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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

    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 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

  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. 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...

  10. 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

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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

    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 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

  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 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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)

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  20. 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…

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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,…

  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. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Process energy efficiency improvement in Wisconsin cheese plants

    SciTech Connect

    Zehr, S.; Mitchell, J.; Reinemann, D.; Klein, S.; Reindl, D.

    1997-07-01

    Costs for the energy involved in cheese making has a major impact on profit. Although industrial cheese plants differ in size, production equipment, and the manner in which whey is processed, there are common elements in most plants. This paper evaluates several process integration opportunities at two representative cheese plants in Wisconsin. Pinch analysis is used to help assess the heat recovery potential for the major thermal processes in the plants. The potential of using packaged cheese as a thermal storage medium to allow electrical demand shifting in the cold storage warehouse is evaluated and shown to be feasible. Three major conservation measures are identified with a total cost savings of $130,000 to $160,000 annually.

  11. Ways to Improve Russian Coal-Fired Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Tumanovskii, A. G. Olkhovsky, G. G.

    2015-07-15

    Coal is an important fuel for the electric power industry of Russia, especially in Ural and the eastern part of the country. It is fired in boilers of large (200 – 800 MW) condensing power units and in many cogeneration power plants with units rated at 50 – 180 MW. Many coal-fired power plants have been operated for more than 40 – 50 years. Though serviceable, their equipment is obsolete and does not comply with the current efficiency, environmental, staffing, and availability standards. It is urgent to retrofit and upgrade such power plants using advanced equipment, engineering and business ideas. Russian power-plant engineering companies have designed such advanced power units and their equipment such as boilers, turbines, auxiliaries, process and environmental control systems similar to those produced by the world’s leading manufacturers. Their performance and ways of implementation are discussed.

  12. Bromeliad-living spiders improve host plant nutrition and growth.

    PubMed

    Romero, Gustavo Q; Mazzafera, Paulo; Vasconcellos-Neto, Joao; Trivelin, Paulo C O

    2006-04-01

    Although bromeliads are believed to obtain nutrients from debris deposited by animals in their rosettes, there is little evidence to support this assumption. Using stable isotope methods, we found that the Neotropical jumping spider Psecas chapoda (Salticidae), which lives strictly associated with the terrestrial bromeliad Bromelia balansae, contributed 18% of the total nitrogen of its host plant in a greenhouse experiment. In a one-year field experiment, plants with spiders produced leaves 15% longer than plants from which the spiders were excluded. This is the first study to show nutrient provisioning in a spider-plant system. Because several animal species live strictly associated with bromeliad rosettes, this type of facultative mutualism involving the Bromeliaceae may be more common than previously thought. PMID:16676522

  13. 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.

  14. Lab to Farm: Applying Research on Plant Genetics and Genomics to Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Ronald, Pamela C.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last 300 years, plant science research has provided important knowledge and technologies for advancing the sustainability of agriculture. In this Essay, I describe how basic research advances have been translated into crop improvement, explore some lessons learned, and discuss the potential for current and future contribution of plant genetic improvement technologies to continue to enhance food security and agricultural sustainability. PMID:24915201

  15. Millwater Pumping System Optimization Improves Efficiency and Saves Energy at an Automotive Glass Plant

    SciTech Connect

    2003-03-01

    In 2001, the Visteon automotive glass plant in Nashville, Tennessee renovated its millwater pumping system. This improvement saved the plant $280,000 annually in energy and operating costs, reduced annual energy consumption by 3.2 million kilowatt-hours, reduced water consumption, improved system performance, and reduced use of water treatment chemicals.

  16. An improved, low-cost, hydroponic system for growing Arabidopsis and other plant species under aseptic conditions

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Hydroponics is a plant growth system that provides a more precise control of growth media composition. Several hydroponic systems have been reported for Arabidopsis and other model plants. The ease of system set up, cost of the growth system and flexibility to characterize and harvest plant material are features continually improved in new hydroponic system reported. Results We developed a hydroponic culture system for Arabidopsis and other model plants. This low cost, proficient, and novel system is based on recyclable and sterilizable plastic containers, which are readily available from local suppliers. Our system allows a large-scale manipulation of seedlings. It adapts to different growing treatments and has an extended growth window until adult plants are established. The novel seed-holder also facilitates the transfer and harvest of seedlings. Here we report the use of our hydroponic system to analyze transcriptomic responses of Arabidopsis to nutriment availability and plant/pathogen interactions. Conclusions The efficiency and functionality of our proposed hydroponic system is demonstrated in nutrient deficiency and pathogenesis experiments. Hydroponically grown Arabidopsis seedlings under long-time inorganic phosphate (Pi) deficiency showed typical changes in root architecture and high expression of marker genes involved in signaling and Pi recycling. Genome-wide transcriptional analysis of gene expression of Arabidopsis roots depleted of Pi by short time periods indicates that genes related to general stress are up-regulated before those specific to Pi signaling and metabolism. Our hydroponic system also proved useful for conducting pathogenesis essays, revealing early transcriptional activation of pathogenesis-related genes. PMID:24649917

  17. Higher Doses of Bisphosphonates Further Improve Bone Mass, Architecture, and Strength but Not the Tissue Material Properties in Aged Rats

    PubMed Central

    Shahnazari, Mohammad; Yao, Wei; Dai, WeiWei; Wang, Bob; Ionova-Martin, Sophi S.; Ritchie, Robert O.; Heeren, Daniel; Burghardt, Andrew J.; Nicolella, Daniel P.; Kimiecik, Michael G.; Lane, Nancy E.

    2010-01-01

    We report the results of a series of experiments designed to determine the effects of ibandronate (Ibn) and risedronate (Ris) on a number of bone quality parameters in aged osteopenic rats to explain how bone material and bone mass may be affected by the dose of bisphosphonates (BP) and contribute to their anti-fracture efficacy. Eighteen-month old female rats underwent either ovariectomy or sham surgery. The ovariectomized (OVX) groups were left untreated for 2 months to develop osteopenia. Treatments started at 20 months of age as follows: sham and OVX control (treated with saline), OVX+risedronate 30 and 90 (30 or 90 μg/kg/dose), and OVX+ibandronate 30 and 90 (30 or 90 μg/kg/dose). The treatments were given monthly for four months by subcutaneous injection. At sacrifice at 24 months of age the 4th lumbar vertebra was used for μCT scans (bone mass, architecture, and degree of mineralization of bone, DMB) and histomorphometry, and the 6th lumbar vertebra, tibia, and femur were collected for biomechanical testing to determine bone structural and material strength, cortical fracture toughness, and tissue elastic modulus. The compression testing of the vertebral bodies (LVB6) was simulated using finite-element analysis (FEA) to also estimate the bone structural stiffness. Both Ibn and Ris dose-dependently increased bone mass and improved vertebral bone microarchitecture and mechanical properties compared to OVX control. Estimates of vertebral maximum stress from FEA were correlated with vertebral maximum load (r=0.5, p<0.001) and maximum stress (r=0.4, p<0.005) measured experimentally. Tibial bone bending modulus and cortical strength increased compared to OVX with both BP but no dose-dependent effect was observed. DMB and elastic modulus of trabecular bone were improved with Ibn30 compared to OVX but were not affected in other BP-treated groups. DMB of tibial cortical bone showed no change with BP treatments. The fracture toughness examined in midshaft femurs did

  18. A natural plant growth promoter calliterpenone from a plant Callicarpa macrophylla Vahl improves the plant growth promoting effects of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs).

    PubMed

    Maji, Deepamala; Barnawal, Deepti; Gupta, Aakansha; King, Shikha; Singh, A K; Kalra, A

    2013-05-01

    Experiments were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of calliterpenone, a natural plant growth promoter from a shrub Callicarpa macrophylla Vahl., in enhancing the growth and yield promoting effects of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), in menthol mint (Mentha arvensis L).This study is based on our previous results indicating the microbial growth promotion by calliterpenone and assumption that application of calliterpenone along with PGPRs will improve the population of PGPRs resulting in higher impacts on plant growth and yield. Of the 15 PGPRs (identified as potent ones in our laboratory), 25 μl of 0.01 mM calliterpenone (8.0 μg/100 ml) was found to be useful in improving the population of nine PGPRs in culture media. The five selected strains of PGPRs exhibiting synergy with calliterpenone in enhancing growth of maize compared to PGPR or calliterpenone alone were selected and tested on two cultivars (cvs. Kosi and Kushal) of M. arvensis. Of the five strains, Bacillus subtilis P-20 (16S rDNA sequence homologous to Accession No NR027552) and B. subtilis Daz-26 (16SrDNA sequence homologuos to Accession No GU998816) were found to be highly effective in improving the herb and essential oil yield in the cultivars Kushal and Kosi respectively when co-treated with calliterpenone. The results open up the possibilities of using a natural growth promoter along with PGPRs as a bio-agri input for sustainable and organic agriculture. PMID:23271460

  19. Reduced Wind Speed Improves Plant Growth in a Desert City

    PubMed Central

    Bang, Christofer; Sabo, John L.; Faeth, Stanley H.

    2010-01-01

    Background The often dramatic effects of urbanization on community and ecosystem properties, such as primary productivity, abundances, and diversity are now well-established. In most cities local primary productivity increases and this extra energy flows upwards to alter diversity and relative abundances in higher trophic levels. The abiotic mechanisms thought to be responsible for increases in urban productivity are altered temperatures and light regimes, and increased nutrient and water inputs. However, another abiotic factor, wind speed, is also influenced by urbanization and well known for altering primary productivity in agricultural systems. Wind effects on primary productivity have heretofore not been studied in the context of urbanization. Methodology/Principal Findings We designed a field experiment to test if increased plant growth often observed in cities is explained by the sheltering effects of built structures. Wind speed was reduced by protecting Encelia farinosa (brittlebush) plants in urban, desert remnant and outlying desert localities via windbreaks while controlling for water availability and nutrient content. In all three habitats, we compared E. farinosa growth when protected by experimental windbreaks and in the open. E. farinosa plants protected against ambient wind in the desert and remnant areas grew faster in terms of biomass and height than exposed plants. As predicted, sheltered plants did not differ from unprotected plants in urban areas where wind speed is already reduced. Conclusion/Significance Our results indicate that reductions in wind speed due to built structures in cities contribute to increased plant productivity and thus also to changes in abundances and diversity of higher trophic levels. Our study emphasizes the need to incorporate wind speed in future urban ecological studies, as well as in planning for green space and sustainable cities. PMID:20548790

  20. Nitric Oxide Improves Internal Iron Availability in Plants1

    PubMed Central

    Graziano, Magdalena; Beligni, María Verónica; Lamattina, Lorenzo

    2002-01-01

    Iron deficiency impairs chlorophyll biosynthesis and chloroplast development. In leaves, most of the iron must cross several biological membranes to reach the chloroplast. The components involved in the complex internal iron transport are largely unknown. Nitric oxide (NO), a bioactive free radical, can react with transition metals to form metal-nitrosyl complexes. Sodium nitroprusside, an NO donor, completely prevented leaf interveinal chlorosis in maize (Zea mays) plants growing with an iron concentration as low as 10 μm Fe-EDTA in the nutrient solution. S-Nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine, another NO donor, as well as gaseous NO supply in a translucent chamber were also able to revert the iron deficiency symptoms. A specific NO scavenger, 2-(4-carboxy-phenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide, blocked the effect of the NO donors. The effect of NO treatment on the photosynthetic apparatus of iron-deficient plants was also studied. Electron micrographs of mesophyll cells from iron-deficient maize plants revealed plastids with few photosynthetic lamellae and rudimentary grana. In contrast, in NO-treated maize plants, mesophyll chloroplast appeared completely developed. NO treatment did not increase iron content in plant organs, when expressed in a fresh matter basis, suggesting that root iron uptake was not enhanced. NO scavengers 2-(4-carboxy-phenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide and methylene blue promoted interveinal chlorosis in iron-replete maize plants (growing in 250 μm Fe-EDTA). Even though results support a role for endogenous NO in iron nutrition, experiments did not establish an essential role. NO was also able to revert the chlorotic phenotype of the iron-inefficient maize mutants yellow stripe1 and yellow stripe3, both impaired in the iron uptake mechanisms. All together, these results support a biological action of NO on the availability and/or delivery of metabolically active iron within the plant. PMID:12481068

  1. PHYTOCHEMICALS IN PLANTS: GENOMICS-ASSISTED PLANT IMPROVEMENT FOR NUTRITIONAL AND HEALTH BENEFITS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants are an important source of essential nutrients and health-beneficial components that are crucial for human life. Because the intake of these phytochemicals is not always adequate, the resources of plant biotechnology are being used to enhance the nutritional quality of our plant-based food s...

  2. A 128 × 128 Pixel Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor Image Sensor with an Improved Pixel Architecture for Detecting Modulated Light Signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Koji; Oya, Yu; Kagawa, Keiichiro; Nunoshita, Masahiro; Ohta, Jun; Watanabe, Kunihiro

    A complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor for the detection of modulated light under background illumination has been developed. When an object is illuminated by a modulated light source under background illumination the sensor enables the object alone to be captured. This paper describes improvements in pixel architecture for reducing fixed pattern noise (FPN) and improving the sensitivity of the image sensor. The improved 128 × 128 pixel CMOS image sensor with a column parallel analog-to-digital converter (ADC) circuit was fabricated using 0.35-mm CMOS technology. The resulting captured images are shown and the properties of improved pixel architecture are described. The image sensor has FPN of 1/28 that of the previous image sensor and an improved pixel architecture comprising a common in-pixel amp and a correlated double sampling (CDS) circuit. The use of a split photogate increases the sensitivity of the image sensor to 1.3 times that of the previous image sensor.

  3. ERC product improvement activities for direct fuel cell power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Maru, H.C.; Farooque, M.; Bentley, C.

    1995-12-01

    This program is designed to advance the carbonate fuel cell technology from the current power plant demonstration status to the commercial design in an approximately five-year period. The specific objectives which will allow attainment of the overall program goal are: (1) Define market-responsive power plant requirements and specifications, (2) Establish the design for a multifuel, low-cost, modular, market-responsive power plant, (3) Resolve power plant manufacturing issues and define the design for the commercial manufacturing facility, (4) Define the stack and BOP equipment packaging arrangement and define module designs, (5) Acquire capability to support developmental testing of stacks and BOP equipment as required to prepare for commercial design, and (6) Resolve stack and BOP equipment technology issues and design, build, and field test a modular commercial prototype power plant to demonstrate readiness for commercial entry. A seven-task program, dedicated to attaining objective(s) in the areas noted above, was initiated in December 1994. Accomplishments of the first six months are discussed in this paper.

  4. ERC product improvement activities for direct fuel cell power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Bentley, C.; Carlson, G.; Doyon, J.

    1995-08-01

    This program is designed to advance the carbonate fuel cell technology from the current power plant demonstration status to the commercial design in an approximately five-year period. The specific objectives which will allow attainment of the overall program goal are: (1) Define market-responsive power plant requirements and specifications, (2) Establish the design for a multifuel, low-cost, modular, market-responsive power plant, (3) Resolve power plant manufacturing issues and define the design for the commercial manufacturing facility, (4) Define the stack and BOP equipment packaging arrangement and define module designs, (5) Acquire capability to support developmental testing of stacks and BOP equipment as required to prepare for commercial design, and (6) Resolve stack and BOP equipment technology issues and design, build, and field test a modular commercial prototype power plant to demonstrate readiness for commercial entry. A seven-task program, dedicated to attaining objective(s) in the areas noted above, was initiated in December 1994. Accomplishments of the first six months are discussed in this paper.

  5. Loose Plant Architecture1 (LPA1) determines lamina joint bending by suppressing auxin signalling that interacts with C-22-hydroxylated and 6-deoxo brassinosteroids in rice

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jing Miao; Park, Soon Ju; Huang, Jin; Lee, Eun Jin; Xuan, Yuan Hu; Je, Byoung Il; Kumar, Vikranth; Priatama, Ryza A.; Raj K, Vimal; Kim, Sung Hoon; Min, Myung Ki; Cho, Jun Hyeon; Kim, Tae Ho; Chandran, Anil Kumar Nalini; Jung, Ki Hong; Takatsuto, Suguru; Fujioka, Shozo; Han, Chang-deok

    2016-01-01

    Lamina inclination is a key agronomical character that determines plant architecture and is sensitive to auxin and brassinosteroids (BRs). Loose Plant Architecture1 (LPA1) in rice (Oryza sativa) and its Arabidopsis homologues (SGR5/AtIDD15) have been reported to control plant architecture and auxin homeostasis. This study explores the role of LPA1 in determining lamina inclination in rice. LPA1 acts as a positive regulator to suppress lamina bending. Genetic and biochemical data indicate that LPA1 suppresses the auxin signalling that interacts with C-22-hydroxylated and 6-deoxo BRs, which regulates lamina inclination independently of OsBRI1. Mutant lpa1 plants are hypersensitive to indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) during the lamina inclination response, which is suppressed by the brassinazole (Brz) inhibitor of C-22 hydroxylase involved in BR synthesis. A strong synergic effect is detected between lpa1 and d2 (the defective mutant for catalysis of C-23-hydroxylated BRs) during IAA-mediated lamina inclination. No significant interaction between LPA1 and OsBRI1 was identified. The lpa1 mutant is sensitive to C-22-hydroxylated and 6-deoxo BRs in the d61-1 (rice BRI1 mutant) background. We present evidence verifying that two independent pathways function via either BRs or BRI1 to determine IAA-mediated lamina inclination in rice. RNA sequencing analysis and qRT-PCR indicate that LPA1 influences the expression of three OsPIN genes (OsPIN1a, OsPIN1c and OsPIN3a), which suggests that auxin flux might be an important factor in LPA1-mediated lamina inclination in rice. PMID:26826218

  6. Loose Plant Architecture1 (LPA1) determines lamina joint bending by suppressing auxin signalling that interacts with C-22-hydroxylated and 6-deoxo brassinosteroids in rice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing Miao; Park, Soon Ju; Huang, Jin; Lee, Eun Jin; Xuan, Yuan Hu; Je, Byoung Il; Kumar, Vikranth; Priatama, Ryza A; Raj K, Vimal; Kim, Sung Hoon; Min, Myung Ki; Cho, Jun Hyeon; Kim, Tae Ho; Chandran, Anil Kumar Nalini; Jung, Ki Hong; Takatsuto, Suguru; Fujioka, Shozo; Han, Chang-Deok

    2016-03-01

    Lamina inclination is a key agronomical character that determines plant architecture and is sensitive to auxin and brassinosteroids (BRs). Loose Plant Architecture1 (LPA1) in rice (Oryza sativa) and its Arabidopsis homologues (SGR5/AtIDD15) have been reported to control plant architecture and auxin homeostasis. This study explores the role of LPA1 in determining lamina inclination in rice. LPA1 acts as a positive regulator to suppress lamina bending. Genetic and biochemical data indicate that LPA1 suppresses the auxin signalling that interacts with C-22-hydroxylated and 6-deoxo BRs, which regulates lamina inclination independently of OsBRI1. Mutant lpa1 plants are hypersensitive to indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) during the lamina inclination response, which is suppressed by the brassinazole (Brz) inhibitor of C-22 hydroxylase involved in BR synthesis. A strong synergic effect is detected between lpa1 and d2 (the defective mutant for catalysis of C-23-hydroxylated BRs) during IAA-mediated lamina inclination. No significant interaction between LPA1 and OsBRI1 was identified. The lpa1 mutant is sensitive to C-22-hydroxylated and 6-deoxo BRs in the d61-1 (rice BRI1 mutant) background. We present evidence verifying that two independent pathways function via either BRs or BRI1 to determine IAA-mediated lamina inclination in rice. RNA sequencing analysis and qRT-PCR indicate that LPA1 influences the expression of three OsPIN genes (OsPIN1a, OsPIN1c and OsPIN3a), which suggests that auxin flux might be an important factor in LPA1-mediated lamina inclination in rice. PMID:26826218

  7. Improved outage management techniques for better plant availability

    SciTech Connect

    Bemer, J.P.

    1989-01-01

    To maintain high availability of nuclear generating units is one of the most important management objectives. The duration of outages-whether planned or unplanned-is the main parameter impacting on plant availability, but the planned outages, and essentially the refueling outages, are the most important in this respect, and they also have a heavy impact on the economics of plant operation. The following factors influence the duration of the outages: (1) modifications; (2) preventive maintenance operations; and (3) corrective maintenance operations of generic faults. In this paper, the authors examine how the outage management organization of Electricite de France (EdF) plants is tending to optimize the solutions to the above-mentioned points.

  8. A proposed architecture and method of operation for improving the protection of privacy and confidentiality in disease registers

    PubMed Central

    Churches, Tim

    2003-01-01

    Background Disease registers aim to collect information about all instances of a disease or condition in a defined population of individuals. Traditionally methods of operating disease registers have required that notifications of cases be identified by unique identifiers such as social security number or national identification number, or by ensembles of non-unique identifying data items, such as name, sex and date of birth. However, growing concern over the privacy and confidentiality aspects of disease registers may hinder their future operation. Technical solutions to these legitimate concerns are needed. Discussion An alternative method of operation is proposed which involves splitting the personal identifiers from the medical details at the source of notification, and separately encrypting each part using asymmetrical (public key) cryptographic methods. The identifying information is sent to a single Population Register, and the medical details to the relevant disease register. The Population Register uses probabilistic record linkage to assign a unique personal identification (UPI) number to each person notified to it, although not necessarily everyone in the entire population. This UPI is shared only with a single trusted third party whose sole function is to translate between this UPI and separate series of personal identification numbers which are specific to each disease register. Summary The system proposed would significantly improve the protection of privacy and confidentiality, while still allowing the efficient linkage of records between disease registers, under the control and supervision of the trusted third party and independent ethics committees. The proposed architecture could accommodate genetic databases and tissue banks as well as a wide range of other health and social data collections. It is important that proposals such as this are subject to widespread scrutiny by information security experts, researchers and interested members of the

  9. Using plant canopy temperature to improve irrigated crop management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Remotely sensed plant canopy temperature has long been recognized as having potential as a tool for irrigation management. However, a number of barriers have prevented its routine use in practice, such as the spatial and temporal resolution of remote sensing platforms, limitations in computing capac...

  10. An Improved Quantitative Analysis Method for Plant Cortical Microtubules

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yi; Huang, Chenyang; Wang, Jia; Shang, Peng

    2014-01-01

    The arrangement of plant cortical microtubules can reflect the physiological state of cells. However, little attention has been paid to the image quantitative analysis of plant cortical microtubules so far. In this paper, Bidimensional Empirical Mode Decomposition (BEMD) algorithm was applied in the image preprocessing of the original microtubule image. And then Intrinsic Mode Function 1 (IMF1) image obtained by decomposition was selected to do the texture analysis based on Grey-Level Cooccurrence Matrix (GLCM) algorithm. Meanwhile, in order to further verify its reliability, the proposed texture analysis method was utilized to distinguish different images of Arabidopsis microtubules. The results showed that the effect of BEMD algorithm on edge preserving accompanied with noise reduction was positive, and the geometrical characteristic of the texture was obvious. Four texture parameters extracted by GLCM perfectly reflected the different arrangements between the two images of cortical microtubules. In summary, the results indicate that this method is feasible and effective for the image quantitative analysis of plant cortical microtubules. It not only provides a new quantitative approach for the comprehensive study of the role played by microtubules in cell life activities but also supplies references for other similar studies. PMID:24744684

  11. Compressed Air System Optimization Project Saves Energy and Improves Production at a Citation Forging Plant

    SciTech Connect

    2003-05-01

    In the 1990s, a subsidiary of the Citation Corporation, Interstate Forging, implemented a compressed air system improvement project at its Milwaukee, Wisconsin, forging plant. This improvement enabled the plant to maintain an adequate and stable pressure level using fewer compressors, which led to improved product quality and lower production downtime. The project also yielded annual energy savings of 820,000 kWh and $45,000. With a total project cost of $67,000, the plant achieved a simple payback of just 1.5 years.

  12. Citation Corporation: Compressed Air System Optimization Project Saves Energy and Improves Production at Forging Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2003-05-01

    In the 1990s, a subsidiary of the Citation Corporation, Interstate Forging, implemented a compressed air system improvement project at its Milwaukee, Wisconsin, forging plant. This improvement enabled the plant to maintain an adequate and stable pressure level using fewer compressors, which led to improved product quality and lower production downtime. The project also yielded annual energy savings of 820,000 kWh and$45,000. With a total project cost of$67,000, the plant achieved a simple payback of just 1.5 years.

  13. Improved tritium monitoring at the Pantex Nuclear Weapons Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Brain, W.F.; Click, C.N.; Griffis, D.W.

    1995-12-31

    This paper describes the development of a system capable of sampling ambient levels of both elemental and oxidized tritium in ambient air at the US Department of Energy`s Pantex Nuclear Weapons Plant. The system of monitors uses a combination of commercial laboratory equipment and custom fabricated components. Problems inherent in tritium sampling, and those specific to weather extremes in Texas, were identified and researched. Experience with the sampling network is still limited, but concentrations of oxidized tritium are presently comparable to the original sampling network.

  14. A Tool for Managing Software Architecture Knowledge

    SciTech Connect

    Babar, Muhammad A.; Gorton, Ian

    2007-08-01

    This paper describes a tool for managing architectural knowledge and rationale. The tool has been developed to support a framework for capturing and using architectural knowledge to improve the architecture process. This paper describes the main architectural components and features of the tool. The paper also provides examples of using the tool for supporting wellknown architecture design and analysis methods.

  15. Novel enabling technologies of gene isolation and plant transformation for improved crop protection

    SciTech Connect

    Torok, Tamas

    2013-02-04

    Meeting the needs of agricultural producers requires the continued development of improved transgenic crop protection products. The completed project focused on developing novel enabling technologies of gene discovery and plant transformation to facilitate the generation of such products.

  16. Predicted Efficiency of Spaced Plant Selection to Indirectly Improve Tall Fescue Sward Yield and Quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The validity of spaced plant evaluation to determine sward performance of forage grasses has oft been questioned. This experiment studied the efficiency of spaced plant evaluation to indirectly improve sward yield and nutritional quality in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). A tall fescue ...

  17. Application of microbial inoculants promote plant growth, increased nutrient uptake and improve root morphology of corn plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reducing fertilizers impacts from agriculture is a world-wide concern, both from an environmental and human health perspective. One way to reduce impacts of fertilizers is by enhancing plant uptake which improves nutrient use efficiency and also potentially reduce the amounts of fertilizer needed. ...

  18. Edwin I. Hatch nuclear plant implementation of improved technical specifications

    SciTech Connect

    Mahler, S.R.; Pendry, D.

    1994-12-31

    Edwin I. Hatch nuclear plant consists of two General Electric boiling water reactor/4 units, with a common control room and a common refueling floor. In March 1993, Hatch began conversion of both units` technical specifications utilizing NUREG 1433. The technical specifications amendment request was submitted February 25, 1994. Issuance is scheduled for October 21, 1994, with implementation on March 15, 1994. The current unit-1 technical specifications are in the {open_quotes}custom{close_quotes} format, and the unit-2 technical specifications are in the old standard format. Hatch previously relocated the fire protection and radiological technical specifications requirements. The Hatch conversion will provide consistency between the two units, to the extent practicable.

  19. An improved protocol to study the plant cell wall proteome

    PubMed Central

    Printz, Bruno; Dos Santos Morais, Raphaël; Wienkoop, Stefanie; Sergeant, Kjell; Lutts, Stanley; Hausman, Jean-Francois; Renaut, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    Cell wall proteins were extracted from alfalfa stems according to a three-steps extraction procedure using sequentially CaCl2, EGTA, and LiCl-complemented buffers. The efficiency of this protocol for extracting cell wall proteins was compared with the two previously published methods optimized for alfalfa stem cell wall protein analysis. Following LC-MS/MS analysis the three-steps extraction procedure resulted in the identification of the highest number of cell wall proteins (242 NCBInr identifiers) and gave the lowest percentage of non-cell wall proteins (about 30%). However, the three protocols are rather complementary than substitutive since 43% of the identified proteins were specific to one protocol. This three-step protocol was therefore selected for a more detailed proteomic characterization using 2D-gel electrophoresis. With this technique, 75% of the identified proteins were shown to be fraction-specific and 72.7% were predicted as belonging to the cell wall compartment. Although, being less sensitive than LC-MS/MS approaches in detecting and identifying low-abundant proteins, gel-based approaches are valuable tools for the differentiation and relative quantification of protein isoforms and/or modified proteins. In particular isoforms, having variations in their amino-acid sequence and/or carrying different N-linked glycan chains were detected and characterized. This study highlights how the extracting protocols as well as the analytical techniques devoted to the study of the plant cell wall proteome are complementary and how they may be combined to elucidate the dynamism of the plant cell wall proteome in biological studies. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001927. PMID:25914713

  20. Remote Sensing and Modeling for Improving Operational Aquatic Plant Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, Dave

    2016-01-01

    The California Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is the hub for California’s water supply, conveying water from Northern to Southern California agriculture and communities while supporting important ecosystem services, agriculture, and communities in the Delta. Changes in climate, long-term drought, water quality changes, and expansion of invasive aquatic plants threatens ecosystems, impedes ecosystem restoration, and is economically, environmentally, and sociologically detrimental to the San Francisco Bay/California Delta complex. NASA Ames Research Center and the USDA-ARS partnered with the State of California and local governments to develop science-based, adaptive-management strategies for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The project combines science, operations, and economics related to integrated management scenarios for aquatic weeds to help land and waterway managers make science-informed decisions regarding management and outcomes. The team provides a comprehensive understanding of agricultural and urban land use in the Delta and the major water sheds (San Joaquin/Sacramento) supplying the Delta and interaction with drought and climate impacts on the environment, water quality, and weed growth. The team recommends conservation and modified land-use practices and aids local Delta stakeholders in developing management strategies. New remote sensing tools have been developed to enhance ability to assess conditions, inform decision support tools, and monitor management practices. Science gaps in understanding how native and invasive plants respond to altered environmental conditions are being filled and provide critical biological response parameters for Delta-SWAT simulation modeling. Operational agencies such as the California Department of Boating and Waterways provide testing and act as initial adopter of decision support tools. Methods developed by the project can become routine land and water management tools in complex river delta systems.

  1. THE SCHOOL PLANT GUIDE FOR PLANNING SCHOOL PLANTS OF PENNSYLVANIA. ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN REQUIREMENTS AND GENERAL, ELECTRIC, HEATING AND VENTILATING, AND PLUMBING STANDARDS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennsylvania State Dept. of Public Instruction, Harrisburg.

    A GUIDE COVERING ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN REQUIREMENTS, ELECTRIC, HEATING AND VENTILATING, AND PLUMBING STANDARDS AS APPROVED BY THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION IN 1966. THE FOLLOWING MINIMUM STANDARD FOR NEW BUILDING, ALTERATIONS, AND ADDITIONS ARE OUTLINED--(1) SPATIAL ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS, SUCH AS CEILING HEIGHTS, INTERIOR SANITARY FACILITIES, ROOMS…

  2. Genetic control of juvenile growth and botanical architecture in an ornamental woody plant, Prunus mume Sieb. et Zucc. as revealed by a high-density linkage map

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Mei, Prunus mume Sieb. et Zucc., is an ornamental plant popular in East Asia and, as an important member of genus Prunus, has played a pivotal role in systematic studies of the Rosaceae. However, the genetic architecture of botanical traits in this species remains elusive. This paper represents the first genome-wide mapping study of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that affect stem growth and form, leaf morphology and leaf anatomy in an intraspecific cross derived from two different mei cultivars. Genetic mapping based on a high-density linkage map constricted from 120 SSRs and 1,484 SNPs led to the detection of multiple QTLs for each trait, some of which exert pleiotropic effects on correlative traits. Each QTL explains 3-12% of the phenotypic variance. Several leaf size traits were found to share common QTLs, whereas growth-related traits and plant form traits might be controlled by a different set of QTLs. Our findings provide unique insights into the genetic control of tree growth and architecture in mei and help to develop an efficient breeding program for selecting superior mei cultivars. PMID:25078672

  3. Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program. Digital Architecture Requirements

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, Kenneth; Oxstrand, Johanna

    2015-03-01

    The Digital Architecture effort is a part of the Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored Light-Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program conducted at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The LWRS program is performed in close collaboration with industry research and development (R&D) programs that provides the technical foundations for licensing and managing the long-term, safe, and economical operation of current nuclear power plants (NPPs). One of the primary missions of the LWRS program is to help the U.S. nuclear industry adopt new technologies and engineering solutions that facilitate the continued safe operation of the plants and extension of the current operating licenses. Therefore, a major objective of the LWRS program is the development of a seamless digital environment for plant operations and support by integrating information from plant systems with plant processes for nuclear workers through an array of interconnected technologies. In order to get the most benefits of the advanced technology suggested by the different research activities in the LWRS program, the nuclear utilities need a digital architecture in place to support the technology. A digital architecture can be defined as a collection of information technology (IT) capabilities needed to support and integrate a wide-spectrum of real-time digital capabilities for nuclear power plant performance improvements. It is not hard to imagine that many processes within the plant can be largely improved from both a system and human performance perspective by utilizing a plant wide (or near plant wide) wireless network. For example, a plant wide wireless network allows for real time plant status information to easily be accessed in the control room, field workers’ computer-based procedures can be updated based on the real time plant status, and status on ongoing procedures can be incorporated into smart schedules in the outage command center to allow for more accurate planning of critical tasks. The goal

  4. Overexpression of monoubiquitin improves photosynthesis in transgenic tobacco plants following high temperature stress.

    PubMed

    Tian, Fengxia; Gong, Jiangfeng; Zhang, Jin; Feng, Yanan; Wang, Guokun; Guo, Qifang; Wang, Wei

    2014-09-01

    The ubiquitin/26S proteasome system (Ub/26S) is implicated in abiotic stress responses in plants. In this paper, transgenic tobacco plants overexpressing Ta-Ub2 from wheat were used to study the functions of Ub in the improvement of photosynthesis under high temperature (45°C) stress. We observed higher levels of Ub conjugates in transgenic plants under high temperature stress conditions compared to wild type (WT) as a result of the constitutive overexpression of Ta-Ub2, suggesting increased protein degradation by the 26S proteasome system under high temperature stress. Overexpressing Ub increased the photosynthetic rate (Pn) of transgenic tobacco plants, consistent with the improved ATPase activity in the thylakoid membrane and enhanced efficiency of PSII photochemistry. The higher D1 protein levels following high temperature stress in transgenic plants than WT were also observed. These findings imply that Ub may be involved in tolerance of photosynthesis to high temperature stress in plants. Compared with WT, the transgenic plants showed lower protein carbonylation and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, less reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, but higher antioxidant enzyme activity under high temperature stress. These findings suggest that the improved antioxidant capacity of transgenic plants may be one of the most important mechanisms underlying Ub-regulated high temperature tolerance. PMID:25113454

  5. Improvement of growth rate of plants by bubble discharge in water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahata, Junichiro; Takaki, Koichi; Satta, Naoya; Takahashi, Katsuyuki; Fujio, Takuya; Sasaki, Yuji

    2015-01-01

    The effect of bubble discharge in water on the growth rate of plants was investigated experimentally for application to plant cultivation systems. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea), radish (Raphanus sativus var. sativus), and strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) were used as specimens to clarify the effect of the discharge treatment on edible parts of the plants. The specimens were cultivated in pots filled with artificial soil, which included chicken manure charcoal. Distilled water was sprayed on the artificial soil and drained through a hole in the pots to a water storage tank. The water was circulated from the water storage tank to the cultivation pots after 15 or 30 min discharge treatment on alternate days. A magnetic compression-type pulsed power generator was used to produce the bubble discharge with a repetition rate of 250 pps. The plant height in the growth phase and the dry weight of the harvested plants were improved markedly by the discharge treatment in water. The soil and plant analyzer development (SPAD) value of the plants also improved in the growth phase of the plants. The concentration of nitrate nitrogen, which mainly contributed to the improvement of the growth rate, in the water increased with the discharge treatment. The Brix value of edible parts of Fragaria × ananassa increased with the discharge treatment. The inactivation of bacteria in the water was also confirmed with the discharge treatment.

  6. Ongoing Control System Modernization Project at a Steel Plant Improves Operations (Weirton Plant)

    SciTech Connect

    2000-12-01

    Weirton Steel Corporation is the eighth largest steel producer in the U.S. and its main manufacturing facility is located in Weirton, West Virginia. In 1998 Weirton Steel successfully implemented a project at its Weirton plant in which it modernized the control systems on its utilities and built a control center in a central location from which those utilities could be monitored.

  7. Application of plant genomics for improved symbiotic nitrogen fixation in plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Because genome sequencing, transcript profiling, proteome analysis, metabolite profiling, mutant analysis, and comparative genomics have progressed at a logarithmic pace, we know more about the plant genes involved in symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) than could have been imagined a decade ago. Howe...

  8. BOOK REVIEW OF "IMPROVEMENT OF CROP PLANTS FOR INDUSTRIAL END USE"

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Industrial crops are acquiring greater importance as countries seek to reduce their dependence on raw materials and energy derived from fossil sources. Thus, a thorough assessment of the prospects for improving industrial crops is timely. The book Improvement of Crop Plants for Industrial End Use, r...

  9. NERI PROJECT 99-119."A NEW PARADIGM FOR AUTOMATIC DEVELOPMENT OF HIGHLY RELIABLE CONTROL ARCHITECTURES FOR NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS."PHASE-1 PROGRESS REPORT

    SciTech Connect

    March-Leuba, J.A.

    2000-08-29

    This report describes the tasks performed and the progress made during Phase 1 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. This research focuses on the development of methods for automated generation of control systems that can be traced directly to the design requirements for the life of the plant. Our final goal is to ''capture'' the design requirements inside a ''control engine'' during the design phase. This control engine is, then, not only capable of designing automatically the initial implementation of the control system, but it also can confirm that the original design requirements are still met during the life of the plant as conditions change. This control engine captures the high-level requirements and stress factors that the control system must survive (e.g. a list of transients, or a requirement to withstand a single failure). The control engine, then, is able to generate automatically the control-system algorithms and parameters that optimize a design goal and satisfy all requirements. As conditions change during the life of the plant (e.g. component degradation, or subsystem failures) the control engine automatically ''flags'' that a requirement is not satisfied, and it can even suggest a modified configuration that would satisfy it. This control engine concept is shown schematically in Fig. 1. The implementation of this ''control-engine'' design methodology requires the following steps, which are described in detail in the attachments to this report: (1) Selection of Design Requirements Related to Control System Performance; (2) Implementation of Requirements in

  10. Insect stings to change gear for healthy plant: Improving maize drought tolerance by whitefly infestation.

    PubMed

    Park, Yong-Soon; Ryu, Choong-Min

    2016-05-01

    Since plants first appeared about 1.1 billion years ago, they have been faced with biotic and abiotic stresses in their environment. To overcome these stresses, plants developed defense strategies. Accumulating evidence suggests that the whitefly [Bemisia tabaci (Genn.)] affects the regulation of plant defenses and physiology. A recent study demonstrates that aboveground whitefly infestation positively modulates root biomass and anthocyanin pigmentation on brace roots of maize plants (Zea mays L.). In agreement with these observations, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and jasmonic acid (JA) contents and the expression of IAA- and JA-related genes are higher in whitefly-infested maize plants than in non-infected control plants. Interestingly, the fresh weight of whitefly-infested maize plants is approximately 20% higher than in non-infected control plants under water stress conditions. Further investigation has revealed that hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) accumulates in whitefly-infested maize plants after water stoppage. Taken together, these results suggest that activation of phytohormones- (i.e., IAA and JA) and H2O2-mediated maize signaling pathways triggered by aboveground whitefly infestation promotes drought resistance. They also provide an insight into how inter-kingdom interactions can improve drought tolerance in plants. PMID:27164447

  11. Microbial Inoculation Improves Growth of Oil Palm Plants (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.)

    PubMed Central

    Om, Azlin Che; Ghazali, Amir Hamzah Ahmad; Keng, Chan Lai; Ishak, Zamzuri

    2009-01-01

    Introduction of diazotrophic rhizobacteria to oil palm tissues during the in vitro micropropagation process establishes an early associative interaction between the plant cells and bacteria. In the association, the diazotrophs provide the host plants with phytohormones and fixed nitrogen. This study was conducted to observe growth of bacterised tissue cultured oil palm plants under ex vitro conditions after 280 days of growth. Root dry weight, shoot dry weight, root volume, bacterial colonisation, leaf protein and chlorophyll content of the host plants were observed. The results revealed that the inocula successfully colonised roots of the host plants. Plants inoculated with Acetobacter diazotrophicus (R12) had more root dry weight and volume than plants inoculated with Azospirillum brasilense (Sp7). Leaf protein and chlorophyll content were higher in the bacterised plants compared to Control 2 plants (inoculated with killed Sp7). These results suggest that the diazotrophs successfully improved the growth of the host plant (oil palm) and minimised the amount of N fertiliser necessary for growth. PMID:24575180

  12. Architecture & Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erickson, Mary; Delahunt, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Most art teachers would agree that architecture is an important form of visual art, but they do not always include it in their curriculums. In this article, the authors share core ideas from "Architecture and Environment," a teaching resource that they developed out of a long-term interest in teaching architecture and their fascination with the…

  13. Improvement and transcriptome analysis of root architecture by overexpression of Fraxinus pennsylvanica DREB2A transcription factor in Robinia pseudoacacia L. 'Idaho'.

    PubMed

    Xiu, Yu; Iqbal, Arshad; Zhu, Chen; Wu, Guodong; Chang, Yanping; Li, Na; Cao, Yu; Zhang, Wenbiao; Zeng, Huiming; Chen, Shouyi; Wang, Huafang

    2016-06-01

    Transcription factors play a key role to enable plants to cope with abiotic stresses. DREB2 regulates the expression of several stress-inducible genes and constitutes major hubs in the water stress signalling webs. We cloned and characterized a novel gene encoding the FpDREB2A transcription factor from Fraxinus pennsylvanica, and a yeast activity assay confirmed its DRE binding and transcription activation. Overexpression of FpDREB2A in R. pseudoacacia showed enhanced resistance to drought stress. The transgenic plant survival rate was significantly higher than that of WT in soil drying and re-watering treatments. Transgenic lines showed a dramatic change in root architecture, and horizontal and vertical roots were found in transgenic plants compared to WT. The vertical roots penetrated in the field soil to more than 60 cm deep, while horizontal roots expanded within the top 20-30 cm of the soil. A physiological test demonstrated that chlorophyll contents were more gradually reduced and that soluble sugars and proline levels elevated more sharply but malondialdehyde level stayed the same (P < 0.05). Plant hormone levels of abscisic acid and IAA were higher than that of WT, while gibberellins and zeatin riboside were found to be lower. The root transcriptomes were sequenced and annotated into 2011 differential expression genes (DEGs). The DEGs were categorized in 149 pathways and were found to be involved in plant hormone signalling, transcription factors, stimulus responses, phenylalanine, carbohydrate and other metabolic pathways. The modified pathways in plant hormone signalling are thought to be the main cause of greater horizontal and vertical root development, in particular. PMID:26806173

  14. The nematode stoma: Homology of cell architecture with improved understanding by confocal microscopy of labeled cell boundaries.

    PubMed

    Jay Burr, A H; Baldwin, James G

    2016-09-01

    Nematode stomas vary widely in the cuticular structures evolved for different feeding strategies, yet the arrangement of the epithelial cell classes that form these structures may be conserved. This article addresses several issues that have impeded the full acceptance of this hypothesis including controversies arising from the structure of the Caenorhabditis elegans stoma. We investigated fluorescent antibody labeling of cell boundaries in conjunction with confocal microscopy as an alternative to transmission electron microscopy (TEM), using MH27 to label apical junctions in C. elegans and two other species. Accurately spaced optical sections collected by the confocal microscope provide a three-dimensional array of pixels (voxels) that, using image-processing software, can be rotated and sectioned at accurately chosen thicknesses and locations. Ribbons of fluorescence clearly identify cell boundaries along the luminal cuticle in C. elegans and Zeldia punctata and less clearly in Bunonema sp. The patterns render cell classes and their relationships readily identifiable. In the C. elegans stoma they correct a misreading of serial TEMs that was not congruent with architecture in other nematodes-the row of marginal cells is now seen to be continuous as in other nematodes, rather than being interrupted by encircling pm1 cells. Also impeding understanding, the reference to certain cell classes as 'epithelial' and others as "muscle" in the C. elegans literature is at variance with muscle expression in most other taxa. For consistent comparison among species, we propose that these cell class descriptors based on function be replaced by topological terms. With these and other confusing concepts and terminology removed, the homology of the cellular architecture among taxa becomes obvious. We provide a corrected description of the cell architecture of the C. elegans stoma and examples of how it is modified in other taxa with different feeding strategies. J. Morphol. 277

  15. Search for Improved Host Architectures: Application of de Novo Structure-Based Design and High-Throughput Screening Methods to Identify Optimal Building Blocks for Multidentate Ethers.

    SciTech Connect

    Hay, Benjamin P.; Oliferenko, Alex A.; Uddin, Jamal; Zhang, Cungen; Firman, Timothy K.

    2005-12-07

    This paper presents a computational approach to the deliberate design of improved host architectures. The approach, which involves the use of computer-aided design software, is illustrated by application to cation hosts containing multiple aliphatic ether oxygen binding sites. De novo molecule building software, HostDesigner, is interfaced with molecular mechanics software, GMMX, providing a tool for generating and screening millions of potential bidentate building block structures. Enhanced cation binding affinity can be achieved when highly organized building blocks are used to construct macrocyclic hosts.

  16. Project Integration Architecture: Application Architecture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, William Henry

    2005-01-01

    The Project Integration Architecture (PIA) implements a flexible, object-oriented, wrapping architecture which encapsulates all of the information associated with engineering applications. The architecture allows the progress of a project to be tracked and documented in its entirety. Additionally, by bringing all of the information sources and sinks of a project into a single architectural space, the ability to transport information between those applications is enabled.

  17. Archimede solar energy molten salt parabolic trough demo plant: Improvements and second year of operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maccari, Augusto; Donnola, Sandro; Matino, Francesca; Tamano, Shiro

    2016-05-01

    Since July 2013, the first stand-alone Molten Salt Parabolic Trough (MSPT) demo plant, which was built in collaboration with Archimede Solar Energy and Chiyoda Corporation, is in operation, located adjacent to the Archimede Solar Energy (ASE) manufacturing plant in Massa Martana (Italy). During the two year's operating time frame, the management of the demo plant has shown that MSPT technology is a suitable and reliable option. Several O&M procedures and tests have been performed, as Heat Loss and Minimum Flow Test, with remarkable results confirming that this technology is ready to be extended to standard size CSP plant, if the plant design takes into account molten salt peculiarities. Additionally, the plant has been equipped on fall 2014 with a Steam Generator system by Chiyoda Corporation, in order to test even this important MSPT plant subsystem and to extend the solar field active time, overcoming the previous lack of an adequate thermal load. Here, a description of the plant improvements and the overall plant operation figures will be presented.

  18. Power plant performance monitoring and improvement. Volume 3. Power plant performance instrumentation systems

    SciTech Connect

    Crim, H.G.; Westcott, J.C.; de Mello, R.W.; Brandon, R.E.; Parkinson, D.W.; Czuba, J.S.

    1986-02-01

    PEPCO's Morgantown Unit 2 and the PJM system control center are serving as the test facilities for this project. This first phase of the project utilizes currently (or soon to be) available instrumentation for monitoring and analyzing plant and system performance on a continuous basis. The overall approach is to demonstrate in one facility all sensors, monitoring devices, and necessary computer hardware and software for on-line performance monitoring and dispatch purposes. Significant developments include turbine packing leakage measurement, condenser back-pressure measurement, power cycle testing, and studies of the application of advanced instrumentation to system dispatch.

  19. Luminant's Big Brown Plant wins for continuous improvement and safety programs

    SciTech Connect

    Peltier, R.

    2008-07-15

    Staff from Luminant's Big Brown Plant accepted the PRB Coal Users' Group's top honour for innovative improvements to coal-handling systems and a sterling safety record. The numbers reveal their accomplishments: an average EFOR less than 4%, an availability factor averaging 90% for a plant that burns a lignite/PRB mix, and staff who worked more than 2.6 million man-hours since March 2000 without a lost-time injury. 13 photos., 1 tab.

  20. The RICE MINUTE-LIKE1 (RML1) gene, encoding a ribosomal large subunit protein L3B, regulates leaf morphology and plant architecture in rice

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Ming; Wang, Yihua; Liu, Xi; Sun, Juan; Wang, Yunlong; Xu, Yang; Lv, Jia; Long, Wuhua; Zhu, Xiaopin; Guo, Xiuping; Jiang, Ling; Wang, Chunming; Wan, Jianmin

    2016-01-01

    Mutations of ribosomal proteins (RPs) are known to cause developmental abnormalities in yeast, mammals, and dicotyledonous plants; however, their effects have not been studied in rice. Here, we identifiy a ribosomal biogenesis mutant, rice minute-like1 (rml1) that displays a minute phenotype as evidenced by retarded growth and defects in the vascular system. We determine that RML1 encodes a ribosome large subunit protein 3B (RPL3B) in rice by means of map-based cloning and genetic complementation. RPL3B is abundantly expressed in all the tissues, whereas RPL3A, another RPL3 gene family member, is expressed at low levels. Notably, the expression level of RPL3A in the rml1 mutant is similar to that in the wild-type, suggesting that RPL3A provides no functional compensation for RPL3B in rml1 plants. Ribosomal profiles show that mutation of RPL3B leads to a significant reduction in free 60S ribosomal subunits and polysomes, indicating a ribosomal insufficiency in the rml1 mutant. Our results demonstrate that the ribosomal protein gene RPL3B is required for maintaining normal leaf morphology and plant architecture in rice through its regulation of ribosome biogenesis. PMID:27241493

  1. DOH1, a Class 1 knox Gene, Is Required for Maintenance of the Basic Plant Architecture and Floral Transition in Orchid

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Hao; Yang, Shu Hua; Goh, Chong Jin

    2000-01-01

    We report here the isolation and identification of an orchid homeobox gene, DOH1, from Dendrobium Madame Thong-In. Analyses of its sequence and genomic organization suggest that DOH1 may be the only class 1 knox gene in the genome. DOH1 mRNA accumulates in meristem-rich tissues, and its expression is greatly downregulated during floral transition. In situ hybridization analysis demonstrates that DOH1 is also expressed in the incipient leaf primordia and is later detected in the same region of the inflorescence apex, as in DOMADS1. Overexpression of DOH1 in orchid plants completely suppresses shoot organization and development. Transgenic orchid plants expressing antisense mRNA for DOH1 show multiple shoot apical meristem (SAM) formations and early flowering. In addition, both the sense and antisense transformants exhibit defects in leaf development. These findings suggest that DOH1 plays a key role in maintaining the basic plant architecture of orchid through control of the formation and development of the SAM and shoot structure. Investigations of DOMADS1 expression in the SAM during floral transition reveal that the precocious flowering phenotype exhibited by DOH1 antisense transformants is coupled with the early onset of DOMADS1 expression. This fact, together with the reciprocal expression of DOH1 and DOMADS1 during floral transition, indicates that downregulation of DOH1 in the SAM is required for floral transition in orchid and that DOH1 is a possible upstream regulator of DOMADS1. PMID:11090215

  2. The RICE MINUTE-LIKE1 (RML1) gene, encoding a ribosomal large subunit protein L3B, regulates leaf morphology and plant architecture in rice.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Ming; Wang, Yihua; Liu, Xi; Sun, Juan; Wang, Yunlong; Xu, Yang; Lv, Jia; Long, Wuhua; Zhu, Xiaopin; Guo, Xiuping; Jiang, Ling; Wang, Chunming; Wan, Jianmin

    2016-05-01

    Mutations of ribosomal proteins (RPs) are known to cause developmental abnormalities in yeast, mammals, and dicotyledonous plants; however, their effects have not been studied in rice. Here, we identifiy a ribosomal biogenesis mutant, rice minute-like1 (rml1) that displays a minute phenotype as evidenced by retarded growth and defects in the vascular system. We determine that RML1 encodes a ribosome large subunit protein 3B (RPL3B) in rice by means of map-based cloning and genetic complementation. RPL3B is abundantly expressed in all the tissues, whereas RPL3A, another RPL3 gene family member, is expressed at low levels. Notably, the expression level of RPL3A in the rml1 mutant is similar to that in the wild-type, suggesting that RPL3A provides no functional compensation for RPL3B in rml1 plants. Ribosomal profiles show that mutation of RPL3B leads to a significant reduction in free 60S ribosomal subunits and polysomes, indicating a ribosomal insufficiency in the rml1 mutant. Our results demonstrate that the ribosomal protein gene RPL3B is required for maintaining normal leaf morphology and plant architecture in rice through its regulation of ribosome biogenesis. PMID:27241493

  3. Circadian rhythms of hydraulic conductance and growth are enhanced by drought and improve plant performance.

    PubMed

    Caldeira, Cecilio F; Jeanguenin, Linda; Chaumont, François; Tardieu, François

    2014-01-01

    Circadian rhythms enable plants to anticipate daily environmental variations, resulting in growth oscillations under continuous light. Because plants daily transpire up to 200% of their water content, their water status oscillates from favourable during the night to unfavourable during the day. We show that rhythmic leaf growth under continuous light is observed in plants that experience large alternations of water status during an entrainment period, but is considerably buffered otherwise. Measurements and computer simulations show that this is due to oscillations of plant hydraulic conductance and plasma membrane aquaporin messenger RNA abundance in roots during continuous light. A simulation model suggests that circadian oscillations of root hydraulic conductance contribute to acclimation to water stress by increasing root water uptake, thereby favouring growth and photosynthesis. They have a negative effect in favourable hydraulic conditions. Climate-driven control of root hydraulic conductance therefore improves plant performances in both stressed and non-stressed conditions. PMID:25370944

  4. Circadian rhythms of hydraulic conductance and growth are enhanced by drought and improve plant performance

    PubMed Central

    Caldeira, Cecilio F.; Jeanguenin, Linda; Chaumont, François; Tardieu, François

    2014-01-01

    Circadian rhythms enable plants to anticipate daily environmental variations, resulting in growth oscillations under continuous light. Because plants daily transpire up to 200% of their water content, their water status oscillates from favourable during the night to unfavourable during the day. We show that rhythmic leaf growth under continuous light is observed in plants that experience large alternations of water status during an entrainment period, but is considerably buffered otherwise. Measurements and computer simulations show that this is due to oscillations of plant hydraulic conductance and plasma membrane aquaporin messenger RNA abundance in roots during continuous light. A simulation model suggests that circadian oscillations of root hydraulic conductance contribute to acclimation to water stress by increasing root water uptake, thereby favouring growth and photosynthesis. They have a negative effect in favourable hydraulic conditions. Climate-driven control of root hydraulic conductance therefore improves plant performances in both stressed and non-stressed conditions. PMID:25370944

  5. Designer crops: optimal root system architecture for nutrient acquisition.

    PubMed

    Kong, Xiangpei; Zhang, Maolin; De Smet, Ive; Ding, Zhaojun

    2014-12-01

    Plant root systems are highly plastic in response to environmental stimuli. Improved nutrient acquisition can increase fertilizer use efficiency and is critical for crop production. Recent analyses of field-grown crops highlighted the importance of root system architecture (RSA) in nutrient acquisition. This indicated that it is feasible in practice to exploit genotypes or mutations giving rise to optimal RSA for crop design in the future, especially with respect to plant breeding for infertile soils. PMID:25450041

  6. Gamma irradiation to improve plant vigour, grain development, and yield attributes of wheat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Bhupinder; Datta, P. S.

    2010-02-01

    Utilizing low dose gamma radiation holds promise for physiological crop improvement. Seed treatment of low dose gamma radiation 0.01-0.10 kGy reduced plant height, improved plant vigour, flag leaf area, total and number of EBT. Gamma irradiation increased grain yield due to an increase in number of EBT and grain number while 1000 grain weight was negatively affected. Further uniformity in low dose radiation response in wheat in the field suggests that the affect is essentially at physiological than at genetic level and that role of growth hormones could be crucial.

  7. Water stress preconditioning to improve drought resistance in young apricot plants.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Sánchez; Domingo; Torrecillas; Pérez-Pastor

    2000-07-28

    The effect of water stress preconditioning was studied in 1-year-old apricot plants (Prunus armeniaca L., cv. Búlida). Plants were submitted to different treatments, T-0 (control treatment) and T-1, drip irrigated daily; T-2 and T-3, irrigated daily at 50% and 25% of T-0, respectively; T-4 and T-5, irrigated to field capacity every 3 and 6 days, respectively. After 30 days, irrigation was withheld for 10 days, maintaining the T-0 treatment irrigated daily. After this period, the plants were re-irrigated to run-off and treated as control treatment. The stomatal closure and epinasty observed in response to water stress represented adaptive mechanisms to drought, allowing the plants to regulate water loss more effectively and prevent leaf heating. A substantial reduction in the irrigation water supplied combined with a high frequency of application (T-3 treatment) promoted plant hardening; the plants enduring drought better, due to their greater osmotic adjustment (0.77 MPa), which prevented severe plant dehydration and leaf abscission. Such a preconditioning treatment may be valuable for young apricot plants in the nursery stage in order to improve their subsequent resistance to drought. A 50% reduction in daily irrigation (T-2 treatment) did not significantly affect either gas exchange rates or leaf turgor, which suggests that water should be applied frequently if deficit irrigation is to be implemented. PMID:10936532

  8. An optimized procedure for plant recovery from somatic embryos significantly facilitates the genetic improvement of Vitis.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhijian T; Kim, Kyung-Hee; Dhekney, Sadanand A; Jasinski, Jonathan R; Creech, Matthew R; Gray, Dennis J

    2014-01-01

    Plant regeneration from grapevine (Vitis spp.) via somatic embryogenesis typically is poor. Recovery of plants from Vitis rotundifolia Michx. (muscadine grape) is particularly problematic due to extremely low efficiency, including extended culture durations required for embryo-plant conversion. Poor plant recovery is an obstacle to the selection of improved genetically modified lines. Somatic embryos (SEs) of V. rotundifolia cultivar Delicious (Del-HS) and Vitis vinifera L cultivar Thompson Seedless (TS) were used to identify culture media and conditions that promoted embryo differentiation and plant conversion; this resulted in a two-step culture system. In comparative culture experiments, C2D medium containing 6% sucrose was the most effective, among four distinct formulae tested, for inducing precocious SE germination and cell differentiation. This medium, further supplemented with 4 µM 6-benzylaminopurine (C2D4B), was subsequently determined to enhance post-germinative growth of SE. MS medium supplemented with 0.5 µM 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (MSN) was then utilized to stimulate root and shoot growth of germinated SE. An average of 35% and 80% 'Del-HS' and 'TS' SE, respectively, developed into plants. All plants developed robust root and shoot systems and exhibited excellent survival following transfer to soil. Over 150 plants of 'Del-HS' were regenerated and established within 2.5 months, which is a dramatic reduction from the 6- to 12-month time period previously required. Similarly, 88 'TS' plant lines were obtained within the same time period. Subsequently, seven out of eight Vitis cultivars exhibited significantly increased plant conversion percentages, demonstrating broad application of the two-step culture system to produce the large numbers of independent plant lines needed for selection of desired traits. PMID:26504540

  9. An optimized procedure for plant recovery from somatic embryos significantly facilitates the genetic improvement of Vitis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhijian T; Kim, Kyung-Hee; Dhekney, Sadanand A; Jasinski, Jonathan R; Creech, Matthew R; Gray, Dennis J

    2014-01-01

    Plant regeneration from grapevine (Vitis spp.) via somatic embryogenesis typically is poor. Recovery of plants from Vitis rotundifolia Michx. (muscadine grape) is particularly problematic due to extremely low efficiency, including extended culture durations required for embryo–plant conversion. Poor plant recovery is an obstacle to the selection of improved genetically modified lines. Somatic embryos (SEs) of V. rotundifolia cultivar Delicious (Del-HS) and Vitis vinifera L cultivar Thompson Seedless (TS) were used to identify culture media and conditions that promoted embryo differentiation and plant conversion; this resulted in a two-step culture system. In comparative culture experiments, C2D medium containing 6% sucrose was the most effective, among four distinct formulae tested, for inducing precocious SE germination and cell differentiation. This medium, further supplemented with 4 µM 6-benzylaminopurine (C2D4B), was subsequently determined to enhance post-germinative growth of SE. MS medium supplemented with 0.5 µM 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (MSN) was then utilized to stimulate root and shoot growth of germinated SE. An average of 35% and 80% ‘Del-HS’ and ‘TS’ SE, respectively, developed into plants. All plants developed robust root and shoot systems and exhibited excellent survival following transfer to soil. Over 150 plants of ‘Del-HS’ were regenerated and established within 2.5 months, which is a dramatic reduction from the 6- to 12-month time period previously required. Similarly, 88 ‘TS’ plant lines were obtained within the same time period. Subsequently, seven out of eight Vitis cultivars exhibited significantly increased plant conversion percentages, demonstrating broad application of the two-step culture system to produce the large numbers of independent plant lines needed for selection of desired traits. PMID:26504540

  10. Heat-Rate Improvement Obtained by Retubing Power-Plant Condenser Enhanced Tubes

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    1994-01-21

    A utility will only retube a condenser with enhanced tubes if the incremental cost of the enhanced tubes can be offset with reduced fuel costs. The reduced fuel cost is obtained for some units because of the higher heat-transfer coefficient of enhanced tubes. They lead to improved condenser performance measured by a lower condenser pressure and therefore a more efficient power plant. However, the higher haet-transfer coefficients do not always guarantee that enhanced tubes willmore » be more cost effective. Other issues must be considered such as the cooling-water flow reduction due to the increased pressure drop, the low-pressure turbine heat-rate variation with backpressure, and the cooling-water pump and system characteristics. These and other parameters must be considered to calculate the efficiency improvement of the power plant as commonly measured by the quantity known as the heat rate. Knowing the heat-rate improvement, the fuel cost, and the incremental increase of the enhanced tubes from the supplier, the payback time can be determined. This program calculates the heat-rate improvement that can be obtained by retubing a power plant condenser with enhanced tubes of a particular type called Korodense LPD made by Wolverine Tube, Inc. The fuel savings are easily established knowing the heat-rate improvement. All electrical utilities are potential users because a condenser is used as the heat sink for every power plant.« less

  11. Heat-Rate Improvement Obtained by Retubing Power-Plant Condenser Enhanced Tubes

    SciTech Connect

    1994-01-21

    A utility will only retube a condenser with enhanced tubes if the incremental cost of the enhanced tubes can be offset with reduced fuel costs. The reduced fuel cost is obtained for some units because of the higher heat-transfer coefficient of enhanced tubes. They lead to improved condenser performance measured by a lower condenser pressure and therefore a more efficient power plant. However, the higher haet-transfer coefficients do not always guarantee that enhanced tubes will be more cost effective. Other issues must be considered such as the cooling-water flow reduction due to the increased pressure drop, the low-pressure turbine heat-rate variation with backpressure, and the cooling-water pump and system characteristics. These and other parameters must be considered to calculate the efficiency improvement of the power plant as commonly measured by the quantity known as the heat rate. Knowing the heat-rate improvement, the fuel cost, and the incremental increase of the enhanced tubes from the supplier, the payback time can be determined. This program calculates the heat-rate improvement that can be obtained by retubing a power plant condenser with enhanced tubes of a particular type called Korodense LPD made by Wolverine Tube, Inc. The fuel savings are easily established knowing the heat-rate improvement. All electrical utilities are potential users because a condenser is used as the heat sink for every power plant.

  12. HTRATE; Heat-Rate Improvement Obtained by Retubing Power-Plant Condenser Enhanced Tubes

    SciTech Connect

    Rabas, T.J.

    1990-06-01

    A utility will only retube a condenser with enhanced tubes if the incremental cost of the enhanced tubes can be offset with reduced fuel costs. The reduced fuel cost is obtained for some units because of the higher heat-transfer coefficient of enhanced tubes. They lead to improved condenser performance measured by a lower condenser pressure and therefore a more efficient power plant. However, the higher haet-transfer coefficients do not always guarantee that enhanced tubes will be more cost effective. Other issues must be considered such as the cooling-water flow reduction due to the increased pressure drop, the low-pressure turbine heat-rate variation with backpressure, and the cooling-water pump and system characteristics. These and other parameters must be considered to calculate the efficiency improvement of the power plant as commonly measured by the quantity known as the heat rate. Knowing the heat-rate improvement, the fuel cost, and the incremental increase of the enhanced tubes from the supplier, the payback time can be determined. This program calculates the heat-rate improvement that can be obtained by retubing a power plant condenser with enhanced tubes of a particular type called Korodense LPD made by Wolverine Tube, Inc. The fuel savings are easily established knowing the heat-rate improvement. All electrical utilities are potential users because a condenser is used as the heat sink for every power plant.

  13. The genetic architecture of a complex ecological trait: host plant use in the specialist moth, HELIOTHIS SUBFLEXA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The study of the genetic basis of ecological adaptation remains in its infancy, and most studies have focused on phenotypically simple traits. Host plant use by herbivorous insects is phenotypically complex. While research has illuminated the evolutionary determinants of host use, knowledge of its...

  14. Trends in plant virus epidemiology: opportunities from new or improved technologies.

    PubMed

    Jones, R A C

    2014-06-24

    This review focuses on new or improved technologies currently being applied, or likely to be applied in the future, to worldwide research on plant virus epidemiology. Recent technological advances and innovations provide many opportunities to improve understanding of the way diverse types of plant virus epidemics develop and how to manage them. The review starts at the macro level by considering how recent innovations in remote sensing and precision agriculture can provide valuable information about (i) virus epidemics occurring at continental, regional or district scales (via satellites) and within individual crops (mostly via lightweight unmanned aerial vehicles), and (ii) exactly where to target control measures. It then considers recent improvements in information systems and innovations in modelling that improve (i) understanding of virus epidemics and ability to predict them, and (ii) delivery to end-users of critical advice on control measures, such as Internet-based Decision Support Systems. The review goes on to discuss how advances in analysis of spatiotemporal virus spread patterns within crops can help to enhance understanding of how virus epidemics develop and validate potentially useful virus control measures. At the micro level, the review then considers the many insights that advances in molecular epidemiology can provide about genetic variation within plant virus populations involved in epidemics, and how this variation drives what occurs at the macro level. Next, it describes how recent innovations in virus detection technologies are providing many opportunities to collect and analyse new types, and ever increasing amounts, of data about virus epidemics, and the genetic variability of the virus populations involved. Finally, the implications for plant virus epidemiology of technologies likely to be important in the future are considered. To address looming world food insecurity and threats to plant biodiversity resulting from climate change and

  15. Diversity in the Architecture of ATLs, a Family of Plant Ubiquitin-Ligases, Leads to Recognition and Targeting of Substrates in Different Cellular Environments

    PubMed Central

    Aguilar-Hernández, Victor; Aguilar-Henonin, Laura; Guzmán, Plinio

    2011-01-01

    Ubiquitin-ligases or E3s are components of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) that coordinate the transfer of ubiquitin to the target protein. A major class of ubiquitin-ligases consists of RING-finger domain proteins that include the substrate recognition sequences in the same polypeptide; these are known as single-subunit RING finger E3s. We are studying a particular family of RING finger E3s, named ATL, that contain a transmembrane domain and the RING-H2 finger domain; none of the member of the family contains any other previously described domain. Although the study of a few members in A. thaliana and O. sativa has been reported, the role of this family in the life cycle of a plant is still vague. To provide tools to advance on the functional analysis of this family we have undertaken a phylogenetic analysis of ATLs in twenty-four plant genomes. ATLs were found in all the 24 plant species analyzed, in numbers ranging from 20–28 in two basal species to 162 in soybean. Analysis of ATLs arrayed in tandem indicates that sets of genes are expanding in a species-specific manner. To get insights into the domain architecture of ATLs we generated 75 pHMM LOGOs from 1815 ATLs, and unraveled potential protein-protein interaction regions by means of yeast two-hybrid assays. Several ATLs were found to interact with DSK2a/ubiquilin through a region at the amino-terminal end, suggesting that this is a widespread interaction that may assist in the mode of action of ATLs; the region was traced to a distinct sequence LOGO. Our analysis provides significant observations on the evolution and expansion of the ATL family in addition to information on the domain structure of this class of ubiquitin-ligases that may be involved in plant adaptation to environmental stress. PMID:21887349

  16. A Polarization-Diversity Homodyne Image-Reject Optical Tranceiver Architecture for Improved Range and Signal Detection in Coherent Doppler Lidars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abari, C. F.; Chu, X.; Mann, J.

    2014-12-01

    Doppler light detection and ranging (lidar) has been used for a few decades for the characterization of wind fields and turbulence structures in the atmosphere. More recently, due to the advances in fiber optic communications, all-fiber coherent Doppler lidars (CDL) have been developed and widely used as a primary instrument for probing the atmospheric boundary layer wind fields. Due to a variety of reasons, all-fiber CDLs have gradually replaced their counterparts benefiting from technologies other than fiber optics. Most CDLs suffer from a number of drawbacks inherent to their principle of operation. For instance, one of the main challenges in CDLs is extracting the signal information from noisy observations, which is common to most opto-electronic systems. Moreover, it is sometimes challenging to extract the sign of the measured radial velocity. Conventionally, CDLs have benefitted from an intermediate frequency (IF) heterodyne receiver architecture for the determination of the radial velocity. In such systems, either the transmitted or the local oscillator (LO) signal is shifted in frequency. Such architectures may suffer from increased noise and spurious effects due to the employment of additional active components, e.g., acousto-optic modulator (AOM), limited measurement bandwidth (BW), and a more sophisticated electronic front-end for signal detection. On the other hand, one of the main challenges in long-range (pulsed) CDLs is the limitations imposed on the pulse repetition rate (PRR) as well as the available transmit power. These restrictions are more significant in all-fiber pulsed CDLs in which Erbium doped fiber amplifiers (EDFA) are employed for the amplification of the optical pulses. In this study, we propose an alternative reconfigurable opto-electronic front-end transceiver architecture in all-fiber CDLs where there is no compromise in the detection BW. Additionally, by benefiting from a polarization diversity architecture we show that both the PRR

  17. Green Architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Seung-Ho

    Today, the environment has become a main subject in lots of science disciplines and the industrial development due to the global warming. This paper presents the analysis of the tendency of Green Architecture in France on the threes axes: Regulations and Approach for the Sustainable Architecture (Certificate and Standard), Renewable Materials (Green Materials) and Strategies (Equipments) of Sustainable Technology. The definition of 'Green Architecture' will be cited in the introduction and the question of the interdisciplinary for the technological development in 'Green Architecture' will be raised up in the conclusion.

  18. Genetic Improvement of Switchgrass and Other Herbaceous Plants for Use as Biomass Fuel Feedstock

    SciTech Connect

    Vogel, K.P.

    2001-01-11

    It should be highly feasible to genetically modify the feedstock quality of switchgrass and other herbaceous plants using both conventional and molecular breeding techniques. Effectiveness of breeding to modify herbages of switchgrass and other perennial and annual herbaceous species has already been demonstrated. The use of molecular markers and transformation technology will greatly enhance the capability of breeders to modify the plant structure and cell walls of herbaceous plants. It will be necessary to monitor gene flow to remnant wild populations of plants and have strategies available to curtail gene flow if it becomes a potential problem. It also will be necessary to monitor plant survival and long-term productivity as affected by genetic changes that improve forage quality. Information on the conversion processes that will be used and the biomass characteristics that affect conversion efficiency and rate is absolutely essential as well as information on the relative economic value of specific traits. Because most forage or biomass quality characteristics are highly affected by plant maturity, it is suggested that plant material of specific maturity stages be used in research to determining desirable feedstock quality characteristics. Plant material could be collected at various stages of development from an array of environments and storage conditions that could be used in conversion research. The same plant material could be used to develop NIRS calibrations that could be used by breeders in their selection programs and also to develop criteria for a feedstock quality assessment program. Breeding for improved feedstock quality will likely affect the rate of improvement of biomass production per acre. If the same level of resources are used, multi-trait breeding simply reduces the selection pressure and hence the breeding progress that can be made for a single trait unless all the traits are highly correlated. Since desirable feedstock traits are likely

  19. Generic Distributed Simulation Architecture

    SciTech Connect

    Booker, C.P.

    1999-05-14

    A Generic Distributed Simulation Architecture is described that allows a simulation to be automatically distributed over a heterogeneous network of computers and executed with very little human direction. A prototype Framework is presented that implements the elements of the Architecture and demonstrates the feasibility of the concepts. It provides a basis for a future, improved Framework that will support legacy models. Because the Framework is implemented in Java, it may be installed on almost any modern computer system.

  20. Value impact assessment: A preliminary assessment of improvement opportunities at the Quantico Central Heating Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Brambley, M.R.; Weakley, S.A.

    1990-09-01

    This report presents the results of a preliminary assessment of opportunities for improvement at the US Marine Corps (USMC) Quantico, Virginia, Central Heating Plant (CHP). This study is part of a program intended to provide the CHP staff with a computerized Artificial Intelligence (AI) decision support system that will assist in a more efficient, reliable, and safe operation of their plant. As part of the effort to provide the AI decision support system, a team of six scientists and engineers from the Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) visited the plant to characterize the conditions and environment of the CHP. This assessment resulted in a list of potential performance improvement opportunities at the CHP. In this report, 12 of these opportunities are discussed and qualitatively analyzed. 70 refs., 7 figs., 6 tabs.

  1. The use of FTIR spectroscopy to monitor modifications in plant cell wall architecture caused by cellulose biosynthesis inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Alonso-Simón, Ana; García-Angulo, Penélope; Mélida, Hugo; Encina, Antonio; Álvarez, Jesús M

    2011-01-01

    Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) spectroscopy is a powerful and rapid technique for analyzing cell wall components and putative cross-links, which is able to non-destructively recognize polymers and functional groups and provide abundant information about their in muro organization. FTIR spectroscopy has been reported to be a useful tool for monitoring cell wall changes occurring in muro as a result of various factors, such as growth and development processes, mutations or biotic and abiotic stresses. This mini-review examines the use of FTIR spectroscopy in conjunction with multivariate analyses to monitor cell wall changes related to (1) the exposure of diverse plant materials to cellulose biosynthesis inhibitors (CBIs) and (2) the habituation/dehabituation of plant cell cultures to this kind of herbicides. The spectra analyses show differences not only regarding the inhibitor, but also regarding how long cells have been growing in its presence. PMID:21791979

  2. Exergoeconomic analysis of a refinery`s utilities plant: Part II-improvement proposals

    SciTech Connect

    Rivero, R.; Hernandez, R.

    1996-12-31

    A crude oil refinery normally consumes a large amount of energy, not only in the form of the combustion of fossil fuels in the process units, but also in the associated Utilities Plant which produces process steam at different pressure levels and electricity. Energy losses of the utilities plant represent some 40 % of the total refinery`s energy losses. It is then extremely important to evaluate the performance of this plant and the costs to be assigned to the production of steam and electricity as a supplier of energy to the process units. This paper presents the improvement proposals generated by the application of an exergoeconomic analysis to the Utilities Plant of an existing 150,000 BPD crude oil refinery. 2 refs., 7 figs.

  3. Improved method for HPLC analysis of polyamines, agmatine and aromatic monoamines in plant tissue

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slocum, R. D.; Flores, H. E.; Galston, A. W.; Weinstein, L. H.

    1989-01-01

    The high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method of Flores and Galston (1982 Plant Physiol 69: 701) for the separation and quantitation of benzoylated polyamines in plant tissues has been widely adopted by other workers. However, due to previously unrecognized problems associated with the derivatization of agmatine, this important intermediate in plant polyamine metabolism cannot be quantitated using this method. Also, two polyamines, putrescine and diaminopropane, also are not well resolved using this method. A simple modification of the original HPLC procedure greatly improves the separation and quantitation of these amines, and further allows the simulation analysis of phenethylamine and tyramine, which are major monoamine constituents of tobacco and other plant tissues. We have used this modified HPLC method to characterize amine titers in suspension cultured carrot (Daucas carota L.) cells and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) leaf tissues.

  4. Exploiting plant-microbe partnerships to improve biomass production and remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Weyens, N.; van der Lelie, D.; Taghavi, S.; Newman, L.; Vangronsveld, J.

    2009-10-01

    Although many plant-associated bacteria have beneficial effects on their host, their importance during plant growth and development is still underestimated. A better understanding of their plant growth-promoting mechanisms could be exploited for sustainable growth of food and feed crops, biomass for biofuel production and feedstocks for industrial processes. Such plant growth-promoting mechanisms might facilitate higher production of energy crops in a more sustainable manner, even on marginal land, and thus contribute to avoiding conflicts between food and energy production. Furthermore, because many bacteria show a natural capacity to cope with contaminants, they could be exploited to improve the efficiency of phytoremediation or to protect the food chain by reducing levels of agrochemicals in food crops.

  5. Suggested improvements for the allergenicity assessment of genetically modified plants used in foods.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Richard E; Tetteh, Afua O

    2011-08-01

    Genetically modified (GM) plants are increasingly used for food production and industrial applications. As the global population has surpassed 7 billion and per capita consumption rises, food production is challenged by loss of arable land, changing weather patterns, and evolving plant pests and disease. Previous gains in quantity and quality relied on natural or artificial breeding, random mutagenesis, increased pesticide and fertilizer use, and improved farming techniques, all without a formal safety evaluation. However, the direct introduction of novel genes raised questions regarding safety that are being addressed by an evaluation process that considers potential increases in the allergenicity, toxicity, and nutrient availability of foods derived from the GM plants. Opinions vary regarding the adequacy of the assessment, but there is no documented proof of an adverse effect resulting from foods produced from GM plants. This review and opinion discusses current practices and new regulatory demands related to food safety. PMID:21487714

  6. Use of validation dosimetry, in source rack load planning, to improve cobalt irradiation plant efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pyne, C. H.; Comben, M. J.

    2002-03-01

    Source load planning is an important part of optimising the performance of cobalt-60 gamma irradiation plants. The best results are achieved using a complex algorithm to accurately model the radiation profile of the source. In this way operational plant performance may be predicted as a function of changes in activity distribution within the source rack. This paper describes an approach to the prediction of plant performance that is numerically simpler than attempting to calculate actual doses from first principles. It shows how validation dosimetry results can be used to validate the software-predicted dose distribution and details how this enables the load plan to be tailored to meet the specific objectives of the plant operator. Improvements in product throughput and reduced maximum to minimum dose ratios are typical.

  7. Plant cell wall engineering: applications in biofuel production and improved human health.

    PubMed

    Burton, Rachel A; Fincher, Geoffrey B

    2014-04-01

    Plant cell walls consist largely of cellulose, non-cellulosic polysaccharides and lignin. Concerted attempts are underway to convert wall polysaccharides from crop plant residues into renewable transport fuels and other valuable products, and to exploit the dietary benefits of cereal grain wall polysaccharides in human health. Attempts to improve plant performance for these applications have involved the manipulation of the levels and structures of wall components. Some successes in altering non-cellulosic polysaccharides has been achieved, but it would appear that drastic changes in cellulose are more difficult to engineer. Nevertheless, future prospects for both genetically modified (GM) and non-GM technologies to modify plant cell wall composition and structure remain bright, and will undoubtedly find applications beyond the current focus on human health and biofuel production. PMID:24679262

  8. Coal flow aids reduce coke plant operating costs and improve production rates

    SciTech Connect

    Bedard, R.A.; Bradacs, D.J.; Kluck, R.W.; Roe, D.C.; Ventresca, B.P.

    2005-06-01

    Chemical coal flow aids can provide many benefits to coke plants, including improved production rates, reduced maintenance and lower cleaning costs. This article discusses the mechanisms by which coal flow aids function and analyzes several successful case histories. 2 refs., 10 figs., 1 tab.

  9. Motor Assembly Plant Saves $85,000 with Compressed Air System Improvements (Bodine Electric's Chicago Facility)

    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 Bodine Electric motor assembly plant project.

  10. Giprokoks proposals for improvement in air quality at coke battery 1A of Radlin coke plant

    SciTech Connect

    T.F. Trembach; A.G. Klimenko

    2009-07-15

    Coke battery 1A, which uses rammed batch, has gone into production at Radlin coke plant (Poland), on the basis of Giprokoks designs. Up-to-date dust-trapping methods are used for the first time within the aspiration systems in the coal-preparation shop and in improving dust collection within the production buildings.

  11. Amending metal contaminated mine soil with biochars to sequester metals and improve plant growth cover

    EPA Science Inventory

    There are numerous mine spoil sites in the U.S. Pacific Northwest that contain highly acidic, heavy metal-laden soils, which limits establishment of a soil-stabilizing plant cover. Biochars may be a suitable soil amendment to reduce toxic metals, improve soil fertility, soil wa...

  12. Practical aspects of running DOE for improving growth media for in vitro plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Experiments using DOE software to improve plant tissue culture growth medium are complicated and require complex setups. Once the experimental design is set and the treatment points calculated, media sheets and mixing charts must be developed. Since these experiments require three passages on the sa...

  13. The harmful effects of air pollutants around the Yenikoy thermal power plant on architecture of Calabrian pine (Pinus brutia Ten.) needles.

    PubMed

    Nuhoglu, Yasar

    2005-06-01

    The influence of air pollutants on the architecture of Calabrian pine (Pinus brutia Ten.) needles was examined in polluted and control forest sites around the Yeniköy thermal power plant (YTPP) in Muğla, Turkey. The aim of this research was to test the hypothesis that air pollutants emitted from the YTPP cause the dilation of resin canal diameter on the cross-sections of Calabrian pine needles. For this, the anatomical and morphological anomalies on the cross-sections of Calabrian pine needles were examined. It was determined that the air pollutants caused resin canal dilation and epidermis/hypodermis layers slimming on the cross-sections of Calabrian pine needles. It was also observed that the endodermis layer, the transfusion tissue cells had deformed, and the intra-cellular material had disappeared in the inner side of the cells. At the end of the land researches carried out around the YTPP, visible injury was observed and the ends of needles had withered, so the two and three-year old needles fell very early. Leak of resin on the surface of the needles especially in extensive dusty areas appeared. 0.217-0.423 mg/cm(2) fly ash on the needle surfaces in these areas were obtained. By means of the elemental analysis, it was found out that fly ash had some toxic elements on plants. PMID:16334260

  14. Assessing the effects of architectural variations on light partitioning within virtual wheat–pea mixtures

    PubMed Central

    Barillot, Romain; Escobar-Gutiérrez, Abraham J.; Fournier, Christian; Huynh, Pierre; Combes, Didier

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Predicting light partitioning in crop mixtures is a critical step in improving the productivity of such complex systems, and light interception has been shown to be closely linked to plant architecture. The aim of the present work was to analyse the relationships between plant architecture and light partitioning within wheat–pea (Triticum aestivum–Pisum sativum) mixtures. An existing model for wheat was utilized and a new model for pea morphogenesis was developed. Both models were then used to assess the effects of architectural variations in light partitioning. Methods First, a deterministic model (L-Pea) was developed in order to obtain dynamic reconstructions of pea architecture. The L-Pea model is based on L-systems formalism and consists of modules for ‘vegetative development’ and ‘organ extension’. A tripartite simulator was then built up from pea and wheat models interfaced with a radiative transfer model. Architectural parameters from both plant models, selected on the basis of their contribution to leaf area index (LAI), height and leaf geometry, were then modified in order to generate contrasting architectures of wheat and pea. Key results By scaling down the analysis to the organ level, it could be shown that the number of branches/tillers and length of internodes significantly determined the partitioning of light within mixtures. Temporal relationships between light partitioning and the LAI and height of the different species showed that light capture was mainly related to the architectural traits involved in plant LAI during the early stages of development, and in plant height during the onset of interspecific competition. Conclusions In silico experiments enabled the study of the intrinsic effects of architectural parameters on the partitioning of light in crop mixtures of wheat and pea. The findings show that plant architecture is an important criterion for the identification/breeding of plant ideotypes, particularly

  15. Direct Measurement of Xylem Pressure in Leaves of Intact Maize Plants. A Test of the Cohesion-Tension Theory Taking Hydraulic Architecture into Consideration1

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Chunfang; Tyree, Melvin T.; Steudle, Ernst

    1999-01-01

    The water relations of maize (Zea mays L. cv Helix) were documented in terms of hydraulic architecture and xylem pressure. A high-pressure flowmeter was used to characterize the hydraulic resistances of the root, stalk, and leaves. Xylem pressure measurements were made with a Scholander-Hammel pressure bomb and with a cell pressure probe. Evaporation rates were measured by gas exchange and by gravimetric measurements. Xylem pressure was altered by changing the light intensity, by controlling irrigation, or by gas pressure applied to the soil mass (using a root pressure bomb). Xylem pressure measured by the cell pressure probe and by the pressure bomb agreed over the entire measured range of 0 to −0.7 MPa. Experiments were consistent with the cohesion-tension theory. Xylem pressure changed rapidly and reversibly with changes in light intensity and root-bomb pressure. Increasing the root-bomb pressure increased the evaporation rate slightly when xylem pressure was negative and increased water flow rate through the shoots dramatically when xylem pressure was positive and guttation was observed. The hydraulic architecture model could predict all observed changes in water flow rate and xylem. We measured the cavitation threshold for oil- and water-filled pressure probes and provide some suggestions for improvement. PMID:10594106

  16. Application of plant growth regulators, a simple technique for improving the establishment success of plant cuttings in coastal dune restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balestri, Elena; Vallerini, Flavia; Castelli, Alberto; Lardicci, Claudio

    2012-03-01

    high survival potential and greater area cover. In contrast, a pre-treatment of cuttings of S. virginicus with Kinetin would achieve more acceptable plant survival rates. This easy and low cost-effective technique may be extended to other dune plant species and applied on a large scale to improve the chance of dune restoration success.

  17. Architectural Advancements in RELAP5-3D

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. George L. Mesina

    2005-11-01

    As both the computer industry and field of nuclear science and engineering move forward, there is a need to improve the computing tools used in the nuclear industry to keep pace with these changes. By increasing the capability of the codes, the growing modeling needs of nuclear plant analysis will be met and advantage can be taken of more powerful computer languages and architecture. In the past eighteen months, improvements have been made to RELAP5-3D [1] for these reasons. These architectural advances include code restructuring, conversion to Fortran 90, high performance computing upgrades, and rewriting of the RELAP5 Graphical User Interface (RGUI) [2] and XMGR5 [3] in Java. These architectural changes will extend the lifetime of RELAP5-3D, reduce the costs for development and maintenance, and improve it speed and reliability.

  18. Protein architecture and core residues in unwound α-helices provide insights to the transport function of plant AtCHX17.

    PubMed

    Czerny, Daniel D; Padmanaban, Senthilkumar; Anishkin, Andriy; Venema, Kees; Riaz, Zoya; Sze, Heven

    2016-09-01

    Using Arabidopsis thaliana AtCHX17 as an example, we combine structural modeling and mutagenesis to provide insights on its protein architecture and transport function which is poorly characterized. This approach is based on the observation that protein structures are significantly more conserved in evolution than linear sequences, and mechanistic similarities among diverse transporters are emerging. Two homology models of AtCHX17 were obtained that show a protein fold similar to known structures of bacterial Na(+)/H(+) antiporters, EcNhaA and TtNapA. The distinct secondary and tertiary structure models highlighted residues at positions potentially important for CHX17 activity. Mutagenesis showed that asparagine-N200 and aspartate-D201 inside transmembrane5 (TM5), and lysine-K355 inside TM10 are critical for AtCHX17 activity. We reveal previously unrecognized threonine-T170 and lysine-K383 as key residues at unwound regions in the middle of TM4 and TM11 α-helices, respectively. Mutation of glutamate-E111 located near the membrane surface inhibited AtCHX17 activity, suggesting a role in pH sensing. The long carboxylic tail of unknown purpose has an alternating β-sheet and α-helix secondary structure that is conserved in prokaryote universal stress proteins. These results support the overall architecture of AtCHX17 and identify D201, N200 and novel residues T170 and K383 at the functional core which likely participates in ion recognition, coordination and/or translocation, similar to characterized cation/H(+) exchangers. The core of AtCHX17 models according to EcNhaA and TtNapA templates faces inward and outward, respectively, which may reflect two conformational states of the alternating access transport mode for proteins belonging to the plant CHX family. PMID:27179641

  19. Plant cell wall architecture. Final technical report for DOE award no. DE-FG02-97ER20258

    SciTech Connect

    2002-08-06

    The goals of the project were to investigate the roles of caffeoyl coenzyme A O-methyltransferase (CCoAOMT), an enzyme involved in the phenylpropanoid biosynthetic pathway, in the biosynthesis of lignin. The investigators proposed to analyze the expression pattern of CCoAOMT in plants, and examine how reduction in the expression of CCoAOMT would affect lignin content and composition. The goals were fulfilled, and significant findings on lignin biochemistry were made. Two papers were published, and one patent application based on the findings was filed.

  20. Advances in plant proteomics toward improvement of crop productivity and stress resistancex

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Junjie; Rampitsch, Christof; Bykova, Natalia V.

    2015-01-01

    Abiotic and biotic stresses constrain plant growth and development negatively impacting crop production. Plants have developed stress-specific adaptations as well as simultaneous responses to a combination of various abiotic stresses with pathogen infection. The efficiency of stress-induced adaptive responses is dependent on activation of molecular signaling pathways and intracellular networks by modulating expression, or abundance, and/or post-translational modification (PTM) of proteins primarily associated with defense mechanisms. In this review, we summarize and evaluate the contribution of proteomic studies to our understanding of stress response mechanisms in different plant organs and tissues. Advanced quantitative proteomic techniques have improved the coverage of total proteomes and sub-proteomes from small amounts of starting material, and characterized PTMs as well as protein–protein interactions at the cellular level, providing detailed information on organ- and tissue-specific regulatory mechanisms responding to a variety of individual stresses or stress combinations during plant life cycle. In particular, we address the tissue-specific signaling networks localized to various organelles that participate in stress-related physiological plasticity and adaptive mechanisms, such as photosynthetic efficiency, symbiotic nitrogen fixation, plant growth, tolerance and common responses to environmental stresses. We also provide an update on the progress of proteomics with major crop species and discuss the current challenges and limitations inherent to proteomics techniques and data interpretation for non-model organisms. Future directions in proteomics research toward crop improvement are further discussed. PMID:25926838

  1. Replace, reuse, recycle: improving the sustainable use of phosphorus by plants.

    PubMed

    Baker, Alison; Ceasar, S Antony; Palmer, Antony J; Paterson, Jaimie B; Qi, Wanjun; Muench, Stephen P; Baldwin, Stephen A

    2015-06-01

    The 'phosphorus problem' has recently received strong interest with two distinct strands of importance. The first is that too much phosphorus (P) is entering into waste water, creating a significant economic and ecological problem. Secondly, while agricultural demand for phosphate fertilizer is increasing to maintain crop yields, rock phosphate reserves are rapidly declining. Unravelling the mechanisms by which plants sense, respond to, and acquire phosphate can address both problems, allowing the development of crop plants that are more efficient at acquiring and using limited amounts of phosphate while at the same time improving the potential of plants and other photosynthetic organisms for nutrient recapture and recycling from waste water. In this review, we attempt to synthesize these important but often disparate parts of the debate in a holistic fashion, since solutions to such a complex problem require integrated and multidisciplinary approaches that address both P supply and demand. Rapid progress has been made recently in our understanding of local and systemic signalling mechanisms for phosphate, and of expression and regulation of membrane proteins that take phosphate up from the environment and transport it within the plant. We discuss the current state of understanding of such mechanisms involved in sensing and responding to phosphate stress. We also discuss approaches to improve the P-use efficiency of crop plants and future direction for sustainable use of P, including use of photosynthetic organisms for recapture of P from waste waters. PMID:25944926

  2. Final Report on the Operation and Maintenance Improvement Program for Concentrating Solar Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen Gilbert E.; Kearney, David W.; Kolb, Gregory J.

    1999-06-01

    This report describes the results of a six-year, $6.3 million project to reduce operation and maintenance (O&M) costs at power plants employing concentrating solar power (CSP) technology. Sandia National Laboratories teamed with KJC Operating Company to implement the O&M Improvement Program. O&M technologies developed during the course of the program were demonstrated at the 150-MW Kramer Junction solar power park located in Boron, California. Improvements were made in the following areas: (a) efficiency of solar energy collection, (b) O&M information management, (c) reliability of solar field flow loop hardware, (d) plant operating strategy, and (e) cost reduction associated with environmental issues. A 37% reduction in annual O&M costs was achieved. Based on the lessons learned, an optimum solar- field O&M plan for future CSP plants is presented. Parabolic trough solar technology is employed at Kramer Junction. However, many of the O&M improvements described in the report are also applicable to CSP plants based on solar power tower or dish/engine concepts.

  3. Silicon moderated the K deficiency by improving the plant-water status in sorghum

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Daoqian; Cao, Beibei; Wang, Shiwen; Liu, Peng; Deng, Xiping; Yin, Lina; Zhang, Suiqi

    2016-01-01

    Although silicon (Si) has been widely reported to alleviate plant nutrient deficiency, the underlying mechanism in potassium (K) deficiency is poorly understood. In this study, sorghum seedlings were treated with Si under a K deficiency condition for 15 days. Under control conditions, plant growth was not affected by Si application. The growth and water status were reduced by K-deficient stress, but Si application significantly alleviated these decreases. The leaf gas exchanges, whole-plant hydraulic conductance (Kplant), and root hydraulic conductance (Lpr) were reduced by K deficiency, but Si application moderated the K-deficiency-induced reductions, suggesting that Si alleviated the plant hydraulic conductance. In addition, 29% of Si-alleviated transpiration was eliminated by HgCl2 treatment, suggesting that aquaporin was not the primary cause for the reversal of plant hydraulic conductance. Moreover, the K+ concentration in xylem sap was significantly increased and the xylem sap osmotic potential was decreased by Si application, suggesting that the major cause of Si-induced improvement in hydraulic conductance could be ascribed to the enhanced xylem sap K+ concentration, which increases the osmotic gradient and xylem hydraulic conductance. The results of this study show that Si mediates K+ accumulation in xylem, which ultimately alleviates the plant-water status under the K-deficient condition. PMID:26961070

  4. Expression of peanut Iron Regulated Transporter 1 in tobacco and rice plants confers improved iron nutrition.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Hongchun; Guo, Xiaotong; Kobayashi, Takanori; Kakei, Yusuke; Nakanishi, Hiromi; Nozoye, Tomoko; Zhang, Lixia; Shen, Hongyun; Qiu, Wei; Nishizawa, Naoko K; Zuo, Yuanmei

    2014-07-01

    Iron (Fe) limitation is a widespread agricultural problem in calcareous soils and severely limits crop production. Iron Regulated Transporter 1 (IRT1) is a key component for Fe uptake from the soil in dicot plants. In this study, the peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) AhIRT1 was introduced into tobacco and rice plants using an Fe-deficiency-inducible artificial promoter. Induced expression of AhIRT1 in tobacco plants resulted in accumulation of Fe in young leaves under Fe deficient conditions. Even under Fe-excess conditions, the Fe concentration was also markedly enhanced, suggesting that the Fe status did not affect the uptake and translocation of Fe by AhIRT1 in the transgenic plants. Most importantly, the transgenic tobacco plants showed improved tolerance to Fe limitation in culture in two types of calcareous soils. Additionally, the induced expression of AhIRT1 in rice plants also resulted in high tolerance to low Fe availability in calcareous soils. PMID:24727792

  5. Silicon moderated the K deficiency by improving the plant-water status in sorghum.

    PubMed

    Chen, Daoqian; Cao, Beibei; Wang, Shiwen; Liu, Peng; Deng, Xiping; Yin, Lina; Zhang, Suiqi

    2016-01-01

    Although silicon (Si) has been widely reported to alleviate plant nutrient deficiency, the underlying mechanism in potassium (K) deficiency is poorly understood. In this study, sorghum seedlings were treated with Si under a K deficiency condition for 15 days. Under control conditions, plant growth was not affected by Si application. The growth and water status were reduced by K-deficient stress, but Si application significantly alleviated these decreases. The leaf gas exchanges, whole-plant hydraulic conductance (Kplant), and root hydraulic conductance (Lpr) were reduced by K deficiency, but Si application moderated the K-deficiency-induced reductions, suggesting that Si alleviated the plant hydraulic conductance. In addition, 29% of Si-alleviated transpiration was eliminated by HgCl2 treatment, suggesting that aquaporin was not the primary cause for the reversal of plant hydraulic conductance. Moreover, the K(+) concentration in xylem sap was significantly increased and the xylem sap osmotic potential was decreased by Si application, suggesting that the major cause of Si-induced improvement in hydraulic conductance could be ascribed to the enhanced xylem sap K(+) concentration, which increases the osmotic gradient and xylem hydraulic conductance. The results of this study show that Si mediates K(+) accumulation in xylem, which ultimately alleviates the plant-water status under the K-deficient condition. PMID:26961070

  6. Ethylene resistance in flowering ornamental plantsimprovements and future perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Olsen, Andreas; Lütken, Henrik; Hegelund, Josefine Nymark; Müller, Renate

    2015-01-01

    Various strategies of plant breeding have been attempted in order to improve the ethylene resistance of flowering ornamental plants. These approaches span from conventional techniques such as simple cross-pollination to new breeding techniques which modify the plants genetically such as precise genome-editing. The main strategies target the ethylene pathway directly; others focus on changing the ethylene pathway indirectly via pathways that are known to be antagonistic to the ethylene pathway, e.g. increasing cytokinin levels. Many of the known elements of the ethylene pathway have been addressed experimentally with the aim of modulating the overall response of the plant to ethylene. Elements of the ethylene pathway that appear particularly promising in this respect include ethylene receptors as ETR1, and transcription factors such as EIN3. Both direct and indirect approaches seem to be successful, nevertheless, although genetic transformation using recombinant DNA has the ability to save much time in the breeding process, they are not readily used by breeders yet. This is primarily due to legislative issues, economic issues, difficulties of implementing this technology in some ornamental plants, as well as how these techniques are publically perceived, particularly in Europe. Recently, newer and more precise genome-editing techniques have become available and they are already being implemented in some crops. New breeding techniques may help change the current situation and pave the way toward a legal and public acceptance if products of these technologies are indistinguishable from plants obtained by conventional techniques. PMID:26504580

  7. Foliar absorption of intercepted rainfall improves woody plant water status most during drought.

    PubMed

    Breshears, David D; McDowell, Nathan G; Goddard, Kelly L; Dayem, Katherine E; Martens, Scott N; Meyer, Clifton W; Brown, Karen M

    2008-01-01

    A large proportion of rainfall in dryland ecosystems is intercepted by plant foliage and is generally assumed to evaporate to the atmosphere or drip onto the soil surface without being absorbed. We demonstrate foliar absorption of intercepted rainfall in a widely distributed, continental dryland, woody-plant genus: Juniperus. We observed substantial improvement in plant water status, exceeding 1.0 MPa water potential for drought-stressed plants, following precipitation on an experimental plot that excluded soil water infiltration. Experiments that wetted shoots with unlabeled and with isotopically labeled water confirmed that water potential responded substantially to foliar wetting, that these responses were not attributable to re-equilibration with other portions of the xylem, and that magnitude of response increased with water stress. Foliar absorption is not included in most ecological, hydrological, and atmospheric models; has implications for interpreting plant isotopic signatures; and not only supplements water acquisition associated with increases in soil moisture that follow large or repeated precipitation events, but also enables plants to bypass soil water uptake and benefit from the majority of precipitation events, which wet foliage but do not increase soil moisture substantially. Foliar absorption of intercepted water could be more important than previously appreciated, especially during drought when water stress is greatest. PMID:18376545

  8. Asymmetric ZnO panel-like hierarchical architectures with highly interconnected pathways for free-electron transport and photovoltaic improvements.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yantao; Zhu, Chao; Wang, Lin; Li, Wei; Fung, Kwok Kwong; Wang, Ning

    2013-01-01

    Through a rapid and template-free precipitation approach, we synthesized an asymmetric panel-like ZnO hierarchical architecture (PHA) for photoanodes of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). The two sides of the PHA are constructed differently using densely interconnected, mono-crystalline and ultrathin ZnO nanosheets. By mixing these PHAs with ZnO nanoparticles (NPs), we developed an effective and feasible strategy to improve the electrical transport and photovoltaic performance of the composite photoanodes of DSCs. The highly crystallized and interconnected ZnO nanosheets largely minimized the total grain boundaries within the composite photoanodes and thus served as direct pathways for the transport and effective collection of free electrons. Through low-temperature (200 °C) annealing, these novel composite photoanodes achieved high conversion efficiencies of up to 5.59% for ZnO-based quasi-solid DSCs. PMID:23197439

  9. The impact of grazing on plant fractal architecture and fitness of a mediterranean shrub (Anthyllis cytisoidesL.)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Escos, J.; Alados, C.L.; Emlen, J.M.

    1997-01-01

    1. We examined natural grazing by livestock (sheep and goats) on Albaida Anthyllis cytisoides L. with the aim of determining whether variation in the allometric relationships between plant parts provides a sensitive indicator of the impact of grazing.2. The intra-individual variation in translatory symmetry with scale and increased complexity of fractal structures reflect environmental disturbance under heavy grazing pressure and lack of grazing.3. Fitness consequences of grazing were also investigated. Grazing promotes growth and adult survival, and a drop in seed production as a consequence of consumption. In spite of that, total inclusive fitness (population rate of change) tends to increase with grazing.4. Moderate grazing, while promoting growth, also enhances stability of vegetative structures. The favourable effect of moderate levels of herbivory on A. cytisoides is reflected in the homeostatic maintenance of its translatory symmetry and in the increased complexity of its fractal structures.

  10. Manipulating microRNAs for improved biomass and biofuels from plant feedstocks.

    PubMed

    Trumbo, Jennifer Lynn; Zhang, Baohong; Stewart, Charles Neal

    2015-04-01

    Petroleum-based fuels are nonrenewable and unsustainable. Renewable sources of energy, such as lignocellulosic biofuels and plant metabolite-based drop-in fuels, can offset fossil fuel use and reverse environmental degradation through carbon sequestration. Despite these benefits, the lignocellulosic biofuels industry still faces many challenges, including the availability of economically viable crop plants. Cell wall recalcitrance is a major economic barrier for lignocellulosic biofuels production from biomass crops. Sustainability and biomass yield are two additional, yet interrelated, foci for biomass crop improvement. Many scientists are searching for solutions to these problems within biomass crop genomes. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in almost all biological and metabolic process in plants including plant development, cell wall biosynthesis and plant stress responses. Because of the broad functions of their targets (e.g. auxin response factors), the alteration of plant miRNA expression often results in pleiotropic effects. A specific miRNA usually regulates a biologically relevant bioenergy trait. For example, relatively low miR156 overexpression leads to a transgenic feedstock with enhanced biomass and decreased recalcitrance. miRNAs have been overexpressed in dedicated bioenergy feedstocks such as poplar and switchgrass yielding promising results for lignin reduction, increased plant biomass, the timing of flowering and response to harsh environments. In this review, we present the status of miRNA-related research in several major biofuel crops and relevant model plants. We critically assess published research and suggest next steps for miRNA manipulation in feedstocks for increased biomass and sustainability for biofuels and bioproducts. PMID:25707745

  11. Project Integration Architecture: Architectural Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, William Henry

    2001-01-01

    The Project Integration Architecture (PIA) implements a flexible, object-oriented, wrapping architecture which encapsulates all of the information associated with engineering applications. The architecture allows the progress of a project to be tracked and documented in its entirety. By being a single, self-revealing architecture, the ability to develop single tools, for example a single graphical user interface, to span all applications is enabled. Additionally, by bringing all of the information sources and sinks of a project into a single architectural space, the ability to transport information between those applications becomes possible, Object-encapsulation further allows information to become in a sense self-aware, knowing things such as its own dimensionality and providing functionality appropriate to its kind.

  12. Supplemental Blue LED Lighting Array to Improve the Signal Quality in Hyperspectral Imaging of Plants

    PubMed Central

    Mahlein, Anne-Katrin; Hammersley, Simon; Oerke, Erich-Christian; Dehne, Heinz-Wilhelm; Goldbach, Heiner; Grieve, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Hyperspectral imaging systems used in plant science or agriculture often have suboptimal signal-to-noise ratio in the blue region (400–500 nm) of the electromagnetic spectrum. Typically there are two principal reasons for this effect, the low sensitivity of the imaging sensor and the low amount of light available from the illuminating source. In plant science, the blue region contains relevant information about the physiology and the health status of a plant. We report on the improvement in sensitivity of a hyperspectral imaging system in the blue region of the spectrum by using supplemental illumination provided by an array of high brightness light emitting diodes (LEDs) with an emission peak at 470 nm. PMID:26039423

  13. Supplemental blue LED lighting array to improve the signal quality in hyperspectral imaging of plants.

    PubMed

    Mahlein, Anne-Katrin; Hammersley, Simon; Oerke, Erich-Christian; Dehne, Heinz-Wilhelm; Goldbach, Heiner; Grieve, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Hyperspectral imaging systems used in plant science or agriculture often have suboptimal signal-to-noise ratio in the blue region (400-500 nm) of the electromagnetic spectrum. Typically there are two principal reasons for this effect, the low sensitivity of the imaging sensor and the low amount of light available from the illuminating source. In plant science, the blue region contains relevant information about the physiology and the health status of a plant. We report on the improvement in sensitivity of a hyperspectral imaging system in the blue region of the spectrum by using supplemental illumination provided by an array of high brightness light emitting diodes (LEDs) with an emission peak at 470 nm. PMID:26039423

  14. 32 CFR 644.486 - Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 4 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or similar contracts. 644.486 Section 644.486 National... Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or...

  15. Dissection of genetic architecture of rice plant height and heading date by multiple-strategy-based association studies

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Liyuan; Liu, Shouye; Wu, Weixun; Chen, Daibo; Zhan, Xiaodeng; Zhu, Aike; Zhang, Yingxin; Cheng, Shihua; Cao, Liyong; Lou, Xiangyang; Xu, Haiming

    2016-01-01

    Xieyou9308 is a certified super hybrid rice cultivar with a high grain yield. To investigate its underlying genetic basis of high yield potential, a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from the cross between the maintainer line XieqingzaoB (XQZB) and the restorer line Zhonghui9308 (ZH9308) was constructed for identification of quantitative trait SNPs (QTSs) associated with two important agronomic traits, plant height (PH) and heading date (HD). By re-sequencing of 138 recombinant inbred lines (RILs), a total of ~0.7 million SNPs were identified for the association studies on the PH and HD. Three association mapping strategies (including hypothesis-free genome-wide association and its two complementary hypothesis-engaged ones, QTL-based association and gene-based association) were adopted for data analysis. Using a saturated mixed linear model including epistasis and environmental interaction, we identified a total of 31 QTSs associated with either the PH or the HD. The total estimated heritability across three analyses ranged from 37.22% to 45.63% and from 37.53% to 55.96% for the PH and HD, respectively. In this study we examined the feasibility of association studies in an experimental population (RIL) and identified several common loci through multiple strategies which could be preferred candidates for further research. PMID:27406081

  16. Dissection of genetic architecture of rice plant height and heading date by multiple-strategy-based association studies.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Liyuan; Liu, Shouye; Wu, Weixun; Chen, Daibo; Zhan, Xiaodeng; Zhu, Aike; Zhang, Yingxin; Cheng, Shihua; Cao, Liyong; Lou, Xiangyang; Xu, Haiming

    2016-01-01

    Xieyou9308 is a certified super hybrid rice cultivar with a high grain yield. To investigate its underlying genetic basis of high yield potential, a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from the cross between the maintainer line XieqingzaoB (XQZB) and the restorer line Zhonghui9308 (ZH9308) was constructed for identification of quantitative trait SNPs (QTSs) associated with two important agronomic traits, plant height (PH) and heading date (HD). By re-sequencing of 138 recombinant inbred lines (RILs), a total of ~0.7 million SNPs were identified for the association studies on the PH and HD. Three association mapping strategies (including hypothesis-free genome-wide association and its two complementary hypothesis-engaged ones, QTL-based association and gene-based association) were adopted for data analysis. Using a saturated mixed linear model including epistasis and environmental interaction, we identified a total of 31 QTSs associated with either the PH or the HD. The total estimated heritability across three analyses ranged from 37.22% to 45.63% and from 37.53% to 55.96% for the PH and HD, respectively. In this study we examined the feasibility of association studies in an experimental population (RIL) and identified several common loci through multiple strategies which could be preferred candidates for further research. PMID:27406081

  17. Deconstructing a Plant Macromolecular Assembly: Chemical Architecture, Molecular Flexibility, And Mechanical Performance of Natural and Engineered Potato Suberins

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Periderms present in plant barks are essential protective barriers to water diffusion, mechanical breakdown, and pathogenic invasion. They consist of densely packed layers of dead cells with cell walls that are embedded with suberin. Understanding the interplay of molecular structure, dynamics, and biomechanics in these cell wall-associated insoluble amorphous polymeric assemblies presents substantial investigative challenges. We report solid-state NMR coordinated with FT-IR and tensile strength measurements for periderms from native and wound-healing potatoes and from potatoes with genetically modified suberins. The analyses include the intact suberin aromatic–aliphatic polymer and cell-wall polysaccharides, previously reported soluble depolymerized transmethylation products, and undegraded residues including suberan. Wound-healing suberized potato cell walls, which are 2 orders of magnitude more permeable to water than native periderms, display a strikingly enhanced hydrophilic–hydrophobic balance, a degradation-resistant aromatic domain, and flexibility suggestive of an altered supramolecular organization in the periderm. Suppression of ferulate ester formation in suberin and associated wax remodels the periderm with more flexible aliphatic chains and abundant aromatic constituents that can resist transesterification, attenuates cooperative hydroxyfatty acid motions, and produces a mechanically compromised and highly water-permeable periderm. PMID:24502663

  18. Architectural Analysis of Dynamically Reconfigurable Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindvall, Mikael; Godfrey, Sally; Ackermann, Chris; Ray, Arnab; Yonkwa, Lyly

    2010-01-01

    oTpics include: the problem (increased flexibility of architectural styles decrease analyzability, behavior emerges and varies depending on the configuration, does the resulting system run according to the intended design, and architectural decisions can impede or facilitate testing); top down approach to architecture analysis, detection of defects and deviations, and architecture and its testability; currently targeted projects GMSEC and CFS; analyzing software architectures; analyzing runtime events; actual architecture recognition; GMPUB in Dynamic SAVE; sample output from new approach; taking message timing delays into account; CFS examples of architecture and testability; some recommendations for improved testablity; and CFS examples of abstract interfaces and testability; CFS example of opening some internal details.

  19. Utilizing clad piping to improve process plant piping integrity, reliability, and operations

    SciTech Connect

    Chakravarti, B.

    1996-07-01

    During the past four years carbon steel piping clad with type 304L (UNS S30403) stainless steel has been used to solve the flow accelerated corrosion (FAC) problem in nuclear power plants with exceptional success. The product is designed to allow ``like for like`` replacement of damaged carbon steel components where the carbon steel remains the pressure boundary and type 304L (UNS S30403) stainless steel the corrosion allowance. More than 3000 feet of piping and 500 fittings in sizes from 6 to 36-in. NPS have been installed in the extraction steam and other lines of these power plants to improve reliability, eliminate inspection program, reduce O and M costs and provide operational benefits. This concept of utilizing clad piping in solving various corrosion problems in industrial and process plants by conservatively selecting a high alloy material as cladding can provide similar, significant benefits in controlling corrosion problems, minimizing maintenance cost, improving operation and reliability to control performance and risks in a highly cost effective manner. This paper will present various material combinations and applications that appear ideally suited for use of the clad piping components in process plants.

  20. Improving Compressed Air Energy Efficiency in Automotive Plants - Practical Examples and Implementation

    SciTech Connect

    Alkadi, Nasr E; Kissock, Professor Kelly

    2011-01-01

    The automotive industry is the largest industry in the United States in terms of the dollar value of production [1]. U.S. automakers face tremendous pressure from foreign competitors, which have an increasing manufacturing presence in this country. The Big Three North American Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are reacting to declining sales figures and economic strain by working more efficiently and seeking out opportunities to reduce production costs without negatively affecting the production volume or the quality of the product. Successful, cost-effective investment and implementation of the energy efficiency technologies and practices meet the challenge of maintaining the output of high quality product with reduced production costs. Automotive stamping and assembly plants are typically large users of compressed air with annual compressed air utility bills in the range of $2M per year per plant. This paper focuses on practical methods that the authors have researched, analyzed and implemented to improve compressed air system efficiency in automobile manufacturing facilities. It describes typical compressed air systems in automotive stamping and assembly plants, and compares these systems to best practices. The paper then presents a series of examples, organized using the method of inside-out approach, which strategically identifies the energy savings in the compressed air system by first minimizing end-use demand, then minimizing distribution losses, and finally making improvements to primary energy conversion equipment, the air compressor plant.

  1. A Review on Plants Used for Improvement of Sexual Performance and Virility

    PubMed Central

    Chauhan, Nagendra Singh; Sharma, Vikas; Dixit, V. K.; Thakur, Mayank

    2014-01-01

    The use of plant or plant-based products to stimulate sexual desire and to enhance performance and enjoyment is almost as old as the human race itself. The present paper reviews the active, natural principles, and crude extracts of plants, which have been useful in sexual disorders, have potential for improving sexual behaviour and performance, and are helpful in spermatogenesis and reproduction. Review of refereed journals and scientific literature available in electronic databases and traditional literature available in India was extensively performed. The work reviews correlation of the evidence with traditional claims, elucidation, and evaluation of a plausible concept governing the usage of plants as aphrodisiac in total. Phytoconstituents with known structures have been classified in appropriate chemical groups and the active crude extracts have been tabulated. Data on their pharmacological activity, mechanism of action, and toxicity are reported. The present review provides an overview of the herbs and their active molecule with claims for improvement of sexual behaviour. A number of herbal drugs have been validated for their effect on sexual behavior and fertility and can therefore serve as basis for the identification of new chemical leads useful in sexual and erectile dysfunction. PMID:25215296

  2. [Rhizospheria bacteria of Poplus euphratica improve resistance of wood plants to heavy metals].

    PubMed

    Chen, Wen; Ouyang, Li-ming; Kong, Pei-jun; Yang, Ze-yu; Wu, Wei; Zhu, Dong-lin; Zhang, Li-li

    2015-09-01

    Populus euphratica is a special kind of woody plant, which lives in desert area of northwestern China and is strongly resistant to multiple abiotic stresses. However, the knowledge about the ecology and physiological roles of microbes associated with P. euphratica is still not enough. In this paper, we isolated 72 strains resistant to heavy metals from rhizospheric soil of wild P. euphratica forest in Shaya County of Xinjiang. There were 50 strains conveying resistance to one of four heavy metals (Cu2+, Ni2+, Pb2+ or Zn2+), and 9 strains were resistant to at least three kinds of these heavy metals. Five of the multi-heavy metal resistant bacteria were inoculated to bamboo willow and the growth inhibition of plant under stresses of Cu2+ or Zn2+ was found to be alleviated to different extent. Among the 5 strains, Pseudomonas sp. Z30 and Cupriavidus sp. N8 significantly improved the growth of plant under stresses of both zinc and copper when compared to the uninoculated controls. The results showed the diversity of heavy metal resistant bacteria associated with P. euphratica which lived in a non-heavy metal polluted area and some of the multi-heavy metal resistant bacteria may greatly improve the growth of host plant under heavy metal.stress. The PGPB associated with P. euphratica has potential application in the xylophyte-microbe remediation of environmental heavy metal pollution. PMID:26785565

  3. A review on plants used for improvement of sexual performance and virility.

    PubMed

    Chauhan, Nagendra Singh; Sharma, Vikas; Dixit, V K; Thakur, Mayank

    2014-01-01

    The use of plant or plant-based products to stimulate sexual desire and to enhance performance and enjoyment is almost as old as the human race itself. The present paper reviews the active, natural principles, and crude extracts of plants, which have been useful in sexual disorders, have potential for improving sexual behaviour and performance, and are helpful in spermatogenesis and reproduction. Review of refereed journals and scientific literature available in electronic databases and traditional literature available in India was extensively performed. The work reviews correlation of the evidence with traditional claims, elucidation, and evaluation of a plausible concept governing the usage of plants as aphrodisiac in total. Phytoconstituents with known structures have been classified in appropriate chemical groups and the active crude extracts have been tabulated. Data on their pharmacological activity, mechanism of action, and toxicity are reported. The present review provides an overview of the herbs and their active molecule with claims for improvement of sexual behaviour. A number of herbal drugs have been validated for their effect on sexual behavior and fertility and can therefore serve as basis for the identification of new chemical leads useful in sexual and erectile dysfunction. PMID:25215296

  4. Strategies to improve MEA CO/sub 2/-removal detailed at Louisiana ammonia plant

    SciTech Connect

    Gagliardi, C.R.; Smith, D.D.; Wang, S.I.

    1989-03-06

    Alkanolamines are chemically reactive solvents widely used for removal of CO/sub 2/ and H/sub 2/S from sour-gas streams. Monoethanolamine (MEA) is the most popular of the alkanolamines. Improving efficiencies and increasing capacities in existing MEA CO/sub 2/-removal systems may be constrained by several limitations. Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (APCI), Allentown, Pa., has experience resolving these limitations as shown in a CO/sub 2/-removal system project at a Louisiana ammonia plant.

  5. PCS Nitrogen: Combustion Fan System Optimization Improves Performance and Saves Energy at a Chemical Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2005-01-01

    This U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Technologies Program case study describes how, in 2003, PCS Nitrogen, Inc., improved the efficiency of the combustion fan on a boiler at the company's chemical fertilizer plant in Augusta, Georgia. The project saved $420,000 and 76,400 million British thermal units (MBtu) per year. In addition, maintenance needs declined, because there is now less stress on the fan motor and bearings and less boiler feed water usage. This project was so successful that the company has implemented more efficiency improvements that should result in energy cost savings of nearly $1 million per year.

  6. Projected techno-economic improvements for advanced solar thermal power plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fujita, T.; Manvi, R.; Roschke, E. J.

    1979-01-01

    The projected characteristics of solar thermal power plants (with outputs up to 10 MWe) employing promising advanced technology subsystems/components are compared to current (or pre-1985) steam-Rankine systems. Improvements accruing to advanced technology development options are delineated. The improvements derived from advanced systems result primarily from achieving high efficiencies via solar collector systems which (1) capture a large portion of the available insolation and (2) concentrate this captured solar flux to attain high temperatures required for high heat engine/energy conversion performance. The most efficient solar collector systems employ two-axis tracking. Attractive systems include the central receiver/heliostat and the parabolic dish.

  7. Evaluation and improvement of wastewater treatment plant performance using BioWin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oleyiblo, Oloche James; Cao, Jiashun; Feng, Qian; Wang, Gan; Xue, Zhaoxia; Fang, Fang

    2015-03-01

    In this study, the activated sludge model implemented in the BioWin® software was validated against full-scale wastewater treatment plant data. Only two stoichiometric parameters ( Y p/acetic and the heterotrophic yield ( Y H)) required calibration. The value 0.42 was used for Y p/acetic in this study, while the default value of the BioWin® software is 0.49, making it comparable with the default values of the corresponding parameter (yield of phosphorus release to substrate uptake ) used in ASM2, ASM2d, and ASM3P, respectively. Three scenarios were evaluated to improve the performance of the wastewater treatment plant, the possibility of wasting sludge from either the aeration tank or the secondary clarifier, the construction of a new oxidation ditch, and the construction of an equalization tank. The results suggest that construction of a new oxidation ditch or an equalization tank for the wastewater treatment plant is not necessary. However, sludge should be wasted from the aeration tank during wet weather to reduce the solids loading of the clarifiers and avoid effluent violations. Therefore, it is recommended that the design of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) should include flexibility to operate the plants in various modes. This is helpful in selection of the appropriate operating mode when necessary, resulting in substantial reductions in operating costs.

  8. An update on post-translational modifications of hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins: toward a model highlighting their contribution to plant cell wall architecture

    PubMed Central

    Hijazi, May; Velasquez, Silvia M.; Jamet, Elisabeth; Estevez, José M.; Albenne, Cécile

    2014-01-01

    Plant cell walls are composite structures mainly composed of polysaccharides, also containing a large set of proteins involved in diverse functions such as growth, environmental sensing, signaling, and defense. Research on cell wall proteins (CWPs) is a challenging field since present knowledge of their role into the structure and function of cell walls is very incomplete. Among CWPs, hydroxyproline (Hyp)-rich O-glycoproteins (HRGPs) were classified into three categories: (i) moderately glycosylated extensins (EXTs) able to form covalent scaffolds; (ii) hyperglycosylated arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs); and (iii) Hyp/proline (Pro)-Rich proteins (H/PRPs) that may be non-, weakly- or highly-glycosylated. In this review, we provide a description of the main features of their post-translational modifications (PTMs), biosynthesis, structure, and function. We propose a new model integrating HRGPs and their partners in cell walls. Altogether, they could form a continuous glyco-network with non-cellulosic polysaccharides via covalent bonds or non-covalent interactions, thus strongly contributing to cell wall architecture. PMID:25177325

  9. RooTrak: automated recovery of three-dimensional plant root architecture in soil from x-ray microcomputed tomography images using visual tracking.

    PubMed

    Mairhofer, Stefan; Zappala, Susan; Tracy, Saoirse R; Sturrock, Craig; Bennett, Malcolm; Mooney, Sacha J; Pridmore, Tony

    2012-02-01

    X-ray microcomputed tomography (μCT) is an invaluable tool for visualizing plant root systems within their natural soil environment noninvasively. However, variations in the x-ray attenuation values of root material and the overlap in attenuation values between roots and soil caused by water and organic materials represent major challenges to data recovery. We report the development of automatic root segmentation methods and software that view μCT data as a sequence of images through which root objects appear to move as the x-y cross sections are traversed along the z axis of the image stack. Previous approaches have employed significant levels of user interaction and/or fixed criteria to distinguish root and nonroot material. RooTrak exploits multiple, local models of root appearance, each built while tracking a specific segment, to identify new root material. It requires minimal user interaction and is able to adapt to changing root density estimates. The model-guided search for root material arising from the adoption of a visual-tracking framework makes RooTrak less sensitive to the natural ambiguity of x-ray attenuation data. We demonstrate the utility of RooTrak using μCT scans of maize (Zea mays), wheat (Triticum aestivum), and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) grown in a range of contrasting soil textures. Our results demonstrate that RooTrak can successfully extract a range of root architectures from the surrounding soil and promises to facilitate future root phenotyping efforts. PMID:22190339

  10. Towards an Enhanced Understanding of Plant-Microbiome Interactions to Improve Phytoremediation: Engineering the Metaorganism.

    PubMed

    Thijs, Sofie; Sillen, Wouter; Rineau, Francois; Weyens, Nele; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2016-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising technology to clean-up contaminated soils based on the synergistic actions of plants and microorganisms. However, to become a widely accepted, and predictable remediation alternative, a deeper understanding of the plant-microbe interactions is needed. A number of studies link the success of phytoremediation to the plant-associated microbiome functioning, though whether the microbiome can exist in alternative, functional states for soil remediation, is incompletely understood. Moreover, current approaches that target the plant host, and environment separately to improve phytoremediation, potentially overlook microbial functions and properties that are part of the multiscale complexity of the plant-environment wherein biodegradation takes place. In contrast, in situ studies of phytoremediation research at the metaorganism level (host and microbiome together) are lacking. Here, we discuss a competition-driven model, based on recent evidence from the metagenomics level, and hypotheses generated by microbial community ecology, to explain the establishment of a catabolic rhizosphere microbiome in a contaminated soil. There is evidence to ground that if the host provides the right level and mix of resources (exudates) over which the microbes can compete, then a competitive catabolic and plant-growth promoting (PGP) microbiome can be selected for as long as it provides a competitive superiority in the niche. The competition-driven model indicates four strategies to interfere with the microbiome. Specifically, the rhizosphere microbiome community can be shifted using treatments that alter the host, resources, environment, and that take advantage of prioritization in inoculation. Our model and suggestions, considering the metaorganism in its natural context, would allow to gain further knowledge on the plant-microbial functions, and facilitate translation to more effective, and predictable phytotechnologies. PMID:27014254

  11. Combined treatment with a transforming growth factor beta inhibitor (1D11) and bortezomib improves bone architecture in a mouse model of myeloma-induced bone disease.

    PubMed

    Nyman, Jeffry S; Merkel, Alyssa R; Uppuganti, Sasidhar; Nayak, Bijaya; Rowland, Barbara; Makowski, Alexander J; Oyajobi, Babatunde O; Sterling, Julie A

    2016-10-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) patients frequently develop tumor-induced bone destruction, yet no therapy completely eliminates the tumor or fully reverses bone loss. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) activity often contributes to tumor-induced bone disease, and pre-clinical studies have indicated that TGF-β inhibition improves bone volume and reduces tumor growth in bone metastatic breast cancer. We hypothesized that inhibition of TGF-β signaling also reduces tumor growth, increases bone volume, and improves vertebral body strength in MM-bearing mice. We treated myeloma tumor-bearing (immunocompetent KaLwRij and immunocompromised Rag2-/-) mice with a TGF-β inhibitory (1D11) or control (13C4) antibody, with or without the anti-myeloma drug bortezomib, for 4weeks after inoculation of murine 5TGM1 MM cells. TGF-β inhibition increased trabecular bone volume, improved trabecular architecture, increased tissue mineral density of the trabeculae as assessed by ex vivo micro-computed tomography, and was associated with significantly greater vertebral body strength in biomechanical compression tests. Serum monoclonal paraprotein titers and spleen weights showed that 1D11 monotherapy did not reduce overall MM tumor burden. Combination therapy with 1D11 and bortezomib increased vertebral body strength, reduced tumor burden, and reduced cortical lesions in the femoral metaphysis, although it did not significantly improve cortical bone strength in three-point bending tests of the mid-shaft femur. Overall, our data provides rationale for evaluating inhibition of TGF-β signaling in combination with existing anti-myeloma agents as a potential therapeutic strategy to improve outcomes in patients with myeloma bone disease. PMID:27423464

  12. Evolving Methanococcoides burtonii archaeal Rubisco for improved photosynthesis and plant growth

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Robert H.; Alonso, Hernan; Whitney, Spencer M.

    2016-01-01

    In photosynthesis Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) catalyses the often rate limiting CO2-fixation step in the Calvin cycle. This makes Rubisco both the gatekeeper for carbon entry into the biosphere and a target for functional improvement to enhance photosynthesis and plant growth. Encumbering the catalytic performance of Rubisco is its highly conserved, complex catalytic chemistry. Accordingly, traditional efforts to enhance Rubisco catalysis using protracted “trial and error” protein engineering approaches have met with limited success. Here we demonstrate the versatility of high throughput directed (laboratory) protein evolution for improving the carboxylation properties of a non-photosynthetic Rubisco from the archaea Methanococcoides burtonii. Using chloroplast transformation in the model plant Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) we confirm the improved forms of M. burtonii Rubisco increased photosynthesis and growth relative to tobacco controls producing wild-type M. burtonii Rubisco. Our findings indicate continued directed evolution of archaeal Rubisco offers new potential for enhancing leaf photosynthesis and plant growth. PMID:26926260

  13. Recent Advances in Utilizing Transcription Factors to Improve Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance by Transgenic Technology

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hongyan; Wang, Honglei; Shao, Hongbo; Tang, Xiaoli

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural production and quality are adversely affected by various abiotic stresses worldwide and this will be exacerbated by the deterioration of global climate. To feed a growing world population, it is very urgent to breed stress-tolerant crops with higher yields and improved qualities against multiple environmental stresses. Since conventional breeding approaches had marginal success due to the complexity of stress tolerance traits, the transgenic approach is now being popularly used to breed stress-tolerant crops. So identifying and characterizing the critical genes involved in plant stress responses is an essential prerequisite for engineering stress-tolerant crops. Far beyond the manipulation of single functional gene, engineering certain regulatory genes has emerged as an effective strategy now for controlling the expression of many stress-responsive genes. Transcription factors (TFs) are good candidates for genetic engineering to breed stress-tolerant crop because of their role as master regulators of many stress-responsive genes. Many TFs belonging to families AP2/EREBP, MYB, WRKY, NAC, bZIP have been found to be involved in various abiotic stresses and some TF genes have also been engineered to improve stress tolerance in model and crop plants. In this review, we take five large families of TFs as examples and review the recent progress of TFs involved in plant abiotic stress responses and their potential utilization to improve multiple stress tolerance of crops in the field conditions. PMID:26904044

  14. Organic amendments for improving biomass production and metal yield of Ni-hyperaccumulating plants.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-López, V; Prieto-Fernández, Á; Cabello-Conejo, M I; Kidd, P S

    2016-04-01

    Ni phytomining is a promising technology for Ni recovery from low-grade ores such as ultramafic soils. Metal-hyperaccumulators are good candidates for phytomining due to their extraordinary capacity for Ni accumulation. However, many of these plants produce a low biomass, which makes the use of agronomic techniques for improving their growth necessary. In this study, the Ni hyperaccumulators Alyssum serpyllifolium ssp. lusitanicum, A. serpyllifolium ssp. malacitanum, Alyssum bertolonii and Noccaea goesingense were evaluated for their Ni phytoextraction efficiency from a Ni-rich serpentine soil. Effects of soil inorganic fertilisation (100:100:125kgNPKha(-1)) and soil organic amendment addition (2.5, 5 or 10% compost) on plant growth and Ni accumulation were determined. All soil treatments greatly improved plant growth, but the highest biomass production was generally found after addition of 2.5 or 5% compost (w/w). The most pronounced beneficial effects were observed for N. goesingense. Total Ni phytoextracted from soils was significantly improved using both soil treatments (inorganic and organic), despite the decrease observed in soil Ni availability and shoot Ni concentrations in compost-amended soils. The most promising results were found using intermediate amount of compost, indicating that these types of organic wastes can be incorporated into phytomining systems. PMID:26803735

  15. Evolving Methanococcoides burtonii archaeal Rubisco for improved photosynthesis and plant growth.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Robert H; Alonso, Hernan; Whitney, Spencer M

    2016-01-01

    In photosynthesis Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) catalyses the often rate limiting CO2-fixation step in the Calvin cycle. This makes Rubisco both the gatekeeper for carbon entry into the biosphere and a target for functional improvement to enhance photosynthesis and plant growth. Encumbering the catalytic performance of Rubisco is its highly conserved, complex catalytic chemistry. Accordingly, traditional efforts to enhance Rubisco catalysis using protracted "trial and error" protein engineering approaches have met with limited success. Here we demonstrate the versatility of high throughput directed (laboratory) protein evolution for improving the carboxylation properties of a non-photosynthetic Rubisco from the archaea Methanococcoides burtonii. Using chloroplast transformation in the model plant Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) we confirm the improved forms of M. burtonii Rubisco increased photosynthesis and growth relative to tobacco controls producing wild-type M. burtonii Rubisco. Our findings indicate continued directed evolution of archaeal Rubisco offers new potential for enhancing leaf photosynthesis and plant growth. PMID:26926260

  16. Improving efficiency roll-off in organic light emitting devices with a fluorescence-interlayer-phosphorescence emission architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Tianhang; Choy, Wallace C. H.; Ho, Cheuk-Lam; Wong, Wai-Yeung

    2009-09-01

    Organic light emitting devices (OLEDs) with a fluorescence-interlayer-phosphorescence emission layer structure (FIP EML) has been proposed to solve the efficiency roll-off issue effectively. Efficient green OLED based on FIP EML exhibiting only 26% roll-off in the luminance efficiency, which is lower than the typical roll-off of 51% for conventional phosphorescent OLEDs with single EML operated at 5-150 mA/cm2 range, has been demonstrated. Such enhancement should be attributed to the improved carrier balance, the exciton redistribution in recombination zone, the suppression of nonradiative exciton quenching processes, and the elimination of energy transfer loss offered by the FIP EML structure.

  17. Autologous implantation of BMP2-expressing dermal fibroblasts to improve bone mineral density and architecture in rabbit long bones.

    PubMed

    Ishihara, Akikazu; Weisbrode, Steve E; Bertone, Alicia L

    2015-10-01

    Cell-mediated gene therapy may treat bone fragility disorders. Dermal fibroblasts (DFb) may be an alternative cell source to stem cells for orthopedic gene therapy because of their rapid cell yield and excellent plasticity with bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP2) gene transduction. Autologous DFb or BMP2-expressing autologous DFb were administered in twelve rabbits by two delivery routes; a transcortical intra-medullar infusion into tibiae and delayed intra-osseous injection into femoral drill defects. Both delivery methods of DFb-BMP2 resulted in a successful cell engraftment, increased bone volume, bone mineral density, improved trabecular bone microarchitecture, greater bone defect filling, external callus formation, and trabecular surface area, compared to non-transduced DFb or no cells. Cell engraftment within trabecular bone and bone marrow tissue was most efficiently achieved by intra-osseous injection of DFb-BMP2. Our results suggested that BMP2-expressing autologous DFb have enhanced efficiency of engraftment in target bones resulting in a measurable biologic response by the bone of improved bone mineral density and bone microarchitecture. These results support that autologous implantation of DFb-BMP2 warrants further study on animal models of bone fragility disorders, such as osteogenesis imperfecta and osteoporosis to potentially enhance bone quality, particularly along with other gene modification of these diseases. PMID:25418909

  18. Strontium administration in young chickens improves bone volume and architecture but does not enhance bone structural and material strength.

    PubMed

    Shahnazari, M; Lang, D H; Fosmire, G J; Sharkey, N A; Mitchell, A D; Leach, R M

    2007-03-01

    Genetic selection for rapid body growth in broiler chickens has resulted in adverse effects on the skeletal system exemplified by a higher rate of cortical fractures in leg bones. Strontium (Sr) has been reported to have beneficial effects on bone formation and strength. We supplemented the diet of 300-day-old chicks with increasing dosages of Sr (0%, 0.12%, or 0.24%) to study the capacity of the element to improve bone quality and mechanical integrity. Treatment with Sr increased cortical bone volume and reduced bone porosity as measured by micro-computed tomography. The higher level of Sr significantly reduced bone Ca content (34.7%) relative to controls (37.2%), suggesting that Sr replaced some of the Ca in bone. Material properties determined by the three-point bending test showed that bone in the Sr-treated groups withstood greater deformation prior to fracture. Load to failure and ultimate stress were similar across groups. Our results indicate that Sr treatment in rapidly growing chickens induced positive effects on bone volume but did not improve the breaking strength of long bones. PMID:17340224

  19. Dopingless ferroelectric tunnel FET architecture for the improvement of performance of dopingless n-channel tunnel FETs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahgere, Avinash; Panchore, Meena; Singh, Jawar

    2016-08-01

    In this paper, we propose a novel tunnel field-effect transistor (TFET) based on charge plasma (CP) and negative capacitance (NC) for enhanced ON-current and steep subthreshold swing (SS). It is shown that the replacement of standard insulator for gate stack with ferroelectric (Fe) insulator yields NC and high electric field at the tunneling junction. Similarly, use of dopingless silicon nanowire with CP has a genuine advantage in process engineering. Therefore, combination of both technology boosters (CP and NC) in the proposed device enable low thermal budget, process variation immunity, and excellent electrical characteristics in contrast with its counterpart dopingless (DL) TFET (DL-TFET). An optimized device accomplishes an impressive 10× improvement in on-current, 100× reduced leakage current, 3× more transconductance (gm), and on-off current ratio of ∼1011 as compared to DL-TFET.

  20. PICNIC Architecture.

    PubMed

    Saranummi, Niilo

    2005-01-01

    The PICNIC architecture aims at supporting inter-enterprise integration and the facilitation of collaboration between healthcare organisations. The concept of a Regional Health Economy (RHE) is introduced to illustrate the varying nature of inter-enterprise collaboration between healthcare organisations collaborating in providing health services to citizens and patients in a regional setting. The PICNIC architecture comprises a number of PICNIC IT Services, the interfaces between them and presents a way to assemble these into a functioning Regional Health Care Network meeting the needs and concerns of its stakeholders. The PICNIC architecture is presented through a number of views relevant to different stakeholder groups. The stakeholders of the first view are national and regional health authorities and policy makers. The view describes how the architecture enables the implementation of national and regional health policies, strategies and organisational structures. The stakeholders of the second view, the service viewpoint, are the care providers, health professionals, patients and citizens. The view describes how the architecture supports and enables regional care delivery and process management including continuity of care (shared care) and citizen-centred health services. The stakeholders of the third view, the engineering view, are those that design, build and implement the RHCN. The view comprises four sub views: software engineering, IT services engineering, security and data. The proposed architecture is founded into the main stream of how distributed computing environments are evolving. The architecture is realised using the web services approach. A number of well established technology platforms and generic standards exist that can be used to implement the software components. The software components that are specified in PICNIC are implemented in Open Source. PMID:16160218

  1. Hydrological management for improving nutrient assimilative capacity in plant-dominated wetlands: A modelling approach.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhihao; Yang, Zhifeng; Yin, Xinan; Cai, Yanpeng; Sun, Tao

    2016-07-15

    Wetland eutrophication is a global environmental problem. Besides reducing pollutant emissions, improving nutrient assimilative capacity in wetlands is also significant for preventing eutrophication. Hydrological management can improve nutrient assimilative capacity in wetlands through physical effects on the dilution capacity of water body and ecological effects on wetland nutrient cycles. The ecological effects are significant while were rarely considered in previous research. This study focused on the ecological effects of hydrological management on two crucial nutrient removal processes, plant uptake and biological denitrification, in plant-dominated wetlands. A dual-objective optimization model for hydrological management was developed to improve wetland nitrogen and phosphorus assimilative capacities, using upstream reservoir release as water regulating measure. The model considered the interactions between ecological processes and hydrological cycles in wetlands, and their joint effects on nutrient assimilative capacity. Baiyangdian Wetland, the largest freshwater wetland in northern China, was chosen as a case study. The results found that the annual total assimilative capacity of nitrogen (phosphorus) was 4754 (493) t under the optimal scheme for upstream reservoir operation. The capacity of nutrient removal during the summer season accounted for over 80% of the annual total removal capacity. It was interesting to find that the relationship between water inflow and nutrient assimilative capacity in a plant-dominated wetland satisfied a dose-response relationship commonly describing the response of an organism to an external stressor in the medical field. It illustrates that a plant-dominated wetland shows similar characteristics to an organism. This study offers a useful tool and some fresh implications for future management of wetland eutrophication prevention. PMID:27085151

  2. Improved Predictions of the Geographic Distribution of Invasive Plants Using Climatic Niche Models.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Albores, Jorge E; Bustamante, Ramiro O; Badano, Ernesto I

    2016-01-01

    Climatic niche models for invasive plants are usually constructed with occurrence records taken from literature and collections. Because these data neither discriminate among life-cycle stages of plants (adult or juvenile) nor the origin of individuals (naturally established or man-planted), the resulting models may mispredict the distribution ranges of these species. We propose that more accurate predictions could be obtained by modelling climatic niches with data of naturally established individuals, particularly with occurrence records of juvenile plants because this would restrict the predictions of models to those sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of the species. To test this proposal, we focused on the Peruvian peppertree (Schinus molle), a South American species that has largely invaded Mexico. Three climatic niche models were constructed for this species using high-resolution dataset gathered in the field. The first model included all occurrence records, irrespective of the life-cycle stage or origin of peppertrees (generalized niche model). The second model only included occurrence records of naturally established mature individuals (adult niche model), while the third model was constructed with occurrence records of naturally established juvenile plants (regeneration niche model). When models were compared, the generalized climatic niche model predicted the presence of peppertrees in sites located farther beyond the climatic thresholds that naturally established individuals can tolerate, suggesting that human activities influence the distribution of this invasive species. The adult and regeneration climatic niche models concurred in their predictions about the distribution of peppertrees, suggesting that naturally established adult trees only occur in sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of juvenile stages. These results support the proposal that climatic niches of invasive plants should be modelled with data of

  3. Improved Predictions of the Geographic Distribution of Invasive Plants Using Climatic Niche Models

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez-Albores, Jorge E.; Bustamante, Ramiro O.

    2016-01-01

    Climatic niche models for invasive plants are usually constructed with occurrence records taken from literature and collections. Because these data neither discriminate among life-cycle stages of plants (adult or juvenile) nor the origin of individuals (naturally established or man-planted), the resulting models may mispredict the distribution ranges of these species. We propose that more accurate predictions could be obtained by modelling climatic niches with data of naturally established individuals, particularly with occurrence records of juvenile plants because this would restrict the predictions of models to those sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of the species. To test this proposal, we focused on the Peruvian peppertree (Schinus molle), a South American species that has largely invaded Mexico. Three climatic niche models were constructed for this species using high-resolution dataset gathered in the field. The first model included all occurrence records, irrespective of the life-cycle stage or origin of peppertrees (generalized niche model). The second model only included occurrence records of naturally established mature individuals (adult niche model), while the third model was constructed with occurrence records of naturally established juvenile plants (regeneration niche model). When models were compared, the generalized climatic niche model predicted the presence of peppertrees in sites located farther beyond the climatic thresholds that naturally established individuals can tolerate, suggesting that human activities influence the distribution of this invasive species. The adult and regeneration climatic niche models concurred in their predictions about the distribution of peppertrees, suggesting that naturally established adult trees only occur in sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of juvenile stages. These results support the proposal that climatic niches of invasive plants should be modelled with data of

  4. Antioxidant supplementation of boar spermatozoa from different fractions of the ejaculate improves cryopreservation: changes in sperm membrane lipid architecture.

    PubMed

    Peña, F J; Johannisson, A; Wallgren, M; Rodriguez Martinez, H

    2004-05-01

    Previous studies have shown sperm quality after cryopreservation differs depending on the fraction of seminal plasma the boar spermatozoa are contained in. Thus, spermatozoa contained in the first 10 ml of the sperm-rich fraction (portion I) withstand handling procedures (extension, handling and freezing/thawing) better than those contained in the latter part of a fractionated ejaculate (second portion of the sperm-rich fraction and the post-spermatic fraction; portion II). The present study evaluated whether an exogenous antioxidant, the water-soluble vitamin E analogue Trolox (6-hydroxy-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchroman-2-carboxylic acid), could, when added to the freezing extender in a split-sample design trial, improve the post-thaw viability and membrane quality of this particular portion of the ejaculate, with particular attention to the status of the plasma membrane. Using a split-sample design, the initial changes in the fluidity status of the sperm plasmalemma after thawing were measured by flow cytometry (FC) after loading with Merocyanine-540 and YO-PRO-1. The FC-derived data revealed a clear ejaculate portion-dependent effect of the antioxidant supplementation. While no beneficial effect of the antioxidant supplementation was visible in spermatozoa from portion I, more spermatozoa with intact membranes were observed in the supplemented samples of portion II, suggesting the protective effect of vitamin E is dependent of the portion of the boar ejaculate considered. PMID:15460106

  5. Small RNAs in plants: recent development and application for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Kamthan, Ayushi; Chaudhuri, Abira; Kamthan, Mohan; Datta, Asis

    2015-01-01

    The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) which involves sequence-specific gene regulation by small non-coding RNAs, i.e., small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) has emerged as one of most powerful approaches for crop improvement. RNAi based on siRNA is one of the widely used tools of reverse genetics which aid in revealing gene functions in many species. This technology has been extensively applied to alter the gene expression in plants with an aim to achieve desirable traits. RNAi has been used for enhancing the crop yield and productivity by manipulating the gene involved in biomass, grain yield and enhanced shelf life of fruits and vegetables. It has also been applied for developing resistance against various biotic (bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes, insects) and abiotic stresses (drought, salinity, cold, etc.). Nutritional improvements of crops have also been achieved by enriching the crops with essential amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients beneficial for human health or by reducing allergens or anti-nutrients. microRNAs are key regulators of important plant processes like growth, development, and response to various stresses. In spite of similarity in size (20-24 nt), miRNA differ from siRNA in precursor structures, pathway of biogenesis, and modes of action. This review also highlights the miRNA based genetic modification technology where various miRNAs/artificial miRNAs and their targets can be utilized for improving several desirable plant traits. microRNA based strategies are much efficient than siRNA-based RNAi strategies due to its specificity and less undesirable off target effects. As per the FDA guidelines, small RNA (sRNA) based transgenics are much safer for consumption than those over-expressing proteins. This review thereby summarizes the emerging advances and achievement in the field of sRNAs and its application for crop improvement. PMID:25883599

  6. Improving the turbine district heating installations of single-circuit nuclear power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondurov, E. P.; Kruglikov, P. A.; Smolkin, Yu. V.

    2015-10-01

    Ways for improving the turbine district heating installations of single-circuit nuclear power plants are considered as a possible approach to improving the nuclear power plant energy efficiency. The results of thermal tests carried out at one of single-circuit NPPs in Russia with a view to reveal the possibilities of improving the existing heat-transfer equipment of the turbine district heating installation without making significant investments in it were taken as a basis for the analysis. The tests have shown that there is certain energy saving potential in some individual units and elements in the turbine district heating installation's process circuit. A significant amount of thermal energy can be obtained only by decreasing the intermediate circuit temperature at the inlet to the heater of the first district-heating extraction. The taking of this measure will also lead to an additional amount of generated electricity because during operation with the partially loaded first heater, the necessary amount of heat has to be obtained from the peaking heater by reducing live steam. An additional amount of thermal energy can also be obtained by eliminating leaks through the bypass control valves. The possibility of achieving smaller consumption of electric energy for power plant auxiliaries by taking measures on reducing the available head in the intermediate circuit installation's pump unit is demonstrated. Partial cutting of pump impellers and dismantling of control valves are regarded to be the most efficient methods. The latter is attributed to qualitative control of the turbine district heating installation's thermal load. Adjustment of the noncondensable gas removal system will make it possible to improve the performance of the turbine district heating installation's heat-transfer equipment owing to bringing the heat-transfer coefficients in the heaters to the design level. The obtained results can be used for estimating the energy saving potential at other

  7. Small RNAs in plants: recent development and application for crop improvement

    PubMed Central

    Kamthan, Ayushi; Chaudhuri, Abira; Kamthan, Mohan; Datta, Asis

    2015-01-01

    The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) which involves sequence-specific gene regulation by small non-coding RNAs, i.e., small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) has emerged as one of most powerful approaches for crop improvement. RNAi based on siRNA is one of the widely used tools of reverse genetics which aid in revealing gene functions in many species. This technology has been extensively applied to alter the gene expression in plants with an aim to achieve desirable traits. RNAi has been used for enhancing the crop yield and productivity by manipulating the gene involved in biomass, grain yield and enhanced shelf life of fruits and vegetables. It has also been applied for developing resistance against various biotic (bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes, insects) and abiotic stresses (drought, salinity, cold, etc.). Nutritional improvements of crops have also been achieved by enriching the crops with essential amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants and other nutrients beneficial for human health or by reducing allergens or anti-nutrients. microRNAs are key regulators of important plant processes like growth, development, and response to various stresses. In spite of similarity in size (20–24 nt), miRNA differ from siRNA in precursor structures, pathway of biogenesis, and modes of action. This review also highlights the miRNA based genetic modification technology where various miRNAs/artificial miRNAs and their targets can be utilized for improving several desirable plant traits. microRNA based strategies are much efficient than siRNA-based RNAi strategies due to its specificity and less undesirable off target effects. As per the FDA guidelines, small RNA (sRNA) based transgenics are much safer for consumption than those over-expressing proteins. This review thereby summarizes the emerging advances and achievement in the field of sRNAs and its application for crop improvement. PMID:25883599

  8. Silicon application increases drought tolerance of kentucky bluegrass by improving plant water relations and morphophysiological functions.

    PubMed

    Saud, Shah; Li, Xin; Chen, Yang; Zhang, Lu; Fahad, Shah; Hussain, Saddam; Sadiq, Arooj; Chen, Yajun

    2014-01-01

    Drought stress encumbers the growth of turfgrass principally by disrupting the plant-water relations and physiological functions. The present study was carried out to appraise the role of silicon (Si) in improving the drought tolerance in Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). Drought stress and four levels (0, 200, 400, and 800 mg L(-1)) of Si (Na2SiO3·9H2O) were imposed after 2 months old plants cultured under glasshouse conditions. Drought stress was found to decrease the photosynthesis, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, leaf water content, relative growth rate, water use efficiency, and turf quality, but to increase in the root/shoot and leaf carbon/nitrogen ratio. Such physiological interferences, disturbances in plant water relations, and visually noticeable growth reductions in Kentucky bluegrass were significantly alleviated by the addition of Si after drought stress. For example, Si application at 400 mg L(-1) significantly increased the net photosynthesis by 44%, leaf water contents by 33%, leaf green color by 42%, and turf quality by 44% after 20 days of drought stress. Si application proved beneficial in improving the performance of Kentucky bluegrass in the present study suggesting that manipulation of endogenous Si through genetic or biotechnological means may result in the development of drought resistance in grasses. PMID:25054178

  9. Selenium (Se) improves drought tolerance in crop plants--a myth or fact?

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Rashid; Waraich, Ejaz Ahmad; Nawaz, Fahim; Ashraf, Muhammad Y; Khalid, Muhammad

    2016-01-30

    Climate change has emerged as one of the most complex challenges of the 21st century and has become an area of interest in the past few decades. Many countries of the world have become extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The scarcity of water is a serious concern for food security of these countries and climate change has aggravated the risks of extreme events like drought. Oxidative stress, caused by a variety of active oxygen species formed under drought stress, damages many cellular constituents, such as carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids and proteins, which ultimately reduces plant growth, respiration and photosynthesis. Se has become an element of interest to many biologists owing to its physiological and toxicological importance. It plays a beneficial role in plants by enhancing growth, reducing damage caused by oxidative stress, enhancing chlorophyll content under light stress, stimulating senesce to produce antioxidants and improving plant tolerance to drought stress by regulating water status. Researchers have adopted different strategies to evaluate the role of selenium in plants under drought stress. Some of the relevant work available regarding the role of Se in alleviating adverse effect of drought stress is discussed in this paper. PMID:25906838

  10. An improved chemically inducible gene switch that functions in the monocotyledonous plant sugar cane.

    PubMed

    Kinkema, Mark; Geijskes, R Jason; Shand, Kylie; Coleman, Heather D; De Lucca, Paulo C; Palupe, Anthony; Harrison, Mark D; Jepson, Ian; Dale, James L; Sainz, Manuel B

    2014-03-01

    Chemically inducible gene switches can provide precise control over gene expression, enabling more specific analyses of gene function and expanding the plant biotechnology toolkit beyond traditional constitutive expression systems. The alc gene expression system is one of the most promising chemically inducible gene switches in plants because of its potential in both fundamental research and commercial biotechnology applications. However, there are no published reports demonstrating that this versatile gene switch is functional in transgenic monocotyledonous plants, which include some of the most important agricultural crops. We found that the original alc gene switch was ineffective in the monocotyledonous plant sugar cane, and describe a modified alc system that is functional in this globally significant crop. A promoter consisting of tandem copies of the ethanol receptor inverted repeat binding site, in combination with a minimal promoter sequence, was sufficient to give enhanced sensitivity and significantly higher levels of ethanol inducible gene expression. A longer CaMV 35S minimal promoter than was used in the original alc gene switch also substantially improved ethanol inducibility. Treating the roots with ethanol effectively induced the modified alc system in sugar cane leaves and stem, while an aerial spray was relatively ineffective. The extension of this chemically inducible gene expression system to sugar cane opens the door to new opportunities for basic research and crop biotechnology. PMID:24142380

  11. Development of an improved ground-based prototype of space plant-growing facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, S.; Liu, X.; Ai, W.; Tang, Y.; Zhu, J.; Wang, X.; Wei, M.; Qin, L.; Yang, Y.

    Based on a formerly developed ground-based prototype of space plant-growing facility, the development of its improved prototype has been finished, so as to make its operating principle better adapt to the space microgravity environment. According to the developing experience of its first generation prototype and detailed demonstration and design of technique plan, its blueprint design and machining of related components, whole facility installment, debugging and trial operations were all done gradually. Its growing chamber contains a volume of about 0.5 m3 and a growing area of approximate 0.5 m2; the atmospheric environmental parameters in the growing chamber and water content in the growing media were controlled totally and effectively; lighting source is a combination of both red and blue light emitting diodes (LED). The following demonstrating results showed that the entire system design of the prototype is reasonable and its operating principle can nearly meet the requirements of space microgravity environment. Therefore, our plant-growing technique in space was advanced further, which laid an important foundation for next development of the space plant-growing facility and plant-cultivating experimental research in space microgravity condition.

  12. Synthetic cryIIIA gene from Bacillus thuringiensis improved for high expression in plants.

    PubMed

    Sutton, D W; Havstad, P K; Kemp, J D

    1992-09-01

    A 1974 bp synthetic gene was constructed from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides in order to improve transgenic protein expression of the cryIIIA gene from Bacillus thuringiensis var. tenebrionis in transgenic tobacco. The crystal toxin genes (cry) from B. thuringiensis are difficult to express in plants even when under the control of efficient plant regulatory sequences. We identified and eliminated five classes of sequence found throughout the cryIIIA gene that mimic eukaryotic processing signals and which may be responsible for the low levels of transcription and translation. Furthermore, the GC content of the gene was raised from 36% to 49% and the codon usage was changed to be more plant-like. When the synthetic gene was placed behind the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter and the alfalfa mosaic virus translational enhancer, up to 0.6% of the total protein in transgenic tobacco plants was cryIIIA as measured from immunoblot analysis. Bioassay data using potato beetle larvae confirmed this estimate. PMID:1301214

  13. IAIMS Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Hripcsak, George

    1997-01-01

    Abstract An information system architecture defines the components of a system and the interfaces among the components. A good architecture is essential for creating an Integrated Advanced Information Management System (IAIMS) that works as an integrated whole yet is flexible enough to accommodate many users and roles, multiple applications, changing vendors, evolving user needs, and advancing technology. Modularity and layering promote flexibility by reducing the complexity of a system and by restricting the ways in which components may interact. Enterprise-wide mediation promotes integration by providing message routing, support for standards, dictionary-based code translation, a centralized conceptual data schema, business rule implementation, and consistent access to databases. Several IAIMS sites have adopted a client-server architecture, and some have adopted a three-tiered approach, separating user interface functions, application logic, and repositories. PMID:9067884

  14. IAIMS architecture.

    PubMed

    Hripcsak, G

    1997-01-01

    An information system architecture defines the components of a system and the interfaces among the components. A good architecture is essential for creating an Integrated Advanced Information Management System (IAIMS) that works as an integrated whole yet is flexible enough to accommodate many users and roles, multiple applications, changing vendors, evolving user needs, and advancing technology. Modularity and layering promote flexibility by reducing the complexity of a system and by restricting the ways in which components may interact. Enterprise-wide mediation promotes integration by providing message routing, support for standards, dictionary-based code translation, a centralized conceptual data schema, business rule implementation, and consistent access to databases. Several IAIMS sites have adopted a client-server architecture, and some have adopted a three-tiered approach, separating user interface functions, application logic, and repositories. PMID:9067884

  15. Optical fiber sensors to improve the safety of nuclear power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferdinand, P.; Magne, S.; Laffont, G.

    2013-09-01

    Safety must always prevail in Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs), as shown at Fukushima-Daiichi. So, innovations are clearly needed to strengthen instrumentations, which went inoperative during this nuclear accident as a consequence of power supply losses. Possible improvements concern materials and structures, which may be remotely monitored thanks to Optical Fiber Sensors (OFS). We detail topics involving OFS helpful for monitoring, in nominal conditions as well as during a severe accident. They include distributed sensing (Rayleigh, Raman, Brillouin) for both temperature sensing and structure monitoring as well as H2 concentration and ionizing radiation monitoring. For future plants, Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors are considered up to high temperature for sodium-cooled fast reactor monitoring. These applications can benefit from fiber advantages: sensor multiplexing, multi-km range, no risk-to-people, no common failure mode with other technologies, remote sensing, and the ability to operate in case of power supply lost in the NPP.

  16. Using game technologies to improve the safety of construction plant operations.

    PubMed

    Guo, Hongling; Li, Heng; Chan, Greg; Skitmore, Martin

    2012-09-01

    Many accidents occur world-wide in the use of construction plant and equipment, and safety training is considered by many to be one of the best approaches to their prevention. However, current safety training methods/tools are unable to provide trainees with the hands-on practice needed. Game technology-based safety training platforms have the potential to overcome this problem in a virtual environment. One such platform is described in this paper - its characteristics are analysed and its possible contribution to safety training identified. This is developed and tested by means of a case study involving three major pieces of construction plant, which successfully demonstrates that the platform can improve the process and performance of the safety training involved in their operation. This research not only presents a new and useful solution to the safety training of construction operations, but illustrates the potential use of advanced technologies in solving construction industry problems in general. PMID:22664683

  17. Near-term improvements for nuclear power plant control room annunciator systems. [PWR; BWR

    SciTech Connect

    Rankin, W.L.; Duvernoy, E.G.; Ames, K.R.; Morgenstern, M.H.; Eckenrode, R.J.

    1983-04-01

    This report sets forth a basic design philosophy with its associated functional criteria and design principles for present-day, hard-wired annunciator systems in the control rooms of nuclear power plants. It also presents a variety of annunciator design features that are either necessary for or useful to the implementation of the design philosophy. The information contained in this report is synthesized from an extensive literature review, from inspection and analysis of control room annunciator systems in the nuclear industry and in related industries, and from discussions with a variety of individuals who are knowledgeable about annunciator systems, nuclear plant control rooms, or both. This information should help licensees and license applicants in improving their hard-wired, control room annunciator systems as outlined by NUREG-0700.

  18. Manipulating photorespiration to increase plant productivity: recent advances and perspectives for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Betti, Marco; Bauwe, Hermann; Busch, Florian A; Fernie, Alisdair R; Keech, Olivier; Levey, Myles; Ort, Donald R; Parry, Martin A J; Sage, Rowan; Timm, Stefan; Walker, Berkley; Weber, Andreas P M

    2016-05-01

    Recycling of the 2-phosphoglycolate generated by the oxygenase reaction of Rubisco requires a complex and energy-consuming set of reactions collectively known as the photorespiratory cycle. Several approaches aimed at reducing the rates of photorespiratory energy or carbon loss have been proposed, based either on screening for natural variation or by means of genetic engineering. Recent work indicates that plant yield can be substantially improved by the alteration of photorespiratory fluxes or by engineering artificial bypasses to photorespiration. However, there is also evidence indicating that, under certain environmental and/or nutritional conditions, reduced photorespiratory capacity may be detrimental to plant performance. Here we summarize recent advances obtained in photorespiratory engineering and discuss prospects for these advances to be transferred to major crops to help address the globally increasing demand for food and biomass production. PMID:26951371

  19. Improving planting stock quality: The humboldt experience. Forest Service general technical report (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Jenkinson, J.L.; Nelson, J.A.; Huddleston, M.E.

    1993-05-01

    A seedling testing program was developed to improve the survival and growth potential of planting stock produced in the USDA Forest Service Humboldt Nursery, situated on the Pacific Coast in northern California. Coastal and inland seed sources of Douglas-fir and eight other conifers in the Pacific Slope forests of western Oregon and northern California were assessed in both nursery and field studies. Seedling top and root growth capacities were evaluated just after lifting and after cold storage, and stored seedlings were tested for suvival and growth on cleared planting sites in the seed zones of origin. Safe lifting and cold storage schedules were defined, and seedling cultural regimes were formulated to produce successful 1-0, 1-1, and 2-0 stock types. Testing deomonstrated the critical elements of reforestation and proved that rapid establishment is attainable on diverse sites. Accomplishments of the Humboldt program recommended similar programs for other forest nurseries and their service regions.

  20. Ford Van Dyke: Compressed Air Management Program Leads to Improvements that Reduce Energy Consumption at an Automotive Transmission Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2005-05-01

    Staff at the Ford Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, have increased the efficiency of the plant's compressed air system to enhance its performance while saving energy and improving production. After plant staff identified opportunities for system improvements, a qualified instructor from a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Allied Partner, Scales Air Compressor Corporation, helped to clarify several of them. The resulting improvement measures are yielding energy savings for compressed air of more than 1 million kWh; energy and maintenance cost savings total $165,000. The total cost of planned upgrades and other measures was $336,000, for a 2-year simple payback.

  1. Extracellular peptidase hunting for improvement of protein production in plant cells and roots

    PubMed Central

    Lallemand, Jérôme; Bouché, Frédéric; Desiron, Carole; Stautemas, Jennifer; de Lemos Esteves, Frédéric; Périlleux, Claire; Tocquin, Pierre

    2015-01-01

    Plant-based recombinant protein production systems have gained an extensive interest over the past few years, because of their reduced cost and relative safety. Although the first products are now reaching the market, progress are still needed to improve plant hosts and strategies for biopharming. Targeting recombinant proteins toward the extracellular space offers several advantages in terms of protein folding and purification, but degradation events are observed, due to endogenous peptidases. This paper focuses on the analysis of extracellular proteolytic activities in two production systems: cell cultures and root-secretion (rhizosecretion), in Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana tabacum. Proteolytic activities of extracellular proteomes (secretomes) were evaluated in vitro against two substrate proteins: bovine serum albumin (BSA) and human serum immunoglobulins G (hIgGs). Both targets were found to be degraded by the secretomes, BSA being more prone to proteolysis than hIgGs. The analysis of the proteolysis pH-dependence showed that target degradation was mainly dependent upon the production system: rhizosecretomes contained more peptidase activity than extracellular medium of cell suspensions, whereas variations due to plant species were smaller. Using class-specific peptidase inhibitors, serine, and metallopeptidases were found to be responsible for degradation of both substrates. An in-depth in silico analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data from Arabidopsis was then performed and led to the identification of a limited number of serine and metallo-peptidases that are consistently expressed in both production systems. These peptidases should be prime candidates for further improvement of plant hosts by targeted silencing. PMID:25705212

  2. Improving recombinant Rubisco biogenesis, plant photosynthesis and growth by coexpressing its ancillary RAF1 chaperone.

    PubMed

    Whitney, Spencer M; Birch, Rosemary; Kelso, Celine; Beck, Jennifer L; Kapralov, Maxim V

    2015-03-17

    Enabling improvements to crop yield and resource use by enhancing the catalysis of the photosynthetic CO2-fixing enzyme Rubisco has been a longstanding challenge. Efforts toward realization of this goal have been greatly assisted by advances in understanding the complexities of Rubisco's biogenesis in plastids and the development of tailored chloroplast transformation tools. Here we generate transplastomic tobacco genotypes expressing Arabidopsis Rubisco large subunits (AtL), both on their own (producing tob(AtL) plants) and with a cognate Rubisco accumulation factor 1 (AtRAF1) chaperone (producing tob(AtL-R1) plants) that has undergone parallel functional coevolution with AtL. We show AtRAF1 assembles as a dimer and is produced in tob(AtL-R1) and Arabidopsis leaves at 10-15 nmol AtRAF1 monomers per square meter. Consistent with a postchaperonin large (L)-subunit assembly role, the AtRAF1 facilitated two to threefold improvements in the amount and biogenesis rate of hybrid L8(A)S8(t) Rubisco [comprising AtL and tobacco small (S) subunits] in tob(AtL-R1) leaves compared with tob(AtL), despite >threefold lower steady-state Rubisco mRNA levels in tob(AtL-R1). Accompanying twofold increases in photosynthetic CO2-assimilation rate and plant growth were measured for tob(AtL-R1) lines. These findings highlight the importance of ancillary protein complementarity during Rubisco biogenesis in plastids, the possible constraints this has imposed on Rubisco adaptive evolution, and the likely need for such interaction specificity to be considered when optimizing recombinant Rubisco bioengineering in plants. PMID:25733857

  3. Modelling snow cover duration improves predictions of functional and taxonomic diversity for alpine plant communities

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Bradley Z.; Choler, Philippe; Renaud, Julien; Dedieu, Jean-Pierre; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Quantifying relationships between snow cover duration and plant community properties remains an important challenge in alpine ecology. We developed a method to estimate spatial variation in energy availability in the context of a topographically complex, high-elevation watershed, which we used to test the explanatory power of environmental gradients both with and without snow cover in relation to taxonomic and functional plant diversity. Methods We mapped snow cover at 15 m resolution using Landsat imagery for five recent years and fitted a generalized additive model (GAM) for each year linking snow to time and topography. Predicted snow cover maps were combined with air temperature and solar radiation at daily resolution, summed for each year and averaged across years. Equivalent growing season energy gradients were also estimated without accounting for snow cover duration. Relationships were tested between environmental gradients and diversity metrics measured for 100 plots (including species richness, community weighted mean traits, functional diversity and hyperspectral estimates of canopy chlorophyll content). Key Results Accounting for snow cover in environmental variables consistently led to improved predictive power as well as more ecologically meaningful characterizations of plant diversity. Model parameters differed significantly when fitted with and without snow cover. Filtering solar radiation with snow as compared to without led to an average gain in R2 of 0.26 and also reversed slope direction to more intuitive relationships for several diversity metrics. Conclusions We show that in alpine environments, high-resolution data on snow cover duration are pivotal for capturing the spatial heterogeneity of both taxonomic and functional diversity. The use of climate variables without consideration of snow cover can lead to erroneous predictions of plant diversity. Our results further indicate that studies seeking to predict the response

  4. Analysis of Improved Reference Design for a Nuclear-Driven High Temperature Electrolysis Hydrogen Production Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Edwin A. Harvego; James E. O'Brien; Michael G. McKellar

    2010-06-01

    The use of High Temperature Electrolysis (HTE) for the efficient production of hydrogen without the greenhouse gas emissions associated with conventional fossil-fuel hydrogen production techniques has been under investigation at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INL) for the last several years. The activities at the INL have included the development, testing and analysis of large numbers of solid oxide electrolysis cells, and the analyses of potential plant designs for large scale production of hydrogen using an advanced Very-High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) to provide the process heat and electricity to drive the electrolysis process. The results of these system analyses, using the UniSim process analysis software, have shown that the HTE process, when coupled to a VHTR capable of operating at reactor outlet temperatures of 800 °C to 950 °C, has the potential to produce the large quantities of hydrogen needed to meet future energy and transportation needs with hydrogen production efficiencies in excess of 50%. In addition, economic analyses performed on the INL reference plant design, optimized to maximize the hydrogen production rate for a 600 MWt VHTR, have shown that a large nuclear-driven HTE hydrogen production plant can to be economically competitive with conventional hydrogen production processes, particularly when the penalties associated with greenhouse gas emissions are considered. The results of this research led to the selection in 2009 of HTE as the preferred concept in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hydrogen technology down-selection process. However, the down-selection process, along with continued technical assessments at the INL, has resulted in a number of proposed modifications and refinements to improve the original INL reference HTE design. These modifications include changes in plant configuration, operating conditions and individual component designs. This paper describes the resulting new INL reference design and presents

  5. Nitrogen fertilizer improves boron phytoextraction by Brassica juncea grown in contaminated sediments and alleviates plant stress.

    PubMed

    Giansoldati, Virginia; Tassi, Eliana; Morelli, Elisabetta; Gabellieri, Edi; Pedron, Francesca; Barbafieri, Meri

    2012-06-01

    In this study we evaluated the effect of different fertilizer treatments on Brassica plants grown on boron-contaminated sediments. Experiments were conducted in the laboratory and on the lysimeter scale. At laboratory scale (microcosm), five different fertilizers were tested for a 35-d period. On the lysimeter scale, nitrogen fertilization was tested at three different doses and plants were allowed to grow until the end of the vegetative phase (70 d). Results showed that nitrogen application had effectively increased plant biomass production, while B uptake was not affected. Total B phytoextracted increased three-fold when the highest nitrogen dose was applied. Phytotoxicity on Brassica was evaluated by biochemical parameters. In plants grown in unfertilized B-contaminated sediments, the activity of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and pyrogallol peroxidase (PPX) increased, whereas catalase (CAT) decreased with respect to control plants. Addition of N progressively mitigated the alteration of enzymatic activity, thus suggesting that N can aid in alleviating B-induced oxidative stress. SOD activity was restored to control levels just at the lowest N treatment, whereas the CAT inhibition was partially restored only at the highest one. N application also lowered the B-induced increase in APX and PPX activities. Increased glutathione reductase activity indicated the need to restore the oxidative balance of glutathione. Data also suggest a role of glutathione and phytochelatins in B defense mechanisms. Results suggest that the nitrogen fertilizer was effective in improving B phytoextraction by increasing Brassica biomass and by alleviating B-induced oxidative stress. PMID:22382070

  6. Information systems definition architecture

    SciTech Connect

    Calapristi, A.J.

    1996-06-20

    The Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS) Information Systems Definition architecture evaluated information Management (IM) processes in several key organizations. The intent of the study is to identify improvements in TWRS IM processes that will enable better support to the TWRS mission, and accommodate changes in TWRS business environment. The ultimate goals of the study are to reduce IM costs, Manage the configuration of TWRS IM elements, and improve IM-related process performance.

  7. Why Would Plant Species Become Extinct Locally If Growing Conditions Improve?

    PubMed Central

    Kramer, Koen; Bijlsma, Rienk-Jan; Hickler, Thomas; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2012-01-01

    Two assumptions underlie current models of the geographical ranges of perennial plant species: 1. current ranges are in equilibrium with the prevailing climate, and 2. changes are attributable to changes in macroclimatic factors, including tolerance of winter cold, the duration of the growing season, and water stress during the growing season, rather than to biotic interactions. These assumptions allow model parameters to be estimated from current species ranges. Deterioration of growing conditions due to climate change, e.g. more severe drought, will cause local extinction. However, for many plant species, the predicted climate change of higher minimum temperatures and longer growing seasons means, improved growing conditions. Biogeographical models may under some circumstances predict that a species will become locally extinct, despite improved growing conditions, because they are based on an assumption of equilibrium and this forces the species range to match the species-specific macroclimatic thresholds. We argue that such model predictions should be rejected unless there is evidence either that competition influences the position of the range margins or that a certain physiological mechanism associated with the apparent improvement in growing conditions negatively affects the species performance. We illustrate how a process-based vegetation model can be used to ascertain whether such a physiological cause exists. To avoid potential modelling errors of this type, we propose a method that constrains the scenario predictions of the envelope models by changing the geographical distribution of the dominant plant functional type. Consistent modelling results are very important for evaluating how changes in species areas affect local functional trait diversity and hence ecosystem functioning and resilience, and for inferring the implications for conservation management in the face of climate change. PMID:22991500

  8. The improvement of removal effects on organic pollutants in Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marincas, O.; Petrov, P.; Ternes, T.; Avram, V.; Moldovan, Z.

    2009-08-01

    Purpose of this study is to improve the efficiency of removal in wastewater treatment plants of some organic pollutants like pharmaceuticals, antioxidants, pesticides (triazines, phenylurea herbicides), personal care products (PCPs) musk fragrances (galaxolide and tonalide) and estrogens using zeolites with excellent absorption capacity. The zeolite selected for all experiments was Szedimentin-MW. The experiment took place in three stages: no zeolite addition, zeolite added at the end of the bioreactor and zeolite added at the start of the bioreactor. The water samples were pre-concentrated with solid phase extraction (SPE) procedure and analyzed with analytical system Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS).

  9. Lehigh Southwest Cement Company: Compressed Air System Improvement Saves Energy at a Lehigh Southwest Cement Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2003-10-01

    In 2001, Lehigh Southwest Cement Company improved the compressed air system at its cement plant in Tehachapi, California. Consequently, the system was able to operate more efficiently with less compressor capacity and at a lower system pressure. The project yielded total annual savings of 895,000 kWh and $199,000. The initial project cost was $417,000, but Southern California Edison provided a $90,000 incentive payment to reduce the cost to $327,000. Simple payback was about 20 months.

  10. Architectural Illusion.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doornek, Richard R.

    1990-01-01

    Presents a lesson plan developed around the work of architectural muralist Richard Haas. Discusses the significance of mural painting and gives key concepts for the lesson. Lists class activities for the elementary and secondary grades. Provides a photograph of the Haas mural on the Fountainbleau Hilton Hotel, 1986. (GG)

  11. Architectural Treasures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pietropola, Anne

    1998-01-01

    Presents an art lesson for eighth-grade students in which they created their own architectural structures. Stresses a strong discipline-based introduction using slide shows of famous buildings, large metropolitan cities, and 35,00 years of homes. Reports the lesson spanned two weeks. Includes a diagram, directions, and specifies materials. (CMK)

  12. Architectural Drafting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Ronald; Yancey, Bruce

    Designed to be used as a supplement to a two-book course in basic drafting, these instructional materials consisting of 14 units cover the process of drawing all working drawings necessary for residential buildings. The following topics are covered in the individual units: introduction to architectural drafting, lettering and tools, site…

  13. Architectural Tops

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mahoney, Ellen

    2010-01-01

    The development of the skyscraper is an American story that combines architectural history, economic power, and technological achievement. Each city in the United States can be identified by the profile of its buildings. The design of the tops of skyscrapers was the inspiration for the students in the author's high-school ceramic class to develop…

  14. Software Architecture Design Reasoning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Antony; van Vliet, Hans

    Despite recent advancements in software architecture knowledge management and design rationale modeling, industrial practice is behind in adopting these methods. The lack of empirical proofs and the lack of a practical process that can be easily incorporated by practitioners are some of the hindrance for adoptions. In particular, the process to support systematic design reasoning is not available. To rectify this issue, we propose a design reasoning process to help architects cope with an architectural design environment where design concerns are cross-cutting and diversified.We use an industrial case study to validate that the design reasoning process can help improve the quality of software architecture design. The results have indicated that associating design concerns and identifying design options are important steps in design reasoning.

  15. Ford Van Dyke: Compressed Air Management Program Leads to Improvements that Reduce Energy Consumption at an Automotive Transmission Plant

    SciTech Connect

    2010-06-25

    Staff at the Ford Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, have increased the efficiency of the plant’s compressed air system to enhance its performance while saving energy and improving production.

  16. Suppression of Tla1 gene expression for improved solar conversion efficiency and photosynthetic productivity in plants and algae

    DOEpatents

    Melis, Anastasios; Mitra, Mautusi

    2010-06-29

    The invention provides method and compositions to minimize the chlorophyll antenna size of photosynthesis by decreasing TLA1 gene expression, thereby improving solar conversion efficiencies and photosynthetic productivity in plants, e.g., green microalgae, under bright sunlight conditions.

  17. A coordinated MIMO control design for a power plant using improved sliding mode controller.

    PubMed

    Ataei, Mohammad; Hooshmand, Rahmat-Allah; Samani, Siavash Golmohammadi

    2014-03-01

    For the participation of the steam power plants in regulating the network frequency, boilers and turbines should be co-ordinately controlled in addition to the base load productions. Lack of coordinated control over boiler-turbine may lead to instability; oscillation in producing power and boiler parameters; reduction in the reliability of the unit; and inflicting thermodynamic tension on devices. This paper proposes a boiler-turbine coordinated multivariable control system based on improved sliding mode controller (ISMC). The system controls two main boiler-turbine parameters i.e., the turbine revolution and superheated steam pressure of the boiler output. For this purpose, a comprehensive model of the system including complete and exact description of the subsystems is extracted. The parameters of this model are determined according to our case study that is the 320MW unit of Islam-Abad power plant in Isfahan/Iran. The ISMC method is simulated on the power plant and its performance is compared with the related real PI (proportional-integral) controllers which have been used in this unit. The simulation results show the capability of the proposed controller system in controlling local network frequency and superheated steam pressure in the presence of load variations and disturbances of boiler. PMID:24112644

  18. Using closed-loop dynamic optimization to improve boiler efficiency at Chemopetrol's Litvinov Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Jarc, C.A.; Lang, R.

    1998-07-01

    Due to ever increasing demands by shareholders, environmental and governmental agencies, and customers, power generation and co-generating companies are looking more and more into advanced technologies to help them gain an edge on their competitors. Intelligent empirical optimization is a promising family of technologies to tune boilers for maximum efficiency and/or minimum emissions. A recent project teamed the Ultramax Corporation and Honeywell to install an on-line, closed-loop optimization solution on four new boilers at the Chemopetrol plant in Litvinov, Czech Republic, Honeywell has created an engineered solution called Individual Boiler Optimization (IBO) which utilizes the Ultramax Method and Dynamic Optimization, known as ULTRAMAX{reg{underscore}sign}, to optimize combustion of the boilers which are controlled by Honeywell's TotalPlant{reg{underscore}sign} solutions (TPS) System. IBO provides a real-time shell providing for automatic Ultramax operation in either open or closed-loop. With this system, Chemopetrol will be able to improve their boiler efficiency and NO{sub x} emissions on-line with little operator intervention. It can safely maintain best operating settings and compensate for changes that could potentially cause poor performance. The integrated dynamic solution enables greater emissions control fuel savings, and the ability to respond rapidly and flexibly to changes in operating conditions, compliance regulations and plant demands.

  19. Paenibacillus polymyxa BFKC01 enhances plant iron absorption via improved root systems and activated iron acquisition mechanisms.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Despite the high abundance of iron (Fe) in most earth's soils, Fe is the major limiting factor for plant growth and development due to its low bioavailability. With an increasing recognition that soil microbes play important roles in plant growth, several strains of beneficial rhizobactria have been applied to improve plant nutrient absorption, biomass, and abiotic or biotic stress tolerance. In this study, we report the mechanisms of microbe-induced plant Fe assimilation, in which the plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) Paenibacillus polymyxa BFKC01 stimulates plant's Fe acquisition machinery to enhance Fe uptake in Arabidopsis plants. Mechanistic studies show that BFKC01 transcriptionally activates the Fe-deficiency-induced transcription factor 1 (FIT1), thereby up-regulating the expression of IRT1 and FRO2. Furthermore, BFKC01 has been found to induce plant systemic responses with the increased transcription of MYB72, and the biosynthetic pathways of phenolic compounds are also activated. Our data reveal that abundant phenolic compounds are detected in root exudation of the BFKC01-inoculated plants, which efficiently facilitate Fe mobility under alkaline conditions. In addition, BFKC01 can secret auxin and further improved root systems, which enhances the ability of plants to acquire Fe from soils. As a result, BFKC01-inoculated plants have more endogenous Fe and increased photosynthetic capacity under alkaline conditions as compared to control plants. Our results demonstrate the potential roles of BFKC01 in promoting Fe acquisition in plants and underline the intricate integration of microbial signaling in controlling plant Fe acquisition. PMID:27105423

  20. RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION DEVICES: EFFECTIVENESS IN IMPROVING SAFEGUARDS AT GAS-CENTRIFUGE URANIUM-ENRICHMENT PLANTS.

    SciTech Connect

    JOE,J.

    2007-07-08

    Recent advances in radio frequency identification devices (RFIDs) have engendered a growing interest among international safeguards experts. Potentially, RFIDs could reduce inspection work, viz. the number of inspections, number of samples, and duration of the visits, and thus improve the efficiency and effectiveness of international safeguards. This study systematically examined the applications of RFIDs for IAEA safeguards at large gas-centrifuge enrichment plants (GCEPs). These analyses are expected to help identify the requirements and desirable properties for RFIDs, to provide insights into which vulnerabilities matter most, and help formulate the required assurance tests. This work, specifically assesses the application of RFIDs for the ''Option 4'' safeguards approach, proposed by Bruce Moran, U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), for large gas-centrifuge uranium-enrichment plants. The features of ''Option 4'' safeguards include placing RFIDs on all feed, product and tails (F/P/T) cylinders, along with WID readers in all FP/T stations and accountability scales. Other features of Moran's ''Option 4'' are Mailbox declarations, monitoring of load-cell-based weighing systems at the F/P/T stations and accountability scales, and continuous enrichment monitors. Relevant diversion paths were explored to evaluate how RFIDs improve the efficiency and effectiveness of safeguards. Additionally, the analysis addresses the use of RFIDs in conjunction with video monitoring and neutron detectors in a perimeter-monitoring approach to show that RFIDs can help to detect unidentified cylinders.

  1. Use of collaboration software to improve nuclear power plant outage management

    SciTech Connect

    Germain, Shawn

    2015-02-01

    Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) refueling outages create some of the most challenging activities the utilities face in both tracking and coordinating thousands of activities in a short period of time. Other challenges, including nuclear safety concerns arising from atypical system configurations and resource allocation issues, can create delays and schedule overruns, driving up outage costs. Today the majority of the outage communication is done using processes that do not take advantage of advances in modern technologies that enable enhanced communication, collaboration and information sharing. Some of the common practices include: runners that deliver paper-based requests for approval, radios, telephones, desktop computers, daily schedule printouts, and static whiteboards that are used to display information. Many gains have been made to reduce the challenges facing outage coordinators; however; new opportunities can be realized by utilizing modern technological advancements in communication and information tools that can enhance the collective situational awareness of plant personnel leading to improved decision-making. Ongoing research as part of the Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program (LWRS) has been targeting NPP outage improvement. As part of this research, various applications of collaborative software have been demonstrated through pilot project utility partnerships. Collaboration software can be utilized as part of the larger concept of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). Collaborative software can be used for emergent issue resolution, Outage Control Center (OCC) displays, and schedule monitoring. Use of collaboration software enables outage staff and subject matter experts (SMEs) to view and update critical outage information from any location on site or off.

  2. Marble wastes and pig slurry improve the environmental and plant-relevant properties of mine tailings.

    PubMed

    Kabas, S; Faz, A; Acosta, J A; Arocena, J M; Zornoza, R; Martínez-Martínez, S; Carmona, D M

    2014-02-01

    Poor soil fertility is often the biggest challenge to the establishment of vegetation in mine wastes deposits. We conducted field trials in the El Gorguel and El Lirio sites in SE Spain, two representative tailing ponds of similar properties except for pH, to understand the environmental and plant-relevant benefits of marble waste (MW) and pig slurry (PS) applications to mine tailings. Low pH (5.4) tailings (El Lirio) exhibit reduction of up to fourfold in bio-availability of metals as shown by the DTPA-Zn, Pb, water-soluble Zn, Pb and up to 3× for water-soluble Cd. Tailings in El Gorguel have high pH (7.4) and did not exhibit significant trends in the reductions of water-extractable Zn, Pb, Cd and Cu. Improvements to the edaphic (plant-relevant) properties of tailings after the amendments are not as sensitive to pH compared to the environmental characteristics. The two sites had increases in aggregate stability, organic matter (total N and organic C) although total N is higher in the El Gorguel (up to 212 μg N kg(-1)) than the El Lirio (up to 26 μg N kg(-1)). However, cation exchange capacities are similar in both sites at 15.2 cmol(+) kg(-1). We conclude that the characteristics, especially pH, of tailing materials significantly influence the fate of metals but not improvements to plant-relevant properties such as cation exchange capacity and aggregate stability 1 year after the application of MW and PS amendments. PMID:23479083

  3. Does Salicylic Acid (SA) Improve Tolerance to Salt Stress in Plants? A Study of SA Effects On Tomato Plant Growth, Water Dynamics, Photosynthesis, and Biochemical Parameters.

    PubMed

    Mimouni, Hajer; Wasti, Salma; Manaa, Arafet; Gharbi, Emna; Chalh, Abdellah; Vandoorne, Bertrand; Lutts, Stanley; Ben Ahmed, Hela

    2016-03-01

    Environmental stresses such as salinity directly impact crop growth, and by extension, world food supply and societal prosperity. It is estimated that over 800 million hectares of land throughout the world are salt-affected. In arid and semi-arid regions, salt concentration can be close to that in the seawater. Hence, there are intensive efforts to improve plant tolerance to salinity and other environmental stressors. Salicylic acid (SA) is an important signal molecule for modulating plant responses to stress. In the present study, we examined, on multiple plant growth related endpoints, whether SA applied through the rooting medium could mitigate the adverse effects of salinity on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) cv. Marmande. The latter is a hitherto understudied tomato plant from the above perspective; it is a classic variety that produces the large ribbed tomatoes in the Mediterranean and consumed worldwide. We found salt stress negatively affected the growth of cv. Marmande tomato plants. However, the SA-treated plants had greater shoot and root dry mass, leaf area compared to untreated plants when exposed to salt stress. Application of SA restores photosynthetic rates and photosynthetic pigment levels under salt (NaCl) exposure. Leaf water, osmotic potential, stomatal conductance transpiration rate, and biochemical parameters were also ameliorated in SA-treated plants under saline stress conditions. Overall, these data illustrate that SA increases cv. Marmande tomato growth by improving photosynthesis, regulation and balance of osmotic potential, induction of compatible osmolyte metabolism, and alleviating membrane damage. We suggest salicylic acid might be considered as a potential growth regulator to improve tomato plant salinity stress resistance, in the current era of global climate change. PMID:26909467

  4. An Innovative Magnetic Charging Chute to Improve Productivity of Sinter Machine at Rourkela Steel Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selvam, Sambandham Thirumalai; Chaudhuri, Subhasis; Das, Arunaba; Singh, Mithilesh Kumar; Mahanta, H. K.

    Sintering is a process in sinter machine for agglomeration of iron ore and other raw material fines into a compact porous mass, i.e., sinter, used in Blast Furnaces as an iron bearing input charge material for hot metal production. 'Permeability' of sinter-bed on sinter machine i.e., the porosity in sinter-bed of charged materials, facilitates atmospheric air passes from the top to bottom across the depth of sinter-bed, when suction created from the bottom of the bed, for efficient heat carry over from top to bottom of the bed for complete burning of charged materials for effective sintering process controls the productivity of the sinter machine. The level of 'permeability' in sinter-bed is depending upon the effectiveness of 'charging chute' in size-wise 'segregation' of charge materials across the depth in sinter-bed, achieved due to differences in the sliding velocities of particles during charging into the moving sinter-bed. The permeability achieved by the earlier conventional 'charging chute' was limited due to its design and positional constraints in sinter machine. Improving the productivity of sinter machine, through increased permeability of sinter bed is successfully achieved through implementation of an innovatively designed and developed, "Magnetic Charging Chute" at Sinter Plant no. 2 of Rourkela Steel Plant. The induced magnetic force on the charged materials while the charge materials dropping down through the charge chute has improved the permeability of sinter bed through an unique method of segregating the para-magnetic materials and the finer materials of the charge materials to top layer of sinter bed along with improved size-wise segregation of charge materials. This has increased the productivity of the sinter machine by 3% and also reduced the solid fuel consumption i.e., coke breeze in input charge materials by 1 kg/t of sinter.

  5. Overexpression of the Wheat Expansin Gene TaEXPA2 Improved Seed Production and Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Tobacco Plants

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yanhui; Han, Yangyang; Zhang, Meng; Zhou, Shan; Kong, Xiangzhu; Wang, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Expansins are cell wall proteins that are grouped into two main families, α-expansins and β-expansins, and they are implicated in the control of cell extension via the disruption of hydrogen bonds between cellulose and matrix glucans. TaEXPA2 is an α-expansin gene identified in wheat. Based on putative cis-regulatory elements in the TaEXPA2 promoter sequence and the expression pattern induced when polyethylene glycol (PEG) is used to mimic water stress, we hypothesized that TaEXPA2 is involved in plant drought tolerance and plant development. Through transient expression of 35S::TaEXPA2-GFP in onion epidermal cells, TaEXPA2 was localized to the cell wall. Constitutive expression of TaEXPA2 in tobacco improved seed production by increasing capsule number, not seed size, without having any effect on plant growth patterns. The transgenic tobacco exhibited a significantly greater tolerance to water-deficiency stress than did wild-type (WT) plants. We found that under drought stress, the transgenic plants maintained a better water status. The accumulated content of osmotic adjustment substances, such as proline, in TaEXPA2 transgenic plants was greater than that in WT plants. Transgenic plants also displayed greater antioxidative competence as indicated by their lower malondialdehyde (MDA) content, relative electrical conductivity, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation than did WT plants. This result suggests that the transgenic plants suffer less damage from ROS under drought conditions. The activities of some antioxidant enzymes as well as expression levels of several genes encoding key antioxidant enzymes were higher in the transgenic plants than in the WT plants under drought stress. Collectively, our results suggest that ectopic expression of the wheat expansin gene TaEXPA2 improves seed production and drought tolerance in transgenic tobacco plants. PMID:27073898

  6. Overexpression of the Wheat Expansin Gene TaEXPA2 Improved Seed Production and Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Tobacco Plants.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yanhui; Han, Yangyang; Zhang, Meng; Zhou, Shan; Kong, Xiangzhu; Wang, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Expansins are cell wall proteins that are grouped into two main families, α-expansins and β-expansins, and they are implicated in the control of cell extension via the disruption of hydrogen bonds between cellulose and matrix glucans. TaEXPA2 is an α-expansin gene identified in wheat. Based on putative cis-regulatory elements in the TaEXPA2 promoter sequence and the expression pattern induced when polyethylene glycol (PEG) is used to mimic water stress, we hypothesized that TaEXPA2 is involved in plant drought tolerance and plant development. Through transient expression of 35S::TaEXPA2-GFP in onion epidermal cells, TaEXPA2 was localized to the cell wall. Constitutive expression of TaEXPA2 in tobacco improved seed production by increasing capsule number, not seed size, without having any effect on plant growth patterns. The transgenic tobacco exhibited a significantly greater tolerance to water-deficiency stress than did wild-type (WT) plants. We found that under drought stress, the transgenic plants maintained a better water status. The accumulated content of osmotic adjustment substances, such as proline, in TaEXPA2 transgenic plants was greater than that in WT plants. Transgenic plants also displayed greater antioxidative competence as indicated by their lower malondialdehyde (MDA) content, relative electrical conductivity, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation than did WT plants. This result suggests that the transgenic plants suffer less damage from ROS under drought conditions. The activities of some antioxidant enzymes as well as expression levels of several genes encoding key antioxidant enzymes were higher in the transgenic plants than in the WT plants under drought stress. Collectively, our results suggest that ectopic expression of the wheat expansin gene TaEXPA2 improves seed production and drought tolerance in transgenic tobacco plants. PMID:27073898

  7. Improved Electrical Load Match In California By Combining Solar Thermal Power Plants with Wind Farms

    SciTech Connect

    Vick, B. D.; Clark, R. N.; Mehos, M.

    2008-01-01

    will be during mid-day. Adding six hours of solar thermal storage improved the utility load match significantly in the evening and reliability was also improved. Storage improves reliability because electrical production can remain at a high level even when there are lulls in the wind or clouds decrease the solar energy striking the parabolic trough mirrors. The solar energy from Mojave Desert and wind energy in the major wind farm areas are not a good match to utility load during the winter in California, but if the number of wind farms were increased east of San Diego, then the utility renewable energy match would be improved (this is because the wind energy is highest during the winter in this area). Currently in California, wind electrical generation only contributes 1.8% of total electricity and solar electrical generation only contributes 0.2%. Combining wind farms and solar thermal power plants with storage would allow a large percentage of the electrical load in California to be met by wind and solar energy due to a better match with utility load than by either renewable resource separately.

  8. Native plant growth promoting bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis and mixed or individual mycorrhizal species improved drought tolerance and oxidative metabolism in Lavandula dentata plants.

    PubMed

    Armada, E; Probanza, A; Roldán, A; Azcón, R

    2016-03-15

    This study evaluates the responses of Lavandula dentata under drought conditions to the inoculation with single autochthonous arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus (five fungal strains) or with their mixture and the effects of these inocula with a native Bacillus thuringiensis (endophytic bacteria). These microorganisms were drought tolerant and in general, increased plant growth and nutrition. Particularly, the AM fungal mixture and B. thuringiensis maximized plant biomass and compensated drought stress as values of antioxidant activities [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase APX)] shown. The AMF-bacteria interactions highly reduced the plant oxidative damage of lipids [malondialdehyde (MDA)] and increased the mycorrhizal development (mainly arbuscular formation representative of symbiotic functionality). These microbial interactions explain the highest potential of dually inoculated plants to tolerate drought stress. B. thuringiensis "in vitro" under osmotic stress does not reduce its PGPB (plant growth promoting bacteria) abilities as indole acetic acid (IAA) and ACC deaminase production and phosphate solubilization indicating its capacity to improve plant growth under stress conditions. Each one of the autochthonous fungal strains maintained their particular interaction with B. thuringiensis reflecting the diversity, intrinsic abilities and inherent compatibility of these microorganisms. In general, autochthonous AM fungal species and particularly their mixture with B. thuringiensis demonstrated their potential for protecting plants against drought and helping plants to thrive in semiarid ecosystems. PMID:26796423

  9. Chiller plant CFC, energy and operational improvements{hor_ellipsis} or, killing three birds with one stone

    SciTech Connect

    Waltz, J.P.

    1996-05-01

    This paper explores the hidden opportunities that exist when planning CFC abatement or modernization projects for central cooling plants, both small and large. It is critically important to perform an in-depth, comprehensive, and integrated re-evaluation of the entire cooling plant, its auxiliaries and its distribution system. By doing so, numerous system improvements can be identified and implemented which will reduce operating costs, simplify maintenance, improve plant operations, enhance plant reliability and even improve building comfort. Among the improvement measures are more efficient chillers, cooling tower replacement and optimization, plant re-sizing, optimizing, primary and auxiliary equipment {open_quotes}mix{close_quotes}chilled water variable flow conversion, multiple-plant integration, installation of dedicated cooling systems and fuel substitution. These measures can all independently, or concurrently, contribute to dramatically improved cooling operations. The paper refers to numerous actual projects that have already employed these techniques and also discusses the major CFC abatement compliance dates. The hidden opportunities presented and explained in this paper can do much to take the{open_quote}sting{close_quote} out of an otherwise onerous regulatory {open_quotes}predicament{close_quotes} and, perhaps most significantly, help to secure funding from management for much-needed projects sooner rather than later.

  10. Recent Improvements in Interface Management for Hanford's Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant - 13263

    SciTech Connect

    Arm, Stuart T.; Van Meighem, Jeffery S.; Duncan, Garth M.; Pell, Michael J.; Harrington, Christopher C.

    2013-07-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of River Protection (ORP) is responsible for management and completion of the River Protection Project (RPP) mission, which includes the Hanford Site tank farms operations and the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP). The RPP mission is to store, retrieve and treat Hanford's tank waste; store and dispose of treated wastes; and close the tank farm waste management areas and treatment facilities by 2047. The WTP is currently being designed and constructed by Bechtel National Inc. (BNI) for DOE-ORP. BNI relies on a number of technical services from other Hanford contractors for WTP's construction and commissioning. These same services will be required of the future WTP operations contractor. Partly in response to a DNFSB recommendation, the WTP interface management process managing these technical services has recently been improved through changes in organization and issue management. The changes are documented in an Interface Management Plan. The organizational improvement is embodied in the One System Integrated Project Team that was formed by integrating WTP and tank farms staff representing interfacing functional areas into a single organization. A number of improvements were made to the issue management process but most notable was the formal appointment of technical, regulatory and safety subject matter experts to ensure accurate identification of issues and open items. Ten of the thirteen active WTP Interface Control Documents have been revised in 2012 using the improved process with the remaining three in progress. The value of the process improvements is reflected by the ability to issue these documents on schedule and accurately identify technical, regulatory and safety issues and open items. (authors)

  11. Improved conversion of herbaceous biomass to biofuels: Potential for modification of key plant characteristics

    SciTech Connect

    Sladden, S.E.; Bransby, D.I. . Dept. of Agronomy and Soils)

    1989-10-01

    Biomass crops are converted to fuels via biochemical and thermochemical processes. The process preferred depends on properties and cost of available feedstocks, and on the specific products desired. Since most mature biomass crops are composed of up to 80% cell wall fibers, the properties of these fibers determine, to a large degree, the conversion potential of the crop. However, biomass crops also contain small amounts of proteins, soluble carbohydrates and interfering materials (e.g., tannins and silica) which also influence the desirability of the feedstock in specific conversion processes. Fortunately, wide variation exists in the chemical composition of potential biomass crops. Although the chemical composition of feedstocks can be influenced significantly with judicious management has species selection, some traits are sufficiently heritable to permit breeding for improved feedstock composition. In addition to breeding for specific compositional traits directly, selection for in vitro digestibility or for easily-measured canopy or physiological traits may lead to more rapid and efficient progress in feedstock improvement, provided those measurements are highly-correlated with desirable feedstock composition. At the same time breeders must improve, or at least avoid damaging, stand longevity, tendency of plants to lodge, and establishment traits (e.g., disease resistance and seedling vigor). 46 refs., 8 tabs.

  12. Recent Improvements In Interface Management For Hanfords Waste Treatment And Immobilization Plant - 13263

    SciTech Connect

    Arm, Stuart T.; Pell, Michael J.; Van Meighem, Jeffery S.; Duncan, Garth M.; Harrington, Christopher C.

    2012-11-20

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of River Protection (ORP) is responsible for management and completion of the River Protection Project (RPP) mission, which comprises both the Hanford Site tank farms operations and the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP). The RPP mission is to store, retrieve and treat Hanford's tank waste; store and dispose of treated wastes; and close the tank farm waste management areas and treatment facilities by 2047. The WTP is currently being designed and constructed by Bechtel National Inc. (BNI) for DOE-ORP. BNI relies on a number oftechnical services from other Hanford contractors for WTP's construction and commissioning. These same services will be required of the future WTP operations contractor. The WTP interface management process has recently been improved through changes in organization and technical issue management documented in an Interface Management Plan. Ten of the thirteen active WTP Interface Control Documents (ICDs) have been revised in 2012 using the improved process with the remaining three in progress. The value of the process improvements is reflected by the ability to issue these documents on schedule.

  13. Employing lidar to detail vegetation canopy architecture for prediction of aeolian transport

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sankey, Joel B.; Law, Darin J.; Breshears, David D.; Munson, Seth M.; Webb, Robert H.

    2013-01-01

    The diverse and fundamental effects that aeolian processes have on the biosphere and geosphere are commonly generated by horizontal sediment transport at the land surface. However, predicting horizontal sediment transport depends on vegetation architecture, which is difficult to quantify in a rapid but accurate manner. We demonstrate an approach to measure vegetation canopy architecture at high resolution using lidar along a gradient of dryland sites ranging from 2% to 73% woody plant canopy cover. Lidar-derived canopy height, distance (gaps) between vegetation elements (e.g., trunks, limbs, leaves), and the distribution of gaps scaled by vegetation height were correlated with canopy cover and highlight potentially improved horizontal dust flux estimation than with cover alone. Employing lidar to estimate detailed vegetation canopy architecture offers promise for improved predictions of horizontal sediment transport across heterogeneous plant assemblages.

  14. Isoprene improves photochemical efficiency and enhances heat dissipation in plants at physiological temperatures.

    PubMed

    Pollastri, Susanna; Tsonev, Tsonko; Loreto, Francesco

    2014-04-01

    Isoprene-emitting plants are better protected against thermal and oxidative stresses. Isoprene may strengthen membranes avoiding their denaturation and may quench reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, achieving a similar protective effect. The physiological role of isoprene in unstressed plants, up to now, is not understood. It is shown here, by monitoring the non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of chlorophyll fluorescence of leaves with chemically or genetically altered isoprene biosynthesis, that chloroplasts of isoprene-emitting leaves dissipate less energy as heat than chloroplasts of non-emitting leaves, when exposed to physiologically high temperatures (28-37 °C) that do not impair the photosynthetic apparatus. The effect was especially remarkable at foliar temperatures between 30 °C and 35 °C, at which isoprene emission is maximized and NPQ is quenched by about 20%. Isoprene may also allow better stability of photosynthetic membranes and a more efficient electron transfer through PSII at physiological temperatures, explaining most of the NPQ reduction and the slightly higher photochemical quenching that was also observed in isoprene-emitting leaves. The possibility that isoprene emission helps in removing thermal energy at the thylakoid level is also put forward, although such an effect was calculated to be minimal. These experiments expand current evidence that isoprene is an important trait against thermal and oxidative stresses and also explains why plants invest resources in isoprene under unstressed conditions. By improving PSII efficiency and reducing the need for heat dissipation in photosynthetic membranes, isoprene emitters are best fitted to physiologically high temperatures and will have an evolutionary advantage when adapting to a warming climate. PMID:24676032

  15. Soybean GmPHD-Type Transcription Regulators Improve Stress Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Yu-Jun; Zou, Hong-Feng; Wang, Hui-Wen; Zhao, Jing-Yun; Liu, Xue-Yi; Zhang, Wan-Ke; Ma, Biao; Zhang, Jin-Song; Chen, Shou-Yi

    2009-01-01

    Background Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is one of the most important crops for oil and protein resource. Improvement of stress tolerance will be beneficial for soybean seed production. Principal Findings Six GmPHD genes encoding Alfin1-type PHD finger protein were identified and their expressions differentially responded to drought, salt, cold and ABA treatments. The six GmPHDs were nuclear proteins and showed ability to bind the cis-element “GTGGAG”. The N-terminal domain of GmPHD played a major role in DNA binding. Using a protoplast assay system, we find that GmPHD1 to GmPHD5 had transcriptional suppression activity whereas GmPHD6 did not have. In yeast assay, the GmPHD6 can form homodimer and heterodimer with the other GmPHDs except GmPHD2. The N-terminal plus the variable regions but not the PHD-finger is required for the dimerization. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing the GmPHD2 showed salt tolerance when compared with the wild type plants. This tolerance was likely achieved by diminishing the oxidative stress through regulation of downstream genes. Significance These results provide important clues for soybean stress tolerance through manipulation of PHD-type transcription regulator. PMID:19789627

  16. Improving depth maps of plants by using a set of five cameras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaczmarek, Adam L.

    2015-03-01

    Obtaining high-quality depth maps and disparity maps with the use of a stereo camera is a challenging task for some kinds of objects. The quality of these maps can be improved by taking advantage of a larger number of cameras. The research on the usage of a set of five cameras to obtain disparity maps is presented. The set consists of a central camera and four side cameras. An algorithm for making disparity maps called multiple similar areas (MSA) is introduced. The algorithm was specially designed for the set of five cameras. Experiments were performed with the MSA algorithm and the stereo matching algorithm based on the sum of sum of squared differences (sum of SSD, SSSD) measure. Moreover, the following measures were included in the experiments: sum of absolute differences (SAD), zero-mean SAD (ZSAD), zero-mean SSD (ZSSD), locally scaled SAD (LSAD), locally scaled SSD (LSSD), normalized cross correlation (NCC), and zero-mean NCC (ZNCC). Algorithms presented were applied to images of plants. Making depth maps of plants is difficult because parts of leaves are similar to each other. The potential usability of the described algorithms is especially high in agricultural applications such as robotic fruit harvesting.

  17. An improved cucumber mosaic virus-based vector for efficient decoying of plant microRNAs.

    PubMed

    Liao, Qiansheng; Tu, Yifei; Carr, John P; Du, Zhiyou

    2015-01-01

    We previously devised a cucumber mosaic virus (CMV)-based vector system carrying microRNA target mimic sequences for analysis of microRNA function in Arabidopsis thaliana. We describe an improved version in which target mimic cloning is achieved by annealing two partly-overlapping complementary DNA oligonucleotides for insertion into an infectious clone of CMV RNA3 (LS strain) fused to the cauliflower mosaic virus-derived 35S promoter. LS-CMV variants carrying mimic sequences were generated by co-infiltrating plants with Agrobacterium tumefaciens cells harboring engineered RNA3 with cells carrying RNA1 and RNA2 infectious clones. The utility of using agroinfection to deliver LS-CMV-derived microRNA target mimic sequences was demonstrated using a miR165/166 target mimic and three solanaceous hosts: Nicotiana benthamiana, tobacco (N. tabacum), and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). In all three hosts the miR165/166 target mimic induced marked changes in developmental phenotype. Inhibition of miRNA accumulation and increased target mRNA (HD-ZIP III) accumulation was demonstrated in tomato. Thus, a CMV-derived target mimic delivered via agroinfection is a simple, cheap and powerful means of launching virus-based miRNA mimics and is likely to be useful for high-throughput investigation of miRNA function in a wide range of plants. PMID:26278008

  18. An improved cucumber mosaic virus-based vector for efficient decoying of plant microRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Qiansheng; Tu, Yifei; Carr, John P.; Du, Zhiyou

    2015-01-01

    We previously devised a cucumber mosaic virus (CMV)-based vector system carrying microRNA target mimic sequences for analysis of microRNA function in Arabidopsis thaliana. We describe an improved version in which target mimic cloning is achieved by annealing two partly-overlapping complementary DNA oligonucleotides for insertion into an infectious clone of CMV RNA3 (LS strain) fused to the cauliflower mosaic virus-derived 35S promoter. LS-CMV variants carrying mimic sequences were generated by co-infiltrating plants with Agrobacterium tumefaciens cells harboring engineered RNA3 with cells carrying RNA1 and RNA2 infectious clones. The utility of using agroinfection to deliver LS-CMV-derived microRNA target mimic sequences was demonstrated using a miR165/166 target mimic and three solanaceous hosts: Nicotiana benthamiana, tobacco (N. tabacum), and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). In all three hosts the miR165/166 target mimic induced marked changes in developmental phenotype. Inhibition of miRNA accumulation and increased target mRNA (HD-ZIP III) accumulation was demonstrated in tomato. Thus, a CMV-derived target mimic delivered via agroinfection is a simple, cheap and powerful means of launching virus-based miRNA mimics and is likely to be useful for high-throughput investigation of miRNA function in a wide range of plants. PMID:26278008

  19. Mathematical literacy in Plant Physiology undergraduates: results of interventions aimed at improving students' performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vila, Francisca; Sanz, Amparo

    2013-09-01

    The importance of mathematical literacy in any scientific career is widely recognized. However, various studies report lack of numeracy and mathematical literacy in students from various countries. In the present work, we present a detailed study of the mathematical literacy of Spanish undergraduate students of Biology enrolled in a Plant Physiology course. We have performed individual analyses of results obtained during the period 2000-2011, for questions in the examinations requiring and not requiring mathematical skills. Additionally, we present the outcome of two interventions introduced with the aim of helping students improve their prospects for success in the course. Our results confirm previous research showing students' deficiencies in mathematical skills. However, the scores obtained for mathematical questions in the examinations are good predictors of the final grades attained in Plant Physiology, as there are strong correlations at the individual level between results for questions requiring and not requiring mathematical skills. The introduction of a laboratory session devoted to strengthening the application of students' previously acquired mathematical knowledge did not change significantly the results obtained for mathematical questions. Since mathematical abilities of students entering university have declined in recent years, this intervention may have helped to maintain students' performance to a level comparable to that of previous years. The outcome of self-assessment online tests indicates that although Mathematics anxiety is lower than during examinations, the poor results obtained for questions requiring mathematical skills are, at least in part, due to a lack of self-efficacy.

  20. Power plant performance monitoring and improvement: Volume 4, Boiler optimization: Interim report

    SciTech Connect

    Crim, H.G. Jr.; Levy, E.K.

    1987-12-01

    The boiler portion of EPRI project RP1681/2153 is concerned with the development of measurement methods and instrumentation and analysis techniques for pulverized coal power plants, for monitoring the performance of a unit and for determining its optimum fireside operating conditions. Three of the physical parameters of interest in this investigation are level of excess air, size distribution of the coal, and stack gas temperature. A computer code has been developed to compute the effects of fireside parameters on power plant performance and field tests are being carried out at the Potomac Electric Power Company's Morgantown Station, where the effects of coal grind size and level of excess air on parameters such as unit heat rate, carbon heat loss, stack loss and boiler efficiency are being measured. A new technique for the direct measurement of unit heat rate, referred to as the output/loss method, is under development and measurements are being made at the regenerative air preheater to determine the effects on acid deposition of operating at reduced levels of O/sub 2/. An improved procedure for ultrasonic measurement of waterwall tube thickness has been developed and laboratory experiments were carried out to determine the effects of O/sub 2/ level and particle size on the reactions which pyrite undergoes in the furnace. This progress report describes the results of the project for the two year period ending in January, 1986.

  1. ECONOMICS AND FEASIBILITY OF RANKINE CYCLE IMPROVEMENTS FOR COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS

    SciTech Connect

    Richard E. Waryasz; Gregory N. Liljedahl

    2004-09-08

    ALSTOM Power Inc.'s Power Plant Laboratories (ALSTOM) has teamed with the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE NETL), American Electric Company (AEP) and Parsons Energy and Chemical Group to conduct a comprehensive study evaluating coal fired steam power plants, known as Rankine Cycles, equipped with three different combustion systems: Pulverized Coal (PC), Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB), and Circulating Moving Bed (CMB{trademark}). Five steam cycles utilizing a wide range of steam conditions were used with these combustion systems. The motivation for this study was to establish through engineering analysis, the most cost-effective performance potential available through improvement in the Rankine Cycle steam conditions and combustion systems while at the same time ensuring that the most stringent emission performance based on CURC (Coal Utilization Research Council) 2010 targets are met: > 98% sulfur removal; < 0.05 lbm/MM-Btu NO{sub x}; < 0.01 lbm/MM-Btu Particulate Matter; and > 90% Hg removal. The final report discusses the results of a coal fired steam power plant project, which is comprised of two parts. The main part of the study is the analysis of ten (10) Greenfield steam power plants employing three different coal combustion technologies: Pulverized Coal (PC), Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB), and Circulating Moving Bed (CMB{trademark}) integrated with five different steam cycles. The study explores the technical feasibility, thermal performance, environmental performance, and economic viability of ten power plants that could be deployed currently, in the near, intermediate, and long-term time frame. For the five steam cycles, main steam temperatures vary from 1,000 F to 1,292 F and pressures from 2,400 psi to 5,075 psi. Reheat steam temperatures vary from 1,000 F to 1,328 F. The number of feedwater heaters varies from 7 to 9 and the associated feedwater temperature varies from 500 F to 626 F. The main part of the study

  2. Potassium chloride and rare earth elements improve plant growth and increase the frequency of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated plant transformation.

    PubMed

    Boyko, Alex; Matsuoka, Aki; Kovalchuk, Igor

    2011-04-01

    Plant transformation efficiency depends on the ability of the transgene to successfully interact with plant host factors. Our previous work and the work of others showed that manipulation of the activity of host factors allows for increased frequency of transformation. Recently we reported that exposure of tobacco plants to increased concentrations of ammonium nitrate increases the frequency of both homologous recombination and plant transgenesis. Here we tested the influence of KCl and salts of rare earth elements, Ce and La on the efficiency of Agrobacterium-mediated plant transformation. We found that exposure to KCl, CeCl(3) and LaCl(3) leads to an increase in recombination frequency in Arabidopsis and tobacco. Plants grown in the presence of CeCl(3) and LaCl(3) had higher biomass, longer roots and greater root number. Analysis of transformation efficiency showed that exposure of tobacco plants to 50 mM KCl resulted in ~6.0-fold increase in the number of regenerated calli and transgenic plants as compared to control plants. Exposure to various concentrations of CeCl(3) showed a maximum increase of ~3.0-fold in both the number of calli and transgenic plants. Segregation analysis showed that exposure to KCl and cerium (III) chloride leads to more frequent integrations of the transgene at a single locus. Analysis of transgene intactness showed better preservation of right T-DNA border during transgene integration. Our data suggest that KCl and CeCl(3) can be effectively used to improve quantity and quality of transgene integrations. PMID:21132499

  3. Advances in RNA interference technology and its impact on nutritional improvement, disease and insect control in plants.

    PubMed

    Katoch, Rajan; Thakur, Neelam

    2013-03-01

    This review highlights the advances in the knowledge of RNA interference (RNAi) and discusses recent progress on the functionality of different components RNAi machinery operating in the organisms. The silencing of genes by RNA interference has become the technology of choice for investigation of gene functions in different organisms. The refinement in the knowledge of the endogenous RNAi pathways in plants along with the development of new strategies and applications for the improvement of nutritional value of important agricultural crops through suppression of genes in different plants have opened new vistas for nutritional security. The improvement in the nutritional status of the plants and reduction in the level of toxins or antinutrients was desired for long, but the available technology was not completely successful in achieving the tissue specific regulation of some genes. In the recent years, a number of economically important crop plants have been tested successfully for improving plant nutritional value through metabolic engineering using RNAi. The implications of this technology for crop improvement programs, including nutritional enrichment, reduction of antinutrients, disease, and insect control have been successfully tested in variety of crops with commercial considerations. The enhancement of the nutraceutical traits for the desired health benefits in common crop plants through manipulation of gene expression has been elaborated in this article. The tremendous potential with RNAi technology is expected to revolutionize the modern agriculture for meeting the growing challenges is discussed. PMID:23322250

  4. Carbon cost of plant nitrogen acquisition: global carbon cycle impact from an improved plant nitrogen cycle in the Community Land Model.

    PubMed

    Shi, Mingjie; Fisher, Joshua B; Brzostek, Edward R; Phillips, Richard P

    2016-03-01

    Plants typically expend a significant portion of their available carbon (C) on nutrient acquisition - C that could otherwise support growth. However, given that most global terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) do not include the C cost of nutrient acquisition, these models fail to represent current and future constraints to the land C sink. Here, we integrated a plant productivity-optimized nutrient acquisition model - the Fixation and Uptake of Nitrogen Model - into one of the most widely used TBMs, the Community Land Model. Global plant nitrogen (N) uptake is dynamically simulated in the coupled model based on the C costs of N acquisition from mycorrhizal roots, nonmycorrhizal roots, N-fixing microbes, and retranslocation (from senescing leaves). We find that at the global scale, plants spend 2.4 Pg C yr(-1) to acquire 1.0 Pg N yr(-1) , and that the C cost of N acquisition leads to a downregulation of global net primary production (NPP) by 13%. Mycorrhizal uptake represented the dominant pathway by which N is acquired, accounting for ~66% of the N uptake by plants. Notably, roots associating with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi - generally considered for their role in phosphorus (P) acquisition - are estimated to be the primary source of global plant N uptake owing to the dominance of AM-associated plants in mid- and low-latitude biomes. Overall, our coupled model improves the representations of NPP downregulation globally and generates spatially explicit patterns of belowground C allocation, soil N uptake, and N retranslocation at the global scale. Such model improvements are critical for predicting how plant responses to altered N availability (owing to N deposition, rising atmospheric CO2 , and warming temperatures) may impact the land C sink. PMID:26473512

  5. Prospects for optimizing soil microbial functioning to improve plant nutrient uptake and soil carbon sequestration under elevated CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nie, M.; Pendall, E. G.

    2013-12-01

    Potential to mitigate climate change through increasing plant productivity and its carbon (C) input to soil may be limited by soil nitrogen (N) availability. Using a novel 13C-CO2 and 15N-soil dual labeling method, we investigated whether plant growth-promoting bacteria would interact with atmospheric CO2 concentration to alter plant productivity and soil C storage. We grew Bouteloua gracilis under ambient (380 ppm) or elevated CO2 (700 ppm) in climate-controlled chambers, and plant individuals were grown with or without Pseudomonas fluorescens inoculum, which can produce N catabolic enzymes. We observed that both eCO2 and P. fluorescens increased plant productivity and its C allocation to soil. P. fluorescens relative to eCO2 enhanced plant N uptake from soil organic matter, which highly correlated with soil N enzyme activities and rhizosphere exudate C. More importantly, P. fluorescens increased microbial biomass and deceased specific microbial respiration in comparison with eCO2. These results indicate that application of plant growth-promoting bacteria can increase microbial C utilization efficiency with subsequent N mineralization from soil organic matter, and may improve plant N availability and soil C sequestration. Together, our findings highlight the potential of plant growth-promoting bacteria for global change mitigation by terrestrial ecosystems.

  6. Continuous Improvement and the Safety Case for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Geologic Repository - 13467

    SciTech Connect

    Van Luik, Abraham; Patterson, Russell; Nelson, Roger; Leigh, Christi

    2013-07-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a geologic repository 2150 feet (650 m) below the surface of the Chihuahuan desert near Carlsbad, New Mexico. WIPP permanently disposes of transuranic waste from national defense programs. Every five years, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) submits an application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to request regulatory-compliance re-certification of the facility for another five years. Every ten years, DOE submits an application to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) for the renewal of its hazardous waste disposal permit. The content of the applications made by DOE to the EPA for re-certification, and to the NMED for permit-renewal, reflect any optimization changes made to the facility, with regulatory concurrence if warranted by the nature of the change. DOE points to such changes as evidence for its having taken seriously its 'continuous improvement' operations and management philosophy. Another opportunity for continuous improvement is to look at any delta that may exist between the re-certification and re-permitting cases for system safety and the consensus advice on the nature and content of a safety case as being developed and published by the Nuclear Energy Agency's Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC) expert group. DOE at WIPP, with the aid of its Science Advisor and teammate, Sandia National Laboratories, is in the process of discerning what can be done, in a reasonably paced and cost-conscious manner, to continually improve the case for repository safety that is being made to the two primary regulators on a recurring basis. This paper will discuss some aspects of that delta and potential paths forward to addressing them. (authors)

  7. Digital Architecture – Results From a Gap Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Oxstrand, Johanna Helene; Thomas, Kenneth David; Fitzgerald, Kirk

    2015-09-01

    The digital architecture is defined as a collection of IT capabilities needed to support and integrate a wide-spectrum of real-time digital capabilities for nuclear power plant performance improvements. The digital architecture can be thought of as an integration of the separate I&C and information systems already in place in NPPs, brought together for the purpose of creating new levels of automation in NPP work activities. In some cases, it might be an extension of the current communication systems, to provide digital communications where they are currently analog only. This collection of IT capabilities must in turn be based on a set of user requirements that must be supported for the interconnected technologies to operate in an integrated manner. These requirements, simply put, are a statement of what sorts of digital work functions will be exercised in a fully-implemented seamless digital environment and how much they will be used. The goal of the digital architecture research is to develop a methodology for mapping nuclear power plant operational and support activities into the digital architecture, which includes the development of a consensus model for advanced information and control architecture. The consensus model should be developed at a level of detail that is useful to the industry. In other words, not so detailed that it specifies specific protocols and not so vague that it is only provides a high level description of technology. The next step towards the model development is to determine the current state of digital architecture at typical NPPs. To investigate the current state, the researchers conducted a gap analysis to determine to what extent the NPPs can support the future digital technology environment with their existing I&C and IT structure, and where gaps exist with respect to the full deployment of technology over time. The methodology, result, and conclusions from the gap analysis are described in this report.

  8. Barcoding the kingdom Plantae: new PCR primers for ITS regions of plants with improved universality and specificity.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Tao; Xu, Chao; Lei, Li; Li, Changhao; Zhang, Yu; Zhou, Shiliang

    2016-01-01

    The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA is one of the most commonly used DNA markers in plant phylogenetic and DNA barcoding analyses, and it has been recommended as a core plant DNA barcode. Despite this popularity, the universality and specificity of PCR primers for the ITS region are not satisfactory, resulting in amplification and sequencing difficulties. By thoroughly surveying and analysing the 18S, 5.8S and 26S sequences of Plantae and Fungi from GenBank, we designed new universal and plant-specific PCR primers for amplifying the whole ITS region and a part of it (ITS1 or ITS2) of plants. In silico analyses of the new and the existing ITS primers based on these highly representative data sets indicated that (i) the newly designed universal primers are suitable for over 95% of plants in most groups; and (ii) the plant-specific primers are suitable for over 85% of plants in most groups without amplification of fungi. A total of 335 samples from 219 angiosperm families, 11 gymnosperm families, 24 fern and lycophyte families, 16 moss families and 17 fungus families were used to test the performances of these primers. In vitro PCR produced similar results to those from the in silico analyses. Our new primer pairs gave PCR improvements up to 30% compared with common-used ones. The new universal ITS primers will find wide application in both plant and fungal biology, and the new plant-specific ITS primers will, by eliminating PCR amplification of nonplant templates, significantly improve the quality of ITS sequence information collections in plant molecular systematics and DNA barcoding. PMID:26084789

  9. Overexpression of the PtSOS2 gene improves tolerance to salt stress in transgenic poplar plants.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yang; Tang, Ren-Jie; Jiang, Chun-Mei; Li, Bei; Kang, Tao; Liu, Hua; Zhao, Nan; Ma, Xu-Jun; Yang, Lei; Chen, Shao-Liang; Zhang, Hong-Xia

    2015-09-01

    In higher plants, the salt overly sensitive (SOS) signalling pathway plays a crucial role in maintaining ion homoeostasis and conferring salt tolerance under salinity condition. Previously, we functionally characterized the conserved SOS pathway in the woody plant Populus trichocarpa. In this study, we demonstrate that overexpression of the constitutively active form of PtSOS2 (PtSOS2TD), one of the key components of this pathway, significantly increased salt tolerance in aspen hybrid clone Shanxin Yang (Populus davidiana × Populus bolleana). Compared to the wild-type control, transgenic plants constitutively expressing PtSOS2TD exhibited more vigorous growth and produced greater biomass in the presence of high concentrations of NaCl. The improved salt tolerance was associated with a decreased Na(+) accumulation in the leaves of transgenic plants. Further analyses revealed that plasma membrane Na(+) /H(+) exchange activity and Na(+) efflux in transgenic plants were significantly higher than those in the wild-type plants. Moreover, transgenic plants showed improved capacity in scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by salt stress. Taken together, our results suggest that PtSOS2 could serve as an ideal target gene to genetically engineer salt-tolerant trees. PMID:25641517

  10. Tuning nano-architectures and improving bioactivity of conducting polypyrrole coating on bone implants by incorporating bone-borne small molecules

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Jingwen; Zhu, Ye; Yin, Zhaoyi

    2014-01-01

    Citric acid, a molecule present in fresh bone, was introduced into template-free electrochemical polymerization to form biocompatible coating made of polypyrrole (PPy) nano-cones on bone implants. It served not only as a dopant to tune the nano-architectures but also as a promoter to enhance bioactivity of the PPy-coated implants. PMID:25530857

  11. An improved gate valve for critical applications in nuclear power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Kalsi, M.S.; Alvarez, P.D.; Wang, J.K.; Somagyi, D.

    1996-12-01

    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Generic Letters 89-10 for motor-operated valves (MOVs) and 95-07 for all power-operated valves document in detail the problems related to the performance of the safety-related valves in nuclear power plants. The problems relate to lack of reliable operation under design basis conditions including higher than anticipated stem thrust, unpredictable valve behavior, damage to the valve internals under blowdown/high flow conditions, significant degradation of performance when cycled under AP and flow, thermal binding, and pressure locking. This paper describes an improved motor-operated flexible wedge gate valve design, the GE Sentinel Valve, which is the outcome of a comprehensive and systematic development effort undertaken to resolve the issues identified in the NRC Generic Letters 89-10 and 95-07. The new design provides a reliable, long-term, low maintenance cost solution to the nuclear power industry. One of the key features incorporated in the disc permits the disc flexibility to be varied independently of the disc thickness (pressure boundary) dictated by the ASME Section III Pressure Vessel & Piping Code stress criteria. This feature allows the desired flexibility to be incorporated in the disc, thus eliminating thermal binding problems. A matrix of analyses was performed using finite element and computational fluid dynamics approaches to optimize design for stresses, flexibility, leak-tightness, fluid flow, and thermal effects. The design of the entire product line was based upon a consistent set of analyses and design rules which permit scaling to different valve sizes and pressure classes within the product line. The valve meets all of the ASME Section III Code design criteria and the N-Stamp requirements. The performance of the valve was validated by performing extensive separate effects and plant in-situ tests. This paper summarizes the key design features, analyses, and test results.

  12. Improving the efficiency of phytoremediation using electrically charged plant and chelating agents.

    PubMed

    Tahmasbian, Iman; Safari Sinegani, Ali Akbar

    2016-02-01

    The low efficiency of phytoremediation is a considerable problem that limits the application of this environmentally friendly method on heavy metal-polluted soils. The combination of chelate-assisted phytoextraction and electrokinetic remediation could offer new opportunities to improve the effectiveness of phytoextraction. The current experiment aims to investigate the effects of electrical fields and chelating agents on phytoremediation efficiency. In a pot experiment using mine soil, poultry manure extract (PME), cow manure extract (CME), and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) were applied to soil as chelating agents (2 g kg(-1)) at the beginning of the flowering stage. A week later, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) was negatively charged by inserting a stainless steel needle with 10 and 30 V DC electricity in the lowest part of the stems for 1 h each day for a 14-day period. At the end of the experiment, the shoot and root dry weight, lead (Pb) concentration in plant organs, translocation factor (TF), metal uptake index (UI), and soil available Pb (diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA) extractable) were detected. Results indicated that the application of electrical fields had no significant impact on the shoot and root dry weights, while Pb concentration and UI increased in the 10-V EDTA treatment by 500 % compared to control. There was no significant difference between UI in 30- and 10-V EDTA treatments. Soil available Pb significantly increased in the 30-V treated soil. A positive correlation was observed between the available Pb in soil near the root and Pb concentration in shoot, its TF, and UI. In conclusion, a negatively charged plant along with the application of EDTA significantly increased the phytoremediation efficiency. PMID:26423283

  13. Plant Maintenance and Improvement Experiences for Control System in UCN 5 and 6

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, D.R.; Lee, K.B.; Kim, C.J.; Chung, Y.M.

    2006-07-01

    The Plant Control System (PCS) in Korean Standard Nuclear Power Plant (KSNP) is designed to perform data acquisition and transfer function via communication data links to control most of the field components such as pumps, fans, valves, dampers and circuit breakers. The PCS installed at UCN 5 and 6 for both safety related and non -safety related functions is microprocessor based system supplied by HF Controls. Safety related functions are provided by redundant trains of microprocessor based single loop controllers with direct connections to the field input/output instruments but non-safety related functions utilize a similar construction with the input/output boards to be remotely located in cabinet arrangements near the field components. Whatever the functions, the signals to control and monitor field devices are processed through communication master (CM), HFC distributed control system, which uses Multibus I back-plane design to accommodate the requirement of multiple processors. The complex programmable logic device (CPLD) mounted on the A233 back-plane of the CM controls the processors for an adequate access to the bus so that 16 microprocessor based circuitries acting as bus masters share the public memory properly through the common bus. The bus occupation of each processor should not affect overall system response time to keep appropriate system performance. This paper discusses the comparison evaluation between the difference priority techniques and hardware change on A233 back-plane to improve the communication methods, etc., as to the bus arbitration schemes of communication master(CM) applied to UCN site based on the waveform data acquired from A233 CPLD and HFC bus design specification. (authors)

  14. Lab architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crease, Robert P.

    2008-04-01

    There are few more dramatic illustrations of the vicissitudes of laboratory architecturethan the contrast between Building 20 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and its replacement, the Ray and Maria Stata Center. Building 20 was built hurriedly in 1943 as temporary housing for MIT's famous Rad Lab, the site of wartime radar research, and it remained a productive laboratory space for over half a century. A decade ago it was demolished to make way for the Stata Center, an architecturally striking building designed by Frank Gehry to house MIT's computer science and artificial intelligence labs (above). But in 2004 - just two years after the Stata Center officially opened - the building was criticized for being unsuitable for research and became the subject of still ongoing lawsuits alleging design and construction failures.

  15. Modernization of Controls Improves Productivity and Reduces Energy Costs at a Large Steel Plant (Weirton Steel Plant)

    SciTech Connect

    2000-04-01

    In 1996 and 1997, Weirton Steel upgraded the utilities control systems at its main steel manufacturing plant in Weirton, WV. In response to increasing energy costs and the need to remain competitive in the steel industry, Weirton Steel commissioned a comprehensive energy management study of the facility, which provided the basis for an energy management control strategy.

  16. Genetic engineering of plants for improved crop production. (Latest citations from the Biobusiness data base). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-05-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning the use of genetic engineering to improve crop production. Genetic alterations of plants to provide insect protection, herbicide resistance, disease resistance, improved quality, and higher yield are discussed. Methods used to develop environmentally tolerant crops that are able to withstand extremes of temperature, reduced water consumption, and reduced fertilizer requirements are examined. Genetic engineering of microorganisms that are beneficial to plants is discussed in a separate bibliography. (Contains 250 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  17. Insertion of a Specific Fungal 3′-phosphoadenosine-5′-phosphatase Motif into a Plant Homologue Improves Halotolerance and Drought Tolerance of Plants

    PubMed Central

    Rotter, Ana; Plemenitaš, Ana; Gunde-Cimerman, Nina; Gruden, Kristina; Žel, Jana

    2013-01-01

    Soil salinity and drought are among the most serious agricultural and environmental problems of today. Therefore, investigations of plant resistance to abiotic stress have received a lot of attention in recent years. In this study, we identified the complete coding sequence of a 3′-phosphoadenosine-5′-phosphatase protein, ApHal2, from the halotolerant yeast Aureobasidium pullulans. Expression of the ApHAL2 gene in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae hal2 mutant complemented the mutant auxotrophy for methionine, and rescued the growth of the hal2 mutant in media with high NaCl concentrations. A 21-amino-acids-long region of the ApHal2 enzyme was inserted into the Arabidopsis thaliana homologue of Hal2, the SAL1 phosphatase. The inserted sequence included the META motif, which has previously been implicated in increased sodium tolerance of the Hal2 homologue from a related fungal species. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing this modified SAL1 (mSAL1) showed improved halotolerance and drought tolerance. In a medium with an elevated salt concentration, mSAL1-expressing plants were twice as likely to have roots in a higher length category in comparison with the wild-type Arabidopsis and with plants overexpressing the native SAL1, and had 5% to 10% larger leaf surface area under moderate and severe salt stress, respectively. Similarly, after moderate drought exposure, the mSAL1-expressing plants showed 14% increased dry weight after revitalisation, with no increase in dry weight of the wild-type plants. With severe drought, plants overexpressing native SAL1 had the worst rehydration success, consistent with the recently proposed role of SAL1 in severe drought. This was not observed for plants expressing mSAL1. Therefore, the presence of this fungal META motif sequence is beneficial under conditions of increased salinity and moderate drought, and shows no drawbacks for plant survival under severe drought. This demonstrates that adaptations of extremotolerant fungi

  18. Insertion of a specific fungal 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphatase motif into a plant homologue improves halotolerance and drought tolerance of plants.

    PubMed

    Gašparič, Meti Buh; Lenassi, Metka; Gostinčar, Cene; Rotter, Ana; Plemenitaš, Ana; Gunde-Cimerman, Nina; Gruden, Kristina; Zel, Jana

    2013-01-01

    Soil salinity and drought are among the most serious agricultural and environmental problems of today. Therefore, investigations of plant resistance to abiotic stress have received a lot of attention in recent years. In this study, we identified the complete coding sequence of a 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphatase protein, ApHal2, from the halotolerant yeast Aureobasidium pullulans. Expression of the ApHAL2 gene in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae hal2 mutant complemented the mutant auxotrophy for methionine, and rescued the growth of the hal2 mutant in media with high NaCl concentrations. A 21-amino-acids-long region of the ApHal2 enzyme was inserted into the Arabidopsis thaliana homologue of Hal2, the SAL1 phosphatase. The inserted sequence included the META motif, which has previously been implicated in increased sodium tolerance of the Hal2 homologue from a related fungal species. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing this modified SAL1 (mSAL1) showed improved halotolerance and drought tolerance. In a medium with an elevated salt concentration, mSAL1-expressing plants were twice as likely to have roots in a higher length category in comparison with the wild-type Arabidopsis and with plants overexpressing the native SAL1, and had 5% to 10% larger leaf surface area under moderate and severe salt stress, respectively. Similarly, after moderate drought exposure, the mSAL1-expressing plants showed 14% increased dry weight after revitalisation, with no increase in dry weight of the wild-type plants. With severe drought, plants overexpressing native SAL1 had the worst rehydration success, consistent with the recently proposed role of SAL1 in severe drought. This was not observed for plants expressing mSAL1. Therefore, the presence of this fungal META motif sequence is beneficial under conditions of increased salinity and moderate drought, and shows no drawbacks for plant survival under severe drought. This demonstrates that adaptations of extremotolerant fungi should

  19. METHODS FOR IMPROVEMENT OF TRICKLING FILTER PLANT PERFORMANCE. PART II. CHEMICAL ADDITION

    EPA Science Inventory

    An experimental program to explore potential methods for removing phosphorus and generally enhancing trickling filter plant performance was conducted at the Mason Farm Wastewater Treatment Plant, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Preliminary investigations included jar testing with se...

  20. Freeform reflectors for architectural lighting.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Ruidong; Hong, Qi; Zhang, Hongxia; Wu, Shin-Tson

    2015-12-14

    We propose an improved method to design freeform reflectors for architectural lighting: one for accent lighting and another for large area wall washing. The designed freeform reflectors effectively distribute light fluxes over the target surfaces, and generate appropriate illumination patterns for comfortable visual environments, which provides greater flexibility for lighting designs, allows many challenging designs, and improves energy-efficiency simultaneously. PMID:26698974

  1. Integrating Botany with Chemistry & Art to Improve Elementary School Children's Awareness of Plants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Çil, Emine

    2015-01-01

    Students need to be aware of plants in order to learn about, appreciate, care for, and protect them. However, research has found that many children are not aware of the plants in their environment. A way to address this issue might be integration of plants with various disciplines. I investigated the effectiveness of an instructional approach…

  2. Genotypic differences in architectural and physiological responses to water restriction in rose bush

    PubMed Central

    Li-Marchetti, Camille; Le Bras, Camille; Relion, Daniel; Citerne, Sylvie; Huché-Thélier, Lydie; Sakr, Soulaiman; Morel, Philippe; Crespel, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    The shape and, therefore, the architecture of the plant are dependent on genetic and environmental factors such as water supply. The architecture determines the visual quality, a key criterion underlying the decision to purchase an ornamental potted plant. The aim of this study was to analyze genotypic responses of eight rose bush cultivars to alternation of water restriction and re-watering periods, with soil water potential of -20 and -10 kPa respectively. Responses were evaluated at the architectural level through 3D digitalization using six architectural variables and at the physiological level by measuring stomatal conductance, water content, hormones [abscisic acid (ABA), auxin, cytokinins, jasmonic acid, and salicylic acid (SA)], sugars (sucrose, fructose, and glucose), and proline. Highly significant genotype and watering effects were revealed for all the architectural variables measured, as well as genotype × watering interaction, with three distinct genotypic architectural responses to water restriction – weak, moderate and strong – represented by Hw336, ‘Baipome’ and ‘The Fairy,’ respectively. The physiological analysis explained, at least in part, the more moderate architectural response of ‘Baipome’ compared to ‘The Fairy,’ but not that of Hw336 which is an interspecific hybrid. Such physiological responses in ‘Baipome’ could be related to: (i) the maintenance of the stimulation of budbreak and photosynthetic activity during water restriction periods due to a higher concentration in conjugated cytokinins (cCK) and to a lower concentration in SA; (ii) a better resumption of budbreak during the re-watering periods due to a lower concentration in ABA during this period. When associated with the six architectural descriptors, cCK, SA and ABA, which explained the genotypic differences in this study, could be used as selection criteria for breeding programs aimed at improving plant shape and tolerance to water restriction. PMID

  3. Genotypic differences in architectural and physiological responses to water restriction in rose bush.

    PubMed

    Li-Marchetti, Camille; Le Bras, Camille; Relion, Daniel; Citerne, Sylvie; Huché-Thélier, Lydie; Sakr, Soulaiman; Morel, Philippe; Crespel, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    The shape and, therefore, the architecture of the plant are dependent on genetic and environmental factors such as water supply. The architecture determines the visual quality, a key criterion underlying the decision to purchase an ornamental potted plant. The aim of this study was to analyze genotypic responses of eight rose bush cultivars to alternation of water restriction and re-watering periods, with soil water potential of -20 and -10 kPa respectively. Responses were evaluated at the architectural level through 3D digitalization using six architectural variables and at the physiological level by measuring stomatal conductance, water content, hormones [abscisic acid (ABA), auxin, cytokinins, jasmonic acid, and salicylic acid (SA)], sugars (sucrose, fructose, and glucose), and proline. Highly significant genotype and watering effects were revealed for all the architectural variables measured, as well as genotype × watering interaction, with three distinct genotypic architectural responses to water restriction - weak, moderate and strong - represented by Hw336, 'Baipome' and 'The Fairy,' respectively. The physiological analysis explained, at least in part, the more moderate architectural response of 'Baipome' compared to 'The Fairy,' but not that of Hw336 which is an interspecific hybrid. Such physiological responses in 'Baipome' could be related to: (i) the maintenance of the stimulation of budbreak and photosynthetic activity during water restriction periods due to a higher concentration in conjugated cytokinins (cCK) and to a lower concentration in SA; (ii) a better resumption of budbreak during the re-watering periods due to a lower concentration in ABA during this period. When associated with the six architectural descriptors, cCK, SA and ABA, which explained the genotypic differences in this study, could be used as selection criteria for breeding programs aimed at improving plant shape and tolerance to water restriction. PMID:26074929

  4. Improved nuclear power plant operations and safety through performance-based safety regulation.

    PubMed

    Golay, M W

    2000-01-01

    This paper illustrates some of the promise and needed future work for risk-informed, performance-based regulation (RIPBR). RIPBR is an evolving alternative to the current prescriptive method of nuclear safety regulation. Prescriptive regulation effectively constitutes a long, fragmented checklist of requirements that safety-related systems in a plant must satisfy. RIPBR, instead, concentrates upon satisfying negotiated performance goals and incentives for judging and rewarding licensee behavior to improve safety and reduce costs. In a project reported here, a case study was conducted concerning a pressurized water reactor (PWR) emergency diesel generator (EDG). Overall, this work has shown that the methods of RIPBR are feasible to use, and capable of justifying simultaneous safety and economic nuclear power improvements. However, it also reveals several areas where the framework of RIPBR should be strengthened. First, researchers need better data and understanding regarding individual component-failure modes that may cause components to fail. Not only are more data needed on failure rates, but more data and understanding are needed to enable analysts to evaluate whether these failures become more likely as the interval between tests is increased. This is because the current state of failure data is not sufficiently finely detailed to define the failure rates of individual component failure modes; such knowledge is needed when changing component-specific regulatory requirements. Second, the role of component testing, given that a component has failed, needs to be strengthened within the context of RIPBR. This includes formulating requirements for updating the prior probability distribution of a component failure rate and conducting additional or more frequent testing. Finally, as a means of compensating for unavoidable uncertainty as an obstacle to regulatory decision-making, limits to knowledge must be treated explicitly and formally. This treatment includes the

  5. Architectural plasticity in a Mediterranean winter annual

    PubMed Central

    Shemesh, Hagai; Zaitchik, Benjamin; Acuña, Tania; Novoplansky, Ariel

    2012-01-01

    Size variability in plants may be underlain by overlooked components of architectural plasticity. In annual plants, organ sizes are expected to depend on the availability and reliability of resources and developmental time. Given sufficient resources and developmental time, plants are expected to develop a greater number of large branches, which would maximize fitness in the long run. However, under restrictive growth conditions and environmental reliability, developing large branches might be risky and smaller branches are expected to foster higher final fitness. Growth and architecture of Trifolium purpureum (Papilionaceae) plants from both Mediterranean (MED) and semi-arid (SAR) origins were studied, when plants were subjected to variable water availability, photoperiod cues and germination timing. Although no clear architectural plasticity could be found in response to water availability, plants subjected to photoperiod cuing typical to late spring developed fewer basal branches. Furthermore, plants that germinated late were significantly smaller, with fewer basal branches, compared with plants which grew for the same time, starting at the beginning of the growing season. The results demonstrate an intricate interplay between size and architectural plasticities, whereby size modifications are readily induced by environmental factors related to prevalent resource availability but architectural plasticity is only elicited following the perception of reliable anticipatory cues. PMID:22499177

  6. Plant growth improvement mediated by nitrate capture in co-composted biochar.

    PubMed

    Kammann, Claudia I; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Messerschmidt, Nicole; Linsel, Sebastian; Steffens, Diedrich; Müller, Christoph; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Conte, Pellegrino; Joseph, Stephen; Stephen, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Soil amendment with pyrogenic carbon (biochar) is discussed as strategy to improve soil fertility to enable economic plus environmental benefits. In temperate soils, however, the use of pure biochar mostly has moderately-negative to -positive yield effects. Here we demonstrate that co-composting considerably promoted biochars' positive effects, largely by nitrate (nutrient) capture and delivery. In a full-factorial growth study with Chenopodium quinoa, biomass yield increased up to 305% in a sandy-poor soil amended with 2% (w/w) co-composted biochar (BC(comp)). Conversely, addition of 2% (w/w) untreated biochar (BC(pure)) decreased the biomass to 60% of the control. Growth-promoting (BC(comp)) as well as growth-reducing (BC(pure)) effects were more pronounced at lower nutrient-supply levels. Electro-ultra filtration and sequential biochar-particle washing revealed that co-composted biochar was nutrient-enriched, particularly with the anions nitrate and phosphate. The captured nitrate in BC(comp) was (1) only partly detectable with standard methods, (2) largely protected against leaching, (3) partly plant-available, and (4) did not stimulate N2O emissions. We hypothesize that surface ageing plus non-conventional ion-water bonding in micro- and nano-pores promoted nitrate capture in biochar particles. Amending (N-rich) bio-waste with biochar may enhance its agronomic value and reduce nutrient losses from bio-wastes and agricultural soils. PMID:26057083

  7. Plant growth improvement mediated by nitrate capture in co-composted biochar

    PubMed Central

    Kammann, Claudia I.; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Messerschmidt, Nicole; Linsel, Sebastian; Steffens, Diedrich; Müller, Christoph; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Conte, Pellegrino; Stephen, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Soil amendment with pyrogenic carbon (biochar) is discussed as strategy to improve soil fertility to enable economic plus environmental benefits. In temperate soils, however, the use of pure biochar mostly has moderately-negative to -positive yield effects. Here we demonstrate that co-composting considerably promoted biochars’ positive effects, largely by nitrate (nutrient) capture and delivery. In a full-factorial growth study with Chenopodium quinoa, biomass yield increased up to 305% in a sandy-poor soil amended with 2% (w/w) co-composted biochar (BCcomp). Conversely, addition of 2% (w/w) untreated biochar (BCpure) decreased the biomass to 60% of the control. Growth-promoting (BCcomp) as well as growth-reducing (BCpure) effects were more pronounced at lower nutrient-supply levels. Electro-ultra filtration and sequential biochar-particle washing revealed that co-composted biochar was nutrient-enriched, particularly with the anions nitrate and phosphate. The captured nitrate in BCcomp was (1) only partly detectable with standard methods, (2) largely protected against leaching, (3) partly plant-available, and (4) did not stimulate N2O emissions. We hypothesize that surface ageing plus non-conventional ion-water bonding in micro- and nano-pores promoted nitrate capture in biochar particles. Amending (N-rich) bio-waste with biochar may enhance its agronomic value and reduce nutrient losses from bio-wastes and agricultural soils. PMID:26057083

  8. Plant growth improvement mediated by nitrate capture in co-composted biochar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammann, Claudia I.; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Messerschmidt, Nicole; Linsel, Sebastian; Steffens, Diedrich; Müller, Christoph; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Conte, Pellegrino; Stephen, Joseph

    2015-06-01

    Soil amendment with pyrogenic carbon (biochar) is discussed as strategy to improve soil fertility to enable economic plus environmental benefits. In temperate soils, however, the use of pure biochar mostly has moderately-negative to -positive yield effects. Here we demonstrate that co-composting considerably promoted biochars’ positive effects, largely by nitrate (nutrient) capture and delivery. In a full-factorial growth study with Chenopodium quinoa, biomass yield increased up to 305% in a sandy-poor soil amended with 2% (w/w) co-composted biochar (BCcomp). Conversely, addition of 2% (w/w) untreated biochar (BCpure) decreased the biomass to 60% of the control. Growth-promoting (BCcomp) as well as growth-reducing (BCpure) effects were more pronounced at lower nutrient-supply levels. Electro-ultra filtration and sequential biochar-particle washing revealed that co-composted biochar was nutrient-enriched, particularly with the anions nitrate and phosphate. The captured nitrate in BCcomp was (1) only partly detectable with standard methods, (2) largely protected against leaching, (3) partly plant-available, and (4) did not stimulate N2O emissions. We hypothesize that surface ageing plus non-conventional ion-water bonding in micro- and nano-pores promoted nitrate capture in biochar particles. Amending (N-rich) bio-waste with biochar may enhance its agronomic value and reduce nutrient losses from bio-wastes and agricultural soils.

  9. Microbial inoculants and organic amendment improves plant establishment and soil rehabilitation under semiarid conditions.

    PubMed

    Mengual, Carmen; Schoebitz, Mauricio; Azcón, Rosario; Roldán, Antonio

    2014-02-15

    The re-establishment of autochthonous shrub species is an essential strategy for recovering degraded soils under semiarid Mediterranean conditions. A field assay was carried out to determine the combined effects of the inoculation with native rhizobacteria (Bacillus megaterium, Enterobacter sp, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus sp) and the addition of composted sugar beet (SB) residue on physicochemical soil properties and Lavandula dentata L. establishment. One year after planting, Bacillus sp. and B. megaterium + SB were the most effective treatments for increasing shoot dry biomass (by 5-fold with respect to control) and Enterobacter sp + SB was the most effective treatments for increasing dry root biomass. All the treatments evaluated significantly increased the foliar nutrient content (NPK) compared to control values (except B. thuringiensis + SB). The organic amendment had significantly increased available phosphorus content in rhizosphere soil by 29% respect to the control. Enterobacter sp combined with sugar beet residue improved total N content in soil (by 46% respect to the control) as well as microbiological and biochemical properties. The selection of the most efficient rhizobacteria strains and their combined effect with organic residue seems to be a critical point that drives the effectiveness of using these biotechnological tools for the revegetation and rehabilitation of degraded soils under semiarid conditions. PMID:24463051

  10. Inbreeding compromises host plant defense gene expression and improves herbivore survival

    PubMed Central

    Portman, Scott L; Kariyat, Rupesh R; Johnston, Michelle A; Stephenson, Andrew G; Marden, James H

    2015-01-01

    Inbreeding commonly occurs in flowering plants and often results in a decline in the plant's defense response. Insects prefer to feed and oviposit on inbred plants more than outbred plants – suggesting that selecting inbred host plants offers them fitness benefits. Until recently, no studies have examined the effects of host plant inbreeding on insect fitness traits such as growth and dispersal ability. In a recent article, we documented that tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta L.) larvae that fed on inbred horsenettle (Solanum carolinense L.) plants exhibited accelerated larval growth and increased adult flight capacity compared to larvae that fed on outbred plants. Here we report that M. sexta mortality decreased by 38.2% when larvae were reared on inbred horsenettle plants compared to larvae reared on outbreds. Additionally, inbred plants showed a notable reduction in the average relative expression levels of LIPOXYGENEASE-D (LoxD) and 12-OXOPHYTODIENOATE REDUCTASE-3 (OPR3), two genes in the jasmonic acid signaling pathway that are upregulated in response to herbivore damage. Our study presents evidence that furthers our understanding of the biochemical mechanism responsible for differences in insect performance on inbred vs. outbred host plants. PMID:26039489

  11. The use of agrobiodiversity for plant improvement and the intellectual property paradigm: institutional fit and legal tools for mass selection, conventional and molecular plant breeding.

    PubMed

    Batur, Fulya; Dedeurwaerdere, Tom

    2014-12-01

    Focused on the impact of stringent intellectual property mechanisms over the uses of plant agricultural biodiversity in crop improvement, the article delves into a systematic analysis of the relationship between institutional paradigms and their technological contexts of application, identified as mass selection, controlled hybridisation, molecular breeding tools and transgenics. While the strong property paradigm has proven effective in the context of major leaps forward in genetic engineering, it faces a systematic breakdown when extended to mass selection, where innovation often displays a collective nature. However, it also creates partial blockages in those innovation schemes rested between on-farm observation and genetic modification, i.e. conventional plant breeding and upstream molecular biology research tools. Neither overly strong intellectual property rights, nor the absence of well delineated protection have proven an optimal fit for these two intermediary socio-technological systems of cumulative incremental innovation. To address these challenges, the authors look at appropriate institutional alternatives which can create effective incentives for in situ agrobiodiversity conservation and the equitable distribution of technologies in plant improvement, using the flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement, the liability rules set forth in patents or plant variety rights themselves (in the form of farmers', breeders' and research exceptions), and other ad hoc reward regimes. PMID:26085450

  12. Phosphorus runoff from a phosphorus deficient soil under common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and soybean (Glycine max L.) genotypes with contrasting root architecture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Selection of plant materials on the basis of root characteristics is key to improving nutrient and water use efficiency in low-input farming systems. Crop genotypes with superior root architecture can make more efficient use of available soil resources and, through improved growth, may also lower er...

  13. A critical review on the improvement of photosynthetic carbon assimilation in C3 plants using genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Ruan, Cheng-Jiang; Shao, Hong-Bo; Teixeira da Silva, Jaime A

    2012-03-01

    Global warming is one of the most serious challenges facing us today. It may be linked to the increase in atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), leading to a rise in sea level, notable shifts in ecosystems, and in the frequency and intensity of wild fires. There is a strong interest in stabilizing the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and other GHGs by decreasing carbon emission and/or increasing carbon sequestration. Biotic sequestration is an important and effective strategy to mitigate the effects of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations by increasing carbon sequestration and storage capacity of ecosystems using plant photosynthesis and by decreasing carbon emission using biofuel rather than fossil fuel. Improvement of photosynthetic carbon assimilation, using transgenic engineering, potentially provides a set of available and effective tools for enhancing plant carbon sequestration. In this review, firstly different biological methods of CO2 assimilation in C3, C4 and CAM plants are introduced and three types of C4 pathways which have high photosynthetic performance and have evolved as CO2 pumps are briefly summarized. Then (i) the improvement of photosynthetic carbon assimilation of C3 plants by transgenic engineering using non-C4 genes, and (ii) the overexpression of individual or multiple C4 cycle photosynthetic genes (PEPC, PPDK, PCK, NADP-ME and NADP-MDH) in transgenic C3 plants (e.g. tobacco, potato, rice and Arabidopsis) are highlighted. Some transgenic C3 plants (e.g. tobacco, rice and Arabidopsis) overexpressing the FBP/SBPase, ictB and cytochrome c6 genes showed positive effects on photosynthetic efficiency and growth characteristics. However, over the last 28 years, efforts to overexpress individual, double or multiple C4 enzymes in C3 plants like tobacco, potato, rice, and Arabidopsis have produced mixed results that do not confirm or eliminate the possibility of improving photosynthesis of C3 plants by this approach. Finally, a prospect

  14. Re-engineering of carbon fixation in plants - challenges for plant biotechnology to improve yields in a high-CO2 world.

    PubMed

    Peterhansel, Christoph; Offermann, Sascha

    2012-04-01

    Source and sink strength control plant carbon gain and yield. Source strength was recently engineered by modifying the large subunit of Rubisco, replacing the small subunit, and creating improved thermostable Rubisco activases. This technological breakthrough makes Rubisco engineering feasible at last. Enhancement of leaf transitory starch synthesis or induction of artificial sinks in leaves increased biomass and yield. Importantly, such approaches also had a positive feedback on source strength. In addition, novel targets for the improvement of carbon gain in crops have been identified that are especially relevant in the light of climate change. PMID:22261558

  15. An examination of heat rate improvements due to waste heat integration in an oxycombustion pulverized coal power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charles, Joshua M.

    Oxyfuel, or oxycombustion, technology has been proposed as one carbon capture technology for coal-fired power plants. An oxycombustion plant would fire coal in an oxidizer consisting primarily of CO2, oxygen, and water vapor. Flue gas with high CO2 concentrations is produced and can be compressed for sequestration. Since this compression generates large amounts of heat, it was theorized that this heat could be utilized elsewhere in the plant. Process models of the oxycombustion boiler, steam cycle, and compressors were created in ASPEN Plus and Excel to test this hypothesis. Using these models, heat from compression stages was integrated to the flue gas recirculation heater, feedwater heaters, and to a fluidized bed coal dryer. All possible combinations of these heat sinks were examined, with improvements in coal flow rate, Qcoal, net power, and unit heat rate being noted. These improvements would help offset the large efficiency impacts inherent to oxycombustion technology.

  16. Executable Architecture Research at Old Dominion University

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tolk, Andreas; Shuman, Edwin A.; Garcia, Johnny J.

    2011-01-01

    Executable Architectures allow the evaluation of system architectures not only regarding their static, but also their dynamic behavior. However, the systems engineering community do not agree on a common formal specification of executable architectures. To close this gap and identify necessary elements of an executable architecture, a modeling language, and a modeling formalism is topic of ongoing PhD research. In addition, systems are generally defined and applied in an operational context to provide capabilities and enable missions. To maximize the benefits of executable architectures, a second PhD effort introduces the idea of creating an executable context in addition to the executable architecture. The results move the validation of architectures from the current information domain into the knowledge domain and improve the reliability of such validation efforts. The paper presents research and results of both doctoral research efforts and puts them into a common context of state-of-the-art of systems engineering methods supporting more agility.

  17. Improvement on the thermal stability and activity of plant cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase 1 by tailing hyper-acidic fusion partners.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Mengru; Gong, Ming; Yang, Yumei; Li, Xujuan; Wang, Haibo; Zou, Zhurong

    2015-04-01

    Cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase 1 (APX1) plays a crucial role in regulating the level of plant cellular reactive oxygen species and its thermolability is proposed to cause plant heat-susceptibility. Herein, several hyper-acidic fusion partners, such as the C-terminal peptide tails, were evaluated for their effects on the thermal stability and activity of APX1 from Jatropha curcas and Arabidopsis. The hyper-acidic fusion partners efficiently improved the thermostability and prevented thermal inactivation of APX1 in both plant species with an elevated heat tolerance of at least 2 °C. These hyper-acidified thermostable APX1 fusion variants are of considerable biotechnological potential and can provide a new route to enhance the heat tolerance of plant species especially of inherent thermo-sensitivity. PMID:25515798

  18. 32 CFR 644.486 - Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 4 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or similar contracts. 644.486 Section 644.486 National Defense Department of Defense (Continued) DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY (CONTINUED) REAL PROPERTY REAL...

  19. 32 CFR 644.486 - Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 4 2012-07-01 2011-07-01 true Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or similar contracts. 644.486 Section 644.486 National Defense Department of Defense (Continued) DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY (CONTINUED) REAL PROPERTY REAL...

  20. 32 CFR 644.486 - Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 4 2014-07-01 2013-07-01 true Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or similar contracts. 644.486 Section 644.486 National Defense Department of Defense (Continued) DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY (CONTINUED) REAL PROPERTY REAL...

  1. Mesophyll conductance to CO2 and Rubisco as targets for improving intrinsic water use efficiency in C3 plants.

    PubMed

    Flexas, J; Díaz-Espejo, A; Conesa, M A; Coopman, R E; Douthe, C; Gago, J; Gallé, A; Galmés, J; Medrano, H; Ribas-Carbo, M; Tomàs, M; Niinemets, Ü

    2016-05-01

    Water limitation is a major global constraint for plant productivity that is likely to be exacerbated by climate change. Hence, improving plant water use efficiency (WUE) has become a major goal for the near future. At the leaf level, WUE is the ratio between photosynthesis and transpiration. Maintaining high photosynthesis under water stress, while improving WUE requires either increasing mesophyll conductance (gm ) and/or improving the biochemical capacity for CO2 assimilation-in which Rubisco properties play a key role, especially in C3 plants at current atmospheric CO2 . The goals of the present analysis are: (1) to summarize the evidence that improving gm and/or Rubisco can result in increased WUE; (2) to review the degree of success of early attempts to genetically manipulate gm or Rubisco; (3) to analyse how gm , gsw and the Rubisco's maximum velocity (Vcmax ) co-vary across different plant species in well-watered and drought-stressed conditions; (4) to examine how these variations cause differences in WUE and what is the overall extent of variation in individual determinants of WUE; and finally, (5) to use simulation analysis to provide a theoretical framework for the possible control of WUE by gm and Rubisco catalytic constants vis-à-vis gsw under water limitations. PMID:26297108

  2. Employing native shrubs to improve agricultural potential of arid lands: Drawing on plants to draw water (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragila, M. I.; Kizito, F.; Dick, R.

    2009-12-01

    Even though soil moisture poses limits on landscape dynamics, plant communities within the landscape can also regulate the spatial distribution of moisture, thus creating a biofeedback system that advances the system towards a specific landscape order. This behavior is evident in arid climates where specific parameters, such as soil moisture, are close to sustainability limits and result in a distinct spatial distribution of plant communities. Understanding plant-soil water relationships can lead to management tools to improve landscape function. Plant-soil interactions that influence soil moisture include, local changes in soil texture when plants trap airborne soil particles, increases in organic matter content below their foliage, and root distribution. We specifically focus on a process commonly referred to as hydraulic redistribution wherein plant roots draw moisture vertically to the near surface, raising the potential for seed germination and maintenance through short drought periods. Two fieldwork sites in Senegal were used to investigate the role of native shrubs in controlling soil moisture movement, and in particular, using these native plants to enhance agricultural potential.

  3. ß-amylase1 mutant Arabidopsis plants show improved drought tolerance due to reduced starch breakdown in guard cells

    PubMed Central

    Prasch, Christian Maximilian; Ott, Kirsten Verena; Bauer, Hubert; Ache, Peter; Hedrich, Rainer; Sonnewald, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    In plants, drought stress is a major growth limiting factor causing cell water loss through open stomata. In this study, guard cell-specific transcripts from drought-stressed Arabidopsis plants were analysed and a down-regulation of β-amylase 1 (BAM1) was found. In previous studies, BAM1 was shown to be involved in stomatal starch degradation under ambient conditions. Impaired starch breakdown of bam1 mutant plants was accompanied by decreased stomatal opening. Here, it is shown that drought tolerance of bam1 mutant plants is improved as compared with wild-type controls. Microarray analysis of stomata-specific transcripts from bam1 mutant plants revealed a significant down-regulation of genes encoding aquaporins, auxin- and ethylene-responsive factors, and cell-wall modifying enzymes. This expression pattern suggests that reduced water uptake and limited cell wall extension are associated with the closed state of stomata of bam1 mutant plants. Together these data suggest that regulation of stomata-specific starch turnover is important for adapting stomata opening to environmental needs and its breeding manipulation may result in drought tolerant crop plants. PMID:26139825

  4. ß-amylase1 mutant Arabidopsis plants show improved drought tolerance due to reduced starch breakdown in guard cells.

    PubMed

    Prasch, Christian Maximilian; Ott, Kirsten Verena; Bauer, Hubert; Ache, Peter; Hedrich, Rainer; Sonnewald, Uwe

    2015-09-01

    In plants, drought stress is a major growth limiting factor causing cell water loss through open stomata. In this study, guard cell-specific transcripts from drought-stressed Arabidopsis plants were analysed and a down-regulation of β-amylase 1 (BAM1) was found. In previous studies, BAM1 was shown to be involved in stomatal starch degradation under ambient conditions. Impaired starch breakdown of bam1 mutant plants was accompanied by decreased stomatal opening. Here, it is shown that drought tolerance of bam1 mutant plants is improved as compared with wild-type controls. Microarray analysis of stomata-specific transcripts from bam1 mutant plants revealed a significant down-regulation of genes encoding aquaporins, auxin- and ethylene-responsive factors, and cell-wall modifying enzymes. This expression pattern suggests that reduced water uptake and limited cell wall extension are associated with the closed state of stomata of bam1 mutant plants. Together these data suggest that regulation of stomata-specific starch turnover is important for adapting stomata opening to environmental needs and its breeding manipulation may result in drought tolerant crop plants. PMID:26139825

  5. Improvement of hairy root cultures and plants by changing biosynthetic pathways leading to pharmaceutical metabolites: strategies and applications.

    PubMed

    Ludwig-Müller, Jutta; Jahn, Linda; Lippert, Annemarie; Püschel, Joachim; Walter, Antje

    2014-11-01

    A plethora of bioactive plant metabolites has been explored for pharmaceutical, food chemistry and agricultural applications. The chemical synthesis of these structures is often difficult, so plants are favorably used as producers. While whole plants can serve as a source for secondary metabolites and can be also improved by metabolic engineering, more often cell or organ cultures of relevant plant species are of interest. It should be noted that only in few cases the production for commercial application in such cultures has been achieved. Their genetic manipulation is sometimes faster and the production of a specific metabolite is more reliable, because of less environmental influences. In addition, upscaling in bioreactors is nowadays possible for many of these cultures, so some are already used in industry. There are approaches to alter the profile of metabolites not only by using plant genes, but also by using bacterial genes encoding modifying enzymes. Also, strategies to cope with unwanted or even toxic compounds are available. The need for metabolic engineering of plant secondary metabolite pathways is increasing with the rising demand for (novel) compounds with new bioactive properties. Here, we give some examples of recent developments for the metabolic engineering of plants and organ cultures, which can be used in the production of metabolites with interesting properties. PMID:24699436

  6. The role of sex and age in the architecture of intrapopulation howler monkey-plant networks in continuous and fragmented rain forests.

    PubMed

    Benitez-Malvido, Julieta; Martínez-Falcón, Ana Paola; Dattilo, Wesley; González-DiPierro, Ana María; Lombera Estrada, Rafael; Traveset, Anna

    2016-01-01

    We evaluated the structure of intrapopulation howler monkey-plant interactions by focusing on the plant species consumed by different sex and age classes in continuous and fragmented forests in southern Mexico. For this we used network analysis to evaluate the impact of fragmentation on howler population traits and on resource availability and food choice. A total of 37 tree and liana species and seven plant items (bark, immature fruits, flowers, mature fruits, immature leaves, mature leaves and petioles) were consumed, but their relative consumption varied according to sex and age classes and habitat type. Overall, adult females consumed the greatest number of plant species and items while infants and juveniles the lowest. For both continuous and fragmented forests, we found a nested diet for howler monkey-plant networks: diets of more selective monkeys represent subsets of the diets of other individuals. Nestedness was likely due to the high selectivity of early life stages in specific food plants and items, which contrasts with the generalized foraging behaviour of adults. Information on the extent to which different plant species and primate populations depend on such interactions in different habitats will help to make accurate predictions about the potential impact of disturbances on plant-animal interaction networks. PMID:26989638

  7. The role of sex and age in the architecture of intrapopulation howler monkey-plant networks in continuous and fragmented rain forests

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Falcón, Ana Paola; Dattilo, Wesley; González-DiPierro, Ana María; Lombera Estrada, Rafael; Traveset, Anna

    2016-01-01

    We evaluated the structure of intrapopulation howler monkey-plant interactions by focusing on the plant species consumed by different sex and age classes in continuous and fragmented forests in southern Mexico. For this we used network analysis to evaluate the impact of fragmentation on howler population traits and on resource availability and food choice. A total of 37 tree and liana species and seven plant items (bark, immature fruits, flowers, mature fruits, immature leaves, mature leaves and petioles) were consumed, but their relative consumption varied according to sex and age classes and habitat type. Overall, adult females consumed the greatest number of plant species and items while infants and juveniles the lowest. For both continuous and fragmented forests, we found a nested diet for howler monkey-plant networks: diets of more selective monkeys represent subsets of the diets of other individuals. Nestedness was likely due to the high selectivity of early life stages in specific food plants and items, which contrasts with the generalized foraging behaviour of adults. Information on the extent to which different plant species and primate populations depend on such interactions in different habitats will help to make accurate predictions about the potential impact of disturbances on plant-animal interaction networks. PMID:26989638

  8. Energy saving on wastewater treatment plants through improved online control: case study wastewater treatment plant Antwerp-South.

    PubMed

    De Gussem, Kris; Fenu, Alessio; Wambecq, Tom; Weemaes, Marjoleine

    2014-01-01

    This work provides a case study on how activated sludge modelling and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can help to optimize the energy consumption of a treatment plant that is already equipped with an advanced control based on online nutrient measurements. Currently, aeration basins on wastewater treatment plant Antwerp-South are operated sequentially while flow direction and point of inflow and outflow vary as a function of time. Activated sludge modelling shows that switching from the existing alternating flow based control to a simultaneous parallel feeding of all aeration tanks saves 1.3% energy. CFD calculations also illustrate that the water velocity is still sufficient if some impellers in the aeration basins are shutdown. The simulations of the Activated Sludge Model No. 2d indicate that the coupling of the aeration control with the impeller control, and automatically switching off some impellers when the aeration is inactive, can save 2.2 to 3.3% of energy without affecting the nutrient removal efficiency. On the other hand, all impellers are needed when the aeration is active to distribute the oxygen. PMID:24622558

  9. Configuration management manual as a tool for improving plant change controls

    SciTech Connect

    Craig, L.L. )

    1991-01-01

    Early vintage plants, such as Turkey Point at Florida Power and Light (FP and L) Company, were not provided with as much design documentation as later plants. At FP and L, programs were initiated to reconstruct the design bases, correct and update drawings at Turkey Point, and develop an overall configuration management program for both Turkey Point and St. Lucie plants. This paper discusses the Configuration Management Manual developed by plant and engineering personnel, which is used to train personnel to a common language and achieve better understanding of individual impact on configuration management.

  10. Improved growth, productivity and quality of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants through application of shikimic acid

    PubMed Central

    Al-Amri, Salem M.

    2013-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of seed presoaking of shikimic acid (30, 60 and 120 ppm) on growth parameters, fruit productivity and quality, transpiration rate, photosynthetic pigments and some mineral nutrition contents of tomato plants. Shikimic acid at all concentrations significantly increased fresh and dry weights, fruit number, average fresh and dry fruit yield, vitamin C, lycopene, carotenoid contents, total acidity and fruit total soluble sugars of tomato plants when compared to control plants. Seed pretreatment with shikimic acid at various doses induces a significant increase in total leaf conductivity, transpiration rate and photosynthetic pigments (Chl. a, chl. b and carotenoids) of tomato plants. Furthermore, shikimic acid at various doses applied significantly increased the concentration of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in tomato leaves as compared to control non-treated tomato plants. Among all doses of shikimic acid treatment, it was found that 60 ppm treatment caused a marked increase in growth, fruit productivity and quality and most studied parameters of tomato plants when compared to other treatments. On the other hand, no significant differences were observed in total photosynthetic pigments, concentrations of nitrogen and potassium in leaves of tomato plants treated with 30 ppm of shikimic acid and control plants. According to these results, it could be suggested that shikimic acid used for seed soaking could be used for increasing growth, fruit productivity and quality of tomato plants growing under field conditions. PMID:24235870

  11. Rohm and Haas: Furnace Replacement Project Saves Energy and Improves Production at a Chemical Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2006-02-01

    This DOE Industrial Technologies Program spotlight describes how Rohm and Haas's Deer Park, Texas, chemical plant reduced natural gas usage and energy costs by replacing inefficient furnace equipment.

  12. Improvement of plant growth and seed yield in Jatropha curcas by a novel nitrogen-fixing root associated Enterobacter species

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Jatropha curcas L. is an oil seed producing non-leguminous tropical shrub that has good potential to be a fuel plant that can be cultivated on marginal land. Due to the low nutrient content of the targeted plantation area, the requirement for fertilizer is expected to be higher than other plants. This factor severely affects the commercial viability of J. curcas. Results We explored the feasibility to use endophytic nitrogen-fixing bacteria that are native to J. curcas to improve plant growth, biomass and seed productivity. We demonstrated that a novel N-fixing endophyte, Enterobacter sp. R4-368, was able to colonize in root and stem tissues and significantly promoted early plant growth and seed productivity of J. curcas in sterilized and non-sterilized soil. Inoculation of young seedling led to an approximately 57.2% increase in seedling vigour over a six week period. At 90 days after planting, inoculated plants showed an average increase of 25.3%, 77.7%, 27.5%, 45.8% in plant height, leaf number, chlorophyll content and stem volume, respectively. Notably, inoculation of the strain led to a 49.0% increase in the average seed number per plant and 20% increase in the average single seed weight when plants were maintained for 1.5 years in non-sterilized soil in pots in the open air. Enterobacter sp. R4-368 cells were able to colonize root tissues and moved systemically to stem tissues. However, no bacteria were found in leaves. Promotion of plant growth and leaf nitrogen content by the strain was partially lost in nifH, nifD, nifK knockout mutants, suggesting the presence of other growth promoting factors that are associated with this bacterium strain. Conclusion Our results showed that Enterobacter sp. R4-368 significantly promoted growth and seed yield of J. curcas. The application of the strains is likely to significantly improve the commercial viability of J. curcas due to the reduced fertilizer cost and improved oil yield. PMID:24083555

  13. Improved Performance of an Air Cooled Condenser (ACC) Using SPX Wind Guide Technology at Coal-Based Thermoelectric Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Ken Mortensen

    2010-12-31

    This project added a new airflow enhancement technology to an existing ACC cooling process at a selected coal power plant. Airflow parameters and efficiency improvement for the main plant cooling process using the applied technology were determined and compared with the capabilities of existing systems. The project required significant planning and pre-test execution in order to reach the required Air Cooled Condenser system configuration for evaluation. A host Power Plant ACC system had to be identified, agreement finalized, and addition of the SPX ACC Wind Guide Technology completed on that site. Design of the modification, along with procurement, fabrication, instrumentation, and installation of the new airflow enhancement technology were executed. Baseline and post-modification cooling system data was collected and evaluated. The improvement of ACC thermal performance after SPX wind guide installation was clear. Testing of the improvement indicates there is a 5% improvement in heat transfer coefficient in high wind conditions and 1% improvement at low wind speed. The benefit increased with increasing wind speed. This project was completed on schedule and within budget.

  14. Microcystin-tolerant Rhizobium protects plants and improves nitrogen assimilation in Vicia faba irrigated with microcystin-containing waters.

    PubMed

    Lahrouni, Majida; Oufdou, Khalid; El Khalloufi, Fatima; Benidire, Loubna; Albert, Susann; Göttfert, Michael; Caviedes, Miguel A; Rodriguez-Llorente, Ignacio D; Oudra, Brahim; Pajuelo, Eloísa

    2016-05-01

    Irrigation of crops with microcystins (MCs)-containing waters-due to cyanobacterial blooms-affects plant productivity and could be a way for these potent toxins entering the food chain. This study was performed to establish whether MC-tolerant rhizobia could benefit growth, nodulation, and nitrogen metabolism of faba bean plants irrigated with MC-containing waters. For that, three different rhizobial strains-with different sensitivity toward MCs-were used: RhOF96 (most MC-sensitive strain), RhOF125 (most MC-tolerant strain), or Vicz1.1 (reference strain). As a control, plants grown without rhizobia and fertilized by NH4NO3 were included in the study. MC exposure decreased roots (30-37 %) and shoots (up to 15 %) dry weights in un-inoculated plants, whereas inoculation with rhizobia protects plants toward the toxic effects of MCs. Nodulation and nitrogen content were significantly impaired by MCs, with the exception of plants inoculated with the most tolerant strain RhOF125. In order to deep into the effect of inoculation on nitrogen metabolism, the nitrogen assimilatory enzymes (glutamine synthetase (GS) and glutamate synthase (GOGAT)) were investigated: Fertilized plants showed decreased levels (15-30 %) of these enzymes, both in shoots and roots. By contrast, inoculated plants retained the levels of these enzymes in shoots and roots, as well as the levels of NADH-GOGAT activity in nodules. We conclude that the microcystin-tolerant Rhizobium protects faba bean plants and improves nitrogen assimilation when grown in the presence of MCs. PMID:26865488

  15. A New and Improved Carbon Dioxide Isotope Analyzer for Understanding Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Y. W.; Berman, E. S.; Owano, T. G.; Verfaillie, J. G.; Oikawa, P. Y.; Baldocchi, D. D.; Still, C. J.; Gardner, A.; Baer, D. S.; Rastogi, B.

    2015-12-01

    Stable CO2 isotopes provide information on biogeochemical processes that occur at the soil-plant-atmosphere interface. While δ13C measurement can provide information on the sources of the CO2, be it photosynthesis, natural gas combustion, other fossil fuel sources, landfills or other sources, δ18O, and δ17O are thought to be determined by the hydrological cycling of the CO2. Though researchers have called for analytical tools for CO2 isotope measurements that are reliable and field-deployable, developing such instrument remains a challenge. The carbon dioxide isotope analyzer developed by Los Gatos Research (LGR) uses LGR's patented Off-Axis ICOS (Integrated Cavity Output Spectroscopy) technology and incorporates proprietary internal thermal control for high sensitivity and optimal instrument stability. This new and improved analyzer measures CO2 concentration as well as δ13C, δ18O, and δ17O from CO2 at natural abundance (150-2500 ppm). The laboratory precision is ±200 ppb (1σ) in CO2 at 1 s, with a long-term (2 min) precision of ±20 ppb. The 1-second precision for both δ13C and δ18O is 0.7 ‰, and for δ17O is 1.8 ‰. The long-term (2 min) precision for both δ13C and δ18O is 0.08 ‰, and for δ17O is 0.18 ‰. The instrument has improved precision, stability and user interface over previous LGR CO2 isotope instruments and can be easily programmed for periodic referencing and sampling from different sources when coupled with LGR's multiport inlet unit (MIU). We have deployed two of these instruments at two different field sites, one at Twitchell Island in Sacramento County, CA to monitor the CO2 isotopic fluxes from an alfalfa field from 6/29/2015-7/13/2015, and the other at the Wind River Experimental Forest in Washington to monitor primarily the oxygen isotopes of CO2 within the canopy from 8/4/2015 through mid-November 2015. Methodology, laboratory development and testing and field performance are presented.

  16. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352

  17. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity.

    PubMed

    Bhardwaj, Deepak; Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352

  18. Genetic improvement of the Pee Dee cotton germplasm collection following seventy years of plant breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Long-term plant breeding programs develop genetic resources that constitute the baseline potential of crop production systems. Over the course of time, through long-term plant breeding efforts, the volume of genetic resources developed is extensive. Knowledge of the performance and genetic propertie...

  19. Research collaborations can improve the use of organic amendments for plant-parasitic nematode management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The concept of utilizing organic amendments to manage plant-parasitic nematodes is not new, but the widespread implementation of this management practice has still not been realized. The use of organic amendments for plant-parasitic nematode management is a complex process requiring an understandin...

  20. Changes in operational procedures to improve spaceflight experiments in plant biology in the European Modular Cultivation System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiss, John Z.; Aanes, Gjert; Schiefloe, Mona; Coelho, Liz H. F.; Millar, Katherine D. L.; Edelmann, Richard E.

    2014-03-01

    The microgravity environment aboard orbiting spacecraft has provided a unique laboratory to explore topics in basic plant biology as well as applied research on the use of plants in bioregenerative life support systems. Our group has utilized the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to study plant growth, development, tropisms, and gene expression in a series of spaceflight experiments. The most current project performed on the ISS was termed Seedling Growth-1 (SG-1) which builds on the previous TROPI (for tropisms) experiments performed in 2006 and 2010. Major technical and operational changes in SG-1 (launched in March 2013) compared to the TROPI experiments include: (1) improvements in lighting conditions within the EMCS to optimize the environment for phototropism studies, (2) the use of infrared illumination to provide high-quality images of the seedlings, (3) modifications in procedures used in flight to improve the focus and overall quality of the images, and (4) changes in the atmospheric conditions in the EMCS incubator. In SG-1, a novel red-light-based phototropism in roots and hypocotyls of seedlings that was noted in TROPI was confirmed and now can be more precisely characterized based on the improvements in procedures. The lessons learned from sequential experiments in the TROPI hardware provide insights to other researchers developing space experiments in plant biology.