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Sample records for affect plant fitness

  1. Herbivory Differentially Affects Plant Fitness in Three Populations of the Perennial Herb Lythrum salicaria along a Latitudinal Gradient.

    PubMed

    Lehndal, Lina; Ågren, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Herbivory can negatively and selectively affect plant fitness by reducing growth, survival and reproductive output, thereby influencing plant population dynamics and evolution. Latitudinal variation in intensity of herbivory is common, but the extent to which it translates into corresponding variation in effects on plant performance is still poorly known. We tested the hypothesis that variation in the fitness-consequences of herbivory mirror differences in intensity of herbivory among three natural populations of the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria along a latitudinal gradient from southern to northernmost Sweden. We documented intensity of herbivory and examined its effect on survival, growth and reproductive output over two years by experimentally removing herbivores with insecticide. The intensity of herbivory and the effects of herbivory on plant fitness were strongest in the southern population, intermediate in the central population and weakest in the northern population. The mean proportion of the leaf area removed ranged from 11% in the southern to 3% in the northern population. Herbivore removal increased plant height 1.5-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, the proportion plants flowering 4-fold in the southern and 2-fold in the central population, and seed production per flower 1.6-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, but did not affect plant fitness in the northern population. Herbivore removal thus affected the relative fecundity of plants in the three populations: In the control, seed output per plant was 8.6 times higher in the northern population compared to the southern population, whereas after herbivore removal it was 2.5 times higher in the southern population. The results demonstrate that native herbivores may strongly affect the demographic structure of L. salicaria populations and thereby shape geographic patterns of seed production. They further suggest that the strength of herbivore

  2. Herbivory Differentially Affects Plant Fitness in Three Populations of the Perennial Herb Lythrum salicaria along a Latitudinal Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Lehndal, Lina; Ågren, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Herbivory can negatively and selectively affect plant fitness by reducing growth, survival and reproductive output, thereby influencing plant population dynamics and evolution. Latitudinal variation in intensity of herbivory is common, but the extent to which it translates into corresponding variation in effects on plant performance is still poorly known. We tested the hypothesis that variation in the fitness-consequences of herbivory mirror differences in intensity of herbivory among three natural populations of the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria along a latitudinal gradient from southern to northernmost Sweden. We documented intensity of herbivory and examined its effect on survival, growth and reproductive output over two years by experimentally removing herbivores with insecticide. The intensity of herbivory and the effects of herbivory on plant fitness were strongest in the southern population, intermediate in the central population and weakest in the northern population. The mean proportion of the leaf area removed ranged from 11% in the southern to 3% in the northern population. Herbivore removal increased plant height 1.5-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, the proportion plants flowering 4-fold in the southern and 2-fold in the central population, and seed production per flower 1.6-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, but did not affect plant fitness in the northern population. Herbivore removal thus affected the relative fecundity of plants in the three populations: In the control, seed output per plant was 8.6 times higher in the northern population compared to the southern population, whereas after herbivore removal it was 2.5 times higher in the southern population. The results demonstrate that native herbivores may strongly affect the demographic structure of L. salicaria populations and thereby shape geographic patterns of seed production. They further suggest that the strength of herbivore

  3. Interactions between soil habitat and geographic range location affect plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Stanton-Geddes, John; Shaw, Ruth G; Tiffin, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Populations are often found on different habitats at different geographic locations. This habitat shift may be due to biased dispersal, physiological tolerances or biotic interactions. To explore how fitness of the native plant Chamaecrista fasciculata depends on habitat within, at and beyond its range edge, we planted seeds from five populations in two soil substrates at these geographic locations. We found that with reduced competition, lifetime fitness was always greater or equivalent in one habitat type, loam soils, though early-season survival was greater on sand soils. At the range edge, natural populations are typically found on sand soil habitats, which are also less competitive environments. Early-season survival and fitness differed among source populations, and when transplanted beyond the range edge, range edge populations had greater fitness than interior populations. Our results indicate that even when the optimal soil substrate for a species does not change with geographic range location, the realized niche of a species may be restricted to sub-optimal habitats at the range edge because of the combined effects of differences in abiotic and biotic effects (e.g. competitors) between substrates.

  4. Interactions between Soil Habitat and Geographic Range Location Affect Plant Fitness

    PubMed Central

    Stanton-Geddes, John; Shaw, Ruth G.; Tiffin, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Populations are often found on different habitats at different geographic locations. This habitat shift may be due to biased dispersal, physiological tolerances or biotic interactions. To explore how fitness of the native plant Chamaecrista fasciculata depends on habitat within, at and beyond its range edge, we planted seeds from five populations in two soil substrates at these geographic locations. We found that with reduced competition, lifetime fitness was always greater or equivalent in one habitat type, loam soils, though early-season survival was greater on sand soils. At the range edge, natural populations are typically found on sand soil habitats, which are also less competitive environments. Early-season survival and fitness differed among source populations, and when transplanted beyond the range edge, range edge populations had greater fitness than interior populations. Our results indicate that even when the optimal soil substrate for a species does not change with geographic range location, the realized niche of a species may be restricted to sub-optimal habitats at the range edge because of the combined effects of differences in abiotic and biotic effects (e.g. competitors) between substrates. PMID:22615745

  5. Courting disaster: How diversification rate affects fitness under risk.

    PubMed

    Ratcliff, William C; Hawthorne, Peter; Libby, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Life is full of risk. To deal with this uncertainty, many organisms have evolved bet-hedging strategies that spread risk through phenotypic diversification. These rates of diversification can vary by orders of magnitude in different species. Here we examine how key characteristics of risk and organismal ecology affect the fitness consequences of variation in diversification rate. We find that rapid diversification is strongly favored when the risk faced has a wide spatial extent, with a single disaster affecting a large fraction of the population. This advantage is especially great in small populations subject to frequent disaster. In contrast, when risk is correlated through time, slow diversification is favored because it allows adaptive tracking of disasters that tend to occur in series. Naturally evolved diversification mechanisms in diverse organisms facing a broad array of environmental risks largely support these results. The theory presented in this article provides a testable ecological hypothesis to explain the prevalence of slow stochastic switching among microbes and rapid, within-clutch diversification strategies among plants and animals.

  6. Courting disaster: How diversification rate affects fitness under risk

    PubMed Central

    Ratcliff, William C; Hawthorne, Peter; Libby, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Life is full of risk. To deal with this uncertainty, many organisms have evolved bet-hedging strategies that spread risk through phenotypic diversification. These rates of diversification can vary by orders of magnitude in different species. Here we examine how key characteristics of risk and organismal ecology affect the fitness consequences of variation in diversification rate. We find that rapid diversification is strongly favored when the risk faced has a wide spatial extent, with a single disaster affecting a large fraction of the population. This advantage is especially great in small populations subject to frequent disaster. In contrast, when risk is correlated through time, slow diversification is favored because it allows adaptive tracking of disasters that tend to occur in series. Naturally evolved diversification mechanisms in diverse organisms facing a broad array of environmental risks largely support these results. The theory presented in this article provides a testable ecological hypothesis to explain the prevalence of slow stochastic switching among microbes and rapid, within-clutch diversification strategies among plants and animals. PMID:25410817

  7. Florivory affects pollinator visitation and female fitness in Nemophila menziesii.

    PubMed

    McCall, Andrew C

    2008-04-01

    While herbivory has traditionally been studied as damage to leaves, florivory - herbivory to flowers prior to seed set - can also have large effects on plant fitness. Florivory can decrease fitness directly, either through the destruction of gametes or through alterations to plant physiology during fruit set, and can also change the appearance of a flower, deterring pollinators and reducing seed set. In order to distinguish between these hypotheses, it is necessary to both damage flowers and add pollen in excess to study the effects of damage on pollen limitation. Very few studies have used this technique over the lifetime of a plant. Here I describe a series of experiments showing the effects of natural and artificial damage on reproductive success in the annual plant Nemophila menziesii (Hydrophyllaceae, sensu lato). I show that natural and artificial petal damage decreased radial symmetry relative to controls and that both types of damage deterred pollinator activity. Both naturally damaged flowers and artificially damaged flowers in the field set fewer fruit or seed relative to undamaged control flowers. Finally, in an experiment crossing artificial petal damage with pollen addition, petal damage alone over the lifetime of this plant decreased female fitness, but only after a threshold of damage was reached. The fitness effect appeared to be direct because there was no detectable effect of pollen addition on the relationship between florivory and fitness. This result implies that both damaged and undamaged plants show similar amounts of pollen limitation and suggests that pollinator-mediated effects contributed little to the negative effects of florivory on female fitness. Florivores may thus be an under-appreciated agent of selection in certain plants, although more experimental manipulation of florivory is needed to determine if it is important over a range of taxa. PMID:18188605

  8. Differences in foliage affect performance of the lappet moth, Streblote panda: implications for species fitness.

    PubMed

    Calvo, D; Molina, J M

    2010-01-01

    Implications for adults' fitness through the foliage effects of five different host plants on larval survival and performance of the lappet moth, Streblote panda Hübner (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae), as well as their effect on species fitness were assayed. Larvae were reared under controlled laboratory conditions on excised foliage. Long-term developmental experiments were done using first instar larvae to adult emergence, and performance experiments were done using fifth instar larvae. Survival, development rates, and food use were measured. Foliar traits analysis indicated that leaves of different host plants varied, significantly affecting larvae performance and adult fitness. Pistacia lentiscus L. (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae), Arbutus unedo L. (Ericales: Ericaceae), and Retama sphaerocarpa (L.) Boiss. (Fabales: Fabaceae) were the most suitable hosts. Larvae fed on Tamarix gallica L. (Caryophyllales: Tamaricaceae) and Spartium junceum L. (Fabales: Fabaceae) showed the lowest survival, rates of development and pupal and adult weight. In general, S. panda showed a relatively high capacity to buffer low food quality, by reducing developmental rates and larvae development thereby reaching the minimum pupal weight that ensures adult survival. Less suitable plants seem to have indirect effects on adult fitness, producing smaller adults that could disperse to other habitats. PMID:21062148

  9. Between-Population Outbreeding Affects Plant Defence

    PubMed Central

    Leimu, Roosa; Fischer, Markus

    2010-01-01

    Between-population crosses may replenish genetic variation of populations, but may also result in outbreeding depression. Apart from direct effects on plant fitness, these outbreeding effects can also alter plant-herbivore interactions by influencing plant tolerance and resistance to herbivory. We investigated effects of experimental within- and between-population outbreeding on herbivore resistance, tolerance and plant fitness using plants from 13 to 19 Lychnis flos-cuculi populations. We found no evidence for outbreeding depression in resistance reflected by the amount of leaf area consumed. However, herbivore performance was greater when fed on plants from between-population compared to within-population crosses. This can reflect outbreeding depression in resistance and/or outbreeding effects on plant quality for the herbivores. The effects of type of cross on the relationship between herbivore damage and plant fitness varied among populations. This demonstrates how between-population outbreeding effects on tolerance range from outbreeding depression to outbreeding benefits among plant populations. Finally, herbivore damage strengthened the observed outbreeding effects on plant fitness in several populations. These results raise novel considerations on the impact of outbreeding on the joint evolution of resistance and tolerance, and on the evolution of multiple defence strategies. PMID:20838662

  10. QTL affecting fitness of hybrids between wild and cultivated soybeans in experimental fields.

    PubMed

    Kuroda, Yosuke; Kaga, Akito; Tomooka, Norihiko; Yano, Hiroshi; Takada, Yoshitake; Kato, Shin; Vaughan, Duncan

    2013-07-01

    The objective of this study was to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting fitness of hybrids between wild soybean (Glycine soja) and cultivated soybean (Glycine max). Seed dormancy and seed number, both of which are important for fitness, were evaluated by testing artificial hybrids of G. soja × G. max in a multiple-site field trial. Generally, the fitness of the F1 hybrids and hybrid derivatives from self-pollination was lower than that of G. soja due to loss of seed dormancy, whereas the fitness of hybrid derivatives with higher proportions of G. soja genetic background was comparable with that of G. soja. These differences were genetically dissected into QTL for each population. Three QTLs for seed dormancy and one QTL for total seed number were detected in the F2 progenies of two diverse cross combinations. At those four QTLs, the G. max alleles reduced seed number and severely reduced seed survival during the winter, suggesting that major genes acquired during soybean adaptation to cultivation have a selective disadvantage in natural habitats. In progenies with a higher proportion of G. soja genetic background, the genetic effects of the G. max alleles were not expressed as phenotypes because the G. soja alleles were dominant over the G. max alleles. Considering the highly inbreeding nature of these species, most hybrid derivatives would disappear quickly in early self-pollinating generations in natural habitats because of the low fitness of plants carrying G. max alleles.

  11. Fitness

    MedlinePlus

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  12. Plant fitness assessment for wild relatives of insect resistant crops.

    PubMed

    Letourneau, Deborah K; Hagen, Joy A

    2009-01-01

    Risk assessments of new insect-resistant crops will need to estimate the potential for increased weediness of wild crop relatives as a consequence of gene flow. When field experiments are precluded by containment concerns, simulation experiments can identify hazards or measure expected differences between GMOs and parental plants. To measure plant fitness consequences of wild plant protection from Bt-susceptible herbivores, we used topical sprays of bacterial Bacillus thuringiensis larvacide (Bt) on Brassica rapa. Spontaneous crosses between B. rapa and Bt cole crops cannot be precluded, especially if adoption of Bt varieties leads to high exposure. We compared survivorship and seed output of B. rapa that were either protected from or exposed to Bt-susceptible Lepidoptera in the various conditions where hybrids are likely to occur: cultivated (disked) soil, uncultivated agricultural field margins, and nearby non-crop habitats (meadows and ruderal areas). The relative effect of herbivore protection varied among years, habitats, and populations of seedlings. In 2003-2004, Bt sprays did not result in lower herbivory on B. rapa, and plant fitness was not increased. However, in 2004-2006 B. rapa seedlings protected from Bt-susceptible herbivores lived 25% longer, on average, than those that were exposed to these herbivores. In addition, an average B. rapa seedling sprayed with Bt throughout its lifetime was twice as likely to produce siliques and had 251% of the seed output of a seedling exposed to herbivores. The fitness advantage of Bt-based plant protection was apparent in 2004-2005 in half the plants that experienced higher herbivory, and for 2005-2006, was more pronounced in agricultural habitats than in meadows with established, perennial vegetation and less disturbance. Positive effects of Bt-based plant protection and greater fitness in disturbed habitats suggest that crop-wild gene flow may benefit weed populations, and that field tests with herbivore exclusion

  13. Plant fitness assessment for wild relatives of insect resistant crops.

    PubMed

    Letourneau, Deborah K; Hagen, Joy A

    2009-01-01

    Risk assessments of new insect-resistant crops will need to estimate the potential for increased weediness of wild crop relatives as a consequence of gene flow. When field experiments are precluded by containment concerns, simulation experiments can identify hazards or measure expected differences between GMOs and parental plants. To measure plant fitness consequences of wild plant protection from Bt-susceptible herbivores, we used topical sprays of bacterial Bacillus thuringiensis larvacide (Bt) on Brassica rapa. Spontaneous crosses between B. rapa and Bt cole crops cannot be precluded, especially if adoption of Bt varieties leads to high exposure. We compared survivorship and seed output of B. rapa that were either protected from or exposed to Bt-susceptible Lepidoptera in the various conditions where hybrids are likely to occur: cultivated (disked) soil, uncultivated agricultural field margins, and nearby non-crop habitats (meadows and ruderal areas). The relative effect of herbivore protection varied among years, habitats, and populations of seedlings. In 2003-2004, Bt sprays did not result in lower herbivory on B. rapa, and plant fitness was not increased. However, in 2004-2006 B. rapa seedlings protected from Bt-susceptible herbivores lived 25% longer, on average, than those that were exposed to these herbivores. In addition, an average B. rapa seedling sprayed with Bt throughout its lifetime was twice as likely to produce siliques and had 251% of the seed output of a seedling exposed to herbivores. The fitness advantage of Bt-based plant protection was apparent in 2004-2005 in half the plants that experienced higher herbivory, and for 2005-2006, was more pronounced in agricultural habitats than in meadows with established, perennial vegetation and less disturbance. Positive effects of Bt-based plant protection and greater fitness in disturbed habitats suggest that crop-wild gene flow may benefit weed populations, and that field tests with herbivore exclusion

  14. A Latex Metabolite Benefits Plant Fitness under Root Herbivore Attack.

    PubMed

    Huber, Meret; Epping, Janina; Schulze Gronover, Christian; Fricke, Julia; Aziz, Zohra; Brillatz, Théo; Swyers, Michael; Köllner, Tobias G; Vogel, Heiko; Hammerbacher, Almuth; Triebwasser-Freese, Daniella; Robert, Christelle A M; Verhoeven, Koen; Preite, Veronica; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce large amounts of secondary metabolites in their shoots and roots and store them in specialized secretory structures. Although secondary metabolites and their secretory structures are commonly assumed to have a defensive function, evidence that they benefit plant fitness under herbivore attack is scarce, especially below ground. Here, we tested whether latex secondary metabolites produced by the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.) decrease the performance of its major native insect root herbivore, the larvae of the common cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha), and benefit plant vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Across 17 T. officinale genotypes screened by gas and liquid chromatography, latex concentrations of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) were negatively associated with M. melolontha larval growth. Adding purified TA-G to artificial diet at ecologically relevant concentrations reduced larval feeding. Silencing the germacrene A synthase ToGAS1, an enzyme that was identified to catalyze the first committed step of TA-G biosynthesis, resulted in a 90% reduction of TA-G levels and a pronounced increase in M. melolontha feeding. Transgenic, TA-G-deficient lines were preferred by M. melolontha and suffered three times more root biomass reduction than control lines. In a common garden experiment involving over 2,000 T. officinale individuals belonging to 17 different genotypes, high TA-G concentrations were associated with the maintenance of high vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Taken together, our study demonstrates that a latex secondary metabolite benefits plants under herbivore attack, a result that provides a mechanistic framework for root herbivore driven natural selection and evolution of plant defenses below ground. PMID:26731567

  15. A Latex Metabolite Benefits Plant Fitness under Root Herbivore Attack.

    PubMed

    Huber, Meret; Epping, Janina; Schulze Gronover, Christian; Fricke, Julia; Aziz, Zohra; Brillatz, Théo; Swyers, Michael; Köllner, Tobias G; Vogel, Heiko; Hammerbacher, Almuth; Triebwasser-Freese, Daniella; Robert, Christelle A M; Verhoeven, Koen; Preite, Veronica; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce large amounts of secondary metabolites in their shoots and roots and store them in specialized secretory structures. Although secondary metabolites and their secretory structures are commonly assumed to have a defensive function, evidence that they benefit plant fitness under herbivore attack is scarce, especially below ground. Here, we tested whether latex secondary metabolites produced by the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.) decrease the performance of its major native insect root herbivore, the larvae of the common cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha), and benefit plant vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Across 17 T. officinale genotypes screened by gas and liquid chromatography, latex concentrations of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) were negatively associated with M. melolontha larval growth. Adding purified TA-G to artificial diet at ecologically relevant concentrations reduced larval feeding. Silencing the germacrene A synthase ToGAS1, an enzyme that was identified to catalyze the first committed step of TA-G biosynthesis, resulted in a 90% reduction of TA-G levels and a pronounced increase in M. melolontha feeding. Transgenic, TA-G-deficient lines were preferred by M. melolontha and suffered three times more root biomass reduction than control lines. In a common garden experiment involving over 2,000 T. officinale individuals belonging to 17 different genotypes, high TA-G concentrations were associated with the maintenance of high vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Taken together, our study demonstrates that a latex secondary metabolite benefits plants under herbivore attack, a result that provides a mechanistic framework for root herbivore driven natural selection and evolution of plant defenses below ground.

  16. A Latex Metabolite Benefits Plant Fitness under Root Herbivore Attack

    PubMed Central

    Huber, Meret; Epping, Janina; Schulze Gronover, Christian; Fricke, Julia; Aziz, Zohra; Brillatz, Théo; Swyers, Michael; Köllner, Tobias G.; Vogel, Heiko; Hammerbacher, Almuth; Triebwasser-Freese, Daniella; Robert, Christelle A. M.; Verhoeven, Koen; Preite, Veronica; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Erb, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce large amounts of secondary metabolites in their shoots and roots and store them in specialized secretory structures. Although secondary metabolites and their secretory structures are commonly assumed to have a defensive function, evidence that they benefit plant fitness under herbivore attack is scarce, especially below ground. Here, we tested whether latex secondary metabolites produced by the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.) decrease the performance of its major native insect root herbivore, the larvae of the common cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha), and benefit plant vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Across 17 T. officinale genotypes screened by gas and liquid chromatography, latex concentrations of the sesquiterpene lactone taraxinic acid β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (TA-G) were negatively associated with M. melolontha larval growth. Adding purified TA-G to artificial diet at ecologically relevant concentrations reduced larval feeding. Silencing the germacrene A synthase ToGAS1, an enzyme that was identified to catalyze the first committed step of TA-G biosynthesis, resulted in a 90% reduction of TA-G levels and a pronounced increase in M. melolontha feeding. Transgenic, TA-G-deficient lines were preferred by M. melolontha and suffered three times more root biomass reduction than control lines. In a common garden experiment involving over 2,000 T. officinale individuals belonging to 17 different genotypes, high TA-G concentrations were associated with the maintenance of high vegetative and reproductive fitness under M. melolontha attack. Taken together, our study demonstrates that a latex secondary metabolite benefits plants under herbivore attack, a result that provides a mechanistic framework for root herbivore driven natural selection and evolution of plant defenses below ground. PMID:26731567

  17. Consequences of combined herbivore feeding and pathogen infection for fitness of Barbarea vulgaris plants.

    PubMed

    van Mölken, Tamara; Kuzina, Vera; Munk, Karen Rysbjerg; Olsen, Carl Erik; Sundelin, Thomas; van Dam, Nicole M; Hauser, Thure P

    2014-06-01

    Plants are often attacked by pathogens and insects. Their combined impact on plant performance and fitness depends on complicated three-way interactions and the plant's ability to compensate for resource losses. Here, we evaluate the response of Barbarea vulgaris, a wild crucifer, to combined attack by an oomycete Albugo sp., a plant pathogen causing white rust, and a flea beetle, Phyllotreta nemorum. Plants from two B. vulgaris types that differ in resistance to P. nemorum were exposed to Albugo and P. nemorum alone and in combination and then monitored for pathogen infection, herbivore damage, defence compounds, nutritional quality, biomass and seed production. Albugo developed infections in the insect-resistant plants, whereas insect-susceptible plants were scarcely infected. Concentrations of Albugo DNA were higher in plants also exposed to herbivory; similarly, flea beetle larvae caused more damage on Albugo-infected plants. Concentrations of saponins and glucosinolates strongly increased when the plants were exposed to P. nemorum and when the insect-susceptible plants were exposed to Albugo, and some of these compounds increased even more in the combined treatment. The biomass of young insect-susceptible plants was lower following exposure to flea beetles, and the number of leaves of both plant types was negatively affected by combined exposure. After flowering, however, adult plants produced similar numbers of viable seeds, irrespective of treatment. Our findings support the concept that pathogens and herbivores can affect each other's performance on a host plant and that the plant reacts by inducing specific and general defences. However, plants may be able to compensate for biomass loss from single and combined attacks over time.

  18. Trichoderma secondary metabolites that affect plant metabolism.

    PubMed

    Vinale, Francesco; Sivasithamparam, Krishnapillai; Ghisalberti, Emilio L; Ruocco, Michelina; Wood, Sheridan; Lorito, Matteo

    2012-11-01

    Recently, there have been many exciting new developments relating to the use of Trichoderma spp. as agents for biocontrol of pathogens and as plant growth promoters. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the positive effects of these microorganisms on the plant host. One factor that contributes to their beneficial biological activities is related to the wide variety of metabolites that they produce. These metabolites have been found not only to directly inhibit the growth and pathogenic activities of the parasites, but also to increase disease resistance by triggering the system of defence in the plant host. In addition, these metabolites are also capable of enhancing plant growth, which enables the plant to counteract the disease with compensatory vegetative growth by the augmented production of root and shoot systems. This review takes into account the Trichoderma secondary metabolites that affect plant metabolism and that may play an important role in the complex interactions of this biocontrol agent with the plant and pathogens.

  19. Floral asymmetry and predation risk modify pollinator behavior, but only predation risk decreases plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Antiqueira, Pablo Augusto Poleto; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2016-06-01

    Although predators and floral herbivores can potentially decrease plant fitness by changing pollinator behaviors, studies comparing the strength of these factors as well as their additive and interactive effects on pollinator visitation and plant fitness have not been conducted. In this study, we manipulated the floral symmetry and predator presence (artificial crab spiders) on the flowers of the shrub Rubus rosifolius (Rosaceae) in a 2 × 2 factorial randomized block design. We found that asymmetry and predators decreased pollinator visitation (mainly hymenopterans), and overall these factors did not interact (additive effects). The effect of predation risk on pollinator avoidance behavior was 62 % higher than that of floral asymmetry. Furthermore, path analyses revealed that only predation risk cascaded down to plant fitness, and it significantly decreased fruit biomass by 33 % and seed number by 28 %. We also demonstrated that R. rosifolius fitness is indirectly affected by visiting and avoidance behaviors of pollinators. The strong avoidance behavioral response triggered by predation risk may be related to predator pressure upon flowers. Although floral asymmetry caused by herbivory can alter the quality of resources, it should not exert the same evolutionary pressure as that of predator-prey interactions. Our study highlights the importance of considering simultaneous forces, such as predation risk and floral asymmetry, as well as pollinator behavior when evaluating ecological processes involving mutualistic plant-pollinator systems.

  20. Floral asymmetry and predation risk modify pollinator behavior, but only predation risk decreases plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Antiqueira, Pablo Augusto Poleto; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2016-06-01

    Although predators and floral herbivores can potentially decrease plant fitness by changing pollinator behaviors, studies comparing the strength of these factors as well as their additive and interactive effects on pollinator visitation and plant fitness have not been conducted. In this study, we manipulated the floral symmetry and predator presence (artificial crab spiders) on the flowers of the shrub Rubus rosifolius (Rosaceae) in a 2 × 2 factorial randomized block design. We found that asymmetry and predators decreased pollinator visitation (mainly hymenopterans), and overall these factors did not interact (additive effects). The effect of predation risk on pollinator avoidance behavior was 62 % higher than that of floral asymmetry. Furthermore, path analyses revealed that only predation risk cascaded down to plant fitness, and it significantly decreased fruit biomass by 33 % and seed number by 28 %. We also demonstrated that R. rosifolius fitness is indirectly affected by visiting and avoidance behaviors of pollinators. The strong avoidance behavioral response triggered by predation risk may be related to predator pressure upon flowers. Although floral asymmetry caused by herbivory can alter the quality of resources, it should not exert the same evolutionary pressure as that of predator-prey interactions. Our study highlights the importance of considering simultaneous forces, such as predation risk and floral asymmetry, as well as pollinator behavior when evaluating ecological processes involving mutualistic plant-pollinator systems. PMID:26861474

  1. Factors Affecting Ice Nucleation in Plant Tissues

    PubMed Central

    Ashworth, Edward N.; Davis, Glen A.; Anderson, Jeffrey A.

    1985-01-01

    Factors affecting the ice nucleation temperature of plants and plant tissues were examined. The mass of a sample had a marked effect on ice nucleation temperature. Small tissue samples supercooled to −10°C and were not accurate predictors of the nucleation temperature of intact plants in either laboratory or field experiments. This effect was not unique to plant tissues and was observed in autoclaved and control soil samples. Ice nucleation temperatures of bean, corn, cotton, and soybean seedlings were influenced by the length of subzero exposure, presence of ice nucleation active bacteria, and leaf surface wetness. The number of factors influencing ice nucleation temperature suggested that predicting the freezing behavior of plants in the field will be complex. PMID:16664524

  2. Proteasome-mediated turnover of the transcriptional activator FIT is required for plant iron-deficiency responses.

    PubMed

    Sivitz, Alicia; Grinvalds, Claudia; Barberon, Marie; Curie, Catherine; Vert, Grégory

    2011-06-01

    Plants display a number of responses to low iron availability in order to increase iron uptake from the soil. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the ferric-chelate reductase FRO2 and the ferrous iron transporter IRT1 control iron entry from the soil into the root epidermis. To maintain iron homeostasis, the expression of FRO2 and IRT1 is tightly controlled by iron deficiency at the transcriptional level. The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor FIT represents the most upstream actor known in the iron-deficiency signaling pathway, and directly regulates the expression of the root iron uptake machinery genes FRO2 and IRT1. However, how FIT is controlled by iron and acts to activate transcription of its targets remains obscure. Here we show that FIT mRNA and endogenous FIT protein accumulate in Arabidopsis roots upon iron deficiency. However, using plants constitutively expressing FIT, we observed that FIT protein accumulation is reduced in iron-limited conditions. This post-transcriptional regulation of FIT is perfectly synchronized with the accumulation of endogenous FIT and IRT1 proteins, and therefore is part of the early responses to low iron. We demonstrated that such regulation affects FIT protein stability under iron deficiency as a result of 26S proteasome-dependent degradation. In addition, we showed that FIT post-translational regulation by iron is required for FRO2 and IRT1 gene expression. Taken together our results indicate that FIT transcriptional and post-translational regulations are integrated in plant roots to ensure that the positive regulator FIT accumulates as a short-lived protein following iron shortage, and to allow proper iron-deficiency responses.

  3. Fitness costs of animal medication: antiparasitic plant chemicals reduce fitness of monarch butterfly hosts.

    PubMed

    Tao, Leiling; Hoang, Kevin M; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2016-09-01

    The emerging field of ecological immunology demonstrates that allocation by hosts to immune defence against parasites is constrained by the costs of those defences. However, the costs of non-immunological defences, which are important alternatives to canonical immune systems, are less well characterized. Estimating such costs is essential for our understanding of the ecology and evolution of alternative host defence strategies. Many animals have evolved medication behaviours, whereby they use antiparasitic compounds from their environment to protect themselves or their kin from parasitism. Documenting the costs of medication behaviours is complicated by natural variation in the medicinal components of diets and their covariance with other dietary components, such as macronutrients. In the current study, we explore the costs of the usage of antiparasitic compounds in monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus), using natural variation in concentrations of antiparasitic compounds among plants. Upon infection by their specialist protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, monarch butterflies can selectively oviposit on milkweed with high foliar concentrations of cardenolides, secondary chemicals that reduce parasite growth. Here, we show that these antiparasitic cardenolides can also impose significant costs on both uninfected and infected butterflies. Among eight milkweed species that vary substantially in their foliar cardenolide concentration and composition, we observed the opposing effects of cardenolides on monarch fitness traits. While high foliar cardenolide concentrations increased the tolerance of monarch butterflies to infection, they reduced the survival rate of caterpillars to adulthood. Additionally, although non-polar cardenolide compounds decreased the spore load of infected butterflies, they also reduced the life span of uninfected butterflies, resulting in a hump-shaped curve between cardenolide non-polarity and the life span of infected butterflies

  4. Fitness costs of animal medication: antiparasitic plant chemicals reduce fitness of monarch butterfly hosts.

    PubMed

    Tao, Leiling; Hoang, Kevin M; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2016-09-01

    The emerging field of ecological immunology demonstrates that allocation by hosts to immune defence against parasites is constrained by the costs of those defences. However, the costs of non-immunological defences, which are important alternatives to canonical immune systems, are less well characterized. Estimating such costs is essential for our understanding of the ecology and evolution of alternative host defence strategies. Many animals have evolved medication behaviours, whereby they use antiparasitic compounds from their environment to protect themselves or their kin from parasitism. Documenting the costs of medication behaviours is complicated by natural variation in the medicinal components of diets and their covariance with other dietary components, such as macronutrients. In the current study, we explore the costs of the usage of antiparasitic compounds in monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus), using natural variation in concentrations of antiparasitic compounds among plants. Upon infection by their specialist protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, monarch butterflies can selectively oviposit on milkweed with high foliar concentrations of cardenolides, secondary chemicals that reduce parasite growth. Here, we show that these antiparasitic cardenolides can also impose significant costs on both uninfected and infected butterflies. Among eight milkweed species that vary substantially in their foliar cardenolide concentration and composition, we observed the opposing effects of cardenolides on monarch fitness traits. While high foliar cardenolide concentrations increased the tolerance of monarch butterflies to infection, they reduced the survival rate of caterpillars to adulthood. Additionally, although non-polar cardenolide compounds decreased the spore load of infected butterflies, they also reduced the life span of uninfected butterflies, resulting in a hump-shaped curve between cardenolide non-polarity and the life span of infected butterflies

  5. Behavior-based rules for fitness-for-duty assessment of nuclear power plant personnel

    SciTech Connect

    Kennedy, R.S.; Turnage, J.J.; Price, H.E.; Lane, N.E.

    1989-01-01

    The safe and reliable operation of nuclear power plants requires that plant personnel not be under the influence of any substance, legal or illegal, or mentally or physically impaired from any cause that in any way adversely affects their ability to safely and competently perform their duties. This goal has been formalized by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in their proposed rule for a fitness-for-duty program. The purpose of this paper is to describe a performance-based tool based on surrogate tests and dose equivalency methodologies that is a viable candidate for fitness-for-duty assessment. The automated performance test system (APTS) is a microcomputer-based human performance test battery that has been developed over a decade of research supported variously by the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, US Department of Energy, and the US Navy and Army. Representing the most psychometrically sound test from evaluations of over 150 well-known tests of basic psychomotor and cognitive skills, the battery provides direct prediction of a worker's fitness for duty. Twenty-four tests are suitable for use, and a dozen have thus far been shown to be sensitive to the effects of legal and illegal drugs, alcohol, fatigue, stress, and other causes of impairment.

  6. The causes of selection on flowering time through male fitness in a hermaphroditic annual plant.

    PubMed

    Austen, Emily J; Weis, Arthur E

    2016-01-01

    Flowering is a key life-history event whose timing almost certainly affects both male and female fitness, but tests of selection on flowering time through male fitness are few. Such selection may arise from direct effects of flowering time, and indirect effects through covariance between flowering time and the environment experienced during reproduction. To isolate these intrinsically correlated associations, we staggered planting dates of Brassica rapa families with known flowering times, creating populations in which age at flowering (i.e., flowering time genotype) and Julian date of flowering (i.e., flowering time environment) were positively, negatively, or uncorrelated. Genetic paternity analysis revealed that male fitness was not strongly influenced by seasonal environmental changes. Instead, when age and date were uncorrelated, selection through male fitness strongly favored young age at flowering. Strategic sampling offspring for paternity analysis rejected covariance between sire age at flowering and dam quality as the cause of this selection. Results instead suggest a negative association between age at flowering and pollen competitive ability. The manipulation also revealed that, at least in B. rapa, the often-observed correlation between flowering time and flowering duration is environmental, not genetic, in origin.

  7. The causes of selection on flowering time through male fitness in a hermaphroditic annual plant.

    PubMed

    Austen, Emily J; Weis, Arthur E

    2016-01-01

    Flowering is a key life-history event whose timing almost certainly affects both male and female fitness, but tests of selection on flowering time through male fitness are few. Such selection may arise from direct effects of flowering time, and indirect effects through covariance between flowering time and the environment experienced during reproduction. To isolate these intrinsically correlated associations, we staggered planting dates of Brassica rapa families with known flowering times, creating populations in which age at flowering (i.e., flowering time genotype) and Julian date of flowering (i.e., flowering time environment) were positively, negatively, or uncorrelated. Genetic paternity analysis revealed that male fitness was not strongly influenced by seasonal environmental changes. Instead, when age and date were uncorrelated, selection through male fitness strongly favored young age at flowering. Strategic sampling offspring for paternity analysis rejected covariance between sire age at flowering and dam quality as the cause of this selection. Results instead suggest a negative association between age at flowering and pollen competitive ability. The manipulation also revealed that, at least in B. rapa, the often-observed correlation between flowering time and flowering duration is environmental, not genetic, in origin. PMID:26596860

  8. THE HUNT FOR GREEN EVERY APRIL: FACTORS AFFECTING FITNESS IN SWITCHGRASS

    SciTech Connect

    Sarath, Gautam

    2014-12-10

    This grant funded work was undertaken to develop fundamental biological knowledge of the factors affecting the complex plant trait “fitness” in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a plant being developed as a biomass crop. Using a diverse range of latitudinally-adapted switchgrass plants, genomic, molecular and physiological studies were performed to track a number of different aspects of plant genetics and physiology over the course of the growing season. Work was performed on both genetically unrelated and genetically related plants. Plants were established in the field from seedlings raised in a greenhouse, or from clones present in other field nurseries. Field grown plants were used as the source of all tissues. The three objectives of this proposal were:(1) Transcript Profiling, Metabolomics, and C and N Partitioning and Recycling in Crowns and Rhizomes of Switchgrass over two growing seasons; (2) Gene Profiling During Regreening and Dormancy of Bulked Segregants; (3) Extent of Linkage Disequilibrium in Populations for Adaptation and Fitness Traits Being Developed for Central and Northern USA, that Show Significant Heterosis. Objective 1 results: Plants were labeled using 13CO2 (a stable isotope) using an acrylic chamber constructed specifically for this purpose. Plants became labeled with 13C and label decayed in aerial tissues over the course of the growing season. Varying amounts of 13C were recovered in the rhizomes. These data are being analyzed. Plants were also labeled with 15N-urea. Plants absorbed significant amounts of label that was remobilized to the growing shoots. N-dynamics would suggest that a portion of the 15N absorbed into the crowns and rhizomes is sequestered below ground. Variable amounts of 15N were translocated from the shoots to the roots over the course of the growing season. Polar metabolites extracted from a diverse array of rhizomes were analyzed using GCMS. Data indicated that there was a significant shift in metabolite pools

  9. Cotyledon damage affects seed number through final plant size in the annual grassland species Medicago lupulina

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shiting; Zhao, Chuan; Lamb, Eric G.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The effects of cotyledon damage on seedling growth and survival are relatively well established, but little is known about the effects on aspects of plant fitness such as seed number and size. Here the direct and indirect mechanisms linking cotyledon damage and plant fitness in the annual species Medicago lupulina are examined. Methods Growth and reproductive traits, including mature plant size, time to first flowering, flower number, seed number and individual seed mass were monitored in M. lupulina plants when zero, one or two cotyledons were removed at 7 d old. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to examine the mechanisms linking cotyledon damage to seed number and seed mass. Key Results Cotyledon damage reduced seed number but not individual seed mass. The primary mechanism was a reduction in plant biomass with cotyledon damage that in turn reduced seed number primarily through a reduction in flower numbers. Although cotyledon damage delayed flower initiation, it had little effect on seed number. Individual seed mass was not affected by cotyledon removal, but there was a trade-off between seed number and seed mass. Conclusions It is shown how a network of indirect mechanisms link damage to cotyledons and fitness in M. lupulina. Cotyledon damage had strong direct effects on both plant size and flowering phenology, but an analysis of the causal relationships among plant traits and fitness components showed that a reduction in plant size associated with cotyledon damage was an important mechanism influencing fitness. PMID:21196450

  10. Nectar chemistry mediates the behavior of parasitized bees: consequences for plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Leif L; Bowers, M Deane; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2016-02-01

    Plants produce an array of secondary metabolites that play important ecological roles as anti-herbivore and anti-pathogen defenses. Many herbivores experience physiological costs when they consume secondary metabolites, yet some also benefit, for example when these chemicals confer resistance to parasites and predators. Secondary metabolites are often present in nectar and pollen, which is paradoxical given that floral rewards are important in the attraction of mutualists rather than deterrence of antagonists. Motivated by studies of interactions among plants, herbivores, and parasites, as well as research showing that secondary metabolites can reduce bee disease, we characterized the occurrence of two iridoid glycosides, aucubin and catalpol, in floral rewards and other tissues of the bee pollinated plant, Chelone glabra. We then experimentally investigated effects of nectar iridoid glycoside concentrations on the foraging behavior of bumble bee pollinators naturally afflicted by a parasitoid fly and a protozoan intestinal parasite, and subsequent effects on an estimate of plant reproduction. We found that floral nectar had lower iridoid glycoside concentrations than leaves, pollen, and corollas, and that, compared to those plant parts, the relative ratio of the two primary iridoid glycosides, aucubin and catalpol, was reversed in nectar. Whether bees carried parasitoid fly larvae did not affect their response to nectar chemistry; however, there was a significant interaction between protozoan parasite infection and nectar treatment, with infected bees foraging longer at flowers with high compared to low nectar iridoid glycoside concentrations. Parasitized bees were also more likely to return to inflorescences with high iridoid glycoside nectar. Consequently, flowers in the high iridoid glycoside nectar treatment donated significantly more pollen to conspecific stigmas than did flowers in the low iridoid glycoside treatment, suggesting an increase in male plant

  11. Nectar chemistry mediates the behavior of parasitized bees: consequences for plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Leif L; Bowers, M Deane; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2016-02-01

    Plants produce an array of secondary metabolites that play important ecological roles as anti-herbivore and anti-pathogen defenses. Many herbivores experience physiological costs when they consume secondary metabolites, yet some also benefit, for example when these chemicals confer resistance to parasites and predators. Secondary metabolites are often present in nectar and pollen, which is paradoxical given that floral rewards are important in the attraction of mutualists rather than deterrence of antagonists. Motivated by studies of interactions among plants, herbivores, and parasites, as well as research showing that secondary metabolites can reduce bee disease, we characterized the occurrence of two iridoid glycosides, aucubin and catalpol, in floral rewards and other tissues of the bee pollinated plant, Chelone glabra. We then experimentally investigated effects of nectar iridoid glycoside concentrations on the foraging behavior of bumble bee pollinators naturally afflicted by a parasitoid fly and a protozoan intestinal parasite, and subsequent effects on an estimate of plant reproduction. We found that floral nectar had lower iridoid glycoside concentrations than leaves, pollen, and corollas, and that, compared to those plant parts, the relative ratio of the two primary iridoid glycosides, aucubin and catalpol, was reversed in nectar. Whether bees carried parasitoid fly larvae did not affect their response to nectar chemistry; however, there was a significant interaction between protozoan parasite infection and nectar treatment, with infected bees foraging longer at flowers with high compared to low nectar iridoid glycoside concentrations. Parasitized bees were also more likely to return to inflorescences with high iridoid glycoside nectar. Consequently, flowers in the high iridoid glycoside nectar treatment donated significantly more pollen to conspecific stigmas than did flowers in the low iridoid glycoside treatment, suggesting an increase in male plant

  12. Herbivore-induced plant vaccination. Part I. The orchestration of plant defenses in nature and their fitness consequences in the wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata.

    PubMed

    Kessler, André; Baldwin, Ian T

    2004-05-01

    A plant's responses to attack from particular pathogens and herbivores may result in resistance to subsequent attack from the same species, but may also affect different species. Such a cross-resistance, called immunization or vaccination, can benefit the plant, if the fitness consequences of attack from the initial attacker are less than those from subsequent attackers. Here, we report an example of naturally occurring vaccination of the native tobacco plant, Nicotiana attenuata, against Manduca hornworms by prior attack from the mirid bug, Tupiocoris notatus (Dicyphus minimus), which results from the elicitation of two categories of induced plant responses. First, attack from both herbivore species causes the plants in nature to release predator-attracting volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and the attracted generalist predator, Geocoris pallens, preferentially attacks the less mobile hornworm larvae. Second, attack from both mirids and hornworms increases the accumulation of secondary metabolites and proteinase inhibitors (PIs) in the leaf tissue, which is correlated with the slow growth of Manduca larvae. Mirid damage does not significantly reduce the fitness of the plant in nature, whereas attack from the hornworm reduces lifetime seed production. Consequently, plants that are attacked by mirids realize a significant fitness advantage in environments with both herbivores. The combination of growth-slowing direct defenses and predator-attracting indirect defenses results in greater hornworm mortality on mirid-attacked plants and provides the mechanism of the vaccination phenomenon.

  13. A temporary social parasite of tropical plant-ants improves the fitness of a myrmecophyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dejean, Alain; Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Céréghino, Régis; Roux, Olivier; Hérault, Bruno; Rossi, Vivien; Guerrero, Roberto J.; Delabie, Jacques H. C.; Orivel, Jérôme; Boulay, Raphaël

    2010-10-01

    Myrmecophytes offer plant-ants a nesting place in exchange for protection from their enemies, particularly defoliators. These obligate ant-plant mutualisms are common model systems for studying factors that allow horizontally transmitted mutualisms to persist since parasites of ant-myrmecophyte mutualisms exploit the rewards provided by host plants whilst providing no protection in return. In pioneer formations in French Guiana, Azteca alfari and Azteca ovaticeps are known to be mutualists of myrmecophytic Cecropia ( Cecropia ants). Here, we show that Azteca andreae, whose colonies build carton nests on myrmecophytic Cecropia, is not a parasite of Azteca- Cecropia mutualisms nor is it a temporary social parasite of A. alfari; it is, however, a temporary social parasite of A. ovaticeps. Contrarily to the two mutualistic Azteca species that are only occasional predators feeding mostly on hemipteran honeydew and food bodies provided by the host trees, A. andreae workers, which also attend hemipterans, do not exploit the food bodies. Rather, they employ an effective hunting technique where the leaf margins are fringed with ambushing workers, waiting for insects to alight. As a result, the host trees’ fitness is not affected as A. andreae colonies protect their foliage better than do mutualistic Azteca species resulting in greater fruit production. Yet, contrarily to mutualistic Azteca, when host tree development does not keep pace with colony growth, A. andreae workers forage on surrounding plants; the colonies can even move to a non- Cecropia tree.

  14. Effect of plant nitrogen and water status on the foraging behavior and fitness of an omnivorous arthropod.

    PubMed

    Han, Peng; Dong, Yongcheng; Lavoir, Anne-Violette; Adamowicz, Stéphane; Bearez, Philippe; Wajnberg, Eric; Desneux, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Omnivorous arthropods make dietary choices according to the environment in which they forage, mainly availability/quality of plant and/or prey resources. Such decisions and their subsequent impacts on life-history traits may be affected by the availability of nutrients and water to plants, that is, through bottom-up forces. By setting up arenas for feeding behavior observation as well as glasshouse cages for plant preference assessment, we studied effects of the presence of prey (Lepidoptera eggs) and nitrogen/water availability to host tomato plants on the foraging behavior and life-history traits in the omnivorous predator Macrolophus pygmaeus (Heteroptera: Miridae). In the absence of prey, the predator fed equally on the plants treated with various levels of nitrogen and water. In the presence of prey, however, the feeding rate on plants decreased when the plant received low water input. The feeding rate on prey was positively correlated with feeding rate on plants; that is, prey feeding increased with plant feeding when the plants received high water input. Moreover, plants receiving high water input attracted more M. pygmaeus adults compared with those receiving low water input. For M. pygmaeus fitness, the presence of prey enhanced its fertility and longevity, but the longevity decreased when plants received low compared with high water input. In conclusion, the omnivorous predator may be obliged to feed on plants to obtain water, and plant water status may be a limiting factor for the foraging behavior and fitness of the omnivorous predator. PMID:27069598

  15. Leaf damage and gender but not flower damage affect female fitness in Nemophila menziesii (Hydrophyllaceae).

    PubMed

    McCall, Andrew C

    2007-03-01

    Researchers can answer questions about the evolution or maintenance of separate sexes using dioecious plant systems. Because females in these species typically put more resources into reproductive effort than male plants, researchers have hypothesized that females may be less tolerant of the stresses found in marginal habitats. Herbivory can act as a biotic stressor that reduces resources in plants much like a marginal habitat can. Females may be limited by resources, and may thus be less tolerant to herbivory than males. Here, I explore the relationships between florivory, leaf herbivory, and gender in a gynodioecious, annual plant, Nemophila menziesii (Hydrophyllaceae, senso lato). I performed a crossed design experiment examining the main effects and interactions of plant gender, artificial leaf damage, and artificial flower damage on components of female plant fitness. Leaf damage decreased fruit set and females made significantly more fruit than hermaphrodites. However, contrary to theory, I found little evidence for a gender by damage interaction for either type of artificial herbivory. Based on these results, I propose more work exploring the effects of both source and sink damage in dioecious species to help elucidate where and when different sexual morphs are favored by natural selection. PMID:21636414

  16. Impact of hormonal crosstalk on plant resistance and fitness under multi-attacker conditions

    PubMed Central

    Vos, Irene A.; Moritz, Liselotte; Pieterse, Corné M. J.; Van Wees, Saskia C. M.

    2015-01-01

    The hormone salicylic acid (SA) generally induces plant defenses against biotrophic pathogens. Jasmonic acid (JA) and its oxylipin derivatives together with ethylene (ET) are generally important hormonal regulators of induced plant defenses against necrotrophic pathogens, whereas JAs together with abscisic acid (ABA) are implicated in induced plant defenses against herbivorous insects. Hormonal crosstalk between the different plant defense pathways has often been hypothesized to be a cost-saving strategy that has evolved as a means of the plant to reduce allocation costs by repression of unnecessary defenses, thereby minimizing trade-offs between plant defense and growth. However, proof for this hypothesis has not been demonstrated yet. In this study the impact of hormonal crosstalk on disease resistance and fitness of Arabidopsis thaliana when under multi-species attack was investigated. Induction of SA- or JA/ABA-dependent defense responses by the biotrophic pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis or the herbivorous insect Pieris rapae, respectively, was shown to reduce the level of induced JA/ET-dependent defense against subsequent infection with the necrotrophic pathogen Botrytis cinerea. However, despite the enhanced susceptibility to this second attacker, no additional long-term negative effects were observed on plant fitness when plants had been challenged by multiple attackers. Similarly, when plants were grown in dense competition stands to enlarge fitness effects of induced defenses, treatment with a combination of SA and MeJA did not cause additional negative effects on plant fitness in comparison to the single MeJA treatment. Together, these data support the notion that hormonal crosstalk in plants during multi-attacker interactions allows plants to prioritize their defenses, while limiting the fitness costs associated with induction of defenses. PMID:26347758

  17. Epigallocatechin gallate affects glucose metabolism and increases fitness and lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Anika E.; Piegholdt, Stefanie; Rabe, Doerte; Baenas, Nieves; Schloesser, Anke; Eggersdorfer, Manfred; Stocker, Achim; Rimbach, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we tested whether a standardized epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) rich green tea extract (comprising > 90% EGCG) affects fitness and lifespan as well as parameters of glucose metabolism and energy homeostasis in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Following the application of the green tea extract a significant increase in the mean lifespan (+ 3.3 days) and the 50% survival (+ 4.3 days) as well as improved fitness was detected. These effects went along an increased expression of Spargel, the homolog of mammalian PGC1α, which has been reported to affect lifespan in flies. Intriguingly, in flies, treatment with the green tea extract decreased glucose concentrations, which were accompanied by an inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase activity. Computational docking analysis proved the potential of EGCG to dock into the substrate binding pocket of α-amylase and to a greater extent into α-glucosidase. Furthermore, we demonstrate that EGCG downregulates insulin-like peptide 5 and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, major regulators of glucose metabolism, as well as the Drosophila homolog of leptin, unpaired 2. We propose that a decrease in glucose metabolism in connection with an upregulated expression of Spargel contribute to the better fitness and the extended lifespan in EGCG-treated flies. PMID:26375250

  18. Epigallocatechin gallate affects glucose metabolism and increases fitness and lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Anika E; Piegholdt, Stefanie; Rabe, Doerte; Baenas, Nieves; Schloesser, Anke; Eggersdorfer, Manfred; Stocker, Achim; Rimbach, Gerald

    2015-10-13

    In this study, we tested whether a standardized epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) rich green tea extract (comprising > 90% EGCG) affects fitness and lifespan as well as parameters of glucose metabolism and energy homeostasis in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Following the application of the green tea extract a significant increase in the mean lifespan (+ 3.3 days) and the 50% survival (+ 4.3 days) as well as improved fitness was detected. These effects went along an increased expression of Spargel, the homolog of mammalian PGC1α, which has been reported to affect lifespan in flies. Intriguingly, in flies, treatment with the green tea extract decreased glucose concentrations, which were accompanied by an inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase activity. Computational docking analysis proved the potential of EGCG to dock into the substrate binding pocket of α-amylase and to a greater extent into α-glucosidase. Furthermore, we demonstrate that EGCG downregulates insulin-like peptide 5 and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, major regulators of glucose metabolism, as well as the Drosophila homolog of leptin, unpaired 2. We propose that a decrease in glucose metabolism in connection with an upregulated expression of Spargel contribute to the better fitness and the extended lifespan in EGCG-treated flies.

  19. You Are What You Eat: Food Limitation Affects Reproductive Fitness in a Sexually Cannibalistic Praying Mantid

    PubMed Central

    Barry, Katherine L.

    2013-01-01

    Resource limitation during the juvenile stages frequently results in developmental delays and reduced size at maturity, and dietary restriction during adulthood can affect longevity and reproductive output. Variation in food intake can also result in alteration to the normal pattern of resource allocation among body parts or life-history stages. My primary aim in this study was to determine how varying juvenile and/or adult feeding regimes affect particular female and male traits in the sexually cannibalistic praying mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata. Praying mantids are sit-and-wait predators whose resource intake can vary dramatically depending on environmental conditions within and across seasons, making them useful for studying the effects of feeding regime on various facets of reproductive fitness. In this study, there was a significant trend/difference in development and morphology for males and females as a result of juvenile feeding treatment, however, its effect on the fitness components measured for males was much greater than on those measured for females. Food-limited males were less likely to find a female during field enclosure experiments and smaller males were slower at finding a female in field-based experiments, providing some of the first empirical evidence of a large male size advantage for scrambling males. Only adult food limitation affected female fecundity, and the ability of a female to chemically attract males was also most notably affected by adult feeding regime (although juvenile food limitation did play a role). Furthermore, the significant difference/trend in all male traits and the lack of difference in male trait ratios between treatments suggests a proportional distribution of resources and, therefore, no trait conservation by food-limited males. This study provides evidence that males and females are under different selective pressures with respect to resource acquisition and is also one of very few to show an effect of juvenile

  20. You are what you eat: food limitation affects reproductive fitness in a sexually cannibalistic praying mantid.

    PubMed

    Barry, Katherine L

    2013-01-01

    Resource limitation during the juvenile stages frequently results in developmental delays and reduced size at maturity, and dietary restriction during adulthood can affect longevity and reproductive output. Variation in food intake can also result in alteration to the normal pattern of resource allocation among body parts or life-history stages. My primary aim in this study was to determine how varying juvenile and/or adult feeding regimes affect particular female and male traits in the sexually cannibalistic praying mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata. Praying mantids are sit-and-wait predators whose resource intake can vary dramatically depending on environmental conditions within and across seasons, making them useful for studying the effects of feeding regime on various facets of reproductive fitness. In this study, there was a significant trend/difference in development and morphology for males and females as a result of juvenile feeding treatment, however, its effect on the fitness components measured for males was much greater than on those measured for females. Food-limited males were less likely to find a female during field enclosure experiments and smaller males were slower at finding a female in field-based experiments, providing some of the first empirical evidence of a large male size advantage for scrambling males. Only adult food limitation affected female fecundity, and the ability of a female to chemically attract males was also most notably affected by adult feeding regime (although juvenile food limitation did play a role). Furthermore, the significant difference/trend in all male traits and the lack of difference in male trait ratios between treatments suggests a proportional distribution of resources and, therefore, no trait conservation by food-limited males. This study provides evidence that males and females are under different selective pressures with respect to resource acquisition and is also one of very few to show an effect of juvenile

  1. Kin recognition affects plant communication and defence.

    PubMed

    Karban, Richard; Shiojiri, Kaori; Ishizaki, Satomi; Wetzel, William C; Evans, Richard Y

    2013-04-01

    The ability of many animals to recognize kin has allowed them to evolve diverse cooperative behaviours; such ability is less well studied for plants. Many plants, including Artemisia tridentata, have been found to respond to volatile cues emitted by experimentally wounded neighbours to increase levels of resistance to herbivory. We report that this communication was more effective among A. tridentata plants that were more closely related based on microsatellite markers. Plants in the field that received cues from experimentally clipped close relatives experienced less leaf herbivory over the growing season than those that received cues from clipped neighbours that were more distantly related. These results indicate that plants can respond differently to cues from kin, making it less likely that emitters will aid strangers and making it more likely that receivers will respond to cues from relatives. More effective defence adds to a growing list of favourable consequences of kin recognition for plants.

  2. Methods of affecting nitrogen assimilation in plants

    DOEpatents

    Coruzzi, Gloria; Gutierrez, Rodrigo A.; Nero, Damion C.

    2016-10-11

    Provided herein are compositions and methods for producing transgenic plants. In specific embodiments, transgenic plants comprise a construct comprising a polynucleotide encoding CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1, operably linked to a plant-specific promote, wherein the CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1 is ectopically overexpressed in the transgenic plants, and wherein the promoter is optionally a constitutive or inducible promoter. In other embodiments, transgenic plants in which express a lower level of CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1 are provided. Also provided herein are commercial products (e.g., pulp, paper, paper products, or lumber) derived from the transgenic plants (e.g., transgenic trees) produced using the methods provided herein.

  3. The Use of Flagella and Motility for Plant Colonization and Fitness by Different Strains of the Foodborne Pathogen Listeria monocytogenes

    PubMed Central

    Gorski, Lisa; Duhé, Jessica M.; Flaherty, Denise

    2009-01-01

    The role of flagella and motility in the attachment of the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes to various surfaces is mixed with some systems requiring flagella for an interaction and others needing only motility for cells to get to the surface. In nature this bacterium is a saprophyte and contaminated produce is an avenue for infection. Previous studies have documented the ability of this organism to attach to and colonize plant tissue. Motility mutants were generated in three wild type strains of L. monocytogenes by deleting either flaA, the gene encoding flagellin, or motAB, genes encoding part of the flagellar motor, and tested for both the ability to colonize sprouts and for the fitness of that colonization. The motAB mutants were not affected in the colonization of alfalfa, radish, and broccoli sprouts; however, some of the flaA mutants showed reduced colonization ability. The best colonizing wild type strain was reduced in colonization on all three sprout types as a result of a flaA deletion. A mutant in another background was only affected on alfalfa. The third, a poor alfalfa colonizer was not affected in colonization ability by any of the deletions. Fitness of colonization was measured in experiments of competition between mixtures of mutant and parent strains on sprouts. Here the flaA and motAB mutants of the three strain backgrounds were impaired in fitness of colonization of alfalfa and radish sprouts, and one strain background showed reduced fitness of both mutant types on broccoli sprouts. Together these data indicate a role for flagella for some strains to physically colonize some plants, while the fitness of that colonization is positively affected by motility in almost all cases. PMID:19357783

  4. The use of flagella and motility for plant colonization and fitness by different strains of the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.

    PubMed

    Gorski, Lisa; Duhé, Jessica M; Flaherty, Denise

    2009-01-01

    The role of flagella and motility in the attachment of the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes to various surfaces is mixed with some systems requiring flagella for an interaction and others needing only motility for cells to get to the surface. In nature this bacterium is a saprophyte and contaminated produce is an avenue for infection. Previous studies have documented the ability of this organism to attach to and colonize plant tissue. Motility mutants were generated in three wild type strains of L. monocytogenes by deleting either flaA, the gene encoding flagellin, or motAB, genes encoding part of the flagellar motor, and tested for both the ability to colonize sprouts and for the fitness of that colonization. The motAB mutants were not affected in the colonization of alfalfa, radish, and broccoli sprouts; however, some of the flaA mutants showed reduced colonization ability. The best colonizing wild type strain was reduced in colonization on all three sprout types as a result of a flaA deletion. A mutant in another background was only affected on alfalfa. The third, a poor alfalfa colonizer was not affected in colonization ability by any of the deletions. Fitness of colonization was measured in experiments of competition between mixtures of mutant and parent strains on sprouts. Here the flaA and motAB mutants of the three strain backgrounds were impaired in fitness of colonization of alfalfa and radish sprouts, and one strain background showed reduced fitness of both mutant types on broccoli sprouts. Together these data indicate a role for flagella for some strains to physically colonize some plants, while the fitness of that colonization is positively affected by motility in almost all cases.

  5. Plant Hormones: How They Affect Root Formation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reinhard, Diana Hereda

    This science study aid, produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, includes a series of plant rooting activities for secondary science classes. The material in the pamphlet is written for students and includes background information on plant hormones, a vocabulary list, and five learning activities. Objectives, needed materials, and…

  6. Genetic diversity and fitness in small populations of partially asexual, self-incompatible plants.

    PubMed

    Navascués, M; Stoeckel, S; Mariette, S

    2010-05-01

    How self-incompatibility systems are maintained in plant populations is still a debated issue. Theoretical models predict that self-incompatibility systems break down according to the intensity of inbreeding depression and number of S-alleles. Other studies have explored the function of asexual reproduction in the maintenance of self-incompatibility. However, the population genetics of partially asexual, self-incompatible populations are poorly understood and previous studies have failed to consider all possible effects of asexual reproduction or could only speculate on those effects. In this study, we investigated how partial asexuality may affect genetic diversity at the S-locus and fitness in small self-incompatible populations. A genetic model including an S-locus and a viability locus was developed to perform forward simulations of the evolution of populations of various sizes. Drift combined with partial asexuality produced a decrease in the number of alleles at the S-locus. In addition, an excess of heterozygotes was present in the population, causing an increase in mutation load. This heterozygote excess was enhanced by the self-incompatibility system in small populations. In addition, in highly asexual populations, individuals produced asexually had some fitness advantages over individuals produced sexually, because sexual reproduction produces homozygotes of the deleterious allele, contrary to asexual reproduction. Our results suggest that future research on the function of asexuality for the maintenance of self-incompatibility will need to (1) account for whole-genome fitness (mutation load generated by asexuality, self-incompatibility and drift) and (2) acknowledge that the maintenance of self-incompatibility may not be independent of the maintenance of sex itself.

  7. Effects of Plant-Community Composition on the Vectorial Capacity and Fitness of the Malaria Mosquito Anopheles gambiae

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Christopher M.; Jackson, Bryan T.; Foster, Woodbridge A.

    2012-01-01

    Dynamics of Anopheles gambiae abundance and malaria transmission potential rely strongly on environmental conditions. Female and male An. gambiae use sugar and are affected by its absence, but how the presence or absence of nectariferous plants affects An. gambiae abundance and vectorial capacity has not been studied. We report on four replicates of a cohort study performed in mesocosms with sugar-poor and sugar-rich plants, in which we measured mosquito survival, biting rates, and fecundity. Survivorship was greater with access to sugar-rich plant species, and mortality patterns were age-dependent. Sugar-poor populations experienced Weibull mortality patterns, and of four populations in the sugar-rich environment, two female and three male subpopulations were better fitted by Gompertz functions. A tendency toward higher biting rates in sugar-poor mesocosms, particularly for young females, was found. Therefore, vectorial capacity was pulled in opposing directions by nectar availability, resulting in highly variable vectorial capacity values. PMID:22927493

  8. Herbivores alter the fitness benefits of a plant-rhizobium mutualism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heath, Katy D.; Lau, Jennifer A.

    2011-03-01

    Mutualisms are best understood from a community perspective, since third-party species have the potential to shift the costs and benefits in interspecific interactions. We manipulated plant genotypes, the presence of rhizobium mutualists, and the presence of a generalist herbivore and assessed the performance of all players in order to test whether antagonists might alter the fitness benefits of plant-rhizobium mutualism, and vice versa how mutualists might alter the fitness consequences of plant-herbivore antagonism. We found that plants in our experiment formed more associations with rhizobia (root nodules) in the presence of herbivores, thereby increasing the fitness benefits of mutualism for rhizobia. In contrast, the effects of rhizobia on herbivores were weak. Our data support a community-dependent view of these ecological interactions, and suggest that consideration of the aboveground herbivore community can inform ecological and evolutionary studies of legume-rhizobium interactions.

  9. Is Physiological Performance a Good Predictor for Fitness? Insights from an Invasive Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Molina-Montenegro, Marco A.; Salgado-Luarte, Cristian; Oses, Rómulo; Torres-Díaz, Cristian

    2013-01-01

    Is physiological performance a suitable proxy of fitness in plants? Although, several studies have been conducted to measure some fitness-related traits and physiological performance, direct assessments are seldom found in the literature. Here, we assessed the physiology-fitness relationship using second-generation individuals of the invasive plant species Taraxacum officinale from 17 localities distributed in five continents. Specifically, we tested if i) the maximum quantum yield is a good predictor for seed-output ii) whether this physiology-fitness relationship can be modified by environmental heterogeneity, and iii) if this relationship has an adaptive consequence for T. officinale individuals from different localities. Overall, we found a significant positive relationship between the maximum quantum yield and fitness for all localities evaluated, but this relationship decreased in T. officinale individuals from localities with greater environmental heterogeneity. Finally, we found that those individuals from localities where environmental conditions are highly seasonal performed better under heterogeneous environmental conditions. Contrarily, under homogeneous controlled conditions, those individuals from localities with low environmental seasonality performed much better. In conclusion, our results suggest that the maximum quantum yield seem to be good predictors for plant fitness. We suggest that rapid measurements, such as those obtained from the maximum quantum yield, could provide a straightforward proxy of individual’s fitness in changing environments. PMID:24204626

  10. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants.

    PubMed

    Argiolas, Alfredo; Puleo, Gian Luigi; Sinibaldi, Edoardo; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Scientists have identified turgor-based actuation as a fundamental mechanism in plant movements. Plant cell turgor is generated by water influx due to the osmolyte concentration gradient through the cell wall and the plasma membrane behaving as an osmotic barrier. Previous studies have focused on turgor modulation with respect to potassium chloride (KCl) concentration changes, although KCl is not efficiently retained in the cell, and many other compounds, including L-glutamine (L-Gln) and D-glucose (D-Glc), are present in the cytosol. In fact, the contributions of other osmolytes to turgor dynamics remain to be elucidated. Here, we show the association of osmolytes and their consequent cooperative effects on the time-dependent turgor profile generated in a model cytosol consisting of KCl, D-Glc and L-Gln at experimentally measured plant motor/generic cell concentrations and at modified concentrations. We demonstrate the influence and association of the osmolytes using osmometry and NMR measurements. We also show, using a plant cell-inspired device we previously developed, that osmolyte complexes, rather than single osmolytes, permit to obtain higher turgor required by plant movements. We provide quantitative cues for deeper investigations of osmolyte transport for plant movement, and reveal the possibility of developing osmotic actuators exploiting a dynamically varying concentration of osmolytes. PMID:27445173

  11. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants

    PubMed Central

    Argiolas, Alfredo; Puleo, Gian Luigi; Sinibaldi, Edoardo; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Scientists have identified turgor-based actuation as a fundamental mechanism in plant movements. Plant cell turgor is generated by water influx due to the osmolyte concentration gradient through the cell wall and the plasma membrane behaving as an osmotic barrier. Previous studies have focused on turgor modulation with respect to potassium chloride (KCl) concentration changes, although KCl is not efficiently retained in the cell, and many other compounds, including L-glutamine (L-Gln) and D-glucose (D-Glc), are present in the cytosol. In fact, the contributions of other osmolytes to turgor dynamics remain to be elucidated. Here, we show the association of osmolytes and their consequent cooperative effects on the time-dependent turgor profile generated in a model cytosol consisting of KCl, D-Glc and L-Gln at experimentally measured plant motor/generic cell concentrations and at modified concentrations. We demonstrate the influence and association of the osmolytes using osmometry and NMR measurements. We also show, using a plant cell-inspired device we previously developed, that osmolyte complexes, rather than single osmolytes, permit to obtain higher turgor required by plant movements. We provide quantitative cues for deeper investigations of osmolyte transport for plant movement, and reveal the possibility of developing osmotic actuators exploiting a dynamically varying concentration of osmolytes. PMID:27445173

  12. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argiolas, Alfredo; Puleo, Gian Luigi; Sinibaldi, Edoardo; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2016-07-01

    Scientists have identified turgor-based actuation as a fundamental mechanism in plant movements. Plant cell turgor is generated by water influx due to the osmolyte concentration gradient through the cell wall and the plasma membrane behaving as an osmotic barrier. Previous studies have focused on turgor modulation with respect to potassium chloride (KCl) concentration changes, although KCl is not efficiently retained in the cell, and many other compounds, including L-glutamine (L-Gln) and D-glucose (D-Glc), are present in the cytosol. In fact, the contributions of other osmolytes to turgor dynamics remain to be elucidated. Here, we show the association of osmolytes and their consequent cooperative effects on the time-dependent turgor profile generated in a model cytosol consisting of KCl, D-Glc and L-Gln at experimentally measured plant motor/generic cell concentrations and at modified concentrations. We demonstrate the influence and association of the osmolytes using osmometry and NMR measurements. We also show, using a plant cell-inspired device we previously developed, that osmolyte complexes, rather than single osmolytes, permit to obtain higher turgor required by plant movements. We provide quantitative cues for deeper investigations of osmolyte transport for plant movement, and reveal the possibility of developing osmotic actuators exploiting a dynamically varying concentration of osmolytes.

  13. Phenological mismatch strongly affects individual fitness but not population demography in a woodland passerine.

    PubMed

    Reed, Thomas E; Jenouvrier, Stephanie; Visser, Marcel E

    2013-01-01

    Populations are shifting their phenology in response to climate change, but these shifts are often asynchronous among interacting species. Resulting phenological mismatches can drive simultaneous changes in natural selection and population demography, but the links between these interacting processes are poorly understood. Here we analyse 37 years of data from an individual-based study of great tits (Parus major) in the Netherlands and use mixed-effects models to separate the within- and across-year effects of phenological mismatch between great tits and caterpillars (a key food source for developing nestlings) on components of fitness at the individual and population levels. Several components of individual fitness were affected by individual mismatch (i.e. late breeding relative to the caterpillar food peak date), including the probability of double-brooding, fledgling success, offspring recruitment probability and the number of recruits. Together these effects contributed to an overall negative relationship between relative fitness and laying dates, that is, selection for earlier laying on average. Directional selection for earlier laying was stronger in years where birds bred on average later than the food peak, but was weak or absent in years where the phenology of birds and caterpillars matched (i.e. no population mismatch). The mean number of fledglings per female was lower in years when population mismatch was high, in part because fewer second broods were produced. Population mismatch had a weak effect on the mean number of recruits per female, and no effect on mean adult survival, after controlling for the effects of breeding density and the quality of the autumnal beech (Fagus sylvatica) crop. These findings illustrate how climate change-induced mismatch can have strong effects on the relative fitness of phenotypes within years, but weak effects on mean demographic rates across years. We discuss various general mechanisms that influence the extent of

  14. Does Plant Origin Influence the Fitness Impact of Flower Damage? A Meta-Analysis.

    PubMed

    González-Browne, Catalina; Murúa, Maureen M; Navarro, Luis; Medel, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    Herbivory has been long considered an important component of plant-animal interactions that influences the success of invasive species in novel habitats. One of the most important hypotheses linking herbivory and invasion processes is the enemy-release hypothesis, in which exotic plants are hypothesized to suffer less herbivory and fitness-costs in their novel ranges as they leave behind their enemies in the original range. Most evidence, however, comes from studies on leaf herbivory, and the importance of flower herbivory for the invasion process remains largely unknown. Here we present the results of a meta-analysis of the impact of flower herbivory on plant reproductive success, using as moderators the type of damage caused by floral herbivores and the residence status of the plant species. We found 51 papers that fulfilled our criteria. We also included 60 records from unpublished data of the laboratory, gathering a total of 143 case studies. The effects of florivory and nectar robbing were both negative on plant fitness. The methodology employed in studies of flower herbivory influenced substantially the outcome of flower damage. Experiments using natural herbivory imposed a higher fitness cost than simulated herbivory, such as clipping and petal removal, indicating that studies using artificial herbivory as surrogates of natural herbivory underestimate the real fitness impact of flower herbivory. Although the fitness cost of floral herbivory was high both in native and exotic plant species, floral herbivores had a three-fold stronger fitness impact on exotic than native plants, contravening a critical element of the enemy-release hypothesis. Our results suggest a critical but largely unrecognized role of floral herbivores in preventing the spread of introduced species into newly colonized areas.

  15. Does Plant Origin Influence the Fitness Impact of Flower Damage? A Meta-Analysis.

    PubMed

    González-Browne, Catalina; Murúa, Maureen M; Navarro, Luis; Medel, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    Herbivory has been long considered an important component of plant-animal interactions that influences the success of invasive species in novel habitats. One of the most important hypotheses linking herbivory and invasion processes is the enemy-release hypothesis, in which exotic plants are hypothesized to suffer less herbivory and fitness-costs in their novel ranges as they leave behind their enemies in the original range. Most evidence, however, comes from studies on leaf herbivory, and the importance of flower herbivory for the invasion process remains largely unknown. Here we present the results of a meta-analysis of the impact of flower herbivory on plant reproductive success, using as moderators the type of damage caused by floral herbivores and the residence status of the plant species. We found 51 papers that fulfilled our criteria. We also included 60 records from unpublished data of the laboratory, gathering a total of 143 case studies. The effects of florivory and nectar robbing were both negative on plant fitness. The methodology employed in studies of flower herbivory influenced substantially the outcome of flower damage. Experiments using natural herbivory imposed a higher fitness cost than simulated herbivory, such as clipping and petal removal, indicating that studies using artificial herbivory as surrogates of natural herbivory underestimate the real fitness impact of flower herbivory. Although the fitness cost of floral herbivory was high both in native and exotic plant species, floral herbivores had a three-fold stronger fitness impact on exotic than native plants, contravening a critical element of the enemy-release hypothesis. Our results suggest a critical but largely unrecognized role of floral herbivores in preventing the spread of introduced species into newly colonized areas. PMID:26785039

  16. Does Plant Origin Influence the Fitness Impact of Flower Damage? A Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    González-Browne, Catalina; Murúa, Maureen M.; Navarro, Luis; Medel, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    Herbivory has been long considered an important component of plant-animal interactions that influences the success of invasive species in novel habitats. One of the most important hypotheses linking herbivory and invasion processes is the enemy-release hypothesis, in which exotic plants are hypothesized to suffer less herbivory and fitness-costs in their novel ranges as they leave behind their enemies in the original range. Most evidence, however, comes from studies on leaf herbivory, and the importance of flower herbivory for the invasion process remains largely unknown. Here we present the results of a meta-analysis of the impact of flower herbivory on plant reproductive success, using as moderators the type of damage caused by floral herbivores and the residence status of the plant species. We found 51 papers that fulfilled our criteria. We also included 60 records from unpublished data of the laboratory, gathering a total of 143 case studies. The effects of florivory and nectar robbing were both negative on plant fitness. The methodology employed in studies of flower herbivory influenced substantially the outcome of flower damage. Experiments using natural herbivory imposed a higher fitness cost than simulated herbivory, such as clipping and petal removal, indicating that studies using artificial herbivory as surrogates of natural herbivory underestimate the real fitness impact of flower herbivory. Although the fitness cost of floral herbivory was high both in native and exotic plant species, floral herbivores had a three-fold stronger fitness impact on exotic than native plants, contravening a critical element of the enemy-release hypothesis. Our results suggest a critical but largely unrecognized role of floral herbivores in preventing the spread of introduced species into newly colonized areas. PMID:26785039

  17. Effect of crop plants on fitness costs associated with resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab in cabbage loopers

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ran; Tetreau, Guillaume; Wang, Ping

    2016-01-01

    Fitness costs associated with resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins critically impact the development of resistance in insect populations. In this study, the fitness costs in Trichoplusia ni strains associated with two genetically independent resistance mechanisms to Bt toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab, individually and in combination, on four crop plants (cabbage, cotton, tobacco and tomato) were analyzed, in comparison with their near-isogenic susceptible strain. The net reproductive rate (R0) and intrinsic rate of increase (r) of the T. ni strains, regardless of their resistance traits, were strongly affected by the host plants. The ABCC2 gene-linked mechanism of Cry1Ac resistance was associated with relatively low fitness costs, while the Cry2Ab resistance mechanism was associated with higher fitness costs. The fitness costs in the presence of both resistance mechanisms in T. ni appeared to be non-additive. The relative fitness of Bt-resistant T. ni depended on the specific resistance mechanisms as well as host plants. In addition to difference in survivorship and fecundity, an asynchrony of adult emergence was observed among T. ni with different resistance mechanisms and on different host plants. Therefore, mechanisms of resistance and host plants available in the field are both important factors affecting development of Bt resistance in insects. PMID:26868936

  18. Individual dispersal decisions affect fitness via maternal rank effects in male rhesus macaques

    PubMed Central

    Weiß, Brigitte M.; Kulik, Lars; Ruiz-Lambides, Angelina V.; Widdig, Anja

    2016-01-01

    Natal dispersal may have considerable social, ecological and evolutionary consequences. While species-specific dispersal strategies have received much attention, individual variation in dispersal decisions and its fitness consequences remain poorly understood. We investigated causes and consequences of natal dispersal age in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), a species with male dispersal. Using long-term demographic and genetic data from a semi-free ranging population on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico, we analysed how the social environment such as maternal family, group and population characteristics affected the age at which males leave their natal group. While natal dispersal age was unrelated to most measures of group or population structure, our study confirmed earlier findings that sons of high-ranking mothers dispersed later than sons of low-ranking ones. Natal dispersal age did not affect males’ subsequent survival, but males dispersing later were more likely to reproduce. Late dispersers were likely to start reproducing while still residing in their natal group, frequently produced extra-group offspring before natal dispersal and subsequently dispersed to the group in which they had fathered offspring more likely than expected. Hence, the timing of natal dispersal was affected by maternal rank and influenced male reproduction, which, in turn affected which group males dispersed to. PMID:27576465

  19. Individual dispersal decisions affect fitness via maternal rank effects in male rhesus macaques.

    PubMed

    Weiß, Brigitte M; Kulik, Lars; Ruiz-Lambides, Angelina V; Widdig, Anja

    2016-01-01

    Natal dispersal may have considerable social, ecological and evolutionary consequences. While species-specific dispersal strategies have received much attention, individual variation in dispersal decisions and its fitness consequences remain poorly understood. We investigated causes and consequences of natal dispersal age in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), a species with male dispersal. Using long-term demographic and genetic data from a semi-free ranging population on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico, we analysed how the social environment such as maternal family, group and population characteristics affected the age at which males leave their natal group. While natal dispersal age was unrelated to most measures of group or population structure, our study confirmed earlier findings that sons of high-ranking mothers dispersed later than sons of low-ranking ones. Natal dispersal age did not affect males' subsequent survival, but males dispersing later were more likely to reproduce. Late dispersers were likely to start reproducing while still residing in their natal group, frequently produced extra-group offspring before natal dispersal and subsequently dispersed to the group in which they had fathered offspring more likely than expected. Hence, the timing of natal dispersal was affected by maternal rank and influenced male reproduction, which, in turn affected which group males dispersed to. PMID:27576465

  20. Disentangling effects of induced plant defenses and food quantity on herbivores by fitting nonlinear models.

    PubMed

    Morris, W F

    1997-09-01

    Plants can respond to herbivore damage through both broad-scale (systemic) and localized induced responses. While many studies have quantified the impact of systemic responses on herbivores, measuring the impact of localized changes is difficult because plant tissues that have suffered direct damage may represent both a lower quality and a lower quantity of food. This article uses nonlinear models to disentangle the confounding effects of prior herbivory on food quantity and quality. The first (null) model assumes that herbivore performance is determined only by the quantity of food available to an average herbivore. Modified models allow two distinct effects of damage-induced defenses: an increase in the amount of food each herbivore is required to consume in order to achieve maximum performance and a reduction in the maximum performance even when herbivores are fed ad lib. Maximum likelihood methods were used to fit the models to data from field experiments in which Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) larvae were reared on three varieties of potatoes that had been damaged to varying degrees by adult beetles. Prior damage reduced the mean mass of beetles at pupation, and this effect was due to both a decrease in food quantity and induced changes in food quality. In contrast, beetle survival was affected in some cases by reduced food quantity but showed no responses that could be attributed to induced defenses. I discuss this result in the context of previous studies of induced (mostly systemic) responses in the potato-potato beetle system, and I suggest that detailed studies of particular chemical responses and the proposed method of combining bioassays with quantitative models should be used as complementary approaches in future studies of herbivore-induced defenses in plants.

  1. Early herbivore alert matters: plant-mediated effects of egg deposition on higher trophic levels benefit plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Pashalidou, Foteini G; Frago, Enric; Griese, Eddie; Poelman, Erik H; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel; Fatouros, Nina E

    2015-09-01

    Induction of plant defences, specifically in response to herbivore attack, can save costs that would otherwise be needed to maintain defences even in the absence of herbivores. However, plants may suffer considerable damage during the time required to mount these defences against an attacker. This could be resolved if plants could respond to early cues, such as egg deposition, that reliably indicate future herbivory. We tested this hypothesis in a field experiment and found that egg deposition by the butterfly Pieris brassicae on black mustard (Brassica nigra) induced a plant response that negatively affected feeding caterpillars. The effect cascaded up to the third and fourth trophic levels (larval parasitoids and hyperparasitoids) by affecting the parasitisation rate and parasitoid performance. Overall, the defences induced by egg deposition had a positive effect on plant seed production and may therefore play an important role in the evolution of plant resistance to herbivores. PMID:26147078

  2. Disease resistance or growth: the role of plant hormones in balancing immune responses and fitness costs

    PubMed Central

    Denancé, Nicolas; Sánchez-Vallet, Andrea; Goffner, Deborah; Molina, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Plant growth and response to environmental cues are largely governed by phytohormones. The plant hormones ethylene, jasmonic acid, and salicylic acid (SA) play a central role in the regulation of plant immune responses. In addition, other plant hormones, such as auxins, abscisic acid (ABA), cytokinins, gibberellins, and brassinosteroids, that have been thoroughly described to regulate plant development and growth, have recently emerged as key regulators of plant immunity. Plant hormones interact in complex networks to balance the response to developmental and environmental cues and thus limiting defense-associated fitness costs. The molecular mechanisms that govern these hormonal networks are largely unknown. Moreover, hormone signaling pathways are targeted by pathogens to disturb and evade plant defense responses. In this review, we address novel insights on the regulatory roles of the ABA, SA, and auxin in plant resistance to pathogens and we describe the complex interactions among their signal transduction pathways. The strategies developed by pathogens to evade hormone-mediated defensive responses are also described. Based on these data we discuss how hormone signaling could be manipulated to improve the resistance of crops to pathogens. PMID:23745126

  3. The phytoestrogen prunetin affects body composition and improves fitness and lifespan in male Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Piegholdt, Stefanie; Rimbach, Gerald; Wagner, Anika E

    2016-02-01

    Dietary isoflavones, a group of secondary plant compounds that exhibit phytoestrogenic properties, are primarily found in soy. Prunetin, a representative isoflavone, was recently found to affect cell signaling in cultured cells; however, in vivo effects remain elusive. In this study, the model organism Drosophila melanogaster was used to investigate the effects of prunetin in vivo with respect to lifespan, locomotion, body composition, metabolism, and gut health. Adult flies were chronically administered a prunetin-supplemented diet. Prunetin improved median survival by 3 d, and climbing activity increased by 54% in males. In comparison with the females, male flies exhibited lower climbing activity, which was reversed by prunetin intake. Furthermore, prunetin-fed males exhibited increased expression of the longevity gene Sirtuin 1 (Sir2) (22%), as well as elevated AMPK activation (51%) and triglyceride levels (29%), whereas glucose levels decreased (36%). As females are long-lived compared with their male counterparts and exhibit higher triglyceride levels, prunetin apparently "feminizes" male flies via its estrogenicity. We conclude that the lifespan-prolonging effects of prunetin in the male fruit fly depend on changes in AMPK-regulated energy homeostasis via male "feminization." Collectively, we identified prunetin as a plant bioactive compound capable of improving health status and survival in male D. melanogaster. PMID:26538555

  4. Timing of cotyledon damage affects growth and flowering in mature plants.

    PubMed

    Hanley, M E; Fegan, E L

    2007-07-01

    Although the effects of herbivory on plant fitness are strongly linked to age, we understand little about how the timing of herbivory at the seedling stage affects growth and reproduction for plants that survive attack. In this study, we subjected six north-western European, dicotyledonous grassland species (Leontodon autumnalis, Leontodon hispidus, Plantago lanceolata, Plantago major, Trifolium pratense and Trifolium repens) to cotyledon removal at 7, 14 and 21 d old. We monitored subsequent growth and flowering (number of inflorescences recorded, and time taken for first flowers to open) over a 107 d period. Cotyledon removal reduced growth during establishment (35 d) for all species, and a further three exhibited reduced growth at maturity. Four species developed fewer inflorescences, or had delayed flowering after cotyledon removal. Although early damage (7 d old) had the greatest long-term effect on plant performance, responses varied according to the age at which the damage occurred and the species involved. Our results illustrate how growth and flowering into the mature phase is affected by cotyledon damage during different stages of seedling ontogeny, and we highlight the ways in which ontogenetic variation in seedling tolerance of tissue loss might impact upon plant fitness in mature plant communities. PMID:17547653

  5. Crop size, plant aggregation, and microhabitat type affect fruit removal by birds from individual melastome plants in the Upper Amazon.

    PubMed

    Blendinger, Pedro G; Loiselle, Bette A; Blake, John G

    2008-11-01

    We studied the efficiency (proportion of the crop removed) and quantitative effectiveness (number of fruits removed) of dispersal of Miconia fosteri and M. serrulata (Melastomataceae) seeds by birds in lowland tropical wet forest of Ecuador. Specifically, we examined variation in fruit removal in order to reveal the spatial scale at which crop size influences seed dispersal outcome of individual plants, and to evaluate how the effect of crop size on plant dispersal success may be affected by conspecific fruit abundance and by the spatial distribution of frugivore abundance. We established two 9-ha plots in undisturbed terra-firme understory, where six manakin species (Pipridae) disperse most seeds of these two plant species. Mean levels of fruit removal were low for both species, with high variability among plants. In general, plants with larger crop sizes experienced greater efficiency and effectiveness of fruit removal than plants with smaller crops. Fruit removal, however, was also influenced by microhabitat, such as local topography and local neighborhood. Fruit-rich and disperser-rich patches overlapped spatially for M. fosteri but not M. serrulata, nonetheless fruit removal of M. serrulata was still much greater in fruit-rich patches. Fruit removal from individual plants did not decrease in patches with many fruiting conspecifics and, in fact, removal effectiveness was enhanced for M. fosteri with small crop sizes when such plants were in patches with more conspecifics. These results suggest that benefits of attracting dispersers to a patch balanced or outweighed the costs of competition for dispersers. Spatial pattern of fruit removal, a measure of plant fitness, depended on a complex interaction among plant traits, spatial patterns of plant distribution, and disperser behavior. PMID:18810498

  6. Root Endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae Confers Plant Fitness Benefits that Are Phosphate Status Dependent.

    PubMed

    Hiruma, Kei; Gerlach, Nina; Sacristán, Soledad; Nakano, Ryohei Thomas; Hacquard, Stéphane; Kracher, Barbara; Neumann, Ulla; Ramírez, Diana; Bucher, Marcel; O'Connell, Richard J; Schulze-Lefert, Paul

    2016-04-01

    A staggering diversity of endophytic fungi associate with healthy plants in nature, but it is usually unclear whether these represent stochastic encounters or provide host fitness benefits. Although most characterized species of the fungal genus Colletotrichum are destructive pathogens, we show here that C. tofieldiae (Ct) is an endemic endophyte in natural Arabidopsis thaliana populations in central Spain. Colonization by Ct initiates in roots but can also spread systemically into shoots. Ct transfers the macronutrient phosphorus to shoots, promotes plant growth, and increases fertility only under phosphorus-deficient conditions, a nutrient status that might have facilitated the transition from pathogenic to beneficial lifestyles. The host's phosphate starvation response (PSR) system controls Ct root colonization and is needed for plant growth promotion (PGP). PGP also requires PEN2-dependent indole glucosinolate metabolism, a component of innate immune responses, indicating a functional link between innate immunity and the PSR system during beneficial interactions with Ct.

  7. Root Endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae Confers Plant Fitness Benefits that Are Phosphate Status Dependent.

    PubMed

    Hiruma, Kei; Gerlach, Nina; Sacristán, Soledad; Nakano, Ryohei Thomas; Hacquard, Stéphane; Kracher, Barbara; Neumann, Ulla; Ramírez, Diana; Bucher, Marcel; O'Connell, Richard J; Schulze-Lefert, Paul

    2016-04-01

    A staggering diversity of endophytic fungi associate with healthy plants in nature, but it is usually unclear whether these represent stochastic encounters or provide host fitness benefits. Although most characterized species of the fungal genus Colletotrichum are destructive pathogens, we show here that C. tofieldiae (Ct) is an endemic endophyte in natural Arabidopsis thaliana populations in central Spain. Colonization by Ct initiates in roots but can also spread systemically into shoots. Ct transfers the macronutrient phosphorus to shoots, promotes plant growth, and increases fertility only under phosphorus-deficient conditions, a nutrient status that might have facilitated the transition from pathogenic to beneficial lifestyles. The host's phosphate starvation response (PSR) system controls Ct root colonization and is needed for plant growth promotion (PGP). PGP also requires PEN2-dependent indole glucosinolate metabolism, a component of innate immune responses, indicating a functional link between innate immunity and the PSR system during beneficial interactions with Ct. PMID:26997485

  8. Root Endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae Confers Plant Fitness Benefits that Are Phosphate Status Dependent

    PubMed Central

    Hiruma, Kei; Gerlach, Nina; Sacristán, Soledad; Nakano, Ryohei Thomas; Hacquard, Stéphane; Kracher, Barbara; Neumann, Ulla; Ramírez, Diana; Bucher, Marcel; O’Connell, Richard J.; Schulze-Lefert, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Summary A staggering diversity of endophytic fungi associate with healthy plants in nature, but it is usually unclear whether these represent stochastic encounters or provide host fitness benefits. Although most characterized species of the fungal genus Colletotrichum are destructive pathogens, we show here that C. tofieldiae (Ct) is an endemic endophyte in natural Arabidopsis thaliana populations in central Spain. Colonization by Ct initiates in roots but can also spread systemically into shoots. Ct transfers the macronutrient phosphorus to shoots, promotes plant growth, and increases fertility only under phosphorus-deficient conditions, a nutrient status that might have facilitated the transition from pathogenic to beneficial lifestyles. The host’s phosphate starvation response (PSR) system controls Ct root colonization and is needed for plant growth promotion (PGP). PGP also requires PEN2-dependent indole glucosinolate metabolism, a component of innate immune responses, indicating a functional link between innate immunity and the PSR system during beneficial interactions with Ct. PMID:26997485

  9. Can programmed or self-selected physical activity affect physical fitness of adolescents?

    PubMed

    Neto, Cláudio F; Neto, Gabriel R; Araújo, Adenilson T; Sousa, Maria S C; Sousa, Juliana B C; Batista, Gilmário R; Reis, Victor M M R

    2014-09-29

    The aim of this study was to verify the effects of programmed and self-selected physical activities on the physical fitness of adolescents. High school adolescents, aged between 15 and 17 years, were divided into two experimental groups: a) a self-selected physical activity group (PAS) with 55 students (aged 15.7 ± 0.7 years), who performed physical activities with self-selected rhythm at the following sports: basketball, volleyball, handball, futsal and swimming; and b) a physical fitness training group (PFT) with 53 students (aged 16.0 ± 0.7 years), who performed programmed physical fitness exercises. Both types of activity were developed during 60 min classes. To assess physical fitness the PROESP-BR protocol was used. The statistical analysis was performed by repeated measures ANOVA. The measurements of pre and post-tests showed significantly different values after PFT in: 9 minute running test, medicine ball throw, horizontal jump, abdominal endurance, running speed and flexibility. After PAS differences were detected in abdominal endurance, agility, running speed and flexibility. The intervention with programmed physical activity promoted more changes in the physical abilities; however, in the self-selected program, agility was improved probably because of the practice of sports. Therefore, physical education teachers can use PFT to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and power of lower and upper limbs and PAS to improve agility of high school adolescents.

  10. Laboratory study to assess causative factors affecting temporal changes in filtering facepiece respirator fit: part I - pilot study.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Ziqing; Benson, Stacey; Lynch, Stephanie; Palmiero, Andy; Roberge, Raymond

    2011-12-01

    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is conducting a first-of-its-kind study that will assess respirator fit and facial dimension changes as a function of time and improve the scientific basis for decisions on the periodicity of fit testing. A representative sample of 220 subjects wearing filtering-facepiece respirators (FFR) will be evaluated to investigate factors that affect changes in respirator fit over time. The objective of this pilot study (n = 10) was to investigate the variation in fit test data collected in accordance with the study protocol. Inward leakage (IL) and filter penetration were measured for each donned respirator, permitting the calculation of face seal leakage (FSL) and fit factor (FF). The study included only subjects who (a) passed one of the first three fit tests (FF ≥ 100), and (b) demonstrated through a series of nine donnings that they achieved adequate fit (90th percentile FSL was ≤ 0.05). Following the respirator fit tests, 3-D scans of subjects were captured, and height, weight, and 13 traditional anthropometric facial dimensions were measured. The same data were collected 2 and 4 weeks after baseline. The mean change in FSL for the 10 subjects was 0.044% between Visits 1 and 2, and was 0.229% between Visits 1 and 3. Technicians achieved at least moderate reliability for all manual measurements except nose protrusion. Filter penetration was generally less than 0.03%. Geometric mean fit factors were not statistically different among the three visits. The large variability was observed with different respirator samples for the same model, between subjects (inter), and within each subject (intra). Although variability was observed, adequate fit was maintained for all 10 subjects. Pilot scans collected show subject faces remained the same over the 4 weeks. The consistent results during the pilot study indicate that the methods and procedures are appropriate for the 3-year main study. In addition, this baseline

  11. Corridors affect plants, animals, and their interactions in fragmented landscapes.

    SciTech Connect

    Tewksbury, Joshua, J.; Levey, Douglas, J.; Haddad, Nick, M.; Sargent, Sarah; Orrock, John, L.; Weldon, Aimee; Danielson, Brent, J.; Brinkerhoff, Jory; Damschen, Ellen, I.; Townsend, Patricia

    2002-10-01

    Tewksbury, J.J., D.J. Levey, N.M. Haddad, S. Sargent, J.L. Orrock, A. Weldon, B.J. Danielson, J. Brinkerhoff, E.I. Damschen, and P. Townsend. 2002. Corridors affect plants, animals, and their interactions in fragmented landscapes. PNAS 99(20):12923-12926. Among the most popular strategies for maintaining populations of both plants and animals in fragmented landscapes is to connect isolated patches with thin strips of habitat, called corridors. Corridors are thought to increase the exchange of individuals between habitat patches, promoting genetic exchange and reducing population fluctuations. Empirical studies addressing the effects of corridors have either been small in scale or have ignored confounding effects of increased habitat area created by the presence of a corridor. These methodological difficulties, coupled with a paucity of studies examining the effects of corridors on plants and plant-animal interactions, have sparked debate over the purported value of corridors in conservation planning. We report results of a large-scale experiment that directly address this debate. We demonstrate that corridors not only increase the exchange of animals between patches, but also facilitate two key plant-animal interactions: pollination and seed dispersal. Our results show that the beneficial effects of corridors extend beyond the area they add, and suggest that increased plant and animal movement through corridors will have positive impacts on plant populations and community interactions in fragmented landscapes.

  12. Growth-defense tradeoffs in plants: a balancing act to optimize fitness.

    PubMed

    Huot, Bethany; Yao, Jian; Montgomery, Beronda L; He, Sheng Yang

    2014-08-01

    Growth-defense tradeoffs are thought to occur in plants due to resource restrictions, which demand prioritization towards either growth or defense, depending on external and internal factors. These tradeoffs have profound implications in agriculture and natural ecosystems, as both processes are vital for plant survival, reproduction, and, ultimately, plant fitness. While many of the molecular mechanisms underlying growth and defense tradeoffs remain to be elucidated, hormone crosstalk has emerged as a major player in regulating tradeoffs needed to achieve a balance. In this review, we cover recent advances in understanding growth-defense tradeoffs in plants as well as what is known regarding the underlying molecular mechanisms. Specifically, we address evidence supporting the growth-defense tradeoff concept, as well as known interactions between defense signaling and growth signaling. Understanding the molecular basis of these tradeoffs in plants should provide a foundation for the development of breeding strategies that optimize the growth-defense balance to maximize crop yield to meet rising global food and biofuel demands. PMID:24777989

  13. Growth–Defense Tradeoffs in Plants: A Balancing Act to Optimize Fitness

    PubMed Central

    Huot, Bethany; Yao, Jian; Montgomery, Beronda L.; He, Sheng Yang

    2014-01-01

    Growth–defense tradeoffs are thought to occur in plants due to resource restrictions, which demand prioritization towards either growth or defense, depending on external and internal factors. These tradeoffs have profound implications in agriculture and natural ecosystems, as both processes are vital for plant survival, reproduction, and, ultimately, plant fitness. While many of the molecular mechanisms underlying growth and defense tradeoffs remain to be elucidated, hormone crosstalk has emerged as a major player in regulating tradeoffs needed to achieve a balance. In this review, we cover recent advances in understanding growth–defense tradeoffs in plants as well as what is known regarding the underlying molecular mechanisms. Specifically, we address evidence supporting the growth–defense tradeoff concept, as well as known interactions between defense signaling and growth signaling. Understanding the molecular basis of these tradeoffs in plants should provide a foundation for the development of breeding strategies that optimize the growth–defense balance to maximize crop yield to meet rising global food and biofuel demands. PMID:24777989

  14. Growth-defense tradeoffs in plants: a balancing act to optimize fitness.

    PubMed

    Huot, Bethany; Yao, Jian; Montgomery, Beronda L; He, Sheng Yang

    2014-08-01

    Growth-defense tradeoffs are thought to occur in plants due to resource restrictions, which demand prioritization towards either growth or defense, depending on external and internal factors. These tradeoffs have profound implications in agriculture and natural ecosystems, as both processes are vital for plant survival, reproduction, and, ultimately, plant fitness. While many of the molecular mechanisms underlying growth and defense tradeoffs remain to be elucidated, hormone crosstalk has emerged as a major player in regulating tradeoffs needed to achieve a balance. In this review, we cover recent advances in understanding growth-defense tradeoffs in plants as well as what is known regarding the underlying molecular mechanisms. Specifically, we address evidence supporting the growth-defense tradeoff concept, as well as known interactions between defense signaling and growth signaling. Understanding the molecular basis of these tradeoffs in plants should provide a foundation for the development of breeding strategies that optimize the growth-defense balance to maximize crop yield to meet rising global food and biofuel demands.

  15. Ploidy frequencies in plants with ploidy heterogeneity: fitting a general gametic model to empirical population data

    PubMed Central

    Suda, Jan; Herben, Tomáš

    2013-01-01

    Genome duplication (polyploidy) is a recurrent evolutionary process in plants, often conferring instant reproductive isolation and thus potentially leading to speciation. Outcome of the process is often seen in the field as different cytotypes co-occur in many plant populations. Failure of meiotic reduction during gametogenesis is widely acknowledged to be the main mode of polyploid formation. To get insight into its role in the dynamics of polyploidy generation under natural conditions, and coexistence of several ploidy levels, we developed a general gametic model for diploid–polyploid systems. This model predicts equilibrium ploidy frequencies as functions of several parameters, namely the unreduced gamete proportions and fertilities of higher ploidy plants. We used data on field ploidy frequencies for 39 presumably autopolyploid plant species/populations to infer numerical values of the model parameters (either analytically or using an optimization procedure). With the exception of a few species, the model fit was very high. The estimated proportions of unreduced gametes (median of 0.0089) matched published estimates well. Our results imply that conditions for cytotype coexistence in natural populations are likely to be less restrictive than previously assumed. In addition, rather simple models show sufficiently rich behaviour to explain the prevalence of polyploids among flowering plants. PMID:23193129

  16. Trade-offs between clonal and sexual reproduction in Sagittaria latifolia (Alismataceae) scale up to affect the fitness of entire clones.

    PubMed

    Van Drunen, Wendy E; Dorken, Marcel E

    2012-10-01

    Many plants combine sexual reproduction with vegetative propagation, but how trade-offs between these reproductive modes affect fitness is poorly understood. Although such trade-offs have been demonstrated at the level of individual shoots (ramets), there is little evidence that they scale up to affect genet fitness. For hermaphrodites, reproductive investment is further divided between female and male sexual functions. Female function should generally incur greater carbon costs than male function, which might involve greater nitrogen (N) costs. Using a common garden experiment with diclinous, clonal Sagittaria latifolia we manipulated investment in reproduction through female and male sex functions of 412 plants from monoecious and dioecious populations. We detected a 1:1 trade-off between biomass investment in female function and clonal reproduction. For male function, there was no apparent trade-off between clonal and sexual reproduction in terms of biomass investment. Instead, male function incurred a substantially higher N cost. Our results indicate that: trade-offs between investment in clonal propagation and sexual reproduction occur at the genet level in S. latifolia; and sexual reproduction interferes with clonal expansion, with investment in female function limiting the quantity of clonal propagules produced, and investment in male function limiting the nutrient content of clonal propagules.

  17. ADP1 affects plant architecture by regulating local auxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Li, Ruixi; Li, Jieru; Li, Shibai; Qin, Genji; Novák, Ondřej; Pěnčík, Aleš; Ljung, Karin; Aoyama, Takashi; Liu, Jingjing; Murphy, Angus; Gu, Hongya; Tsuge, Tomohiko; Qu, Li-Jia

    2014-01-01

    Plant architecture is one of the key factors that affect plant survival and productivity. Plant body structure is established through the iterative initiation and outgrowth of lateral organs, which are derived from the shoot apical meristem and root apical meristem, after embryogenesis. Here we report that ADP1, a putative MATE (multidrug and toxic compound extrusion) transporter, plays an essential role in regulating lateral organ outgrowth, and thus in maintaining normal architecture of Arabidopsis. Elevated expression levels of ADP1 resulted in accelerated plant growth rate, and increased the numbers of axillary branches and flowers. Our molecular and genetic evidence demonstrated that the phenotypes of plants over-expressing ADP1 were caused by reduction of local auxin levels in the meristematic regions. We further discovered that this reduction was probably due to decreased levels of auxin biosynthesis in the local meristematic regions based on the measured reduction in IAA levels and the gene expression data. Simultaneous inactivation of ADP1 and its three closest homologs led to growth retardation, relative reduction of lateral organ number and slightly elevated auxin level. Our results indicated that ADP1-mediated regulation of the local auxin level in meristematic regions is an essential determinant for plant architecture maintenance by restraining the outgrowth of lateral organs. PMID:24391508

  18. Plant ecology. Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Yann; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Reich, Peter B

    2015-04-17

    Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth's ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the stability of ecosystem productivity is only changed by those drivers that alter biodiversity, with a given decrease in plant species numbers leading to a quantitatively similar decrease in ecosystem stability regardless of which driver caused the biodiversity loss. These results suggest that changes in biodiversity caused by drivers of environmental change may be a major factor determining how global environmental changes affect ecosystem stability.

  19. Does citrus leaf miner impair hydraulics and fitness of citrus host plants?

    PubMed

    Raimondo, Fabio; Trifilò, Patrizia; Gullo, Maria A Lo

    2013-12-01

    Gas exchange and hydraulic features were measured in leaves of three different Citrus species (Citrus aurantium L., Citrus limon L., Citrus  ×  paradisii Macfad) infested by Phyllocnistis citrella Staiton, with the aim to quantify the impact of this pest on leaf hydraulics and, ultimately, on plant fitness. Infested leaves were characterized by the presence on the leaf blade of typical snake-shaped mines and, in some cases, of a crumpled leaf blade. Light microscopy showed that leaf crumpling was induced by damage to the cuticular layer. In all three Citrus species examined: (a) the degree of infestation did not exceed 10% of the total surface area of infested plants; (b) control and infested leaves showed similar values of minimum diurnal leaf water potential, leaf hydraulic conductance and functional vein density; and (c) maximum diurnal values of stomatal conductance to water vapour, transpiration rate and photosynthetic rate (An) were similar in both control leaves and the green areas of infested leaves. A strong reduction of An was recorded only in mined leaf areas. Our data suggest that infestation with P. citrella does not cause conspicuous plant productivity reductions in young Citrus plants, at least not in the three Citrus species studied here.

  20. Do increases in selected fitness parameters affect the aesthetic aspects of classical ballet performance?

    PubMed

    Twitchett, Emily A; Angioi, Manuela; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Wyon, Matthew

    2011-03-01

    Research has indicated that classical ballet dancers tend to have lower fitness levels and increased injury rates compared to other athletes with similar workloads. The aim of the current study was to examine the effects of a specifically tailored fitness training programme on the incidence of injury and the aesthetic quality of performance of classical ballet dancers compared to a control group. Proficiency in performance was evaluated at the beginning and end of the intervention period for both groups through a 4-min dance sequence using previously ratified marking criteria. The intervention group (n = 8) partook in a weekly 1-hr training session that included aerobic interval training, circuit training, and whole body vibration. All dancers' performance proficiency scores increased from pre-intervention testing to post-intervention. The intervention group's overall performance scores demonstrated a significantly greater increase (p = 0.03) than the equivalent for the control group. It was concluded that supplementary fitness training has a positive effect on aspects related to aesthetic dance performance as studied herein; further research is recommended on a larger and more varied sample. Practical applications from this study suggest that supplemental training should be part of a ballet dancer's regime, and minimal intervention time is required to have observable effects.

  1. Escape From Monoclonal Antibody Neutralization Affects Henipavirus Fitness In Vitro and In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Borisevich, Viktoriya; Lee, Benhur; Hickey, Andrew; DeBuysscher, Blair; Broder, Christopher C; Feldmann, Heinz; Rockx, Barry

    2016-02-01

    Henipaviruses are zoonotic viruses that can cause severe and acute respiratory diseases and encephalitis in humans. To date, no vaccine or treatments are approved for human use. The presence of neutralizing antibodies is a strong correlate of protection against lethal disease in animals. However, since RNA viruses are prone to high mutation rates, the possibility that these viruses will escape neutralization remains a potential concern. In the present study, we generated neutralization-escape mutants, using 6 different monoclonal antibodies, and studied the effect of these neutralization-escape mutations on in vitro and in vivo fitness. These data provide a mechanism for overcoming neutralization escape by use of cocktails of cross-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies that recognize residues within the glycoprotein that are important for virus replication and virulence.

  2. Predation Success By A Plant-Ant Indirectly Favours The Growth And Fitness Of Its Host Myrmecophyte

    PubMed Central

    Dejean, Alain; Orivel, Jérôme; Rossi, Vivien; Roux, Olivier; Lauth, Jérémie; Malé, Pierre-Jean G.; Céréghino, Régis; Leroy, Céline

    2013-01-01

    Mutualisms, or interactions between species that lead to net fitness benefits for each species involved, are stable and ubiquitous in nature mostly due to “byproduct benefits” stemming from the intrinsic traits of one partner that generate an indirect and positive outcome for the other. Here we verify if myrmecotrophy (where plants obtain nutrients from the refuse of their associated ants) can explain the stability of the tripartite association between the myrmecophyte Hirtella physophora, the ant Allomerus decemarticulatus and an Ascomycota fungus. The plant shelters and provides the ants with extrafloral nectar. The ants protect the plant from herbivores and integrate the fungus into the construction of a trap that they use to capture prey; they also provide the fungus and their host plant with nutrients. During a 9-month field study, we over-provisioned experimental ant colonies with insects, enhancing colony fitness (i.e., more winged females were produced). The rate of partial castration of the host plant, previously demonstrated, was not influenced by the experiment. Experimental plants showed higher δ15N values (confirming myrmecotrophy), plus enhanced vegetative growth (e.g., more leaves produced increased the possibility of lodging ants in leaf pouches) and fitness (i.e., more fruits produced and more flowers that matured into fruit). This study highlights the importance of myrmecotrophy on host plant fitness and the stability of ant-myrmecophyte mutualisms. PMID:23516632

  3. Multi range spectral feature fitting for hyperspectral imagery in extracting oilseed rape planting area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Zhuokun; Huang, Jingfeng; Wang, Fumin

    2013-12-01

    Spectral feature fitting (SFF) is a commonly used strategy for hyperspectral imagery analysis to discriminate ground targets. Compared to other image analysis techniques, SFF does not secure higher accuracy in extracting image information in all circumstances. Multi range spectral feature fitting (MRSFF) from ENVI software allows user to focus on those interesting spectral features to yield better performance. Thus spectral wavelength ranges and their corresponding weights must be determined. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the performance of MRSFF in oilseed rape planting area extraction. A practical method for defining the weighted values, the variance coefficient weight method, was proposed to set up criterion. Oilseed rape field canopy spectra from the whole growth stage were collected prior to investigating its phenological varieties; oilseed rape endmember spectra were extracted from the Hyperion image as identifying samples to be used in analyzing the oilseed rape field. Wavelength range divisions were determined by the difference between field-measured spectra and image spectra, and image spectral variance coefficient weights for each wavelength range were calculated corresponding to field-measured spectra from the closest date. By using MRSFF, wavelength ranges were classified to characterize the target's spectral features without compromising spectral profile's entirety. The analysis was substantially successful in extracting oilseed rape planting areas (RMSE ≤ 0.06), and the RMSE histogram indicated a superior result compared to a conventional SFF. Accuracy assessment was based on the mapping result compared with spectral angle mapping (SAM) and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). The MRSFF yielded a robust, convincible result and, therefore, may further the use of hyperspectral imagery in precision agriculture.

  4. Impact of Plant Cover on Fitness and Behavioural Traits of Captive Red-Eyed Tree Frogs (Agalychnis callidryas)

    PubMed Central

    Preziosi, Richard F.

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance of ex situ conservation programmes as highlighted in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan, there are few empirical studies that examine the influence of captive conditions on the fitness of amphibians, even for basic components of enclosure design such as cover provision. Maintaining the fitness of captive amphibian populations is essential to the success of ex situ conservation projects. Here we examined the impact of plant cover on measures of fitness and behaviour in captive red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas). We found significant effects of plant provision on body size, growth rates and cutaneous bacterial communities that together demonstrate a compelling fitness benefit from cover provision. We also demonstrate a strong behavioural preference for planted rather than non-planted areas. We also assessed the impact of plant provision on the abiotic environment in the enclosure as a potential driver of these behavioural and fitness effects. Together this data provides valuable information regarding enclosure design for a non-model amphibian species and has implications for amphibian populations maintained in captivity for conservation breeding programmes and research. PMID:24740289

  5. Impact of plant cover on fitness and behavioural traits of captive red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas).

    PubMed

    Michaels, Christopher J; Antwis, Rachael E; Preziosi, Richard F

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance of ex situ conservation programmes as highlighted in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan, there are few empirical studies that examine the influence of captive conditions on the fitness of amphibians, even for basic components of enclosure design such as cover provision. Maintaining the fitness of captive amphibian populations is essential to the success of ex situ conservation projects. Here we examined the impact of plant cover on measures of fitness and behaviour in captive red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas). We found significant effects of plant provision on body size, growth rates and cutaneous bacterial communities that together demonstrate a compelling fitness benefit from cover provision. We also demonstrate a strong behavioural preference for planted rather than non-planted areas. We also assessed the impact of plant provision on the abiotic environment in the enclosure as a potential driver of these behavioural and fitness effects. Together this data provides valuable information regarding enclosure design for a non-model amphibian species and has implications for amphibian populations maintained in captivity for conservation breeding programmes and research. PMID:24740289

  6. Soil microbes and plant invasions—how soil-borne pathogens regulate plant populations and affect plant invasions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exotic plant invaders are a major global threat to biodiversity and ecosystem function. Here I present multiple lines of evidence suggesting that soil microbial communities affect the population growth rates of Prunus serotina in its native range and affect its invasiveness abroad. Research often ...

  7. Gene-environment interplay in Drosophila melanogaster: chronic food deprivation in early life affects adult exploratory and fitness traits.

    PubMed

    Burns, James Geoffrey; Svetec, Nicolas; Rowe, Locke; Mery, Frederic; Dolan, Michael J; Boyce, W Thomas; Sokolowski, Marla B

    2012-10-16

    Early life adversity has known impacts on adult health and behavior, yet little is known about the gene-environment interactions (GEIs) that underlie these consequences. We used the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to show that chronic early nutritional adversity interacts with rover and sitter allelic variants of foraging (for) to affect adult exploratory behavior, a phenotype that is critical for foraging, and reproductive fitness. Chronic nutritional adversity during adulthood did not affect rover or sitter adult exploratory behavior; however, early nutritional adversity in the larval period increased sitter but not rover adult exploratory behavior. Increasing for gene expression in the mushroom bodies, an important center of integration in the fly brain, changed the amount of exploratory behavior exhibited by sitter adults when they did not experience early nutritional adversity but had no effect in sitters that experienced early nutritional adversity. Manipulation of the larval nutritional environment also affected adult reproductive output of sitters but not rovers, indicating GEIs on fitness itself. The natural for variants are an excellent model to examine how GEIs underlie the biological embedding of early experience.

  8. Genotype-by-environment interaction and the fitness of plant hybrids in the wild.

    PubMed

    Campbell, D R; Waser, N M

    2001-04-01

    Natural hybrid zones between related species illustrate processes that contribute to genetic differentiation and species formation. A common viewpoint is that hybrids are essentially unfit, but they exist in a stable tension zone where selection against them is balanced by gene flow between the parent species. An alternative idea is that selection depends on the environment, for example, by favoring opposite traits in the two parental habitats or favoring hybrids within a bounded region. To determine whether selection of hybrids is environment dependent, we crossed plants of naturally hybridizing Ipomopsis aggregata and I. tenuituba in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and reciprocally planted the seed offspring into a suite of natural environments across the hybrid zone. All types of crosses produced similar numbers and weights of seeds. However, survival of the offspring after 5 years differed markedly among cross types. On average, the F1 hybrids had survival and growth rates as high as the average for their parents. But hybrid survival depended strongly on the direction of a cross, that is, on which species served as the maternal parent. This fitness difference between reciprocal hybrids appeared only in the parental environments, suggesting cytonuclear gene interactions that are environment specific. These results indicate that complex genotype-by-environment interactions can contribute to the evolutionary outcome of hybridization. PMID:11392384

  9. Cardiorespiratory fitness moderates the effect of an affect-guided physical activity prescription: a pilot randomized controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, Austin S; Kangas, Julie L; Denman, Deanna C; Smits, Jasper A J; Yamada, Tetsuhiro; Otto, Michael W

    2016-11-01

    Physical activity (PA) interventions have a clear role in promoting mental health. Current PA guidelines directed toward specific PA intensities may have negative effects on affective response to exercise, and affective response is an important determinant of PA adherence. In this randomized trial of 67 previously inactive adults, we compared the effects of a PA prescription emphasizing the maintenance of positive affect to one emphasizing a target heart rate, and tested the extent to which the effect of the affect-guided prescription on PA is moderated by cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). We found the effect of an affect-guided prescription was significantly moderated by CRF. At one week, for participants with lower CRF (i.e. poor conditioning), the affect-guided prescription resulted in significantly greater change in PA minutes (M = 240.8) than the heart rate-guided prescription (M = 165.7), reflecting a moderate-sized effect (d = .55). For those with higher CRF (i.e. good conditioning), the means were in the opposite direction but not significantly different. At one month, the same pattern emerged but the interaction was not significant. We discuss the implications of these findings for the type of PA prescriptions offered to individuals in need.

  10. Host-specific thermal profiles affect fitness of a widespread pathogen.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Lisa A; Roznik, Elizabeth A; Alford, Ross A; Pike, David A

    2014-11-01

    pathogen fitness. Understanding the functional response of pathogens to conditions experienced by the host is important for determining the ecological drivers of disease outbreaks. PMID:25505533

  11. Endozoochorous dispersal of aquatic plants: does seed gut passage affect plant performance?

    PubMed

    Figuerola, Jordi; Santamaría, Luis; Green, Andy J; Luque, Isabel; Alvarez, Raquel; Charalambidou, Iris

    2005-04-01

    The ingestion of seeds by vertebrates can affect the germinability and/or germination rate of seeds. It is, however, unclear if an earlier germination as a result of ingestion affects later plant performance. For sago pondweed, Potamogeton pectinatus, the effects of seed ingestion by ducks on both germinability and germination rate have been previously reported from laboratory experiments. We performed an experiment to determine the effects of seed ingestion by ducks on germination, seedling survival, plant growth and asexual multiplication. Both at the start and end of the winter, seeds were fed to three captive shovelers (Anas clypeata) and planted outdoors in water-filled containers. Plant biomass and its allocation to vegetative parts (shoot and roots), tubers, and seeds were determined in autumn. More duck-ingested seeds than control (uningested) seeds germinated in early winter, but this difference disappeared for seeds planted in late winter, when the treatments were first stratified for 3 mo. None of the variables for measuring seedling survival and plant performance varied between treatments. Under our experimental conditions (no herbivory or competition), ingestion by ducks in early winter resulted in increased performance for seeds surviving gut passage due to enhanced seed germinability, without other costs or benefits for the seedlings.

  12. High Ozone (O3) Affects the Fitness Associated with the Microbial Composition and Abundance of Q Biotype Bemisia tabaci

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Yanyun; Yi, Tuyong; Tan, Xiaoling; Zhao, Zihua; Ge, Feng

    2016-01-01

    Ozone (O3) affects the fitness of an insect, such as its development, reproduction and protection against fungal pathogens, but the mechanism by which it does so remains unclear. Here, we compared the fitness (i.e., the growth and development time, reproduction and protection against Beauveria bassiana (B. bassiana) of Q biotype whiteflies fumigated under hO3 (280 ± 20 ppb) and control O3 (50 ± 10 ppb) concentrations. Moreover, we determined that gene expression was related to development, reproduction and immunity to B. bassiana and examined the abundance and composition of bacteria and fungi inside of the body and on the surface of the Q biotype whitefly. We observed a significantly enhanced number of eggs that were laid by a female, shortened developmental time, prolonged adult lifespan, decreased weight of one eclosion, and reduced immunity to B. bassiana in whiteflies under hO3, but hO3 did not significantly affect the expression of genes related to development, reproduction and immunity. However, hO3 obviously changed the composition of the bacterial communities inside of the body and on the surface of the whiteflies, significantly reducing Rickettsia and enhancing Candidatus_Cardinium. Similarly, hO3 significantly enhanced Thysanophora penicillioides from the Trichocomaceae family and reduced Dothideomycetes (at the class level) inside of the body. Furthermore, positive correlations were found between the abundance of Candidatus_Cardinium and the female whitefly ratio and the fecundity of a single female, and positive correlations were found between the abundance of Rickettsia and the weight of adult whiteflies just after eclosion and immunity to B. bassiana. We conclude that hO3 enhances whitefly development and reproduction but impairs immunity to B. bassiana, and our results also suggest that the changes to the microbial environments inside of the body and on the surface could be crucial factors that alter whitefly fitness under hO3. PMID:27799921

  13. A plant cell division algorithm based on cell biomechanics and ellipse-fitting

    PubMed Central

    Abera, Metadel K.; Verboven, Pieter; Defraeye, Thijs; Fanta, Solomon Workneh; Hertog, Maarten L. A. T. M.; Carmeliet, Jan; Nicolai, Bart M.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims The importance of cell division models in cellular pattern studies has been acknowledged since the 19th century. Most of the available models developed to date are limited to symmetric cell division with isotropic growth. Often, the actual growth of the cell wall is either not considered or is updated intermittently on a separate time scale to the mechanics. This study presents a generic algorithm that accounts for both symmetrically and asymmetrically dividing cells with isotropic and anisotropic growth. Actual growth of the cell wall is simulated simultaneously with the mechanics. Methods The cell is considered as a closed, thin-walled structure, maintained in tension by turgor pressure. The cell walls are represented as linear elastic elements that obey Hooke's law. Cell expansion is induced by turgor pressure acting on the yielding cell-wall material. A system of differential equations for the positions and velocities of the cell vertices as well as for the actual growth of the cell wall is established. Readiness to divide is determined based on cell size. An ellipse-fitting algorithm is used to determine the position and orientation of the dividing wall. The cell vertices, walls and cell connectivity are then updated and cell expansion resumes. Comparisons are made with experimental data from the literature. Key Results The generic plant cell division algorithm has been implemented successfully. It can handle both symmetrically and asymmetrically dividing cells coupled with isotropic and anisotropic growth modes. Development of the algorithm highlighted the importance of ellipse-fitting to produce randomness (biological variability) even in symmetrically dividing cells. Unlike previous models, a differential equation is formulated for the resting length of the cell wall to simulate actual biological growth and is solved simultaneously with the position and velocity of the vertices. Conclusions The algorithm presented can produce different

  14. Inclusive fitness in agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Kiers, E. Toby; Denison, R. Ford

    2014-01-01

    Trade-offs between individual fitness and the collective performance of crop and below-ground symbiont communities are common in agriculture. Plant competitiveness for light and soil resources is key to individual fitness, but higher investments in stems and roots by a plant community to compete for those resources ultimately reduce crop yields. Similarly, rhizobia and mycorrhizal fungi may increase their individual fitness by diverting resources to their own reproduction, even if they could have benefited collectively by providing their shared crop host with more nitrogen and phosphorus, respectively. Past selection for inclusive fitness (benefits to others, weighted by their relatedness) is unlikely to have favoured community performance over individual fitness. The limited evidence for kin recognition in plants and microbes changes this conclusion only slightly. We therefore argue that there is still ample opportunity for human-imposed selection to improve cooperation among crop plants and their symbionts so that they use limited resources more efficiently. This evolutionarily informed approach will require a better understanding of how interactions among crops, and interactions with their symbionts, affected their inclusive fitness in the past and what that implies for current interactions. PMID:24686938

  15. Inclusive fitness in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kiers, E Toby; Denison, R Ford

    2014-05-19

    Trade-offs between individual fitness and the collective performance of crop and below-ground symbiont communities are common in agriculture. Plant competitiveness for light and soil resources is key to individual fitness, but higher investments in stems and roots by a plant community to compete for those resources ultimately reduce crop yields. Similarly, rhizobia and mycorrhizal fungi may increase their individual fitness by diverting resources to their own reproduction, even if they could have benefited collectively by providing their shared crop host with more nitrogen and phosphorus, respectively. Past selection for inclusive fitness (benefits to others, weighted by their relatedness) is unlikely to have favoured community performance over individual fitness. The limited evidence for kin recognition in plants and microbes changes this conclusion only slightly. We therefore argue that there is still ample opportunity for human-imposed selection to improve cooperation among crop plants and their symbionts so that they use limited resources more efficiently. This evolutionarily informed approach will require a better understanding of how interactions among crops, and interactions with their symbionts, affected their inclusive fitness in the past and what that implies for current interactions.

  16. Inclusive fitness in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kiers, E Toby; Denison, R Ford

    2014-05-19

    Trade-offs between individual fitness and the collective performance of crop and below-ground symbiont communities are common in agriculture. Plant competitiveness for light and soil resources is key to individual fitness, but higher investments in stems and roots by a plant community to compete for those resources ultimately reduce crop yields. Similarly, rhizobia and mycorrhizal fungi may increase their individual fitness by diverting resources to their own reproduction, even if they could have benefited collectively by providing their shared crop host with more nitrogen and phosphorus, respectively. Past selection for inclusive fitness (benefits to others, weighted by their relatedness) is unlikely to have favoured community performance over individual fitness. The limited evidence for kin recognition in plants and microbes changes this conclusion only slightly. We therefore argue that there is still ample opportunity for human-imposed selection to improve cooperation among crop plants and their symbionts so that they use limited resources more efficiently. This evolutionarily informed approach will require a better understanding of how interactions among crops, and interactions with their symbionts, affected their inclusive fitness in the past and what that implies for current interactions. PMID:24686938

  17. Incest versus abstinence: reproductive trade-offs between mate limitation and progeny fitness in a self-incompatible invasive plant.

    PubMed

    Pierson, Jennifer C; Swain, Stephen M; Young, Andrew G

    2013-12-01

    Plant mating systems represent an evolutionary and ecological trade-off between reproductive assurance through selfing and maximizing progeny fitness through outbreeding. However, many plants with sporophytic self-incompatibility systems exhibit dominance interactions at the S-locus that allow biparental inbreeding, thereby facilitating mating between individuals that share alleles at the S-locus. We investigated this trade-off by estimating mate availability and biparental inbreeding depression in wild radish from five different populations across Australia. We found dominance interactions among S-alleles increased mate availability relative to estimates based on individuals that did not share S-alleles. Twelve of the sixteen fitness variables were significantly reduced by inbreeding. For all the three life-history phases evaluated, self-fertilized offspring suffered a greater than 50% reduction in fitness, while full-sib and half-sib offspring suffered a less than 50% reduction in fitness. Theory indicates that fitness costs greater than 50% can result in an evolutionary trajectory toward a stable state of self-incompatibility (SI). This study suggests that dominance interactions at the S-locus provide a possible third stable state between SI and SC where biparental inbreeding increases mate availability with relatively minor fitness costs. This strategy allows weeds to establish in new environments while maintaining a functional SI system.

  18. Adverse influence on reproduction and potential fitness cost in survivors of orthene-treated tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    By using dose response to Orthene at 80 mg/L (LC50 of the laboratory susceptible colony), a relative resistant population (71% survival rate) of the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris, was located near Tillar, Arkansas. This population was used in this study to evaluate potential fitness cost in ...

  19. Aminoglycoside resistance 16S rRNA methyltransferases block endogenous methylation, affect translation efficiency and fitness of the host

    PubMed Central

    Lioy, Virginia S.; Goussard, Sylvie; Guerineau, Vincent; Yoon, Eun-Jeong; Courvalin, Patrice; Galimand, Marc; Grillot-Courvalin, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    In Gram-negative bacteria, acquired 16S rRNA methyltransferases ArmA and NpmA confer high-level resistance to all clinically useful aminoglycosides by modifying, respectively, G1405 and A1408 in the A-site. These enzymes must coexist with several endogenous methyltransferases that are essential for fine-tuning of the decoding center, such as RsmH and RsmI in Escherichia coli, which methylate C1402 and RsmF C1407. The resistance methyltransferases have a contrasting distribution—ArmA has spread worldwide, whereas a single clinical isolate producing NpmA has been reported. The rate of dissemination of resistance depends on the fitness cost associated with its expression. We have compared ArmA and NpmA in isogenic Escherichia coli harboring the corresponding structural genes and their inactive point mutants cloned under the control of their native constitutive promoter in the stable plasmid pGB2. Growth rate determination and competition experiments showed that ArmA had a fitness cost due to methylation of G1405, whereas NpmA conferred only a slight disadvantage to the host due to production of the enzyme. MALDI MS indicated that ArmA impeded one of the methylations at C1402 by RsmI, and not at C1407 as previously proposed, whereas NpmA blocked the activity of RsmF at C1407. A dual luciferase assay showed that methylation at G1405 and A1408 and lack of methylation at C1407 affect translation accuracy. These results indicate that resistance methyltransferases impair endogenous methylation with different consequences on cell fitness. PMID:24398977

  20. Mutation in the C-Di-AMP Cyclase dacA Affects Fitness and Resistance of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Dengler, Vanina; McCallum, Nadine; Kiefer, Patrick; Christen, Philipp; Patrignani, Andrea; Vorholt, Julia A.; Berger-Bächi, Brigitte; Senn, Maria M.

    2013-01-01

    Faster growing and more virulent strains of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are increasingly displacing highly resistant MRSA. Elevated fitness in these MRSA is often accompanied by decreased and heterogeneous levels of methicillin resistance; however, the mechanisms for this phenomenon are not yet fully understood. Whole genome sequencing was used to investigate the genetic basis of this apparent correlation, in an isogenic MRSA strain pair that differed in methicillin resistance levels and fitness, with respect to growth rate. Sequencing revealed only one single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the diadenylate cyclase gene dacA in the faster growing but less resistant strain. Diadenylate cyclases were recently discovered to synthesize the new second messenger cyclic diadenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP). Introduction of this mutation into the highly resistant but slower growing strain reduced resistance and increased its growth rate, suggesting a direct connection between the dacA mutation and the phenotypic differences of these strains. Quantification of cellular c-di-AMP revealed that the dacA mutation decreased c-di-AMP levels resulting in reduced autolysis, increased salt tolerance and a reduction in the basal expression of the cell wall stress stimulon. These results indicate that c-di-AMP affects cell envelope-related signalling in S. aureus. The influence of c-di-AMP on growth rate and methicillin resistance in MRSA indicate that altering c-di-AMP levels could be a mechanism by which MRSA strains can increase their fitness levels by reducing their methicillin resistance levels. PMID:24013956

  1. The Gastropod Menace: Slugs on Brassica Plants Affect Caterpillar Survival through Consumption and Interference with Parasitoid Attraction.

    PubMed

    Desurmont, Gaylord A; Zemanova, Miriam A; Turlings, Ted C J

    2016-03-01

    Terrestrial molluscs and insect herbivores play a major role as plant consumers in a number of ecosystems, but their direct and indirect interactions have hardly been explored. The omnivorous nature of slugs makes them potential disrupters of predator-prey relationships, as a direct threat to small insects and through indirect, plant-mediated effects. Here, we examined the effects of the presence of two species of slugs, Arion rufus (native) and A. vulgaris (invasive) on the survivorship of young Pieris brassicae caterpillars when feeding on Brassica rapa plants, and on plant attractiveness to the main natural enemy of P. brassicae, the parasitoid Cotesia glomerata. In two separate predation experiments, caterpillar mortality was significantly higher on plants co-infested with A. rufus or A. vulgaris. Moreover, caterpillar mortality correlated positively with slug mass and leaf consumption by A. vulgaris. At the third trophic level, plants infested with slugs and plants co-infested with slugs and caterpillars were far less attractive to parasitoids than plants damaged by caterpillars only, independently of slug species. Chemical analyses confirmed that volatile emissions, which provide foraging cues for parasitoids, were strongly reduced in co-infested plants. Our study shows that the presence of slugs has the potential to affect insect populations, directly via consumptive effects, and indirectly via changes in plant volatiles that result in a reduced attraction of natural enemies. The fitness cost for P. brassicae imposed by increased mortality in presence of slugs may be counterbalanced by the benefit of escaping its parasitoids.

  2. The Gastropod Menace: Slugs on Brassica Plants Affect Caterpillar Survival through Consumption and Interference with Parasitoid Attraction.

    PubMed

    Desurmont, Gaylord A; Zemanova, Miriam A; Turlings, Ted C J

    2016-03-01

    Terrestrial molluscs and insect herbivores play a major role as plant consumers in a number of ecosystems, but their direct and indirect interactions have hardly been explored. The omnivorous nature of slugs makes them potential disrupters of predator-prey relationships, as a direct threat to small insects and through indirect, plant-mediated effects. Here, we examined the effects of the presence of two species of slugs, Arion rufus (native) and A. vulgaris (invasive) on the survivorship of young Pieris brassicae caterpillars when feeding on Brassica rapa plants, and on plant attractiveness to the main natural enemy of P. brassicae, the parasitoid Cotesia glomerata. In two separate predation experiments, caterpillar mortality was significantly higher on plants co-infested with A. rufus or A. vulgaris. Moreover, caterpillar mortality correlated positively with slug mass and leaf consumption by A. vulgaris. At the third trophic level, plants infested with slugs and plants co-infested with slugs and caterpillars were far less attractive to parasitoids than plants damaged by caterpillars only, independently of slug species. Chemical analyses confirmed that volatile emissions, which provide foraging cues for parasitoids, were strongly reduced in co-infested plants. Our study shows that the presence of slugs has the potential to affect insect populations, directly via consumptive effects, and indirectly via changes in plant volatiles that result in a reduced attraction of natural enemies. The fitness cost for P. brassicae imposed by increased mortality in presence of slugs may be counterbalanced by the benefit of escaping its parasitoids. PMID:27002323

  3. Plant responses to elevated temperatures: a field study on phenological sensitivity and fitness responses to simulated climate warming.

    PubMed

    Springate, David A; Kover, Paula X

    2014-02-01

    Significant changes in plant phenology have been observed in response to increases in mean global temperatures. There are concerns that accelerated phenologies can negatively impact plant populations. However, the fitness consequence of changes in phenology in response to elevated temperature is not well understood, particularly under field conditions. We address this issue by exposing a set of recombinant inbred lines of Arabidopsis thaliana to a simulated global warming treatment in the field. We find that plants exposed to elevated temperatures flower earlier, as predicted by photothermal models. However, contrary to life-history trade-off expectations, they also flower at a larger vegetative size, suggesting that warming probably causes acceleration in vegetative development. Although warming increases mean fitness (fruit production) by ca. 25%, there is a significant genotype-by-environment interaction. Changes in fitness rank indicate that imminent climate change can cause populations to be maladapted in their new environment, if adaptive evolution is limited. Thus, changes in the genetic composition of populations are likely, depending on the species' generation time and the speed of temperature change. Interestingly, genotypes that show stronger phenological responses have higher fitness under elevated temperatures, suggesting that phenological sensitivity might be a good indicator of success under elevated temperature at the genotypic level as well as at the species level.

  4. How Do Alien Plants Fit in the Space-Phylogeny Matrix?

    PubMed Central

    Procheş, Şerban; Forest, Félix; Jose, Sarah; De Dominicis, Michela; Ramdhani, Syd; Wiggill, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in the field of plant community phylogenetics and invasion phylogenetics are mostly based on plot-level data, which do not take into consideration the spatial arrangement of individual plants within the plot. Here we use within-plot plant coordinates to investigate the link between the physical distance separating plants, and their phylogenetic relatedness. We look at two vegetation types (forest and grassland, similar in species richness and in the proportion of alien invasive plants) in subtropical coastal KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The relationship between phylogenetic distance and physical distance is weak in grassland (characterised by higher plant densities and low phylogenetic diversity), and varies substantially in forest vegetation (variable plant density, higher phylogenetic diversity). There is no significant relationship between the proportion of alien plants in the plots and the strength of the physical-phylogenetic distance relationship, suggesting that alien plants are well integrated in the local spatial-phylogenetic landscape. PMID:25893962

  5. Affective imagery and acceptance of replacing nuclear power plants.

    PubMed

    Keller, Carmen; Visschers, Vivianne; Siegrist, Michael

    2012-03-01

    This study examined the relationship between the content of spontaneous associations with nuclear power plants and the acceptance of using new-generation nuclear power plants to replace old ones. The study also considered gender as a variable. A representative sample of the German- and French-speaking population of Switzerland (N= 1,221) was used. Log-linear models revealed significant two-way interactions between the association content and acceptance, association content and gender, and gender and acceptance. Correspondence analysis revealed that participants who were opposed to nuclear power plants mainly associated nuclear power plants with risk, negative feelings, accidents, radioactivity, waste disposal, military use, and negative consequences for health and environment; whereas participants favoring nuclear power plants mainly associated them with energy, appearance descriptions of nuclear power plants, and necessity. Thus, individuals opposing nuclear power plants had both more concrete and more diverse associations with them than people who were in favor of nuclear power plants. In addition, participants who were undecided often mentioned similar associations to those participants who were in favor. Males more often expressed associations with energy, waste disposal, and negative health effects. Females more often made associations with appearance descriptions, negative feelings, and negative environmental effects. The results further suggest that acceptance of replacing nuclear power plants was higher in the German-speaking part of the country, where all of the Swiss nuclear power plants are physically located. Practical implications for risk communication are discussed.

  6. Nutrient enrichment affects the mechanical resistance of aquatic plants

    PubMed Central

    Puijalon, Sara

    2012-01-01

    For many plant species, nutrient availability induces important anatomical responses, particularly the production of low-density tissues to the detriment of supporting tissues. Due to the contrasting biomechanical properties of plant tissues, these anatomical responses may induce important modifications in the biomechanical properties of plant organs. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of nutrient enrichment on the anatomical traits of two freshwater plant species and its consequences on plant biomechanical performance. Two plant species were grown under controlled conditions in low versus high nutrient levels. The anatomical and biomechanical traits of the plant stems were measured. Both species produced tissues with lower densities under nutrient-rich conditions, accompanied by modifications in the structure of the aerenchyma for one species. As expected, nutrient enrichment also led to important modifications in the biomechanical properties of the stem for both species. In particular, mechanical resistance (breaking force and strength) and stiffness of stems were significantly reduced under nutrient rich conditions. The production of weaker stem tissues as a result of nutrient enrichment may increase the risk of plants to mechanical failure, thus challenging plant maintenance in mechanically stressful or disturbed habitats. PMID:23028018

  7. Nutrient enrichment affects the mechanical resistance of aquatic plants.

    PubMed

    Lamberti-Raverot, Barbara; Puijalon, Sara

    2012-10-01

    For many plant species, nutrient availability induces important anatomical responses, particularly the production of low-density tissues to the detriment of supporting tissues. Due to the contrasting biomechanical properties of plant tissues, these anatomical responses may induce important modifications in the biomechanical properties of plant organs. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of nutrient enrichment on the anatomical traits of two freshwater plant species and its consequences on plant biomechanical performance. Two plant species were grown under controlled conditions in low versus high nutrient levels. The anatomical and biomechanical traits of the plant stems were measured. Both species produced tissues with lower densities under nutrient-rich conditions, accompanied by modifications in the structure of the aerenchyma for one species. As expected, nutrient enrichment also led to important modifications in the biomechanical properties of the stem for both species. In particular, mechanical resistance (breaking force and strength) and stiffness of stems were significantly reduced under nutrient rich conditions. The production of weaker stem tissues as a result of nutrient enrichment may increase the risk of plants to mechanical failure, thus challenging plant maintenance in mechanically stressful or disturbed habitats. PMID:23028018

  8. Cytonuclear interactions affect adaptive traits of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana in the field

    PubMed Central

    Roux, Fabrice; Mary-Huard, Tristan; Barillot, Elise; Wenes, Estelle; Botran, Lucy; Durand, Stéphanie; Villoutreix, Romain; Martin-Magniette, Marie-Laure; Camilleri, Christine; Budar, Françoise

    2016-01-01

    Although the contribution of cytonuclear interactions to plant fitness variation is relatively well documented at the interspecific level, the prevalence of cytonuclear interactions at the intraspecific level remains poorly investigated. In this study, we set up a field experiment to explore the range of effects that cytonuclear interactions have on fitness-related traits in Arabidopsis thaliana. To do so, we created a unique series of 56 cytolines resulting from cytoplasmic substitutions among eight natural accessions reflecting within-species genetic diversity. An assessment of these cytolines and their parental lines scored for 28 adaptive whole-organism phenotypes showed that a large proportion of phenotypic traits (23 of 28) were affected by cytonuclear interactions. The effects of these interactions varied from slight but frequent across cytolines to strong in some specific parental pairs. Two parental pairs accounted for half of the significant pairwise interactions. In one parental pair, Ct-1/Sha, we observed symmetrical phenotypic responses between the two nuclear backgrounds when combined with specific cytoplasms, suggesting nuclear differentiation at loci involved in cytonuclear epistasis. In contrast, asymmetrical phenotypic responses were observed in another parental pair, Cvi-0/Sha. In the Cvi-0 nuclear background, fecundity and phenology-related traits were strongly affected by the Sha cytoplasm, leading to a modified reproductive strategy without penalizing total seed production. These results indicate that natural variation in cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes interact to shape integrative traits that contribute to adaptation, thereby suggesting that cytonuclear interactions can play a major role in the evolutionary dynamics of A. thaliana. PMID:26979961

  9. Cytonuclear interactions affect adaptive traits of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana in the field.

    PubMed

    Roux, Fabrice; Mary-Huard, Tristan; Barillot, Elise; Wenes, Estelle; Botran, Lucy; Durand, Stéphanie; Villoutreix, Romain; Martin-Magniette, Marie-Laure; Camilleri, Christine; Budar, Françoise

    2016-03-29

    Although the contribution of cytonuclear interactions to plant fitness variation is relatively well documented at the interspecific level, the prevalence of cytonuclear interactions at the intraspecific level remains poorly investigated. In this study, we set up a field experiment to explore the range of effects that cytonuclear interactions have on fitness-related traits in Arabidopsis thaliana To do so, we created a unique series of 56 cytolines resulting from cytoplasmic substitutions among eight natural accessions reflecting within-species genetic diversity. An assessment of these cytolines and their parental lines scored for 28 adaptive whole-organism phenotypes showed that a large proportion of phenotypic traits (23 of 28) were affected by cytonuclear interactions. The effects of these interactions varied from slight but frequent across cytolines to strong in some specific parental pairs. Two parental pairs accounted for half of the significant pairwise interactions. In one parental pair, Ct-1/Sha, we observed symmetrical phenotypic responses between the two nuclear backgrounds when combined with specific cytoplasms, suggesting nuclear differentiation at loci involved in cytonuclear epistasis. In contrast, asymmetrical phenotypic responses were observed in another parental pair, Cvi-0/Sha. In the Cvi-0 nuclear background, fecundity and phenology-related traits were strongly affected by the Sha cytoplasm, leading to a modified reproductive strategy without penalizing total seed production. These results indicate that natural variation in cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes interact to shape integrative traits that contribute to adaptation, thereby suggesting that cytonuclear interactions can play a major role in the evolutionary dynamics ofA. thaliana. PMID:26979961

  10. 7-Rhamnosylated Flavonols Modulate Homeostasis of the Plant Hormone Auxin and Affect Plant Development.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Benjamin M; Errafi, Sanae; Bucher, Rahel; Dobrev, Petre; Geisler, Markus; Bigler, Laurent; Zažímalová, Eva; Ringli, Christoph

    2016-03-01

    Flavonols are a group of secondary metabolites that affect diverse cellular processes. They are considered putative negative regulators of the transport of the phytohormone auxin, by which they influence auxin distribution and concomitantly take part in the control of plant organ development. Flavonols are accumulating in a large number of glycosidic forms. Whether these have distinct functions and diverse cellular targets is not well understood. The rol1-2 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana is characterized by a modified flavonol glycosylation profile that is inducing changes in auxin transport and growth defects in shoot tissues. To determine whether specific flavonol glycosides are responsible for these phenotypes, a suppressor screen was performed on the rol1-2 mutant, resulting in the identification of an allelic series of UGT89C1, a gene encoding a flavonol 7-O-rhamnosyltransferase. A detailed analysis revealed that interfering with flavonol rhamnosylation increases the concentration of auxin precursors and auxin metabolites, whereas auxin transport is not affected. This finding provides an additional level of complexity to the possible ways by which flavonols influence auxin distribution and suggests that flavonol glycosides play an important role in regulating plant development.

  11. Factors Affecting Location Decisions of Food Processing Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turhan, Sule; Canan Ozbag, Basak; Cetin, Bahattin

    The main aim of this study is to examine the determinants of location choices for food processing plants using the results of 59 personal surveys. The 61.3% of the food processing plants that were interviewed are small scale plants, 9.1% are large scale plants and 29.6% are medium scale plants. Sixteen of the firms process vegetables, 12 process poultry, 12 process dairy and 9 process seafood products. Business climate factors are divided into six categories (market, infrastructure, raw material, labor, personal and environmental) and 17 specific location factors are considered. The survey responses are analyzed by types of raw materials processed and by plant size. 43.7, 55.3 and 42.2% of the respondents cited categories of Market, Raw Material and Infrastructure respectively as important, while 44.3, 50.7 and 74.4% of the respondents cited, labor, personal and environmental regulation categories of as not important. Thus survey findings indicate that plant location choices are mainly driven by market, raw material and infra structural factors. Environmental factors such as environmental regulations and permissions are relatively insignificant.

  12. Factors affecting plant growth in membrane nutrient delivery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dreschel, T. W.; Wheeler, R. M.; Sager, J. C.; Knott, W. M.

    1990-01-01

    The development of the tubular membrane plant growth unit for the delivery of water and nutrients to roots in microgravity has recently focused on measuring the effects of changes in physical variables controlling solution availability to the plants. Significant effects of membrane pore size and the negative pressure used to contain the solution were demonstrated. Generally, wheat grew better in units with a larger pore size but equal negative pressure and in units with the same pore size but less negative pressure. Lettuce also exhibited better plant growth at less negative pressure.

  13. Exogenously treated mammalian sex hormones affect inorganic constituents of plants.

    PubMed

    Erdal, Serkan; Dumlupinar, Rahmi

    2011-10-01

    The present study was undertaken to reveal the changes in inorganic constituents of plants exposed to mammalian sex hormones (MSH). Chickpea leaves were sprayed with 10(-4), 10(-6), 10(-9), 10(-12), and 10(-15) M concentrations of progesterone, β-estradiol, and androsterone at 7th day after sowing. The plants were harvested at the end of 18 days after treatment of MSH solutions and the inorganic components determined using a wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy technique. At all of the concentrations tested, MSH significantly increased the contents of K, S, Na, Ca, Mg, Zn, Fe, P, Cu, and Ni. Interestingly, only Mn and Cl contents decreased. The maximum changes in the inorganic composition were recorded at 10(-6) M for plants treated with progesterone and 10(-9) M for plants treated with β-estradiol and androsterone.

  14. Self-recognition affects plant communication and defense.

    PubMed

    Karban, Richard; Shiojiri, Kaori

    2009-06-01

    Animals have the ability to distinguish self from non-self, which has allowed them to evolve immune systems and, in some instances, to act preferentially towards individuals that are genetically identical or related. Self-recognition is less well known for plants, although recent work indicates that physically connected roots recognize self and reduce competitive interactions. Sagebrush uses volatile cues emitted by clipped branches of self or different neighbours to increase resistance to herbivory. Here, we show that plants that received volatile cues from genetically identical cuttings accumulated less natural damage than plants that received cues from non-self cuttings. Volatile communication is required to coordinate systemic processes such as induced resistance and plants respond more effectively to self than non-self cues. This self/non-self discrimination did not require physical contact and is a necessary first step towards possible kin recognition and kin selection.

  15. A novel family of small proteins that affect plant development

    SciTech Connect

    John Charles Walker

    2011-04-29

    The DVL genes represent a new group of plant proteins that influence plant growth and development. Overexpression of DVL1, and other members of the DVL family, causes striking phenotypic changes. The DVL proteins share sequence homology in their C-terminal half. Point mutations in the C-terminal domain show it is necessary and deletion studies demonstrate the C-terminal domain is sufficient to confer the overexpression phenotypes. The phenotypes observed, and the conservation of the protein sequence in the plant kingdom, does suggest the DVL proteins have a role in modulating plant growth and development. Our working hypothesis is the DVL proteins function as regulators of cellular signaling pathways that control growth and development.

  16. Plant toxins that affect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: A review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants produce wide variety of chemical compounds termed secondary metabolites that are not involved in basic metabolism, photosynthesis or reproduction. These compounds are used as flavors, fragrances, insecticides, dyes, hallucinogens, nutritional supplements, poisons, and pharmaceutical agents. ...

  17. Rhizosphere microbiome assemblage is affected by plant development

    PubMed Central

    Chaparro, Jacqueline M; Badri, Dayakar V; Vivanco, Jorge M

    2014-01-01

    There is a concerted understanding of the ability of root exudates to influence the structure of rhizosphere microbial communities. However, our knowledge of the connection between plant development, root exudation and microbiome assemblage is limited. Here, we analyzed the structure of the rhizospheric bacterial community associated with Arabidopsis at four time points corresponding to distinct stages of plant development: seedling, vegetative, bolting and flowering. Overall, there were no significant differences in bacterial community structure, but we observed that the microbial community at the seedling stage was distinct from the other developmental time points. At a closer level, phylum such as Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria and specific genera within those phyla followed distinct patterns associated with plant development and root exudation. These results suggested that the plant can select a subset of microbes at different stages of development, presumably for specific functions. Accordingly, metatranscriptomics analysis of the rhizosphere microbiome revealed that 81 unique transcripts were significantly (P<0.05) expressed at different stages of plant development. For instance, genes involved in streptomycin synthesis were significantly induced at bolting and flowering stages, presumably for disease suppression. We surmise that plants secrete blends of compounds and specific phytochemicals in the root exudates that are differentially produced at distinct stages of development to help orchestrate rhizosphere microbiome assemblage. PMID:24196324

  18. Plant surface wax affects parasitoid's response to host footprints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rostás, Michael; Ruf, Daniel; Zabka, Vanessa; Hildebrandt, Ulrich

    2008-10-01

    The plant surface is the substrate upon which herbivorous insects and natural enemies meet and thus represents the stage for interactions between the three trophic levels. Plant surfaces are covered by an epicuticular wax layer which is highly variable depending on species, cultivar or plant part. Differences in wax chemistry may modulate ecological interactions. We explored whether caterpillars of Spodoptera frugiperda, when walking over a plant surface, leave a chemical trail (kairomones) that can be detected by the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris. Chemistry and micromorphology of cuticular waxes of two barley eceriferum wax mutants ( cer-za.126, cer-yp.949) and wild-type cv. Bonus (wt) were assessed. The plants were then used to investigate potential surface effects on the detectability of caterpillar kairomones. Here we provide evidence that C. marginiventris responds to chemical footprints of its host. Parasitoids were able to detect the kairomone on wild-type plants and on both cer mutants but the response to cer-yp.949 (reduced wax, high aldehyde fraction) was less pronounced. Experiments with caterpillar-treated wt and mutant leaves offered simultaneously, confirmed this observation: no difference in wasp response was found when wt was tested against cer-za.126 (reduced wax, wt-like chemical composition) but wt was significantly more attractive than cer-yp.949. This demonstrates for the first time that the wax layer can modulate the detectability of host kairomones.

  19. Fuel breaks affect nonnative species abundance in Californian plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merriam, K.E.; Keeley, J.E.; Beyers, J.L.

    2006-01-01

    We evaluated the abundance of nonnative plants on fuel breaks and in adjacent untreated areas to determine if fuel treatments promote the invasion of nonnative plant species. Understanding the relationship between fuel treatments and nonnative plants is becoming increasingly important as federal and state agencies are currently implementing large fuel treatment programs throughout the United States to reduce the threat of wildland fire. Our study included 24 fuel breaks located across the State of California. We found that nonnative plant abundance was over 200% higher on fuel breaks than in adjacent wildland areas. Relative nonnative cover was greater on fuel breaks constructed by bulldozers (28%) than on fuel breaks constructed by other methods (7%). Canopy cover, litter cover, and duff depth also were significantly lower on fuel breaks constructed by bulldozers, and these fuel breaks had significantly more exposed bare ground than other types of fuel breaks. There was a significant decline in relative nonnative cover with increasing distance from the fuel break, particularly in areas that had experienced more numerous fires during the past 50 years, and in areas that had been grazed. These data suggest that fuel breaks could provide establishment sites for nonnative plants, and that nonnatives may invade surrounding areas, especially after disturbances such as fire or grazing. Fuel break construction and maintenance methods that leave some overstory canopy and minimize exposure of bare ground may be less likely to promote nonnative plants. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  20. Regression analysis of technical parameters affecting nuclear power plant performances

    SciTech Connect

    Ghazy, R.; Ricotti, M. E.; Trueco, P.

    2012-07-01

    Since the 80's many studies have been conducted in order to explicate good and bad performances of commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs), but yet no defined correlation has been found out to be totally representative of plant operational experience. In early works, data availability and the number of operating power stations were both limited; therefore, results showed that specific technical characteristics of NPPs were supposed to be the main causal factors for successful plant operation. Although these aspects keep on assuming a significant role, later studies and observations showed that other factors concerning management and organization of the plant could instead be predominant comparing utilities operational and economic results. Utility quality, in a word, can be used to summarize all the managerial and operational aspects that seem to be effective in determining plant performance. In this paper operational data of a consistent sample of commercial nuclear power stations, out of the total 433 operating NPPs, are analyzed, mainly focusing on the last decade operational experience. The sample consists of PWR and BWR technology, operated by utilities located in different countries, including U.S. (Japan)) (France)) (Germany)) and Finland. Multivariate regression is performed using Unit Capability Factor (UCF) as the dependent variable; this factor reflects indeed the effectiveness of plant programs and practices in maximizing the available electrical generation and consequently provides an overall indication of how well plants are operated and maintained. Aspects that may not be real causal factors but which can have a consistent impact on the UCF, as technology design, supplier, size and age, are included in the analysis as independent variables. (authors)

  1. 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.

  2. Composition of hydroponic medium affects thorium uptake by tobacco plants.

    PubMed

    Soudek, Petr; Kufner, Daniel; Petrová, Sárka; Mihaljevič, Martin; Vaněk, Tomáš

    2013-08-01

    The ability of thorium uptake as well as responses to heavy metal stress were tested in tobacco cultivar La Burley 21. Thorium was accumulated preferentially in the root system. The presence of citric, tartaric and oxalic acids in hydroponic medium increased thorium accumulation in all plant organs. On the other hand, the addition of diamines and polyamines, the important antioxidants in plants, resulted in decrease of thorium accumulation, especially in the root system. Negative correlation was found between putrescine concentration and thorium accumulation. Nevertheless, the most important factor influencing the accumulation of thorium was the absence of phosphate ions in a hydroponic medium that caused more than 10-fold increase of thorium uptake in all plant parts. Accumulation and distribution of thorium was followed in six cultivars and 14 selected transformants. Cultivar La Barley 21 represented an average between the tested genotypes, having a very good distribution ratio between roots, stems and leaves.

  3. Cadmium content of plants as affected by soil cadmium concentration

    SciTech Connect

    Lehoczky, E.; Szabados, I.; Marth, P.

    1996-12-31

    Pot experiments were conducted in greenhouse conditions to study the effects of increasing cadmium (Cd) levels on biomass production and Cd contents in corn, (Zea mays L.), garlic (Allium sativum L.), and spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). Plants were grown in two soil types: Eutric cambisol soil and A gleyic luvisol soil. Spinach proved to be the most sensitive to Cd treatments as its biomass considerably decreased with the increasing Cd levels. Cadmium contents of the three crops increased with increasing levels of Cd applications. Statistical differences were observed in the Cd contents of crops depending on soil type. With the same Cd rates, Cd tissue concentration of test plants grown in the strongly acidic Gleyic luvisol soil were many times higher than that of plants grown in a neutral Eutric cambisol soil. 14 refs., 4 tabs.

  4. 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.

  5. Plant extracts affect in vitro rumen microbial fermentation.

    PubMed

    Busquet, M; Calsamiglia, S; Ferret, A; Kamel, C

    2006-02-01

    Different doses of 12 plant extracts and 6 secondary plant metabolites were incubated for 24 h in diluted ruminal fluid with a 50:50 forage:concentrate diet. Treatments were: control (no additive), plant extracts (anise oil, cade oil, capsicum oil, cinnamon oil, clove bud oil, dill oil, fenugreek, garlic oil, ginger oil, oregano oil, tea tree oil, and yucca), and secondary plant metabolites (anethol, benzyl salicylate, carvacrol, carvone, cinnamaldehyde, and eugenol). Each treatment was supplied at 3, 30, 300, and 3,000 mg/L of culture fluid. At 3,000 mg/L, most treatments decreased total volatile fatty acid concentration, but cade oil, capsicum oil, dill oil, fenugreek, ginger oil, and yucca had no effect. Different doses of anethol, anise oil, carvone, and tea tree oil decreased the proportion of acetate and propionate, which suggests that these compounds may not be nutritionally beneficial to dairy cattle. Garlic oil (300 and 3,000 mg/L) and benzyl salicylate (300 and 3,000 mg/L) reduced acetate and increased propionate and butyrate proportions, suggesting that methane production was inhibited. At 3,000 mg/L, capsicum oil, carvacrol, carvone, cinnamaldehyde, cinnamon oil, clove bud oil, eugenol, fenugreek, and oregano oil resulted in a 30 to 50% reduction in ammonia N concentration. Careful selection and combination of these extracts may allow the manipulation of rumen microbial fermentation.

  6. Maximizing plant density affects broccoli yield and quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased demand for fresh market bunch broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) has led to increased production along the United States east coast. Maximizing broccoli yields is a primary concern for quickly expanding southeastern commercial markets. This broccoli plant density study was carr...

  7. Host plant affects morphometric variation of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), due to its potential to vector the pathogen causing citrus greening disease or huanglongbing, is one of the most serious citrus pests worldwide. While optimal plant cultivars for ACP oviposition and development have been determined, little is known of the influence of...

  8. Relative Fitness of Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on Seven Host Plants: A Perspective for IPM in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Reigada, C; Guimarães, K F; Parra, J R P

    2016-01-01

    The cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a widespread pest of many cultivated and wild plants in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. In 2013, this species was reported in Brazil, attacking various host crops in the midwestern and northeastern regions of the country and is now found countrywide. Aiming to understand the effects of different host plants on the life cycle of H. armigera, we selected seven species of host plants that mature in different seasons and are commonly grown in these regions: cotton (Gossypium hirsutum, "FM993"), corn (Zea mays, "2B587"), soybean (Glycine max, "99R01"), rattlepods (Crotalaria spectabilis), millet (Pennisetum glaucum, "ADR300"), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor, "AGROMEN70G35"), and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata, "SEMPRE VERDE"). The development time of immatures, body weight, survivorship, and fecundity of H. armigera were evaluated on each host plant under laboratory conditions. The bollworms did not survive on corn, millet, or sorghum and showed very low survival rates on rattlepods. Survival rates were highest on soybean, followed by cotton and cowpea. The values for relative fitness found on soybean, cotton, cowpea, and rattlepods were 1, 0.5, 0.43, and 0.03, respectively. Survivorship, faster development time, and fecundity on soybean, cotton, and cowpea were positively correlated. Larger pupae and greater fecundity were found on soybean and cotton. The results indicated that soybean, cotton, and cowpea are the most suitable plants to support the reproduction of H. armigera in the field. PMID:26798139

  9. Herbivory of an invasive slug is affected by earthworms and the composition of plant communities

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Biodiversity loss and species invasions are among the most important human-induced global changes. Moreover, these two processes are interlinked as ecosystem invasibility is considered to increase with decreasing biodiversity. In temperate grasslands, earthworms serve as important ecosystem engineers making up the majority of soil faunal biomass. Herbivore behaviour has been shown to be affected by earthworms, however it is unclear whether these effects differ with the composition of plant communities. To test this we conducted a mesocosm experiment where we added earthworms (Annelida: Lumbricidae) to planted grassland communities with different plant species composition (3 vs. 12 plant spp.). Plant communities had equal plant densities and ratios of the functional groups grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Later, Arion vulgaris slugs (formerly known as A. lusitanicus; Gastropoda: Arionidae) were added and allowed to freely choose among the available plant species. This slug species is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe. We hypothesized that (i) the food choice of slugs would be altered by earthworms’ specific effects on the growth and nutrient content of plant species, (ii) slug herbivory will be less affected by earthworms in plant communities containing more plant species than in those with fewer plant species because of a more readily utilization of plant resources making the impacts of earthworms less pronounced. Results Slug herbivory was significantly affected by both earthworms and plant species composition. Slugs damaged 60% less leaves when earthworms were present, regardless of the species composition of the plant communities. Percent leaf area consumed by slugs was 40% lower in communities containing 12 plant species; in communities containing only three species earthworms increased slug leaf area consumption. Grasses were generally avoided by slugs. Leaf length and number of tillers was increased in mesocosms

  10. Plant natural variability may affect safety assessment data.

    PubMed

    Batista, Rita; Oliveira, Margarida

    2010-12-01

    Before market introduction, genetic engineered (GE) food products, like any other novel food product, are subjected to extensive assessment of their potential effects on human health. In recent years, a number of profiling technologies have been explored aiming to increase the probability of detecting any unpredictable unintended effect and, consequently improving the efficiency of GE food safety assessment. These techniques still present limitations associated with the interpretation of the observed differences with respect to their biological relevance and toxicological significance. In order to address this issue, in this study, we have performed 2D-gel electrophoresis of five different ears of five different MON810 maize plants and of other five of the non-transgenic near-isogenic line. We have also performed 2D-gel electrophoresis of the pool of the five protein extractions of MON810 and control lines. We have notice that, in this example, the exclusive use of data from 2D-electrophoresed pooled samples, to compare these two lines, would be insufficient for an adequate safety evaluation. We conclude that, when using "omics" technologies, it is extremely important to eliminate all potential differences due to factors not related to the ones under study, and to understand the role of natural plant-to-plant variability in the encountered differences.

  11. The presence of Bt-transgenic oilseed rape in wild mustard populations affects plant growth.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yongbo; Stewart, C Neal; Li, Junsheng; Huang, Hai; Zhang, Xitao

    2015-12-01

    The adventitious presence of transgenic plants in wild plant populations is of ecological and regulatory concern, but the consequences of adventitious presence are not well understood. Here, we introduced Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac (Bt)-transgenic oilseed rape (Bt OSR, Brassica napus) with various frequencies into wild mustard (Brassica juncea) populations. We sought to better understand the adventitious presence of this transgenic insecticidal crop in a wild-relative plant population. We assessed the factors of competition, resource availability and diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) infestation on plant population dynamics. As expected, Bt OSR performed better than wild mustard in mixed populations under herbivore attack in habitats with enough resources, whereas wild mustard had higher fitness when Bt OSR was rarer in habitats with limited resources. Results suggest that the presence of insect-resistant transgenic plants could decrease the growth of wild mustard and Bt OSR plants and their populations, especially under high herbivore pressure.

  12. The presence of Bt-transgenic oilseed rape in wild mustard populations affects plant growth.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yongbo; Stewart, C Neal; Li, Junsheng; Huang, Hai; Zhang, Xitao

    2015-12-01

    The adventitious presence of transgenic plants in wild plant populations is of ecological and regulatory concern, but the consequences of adventitious presence are not well understood. Here, we introduced Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac (Bt)-transgenic oilseed rape (Bt OSR, Brassica napus) with various frequencies into wild mustard (Brassica juncea) populations. We sought to better understand the adventitious presence of this transgenic insecticidal crop in a wild-relative plant population. We assessed the factors of competition, resource availability and diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) infestation on plant population dynamics. As expected, Bt OSR performed better than wild mustard in mixed populations under herbivore attack in habitats with enough resources, whereas wild mustard had higher fitness when Bt OSR was rarer in habitats with limited resources. Results suggest that the presence of insect-resistant transgenic plants could decrease the growth of wild mustard and Bt OSR plants and their populations, especially under high herbivore pressure. PMID:26338267

  13. Volatile exchange between undamaged plants - a new mechanism affecting insect orientation in intercropping.

    PubMed

    Ninkovic, Velemir; Dahlin, Iris; Vucetic, Andja; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben

    2013-01-01

    Changes in plant volatile emission can be induced by exposure to volatiles from neighbouring insect-attacked plants. However, plants are also exposed to volatiles from unattacked neighbours, and the consequences of this have not been explored. We investigated whether volatile exchange between undamaged plants affects volatile emission and plant-insect interaction. Consistently greater quantities of two terpenoids were found in the headspace of potato previously exposed to volatiles from undamaged onion plants identified by mass spectrometry. Using live plants and synthetic blends mimicking exposed and unexposed potato, we tested the olfactory response of winged aphids, Myzus persicae. The altered potato volatile profile deterred aphids in laboratory experiments. Further, we show that growing potato together with onion in the field reduces the abundance of winged, host-seeking aphids. Our study broadens the ecological significance of the phenomenon; volatiles carry not only information on whether or not neighbouring plants are under attack, but also information on the emitter plants themselves. In this way responding plants could obtain information on whether the neighbouring plant is a competitive threat and can accordingly adjust their growth towards it. We interpret this as a response in the process of adaptation towards neighbouring plants. Furthermore, these physiological changes in the responding plants have significant ecological impact, as behaviour of aphids was affected. Since herbivore host plants are potentially under constant exposure to these volatiles, our study has major implications for the understanding of how mechanisms within plant communities affect insects. This knowledge could be used to improve plant protection and increase scientific understanding of communication between plants and its impact on other organisms.

  14. Volatile Exchange between Undamaged Plants - a New Mechanism Affecting Insect Orientation in Intercropping

    PubMed Central

    Ninkovic, Velemir; Dahlin, Iris; Vucetic, Andja; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben

    2013-01-01

    Changes in plant volatile emission can be induced by exposure to volatiles from neighbouring insect-attacked plants. However, plants are also exposed to volatiles from unattacked neighbours, and the consequences of this have not been explored. We investigated whether volatile exchange between undamaged plants affects volatile emission and plant-insect interaction. Consistently greater quantities of two terpenoids were found in the headspace of potato previously exposed to volatiles from undamaged onion plants identified by mass spectrometry. Using live plants and synthetic blends mimicking exposed and unexposed potato, we tested the olfactory response of winged aphids, Myzus persicae. The altered potato volatile profile deterred aphids in laboratory experiments. Further, we show that growing potato together with onion in the field reduces the abundance of winged, host-seeking aphids. Our study broadens the ecological significance of the phenomenon; volatiles carry not only information on whether or not neighbouring plants are under attack, but also information on the emitter plants themselves. In this way responding plants could obtain information on whether the neighbouring plant is a competitive threat and can accordingly adjust their growth towards it. We interpret this as a response in the process of adaptation towards neighbouring plants. Furthermore, these physiological changes in the responding plants have significant ecological impact, as behaviour of aphids was affected. Since herbivore host plants are potentially under constant exposure to these volatiles, our study has major implications for the understanding of how mechanisms within plant communities affect insects. This knowledge could be used to improve plant protection and increase scientific understanding of communication between plants and its impact on other organisms. PMID:23922710

  15. Developmental Peculiarities and Seed-Borne Endophytes in Quinoa: Omnipresent, Robust Bacilli Contribute to Plant Fitness

    PubMed Central

    Pitzschke, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Among potential climate change-adapted crops for future agriculture, quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), a facultative halophyte plant with exceptional nutritional properties, stands out as a prime candidate. This work examined how quinoa deals with extreme situations during seed rehydration. Quinoa distinguishes itself from other plants in multiple ways. It germinates within minutes, even under extremely hostile conditions. Broken seeds/split embryos are able to regenerate. Furthermore, quinoa seedlings are resurrection-competent. These peculiarities became in part explainable upon discovery of seed-borne microorganisms. 100% of quinoa seeds, from different sources, are inhabited by diverse members of the genus Bacillus. These endophytes are motile and reside in all seedling organs, indicating vertical transmission. Owing to their high catalase activities and superoxide contents the bacteria potentially manipulate the host’s redox status. Superoxide-driven cell expansion enables quinoa to overcome a critical period in development, seedling establishment. Quinoa’s immediate confrontation with “foreign” reactive oxygen species and bacterial elicitors likely induces a naturally primed state, enabling plants to withstand extreme situations. The endophytic bacteria, which are cultivable and highly robust themselves, have high potential for application in agriculture, food (amylase) and cosmetics (catalase) industry. This work also discusses the potential of transferring quinoa’s microbiome to improve stress resistance in other plant species. PMID:26834724

  16. Developmental Peculiarities and Seed-Borne Endophytes in Quinoa: Omnipresent, Robust Bacilli Contribute to Plant Fitness.

    PubMed

    Pitzschke, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Among potential climate change-adapted crops for future agriculture, quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), a facultative halophyte plant with exceptional nutritional properties, stands out as a prime candidate. This work examined how quinoa deals with extreme situations during seed rehydration. Quinoa distinguishes itself from other plants in multiple ways. It germinates within minutes, even under extremely hostile conditions. Broken seeds/split embryos are able to regenerate. Furthermore, quinoa seedlings are resurrection-competent. These peculiarities became in part explainable upon discovery of seed-borne microorganisms. 100% of quinoa seeds, from different sources, are inhabited by diverse members of the genus Bacillus. These endophytes are motile and reside in all seedling organs, indicating vertical transmission. Owing to their high catalase activities and superoxide contents the bacteria potentially manipulate the host's redox status. Superoxide-driven cell expansion enables quinoa to overcome a critical period in development, seedling establishment. Quinoa's immediate confrontation with "foreign" reactive oxygen species and bacterial elicitors likely induces a naturally primed state, enabling plants to withstand extreme situations. The endophytic bacteria, which are cultivable and highly robust themselves, have high potential for application in agriculture, food (amylase) and cosmetics (catalase) industry. This work also discusses the potential of transferring quinoa's microbiome to improve stress resistance in other plant species.

  17. Developmental Peculiarities and Seed-Borne Endophytes in Quinoa: Omnipresent, Robust Bacilli Contribute to Plant Fitness.

    PubMed

    Pitzschke, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Among potential climate change-adapted crops for future agriculture, quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), a facultative halophyte plant with exceptional nutritional properties, stands out as a prime candidate. This work examined how quinoa deals with extreme situations during seed rehydration. Quinoa distinguishes itself from other plants in multiple ways. It germinates within minutes, even under extremely hostile conditions. Broken seeds/split embryos are able to regenerate. Furthermore, quinoa seedlings are resurrection-competent. These peculiarities became in part explainable upon discovery of seed-borne microorganisms. 100% of quinoa seeds, from different sources, are inhabited by diverse members of the genus Bacillus. These endophytes are motile and reside in all seedling organs, indicating vertical transmission. Owing to their high catalase activities and superoxide contents the bacteria potentially manipulate the host's redox status. Superoxide-driven cell expansion enables quinoa to overcome a critical period in development, seedling establishment. Quinoa's immediate confrontation with "foreign" reactive oxygen species and bacterial elicitors likely induces a naturally primed state, enabling plants to withstand extreme situations. The endophytic bacteria, which are cultivable and highly robust themselves, have high potential for application in agriculture, food (amylase) and cosmetics (catalase) industry. This work also discusses the potential of transferring quinoa's microbiome to improve stress resistance in other plant species. PMID:26834724

  18. Why oviposit there? Fitness consequences of a gall midge choosing the plant's youngest leaf.

    PubMed

    Ganehiarachchi, G A S M; Anderson, Kirk M; Harmon, Jason; Harris, Marion O

    2013-02-01

    For animals that lay eggs, a longstanding question is, why do females choose particular oviposition sites? For insects that lay eggs on plants there are three hypotheses: maximizing suitable habitat for juveniles, maximizing female lifespan, and maximizing egg survival. We investigated the function of the oviposition-site choice behavior of a gall midge, the Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor (Say). In spite of living less than a day and having hundreds of eggs, the ovipositing female is choosy about the placement of eggs. Choosiness makes sense. The tiny gall-making neonate larva has limited movement and strict requirements for colonization. We examined whether offspring benefit from the Hessian fly female's preference for the plant's youngest leaf. To do this we restricted the female's access to the first, second, or third leaf of a seedling (wheat Triticum aestivum L.) plant. Being placed on older leaves did not impact egg survival or larval survival during migration to attack sites at the base of the plant, but did have negative impacts on egg-to-adult survival (reduced by 48%) and reproductive potential (reduced by 30-45%). These negative impacts appear to come from larvae having to search harder to find the limited number of reactive plant cells that can be reprogrammed to form the gall nutritive tissue. We propose that the ability of larvae to find these reactive cells in spite of being placed on an older leaf is important because it creates leeway for female behavior to evolve in the face of other selection pressures, e.g., attack by egg parasitoids.

  19. Comparison of fitness traits and their plasticity on multiple plants for Sitobion avenae infected and cured of a secondary endosymbiont

    PubMed Central

    Da Wang; Shi, Xiaoqin; Dai, Peng; Liu, Deguang; Dai, Xinjia; Shang, Zheming; Ge, Zhaohong; Meng, Xiuxiang

    2016-01-01

    Regiella insecticola has been found to enhance the performance of host aphids on certain plants, but its functional role in adaptation of host aphids to plants is still controversial. Here we evaluate the impacts of R. insecticola infections on vital life-history traits of Sitobion avenae (Fabricius), and their underlying genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity on three plants. It was shown that effects of R. insecticola on S. avenae’s fitness (i.e., developmental time and fecundity) were neutral on oat or wheat, but negative on rye. Infections of R. insecticola modified genetic variation that underlies S. avenae’s life-history traits. This was demonstrated by comparing life-history trait heritabilities between aphid lines with and without R. insecticola. Moreover, there were enhanced negative genetic correlations between developmental time and fecundity for R. insecticola infected lines, and structural differences in G-matrices of life-history traits for the two types of aphid lines. In R. insecticola-infected aphid lines, there were increases in plasticities for developmental times of first and second instar nymphs and for fecundity, showing novel functional roles of bacterial symbionts in plant-insect interactions. The identified effects of R. insecticola infections could have significant implications for the ecology and evolution of its host populations in natural conditions. PMID:26979151

  20. Habitats as complex odour environments: how does plant diversity affect herbivore and parasitoid orientation?

    PubMed

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hardge, Kristin; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity is known to affect success of host location by pest insects, but its effect on olfactory orientation of non-pest insect species has hardly been addressed. First, we tested in laboratory experiments the hypothesis that non-host plants, which increase odour complexity in habitats, affect the host location ability of herbivores and parasitoids. Furthermore, we recorded field data of plant diversity in addition to herbivore and parasitoid abundance at 77 grassland sites in three different regions in Germany in order to elucidate whether our laboratory results reflect the field situation. As a model system we used the herb Plantago lanceolata, the herbivorous weevil Mecinus pascuorum, and its larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus. The laboratory bioassays revealed that both the herbivorous weevil and its larval parasitoid can locate their host plant and host via olfactory cues even in the presence of non-host odour. In a newly established two-circle olfactometer, the weeviĺs capability to detect host plant odour was not affected by odours from non-host plants. However, addition of non-host plant odours to host plant odour enhanced the weeviĺs foraging activity. The parasitoid was attracted by a combination of host plant and host volatiles in both the absence and presence of non-host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer. In dual choice tests the parasitoid preferred the blend of host plant and host volatiles over its combination with non-host plant volatiles. In the field, no indication was found that high plant diversity disturbs host (plant) location by the weevil and its parasitoid. In contrast, plant diversity was positively correlated with weevil abundance, whereas parasitoid abundance was independent of plant diversity. Therefore, we conclude that weevils and parasitoids showed the sensory capacity to successfully cope with complex vegetation odours when searching for hosts. PMID:24416354

  1. Habitats as Complex Odour Environments: How Does Plant Diversity Affect Herbivore and Parasitoid Orientation?

    PubMed Central

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hardge, Kristin; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity is known to affect success of host location by pest insects, but its effect on olfactory orientation of non-pest insect species has hardly been addressed. First, we tested in laboratory experiments the hypothesis that non-host plants, which increase odour complexity in habitats, affect the host location ability of herbivores and parasitoids. Furthermore, we recorded field data of plant diversity in addition to herbivore and parasitoid abundance at 77 grassland sites in three different regions in Germany in order to elucidate whether our laboratory results reflect the field situation. As a model system we used the herb Plantago lanceolata, the herbivorous weevil Mecinus pascuorum, and its larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus. The laboratory bioassays revealed that both the herbivorous weevil and its larval parasitoid can locate their host plant and host via olfactory cues even in the presence of non-host odour. In a newly established two-circle olfactometer, the weeviĺs capability to detect host plant odour was not affected by odours from non-host plants. However, addition of non-host plant odours to host plant odour enhanced the weeviĺs foraging activity. The parasitoid was attracted by a combination of host plant and host volatiles in both the absence and presence of non-host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer. In dual choice tests the parasitoid preferred the blend of host plant and host volatiles over its combination with non-host plant volatiles. In the field, no indication was found that high plant diversity disturbs host (plant) location by the weevil and its parasitoid. In contrast, plant diversity was positively correlated with weevil abundance, whereas parasitoid abundance was independent of plant diversity. Therefore, we conclude that weevils and parasitoids showed the sensory capacity to successfully cope with complex vegetation odours when searching for hosts. PMID:24416354

  2. Spatial heterogeneity of plant-soil feedback affects root interactions and interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Hendriks, Marloes; Ravenek, Janneke M; Smit-Tiekstra, Annemiek E; van der Paauw, Jan Willem; de Caluwe, Hannie; van der Putten, Wim H; de Kroon, Hans; Mommer, Liesje

    2015-08-01

    Plant-soil feedback is receiving increasing interest as a factor influencing plant competition and species coexistence in grasslands. However, we do not know how spatial distribution of plant-soil feedback affects plant below-ground interactions. We investigated the way in which spatial heterogeneity of soil biota affects competitive interactions in grassland plant species. We performed a pairwise competition experiment combined with heterogeneous distribution of soil biota using four grassland plant species and their soil biota. Patches were applied as quadrants of 'own' and 'foreign' soils from all plant species in all pairwise combinations. To evaluate interspecific root responses, species-specific root biomass was quantified using real-time PCR. All plant species suffered negative soil feedback, but strength was species-specific, reflected by a decrease in root growth in own compared with foreign soil. Reduction in root growth in own patches by the superior plant competitor provided opportunities for inferior competitors to increase root biomass in these patches. These patterns did not cascade into above-ground effects during our experiment. We show that root distributions can be determined by spatial heterogeneity of soil biota, affecting plant below-ground competitive interactions. Thus, spatial heterogeneity of soil biota may contribute to plant species coexistence in species-rich grasslands. PMID:25871977

  3. Spatial heterogeneity of plant-soil feedback affects root interactions and interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Hendriks, Marloes; Ravenek, Janneke M; Smit-Tiekstra, Annemiek E; van der Paauw, Jan Willem; de Caluwe, Hannie; van der Putten, Wim H; de Kroon, Hans; Mommer, Liesje

    2015-08-01

    Plant-soil feedback is receiving increasing interest as a factor influencing plant competition and species coexistence in grasslands. However, we do not know how spatial distribution of plant-soil feedback affects plant below-ground interactions. We investigated the way in which spatial heterogeneity of soil biota affects competitive interactions in grassland plant species. We performed a pairwise competition experiment combined with heterogeneous distribution of soil biota using four grassland plant species and their soil biota. Patches were applied as quadrants of 'own' and 'foreign' soils from all plant species in all pairwise combinations. To evaluate interspecific root responses, species-specific root biomass was quantified using real-time PCR. All plant species suffered negative soil feedback, but strength was species-specific, reflected by a decrease in root growth in own compared with foreign soil. Reduction in root growth in own patches by the superior plant competitor provided opportunities for inferior competitors to increase root biomass in these patches. These patterns did not cascade into above-ground effects during our experiment. We show that root distributions can be determined by spatial heterogeneity of soil biota, affecting plant below-ground competitive interactions. Thus, spatial heterogeneity of soil biota may contribute to plant species coexistence in species-rich grasslands.

  4. ACCase mutations in Avena sterilis populations and their impact on plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Papapanagiotou, Aristeidis P; Paresidou, Maria I; Kaloumenos, Nikolaos S; Eleftherohorinos, Ilias G

    2015-09-01

    Avena sterilis (sterile oat) populations originating from wheat-growing regions of Greece, developed resistance to fenoxaprop, clodinafop and other herbicides. The partial ACCase gene sequence revealed six point mutations (Ile-1781-Leu, Trp-1999-Cys, Trp-2027-Cys, Ile-2041-Asn, Asp-2078-Gly, and Cys-2088-Arg) in 24 out of the 26 resistant (R) populations, confirming the molecular mechanism of resistance to ACCase-inhibiting herbicides. However, DNA sequence of two R populations did not reveal any known ACCase mutations, suggesting possible presence of unknown mutation or metabolism-based mechanism of resistance. The Cys-2088-Arg mutation is the first record for ACCase mutant conferring target-site resistance in A. sterilis worldwide. The evaluation of 12 R and 6 susceptible (S) populations under non-competitive field conditions did not indicate consistent mean growth rate differences, whereas the pot evaluation of the same (12 R and 6 S) populations grown in competition with wheat or in pure stands showed significant growth (fresh weight and panicle number) differences between six S populations and between six R populations containing the same ACCase mutation (Ile-2041-Asn). Finally, one S and five R (Trp-1999-Cys, Trp-2027-Cys, Ile-2041-Asn, Asp-2078-Gly, and Cys-2088-Arg) populations grown under field competitive conditions indicated fresh weight and panicle number differences in competition with other populations as compared with pure stands. These findings suggest clearly that the inconsistent fitness differences between R and S A. sterilis populations are not related with the ACCase resistance trait but they may result from other non-resistance fitness traits selected in their different geographical locations. PMID:26267051

  5. ACCase mutations in Avena sterilis populations and their impact on plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Papapanagiotou, Aristeidis P; Paresidou, Maria I; Kaloumenos, Nikolaos S; Eleftherohorinos, Ilias G

    2015-09-01

    Avena sterilis (sterile oat) populations originating from wheat-growing regions of Greece, developed resistance to fenoxaprop, clodinafop and other herbicides. The partial ACCase gene sequence revealed six point mutations (Ile-1781-Leu, Trp-1999-Cys, Trp-2027-Cys, Ile-2041-Asn, Asp-2078-Gly, and Cys-2088-Arg) in 24 out of the 26 resistant (R) populations, confirming the molecular mechanism of resistance to ACCase-inhibiting herbicides. However, DNA sequence of two R populations did not reveal any known ACCase mutations, suggesting possible presence of unknown mutation or metabolism-based mechanism of resistance. The Cys-2088-Arg mutation is the first record for ACCase mutant conferring target-site resistance in A. sterilis worldwide. The evaluation of 12 R and 6 susceptible (S) populations under non-competitive field conditions did not indicate consistent mean growth rate differences, whereas the pot evaluation of the same (12 R and 6 S) populations grown in competition with wheat or in pure stands showed significant growth (fresh weight and panicle number) differences between six S populations and between six R populations containing the same ACCase mutation (Ile-2041-Asn). Finally, one S and five R (Trp-1999-Cys, Trp-2027-Cys, Ile-2041-Asn, Asp-2078-Gly, and Cys-2088-Arg) populations grown under field competitive conditions indicated fresh weight and panicle number differences in competition with other populations as compared with pure stands. These findings suggest clearly that the inconsistent fitness differences between R and S A. sterilis populations are not related with the ACCase resistance trait but they may result from other non-resistance fitness traits selected in their different geographical locations.

  6. The Evolution of Cooperation is Affected by the Persistence of Fitness Effects, the Neighborhood Size and their Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Eli; Everett, Jasmine; Rowell, Jonathan T.; Rychtář, Jan; Rueppell, Olav

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary Game Theory and the Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD) Game in particular have been used to study the evolution of cooperation. We consider a population of asexually reproducing, age-structured individuals in a two-dimensional square lattice structure. The individuals employ fixed cooperative or defecting strategies towards their neighbors in repeating interactions to accumulate reproductive fitness. We focus on the effects of the persistence of past interactions and interactive neighborhood size on the evolution of cooperation. We show that larger neighborhood sizes are generally detrimental to cooperation and that the persistence of fitness effects decreases the likelihood of the evolution of cooperation in small neighborhoods. However, for larger neighborhood sizes the persistence effect is reversed. Thus, our study corroborates earlier studies that population structure increases the evolutionary potential for cooperative behavior in a PD paradigm. This finding may explain the heterogeneity of previous results on the effect of neighborhood size and cautions that the persistence of fitness outcomes needs to be considered in analyses of the evolution of cooperative behavior. The persistence of fitness outcomes of pairwise interactions may vary dramatically in biological and social systems and could have profound effects on the evolution of cooperation in various contexts. PMID:27004259

  7. Parental Ploidy Strongly Affects Offspring Fitness in Heteroploid Crosses among Three Cytotypes of Autopolyploid Jacobaea carniolica (Asteraceae)

    PubMed Central

    Sonnleitner, Michaela; Weis, Birgit; Flatscher, Ruth; García, Pedro Escobar; Suda, Jan; Krejčíková, Jana; Schneeweiss, Gerald M.; Winkler, Manuela; Schönswetter, Peter; Hülber, Karl

    2013-01-01

    Reproductive interactions among cytotypes in their contact zones determine whether these cytotypes can co-exist and form stable contact zones or not. In autopolyploids, heteroploid cross-compatibilities might depend on parental ploidy, but tests of this hypothesis in autopolyploid systems with more than two ploidies are lacking. Here, we study Jacobaea carniolica, which comprises diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid individuals regularly forming contact zones. Seeds obtained from in situ cross-pollinations within and among cytotypes were subjected to DNA flow cytometry and greenhouse germination experiments. Hybrid fitness and parental effects on hybrid fitness were tested with regression models comparing fitness parameters of early life stages. Irrespective of the direction of crosses, seed viability and seedling survival in diploid-polyploid crosses were substantially lower than in tetraploid-hexaploid crosses. In contrast, seedling growth traits indicated neither transgressive character expression nor any selection against hybrid offspring. Congruent with a model of genome dosage effects, these traits differed between reciprocal crosses, especially of diploids and tetraploids, where trait values resembled those of the maternal parent. The strong effect of parental ploidy on offspring fitness in heteroploid crosses may cause contact zones involving exclusively polyploid cytotypes to be less stable over longer terms than those involving diploids and polyploids. PMID:24265735

  8. Parasitoid-specific induction of plant responses to parasitized herbivores affects colonization by subsequent herbivores.

    PubMed

    Poelman, Erik H; Zheng, Si-Jun; Zhang, Zhao; Heemskerk, Nanda M; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-12-01

    Plants are exposed to a suite of herbivorous attackers that often arrive sequentially. Herbivory affects interactions between the host plants and subsequently attacking herbivores. Moreover, plants may respond to herbivory by emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that attract carnivorous natural enemies of the herbivores. However, information borne by VOCs is ubiquitous and may attract carnivores, such as parasitoids, that differ in their effectiveness at releasing the plant from its herbivorous attackers. Furthermore, the development of parasitoids within their herbivorous hosts, attacking a given host plant, may influence the elicitation of defensive reactions in the host plant. This may, in turn, affect the behavior of subsequent herbivores attacking the host plant. Here, we show that the species identity of a parasitoid had a more significant effect on defense responses of Brassica oleracea plants than the species identity of the herbivorous hosts of the parasitoids. Consequently, B. oleracea plants that were damaged by caterpillars (Pieris spp.) parasitized by different parasitoid species varied in the degree to which diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) selected the plants for oviposition. Attracting parasitoids in general benefitted the plants by reducing diamondback moth colonization. However, the species of parasitoid that parasitized the herbivore significantly affected the magnitude of this benefit by its species-specific effect on herbivore-plant interactions mediated by caterpillar regurgitant. Our findings show that information-mediated indirect defense may lead to unpredictable consequences for plants when considering trait-mediated effects of parasitized caterpillars on the host plant and their consequences because of community-wide responses to induced plants. PMID:22084113

  9. Parasitoid-specific induction of plant responses to parasitized herbivores affects colonization by subsequent herbivores.

    PubMed

    Poelman, Erik H; Zheng, Si-Jun; Zhang, Zhao; Heemskerk, Nanda M; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-12-01

    Plants are exposed to a suite of herbivorous attackers that often arrive sequentially. Herbivory affects interactions between the host plants and subsequently attacking herbivores. Moreover, plants may respond to herbivory by emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that attract carnivorous natural enemies of the herbivores. However, information borne by VOCs is ubiquitous and may attract carnivores, such as parasitoids, that differ in their effectiveness at releasing the plant from its herbivorous attackers. Furthermore, the development of parasitoids within their herbivorous hosts, attacking a given host plant, may influence the elicitation of defensive reactions in the host plant. This may, in turn, affect the behavior of subsequent herbivores attacking the host plant. Here, we show that the species identity of a parasitoid had a more significant effect on defense responses of Brassica oleracea plants than the species identity of the herbivorous hosts of the parasitoids. Consequently, B. oleracea plants that were damaged by caterpillars (Pieris spp.) parasitized by different parasitoid species varied in the degree to which diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) selected the plants for oviposition. Attracting parasitoids in general benefitted the plants by reducing diamondback moth colonization. However, the species of parasitoid that parasitized the herbivore significantly affected the magnitude of this benefit by its species-specific effect on herbivore-plant interactions mediated by caterpillar regurgitant. Our findings show that information-mediated indirect defense may lead to unpredictable consequences for plants when considering trait-mediated effects of parasitized caterpillars on the host plant and their consequences because of community-wide responses to induced plants.

  10. Fusion and metabolism of plant cells as affected by microgravity.

    PubMed

    Hampp, R; Hoffmann, E; Schönherr, K; Johann, P; De Filippis, L

    1997-01-01

    Plant cell protoplasts derived from leaf tissue of two different tobacco species (Nicotiana tabacum., N. rustica L.) were exposed to short-term (sounding rocket experiments) and long-term (spacelab) microgravity environments in order to study both (electro) cell fusion and cell metabolism during early and later stages of tissue regeneration. The period of exposure to microgravity varied from 10 min (sounding rocket) to 10 d (space shuttle). The process of electro fusion of protoplasts was improved under conditions of microgravity: the time needed to establish close membrane contact between protoplasts (alignment time) was reduced (5 as compared to 15 s under 1 g) and numbers of fusion products between protoplasts of different specific density were increased by a factor of about 10. In addition, viability of fusion products, as shown by the ability to form callus, increased from about 60% to more than 90%. Regenerated fusion products obtained from both sounding-rocket and spacelab experiments showed a wide range of intermediate properties between the two parental plants. This was verified by isozyme analysis and random amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR). In order to address potential metabolic responses, more general markers such as the overall energy state (ATP/ADP ratio), the redox charge of the diphosphopyridine nucleotide system (NADH/NAD ratio), and the pool size of fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (Fru 2,6 bisp), a regulator of the balance between glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, were determined. Responses of these parameters were different with regard to short-term and long-term exposure. Shortly after transition to reduced gravitation (sounding rocket) ratios of ATP/ADP exhibited strong fluctuation while the pool size of NAD decreased (indicating an increased NADH/NAD ratio) and that of Fru 2,6 bisp increased. As similar changes can be observed under stress conditions, this response is probably indicative of a metabolic stress

  11. Allocation, stress tolerance and carbon transport in plants: how does phloem physiology affect plant ecology?

    PubMed

    Savage, Jessica A; Clearwater, Michael J; Haines, Dustin F; Klein, Tamir; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Sevanto, Sanna; Turgeon, Robert; Zhang, Cankui

    2016-04-01

    Despite the crucial role of carbon transport in whole plant physiology and its impact on plant-environment interactions and ecosystem function, relatively little research has tried to examine how phloem physiology impacts plant ecology. In this review, we highlight several areas of active research where inquiry into phloem physiology has increased our understanding of whole plant function and ecological processes. We consider how xylem-phloem interactions impact plant drought tolerance and reproduction, how phloem transport influences carbon allocation in trees and carbon cycling in ecosystems and how phloem function mediates plant relations with insects, pests, microbes and symbiotes. We argue that in spite of challenges that exist in studying phloem physiology, it is critical that we consider the role of this dynamic vascular system when examining the relationship between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment. PMID:26147312

  12. Allocation, stress tolerance and carbon transport in plants: how does phloem physiology affect plant ecology?

    PubMed

    Savage, Jessica A; Clearwater, Michael J; Haines, Dustin F; Klein, Tamir; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Sevanto, Sanna; Turgeon, Robert; Zhang, Cankui

    2016-04-01

    Despite the crucial role of carbon transport in whole plant physiology and its impact on plant-environment interactions and ecosystem function, relatively little research has tried to examine how phloem physiology impacts plant ecology. In this review, we highlight several areas of active research where inquiry into phloem physiology has increased our understanding of whole plant function and ecological processes. We consider how xylem-phloem interactions impact plant drought tolerance and reproduction, how phloem transport influences carbon allocation in trees and carbon cycling in ecosystems and how phloem function mediates plant relations with insects, pests, microbes and symbiotes. We argue that in spite of challenges that exist in studying phloem physiology, it is critical that we consider the role of this dynamic vascular system when examining the relationship between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment.

  13. Reassessment of selected factors affecting siting of Nuclear Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.E.; Hanson, A.L.; Mubayi, V.; Nourbakhsh, H.P.

    1997-02-01

    Brookhaven National Laboratory has performed a series of probabilistic consequence assessment calculations for nuclear reactor siting. This study takes into account recent insights into severe accident source terms and examines consequences in a risk based format consistent with the quantitative health objectives (QHOs) of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy. Simplified severe accident source terms developed in this study are based on the risk insights of NUREG-1150. The results of the study indicate that both the quantity of radioactivity released in a severe accident as well as the likelihood of a release are lower than those predicted in earlier studies. The accident risks using the simplified source terms are examined at a series of generic plant sites, that vary in population distribution, meteorological conditions, and exclusion area boundary distances. Sensitivity calculations are performed to evaluate the effects of emergency protective action assumptions on the risk of prompt fatality and latent cancers fatality, and population relocation. The study finds that based on the new source terms the prompt and latent fatality risks at all generic sites meet the QHOs of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy by margins ranging from one to more than three orders of magnitude. 4 refs., 17 figs., 24 tabs.

  14. Pollination, mating and reproductive fitness in a plant population with bimodal floral-tube length.

    PubMed

    Anderson, B; Pauw, A; Cole, W W; Barrett, S C H

    2016-08-01

    Mating patterns and natural selection play important roles in determining whether genetic polymorphisms are maintained or lost. Here, we document an atypical population of Lapeirousia anceps (Iridaceae) with a bimodal distribution of floral-tube length and investigate the reproductive mechanisms associated with this pattern of variation. Flowers were visited exclusively by the long-proboscid fly Moegistorhynchus longirostris (Nemestrinidae), which exhibited a unimodal distribution of proboscis length and displayed a preference for long-tubed phenotypes. Despite being visited by a single pollinator species, allozyme markers revealed significant genetic differentiation between open-pollinated progeny of long- and short-tubed phenotypes suggesting mating barriers between them. We obtained direct evidence for mating barriers between the floral-tube phenotypes through observations of pollinator foraging, controlled hand pollinations and measurements of pollen competition and seed set. Intermediate tube-length phenotypes produced fewer seeds in the field than either long- or short-tubed phenotypes. Although floral-tube length bimodality may not be a stable state over long timescales, reproductive barriers to mating and low 'hybrid' fitness have the potential to contribute to the maintenance of this state in the short term. PMID:27206242

  15. A Fungal Endosymbiont Affects Host Plant Recruitment Through Seed- and Litter-mediated Mechanisms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Many grass species are associated with maternally transmitted fungal endophytes. Increasing evidence shows that endophytes enhance host plant success under varied conditions, yet studies have rarely considered alternative mechanisms whereby these mutualistic symbionts may affect regeneration from...

  16. Relative Fitness of Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on Seven Host Plants: A Perspective for IPM in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Reigada, C.; Guimarães, K. F.; Parra, J. R. P.

    2016-01-01

    The cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a widespread pest of many cultivated and wild plants in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. In 2013, this species was reported in Brazil, attacking various host crops in the midwestern and northeastern regions of the country and is now found countrywide. Aiming to understand the effects of different host plants on the life cycle of H. armigera, we selected seven species of host plants that mature in different seasons and are commonly grown in these regions: cotton (Gossypium hirsutum, “FM993”), corn (Zea mays, “2B587”), soybean (Glycine max, “99R01”), rattlepods (Crotalaria spectabilis), millet (Pennisetum glaucum, “ADR300”), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor, “AGROMEN70G35”), and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata, “SEMPRE VERDE”). The development time of immatures, body weight, survivorship, and fecundity of H. armigera were evaluated on each host plant under laboratory conditions. The bollworms did not survive on corn, millet, or sorghum and showed very low survival rates on rattlepods. Survival rates were highest on soybean, followed by cotton and cowpea. The values for relative fitness found on soybean, cotton, cowpea, and rattlepods were 1, 0.5, 0.43, and 0.03, respectively. Survivorship, faster development time, and fecundity on soybean, cotton, and cowpea were positively correlated. Larger pupae and greater fecundity were found on soybean and cotton. The results indicated that soybean, cotton, and cowpea are the most suitable plants to support the reproduction of H. armigera in the field. PMID:26798139

  17. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  18. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  19. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  20. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  1. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... populations. 230.75 Section 230.75 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) OCEAN... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  2. 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.

  3. Within-Host Niche Differences and Fitness Trade-offs Promote Coexistence of Plant Viruses.

    PubMed

    Mordecai, Erin A; Gross, Kevin; Mitchell, Charles E

    2016-01-01

    Pathogens live in diverse, competitive communities, yet the processes that maintain pathogen diversity remain elusive. Here, we use a species-rich, well-studied plant virus system, the barley yellow dwarf viruses, to examine the mechanisms that regulate pathogen diversity. We empirically parameterized models of three viruses, their two aphid vectors, and one perennial grass host. We found that high densities of both aphids maximized virus diversity and that competition limited the coexistence of two closely related viruses. Even limited ability to simultaneously infect (coinfect) host individuals strongly promoted virus coexistence; preventing coinfection led to priority effects. Coinfection generated stabilizing niche differences by allowing viruses to share hosts. However, coexistence also required trade-offs between vector generalist and specialist life-history strategies. Our predicted outcomes broadly concur with previous field observations. These results show how competition within individual hosts and vectors may lead to unexpected population-level outcomes between pathogens, including coexistence, competitive exclusion, and priority effects, and how contemporary coexistence theory can help to predict these outcomes. PMID:27277413

  4. Widespread seed limitation affects plant density but not population trajectory in the invasive plant Centaurea solstitialis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In some plant populations, the availability of seeds strongly regulates recruitment. However, a scarcity of germination microsites, granivory or density dependent mortality can reduce the number of plants that germinate or survive to flowering. The relative strength of these controls is unknown for ...

  5. Drought stress affects plant metabolites and herbivore preference but not host location by its parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Weldegergis, Berhane T; Zhu, Feng; Poelman, Erik H; Dicke, Marcel

    2015-03-01

    One of the main abiotic stresses that strongly affects plant survival and the primary cause of crop loss around the world is drought. Drought stress leads to sequential morphological, physiological, biochemical and molecular changes that can have severe effects on plant growth, development and productivity. As a consequence of these changes, the interaction between plants and insects can be altered. Using cultivated Brassica oleracea plants, the parasitoid Microplitis mediator and its herbivorous host Mamestra brassicae, we studied the effect of drought stress on (1) the emission of plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs), (2) plant hormone titres, (3) preference and performance of the herbivore, and (4) preference of the parasitoid. Higher levels of jasmonic acid (JA) and abscisic acid (ABA) were recorded in response to herbivory, but no significant differences were observed for salicylic acid (SA) and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Drought significantly impacted SA level and showed a significant interactive effect with herbivory for IAA levels. A total of 55 VOCs were recorded and the difference among the treatments was influenced largely by herbivory, where the emission rate of fatty acid-derived volatiles, nitriles and (E)-4,8-dimethylnona-1,3,7-triene [(E)-DMNT] was enhanced. Mamestra brassicae moths preferred to lay eggs on drought-stressed over control plants; their offspring performed similarly on plants of both treatments. VOCs due to drought did not affect the choice of M. mediator parasitoids. Overall, our study reveals an influence of drought on plant chemistry and insect-plant interactions. PMID:25370387

  6. Volatile interaction between undamaged plants affects tritrophic interactions through changed plant volatile emission.

    PubMed

    Vucetic, Andja; Dahlin, Iris; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben; Ninkovic, Velemir

    2014-01-01

    Volatile interactions between unattacked plants can lead to changes in their volatile emissions. Exposure of potato plants to onion plant volatiles results in increased emission of 2 terpenoids, (E)-nerolidol and TMTT. We investigated whether this is detectable by the ladybird Coccinella septempunctata. The odor of onion-exposed potato was significantly more attractive to ladybirds than that of unexposed potato. Further, a synthetic blend mimicking the volatile profile of onion-exposed potato was more attractive than a blend mimicking that of unexposed potato. When presented individually, TMTT was attractive to ladybirds whereas (E)-nerolidol was repellent. Volatile exchange between unattacked plants and consequent increased attractiveness for ladybirds may be a mechanism that contributes to the increased abundance of natural enemies in complex plant habitats. PMID:25763628

  7. Volatile interaction between undamaged plants affects tritrophic interactions through changed plant volatile emission.

    PubMed

    Vucetic, Andja; Dahlin, Iris; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben; Ninkovic, Velemir

    2014-01-01

    Volatile interactions between unattacked plants can lead to changes in their volatile emissions. Exposure of potato plants to onion plant volatiles results in increased emission of 2 terpenoids, (E)-nerolidol and TMTT. We investigated whether this is detectable by the ladybird Coccinella septempunctata. The odor of onion-exposed potato was significantly more attractive to ladybirds than that of unexposed potato. Further, a synthetic blend mimicking the volatile profile of onion-exposed potato was more attractive than a blend mimicking that of unexposed potato. When presented individually, TMTT was attractive to ladybirds whereas (E)-nerolidol was repellent. Volatile exchange between unattacked plants and consequent increased attractiveness for ladybirds may be a mechanism that contributes to the increased abundance of natural enemies in complex plant habitats.

  8. Volatile interaction between undamaged plants affects tritrophic interactions through changed plant volatile emission.

    PubMed

    Vucetic, Andja; Dahlin, Iris; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben; Ninkovic, Velemir

    2014-06-13

    Volatile interactions between unattacked plants can lead to changes in their volatile emissions. Exposure of potato plants to onion plant volatiles results in increased emission of 2 terpenoids, (E)-nerolidol and TMTT. We investigated whether this is detectable by the ladybird Coccinella septempunctata. The odor of onion-exposed potato was significantly more attractive to ladybirds than that of unexposed potato. Further, a synthetic blend mimicking the volatile profile of onion-exposed potato was more attractive than a blend mimicking that of unexposed potato. When presented individually, TMTT was attractive to ladybirds whereas (E)-nerolidol was repellent. Volatile exchange between unattacked plants and consequent increased attractiveness for ladybirds may be a mechanism that contributes to the increased abundance of natural enemies in complex plant habitats.

  9. Interaction of pollinators and herbivores on plant fitness suggests a pathway for correlated evolution of mutualism- and antagonism-related traits

    PubMed Central

    Herrera, Carlos M.; Medrano, Mónica; Rey, Pedro J.; Sánchez-Lafuente, Alfonso M.; García, María B.; Guitián, Javier; Manzaneda, Antonio J.

    2002-01-01

    Different kinds of plant–animal interactions are ordinarily studied in isolation, yet considering the combined fitness effects of mutualistic and antagonistic interactions is essential to understanding plant character evolution. Functional, structural, or phylogenetic associations between attractive and defensive traits may be nonadaptive or result from correlational selection on sets of herbivory- and pollination-linked traits. Nonadditivity of fitness effects of mutualists and antagonists, a requisite for correlational selection, was experimentally tested in the field. We created experimental populations of the insect-pollinated perennial herb, Helleborus foetidus, at 16 different locations distributed among three regions in the Iberian Peninsula. Plants experienced one of four possible selective regimes generated by independently weakening the effects of pollinators and herbivores (flower and fruit predators) according to a two-way fully factorial design. Effects were assessed in terms of number of next-generation offspring recruited per mother plant under natural field conditions. Differences among H. foetidus plants in the strength of their interactions with pollinators and herbivores translated into differential fitness, as measured in terms of recruited offspring, and subsequent changes in plant population densities. A strong, geographically consistent nonadditivity in the fitness consequences of pollinators and herbivores was found also. Plants possessing the particular combination of “traits” simultaneously enhancing pollination and escape from herbivores enjoyed a disproportionate fitness advantage over plants possessing any of the other three possible “trait” combinations. Results suggest a simple, possibly widespread ecological pathway favoring the adaptive correlated evolution of mutualism- and antagonism-related plant traits in pollinator-dependent plants suffering intense flower and fruit herbivory. PMID:12482948

  10. Climate warming affects biological invasions by shifting interactions of plants and herbivores.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xinmin; Siemann, Evan; Shao, Xu; Wei, Hui; Ding, Jianqing

    2013-08-01

    Plants and herbivorous insects can each be dramatically affected by temperature. Climate warming may impact plant invasion success directly but also indirectly through changes in their natural enemies. To date, however, there are no tests of how climate warming shifts the interactions among invasive plants and their natural enemies to affect invasion success. Field surveys covering the full latitudinal range of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides in China showed that a beetle introduced for biocontrol was rare or absent at higher latitudes. In contrast, plant cover and mass increased with latitude. In a 2-year field experiment near the northern limit of beetle distribution, we found the beetle sustained populations across years under elevated temperature, dramatically decreasing A. philoxeroides growth, but it failed to overwinter in ambient temperature. Together, these results suggest that warming will allow the natural enemy to expand its range, potentially benefiting biocontrol in regions that are currently too cold for the natural enemy. However, the invader may also expand its range further north in response to warming. In such cases where plants tolerate cold better than their natural enemies, the geographical gap between plant and herbivorous insect ranges may not disappear but will shift to higher latitudes, leading to a new zone of enemy release. Therefore, warming will not only affect plant invasions directly but also drive either enemy release or increase that will result in contrasting effects on invasive plants. The findings are also critical for future management of invasive species under climate change.

  11. Male Age Affects Female Mate Preference, Quantity of Accessory Gland Proteins, and Sperm Traits and Female Fitness in D. melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Rezaei, Abolhasan; Krishna, Mysore Siddaiah; Santhosh, Hassan T

    2015-01-01

    For species in which mating is resource-independent and offspring do not receive parental care, theoretical models of age-based female mate preference predict that females should prefer to mate with older males as they have demonstrated ability to survive. Thus, females should obtain a fitness benefit from mating with older males. However, male aging is often associated with reductions in quantity of sperm. The adaptive significance of age-based mate choice is therefore unclear. Various hypotheses have made conflicting predictions concerning this issue, because published studies have not investigated the effect of age on accessory gland proteins and sperm traits. D. melanogaster exhibits resource-independent mating, and offspring do not receive parental care, making this an appropriate model for studying age-based mate choice. In the present study, we found that D. melanogaster females of all ages preferred to mate with the younger of two competing males. Young males performed significantly greater courtship attempts and females showed least rejection for the same than middle-aged and old males. Young males had small accessory glands that contained very few main cells that were larger than average. Nevertheless, compared with middle-aged or old males, the young males transferred greater quantities of accessory gland proteins and sperm to mated females. As a result, females that mated with young male produced more eggs and progeny than those that mated with older males. Furthermore, mating with young male reduced female's lifespan. These studies indicate that quantity of accessory gland proteins and sperm traits decreased with male age and females obtain direct fitness benefit from mating with preferred young males.

  12. Following Darwin's trail: interactions affecting the evolution of plant mating systems.

    PubMed

    Kariyat, Rupesh R; Sinclair, Jordan P; Golenberg, Edward M

    2013-06-01

    • Since the time of Charles Darwin, the variation in floral characteristics and its effects on plant mating system evolution have fascinated scientists. Recent advances in the field of genetics, molecular biology, and ecology have been very effective in addressing questions regarding mechanisms and interactions underlying the evolution of plant mating systems using various model and nonmodel species. The depth of plant mating system research reflects the complexity and diversity seen in nature, ranging from self-compatible hermaphroditic flowers to separate sexed individuals. Further, the mechanisms involved in the evolution of plant mating systems are much more diverse and differ even among closely related species. Here, as a special section, we present a suite of original papers that range from theoretical modeling to multiyear field research that address different factors affecting plant mating systems, and their effects on shaping interactions between plants, insects, and their environment.

  13. Plant diversity and functional groups affect Si and Ca pools in aboveground biomass of grassland systems.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg; Roscher, Christiane; Hillebrand, Helmut; Weigelt, Alexandra; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity is an important driver of nitrogen and phosphorus stocks in aboveground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems, but plant diversity effects on other elements also important for plant growth are less understood. We tested whether plant species richness, functional group richness or the presence/absence of particular plant functional groups influences the Si and Ca concentrations (mmol g(-1)) and stocks (mmol m(-2)) in aboveground plant biomass in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In the experiment including 60 temperate grassland species, plant diversity was manipulated as sown species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and richness and identity of plant functional groups (1-4; grasses, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes). We found positive species richness effects on Si as well as Ca stocks that were attributable to increased biomass production. The presence of particular functional groups was the most important factor explaining variation in aboveground Si and Ca stocks (mmol m(-2)). Grass presence increased the Si stocks by 140 % and legume presence increased the Ca stock by 230 %. Both the presence of specific plant functional groups and species diversity altered Si and Ca stocks, whereas Si and Ca concentration were affected mostly by the presence of specific plant functional groups. However, we found a negative effect of species diversity on Si and Ca accumulation, by calculating the deviation between mixtures and mixture biomass proportions, but in monoculture concentrations. These changes may in turn affect ecosystem processes such as plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in grasslands.

  14. Plant diversity and functional groups affect Si and Ca pools in aboveground biomass of grassland systems.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg; Roscher, Christiane; Hillebrand, Helmut; Weigelt, Alexandra; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity is an important driver of nitrogen and phosphorus stocks in aboveground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems, but plant diversity effects on other elements also important for plant growth are less understood. We tested whether plant species richness, functional group richness or the presence/absence of particular plant functional groups influences the Si and Ca concentrations (mmol g(-1)) and stocks (mmol m(-2)) in aboveground plant biomass in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In the experiment including 60 temperate grassland species, plant diversity was manipulated as sown species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and richness and identity of plant functional groups (1-4; grasses, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes). We found positive species richness effects on Si as well as Ca stocks that were attributable to increased biomass production. The presence of particular functional groups was the most important factor explaining variation in aboveground Si and Ca stocks (mmol m(-2)). Grass presence increased the Si stocks by 140 % and legume presence increased the Ca stock by 230 %. Both the presence of specific plant functional groups and species diversity altered Si and Ca stocks, whereas Si and Ca concentration were affected mostly by the presence of specific plant functional groups. However, we found a negative effect of species diversity on Si and Ca accumulation, by calculating the deviation between mixtures and mixture biomass proportions, but in monoculture concentrations. These changes may in turn affect ecosystem processes such as plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in grasslands. PMID:27164912

  15. The Salicylic Acid-Mediated Release of Plant Volatiles Affects the Host Choice of Bemisia tabaci.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xiaobin; Chen, Gong; Tian, Lixia; Peng, Zhengke; Xie, Wen; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Zhou, Xuguo; Zhang, Youjun

    2016-01-01

    The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) causes serious crop losses worldwide by transmitting viruses. We have previously shown that salicylic acid (SA)-related plant defenses directly affect whiteflies. In this study, we applied exogenous SA to tomato plants in order to investigate the interaction between SA-induced plant volatiles and nonviruliferous B. tabaci B and Q or B- and Q-carrying tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). The results showed that exogenous SA caused plants to repel nonviruliferous whiteflies, but the effect was reduced when the SA concentration was low and when the whiteflies were viruliferous. Exogenous SA increased the number and quantity of plant volatiles-especially the quantity of methyl salicylate and δ-limonene. In Y-tube olfactometer assays, methyl salicylate and δ-limonene repelled the whiteflies, but the repellency was reduced for viruliferous Q. We suggest that the release of plant volatiles as mediated by SA affects the interaction between whiteflies, plants, and viruses. Further studies are needed to determine why viruliferous Q is less sensitive than nonviruliferous Q to repellent plant volatiles. PMID:27376280

  16. The Salicylic Acid-Mediated Release of Plant Volatiles Affects the Host Choice of Bemisia tabaci

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xiaobin; Chen, Gong; Tian, Lixia; Peng, Zhengke; Xie, Wen; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Zhou, Xuguo; Zhang, Youjun

    2016-01-01

    The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) causes serious crop losses worldwide by transmitting viruses. We have previously shown that salicylic acid (SA)-related plant defenses directly affect whiteflies. In this study, we applied exogenous SA to tomato plants in order to investigate the interaction between SA-induced plant volatiles and nonviruliferous B. tabaci B and Q or B- and Q-carrying tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). The results showed that exogenous SA caused plants to repel nonviruliferous whiteflies, but the effect was reduced when the SA concentration was low and when the whiteflies were viruliferous. Exogenous SA increased the number and quantity of plant volatiles—especially the quantity of methyl salicylate and δ-limonene. In Y-tube olfactometer assays, methyl salicylate and δ-limonene repelled the whiteflies, but the repellency was reduced for viruliferous Q. We suggest that the release of plant volatiles as mediated by SA affects the interaction between whiteflies, plants, and viruses. Further studies are needed to determine why viruliferous Q is less sensitive than nonviruliferous Q to repellent plant volatiles. PMID:27376280

  17. Deviation from niche optima affects the nature of plant-plant interactions along a soil acidity gradient.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Cheng, Lulu; Hu, Liangliang; Tang, Jianjun; Chen, Xin

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing recognition of the importance of niche optima in the shift of plant-plant interactions along environmental stress gradients. Here, we investigate whether deviation from niche optima would affect the outcome of plant-plant interactions along a soil acidity gradient (pH = 3.1, 4.1, 5.5 and 6.1) in a pot experiment. We used the acid-tolerant species Lespedeza formosa Koehne as the neighbouring plant and the acid-tolerant species Indigofera pseudotinctoria Mats. or acid-sensitive species Medicago sativa L. as the target plants. Biomass was used to determine the optimal pH and to calculate the relative interaction index (RII). We found that the relationships between RII and the deviation of soil pH from the target's optimal pH were linear for both target species. Both targets were increasingly promoted by the neighbour as pH values deviated from their optima; neighbours benefitted target plants by promoting soil symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, increasing soil organic matter or reducing soil exchangeable aluminium. Our results suggest that the shape of the curve describing the relationship between soil pH and facilitation/competition depends on the soil pH optima of the particular species. PMID:26740568

  18. Second generation peanut genotypes resistant to thrips-transmitted tomato spotted wilt virus exhibit tolerance rather than true resistance and differentially affect thrips fitness.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Anita; Srinivasan, Rajagopalbabu; Sundaraj, Sivamani; Culbreath, Albert K; Riley, David G

    2013-04-01

    Spotted wilt disease caused by Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) (family Bunyaviridae; genus Tospovirus) is a major constraint to peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) production in the southeastern United States. Reducing yield losses to TSWV has heavily relied on planting genotypes that reduce the incidence of spotted wilt disease. However, mechanisms conferring resistance to TSWV have not been identified in these genotypes. Furthermore, no information is available on how these genotypes influence thrips fitness. In this study, we investigated the effects of newly released peanut genotypes (Georganic, GA-06G, Tifguard, and NC94022) with field resistance to TSWV and a susceptible genotype (Georgia Green) on tobacco thrips, Frankliniella fusca (Hinds), fitness, and TSWV incidence. Thrips-mediated transmission resulted in TSWV infection in both TSWV-resistant and susceptible genotypes and they exhibited typical TSWV symptoms. However, some resistant genotypes had reduced viral loads (fewer TSWV N-gene copies) than the susceptible genotype. F. fusca larvae acquired TSWV from resistant and susceptible genotypes indicating that resistant genotypes also can serve as inoculum sources. Unlike resistant genotypes in other crops that produce local lesions (hypersensitive reaction) upon TSWV infection, widespread symptom development was noticed in peanut genotypes. Results indicated that the observed field resistance in peanut genotypes could be because of tolerance. Further, fitness studies revealed some, but not substantial, differences in thrips adult emergence rates and developmental time between resistant and susceptible genotypes. Thrips head capsule length and width were not different when reared on different genotypes.

  19. Analysis of pools of targeted Salmonella deletion mutants identifies novel genes affecting fitness during competitive infection in mice.

    PubMed

    Santiviago, Carlos A; Reynolds, M Megan; Porwollik, Steffen; Choi, Sang-Ho; Long, Fred; Andrews-Polymenis, Helene L; McClelland, Michael

    2009-07-01

    Pools of mutants of minimal complexity but maximal coverage of genes of interest facilitate screening for genes under selection in a particular environment. We constructed individual deletion mutants in 1,023 Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium genes, including almost all genes found in Salmonella but not in related genera. All mutations were confirmed simultaneously using a novel amplification strategy to produce labeled RNA from a T7 RNA polymerase promoter, introduced during the construction of each mutant, followed by hybridization of this labeled RNA to a Typhimurium genome tiling array. To demonstrate the ability to identify fitness phenotypes using our pool of mutants, the pool was subjected to selection by intraperitoneal injection into BALB/c mice and subsequent recovery from spleens. Changes in the representation of each mutant were monitored using T7 transcripts hybridized to a novel inexpensive minimal microarray. Among the top 120 statistically significant spleen colonization phenotypes, more than 40 were mutations in genes with no previously known role in this model. Fifteen phenotypes were tested using individual mutants in competitive assays of intraperitoneal infection in mice and eleven were confirmed, including the first two examples of attenuation for sRNA mutants in Salmonella. We refer to the method as Array-based analysis of cistrons under selection (ABACUS).

  20. Equestrian expertise affecting physical fitness, body compositions, lactate, heart rate and calorie consumption of elite horse riding players

    PubMed Central

    Sung, Bong-Ju; Jeon, Sang-Yong; Lim, Sung-Ro; Lee, Kyu-Eon; Jee, Hyunseok

    2015-01-01

    Horse riding (HR) is a sport harmonized with rider and horse. HR is renowned as an effective sport for young and old women and men. There is rare study regarding comparison between elite horse riders and amateurs. We aimed to investigate comprehensive ranges of parameters such as change of lactate, heart rate, calorie, VO2max, skeletal muscle mass, body water, body fat, etc between amateurs and professionals to emphasize HR not only as a sport training but also as a therapeutic aspect. We performed 3 experiments for comparing physical fitness, body compositions, lactate value, heart rate and calorie consumption change before and after riding between amateurs and elites. Around 3 yr riding experienced elites are preeminent at balance capability compared to 1 yr riding experienced amateurs. During 18 min horse riding, skeletal muscle mass and body fat were interestingly increased and decreased, respectively. Lactate response was more sensitive in elites rather than amateurs and its recovery was reversely reacted. Exercise intensity estimated from heart rate was significantly higher in elites (P<0.05). The similar pattern of calorie consumption during riding between amateurs and elites was shown. Horse riding possibly induces various physiological (muscle strength, balance, oxidative capability, flexibility, and metabolic control) changes within body and is thus highly recommended as combined exercise for women, children, and aged as therapeutic and leisure sport activity. PMID:26171385

  1. Planting geometry and plant population affect dryland maize grain yield and harvest index

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water for dryland grain production in the Texas panhandle is limited. Agronomic practices such as reduction in plant population or change in sowing time may help increase maize (Zea mays L.) yield potential. Tiller formation under dryland conditions leads to more vegetative growth and reduced yield....

  2. Magnitude of nighttime transpiration does not affect plant growth or nutrition in well-watered Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Christman, Mairgareth A; Donovan, Lisa A; Richards, James H

    2009-07-01

    Significant water loss occurs throughout the night via partially open stomata in many C(3) and C(4) plant species. Although apparently wasteful in terms of water use, nighttime transpiration (E(night)) is hypothesized to benefit plants by enhancing nutrient supply. We tested the hypothesis that plants with greater E(night) would have improved plant nutrient status and greater fitness, estimated as pre-bolting biomass, for Arabidopsis thaliana. Two very different levels of E(night) were generated in plants by exposing them to high vs low nighttime leaf-to-air vapor pressure deficits (VPD(leaf)) in controlled environment chambers. An assessment of responses of nighttime leaf conductance (g(night)) to VPD(leaf) indicated that E(night) differed by at least 80% between the treatments. This large difference in E(night), imposed over the entire vegetative growth phase of Arabidopsis, had no effect on leaf nutrient content (N, Ca, K) or pre-bolting rosette biomass. The lack of response to differences in E(night) held true for both a high and a low nitrogen (N) treatment, even though the low N treatment decreased leaf N and biomass by 40-60%. The N treatment had no effect on g(night). Thus, higher E(night) did not provide a nutrient or growth benefit to Arabidopsis, even when the plants were N-limited.

  3. Crop-noncrop spillover: arable fields affect trophic interactions on wild plants in surrounding habitats.

    PubMed

    Gladbach, David J; Holzschuh, Andrea; Scherber, Christoph; Thies, Carsten; Dormann, Carsten F; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-06-01

    Ecosystem processes in agricultural landscapes are often triggered by resource availability in crop and noncrop habitats. We investigated how oilseed rape (OSR; Brassica napus, Brassicaceae) affects noncrop plants in managed systems and semi-natural habitat, using trophic interactions among wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis, Brassicaceae), rape pollen beetles (Meligethes aeneus, Nitidulidae) and their parasitoids (Tersilochus heterocerus, Ichneumonidae). We exposed wild mustard as phytometer plants in two cropland habitat types (wheat field, field margin) and three noncrop habitat types (fallow, grassland, wood margin) across eight landscapes along a gradient from simple to complex (quantified as % arable land). Both landscape and local factors affected the abundance of rape pollen beetles and parasitoids. Rape pollen beetle infestation and parasitism rates on these plants were lower in noncrop habitats and higher in wheat fields and field margins, whereas beetles and parasitoids responded differently to landscape scale parameters. We found the hypothesized spillover from OSR crop onto wild plants in surrounding habitats only for parasitoids, but not for pollen beetles. Parasitism rates were not related to landscape simplification, but benefited from increasing proportions of OSR. In contrast, rape pollen beetles benefited from simple landscape structures, presumably due to multi-annual population build-ups resulting from long-term OSR planting (as part of the crop rotation). In conclusion, we showed that spillover from cropland affects parasitism rates on related wild plants outside cropland, which has not been shown so far, but can be expected to be a widespread effect shaping noncrop food webs.

  4. Analysis and fitting of an SIR model with host response to infection load for a plant disease

    PubMed Central

    Gilligan, C. A.; Gubbins, S.; Simons, S. A.

    1997-01-01

    We reformulate a model for botanical epidemics into an SIR form for susceptible (S), infected (I) and removed (R) plant organs, in order to examine the effects of different models for the effect of host responses to the load of infection on the production of susceptible tissue. The new formulation also allows for a decline in host susceptibility with age. The model is analysed and tested for the stem canker disease of potatoes, caused by the soil-borne fungus, Rhizoctonia solani. Using a combination of model fitting to field data and analysis of model behaviour, we show that a function for host response to the amount (load) of parasite infection is critical in the description of the temporal dynamics of susceptible and infected stems in epidemics of R. solani. Several different types of host response to infection are compared including two that allow for stimulation of the plant to produce more susceptible tissue at low levels of disease and inhibition at higher levels. We show that when the force of infection decays with time, due to increasing resistance of the host, the equilibrium density of susceptible stems depends on the parameters and initial conditions. The models differ in sensitivity to small changes in disease transmission with some showing marked qualitative changes leading to a flush of susceptible stems at low levels of disease transmission. We conclude that there is no evidence to reject an SIR model with a simpler linear term for the effect of infection load on the production of healthy tissue, even though biological considerations suggest greater complexity in the relationship between disease and growth. We show that reduction in initial inoculum density, and hence in the force of infection, is effective in controlling disase when the simple model applies.

  5. Ozone affects growth and development of Pieris brassicae on the wild host plant Brassica nigra.

    PubMed

    Khaling, Eliezer; Papazian, Stefano; Poelman, Erik H; Holopainen, Jarmo K; Albrectsen, Benedicte R; Blande, James D

    2015-04-01

    When plants are exposed to ozone they exhibit changes in both primary and secondary metabolism, which may affect their interactions with herbivorous insects. Here we investigated the performance and preferences of the specialist herbivore Pieris brassicae on the wild plant Brassica nigra under elevated ozone conditions. The direct and indirect effects of ozone on the plant-herbivore system were studied. In both cases ozone exposure had a negative effect on P. brassicae development. However, in dual-choice tests larvae preferentially consumed plant material previously fumigated with the highest concentration tested, showing a lack of correlation between larval preference and performance on ozone exposed plants. Metabolomic analysis of leaf material subjected to combinations of ozone and herbivore-feeding, and focussing on known defence metabolites, indicated that P. brassicae behaviour and performance were associated with ozone-induced alterations to glucosinolate and phenolic pools.

  6. Ozone affects growth and development of Pieris brassicae on the wild host plant Brassica nigra.

    PubMed

    Khaling, Eliezer; Papazian, Stefano; Poelman, Erik H; Holopainen, Jarmo K; Albrectsen, Benedicte R; Blande, James D

    2015-04-01

    When plants are exposed to ozone they exhibit changes in both primary and secondary metabolism, which may affect their interactions with herbivorous insects. Here we investigated the performance and preferences of the specialist herbivore Pieris brassicae on the wild plant Brassica nigra under elevated ozone conditions. The direct and indirect effects of ozone on the plant-herbivore system were studied. In both cases ozone exposure had a negative effect on P. brassicae development. However, in dual-choice tests larvae preferentially consumed plant material previously fumigated with the highest concentration tested, showing a lack of correlation between larval preference and performance on ozone exposed plants. Metabolomic analysis of leaf material subjected to combinations of ozone and herbivore-feeding, and focussing on known defence metabolites, indicated that P. brassicae behaviour and performance were associated with ozone-induced alterations to glucosinolate and phenolic pools. PMID:25645061

  7. Fusarium Oxysporum Volatiles Enhance Plant Growth Via Affecting Auxin Transport and Signaling.

    PubMed

    Bitas, Vasileios; McCartney, Nathaniel; Li, Ningxiao; Demers, Jill; Kim, Jung-Eun; Kim, Hye-Seon; Brown, Kathleen M; Kang, Seogchan

    2015-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have well-documented roles in plant-plant communication and directing animal behavior. In this study, we examine the less understood roles of VOCs in plant-fungal relationships. Phylogenetically and ecologically diverse strains of Fusarium oxysporum, a fungal species complex that often resides in the rhizosphere of assorted plants, produce volatile compounds that augment shoot and root growth of Arabidopsis thaliana and tobacco. Growth responses of A. thaliana hormone signaling mutants and expression patterns of a GUS reporter gene under the auxin-responsive DR5 promoter supported the involvement of auxin signaling in F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement. In addition, 1-naphthylthalamic acid, an inhibitor of auxin efflux, negated F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement in both plants. Comparison of the profiles of volatile compounds produced by F. oxysporum strains that differentially affected plant growth suggests that the relative compositions of both growth inhibitory and stimulatory compounds may determine the degree of plant growth enhancement. Volatile-mediated signaling between fungi and plants may represent a potentially conserved, yet mostly overlooked, mechanism underpinning plant-fungus interactions and fungal niche adaption. PMID:26617587

  8. Ontogenetic shifts in plant interactions vary with environmental severity and affect population structure.

    PubMed

    le Roux, Peter C; Shaw, Justine D; Chown, Steven L

    2013-10-01

    Environmental conditions and plant size may both alter the outcome of inter-specific plant-plant interactions, with seedlings generally facilitated more strongly than larger individuals in stressful habitats. However, the combined impact of plant size and environmental severity on interactions is poorly understood. Here, we tested explicitly for the first time the hypothesis that ontogenetic shifts in interactions are delayed under increasingly severe conditions by examining the interaction between a grass, Agrostis magellanica, and a cushion plant, Azorella selago, along two severity gradients. The impact of A. selago on A. magellanica abundance, but not reproductive effort, was related to A. magellanica size, with a trend for delayed shifts towards more negative interactions under greater environmental severity. Intermediate-sized individuals were most strongly facilitated, leading to differences in the size-class distribution of A. magellanica on the soil and on A. selago. The A. magellanica size-class distribution was more strongly affected by A. selago than by environmental severity, demonstrating that the plant-plant interaction impacts A. magellanica population structure more strongly than habitat conditions. As ontogenetic shifts in plant-plant interactions cannot be assumed to be constant across severity gradients and may impact species population structure, studies examining the outcome of interactions need to consider the potential for size- or age-related variation in competition and facilitation.

  9. Plant volatiles induced by herbivore egg deposition affect insects of different trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Fatouros, Nina E; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Pashalidou, Foteini G; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Gols, Rieta; Huigens, Martinus E

    2012-01-01

    Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant's volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels. PMID:22912893

  10. Fusarium Oxysporum Volatiles Enhance Plant Growth Via Affecting Auxin Transport and Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Bitas, Vasileios; McCartney, Nathaniel; Li, Ningxiao; Demers, Jill; Kim, Jung-Eun; Kim, Hye-Seon; Brown, Kathleen M.; Kang, Seogchan

    2015-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have well-documented roles in plant-plant communication and directing animal behavior. In this study, we examine the less understood roles of VOCs in plant-fungal relationships. Phylogenetically and ecologically diverse strains of Fusarium oxysporum, a fungal species complex that often resides in the rhizosphere of assorted plants, produce volatile compounds that augment shoot and root growth of Arabidopsis thaliana and tobacco. Growth responses of A. thaliana hormone signaling mutants and expression patterns of a GUS reporter gene under the auxin-responsive DR5 promoter supported the involvement of auxin signaling in F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement. In addition, 1-naphthylthalamic acid, an inhibitor of auxin efflux, negated F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement in both plants. Comparison of the profiles of volatile compounds produced by F. oxysporum strains that differentially affected plant growth suggests that the relative compositions of both growth inhibitory and stimulatory compounds may determine the degree of plant growth enhancement. Volatile-mediated signaling between fungi and plants may represent a potentially conserved, yet mostly overlooked, mechanism underpinning plant-fungus interactions and fungal niche adaption. PMID:26617587

  11. [Genetic base of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh: fitness of plants for extreme conditions in northern margins of species range].

    PubMed

    Kurbidaeva, A S; Zaretskaia, M V; Soltabaeva, A D; Novokreshchenova, M G; Kupriianova, E V; Fedorenko, O M; Ezhova, T A

    2013-08-01

    Flowering time and vernalization requirement were studied in eight natural Karelian populations (KPs) of Arabidopsis thaliana. These KPs consisted of late-flowering plants with elevated expression of flowering repressor FLC and a reduced expression level of flowering activator SOC1 compared to the early-flowering ecotypes Dijon-M and Cvi-0. Despite variations in flowering time and the vernalization requirement among the KPs, two-week-old seedlings showed no changes in either the nucleotide sequence of the FRI gene or the relative expression levels of FRI and its target gene FLC that would be responsible for this variation. An analysis of abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis and catabolism genes (NCED3 and CYP707A2) did not show significant differences between late-flowering KPs and the early-flowering ecotypes Dijon-M and Cvi-0. Cold treatment (4 degrees C for 24 h) induced the expression of not only NCED3, but also RD29B, a gene involved in the ABA-dependent cold-response pathway. The relative levels of cold activation of these genes were nearly equal in all genotypes under study. Thus, the ABA-dependent cold response pathway does not depend on FLC expression. The lack of significant differences between northern populations, as well as the ecotypes Dijon-M (Europe) and Cvi-0 (Cape Verde Islands), indicates that this pathway is not crucial for fitness to the northern environment. PMID:25474881

  12. [Genetic base of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh: fitness of plants for extreme conditions in northern margins of species range].

    PubMed

    2013-08-01

    Flowering time and vernalization requirement were studied in eight natural Karelian populations (KPs) of Arabidopsis thaliana. These KPs consisted of late-flowering plants with elevated expression of flowering repressor FLC and a reduced expression level of flowering activator SOC1 compared to the early-flowering ecotypes Dijon-M and Cvi-0. Despite variations in flowering time and the vernalization requirement among the KPs, two-week-old seedlings showed no changes in either the nucleotide sequence of the FRI gene or the relative expression levels of FRI and its target gene FLC that would be responsible for this variation. An analysis of abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis and catabolism genes (NCED3 and CYP707A2) did not show significant differences between late-flowering KPs and the early-flowering ecotypes Dijon-M and Cvi-0. Cold treatment (4 degrees C for 24 h) induced the expression of not only NCED3, but also RD29B, a gene involved in the ABA-dependent cold-response pathway. The relative levels of cold activation of these genes were nearly equal in all genotypes under study. Thus, the ABA-dependent cold response pathway does not depend on FLC expression. The lack of significant differences between northern populations, as well as the ecotypes Dijon-M (Europe) and Cvi-0 (Cape Verde Islands), indicates that this pathway is not crucial for fitness to the northern environment. PMID:25508660

  13. Methyl esterification of pectin plays a role during plant-pathogen interactions and affects plant resistance to diseases.

    PubMed

    Lionetti, Vincenzo; Cervone, Felice; Bellincampi, Daniela

    2012-11-01

    The cell wall is a complex structure mainly composed by a cellulose-hemicellulose network embedded in a cohesive pectin matrix. Pectin is synthesized in a highly methyl esterified form and is de-esterified in muro by pectin methyl esterases (PMEs). The degree and pattern of methyl esterification affect the cell wall structure and properties with consequences on both the physiological processes of the plants and their resistance to pathogens. PME activity displays a crucial role in the outcome of the plant-pathogen interactions by making pectin more susceptible to the action of the enzymes produced by the pathogens. This review focuses on the impact of pectin methyl esterification in plant-pathogen interactions and on the dynamic role of its alteration during pathogenesis.

  14. Revising traditional theory on the link between plant body size and fitness under competition: evidence from old-field vegetation.

    PubMed

    Tracey, Amanda J; Aarssen, Lonnie W

    2014-04-01

    The selection consequences of competition in plants have been traditionally interpreted based on a "size-advantage" hypothesis - that is, under intense crowding/competition from neighbors, natural selection generally favors capacity for a relatively large plant body size. However, this conflicts with abundant data, showing that resident species body size distributions are usually strongly right-skewed at virtually all scales within vegetation. Using surveys within sample plots and a neighbor-removal experiment, we tested: (1) whether resident species that have a larger maximum potential body size (MAX) generally have more successful local individual recruitment, and thus greater local abundance/density (as predicted by the traditional size-advantage hypothesis); and (2) whether there is a general between-species trade-off relationship between MAX and capacity to produce offspring when body size is severely suppressed by crowding/competition - that is, whether resident species with a larger MAX generally also need to reach a larger minimum reproductive threshold size (MIN) before they can reproduce at all. The results showed that MIN had a positive relationship with MAX across resident species, and local density - as well as local density of just reproductive individuals - was generally greater for species with smaller MIN (and hence smaller MAX). In addition, the cleared neighborhoods of larger target species (which had relatively large MIN) generally had - in the following growing season - a lower ratio of conspecific recruitment within these neighborhoods relative to recruitment of other (i.e., smaller) species (which had generally smaller MIN). These data are consistent with an alternative hypothesis based on a 'reproductive-economy-advantage' - that is, superior fitness under competition in plants generally requires not larger potential body size, but rather superior capacity to recruit offspring that are in turn capable of producing grand-offspring - and hence

  15. Revising traditional theory on the link between plant body size and fitness under competition: evidence from old-field vegetation

    PubMed Central

    Tracey, Amanda J; Aarssen, Lonnie W

    2014-01-01

    The selection consequences of competition in plants have been traditionally interpreted based on a “size-advantage” hypothesis – that is, under intense crowding/competition from neighbors, natural selection generally favors capacity for a relatively large plant body size. However, this conflicts with abundant data, showing that resident species body size distributions are usually strongly right-skewed at virtually all scales within vegetation. Using surveys within sample plots and a neighbor-removal experiment, we tested: (1) whether resident species that have a larger maximum potential body size (MAX) generally have more successful local individual recruitment, and thus greater local abundance/density (as predicted by the traditional size-advantage hypothesis); and (2) whether there is a general between-species trade-off relationship between MAX and capacity to produce offspring when body size is severely suppressed by crowding/competition – that is, whether resident species with a larger MAX generally also need to reach a larger minimum reproductive threshold size (MIN) before they can reproduce at all. The results showed that MIN had a positive relationship with MAX across resident species, and local density – as well as local density of just reproductive individuals – was generally greater for species with smaller MIN (and hence smaller MAX). In addition, the cleared neighborhoods of larger target species (which had relatively large MIN) generally had – in the following growing season – a lower ratio of conspecific recruitment within these neighborhoods relative to recruitment of other (i.e., smaller) species (which had generally smaller MIN). These data are consistent with an alternative hypothesis based on a ‘reproductive-economy-advantage’ – that is, superior fitness under competition in plants generally requires not larger potential body size, but rather superior capacity to recruit offspring that are in turn capable of producing grand

  16. Soil Particle Heterogeneity Affects the Growth of a Rhizomatous Wetland Plant

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Wei; Peng, Yi-Ke; Zhang, Ming-Xiang; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2013-01-01

    Soil is commonly composed of particles of different sizes, and soil particle size may greatly affect the growth of plants because it affects soil physical and chemical properties. However, no study has tested the effects of soil particle heterogeneity on the growth of clonal plants. We conducted a greenhouse experiment in which individual ramets of the wetland plant Bolboschoenus planiculmis were grown in three homogeneous soil treatments with uniformly sized quartz particles (small: 0.75 mm, medium: 1.5 mm, or large: 3 mm), one homogeneous treatment with an even mixture of large and medium particles, and two heterogeneous treatments consisting of 16 or 4 patches of large and medium particles. Biomass, ramet number, rhizome length and spacer length were significantly greater in the treatment with only medium particles than in the one with only large particles. Biomass, ramet number, rhizome length and tuber number in the patchy treatments were greater in patches of medium than of large particles; this difference was more pronounced when patches were small than when they were large. Soil particle size and soil particle heterogeneity can greatly affect the growth of clonal plants. Thus, studies to test the effects of soil heterogeneity on clonal plants should distinguish the effects of nutrient heterogeneity from those of particle heterogeneity. PMID:23936110

  17. Relative abundance of an invasive alien plant affects insect-flower interaction networks in Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, Jane C.; Casey, Leanne M.

    2014-02-01

    Invasive alien flowering plants may affect native plant pollinator interactions and have knock on impacts on populations of native plants and animals. The magnitude of these impacts, however, may be modified by the relative abundance of the invasive plant and the number of flowers it presents.We tested this by examining the structure of insect-flower interaction networks in six sites with increasing levels of invasion by Rhododendron ponticum in Ireland.Neither flower-visiting insect abundance, species richness nor diversity were related to R. ponticum flower abundance, but the composition of insect communities was. The total number of flowers in a site increased with the relative abundance of R. ponticum flowers but the number of co-flowering native plant species in these sites was low (<6), making interaction networks relatively small.As a result, changes in interaction network properties (connectance, interaction evenness and network level specialisation), which correlated with R. ponticum flower abundance, were a result of the small network size rather than due to changes in the resilience of networks.Overall, we conclude that the impacts of invasive alien plants on native plant-pollinator interactions are not only species specific, but site specific, according to the abundance of flowers produced by both the invasive and the native plants.

  18. Plant Volatiles Induced by Herbivore Egg Deposition Affect Insects of Different Trophic Levels

    PubMed Central

    Fatouros, Nina E.; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Weldegergis, Berhane T.; Pashalidou, Foteini G.; van Loon, Joop J. A.; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A.; Gols, Rieta; Huigens, Martinus E.

    2012-01-01

    Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant’s volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels. PMID:22912893

  19. Exogenous abscisic acid significantly affects proteome in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) exposed to drought stress

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is an important economic crop, and drought is the most important abiotic stress affecting yield and quality. Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important phytohormone responsible for activating drought resistance. Increased understanding of ABA effects on tea plant unde...

  20. Salinity and Alkaline pH in Irrigation Water Affect Marigold Plants: II. Mineral Ion Relations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Scarcity of water of good quality for landscape irrigation is of outmost importance in arid and semiarid regions due to the competition with urban population. This is forcing the use of degraded waters with high levels of salinity and high pH, which may affect plant establishment and growth. The o...

  1. Poisonous plants affecting the central nervous system of horses in Brazil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Poisoning by Indigofera pascuori was recently reported in horses in the state of Roraima. It causes chronic signs of sleepiness, unsteady gait, severe ataxia, and progressive weight loss. Some animals are blind. Young horses are more affected than adults. After the end of plant consumption the anima...

  2. Inoculation of Transgenic Resistant Potato by Phytophthora infestans Affects Host Plant Choice of a Generalist Moth.

    PubMed

    Abreha, Kibrom B; Alexandersson, Erik; Vossen, Jack H; Anderson, Peter; Andreasson, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Pathogen attack and the plant's response to this attack affect herbivore oviposition preference and larval performance. Introduction of major resistance genes against Phytophthora infestans (Rpi-genes), the cause of the devastating late blight disease, from wild Solanum species into potato changes the plant-pathogen interaction dynamics completely, but little is known about the effects on non-target organisms. Thus, we examined the effect of P. infestans itself and introduction of an Rpi-gene into the crop on host plant preference of the generalist insect herbivore, Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). In two choice bioassays, S. littoralis preferred to oviposit on P. infestans-inoculated plants of both the susceptible potato (cv. Desiree) and an isogenic resistant clone (A01-22: cv. Desiree transformed with Rpi-blb1), when compared to uninoculated plants of the same genotype. Both cv. Desiree and clone A01-22 were equally preferred for oviposition by S. littoralis when uninoculated plants were used, while cv. Desiree received more eggs compared to the resistant clone when both were inoculated with the pathogen. No significant difference in larval and pupal weight was found between S. littoralis larvae reared on leaves of the susceptible potato plants inoculated or uninoculated with P. infestans. Thus, the herbivore's host plant preference in this system was not directly associated with larval performance. The results indicate that the Rpi-blb1 based resistance in itself does not influence insect behavior, but that herbivore oviposition preference is affected by a change in the plant-microbe interaction. PMID:26053171

  3. Methane transport and emissions from soil as affected by water table and vascular plants

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The important greenhouse gas (GHG) methane is produced naturally in anaerobic wetland soils. By affecting the production, oxidation and transport of methane to the atmosphere, plants have a major influence upon the quantities emitted by wetlands. Different species and functional plant groups have been shown to affect these processes differently, but our knowledge about how these effects are influenced by abiotic factors such as water regime and temperature remains limited. Here we present a mesocosm experiment comparing eight plant species for their effects on internal transport and overall emissions of methane under contrasting hydrological conditions. To quantify how much methane was transported internally through plants (the chimney effect), we blocked diffusion from the soil surface with an agar seal. Results We found that graminoids caused higher methane emissions than forbs, although the emissions from mesocosms with different species were either lower than or comparable to those from control mesocosms with no plant (i.e. bare soil). Species with a relatively greater root volume and a larger biomass exhibited a larger chimney effect, though overall methane emissions were negatively related to plant biomass. Emissions were also reduced by lowering the water table. Conclusions We conclude that plant species (and functional groups) vary in the degree to which they transport methane to the atmosphere. However, a plant with a high capacity to transport methane does not necessarily emit more methane, as it may also cause more rhizosphere oxidation of methane. A shift in plant species composition from graminoids to forbs and/or from low to high productive species may lead to reduction of methane emissions. PMID:24010540

  4. Genetic fitness and selection intensity in a population affected with high-incidence spinocerebellar ataxia type 1.

    PubMed

    Platonov, Fedor A; Tyryshkin, Kathrin; Tikhonov, Dmitriy G; Neustroyeva, Tatyana S; Sivtseva, Tatyana M; Yakovleva, Natalya V; Nikolaev, Valerian P; Sidorova, Oksana G; Kononova, Sardana K; Goldfarb, Lev G; Renwick, Neil M

    2016-07-01

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) is the major and likely the only type of autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia in the Sakha (Yakut) people of Eastern Siberia. The prevalence rate of SCA1 has doubled over the past 21 years peaking at 46 cases per 100,000 rural population. The age at death correlates closely with the number of CAG triplet repeats in the mutant ATXN1 gene (r = -0.81); most patients with low-medium (39-55) repeat numbers survived until the end of reproductive age. The number of CAG repeats expands in meiosis, particularly in paternal transmissions; the average total increase in intergenerational transmissions in our cohort was estimated at 1.6 CAG repeats. The fertility rates of heterozygous carriers of 39-55 CAG repeats in women were no different from those of the general Sakha population. Overall, the survival of mutation carriers through reproductive age, unaltered fertility rates, low childhood mortality in SCA1-affected families, and intergenerational transmission of increasing numbers of CAG repeats in the ATXN1 gene indicate that SCA1 in the Sakha population will be maintained at high prevalence levels. The low (0.19) Crow's index of total selection intensity in our SCA1 cohort implies that this mutation is unlikely to be eliminated through natural selection alone. PMID:27106293

  5. Genetic fitness and selection intensity in a population affected with high-incidence spinocerebellar ataxia type 1.

    PubMed

    Platonov, Fedor A; Tyryshkin, Kathrin; Tikhonov, Dmitriy G; Neustroyeva, Tatyana S; Sivtseva, Tatyana M; Yakovleva, Natalya V; Nikolaev, Valerian P; Sidorova, Oksana G; Kononova, Sardana K; Goldfarb, Lev G; Renwick, Neil M

    2016-07-01

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) is the major and likely the only type of autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia in the Sakha (Yakut) people of Eastern Siberia. The prevalence rate of SCA1 has doubled over the past 21 years peaking at 46 cases per 100,000 rural population. The age at death correlates closely with the number of CAG triplet repeats in the mutant ATXN1 gene (r = -0.81); most patients with low-medium (39-55) repeat numbers survived until the end of reproductive age. The number of CAG repeats expands in meiosis, particularly in paternal transmissions; the average total increase in intergenerational transmissions in our cohort was estimated at 1.6 CAG repeats. The fertility rates of heterozygous carriers of 39-55 CAG repeats in women were no different from those of the general Sakha population. Overall, the survival of mutation carriers through reproductive age, unaltered fertility rates, low childhood mortality in SCA1-affected families, and intergenerational transmission of increasing numbers of CAG repeats in the ATXN1 gene indicate that SCA1 in the Sakha population will be maintained at high prevalence levels. The low (0.19) Crow's index of total selection intensity in our SCA1 cohort implies that this mutation is unlikely to be eliminated through natural selection alone.

  6. Warming, CO2, and nitrogen deposition interactively affect a plant-pollinator mutualism.

    PubMed

    Hoover, Shelley E R; Ladley, Jenny J; Shchepetkina, Anastasia A; Tisch, Maggie; Gieseg, Steven P; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2012-03-01

    Environmental changes threaten plant-pollinator mutualisms and their critical ecosystem service. Drivers such as land use, invasions and climate change can affect pollinator diversity or species encounter rates. However, nitrogen deposition, climate warming and CO(2) enrichment could interact to disrupt this crucial mutualism by altering plant chemistry in ways that alter floral attractiveness or even nutritional rewards for pollinators. Using a pumpkin model system, we show that these drivers non-additively affect flower morphology, phenology, flower sex ratios and nectar chemistry (sugar and amino acids), thereby altering the attractiveness of nectar to bumble bee pollinators and reducing worker longevity. Alarmingly, bees were attracted to, and consumed more, nectar from a treatment that reduced their survival by 22%. Thus, three of the five major drivers of global environmental change have previously unknown interactive effects on plant-pollinator mutualisms that could not be predicted from studies of individual drivers in isolation.

  7. Color of illumination during growth affects LHCII chiral macroaggregates in pea plant leaves.

    PubMed

    Gussakovsky, Eugene E; Shahak, Yosepha; Schroeder, Dana F

    2007-02-01

    To determine whether the color of illumination under which plants are grown, affects the structure of photosynthetic antennae, pea plants were grown under either blue-enriched, red-enriched, or white light. Carotenoid content of isolated chloroplasts was found to be insensitive to the color of illumination during growth, while chlorophyll a/b ratio in chloroplasts isolated from young illuminated leaves showed susceptibility to color. Color of illumination affects the LHCII chiral macroaggregates in intact leaves and isolated chloroplasts, providing light-induced alteration of the handedness of the LHCII chiral macroaggregate, as measured with circular dichroism and circularly polarized luminescence. The susceptibility of handedness to current illumination (red light excitation of chlorophyll fluorescence) is dependent on the color under which the plants were grown, and was maximal for the red-enriched illumination. We propose the existence of a long-term (growth period) color memory, which influences the susceptibility of the handedness of LHCII chiral macroaggregates to current light.

  8. How Do Earthworms, Soil Texture and Plant Composition Affect Infiltration along an Experimental Plant Diversity Gradient in Grassland?

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Christine; Roscher, Christiane; Jensen, Britta; Eisenhauer, Nico; Baade, Jussi; Attinger, Sabine; Scheu, Stefan; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Schumacher, Jens; Hildebrandt, Anke

    2014-01-01

    Background Infiltration is a key process in determining the water balance, but so far effects of earthworms, soil texture, plant species diversity and their interaction on infiltration capacity have not been studied. Methodology/Principal Findings We measured infiltration capacity in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density nested in plots of different plant species (1, 4, and 16 species) and plant functional group richness and composition (1 to 4 groups; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs). In summer, earthworm presence significantly increased infiltration, whereas in fall effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration were due to plant-mediated changes in earthworm biomass. Effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration even reversed effects of texture. We propose two pathways: (i) direct, probably by modifying the pore spectrum and (ii) indirect, by enhancing or suppressing earthworm biomass, which in turn influenced infiltration capacity due to change in burrowing activity of earthworms. Conclusions/Significance Overall, the results suggest that spatial and temporal variations in soil hydraulic properties can be explained by biotic processes, especially the presence of certain plant functional groups affecting earthworm biomass, while soil texture had no significant effect. Therefore biotic parameters should be taken into account in hydrological applications. PMID:24918943

  9. Inoculation of Transgenic Resistant Potato by Phytophthora infestans Affects Host Plant Choice of a Generalist Moth

    PubMed Central

    Abreha, Kibrom B.; Alexandersson, Erik; Vossen, Jack H.; Anderson, Peter; Andreasson, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Pathogen attack and the plant’s response to this attack affect herbivore oviposition preference and larval performance. Introduction of major resistance genes against Phytophthora infestans (Rpi-genes), the cause of the devastating late blight disease, from wild Solanum species into potato changes the plant-pathogen interaction dynamics completely, but little is known about the effects on non-target organisms. Thus, we examined the effect of P. infestans itself and introduction of an Rpi-gene into the crop on host plant preference of the generalist insect herbivore, Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). In two choice bioassays, S. littoralis preferred to oviposit on P. infestans-inoculated plants of both the susceptible potato (cv. Desiree) and an isogenic resistant clone (A01-22: cv. Desiree transformed with Rpi-blb1), when compared to uninoculated plants of the same genotype. Both cv. Desiree and clone A01-22 were equally preferred for oviposition by S. littoralis when uninoculated plants were used, while cv. Desiree received more eggs compared to the resistant clone when both were inoculated with the pathogen. No significant difference in larval and pupal weight was found between S. littoralis larvae reared on leaves of the susceptible potato plants inoculated or uninoculated with P. infestans. Thus, the herbivore’s host plant preference in this system was not directly associated with larval performance. The results indicate that the Rpi-blb1 based resistance in itself does not influence insect behavior, but that herbivore oviposition preference is affected by a change in the plant-microbe interaction. PMID:26053171

  10. 4-Methylthiobutyl isothiocyanate (Erucin) from rocket plant dichotomously affects the activity of human immunocompetent cells.

    PubMed

    Gründemann, Carsten; Garcia-Käufer, Manuel; Lamy, Evelyn; Hanschen, Franziska S; Huber, Roman

    2015-03-15

    Isothiocyanates (ITC) from the Brassicaceae plant family are regarded as promising for prevention and treatment of cancer. However, experimental settings consider their therapeutic action without taking into account the risk of unwanted effects on healthy tissues. In the present study we investigated the effects of Eruca sativa seed extract containing MTBITC (Erucin) and pure Erucin from rocket plant on healthy cells of the human immune system in vitro. Hereby, high doses of the plant extract as well as of Erucin inhibited cell viability of human lymphocytes via induction of apoptosis to comparable amounts. Non-toxic low concentrations of the plant extract and pure Erucin altered the expression of the interleukin (IL)-2 receptor but did not affect further T cell activation, proliferation and the release of the effector molecules interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-2 of T-lymphocytes. However, the activity of NK-cells was significantly reduced by non-toxic concentrations of the plant extract and pure Erucin. These results indicate that the plant extract and pure Erucin interfere with the function of human T lymphocytes and decreases the activity of NK-cells in comparable concentrations. Long-term clinical studies with ITC-enriched plant extracts from Brassicaceae should take this into account.

  11. Secondary metabolites from nonhost plants affect the motility and viability of phytopathogenic Aphanomyces cochlioides zoospores.

    PubMed

    Islam, Md Tofazzal

    2008-01-01

    The motile zoospores of the damping-off pathogen Aphanomyces cochlioides aggregate on host plants (e.g., sugar beet, spinach) guided by the host-specific plant signal cochliophilin A before infection. To assess the potential role of secondary metabolites in nonhost resistance, acetone extracts of 200 nonhost traditional medicinal plants from Chinese and Bangladeshi origins were tested for the motility behaviour of A. cochlioides zoospores using a particle bioassay method. Nearly one third of the tested plant extracts exhibited diverse deleterious activities such as repellent, stimulant, motility halting and lysis against A. cochlioides zoospores. Among these active plants, an extract of the Chinese medicinal plant Dalbergia odorifera displayed potent repellent activity toward zoospores. Chromatographic separation of D. odorifera constituents revealed that the repellent activity was regulated by the cumulative effect of three motility-affecting isoflavonoids, viz. (+/-)-medicarpin (repellent at 150 microg/ml), (-)-claussequinone (stimulant at 100 microg/ml) and formononetin (stimulant and attractant at 50 microg/ml). A mixture (1:1:1, w/w/w) of these three compounds exhibited only repellent activity toward zoospores at a concentration lower than 50 microg/ml. These results suggest that nonhost plants might possess potential bioactive secondary metabolites to ward off zoosporic phytopathogens. PMID:18533468

  12. Quantification of Heavy Metals in Mining Affected Soil and Their Bioaccumulation in Native Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Nawab, Javed; Khan, Sardar; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Khan, Kifayatullah; Huang, Qing; Ali, Roshan

    2015-01-01

    Several anthropogenic and natural sources are considered as the primary sources of toxic metals in the environment. The current study investigates the level of heavy metals contamination in the flora associated with serpentine soil along the Mafic and Ultramafic rocks northern-Pakistan. Soil and wild native plant species were collected from chromites mining affected areas and analyzed for heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Fe, Mn, Co, Cu and Zn) using atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS-PEA-700). The heavy metal concentrations were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in mine affected soil as compared to reference soil, however Cr and Ni exceeded maximum allowable limit (250 and 60 mg kg(-1), respectively) set by SEPA for soil. Inter-metal correlations between soil, roots and shoots showed that the sources of contamination of heavy metals were mainly associated with chromites mining. All the plant species accumulated significantly higher concentrations of heavy metals as compared to reference plant. The open dumping of mine wastes can create serious problems (food crops and drinking water contamination with heavy metals) for local community of the study area. The native wild plant species (Nepeta cataria, Impatiens bicolor royle, Tegetis minuta) growing on mining affected sites may be used for soil reclamation contaminated with heavy metals.

  13. Quantification of Heavy Metals in Mining Affected Soil and Their Bioaccumulation in Native Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Nawab, Javed; Khan, Sardar; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Khan, Kifayatullah; Huang, Qing; Ali, Roshan

    2015-01-01

    Several anthropogenic and natural sources are considered as the primary sources of toxic metals in the environment. The current study investigates the level of heavy metals contamination in the flora associated with serpentine soil along the Mafic and Ultramafic rocks northern-Pakistan. Soil and wild native plant species were collected from chromites mining affected areas and analyzed for heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Fe, Mn, Co, Cu and Zn) using atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS-PEA-700). The heavy metal concentrations were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in mine affected soil as compared to reference soil, however Cr and Ni exceeded maximum allowable limit (250 and 60 mg kg(-1), respectively) set by SEPA for soil. Inter-metal correlations between soil, roots and shoots showed that the sources of contamination of heavy metals were mainly associated with chromites mining. All the plant species accumulated significantly higher concentrations of heavy metals as compared to reference plant. The open dumping of mine wastes can create serious problems (food crops and drinking water contamination with heavy metals) for local community of the study area. The native wild plant species (Nepeta cataria, Impatiens bicolor royle, Tegetis minuta) growing on mining affected sites may be used for soil reclamation contaminated with heavy metals. PMID:26079739

  14. Plant sterols: factors affecting their efficacy and safety as functional food ingredients

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Alvin; Jones, Peter JH; Abumweis, Suhad S

    2004-01-01

    Plant sterols are naturally occurring molecules that humanity has evolved with. Herein, we have critically evaluated recent literature pertaining to the myriad of factors affecting efficacy and safety of plant sterols in free and esterified forms. We conclude that properly solubilized 4-desmetyl plant sterols, in ester or free form, in reasonable doses (0.8–1.0 g of equivalents per day) and in various vehicles including natural sources, and as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, are important dietary components for lowering low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and maintaining good heart health. In addition to their cholesterol lowering properties, plant sterols possess anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenicity, and anti-oxidation activities, and should thus be of clinical importance, even for those individuals without elevated LDL cholesterol. The carotenoid lowering effect of plant sterols should be corrected by increasing intake of food that is rich in carotenoids. In pregnant and lactating women and children, further study is needed to verify the dose required to decrease blood cholesterol without affecting fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid status. PMID:15070410

  15. Interaction between parental environment and genotype affects plant and seed performance in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    He, Hanzi; de Souza Vidigal, Deborah; Snoek, L. Basten; Schnabel, Sabine; Nijveen, Harm; Hilhorst, Henk; Bentsink, Leónie

    2014-01-01

    Seed performance after dispersal is highly dependent on parental environmental cues, especially during seed formation and maturation. Here we examine which environmental factors are the most dominant in this respect and whether their effects are dependent on the genotypes under investigation. We studied the influence of light intensity, photoperiod, temperature, nitrate, and phosphate during seed development on five plant attributes and thirteen seed attributes, using 12 Arabidopsis genotypes that have been reported to be affected in seed traits. As expected, the various environments during seed development resulted in changed plant and/or seed performances. Comparative analysis clearly indicated that, overall, temperature plays the most dominant role in both plant and seed performance, whereas light has a prominent impact on plant traits. In comparison to temperature and light, nitrate mildly affected some of the plant and seed traits while phosphate had even less influence on those traits. Moreover, clear genotype-by-environment interactions were identified. This was shown by the fact that individual genotypes responded differentially to the environmental conditions. Low temperature significantly increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG1 and cyp707a1-1, whereas low light intensity increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG3 and NILDOG6. This also indicates that different genetic and molecular pathways are involved in the plant and seed responses. By identifying environmental conditions that affect the dormancy vs longevity correlation in the same way as previously identified naturally occurring loci, we have identified selective forces that probably shaped evolution for these important seed traits. PMID:25240065

  16. Interaction between parental environment and genotype affects plant and seed performance in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    He, Hanzi; de Souza Vidigal, Deborah; Snoek, L Basten; Schnabel, Sabine; Nijveen, Harm; Hilhorst, Henk; Bentsink, Leónie

    2014-12-01

    Seed performance after dispersal is highly dependent on parental environmental cues, especially during seed formation and maturation. Here we examine which environmental factors are the most dominant in this respect and whether their effects are dependent on the genotypes under investigation. We studied the influence of light intensity, photoperiod, temperature, nitrate, and phosphate during seed development on five plant attributes and thirteen seed attributes, using 12 Arabidopsis genotypes that have been reported to be affected in seed traits. As expected, the various environments during seed development resulted in changed plant and/or seed performances. Comparative analysis clearly indicated that, overall, temperature plays the most dominant role in both plant and seed performance, whereas light has a prominent impact on plant traits. In comparison to temperature and light, nitrate mildly affected some of the plant and seed traits while phosphate had even less influence on those traits. Moreover, clear genotype-by-environment interactions were identified. This was shown by the fact that individual genotypes responded differentially to the environmental conditions. Low temperature significantly increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG1 and cyp707a1-1, whereas low light intensity increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG3 and NILDOG6. This also indicates that different genetic and molecular pathways are involved in the plant and seed responses. By identifying environmental conditions that affect the dormancy vs longevity correlation in the same way as previously identified naturally occurring loci, we have identified selective forces that probably shaped evolution for these important seed traits.

  17. Plant-bacteria bioremediation agents affect the response of plant bioindicators independent of 2-chlorobenzoic acid degradation

    SciTech Connect

    Siciliano, S.D.; Germida, J.J.

    1995-12-31

    Plants are known to degrade toxicants in soil and are potentially useful bioremediation agents. The authors developed plant-bacteria associations (e.g., Meadow brome [Bromus riparius] and Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain R75) that degrade 2-chlorobenzoic acid (2CBA) in soil, and assessed their success using Slender wheatgrass (Agropyron trachycaulum) germination as a bioindicator of 2CBA levels. Gas chromatography was used to chemically assess 2CBA levels. Specific plant-bacteria bioremediation treatments decreased soil 2CBA levels by 17 to 52%, but bioindicator response did not correspond to chemical analysis. Contaminated and uncontaminated soil was subjected to bioremediation treatments. After 42 days, uncontaminated soil was collected and amended to various 2CBA levels. This soil and the remediated soil were analyzed by the plant bioindicator and gas chromatography. Bioremediation treatments altered germination of Slender wheatgrass in both contaminated and noncontaminated soils to a similar extent. These treatments decreased the toxicity of 2CBA to Slender wheatgrass in both contaminated and noncontaminated soils to a similar extent. These treatments decreased the toxicity of 2CBA to Slender wheatgrass at low 2CBA levels, but increased the toxicity of 2CBA at high 2CBA levels. For example, germination in soil subjected to the Meadow brome and R75 treatment was increased by ca. 30% at 50 mg kg{sup {minus}1} 2CBA, but decreased by ca. 50% at 150 mg kg{sup {minus}1} 2CBA. The results indicate that specific plant-bacteria bioremediation treatments affect plant bioindicator response independent of 2CBA degradation, and may confound efforts to determine the toxicity of 2CBA in soil.

  18. Carbon storage potential by four macrophytes as affected by planting diversity in a created wetland.

    PubMed

    Means, Mary M; Ahn, Changwoo; Korol, Alicia R; Williams, Lisa D

    2016-01-01

    Wetland creation has become a commonplace method for mitigating the loss of natural wetlands. Often mitigation projects fail to restore ecosystem services of the impacted natural wetlands. One of the key ecosystem services of newly created wetlands is carbon accumulation/sequestration, but little is known about how planting diversity (PD) affects the ability of herbaceous wetland plants to store carbon in newly created wetlands. Most mitigation projects involve a planting regime, but PD, which may be critical in establishing biologically diverse and ecologically functioning wetlands, is seldom required. Using a set of 34 mesocosms (∼1 m(2) each), we investigated the effects of planting diversity on carbon storage potential of four native wetland plant species that are commonly planted in created mitigation wetlands in Virginia - Carex vulpinoidea, Eleocharis obtusa, Juncus effusus, and Mimulus ringens. The plants were grown under the four distinctive PD treatments [i.e., monoculture (PD 1) through four different species mixture (PD 4)]. Plant biomass was harvested after two growing seasons and analyzed for tissue carbon content. Competition values (CV) were calculated to understand how the PD treatment affected the competitive ability of plants relative to their biomass production and thus carbon storage potentials. Aboveground biomass ranged from 988 g/m(2) - 1515 g/m(2), being greatest in monocultures, but only when compared to the most diverse mixture (p = 0.021). However, carbon storage potential estimates per mesocosm ranged between 344 g C/m(2) in the most diverse mesocosms (PD 4) to 610 g C/m(2) in monoculture ones with no significant difference (p = 0.089). CV of E. obtusa and C. vulpinoidea showed a declining trend when grown in the most diverse mixtures but J. effusus and M. ringens displayed no difference across the PD gradient (p = 0.910). In monocultures, both M. ringens, and J. effusus appeared to store carbon as biomass more

  19. Carbon storage potential by four macrophytes as affected by planting diversity in a created wetland.

    PubMed

    Means, Mary M; Ahn, Changwoo; Korol, Alicia R; Williams, Lisa D

    2016-01-01

    Wetland creation has become a commonplace method for mitigating the loss of natural wetlands. Often mitigation projects fail to restore ecosystem services of the impacted natural wetlands. One of the key ecosystem services of newly created wetlands is carbon accumulation/sequestration, but little is known about how planting diversity (PD) affects the ability of herbaceous wetland plants to store carbon in newly created wetlands. Most mitigation projects involve a planting regime, but PD, which may be critical in establishing biologically diverse and ecologically functioning wetlands, is seldom required. Using a set of 34 mesocosms (∼1 m(2) each), we investigated the effects of planting diversity on carbon storage potential of four native wetland plant species that are commonly planted in created mitigation wetlands in Virginia - Carex vulpinoidea, Eleocharis obtusa, Juncus effusus, and Mimulus ringens. The plants were grown under the four distinctive PD treatments [i.e., monoculture (PD 1) through four different species mixture (PD 4)]. Plant biomass was harvested after two growing seasons and analyzed for tissue carbon content. Competition values (CV) were calculated to understand how the PD treatment affected the competitive ability of plants relative to their biomass production and thus carbon storage potentials. Aboveground biomass ranged from 988 g/m(2) - 1515 g/m(2), being greatest in monocultures, but only when compared to the most diverse mixture (p = 0.021). However, carbon storage potential estimates per mesocosm ranged between 344 g C/m(2) in the most diverse mesocosms (PD 4) to 610 g C/m(2) in monoculture ones with no significant difference (p = 0.089). CV of E. obtusa and C. vulpinoidea showed a declining trend when grown in the most diverse mixtures but J. effusus and M. ringens displayed no difference across the PD gradient (p = 0.910). In monocultures, both M. ringens, and J. effusus appeared to store carbon as biomass more

  20. Salicylic acid negatively affects the response to salt stress in pea plants.

    PubMed

    Barba-Espín, G; Clemente-Moreno, M J; Alvarez, S; García-Legaz, M F; Hernández, J A; Díaz-Vivancos, P

    2011-11-01

    We studied the effect of salicylic acid (SA) treatment on the response of pea plants to salinity. Sodium chloride (NaCl)-induced damage to leaves was increased by SA, which was correlated with a reduction in plant growth. The content of reduced ascorbate and glutathione in leaves of salt-treated plants increased in response to SA, although accumulation of the respective oxidised forms occurred. An increase in hydrogen peroxide also occurred in leaves of salt-exposed plants treated with SA. In the absence of NaCl, SA increased ascorbate peroxidase (APX; 100 μm) and glutathione-S transferase (GST; 50 μm) activities and increased catalase (CAT) activity in a concentration-dependent manner. Salinity decreased glutathione reductase (GR) activity, but increased GST and CAT activity. In salt-stressed plants, SA also produced changes in antioxidative enzymes: 100 μm SA decreased APX but increased GST. Finally, a concentration-dependent increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was induced by SA treatment in salt-stressed plants. Induction of PR-1b was observed in NaCl-stressed plants treated with SA. The treatment with SA, as well as the interaction between salinity and SA treatment, had a significant effect on PsMAPK3 expression. The expression of PsMAPK3 was not altered by 70 mm NaCl, but was statistically higher in the absence than in the presence of SA. Overall, the results show that SA treatment negatively affected the response of pea plants to NaCl, and this response correlated with an imbalance in antioxidant metabolism. The data also show that SA treatment could enhance the resistance of salt-stressed plants to possible opportunistic pathogen attack, as suggested by increased PR-1b gene expression.

  1. Increased seed consumption by biological control weevil tempers positive CO2 effect on invasive plant (Centaurea diffusa) fitness

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Predicted increases in atmospheric CO2 and temperature may benefit some invasive plants, increasing the need for effective invasive plant management. Biological control can be an effective means of managing invasive plants, but the varied responses of plant-insect interactions to climate change make...

  2. Growth, nitrogen uptake and flow in maize plants affected by root growth restriction.

    PubMed

    Xu, Liangzheng; Niu, Junfang; Li, Chunjian; Zhang, Fusuo

    2009-07-01

    The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of a reduced maize root-system size on root growth and nitrogen (N) uptake and flow within plants. Restriction of shoot-borne root growth caused a strong decrease in the absorption of root: shoot dry weight ratio and a reduction in shoot growth. On the other hand, compensatory growth and an increased N uptake rate in the remaining roots were observed. Despite the limited long-distance transport pathway in the mesocotyl with restriction of shoot-borne root growth, N cycling within these plants was higher than those in control plants, implying that xylem and phloem flow velocities via the mesocotyl were considerably higher than in plants with an intact root system. The removal of the seminal roots in addition to restricting shoot-borne root development did not affect whole plant growth and N uptake, except for the stronger compensatory growth of the primary roots. Our results suggest that an adequate N supply to maize plant is maintained by compensatory growth of the remaining roots, increased N uptake rate and flow velocities within the xylem and phloem via the mesocotyl, and reduction in the shoot growth rate.

  3. Does a decade of elevated [CO2] affect a desert perennial plant community?

    PubMed

    Newingham, Beth A; Vanier, Cheryl H; Kelly, Lauren J; Charlet, Therese N; Smith, Stanley D

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of elevated [CO2 ] on plant community structure is crucial to predicting ecosystem responses to global change. Early predictions suggested that productivity in deserts would increase via enhanced water-use efficiency under elevated [CO2], but the response of intact arid plant communities to elevated [CO2 ] is largely unknown. We measured changes in perennial plant community characteristics (cover, species richness and diversity) after 10 yr of elevated [CO2] exposure in an intact Mojave Desert community at the Nevada Desert Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) Facility. Contrary to expectations, total cover, species richness, and diversity were not affected by elevated [CO2]. Over the course of the experiment, elevated [CO2] had no effect on changes in cover of the evergreen C3 shrub, Larrea tridentata; alleviated decreases in cover of the C4 bunchgrass, Pleuraphis rigida; and slightly reduced the cover of C3 drought-deciduous shrubs. Thus, we generally found no effect of elevated [CO2] on plant communities in this arid ecosystem. Extended drought, slow plant growth rates, and highly episodic germination and recruitment of new individuals explain the lack of strong perennial plant community shifts after a decade of elevated [CO2]. PMID:24117700

  4. Dioecy, more than monoecy, affects plant spatial genetic structure: the case study of Ficus

    PubMed Central

    Nazareno, Alison G; Alzate-Marin, Ana L; Pereira, Rodrigo Augusto S

    2013-01-01

    In this analysis, we attempt to understand how monoecy and dioecy drive spatial genetic structure (SGS) in plant populations. For this purpose, plants of the genus Ficus were used as a comparative model due to their particular characteristics, including high species diversity, variation in life histories, and sexual systems. One of the main issues we assessed is whether dioecious fig tree populations are more spatially genetically structured than monoecious populations. Using the Sp statistic, which allows for quantitative comparisons among different studies, we compared the extent of SGS between monoecious and dioecious Ficus species. To broaden our conclusions we used published data on an additional 27 monoecious and dioecious plant species. Furthermore, genetic diversity analyses were performed for two monoecious Ficus species using 12 microsatellite markers in order to strengthen our conclusions about SGS. Our results show that dioecy, more than monoecy, significantly contributes to SGS in plant populations. On average, the estimate of Sp was six times higher for dioecious Ficus species than monoecious Ficus species and it was two times higher in dioecious than monoecious plant species. Considering these results, we emphasize that the long-distance pollen dispersal mechanism in monoecious Ficus species seems to be the dominant factor in determining weak spatial genetic structure, high levels of genetic diversity, and lack of inbreeding. Although Ficus constitute a model species to study SGS, a more general comparison encompassing a wider range of plants is required in order to better understand how sexual systems affect genetic structure. PMID:24223285

  5. Physical Fitness and Counseling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Helmkamp, Jill M.

    Human beings are a delicate balance of mind, body, and spirit, so an imbalance in one domain affects all others. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects that physical fitness may have on such human characteristics as personality and behavior. A review of the literature reveals that physical fitness is related to, and can affect,…

  6. Macronutrient content of plant-based food affects growth of a carnivorous arthropod.

    PubMed

    Wilder, Shawn M; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2011-02-01

    Many arthropods engage in mutualisms in which they consume plant-based foods including nectar, extrafloral nectar, and honeydew. However, relatively little is known about the manner in which the specific macronutrients in these plant-based resources affect growth, especially for carnivorous arthropods. Using a combination of laboratory and field experiments, we tested (1) how plant-based foods, together with ad libitum insect prey, affect the growth of a carnivorous ant, Solenopsis invicta, and (2) which macronutrients in these resources (i.e., carbohydrates, amino acids, or both) contribute to higher colony growth. Access to honeydew increased the production of workers and brood in experimental colonies. This growth effect appeared to be due to carbohydrates alone as colonies provided with the carbohydrate component of artificial extrafloral nectar had greater worker and brood production compared to colonies deprived of carbohydrates. Surprisingly, amino acids only had a slight interactive effect on the proportion of a colony composed of brood and negatively affected worker survival. Diet choice in the laboratory and field matched performance in the laboratory with high recruitment to carbohydrate baits and only slight recruitment to amino acids. The strong, positive effects of carbohydrates on colony growth and the low cost of producing this macronutrient for plants and hemipterans may have aided the evolution of food-for-protection mutualisms and help explain why these interactions are so common in ants. In addition, greater access to plant-based resources in the introduced range of S. invicta may help to explain the high densities achieved by this species throughout the southeastern United States.

  7. Macronutrient content of plant-based food affects growth of a carnivorous arthropod.

    PubMed

    Wilder, Shawn M; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2011-02-01

    Many arthropods engage in mutualisms in which they consume plant-based foods including nectar, extrafloral nectar, and honeydew. However, relatively little is known about the manner in which the specific macronutrients in these plant-based resources affect growth, especially for carnivorous arthropods. Using a combination of laboratory and field experiments, we tested (1) how plant-based foods, together with ad libitum insect prey, affect the growth of a carnivorous ant, Solenopsis invicta, and (2) which macronutrients in these resources (i.e., carbohydrates, amino acids, or both) contribute to higher colony growth. Access to honeydew increased the production of workers and brood in experimental colonies. This growth effect appeared to be due to carbohydrates alone as colonies provided with the carbohydrate component of artificial extrafloral nectar had greater worker and brood production compared to colonies deprived of carbohydrates. Surprisingly, amino acids only had a slight interactive effect on the proportion of a colony composed of brood and negatively affected worker survival. Diet choice in the laboratory and field matched performance in the laboratory with high recruitment to carbohydrate baits and only slight recruitment to amino acids. The strong, positive effects of carbohydrates on colony growth and the low cost of producing this macronutrient for plants and hemipterans may have aided the evolution of food-for-protection mutualisms and help explain why these interactions are so common in ants. In addition, greater access to plant-based resources in the introduced range of S. invicta may help to explain the high densities achieved by this species throughout the southeastern United States. PMID:21618912

  8. Plant traits affecting herbivory on tree recruits in highly diverse subtropical forests.

    PubMed

    Schuldt, Andreas; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Eichenberg, David; Fischer, Markus; Kröber, Wenzel; Härdtle, Werner; Ma, Keping; Michalski, Stefan G; Palm, Wolf-Ulrich; Schmid, Bernhard; Welk, Erik; Zhou, Hongzhang; Assmann, Thorsten

    2012-07-01

    Differences in herbivory among woody species can greatly affect the functioning of forest ecosystems, particularly in species-rich (sub)tropical regions. However, the relative importance of the different plant traits which determine herbivore damage remains unclear. Defence traits can have strong effects on herbivory, but rarely studied geographical range characteristics could complement these effects through evolutionary associations with herbivores. Herein, we use a large number of morphological, chemical, phylogenetic and biogeographical characteristics to analyse interspecific differences in herbivory on tree saplings in subtropical China. Unexpectedly, we found no significant effects of chemical defence traits. Rather, herbivory was related to the plants' leaf morphology, local abundance and climatic niche characteristics, which together explained 70% of the interspecific variation in herbivory in phylogenetic regression. Our study indicates that besides defence traits and apparency to herbivores, previously neglected measures of large-scale geographical host distribution are important factors influencing local herbivory patterns among plant species.

  9. Plant hybrid zones affect biodiversity: Tools for a genetic-based understanding of community structure

    SciTech Connect

    Whitham, T.G.; Martinsen, G.D.; Keim, P.; Floate, K.D.; Dungey, H.S. |; Potts, B.M.

    1999-03-01

    Plant hybrid zones are dynamic centers of ecological and evolutionary processes for plants and their associated communities. Studies in the wild and in gardens with synthetic crosses showed that hybrid eucalypts supports the greatest species richness and abundances of insect and fungal taxa. In an updated review of 152 case studies of taxa associated with diverse hybridizing systems, there were 43 (28%) cases of hybrids being more susceptible than their parent species, 7 (5%) resistant, 35 (23%) additive, 35 (23%) dominant, and 32 (21%) showed no response to hybridization. Thus, most taxa respond to hybrids in ways that result in equal or greater abundance, and hybrids tend to accumulate the taxa of their parent species. These studies suggest that genetic-based plant traits affect the distribution of many species and that the variation in hybrids can be used as tools to examine the genetic components of community structure and biodiversity.

  10. CO2, nitrogen, and diversity differentially affect seed production of prairie plants.

    PubMed

    HilleRisLambers, J; Harpole, W S; Schnitzer, S; Tilman, D; Reich, P B

    2009-07-01

    Plant species composition and diversity is often influenced by early life history stages; thus, global change could dramatically affect plant community structure by altering seed production. Unfortunately, plant reproductive responses to global change are rarely studied in field settings, making it difficult to assess this possibility. To address this issue, we quantified the effects of elevated CO2, nitrogen deposition, and declining diversity on inflorescence production and inflorescence mass of 11 perennial grassland species in central Minnesota, U.S.A. We analyzed these data to ask whether (1) global change differentially affects seed production of co-occurring species; (2) seed production responses to global change are similar for species within the same functional group (defined by ecophysiology and growth form); and (3) seed production responses to global change match productivity responses: We found that, on average, allocation to seed production decreased under elevated CO2, although individual species responses were rarely significant due to low power (CO2 treatment df = 2). The effects of nitrogen deposition on seed production were similar within functional groups: C4 grasses tended to increase while C3 grasses tended to decrease allocation to seed production. Responses to nitrogen deposition were negatively correlated to productivity responses, suggesting a trade-off. Allocation to seed production of some species responded to a diversity gradient, but responses were uncorrelated to productivity responses and not similar within functional groups. Presumably, species richness has complex effects on the biotic and abiotic variables that influence seed production. In total, our results suggest that seed production of co-occurring species will be altered by global change, which may affect plant communities in unpredictable ways. Although functional groups could be used to generalize seed production responses to nitrogen deposition in Minnesota prairies, we

  11. Plant age and genotype affect the bacterial community composition in the tuber rhizosphere of field-grown sweet potato plants.

    PubMed

    Marques, Joana M; da Silva, Thais F; Vollu, Renata E; Blank, Arie F; Ding, Guo-Chun; Seldin, Lucy; Smalla, Kornelia

    2014-05-01

    The hypothesis that sweet potato genotypes containing different starch yields in their tuberous roots can affect the bacterial communities present in the rhizosphere (soil adhering to tubers) was tested in this study. Tuberous roots of field-grown sweet potato of genotypes IPB-149 (commercial genotype), IPB-052, and IPB-137 were sampled three and six months after planting and analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and pyrosequencing analysis of 16S rRNA genes PCR-amplified from total community DNA. The statistical analysis of the DGGE fingerprints showed that both plant age and genotypes influenced the bacterial community structure in the tuber rhizosphere. Pyrosequencing analysis showed that the IPB-149 and IPB-052 (both with high starch content) displayed similar bacterial composition in the tuber rhizosphere, while IPB-137 with the lowest starch content was distinct. In comparison with bulk soil, higher 16S rRNA gene copy numbers (qPCR) and numerous genera with significantly increased abundance in the tuber rhizosphere of IPB-137 (Sphingobium, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Stenotrophomonas, Chryseobacterium) indicated a stronger rhizosphere effect. The genus Bacillus was strongly enriched in the tuber rhizosphere samples of all sweet potato genotypes studied, while other genera showed a plant genotype-dependent abundance. This is the first report on the molecular identification of bacteria being associated with the tuber rhizosphere of different sweet potato genotypes.

  12. The pinyon rhizosphere, plant stress, and herbivory affect the abundance of microbial decomposers in soils.

    PubMed

    Kuske, C R; Ticknor, L O; Busch, J D; Gehring, C A; Whitham, T G

    2003-05-01

    In terrestrial ecosystems, changes in environmental conditions that affect plant performance cause a cascade of effects through many trophic levels. In a 2-year field study, seasonal abundance measurements were conducted for fast-growing bacterial heterotrophs, humate-degrading actinomycetes, fungal heterotrophs, and fluorescent pseudomonads that represent the decomposers in soil. Links between plant health and soil microbiota abundance in pinyon rhizospheres were documented across two soil types: a dry, nutrient-poor volcanic cinder field and a sandy-loam soil. On the stressful cinder fields, we identified relationships between soil decomposer abundance, pinyon age, and stress due to insect herbivory. Across seasonal variation, consistent differences in microbial decomposer abundance were identified between the cinders and sandy-loam soil. Abundance of bacterial heterotrophs and humate-degrading actinomycetes was affected by both soil nutritional status and the pinyon rhizosphere. In contrast, abundance of the fungal heterotrophs and fluorescent pseudomonads was affected primarily by the pinyon rhizosphere. On the cinder field, the three bacterial groups were more abundant on 150-year-old trees than on 60-year-old trees, whereas fungal heterotrophs were unaffected by tree age. Fungal heterotrophs and actinomycetes were more abundant on insect-resistant trees than on susceptible trees, but the opposite was true for the fluorescent pseudomonads. Although all four groups were present in all the environments, the four microbial groups were affected differently by the pinyon rhizosphere, by tree age, and by tree stress caused by the cinder soil and insect herbivory.

  13. Temperature, plants, and oxygen: how does season affect constructed wetland performance?

    PubMed

    Stein, Otto R; Hook, Paul B

    2005-01-01

    The influence of temperature and plant-mediated oxygen transfer continues to draw attention from researchers, practitioners and regulators interested in the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. Because the vast majority of research on constructed wetland performance has been conducted during periods of active plant growth, the true influence of temperature, season, and plant species selection on constructed wetlands performance has not yet been evaluated adequately. In this article, we briefly summarize changes in the understanding of these influences on wetland performance, and suggest that effects of temperature and oxygen transfer are not readily separable because both factors respond to seasonal cycles and because effects of one can offset the other. We further speculate that the net effect of seasonal variation in these factors is such that plant-mediated oxygen transfer affects water treatment most in winter. Results of controlled-environment experiments conducted at Montana State University support these perspectives. Different plant species' capacities to oxidize the root zone responded differently to seasonal cycles of growth and dormancy, and species' effects on wastewater treatment were most pronounced in winter.

  14. Temperature, plants, and oxygen: how does season affect constructed wetland performance?

    PubMed

    Stein, Otto R; Hook, Paul B

    2005-01-01

    The influence of temperature and plant-mediated oxygen transfer continues to draw attention from researchers, practitioners and regulators interested in the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. Because the vast majority of research on constructed wetland performance has been conducted during periods of active plant growth, the true influence of temperature, season, and plant species selection on constructed wetlands performance has not yet been evaluated adequately. In this article, we briefly summarize changes in the understanding of these influences on wetland performance, and suggest that effects of temperature and oxygen transfer are not readily separable because both factors respond to seasonal cycles and because effects of one can offset the other. We further speculate that the net effect of seasonal variation in these factors is such that plant-mediated oxygen transfer affects water treatment most in winter. Results of controlled-environment experiments conducted at Montana State University support these perspectives. Different plant species' capacities to oxidize the root zone responded differently to seasonal cycles of growth and dormancy, and species' effects on wastewater treatment were most pronounced in winter. PMID:15921285

  15. Mycorrhizal association between the desert truffle Terfezia boudieri and Helianthemum sessiliflorum alters plant physiology and fitness to arid conditions.

    PubMed

    Turgeman, Tidhar; Asher, Jiftach Ben; Roth-Bejerano, Nurit; Kagan-Zur, Varda; Kapulnik, Yoram; Sitrit, Yaron

    2011-10-01

    The host plant Helianthemum sessiliflorum was inoculated with the mycorrhizal desert truffle Terfezia boudieri Chatin, and the subsequent effects of the ectomycorrhizal relationship on host physiology were determined. Diurnal measurements revealed that mycorrhizal (M) plants had higher rates of photosynthesis (35%), transpiration (18%), and night respiration (49%) than non-mycorrhizal (NM) plants. Consequently, M plants exhibited higher biomass accumulation, higher shoot-to-root ratios, and improved water use efficiency compared to NM plants. Total chlorophyll content was higher in M plants, and the ratio between chlorophyll a to chlorophyll b was altered in M plants. The increase in chlorophyll b content was significantly higher than the increase in chlorophyll a content (2.58- and 1.52-fold, respectively) compared to control. Calculation of the photosynthetic activation energy indicated lower energy requirements for CO(2) assimilation in M plants than in NM plants (48.62 and 61.56 kJ mol(-1), respectively). Continuous measurements of CO(2) exchange and transpiration in M plants versus NM plants provided a complete picture of the daily physiological differences brought on by the ectomycorrhizal relationships. The enhanced competence of M plants to withstand the harsh environmental conditions of the desert is discussed in view of the mycorrhizal-derived alterations in host physiology.

  16. Can corn plants inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi affect soil clay assemblage?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adamo, P.; Cozzolino, V.; Di Meo, V.; Velde, B.

    2012-04-01

    Plants can extract K from exchangeable and non-exchangeable sites in the soil clay mineral structures. The latter, known as fixed K, is usually seen as an illite layer, i.e. an anhydrous K layer that forms a 1.0 nm structural layer unit as seen by X-ray diffraction. Nutrient availability can be enhanced in the root zone by arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi. In this study, the effects of non-inoculated and Glomus intraradices inoculated corn plant growth under different experimental conditions on soil K-bearing clay minerals were identified. The soil, a Vertic Xerofluvent, was planted in corn in a 2008-2010 randomized field experiment. Bulk and rhizosphere soil sampling was carried out from May to September 2010 from fertilized plots (N200P90K160 and N200P0K160) with and without plants. According to XRD analysis, three major K-bearing minerals were present in soil: smectite-rich mixed layer mineral, illite-rich mixed layer mineral and illite. Results at 40DAS indicate extraction of K from clay minerals by plant uptake, whereas at 130DAS much of the nutrient seems to be returned to the soil. There is an apparent difference between bulk and rhizophere clays. The XRD patterns are not unequivocally affected by Glomus inoculation. There are observable changes in clay mineralogy in fallow unfertilized compared with fertilized soil. In the studied soil, the illite rich mixed-layer minerals seem to be the source of K absorbed by plants, while illite acts as sink of K released from the plant-microorganisms system at the end of the growing season and as source for the following crop.

  17. CLIMATE CONDITIONS AFFECTING THE WITHIN-PLANT SPREAD OF BROAD MITES ON AZALEA.

    PubMed

    Mechant, E; Pauwels, E; Gobin, B

    2014-01-01

    The broad mite Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Banks) is considered a major pest in potted azalea, Flanders' flagship ornamental crop of Rhododendron simsii hybrids. In addition to severe economic damage, the broad mite is dreaded for its increasing resistance to acaricides. Due to restrictions in the use of broad spectrum acaricides, Belgian azalea growers are left with only three compounds, belonging to two mode of action groups and restricted in their number of applications, for broad mite control: abamectin, milbemectin and pyrethrin. Although P. latus can be controlled with predatory mites, the high cost of this system makes it (not yet) feasible for integration into standard azalea pest management systems. Hence, a maximum efficacy of treatments with available compounds is essential. Because abamectin, milbemectin and pyrethrin are contact acaricides with limited trans laminar flow, only broad mites located on shoot tips of azalea plants will be controlled after spraying. Consequently, the efficacy of chemical treatments is influenced by the location and spread of P. latus on the plant. Unfortunately, little is known on broad mites' within-plant spread or how it is affected by climatic conditions like temperature and relative humidity. Therefore, experiments were set up to verify whether climate conditions have an effect on the location and migration of broad mites on azalea. Broad mite infected azalea plants were placed in standard growth chambers under different temperature (T:2.5-25°C) and relative humidity (RH:55-80%) treatments. Within-plant spread was determined by counting mites on the shoot tips and inner leaves of azalea plants. Results indicate that temperature and relative humidity have no significant effect on the within-plant spread of P. latus. To formulate recommendations for optimal spray conditions to maximize the efficacy of broad mite control with acaricides, further experiments on the effect of light intensity and rain are scheduled.

  18. Glacial history affected phenotypic differentiation in the alpine plant, Campanula thyrsoides.

    PubMed

    Scheepens, J F; Frei, Eva S; Stöcklin, Jürg

    2013-01-01

    Numerous widespread Alpine plant species show molecular differentiation among populations from distinct regions. This has been explained as the result of genetic drift during glacial survival in isolated refugia along the border of the European Alps. Since genetic drift may affect molecular markers and phenotypic traits alike, we asked whether phenotypic differentiation mirrors molecular patterns among Alpine plant populations from different regions. Phenotypic traits can be under selection, so we additionally investigated whether part of the phenotypic differentiation can be explained by past selection and/or current adaptation. Using the monocarpic Campanula thyrsoides as our study species, a common garden experiment with plants from 21 populations from four phylogeographic groups located in regions across the Alps and the Jura Mountains was performed to test for differentiation in morphological and phenological traits. Past selection was investigated by comparing phenotypic differentiation among and within regions with molecular differentiation among and within regions. The common garden results indicated regional differentiation among populations for all investigated phenotypic traits, particularly in phenology. Delayed flowering in plants from the South-eastern Alps suggested adaptation to long sub-mediterranean summers and contrasted with earlier flowering of plants experiencing shorter growing seasons in regions with higher elevation to the West. Comparisons between molecular and phenotypic differentiation revealed diversifying selection among regions in height and biomass, which is consistent with adaptation to environmental conditions in glacial refugia. Within regions, past selection acted against strong diversification for most phenotypic traits, causing restricted postglacial adaptation. Evidence consistent with post-glacial adaptation was also given by negative correlation coefficients between several phenotypic traits and elevation of the population

  19. Plant Protein and Animal Proteins: Do They Differentially Affect Cardiovascular Disease Risk?12

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Chesney K; Skulas-Ray, Ann C; Champagne, Catherine M; Kris-Etherton, Penny M

    2015-01-01

    Proteins from plant-based compared with animal-based food sources may have different effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Numerous epidemiologic and intervention studies have evaluated their respective health benefits; however, it is difficult to isolate the role of plant or animal protein on CVD risk. This review evaluates the current evidence from observational and intervention studies, focusing on the specific protein-providing foods and populations studied. Dietary protein is derived from many food sources, and each provides a different composite of nonprotein compounds that can also affect CVD risk factors. Increasing the consumption of protein-rich foods also typically results in lower intakes of other nutrients, which may simultaneously influence outcomes. Given these complexities, blanket statements about plant or animal protein may be too general, and greater consideration of the specific protein food sources and the background diet is required. The potential mechanisms responsible for any specific effects of plant and animal protein are similarly multifaceted and include the amino acid content of particular foods, contributions from other nonprotein compounds provided concomitantly by the whole food, and interactions with the gut microbiome. Evidence to date is inconclusive, and additional studies are needed to further advance our understanding of the complexity of plant protein vs. animal protein comparisons. Nonetheless, current evidence supports the idea that CVD risk can be reduced by a dietary pattern that provides more plant sources of protein compared with the typical American diet and also includes animal-based protein foods that are unprocessed and low in saturated fat. PMID:26567196

  20. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Cárcamo, Héctor A; Herle, Carolyn E; Lupwayi, Newton Z

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs. PMID:26106086

  1. Plant protein and animal proteins: do they differentially affect cardiovascular disease risk?

    PubMed

    Richter, Chesney K; Skulas-Ray, Ann C; Champagne, Catherine M; Kris-Etherton, Penny M

    2015-11-01

    Proteins from plant-based compared with animal-based food sources may have different effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Numerous epidemiologic and intervention studies have evaluated their respective health benefits; however, it is difficult to isolate the role of plant or animal protein on CVD risk. This review evaluates the current evidence from observational and intervention studies, focusing on the specific protein-providing foods and populations studied. Dietary protein is derived from many food sources, and each provides a different composite of nonprotein compounds that can also affect CVD risk factors. Increasing the consumption of protein-rich foods also typically results in lower intakes of other nutrients, which may simultaneously influence outcomes. Given these complexities, blanket statements about plant or animal protein may be too general, and greater consideration of the specific protein food sources and the background diet is required. The potential mechanisms responsible for any specific effects of plant and animal protein are similarly multifaceted and include the amino acid content of particular foods, contributions from other nonprotein compounds provided concomitantly by the whole food, and interactions with the gut microbiome. Evidence to date is inconclusive, and additional studies are needed to further advance our understanding of the complexity of plant protein vs. animal protein comparisons. Nonetheless, current evidence supports the idea that CVD risk can be reduced by a dietary pattern that provides more plant sources of protein compared with the typical American diet and also includes animal-based protein foods that are unprocessed and low in saturated fat.

  2. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen

    PubMed Central

    Cárcamo, Héctor A.; Herle, Carolyn E.; Lupwayi, Newton Z.

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs. PMID:26106086

  3. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Cárcamo, Héctor A; Herle, Carolyn E; Lupwayi, Newton Z

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs.

  4. Population variation affects interactions between two California salt marsh plant species more than precipitation.

    PubMed

    Noto, Akana E; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2016-02-01

    Species that occur along broad environmental gradients often vary in phenotypic traits that make them better adapted to local conditions. Variation in species interactions across gradients could therefore be due to either phenotypic differences among populations or environmental conditions that shift the balance between competition and facilitation. To understand how the environment (precipitation) and variation among populations affect species interactions, we conducted a common garden experiment using two common salt marsh plant species, Salicornia pacifica and Jaumea carnosa, from six salt marshes along the California coast encompassing a large precipitation gradient. Plants were grown alone or with an individual of the opposite species from the same site and exposed to one of three precipitation regimes. J. carnosa was negatively affected in the presence of S. pacifica, while S. pacifica was facilitated by J. carnosa. The strength of these interactions varied by site of origin but not by precipitation treatment. These results suggest that phenotypic variation among populations can affect interaction strength more than environment, despite a threefold difference in precipitation. Geographic intraspecific variation may therefore play an important role in determining the strength of interactions in communities.

  5. Population variation affects interactions between two California salt marsh plant species more than precipitation.

    PubMed

    Noto, Akana E; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2016-02-01

    Species that occur along broad environmental gradients often vary in phenotypic traits that make them better adapted to local conditions. Variation in species interactions across gradients could therefore be due to either phenotypic differences among populations or environmental conditions that shift the balance between competition and facilitation. To understand how the environment (precipitation) and variation among populations affect species interactions, we conducted a common garden experiment using two common salt marsh plant species, Salicornia pacifica and Jaumea carnosa, from six salt marshes along the California coast encompassing a large precipitation gradient. Plants were grown alone or with an individual of the opposite species from the same site and exposed to one of three precipitation regimes. J. carnosa was negatively affected in the presence of S. pacifica, while S. pacifica was facilitated by J. carnosa. The strength of these interactions varied by site of origin but not by precipitation treatment. These results suggest that phenotypic variation among populations can affect interaction strength more than environment, despite a threefold difference in precipitation. Geographic intraspecific variation may therefore play an important role in determining the strength of interactions in communities. PMID:26481794

  6. Plant species richness and functional traits affect community stability after a flood event.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Felícia M; Wright, Alexandra J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; Wagg, Cameron; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Pillar, Valério D

    2016-05-19

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. It is therefore of major importance to identify the community attributes that confer stability in ecological communities during such events. In June 2013, a flood event affected a plant diversity experiment in Central Europe (Jena, Germany). We assessed the effects of plant species richness, functional diversity, flooding intensity and community means of functional traits on different measures of stability (resistance, resilience and raw biomass changes from pre-flood conditions). Surprisingly, plant species richness reduced community resistance in response to the flood. This was mostly because more diverse communities grew more immediately following the flood. Raw biomass increased over the previous year; this resulted in decreased absolute value measures of resistance. There was no clear response pattern for resilience. We found that functional traits drove these changes in raw biomass: communities with a high proportion of late-season, short-statured plants with dense, shallow roots and small leaves grew more following the flood. Late-growing species probably avoided the flood, whereas greater root length density might have allowed species to better access soil resources brought from the flood, thus growing more in the aftermath. We conclude that resource inputs following mild floods may favour the importance of traits related to resource acquisition and be less associated with flooding tolerance.

  7. Different Degrees of Plant Invasion Significantly Affect the Richness of the Soil Fungal Community

    PubMed Central

    Si, Chuncan; Liu, Xueyan; Wang, Congyan; Wang, Lei; Dai, Zhicong; Qi, Shanshan; Du, Daolin

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown that soil microorganisms play a key role in the success of plant invasion. Thus, ecologists have become increasingly interested in understanding the ecological effects of biological invasion on soil microbial communities given continuing increase in the effects of invasive plants on native ecosystems. This paper aims to provide a relatively complete depiction of the characteristics of soil microbial communities under different degrees of plant invasion. Rhizospheric soils of the notorious invasive plant Wedelia trilobata with different degrees of invasion (uninvaded, low-degree, and high-degree using its coverage in the invaded ecosystems) were collected from five discrete areas in Hainan Province, P. R. China. Soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microorganisms were assessed. Low degrees of W. trilobata invasion significantly increased soil pH values whereas high degrees of invasion did not significantly affected soil pH values. Moreover, the degree of W. trilobata invasion exerted significant effects on soil Ca concentration but did not significantly change other indices of soil physicochemical properties. Low and high degrees of W. trilobata invasion increased the richness of the soil fungal community but did not pose obvious effects on the soil bacterial community. W. trilobata invasion also exerted obvious effects on the community structure of soil microorganisms that take part in soil nitrogen cycling. These changes in soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microbial communities mediated by different degrees of W. trilobata invasion may present significant functions in further facilitating the invasion process. PMID:24392015

  8. Ozone affects gas exchange, growth and reproductive development in Brassica campestris (Wisconsin fast plants).

    PubMed

    Black, V J; Stewart, C A; Roberts, J A; Black, C R

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to ozone (O(3)) may affect vegetative and reproductive development, although the consequences for yield depend on the effectiveness of the compensatory processes induced. This study examined the impact on reproductive development of exposing Brassica campestris (Wisconsin Fast Plants) to ozone during vegetative growth. Plants were exposed to 70 ppb ozone for 2 d during late vegetative growth or 10 d spanning most of the vegetative phase. Effects on gas exchange, vegetative growth, reproductive development and seed yield were determined. Impacts on gas exchange and foliar injury were related to pre-exposure stomatal conductance. Exposure for 2 d had no effect on growth or reproductive characteristics, whereas 10-d exposure reduced vegetative growth and reproductive site number on the terminal raceme. Mature seed number and weight per pod and per plant were unaffected because seed abortion was reduced. The observation that mature seed yield per plant was unaffected by exposure during the vegetative phase, despite adverse effects on physiological, vegetative and reproductive processes, shows that indeterminate species such as B. campestris possess sufficient compensatory flexibility to avoid reductions in seed production. PMID:17803646

  9. Plant species richness and functional traits affect community stability after a flood event.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Felícia M; Wright, Alexandra J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; Wagg, Cameron; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Pillar, Valério D

    2016-05-19

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. It is therefore of major importance to identify the community attributes that confer stability in ecological communities during such events. In June 2013, a flood event affected a plant diversity experiment in Central Europe (Jena, Germany). We assessed the effects of plant species richness, functional diversity, flooding intensity and community means of functional traits on different measures of stability (resistance, resilience and raw biomass changes from pre-flood conditions). Surprisingly, plant species richness reduced community resistance in response to the flood. This was mostly because more diverse communities grew more immediately following the flood. Raw biomass increased over the previous year; this resulted in decreased absolute value measures of resistance. There was no clear response pattern for resilience. We found that functional traits drove these changes in raw biomass: communities with a high proportion of late-season, short-statured plants with dense, shallow roots and small leaves grew more following the flood. Late-growing species probably avoided the flood, whereas greater root length density might have allowed species to better access soil resources brought from the flood, thus growing more in the aftermath. We conclude that resource inputs following mild floods may favour the importance of traits related to resource acquisition and be less associated with flooding tolerance. PMID:27114578

  10. Common gas phase molecules from fungi affect seed germination and plant health in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Fungal volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play important ecophysiological roles in mediating inter-kingdom signaling with arthropods but less is known about their interactions with plants. In this study, Arabidopsis thaliana was used as a model in order to test the physiological effects of 23 common vapor-phase fungal VOCs that included alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and other chemical classes. After exposure to a shared atmosphere with the 23 individual VOCs for 72 hrs, seeds were assayed for rate of germination and seedling formation; vegetative plants were assayed for fresh weight and chlorophyll concentration. All but five of the VOCs tested (1-decene, 2-n-heptylfuran, nonanal, geosmin and -limonene) had a significant effect in inhibiting either germination, seedling formation or both. Seedling formation was entirely inhibited by exposure to 1-octen-3-one, 2-ethylhexanal, 3-methylbutanal, and butanal. As assayed by a combination of fresh weight and chlorophyll concentration, 2-ethylhexanal had a negative impact on two-week-old vegetative plants. Three other compounds (1-octen-3-ol, 2-ethylhexanal, and 2-heptylfuran) decreased fresh weight alone. Most of the VOCs tested did not change the fresh weight or chlorophyll concentration of vegetative plants. In summary, when tested as single compounds, fungal VOCs affected A. thaliana in positive, negative or neutral ways. PMID:25045602

  11. Ozone affects gas exchange, growth and reproductive development in Brassica campestris (Wisconsin fast plants).

    PubMed

    Black, V J; Stewart, C A; Roberts, J A; Black, C R

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to ozone (O(3)) may affect vegetative and reproductive development, although the consequences for yield depend on the effectiveness of the compensatory processes induced. This study examined the impact on reproductive development of exposing Brassica campestris (Wisconsin Fast Plants) to ozone during vegetative growth. Plants were exposed to 70 ppb ozone for 2 d during late vegetative growth or 10 d spanning most of the vegetative phase. Effects on gas exchange, vegetative growth, reproductive development and seed yield were determined. Impacts on gas exchange and foliar injury were related to pre-exposure stomatal conductance. Exposure for 2 d had no effect on growth or reproductive characteristics, whereas 10-d exposure reduced vegetative growth and reproductive site number on the terminal raceme. Mature seed number and weight per pod and per plant were unaffected because seed abortion was reduced. The observation that mature seed yield per plant was unaffected by exposure during the vegetative phase, despite adverse effects on physiological, vegetative and reproductive processes, shows that indeterminate species such as B. campestris possess sufficient compensatory flexibility to avoid reductions in seed production.

  12. A hyperparasite affects the population dynamics of a wild plant pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Tollenaere, C; Pernechele, B; Mäkinen, H S; Parratt, S R; Németh, M Z; Kovács, G M; Kiss, L; Tack, A J M; Laine, A-L

    2014-01-01

    Assessing the impact of natural enemies of plant and animal pathogens on their host's population dynamics is needed to determine the role of hyperparasites in affecting disease dynamics, and their potential for use in efficient control strategies of pathogens. Here, we focus on the long-term study describing metapopulation dynamics of an obligate pathogen, the powdery mildew (Podosphaera plantaginis) naturally infecting its wild host plant (Plantago lanceolata) in the fragmented landscape of the Åland archipelago (southwest Finland). Regionally, the pathogen persists through a balance of extinctions and colonizations, yet factors affecting extinction rates remain poorly understood. Mycoparasites of the genus Ampelomyces appear as good candidates for testing the role of a hyperparasite, i.e. a parasite of other parasites, in the regulation of their fungal hosts' population dynamics. For this purpose, we first designed a quantitative PCR assay for detection of Ampelomyces spp. in field-collected samples. This newly developed molecular test was then applied to a large-scale sampling within the Åland archipelago, revealing that Ampelomyces is a widespread hyperparasite in this system, with high variability in prevalence among populations. We found that the hyperparasite was more common on leaves where multiple powdery mildew strains coexist, a pattern that may be attributed to differential exposure. Moreover, the prevalence of Ampelomyces at the plant level negatively affected the overwinter survival of its fungal host. We conclude that this hyperparasite may likely impact on its host population dynamics and argue for increased focus on the role of hyperparasites in disease dynamics. PMID:25204419

  13. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants.

    PubMed

    Schuerger, A C; Brown, C S

    1997-02-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  14. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schuerger, A. C.; Brown, C. S.; Sager, J. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  15. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants.

    PubMed

    Schuerger, A C; Brown, C S

    1997-02-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  16. Increased fitness of rice plants to abiotic stress via habitat adapted symbiosis: A strategy for mitigating impacts of climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Redman, R.S.; Kim, Y.-O.; Woodward, C.J.D.A.; Greer, C.; Espino, L.; Doty, S.L.; Rodriguez, R.J.

    2011-01-01

    Climate change and catastrophic events have contributed to rice shortages in several regions due to decreased water availability and soil salinization. Although not adapted to salt or drought stress, two commercial rice varieties achieved tolerance to these stresses by colonizing them with Class 2 fungal endophytes isolated from plants growing across moisture and salinity gradients. Plant growth and development, water usage, ROS sensitivity and osmolytes were measured with and without stress under controlled conditions. The endophytes conferred salt, drought and cold tolerance to growth chamber and greenhouse grown plants. Endophytes reduced water consumption by 20–30% and increased growth rate, reproductive yield, and biomass of greenhouse grown plants. In the absence of stress, there was no apparent cost of the endophytes to plants, however, endophyte colonization decreased from 100% at planting to 65% compared to greenhouse plants grown under continual stress (maintained 100% colonization). These findings indicate that rice plants can exhibit enhanced stress tolerance via symbiosis with Class 2 endophytes, and suggest that symbiotic technology may be useful in mitigating impacts of climate change on other crops and expanding agricultural production onto marginal lands.

  17. Increased Fitness of Rice Plants to Abiotic Stress Via Habitat Adapted Symbiosis: A Strategy for Mitigating Impacts of Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Redman, Regina S.; Kim, Yong Ok; Woodward, Claire J. D. A.; Greer, Chris; Espino, Luis; Doty, Sharon L.; Rodriguez, Rusty J.

    2011-01-01

    Climate change and catastrophic events have contributed to rice shortages in several regions due to decreased water availability and soil salinization. Although not adapted to salt or drought stress, two commercial rice varieties achieved tolerance to these stresses by colonizing them with Class 2 fungal endophytes isolated from plants growing across moisture and salinity gradients. Plant growth and development, water usage, ROS sensitivity and osmolytes were measured with and without stress under controlled conditions. The endophytes conferred salt, drought and cold tolerance to growth chamber and greenhouse grown plants. Endophytes reduced water consumption by 20–30% and increased growth rate, reproductive yield, and biomass of greenhouse grown plants. In the absence of stress, there was no apparent cost of the endophytes to plants, however, endophyte colonization decreased from 100% at planting to 65% compared to greenhouse plants grown under continual stress (maintained 100% colonization). These findings indicate that rice plants can exhibit enhanced stress tolerance via symbiosis with Class 2 endophytes, and suggest that symbiotic technology may be useful in mitigating impacts of climate change on other crops and expanding agricultural production onto marginal lands. PMID:21750695

  18. Increased fitness of rice plants to abiotic stress via habitat adapted symbiosis: a strategy for mitigating impacts of climate change.

    PubMed

    Redman, Regina S; Kim, Yong Ok; Woodward, Claire J D A; Greer, Chris; Espino, Luis; Doty, Sharon L; Rodriguez, Rusty J

    2011-01-01

    Climate change and catastrophic events have contributed to rice shortages in several regions due to decreased water availability and soil salinization. Although not adapted to salt or drought stress, two commercial rice varieties achieved tolerance to these stresses by colonizing them with Class 2 fungal endophytes isolated from plants growing across moisture and salinity gradients.Plant growth and development, water usage, ROS sensitivity and osmolytes were measured with and without stress under controlled conditions.The endophytes conferred salt, drought and cold tolerance to growth chamber and greenhouse grown plants. Endophytes reduced water consumption by 20-30% and increased growth rate, reproductive yield, and biomass of greenhouse grown plants. In the absence of stress, there was no apparent cost of the endophytes to plants, however, endophyte colonization decreased from 100% at planting to 65% compared to greenhouse plants grown under continual stress (maintained 100% colonization).These findings indicate that rice plants can exhibit enhanced stress tolerance via symbiosis with Class 2 endophytes, and suggest that symbiotic technology may be useful in mitigating impacts of climate change on other crops and expanding agricultural production onto marginal lands.

  19. Soil biota can change after exotic plant invasion: Does this affect ecosystem processes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Sherrod, S.K.; Moldenke, A.

    2005-01-01

    Invasion of the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum into stands of the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii significantly reduced the abundance of soil biota, especially microarthropods and nematodes. Effects of invasion on active and total bacterial and fungal biomass were variable, although populations generally increased after 50+ years of invasion. The invasion of Bromus also resulted in a decrease in richness and a species shift in plants, microarthropods, fungi, and nematodes. However, despite the depauperate soil fauna at the invaded sites, no effects were seen on cellulose decomposition rates, nitrogen mineralization rates, or vascular plant growth. When Hilaria was planted into soils from not-invaded, recently invaded, and historically invaded sites (all currently or once dominated by Hilaria), germination and survivorship were not affected. In contrast, aboveground Hilaria biomass was significantly greater in recently invaded soils than in the other two soils. We attributed the Hilaria response to differences in soil nutrients present before the invasion, especially soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as these nutrients were elevated in the soils that produced the greatest Hilaria biomass. Our data suggest that it is not soil biotic richness per se that determines soil process rates or plant productivity, but instead that either (1) the presence of a few critical soil food web taxa can keep ecosystem function high, (2) nutrient loss is very slow in this ecosystem, and/or (3) these processes are microbially driven. However, the presence of Bromus may reduce key soil nutrients over time and thus may eventually suppress native plant success. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of America.

  20. Bioaerosols from a Food Waste Composting Plant Affect Human Airway Epithelial Cell Remodeling Genes

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Ming-Wei; Lee, Chung-Ru; Hung, Hsueh-Fen; Teng, Kuo-Sheng; Huang, Hsin; Chuang, Chun-Yu

    2013-01-01

    The composting procedure in food waste plants generates airborne bioaerosols that have the potential to damage human airway epithelial cells. Persistent inflammation and repair responses induce airway remodeling and damage to the respiratory system. This study elucidated the expression changes of airway remodeling genes in human lung mucoepidermoid NCI-H292 cells exposed to bioaerosols from a composting plant. Different types of microorganisms were detectable in the composting plant, using the agar culture method. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify the level of Aspergillus fumigatus and the profile of remodeling genes. The real-time PCR results indicated that the amount of A. fumigatus in the composting hall was less than 102 conidia. The endotoxins in the field bioaerosols were determined using a limulus amebocyte lysate test. The endotoxin levels depended on the type of particulate matter (PM), with coarse particles (2.5–10 μm) having higher endotoxin levels than did fine particles (0.5–2.5 μm). After exposure to the conditioned medium of field bioaerosol samples, NCI-H292 cells showed increased pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 release and activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (p21WAF1/CIP1) gene expression, but not of matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)-9. Airborne endotoxin levels were higher inside the composting hall than they were in other areas, and they were associated with PM. This suggested that airborne bioaerosols in the composting plant contained endotoxins and microorganisms besides A. fumigatus that cause the inflammatory cytokine secretion and augment the expression of remodeling genes in NCI-H292 cells. It is thus necessary to monitor potentially hazardous materials from bioaerosols in food composting plants, which could affect the health of workers. PMID:24368426

  1. Dynamic Response of Large Wind Power Plant Affected by Diverse Conditions at Individual Turbines

    SciTech Connect

    Elizondo, Marcelo A.; Lu, Shuai; Lin, Guang; Wang, Shaobu

    2014-07-31

    Diverse operating conditions at individual wind turbine generators (WTG) within wind power plants (WPPs) can affect the WPP dynamic response to system faults. For example, individual WTGs can experience diverse terminal voltage and power output caused by different wind direction and speed, affecting the response of protection and control limiters. In this paper, we present a study to investigate the dynamic response of a detailed WPP model under diverse power outputs of its individual WTGs. Wake effect is considered as the reason for diverse power outputs. The diverse WTG power output is evaluated in a test system where a large 168-machine test WPP is connected to the IEEE-39-bus system. The power output from each WTG is derived from a wake effect model that uses realistic statistical data for incoming wind speed and direction. The results show that diverse WTG output due to wake effect can affect the WPP dynamic response activating specialized control in some turbines. In addition, transient stability is affected by exhibiting uncertainty in critical clearing time calculation.

  2. Factors Affecting Population Trends of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes on Rangeland Grasses

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, G. D.; Asay, K. H.; Horton, W. H.

    1996-01-01

    The effects of environmental conditions on population trends of plant-parasitic nematodes were studied in experimental plots of five wheatgrasses in the western Utah desert. In a 3-year (1984-86) field study, soil water and temperature affected the population trends of the ectoparasites, Tylenchorhynchus acutoides and Xiphinema americanum, and the migratory endoparasite, Pratylenchus neglectus, on Fairway crested wheatgrass, Agropyron cristatum; 'Hycrest' crested wheatgrass, A. cristatum X A. desertorura; 'Rosana' western wheatgrass, Pascopyrum smithii; 'Oahe' intermediate wheatgrass, Thinopyrum intermedium; and RS-1 hybrid (Elytrigia repens X Pseudoroegneria spicata). The largest soil populations of these nematode species were collected in 1984 under good plant-growth conditions. A reduction in nematode populations occurred in 1985 and 1986, possibly because of low soil-water conditions. There was a positive relationship between high soil water and maximum population densities of T. acutoides in the spring and fall of 1984, and between low soil water and minimum population densities of the nematode in 1985 and 1986. Pratylenchus neglectus populations were affected by soil water, although to a lesser degree than the ectoparasitic nematodes. Population densities of the three nematode species were significantly lower in the drier years of 1985 and 1986 than in 1984. Nematode populations were greater at the lower soil depths in the fall than in the spring or summer. PMID:19277352

  3. Dual action of phosphonate herbicides in plants affected by herbivore--model study on black bean aphid Aphis fabae rearing on broad bean Vicia faba plants.

    PubMed

    Lipok, Jacek

    2009-09-01

    The interactions between plants, herbicides and herbivore insects were studied as an aspect of possible side effect of the using of phosphonate herbicides. The experimental system was composed of phosphonate herbicides, broad bean Vicia faba (L.) plants and black bean aphid Aphis fabae (Scopoli). Two means of herbicide application, namely standard spraying and direct introduction of the herbicide into stem via glass capillary, were examined. The results obtained for N-2-piridylaminomethylene bisphosphonic acid and its derivatives show 10 times higher inhibition of the plant growth if glass capillary mode was used. When plants were infested by aphids 24h after the use of herbicide, a significant decrease in plant growth rate was observed in relation to plants treated with herbicides alone. Moreover, the sensitivity of aphids towards glyphosate, N-2-piridylaminomethylene bisphosphonic acid and its 3-methyl derivative introduced to artificial diet indicated that these herbicidal phosphonates possessed also insecticidal activity if applied in a systemic manner. Additionally, olfactometer measurements revealed that aphids preferred intact V. faba leaves over those that had been treated with sublethal doses of herbicides. The results achieved in these experiments indicate that the use of phosphonate herbicides decreases plant resistance and influences the number of aphids accompanied with treated plants. Regarding these facts it can be concluded that the combined effect of herbicide-induced stress and insect herbivory reduced plant fitness and thus should be considered as also a factor enabling the reduction of herbicide doses.

  4. The odor of a plant metabolite affects life history traits in dietary restricted adult olive flies.

    PubMed

    Gerofotis, Christos D; Ioannou, Charalampos S; Nakas, Christos T; Papadopoulos, Nikos T

    2016-01-01

    Food quality shapes life history traits either directly or through response of individuals to additional environmental factors, such as chemical cues. Plant extracts used as food additives modulate key life history traits; however little is known regarding such effects for olfactory chemical cues. Exploiting an interesting experimental system that involves the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae) and the plant metabolite α-pinene we asked whether exposure of adults to this compound modulates adult longevity and female reproduction in similar manner in a stressful - dietary (protein) restricted (DR) and in a relaxed- full diet (FD) feeding environment. Accordingly, we exposed males and females to the aroma of α-pinene and measured lifespan and age-specific fecundity in the above two dietary contexts. Our results demonstrate that exposure to α-pinene increased longevity in males and fecundity in females only under dietary restricted conditions. In relaxed food conditions, females exposed to α-pinene shifted high egg-laying towards younger ages compared to non-exposed ones. This is the first report demonstrating that a plant compound affects key life history traits of adult olive flies through olfaction. These effects are sex-specific and more pronounced in dietary restricted adults. Possible underlying mechanisms and the ecological significance are discussed. PMID:27339862

  5. Host plant affects the sexual attractiveness of the female white-spotted longicorn beetle, Anoplophora malasiaca.

    PubMed

    Yasui, Hiroe; Fujiwara-Tsujii, Nao

    2016-01-01

    Anoplophora malasiaca (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is a serious pest that destroys various landscape and crop trees in Japan. We evaluated the precopulatory responses of three different A. malasiaca populations collected from mandarin orange, willow and blueberry trees. Most of the males accepted mates from within the same host plant population as well as females from the willow and blueberry populations. However, significant number of males from the blueberry and willow populations rejected females from the mandarin orange population immediately after touching them with their antennae. Because all three of the female populations produced contact sex pheromones on their elytra, the females of the mandarin orange population were predicted to possess extra chemicals that repelled the males of the other two populations. β-Elemene was identified as a key component that was only found in mandarin orange-fed females and induced a rejection response in willow-fed males. Our results represent the first example of a female-acquired repellent against conspecific males of different host plant populations, indicating that the host plant greatly affects the female's sexual attractiveness. PMID:27412452

  6. Does Plant Biomass Manipulation in Static Chambers Affect Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Soils?

    PubMed

    Collier, Sarah M; Dean, Andrew P; Oates, Lawrence G; Ruark, Matthew D; Jackson, Randall D

    2016-03-01

    One of the most widespread approaches for measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from soils involves the use of static chambers. This method is relatively inexpensive, is easily replicated, and is ideally suited to plot-based experimental systems. Among its limitations is the loss of detection sensitivity with increasing chamber height, which creates challenges for deployment in systems including tall vegetation. It is not always possible to avoid inclusion of plants within chambers or to extend chamber height to fully accommodate plant growth. Thus, in many systems, such as perennial forages and biomass crops, plants growing within static chambers must either be trimmed or folded during lid closure. Currently, data on how different types of biomass manipulation affect measured results is limited. Here, we compare the effects of cutting vs. folding of biomass on nitrous oxide measurements in switchgrass ( L.) and alfalfa ( L.) systems. We report only limited evidence of treatment effects during discrete sampling events and little basis for concern that effects may intensify over time as biomass manipulation is repeatedly imposed. However, nonsignificant treatment effects that were consistently present amounted to significant overall trends in three out of the four systems studied. Such minor disparities in flux could amount to considerable quantities over time, suggesting that caution should be exercised when comparing cumulative emission values from studies using different biomass manipulation strategies.

  7. Inhibitors of plant invertases do not affect the structurally related enzymes of fructan metabolism.

    PubMed

    Kusch, Ute; Harms, Karsten; Rausch, Thomas; Greiner, Steffen

    2009-01-01

    Plant fructan active enzymes (FAZYs), including the enzymes involved in inulin metabolism, namely sucrose:sucrose 1-fructosyltransferase (1-SST; EC 2.4.1.99), fructan:fructan 1-fructosyltransferase (1-FFT; EC 2.4.1.100) and fructan 1-exohydrolase (1-FEH; EC 3.2.1.153), are evolutionarily related to acid invertases (AIs), that is, plant cell wall invertase (CWI) and vacuolar invertase (VI). Acid invertases are post-translationally controlled by proteinaceous inhibitors. Whether FAZYs are subject to similar controls is not known. To probe their possible interactions with invertase inhibitors, we transiently expressed chicory (Cichorium intybus) FAZYs, as well as several previously characterized invertase inhibitors from nonfructan species, and the C. intybus cell wall/vacuolar inhibitor of fructosidase (CiC/VIF), a putative invertase inhibitor of a fructan-accumulating plant, in leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana. Leaf extracts containing recombinant, enzymatically active FAZYs were used to explore the interaction with invertase inhibitors. Neither heterologous inhibitors nor CiC/VIF affected FAZY activities. CiC/VIF was confirmed as an AI inhibitor with a stronger effect on CWI than on VI. Its expression in planta was developmentally regulated (high in taproots, and undetectable in leaves and flowers). In agreement with its target specificities, CiC/VIF was associated with the cell wall. It is concluded that subtle structural differences between AIs and FAZYs result in pronounced selectivity of inhibitor action.

  8. Burkholderia cenocepacia Lipopolysaccharide Modification and Flagellin Glycosylation Affect Virulence but Not Innate Immune Recognition in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Khodai-Kalaki, Maryam; Andrade, Angel; Fathy Mohamed, Yasmine

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Burkholderia cenocepacia causes opportunistic infections in plants, insects, animals, and humans, suggesting that “virulence” depends on the host and its innate susceptibility to infection. We hypothesized that modifications in key bacterial molecules recognized by the innate immune system modulate host responses to B. cenocepacia. Indeed, modification of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) with 4-amino-4-deoxy-l-arabinose and flagellin glycosylation attenuates B. cenocepacia infection in Arabidopsis thaliana and Galleria mellonella insect larvae. However, B. cenocepacia LPS and flagellin triggered rapid bursts of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species in A. thaliana leading to activation of the PR-1 defense gene. These responses were drastically reduced in plants with fls2 (flagellin FLS2 host receptor kinase), Atnoa1 (nitric oxide-associated protein 1), and dnd1-1 (reduced production of nitric oxide) null mutations. Together, our results indicate that LPS modification and flagellin glycosylation do not affect recognition by plant receptors but are required for bacteria to establish overt infection. PMID:26045541

  9. Host plant affects the sexual attractiveness of the female white-spotted longicorn beetle, Anoplophora malasiaca

    PubMed Central

    Yasui, Hiroe; Fujiwara-Tsujii, Nao

    2016-01-01

    Anoplophora malasiaca (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is a serious pest that destroys various landscape and crop trees in Japan. We evaluated the precopulatory responses of three different A. malasiaca populations collected from mandarin orange, willow and blueberry trees. Most of the males accepted mates from within the same host plant population as well as females from the willow and blueberry populations. However, significant number of males from the blueberry and willow populations rejected females from the mandarin orange population immediately after touching them with their antennae. Because all three of the female populations produced contact sex pheromones on their elytra, the females of the mandarin orange population were predicted to possess extra chemicals that repelled the males of the other two populations. β-Elemene was identified as a key component that was only found in mandarin orange-fed females and induced a rejection response in willow-fed males. Our results represent the first example of a female-acquired repellent against conspecific males of different host plant populations, indicating that the host plant greatly affects the female’s sexual attractiveness. PMID:27412452

  10. Does Plant Biomass Manipulation in Static Chambers Affect Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Soils?

    PubMed

    Collier, Sarah M; Dean, Andrew P; Oates, Lawrence G; Ruark, Matthew D; Jackson, Randall D

    2016-03-01

    One of the most widespread approaches for measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from soils involves the use of static chambers. This method is relatively inexpensive, is easily replicated, and is ideally suited to plot-based experimental systems. Among its limitations is the loss of detection sensitivity with increasing chamber height, which creates challenges for deployment in systems including tall vegetation. It is not always possible to avoid inclusion of plants within chambers or to extend chamber height to fully accommodate plant growth. Thus, in many systems, such as perennial forages and biomass crops, plants growing within static chambers must either be trimmed or folded during lid closure. Currently, data on how different types of biomass manipulation affect measured results is limited. Here, we compare the effects of cutting vs. folding of biomass on nitrous oxide measurements in switchgrass ( L.) and alfalfa ( L.) systems. We report only limited evidence of treatment effects during discrete sampling events and little basis for concern that effects may intensify over time as biomass manipulation is repeatedly imposed. However, nonsignificant treatment effects that were consistently present amounted to significant overall trends in three out of the four systems studied. Such minor disparities in flux could amount to considerable quantities over time, suggesting that caution should be exercised when comparing cumulative emission values from studies using different biomass manipulation strategies. PMID:27065424

  11. The odor of a plant metabolite affects life history traits in dietary restricted adult olive flies

    PubMed Central

    Gerofotis, Christos D.; Ioannou, Charalampos S.; Nakas, Christos T.; Papadopoulos, Nikos T.

    2016-01-01

    Food quality shapes life history traits either directly or through response of individuals to additional environmental factors, such as chemical cues. Plant extracts used as food additives modulate key life history traits; however little is known regarding such effects for olfactory chemical cues. Exploiting an interesting experimental system that involves the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae) and the plant metabolite α-pinene we asked whether exposure of adults to this compound modulates adult longevity and female reproduction in similar manner in a stressful – dietary (protein) restricted (DR) and in a relaxed- full diet (FD) feeding environment. Accordingly, we exposed males and females to the aroma of α-pinene and measured lifespan and age-specific fecundity in the above two dietary contexts. Our results demonstrate that exposure to α-pinene increased longevity in males and fecundity in females only under dietary restricted conditions. In relaxed food conditions, females exposed to α-pinene shifted high egg-laying towards younger ages compared to non-exposed ones. This is the first report demonstrating that a plant compound affects key life history traits of adult olive flies through olfaction. These effects are sex-specific and more pronounced in dietary restricted adults. Possible underlying mechanisms and the ecological significance are discussed. PMID:27339862

  12. Saprotrophic competitiveness and biocontrol fitness of a genetically modified strain of the plant-growth-promoting fungus Trichoderma hamatum GD12.

    PubMed

    Ryder, Lauren S; Harris, Beverley D; Soanes, Darren M; Kershaw, Michael J; Talbot, Nicholas J; Thornton, Christopher R

    2012-01-01

    Trichoderma species are ubiquitous soil fungi that hold enormous potential for the development of credible alternatives to agrochemicals and synthetic fertilizers in sustainable crop production. In this paper, we show that substantial improvements in plant productivity can be met by genetic modification of a plant-growth-promoting and biocontrol strain of Trichoderma hamatum, but that these improvements are obtained in the absence of disease pressure only. Using a quantitative monoclonal antibody-based ELISA, we show that an N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase-deficient mutant of T. hamatum, generated by insertional mutagenesis of the corresponding gene, has impaired saprotrophic competitiveness during antagonistic interactions with Rhizoctonia solani in soil. Furthermore, its fitness as a biocontrol agent of the pre-emergence damping-off pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is significantly reduced, and its ability to promote plant growth is constrained by the presence of both pathogens. This work shows that while gains in T. hamatum-mediated plant-growth-promotion can be met through genetic manipulation of a single beneficial trait, such a modification has negative impacts on other aspects of its biology and ecology that contribute to its success as a saprotrophic competitor and antagonist of soil-borne pathogens. The work has important implications for fungal morphogenesis, demonstrating a clear link between hyphal architecture and secretory potential. Furthermore, it highlights the need for a holistic approach to the development of genetically modified Trichoderma strains for use as crop stimulants and biocontrol agents in plant agriculture.

  13. Fringe Fitting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotton, W. D.

    Fringe Fitting Theory; Correlator Model Delay Errors; Fringe Fitting Techniques; Baseline; Baseline with Closure Constraints; Global; Solution Interval; Calibration Sources; Source Structure; Phase Referencing; Multi-band Data; Phase-Cals; Multi- vs. Single-band Delay; Sidebands; Filtering; Establishing a Common Reference Antenna; Smoothing and Interpolating Solutions; Bandwidth Synthesis; Weights; Polarization; Fringe Fitting Practice; Phase Slopes in Time and Frequency; Phase-Cals; Sidebands; Delay and Rate Fits; Signal-to-Noise Ratios; Delay and Rate Windows; Details of Global Fringe Fitting; Multi- and Single-band Delays; Phase-Cal Errors; Calibrator Sources; Solution Interval; Weights; Source Model; Suggested Procedure; Bandwidth Synthesis

  14. Plant material as bioaccumulator of arsenic in soils affected by mining activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-López, Salvadora; Martínez-Sánchez, Maria Jose; García-Lorenzo, Maria Luz; Pérez-Sirvent, Carmen

    2010-05-01

    fraction (oxidaizable medium extraction procedure). Arsenic concentration in leaves was positively correlated with the arsenic extracted by HCl, with the oxidizable-organic matter and sulfides fraction and with the arsenic extracted by Mehra-Jackson extraction. According to our results, As is accumulated in the leaves of the plants and is linked with iron oxides of these soils affected by mining activities.

  15. Testing a Model of the Relationship of Demographic, Affective, and Fitness Variables to Academic Achievement among Non-Science Majors at an Independent University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutra, Andrew Martin

    The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of specific attributes of college students to their academic achievement at an independent university in central Florida. Academic achievement was measured as the numeric score on the final exam in a survey-of-science course (EDS 1032) required for non-science majors. Attribute sets included personological, affective, and fitness variables. A hypothesized diagram of the direct and indirect effects among these attributes relative to academic achievement was developed and tested using data collected Spring 2014 from 168 students in four sections of EDS 1032 at Florida Institute of Technology. Multiple regression results revealed that 19% of the variance in a students' academic achievement was due to the influence of these three sets of research factors; this was found to be statistically significant. The results of mediation analyses also indicated that three variables had significant direct effects on academic achievement, namely gender, number of academic credits, and sports motivation. In addition, gender had a significant indirect effect on academic achievement via stress, and the number of academic credits had a significant indirect effect on academic achievement via sports motivation. These findings indicated that female students scored roughly six points higher than male students on this final exam. Also, gender's influence on academic achievement was partially attributable to the student's level of stress (e.g., male students with high levels of stress had lower grades on this final exam than female students with the same level of stress). In addition, it was found that students taking more academic credits were likely to score higher on this final exam than those students taking fewer credits. Further, as students' level of sports amotivation increased, the strength of the relationship between the number of student academic credits and academic achievement decreased. These results support Self

  16. Host Plants Affect the Foraging Success of Two Parasitoids that Attack Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yi; Wratten, Steve; Sandhu, Harpinder; Keller, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana is a key pest of wine grapes in Australia. Two parasitoids, Dolichogenidea tasmanica and Therophilus unimaculatus, attack the larval stage of this pest. D. tasmanica is dominant in vineyards, whereas T. unimaculatus is mainly active in native vegetation. We sought to understand why they differ in their use of habitats. Plants are a major component of habitats of parasitoids, and herbivore-infested plants influence parasitoid foraging efficiency by their architecture and emission of volatile chemicals. We investigated how different plant species infested by E. postvittana could affect the foraging success of the two parasitoid species in both laboratory and field experiments. Four common host-plant species were selected for this study. In paired-choice experiments to determine the innate foraging preferences for plants, both parasitoid species showed differences in innate search preferences among plant species. The plant preference of D. tasmanica was altered by oviposition experience with hosts that were feeding on other plant species. In a behavioral assay, the two parasitoid species allocated their times engaged in various types of behavior differently when foraging on different plant species. For both parasitoids, parasitism on Hardenbergia violacea was the highest of the four plant species. Significantly more larvae dropped from Myoporum insulare when attacked than from the other three host-plant species, which indicates that parasitism is also affected by interactions between plants and host insects. In vineyards, parasitism by D. tasmanica was significantly lower on M. insulare than on the other three host-plant species, but the parasitism rates were similar among the other three plant species. Our results indicate that plants play a role in the habitat preferences of these two parasitoid species by influencing their foraging behavior, and are likely to contribute to their distributions among habitats. PMID

  17. Host Plants Affect the Foraging Success of Two Parasitoids that Attack Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    PubMed

    Feng, Yi; Wratten, Steve; Sandhu, Harpinder; Keller, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana is a key pest of wine grapes in Australia. Two parasitoids, Dolichogenidea tasmanica and Therophilus unimaculatus, attack the larval stage of this pest. D. tasmanica is dominant in vineyards, whereas T. unimaculatus is mainly active in native vegetation. We sought to understand why they differ in their use of habitats. Plants are a major component of habitats of parasitoids, and herbivore-infested plants influence parasitoid foraging efficiency by their architecture and emission of volatile chemicals. We investigated how different plant species infested by E. postvittana could affect the foraging success of the two parasitoid species in both laboratory and field experiments. Four common host-plant species were selected for this study. In paired-choice experiments to determine the innate foraging preferences for plants, both parasitoid species showed differences in innate search preferences among plant species. The plant preference of D. tasmanica was altered by oviposition experience with hosts that were feeding on other plant species. In a behavioral assay, the two parasitoid species allocated their times engaged in various types of behavior differently when foraging on different plant species. For both parasitoids, parasitism on Hardenbergia violacea was the highest of the four plant species. Significantly more larvae dropped from Myoporum insulare when attacked than from the other three host-plant species, which indicates that parasitism is also affected by interactions between plants and host insects. In vineyards, parasitism by D. tasmanica was significantly lower on M. insulare than on the other three host-plant species, but the parasitism rates were similar among the other three plant species. Our results indicate that plants play a role in the habitat preferences of these two parasitoid species by influencing their foraging behavior, and are likely to contribute to their distributions among habitats. PMID

  18. Unpreferred plants affect patch choice and spatial distribution of European brown hares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuijper, D. P. J.; Bakker, J. P.

    2008-11-01

    Many herbivore species prefer to forage on patches of intermediate biomass. Plant quality and forage efficiency are predicted to decrease with increasing plant standing crop which explains the lower preference of the herbivore. However, often is ignored that on the long-term, plant species composition is predicted to change with increasing plant standing crop. The amount of low-quality, unpreferred food plants increases with increasing plant standing crop. In the present study the effects of unpreferred plants on patch choice and distribution of European brown hare in a salt-marsh system were studied. In one experiment, unpreferred plants were removed from plots. In the second experiment, plots were planted with different densities of an unpreferred artificial plant. Removal of unpreferred plants increased hare-grazing pressure more than fivefold compared to unmanipulated plots. Planting of unpreferred plants reduced hare-grazing pressure, with a significant reduction of grazing already occurring at low unpreferred plant density. Spatial distribution of hares within this salt-marsh system was related to spatial arrangement of unpreferred plants. Hare-grazing intensity decreased strongly with increasing abundance of unpreferred plants despite a high abundance of principal food plants. The results of this study indicate that plant species replacement is an important factor determining patch choice and spatial distribution of hares next to changing plant quality. Increasing abundance of unpreferred plant species can strengthen the decreasing patch quality with increasing standing crop and can decrease grazing intensity when preferred food plants are still abundantly present.

  19. Life-history trait plasticity and its relationships with plant adaptation and insect fitness: a case study on the aphid Sitobion avenae.

    PubMed

    Dai, Peng; Shi, Xiaoqin; Liu, Deguang; Ge, Zhaohong; Wang, Da; Dai, Xinjia; Yi, Zhihao; Meng, Xiuxiang

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has recently been considered a powerful means of adaptation, but its relationships with corresponding life-history characters and plant specialization levels of insects have been controversial. To address the issues, Sitobion avenae clones from three plants in two areas were compared. Varying amounts of life-history trait plasticity were found among S. avenae clones on barley, oat and wheat. In most cases, developmental durations and their corresponding plasticities were found to be independent, and fecundities and their plasticities were correlated characters instead. The developmental time of first instar nymphs for oat and wheat clones, but not for barley clones, was found to be independent from its plasticity, showing environment-specific effects. All correlations between environments were found to be positive, which could contribute to low plasticity in S. avenae. Negative correlations between trait plasticities and fitness of test clones suggest that lower plasticity could have higher adaptive value. Correlations between plasticity and specialization indices were identified for all clones, suggesting that plasticity might evolve as a by-product of adaptation to certain environments. The divergence patterns of life-history plasticities in S. avenae, as well as the relationships among plasticity, specialization and fitness, could have significant implications for evolutionary ecology of this aphid.

  20. Life-history trait plasticity and its relationships with plant adaptation and insect fitness: a case study on the aphid Sitobion avenae.

    PubMed

    Dai, Peng; Shi, Xiaoqin; Liu, Deguang; Ge, Zhaohong; Wang, Da; Dai, Xinjia; Yi, Zhihao; Meng, Xiuxiang

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has recently been considered a powerful means of adaptation, but its relationships with corresponding life-history characters and plant specialization levels of insects have been controversial. To address the issues, Sitobion avenae clones from three plants in two areas were compared. Varying amounts of life-history trait plasticity were found among S. avenae clones on barley, oat and wheat. In most cases, developmental durations and their corresponding plasticities were found to be independent, and fecundities and their plasticities were correlated characters instead. The developmental time of first instar nymphs for oat and wheat clones, but not for barley clones, was found to be independent from its plasticity, showing environment-specific effects. All correlations between environments were found to be positive, which could contribute to low plasticity in S. avenae. Negative correlations between trait plasticities and fitness of test clones suggest that lower plasticity could have higher adaptive value. Correlations between plasticity and specialization indices were identified for all clones, suggesting that plasticity might evolve as a by-product of adaptation to certain environments. The divergence patterns of life-history plasticities in S. avenae, as well as the relationships among plasticity, specialization and fitness, could have significant implications for evolutionary ecology of this aphid. PMID:27426961

  1. Life-history trait plasticity and its relationships with plant adaptation and insect fitness: a case study on the aphid Sitobion avenae

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Peng; Shi, Xiaoqin; Liu, Deguang; Ge, Zhaohong; Wang, Da; Dai, Xinjia; Yi, Zhihao; Meng, Xiuxiang

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity has recently been considered a powerful means of adaptation, but its relationships with corresponding life-history characters and plant specialization levels of insects have been controversial. To address the issues, Sitobion avenae clones from three plants in two areas were compared. Varying amounts of life-history trait plasticity were found among S. avenae clones on barley, oat and wheat. In most cases, developmental durations and their corresponding plasticities were found to be independent, and fecundities and their plasticities were correlated characters instead. The developmental time of first instar nymphs for oat and wheat clones, but not for barley clones, was found to be independent from its plasticity, showing environment-specific effects. All correlations between environments were found to be positive, which could contribute to low plasticity in S. avenae. Negative correlations between trait plasticities and fitness of test clones suggest that lower plasticity could have higher adaptive value. Correlations between plasticity and specialization indices were identified for all clones, suggesting that plasticity might evolve as a by-product of adaptation to certain environments. The divergence patterns of life-history plasticities in S. avenae, as well as the relationships among plasticity, specialization and fitness, could have significant implications for evolutionary ecology of this aphid. PMID:27426961

  2. Does vegetation complexity affect host plant chemistry, and thus multitrophic interactions, in a human-altered landscape?

    PubMed

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2015-09-01

    Anthropogenic land use may shape vegetation composition and affect trophic interactions by altering concentrations of host plant metabolites. Here, we investigated the hypotheses that: (1) plant N and defensive secondary metabolite contents of the herb Plantago lanceolata are affected by land use intensity (LUI) and the surrounding vegetation composition (=plant species richness and P. lanceolata density), and that (2) changes in plant chemistry affect abundances of the herbivorous weevils Mecinus pascuorum and Mecinus labilis, as well as their larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus, in the field. We determined plant species richness, P. lanceolata density, and abundances of the herbivores and the parasitoid in 77 grassland plots differing in LUI index in three regions across Germany. We also measured the N and secondary metabolite [the iridoid glycosides (IGs) aucubin and catalpol] contents of P. lanceolata leaves. Mixed-model analysis revealed that: (1) concentrations of leaf IGs were positively correlated with plant species richness; leaf N content was positively correlated with the LUI index. Furthermore: (2) herbivore abundance was not related to IG concentrations, but correlated negatively with leaf N content. Parasitoid abundance correlated positively only with host abundance over the three regions. Structural equation models revealed a positive impact of IG concentrations on parasitoid abundance in one region. We conclude that changes in plant chemistry due to land use and/or vegetation composition may affect higher trophic levels and that the manifestation of these effects may depend on local biotic or abiotic features of the landscape. PMID:25986560

  3. Does vegetation complexity affect host plant chemistry, and thus multitrophic interactions, in a human-altered landscape?

    PubMed

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2015-09-01

    Anthropogenic land use may shape vegetation composition and affect trophic interactions by altering concentrations of host plant metabolites. Here, we investigated the hypotheses that: (1) plant N and defensive secondary metabolite contents of the herb Plantago lanceolata are affected by land use intensity (LUI) and the surrounding vegetation composition (=plant species richness and P. lanceolata density), and that (2) changes in plant chemistry affect abundances of the herbivorous weevils Mecinus pascuorum and Mecinus labilis, as well as their larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus, in the field. We determined plant species richness, P. lanceolata density, and abundances of the herbivores and the parasitoid in 77 grassland plots differing in LUI index in three regions across Germany. We also measured the N and secondary metabolite [the iridoid glycosides (IGs) aucubin and catalpol] contents of P. lanceolata leaves. Mixed-model analysis revealed that: (1) concentrations of leaf IGs were positively correlated with plant species richness; leaf N content was positively correlated with the LUI index. Furthermore: (2) herbivore abundance was not related to IG concentrations, but correlated negatively with leaf N content. Parasitoid abundance correlated positively only with host abundance over the three regions. Structural equation models revealed a positive impact of IG concentrations on parasitoid abundance in one region. We conclude that changes in plant chemistry due to land use and/or vegetation composition may affect higher trophic levels and that the manifestation of these effects may depend on local biotic or abiotic features of the landscape.

  4. Does nitrate co-pollution affect biological responses of an aquatic plant to two common herbicides?

    PubMed

    Nuttens, A; Chatellier, S; Devin, S; Guignard, C; Lenouvel, A; Gross, E M

    2016-08-01

    Aquatic systems in agricultural landscapes are subjected to multiple stressors, among them pesticide and nitrate run-off, but effects of both together have rarely been studied. We investigated possible stress-specific and interaction effects using the new OECD test organism, Myriophyllum spicatum, a widespread aquatic plant. In a fully factorial design, we used two widely applied herbicides, isoproturon and mesosulfuron-methyl, in concentration-response curves at two nitrate levels (219.63 and 878.52mg N-NO3). We applied different endpoints reflecting plant performance such as growth, pigment content, content in phenolic compounds, and plant stoichiometry. Relative growth rates based on length (RGR-L) were affected strongly by both herbicides, while effects on relative growth rate based on dry weight (RGR-DW) were apparent for isoproturon but hardly visible for mesosulfuron-methyl due to an increase in dry matter content. The higher nitrate level further reduced growth rates, specifically with mesosulfuron-methyl. Effects were visible between 50 and 500μgL(-1) for isoproturon and 0.5-5μgL(-1) for mesosulfuron-methyl, with some differences between endpoints. The two herbicides had opposite effects on chlorophyll, carotenoid and nitrogen contents in plants, with values increasing with increasing concentrations of isoproturon and decreasing for mesosulfuron-methyl. Herbicides and nitrate level exhibited distinct effects on the content in phenolic compounds, with higher nitrate levels reducing total phenolic compounds in controls and with isoproturon, but not with mesosulfuron-methyl. Increasing concentrations of mesosulfuron-methyl lead to a decline of total phenolic compounds, while isoproturon had little effect. Contents of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus changed depending on the stressor combination. We observed higher phosphorus levels in plants exposed to certain concentrations of herbicides, potentially indicating a metabolic response. The C:N molar ratio

  5. Does nitrate co-pollution affect biological responses of an aquatic plant to two common herbicides?

    PubMed

    Nuttens, A; Chatellier, S; Devin, S; Guignard, C; Lenouvel, A; Gross, E M

    2016-08-01

    Aquatic systems in agricultural landscapes are subjected to multiple stressors, among them pesticide and nitrate run-off, but effects of both together have rarely been studied. We investigated possible stress-specific and interaction effects using the new OECD test organism, Myriophyllum spicatum, a widespread aquatic plant. In a fully factorial design, we used two widely applied herbicides, isoproturon and mesosulfuron-methyl, in concentration-response curves at two nitrate levels (219.63 and 878.52mg N-NO3). We applied different endpoints reflecting plant performance such as growth, pigment content, content in phenolic compounds, and plant stoichiometry. Relative growth rates based on length (RGR-L) were affected strongly by both herbicides, while effects on relative growth rate based on dry weight (RGR-DW) were apparent for isoproturon but hardly visible for mesosulfuron-methyl due to an increase in dry matter content. The higher nitrate level further reduced growth rates, specifically with mesosulfuron-methyl. Effects were visible between 50 and 500μgL(-1) for isoproturon and 0.5-5μgL(-1) for mesosulfuron-methyl, with some differences between endpoints. The two herbicides had opposite effects on chlorophyll, carotenoid and nitrogen contents in plants, with values increasing with increasing concentrations of isoproturon and decreasing for mesosulfuron-methyl. Herbicides and nitrate level exhibited distinct effects on the content in phenolic compounds, with higher nitrate levels reducing total phenolic compounds in controls and with isoproturon, but not with mesosulfuron-methyl. Increasing concentrations of mesosulfuron-methyl lead to a decline of total phenolic compounds, while isoproturon had little effect. Contents of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus changed depending on the stressor combination. We observed higher phosphorus levels in plants exposed to certain concentrations of herbicides, potentially indicating a metabolic response. The C:N molar ratio

  6. Ozone Differentially Affects Perception of Plant Volatiles in Western Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Dötterl, Stefan; Vater, Marina; Rupp, Thomas; Held, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    Floral scents play a key role in mediating plant-pollinator interactions. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by flowers are used by flower visitors as olfactory cues to locate flowers, both from a distance and at close range. More recently it has been demonstrated that reactive molecules such as ozone can modify or degrade VOCs, and this may impair the communication between plants and their pollinators. However, it is not known whether such reactive molecules also may affect the olfactory system of pollinators, and thus not only influence signal transmission but perception of the signal. In this study, we used electroantennographic measurements to determine the effect of increased levels of ozone on antennal responses in western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Linalool and 2-phenylethanol, both known to be involved in location of flowers by the bees, and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, a widespread green leaf volatile also detected by bees, were used. The results showed that ozone affected antennal responses to the different substances differently. Ozone decreased antennal responses to (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, whereas responses to linalool and 2-phenylethanol were not influenced by ozone. Overall, the study does not provide evidence that pollination by honey bees is impaired by damage in the olfactory system of the bees caused by increased levels of ozone, at least when linalool and 2-phenylethanol are the attractive signals. However, the results also suggest that ozone can change the overall perception of an odor blend. This might have negative effects in pollination systems and other organismic interactions mediated by specific ratios of compounds. PMID:27344162

  7. Spatial environmental heterogeneity affects plant growth and thermal performance on a green roof.

    PubMed

    Buckland-Nicks, Michael; Heim, Amy; Lundholm, Jeremy

    2016-05-15

    Green roofs provide ecosystem services, including stormwater retention and reductions in heat transfer through the roof. Microclimates, as well as designed features of green roofs, such as substrate and vegetation, affect the magnitude of these services. Many green roofs are partially shaded by surrounding buildings, but the effects of this within-roof spatial environmental heterogeneity on thermal performance and other ecosystem services have not been examined. We quantified the effects of spatial heterogeneity in solar radiation, substrate depth and other variables affected by these drivers on vegetation and ecosystem services in an extensive green roof. Spatial heterogeneity in substrate depth and insolation were correlated with differential growth, survival and flowering in two focal plant species. These effects were likely driven by the resulting spatial heterogeneity in substrate temperature and moisture content. Thermal performance (indicated by heat flux and substrate temperature) was influenced by spatial heterogeneity in vegetation cover and substrate depth. Areas with less insolation were cooler in summer and had greater substrate moisture, leading to more favorable conditions for plant growth and survival. Spatial variation in substrate moisture (7%-26% volumetric moisture content) and temperature (21°C-36°C) during hot sunny conditions in summer could cause large differences in stormwater retention and heat flux within a single green roof. Shaded areas promote smaller heat fluxes through the roof, leading to energy savings, but lower evapotranspiration in these areas should reduce stormwater retention capacity. Spatial heterogeneity can thus result in trade-offs between different ecosystem services. The effects of these spatial heterogeneities are likely widespread in green roofs. Structures that provide shelter from sun and wind may be productively utilized to design higher functioning green roofs and increase biodiversity by providing habitat

  8. Spatial environmental heterogeneity affects plant growth and thermal performance on a green roof.

    PubMed

    Buckland-Nicks, Michael; Heim, Amy; Lundholm, Jeremy

    2016-05-15

    Green roofs provide ecosystem services, including stormwater retention and reductions in heat transfer through the roof. Microclimates, as well as designed features of green roofs, such as substrate and vegetation, affect the magnitude of these services. Many green roofs are partially shaded by surrounding buildings, but the effects of this within-roof spatial environmental heterogeneity on thermal performance and other ecosystem services have not been examined. We quantified the effects of spatial heterogeneity in solar radiation, substrate depth and other variables affected by these drivers on vegetation and ecosystem services in an extensive green roof. Spatial heterogeneity in substrate depth and insolation were correlated with differential growth, survival and flowering in two focal plant species. These effects were likely driven by the resulting spatial heterogeneity in substrate temperature and moisture content. Thermal performance (indicated by heat flux and substrate temperature) was influenced by spatial heterogeneity in vegetation cover and substrate depth. Areas with less insolation were cooler in summer and had greater substrate moisture, leading to more favorable conditions for plant growth and survival. Spatial variation in substrate moisture (7%-26% volumetric moisture content) and temperature (21°C-36°C) during hot sunny conditions in summer could cause large differences in stormwater retention and heat flux within a single green roof. Shaded areas promote smaller heat fluxes through the roof, leading to energy savings, but lower evapotranspiration in these areas should reduce stormwater retention capacity. Spatial heterogeneity can thus result in trade-offs between different ecosystem services. The effects of these spatial heterogeneities are likely widespread in green roofs. Structures that provide shelter from sun and wind may be productively utilized to design higher functioning green roofs and increase biodiversity by providing habitat

  9. Decreased summer drought affects plant productivity and soil carbon dynamics in a Mediterranean woodland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotrufo, M. F.; Alberti, G.; Inglima, I.; Marjanović, H.; Lecain, D.; Zaldei, A.; Peressotti, A.; Miglietta, F.

    2011-09-01

    Precipitation patterns are expected to change in the Mediterranean region within the next decades, with projected decreases in total rainfall and increases in extreme events. We manipulated precipitation patterns in a Mediterranean woodland, dominated by Arbutus unedo L., to study the effects of changing precipitation regimes on above-ground net primary production (ANPP) and soil C dynamics, specifically plant-derived C input to soil and soil respiration (SR). Experimental plots were exposed to either a 20 % reduction of throughfall or to water addition targeted at maintaining soil water content above a minimum of 10 % v/v. Treatments were compared to control plots which received ambient precipitation. Enhanced soil moisture during summer months highly stimulated annual stem primary production, litter fall, SR and net annual plant-derived C input to soil which on average increased by 130 %, 26 %, 58 % and 220 %, respectively, as compared to the control. In contrast, the 20 % reduction in throughfall (equivalent to 10 % reduction in precipitation) did not significantly change soil moisture at the site, and therefore did not significantly affect ANPP or SR. We conclude that minor changes (around 10 % reduction) in precipitation amount are not likely to significantly affect ANPP or soil C dynamics in Mediterranean woodlands. However, if summer rain increases, C cycling will significantly accelerate but soil C stocks are not likely to be changed in the short-term. More studies involving modelling of long-term C dynamics are needed to predict if the estimated increases in soil C input under wet conditions is going to be sustained and if labile C is being substituted to stable C, with a negative effect on long-term soil C stocks.

  10. Decreased summer drought affects plant productivity and soil carbon dynamics in Mediterranean woodland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotrufo, M. F.; Alberti, G.; Inglima, I.; Marjanović, H.; Lecain, D.; Zaldei, A.; Peressotti, A.; Miglietta, F.

    2011-06-01

    Precipitation patterns are expected to change in the Mediterranean region within the next decades, with projected decreases in total rainfall and increases in extreme events. We manipulated precipitation patterns in a Mediterranean woodland, dominated by Arbutus unedo L., to study the effects of changing precipitation regimes on above-ground net primary production (ANPP) and soil C dynamics, specifically plant-derived C input to soil and soil respiration (SR). Experimental plots were exposed to either a 20 % reduction of throughfall or to water addition targeted at maintaining soil water content above a minimum of 10 % v/v. Treatments were compared to control plots which received ambient precipitation. The throughfall manipulation experiment started in 2004 and we report data up to the 2009 growing season. Enhanced soil moisture during summer months highly stimulated annual stem primary production, litter fall, SR and net annual plant-derived C input to soil which on average increased by 130 %, 26 %, 50 % and 220 %, respectively, as compared to control. In contrast, the 20 % reduction in throughfall (equivalent to 10 % reduction of precipitation) did not significantly change soil moisture at the site, and therefore did not significantly affect ANPP or SR. We conclude that minor changes (around 10 % reduction) in precipitation amount are not likely to significantly affect ANPP or soil C dynamics in Mediterranean woodland. However, if summer rain increases, C cycling will significantly accelerate but soil C stocks are not likely to be changed in the short-term. More studies involving modelling of long term C dynamics are needed to predict if the estimated increases in soil C input under wet conditions is going to be sustained and if labile C is being substituted to stable C, with a negative effect on long term soil C stocks.

  11. Glycogen catabolism, but not its biosynthesis, affects virulence of Fusarium oxysporum on the plant host.

    PubMed

    Corral-Ramos, Cristina; Roncero, M Isabel G

    2015-04-01

    The role of glycogen metabolism was investigated in the fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum. Targeted inactivation was performed of genes responsible for glycogen biosynthesis: gnn1 encoding glycogenin, gls1 encoding glycogen synthase, and gbe1 encoding glycogen branching enzyme. Moreover genes involved in glycogen catabolism were deleted: gph1 encoding glycogen phosphorylase and gdb1 encoding glycogen de-branching enzyme. Glycogen reserves increased steadily during growth of the wild type strain in axenic cultures, to reach up to 1500μg glucose equivalents mg(-1) protein after 14 days. Glycogen accumulation was abolished in mutants lacking biosynthesis genes, whereas it increased by 20-40% or 80%, respectively, in the single and double mutants affected in catabolic genes. Transcript levels of glycogen metabolism genes during tomato plant infection peaked at four days post inoculation, similar to the results observed during axenic culture. Significant differences were observed between gdb mutants and the wild type strain for vegetative hyphal fusion ability. The single mutants defective in glycogen metabolism showed similar levels of virulence in the invertebrate animal model Galleria mellonella. Interestingly, the deletion of gdb1 reduced virulence on the plant host up to 40% compared to the wild type in single and in double mutant backgrounds, whereas the other mutants showed the virulence at the wild-type level.

  12. Security during the Construction of New Nuclear Power Plants: Technical Basis for Access Authorization and Fitness-For-Duty Requirements

    SciTech Connect

    Branch, Kristi M.; Baker, Kathryn A.

    2009-09-01

    A technical letter report to the NRC summarizing the findings of a benchmarking study, literature review, and workshop with experts on current industry standards and expert judgments about needs for security during the construction phase of critical infrastructure facilities in the post-September 11 U.S. context, with a special focus on the construction phase of nuclear power plants and personnel security measures.

  13. Parental age affects somatic mutation rates in the progeny of flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Singh, Amit Kumar; Bashir, Tufail; Sailer, Christian; Gurumoorthy, Viswanathan; Ramakrishnan, Anantha Maharasi; Dhanapal, Shanmuhapreya; Grossniklaus, Ueli; Baskar, Ramamurthy

    2015-05-01

    In humans, it is well known that the parental reproductive age has a strong influence on mutations transmitted to their progeny. Meiotic nondisjunction is known to increase in older mothers, and base substitutions tend to go up with paternal reproductive age. Hence, it is clear that the germinal mutation rates are a function of both maternal and paternal ages in humans. In contrast, it is unknown whether the parental reproductive age has an effect on somatic mutation rates in the progeny, because these are rare and difficult to detect. To address this question, we took advantage of the plant model system Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), where mutation detector lines allow for an easy quantitation of somatic mutations, to test the effect of parental age on somatic mutation rates in the progeny. Although we found no significant effect of parental age on base substitutions, we found that frameshift mutations and transposition events increased in the progeny of older parents, an effect that is stronger through the maternal line. In contrast, intrachromosomal recombination events in the progeny decrease with the age of the parents in a parent-of-origin-dependent manner. Our results clearly show that parental reproductive age affects somatic mutation rates in the progeny and, thus, that some form of age-dependent information, which affects the frequency of double-strand breaks and possibly other processes involved in maintaining genome integrity, is transmitted through the gametes. PMID:25810093

  14. Plant maturity and nitrogen fertilization affected fructan metabolism in harvestable tissues of timothy (Phleum pratense L.).

    PubMed

    Ould-Ahmed, Marouf; Decau, Marie-Laure; Morvan-Bertrand, Annette; Prud'homme, Marie-Pascale; Lafrenière, Carole; Drouin, Pascal

    2014-10-15

    Timothy (Phleum pratense L.) is an important grass forage used for pasture, hay, and silage in regions with cool and humid growth seasons. One of the factors affecting the nutritive value of this grass is the concentration of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), mainly represented by fructans. NSC concentration depends on multiple factors, making it hardly predictable. To provide a better understanding of NSC metabolism in timothy, the effects of maturity stage and nitrogen (N) fertilization level on biomass, NSC and N-compound concentrations were investigated in the tissues used for forage (leaf blades and stems surrounded by leaf sheaths) of hydroponically grown plants. Moreover, activities and relative expression level of enzymes involved in fructan metabolism were measured in the same tissues. Forage biomass was not altered by the fertilization level but was strongly modified by the stage of development. It increased from vegetative to heading stages while leaf-to-stem biomass ratio decreased. Total NSC concentration, which was not altered by N fertilization level, increased between heading and anthesis due to an accumulation of fructans in leaf blades. Fructan metabolizing enzyme activities (fructosyltransferase-FT and fructan exohydrolase-FEH) were not or only slightly altered by both maturity stage and N fertilization level. Conversely, the relative transcript levels of genes coding for enzymes involved in fructan metabolism were modified by N supply (PpFT1 and Pp6-FEH1) or maturity stage (PpFT2). The relative transcript level of PpFT1 was the highest in low N plants while that of Pp6-FEH1 was the highest in high N plants. Morevoer, transcript level of PpFT1 was negatively correlated with nitrate concentration while that of PpFT2 was positively correlated with sucrose concentration. This distinct regulation of the two genes coding for 6-sucrose:fructan fructosyltransferase (6-SFT) may allow a fine adequation of C allocation towards fructan synthesis in

  15. Alkaloid Quantities in Endophyte-Infected Tall Fescue are Affected by the Plant-Fungus Combination and Environment.

    PubMed

    Helander, M; Phillips, T; Faeth, S H; Bush, L P; McCulley, R; Saloniemi, I; Saikkonen, K

    2016-02-01

    Many grass species are symbiotic with systemic, vertically-transmitted, asymptomatic Epichloë endophytic fungi. These fungi often produce alkaloids that defend the host against herbivores. We studied how environmental variables affect alkaloids in endophyte-infected tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix) from three Northern European wild origins and the widely planted US cultivar 'Kentucky-31' (KY31). The plants were grown in identical common garden experiments in Finland and Kentucky for two growing seasons. Plants were left as controls (C) or given water (W), nutrient (N) or water and nutrient (WN) treatments. For 8-10 replications of each plant origin and treatment combination in both experiments, we analyzed ergot alkaloids, lysergic acid, and lolines. In Finland, tall fescue plants produced 50 % more ergot alkaloids compared to plants of the same origin and treatments in Kentucky. Origin of the plants affected the ergot alkaloid concentration at both study sites: the wild origin plants produced 2-4 times more ergot alkaloids than KY31, but the ergot alkaloid concentration of KY31 plants was the same at both locations. Overall lysergic acid content was 60 % higher in plants grown in Kentucky than in those grown in Finland. Nutrient treatments (N, WN) significantly increased ergot alkaloid concentrations in plants from Finland but not in plants from Kentucky. These results suggest that the success of KY31 in US is not due to selection for high ergot alkaloid production but rather other traits associated with the endophyte. In addition, the environmental effects causing variation in alkaloid production of grass-endophyte combinations should be taken into account when using endophyte-infected grasses agriculturally. PMID:26815170

  16. Rhizosphere Microbial Community Composition Affects Cadmium and Zinc Uptake by the Metal-Hyperaccumulating Plant Arabidopsis halleri

    PubMed Central

    Muehe, E. Marie; Weigold, Pascal; Adaktylou, Irini J.; Planer-Friedrich, Britta; Kraemer, Ute; Kappler, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    The remediation of metal-contaminated soils by phytoextraction depends on plant growth and plant metal accessibility. Soil microorganisms can affect the accumulation of metals by plants either by directly or indirectly stimulating plant growth and activity or by (im)mobilizing and/or complexing metals. Understanding the intricate interplay of metal-accumulating plants with their rhizosphere microbiome is an important step toward the application and optimization of phytoremediation. We compared the effects of a “native” and a strongly disturbed (gamma-irradiated) soil microbial communities on cadmium and zinc accumulation by the plant Arabidopsis halleri in soil microcosm experiments. A. halleri accumulated 100% more cadmium and 15% more zinc when grown on the untreated than on the gamma-irradiated soil. Gamma irradiation affected neither plant growth nor the 1 M HCl-extractable metal content of the soil. However, it strongly altered the soil microbial community composition and overall cell numbers. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons of DNA extracted from rhizosphere samples of A. halleri identified microbial taxa (Lysobacter, Streptomyces, Agromyces, Nitrospira, “Candidatus Chloracidobacterium”) of higher relative sequence abundance in the rhizospheres of A. halleri plants grown on untreated than on gamma-irradiated soil, leading to hypotheses on their potential effect on plant metal uptake. However, further experimental evidence is required, and wherefore we discuss different mechanisms of interaction of A. halleri with its rhizosphere microbiome that might have directly or indirectly affected plant metal accumulation. Deciphering the complex interactions between A. halleri and individual microbial taxa will help to further develop soil metal phytoextraction as an efficient and sustainable remediation strategy. PMID:25595759

  17. Salt tolerant plants increase nitrogen removal from biofiltration systems affected by saline stormwater.

    PubMed

    Szota, Christopher; Farrell, Claire; Livesley, Stephen J; Fletcher, Tim D

    2015-10-15

    Biofiltration systems are used in urban areas to reduce the concentration and load of nutrient pollutants and heavy metals entering waterways through stormwater runoff. Biofilters can, however be exposed to salt water, through intrusion of seawater in coastal areas which could decrease their ability to intercept and retain pollutants. We measured the effect of adding saline stormwater on pollutant removal by six monocotyledonous species with different levels of salt-tolerance. Carex appressa, Carex bichenoviana, Ficinia nodosa, Gahnia filum, Juncus kraussii and Juncus usitatus were exposed to six concentrations of saline stormwater, equivalent to electrical conductivity readings of: 0.09, 2.3, 5.5, 10.4, 20.0 and 37.6 mS cm(-1). Salt-sensitive species: C. appressa, C. bichenoviana and J. usitatus did not survive ≥10.4 mS cm(-1), removing their ability to take up nitrogen (N). Salt-tolerant species, such as F. nodosa and J. kraussii, maintained N-removal even at the highest salt concentration. However, their levels of water stress and stomatal conductance suggest that N-removal would not be sustained at concentrations ≥10.4 mS cm(-1). Increasing salt concentration indirectly increased phosphorus (P) removal, by converting dissolved forms of P to particulate forms which were retained by filter media. Salt concentrations ≥10 mS cm(-1) also reduced removal efficiency of zinc, manganese and cadmium, but increased removal of iron and lead, regardless of plant species. Our results suggest that biofiltration systems exposed to saline stormwater ≤10 mS cm(-1) can only maintain N-removal when planted with salt-tolerant species, while P removal and immobilisation of heavy metals is less affected by species selection.

  18. Polycomb Protein OsFIE2 Affects Plant Height and Grain Yield in Rice

    PubMed Central

    Sheng, Zhonghua; Jiao, Guiai; Tang, Shaoqing; Luo, Ju; Hu, Peisong

    2016-01-01

    Polycomb group (PcG) proteins have been shown to affect growth and development in plants. To further elucidate their role in these processes in rice, we isolated and characterized a rice mutant which exhibits dwarfism, reduced seed setting rate, defective floral organ, and small grains. Map-based cloning revealed that abnormal phenotypes were attributed to a mutation of the Fertilization Independent Endosperm 2 (OsFIE2) protein, which belongs to the PcG protein family. So we named the mutant as osfie2-1. Histological analysis revealed that the number of longitudinal cells in the internodes decreased in osfie2-1, and that lateral cell layer of the internodes was markedly thinner than wild-type. In addition, compared to wild-type, the number of large and small vascular bundles decreased in osfie2-1, as well as cell number and cell size in spikelet hulls. OsFIE2 is expressed in most tissues and the coded protein localizes in both nucleus and cytoplasm. Yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays demonstrated that OsFIE2 interacts with OsiEZ1 which encodes an enhancer of zeste protein previously identified as a histone methylation enzyme. RNA sequencing-based transcriptome profiling and qRT-PCR analysis revealed that some homeotic genes and genes involved in endosperm starch synthesis, cell division/expansion and hormone synthesis and signaling are differentially expressed between osfie2-1 and wild-type. In addition, the contents of IAA, GA3, ABA, JA and SA in osfie2-1 are significantly different from those in wild-type. Taken together, these results indicate that OsFIE2 plays an important role in the regulation of plant height and grain yield in rice. PMID:27764161

  19. Above- and belowground linkages in Sphagnum peatland: climate warming affects plant-microbial interactions.

    PubMed

    Jassey, Vincent E J; Chiapusio, Geneviève; Binet, Philippe; Buttler, Alexandre; Laggoun-Défarge, Fatima; Delarue, Frédéric; Bernard, Nadine; Mitchell, Edward A D; Toussaint, Marie-Laure; Francez, André-Jean; Gilbert, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    Peatlands contain approximately one third of all soil organic carbon (SOC). Warming can alter above- and belowground linkages that regulate soil organic carbon dynamics and C-balance in peatlands. Here we examine the multiyear impact of in situ experimental warming on the microbial food web, vegetation, and their feedbacks with soil chemistry. We provide evidence of both positive and negative impacts of warming on specific microbial functional groups, leading to destabilization of the microbial food web. We observed a strong reduction (70%) in the biomass of top-predators (testate amoebae) in warmed plots. Such a loss caused a shortening of microbial food chains, which in turn stimulated microbial activity, leading to slight increases in levels of nutrients and labile C in water. We further show that warming altered the regulatory role of Sphagnum-polyphenols on microbial community structure with a potential inhibition of top predators. In addition, warming caused a decrease in Sphagnum cover and an increase in vascular plant cover. Using structural equation modelling, we show that changes in the microbial food web affected the relationships between plants, soil water chemistry, and microbial communities. These results suggest that warming will destabilize C and nutrient recycling of peatlands via changes in above- and belowground linkages, and therefore, the microbial food web associated with mosses will feedback positively to global warming by destabilizing the carbon cycle. This study confirms that microbial food webs thus constitute a key element in the functioning of peatland ecosystems. Their study can help understand how mosses, as ecosystem engineers, tightly regulate biogeochemical cycling and climate feedback in peatlands.

  20. Salt tolerant plants increase nitrogen removal from biofiltration systems affected by saline stormwater.

    PubMed

    Szota, Christopher; Farrell, Claire; Livesley, Stephen J; Fletcher, Tim D

    2015-10-15

    Biofiltration systems are used in urban areas to reduce the concentration and load of nutrient pollutants and heavy metals entering waterways through stormwater runoff. Biofilters can, however be exposed to salt water, through intrusion of seawater in coastal areas which could decrease their ability to intercept and retain pollutants. We measured the effect of adding saline stormwater on pollutant removal by six monocotyledonous species with different levels of salt-tolerance. Carex appressa, Carex bichenoviana, Ficinia nodosa, Gahnia filum, Juncus kraussii and Juncus usitatus were exposed to six concentrations of saline stormwater, equivalent to electrical conductivity readings of: 0.09, 2.3, 5.5, 10.4, 20.0 and 37.6 mS cm(-1). Salt-sensitive species: C. appressa, C. bichenoviana and J. usitatus did not survive ≥10.4 mS cm(-1), removing their ability to take up nitrogen (N). Salt-tolerant species, such as F. nodosa and J. kraussii, maintained N-removal even at the highest salt concentration. However, their levels of water stress and stomatal conductance suggest that N-removal would not be sustained at concentrations ≥10.4 mS cm(-1). Increasing salt concentration indirectly increased phosphorus (P) removal, by converting dissolved forms of P to particulate forms which were retained by filter media. Salt concentrations ≥10 mS cm(-1) also reduced removal efficiency of zinc, manganese and cadmium, but increased removal of iron and lead, regardless of plant species. Our results suggest that biofiltration systems exposed to saline stormwater ≤10 mS cm(-1) can only maintain N-removal when planted with salt-tolerant species, while P removal and immobilisation of heavy metals is less affected by species selection. PMID:26150068

  1. Allelic differences in a vacuolar invertase affect Arabidopsis growth at early plant development.

    PubMed

    Leskow, Carla Coluccio; Kamenetzky, Laura; Dominguez, Pia Guadalupe; Díaz Zirpolo, José Antonio; Obata, Toshihiro; Costa, Hernán; Martí, Marcelo; Taboga, Oscar; Keurentjes, Joost; Sulpice, Ronan; Ishihara, Hirofumi; Stitt, Mark; Fernie, Alisdair Robert; Carrari, Fernando

    2016-07-01

    Improving carbon fixation in order to enhance crop yield is a major goal in plant sciences. By quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, it has been demonstrated that a vacuolar invertase (vac-Inv) plays a key role in determining the radical length in Arabidopsis. In this model, variation in vac-Inv activity was detected in a near isogenic line (NIL) population derived from a cross between two divergent accessions: Landsberg erecta (Ler) and Cape Verde Island (CVI), with the CVI allele conferring both higher Inv activity and longer radicles. The aim of the current work is to understand the mechanism(s) underlying this QTL by analyzing structural and functional differences of vac-Inv from both accessions. Relative transcript abundance analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) showed similar expression patterns in both accessions; however, DNA sequence analyses revealed several polymorphisms that lead to changes in the corresponding protein sequence. Moreover, activity assays revealed higher vac-Inv activity in genotypes carrying the CVI allele than in those carrying the Ler allele. Analyses of purified recombinant proteins showed a similar K m for both alleles and a slightly higher V max for that of Ler. Treatment of plant extracts with foaming to release possible interacting Inv inhibitory protein(s) led to a large increase in activity for the Ler allele, but no changes for genotypes carrying the CVI allele. qRT-PCR analyses of two vac-Inv inhibitors in seedlings from parental and NIL genotypes revealed different expression patterns. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the vac-Inv QTL affects root biomass accumulation and also carbon partitioning through a differential regulation of vac-Inv inhibitors at the mRNA level. PMID:27194734

  2. Can plant phloem properties affect the link between ecosystem assimilation and respiration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mencuccini, M.; Hölttä, T.; Sevanto, S.; Nikinmaa, E.

    2012-04-01

    Phloem transport of carbohydrates in plants under field conditions is currently not well understood. This is largely the result of the lack of techniques suitable for measuring phloem physiological properties continuously under field conditions. This lack of knowledge is currently hampering our efforts to link ecosystem-level processes of carbon fixation, allocation and use, especially belowground. On theoretical grounds, the properties of the transport pathway from canopy to roots must be important in affecting the link between carbon assimilation and respiration, but it is unclear whether their effect is partially or entirely masked by processes occurring in other parts of the ecosystem. One can also predict the characteristic time scales over which these effects should occur and, as consequence, predict whether the transfer of turgor and osmotic signals from the site of carbon assimilation to the sites of carbon use are likely to control respiration. We will present two sources of evidence suggesting that the properties of the phloem transport system may affect processes that are dependent on the supply of carbon substrate, such as root or soil respiration. Firstly, we will summarize the results of a literature survey on soil and ecosystem respiration where the speed of transfer of photosynthetic sugars from the plant canopy to the soil surface was determined. Estimates of the transfer speed could be grouped according to whether the study employed isotopic or canopy soil flux-based techniques. These two groups provided very different estimates of transfer times likely because transport of sucrose molecules, and pressure-concentration waves, in phloem differed. Secondly, we will argue that simultaneous measurements of bark and xylem diameters provide a novel tool to determine the continuous variations of phloem turgor in vivo in the field. We will present a model that interprets these changes in xylem and live bark diameters and present data testing the model

  3. Aphids Pick Their Poison: Selective Sequestration of Plant Chemicals Affects Host Plant Use in a Specialist Herbivore.

    PubMed

    Goodey, Nicole A; Florance, Hannah V; Smirnoff, Nicholas; Hodgson, Dave J

    2015-10-01

    In some plant-insect interactions, specialist herbivores exploit the chemical defenses of their food plant to their own advantage. Brassica plants produce glucosinolates that are broken down into defensive toxins when tissue is damaged, but the specialist aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae, uses these chemicals against its own natural enemies by becoming a "walking mustard-oil bomb". Analysis of glucosinolate concentrations in plant tissue and associated aphid colonies reveals that not only do aphids sequester glucosinolates, but they do so selectively. Aphids specifically accumulate sinigrin to high concentrations while preferentially excreting a structurally similar glucosinolate, progoitrin. Surveys of aphid infestation in wild populations of Brassica oleracea show that this pattern of sequestration and excretion maps onto host plant use. The probability of aphid infestation decreases with increasing concentrations of progoitrin in plants. Brassica brassicae, therefore, appear to select among food plants according to plant secondary metabolite profiles, and selectively store only some compounds that are used against their own enemies. The results demonstrate chemical and behavioral mechanisms that help to explain evidence of geographic patterns and evolutionary dynamics in Brassica-aphid interactions. PMID:26411571

  4. Aphids Pick Their Poison: Selective Sequestration of Plant Chemicals Affects Host Plant Use in a Specialist Herbivore.

    PubMed

    Goodey, Nicole A; Florance, Hannah V; Smirnoff, Nicholas; Hodgson, Dave J

    2015-10-01

    In some plant-insect interactions, specialist herbivores exploit the chemical defenses of their food plant to their own advantage. Brassica plants produce glucosinolates that are broken down into defensive toxins when tissue is damaged, but the specialist aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae, uses these chemicals against its own natural enemies by becoming a "walking mustard-oil bomb". Analysis of glucosinolate concentrations in plant tissue and associated aphid colonies reveals that not only do aphids sequester glucosinolates, but they do so selectively. Aphids specifically accumulate sinigrin to high concentrations while preferentially excreting a structurally similar glucosinolate, progoitrin. Surveys of aphid infestation in wild populations of Brassica oleracea show that this pattern of sequestration and excretion maps onto host plant use. The probability of aphid infestation decreases with increasing concentrations of progoitrin in plants. Brassica brassicae, therefore, appear to select among food plants according to plant secondary metabolite profiles, and selectively store only some compounds that are used against their own enemies. The results demonstrate chemical and behavioral mechanisms that help to explain evidence of geographic patterns and evolutionary dynamics in Brassica-aphid interactions.

  5. Species-abundance--seed-size patterns within a plant community affected by grazing disturbance.

    PubMed

    Wu, Gao-lin; Shang, Zhan-huan; Zhu, Yuan-jun; Ding, Lu-ming; Wang, Dong

    2015-04-01

    Seed size has been advanced as a key factor that influences the dynamics of plant communities, but there are few empirical or theoretical predictions of how community dynamics progress based on seed size patterns. Information on the abundance of adults, seedlings, soil seed banks, seed rains, and the seed mass of 96 species was collected in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (China), which had different levels of grazing disturbance. The relationships between seed-mass-abundance patterns for adults, seedlings, the soil seed bank, and seed rain in the plant community were evaluated using regression models. Results showed that grazing levels affected the relationship between seed size and abundance properties of adult species, seedlings, and the soil seed bank, suggesting that there is a shift in seed-size--species-abundance relationships as a response to the grazing gradient. Grazing had no effect on the pattern of seed-size-seed-rain-abundance at four grazing levels. Grazing also had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--species-abundance and pattern of seed-size--soil-seed-bank-abundance in meadows with no grazing, light grazing, and moderate grazing), but there was a significant negative effect in meadows with heavy grazing. Grazing had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--seedling-abundance with no grazing, but had significant negative effects with light, moderate, and heavy grazing, and the |r| values increased with grazing levels. This indicated that increasing grazing pressure enhanced the advantage of smaller-seeded species in terms of the abundances of adult species, seedlings, and soil seed banks, whereas only the light grazing level promoted the seed rain abundance of larger-seeded species in the plant communities. This study suggests that grazing disturbances are favorable for increasing the species abundance for smaller-seeded species but not for the larger-seeded species in an alpine meadow community. Hence, there is a clear

  6. Genes of the most conserved WOX clade in plants affect root and flower development in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background The Wuschel related homeobox (WOX) family proteins are key regulators implicated in the determination of cell fate in plants by preventing cell differentiation. A recent WOX phylogeny, based on WOX homeodomains, showed that all of the Physcomitrella patens and Selaginella moellendorffii WOX proteins clustered into a single orthologous group. We hypothesized that members of this group might preferentially share a significant part of their function in phylogenetically distant organisms. Hence, we first validated the limits of the WOX13 orthologous group (WOX13 OG) using the occurrence of other clade specific signatures and conserved intron insertion sites. Secondly, a functional analysis using expression data and mutants was undertaken. Results The WOX13 OG contained the most conserved plant WOX proteins including the only WOX detected in the highly proliferating basal unicellular and photosynthetic organism Ostreococcus tauri. A large expansion of the WOX family was observed after the separation of mosses from other land plants and before monocots and dicots have arisen. In Arabidopsis thaliana, AtWOX13 was dynamically expressed during primary and lateral root initiation and development, in gynoecium and during embryo development. AtWOX13 appeared to affect the floral transition. An intriguing clade, represented by the functional AtWOX14 gene inside the WOX13 OG, was only found in the Brassicaceae. Compared to AtWOX13, the gene expression profile of AtWOX14 was restricted to the early stages of lateral root formation and specific to developing anthers. A mutational insertion upstream of the AtWOX14 homeodomain sequence led to abnormal root development, a delay in the floral transition and premature anther differentiation. Conclusion Our data provide evidence in favor of the WOX13 OG as the clade containing the most conserved WOX genes and established a functional link to organ initiation and development in Arabidopsis, most likely by preventing premature

  7. Modelling the Factors that Affect Individuals' Utilisation of Online Learning Systems: An Empirical Study Combining the Task Technology Fit Model with the Theory of Planned Behaviour

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yu, Tai-Kuei; Yu, Tai-Yi

    2010-01-01

    Understanding learners' behaviour, perceptions and influence in terms of learner performance is crucial to predict the use of electronic learning systems. By integrating the task-technology fit (TTF) model and the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), this paper investigates the online learning utilisation of Taiwanese students. This paper provides a…

  8. Spatial gradient in nitrogen deposition affects plant species frequency in acidic grasslands.

    PubMed

    Pannek, A; Duprè, C; Gowing, D J G; Stevens, C J; Diekmann, M

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic eutrophication impacts ecosystems worldwide. Here, we use a vegetation dataset from semi-natural grasslands on acidic soils sampled along a gradient in north-western Europe to examine the response of species frequency to nitrogen (N) deposition, controlling for the effects of other environmental variables. A second dataset of acidic grasslands from Germany and the Netherlands containing plots from different time periods was analysed to examine whether the results of the spatial gradient approach coincided with temporal changes in the abundance of species. Out of 44 studied species, 16 were affected by N deposition, 12 of them negatively. Soil pH and phosphorus (P) influenced 24 and 14 species, respectively, predominantly positively. Fewer species were related to the soil contents of NO3(-) or NH4(+), with no significant differences between the number of positive and negative effects. Whereas the temporal change of species was unrelated to their responses to pH, species responding negatively to N deposition, soil P and NO3(-) showed a significant decline over time in both countries. Species that were negatively affected by high N deposition and/or high soil P also showed a negative temporal trend and could be characterised by short stature and slow growth. The results confirm the negative role of N deposition for many plant species in semi-natural acidic grasslands. The negative temporal trends of species sensitive to high N deposition and soil P values clearly show a need for maintaining low soil nutrient status and for restoring the formerly infertile conditions in nutrient-enriched grasslands. PMID:25407619

  9. Severe dry winter affects plant phenology and carbon balance of a cork oak woodland understorey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correia, A. C.; Costa-e-Silva, F.; Dubbert, M.; Piayda, A.; Pereira, J. S.

    2016-10-01

    Mediterranean climates are prone to a great variation in yearly precipitation. The effects on ecosystem will depend on the severity and timing of droughts. In this study we questioned how an extreme dry winter affects the carbon flux in the understorey of a cork oak woodland? What is the seasonal contribution of understorey vegetation to ecosystem productivity? We used closed-system portable chambers to measure CO2 exchange of the dominant shrub species (Cistus salviifolius, Cistus crispus and Ulex airensis), of the herbaceous layer and on bare soil in a cork oak woodland in central Portugal during the dry winter year of 2012. Shoot growth, leaf shedding, flower and fruit setting, above and belowground plant biomass were measured as well as seasonal leaf water potential. Eddy-covariance and micrometeorological data together with CO2 exchange measurements were used to access the understorey species contribution to ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP). The herbaceous layer productivity was severely affected by the dry winter, with half of the yearly maximum aboveground biomass in comparison with the 6 years site average. The semi-deciduous and evergreen shrubs showed desynchronized phenophases and lagged carbon uptake maxima. Whereas shallow-root shrubs exhibited opportunistic characteristics in exploiting the understorey light and water resources, deep rooted shrubs showed better water status but considerably lower assimilation rates. The contribution of understorey vegetation to ecosystem GPP was lower during summer with 14% and maximum during late spring, concomitantly with the lowest tree productivity due to tree canopy renewal. The herbaceous vegetation contribution to ecosystem GPP never exceeded 6% during this dry year stressing its sensitivity to winter and spring precipitation. Although shrubs are more resilient to precipitation variability when compared with the herbaceous vegetation, the contribution of the understorey vegetation to ecosystem GPP can

  10. Spatial gradient in nitrogen deposition affects plant species frequency in acidic grasslands.

    PubMed

    Pannek, A; Duprè, C; Gowing, D J G; Stevens, C J; Diekmann, M

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic eutrophication impacts ecosystems worldwide. Here, we use a vegetation dataset from semi-natural grasslands on acidic soils sampled along a gradient in north-western Europe to examine the response of species frequency to nitrogen (N) deposition, controlling for the effects of other environmental variables. A second dataset of acidic grasslands from Germany and the Netherlands containing plots from different time periods was analysed to examine whether the results of the spatial gradient approach coincided with temporal changes in the abundance of species. Out of 44 studied species, 16 were affected by N deposition, 12 of them negatively. Soil pH and phosphorus (P) influenced 24 and 14 species, respectively, predominantly positively. Fewer species were related to the soil contents of NO3(-) or NH4(+), with no significant differences between the number of positive and negative effects. Whereas the temporal change of species was unrelated to their responses to pH, species responding negatively to N deposition, soil P and NO3(-) showed a significant decline over time in both countries. Species that were negatively affected by high N deposition and/or high soil P also showed a negative temporal trend and could be characterised by short stature and slow growth. The results confirm the negative role of N deposition for many plant species in semi-natural acidic grasslands. The negative temporal trends of species sensitive to high N deposition and soil P values clearly show a need for maintaining low soil nutrient status and for restoring the formerly infertile conditions in nutrient-enriched grasslands.

  11. Do different substitution patterns or plant origin in hydroxyethyl starches affect blood coagulation in vitro?

    PubMed

    Matsota, Paraskevi; Politou, Marianna; Kalimeris, Konstantinos; Apostolaki, Stella; Merkouri, Efrosyni; Gialeraki, Argyri; Travlou, Anthi; Kostopanagiotou, Georgia

    2010-07-01

    The effect of hydroxyethyl starches (HES) on blood coagulation is affected by their molecular weight, their molar substitution and the C2/C6 ratio. The solutions of 6% HES 130/0.4 and 6% HES 130/0.42 have similar molecular weight and molar substitution but different C2/C6 ratio and plant origin. In the present study, the comparative effect of 6% HES 130/0.4 versus 6% HES 130/0.42 on blood coagulation was investigated in vitro. Thirty milliliter of blood was obtained from 10 healthy volunteers and was diluted by 10, 30 and 50% using either 6% HES 130/0.4 or HES 130/0.42, respectively. Blood coagulation was assessed using thrombelastography measurements (clotting time, clot formation time, maximal clot firmness and alpha-angle). The assessment of platelet function was performed with whole blood aggregometry after adding thrombin-receptor-activating protein. No differences were noted between respective dilutions of the two HES. Both colloids produced significant reductions below the reference values range in clotting time at 10, 30 and 50% dilutions. The 50% dilution of both colloids resulted in significant reduction of maximal clot firmness, alpha-angle and platelet aggregation. The present study showed that the corn-derived 6% HES 130/0.4 and the potato-derived 6% HES 130/0.42 have the same effect on blood coagulation in vitro.

  12. Isotopic Tracing of Thallium Contamination in Soils Affected by Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants.

    PubMed

    Vaněk, Aleš; Grösslová, Zuzana; Mihaljevič, Martin; Trubač, Jakub; Ettler, Vojtěch; Teper, Leslaw; Cabala, Jerzy; Rohovec, Jan; Zádorová, Tereza; Penížek, Vít; Pavlů, Lenka; Holubík, Ondřej; Němeček, Karel; Houška, Jakub; Drábek, Ondřej; Ash, Christopher

    2016-09-20

    Here, for the first time, we report the thallium (Tl) isotope record in moderately contaminated soils with contrasting land management (forest and meadow soils), which have been affected by emissions from coal-fired power plants. Our findings clearly demonstrate that Tl of anthropogenic (high-temperature) origin with light isotope composition was deposited onto the studied soils, where heavier Tl (ε(205)Tl ∼ -1) naturally occurs. The results show a positive linear relationship (R(2) = 0.71) between 1/Tl and the isotope record, as determined for all the soils and bedrocks, also indicative of binary Tl mixing between two dominant reservoirs. We also identified significant Tl isotope variations within the products from coal combustion and thermo-desorption experiments with local Tl-rich coal pyrite. Bottom ash exhibited the heaviest Tl isotope composition (ε(205)Tl ∼ 0), followed by fly ash (ε(205)Tl between -2.5 and -2.8) and volatile Tl fractions (ε(205)Tl between -6.2 and -10.3), suggesting partial Tl isotope fractionations. Despite the evident role of soil processes in the isotope redistributions, we demonstrate that Tl contamination can be traced in soils and propose that the isotope data represent a possible tool to aid our understanding of postdepositional Tl dynamics in surface environments for the future.

  13. Isotopic Tracing of Thallium Contamination in Soils Affected by Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants.

    PubMed

    Vaněk, Aleš; Grösslová, Zuzana; Mihaljevič, Martin; Trubač, Jakub; Ettler, Vojtěch; Teper, Leslaw; Cabala, Jerzy; Rohovec, Jan; Zádorová, Tereza; Penížek, Vít; Pavlů, Lenka; Holubík, Ondřej; Němeček, Karel; Houška, Jakub; Drábek, Ondřej; Ash, Christopher

    2016-09-20

    Here, for the first time, we report the thallium (Tl) isotope record in moderately contaminated soils with contrasting land management (forest and meadow soils), which have been affected by emissions from coal-fired power plants. Our findings clearly demonstrate that Tl of anthropogenic (high-temperature) origin with light isotope composition was deposited onto the studied soils, where heavier Tl (ε(205)Tl ∼ -1) naturally occurs. The results show a positive linear relationship (R(2) = 0.71) between 1/Tl and the isotope record, as determined for all the soils and bedrocks, also indicative of binary Tl mixing between two dominant reservoirs. We also identified significant Tl isotope variations within the products from coal combustion and thermo-desorption experiments with local Tl-rich coal pyrite. Bottom ash exhibited the heaviest Tl isotope composition (ε(205)Tl ∼ 0), followed by fly ash (ε(205)Tl between -2.5 and -2.8) and volatile Tl fractions (ε(205)Tl between -6.2 and -10.3), suggesting partial Tl isotope fractionations. Despite the evident role of soil processes in the isotope redistributions, we demonstrate that Tl contamination can be traced in soils and propose that the isotope data represent a possible tool to aid our understanding of postdepositional Tl dynamics in surface environments for the future. PMID:27536872

  14. Diversity of fungi associated with hair roots of ericaceous plants is affected by land use.

    PubMed

    Hazard, Christina; Gosling, Paul; Mitchell, Derek T; Doohan, Fiona M; Bending, Gary D

    2014-03-01

    Culture-independent molecular studies have provided new insights into the diversity of fungi associating with ericaceous plant roots. However, there is little understanding of the distribution of these fungi across landscapes, or the effects of environmental heterogeneity on ericoid mycorrhizal (ERM) fungal diversity and distribution. Terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism and selective sequence analyses of the internal transcribed spacer regions of rDNA were used to infer fungal diversity of bait Vaccinium macrocarpon grown in soils from nine peatland sites in Ireland, representing three different land uses (bog, rough grazing and forest plantation) and the fungal communities of field-collected Calluna vulgaris for five of these nine sites. A diverse range of potential ERM fungi were found, and the sampling approach significantly affected the diversity of the fungal community. Despite significant site groupings of the fungal communities associated with V. macrocarpon and C. vulgaris, fungal communities were significantly dissimilar between sites with different land uses. Soil nitrogen content significantly explained 52% of the variation in the V. macrocarpon fungal communities. Evidence suggests that environmental heterogeneity has a role in shaping ERM fungal community composition at the landscape scale.

  15. Proteomic analysis reveals suppression of bark chitinases and proteinase inhibitors in citrus plants affected by the citrus sudden death disease.

    PubMed

    Cantú, M D; Mariano, A G; Palma, M S; Carrilho, E; Wulff, N A

    2008-10-01

    Citrus sudden death (CSD) is a disease of unknown etiology that greatly affects sweet oranges grafted on Rangpur lime rootstock, the most important rootstock in Brazilian citriculture. We performed a proteomic analysis to generate information related to this plant pathogen interaction. Protein profiles from healthy, CSD-affected and CSD-tolerant stem barks, were generated using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The protein spots were well distributed over a pI range of 3.26 to 9.97 and a molecular weight (MW) range from 7.1 to 120 kDa. The patterns of expressed proteins on 2-DE gels made it possible to distinguish healthy barks from CSD-affected barks. Protein spots with MW around 30 kDa and pI values ranging from 4.5 to 5.2 were down-regulated in the CSD-affected root-stock bark. This set of protein spots was identified as chitinases. Another set of proteins, ranging in pI from 6.1 to 9.6 with an MW of about 20 kDa, were also suppressed in CSD-affected rootstock bark; these were identified as miraculin-like proteins, potential trypsin inhibitors. Down-regulation of chitinases and proteinase inhibitors in CSD-affected plants is relevant since chitinases are well-known pathogenesis-related protein, and their activity against plant pathogens is largely accepted. PMID:18943454

  16. Acclimations to light quality on plant and leaf level affect the vulnerability of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) to water deficit.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Anna M; Noga, Georg; Hunsche, Mauricio

    2015-03-01

    We investigated the influence of light quality on the vulnerability of pepper plants to water deficit. For this purpose plants were cultivated either under compact fluorescence lamps (CFL) or light-emitting diodes (LED) providing similar photon fluence rates (95 µmol m(-2) s(-1)) but distinct light quality. CFL emit a wide-band spectrum with dominant peaks in the green and red spectral region, whereas LEDs offer narrow band spectra with dominant peaks at blue (445 nm) and red (665 nm) regions. After one-week acclimation to light conditions plants were exposed to water deficit by withholding irrigation; this period was followed by a one-week regeneration period and a second water deficit cycle. In general, plants grown under CFL suffered more from water deficit than plants grown under LED modules, as indicated by the impairment of the photosynthetic efficiency of PSII, resulting in less biomass accumulation compared to respective control plants. As affected by water shortage, plants grown under CFL had a stronger decrease in the electron transport rate (ETR) and more pronounced increase in heat dissipation (NPQ). The higher amount of blue light suppressed plant growth and biomass formation, and consequently reduced the water demand of plants grown under LEDs. Moreover, pepper plants exposed to high blue light underwent adjustments at chloroplast level (e.g., higher Chl a/Chl b ratio), increasing the photosynthetic performance under the LED spectrum. Differently than expected, stomatal conductance was comparable for water-deficit and control plants in both light conditions during the stress and recovery phases, indicating only minor adjustments at the stomatal level. Our results highlight the potential of the target-use of light quality to induce structural and functional acclimations improving plant performance under stress situations.

  17. Seed germination of medicinal plant, fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill), as affected by different priming techniques.

    PubMed

    Tahaei, Amirreza; Soleymani, Ali; Shams, Majid

    2016-09-01

    Reduced seed germination is among the most important factors adversely affecting crop stand and subsequent plant growth. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill) is an important medicinal plant with poor seed germination rate, occasionally. It is accordingly pertinent to find methods which can enhance fennel seed germination and remove the barriers of dormancy breaking. The present experiments studied the effects of two different priming (cold moist stratification and osmopriming) and 14 dormancy breaking techniques (hormonal, osmopriming, biopriming, chemical priming, and hydropriming) on the seed germination and seedling growth of two different fennel genotypes under growth chamber conditions. In the first and second experiment, the priming techniques including the time lengths of cold moist stratification (0, 15, 30, and 45 days) and the concentrations of polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG6000, osmopriming at -0.99, -1.35, and -2.33 MPa) were used as the main plots. However, in both experiments, the dormancy breaking techniques and fennel genotypes were factorially combined and used as the subplots. Different seed- and seedling-related parameters including germination (%), plumule, radicle and seedling length, average germination time, rate and homogeneity of germination, and seed vigor index were determined. Both priming techniques were efficient on the enhancement of seed germination and seedling growth. Among the dormancy breaking techniques, Aminol Forte (biopriming), kadostim (biopriming), benzyl adenine + kinetin (biopriming), distilled water (hydropriming), gibberellin + kinetin (hormonal priming), and benzyl adenine + kinetin + gibberellin (biopriming) were the most effective ones. The related concentrations were equal to 100 mg/l, 10(-5) M, and 0.4 %. The fennel genotypes reacted significantly different under priming conditions. It is possible to enhance seed germination and seedling growth of fennel using priming and dormancy breaking

  18. Seed germination of medicinal plant, fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill), as affected by different priming techniques.

    PubMed

    Tahaei, Amirreza; Soleymani, Ali; Shams, Majid

    2016-09-01

    Reduced seed germination is among the most important factors adversely affecting crop stand and subsequent plant growth. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill) is an important medicinal plant with poor seed germination rate, occasionally. It is accordingly pertinent to find methods which can enhance fennel seed germination and remove the barriers of dormancy breaking. The present experiments studied the effects of two different priming (cold moist stratification and osmopriming) and 14 dormancy breaking techniques (hormonal, osmopriming, biopriming, chemical priming, and hydropriming) on the seed germination and seedling growth of two different fennel genotypes under growth chamber conditions. In the first and second experiment, the priming techniques including the time lengths of cold moist stratification (0, 15, 30, and 45 days) and the concentrations of polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG6000, osmopriming at -0.99, -1.35, and -2.33 MPa) were used as the main plots. However, in both experiments, the dormancy breaking techniques and fennel genotypes were factorially combined and used as the subplots. Different seed- and seedling-related parameters including germination (%), plumule, radicle and seedling length, average germination time, rate and homogeneity of germination, and seed vigor index were determined. Both priming techniques were efficient on the enhancement of seed germination and seedling growth. Among the dormancy breaking techniques, Aminol Forte (biopriming), kadostim (biopriming), benzyl adenine + kinetin (biopriming), distilled water (hydropriming), gibberellin + kinetin (hormonal priming), and benzyl adenine + kinetin + gibberellin (biopriming) were the most effective ones. The related concentrations were equal to 100 mg/l, 10(-5) M, and 0.4 %. The fennel genotypes reacted significantly different under priming conditions. It is possible to enhance seed germination and seedling growth of fennel using priming and dormancy breaking

  19. How grazing and soil quality affect native and exotic plant diversity in Rocky Mountain grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Schell, L.D.; Vanden, Heuvel B.

    1999-01-01

    (adjacent and distant 1000-m2 plots) in the same vegetation type overlapped just 48.6 ?? 3.6%, and the ungrazed plots and distant grazed plots overlapped 49.4 ?? 3.6%. Differences in vegetation and soils between grazed and ungrazed sites were minimal in most cases, but soil characteristics and elevation were strongly correlated with native and exotic plant diversity in the study region. For the 78 1000-m2 plots, 59.4% of the variance in total species richness was explained by percentage of silt (coefficient = 0.647, t = 5.107, P < 0.001), elevation (coefficient = 0.012, t = 5.084, P < 0.001), and total foliar cover (coefficient = 0.110, t = 2.104, P < 0.039). Only 12.8% of the variance in exotic species cover (log10cover) was explained by percentage of clay (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.878, P < 0.005), native species richness (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.156, P < 0.034), and log10N (coefficient = 2.827, t = 1.860, P < 0.067). Native species cover and exotic species richness and frequency were also significantly positively correlated with percentage of soil N at the 1000-m2 plot scale. Our research led to five broad generalizations about current levels of grazing in these Rocky Mountain grasslands: (1) grazing probably has little effect on native species richness at landscape scales; (2) grazing probably has little effect on the accelerated spread of most exotic plant species at landscape scales; (3) grazing affects local plant species and life-form composition and cover, but spatial variation is considerable; (4) soil characteristics, climate, and disturbances may have a greater effect on plant species diversity than do current levels of grazing; and (5) few plant species show consistent, directional responses to grazing or cessation of grazing.

  20. Corn Response as Affected by Planting Distance from the Center of Strip-Till Fertilized Rows

    PubMed Central

    Adee, Eric; Hansel, Fernando D.; Ruiz Diaz, Dorivar A.; Janssen, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Strip-till has been used at a large scale in east central Kansas as an alternative to earlier planting dates under a no-till system. To determine the effects of planting corn (Zea mays) under previously established strip-tilled fertilized rows, experiments were conducted on an Osage silty clay loam soil in 2006 and 2008 and on a Woodson silt loam soil in 2009, 2010, and 2011 using three different planting distances from the strip-tilled fertilized rows (0, 10, 20, and 38 cm) with a strip-till operation performed between 1 and 73 days before planting. The depth of the strip-till fertilizer application was 13–15 cm below the soil surface. Corn that was planted 10 cm from the fertilized row showed greater early season growth, higher plant population, and grain yield. Planting 20 and 38 cm from the center of the fertilized rows showed none of the benefits that are typically associated with strip-tillage system. Enough time should be allowed between the strip-till operation and planting to reach satisfactory soil conditions (e.g., moist and firm seedbed). Our results suggest that the best location for planting strip-tilled fertilized corn vary depending on soil and climatic conditions as well as the time between fertilizer application with the strip-till operation and planting. With fewer number of days, planting directly on the center of fertilized strip-till resulted in decreased plant population and lower grain yield. However, the greatest yield benefit across different planting conditions was attained when planting within 10 cm of the strip. PMID:27588024

  1. Corn Response as Affected by Planting Distance from the Center of Strip-Till Fertilized Rows.

    PubMed

    Adee, Eric; Hansel, Fernando D; Ruiz Diaz, Dorivar A; Janssen, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Strip-till has been used at a large scale in east central Kansas as an alternative to earlier planting dates under a no-till system. To determine the effects of planting corn (Zea mays) under previously established strip-tilled fertilized rows, experiments were conducted on an Osage silty clay loam soil in 2006 and 2008 and on a Woodson silt loam soil in 2009, 2010, and 2011 using three different planting distances from the strip-tilled fertilized rows (0, 10, 20, and 38 cm) with a strip-till operation performed between 1 and 73 days before planting. The depth of the strip-till fertilizer application was 13-15 cm below the soil surface. Corn that was planted 10 cm from the fertilized row showed greater early season growth, higher plant population, and grain yield. Planting 20 and 38 cm from the center of the fertilized rows showed none of the benefits that are typically associated with strip-tillage system. Enough time should be allowed between the strip-till operation and planting to reach satisfactory soil conditions (e.g., moist and firm seedbed). Our results suggest that the best location for planting strip-tilled fertilized corn vary depending on soil and climatic conditions as well as the time between fertilizer application with the strip-till operation and planting. With fewer number of days, planting directly on the center of fertilized strip-till resulted in decreased plant population and lower grain yield. However, the greatest yield benefit across different planting conditions was attained when planting within 10 cm of the strip.

  2. Corn Response as Affected by Planting Distance from the Center of Strip-Till Fertilized Rows.

    PubMed

    Adee, Eric; Hansel, Fernando D; Ruiz Diaz, Dorivar A; Janssen, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Strip-till has been used at a large scale in east central Kansas as an alternative to earlier planting dates under a no-till system. To determine the effects of planting corn (Zea mays) under previously established strip-tilled fertilized rows, experiments were conducted on an Osage silty clay loam soil in 2006 and 2008 and on a Woodson silt loam soil in 2009, 2010, and 2011 using three different planting distances from the strip-tilled fertilized rows (0, 10, 20, and 38 cm) with a strip-till operation performed between 1 and 73 days before planting. The depth of the strip-till fertilizer application was 13-15 cm below the soil surface. Corn that was planted 10 cm from the fertilized row showed greater early season growth, higher plant population, and grain yield. Planting 20 and 38 cm from the center of the fertilized rows showed none of the benefits that are typically associated with strip-tillage system. Enough time should be allowed between the strip-till operation and planting to reach satisfactory soil conditions (e.g., moist and firm seedbed). Our results suggest that the best location for planting strip-tilled fertilized corn vary depending on soil and climatic conditions as well as the time between fertilizer application with the strip-till operation and planting. With fewer number of days, planting directly on the center of fertilized strip-till resulted in decreased plant population and lower grain yield. However, the greatest yield benefit across different planting conditions was attained when planting within 10 cm of the strip. PMID:27588024

  3. Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration affects interactions between Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae and two host plant species outdoors

    SciTech Connect

    Caulfield, F.; Bunce, J.A. )

    1994-08-01

    Beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Huebner), larvae were placed on sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris L.) and pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus L.) plants in outdoor chambers in which the plants were growing at either the ambient ([approximately] 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1]) or ambient plus 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] ([approximately] 700 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1]) carbon dioxide concentration. A series of experiments was performed to determine if larvae reduced plant growth differently at the two carbon dioxide concentrations in either species and if the insect growth or survival differed with carbon dioxide concentration. Leaf nitrogen, water, starch, and soluble carbohydrate contents were measured to assess carbon dioxide concentration effects on leaf quality. Insect feeding significantly reduced plant growth in sugarbeet plants at 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] but not at 700 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] nor in pigweed at either carbon dioxide concentration. Larval survival was greater on sugarbeet plants at the elevated carbon dioxide concentration. Increased survival occurred only if the insects were at the elevated carbon dioxide concentration and consumed leaf material grown at the elevated concentration. Leaf quality was only marginally affected by growth at elevated carbon dioxide concentration in these experiments. The results indicate that in designing experiments to predict effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations on plant-insect interactions, both plants and insects should be exposed to the experimental carbon dioxide concentrations, as well as to as realistic environmental conditions as possible.

  4. Jasmonic acid affects plant morphology and calcium-dependent protein kinase expression and activity in Solanum tuberosum.

    PubMed

    Ulloa, Rita M; Raíces, Marcela; MacIntosh, Gustavo C; Maldonado, Sara; Téllez-Iñón, María T

    2002-07-01

    The effect of jasmonic acid (JA) on plant growth and on calcium-dependent protein kinase (CDPK) activity and expression was studied in non-photoperiodic potato plants, Solanum tuberosum L. var. Spunta, grown in vitro. Stem cuttings were grown for 45 days (long treatment, LT) in MS medium with increasing concentrations of JA. For short treatments (ST) adult plants grown in MS were transferred for 1, 4 and 20 h to JA containing media. During the LT, low concentrations of JA promoted cell expansion and shoot elongation while higher concentrations caused growth inhibition. Under these conditions, treated plants showed root shortening and tuber formation was not induced. Morphological and histochemical studies using light microscopy and TEM analysis of leaves from treated plants revealed that JA also affected subcellular organelles of mesophyll cells. Peroxisomes increased in size and number, and an autophagic process was triggered in response to high concentrations of the hormone. CDPK activity, determined in crude extracts of treated plants (LT), was inhibited (up to 80%). Plant growth and CDPK inhibition were reverted upon transfer of the plants to hormone-free medium. Soluble CDPK activity decreased in response to JA short treatment. Concomitantly, a decline in the steady state levels of StCDPK2 mRNA, a potato CDPK isoform that is expressed in leaves, was observed. These data suggest that the phytohormone down-regulated the expression and activity of the kinase.

  5. The impact of global warming on floral traits that affect the selfing rate in a high-altitude plant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Changes in the abiotic environment, as those expected under global warming, can influence plant mating systems through changes in floral traits that affect selfing. Herkogamy (spatial separation of male and female functions within a flower), dichogamy (temporal separation) and total flower number af...

  6. Plant Products Affect Growth and Digestive Efficiency of Cultured Florida Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) Fed Compounded Diets

    PubMed Central

    Lech, Gregory P.; Reigh, Robert C.

    2012-01-01

    Costs of compounded diets containing fish meal as a primary protein source can be expected to rise as fish meal prices increase in response to static supply and growing demand. Alternatives to fish meal are needed to reduce production costs in many aquaculture enterprises. Some plant proteins are potential replacements for fish meal because of their amino acid composition, lower cost and wide availability. In this study, we measured utilization of soybean meal (SBM) and soy protein concentrate (SPC) by Florida pompano fed compounded diets, to determine the efficacy of these products as fish meal replacements. We also calculated apparent digestibility coefficients (ADCs) for canola meal (CM), corn gluten meal (CGM), and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), following typical methods for digestibility trials. Juvenile Florida pompano were fed fish-meal-free diets containing graded levels of SBM and SPC, and weight gain was compared to a control diet that contained SBM, SPC, and fish meal. Fish fed diets that contained 25–30 percent SBM in combination with 43–39 percent SPC had weight gain equivalent to fish fed the control diet with fish meal, while weight gain of fish fed other soy combinations was significantly less than that of the control group. Apparent crude protein digestibility of CGM was significantly higher than that of DDGS but not significantly different from CM. Apparent energy digestibility of DDGS was significantly lower than CGM but significantly higher than CM. Findings suggested that composition of the reference diet used in a digestibility trial affects the values of calculated ADCs, in addition to the chemical and physical attributes of the test ingredient. PMID:22536344

  7. Plant products affect growth and digestive efficiency of cultured Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) fed compounded diets.

    PubMed

    Lech, Gregory P; Reigh, Robert C

    2012-01-01

    Costs of compounded diets containing fish meal as a primary protein source can be expected to rise as fish meal prices increase in response to static supply and growing demand. Alternatives to fish meal are needed to reduce production costs in many aquaculture enterprises. Some plant proteins are potential replacements for fish meal because of their amino acid composition, lower cost and wide availability. In this study, we measured utilization of soybean meal (SBM) and soy protein concentrate (SPC) by Florida pompano fed compounded diets, to determine the efficacy of these products as fish meal replacements. We also calculated apparent digestibility coefficients (ADCs) for canola meal (CM), corn gluten meal (CGM), and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), following typical methods for digestibility trials. Juvenile Florida pompano were fed fish-meal-free diets containing graded levels of SBM and SPC, and weight gain was compared to a control diet that contained SBM, SPC, and fish meal. Fish fed diets that contained 25-30 percent SBM in combination with 43-39 percent SPC had weight gain equivalent to fish fed the control diet with fish meal, while weight gain of fish fed other soy combinations was significantly less than that of the control group. Apparent crude protein digestibility of CGM was significantly higher than that of DDGS but not significantly different from CM. Apparent energy digestibility of DDGS was significantly lower than CGM but significantly higher than CM. Findings suggested that composition of the reference diet used in a digestibility trial affects the values of calculated ADCs, in addition to the chemical and physical attributes of the test ingredient.

  8. Plant diversity affects behavior of generalist root herbivores, reduces crop damage, and enhances crop yield.

    PubMed

    Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Thalinger, Bettina; Wallinger, Corinna; Juen, Anita; Traugott, Michael

    2013-07-01

    Soil-dwelling pests inflict considerable economic damage in agriculture but are hard to control. A promising strategy to reduce pest pressure on crops is to increase the plant diversity in agroecosystems. This approach, however, demands a sound understanding of species' interactions, which is widely lacking for subterranean herbivore-plant systems. Here, we examine the effects of plant diversification on wireworms, the soil-dwelling larvae of click beetles that threaten crops worldwide. We conducted a field experiment employing plant diversification by adding either wheat or a mix of six associated plants (grasses, legumes, and forbs) between rows of maize to protect it from Agriotes wireworms. Wireworm feeding behavior, dispersal between crop and associated plants, as well as maize damage and yield were examined. The former was assessed combining molecular gut content and stable isotope analysis. The pests were strongly attracted by the associated plants in August, when the crop was most vulnerable, whereas in September, shortly before harvest, this effect occurred only in the plant mix. In maize monoculture, the larvae stayed in the principal crop throughout the season. Larval delta13C signatures revealed that maize feeding was reduced up to sevenfold in wireworms of the vegetationally diversified treatments compared to those of the maize monoculture. These findings were confirmed by molecular analysis, which additionally showed a dietary preference of wireworms for specific plants in the associated plant mix. Compared to the monoculture, maize damage was reduced by 38% and 55% in the wheat and plant mix treatment, which translated into a yield increase of 30% and 38%, respectively. The present findings demonstrate that increasing the plant diversity in agroecosystems provides an effective insurance against soil pests. The underlying mechanisms are the diversion of the pest from the principle crop and a changed feeding behavior. The deployment of diverse mixes of

  9. Carbon nanotubes are able to penetrate plant seed coat and dramatically affect seed germination and plant growth.

    PubMed

    Khodakovskaya, Mariya; Dervishi, Enkeleda; Mahmood, Meena; Xu, Yang; Li, Zhongrui; Watanabe, Fumiya; Biris, Alexandru S

    2009-10-27

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were found to penetrate tomato seeds and affect their germination and growth rates. The germination was found to be dramatically higher for seeds that germinated on medium containing CNTs (10-40 mug/mL) compared to control. Analytical methods indicated that the CNTs are able to penetrate the thick seed coat and support water uptake inside seeds, a process which can affect seed germination and growth of tomato seedlings. PMID:19772305

  10. Plant species loss affects life-history traits of aphids and their parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Petermann, Jana S; Müller, Christine B; Roscher, Christiane; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Schmid, Bernhard

    2010-08-06

    The consequences of plant species loss are rarely assessed in a multi-trophic context and especially effects on life-history traits of organisms at higher trophic levels have remained largely unstudied. We used a grassland biodiversity experiment and measured the effects of two components of plant diversity, plant species richness and the presence of nitrogen-fixing legumes, on several life-history traits of naturally colonizing aphids and their primary and secondary parasitoids in the field. We found that, irrespective of aphid species identity, the proportion of winged aphid morphs decreased with increasing plant species richness, which was correlated with decreasing host plant biomass. Similarly, emergence proportions of parasitoids decreased with increasing plant species richness. Both, emergence proportions and proportions of female parasitoids were lower in plots with legumes, where host plants had increased nitrogen concentrations. This effect of legume presence could indicate that aphids were better defended against parasitoids in high-nitrogen environments. Body mass of emerged individuals of the two most abundant primary parasitoid species was, however, higher in plots with legumes, suggesting that once parasitoids could overcome aphid defenses, they could profit from larger or more nutritious hosts. Our study demonstrates that cascading effects of plant species loss on higher trophic levels such as aphids, parasitoids and secondary parasitoids begin with changed life-history traits of these insects. Thus, life-history traits of organisms at higher trophic levels may be useful indicators of bottom-up effects of plant diversity on the biodiversity of consumers.

  11. Modelling (18)O2 and (16)O2 unidirectional fluxes in plants. III: fitting of experimental data by a simple model.

    PubMed

    André, Marcel J

    2013-08-01

    Photosynthetic assimilation of CO2 in plants results in the balance between the photochemical energy developed by light in chloroplasts, and the consumption of that energy by the oxygenation processes, mainly the photorespiration in C3 plants. The analysis of classical biological models shows the difficulties to bring to fore the oxygenation rate due to the photorespiration pathway. As for other parameters, the most important key point is the estimation of the electron transport rate (ETR or J), i.e. the flux of biochemical energy, which is shared between the reductive and oxidative cycles of carbon. The only reliable method to quantify the linear electron flux responsible for the production of reductive energy is to directly measure the O2 evolution by (18)O2 labelling and mass spectrometry. The hypothesis that the respective rates of reductive and oxidative cycles of carbon are only determined by the kinetic parameters of Rubisco, the respective concentrations of CO2 and O2 at the Rubisco site and the available electron transport rate, ultimately leads to propose new expressions of biochemical model equations. The modelling of (18)O2 and (16)O2 unidirectional fluxes in plants shows that a simple model can fit the photosynthetic and photorespiration exchanges for a wide range of environmental conditions. Its originality is to express the carboxylation and the oxygenation as a function of external gas concentrations, by the definition of a plant specificity factor Sp that mimics the internal reactions of Rubisco in plants. The difference between the specificity factors of plant (Sp) and of Rubisco (Sr) is directly related to the conductance values to CO2 transfer between the atmosphere and the Rubisco site. This clearly illustrates that the values and the variation of conductance are much more important, in higher C3 plants, than the small variations of the Rubisco specificity factor. The simple model systematically expresses the reciprocal variations of

  12. Cognitive fitness.

    PubMed

    Gilkey, Roderick; Kilts, Clint

    2007-11-01

    Recent neuroscientific research shows that the health of your brain isn't, as experts once thought, just the product of childhood experiences and genetics; it reflects your adult choices and experiences as well. Professors Gilkey and Kilts of Emory University's medical and business schools explain how you can strengthen your brain's anatomy, neural networks, and cognitive abilities, and prevent functions such as memory from deteriorating as you age. The brain's alertness is the result of what the authors call cognitive fitness -a state of optimized ability to reason, remember, learn, plan, and adapt. Certain attitudes, lifestyle choices, and exercises enhance cognitive fitness. Mental workouts are the key. Brain-imaging studies indicate that acquiring expertise in areas as diverse as playing a cello, juggling, speaking a foreign language, and driving a taxicab expands your neural systems and makes them more communicative. In other words, you can alter the physical makeup of your brain by learning new skills. The more cognitively fit you are, the better equipped you are to make decisions, solve problems, and deal with stress and change. Cognitive fitness will help you be more open to new ideas and alternative perspectives. It will give you the capacity to change your behavior and realize your goals. You can delay senescence for years and even enjoy a second career. Drawing from the rapidly expanding body of neuroscience research as well as from well-established research in psychology and other mental health fields, the authors have identified four steps you can take to become cognitively fit: understand how experience makes the brain grow, work hard at play, search for patterns, and seek novelty and innovation. Together these steps capture some of the key opportunities for maintaining an engaged, creative brain. PMID:18159786

  13. Conventional and organic soil fertility management practices affect corn plant nutrition and Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) larval performance.

    PubMed

    Murrell, Ebony G; Cullen, Eileen M

    2014-10-01

    Few studies compare how different soil fertilization practices affect plant mineral content and insect performance in organic systems. This study examined: 1) The European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), larval response on corn (Zea mays L.) grown in field soils with different soil management histories; and 2) resilience of these plants to O. nubilalis herbivory. Treatments included: 1) standard organic--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and 2 yr of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in the rotation; 2) basic cation saturation ratio--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and alfalfa nitrogen credits, plus addition of gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) according to the soil balance hypothesis; and 3) conventional--conventionally managed soil fertilized with synthetic fertilizers. Corn plants were reared to maturity in a greenhouse, and then infested with 0-40 O. nubilalis larvae for 17 d. O. nubilalis exhibited negative competitive response to increasing larval densities. Mean development time was significantly faster for larvae consuming basic cation saturation ratio plants than those on standard organic plants, with intermediate development time on conventional plants. Neither total yield (number of kernels) nor proportion kernels damaged differed among soil fertility treatments. Soil nutrients differed significantly in S and in Ca:Mg and Ca:K ratios, but principal components analysis of plant tissue samples taken before O. nubilalis infestation showed that S, Fe, and Cu contributed most to differences in plant nutrient profiles among soil fertility treatments. Results demonstrate that different fertilization regimens can significantly affect insect performance within the context of organic systems, but the effects in this study were relatively minor compared with effects of intraspecific competition.

  14. Conventional and organic soil fertility management practices affect corn plant nutrition and Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) larval performance.

    PubMed

    Murrell, Ebony G; Cullen, Eileen M

    2014-10-01

    Few studies compare how different soil fertilization practices affect plant mineral content and insect performance in organic systems. This study examined: 1) The European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), larval response on corn (Zea mays L.) grown in field soils with different soil management histories; and 2) resilience of these plants to O. nubilalis herbivory. Treatments included: 1) standard organic--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and 2 yr of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in the rotation; 2) basic cation saturation ratio--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and alfalfa nitrogen credits, plus addition of gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) according to the soil balance hypothesis; and 3) conventional--conventionally managed soil fertilized with synthetic fertilizers. Corn plants were reared to maturity in a greenhouse, and then infested with 0-40 O. nubilalis larvae for 17 d. O. nubilalis exhibited negative competitive response to increasing larval densities. Mean development time was significantly faster for larvae consuming basic cation saturation ratio plants than those on standard organic plants, with intermediate development time on conventional plants. Neither total yield (number of kernels) nor proportion kernels damaged differed among soil fertility treatments. Soil nutrients differed significantly in S and in Ca:Mg and Ca:K ratios, but principal components analysis of plant tissue samples taken before O. nubilalis infestation showed that S, Fe, and Cu contributed most to differences in plant nutrient profiles among soil fertility treatments. Results demonstrate that different fertilization regimens can significantly affect insect performance within the context of organic systems, but the effects in this study were relatively minor compared with effects of intraspecific competition. PMID:25203485

  15. Soil moisture variations affect short-term plant-microbial competition for ammonium, glycine, and glutamate.

    PubMed

    Månsson, Katarina F; Olsson, Magnus O; Falkengren-Grerup, Ursula; Bengtsson, Göran

    2014-04-01

    We tested whether the presence of plant roots would impair the uptake of ammonium ([Formula: see text]), glycine, and glutamate by microorganisms in a deciduous forest soil exposed to constant or variable moisture in a short-term (24-h) experiment. The uptake of (15)NH4 and dual labeled amino acids by the grass Festuca gigantea L. and soil microorganisms was determined in planted and unplanted soils maintained at 60% WHC (water holding capacity) or subject to drying and rewetting. The experiment used a design by which competition was tested in soils that were primed by plant roots to the same extent in the planted and unplanted treatments. Festuca gigantea had no effect on microbial N uptake in the constant moist soil, but its presence doubled the microbial [Formula: see text] uptake in the dried and rewetted soil compared with the constant moist. The drying and rewetting reduced by half or more the [Formula: see text] uptake by F. gigantea, despite more than 60% increase in the soil concentration of [Formula: see text]. At the same time, the amino acid and [Formula: see text]-N became equally valued in the plant uptake, suggesting that plants used amino acids to compensate for the lower [Formula: see text] acquisition. Our results demonstrate the flexibility in plant-microbial use of different N sources in response to soil moisture fluctuations and emphasize the importance of including transient soil conditions in experiments on resource competition between plants and soil microorganisms. Competition between plants and microorganisms for N is demonstrated by a combination of removal of one of the potential competitors, the plant, and subsequent observations of the uptake of N in the organisms in soils that differ only in the physical presence and absence of the plant during a short assay. Those conditions are necessary to unequivocally test for competition.

  16. Retention of OsNMD3 in the cytoplasm disturbs protein synthesis efficiency and affects plant development in rice

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yanyun; Liu, Xiangling; Li, Rui; Gao, Yaping; Xu, Zuopeng; Zhang, Baocai; Zhou, Yihua

    2014-01-01

    The ribosome is the basic machinery for translation, and biogenesis of ribosomes involves many coordinated events. However, knowledge about ribosomal dynamics in higher plants is very limited. This study chose a highly conserved trans-factor, the 60S ribosomal subunit nuclear export adaptor NMD3, to characterize the mechanism of ribosome biogenesis in the monocot plant Oryza sativa (rice). O. sativa NMD3 (OsNMD3) shares all the common motifs and shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm via CRM1/XPO1. A dominant negative form of OsNMD3 with a truncated nuclear localization sequence (OsNMD3ΔNLS) was retained in the cytoplasm, consequently interfering with the release of OsNMD3 from pre-60S particles and disturbing the assembly of ribosome subunits. Analyses of the transactivation activity and cellulose biosynthesis level revealed low protein synthesis efficiency in the transgenic plants compared with the wild-type plants. Pharmaceutical treatments demonstrated structural alterations in ribosomes in the transgenic plants. Moreover, global expression profiles of the wild-type and transgenic plants were investigated using the Illumina RNA sequencing approach. These expression profiles suggested that overexpression of OsNMD3ΔNLS affected ribosome biogenesis and certain basic pathways, leading to pleiotropic abnormalities in plant growth. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that OsNMD3 is important for ribosome assembly and the maintenance of normal protein synthesis efficiency. PMID:24723395

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Are herbage yield and yield stability affected by plant species diversity in sown pasture mixtures?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A tenet of plant biodiversity theory in grasslands is that increased diversity contributes to the stability of ecosystems. In managed grasslands, such as pastures, greater stability of herbage production as a result of increased plant species diversity would be beneficial. In this study, I combined ...

  19. Decoupling factors affecting plant diversity and cover on extensive green roofs.

    PubMed

    MacIvor, J Scott; Margolis, Liat; Puncher, Curtis L; Carver Matthews, Benjamin J

    2013-11-30

    Supplemental irrigation systems are often specified on green roofs to ensure plant cover and growth, both important components of green roof performance and aesthetics. Properties of the growing media environment too can alter the assemblage of plant species able to thrive. In this study we determine how plant cover, above ground biomass and species diversity are influenced by irrigation and growing media. Grass and forb vegetative cover and biomass were significantly greater in organic based growing media but there was no effect of supplemental irrigation, with two warm season grasses dominating in those treatments receiving no supplemental irrigation. On the other hand, plant diversity declined without irrigation in organic media, and having no irrigation in inorganic growing media resulted in almost a complete loss of cover. Sedum biomass was less in inorganic growing media treatments and species dominance shifted when growing media organic content increased. Our results demonstrate that supplemental irrigation is required to maintain plant diversity on an extensive green roof, but not necessarily plant cover or biomass. These results provide evidence that planting extensive green roofs with a mix of plant species can ensure the survival of some species; maintaining cover and biomass when supplemental irrigation is turned off to conserve water, or during extreme drought.

  20. Salt tolerance and stress level affect plant biomass-density relationships and neighbor effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Zhenxing; Chen, Wenwen; Zhang, Qian; Yang, Haishui; Tang, Jianjun; Weiner, Jacob; Chen, Xin

    2014-07-01

    It has been shown that plant biomass-density relationships are altered under extreme or stressed conditions. We do not know whether variation in biomass-density relationships is a direct result of stress tolerance or occurs via changes in plant-plant interactions. Here, we evaluated biomass-density relationships and neighbor effects in six plant species that differ in salt tolerance in a salt marsh, and conducted a literature review of biomass-density relationship under higher and lower stress levels. Our field study showed that both neighbor effects and the exponent of the biomass-density relationship (α) varied among plant species with different degrees of salt tolerance. There was a positive relationship between neighbor effects (measured as relative interaction index) and α-value among the tested species. The literature review showed that α and its variation increased under higher stress. Our results indicate that plant species with different salinity tolerance differ in the direction and strength of neighbor effects, resulting in variation in biomass-density relationships. Our results support the hypothesis that differences in biomass-density relationships among species are not due to differences in stress tolerance alone, they are mediated by changes in plant-plant interactions.

  1. Overexpression of an Arabidopsis heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein gene, AtRNP1, affects plant growth and reduces plant tolerance to drought and salt stresses.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhenyu; Zhao, Xiuyang; Wang, Bing; Liu, Erlong; Chen, Ni; Zhang, Wei; Liu, Heng

    2016-04-01

    Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) participate in diverse regulations of plant growth and environmental stress responses. In this work, an Arabidopsis hnRNP of unknown function, AtRNP1, was investigated. We found that AtRNP1 gene is highly expressed in rosette and cauline leaves, and slightly induced under drought, salt, osmotic and ABA stresses. AtRNP1 protein is localized to both the nucleus and cytoplasm. We performed homologous overexpression of AtRNP1 and found that the transgenic plants showed shortened root length and plant height, and accelerated flowering. In addition, the transgenic plants also showed reduced tolerance to drought, salt, osmotic and ABA stresses. Further studies revealed that under both normal and stress conditions, the proline contents in the transgenic plants are markedly decreased, associated with reduced expression levels of a proline synthase gene and several stress-responsive genes. These results suggested that the overexpression of AtRNP1 negatively affects plant growth and abiotic stress tolerance. PMID:26923071

  2. Volatiles produced by soil-borne endophytic bacteria increase plant pathogen resistance and affect tritrophic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Ton, Jurriaan; Brandenburg, Anna; Karlen, Danielle; Zopfi, Jakob; Turlings, Ted C. J.

    2014-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by soil microorganisms influence plant growth and pathogen resistance. Yet, very little is known about their influence on herbivores and higher trophic levels. We studied the origin and role of a major bacterial VOC, 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BD), on plant growth, pathogen and herbivore resistance, and the attraction of natural enemies in maize. One of the major contributors to 2,3-BD in the headspace of soil-grown maize seedlings was identified as Enterobacter aerogenes, an endophytic bacterium that colonizes the plants. The production of 2,3-BD by E. aerogenes rendered maize plants more resistant against the Northern corn leaf blight fungus Setosphaeria turcica. On the contrary, E. aerogenes-inoculated plants were less resistant against the caterpillar Spodoptera littoralis. The effect of 2,3-BD on the attraction of the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris was more variable: 2,3-BD application to the headspace of the plants had no effect on the parasitoids, but application to the soil increased parasitoid attraction. Furthermore, inoculation of seeds with E. aerogenes decreased plant attractiveness, whereas inoculation of soil with a total extract of soil microbes increased parasitoid attraction, suggesting that the effect of 2,3-BD on the parasitoid is indirect and depends on the composition of the microbial community. PMID:24127750

  3. Plant water relations as affected by heavy metal stress: A review

    SciTech Connect

    Barcelo, J.; Poschenrieder, C. )

    1990-01-01

    Metal toxicity causes multiple direct and indirect effects in plants which concern practically all physiological functions. In this review the effects of excess heavy metals and aluminum on those functions which will alter plant water relations are considered. After a brief comment on the metal effects in cell walls and plasma-lemma, and their consequences for cell expansion growth, the influences of high meal availability on the factors which regulate water entry and water exit in plants are considered. Emphasis is placed on the importance of distinguishing between low water availability in mine and serpentine soils and toxicity effects in plants which may impair the ability of a plant to regulate water uptake. Examples on water relations of both plants grown on metalliferous soil and hydroponics are presented, and the effects of metal toxicity on root growth, water transport and transpiration are considered. It is concluded that future research has to focus on the mechanisms of metal-induced inhibition of both root elongation and morphogenetic processes within roots. In order to understand the relation between metal tolerance and drought resistance better, further studies into metal tolerance mechanisms at the cell wall, membrane and vacuolar level, as well as into the mechanisms of drought resistance of plants adapted to metalliferous soils are required. 135 refs., 7 figs., 6 tabs.

  4. Drought induced changes of plant belowground carbon allocation affect soil microbial community function in a subalpine meadow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuchslueger, L.; Bahn, M.; Fritz, K.; Hasibeder, R.; Richter, A.

    2012-12-01

    There is growing evidence that climate extremes may affect ecosystem carbon dynamics more strongly than gradual changes in temperatures or precipitation. Climate projections suggest more frequent heat waves accompanied by extreme drought periods in many parts of Europe, including the Alps. Drought is considered to decrease plant C uptake and turnover, which may in turn decrease belowground C allocation and potentially has significant consequences for microbial community composition and functioning. However, information on effects of drought on C dynamics at the plant-soil interface in real ecosystems is still scarce. Our study aimed at understanding how summer drought affects soil microbial community composition and the uptake of recently assimilated plant C by different microbial groups in grassland. We hypothesized that under drought 1) the microbial community shifts, fungi being less affected than bacteria, 2) plants decrease belowground C allocation, which further reduces C transfer to soil microbes and 3) the combined effects of belowground C allocation, reduced soil C transport due to reduced soil moisture and shift in microbial communities cause an accumulation of extractable organic C in the soil. Our study was conducted as part of a rain-exclusion experiment in a subalpine meadow in the Austrian Central Alps. After eight weeks of rain exclusion we pulse labelled drought and control plots with 13CO2 and traced C in plant biomass, extractable organic C (EOC) and soil microbial communities using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA). Drought induced a shift of the microbial community composition: gram-positive bacteria became more dominant, whereas gram-negative bacteria were not affected by drought. Also the relative abundance of fungal biomass was not affected by drought. While total microbial biomass (as estimated by total microbial PLFA content) increased during drought, less 13C was taken up. This reduction was pronounced for bacterial biomarkers. It reflects

  5. Plant Quantity Affects Development and Survival of a Gregarious Insect Herbivore and Its Endoparasitoid Wasp.

    PubMed

    Fei, Minghui; Gols, Rieta; Zhu, Feng; Harvey, Jeffrey A

    2016-01-01

    Virtually all studies of plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions focus on plant quality as the major constraint on development and survival. However, for many gregarious feeding insect herbivores that feed on small or ephemeral plants, the quantity of resources is much more limiting, yet this area has received virtually no attention. Here, in both lab and semi-field experiments using tents containing variably sized clusters of food plants, we studied the effects of periodic food deprivation in a tri-trophic system where quantitative constraints are profoundly important on insect performance. The large cabbage white Pieris brassicae, is a specialist herbivore of relatively small wild brassicaceous plants that grow in variable densities, with black mustard (Brassica nigra) being one of the most important. Larvae of P. brassicae are in turn attacked by a specialist endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia glomerata. Increasing the length of food deprivation of newly molted final instar caterpillars significantly decreased herbivore and parasitoid survival and biomass, but shortened their development time. Moreover, the ability of caterpillars to recover when provided with food again was correlated with the length of the food deprivation period. In outdoor tents with natural vegetation, we created conditions similar to those faced by P. brassicae in nature by manipulating plant density. Low densities of B. nigra lead to potential starvation of P. brassicae broods and their parasitoids, replicating nutritional conditions of the lab experiments. The ability of both unparasitized and parasitized caterpillars to find corner plants was similar but decreased with central plant density. Survival of both the herbivore and parasitoid increased with plant density and was higher for unparasitized than for parasitized caterpillars. Our results, in comparison with previous studies, reveal that quantitative constraints are far more important that qualitative constraints on the performance of

  6. Plant Quantity Affects Development and Survival of a Gregarious Insect Herbivore and Its Endoparasitoid Wasp.

    PubMed

    Fei, Minghui; Gols, Rieta; Zhu, Feng; Harvey, Jeffrey A

    2016-01-01

    Virtually all studies of plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions focus on plant quality as the major constraint on development and survival. However, for many gregarious feeding insect herbivores that feed on small or ephemeral plants, the quantity of resources is much more limiting, yet this area has received virtually no attention. Here, in both lab and semi-field experiments using tents containing variably sized clusters of food plants, we studied the effects of periodic food deprivation in a tri-trophic system where quantitative constraints are profoundly important on insect performance. The large cabbage white Pieris brassicae, is a specialist herbivore of relatively small wild brassicaceous plants that grow in variable densities, with black mustard (Brassica nigra) being one of the most important. Larvae of P. brassicae are in turn attacked by a specialist endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia glomerata. Increasing the length of food deprivation of newly molted final instar caterpillars significantly decreased herbivore and parasitoid survival and biomass, but shortened their development time. Moreover, the ability of caterpillars to recover when provided with food again was correlated with the length of the food deprivation period. In outdoor tents with natural vegetation, we created conditions similar to those faced by P. brassicae in nature by manipulating plant density. Low densities of B. nigra lead to potential starvation of P. brassicae broods and their parasitoids, replicating nutritional conditions of the lab experiments. The ability of both unparasitized and parasitized caterpillars to find corner plants was similar but decreased with central plant density. Survival of both the herbivore and parasitoid increased with plant density and was higher for unparasitized than for parasitized caterpillars. Our results, in comparison with previous studies, reveal that quantitative constraints are far more important that qualitative constraints on the performance of

  7. Plant Quantity Affects Development and Survival of a Gregarious Insect Herbivore and Its Endoparasitoid Wasp

    PubMed Central

    Fei, Minghui; Gols, Rieta; Zhu, Feng; Harvey, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Virtually all studies of plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions focus on plant quality as the major constraint on development and survival. However, for many gregarious feeding insect herbivores that feed on small or ephemeral plants, the quantity of resources is much more limiting, yet this area has received virtually no attention. Here, in both lab and semi-field experiments using tents containing variably sized clusters of food plants, we studied the effects of periodic food deprivation in a tri-trophic system where quantitative constraints are profoundly important on insect performance. The large cabbage white Pieris brassicae, is a specialist herbivore of relatively small wild brassicaceous plants that grow in variable densities, with black mustard (Brassica nigra) being one of the most important. Larvae of P. brassicae are in turn attacked by a specialist endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia glomerata. Increasing the length of food deprivation of newly molted final instar caterpillars significantly decreased herbivore and parasitoid survival and biomass, but shortened their development time. Moreover, the ability of caterpillars to recover when provided with food again was correlated with the length of the food deprivation period. In outdoor tents with natural vegetation, we created conditions similar to those faced by P. brassicae in nature by manipulating plant density. Low densities of B. nigra lead to potential starvation of P. brassicae broods and their parasitoids, replicating nutritional conditions of the lab experiments. The ability of both unparasitized and parasitized caterpillars to find corner plants was similar but decreased with central plant density. Survival of both the herbivore and parasitoid increased with plant density and was higher for unparasitized than for parasitized caterpillars. Our results, in comparison with previous studies, reveal that quantitative constraints are far more important that qualitative constraints on the performance of

  8. Plant Trait Assembly Affects Superiority of Grazer's Foraging Strategies in Species-Rich Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Mládek, Jan; Mládková, Pavla; Hejcmanová, Pavla; Dvorský, Miroslav; Pavlu, Vilém; De Bello, Francesco; Duchoslav, Martin; Hejcman, Michal; Pakeman, Robin J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Current plant – herbivore interaction models and experiments with mammalian herbivores grazing plant monocultures show the superiority of a maximizing forage quality strategy (MFQ) over a maximizing intake strategy (MI). However, there is a lack of evidence whether grazers comply with the model predictions under field conditions. Methodology/Findings We assessed diet selection of sheep (Ovis aries) using plant functional traits in productive mesic vs. low-productivity dry species-rich grasslands dominated by resource-exploitative vs. resource-conservative species respectively. Each grassland type was studied in two replicates for two years. We investigated the first grazing cycle in a set of 288 plots with a diameter of 30 cm, i.e. the size of sheep feeding station. In mesic grasslands, high plot defoliation was associated with community weighted means of leaf traits referring to high forage quality, i.e. low leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and high specific leaf area (SLA), with a high proportion of legumes and the most with high community weighted mean of forage indicator value. In contrast in dry grasslands, high community weighted mean of canopy height, an estimate of forage quantity, was the best predictor of plot defoliation. Similar differences in selection on forage quality vs. quantity were detected within plots. Sheep selected plants with higher forage indicator values than the plot specific community weighted mean of forage indicator value in mesic grasslands whereas taller plants were selected in dry grasslands. However, at this scale sheep avoided legumes and plants with higher SLA, preferred plants with higher LDMC while grazing plants with higher forage indicator values in mesic grasslands. Conclusions Our findings indicate that MFQ appears superior over MI only in habitats with a predominance of resource-exploitative species. Furthermore, plant functional traits (LDMC, SLA, nitrogen fixer) seem to be helpful correlates of forage quality

  9. Thermal tolerance affects mutualist attendance in an ant-plant protection mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Lanan, Michele C.; Bronstein, Judith L.

    2014-01-01

    Mutualism is an often-complex interaction among multiple species, each of which may respond differently to abiotic conditions. The effects of temperature on the formation, dissolution, and success of these and other species interactions remain poorly understood. We studied the thermal ecology of the mutualism between the cactus Ferocactus wislizeni and its ant defenders (Forelius pruinosus, Crematogaster opuntiae, Solenopsis aurea, and Solenopsis xyloni) in the Sonoran Desert, USA. The ants are attracted to extrafloral nectar produced by the plants and in exchange protect the plants from herbivores; there is a hierarchy of mutualist effectiveness based on aggression toward herbivores. We determined the relationship between temperature and ant activity on plants, the thermal tolerance of each ant species, and ant activity in relation to the thermal environment of plants. Temperature played a role in determining which species interact as mutualists. Three of the four ant species abandoned the plants during the hottest part of the day (up to 40°C), returning when surface temperature began to decrease in the afternoon. The least effective ant mutualist, F. pruinosus, had a significantly higher critical thermal maximum than the other three species, was active across the entire range of plant surface temperatures observed (13.8-57.0°C), and visited plants that reached the highest temperatures. F. pruinosus occupied some plants full-time and invaded plants occupied by more dominant species when those species were thermally excluded. Combining data on thermal tolerance and mutualist effectiveness provides a potentially powerful tool for predicting the effects of temperature on mutualisms and mutualistic species. PMID:25012597

  10. Plant Fe status affects the composition of siderophore-secreting microbes in the rhizosphere

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Chong Wei; Li, Gui Xin; Yu, Xue Hui; Zheng, Shao Jiang

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Soil microbes have been demonstrated to play an important role in favouring plant iron (Fe) uptake under Fe-limiting conditions. However, the mechanisms involved are still unclear. This present study reported the effects of plant Fe status on the composition of siderophore-secreting microbes in the rhizosphere, and their potential function in improving plant Fe nutrition. Methods An Fe-efficient plant, red clover (Trifolium pratense ‘Kenland’) was cultured in a calcareous soil to obtain rhizosphere soils with (Fe-sufficient) or without (Fe-stressed) foliar FeEDTA spraying. The siderophore-producing ability of rhizospheric microbes was measured. The bioavailability of the siderophore-solubilized Fe from iron oxides/hydroxides was tested in hydroponic culture. Key Results In rhizosphere soil, the number of microbes that secreted siderophores quickly was more in the Fe-stressed treatment than in the Fe-sufficient one, while the number of microbes that did not secret siderophores was the opposite. A significantly higher concentration of phenolics was detected in the rhizosphere soil of Fe-stressed plants. Moreover, after the soil was incubated with phenolic root exudates, the composition of the siderophore-secreting microbial community was similar with that of the rhizosphere of Fe-stressed plant. Additionally, the siderophores produced by a rhizospheric microbe isolated from the Fe-stressed treatment can well solubilize iron oxides/hydroxides, and the utilization of the siderophore-solubilized Fe by plant was even more efficient than EDTA-Fe. Conclusions Iron-deficiency stress of red clover would alter the composition of siderophore-secreting microbes in the rhizosphere, which is probably due to the phenolics secretion of the root, and may in turn help to improve the solubility of Fe in soils and plant Fe nutrition via elevated microbial siderophore secretion. PMID:20356952

  11. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity. PMID:26197473

  12. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity.

  13. Response of barley plants to Fe deficiency and Cd contamination as affected by S starvation.

    PubMed

    Astolfi, S; Zuchi, S; Neumann, G; Cesco, S; Sanità di Toppi, L; Pinton, R

    2012-02-01

    Both Fe deficiency and Cd exposure induce rapid changes in the S nutritional requirement of plants. The aim of this work was to characterize the strategies adopted by plants to cope with both Fe deficiency (release of phytosiderophores) and Cd contamination [production of glutathione (GSH) and phytochelatins] when grown under conditions of limited S supply. Experiments were performed in hydroponics, using barley plants grown under S sufficiency (1.2 mM sulphate) and S deficiency (0 mM sulphate), with or without Fe(III)-EDTA at 0.08 mM for 11 d and subsequently exposed to 0.05 mM Cd for 24 h or 72 h. In S-sufficient plants, Fe deficiency enhanced both root and shoot Cd concentrations and increased GSH and phytochelatin levels. In S-deficient plants, Fe starvation caused a slight increase in Cd concentration, but this change was accompanied neither by an increase in GSH nor by an accumulation of phytochelatins. Release of phytosiderophores, only detectable in Fe-deficient plants, was strongly decreased by S deficiency and further reduced after Cd treatment. In roots Cd exposure increased the expression of the high affinity sulphate transporter gene (HvST1) regardless of the S supply, and the expression of the Fe deficiency-responsive genes, HvYS1 and HvIDS2, irrespective of Fe supply. In conclusion, adequate S availability is necessary to cope with Fe deficiency and Cd toxicity in barley plants. Moreover, it appears that in Fe-deficient plants grown in the presence of Cd with limited S supply, sulphur may be preferentially employed in the pathway for biosynthesis of phytosiderophores, rather than for phytochelatin production.

  14. Big plants — Do they affect neighbourhood species richness and composition in herbaceous vegetation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aarssen, Lonnie W.; Schamp, Brandon S.; Wight, Stephanie

    2014-02-01

    According to traditional theory, success in competition between plant species generally involves a 'size-advantage'. We predicted therefore that plants with larger body size should impose greater limits on the number of species — especially relatively small ones — that can reside within their immediate neighbourhoods. Species composition was compared within local neighbourhoods surrounding target plants of different sizes belonging to one of the largest herbaceous species found within old-field vegetation in eastern Ontario Canada — Centaurea jacea. Resident species density was generally greater within immediate 'inner' target neighbourhoods than within adjacent circular 'outer' neighbourhoods, and mean body size of resident neighbour species was unrelated to increases in target plant size. As target plant size increased, the proportion of resident neighbour species that were reproductive increased. Relatively big plants of C. jacea do not limit the number or the proportion of reproductive species that can coexist within their immediate neighbourhoods, nor do they cause local exclusion of relatively small species from these neighbourhoods. These results fail to support the 'size-advantage' hypothesis and are more consistent with the 'reproductive economy advantage' hypothesis: success under intense competition is promoted by capacity to recruit offspring that — despite severe suppression — are able to reach their minimum body size needed for reproduction, and hence produce grand-offspring for the next generation. The latter is facilitated by a relatively small minimum reproductive threshold size, which is generally negatively correlated with a relatively large maximum potential body size.

  15. NIMA-related kinase NEK6 affects plant growth and stress response in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bo; Chen, Hao-Wei; Mu, Rui-Ling; Zhang, Wang-Ke; Zhao, Ming-Yu; Wei, Wei; Wang, Fang; Yu, Hui; Lei, Gang; Zou, Hong-Feng; Ma, Biao; Chen, Shou-Yi; Zhang, Jin-Song

    2011-12-01

    The NIMA-related kinases (NEKs) are a family of serine/threonine kinases involved largely in cell cycle control in fungi, mammals and other eukaryotes. In Arabidopsis, NEK6 is involved in the regulation of epidermal cell morphogenesis. However, other roles of NEK6 in plants are less well understood. Here we report functions of NEK6 in plant growth, development and stress responses in Arabidopsis. NEK6 transcripts and proteins are induced by ethylene precursor ACC and salt stress. Expression of other NEK genes except NEK5 is also responsive to the two treatments. Overexpression and mutant analysis disclose that the NEK6 gene increases rosette growth, seed yield and lateral root formation. However, NEK6 appears to play a negative role in the control of seed size. The gene also promotes plant tolerance to salt stress and osmotic stress in its overexpressing plants. The NEK6 gene may achieve its function through suppression of ethylene biosynthesis and activation of CYCB1;1 and CYCA3;1 expression. Our present study reveals new functions of the NEK6 gene in plant growth and stress tolerance, and manipulation of NEK6 may improve important agronomic traits in crop plants. PMID:21801253

  16. Drying and Storage Methods Affect Cyfluthrin Concentrations in Exposed Plant Samples.

    PubMed

    Moore, M T; Kröger, R; Locke, M A

    2016-08-01

    Standard procedures do not exist for drying and storage of plant samples prior to chemical analyses. Since immediate analysis is not always possible, current research examined which plant drying and storage method yielded the highest cyfluthrin recovery rates compared to traditional mechanical freeze-drying methods. Fifteen mesocosms were planted with rice. Cyfluthrin (5 mg L(-1)) was amended into the water column of individual mesocosms. 48 h later, plant material in the water column was collected from each mesocosm. Control (mechanical freeze drying) recovery was significantly greater (p < 0.001) than all 14 combinations of drying and storage. Significant differences also existed between all 14 different combinations. Greatest cyfluthrin recoveries in non-control plants were from the freezer-greenhouse-freezer drying and storage method. Results offer evidence for the efficient plant drying and storage methods prior to cyfluthrin analysis. Future studies should perform comparable analyses on various pesticide classes to determine possible relationships. PMID:27225509

  17. Population-related variation in plant defense more strongly affects survival of an herbivore than its solitary parasitoid wasp.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Jeffrey A; Gols, Rieta

    2011-10-01

    The performance of natural enemies, such as parasitoid wasps, is affected by differences in the quality of the host's diet, frequently mediated by species or population-related differences in plant allelochemistry. Here, we compared survival, development time, and body mass in a generalist herbivore, the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae, and its solitary endoparasitoid, Microplitis mediator, when reared on two cultivated (CYR and STH) and three wild (KIM, OH, and WIN) populations of cabbage, Brassica oleracea. Plants either were undamaged or induced by feeding of larvae of the cabbage butterfly, Pieris rapae. Development and biomass of M. brassicae and Mi. mediator were similar on both cultivated and one wild cabbage population (KIM), intermediate on the OH population, and significantly lower on the WIN population. Moreover, development was prolonged and biomass was reduced on herbivore-induced plants. However, only the survival of parasitized hosts (and not that of healthy larvae) was affected by induction. Analysis of glucosinolates in leaves of the cabbages revealed higher levels in the wild populations than cultivars, with the highest concentrations in WIN plants. Multivariate statistics revealed a negative correlation between insect performance and total levels of glucosinolates (GS) and levels of 3-butenyl GS. However, GS chemistry could not explain the reduced performance on induced plants since only indole GS concentrations increased in response to herbivory, which did not affect insect performance based on multivariate statistics. This result suggests that, in addition to aliphatic GS, other non-GS chemicals are responsible for the decline in insect performance, and that these chemicals affect the parasitoid more strongly than the host. Remarkably, when developing on WIN plants, the survival of Mi. mediator to adult eclosion was much higher than in its host, M. brassicae. This may be due to the fact that hosts parasitized by Mi. mediator pass through fewer

  18. Pesticides used in cotton production affect reproductive development, endocrine regulation, liver status and offspring fitness in African catfish Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822).

    PubMed

    Agbohessi, Prudencio T; Toko, Ibrahim I; Atchou, Vincent; Tonato, Roland; Mandiki, S N M; Kestemont, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    We exposed African catfish Clarias gariepinus from embryo-larvae stage to adult stage (13 months old, BW) to chronic doses of Tihan 175 O-TEQ and endosulfan (Thionex) and assessed the impact of this exposure on endocrine regulation, liver status and offspring fitness. Endosulfan exposure caused a significant increase in plasma estradiol-17β (E2) and decreased plasma testosterone (T) but not 11 ketotestosterone (11-KT). Tihan decreased significantly plasma E2 and 11-KT, but not T. Endosulfan doses altered gonad histology and induced high proportions (18–30% of males) of ovotestis in males and follicular atretic oocytes in females, indicating occurrence of feminization in fish. Tihan also altered gonad histology but only one case of ovotestis was observed at the highest dose. Presence of foam cells in lobular lumen, fibrosis, necrosis, and immature cells released in lobular lumen were found in male gonads and melano-macrophage centers (MMCs), necrosis, fibrosis and vacuolation were observed in female gonads. Fish livers also suffered injuries such as MMCs, necrosis, fibrosis, vacuolation, dilatation of sinusoids, and nuclear pleomorphism. Chronic Tihan and Thionex exposures decreased fertilization rate, hatching rate, ova and larval weight, as well as larval resistance to osmotic choc. They also delayed hatching and increased abnormalities in the F1 generation, all these indicators suggesting transgenerational effects of these compounds.

  19. A GacS deficiency does not affect Pseudomonas chlororaphis PA23 fitness when growing on canola, in aged batch culture or as a biofilm.

    PubMed

    Poritsanos, N; Selin, C; Fernando, W G D; Nakkeeran, S; de Kievit, T R

    2006-12-01

    Pseudomonas chlororaphis PA23 is a biocontrol agent that protects against the fungal pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Employing transposon mutagenesis, we isolated a gacS mutant that no longer exhibited antifungal activity. Pseudomonas chlororaphis PA23 was previously reported to produce the nonvolatile antibiotics phenazine 1-carboxylic acid and 2-hydroxyphenazine. We report here that PA23 produces additional compounds, including protease, lipase, hydrogen cyanide, and siderophores, that may contribute to its biocontrol ability. In the gacS mutant background, generation of these products was markedly reduced or delayed with the exception of siderophores, which were elevated. Not surprisingly, this mutant was unable to protect canola from disease incited by S. sclerotiorum. The gacS mutant was able to sustain itself in the canola phyllosphere, therefore, the loss of biocontrol activity can be attributed to a reduced production of antifungal compounds and not a declining population size. Competition assays between the mutant and wild type revealed equivalent fitness in aged batch culture; consequently, the gacS mutation did not impart a growth advantage in the stationary phase phenotype. Under minimal nutrient conditions, the gacS-deficient strain produced a tenfold less biofilm than the wild type. However, no difference was observed in the ability of the mutant biofilm to protect cells from lethal antibiotic challenge. PMID:17473887

  20. Microbial composition in a deep saline aquifer in the North German Basin -microbiologically induced corrosion and mineral precipitation affecting geothermal plant operation and the effects of plant downtime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerm, Stephanie; Westphal, Anke; Miethling-Graff, Rona; Alawi, Mashal; Seibt, Andrea; Wolfgramm, Markus; Würdemann, Hilke

    2013-04-01

    The microbial composition in fluids of a deep saline geothermal used aquifer in the North German Basin was characterized over a period of five years. The genetic fingerprinting techniques PCR-SSCP and PCR-DGGE revealed distinct microbial communities in fluids produced from the cold and warm side of the aquifer. Direct cell counting and quantification of 16S rRNA genes and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrA) genes by real-time PCR proved different population sizes in fluids, showing higher abundance of Bacteria and sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) in cold fluids compared to warm fluids. Predominating SRB in the cold well probably accounted for corrosion damage to the submersible well pump, and iron sulfide precipitates in the near wellbore area and topside facility filters. This corresponded to a lower sulfate content in fluids produced from the cold well as well as higher content of hydrogen gas that was probably released from corrosion, and maybe favoured growth of hydrogenotrophic SRB. Plant downtime significantly influenced the microbial biocenosis in fluids. Samples taken after plant restart gave indications about the processes occurring downhole during those phases. High DNA concentrations in fluids at the beginning of the restart process with a decreasing trend over time indicated a higher abundance of microbes during plant downtime compared to regular plant operation. It is likely that a gradual drop in temperature as well as stagnant conditions favoured the growth of microbes and maturation of biofilms at the casing and in pores of the reservoir rock in the near wellbore area. Furthermore, it became obvious that the microorganisms were more associated to particles then free-living. This study reflects the high influence of microbial populations for geothermal plant operation, because microbiologically induced precipitative and corrosive processes adversely affect plant reliability. Those processes may favourably occur during plant downtime due to enhanced

  1. How do soil texture, plant community composition and earthworms affected the infiltration rate in a grassland plant diversity experiment depending on season?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Christine; Britta, Merkel; Nico, Eisenhauer; Christiane, Roscher; Sabine, Attinger; Stefan, Scheu; Anke, Hildebrandt

    2013-04-01

    Background and aims: In this study we analyzed the influences of plant community characteristics, soil texture and earthworm presence on infiltration rates on a managed grassland plant diversity experiment assessing the role of biotic and abiotic factors on soil hydrology. Methods: We measured infiltration using a hood infiltrometer in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density (earthworm extraction) nested in plots of different plant species richness (1, 4, and 16), plant functional group number and composition (1 to 4; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs) in early summer (June) and autumn (September, October) 2011. Results: The presence of certain plant functional groups such as grasses and legumes influenced infiltration rates and this effect enhanced during the growing season. Infiltration was significantly higher in plots containing legumes than in plots without, and it was significantly lower in the presence of grasses than in their absence. In early summer, earthworm presence and biomass increased the infiltration rates, independently of plant species richness. In October, plant species richness only affected infiltration rates in reduced earthworm plots. At the end of the growing season earthworm populations were negatively influenced by grasses and positively by legumes. In September, infiltration rates were positive related to the proportion of finer grains. The correlation disappears when removing all plots containing legumes from the sample. For all measurements the infiltration rates decreases from early summer to autumn at the matric potentials at pressure zero and -0.02 m, but not for smaller macropores at matric potentials -0.04 and -0.06m. Conclusions: Considering infiltration rates as ecosystem function, this function will largely depend on the ecosystem composition and season, not on biodiversity per se. Our results indicate that biotic factors are of overriding influence for shaping infiltration rates mainly for larger macropores

  2. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal phylogenetic groups differ in affecting host plants along heavy metal levels.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Yang, Haishui; Yu, Zhenxing; Tang, Jianjun; Xu, Ligen; Chen, Xin

    2014-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment. PMID:25288547

  3. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal phylogenetic groups differ in affecting host plants along heavy metal levels.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Yang, Haishui; Yu, Zhenxing; Tang, Jianjun; Xu, Ligen; Chen, Xin

    2014-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment.

  4. Exercisers' perceptions of their fitness instructor's interacting style, perceived competence, and autonomy as a function of self-determined regulation to exercise, enjoyment, affect, and exercise frequency.

    PubMed

    Puente, Rogelio; Anshel, Mark H

    2010-02-01

    The primary purpose of the present investigation was to test the hypothesis, derived from Self-Determination Theory (SDT), that an individual's perceived competence and autonomy mediate the relationship between the exercisers' perception of their instructor's interaction style and the exercisers' motivation to exercise. A secondary purpose was to identify the affective and behavioral outcomes derived from self-determined regulation. It was hypothesized that SDT would significantly explain and predict exercise behavior. Participants consisted of 238 college students, 103 males and 135 females (M age = 20.4 years, SD = 2.16), who volunteered to participate in the study. They were asked to complete a battery of questionnaires measuring instructor's interacting style, self-regulation to exercise, perceived autonomy and competence, enjoyment, positive and negative affect, and exercise frequency. Using structural equation modeling with observed variables, the results showed that perceived competence and autonomy mediated the relationship between perceived instructor's interacting style and self-determined regulation. It was also found that self-determined regulation was significantly related to exercise enjoyment, positive affect, and exercise frequency. It was concluded that understanding the motivational factors and emotional and behavioral consequences of physical activity will partially explain an individual's motives to engage regularly in exercise.

  5. Naturally segregating loci exhibit epistasis for fitness

    PubMed Central

    Monnahan, Patrick J.; Kelly, John K.

    2015-01-01

    The extent to which gene interaction or epistasis contributes to fitness variation within populations remains poorly understood, despite its importance to a myriad of evolutionary questions. Here, we report a multi-year field study estimating fitness of Mimulus guttatus genetic lines in which pairs of naturally segregating loci exist in an otherwise uniform background. An allele at QTL x5b—a locus originally mapped for its effect on flower size—positively affects survival if combined with one genotype at quantitative trait locus x10a (aa) but has negative effects when combined with the other genotypes (Aa and AA). The viability differences between genotypes parallel phenotypic differences for the time and node at which a plant flowers. Viability is negatively correlated with fecundity across genotypes, indicating antagonistic pleiotropy for fitness components. This trade-off reduces the genetic variance for total fitness relative to the individual fitness components and thus may serve to maintain variation. Additionally, we find that the effects of each locus and their interaction often vary with the environment. PMID:26246336

  6. Fungal infection reduces herbivore-induced plant volatiles of maize but does not affect naïve parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Rostás, Michael; Ton, Jurriaan; Mauch-Mani, Brigitte; Turlings, Ted C J

    2006-09-01

    Plants attacked by insects release volatile compounds that attract the herbivores' natural enemies. This so-called indirect defense is plastic and may be affected by an array of biotic and abiotic factors. We investigated the effect of fungal infection as a biotic stress agent on the emission of herbivore-induced volatiles and the possible consequences for the attraction of two parasitoid species. Maize seedlings that were simultaneously attacked by the fungus Setosphaeria turcica and larvae of Spodoptera littoralis emitted a blend of volatiles that was qualitatively similar to the blend emitted by maize that was damaged by only the herbivore, but there was a clear quantitative difference. When simultaneously challenged by fungus and herbivore, the maize plants emitted in total 47% less of the volatiles. Emissions of green leaf volatiles were unaffected. In a six-arm olfactometer, the parasitoids Cotesia marginiventris and Microplitis rufiventris responded equally well to odors of herbivore-damaged and fungus- and herbivore-damaged maize plants. Healthy and fungus-infected plants were not attractive. An additional experiment showed that the performance of S. littoralis caterpillars was not affected by the presence of the pathogen, nor was there an effect on larvae of M. rufiventris developing inside the caterpillars. Our results confirm previous indications that naïve wasps may respond primarily to the green leaf volatiles.

  7. Increased phloem transport of S-methylmethionine positively affects sulfur and nitrogen metabolism and seed development in pea plants.

    PubMed

    Tan, Qiumin; Zhang, Lizhi; Grant, Jan; Cooper, Pauline; Tegeder, Mechthild

    2010-12-01

    Seeds of grain legumes are important energy and food sources for humans and animals. However, the yield and quality of legume seeds are limited by the amount of sulfur (S) partitioned to the seeds. The amino acid S-methylmethionine (SMM), a methionine derivative, has been proposed to be an important long-distance transport form of reduced S, and we analyzed whether SMM phloem loading and source-sink translocation are important for the metabolism and growth of pea (Pisum sativum) plants. Transgenic plants were produced in which the expression of a yeast SMM transporter, S-Methylmethionine Permease1 (MMP1, YLL061W), was targeted to the phloem and seeds. Phloem exudate analysis showed that concentrations of SMM are elevated in MMP1 plants, suggesting increased phloem loading. Furthermore, expression studies of genes involved in S transport and metabolism in source organs, as well as xylem sap analyses, support that S uptake and assimilation are positively affected in MMP1 roots. Concomitantly, nitrogen (N) assimilation in root and leaf and xylem amino acid profiles were changed, resulting in increased phloem loading of amino acids. When investigating the effects of increased S and N phloem transport on seed metabolism, we found that protein levels were improved in MMP1 seeds. In addition, changes in SMM phloem loading affected plant growth and seed number, leading to an overall increase in seed S, N, and protein content in MMP1 plants. Together, these results suggest that phloem loading and source-sink partitioning of SMM are important for plant S and N metabolism and transport as well as seed set.

  8. Changes in the salinity tolerance of sweet pepper plants as affected by nitrogen form and high CO2 concentration.

    PubMed

    Piñero, María C; Pérez-Jiménez, Margarita; López-Marín, Josefa; Del Amor, Francisco M

    2016-08-01

    The assimilation and availability of nitrogen in its different forms can significantly affect the response of primary productivity under the current atmospheric alteration and soil degradation. An elevated CO2 concentration (e[CO2]) triggers changes in the efficiency and efficacy of photosynthetic processes, water use and product yield, the plant response to stress being altered with respect to ambient CO2 conditions (a[CO2]). Additionally, NH4(+) has been related to improved plant responses to stress, considering both energy efficiency in N-assimilation and the overcoming of the inhibition of photorespiration at e[CO2]. Therefore, the aim of this work was to determine the response of sweet pepper plants (Capsicum annuum L.) receiving an additional supply of NH4(+) (90/10 NO3(-)/NH4(+)) to salinity stress (60mM NaCl) under a[CO2] (400μmolmol(-1)) or e[CO2] (800μmolmol(-1)). Salt-stressed plants grown at e[CO2] showed DW accumulation similar to that of the non-stressed plants at a[CO2]. The supply of NH4(+) reduced growth at e[CO2] when salinity was imposed. Moreover, NH4(+) differentially affected the stomatal conductance and water use efficiency and the leaf Cl(-), K(+), and Na(+) concentrations, but the extent of the effects was influenced by the [CO2]. An antioxidant-related response was prompted by salinity, the total phenolics and proline concentrations being reduced by NH4(+) at e[CO2]. Our results show that the effect of NH4(+) on plant salinity tolerance should be globally re-evaluated as e[CO2] can significantly alter the response, when compared with previous studies at a[CO2].

  9. Changes in the salinity tolerance of sweet pepper plants as affected by nitrogen form and high CO2 concentration.

    PubMed

    Piñero, María C; Pérez-Jiménez, Margarita; López-Marín, Josefa; Del Amor, Francisco M

    2016-08-01

    The assimilation and availability of nitrogen in its different forms can significantly affect the response of primary productivity under the current atmospheric alteration and soil degradation. An elevated CO2 concentration (e[CO2]) triggers changes in the efficiency and efficacy of photosynthetic processes, water use and product yield, the plant response to stress being altered with respect to ambient CO2 conditions (a[CO2]). Additionally, NH4(+) has been related to improved plant responses to stress, considering both energy efficiency in N-assimilation and the overcoming of the inhibition of photorespiration at e[CO2]. Therefore, the aim of this work was to determine the response of sweet pepper plants (Capsicum annuum L.) receiving an additional supply of NH4(+) (90/10 NO3(-)/NH4(+)) to salinity stress (60mM NaCl) under a[CO2] (400μmolmol(-1)) or e[CO2] (800μmolmol(-1)). Salt-stressed plants grown at e[CO2] showed DW accumulation similar to that of the non-stressed plants at a[CO2]. The supply of NH4(+) reduced growth at e[CO2] when salinity was imposed. Moreover, NH4(+) differentially affected the stomatal conductance and water use efficiency and the leaf Cl(-), K(+), and Na(+) concentrations, but the extent of the effects was influenced by the [CO2]. An antioxidant-related response was prompted by salinity, the total phenolics and proline concentrations being reduced by NH4(+) at e[CO2]. Our results show that the effect of NH4(+) on plant salinity tolerance should be globally re-evaluated as e[CO2] can significantly alter the response, when compared with previous studies at a[CO2]. PMID:27317970

  10. Do postfire mulching treatments affect plant community recovery in California coastal sage scrub lands?

    PubMed

    McCullough, Sarah A; Endress, Bryan A

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the use of postfire mulch treatments to stabilize slopes and reduce soil erosion in shrubland ecosystems has increased; however, the potential effects on plant recovery have not been examined. To evaluate the effects of mulching treatments on postfire plant recovery in southern California coastal sage scrub, we conducted a field experiment with three experimental treatments, consisting of two hydromulch products and an erosion control blanket, plus a control treatment. The area burned in 2007, and treatments were applied to six plot blocks before the 2008 growing season. Treatment effects on plant community recovery were analyzed with a mixed effects ANOVA analysis using a univariate repeated measures approach. Absolute plant cover increased from 13 to 90% by the end of the second growing season, and the mean relative cover of exotic species was 32%. The two hydromulch treatments had no effect on any plant community recovery response variable measured. For the erosion control blanket treatment, the amount of bare ground cover at the end of the second growing season was significantly lower (P = 0.01), and greater shrub height was observed (P < 0.01). We conclude that postfire mulch treatments did not provide either a major benefit or negative impact to coastal sage scrub recovery on the study area.

  11. Uptake of Pharmaceuticals Influences Plant Development and Affects Nutrient and Hormone Homeostases.

    PubMed

    Carter, Laura J; Williams, Mike; Böttcher, Christine; Kookana, Rai S

    2015-10-20

    The detection of a range of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the soil environment has led to a number of publications demonstrating uptake by crops, however very few studies have explored the potential for impacts on plant development as a result of API uptake. This study investigated the effect of carbamazepine and verapamil (0.005-10 mg/kg) on a range of plant responses in zucchini (Cucurbita pepo). Uptake increased in a dose-dependent manner, with maximum leaf concentrations of 821.9 and 2.2 mg/kg for carbamazepine and verapamil, respectively. Increased carbamazepine uptake by zucchini resulted in a decrease in above (<60%) and below (<30%) ground biomass compared to the controls (p < 0.05). At soil concentrations >4 mg/kg the mature leaves suffered from burnt edges and white spots as well as a reduction in photosynthetic pigments but no such effects were seen for verapamil. For both APIs, further investigations revealed significant differences in the concentrations of selected plant hormones (auxins, cytokinins, abscisic acid and jasmonates), and in the nutrient composition of the leaves in comparison to the controls (p < 0.05). This is some of the first research to demonstrate that the exposure of plants to APIs is likely to cause impacts on plant development with unknown implications.

  12. Morphological Characteristics of Maize Canopy Development as Affected by Increased Plant Density.

    PubMed

    Song, Youhong; Rui, Yukui; Bedane, Guta; Li, Jincai

    2016-01-01

    Improving crop productivity through higher plant density requires a detailed understanding of organ development in response to increased interplant competition. The objective of this paper is thus to investigate the characteristics of organ development under increased interplant competition. A field experiment was conducted to investigate organ development across 4 maize plant densities i.e. 2, 6, 12 and 20 plants m-2 (referred to PD2, PD6, PD12 and PD20 respectively). In response to increased interplant competition, lengths of both laminae and sheaths increased in lower phytomers, but decreased in upper phytomers. Sheath extension appeared to be less sensitive to increased interplant competition than lamina extension. Extension of laminae and internodes responded to increased plant density as soon as onset of mild interplant competition, but did not respond any further to severe competition. Both lamina width and internode diameter were reduced due to a smaller growth rate in response to increased plant density. Overall, this study identified that organ expansion rate can be taken as the key morphological factor to determine the degree of interplant competition.

  13. Morphological Characteristics of Maize Canopy Development as Affected by Increased Plant Density

    PubMed Central

    Song, Youhong; Rui, Yukui; Bedane, Guta; Li, Jincai

    2016-01-01

    Improving crop productivity through higher plant density requires a detailed understanding of organ development in response to increased interplant competition. The objective of this paper is thus to investigate the characteristics of organ development under increased interplant competition. A field experiment was conducted to investigate organ development across 4 maize plant densities i.e. 2, 6, 12 and 20 plants m–2 (referred to PD2, PD6, PD12 and PD20 respectively). In response to increased interplant competition, lengths of both laminae and sheaths increased in lower phytomers, but decreased in upper phytomers. Sheath extension appeared to be less sensitive to increased interplant competition than lamina extension. Extension of laminae and internodes responded to increased plant density as soon as onset of mild interplant competition, but did not respond any further to severe competition. Both lamina width and internode diameter were reduced due to a smaller growth rate in response to increased plant density. Overall, this study identified that organ expansion rate can be taken as the key morphological factor to determine the degree of interplant competition. PMID:27129101

  14. Uptake of Pharmaceuticals Influences Plant Development and Affects Nutrient and Hormone Homeostases.

    PubMed

    Carter, Laura J; Williams, Mike; Böttcher, Christine; Kookana, Rai S

    2015-10-20

    The detection of a range of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the soil environment has led to a number of publications demonstrating uptake by crops, however very few studies have explored the potential for impacts on plant development as a result of API uptake. This study investigated the effect of carbamazepine and verapamil (0.005-10 mg/kg) on a range of plant responses in zucchini (Cucurbita pepo). Uptake increased in a dose-dependent manner, with maximum leaf concentrations of 821.9 and 2.2 mg/kg for carbamazepine and verapamil, respectively. Increased carbamazepine uptake by zucchini resulted in a decrease in above (<60%) and below (<30%) ground biomass compared to the controls (p < 0.05). At soil concentrations >4 mg/kg the mature leaves suffered from burnt edges and white spots as well as a reduction in photosynthetic pigments but no such effects were seen for verapamil. For both APIs, further investigations revealed significant differences in the concentrations of selected plant hormones (auxins, cytokinins, abscisic acid and jasmonates), and in the nutrient composition of the leaves in comparison to the controls (p < 0.05). This is some of the first research to demonstrate that the exposure of plants to APIs is likely to cause impacts on plant development with unknown implications. PMID:26418514

  15. Modification of nitrate uptake pathway in plants affects the cadmium uptake by roots.

    PubMed

    Guan, Mei Yan; Fan, Shi Kai; Fang, Xian Zhi; Jin, Chong Wei

    2015-01-01

    NRT1.1 is a dual-affinity nitrate (NO3(-)) transporter involved in both high- and low-affinity NO3(-) uptake in Arabidopsis plants. In a recent study, we showed that, under cadmium (Cd) exposure, blocking the NRT1.1-mediated NO3(-) uptake reduces Cd entry into roots, thus lowing Cd levels in plants and improving plant growth. In addition, we also found that the Cd levels in edible parts of 11 Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis) cultivars correlated well with the NO3(-) uptake rates of their roots. These results suggested that the NO3(-) uptake of roots negatively regulate Cd uptake. Modification of NO3(-) uptake in crops by modulating NO3(-) uptake pathway might provide a biological engineering approach to reducing Cd accumulation in edible organs, thus improving food safety.

  16. How do increasing background concentrations of tropospheric ozone affect peatland plant growth and carbon gas exchange?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williamson, Jennifer L.; Mills, Gina; Hayes, Felicity; Jones, Timothy; Freeman, Chris

    2016-02-01

    In this study we have demonstrated that plants originating from upland peat bogs are sensitive to increasing background concentrations of ozone. Peatland mesocosms from an upland peat bog in North Wales, UK were exposed to eight levels of elevated background ozone in solardomes for 4 months from May to August, with 24 h mean ozone concentrations ranging from 16 to 94 ppb and cumulative AOT024hr ranging from 45.98 ppm h to 259.63 ppm h. Our results show that plant senescence increased with increasing exposure to ozone, although there was no significant effect of increasing ozone on plant biomass. Assessments of carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from the mesocosms suggests that there was no change in carbon dioxide fluxes over the 4 month exposure period but that methane fluxes increased as cumulative ozone exposure increased to a maximum AOT 024hr of approximately 120 ppm h and then decreased as cumulative ozone exposure increased further.

  17. Volatile communication between plants that affects herbivory: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Karban, Richard; Yang, Louie H; Edwards, Kyle F

    2014-01-01

    Volatile communication between plants causing enhanced defence has been controversial. Early studies were not replicated, and influential reviews questioned the validity of the phenomenon. We collected 48 well-replicated studies and found overall support for the hypothesis that resistance increased for individuals with damaged neighbours. Laboratory or greenhouse studies and those conducted on agricultural crops showed stronger induced resistance than field studies on undomesticated species, presumably because other variation had been reduced. A cumulative analysis revealed that early, non-replicated studies were more variable and showed less evidence for communication. Effects of habitat and plant growth form were undetectable. In most cases, the mechanisms of resistance and alternative hypotheses were not considered. There was no indication that some response variables were more likely to produce large effects. These results indicate that plants of diverse taxonomic affinities and ecological conditions become more resistant to herbivores when exposed to volatiles from damaged neighbours.

  18. Fitness in soil and rhizosphere of Pseudomonas fluorescens C7R12 compared with a C7R12 mutant affected in pyoverdine synthesis and uptake.

    PubMed

    Mirleau; Delorme; Philippot; Meyer; Mazurier; Lemanceau

    2000-10-01

    Fluorescent pseudomonads have evolved an efficient strategy of iron uptake based on the synthesis of the siderophore pyoverdine and its relevant outer membrane receptor. The possible implication of pyoverdine synthesis and uptake on the ecological competence of a model strain (Pseudomonas fluorescens C7R12) in soil habitats was evaluated using a pyoverdine minus mutant (PL1) obtained by random insertion of the transposon Tn5. The Tn5 flanking DNA was amplified by inverse PCR and sequenced. The nucleotide sequence was found to show a high level of identity with pvsB, a pyoverdine synthetase. As expected, the mutant PL1 was significantly more susceptible to iron starvation than the wild-type strain despite its ability to produce another unknown siderophore. As with the wild-type strain, the mutant PL1 was able to incorporate the wild-type pyoverdine and five pyoverdines of foreign origin, but at a significantly lower rate despite the similarity of the outer membrane protein patterns of the two strains. The survival kinetics of the wild-type and of the pyoverdine minus mutant, in bulk and rhizosphere soil, were compared under gnotobiotic and non-gnotobiotic conditions. In gnotobiotic model systems, both strains, when inoculated separately, showed a similar survival in soil and rhizosphere, suggesting that iron was not a limiting factor. In contrast, when inoculated together, the bacterial competition was favorable to the pyoverdine producer C7R12. The efficient fitness of PL1 in the presence of the indigenous microflora, even when coinoculated with C7R12, is assumed to be related to its ability to uptake heterologous pyoverdines. Altogether, these results suggest that pyoverdine-mediated iron uptake is involved in the ecological competence of the strain P. fluorescens C7R12. PMID:11053734

  19. Plant waxy bloom on peas affects infection of pea aphids by Pandora neoaphidis.

    PubMed

    Duetting, Patrick S; Ding, Hongjian; Neufeld, Jeffrey; Eigenbrode, Sanford D

    2003-11-01

    This study examined the effects of the surface wax bloom of pea plants, Pisum sativum, on infection of pea aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum, by the fungal pathogen Pandora neoaphidis. In prior field surveys, a higher proportion of P. neoaphidis-killed pea aphids (cadavers) had been observed on a pea line with reduced wax bloom, as compared with a sister line with normal surface wax bloom. Laboratory bioassays were conducted in order to examine the mechanisms. After plants of each line infested with aphids were exposed to similar densities of conidia, the rate of accumulation of cadavers on the reduced wax line was significantly greater than on the normal wax bloom line; at the end of the experiment (13d), the proportion of aphid cadavers on the reduced wax line was approximately four times that on the normal wax bloom line. When plants were exposed to conidia first and then infested with aphids, the rate of accumulation of cadavers was slightly but significantly greater on the reduced wax line, and infection at the end of the experiment (16d) did not differ between the lines. When aphids were exposed first and then released onto the plants, no differences in the proportion of aphid cadavers were observed between the pea lines. Greater infection of pea aphid on reduced wax peas appears to depend upon plants being exposed to inoculum while aphids are settled in typical feeding positions on the plant. Additional experiments demonstrated increased adhesion and germination by P. neoaphidis conidia to leaf surfaces of the reduced wax line as compared with normal wax line, and this could help explain the higher infection rate by P. neoaphidis on the reduced wax line. In bioassays using surface waxes extracted from the two lines, there was no effect of wax source on germination of P. neoaphidis conidia.

  20. Agave salmiana Plant Communities in Central Mexico as Affected by Commercial Use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal ( Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha-1) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha-1) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha-1) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  1. Agave salmiana plant communities in central Mexico as affected by commercial use.

    PubMed

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal (Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha(-1)) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha(-1)) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha(-1)) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  2. Plant species diversity affects soil-atmosphere fluxes of methane and nitrous oxide.

    PubMed

    Niklaus, Pascal A; Le Roux, Xavier; Poly, Franck; Buchmann, Nina; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Weigelt, Alexandra; Barnard, Romain L

    2016-07-01

    Plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning can potentially interact with global climate by altering fluxes of the radiatively active trace gases nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4). We studied the effects of grassland species richness (1-16) in combination with application of fertilizer (nitrogen:phosphorus:potassium = 100:43.6:83 kg ha(-1) a(-1)) on N2O and CH4 fluxes in a long-term field experiment. Soil N2O emissions, measured over 2 years using static chambers, decreased with species richness unless fertilizer was added. N2O emissions increased with fertilization and the fraction of legumes in plant communities. Soil CH4 uptake, a process driven by methanotrophic bacteria, decreased with plant species numbers, irrespective of fertilization. Using structural equation models, we related trace gas fluxes to soil moisture, soil inorganic N concentrations, nitrifying and denitrifying enzyme activity, and the abundance of ammonia oxidizers, nitrite oxidizers, and denitrifiers (quantified by real-time PCR of gene fragments amplified from microbial DNA in soil). These analyses indicated that plant species richness increased soil moisture, which in turn increased N cycling-related activities. Enhanced N cycling increased N2O emission and soil CH4 uptake, with the latter possibly caused by removal of inhibitory ammonium by nitrification. The moisture-related indirect effects were surpassed by direct, moisture-independent effects opposite in direction. Microbial gene abundances responded positively to fertilizer but not to plant species richness. The response patterns we found were statistically robust and highlight the potential of plant biodiversity to interact with climatic change through mechanisms unrelated to carbon storage and associated carbon dioxide removal. PMID:27038993

  3. Study of Plant Cell Wall Polymers Affected by Metal Accumulation Using Stimulated Raman Scattering Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Ding, Shi-You

    2015-03-02

    This project aims to employ newly-developed chemical imaging techniques to measure, in real-time, the concentration, dynamics and spatial distribution of plant cell wall polymers during biomass growth with inoculation of transgenic symbiotic fungi, and to explore a new pathway of delivering detoxified metal to plant apoplast using transgenic symbiotic fungi, which will enhance metal accumulation from soil, and potentially these metals may in turn be used as catalysts to improve the efficiency of biomass conversion to biofuels. The proposed new pathway of biomass production will: 1) benefit metal and radionuclide contaminant mobility in subsurface environments, and 2) potentially improve biomass production and process for bioenergy

  4. Overexpression of the CC-type glutaredoxin, OsGRX6 affects hormone and nitrogen status in rice plants

    PubMed Central

    El-Kereamy, Ashraf; Bi, Yong-Mei; Mahmood, Kashif; Ranathunge, Kosala; Yaish, Mahmoud W.; Nambara, Eiji; Rothstein, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Glutaredoxins (GRXs) are small glutathione dependent oxidoreductases that belong to the Thioredoxin (TRX) superfamily and catalyze the reduction of disulfide bonds of their substrate proteins. Plant GRXs include three different groups based on the motif sequence, namely CPYC, CGFS, and CC-type proteins. The rice CC-type proteins, OsGRX6 was identified during the screening for genes whose expression changes depending on the level of available nitrate. Overexpression of OsGRX6 in rice displayed a semi-dwarf phenotype. The OsGRX6 overexpressors contain a higher nitrogen content than the wild type, indicating that OsGRX6 plays a role in homeostatic regulation of nitrogen use. Consistent with this, OsGRX6 overexpressors displayed delayed chlorophyll degradation and senescence compared to the wild type plants. To examine if the growth defect of these transgenic lines attribute to disturbed plant hormone actions, plant hormone levels were measured. The levels of two cytokinins (CKs), 2-isopentenyladenine and trans-zeatin, and gibberellin A1 (GA1) were increased in these lines. We also found that these transgenic lines were less sensitive to exogenously applied GA, suggesting that the increase in GA1 is a result of the feedback regulation. These data suggest that OsGRX6 affects hormone signaling and nitrogen status in rice plants. PMID:26579177

  5. Critical rearing parameters of Tetrastichus planipennisi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) as affected by host plant substrate and host-parasitoid group structure.

    PubMed

    Duan, Jian J; Oppel, Craig

    2012-06-01

    In laboratory assays, we evaluated the potential impact of host plant substrate types, host-parasitoid group sizes (densities), and parasitoid-to-host ratios on select fitness parameters of the larval endoparasitoid Tetrastichus planipennisi Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), newly introduced for biological control of emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), in the United States. Results from our study showed that offspring production and critical fitness parameters (body size and sex ratio) of T. planipennisi from parasitized emerald ash borer larvae are significantly influenced by host plant substrate type, host-parasitoid group size, parasitoid-to-host ratio, or a combination in the primary exposure assay. The number of both female and male T. planipennisi progeny was significantly greater when emerald ash borer larvae were inserted into tropical ash [Fraxinus uhdei (Wenz.) Lingelsh.] logs rather than green ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica Marshall). When maintained at a constant 1:1 parasitoid-to-host ratio, assays with larger host-parasitoid group sizes (3:3-12:12) produced significantly greater numbers of both male and female offspring per parental wasp compared with those with the single host-parasitoid (1:1) group treatment. As the parasitoid-to-host ratio increased from 1:1 to 8:1 in the assay, the average brood size (number of offspring per parasitized emerald ash borer larva) increased significantly, whereas the average brood sex ratio (female to male) changed from being female-biased (6:1) to male-biased (1:2); body size of female offspring as measured by the length of ovipositor and left hind tibia also was reduced significantly. Based on these findings, we suggest that the current method of rearing T. planipennisi with artificially infested-emerald ash borer larvae use the tropical ash logs for emerald ash borer insertion, a larger (> or = 3:3) host-parasitoid group size and 1:1 parasitoid-to-host ratio in the primary

  6. Factors affecting xylene-contaminated air removal by the ornamental plant Zamioculcas zamiifolia.

    PubMed

    Sriprapat, Wararat; Boraphech, Phattara; Thiravetyan, Paitip

    2014-02-01

    Fifteen plant species-Alternanthera bettzickiana, Drimiopsis botryoides, Aloe vera, Chlorophytum comosum, Aglaonema commutatum, Cordyline fruticosa, Philodendron martianum, Sansevieria hyacinthoides, Aglaonema rotundum, Fittonia albivenis, Muehlenbeckia platyclada, Tradescantia spathacea, Guzmania lingulata, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, and Cyperus alternifolius-were evaluated for the removal efficiency of xylene from contaminated air. Among the test plants, Z. zamiifolia showed the highest xylene removal efficiency. Xylene was toxic to Z. zamiifolia with an LC50 of 3,464 ppm. Higher concentrations of xylene exhibited damage symptoms, including leaf tips turning yellow, holonecrosis, and hydrosis. TEM images showed that a low concentration of xylene vapors caused minor changes in the chloroplast, while a high concentration caused swollen chloroplasts and damage. The effect of photosynthetic types on xylene removal efficiency suggests that a mixture of Z. zamiifolia, S. hyacinthoides, and A. commutatum which represent facultative CAM, CAM, and C3 plants, is the most suitable system for xylene removal. Therefore, for maximum improvement in removing xylene volatile compounds under various conditions, multiple species are needed. The effect of a plant's total leaf area on xylene removal indicates that at lower concentrations of xylene, a small leaf area might be as efficient as a large leaf area.

  7. Plant Defense Inhibitors Affect the Structures of Midgut Cells in Drosophila melanogaster and Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Pittendrigh, Barry R; Murdock, Larry L

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce proteins such as protease inhibitors and lectins as defenses against herbivorous insects and pathogens. However, no systematic studies have explored the structural responses in the midguts of insects when challenged with plant defensive proteins and lectins across different species. In this study, we fed two kinds of protease inhibitors and lectins to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and alpha-amylase inhibitors and lectins to the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus. We assessed the changes in midgut cell structures by comparing them with such structures in insects receiving normal diets or subjected to food deprivation. Using light and transmission electron microscopy in both species, we observed structural changes in the midgut peritrophic matrix as well as shortened microvilli on the surfaces of midgut epithelial cells in D. melanogaster. Dietary inhibitors and lectins caused similar lesions in the epithelial cells but not much change in the peritrophic matrix in both species. We also noted structural damages in the Drosophila midgut after six hours of starvation and changes were still present after 12 hours. Our study provided the first evidence of key structural changes of midguts using a comparative approach between a dipteran and a coleopteran. Our particular observation and discussion on plant-insect interaction and dietary stress are relevant for future mode of action studies of plant defensive protein in insect physiology. PMID:27594789

  8. Plant invasions differentially affected by diversity and dominant species in native- and exotic-dominated grasslands.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xia; Polley, H Wayne; Hofmockel, Kirsten; Daneshgar, Pedram P; Wilsey, Brian J

    2015-12-01

    Plant invasions are an increasingly serious global concern, especially as the climate changes. Here, we explored how plant invasions differed between native- and novel exotic-dominated grasslands with experimental addition of summer precipitation in Texas in 2009. Exotic species greened up earlier than natives by an average of 18 days. This was associated with a lower invasion rate early in the growing season compared to native communities. However, invasion rate did not differ significantly between native and exotic communities across all sampling times. The predictors of invasion rate differed between native and exotic communities, with invasion being negatively influenced by species richness in natives and by dominant species in exotics. Interestingly, plant invasions matched the bimodal pattern of precipitation in Temple, Texas, and did not respond to the pulse of precipitation during the summer. Our results suggest that we will need to take different approaches in understanding of invasion between native and exotic grasslands. Moreover, with anticipated increasing variability in precipitation under global climate change, plant invasions may be constrained in their response if the precipitation pulses fall outside the normal growing period of invaders.

  9. Plant invasions differentially affected by diversity and dominant species in native- and exotic-dominated grasslands.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xia; Polley, H Wayne; Hofmockel, Kirsten; Daneshgar, Pedram P; Wilsey, Brian J

    2015-12-01

    Plant invasions are an increasingly serious global concern, especially as the climate changes. Here, we explored how plant invasions differed between native- and novel exotic-dominated grasslands with experimental addition of summer precipitation in Texas in 2009. Exotic species greened up earlier than natives by an average of 18 days. This was associated with a lower invasion rate early in the growing season compared to native communities. However, invasion rate did not differ significantly between native and exotic communities across all sampling times. The predictors of invasion rate differed between native and exotic communities, with invasion being negatively influenced by species richness in natives and by dominant species in exotics. Interestingly, plant invasions matched the bimodal pattern of precipitation in Temple, Texas, and did not respond to the pulse of precipitation during the summer. Our results suggest that we will need to take different approaches in understanding of invasion between native and exotic grasslands. Moreover, with anticipated increasing variability in precipitation under global climate change, plant invasions may be constrained in their response if the precipitation pulses fall outside the normal growing period of invaders. PMID:27069615

  10. Drying and storage methods affect cyfluthrin concentrations in exposed plant samples

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Standard procedures exist for collection and chemical analyses of pyrethroid insecticides in environmental matrices. However, less detail is given for drying and potential storage methods of plant samples prior to analyses. Due to equipment and financial limitations, immediate sample analysis is n...

  11. Factors affecting xylene-contaminated air removal by the ornamental plant Zamioculcas zamiifolia.

    PubMed

    Sriprapat, Wararat; Boraphech, Phattara; Thiravetyan, Paitip

    2014-02-01

    Fifteen plant species-Alternanthera bettzickiana, Drimiopsis botryoides, Aloe vera, Chlorophytum comosum, Aglaonema commutatum, Cordyline fruticosa, Philodendron martianum, Sansevieria hyacinthoides, Aglaonema rotundum, Fittonia albivenis, Muehlenbeckia platyclada, Tradescantia spathacea, Guzmania lingulata, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, and Cyperus alternifolius-were evaluated for the removal efficiency of xylene from contaminated air. Among the test plants, Z. zamiifolia showed the highest xylene removal efficiency. Xylene was toxic to Z. zamiifolia with an LC50 of 3,464 ppm. Higher concentrations of xylene exhibited damage symptoms, including leaf tips turning yellow, holonecrosis, and hydrosis. TEM images showed that a low concentration of xylene vapors caused minor changes in the chloroplast, while a high concentration caused swollen chloroplasts and damage. The effect of photosynthetic types on xylene removal efficiency suggests that a mixture of Z. zamiifolia, S. hyacinthoides, and A. commutatum which represent facultative CAM, CAM, and C3 plants, is the most suitable system for xylene removal. Therefore, for maximum improvement in removing xylene volatile compounds under various conditions, multiple species are needed. The effect of a plant's total leaf area on xylene removal indicates that at lower concentrations of xylene, a small leaf area might be as efficient as a large leaf area. PMID:24091527

  12. Will global warming affect soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides?

    PubMed

    Dowdall, M; Standring, W; Shaw, G; Strand, P

    2008-11-01

    Recent assessments of global climate/environmental change are reaching a consensus that global climate change is occurring but there is significant uncertainty over the likely magnitude of this change and its impacts. There is little doubt that all aspects of the natural environment will be impacted to some degree. Soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides has long been a significant topic in radioecology, both for the protection of humans and the environment from the effects of ionising radiation. Even after five decades of research considerable uncertainty exists as to the interplay of key environmental processes in controlling soil-plant transfer. As many of these processes are, to a lesser or greater extent, climate-dependent, it can be argued that climate/environmental change will impact soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides and subsequent transfers in specific environments. This discussion attempts to highlight the possible role of climatic and climate-dependent variables in soil-to-plant transfer processes within the overall predictions of climate/environmental change. The work is speculative, and intended to stimulate debate on a theme that radioecology has either ignored or avoided in recent years.

  13. Mercury Concentrations in Plant Tissues as Affected by FGDG Application to Soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flue Gas Desulfurization Gypsum (FGDG) is produced by reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from themo-electric coal-fired power plants. The most common practice of FGDG production may trap some of the Mercury (Hg) present in the coal that normally would escape as vapor in the stack gases. Concern for t...

  14. Molecular analyses of nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions affecting plant growth and yield. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Newton, K.J.

    1998-11-01

    Mitochondria have a central role in the production of cellular energy. The biogenesis and functioning of mitochondria depends on the expression of both mitochondrial and nuclear genes. One approach to investigating the role of nuclear-mitochondrial cooperation in plant growth and development is to identify combinations of nuclear and mitochondrial genomes that result in altered but sublethal phenotypes. Plants that have certain maize nuclear genotypes in combination with cytoplasmic genomes from more distantly-related teosintes can exhibit incompatible phenotypes, such as reduced plant growth and yield and cytoplasmic male sterility, as well as altered mitochondrial gene expression. The characterization of these nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions was the focus of this grant. The authors were investigating the effects of two maize nuclear genes, RcmI and Mct, on mitochondrial function and gene expression. Plants with the teosinte cytoplasms and homozygous for the recessive rcm allele are small (miniature) and-slow-growing and the kernels are reduced in size. The authors mapped this locus to molecular markers on chromosome 7 and attempted to clone this locus by transposon tagging. The effects of the nuclear-cytoplasmic interaction on mitochondrial function and mitochondrial protein profiles were also studied.

  15. Chlorophyllase 1, a Damage Control Enzyme, Affects the Balance between Defense Pathways in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Kariola, Tarja; Brader, Günter; Li, Jing; Palva, E. Tapio

    2005-01-01

    Accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is central to plant response to several pathogens. One of the sources of ROS is the chloroplast because of the photoactive nature of the chlorophylls. Chlorophyllase 1 (encoded by AtCLH1) of Arabidopsis thaliana is quickly induced after tissue damage (e.g., caused by the bacterial necrotroph Erwinia carotovora or the necrotrophic fungus Alternaria brassicicola). RNA interference silencing of AtCLH1 resulted in failure to degrade free chlorophyll after tissue damage and in resistance to E. carotovora. Both inoculation with E. carotovora and exposure to high light caused elevated accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in AtCLH1 silenced plants. This was accompanied by expression of marker genes for systemic acquired resistance and induction of antioxidant defenses. Interestingly, downregulation of AtCLH1 resulted in increased susceptibility to A. brassicicola, resistance to which requires jasmonate signaling. We propose that AtCLH1 is involved in plant damage control and can modulate the balance between different plant defense pathways. PMID:15598807

  16. Differential Response in Plant Taxa Morphology and Physiology During Increases in Late-Quaternary Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Affect Plant-Climate Interactions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van de Water, P. K.; Barnum, E.

    2004-12-01

    The effects of changing atmospheric CO2 on plant physiology mediate vegetation response to climate change. For example, growth chamber studies on short-lived plants show significant changes in plant morphology and physiological parameters such as changes in biomass and water-use efficiency (WUE; the amount of carbon assimilated to plant water-loss) as atmospheric CO2 concentrations increases from ˜200 p.p.m. to modern concentrations and beyond. Many modern studies show WUE increases linearly with rising atmospheric CO2 meaning that less water is expended for each unit of carbon assimilated. To test for the consistency of these findings with past, long-lived plants and in past communities growing under a similar range of atmospheric CO2 levels, macrofossils of select species were analyzed from packrat (Neotoma sp.) midden chronologies gathered throughout western North America. Measurement of and analysis for the stable isotope content of these macrofossils shows greater morphological and eco-physiological differences between species than expected from study results using growth chambers. For example, isotopic analysis shows long-standing associates, Pinus edulis and Juniperus spp. have significantly different WUE during the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene. The WUE in Pinus edulis matches changes in atmospheric CO2 whereas Juniperus spp. does not. Yet over the same period, changes observed in Pinus flexilis needles from trees growing in cooler habitats above the pinyon-juniper woodlands are more similar to Juniperus spp. changes compared against trends in the more closely related Pinus edulis. Morphology changes occurring during this period include increased biomass and reduced stomata. These results show taxonomic differences in the morphological and physiological adaptation to changing CO2 concentrations. These responses need further assessment especially in light of their direct affect on plant-climate interactions.

  17. Characteristics of insertional mutants of Pseudomonas syringae with reduced epiphytic fitness

    SciTech Connect

    Lindown, S.E.; Andersen, G.; Beattie, G.A. )

    1993-05-01

    Bacteria are common inhabitants of leaf surfaces, and they can affect the plants on which they live (eg., inciting disease or ice formation, altering plant growth). This report describes randomly generated insertional mutants of Pseudomonas syringae that exhibited decreased abilities to grow or survive on leaves, and the characteristics of these epiphytic fitness mutants. Direct screening for altered epiphytic fitness was facilitated by estimating population size of mutants on leaves on the basis of measurements of ice nuclei, and allowed identification of many individual genes in P. syringae contributing to its epiphytic fitness. 45 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs.

  18. The town Crepis and the country Crepis: How does fragmentation affect a plant-pollinator interaction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrieu, Emilie; Dornier, Antoine; Rouifed, Soraya; Schatz, Bertrand; Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier

    2009-01-01

    In fragmented habitats, one cause of the decrease of plant diversity and abundance is the disruption of plant-animal interactions, and in particular plant-pollinator interactions. Since habitat fragmentation acts both on pollinator behaviour and plant reproduction, its consequences for the stability of such interactions are complex. An extreme case of habitat fragmentation occurs in urbanised areas where suitable habitat (in the present study small patches around ornamental trees) is embedded in a highly unsuitable environment (concrete matrix). Based on simple experiments, we ask whether pollinators can adapt their foraging behaviour in response to the amount of available resources (flowers) in the fragments and their isolation, as predicted by the optimal foraging theory. To do so we analysed the effect of fragmentation on the behaviour of pollinators visiting Crepis sancta (L.) Bornm. (Asteraceae), which forms large populations in the countryside and patchy populations in urban environments. More precisely we studied pollinator visitation rates, capitulum visit durations, capitulum search durations and capitulum size choice. Pollinators chose larger capitula in both types of populations and their foraging behaviour differed between the two population types in three ways: (1) pollinator visits were lower in urban fragmented populations, perhaps due to the lower accessibility of urban patches; (2) capitulum visit durations were longer in urban fragmented populations, a possible compensation of energy lost during flights among patches; and (3) capitulum search durations where longer in urban fragmented populations, which may represent an increase in capitulum prospecting effort. We discuss the possible impacts of such differences for plant population functioning in the two types of populations.

  19. Trichobaris weevils distinguish amongst toxic host plants by sensing volatiles that do not affect larval performance.

    PubMed

    Lee, Gisuk; Joo, Youngsung; Diezel, Celia; Lee, Eun Ju; Baldwin, Ian T; Kim, Sang-Gyu

    2016-07-01

    Herbivorous insects use plant metabolites to inform their host plant selection for oviposition. These host-selection behaviours are often consistent with the preference-performance hypothesis; females oviposit on hosts that maximize the performance of their offspring. However, the metabolites used for these oviposition choices and those responsible for differences in offspring performance remain unknown for ecologically relevant interactions. Here, we examined the host-selection behaviours of two sympatric weevils, the Datura (Trichobaris compacta) and tobacco (T. mucorea) weevils in field and glasshouse experiments with transgenic host plants specifically altered in different components of their secondary metabolism. Adult females of both species strongly preferred to feed on D. wrightii rather than on N. attenuata leaves, but T. mucorea preferred to oviposit on N. attenuata, while T. compacta oviposited only on D. wrightii. These oviposition behaviours increased offspring performance: T. compacta larvae only survived in D. wrightii stems and T. mucorea larvae survived better in N. attenuata than in D. wrightii stems. Choice assays with nicotine-free, JA-impaired, and sesquiterpene-over-produced isogenic N. attenuata plants revealed that although half of the T. compacta larvae survived in nicotine-free N. attenuata lines, nicotine did not influence the oviposition behaviours of both the nicotine-adapted and nicotine-sensitive species. JA-induced sesquiterpene volatiles are key compounds influencing T. mucorea females' oviposition choices, but these sesquiterpenes had no effect on larval performance. We conclude that adult females are able to choose the best host plant for their offspring and use chemicals different from those that influence larval performance to inform their oviposition decisions. PMID:27146082

  20. Atmospheric CO2 level affects plants' carbon use efficiency: insights from a 13C labeling experiment on sunflower stands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Xiaoying; Schäufele, Rudi; Schnyder, Hans

    2015-04-01

    The increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration has been shown to stimulate plant photosynthesis and (to a lesser extent) growth, thereby acting as a possible sink for the additional atmospheric CO2. However, this effect is dependent on the efficiency with which plants convert atmospheric carbon into biomass carbon, since a considerable proportion of assimilated carbon is returned to the atmosphere via plant respiration. As a core parameter for carbon cycling, carbon use efficiency of plants (CUE, the ratio of net primary production to gross primary production) quantifies the proportion of assimilated carbon that is incorporated into plant biomass. CUE has rarely been assessed based on measurements of complete carbon balance, due to methodological difficulties in measuring respiration rate of plants in light. Moreover, foliar respiration is known to be inhibited in light, thus foliar respiration rate is generally lower in light than in dark. However, this phenomenon, termed as inhibition of respiration in light (IRL), has rarely been assessed at the stand-scale and been incorporated into the calculation of CUE. Therefore, how CUE responses to atmospheric CO2 levels is still not clear. We studied CUE of sunflower stands grown at sub-ambient CO2 level (200 μmol mol-1) and elevated CO2 level (1000 μmol mol-1) using mesocosm-scale gas exchange facilities which enabled continuous measurements of 13CO2/12CO2 exchange. Appling steady-state 13C labeling, fluxes of respiration and photosynthesis in light were separated, and tracer kinetic in respiration was analyzed. This study provides the first data on CUE at a mesocosm-level including respiration in light in different CO2 environments. We found that CUE of sunflower was lower at an elevated CO2 level than at a sub-ambient CO2 level; and the ignorance of IRL lead to erroneous estimations of CUE. Variation in CUE at atmospheric CO2 levels was attributed to several mechanisms. In this study, CO2 enrichment i) affected the

  1. A ptsP deficiency in PGPR Pseudomonas fluorescens SF39a affects bacteriocin production and bacterial fitness in the wheat rhizosphere.

    PubMed

    Godino, Agustina; Príncipe, Analía; Fischer, Sonia

    2016-04-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens SF39a is a plant-growth-promoting bacterium isolated from wheat rhizosphere. In this report, we demonstrate that this native strain secretes bacteriocins that inhibit growth of phytopathogenic strains of the genera Pseudomonas and Xanthomonas. An S-type pyocin gene was detected in the genome of strain SF39a and named pys. A non-polar pys::Km mutant was constructed. The bacteriocin production was impaired in this mutant. To identify genes involved in bacteriocin regulation, random transposon mutagenesis was carried out. A miniTn5Km1 mutant, called P. fluorescens SF39a-451, showed strongly reduced bacteriocin production. This phenotype was caused by inactivation of the ptsP gene which encodes a phosphoenolpyruvate phosphotransferase (EI(Ntr)) of the nitrogen-related phosphotransferase system (PTS(Ntr)). In addition, this mutant showed a decrease in biofilm formation and protease production, and an increase in surface motility and pyoverdine production compared with the wild-type strain. Moreover, we investigated the ability of strain SF39a-451 to colonize the wheat rhizosphere under greenhouse conditions. Interestingly, the mutant was less competitive than the wild-type strain in the rhizosphere. To our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence of both the relevance of the ptsP gene in bacteriocin production and functional characterization of a pyocin S in P. fluorescens. PMID:26708985

  2. Salinity and light interactively affect neotropical mangrove seedlings at the leaf and whole plant levels.

    PubMed

    López-Hoffman, Laura; Anten, Niels P R; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Ackerly, David D

    2007-01-01

    We have studied the interactive effects of salinity and light on Avicennia germinans mangrove seedlings in greenhouse and field experiments. We hypothesized that net photosynthesis, growth, and survivorship rates should increase more with an increase in light availability for plants growing at low salinity than for those growing at high salinity. This hypothesis was supported by our results for net photosynthesis and growth. Net daily photosynthesis did increase more with increasing light for low-salinity plants than for high-salinity plants. Stomatal conductance, leaf-level transpiration, and internal CO(2) concentrations were lower at high than at low salinity. At high light, the ratio of leaf respiration to assimilation was 2.5 times greater at high than at low salinity. Stomatal limitations and increased respiratory costs may explain why, at high salinity, seedlings did not respond to increased light availability with increased net photosynthesis. Seedling mass and growth rates increased more with increasing light availability at low than at high salinity. Ratios of root mass to leaf mass were higher at high salinity, suggesting that either water or nutrient limitations may have limited seedling growth at high salinity in response to increasing light. The interactive effects of salinity and light on seedling size and growth rates observed in the greenhouse were robust in the field, despite the presence of other factors in the field--such as inundation, nutrient gradients, and herbivory. In the field, seedling survivorship was higher at low than at high salinity and increased with light availability. Interestingly, the positive effect of light on seedling survivorship was stronger at high salinity, indicating that growth and survivorship rates are decoupled. In general, this study demonstrates that environmental effects at the leaf-level also influence whole plant growth in mangroves.

  3. Plant compartment and biogeography affect microbiome composition in cultivated and native Agave species.

    PubMed

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Desgarennes, Damaris; Fonseca-Garcia, Citlali; Gross, Stephen; Clingenpeel, Scott; Woyke, Tanja; North, Gretchen; Visel, Axel; Partida-Martinez, Laila P; Tringe, Susannah G

    2016-01-01

    Desert plants are hypothesized to survive the environmental stress inherent to these regions in part thanks to symbioses with microorganisms, and yet these microbial species, the communities they form, and the forces that influence them are poorly understood. Here we report the first comprehensive investigation of the microbial communities associated with species of Agave, which are native to semiarid and arid regions of Central and North America and are emerging as biofuel feedstocks. We examined prokaryotic and fungal communities in the rhizosphere, phyllosphere, leaf and root endosphere, as well as proximal and distal soil samples from cultivated and native agaves, through Illumina amplicon sequencing. Phylogenetic profiling revealed that the composition of prokaryotic communities was primarily determined by the plant compartment, whereas the composition of fungal communities was mainly influenced by the biogeography of the host species. Cultivated A. tequilana exhibited lower levels of prokaryotic diversity compared with native agaves, although no differences in microbial diversity were found in the endosphere. Agaves shared core prokaryotic and fungal taxa known to promote plant growth and confer tolerance to abiotic stress, which suggests common principles underpinning Agave-microbe interactions.

  4. Comparison of Soybean Transformation Efficiency and Plant Factors Affecting Transformation during the Agrobacterium Infection Process

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Yuying; Yao, Xingdong; Zhao, Mingzhe; Zhao, Qiang; Du, Yanli; Yu, Cuimei; Xie, Futi

    2015-01-01

    The susceptibility of soybean genotype to Agrobacterium infection is a key factor for the high level of genetic transformation efficiency. The objective of this study is to evaluate the plant factors related to transformation in cotyledonary nodes during the Agrobacterium infection process. This study selected three genotypes (Williams 82, Shennong 9 and Bert) with high transformation efficiency, which presented better susceptibility to Agrobacterium infection, and three low transformation efficiency genotypes (General, Liaodou 16 and Kottman), which showed a relatively weak susceptibility. Gibberellin (GA) levels and soybean GA20ox2 and CYP707A2 transcripts of high-efficiency genotypes increased and were higher than those of low-efficiency genotypes; however, the opposite performance was shown in abscisic acid (ABA). Higher zeatin riboside (ZR) content and DNA quantity, and relatively higher expression of soybean IPT5, CYCD3 and CYCA3 were obtained in high-efficiency genotypes. High-efficiency genotypes had low methyl jasmonate (MeJA) content, polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) activity, and relatively lower expression of soybean OPR3, PPO1 and PRX71. GA and ZR were positive plant factors for Agrobacterium-mediated soybean transformation by facilitating germination and growth, and increasing the number of cells in DNA synthesis cycle, respectively; MeJA, PPO, POD and ABA were negative plant factors by inducing defence reactions and repressing germination and growth, respectively. PMID:26262617

  5. Storage behavior of mango as affected by post harvest application of plant extracts and storage conditions.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Nisha; Jain, S K

    2014-10-01

    The use of plant extracts could be a useful alternative to synthetic fungicides in the post harvest handling of fruits and vegetables. The aim of this study was to access the efficacy of extracts obtained from four plants (neem, Pongamia, custard apple leaf and marigold flowers) on the extension of shelf life of mango fruits cv. Dashehri under two storage conditions (Cool store and ambient condition). The fruits were treated with 2 concentrations of each plant extracts (10 % and 20 %) were placed in perforated linear low density poly ethylene bags and stored in storage conditions viz., cool storage and ambient condition, respectively. The treatment of neem leaf extract in combination with cool storage gave encouraging results. Up to the end of the storage study the treatment combination of 20 % neem leaf extract and cool store completely inhibited the pathogens, and no spoilage was observed. There was minimum physiological loss in weight (6.24 %), minimum girth reduction (0.62 %), maximum ascorbic acid content (29.96 mg/ 100 g of pulp), maximum acidity (0.19 %), minimum pH (5.28), maximum total soluble solids (20.96 %), maximum total sugars (12.50 %), reducing sugars (4.12 %) and non- reducing sugars (7.96 %) and best organoleptic score (7.93/10) in this interaction. The inhibitory effect of neem leaf extract was ascribed to the presence of active principle azadirachtin. PMID:25328189

  6. Plant Defense Inhibitors Affect the Structures of Midgut Cells in Drosophila melanogaster and Callosobruchus maculatus

    PubMed Central

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Pittendrigh, Barry R.; Murdock, Larry L.

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce proteins such as protease inhibitors and lectins as defenses against herbivorous insects and pathogens. However, no systematic studies have explored the structural responses in the midguts of insects when challenged with plant defensive proteins and lectins across different species. In this study, we fed two kinds of protease inhibitors and lectins to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and alpha-amylase inhibitors and lectins to the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus. We assessed the changes in midgut cell structures by comparing them with such structures in insects receiving normal diets or subjected to food deprivation. Using light and transmission electron microscopy in both species, we observed structural changes in the midgut peritrophic matrix as well as shortened microvilli on the surfaces of midgut epithelial cells in D. melanogaster. Dietary inhibitors and lectins caused similar lesions in the epithelial cells but not much change in the peritrophic matrix in both species. We also noted structural damages in the Drosophila midgut after six hours of starvation and changes were still present after 12 hours. Our study provided the first evidence of key structural changes of midguts using a comparative approach between a dipteran and a coleopteran. Our particular observation and discussion on plant–insect interaction and dietary stress are relevant for future mode of action studies of plant defensive protein in insect physiology. PMID:27594789

  7. Spatial heterogeneity in light supply affects intraspecific competition of a stoloniferous clonal plant.

    PubMed

    Wang, Pu; Lei, Jing-Pin; Li, Mai-He; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2012-01-01

    Spatial heterogeneity in light supply is common in nature. Many studies have examined the effects of heterogeneous light supply on growth, morphology, physiology and biomass allocation of clonal plants, but few have tested those effects on intraspecific competition. In a greenhouse experiment, we grew one (no competition) or nine ramets (with intraspecific competition) of a stoloniferous clonal plant, Duchesnea indica, in three homogeneous light conditions (high, medium and low light intensity) and two heterogeneous ones differing in patch size (large and small patch treatments). The total light in the two heterogeneous treatments was the same as that in the homogeneous medium light treatment. Both decreasing light intensity and intraspecific competition significantly decreased the growth (biomass, number of ramets and total stolon length) of D. indica. As compared with the homogeneous medium light treatment, the large patch treatment significantly increased the growth of D. indica without intraspecific competition. However, the growth of D. indica with competition did not differ among the homogeneous medium light, the large and the small patch treatments. Consequently, light heterogeneity significantly increased intraspecific competition intensity, as measured by the decreased log response ratio. These results suggest that spatial heterogeneity in light supply can alter intraspecific interactions of clonal plants.

  8. Plant compartment and biogeography affect microbiome composition in cultivated and native Agave species.

    PubMed

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Desgarennes, Damaris; Fonseca-Garcia, Citlali; Gross, Stephen; Clingenpeel, Scott; Woyke, Tanja; North, Gretchen; Visel, Axel; Partida-Martinez, Laila P; Tringe, Susannah G

    2016-01-01

    Desert plants are hypothesized to survive the environmental stress inherent to these regions in part thanks to symbioses with microorganisms, and yet these microbial species, the communities they form, and the forces that influence them are poorly understood. Here we report the first comprehensive investigation of the microbial communities associated with species of Agave, which are native to semiarid and arid regions of Central and North America and are emerging as biofuel feedstocks. We examined prokaryotic and fungal communities in the rhizosphere, phyllosphere, leaf and root endosphere, as well as proximal and distal soil samples from cultivated and native agaves, through Illumina amplicon sequencing. Phylogenetic profiling revealed that the composition of prokaryotic communities was primarily determined by the plant compartment, whereas the composition of fungal communities was mainly influenced by the biogeography of the host species. Cultivated A. tequilana exhibited lower levels of prokaryotic diversity compared with native agaves, although no differences in microbial diversity were found in the endosphere. Agaves shared core prokaryotic and fungal taxa known to promote plant growth and confer tolerance to abiotic stress, which suggests common principles underpinning Agave-microbe interactions. PMID:26467257

  9. Plant Defense Inhibitors Affect the Structures of Midgut Cells in Drosophila melanogaster and Callosobruchus maculatus

    PubMed Central

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Pittendrigh, Barry R.; Murdock, Larry L.

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce proteins such as protease inhibitors and lectins as defenses against herbivorous insects and pathogens. However, no systematic studies have explored the structural responses in the midguts of insects when challenged with plant defensive proteins and lectins across different species. In this study, we fed two kinds of protease inhibitors and lectins to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and alpha-amylase inhibitors and lectins to the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus. We assessed the changes in midgut cell structures by comparing them with such structures in insects receiving normal diets or subjected to food deprivation. Using light and transmission electron microscopy in both species, we observed structural changes in the midgut peritrophic matrix as well as shortened microvilli on the surfaces of midgut epithelial cells in D. melanogaster. Dietary inhibitors and lectins caused similar lesions in the epithelial cells but not much change in the peritrophic matrix in both species. We also noted structural damages in the Drosophila midgut after six hours of starvation and changes were still present after 12 hours. Our study provided the first evidence of key structural changes of midguts using a comparative approach between a dipteran and a coleopteran. Our particular observation and discussion on plant–insect interaction and dietary stress are relevant for future mode of action studies of plant defensive protein in insect physiology.

  10. Comparison of Soybean Transformation Efficiency and Plant Factors Affecting Transformation during the Agrobacterium Infection Process.

    PubMed

    Jia, Yuying; Yao, Xingdong; Zhao, Mingzhe; Zhao, Qiang; Du, Yanli; Yu, Cuimei; Xie, Futi

    2015-08-07

    The susceptibility of soybean genotype to Agrobacterium infection is a key factor for the high level of genetic transformation efficiency. The objective of this study is to evaluate the plant factors related to transformation in cotyledonary nodes during the Agrobacterium infection process. This study selected three genotypes (Williams 82, Shennong 9 and Bert) with high transformation efficiency, which presented better susceptibility to Agrobacterium infection, and three low transformation efficiency genotypes (General, Liaodou 16 and Kottman), which showed a relatively weak susceptibility. Gibberellin (GA) levels and soybean GA20ox2 and CYP707A2 transcripts of high-efficiency genotypes increased and were higher than those of low-efficiency genotypes; however, the opposite performance was shown in abscisic acid (ABA). Higher zeatin riboside (ZR) content and DNA quantity, and relatively higher expression of soybean IPT5, CYCD3 and CYCA3 were obtained in high-efficiency genotypes. High-efficiency genotypes had low methyl jasmonate (MeJA) content, polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) activity, and relatively lower expression of soybean OPR3, PPO1 and PRX71. GA and ZR were positive plant factors for Agrobacterium-mediated soybean transformation by facilitating germination and growth, and increasing the number of cells in DNA synthesis cycle, respectively; MeJA, PPO, POD and ABA were negative plant factors by inducing defence reactions and repressing germination and growth, respectively.

  11. Critical rearing parameters of Tetrastichus planipennisi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) as affected by host-plant substrate and host-parasitoid group structure

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Laboratory studies were conducted to evaluate the potential impact of host-plant substrate types, host-parasitoid group size and host to parasitoid ratios on select fitness parameters of the larval parasitoid Tetrastichus planipennisi Yang, newly introduced for biological control of the invasive eme...

  12. Contamination of soil, medicinal, and fodder plants with lead and cadmium present in mine-affected areas, Northern Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Nawab, Javed; Khan, Sardar; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Qamar, Zahir; Din, Islamud; Mahmood, Qaisar; Gul, Nayab; Huang, Qing

    2015-09-01

    This study aimed to investigate the lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) concentrations in the soil and plants (medicinal and fodder) grown in chromite mining-affected areas, Northern Pakistan. Soil and plant samples were collected and analyzed for Pb and Cd concentrations using atomic absorption spectrometer. Soil pollution load indices (PLIs) were greater than 2 for both Cd and Pb, indicating high level of contamination in the study area. Furthermore, Cd concentrations in the soil surrounding the mining sites exceeded the maximum allowable limit (MAL) (0.6 mg kg(-1)), while the concentrations of Pb were lower than the MAL (350 mg kg(-1)) set by State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) for agriculture soil. The concentrations of Cd and Pb were significantly higher (P < 0.001) in the soil of the mining-contaminated sites as compared to the reference site, which can be attributed to the dispersion of toxic heavy metals, present in the bed rocks and waste of the mines. The concentrations of Pb and Cd in majority of medicinal and fodder plant species grown in surrounding areas of mines were higher than their MALs set by World Health Organization/Food Agriculture Organization (WHO/FAO) for herbal (10 and 0.3 mg kg(-1), respectively) and edible (0.3 and 0.2 mg kg(-1), respectively) plants. The high concentrations of Cd and Pb may cause contamination of the food chain and health risk.

  13. A novel role for Arabidopsis CBL1 in affecting plant responses to glucose and gibberellin during germination and seedling development.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhi-Yong; Xu, Zhao-Shi; Chen, Yang; He, Guang-Yuan; Yang, Guang-Xiao; Chen, Ming; Li, Lian-Cheng; Ma, You-Zhi

    2013-01-01

    Glucose and phytohormones such as abscisic acid (ABA), ethylene, and gibberellin (GA) coordinately regulate germination and seedling development. However, there is still inadequate evidence to link their molecular roles in affecting plant responses. Calcium acts as a second messenger in a diverse range of signal transduction pathways. As calcium sensors unique to plants, calcineurin B-like (CBL) proteins are well known to modulate abiotic stress responses. In this study, it was found that CBL1 was induced by glucose in Arabidopsis. Loss-of-function mutant cbl1 exhibited hypersensitivity to glucose and paclobutrazol, a GA biosynthetic inhibitor. Several sugar-responsive and GA biosynthetic gene expressions were altered in the cbl1 mutant. CBL1 protein physically interacted with AKINβ1, the regulatory β subunit of the SnRK1 complex which has a central role in sugar signaling. Our results indicate a novel role for CBL1 in modulating responses to glucose and GA signals.

  14. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  15. Lignin, land plants, and fungi: Biological evolution affecting Phanerozoic oxygen balance

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, J.M. )

    1990-07-01

    As dominance shifted from lycopsids and pteridophytes in the Paleozoic, to gymnosperms in the Mesozoic, to angiosperms in the Tertiary, plant architecture became more sparing in its use of lignin. Lignin-degrading organisms were rare or absent in the Paleozoic, but diverse and abundant in the Tertiary. Thus the terrigenous organic-carbon cycle has quickened over time, the fraction of terrestrial primary production preserved in coals and kerogens has declined, and terrestrial production has been able to increase over time without concomitant rises in atmospheric O{sub 2}.

  16. Effect of maize lines on larval fitness costs of Cry1F resistance in the European corn borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae).

    PubMed

    Petzold-Maxwell, Jennifer L; Siegfried, Blair D; Hellmich, Richard L; Abel, Craig A; Coates, Brad S; Spencer, Terrence A; Gassmann, Aaron J

    2014-04-01

    Crops producing insecticidal toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are widely planted and enable management of key insect pests while reducing the use of conventional insecticides. However, the evolution of Bt resistance could diminish these benefits. Fitness costs of Bt resistance occur in the absence of Bt toxin when individuals with resistance alleles show a reduction in fitness relative to susceptible individuals, and they can delay the evolution of resistance. Ecological factors including host-plant variety can affect the magnitude of fitness costs, and consequently, the degree to which fitness costs delay resistance. In this study, we measured fitness costs of resistance to Bt toxin Cry1F in the European corn borer Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) using Cry1F-resistant and Cry1F-susceptible strains sharing a similar genetic background. Fitness costs were tested on three lines of maize, Zea mays L., by measuring larval survival and development in two greenhouse experiments with plants in either the vegetative or reproductive stage. Both experiments showed that maize line significantly affected larval survival and developmental rate. However, larval survival, mass, and developmental rate did not differ between the Cry1F-resistant and susceptible strains, indicating a lack of fitness costs of resistance to Cry1F for the larval fitness components measured in this experiment. Future experiments should test for fitness costs of Cry1F resistance affecting survival to adulthood and adult life-history parameters. PMID:24772559

  17. Initial Assessment of Sulfur-Iodine Process Safety Issues and How They May Affect Pilot Plant Design and Operation

    SciTech Connect

    Robert S. Cherry

    2006-09-01

    The sulfur-iodine process to make hydrogen by the thermochemical splitting of water is under active development as part of a U.S. Department of Energy program. An integrated lab scale system is currently being designed and built. The next planned stage of development is a pilot plant with a thermal input of about 500 kW, equivalent to about 30,000 standard liters per hour of hydrogen production. The sulfur-iodine process contains a variety of hazards, including temperatures up to 850 ºC and hazardous chemical species including SO2, H2SO4, HI, I2, and of course H2. The siting and design of a pilot plant must consider these and other hazards. This report presents an initial analysis of the hazards that might affect pilot plant design and should be considered in the initial planning. The general hazards that have been identified include reactivity, flammability, toxicity, pressure, electrical hazards, and industrial hazards such as lifting and rotating equipment. Personnel exposure to these hazards could occur during normal operations, which includes not only running the process at the design conditions but also initial inventory loading, heatup, startup, shutdown, and system flushing before equipment maintenance. Because of the complexity and severity of the process, these ancillary operations are expected to be performed frequently. In addition, personnel could be exposed to the hazards during various abnormal situations which could include unplanned phase changes of liquids or solids, leaks of process fluids or cooling water into other process streams, unintentional introducion of foreign species into the process, and unexpected side reactions. Design of a pilot plant will also be affected by various codes and regulations such as the International Building Code, the International Fire Code, various National Fire Protection Association Codes, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

  18. Camphene, a Plant Derived Monoterpene, Exerts Its Hypolipidemic Action by Affecting SREBP-1 and MTP Expression

    PubMed Central

    Vallianou, Ioanna; Hadzopoulou-Cladaras, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    The control of hyperlipidemia plays a central role in cardiovascular disease. Previously, we have shown that camphene, a constituent of mastic gum oil, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) in the plasma of hyperlipidemic rats without affecting HMG-CoA reductase activity, suggesting that its hypocholesterolemic and hypotriglyceridemic effects are associated with a mechanism of action different than that of statins. In the present study, we examine the mechanism by which camphene exerts its hypolipidemic action. We evaluated the effect of camphene on the de novo synthesis of cholesterol and TG from [14C]-acetate in HepG2 cells, along with the statin mevinolin. Camphene inhibited the biosynthesis of cholesterol in a concentration-dependent manner, and a maximal inhibition of 39% was observed at 100 μM while mevinolin nearly abolished cholesterol biosynthesis. Moreover, treatment with camphene reduced TG by 34% and increased apolipoprotein AI expression. In contrast, mevinolin increased TG by 26% and had a modest effect on apolipoprotein AI expression. To evaluate the mode of action of camphene, we examined its effects on the expression of SREBP-1, which affects TG biosynthesis and SREBP-2, which mostly affects sterol synthesis. Interestingly, camphene increased the nuclear translocation of the mature form of SREBP-1 while mevinolin was found to increase the amount of the mature form of SREBP-2. The effect of camphene is most likely regulated through SREBP-1 by affecting MTP levels in response to a decrease in the intracellular cholesterol. We propose that camphene upregulates SREBP-1 expression and MTP inhibition is likely to be a probable mechanism whereby camphene exerts its hypolipidemic effect. PMID:26784701

  19. Nature's amazing biopolymer: basic mechanical and hydrological properties of soil affected by plant exudates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Roose, Tiina; Raffan, Annette; George, Timothy; Bengough, Glyn; Brown, Lawrie; Keyes, Sam; Daly, Keith; Hallett, Paul

    2016-04-01

    Plant exudates are known to have a very large impact on soil physical properties through changes in mechanical and hydrological processes driven by long-chain polysaccharides and surface active compounds. Whilst these impacts are well known, the basic physical properties of these exudates have only been reported in a small number of studies. We present data for exudates obtained from barley roots and chia seeds, incorporating treatments examining biological decomposition of the exudates. When these exudates were added to a sandy loam soil, contact angle and drop penetration time increased exponentially with increasing exudate concentration. These wetting properties were strongly correlated with both exudate density and zero-shear viscosity, but not with exudate surface tension. Water holding capacity and water repellency of exudate mixed soil tremendously increased with exudate concentration, however they were significantly reduced on decomposition when measured after 14 days of incubation at 16C. Mechanical stability greatly increased with increasing exudate amendment to soils, which was assessed using a rheological amplitude sweep test near saturation, at -50 cm matric potential (field capacity) using indentation test, and at air-dry condition using the Brazilian test. This reflects that exudates not only attenuate plant water stress but also impart mechanical stability to the rhizosphere. These data are highly relevant to the understanding and modelling of rhizosphere development, which is the next phase of our research.

  20. Metal contaminated biochar and wood ash negatively affect plant growth and soil quality after land application.

    PubMed

    Jones, D L; Quilliam, R S

    2014-07-15

    Pyrolysis or combustion of waste wood can provide a renewable source of energy and produce byproducts which can be recycled back to land. To be sustainable requires that these byproducts pose minimal threat to the environment or human health. Frequently, reclaimed waste wood is contaminated by preservative-treated timber containing high levels of heavy metals. We investigated the effect of feedstock contamination from copper-preservative treated wood on the behaviour of pyrolysis-derived biochar and combustion-derived ash in plant-soil systems. Biochar and wood ash were applied to soil at typical agronomic rates. The presence of preservative treated timber in the feedstock increased available soil Cu; however, critical Cu guidance limits were only exceeded at high rates of feedstock contamination. Negative effects on plant growth and soil quality were only seen at high levels of biochar contamination (>50% derived from preservative-treated wood). Negative effects of wood ash contamination were apparent at lower levels of contamination (>10% derived from preservative treated wood). Complete removal of preservative treated timber from wood recycling facilities is notoriously difficult and low levels of contamination are commonplace. We conclude that low levels of contamination from Cu-treated wood should pose minimal environmental risk to biochar and ash destined for land application. PMID:24915641

  1. Hydrologic alteration affects aquatic plant assemblages in an arid-land river

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vinson, Mark; Hestmark, Bennett; Barkworth, Mary E.

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated the effects of long-term flow alteration on primary-producer assemblages. In 1962, Flaming Gorge Dam was constructed on the Green River. The Yampa River has remained an unregulated hydrologically variable river that joins the Green River 100 km downstream from Flaming Gorge Dam. In the 1960s before dam construction only sparse occurrences of two macroalgae, Cladophora and Chara, and no submerged vascular plants were recorded in the Green and Yampa rivers. In 2009–2010, aquatic plants were abundant and widespread in the Green River from the dam downstream to the confluence with the Yampa River. The assemblage consisted of six vascular species, Elodea canadensis, Myriophyllum sibiricum, Nasturtium officinale,Potamogeton crispus, Potamogeton pectinatus, and Ranunculus aquatilis, the macroalgae Chara and Cladophora, and the bryophyte, Amblystegium riparium. In the Green River downstream from the Yampa River, and in the Yampa River, only sparse patches of Chara and Cladophora growing in the splash zone on boulders were collected. We attribute the observed changes in the Green River to an increase in water transparency and a reduction in suspended and bed-load sediment and high flow disturbances. The lack of hydrophyte colonization downstream from the confluence with the Yampa River has implications for understanding tributary amelioration of dam effects and for designing more natural flow-regime schedules downstream from large dams.

  2. Within plant distribution of Potato Virus Y in hairy nightshade (Solanum sarrachoides): an inoculum source affecting PVY aphid transmission.

    PubMed

    Cervantes, Felix A; Alvarez, Juan M

    2011-08-01

    Potato virus Y (PVY) is vectored by several potato-colonizing and non-colonizing aphid species in a non-persistent manner and has a wide host range. It occurs naturally in several plant families. Myzus persicae and Macrosiphum euphorbiae are the most efficient potato-colonizing aphid vectors of PVY. Rhopalosiphum padi, a cereal aphid that migrates in large numbers through potato fields during the middle of the growing season, does not colonize potato plants but can transmit PVY. Hairy nightshade, Solanum sarrachoides, a prevalent annual solanaceous weed in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) of the United States, is an alternative host for PVY and a preferred host for M. persicae and M. euphorbiae. Hence, hairy nightshade plants might play an important role as an inoculum source in the epidemiology of PVY. We looked at titre accumulation and distribution of PVY(O), PVY(N:O) and PVY(NTN) in S. sarrachoides and potato after aphid inoculation with M. persicae and studied the transmission of PVY(O) and PVY(NTN), by M. persicae, M. euphorbiae and R. padi from hairy nightshade to potato plants. Virus titre at different positions on the plant was similar in S. sarrachoides and potato plants with strains PVY(O) and PVY(N:O). Titres of PVY(NTN) were similar in S. sarrachoides and potato but differences in titre were observed at different positions within the plant depending on the plant phenology. Percentage transmission of PVY(NTN) by M. persicae and M. euphorbiae was twice as high (46 and 34%, respectively) from hairy nightshade to potato than from potato to potato (20 and 14%). Percentage transmission of PVY(O) by M. persicae and M. euphorbiae was not affected by the inoculum source. No effect of the inoculum source was observed in the transmission of either PVY strain by R. padi. These results show that hairy nightshade may be an equal or better virus reservoir than potato and thus, important in the epidemiology of PVY.

  3. Sharing a Host Plant (Wheat [Triticum aestivum]) Increases the Fitness of Fusarium graminearum and the Severity of Fusarium Head Blight but Reduces the Fitness of Grain Aphids (Sitobion avenae).

    PubMed

    Drakulic, Jassy; Caulfield, John; Woodcock, Christine; Jones, Stephen P T; Linforth, Robert; Bruce, Toby J A; Ray, Rumiana V

    2015-05-15

    We hypothesized that interactions between fusarium head blight-causing pathogens and herbivores are likely to occur because they share wheat as a host plant. Our aim was to investigate the interactions between the grain aphid, Sitobion avenae, and Fusarium graminearum on wheat ears and the role that host volatile chemicals play in mediating interactions. Wheat ears were treated with aphids and F. graminearum inoculum, together or separately, and disease progress was monitored by visual assessment and by quantification of pathogen DNA and mycotoxins. Plants exposed to both aphids and F. graminearum inoculum showed accelerated disease progression, with a 2-fold increase in disease severity and 5-fold increase in mycotoxin accumulation over those of plants treated only with F. graminearum. Furthermore, the longer the period of aphid colonization of the host prior to inoculation with F. graminearum, the greater the amount of pathogen DNA that accumulated. Headspace samples of plant volatiles were collected for use in aphid olfactometer assays and were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and GC-coupled electroantennography. Disease-induced plant volatiles were repellent to aphids, and 2-pentadecanone was the key semiochemical underpinning the repellent effect. We measured aphid survival and fecundity on infected wheat ears and found that both were markedly reduced on infected ears. Thus, interactions between F. graminearum and grain aphids on wheat ears benefit the pathogen at the expense of the pest. Our findings have important consequences for disease epidemiology, because we show increased spread and development of host disease, together with greater disease severity and greater accumulation of pathogen DNA and mycotoxin, when aphids are present.

  4. Sharing a Host Plant (Wheat [Triticum aestivum]) Increases the Fitness of Fusarium graminearum and the Severity of Fusarium Head Blight but Reduces the Fitness of Grain Aphids (Sitobion avenae)

    PubMed Central

    Drakulic, Jassy; Caulfield, John; Woodcock, Christine; Jones, Stephen P. T.; Linforth, Robert; Bruce, Toby J. A.

    2015-01-01

    We hypothesized that interactions between fusarium head blight-causing pathogens and herbivores are likely to occur because they share wheat as a host plant. Our aim was to investigate the interactions between the grain aphid, Sitobion avenae, and Fusarium graminearum on wheat ears and the role that host volatile chemicals play in mediating interactions. Wheat ears were treated with aphids and F. graminearum inoculum, together or separately, and disease progress was monitored by visual assessment and by quantification of pathogen DNA and mycotoxins. Plants exposed to both aphids and F. graminearum inoculum showed accelerated disease progression, with a 2-fold increase in disease severity and 5-fold increase in mycotoxin accumulation over those of plants treated only with F. graminearum. Furthermore, the longer the period of aphid colonization of the host prior to inoculation with F. graminearum, the greater the amount of pathogen DNA that accumulated. Headspace samples of plant volatiles were collected for use in aphid olfactometer assays and were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and GC-coupled electroantennography. Disease-induced plant volatiles were repellent to aphids, and 2-pentadecanone was the key semiochemical underpinning the repellent effect. We measured aphid survival and fecundity on infected wheat ears and found that both were markedly reduced on infected ears. Thus, interactions between F. graminearum and grain aphids on wheat ears benefit the pathogen at the expense of the pest. Our findings have important consequences for disease epidemiology, because we show increased spread and development of host disease, together with greater disease severity and greater accumulation of pathogen DNA and mycotoxin, when aphids are present. PMID:25769834

  5. Sharing a Host Plant (Wheat [Triticum aestivum]) Increases the Fitness of Fusarium graminearum and the Severity of Fusarium Head Blight but Reduces the Fitness of Grain Aphids (Sitobion avenae).

    PubMed

    Drakulic, Jassy; Caulfield, John; Woodcock, Christine; Jones, Stephen P T; Linforth, Robert; Bruce, Toby J A; Ray, Rumiana V

    2015-05-15

    We hypothesized that interactions between fusarium head blight-causing pathogens and herbivores are likely to occur because they share wheat as a host plant. Our aim was to investigate the interactions between the grain aphid, Sitobion avenae, and Fusarium graminearum on wheat ears and the role that host volatile chemicals play in mediating interactions. Wheat ears were treated with aphids and F. graminearum inoculum, together or separately, and disease progress was monitored by visual assessment and by quantification of pathogen DNA and mycotoxins. Plants exposed to both aphids and F. graminearum inoculum showed accelerated disease progression, with a 2-fold increase in disease severity and 5-fold increase in mycotoxin accumulation over those of plants treated only with F. graminearum. Furthermore, the longer the period of aphid colonization of the host prior to inoculation with F. graminearum, the greater the amount of pathogen DNA that accumulated. Headspace samples of plant volatiles were collected for use in aphid olfactometer assays and were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and GC-coupled electroantennography. Disease-induced plant volatiles were repellent to aphids, and 2-pentadecanone was the key semiochemical underpinning the repellent effect. We measured aphid survival and fecundity on infected wheat ears and found that both were markedly reduced on infected ears. Thus, interactions between F. graminearum and grain aphids on wheat ears benefit the pathogen at the expense of the pest. Our findings have important consequences for disease epidemiology, because we show increased spread and development of host disease, together with greater disease severity and greater accumulation of pathogen DNA and mycotoxin, when aphids are present. PMID:25769834

  6. Does insect netting affect the containment of airborne pollen from (GM-) plants in greenhouses?

    PubMed

    van Hengstum, Thomas; Hooftman, Danny A P; den Nijs, Hans C M; van Tienderen, Peter H

    2012-09-01

    Greenhouses are a well-accepted containment strategy to grow and study genetically modified plants (GM) before release into the environment. Various containment levels are requested by national regulations to minimize GM pollen escape. We tested the amount of pollen escaping from a standard greenhouse, which can be used for EU containment classes 1 and 2. More specifically, we investigated the hypothesis whether pollen escape could be minimized by insect-proof netting in front of the roof windows, since the turbulent airflow around the mesh wiring could avoid pollen from escaping. We studied the pollen flow out of greenhouses with and without insect netting of two non-transgenic crops, Ryegrass (Loliummultiflorum) and Corn (Zea Mays). Pollen flow was assessed with Rotorod(®) pollen samplers positioned inside and outside the greenhouse' roof windows. A significant proportion of airborne pollen inside the greenhouse leaves through roof windows. Moreover, the lighter pollen of Lolium escaped more readily than the heavier pollen of Maize. In contrast to our expectations, we did not identify any reduction in pollen flow with insect netting in front of open windows, even under induced airflow conditions. We conclude that insect netting, often present by default in greenhouses, is not effective in preventing pollen escape from greenhouses of wind-pollinated plants for containment classes 1 or 2. Further research would be needed to investigate whether other alternative strategies, including biotic ones, are more effective. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10453-011-9237-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:22798704

  7. Soil moisture and fungi affect seed survival in California grassland annual plants.

    PubMed

    Mordecai, Erin A

    2012-01-01

    Survival of seeds in the seed bank is important for the population dynamics of many plant species, yet the environmental factors that control seed survival at a landscape level remain poorly understood. These factors may include soil moisture, vegetation cover, soil type, and soil pathogens. Because many soil fungi respond to moisture and host species, fungi may mediate environmental drivers of seed survival. Here, I measure patterns of seed survival in California annual grassland plants across 15 species in three experiments. First, I surveyed seed survival for eight species at 18 grasslands and coastal sage scrub sites ranging across coastal and inland Santa Barbara County, California. Species differed in seed survival, and soil moisture and geographic location had the strongest influence on survival. Grasslands had higher survival than coastal sage scrub sites for some species. Second, I used a fungicide addition and exotic grass thatch removal experiment in the field to tease apart the relative impact of fungi, thatch, and their interaction in an invaded grassland. Seed survival was lower in the winter (wet season) than in the summer (dry season), but fungicide improved winter survival. Seed survival varied between species but did not depend on thatch. Third, I manipulated water and fungicide in the laboratory to directly examine the relationship between water, fungi, and survival. Seed survival declined from dry to single watered to continuously watered treatments. Fungicide slightly improved seed survival when seeds were watered once but not continually. Together, these experiments demonstrate an important role of soil moisture, potentially mediated by fungal pathogens, in driving seed survival.

  8. Plant Pathogenic Microbial Communication Affected by Elevated Temperature in Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum.

    PubMed

    Saha, N D; Chaudhary, A; Singh, S D; Singh, D; Walia, S; Das, T K

    2015-11-01

    Gram-negative plant pathogenic bacteria regulate specific gene expression in a population density-dependent manner by sensing level of Acyl-Homoserine Lactone (HSL) molecules which they produce and liberate to the environment, called Quorum Sensing (QS). The production of virulence factors (extracellular enzyme viz. cellulase, pectinase, etc.) in Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum (Pcc) is under strong regulation of QS. The QS signal molecule, N-(3-oxohexanoyl)-L-Homoserine Lactone (OHHL) was found as the central regulatory system for the virulence factor production in Pcc and is also under strict regulation of external environmental temperature. Under seven different incubation temperatures (24, 26, 28, 30, 33, 35, and 37 °C) in laboratory condition, highest amount of OHHL (804 violacein unit) and highest (79 %) Disease Severity Index (DSI) were measured at 33 °C. The OHHL production kinetics showed accumulation of highest concentration of OHHL at late log phase of the growth but diminution in the concentration occurred during stationary phase onwards to death phase. At higher temperature (35 and 37 °C) exposure, OHHL was not at detectable range. The effect of temperature on virulence factor production is the concomitant effect of HSL production and degradation which justifies less disease severity index in cross-inoculated tomato fruits incubated at 35 and 37 °C. The nondetection of the OHHL in the elevated temperature may because of degradation as these signal molecules are quite sensitive and prone to get degraded under different physical factors. This result provides the rationale behind the highest disease severity up to certain elevated temperature and leaves opportunities for investigation on mutation, co-evolution of superior plant pathogen with more stable HSL signals-mediated pathogenesis under global warming context. PMID:26271295

  9. Flower litters of alpine plants affect soil nitrogen and phosphorus rapidly in the eastern Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jinniu; Xu, Bo; Wu, Yan; Gao, Jing; Shi, Fusun

    2016-10-01

    Litters of reproductive organs have rarely been studied despite their role in allocating nutrients for offspring reproduction. This study determines the mechanism through which flower litters efficiently increase the available soil nutrient pool. Field experiments were conducted to collect plant litters and calculate biomass production in an alpine meadow of the eastern Tibetan Plateau. C, N, P, lignin, cellulose content, and their relevant ratios of litters were analyzed to identify their decomposition features. A pot experiment was performed to determine the effects of litter addition on the soil nutrition pool by comparing the treated and control samples. The litter-bag method was used to verify decomposition rates. The flower litters of phanerophyte plants were comparable with non-flower litters. Biomass partitioning of other herbaceous species accounted for 10-40 % of the aboveground biomass. Flower litter possessed significantly higher N and P levels but less C / N, N / P, lignin / N, and lignin and cellulose concentrations than leaf litter. The litter-bag experiment confirmed that the flower litters of Rhododendron przewalskii and Meconopsis integrifolia decompose approximately 3 times faster than mixed litters within 50 days. Pot experiment findings indicated that flower litter addition significantly increased the available nutrient pool and soil microbial productivity. The time of litter fall significantly influenced soil available N and P, and soil microbial biomass. Flower litters fed the soil nutrition pool and influenced nutrition cycling in alpine ecosystems more efficiently because of their non-ignorable production, faster decomposition rate, and higher nutrient contents compared with non-flower litters. The underlying mechanism can enrich nutrients, which return to the soil, and non-structural carbohydrates, which feed and enhance the transitions of soil microorganisms.

  10. Factors That Affect Riverbank Filtrate Water Temperature in Daesan Plants, Changwon, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, J.; Lim, J.; Lee, K.; Jung, W.; Kim, H.

    2008-12-01

    City of Changwon, Korea, has been using some of riverbank filtrate water for the indoor air-conditioning of Daesan purification plants since 2006. In this method, the most important factor to determine efficiency of heating and cooling is the temperature of the filtrate water. Thus, it is required to predict the available range of groundwater temperature in the case of changing pumping rate, pumping location or in the case of long term operation. Numerical simulation of temperature profile of riverbank filtrate water in Daesan plants using HydroGeoSphere shows that the primary factor in determining filtrate water temperature is the pumping rate. Distance from the river to the wells is long enough to equalize subsurface water temperature through its penetration path and all of the well screen sections are located at the depth of 30 m below surface which is part of the local aquifer. This is why the horizontal distance from the river to each well and the installed screen depth are less important than the pumping rate to determine filtrate water temperature in this facility. It also shows that maintaining the facility operation with present pumping rate for the next 30 years will not cause any significant change of water temperature. However, following the new plan of the city to install additional 37 wells with 6 times higher pumping rate than the current rate might cause about 2? decrease in filtrate water temperature in 10 years after the extension. All of these results demonstrate that basic hydrological study such as aquifer heterogeneity or pumping capacity is prerequisite for calculating and predicting extracted water temperature in riverbank filtration system.

  11. Nanosecond electric pulses affect a plant-specific kinesin at the plasma membrane.

    PubMed

    Kühn, Sebastian; Liu, Qiong; Eing, Christian; Frey, Wolfgang; Nick, Peter

    2013-12-01

    Electric pulses with high field strength and durations in the nanosecond range (nsPEFs) are of considerable interest for biotechnological and medical applications. However, their actual cellular site of action is still under debate--due to their extremely short rise times, nsPEFs are thought to act mainly in the cell interior rather than at the plasma membrane. On the other hand, nsPEFs can induce membrane permeability. We have revisited this issue using plant cells as a model. By mapping the cellular responses to nsPEFs of different field strength and duration in the tobacco BY-2 cell line, we could define a treatment that does not impinge on short-term viability, such that the physiological responses to the treatment can be followed. We observe, for these conditions, a mild disintegration of the cytoskeleton, impaired membrane localization of the PIN1 auxin-efflux transporter and a delayed premitotic nuclear positioning followed by a transient mitotic arrest. To address the target site of nsPEFs, we made use of the plant-specific KCH kinesin, which can assume two different states with different localization (either near the nucleus or at the cell membrane) driving different cellular functions. We show that nsPEFs reduce cell expansion in nontransformed cells but promote expansion in a line overexpressing KCH. Since cell elongation and cell widening are linked to the KCH localized at the cell membrane, the inverted response in the KCH overexpressor provides evidence for a direct action of nsPEFs, also at the cell membrane. PMID:24062185

  12. Soil Moisture and Fungi Affect Seed Survival in California Grassland Annual Plants

    PubMed Central

    Mordecai, Erin A.

    2012-01-01

    Survival of seeds in the seed bank is important for the population dynamics of many plant species, yet the environmental factors that control seed survival at a landscape level remain poorly understood. These factors may include soil moisture, vegetation cover, soil type, and soil pathogens. Because many soil fungi respond to moisture and host species, fungi may mediate environmental drivers of seed survival. Here, I measure patterns of seed survival in California annual grassland plants across 15 species in three experiments. First, I surveyed seed survival for eight species at 18 grasslands and coastal sage scrub sites ranging across coastal and inland Santa Barbara County, California. Species differed in seed survival, and soil moisture and geographic location had the strongest influence on survival. Grasslands had higher survival than coastal sage scrub sites for some species. Second, I used a fungicide addition and exotic grass thatch removal experiment in the field to tease apart the relative impact of fungi, thatch, and their interaction in an invaded grassland. Seed survival was lower in the winter (wet season) than in the summer (dry season), but fungicide improved winter survival. Seed survival varied between species but did not depend on thatch. Third, I manipulated water and fungicide in the laboratory to directly examine the relationship between water, fungi, and survival. Seed survival declined from dry to single watered to continuously watered treatments. Fungicide slightly improved seed survival when seeds were watered once but not continually. Together, these experiments demonstrate an important role of soil moisture, potentially mediated by fungal pathogens, in driving seed survival. PMID:22720037

  13. Distribution of Pseudomonas Species in a Dairy Plant Affected by Occasional Blue Discoloration

    PubMed Central

    Lomonaco, Sara; Nucera, Daniele; Garoglio, Davide; Dalmasso, Alessandra; Civera, Tiziana

    2014-01-01

    During 2010 many cases of discoloration in mozzarella, popularly termed as blue mozzarella, have been reported to the attention of public opinion. Causes of the alteration were bacteria belonging to the genus Pseudomonas. The strong media impact of such cases has created confusion, not only among consumers, but also among experts. In order to help improving the knowledge on microbial ecology of this microorganism a study has been set up with the collaboration of a medium-sized dairy plant producing fresh mozzarella cheese, with occasional blue discoloration, conducting surveys and sampling in the pre-operational, operational and post-operational process phase, milk before and after pasteurization, water (n=12), environmental surfaces (n=22) and the air (n=27). A shelf life test was conducted on finished products stored at different temperatures (4-8°C). Among the isolates obtained from the microbiological analysis of the samples, 60 were subjected to biomolecular tests in order to confirm the belonging to Pseudomonas genus and to get an identification at species level by the amplification and sequencing of the gyrB gene. The results of microbiological tests demonstrated the presence of microorganisms belonging to the genus Pseudomonas along the entire production lane; molecular tests showed 7 different species among the 40 isolates identified. One particular species (Pseudomonas koreensis) was isolated from blue discolored mozzarella cheese and was indicated as the most relevant for the production plant, both for the distribution along the processing chain and for the consequences on the finished product. PMID:27800364

  14. Plant Pathogenic Microbial Communication Affected by Elevated Temperature in Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum.

    PubMed

    Saha, N D; Chaudhary, A; Singh, S D; Singh, D; Walia, S; Das, T K

    2015-11-01

    Gram-negative plant pathogenic bacteria regulate specific gene expression in a population density-dependent manner by sensing level of Acyl-Homoserine Lactone (HSL) molecules which they produce and liberate to the environment, called Quorum Sensing (QS). The production of virulence factors (extracellular enzyme viz. cellulase, pectinase, etc.) in Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum (Pcc) is under strong regulation of QS. The QS signal molecule, N-(3-oxohexanoyl)-L-Homoserine Lactone (OHHL) was found as the central regulatory system for the virulence factor production in Pcc and is also under strict regulation of external environmental temperature. Under seven different incubation temperatures (24, 26, 28, 30, 33, 35, and 37 °C) in laboratory condition, highest amount of OHHL (804 violacein unit) and highest (79 %) Disease Severity Index (DSI) were measured at 33 °C. The OHHL production kinetics showed accumulation of highest concentration of OHHL at late log phase of the growth but diminution in the concentration occurred during stationary phase onwards to death phase. At higher temperature (35 and 37 °C) exposure, OHHL was not at detectable range. The effect of temperature on virulence factor production is the concomitant effect of HSL production and degradation which justifies less disease severity index in cross-inoculated tomato fruits incubated at 35 and 37 °C. The nondetection of the OHHL in the elevated temperature may because of degradation as these signal molecules are quite sensitive and prone to get degraded under different physical factors. This result provides the rationale behind the highest disease severity up to certain elevated temperature and leaves opportunities for investigation on mutation, co-evolution of superior plant pathogen with more stable HSL signals-mediated pathogenesis under global warming context.

  15. Does insect netting affect the containment of airborne pollen from (GM-) plants in greenhouses?

    PubMed

    van Hengstum, Thomas; Hooftman, Danny A P; den Nijs, Hans C M; van Tienderen, Peter H

    2012-09-01

    Greenhouses are a well-accepted containment strategy to grow and study genetically modified plants (GM) before release into the environment. Various containment levels are requested by national regulations to minimize GM pollen escape. We tested the amount of pollen escaping from a standard greenhouse, which can be used for EU containment classes 1 and 2. More specifically, we investigated the hypothesis whether pollen escape could be minimized by insect-proof netting in front of the roof windows, since the turbulent airflow around the mesh wiring could avoid pollen from escaping. We studied the pollen flow out of greenhouses with and without insect netting of two non-transgenic crops, Ryegrass (Loliummultiflorum) and Corn (Zea Mays). Pollen flow was assessed with Rotorod(®) pollen samplers positioned inside and outside the greenhouse' roof windows. A significant proportion of airborne pollen inside the greenhouse leaves through roof windows. Moreover, the lighter pollen of Lolium escaped more readily than the heavier pollen of Maize. In contrast to our expectations, we did not identify any reduction in pollen flow with insect netting in front of open windows, even under induced airflow conditions. We conclude that insect netting, often present by default in greenhouses, is not effective in preventing pollen escape from greenhouses of wind-pollinated plants for containment classes 1 or 2. Further research would be needed to investigate whether other alternative strategies, including biotic ones, are more effective. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10453-011-9237-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

  16. 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

  17. Accumulation of N-acetylglucosamine oligomers in the plant cell wall affects plant architecture in a dose-dependent and conditional manner.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-05-01

    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.

  18. Endogenous levels of polyamines in the organs of cucumber plant (Cucumis sativus) and factors affecting leaf polyamine contents.

    PubMed

    Fujihara, Shinsuke; Yoneyama, Tadakatsu

    2001-11-01

    Polyamine compositions of various organs from hydroponically cultivated cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Sharp-1) and factors affecting the leaf polyamine content were examined. Diamine putrescine was found most abundantly in the root, while a relatively large amount of spermine was detected in the reproductive organs such as the immature fruit and the calyx (+stamen). Spermidine was present at the highest level in rapidly growing tissues such as newly expanded leaf and fruit at an early developing stage, implying the possible involvement of spermidine in the growth and development of these young tissues. Polyamine content of cucumber leaves changed during the day. Especially, the putrescine content of upper leaves showed a striking decrease from the morning to the night. Alterations of leaf Ca or Mg content did not significantly affect leaf polyamine composition. On the other hand, abnormal cucumber leaves showed altered polyamine composition. Yellowing of the leaf intervein resulted in a striking decrease in spermidine content without a significant change in putrescine and spermine content. By contrast, the leaves infected with the phytopathogen, powdery mildew, showed decreased putrescine and increased spermine content in response to the degree of fungi infection. The possible usefulness of polyamines as a diagnostic marker of plant development and physiological disorder is discussed. PMID:12060288

  19. How meristem plasticity in response to soil nutrients and light affects plant growth in four Festuca grass species.

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, Shu-ichi; Gotoh, Minako

    2010-02-01

    Investigation of responses of meristems to environmental conditions is important for understanding the mechanisms and consequences of plant phenotypic plasticity. Here, we examined how meristem plasticity to light and soil nutrients affected leaf growth and relative growth rate (RGR) in fast- and slow-growing Festuca grass species. Activity in shoot apical meristems was measured by leaf appearance rate, and that in leaf meristems by the duration and rate of cell production, which was further divided into single cell cycle time and the number of dividing cells. Light and soil nutrients affected activity in shoot apical meristems similarly. The high nutrient supply increased the number of dividing cells, which was responsible for enhancement of cell production rate; shaded conditions extended the duration of cell production. As a result, leaf length increased under high nutrient and shaded conditions. The RGR was correlated positively with the total meristem size of the shoot under a low nutrient supply, implying inhibition of RGR by cell production under nutrient-limited conditions. Fast-growing species were more plastic for cell production rate and specific leaf area (SLA) but less plastic for RGR than slow-growing species. This study demonstrates that meristem plasticity plays key roles in characterizing environmental responses of plant species.

  20. Climate Shifts and Plant-Community Transformations Affect Nitrogen Cycling in Semi-Arid Rangelands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, D. P.; Hardenbrook, S.; Lohse, K. A.; Germino, M. J.; Reinhardt, K.

    2011-12-01

    Semi-arid rangelands are being impacted by climate shifts and plant-community transformations. However, little is known about how these ecosystems will respond to long-term changes in amount and seasonality of precipitation, or how shifts in vegetation modulate the response of plant-soil processes. Semi-arid rangelands are typically characterized by resource islands (perennial shrubs) and contrasting "interplant" (IP) spaces or patch types which may increase the complexity of ecosystem response to climate change. We used an established long-term ecohydrologic experiment (Est. 1993) located in southeastern Idaho to evaluate ecosystem response to changing precipitation seasonality and magnitude. The experiment consists of 3 replicated blocks of 2 vegetation types (a diverse sagebrush steppe assemblage or monoculture of exotic crested wheatgrass, CWG) and 3 irrigation treatments. We hypothesized that increased precipitation will enhance storage of soil organic matter (SOM) due to greater detrital inputs. Rates of nitrogen (N) mineralization and decomposition were also expected to increase relative to ambient treatments. Additionally, we expected that change from native sagebrush to CWG would reduce N availability due to differences in detrital C:N ratios and biomass partitioning. Preliminary results show increased precipitation enhanced carbon pools in native vegetation plots, with SOM in ambient, fall/spring, and summer precipitation treatments of 2.27, 2.73, and 2.71% respectively, and average plot cover of 29, 48, and 40% respectively. Under shrubs, available N increased with increased precipitation (3.5, 4.6, and 5.6 μg-N g-1 soil) although N-cycling rates remained constant. Conversely, IP patches experienced a steady increase in both net N mineralization and nitrification between ambient, fall/spring, and summer precipitation treatments. The IP patches experienced lower absolute values but similar trends in SOM and available N. Crested wheatgrass plots showed

  1. From facilitation to competition: temperature-driven shift in dominant plant interactions affects population dynamics in seminatural grasslands.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Siri L; Töpper, Joachim P; Skarpaas, Olav; Vandvik, Vigdis; Klanderud, Kari

    2016-05-01

    Biotic interactions are often ignored in assessments of climate change impacts. However, climate-related changes in species interactions, often mediated through increased dominance of certain species or functional groups, may have important implications for how species respond to climate warming and altered precipitation patterns. We examined how a dominant plant functional group affected the population dynamics of four co-occurring forb species by experimentally removing graminoids in seminatural grasslands. Specifically, we explored how the interaction between dominants and subordinates varied with climate by replicating the removal experiment across a climate grid consisting of 12 field sites spanning broad-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in southern Norway. Biotic interactions affected population growth rates of all study species, and the net outcome of interactions between dominants and subordinates switched from facilitation to competition with increasing temperature along the temperature gradient. The impacts of competitive interactions on subordinates in the warmer sites could primarily be attributed to reduced plant survival. Whereas the response to dominant removal varied with temperature, there was no overall effect of precipitation on the balance between competition and facilitation. Our findings suggest that global warming may increase the relative importance of competitive interactions in seminatural grasslands across a wide range of precipitation levels, thereby favouring highly competitive dominant species over subordinate species. As a result, seminatural grasslands may become increasingly dependent on disturbance (i.e. traditional management such as grazing and mowing) to maintain viable populations of subordinate species and thereby biodiversity under future climates. Our study highlights the importance of population-level studies replicated under different climatic conditions for understanding the underlying mechanisms of climate

  2. The Ecohydrological Consequences of Woody Plant Encroachment: How Accessibility to Deep Soil Water Resources Affects Ecosystem Carbon and Water Exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)