral cooperations. When related to population numbers, African countries, which usually do not dominate the global research in other medical fields, were among the most prolific nations. We conclude that the field of Ebola research is constantly progressing, and the research landscape is influenced by economical and infrastructural factors as well as historical relations between countries and outbreak events. PMID:26406894

  15. Optimal Traits of Plant Hydraulic Architecture for Rock-Dominated Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwinning, S.

    2014-12-01

    Optimality models can only be as good as assumptions about the relevant constraints on plant function. To date, Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) have utilized relatively simple representations of the rhizosphere, chiefly assuming uniform, thick soil without restrictions to root development. In reality, many terrestrial landforms have features that severely impede root growth. These include habitats with shallow or skeletal soils over bedrock, karst or caliche. Experiments have shown that plants in these habitats are not limited to using soil water, but use a variety of strategies to extract water from rocky substrates, e.g., growing extended structural roots along rock crevices into soil pockets or perched water tables, developing flattened root mats inside planar fissures or associating with mycorrhizae to extract water directly from the rock matrix. While these strategies expand plant-available water sources beyond soil, the added pools are expected to have extraction and recharge characteristics quite different from soil. Here I ask how the dynamical differences in non-soil water pools should influence plant hydraulic traits. I built upon earlier work to determine how predictions of optimal plant function types change when model details are adjusted to reflect water uptake from non-soil sources. The model is a hydraulic continuum model based on Darcy's law with optimization parameters representing biomass allocation between leaves, stems and roots, variable stem water storage capacity, and sensitivity of leaf and root conductivity to water potential. The rhizosphere is represented by two dynamically distinct water pools, the first representing a component with quick recharge and depletion (remnant soil), the second a non-soil component with restricted root density, potentially high storage capacity but possibly low hydraulic conductivity. The prediction of optimal plant functional types was significantly altered for non-soil compared to soil substrates

  16. Mapping genomic loci for cotton plant architecture, yield components, and fiber properties in an interspecific (Gossypium hirsutum L. x G. barbadense L.) RIL population

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis was conducted to better understand the genetic control of plant architecture (PA), yield components (YC), and fiber properties (FP) in the two cultivated tetraploid species of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. and G. barbadense L.). Genomic regions were identifi...

  17. How to Solve Dilemmas Arising from the Idea of Improving Physical Accessibility in Relation to Aesthetics and Architectural Heritage.

    PubMed

    Asmervik, Sigmund

    2016-01-01

    The Norwegian state has been working for more than fifteen years on various ways of improving accessibility for the general public. An important part of this work has been to develop new legislation and other forms of formal guidelines to reduce physical barriers. The new Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act, Obligation to ensure general accommodation (universal design), came into force January 2009, and introduces some complicated dilemmas, especially when it states: "When assessing whether the design or accommodation entails an undue burden, particular importance shall be attached to the effect of the accommodation on the dismantling of disabling barriers, the necessary costs associated with the accommodation, the undertaking's resources, whether the normal function of the undertaking is of a public nature, safety considerations and cultural heritage considerations." What is an "undue burden" in relation to architectural visual qualities and to the historical heritage expressed in buildings and townscapes? This paper will look into these dilemmas by discussing specific cases from some cities in different countries. What kinds of procedure are suitable and decisive when it comes to these complicated questions? Is this a task exclusively reserved for professionals, or should the voice of lay people be heard and taken into consideration? By presenting examples from architecture and landscape architecture, I will show how universal design even can be implemented in old buildings and environments. The paper will argue for more focus on procedures than just physical solutions. The procedures should be based on accepted principles for changing historical monuments, such as wholeness, readability, reversibility and sustainability. PMID:27534291

  18. Quantification of the effects of architectural traits on dry mass production and light interception of tomato canopy under different temperature regimes using a dynamic functional–structural plant model

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Tsu-Wei; Nguyen, Thi My Nguyet; Kahlen, Katrin; Stützel, Hartmut

    2014-01-01

    There is increasing interest in evaluating the environmental effects on crop architectural traits and yield improvement. However, crop models describing the dynamic changes in canopy structure with environmental conditions and the complex interactions between canopy structure, light interception, and dry mass production are only gradually emerging. Using tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) as a model crop, a dynamic functional–structural plant model (FSPM) was constructed, parameterized, and evaluated to analyse the effects of temperature on architectural traits, which strongly influence canopy light interception and shoot dry mass. The FSPM predicted the organ growth, organ size, and shoot dry mass over time with high accuracy (>85%). Analyses of this FSPM showed that, in comparison with the reference canopy, shoot dry mass may be affected by leaf angle by as much as 20%, leaf curvature by up to 7%, the leaf length:width ratio by up to 5%, internode length by up to 9%, and curvature ratios and leaf arrangement by up to 6%. Tomato canopies at low temperature had higher canopy density and were more clumped due to higher leaf area and shorter internodes. Interestingly, dry mass production and light interception of the clumped canopy were more sensitive to changes in architectural traits. The complex interactions between architectural traits, canopy light interception, dry mass production, and environmental conditions can be studied by the dynamic FSPM, which may serve as a tool for designing a canopy structure which is ‘ideal’ in a given environment. PMID:25183746

  19. Accumulation of N-Acetylglucosamine Oligomers in the Plant Cell Wall Affects Plant Architecture in a Dose-Dependent and Conditional Manner1[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Vanholme, Bartel; Vanholme, Ruben; Turumtay, Halbay; Goeminne, Geert; Cesarino, Igor; Goubet, Florence; Morreel, Kris; Rencoret, Jorge; Bulone, Vincent; Hooijmaijers, Cortwa; De Rycke, Riet; Gheysen, Godelieve; Ralph, John; De Block, Marc; Meulewaeter, Frank; Boerjan, Wout

    2014-01-01

    To study the effect of short N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) oligosaccharides on the physiology of plants, N-ACETYLGLUCOSAMINYLTRANSFERASE (NodC) of Azorhizobium caulinodans was expressed in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The corresponding enzyme catalyzes the polymerization of GlcNAc and, accordingly, β-1,4-GlcNAc oligomers accumulated in the plant. A phenotype characterized by difficulties in developing an inflorescence stem was visible when plants were grown for several weeks under short-day conditions before transfer to long-day conditions. In addition, a positive correlation between the oligomer concentration and the penetrance of the phenotype was demonstrated. Although NodC overexpression lines produced less cell wall compared with wild-type plants under nonpermissive conditions, no indications were found for changes in the amount of the major cell wall polymers. The effect on the cell wall was reflected at the transcriptome level. In addition to genes encoding cell wall-modifying enzymes, a whole set of genes encoding membrane-coupled receptor-like kinases were differentially expressed upon GlcNAc accumulation, many of which encoded proteins with an extracellular Domain of Unknown Function26. Although stress-related genes were also differentially expressed, the observed response differed from that of a classical chitin response. This is in line with the fact that the produced chitin oligomers were too small to activate the chitin receptor-mediated signal cascade. Based on our observations, we propose a model in which the oligosaccharides modify the architecture of the cell wall by acting as competitors in carbohydrate-carbohydrate or carbohydrate-protein interactions, thereby affecting noncovalent interactions in the cell wall or at the interface between the cell wall and the plasma membrane. PMID:24664205

  20. A Digital Architecture for a Network-Based Learning Health System: Integrating Chronic Care Management, Quality Improvement, and Research

    PubMed Central

    Marsolo, Keith; Margolis, Peter A.; Forrest, Christopher B.; Colletti, Richard B.; Hutton, John J.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: We collaborated with the ImproveCareNow Network to create a proof-of-concept architecture for a network-based Learning Health System. This collaboration involved transitioning an existing registry to one that is linked to the electronic health record (EHR), enabling a “data in once” strategy. We sought to automate a series of reports that support care improvement while also demonstrating the use of observational registry data for comparative effectiveness research. Description of Architecture: We worked with three leading EHR vendors to create EHR-based data collection forms. We automated many of ImproveCareNow’s analytic reports and developed an application for storing protected health information and tracking patient consent. Finally, we deployed a cohort identification tool to support feasibility studies and hypothesis generation. There is ongoing uptake of the system. To date, 31 centers have adopted the EHR-based forms and 21 centers are uploading data to the registry. Usage of the automated reports remains high and investigators have used the cohort identification tools to respond to several clinical trial requests. Suggestions for Future Use: The current process for creating EHR-based data collection forms requires groups to work individually with each vendor. A vendor-agnostic model would allow for more rapid uptake. We believe that interfacing network-based registries with the EHR would allow them to serve as a source of decision support. Additional standards are needed in order for this vision to be achieved, however. Conclusions: We have successfully implemented a proof-of-concept Learning Health System while providing a foundation on which others can build. We have also highlighted opportunities where sponsors could help accelerate progress. PMID:26357665

  1. Feasibility studies to improve plant availability and reduce total installed cost in IGCC plants

    SciTech Connect

    Sullivan, Kevin; Anasti, William; Fang, Yichuan; Subramanyan, Karthik; Leininger, Tom; Zemsky, Christine

    2015-03-30

    The main purpose of this project is to look at technologies and philosophies that would help reduce the costs of an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant, increase its availability or do both. GE’s approach to this problem is to consider options in three different areas: 1) technology evaluations and development; 2) constructability approaches; and 3) design and operation methodologies. Five separate tasks were identified that fall under the three areas: Task 2 – Integrated Operations Philosophy; Task 3 – Slip Forming of IGCC Components; Task 4 – Modularization of IGCC Components; Task 5 – Fouling Removal; and Task 6 – Improved Slag Handling. Overall, this project produced results on many fronts. Some of the ideas could be utilized immediately by those seeking to build an IGCC plant in the near future. These include the considerations from the Integrated Operations Philosophy task and the different construction techniques of Slip Forming and Modularization (especially if the proposed site is in a remote location or has a lack of a skilled workforce). Other results include ideas for promising technologies that require further development and testing to realize their full potential and be available for commercial operation. In both areas GE considers this project to be a success in identifying areas outside the core IGCC plant systems that are ripe for cost reduction and ity improvement opportunities.

  2. CIB: An Improved Communication Architecture for Real-Time Monitoring of Aerospace Materials, Instruments, and Sensors on the ISS

    PubMed Central

    Krasowski, Michael J.; Prokop, Norman F.; Flatico, Joseph M.; Greer, Lawrence C.; Jenkins, Phillip P.; Neudeck, Philip G.; Chen, Liangyu; Spina, Danny C.

    2013-01-01

    The Communications Interface Board (CIB) is an improved communications architecture that was demonstrated on the International Space Station (ISS). ISS communication interfaces allowing for real-time telemetry and health monitoring require a significant amount of development. The CIB simplifies the communications interface to the ISS for real-time health monitoring, telemetry, and control of resident sensors or experiments. With a simpler interface available to the telemetry bus, more sensors or experiments may be flown. The CIB accomplishes this by acting as a bridge between the ISS MIL-STD-1553 low-rate telemetry (LRT) bus and the sensors allowing for two-way command and telemetry data transfer. The CIB was designed to be highly reliable and radiation hard for an extended flight in low Earth orbit (LEO) and has been proven with over 40 months of flight operation on the outside of ISS supporting two sets of flight experiments. Since the CIB is currently operating in flight on the ISS, recent results of operations will be provided. Additionally, as a vehicle health monitoring enabling technology, an overview and results from two experiments enabled by the CIB will be provided. Future applications for vehicle health monitoring utilizing the CIB architecture will also be discussed. PMID:23983621

  3. Long-term functional plasticity in plant hydraulic architecture in response to supplemental moisture

    PubMed Central

    von Arx, Georg; Archer, Steven R.; Hughes, Malcolm K.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Plasticity in structural and functional traits related to water balance may determine plant performance and survival in ecosystems characterized by water limitation or high levels of rainfall variability, particularly in perennial herbaceous species with long generation cycles. This paper addresses whether and the extent to which several such seasonal to long-term traits respond to changes in moisture availability. Methods Using a novel approach that integrates ecology, physiology and anatomy, a comparison was made of lifetime functional traits in the root xylem of a long-lived perennial herb (Potentilla diversifolia, Rosaceae) growing in dry habitats with those of nearby individuals growing where soil moisture had been supplemented for 14 years. Traditional parameters such as specific leaf area (SLA) and above-ground growth were also assessed. Key Results Individuals from the site receiving supplemental moisture consistently showed significant responses in all considered traits related to water balance: SLA was greater by 24 %; roots developed 19 % less starch storing tissue, an indicator for drought-stress tolerance; and vessel size distributions shifted towards wider elements that collectively conducted water 54 % more efficiently – but only during the years for which moisture was supplemented. In contrast, above-ground growth parameters showed insignificant or inconsistent responses. Conclusions The phenotypic changes documented represent consistent, dynamic responses to increased moisture availability that should increase plant competitive ability. The functional plasticity of xylem anatomy quantified in this study constitutes a mechanistic basis for anticipating the differential success of plant species in response to climate variability and change, particularly where water limitation occurs. PMID:22396436

  4. Instability of development and fractal architecture in dryland plants as an index of grazing pressure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alados, C.L.; Emlen, J.M.; Wachocki, B.; Freeman, D.C.

    1998-01-01

    Developmental instability has been used to monitor the well-being of natural populations exposed to physical, chemical and biological stressors. Here, we use developmental instability to assess the impact of grazing on Chrysothamnus greenii and Seriphidium novumshrubs, and Oryzopsis hymenoidesgrass, common in the arid intermountain west of the U.S.A. Statistical noise in allometric relations was used as an indicator of developmental instability arising from grazing-induced stress. Unpalatable species that are not grazed (Chrysothamnus greenii) or species that are dormant during the winter–spring grazing period (Oryzopsis hymenoides) show lower allometric variability under high grazing pressure. Palatable species (Seriphidium novum) exhibit high developmental instability under low and high grazing pressure. Grazing pressure imposed by presumably co-adapted wild herbivores enhances developmental stability in species habituated to moderate grazing, likeOryzopsis hymenoides, but stresses plants such as Chrysothamnus greenii that prefer disturbed environments. These grazing effects are probably due to the impact grazing has on competitive relationships and not to the direct action of the herbivore on the plants.

  5. Manipulation of Carotenoid Content in Plants to Improve Human Health.

    PubMed

    Alós, Enriqueta; Rodrigo, Maria Jesús; Zacarias, Lorenzo

    2016-01-01

    Carotenoids are essential components for human nutrition and health, mainly due to their antioxidant and pro-vitamin A activity. Foods with enhanced carotenoid content and composition are essential to ensure carotenoid feasibility in malnourished population of many countries around the world, which is critical to alleviate vitamin A deficiency and other health-related disorders. The pathway of carotenoid biosynthesis is currently well understood, key steps of the pathways in different plant species have been characterized and the corresponding genes identified, as well as other regulatory elements. This enables the manipulation and improvement of carotenoid content and composition in order to control the nutritional value of a number of agronomical important staple crops. Biotechnological and genetic engineering-based strategies to manipulate carotenoid metabolism have been successfully implemented in many crops, with Golden rice as the most relevant example of β-carotene improvement in one of the more widely consumed foods. Conventional breeding strategies have been also adopted in the bio-fortification of carotenoid in staple foods that are highly consumed in developing countries, including maize, cassava and sweet potatoes, to alleviate nutrition-related problems. The objective of the chapter is to summarize major breakthroughs and advances in the enhancement of carotenoid content and composition in agronomical and nutritional important crops, with special emphasis to their potential impact and benefits in human nutrition and health. PMID:27485228

  6. ARCHITECTURE OF A CHARGE-TRANSFER STATE REGULATING LIGHT HARVESTING IN A PLANT ANTENNA PROTEIN

    SciTech Connect

    Fleming, Graham; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Avenson, Thomas J.; Ballottari, Matteo; Cheng, Yuan-Chung; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Bassi, Roberto; Fleming, Graham R.

    2008-04-02

    Energy-dependent quenching of excess absorbed light energy (qE) is a vital mechanism for regulating photosynthetic light harvesting in higher plants. All of the physiological characteristics of qE have been positively correlated with charge-transfer between coupled chlorophyll and zeaxanthin molecules in the light-harvesting antenna of photosystem II (PSII). In this work, we present evidence for charge-transfer quenching in all three of the individual minor antenna complexes of PSII (CP29, CP26, and CP24), and we conclude that charge-transfer quenching in CP29 involves a de-localized state of an excitonically coupled chlorophyll dimer. We propose that reversible conformational changes in CP29 can `tune? the electronic coupling between the chlorophylls in this dimer, thereby modulating the energy of the chlorophylls-zeaxanthin charge-transfer state and switching on and off the charge-transfer quenching during qE.

  7. PG&E`s Geysers` Power Plant improvements - past, present, and future

    SciTech Connect

    Louden, P.; Southall, W.; Paquin, C.

    1996-04-10

    Geothermal power plant retrofits can improve plant efficiency, reduce operations and maintenance costs, as well as increase plant availability. All geothermal power producers must find new ways to become more competitive as the electric power industry becomes deregulated. To survive and thrive in the competitive power generation market, geothermal plant operators must continually look for economic power plant upgrades that reduce the cost of production and improve availability. This paper describes past and present power plant retrofits as well as shows how further research can help future plant improvements. Past power plant retrofits at Pacific Gas and Electric Company`s Geysers Power Plants include innovative H{sub 2}S burners that reduced chemical costs and a turbine jack-shaft that improved unit efficiency. Other important retrofits that dramatically reduced turbine forced outage and repair costs were turbine blade and nozzle changes, turbine weld repairs, and steam desuperheating.

  8. Improvements of sensorimotor processes during action cascading associated with changes in sensory processing architecture-insights from sensory deprivation.

    PubMed

    Gohil, Krutika; Hahne, Anja; Beste, Christian

    2016-01-01

    In most everyday situations sensorimotor processes are quite complex because situations often require to carry out several actions in a specific temporal order; i.e. one has to cascade different actions. While it is known that changes to stimuli affect action cascading mechanisms, it is unknown whether action cascading changes when sensory stimuli are not manipulated, but the neural architecture to process these stimuli is altered. In the current study we test this hypothesis using prelingually deaf subjects as a model to answer this question. We use a system neurophysiological approach using event-related potentials (ERPs) and source localization techniques. We show that prelingually deaf subjects show improvements in action cascading. However, this improvement is most likely not due to changes at the perceptual (P1-ERP) and attentional processing level (N1-ERP), but due to changes at the response selection level (P3-ERP). It seems that the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) is important for these effects to occur, because the TPJ comprises overlapping networks important for the processing of sensory information and the selection of responses. Sensory deprivation thus affects cognitive processes downstream of sensory processing and only these seem to be important for behavioral improvements in situations requiring complex sensorimotor processes and action cascading. PMID:27321666

  9. A Comparison Between Plant Photosystem I and Photosystem II Architecture and Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Caffarri, Stefano; Tibiletti, Tania; Jennings, Robert C.; Santabarbara, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    Oxygenic photosynthesis is indispensable both for the development and maintenance of life on earth by converting light energy into chemical energy and by producing molecular oxygen and consuming carbon dioxide. This latter process has been responsible for reducing the CO2 from its very high levels in the primitive atmosphere to the present low levels and thus reducing global temperatures to levels conducive to the development of life. Photosystem I and photosystem II are the two multi-protein complexes that contain the pigments necessary to harvest photons and use light energy to catalyse the primary photosynthetic endergonic reactions producing high energy compounds. Both photosystems are highly organised membrane supercomplexes composed of a core complex, containing the reaction centre where electron transport is initiated, and of a peripheral antenna system, which is important for light harvesting and photosynthetic activity regulation. If on the one hand both the chemical reactions catalysed by the two photosystems and their detailed structure are different, on the other hand they share many similarities. In this review we discuss and compare various aspects of the organisation, functioning and regulation of plant photosystems by comparing them for similarities and differences as obtained by structural, biochemical and spectroscopic investigations. PMID:24678674

  10. Improved functionality of graphene and carbon nanotube hybrid foam architecture by UV-ozone treatment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Ruiz, Isaac; Lee, Ilkeun; Zaera, Francisco; Ozkan, Mihrimah; Ozkan, Cengiz S

    2015-04-28

    Optimization of the electrode/electrolyte double-layer interface is a key factor for improving electrode performance of aqueous electrolyte based supercapacitors (SCs). Here, we report the improved functionality of carbon materials via a non-invasive, high-throughput, and inexpensive UV generated ozone (UV-ozone) treatment. This process allows precise tuning of the graphene and carbon nanotube hybrid foam (GM) transitionally from ultrahydrophobic to hydrophilic within 60 s. The continuous tuning of surface energy can be controlled by simply varying the UV-ozone exposure time, while the ozone-oxidized carbon nanostructure maintains its integrity. Symmetric SCs based on the UV-ozone treated GM foam demonstrated enhanced rate performance. This technique can be readily applied to other CVD-grown carbonaceous materials by taking advantage of its ease of processing, low cost, scalability, and controllability. PMID:25695726

  11. Dissection of the functional architecture of a plant defense gene promoter using a homologous in vitro transcription initiation system.

    PubMed Central

    Arias, J A; Dixon, R A; Lamb, C J

    1993-01-01

    CHS15 is one of a family of bean genes encoding chalcone synthase, which catalyzes the first reaction in a branch pathway of phenylpropanoid biosynthesis for the production of flavonoid pigments and UV protectants and isoflavonoid-derived phytoalexins. The functional architecture of the CHS15 promoter was dissected by a novel homologous plant in vitro transcription initiation system in which whole-cell and nuclear extracts from suspension-cultured soybean cells direct accurate and efficient RNA polymerase II-mediated transcription from an immobilized promoter template. Authentic transcription from the CHS15 promoter template was also observed with whole-cell extracts from suspension-cultured cells of bean, tobacco, and the monocot rice, and the soybean whole-cell extract transcribed several other immobilized promoter templates. Hence, this procedure may be of general use in the study of plant gene regulation mechanisms in vitro. Assay of the effects of depletion of the soybean whole-cell extract by preincubation with small regions of the CHS15 promoter or defined cis elements showed that trans factors that bind to G-box (CACGTG, -74 to -69) and H-box (CCTACC, -61 to -56 and -121 to -126) cis elements, respectively, make major contributions to the transcription of the CHS15 promoter in vitro. Both cis element/trans factor interactions in combination are required for maximal activity. Delineation of these functional cis element/trans factor interactions in vitro provides the basis for study of the mechanisms underlying developmental expression of CHS15 in pigmented petal cells established by G-box and H-box combinatorial interactions, and for characterization of the terminal steps of the signal pathway for stress induction of the phytoalexin defense response. PMID:8485404

  12. Advanced control strategy for plant heat rate improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Schultz, P.; Frerichs, D.K.; Kyr, D.

    1995-12-31

    Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) supplies electricity to about half of the population of Florida, roughly 6.5 million people. The load base is largely residential/business with the obvious seasonal extremes due to the climate. FPL`s generating capacity is 16,320 MW composed of 70% traditional fossil cycle, 18% nuclear, and 12% gas turbine. The system load profile coupled with bulk power purchases is such that the 400 MW class units (9 Foster Wheeler drum type units comprising 24% of total capacity) are now forced to cycle daily all year, and to come off line on weekends during the winter months. The current economic realities of power generation force utility companies to seek methods to improve plant heat rate, and FPL is no exception. FPL believed it possible to achieve the goal of lower heat rate and follow the required load demand with the 400 MW class units through the use of an advanced control strategy implemented totally within the unit`s Distributed Control System (DCS). As of the writing of this paper, the project is still ongoing. This paper will present the theory and methodology of the advanced control strategy along with the current design and implementation status and results obtained to date.

  13. Improved performance of CuInS2 quantum dot-sensitized solar cells based on a multilayered architecture.

    PubMed

    Chang, Jia-Yaw; Lin, Jie-Mo; Su, Li-Fong; Chang, Chia-Fu

    2013-09-11

    This article describes a CuInS2 quantum dot (QD)-sensitized solar cell (QDSSC) with a multilayered architecture and a cascaded energy-gap structure fabricated using a successive ionic-layer adsorption and reaction process. We initially used different metal chalcogenides as interfacial buffer layers to improve unmatched band alignments between the TiO2 and CuInS2 QD sensitizers. In this design, the photovoltaic performance, in terms of the short-circuit current density (JSC), open-circuit voltage (VOC), fill factor (FF), and power conversion efficiency (PCE), was significantly improved. Both JSC and VOC were improved in CuInS2-based QDSSCs in the presence of interfacial buffer layers because of proper band alignment across the heterointerface and the negative band edge movement of TiO2. The PCE of CuInS2-based QDSSCs containing In2Se3 interfacial buffer layers was 1.35%, with JSC=5.83 mA/cm2, VOC=595 mV, and FF=39.0%. We also examined the use of alternative CdS and CdSe hybrid-sensitized layers, which were sequentially deposited onto the In2Se3/CuInS2 configuration for creating favorable cascaded energy-gap structures. Both JSC (11.3 mA cm(-2)) and FF (47.3%) for the CuInS2/CdSe hybrid-sensitized cells were higher than those for CuInS2-based cells (JSC=5.83 mA cm(-2) and FF=39.0%). In addition, the hybrid-sensitized cells had PCEs that were 1.3 times those of cells containing identically pretreated In2Se3 interfacial buffer layers. Additionally, we determined that ZnSe served as a good passivation layer on the surface of CuInS2/CdSe hybrid-sensitized QDs, prevented current leakage from the QDs to electrolytes, and lowered interfacial charge recombination. Under simulated illumination (AM 1.5, 100 mW cm(-2)), multilayered QDSSCs with distinct architectures delivered a maximum external quantum efficiency of 80% at 500 nm and a maximum PCE of 4.55%, approximately 9 times that of QDSSCs fabricated with pristine CuInS2. PMID:23937511

  14. Compressed Air System Upgrade Improves Production at an Automotive Glass Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2003-02-01

    In 2000, The Visteon automotive glass plant improved its compressed air system at its automotive glass plant in Nashville, Tennessee. This improvement allowed Visteon to save $711,000 annually, reduce annual energy consumption by 7.9 million kilowatt-hours, reduce maintenance, improve system performance, and avoid $800,000 in asbestos abatement costs.

  15. Improvements of reinforced silica aerogel nanocomposites thermal properties for architecture applications.

    PubMed

    Saboktakin, Amin; Saboktakin, Mohammad Reza

    2015-01-01

    An 1,4-cis polybutadiene rubber/carboxymethyl starch (CMS)-based silica aerogel nanocomposites as a insulation material was developed that will provide superior thermal insulation properties, flexibility, toughness, durability of the parent polymer, yet with the low density and superior insulation properties associated with the aerogels. In this study, reinforced 1,4-cis polybutadiene-CMS-silica aerogel nanocomposites were prepared from a silica aerogel with a surface area 710 m(2) g(-1), a pore size of 25.3 nm and a pore volume of 4.7 cm(3) g(-1). The tensile properties and dynamic mechanical properties of 1,4-cis polybutadiene/CMS nanocomposites were systematically enhanced at low silica loading. Similar improvements in tensile modulus and strength have been observed for 1,4-cis polybutadiene/CMS mesoporous silica aerogel nanocomposites. PMID:25172161

  16. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) Prevented the Progression of Renovascular Hypertension, Improved Renal Function and Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira-Sales, Elizabeth B.; Maquigussa, Edgar; Semedo, Patricia; Pereira, Luciana G.; Ferreira, Vanessa M.; Câmara, Niels O.; Bergamaschi, Cassia T.; Campos, Ruy R.; Boim, Mirian A.

    2013-01-01

    Renovascular hypertension induced by 2 Kidney-1 Clip (2K-1C) is a renin-angiotensin-system (RAS)-dependent model, leading to renal vascular rarefaction and renal failure. RAS inhibitors are not able to reduce arterial pressure (AP) and/or preserve the renal function, and thus, alternative therapies are needed. Three weeks after left renal artery occlusion, fluorescently tagged mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) (2×105 cells/animal) were injected weekly into the tail vein in 2K-1C hypertensive rats. Flow cytometry showed labeled MSC in the cortex and medulla of the clipped kidney. MSC prevented a further increase in the AP, significantly reduced proteinuria and decreased sympathetic hyperactivity in 2K-1C rats. Renal function parameters were unchanged, except for an increase in urinary volume observed in 2K-1C rats, which was not corrected by MSC. The treatment improved the morphology and decreased the fibrotic areas in the clipped kidney and also significantly reduced renal vascular rarefaction typical of 2K-1C model. Expression levels of IL-1β, TNF-α angiotensinogen, ACE, and Ang II receptor AT1 were elevated, whereas AT2 levels were decreased in the medulla of the clipped kidney. MSC normalized these expression levels. In conclusion, MSC therapy in the 2K-1C model (i) prevented the progressive increase of AP, (ii) improved renal morphology and microvascular rarefaction, (iii) reduced fibrosis, proteinuria and inflammatory cytokines, (iv) suppressed the intrarenal RAS, iv) decreased sympathetic hyperactivity in anesthetized animals and v) MSC were detected at the CNS suggesting that the cells crossed the blood-brain barrier. This therapy may be a promising strategy to treat renovascular hypertension and its renal consequences in the near future. PMID:24223811

  17. Novel back-reflector architecture with nanoparticle based buried light-scattering microstructures for improved solar cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desta, Derese; Ram, Sanjay K.; Rizzoli, Rita; Bellettato, Michele; Summonte, Caterina; Jeppesen, Bjarke R.; Jensen, Pia B.; Tsao, Yao-Chung; Wiggers, Hartmut; Pereira, Rui N.; Balling, Peter; Larsen, Arne Nylandsted

    2016-06-01

    A new back-reflector architecture for light-management in thin-film solar cells is proposed that includes a morphologically smooth top surface with light-scattering microstructures buried within. The microstructures are pyramid shaped, fabricated on a planar reflector using TiO2 nanoparticles and subsequently covered with a layer of Si nanoparticles to obtain a flattened top surface, thus enabling growth of good quality thin-film solar cells. The optical properties of this back-reflector show high broadband haze parameter and wide angular distribution of diffuse light-scattering. The n-i-p amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells grown on such a back-reflector show enhanced light absorption resulting in improved external quantum efficiency. The benefit of the light trapping in those solar cells is evidenced by the gains in short-circuit current density and efficiency up to 15.6% and 19.3% respectively, compared to the reference flat solar cells. This improvement in the current generation in the solar cells grown on the flat-topped (buried pyramid) back-reflector is observed even when the irradiation takes place at large oblique angles of incidence. Finite-difference-time-domain simulation results of optical absorption and ideal short-circuit current density values agree well with the experimental findings. The proposed approach uses a low cost and simple fabrication technique and allows effective light manipulation by utilizing the optical properties of micro-scale structures and nanoscale constituent particles.

  18. Novel back-reflector architecture with nanoparticle based buried light-scattering microstructures for improved solar cell performance.

    PubMed

    Desta, Derese; Ram, Sanjay K; Rizzoli, Rita; Bellettato, Michele; Summonte, Caterina; Jeppesen, Bjarke R; Jensen, Pia B; Tsao, Yao-Chung; Wiggers, Hartmut; Pereira, Rui N; Balling, Peter; Larsen, Arne Nylandsted

    2016-06-01

    A new back-reflector architecture for light-management in thin-film solar cells is proposed that includes a morphologically smooth top surface with light-scattering microstructures buried within. The microstructures are pyramid shaped, fabricated on a planar reflector using TiO2 nanoparticles and subsequently covered with a layer of Si nanoparticles to obtain a flattened top surface, thus enabling growth of good quality thin-film solar cells. The optical properties of this back-reflector show high broadband haze parameter and wide angular distribution of diffuse light-scattering. The n-i-p amorphous silicon thin-film solar cells grown on such a back-reflector show enhanced light absorption resulting in improved external quantum efficiency. The benefit of the light trapping in those solar cells is evidenced by the gains in short-circuit current density and efficiency up to 15.6% and 19.3% respectively, compared to the reference flat solar cells. This improvement in the current generation in the solar cells grown on the flat-topped (buried pyramid) back-reflector is observed even when the irradiation takes place at large oblique angles of incidence. Finite-difference-time-domain simulation results of optical absorption and ideal short-circuit current density values agree well with the experimental findings. The proposed approach uses a low cost and simple fabrication technique and allows effective light manipulation by utilizing the optical properties of micro-scale structures and nanoscale constituent particles. PMID:27244247

  19. NERI Project 99-119. A New Paradigm for Automatic Development of Highly Reliable Control Architectures for Nuclear Power Plants. Phase-2 Progress Report

    SciTech Connect

    March-Leuba, JA

    2002-01-15

    This report describes the tasks performed and the progress made during Phase 2 of the DOE-NERI project number 99-119 entitled Automatic Development of Highly Reliable Control Architecture for Future Nuclear Power Plants. This project is a collaboration effort between the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and the North Carolina State University (NCSU). ORNL is the lead organization and is responsible for the coordination and integration of all work.

  20. 12. Photocopy of Drawing (November 1934 Architectural Drawings by Burge ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    12. Photocopy of Drawing (November 1934 Architectural Drawings by Burge and Stevens, in Possession of the Engineering and Capital Improvements Department of the Atlanta Housing Authority, Atlanta, Georgia). PLANTING PLAN AND PLANT LIST, ADMINISTRATION BUILDING AND STORE, TECHWOOD PROJECT #1101, SHEET L-251. - Techwood Homes, Store & Administration Building, 114-138 Merrit Avenue, Atlanta, Fulton County, GA

  1. 15. Photocopy of Drawing (November 1934 Architectural Drawings by Burge ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    15. Photocopy of Drawing (November 1934 Architectural Drawings by Burge and Stevens, in Possession of the Engineering and Capital Improvements Department of the Atlanta Housing Authority, Atlanta, Georgia). PLANTING PLAN AND PLANT LIST, BUILDINGS 1,2,3, AND GARAGES, TECHWOOD PROJECT #1101, SHEET L-250. - Techwood Homes, Building No. 1, 575-579 Techwood Drive, Atlanta, Fulton County, GA

  2. Computing Competition for Light in the GREENLAB Model of Plant Growth: A Contribution to the Study of the Effects of Density on Resource Acquisition and Architectural Development

    PubMed Central

    Cournède, Paul-Henry; Mathieu, Amélie; Houllier, François; Barthélémy, Daniel; de Reffye, Philippe

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims The dynamical system of plant growth GREENLAB was originally developed for individual plants, without explicitly taking into account interplant competition for light. Inspired by the competition models developed in the context of forest science for mono-specific stands, we propose to adapt the method of crown projection onto the x–y plane to GREENLAB, in order to study the effects of density on resource acquisition and on architectural development. Methods The empirical production equation of GREENLAB is extrapolated to stands by computing the exposed photosynthetic foliage area of each plant. The computation is based on the combination of Poisson models of leaf distribution for all the neighbouring plants whose crown projection surfaces overlap. To study the effects of density on architectural development, we link the proposed competition model to the model of interaction between functional growth and structural development introduced by Mathieu (2006, PhD Thesis, Ecole Centrale de Paris, France). Key Results and Conclusions The model is applied to mono-specific field crops and forest stands. For high-density crops at full cover, the model is shown to be equivalent to the classical equation of field crop production ( Howell and Musick, 1985, in Les besoins en eau des cultures; Paris: INRA Editions). However, our method is more accurate at the early stages of growth (before cover) or in the case of intermediate densities. It may potentially account for local effects, such as uneven spacing, variation in the time of plant emergence or variation in seed biomass. The application of the model to trees illustrates the expression of plant plasticity in response to competition for light. Density strongly impacts on tree architectural development through interactions with the source–sink balances during growth. The effects of density on tree height and radial growth that are commonly observed in real stands appear as emerging properties of the model

  3. Micronutrient fortification of plants through plant breeding: can it improve nutrition in man at low cost?

    PubMed

    Bouis, Howarth E

    2003-05-01

    Can commonly-eaten food staple crops be developed that fortify their seeds with essential minerals and vitamins? Can farmers be induced to grow such varieties? If so, would this result in a marked improvement in human nutrition at a lower cost than existing nutrition interventions? An interdisciplinary international effort is underway to breed for mineral- and vitamin-dense varieties of rice, wheat, maize, beans and cassava for release to farmers in developing countries. The biofortification strategy seeks to take advantage of the consistent daily consumption of large amounts of food staples by all family members, including women and children as they are most at risk for micronutrient malnutrition. As a consequence of the predominance of food staples in the diets of the poor, this strategy implicitly targets low-income households. After the one-time investment is made to develop seeds that fortify themselves, recurrent costs are low and germplasm may be shared internationally. It is this multiplier aspect of plant breeding across time and distance that makes it so cost-effective. Once in place, the biofortified crop system is highly sustainable. Nutritionally-improved varieties will continue to be grown and consumed year after year, even if government attention and international funding for micronutrient issues fades. Biofortification provides a truly feasible means of reaching malnourished populations in relatively remote rural areas, delivering naturally-fortified foods to population groups with limited access to commercially-marketed fortified foods that are more readily available in urban areas. Biofortification and commercial fortification are, therefore, highly complementary. Breeding for higher trace mineral density in seeds will not incur a yield penalty. Mineral-packed seeds sell themselves to farmers because, as recent research has shown, these trace minerals are essential in helping plants resist disease and other environmental stresses. More seedlings

  4. Using an Analogical Thinking Model as an Instructional Tool to Improve Student Cognitive Ability in Architecture Design Learning Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Yun-Wu; Weng, Kuo-Hua

    2013-01-01

    Lack of creativity is a problem often plaguing students from design-related departments. Therefore, this study is intended to incorporate analogical thinking in the education of architecture design to enhance students' learning and their future career performance. First, this study explores the three aspects of architecture design curricula,…

  5. Improved stereo matching applied to digitization of greenhouse plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Peng; Xu, Lihong; Li, Dawei; Gu, Xiaomeng

    2015-03-01

    The digitization of greenhouse plants is an important aspect of digital agriculture. Its ultimate aim is to reconstruct a visible and interoperable virtual plant model on the computer by using state-of-the-art image process and computer graphics technologies. The most prominent difficulties of the digitization of greenhouse plants include how to acquire the three-dimensional shape data of greenhouse plants and how to carry out its realistic stereo reconstruction. Concerning these issues an effective method for the digitization of greenhouse plants is proposed by using a binocular stereo vision system in this paper. Stereo vision is a technique aiming at inferring depth information from two or more cameras; it consists of four parts: calibration of the cameras, stereo rectification, search of stereo correspondence and triangulation. Through the final triangulation procedure, the 3D point cloud of the plant can be achieved. The proposed stereo vision system can facilitate further segmentation of plant organs such as stems and leaves; moreover, it can provide reliable digital samples for the visualization of greenhouse tomato plants.

  6. Strategies for optimization of mineral nutrient transport in plants: multilevel regulation of nutrient-dependent dynamics of root architecture and transporter activity.

    PubMed

    Aibara, Izumi; Miwa, Kyoko

    2014-12-01

    How do sessile plants cope with irregularities in soil nutrient availability? The uptake of essential minerals from the soil influences plant growth and development. However, most environments do not provide sufficient nutrients; rather nutrient distribution in the soil can be uneven and change temporally according to environmental factors. To maintain mineral nutrient homeostasis in their tissues, plants have evolved sophisticated systems for coping with spatial and temporal variability in soil nutrient concentrations. Among these are mechanisms for modulating root system architecture in response to nutrient availability. This review discusses recent advances in knowledge of the two important strategies for optimizing nutrient uptake and translocation in plants: root architecture modification and transporter expression control in response to nutrient availability. Recent studies have determined (i) nutrient-specific root patterns; (ii) their physiological consequences; and (iii) the molecular mechanisms underlying these modulation systems that operate to facilitate efficient nutrient acquisition. Another mechanism employed by plants in nutrient-heterogeneous soils involves modification of nutrient transport activities in a nutrient concentration-dependent manner. In recent years, considerable progress has been made in characterizing the diverse functions of transporters for specific nutrients; it is now clear that the expression and activities of nutrient transporters are finely regulated in multiple steps at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels for adaptation to a wide range of nutrient conditions. PMID:25378690

  7. How changing root system architecture can help tackle a reduction in soil phosphate (P) levels for better plant P acquisition.

    PubMed

    Heppell, J; Talboys, P; Payvandi, S; Zygalakis, K C; Fliege, J; Withers, P J A; Jones, D L; Roose, T

    2015-01-01

    The readily available global rock phosphate (P) reserves may run out within the next 50-130 years, causing soils to have a reduced P concentration which will affect plant P uptake. Using a combination of mathematical modelling and experimental data, we investigated potential plant-based options for optimizing crop P uptake in reduced soil P environments. By varying the P concentration within a well-mixed agricultural soil, for high and low P (35.5-12.5 mg L(-1) respectively using Olsen's P index), we investigated branching distributions within a wheat root system that maximize P uptake. Changing the root branching distribution from linear (evenly spaced branches) to strongly exponential (a greater number of branches at the top of the soil) improves P uptake by 142% for low-P soils when root mass is kept constant between simulations. This causes the roots to emerge earlier and mimics topsoil foraging. Manipulating root branching patterns, to maximize P uptake, is not enough on its own to overcome the drop in soil P from high to low P. Further mechanisms have to be considered to fully understand the impact of P reduction on plant development. PMID:24891045

  8. Architectural improvements and 28 nm FPGA implementation of the APEnet+ 3D Torus network for hybrid HPC systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ammendola, Roberto; Biagioni, Andrea; Frezza, Ottorino; Lo Cicero, Francesca; Stanislao Paolucci, Pier; Lonardo, Alessandro; Rossetti, Davide; Simula, Francesco; Tosoratto, Laura; Vicini, Piero

    2014-06-01

    Modern Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are now considered accelerators for general purpose computation. A tight interaction between the GPU and the interconnection network is the strategy to express the full potential on capability computing of a multi-GPU system on large HPC clusters; that is the reason why an efficient and scalable interconnect is a key technology to finally deliver GPUs for scientific HPC. In this paper we show the latest architectural and performance improvement of the APEnet+ network fabric, a FPGA-based PCIe board with 6 fully bidirectional off-board links with 34 Gbps of raw bandwidth per direction, and X8 Gen2 bandwidth towards the host PC. The board implements a Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) protocol that leverages upon peer-to-peer (P2P) capabilities of Fermi- and Kepler-class NVIDIA GPUs to obtain real zero-copy, low-latency GPU-to-GPU transfers. Finally, we report on the development activities for 2013 focusing on the adoption of the latest generation 28 nm FPGAs and the preliminary tests performed on this new platform.

  9. Crop Improvement through Modification of the Plant's Own Genome

    PubMed Central

    Rommens, Caius M.; Humara, Jaime M.; Ye, Jingsong; Yan, Hua; Richael, Craig; Zhang, Lynda; Perry, Rachel; Swords, Kathleen

    2004-01-01

    Plant genetic engineering has, until now, relied on the incorporation of foreign DNA into plant genomes. Public concern about the extent to which transgenic crops differ from their traditionally bred counterparts has resulted in molecular strategies and gene choices that limit, but not eliminate, the introduction of foreign DNA. Here, we demonstrate that a plant-derived (P-) DNA fragment can be used to replace the universally employed Agrobacterium transfer (T-) DNA. Marker-free P-DNAs are transferred to plant cell nuclei together with conventional T-DNAs carrying a selectable marker gene. By subsequently linking a positive selection for temporary marker gene expression to a negative selection against marker gene integration, 29% of derived regeneration events contain P-DNA insertions but lack any copies of the T-DNA. Further refinements are accomplished by employing Ω-mutated virD2 and isopentenyl transferase cytokinin genes to impair T-DNA integration and select against backbone integration, respectively. The presented methods are used to produce hundreds of marker-free and backbone-free potato (Solanum tuberosum) plants displaying reduced expression of a tuber-specific polyphenol oxidase gene in potato. The modified plants represent the first example of genetically engineered plants that only contain native DNA. PMID:15133156

  10. Formosa Plastics Corporation: Plant-Wide Assessment of Texas Plant Identifies Opportunities for Improving Process Efficiency and Reducing Energy Costs

    SciTech Connect

    2005-01-01

    At Formosa Plastics Corporation's plant in Point Comfort, Texas, a plant-wide assessment team analyzed process energy requirements, reviewed new technologies for applicability, and found ways to improve the plant's energy efficiency. The assessment team identified the energy requirements of each process and compared actual energy consumption with theoretical process requirements. The team estimated that total annual energy savings would be about 115,000 MBtu for natural gas and nearly 14 million kWh for electricity if the plant makes several improvements, which include upgrading the gas compressor impeller, improving the vent blower system, and recovering steam condensate for reuse. Total annual cost savings could be $1.5 million. The U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program cosponsored this assessment.