Science.gov

Sample records for affect plant productivity

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Do non-native plant species affect the shape of productivity-diversity relationships?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drake, J.M.; Cleland, E.E.; Horner-Devine, M. C.; Fleishman, E.; Bowles, C.; Smith, M.D.; Carney, K.; Emery, S.; Gramling, J.; Vandermast, D.B.; Grace, J.B.

    2008-01-01

    The relationship between ecosystem processes and species richness is an active area of research and speculation. Both theoretical and experimental studies have been conducted in numerous ecosystems. One finding of these studies is that the shape of the relationship between productivity and species richness varies considerably among ecosystems and at different spatial scales, though little is known about the relative importance of physical and biological mechanisms causing this variation. Moreover, despite widespread concern about changes in species' global distributions, it remains unclear if and how such large-scale changes may affect this relationship. We present a new conceptual model of how invasive species might modulate relationships between primary production and species richness. We tested this model using long-term data on relationships between aboveground net primary production and species richness in six North American terrestrial ecosystems. We show that primary production and abundance of non-native species are both significant predictors of species richness, though we fail to detect effects of invasion extent on the shapes of the relationship between species richness and primary production.

  7. 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.

  8. A trial of production of the plant-derived high-value protein in a plant factory: photosynthetic photon fluxes affect the accumulation of recombinant miraculin in transgenic tomato fruits.

    PubMed

    Kato, Kazuhisa; Maruyama, Shinichiro; Hirai, Tadayoshi; Hiwasa-Tanase, Kyoko; Mizoguchi, Tsuyoshi; Goto, Eiji; Ezura, Hiroshi

    2011-08-01

    One of the ultimate goals of plant science is to test a hypothesis obtained by basic science and to apply it to agriculture and industry. A plant factory is one of the ideal systems for this trial. Environmental factors affect both plant yield and the accumulation of recombinant proteins for industrial applications within transgenic plants. However, there have been few reports studying plant productivity for recombinant protein in closed cultivation systems called plant factories. To investigate the effects of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) on tomato fruit yield and the accumulation of recombinant miraculin, a taste-modifying glycoprotein, in transgenic tomato fruits, plants were cultivated at various PPFs from 100 to 400 (µmol m(-2) s(-)1) in a plant factory. Miraculin production per unit of energy used was highest at PPF100, although miraculin production per unit area was highest at PPF300. The commercial productivity of recombinant miraculin in transgenic tomato fruits largely depended on light conditions in the plant factory. Our trial will be useful to consider the trade-offs between the profits from production of high-value materials in plants and the costs of electricity. PMID:21791976

  9. A trial of production of the plant-derived high-value protein in a plant factory: photosynthetic photon fluxes affect the accumulation of recombinant miraculin in transgenic tomato fruits.

    PubMed

    Kato, Kazuhisa; Maruyama, Shinichiro; Hirai, Tadayoshi; Hiwasa-Tanase, Kyoko; Mizoguchi, Tsuyoshi; Goto, Eiji; Ezura, Hiroshi

    2011-08-01

    One of the ultimate goals of plant science is to test a hypothesis obtained by basic science and to apply it to agriculture and industry. A plant factory is one of the ideal systems for this trial. Environmental factors affect both plant yield and the accumulation of recombinant proteins for industrial applications within transgenic plants. However, there have been few reports studying plant productivity for recombinant protein in closed cultivation systems called plant factories. To investigate the effects of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) on tomato fruit yield and the accumulation of recombinant miraculin, a taste-modifying glycoprotein, in transgenic tomato fruits, plants were cultivated at various PPFs from 100 to 400 (µmol m(-2) s(-)1) in a plant factory. Miraculin production per unit of energy used was highest at PPF100, although miraculin production per unit area was highest at PPF300. The commercial productivity of recombinant miraculin in transgenic tomato fruits largely depended on light conditions in the plant factory. Our trial will be useful to consider the trade-offs between the profits from production of high-value materials in plants and the costs of electricity.

  10. Metabolite diversity in the plant pathogen Alternaria brassicicola: factors affecting production of brassicicolin A, depudecin, phomapyrone A and other metabolites.

    PubMed

    Pedras, M Soledade C; Park, Myung Ryeol

    2015-01-01

    A systematic investigation of the metabolites of Alternaria brassicicola produced under various culture conditions is reported. The phytotoxin brassicicolin A is produced in significantly larger amounts in potato dextrose broth than in minimal medium cultures. In general an increase in the incubation temperature of cultures 23-30 C increases the production of brassicicolin A but decreases depudecin production. Reducing or eliminating nitrate from culture media or adding ammonium chloride increases the production of brassicicolin A at 30 C, depudecin at 23 C and α-acetylorcinol at either temperature, suggesting that nitrogen represses their biosynthesis. Siderophores are detected in cultures of A. brassicicola containing low and high ferric ion concentrations. The metabolites α-acetylorcinol and tyrosol are isolated for the first time from cultures of A. brassicicola, and α-acetylorcinol is synthesized in four steps and 36% overall yield. Only brassicicolin A and no other isolated metabolites, including depudecin and phomapyrone A, display phytotoxicity on leaves of Brassica species (up to 5.0 mM). Epigenetic modifiers, 5-azacitidin (5-AZA), suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) and suberoyl bis-hydroxamic acid (SBHA) do not affect the metabolite profiles of liquid cultures of this fungal pathogen.

  11. Plant Productivity and ESM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rygalov, V.; Drysdale, A.; Bartsev, S.; Wheeler, R.; Fowler, P.

    An approach for relating Plant Productivity (PP) and Equivalent System Mass (ESM) has been formulated. On this basis, possible reductions of ESM have been analyzed in relation to:-the general mission scenario;-the physiology and cultivation of mixed plant crops;-natural and modified environmental conditions for plant cultivation;-benefits of management approaches;-degree of closure of the artificial support system;-improved plant chamber design. This approach is applied to estimates of minimal ESM for Martian Deployable Greenhouse (MDG).

  12. 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.

  13. Sugars proportionately affect artemisinin production.

    PubMed

    Wang, Y; Weathers, P J

    2007-07-01

    Little is known about the effect of sugars in controlling secondary metabolism. In this study, sugars alone or in combination with their analogs were used to investigate their role in the production of the antimalarial drug, artemisinin, in Artemisia annua L. seedlings. Compared to sucrose, a 200% increase in artemisinin by glucose was observed. Different ratios of fructose to glucose yielded artemisinin levels directly proportional to increases in relative glucose concentration. When the glucose analog, 3-O-methylglucose, was added with glucose, artemisinin production was dramatically decreased, but hexokinase activity was significantly increased compared to glucose alone. In contrast, neither mannose nor mannitol had any significant effect on artemisinin yield. In comparison with 30 g/l sucrose, artemisinin levels were significantly reduced by 80% in the presence of 27 g/l sucrose + 3 g/l palatinose, which cannot be transported into cells through the sucrose transporter. Together these results suggest that both monosaccharide and disaccharide sugars are likely acting not only as carbon sources but also as signals to affect the downstream production of artemisinin, and that the mechanism of these effects appears to be complex. PMID:17221224

  14. 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

  15. Effects of plants and plant products on the testis

    PubMed Central

    D'Cruz, Shereen Cynthia; Vaithinathan, Selvaraju; Jubendradass, Rajamanickam; Mathur, Premendu Prakash

    2010-01-01

    For centuries, plants and plant-based products have been used as a valuable and safe natural source of medicines for treating various ailments. The therapeutic potential of most of these plants could be ascribed to their anticancer, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, antispasmodic, analgesic and various other pharmacological properties. However, several commonly used plants have been reported to adversely affect male reproductive functions in wildlife and humans. The effects observed with most of the plant and plant-based products have been attributed to the antispermatogenic and/or antisteroidogenic properties of one or more active ingredients. This review discusses the detrimental effects of some of the commonly used plants on various target cells in the testis. A deeper insight into the molecular mechanisms of action of these natural compounds could pave the way for developing therapeutic strategies against their toxicity. PMID:20562897

  16. Affective Productions of Mathematical Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walshaw, Margaret; Brown, Tony

    2012-01-01

    In underscoring the affective elements of mathematics experience, we work with contemporary readings of the work of Spinoza on the politics of affect, to understand what is included in the cognitive repertoire of the Subject. We draw on those resources to tell a pedagogical tale about the relation between cognition and affect in settings of…

  17. Production of virus resistant plants

    DOEpatents

    Dougherty, W.G.; Lindbo, J.A.

    1996-12-10

    A method of suppressing virus gene expression in plants using untranslatable plus sense RNA is disclosed. The method is useful for the production of plants that are resistant to virus infection. 9 figs.

  18. [Nitric oxide production in plants].

    PubMed

    Małolepsza, Urszula

    2007-01-01

    There are still many controversial observations and opinions on the cellular/subcellular localization and sources of endogenous nitric oxide synthesis in plant cells. NO can be produced in plants by non-enzymatic and enzymatic systems depending on plant species, organ or tissue as well as on physiological state of the plant and changing environmental conditions. The best documented reactions in plant that contribute to NO production are NO production from nitrite as a substrate by cytosolic (cNR) and membrane bound (PM-NR) nitrate reductases (NR), and NO production by several arginine-dependent nitric oxide synthase-like activities (NOS). The latest papers indicate that mitochondria are an important source of arginine- and nitrite-dependent NO production in plants. There are other potential enzymatic sources of NO in plants including xanthine oxidoreductase, peroxidase, cytochrome P450. PMID:18399354

  19. 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.

  20. Rootstock and fruit canopy position affect peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] (cv. Rich May) plant productivity and fruit sensorial and nutritional quality.

    PubMed

    Gullo, Gregorio; Motisi, Antonio; Zappia, Rocco; Dattola, Agostino; Diamanti, Jacopo; Mezzetti, Bruno

    2014-06-15

    The right combination of rootstock and training system is important for increased yield and fruit sensorial and nutritional homogeneity and quality with peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch]. We investigated the effects of rootstock and training system on these parameters, testing the effect of vigorous GF677 and weaker Penta rootstock on 'Rich May' peach cultivar. Fruit position effects regarding photosynthetically active radiation availability, along the canopy profile using the Y training system, were investigated. The positive relationships between total polyphenols content and antioxidant capacity according to canopy vigour and architecture were determined for the two scion/stock combinations. Changes in fruit epicarp colour and content of bioactive compounds were also determined. Lower-vigour trees from Penta rootstock grafting yielded larger fruit with improved skin overcolour, and greater total polyphenols content and antioxidant capacity. GF677 rootstock produced more vigorous trees with fruit with lower sensorial and nutritional parameters. Canopy position strongly affects fruit sensorial and nutritional qualities. These data define potential for improvements to peach production efficiency and fruit quality, particularly for southern Europe peach cultivation conditions.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. The marketing implications of affective product design.

    PubMed

    Seva, Rosemary R; Duh, Henry Been-Lirn; Helander, Martin G

    2007-11-01

    Emotions are compelling human experiences and product designers can take advantage of this by conceptualizing emotion-engendering products that sell well in the market. This study hypothesized that product attributes influence users' emotions and that the relationship is moderated by the adherence of these product attributes to purchase criteria. It was further hypothesized that the emotional experience of the user influences purchase intention. A laboratory study was conducted to validate the hypotheses using mobile phones as test products. Sixty-two participants were asked to assess eight phones from a display of 10 phones and indicate their emotional experiences after assessment. Results suggest that some product attributes can cause intense emotional experience. The attributes relate to the phone's dimensions and the relationship between these dimensions. The study validated the notion of integrating affect in designing products that convey users' personalities. PMID:17303064

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Plant Products as Antimicrobial Agents

    PubMed Central

    Cowan, Marjorie Murphy

    1999-01-01

    The use of and search for drugs and dietary supplements derived from plants have accelerated in recent years. Ethnopharmacologists, botanists, microbiologists, and natural-products chemists are combing the Earth for phytochemicals and “leads” which could be developed for treatment of infectious diseases. While 25 to 50% of current pharmaceuticals are derived from plants, none are used as antimicrobials. Traditional healers have long used plants to prevent or cure infectious conditions; Western medicine is trying to duplicate their successes. Plants are rich in a wide variety of secondary metabolites, such as tannins, terpenoids, alkaloids, and flavonoids, which have been found in vitro to have antimicrobial properties. This review attempts to summarize the current status of botanical screening efforts, as well as in vivo studies of their effectiveness and toxicity. The structure and antimicrobial properties of phytochemicals are also addressed. Since many of these compounds are currently available as unregulated botanical preparations and their use by the public is increasing rapidly, clinicians need to consider the consequences of patients self-medicating with these preparations. PMID:10515903

  10. Plant phenolics affect oxidation of tryptophan.

    PubMed

    Salminen, Hanna; Heinonen, Marina

    2008-08-27

    The effect of berry phenolics such as anthocyanins, ellagitannins, and proanthocyanidins from raspberry (Rubus idaeus), black currant (Ribes nigrum), and cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccus) and byproducts of deoiling processes rich in phenolics such as rapeseed (Brassica rapa L.), camelina (Camelina sativa), and soy (Glycine max L.) as well as scots pine bark (Pinus sylvestris) was investigated in an H2O2-oxidized tryptophan (Trp) solution. The oxidation of Trp was analyzed with high-performance liquid chromatography using both fluorescence and diode array detection of Trp and its oxidation products. Mechanisms of antioxidative action of the phenolic compounds toward the oxidation of Trp were different as the pattern of Trp oxidation products varied with different phenolic compounds. The antioxidant protection toward oxidation of Trp was best provided with pine bark phenolics, black currant anthocyanins, and camelina meal phenolics as well as cranberry proanthocyanidins.

  11. Plant phenolics affect oxidation of tryptophan.

    PubMed

    Salminen, Hanna; Heinonen, Marina

    2008-08-27

    The effect of berry phenolics such as anthocyanins, ellagitannins, and proanthocyanidins from raspberry (Rubus idaeus), black currant (Ribes nigrum), and cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccus) and byproducts of deoiling processes rich in phenolics such as rapeseed (Brassica rapa L.), camelina (Camelina sativa), and soy (Glycine max L.) as well as scots pine bark (Pinus sylvestris) was investigated in an H2O2-oxidized tryptophan (Trp) solution. The oxidation of Trp was analyzed with high-performance liquid chromatography using both fluorescence and diode array detection of Trp and its oxidation products. Mechanisms of antioxidative action of the phenolic compounds toward the oxidation of Trp were different as the pattern of Trp oxidation products varied with different phenolic compounds. The antioxidant protection toward oxidation of Trp was best provided with pine bark phenolics, black currant anthocyanins, and camelina meal phenolics as well as cranberry proanthocyanidins. PMID:18646765

  12. Terrestrial plant production and climate change.

    PubMed

    Friend, Andrew D

    2010-03-01

    The likely future increase in atmospheric CO(2) and associated changes in climate will affect global patterns of plant production. Models integrate understanding of the influence of the environment on plant physiological processes and so enable estimates of future changes to be made. Moreover, they allow us to assess the consequences of different assumptions for predictions and so stimulate further research. This paper is a review of the sensitivities of one such model, Hybrid6.5, a detailed mechanistic model of terrestrial primary production. This model is typical of its type, and the sensitivities of the global distribution of predicted production to model assumptions and possible future CO(2) levels and climate are assessed. Sensitivity tests show that leaf phenology has large effects on mean C(3) crop and needleleaved cold deciduous tree production, reducing potential net primary production (NPP) from that obtained using constant maximum annual leaf area index by 32.9% and 41.6%, respectively. Generalized Plant Type (GPT) specific parameterizations, particularly photosynthetic capacity per unit leaf N, affect mean predicted NPP of higher C(3) plants by -22.3% to 27.9%, depending on the GPT, compared to NPP predictions obtained using mean parameter values. An increase in atmospheric CO(2) concentrations from current values to 720 ppm by the end of this century, with associated effects on climate from a typical climate model, is predicted to increase global NPP by 37.3%. Mean increases range from 43.9-52.9% across different C(3) GPTs, whereas the mean NPP of C(4) grass and crop increases by 5.9%. Significant uncertainties concern the extent to which acclimative processes may reduce any potential future increase in primary production and the degree to which any gains are transferred to durable, and especially edible, biomass. Experimentalists and modellers need to work closely together to reduce these uncertainties. A number of research priorities are suggested

  13. Diverse urban plantings managed with sufficient resource availability can increase plant productivity and arthropod diversity.

    PubMed

    Muller, Jonathon N; Loh, Susan; Braggion, Ligia; Cameron, Stephen; Firn, Jennifer L

    2014-01-01

    Buildings structures and surfaces are explicitly being used to grow plants, and these "urban plantings" are generally designed for aesthetic value. Urban plantings also have the potential to contribute significant "ecological values" by increasing urban habitat for animals such as arthropods and by increasing plant productivity. In this study, we evaluated how the provision of these additional ecological values is affected by plant species richness; the availability of essential resources for plants, such as water, light, space; and soil characteristics. We sampled 33 plantings located on the exterior of three buildings in the urban center of Brisbane, Australia (subtropical climatic region) over 2, 6 week sampling periods characterized by different temperature and rainfall conditions. Plant cover was estimated as a surrogate for productivity as destructive sampling of biomass was not possible. We measured weekly light levels (photosynthetically active radiation), plant CO2 assimilation, soil CO2 efflux, and arthropod diversity. Differences in plant cover were best explained by a three-way interaction of plant species richness, management water regime and sampling period. As the richness of plant species increased in a planter, productivity and total arthropod richness also increased significantly-likely due to greater habitat heterogeneity and quality. Overall we found urban plantings can provide additional ecological values if essential resources are maintained within a planter such as water, light and soil temperature. Diverse urban plantings that are managed with these principles in mind can contribute to the attraction of diverse arthropod communities, and lead to increased plant productivity within a dense urban context.

  14. Effect of iodine disinfection products on higher plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Janik, D.; Macler, B.; Macelroy, R. D.; Thorstenson, Y.; Sauer, R.

    1989-01-01

    Iodine is used to disinfect potable water on United States spacecraft. Iodinated potable water will likely be used to grow plants in space. Little is known about the effects of iodine disinfection products on plants. Seeds of select higher plants were germinated in water iodinated using the Shuttle Microbial Check Valve, and water to which measured amounts of iodine was added. Percent germination was decreased in seeds of most species germinated in iodinated water. Beans were most affected. Germination rates, determined from germination half-times, were decreased for beans germinated in iodinated water, and water to which iodide was added. Development was retarded and rootlets were conspicuously absent in bean and several other plant species germinated in iodinated water. Iodide alone did not elicit these responses. Clearly iodine disinfection products can affect higher plants. These effects must be carefully considered for plant experimentation and cultivation in space, and in design and testing of closed environmental life support systems.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    containing more plant species but little influenced by earthworms. Overall shoot biomass was decreased, root biomass increased in plant communities with more plant species. Earthworms decreased total shoot biomass in mesocosms with more plant species but did not affect biomass production of individual functional groups. Plant nitrogen concentrations across three focus species were 18% higher when earthworms were present; composition of plant communities did not affect plant quality. Conclusions Given the important role that both herbivores and earthworms play in structuring plant communities the implications of belowground-aboveground linkages should more broadly be considered when investigating global change effects on ecosystems. PMID:23668239

  16. Plant productivity in controlled environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salisbury, F. B.; Bugbee, B.

    1988-01-01

    To assess the cost and area/volume requirements of a farm in a space station or Lunar or Martian base, a few laboratories in the United States, the Soviet Union, France, and Japan are studying optimum controlled environments for the production of selected crops. Temperature, light, photoperiod, CO2, humidity, the root-zone environment, and cultivars are the primary factors being manipulated to increase yields and harvest index. Our best wheat yields on a time basis (24 g m-2 day-1 of edible biomass) are five times good field yields and twice the world record. Similar yields have been obtained in other laboratories with potatoes and lettuce; soybeans are also promising. These figures suggest that approximately 30 m2 under continuous production could support an astronaut with sufficient protein and about 2800 kcal day-1. Scientists under Iosif Gitelzon in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, have lived in a closed system for up to 5 months, producing 80% of their own food. Thirty square meters for crops were allotted to each of the two men taking part in the experiment. A functional controlled-environment life-support system (CELSS) will require the refined application of several disciplines: controlled-environment agriculture, food preparation, waste disposal, and control-systems technology, to list only the broadest categories. It has seemed intuitively evident that ways could be found to prepare food, regenerate plant nutrients from wastes, and even control and integrate several subsystems of a CELSS. But could sufficient food be produced in the limited areas and with the limited energy that might be available? Clearly, detailed studies of food production were necessary.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Light production by green plants.

    PubMed

    STREHLER, B L; ARNOLD, W

    1951-07-01

    1. Green plants have been found to emit light of approximately the same color as their fluorescent light for several minutes following illumination. This light is about 10(-3) the intensity of the fluorescent light, about one-tenth second after illumination below saturation or 10(-6) of the intensity of the absorbed light. 2. The decay curve follows bimolecular kinetics at 6.5 degrees C. and reaction order 1.6 at 28 degrees C. 3. This light saturates as does photosynthesis at higher light intensities and in about the same intensity range as does photosynthesis. 4. An action spectrum for light emitted as a function of the wave length of exciting light has been determined. It parallels closely the photosynthetic action spectrum. 5. The intensity of light emission was studied as a function of temperature and found to be optimal at about 37 degrees C. with an activation energy of approximately 19,500 calories. Two-temperature studies indicated that the energy may be trapped in the cold, but that temperatures characteristic for enzymatic reactions are necessary for light production. 6. Illumination after varying dark periods showed initial peaks of varying height depending on the preceding dark period. 7. 5 per cent CO(2) reversibly depresses the amount of light emitted by about 30 per cent. About 3 minutes are required for this effect to reach completion at room temperatures. 8. Various inhibitors of photosynthesis were tested for their effect on luminescence and were all inhibitory at appropriate concentrations. 9. Irradiation with ultraviolet light (2537A) inhibits light production at about the same rate as it inhibits photosynthesis. 10. This evidence suggests that early and perhaps later chemical reactions in photosynthesis may be partially reversible.

  20. New routes to plant secondary products

    SciTech Connect

    Hamill, J.D.; Parr, A.J.; Rhodes, M.J.C.; Robins, R.J.; Walton, N.J.

    1987-01-01

    For some years, there has been great interest in the exploitation of plant cell cultures to produce fine chemicals. With a few exceptions, progress in commercialization has been slow, largely due to the low and/or unstable productivity of many undifferentiated cultures. Recent developments leading to the production of rapidly growing, organized, 'hairy' root cultures following the genetic transformation of plants with Agrobacterium rhizogenes may revolutionize certain areas of plant cell biotechnology. The application of hairy root technology to the production of plant secondary metabolites are discussed. (Refs. 45).

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Spectral filtering for plant production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Roy E.; Mcmahon, Margaret J.; Rajapakse, Nihal C.; Decoteau, Dennis R.

    1994-01-01

    Both plants and animals have one general commonality in their perception of light. They both are sensitive primarily to the 400 to 700 nm wavelength portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is referred to as the visible spectrum for animals and as the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) spectrum for plants. Within this portion of the spectrum, animals perceive colors. Relatively recently it has been learned that within this same spectral range plants also demonstrate varying responses at different wavelengths, somewhat analogous to the definition of various colors at specific wavelengths. Although invisible to the human eye, portions of the electromagnetic spectrum on either side of the visible range are relatively inactive photosynthetically but have been found to influence important biological functions. These portions include the ultraviolet (UV approximately equal to 280-400 nm) and the far-red (FR approximately equal to 700-800 nm). The basic photoreceptor of plants for photosynthesis is chlorophyll. It serves to capture radiant energy which combined with carbon dioxide and water produces oxygen and assimulated carbon, used for the synthesis of cell wall polysaccarides, proteins, membrane lipids and other cellular constituents. The energy and carbon building blocks of photosynthesis sustain growth of plants. On the other hand, however, there are other photoreceptors, or pigments, that function as signal transducers to provide information that controls many physiological and morphological responses of how a plant grows. Known photomorphogenic receptors include phytochrome (the red/far-red sensor in the narrow bands of 655-665 nm and 725-735 nm ranges, respectively) and 'cryptochrome' (the hypothetical UV-B sensor in the 280-320 nm range). Since the USDA team of W. L. Butler, S. B. Hendricks, H. A. Borthwick, H. A. Siegleman and K. Norris in Beltsville, MD detected by spectroscopy, extracted and identified phytochrome as a protein in the 1950's, many

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Plant Diversity Surpasses Plant Functional Groups and Plant Productivity as Driver of Soil Biota in the Long Term

    PubMed Central

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Milcu, Alexandru; Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Bessler, Holger; Brenner, Johanna; Engels, Christof; Klarner, Bernhard; Maraun, Mark; Partsch, Stephan; Roscher, Christiane; Schonert, Felix; Temperton, Vicky M.; Thomisch, Karolin; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Scheu, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    Background One of the most significant consequences of contemporary global change is the rapid decline of biodiversity in many ecosystems. Knowledge of the consequences of biodiversity loss in terrestrial ecosystems is largely restricted to single ecosystem functions. Impacts of key plant functional groups on soil biota are considered to be more important than those of plant diversity; however, current knowledge mainly relies on short-term experiments. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied changes in the impacts of plant diversity and presence of key functional groups on soil biota by investigating the performance of soil microorganisms and soil fauna two, four and six years after the establishment of model grasslands. The results indicate that temporal changes of plant community effects depend on the trophic affiliation of soil animals: plant diversity effects on decomposers only occurred after six years, changed little in herbivores, but occurred in predators after two years. The results suggest that plant diversity, in terms of species and functional group richness, is the most important plant community property affecting soil biota, exceeding the relevance of plant above- and belowground productivity and the presence of key plant functional groups, i.e. grasses and legumes, with the relevance of the latter decreasing in time. Conclusions/Significance Plant diversity effects on biota are not only due to the presence of key plant functional groups or plant productivity highlighting the importance of diverse and high-quality plant derived resources, and supporting the validity of the singular hypothesis for soil biota. Our results demonstrate that in the long term plant diversity essentially drives the performance of soil biota questioning the paradigm that belowground communities are not affected by plant diversity and reinforcing the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning. PMID:21249208

  7. Iron nutrition, biomass production, and plant product quality.

    PubMed

    Briat, Jean-François; Dubos, Christian; Gaymard, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    One of the grand challenges in modern agriculture is increasing biomass production, while improving plant product quality, in a sustainable way. Of the minerals, iron (Fe) plays a major role in this process because it is essential both for plant productivity and for the quality of their products. Fe homeostasis is an important determinant of photosynthetic efficiency in algae and higher plants, and we review here the impact of Fe limitation or excess on the structure and function of the photosynthetic apparatus. We also discuss the agronomic, plant breeding, and transgenic approaches that are used to remediate Fe deficiency of plants on calcareous soils, and suggest ways to increase the Fe content and bioavailability of the edible parts of crops to improve human diet.

  8. Enhanced Methanol Production in Plants Provides Broad Spectrum Insect Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Dixit, Sameer; Upadhyay, Santosh Kumar; Singh, Harpal; Sidhu, Om Prakash; Verma, Praveen Chandra; K, Chandrashekar

    2013-01-01

    Plants naturally emit methanol as volatile organic compound. Methanol is toxic to insect pests; but the quantity produced by most of the plants is not enough to protect them against invading insect pests. In the present study, we demonstrated that the over-expression of pectin methylesterase, derived from Arabidopsis thaliana and Aspergillus niger, in transgenic tobacco plants enhances methanol production and resistance to polyphagous insect pests. Methanol content in the leaves of transgenic plants was measured using proton nuclear spectroscopy (1H NMR) and spectra showed up to 16 fold higher methanol as compared to control wild type (WT) plants. A maximum of 100 and 85% mortality in chewing insects Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera litura larvae was observed, respectively when fed on transgenic plants leaves. The surviving larvae showed less feeding, severe growth retardation and could not develop into pupae. In-planta bioassay on transgenic lines showed up to 99 and 75% reduction in the population multiplication of plant sap sucking pests Myzus persicae (aphid) and Bemisia tabaci (whitefly), respectively. Most of the phenotypic characters of transgenic plants were similar to WT plants. Confocal microscopy showed no deformities in cellular integrity, structure and density of stomata and trichomes of transgenic plants compared to WT. Pollen germination and tube formation was also not affected in transgenic plants. Cell wall enzyme transcript levels were comparable with WT. This study demonstrated for the first time that methanol emission can be utilized for imparting broad range insect resistance in plants. PMID:24223989

  9. Diverse urban plantings managed with sufficient resource availability can increase plant productivity and arthropod diversity

    PubMed Central

    Muller, Jonathon N.; Loh, Susan; Braggion, Ligia; Cameron, Stephen; Firn, Jennifer L.

    2014-01-01

    Buildings structures and surfaces are explicitly being used to grow plants, and these “urban plantings” are generally designed for aesthetic value. Urban plantings also have the potential to contribute significant “ecological values” by increasing urban habitat for animals such as arthropods and by increasing plant productivity. In this study, we evaluated how the provision of these additional ecological values is affected by plant species richness; the availability of essential resources for plants, such as water, light, space; and soil characteristics. We sampled 33 plantings located on the exterior of three buildings in the urban center of Brisbane, Australia (subtropical climatic region) over 2, 6 week sampling periods characterized by different temperature and rainfall conditions. Plant cover was estimated as a surrogate for productivity as destructive sampling of biomass was not possible. We measured weekly light levels (photosynthetically active radiation), plant CO2 assimilation, soil CO2 efflux, and arthropod diversity. Differences in plant cover were best explained by a three-way interaction of plant species richness, management water regime and sampling period. As the richness of plant species increased in a planter, productivity and total arthropod richness also increased significantly—likely due to greater habitat heterogeneity and quality. Overall we found urban plantings can provide additional ecological values if essential resources are maintained within a planter such as water, light and soil temperature. Diverse urban plantings that are managed with these principles in mind can contribute to the attraction of diverse arthropod communities, and lead to increased plant productivity within a dense urban context. PMID:25400642

  10. AVLIS Production Plant Project Management Plan

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-11-15

    The AVLIS Production Plant is designated as a Major System Acquisition (in accordance with DOE Order 4240.IC) to deploy Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation (AVLIS) technology at the Oak Ridge, Tennessee site, in support of the US Uranium Enrichment Program. The AVLIS Production Plant Project will deploy AVLIS technology by performing the design, construction, and startup of a production plant that will meet capacity production requirements of the Uranium Enrichment Program. The AVLIS Production Plant Project Management Plan has been developed to outline plans, baselines, and control systems to be employed in managing the AVLIS Production Plant Project and to define the roles and responsibilities of project participants. Participants will develop and maintain detailed procedures for implementing the management and control systems in agreement with this plan. This baseline document defines the system that measures work performed and costs incurred. This plan was developed by the AVLIS Production Plant Project staff of Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in accordance with applicable DOE directives, orders and notices. 38 figures, 19 tables.

  11. AVLIS production plant waste management plan

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-11-15

    Following the executive summary, this document contains the following: (1) waste management facilities design objectives; (2) AVLIS production plant wastes; (3) waste management design criteria; (4) waste management plan description; and (5) waste management plan implementation. 17 figures, 18 tables.

  12. Modifying plants for biofuel and biomaterial production.

    PubMed

    Furtado, Agnelo; Lupoi, Jason S; Hoang, Nam V; Healey, Adam; Singh, Seema; Simmons, Blake A; Henry, Robert J

    2014-12-01

    The productivity of plants as biofuel or biomaterial crops is established by both the yield of plant biomass per unit area of land and the efficiency of conversion of the biomass to biofuel. Higher yielding biofuel crops with increased conversion efficiencies allow production on a smaller land footprint minimizing competition with agriculture for food production and biodiversity conservation. Plants have traditionally been domesticated for food, fibre and feed applications. However, utilization for biofuels may require the breeding of novel phenotypes, or new species entirely. Genomics approaches support genetic selection strategies to deliver significant genetic improvement of plants as sources of biomass for biofuel manufacture. Genetic modification of plants provides a further range of options for improving the composition of biomass and for plant modifications to assist the fabrication of biofuels. The relative carbohydrate and lignin content influences the deconstruction of plant cell walls to biofuels. Key options for facilitating the deconstruction leading to higher monomeric sugar release from plants include increasing cellulose content, reducing cellulose crystallinity, and/or altering the amount or composition of noncellulosic polysaccharides or lignin. Modification of chemical linkages within and between these biomass components may improve the ease of deconstruction. Expression of enzymes in the plant may provide a cost-effective option for biochemical conversion to biofuel.

  13. Parameters affecting solvent production by Clostridium pasteurianum

    SciTech Connect

    Dabrock, B.; Bahl, H.; Gottschalk, G. )

    1992-04-01

    The effect of pH, growth rate, phosphate and iron limitation, carbon monoxide, and carbon source on product formation by Clostridium pasteurianum was determined. Under phosphate limitation, glucose was fermented almost exclusively to acetate and butyrate independently of the pH and growth rate. Iron limitation caused lactate production (38 mol/100 mol) from glucose in batch and continuous culture. At 15% (vol/vol) carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, glucose was fermented to ethanol (24 mol/100 mol), lactate (32 mol/100 mol), and butanol (36 mol/100 mol) in addition to the usual products, acetate (38 mol/100 mol) and butyrate (17 mol/100 mol). During glycerol fermentation, a completely different product pattern was found. In continuous culture under phosphate limitation, acetate and butyrate were produced only in trace amounts, whereas ethanol (30 mol/10 mol), butanol (18 mol/100 mol), and 1,3-propanediol (18 mol/100 mol) were the major products. Under iron limitation, the ratio of these products could be changed in favor of 1,3-propanediol (34 mol/100 mol). In addition, lactate was produced in significant amounts (25 mol/100 mol). The tolerance of C. pasteurianum to glycerol was remarkably high; growth was not inhibited by glycerol concentrations up to 17% (wt/vol). Increasing glycerol concentrations favored the production of 1,3-propanediol.

  14. Human excreta for plant production.

    PubMed

    Heinonen-Tanski, Helvi; van Wijk-Sijbesma, Christine

    2005-03-01

    Human excreta are a natural resource which is always available in all societies. Unfortunately, their value is highly underestimated in present agriculture and horticulture including in many tropical developing countries. Especially human urine is rich in nitrogen. This "free" fertiliser should be used as much as possible and needed. In many cases, human urine and composted human faeces could be fortified with wood ash and kitchen and garden waste to meet the potassium and phosphorus needs of plants and to improve soil structure. Avoiding health risks and dosage requirements are also discussed. The ideas presented here can be used even with the cheap pit latrines that are common in the rural and peri-urban areas of developing countries. They do not require electricity and/or tap water. They may also fit conditions in areas of Eastern Europe where piped water and sewerage are absent and/or people lack money for fertilisers and maintenance of wastewater treatment plants.

  15. Greenhouse tomato limited cluster production systems: crop management practices affect yield

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Logendra, L. S.; Gianfagna, T. J.; Specca, D. R.; Janes, H. W.

    2001-01-01

    Limited-cluster production systems may be a useful strategy to increase crop production and profitability for the greenhouse tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill). In this study, using an ebb-and-flood hydroponics system, we modified plant architecture and spacing and determined the effects on fruit yield and harvest index at two light levels. Single-cluster plants pruned to allow two leaves above the cluster had 25% higher fruit yields than did plants pruned directly above the cluster; this was due to an increase in fruit weight, not fruit number. Both fruit yield and harvest index were greater for all single-cluster plants at the higher light level because of increases in both fruit weight and fruit number. Fruit yield for two-cluster plants was 30% to 40% higher than for single-cluster plants, and there was little difference in the dates or length of the harvest period. Fruit yield for three-cluster plants was not significantly different from that of two-cluster plants; moreover, the harvest period was delayed by 5 days. Plant density (5.5, 7.4, 9.2 plants/m2) affected fruit yield/plant, but not fruit yield/unit area. Given the higher costs for materials and labor associated with higher plant densities, a two-cluster crop at 5.5 plants/m2 with two leaves above the cluster was the best of the production system strategies tested.

  16. 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.

  17. Plant biotechnology for lignocellulosic biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Li, Quanzi; Song, Jian; Peng, Shaobing; Wang, Jack P; Qu, Guan-Zheng; Sederoff, Ronald R; Chiang, Vincent L

    2014-12-01

    Lignocelluloses from plant cell walls are attractive resources for sustainable biofuel production. However, conversion of lignocellulose to biofuel is more expensive than other current technologies, due to the costs of chemical pretreatment and enzyme hydrolysis for cell wall deconstruction. Recalcitrance of cell walls to deconstruction has been reduced in many plant species by modifying plant cell walls through biotechnology. These results have been achieved by reducing lignin content and altering its composition and structure. Reduction of recalcitrance has also been achieved by manipulating hemicellulose biosynthesis and by overexpression of bacterial enzymes in plants to disrupt linkages in the lignin-carbohydrate complexes. These modified plants often have improved saccharification yield and higher ethanol production. Cell wall-degrading (CWD) enzymes from bacteria and fungi have been expressed at high levels in plants to increase the efficiency of saccharification compared with exogenous addition of cellulolytic enzymes. In planta expression of heat-stable CWD enzymes from bacterial thermophiles has made autohydrolysis possible. Transgenic plants can be engineered to reduce recalcitrance without any yield penalty, indicating that successful cell wall modification can be achieved without impacting cell wall integrity or plant development. A more complete understanding of cell wall formation and structure should greatly improve lignocellulosic feedstocks and reduce the cost of biofuel production. PMID:25330253

  18. Plant biotechnology for lignocellulosic biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Li, Quanzi; Song, Jian; Peng, Shaobing; Wang, Jack P; Qu, Guan-Zheng; Sederoff, Ronald R; Chiang, Vincent L

    2014-12-01

    Lignocelluloses from plant cell walls are attractive resources for sustainable biofuel production. However, conversion of lignocellulose to biofuel is more expensive than other current technologies, due to the costs of chemical pretreatment and enzyme hydrolysis for cell wall deconstruction. Recalcitrance of cell walls to deconstruction has been reduced in many plant species by modifying plant cell walls through biotechnology. These results have been achieved by reducing lignin content and altering its composition and structure. Reduction of recalcitrance has also been achieved by manipulating hemicellulose biosynthesis and by overexpression of bacterial enzymes in plants to disrupt linkages in the lignin-carbohydrate complexes. These modified plants often have improved saccharification yield and higher ethanol production. Cell wall-degrading (CWD) enzymes from bacteria and fungi have been expressed at high levels in plants to increase the efficiency of saccharification compared with exogenous addition of cellulolytic enzymes. In planta expression of heat-stable CWD enzymes from bacterial thermophiles has made autohydrolysis possible. Transgenic plants can be engineered to reduce recalcitrance without any yield penalty, indicating that successful cell wall modification can be achieved without impacting cell wall integrity or plant development. A more complete understanding of cell wall formation and structure should greatly improve lignocellulosic feedstocks and reduce the cost of biofuel production.

  19. Freshwater aquatic plant biomass production in Florida

    SciTech Connect

    Reddy, K.R.; Sutton, D.L.; Bowes, G.

    1983-01-01

    About 8% (1.2 million ha) of the total surface area of Florida is occupied by freshwater. Many of these water bodies are eutrophic. Nutrients present in these water bodies can be potentially used to culture aquatic plants as a possible feedstock for methane production. This paper summarizes the results of known research findings on biomass production potential of freshwater aquatic plants in Florida and identifies key research needs to improve the quality and quantity of biomass yields. Among floating aquatic plants, biomass yield potential was in the order of water-hyacinth > water lettuce > pennywort > salvinia > duckweed > azolla. Pennywort, duckweed, and azolla appear to perform well during the cooler months compared to other aquatic plants. Among emergent plants, biomass yield potential was in the order of southern wild rice > cattails > soft rush > bulrush. Cultural techniques, nutrient management, and environmental factors influencing the biomass yields were discussed. 68 references.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Using plants for hydrogen production

    SciTech Connect

    Greenbaum, E.

    1981-01-01

    The objective of this program is to make a quantitative assessment of the potential for using marine algae for producing hydrogen and oxygen from sea water. The approach is to screen selected species of green algae for simultaneous photoproduction of hydrogen and oxygen. Six marine green algae have been identified as having this property. The limiting step of algal hydrogen production is turnover time. This report contains data on the first simultaneous measurement of the turnover times of steady-state photosynthetic hydrogen and oxygen production. An instrument for measuring the absolute yield of hydrogen or oxygen per saturating single-turnover flash of light has been designed and built as part of this research program.

  3. Studies on saponin production in tropical medicinal plants Maesa argentea and Maesa lanceolata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faizal, Ahmad; Geelen, Danny

    2015-09-01

    The continuous need for new compounds with important medicinal activities has lead to the identification and characterization of various plant-derived natural products. As a part of this program, we studied the saponin production from two tropical medicinal plants Maesa argentea and M. lanceolata and evaluated several treatments to enhance their saponin production. In this experiment, we present the analyses of saponin production from greenhouse grown plants by means of TLC and HPLC-MS. We observed that the content of saponin from these plants varied depending on organ and physiological age of the plants. In addition, the impact of elicitors on saponin accumulation on in vitro grown plants was analyzed using TLC. The production of saponin was very stable and not affected by treatment with methyl jasmonate, and salicylic acid. In conclusion, Maesa saponins are constitutively produced in plants and the level of these compounds in plants is mainly affected by the developmental or physiological stage.

  4. Green biofactories: recombinant protein production in plants.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Adil; Pereira, Eridan O; Conley, Andrew J; Richman, Alex S; Menassa, Rima

    2010-11-01

    Until recently, low accumulation levels have been the major bottleneck for plant-made recombinant protein production. However, several breakthroughs have been described in the past few years allowing for very high accumulation levels, mainly through chloroplast transformation and transient expression, coupled with subcellular targeting and protein fusions. Another important factor influencing our ability to use plants for the production of recombinant proteins is the availability of quick and simple purification strategies. Recent developments using oleosin, zein, ELP and hydrophobin fusion tags have shown promise as efficient and cost-effective methods for non-chromatographic separation. Furthermore, plant glycosylation is a major barrier to the parenteral administration of plant-made biopharmaceuticals because of potential immunogenicity concerns. A major effort has been invested in humanizing plant glycosylation, and several groups have been able to reduce or eliminate immunogenic glycans while introducing mammalian-specific glycans. Finally, biosafety issues and public perception are essential for the acceptance of plants as bioreactors for the production of proteins. Over recent years, it has become clear that food and feed plants carry an inherent risk of contaminating our food supply, and thus much effort has focused on the use of non-food plants. Presently, Nicotiana benthamiana has emerged as the preferred host for transient expression, while tobacco is most frequently used for chloroplast transformation. In this review, we focus on the main issues hindering the economical production of recombinant proteins in plants, describing the current efforts for addressing these limitations, and we include an extensive list of recent patents generated with the intention of solving these limitations. PMID:21171961

  5. Plant cell culture strategies for the production of natural products

    PubMed Central

    Ochoa-Villarreal, Marisol; Howat, Susan; Hong, SunMi; Jang, Mi Ok; Jin, Young-Woo; Lee, Eun-Kyong; Loake, Gary J.

    2016-01-01

    Plants have evolved a vast chemical cornucopia to support their sessile lifestyles. Man has exploited this natural resource since Neolithic times and currently plant-derived chemicals are exploited for a myriad of applications. However, plant sources of most high-value natural products (NPs) are not domesticated and therefore their production cannot be undertaken on an agricultural scale. Further, these plant species are often slow growing, their populations limiting, the concentration of the target molecule highly variable and routinely present at extremely low concentrations. Plant cell and organ culture constitutes a sustainable, controllable and environmentally friendly tool for the industrial production of plant NPs. Further, advances in cell line selection, biotransformation, product secretion, cell permeabilisation, extraction and scale-up, among others, are driving increases in plant NP yields. However, there remain significant obstacles to the commercial synthesis of high-value chemicals from these sources. The relatively recent isolation, culturing and characterisation of cambial meristematic cells (CMCs), provides an emerging platform to circumvent many of these potential difficulties. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(3): 149-158] PMID:26698871

  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. Factors affecting patulin production by Penicillium expansum.

    PubMed

    McCallum, J L; Tsao, R; Zhou, T

    2002-12-01

    Patulin, a mycotoxin produced by Penicillium spp. during fruit spoilage, is a major concern with regard to human health because exposure can result in severe acute and chronic toxicity, including carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic effects. In this study, we investigated the effects of Penicillium expansum isolate, apple cultivar, storage temperature and time, and pH on the production of patulin. Patulin was analyzed by a previously developed micellar electrokinetic capillary electrophoresis method. P. expansum isolates originating from across Ontario produced widely differing levels of patulin, ranging from 0 to >6 mg/g by dry mycelial weight. The highest patulin levels were those for isolates displaying aggressive growth (characterized by rapidly increasing acidity) accompanied by profuse mycelial development. Distinct patterns in fungal growth rates and patulin production were evident among isolates grown in McIntosh, Empire, and Mutsu ciders. Extensive fungal growth and higher patulin levels (538 to 1,822 microg/ml on day 14) in apple ciders were associated with incubation at room temperature (25 degrees C), although potentially toxic patulin levels (75 to 396 microg/ml on day 24) were also found in refrigerated ciders (4 degrees C) inoculated with P. expansum. PMID:12495013

  8. How Glassy States Affect Brown Carbon Production?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, P.; Li, Y.; Wang, Y.; Bateman, A. P.; Zhang, Y.; Gong, Z.; Gilles, M. K.; Martin, S. T.

    2015-12-01

    Secondary organic material (SOM) can become light-absorbing (i.e. brown carbon) via multiphase reactions with nitrogen-containing species such as ammonia and amines. The physical states of SOM, however, potentially slow the diffusion of reactant molecules in organic matrix under conditions that semisolids or solids prevail, thus inhibiting the browning reaction pathways. In this study, the physical states and the in-particle diffusivity were investigated by measuring the evaporation kinetics of both water and organics from aromatic-derived SOMs using a quartz-crystal-microbalance (QCM). The results indicate that the SOMs derived from aromatic precursors toluene and m-xylene became solid (glassy) and the in particle diffusion was significantly impeded for sufficiently low relative humidity ( < 20% RH) at 293 K. Optical properties and the AMS spectra were measured for toluene-derived SOM after ammonia exposure at varied RHs. The results suggest that the production of light-absorbing nitrogen-containing compounds from multiphase reactions with ammonia was kinetically limited in the glassy organic matrix, which otherwise produce brown carbon. The results of this study have significant implications for production and optical properties of brown carbon in urban atmospheres that ultimately influence the climate and tropospheric photochemistry.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Mo99 Production Plant Layout

    SciTech Connect

    Woloshun, Keith Albert; Dale, Gregory E.; Naranjo, Angela Carol

    2015-06-25

    The NorthStar Medical Technologies 99Mo production facility configuration is envisioned to be 8 accelerator pairs irradiating 7 100Mo targets (one spare accelerator pair undergoing maintenance while the other 7 pairs are irradiating targets). The required shielding in every direction for the accelerators is initially estimated to be 10 feet of concrete. With the accelerator pairs on one (ground) level and spaced with the required shielding between adjacent pairs, the only practical path for target insertion and removal while minimizing floor space is vertical. The current scheme then requires a target vertical lift of nominally 10 feet through a shield stack. It is envisioned that the lift will be directly into a hot cell where an activated target can be removed from its holder and a new target attached and lowered. The hot cell is on a rail system so that a single hot cell can service all active target locations, as well as deliver the ready targets to the separations lab. On this rail system, coupled to the hot cell, will be a helium recovery and clean-up system. All helium coolant equipment is located on the upper level near to the target removal point.

  13. 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.

  14. Power plant productivity improvement in New York

    SciTech Connect

    1981-03-01

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

  15. Pinellas Plant facts. [Products, processes, laboratory facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-09-01

    This plant was built in 1956 in response to a need for the manufacture of neutron generators, a principal component in nuclear weapons. The neutron generators consist of a miniaturized linear ion accelerator assembled with the pulsed electrical power supplies required for its operation. The ion accelerator, or neutron tube, requires ultra clean, high vacuum technology: hermetic seals between glass, ceramic, glass-ceramic, and metal materials: plus high voltage generation and measurement technology. The existence of these capabilities at the Pinellas Plant has led directly to the assignment of the lightning arrester connector, specialty capacitor, vacuum switch, and crystal resonator. Active and reserve batteries and the radioisotopically-powered thermoelectric generator draw on the materials measurement and controls technologies which are required to ensure neutron generator life. A product development and production capability in alumina ceramics, cermet (electrical) feedthroughs, and glass ceramics has become a specialty of the plant; the laboratories monitor the materials and processes used by the plant's commercial suppliers of ferroelectric ceramics. In addition to the manufacturing facility, a production development capability is maintained at the Pinellas Plant.

  16. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Products entering inspected plants... Products entering inspected plants. All products of a kind certified under this part or materials to be used in the preparation of such products when brought into an inspected plant shall be identified...

  17. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Products entering inspected plants... Products entering inspected plants. All products of a kind certified under this part or materials to be used in the preparation of such products when brought into an inspected plant shall be identified...

  18. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Products entering inspected plants... Products entering inspected plants. All products of a kind certified under this part or materials to be used in the preparation of such products when brought into an inspected plant shall be identified...

  19. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Products entering inspected plants... Products entering inspected plants. All products of a kind certified under this part or materials to be used in the preparation of such products when brought into an inspected plant shall be identified...

  20. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Products entering inspected plants... Products entering inspected plants. All products of a kind certified under this part or materials to be used in the preparation of such products when brought into an inspected plant shall be identified...

  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. AVLIS production plant project schedule and milestones

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-11-15

    An AVLIS Production Plant Deployment Schedule for the engineering, procurement, and construction for both the Initial Increment of Production and the fully Activated Plant, has been developed by the project team consisting of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. with architect-engineer support from Bechtel National, Inc., Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation, and Westinghouse Corporation. The initial deployment phase consists of six separators modules and the three laser power amplifier modules consistent with the FY84 reference design with a name plate capacity of 5 million separative work units/yr followed by a full plant activation to approximately 13 million separative work units/yr. The AVLIS Production Plant project team's strategy for deployment schedule analysis focused on three schedule options: engineering limited schedule; authorization limited schedule; and funding limited project schedule. The three deployment schedule options developed by AVLIS project team have been classified in ranges such as an optimistic, rapid/moderate, or moderate/pessimistic based on the probability of meeting the individual schedule option's major milestones or program objectives of enriching uranium by the AVLIS process in an effective cost and schedule manner. 47 figures, 7 tables.

  3. Grazing management as it affects nutrition, animal production and economics of beef production.

    PubMed

    Parsons, S D; Allison, C D

    1991-03-01

    Until recently, the nutritional fate of the grazing animal has been largely ignored by both animal and range scientists despite the economic dependence of the extensive livestock industry on nutrition from grass. Of the three factors that can be manipulated to improve profit gross margin per animal, is one that is directly affected by nutrition and, hence, grazing management. The relationship between economics and grazing management may be summarized as: Gross margin = f(Animal Performance); Animal Performance = f(nutrition); Nutrition = f(grazing). Economical beef production must consider the needs of the animal and the forage plant at the same time. The health of the sward must be maintained while improving individual animal performance and simultaneously increasing stocking rate. Generally, plants that have been defoliated require a period of recovery before again being grazed. A sward is kept in a vigorous state by preventing repetitive defoliation at the one extreme, and avoiding excessive shading (mature growth) of photosynthetic material at the other. This state is best achieved where livestock grazing is controlled. For any individual paddock, periods of grazing are followed by periods that allow adequate physiologic recovery of the plants. A grazing regimen that keeps the plant in a healthy state is fortuitously also well suited to the nutritional requirements of the animal. Animals on overgrazed pastures are likely to suffer from inadequate feed intake because of deficiencies in feed quantity. Conversely, on over-rested pastures, intake deficiency results from paucity in feed quality. On most unmanaged ranges, overgrazed and over-rested plants are likely to be found side by side. By controlling duration of the rest period as well as duration of the grazing period through pasture subdivision, requirements of both the plant and the animal can be met. With artificially high economic demands placed on animal production, some form of supplementation is

  4. Terrestrial plant methane production and emission.

    PubMed

    Bruhn, Dan; Møller, Ian M; Mikkelsen, Teis N; Ambus, Per

    2012-03-01

    In this minireview, we evaluate all experimental work published on the phenomenon of aerobic methane (CH(4) ) generation in terrestrial plants and plant. Clearly, despite much uncertainty and skepticism, we conclude that the phenomenon is true. Four stimulating factors have been observed to induce aerobic plant CH(4) production, i.e. cutting injuries, increasing temperature, ultraviolet radiation and reactive oxygen species. Further, we analyze rates of measured emission of aerobically produced CH(4) in pectin and in plant tissues from different studies and argue that pectin is very far from the sole contributing precursor. In consequence, scaling up of aerobic CH(4) emission needs to take into consideration other potential sources than pectin. Due to the large uncertainties related to effects of stimulating factors, genotypic responses and type of precursors, we conclude that current attempts for upscaling aerobic CH(4) into a global budget is inadequate. Thus it is too early to draw the line under the aerobic methane emission in plants. Future work is needed for establishing the relative contribution of several proven potential CH(4) precursors in plant material.

  5. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants

    SciTech Connect

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

    Water plays a central role affecting all aspects of the dynamics in aridland ecosystems. Productivity, stability, and competitive interactions among ecosystem components within aridlands are key processes related directly to water in deserts. The ecological studies in this project revolve around one fundamental premise: that integrated aspects of plant metabolism provide insight into the structure and function of plant communities and ecosystems. While it is difficult to extrapolate from instantaneous physiological observations to higher scales, such as whole plant performance or to interactions between plants as components of ecosystems, several key aspects of plant metabolism are scalable. Analyses of stable isotopic composition in plant tissues at natural abundance levels provide a useful tool that can provide insight into the consequences of physiological processes over temporal and spatial scales. Some plant processes continuously fractionate among light and heavy stable isotopic forms of an element; over time this results in integrated measures of plant metabolism. For example, carbon isotope fractionation during photosynthesis results in leaf carbon isotopic composition that is a measure of the set-point for photosynthetic metabolism and of water-use efficiency. Thus it provides information on the temporal scaling of a key physiological process. In contrast, hydrogen is not fractionated during water uptake through the root. Soil water availability in shallow, deep, and/or groundwater layers vary spatially; therefore hydrogen isotope ratios of xylem sap provide a direct measure of the water source currently used by a plant. The longer-term record of carbon and hydrogen isotope ratios is recorded annually in xylem tissues (tree rings). The research in this project addresses variation in stable isotopic composition of aridland plants and its consequences for plant performance and community-level interactions.

  6. Developments in the production of mucosal antibodies in plants.

    PubMed

    Vasilev, Nikolay; Smales, C Mark; Schillberg, Stefan; Fischer, Rainer; Schiermeyer, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Recombinant mucosal antibodies represent attractive target molecules for the development of next generation biopharmaceuticals for passive immunization against various infectious diseases and treatment of patients suffering from mucosal antibody deficiencies. As these polymeric antibodies require complex post-translational modifications and correct subunit assembly, they are considered as difficult-to-produce recombinant proteins. Beside the traditional, mammalian-based production platforms, plants are emerging as alternative expression hosts for this type of complex macromolecule. Plant cells are able to produce high-quality mucosal antibodies as shown by the successful expression of the secretory immunoglobulins A (IgA) and M (IgM) in various antibody formats in different plant species including tobacco and its close relative Nicotiana benthamiana, maize, tomato and Arabidopsis thaliana. Importantly for biotherapeutic application, transgenic plants are capable of synthesizing functional IgA and IgM molecules with biological activity and safety profiles comparable with their native mammalian counterparts. This article reviews the structure and function of mucosal IgA and IgM antibodies and summarizes the current knowledge of their production and processing in plant host systems. Specific emphasis is given to consideration of intracellular transport processes as these affect assembly of the mature immunoglobulins, their secretion rates, proteolysis/degradation and glycosylation patterns. Furthermore, this review provides an outline of glycoengineering efforts that have been undertaken so far to produce antibodies with homogenous human-like glycan decoration. We believe that the continued development of our understanding of the plant cellular machinery related to the heterologous expression of immunoglobulins will further improve the production levels, quality and control of post-translational modifications that are 'human-like' from plant systems and enhance the

  7. 7 CFR 613.4 - Special production of plant materials.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Special production of plant materials. 613.4 Section... production of plant materials. NRCS can produce plant materials in the quantity required to do a specific conservation job if this production will serve the public welfare and only if the plant materials are...

  8. Metabolic differences in temperamental Brahman cattle can affect productivity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many factors may adversely affect the growth and productivity of livestock. These include stressors associated with management practices, such as weaning, handling relative to transportation, and vaccination, that can modulate growth through the production of stress-related hormones (i.e., cortisol,...

  9. Production of interspecific hybrid plants in Primula.

    PubMed

    Kato, Juntaro; Mii, Masahiro

    2006-01-01

    The methods of production of inter-specific hybrids in Primula are categorized into four steps: (1) emasculation, (2) pollination, (3) rescue culture of immature embryo, and (4) confiration of hybridity and ploidy level of the regenerated plants. Although most of the Primula pecies have a heteromorphic self-incompatibility system, an emasculation step is usually needed to avoid self-pollination since self-incompatibility is not always complete. At the resue culture step, addition of plant hormones (e.g., auxin, cytokinin, and gibberellin) to the culture medium is proved to be effective. The hybridity of the plants is efficiently confirmed at seedling stage by DNA analysis in addition to the comparison of morphological characters. The analysis of relative DNA contents by flow cytometry is easy and rapid technique to confirm hybridity and to estimate ploidy level and genomic combination.

  10. A plant factory for moth pheromone production.

    PubMed

    Ding, Bao-Jian; Hofvander, Per; Wang, Hong-Lei; Durrett, Timothy P; Stymne, Sten; Löfstedt, Christer

    2014-02-25

    Moths depend on pheromone communication for mate finding and synthetic pheromones are used for monitoring or disruption of pheromone communication in pest insects. Here we produce moth sex pheromone, using Nicotiana benthamiana as a plant factory, by transient expression of up to four genes coding for consecutive biosynthetic steps. We specifically produce multicomponent sex pheromones for two species. The fatty alcohol fractions from the genetically modified plants are acetylated to mimic the respective sex pheromones of the small ermine moths Yponomeuta evonymella and Y. padella. These mixtures are very efficient and specific for trapping of male moths, matching the activity of conventionally produced pheromones. Our long-term vision is to design tailor-made production of any moth pheromone component in genetically modified plants. Such semisynthetic preparation of sex pheromones is a novel and cost-effective way of producing moderate to large quantities of pheromones with high purity and a minimum of hazardous waste.

  11. A plant factory for moth pheromone production

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Bao-Jian; Hofvander, Per; Wang, Hong-Lei; Durrett, Timothy P.; Stymne, Sten; Löfstedt, Christer

    2014-01-01

    Moths depend on pheromone communication for mate finding and synthetic pheromones are used for monitoring or disruption of pheromone communication in pest insects. Here we produce moth sex pheromone, using Nicotiana benthamiana as a plant factory, by transient expression of up to four genes coding for consecutive biosynthetic steps. We specifically produce multicomponent sex pheromones for two species. The fatty alcohol fractions from the genetically modified plants are acetylated to mimic the respective sex pheromones of the small ermine moths Yponomeuta evonymella and Y. padella. These mixtures are very efficient and specific for trapping of male moths, matching the activity of conventionally produced pheromones. Our long-term vision is to design tailor-made production of any moth pheromone component in genetically modified plants. Such semisynthetic preparation of sex pheromones is a novel and cost-effective way of producing moderate to large quantities of pheromones with high purity and a minimum of hazardous waste. PMID:24569486

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Behavioral factors affecting exposure potential for household cleaning products.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, D C; Small, M J; Davidson, C I; Fischhoff, B

    1997-01-01

    Behavioral experiments were performed on 342 subjects to determine whether behavior, which could affect the level of personal exposure, is exhibited in response to odors and labels which are commonly used for household chemicals. Potential for exposure was assessed by having subjects perform cleaning tasks presented as a product preference test, and noting the amount of cleaning product used, the time taken to complete the cleaning task, the product preference, and the exhibition of avoidance behavior. Product odor was found to affect product preference in the study with the pleasant odored product being preferred to the neutral and unpleasant products. Product odor was also found to influence the amount of product used; less of the odored products was used compared to the neutral product. The experiment also found that very few of the subjects in the study read the product labels, precluding analysis of the effect of such labels on product use. A postexperiment questionnaire on household cleaning product purchasing and use was administered to participants. The results indicate that significant gender differences exist. Women in the sample reported more frequent purchase and use of cleaning products resulting in an estimated potential exposure 40% greater than for the men in the sample. This finding is somewhat countered by the fact that women more frequently reported exposure avoidance behavior, such as using gloves. Additional significant gender differences were found in the stated importance of product qualities, such as odor and environmental quality. This study suggests the need for further research, in a more realistic use setting, on the impact of public education, labels, and product odor on preference, use, and exposure for different types of consumer products. PMID:9306234

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Phytotoxicity and Plant Productivity Analysis of Tar-Enriched Biochars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, M. L.; Masiello, C. A.; Dugan, B.; Rudgers, J. A.; Capareda, S. C.

    2008-12-01

    Biochar is one of the three by-products obtained by the pyrolysis of organic material, the other two being syngas and bio-oil. The pyrolysis of biomass has generated a great amount of interest in recent years as all three by-products can be put toward beneficial uses. As part of a larger project designed to evaluate the hydrologic impact of biochar soil amendment, we generated a biochar through fast pyrolysis (less than 2 minutes) of sorghum stock at 600°C. In the initial biochar production run, the char bin was not purged with nitrogen. This inadvertent change in pyrolysis conditions produced a fast-pyrolysis biochar enriched with tars. We chose not to discard this batch, however, and instead used it to test the impact of tar-enriched biochars on plants. A suite of phytotoxicity tests were run to assess the effects of tar-rich biochar on plant germination and plant productivity. We designed the experiment to test for negative effects, using an organic carbon and nutrient-rich, greenhouse- optimized potting medium instead of soil. We used Black Seeded Simpson lettuce (Lactuca sativa) as the test organism. We found that even when tars are present within biochar, biochar amendment up to 10% by weight caused increased lettuce germination rates and increased biomass productivity. In this presentation, we will report the statistical significance of our germination and biomass data, as well as present preliminary data on how biochar amendment affects soil hydrologic properties.

  18. Design of a lunar oxygen production plant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radhakrishnan, Ramalingam

    1990-01-01

    To achieve permanent human presence and activity on the moon, oxygen is required for both life support and propulsion. Lunar oxygen production using resources existing on the moon will reduce or eliminate the need to transport liquid oxygen from earth. In addition, the co-products of oxygen production will provide metals, structural ceramics, and other volatile compounds. This will enable development of even greater self-sufficiency as the lunar outpost evolves. Ilmenite is the most abundant metal-oxide mineral in the lunar regolith. A process involving the reaction of ilmenite with hydrogen at 1000 C to produce water, followed by the electrolysis of this water to provide oxygen and recycle the hydrogen has been explored. The objective of this 1990 Summer Faculty Project was to design a lunar oxygen-production plant to provide 5 metric tons of liquid oxygen per year from lunar soil. The results of this study describe the size and mass of the equipment, the power needs, feedstock quantity and the engineering details of the plant.

  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. 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

  1. Relations between affective music and speech: evidence from dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoluan; Xu, Yi

    2015-01-01

    This study compares affective piano performance with speech production from the perspective of dynamics: unlike previous research, this study uses finger force and articulatory effort as indexes reflecting the dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production respectively. Moreover, for the first time physical constraints such as piano fingerings and speech articulatory constraints are included due to their potential contribution to different patterns of dynamics. A piano performance experiment and speech production experiment were conducted in four emotions: anger, fear, happiness and sadness. The results show that in both piano performance and speech production, anger and happiness generally have high dynamics while sadness has the lowest dynamics. Fingerings interact with fear in the piano experiment and articulatory constraints interact with anger in the speech experiment, i.e., large physical constraints produce significantly higher dynamics than small physical constraints in piano performance under the condition of fear and in speech production under the condition of anger. Using production experiments, this study firstly supports previous perception studies on relations between affective music and speech. Moreover, this is the first study to show quantitative evidence for the importance of considering motor aspects such as dynamics in comparing music performance and speech production in which motor mechanisms play a crucial role. PMID:26217252

  2. Relations between affective music and speech: evidence from dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaoluan; Xu, Yi

    2015-01-01

    This study compares affective piano performance with speech production from the perspective of dynamics: unlike previous research, this study uses finger force and articulatory effort as indexes reflecting the dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production respectively. Moreover, for the first time physical constraints such as piano fingerings and speech articulatory constraints are included due to their potential contribution to different patterns of dynamics. A piano performance experiment and speech production experiment were conducted in four emotions: anger, fear, happiness and sadness. The results show that in both piano performance and speech production, anger and happiness generally have high dynamics while sadness has the lowest dynamics. Fingerings interact with fear in the piano experiment and articulatory constraints interact with anger in the speech experiment, i.e., large physical constraints produce significantly higher dynamics than small physical constraints in piano performance under the condition of fear and in speech production under the condition of anger. Using production experiments, this study firstly supports previous perception studies on relations between affective music and speech. Moreover, this is the first study to show quantitative evidence for the importance of considering motor aspects such as dynamics in comparing music performance and speech production in which motor mechanisms play a crucial role. PMID:26217252

  3. Relations between affective music and speech: evidence from dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoluan; Xu, Yi

    2015-01-01

    This study compares affective piano performance with speech production from the perspective of dynamics: unlike previous research, this study uses finger force and articulatory effort as indexes reflecting the dynamics of affective piano performance and speech production respectively. Moreover, for the first time physical constraints such as piano fingerings and speech articulatory constraints are included due to their potential contribution to different patterns of dynamics. A piano performance experiment and speech production experiment were conducted in four emotions: anger, fear, happiness and sadness. The results show that in both piano performance and speech production, anger and happiness generally have high dynamics while sadness has the lowest dynamics. Fingerings interact with fear in the piano experiment and articulatory constraints interact with anger in the speech experiment, i.e., large physical constraints produce significantly higher dynamics than small physical constraints in piano performance under the condition of fear and in speech production under the condition of anger. Using production experiments, this study firstly supports previous perception studies on relations between affective music and speech. Moreover, this is the first study to show quantitative evidence for the importance of considering motor aspects such as dynamics in comparing music performance and speech production in which motor mechanisms play a crucial role.

  4. A trial of production of the plant-derived high-value protein in a plant factory

    PubMed Central

    Hirai, Tadayoshi; Hiwasa-Tanase, Kyoko; Goto, Eiji

    2011-01-01

    One of the ultimate goals of plant science is to test a hypothesis obtained by basic science and to apply it to agriculture and industry. A plant factory is one of the ideal systems for this trial. Environmental factors affect both plant yield and the accumulation of recombinant proteins for industrial applications within transgenic plants. However, there have been few reports studying plant productivity for recombinant protein in closed cultivation systems called plant factories. To investigate the effects of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) on tomato fruit yield and the accumulation of recombinant miraculin, a taste-modifying glycoprotein, in transgenic tomato fruits, plants were cultivated at various PPFs from 100 to 400 (µmol m−2 s−1) in a plant factory. Miraculin production per unit of energy used was highest at PPF100, although miraculin production per unit area was highest at PPF300. The commercial productivity of recombinant miraculin in transgenic tomato fruits largely depended on light conditions in the plant factory. Our trial will be useful to consider the trade-offs between the profits from production of high-value materials in plants and the costs of electricity. PMID:21791976

  5. The theoretical limit to plant productivity.

    PubMed

    DeLucia, Evan H; Gomez-Casanovas, Nuria; Greenberg, Jonathan A; Hudiburg, Tara W; Kantola, Ilsa B; Long, Stephen P; Miller, Adam D; Ort, Donald R; Parton, William J

    2014-08-19

    Human population and economic growth are accelerating the demand for plant biomass to provide food, fuel, and fiber. The annual increment of biomass to meet these needs is quantified as net primary production (NPP). Here we show that an underlying assumption in some current models may lead to underestimates of the potential production from managed landscapes, particularly of bioenergy crops that have low nitrogen requirements. Using a simple light-use efficiency model and the theoretical maximum efficiency with which plant canopies convert solar radiation to biomass, we provide an upper-envelope NPP unconstrained by resource limitations. This theoretical maximum NPP approached 200 tC ha(-1) yr(-1) at point locations, roughly 2 orders of magnitude higher than most current managed or natural ecosystems. Recalculating the upper envelope estimate of NPP limited by available water reduced it by half or more in 91% of the land area globally. While the high conversion efficiencies observed in some extant plants indicate great potential to increase crop yields without changes to the basic mechanism of photosynthesis, particularly for crops with low nitrogen requirements, realizing such high yields will require improvements in water use efficiency. PMID:25069060

  6. Antibody Production in Plants and Green Algae.

    PubMed

    Yusibov, Vidadi; Kushnir, Natasha; Streatfield, Stephen J

    2016-04-29

    Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have a wide range of modern applications, including research, diagnostic, therapeutic, and industrial uses. Market demand for mAbs is high and continues to grow. Although mammalian systems, which currently dominate the biomanufacturing industry, produce effective and safe recombinant mAbs, they have a limited manufacturing capacity and high costs. Bacteria, yeast, and insect cell systems are highly scalable and cost effective but vary in their ability to produce appropriate posttranslationally modified mAbs. Plants and green algae are emerging as promising production platforms because of their time and cost efficiencies, scalability, lack of mammalian pathogens, and eukaryotic posttranslational protein modification machinery. So far, plant- and algae-derived mAbs have been produced predominantly as candidate therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer. These candidates have been extensively evaluated in animal models, and some have shown efficacy in clinical trials. Here, we review ongoing efforts to advance the production of mAbs in plants and algae. PMID:26905655

  7. Antibody Production in Plants and Green Algae.

    PubMed

    Yusibov, Vidadi; Kushnir, Natasha; Streatfield, Stephen J

    2016-04-29

    Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have a wide range of modern applications, including research, diagnostic, therapeutic, and industrial uses. Market demand for mAbs is high and continues to grow. Although mammalian systems, which currently dominate the biomanufacturing industry, produce effective and safe recombinant mAbs, they have a limited manufacturing capacity and high costs. Bacteria, yeast, and insect cell systems are highly scalable and cost effective but vary in their ability to produce appropriate posttranslationally modified mAbs. Plants and green algae are emerging as promising production platforms because of their time and cost efficiencies, scalability, lack of mammalian pathogens, and eukaryotic posttranslational protein modification machinery. So far, plant- and algae-derived mAbs have been produced predominantly as candidate therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer. These candidates have been extensively evaluated in animal models, and some have shown efficacy in clinical trials. Here, we review ongoing efforts to advance the production of mAbs in plants and algae.

  8. Clinorotation affects morphology and ethylene production in soybean seedlings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hilaire, E.; Peterson, B. V.; Guikema, J. A.; Brown, C. S.; Sager, J. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    The microgravity environment of spaceflight influences growth, morphology and metabolism in etiolated germinating soybean. To determine if clinorotation will similarly impact these processes, we conducted ground-based studies in conjunction with two space experiment opportunities. Soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) seeds were planted within BRIC (Biological Research In Canister) canisters and grown for seven days at 20 degrees C under clinorotation (1 rpm) conditions or in a stationary upright mode. Gas samples were taken daily and plants were harvested after seven days for measurement of growth and morphology. Compared to the stationary upright controls, plants exposed to clinorotation exhibited increased root length (125% greater) and fresh weight (42% greater), whereas shoot length and fresh weight decreased by 33% and 16% respectively. Plants grown under clinorotation produced twice as much ethylene as the stationary controls. Seedlings treated with triiodo benzoic acid (TIBA), an auxin transport inhibitor, under clinorotation produced 50% less ethylene than the untreated control subjected to the same gravity treatment, whereas a treatment with 2,4-D increased ethylene by five-fold in the clinorotated plants. These data suggest that slow clinorotation influences biomass partitioning and ethylene production in etiolated soybean plants.

  9. Plant productivity and heavy metal contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Guidi, G.V.; Petruzzelli, G.; Vallini, G.; Pera, A.

    1990-06-01

    This article describes the potential for use of composts from green waste and from municipal solid wastes for agricultural use in Italy. The accumulation of heavy metals in compost-amended soils and crops was evaluated and the influence of these composts on plant productivity was studied. Green compost was obtained from vegetable organic residues; municipal solid waste derived compost was obtained from the aerobic biostabilization of a mixture of the organic biodegradable fraction of municipal solid waste and sewage sludge. The two composts had good chemical characteristics and their use caused no pollution to soil and plants. The overall fertilizing effect was higher for green compost even though green compost and municipal solid waste derived compost had similar contents of primary elements of fertility.

  10. 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.

  11. Production of interspecific hybrids in ornamental plants.

    PubMed

    Kato, Juntaro; Mii, Masahiro

    2012-01-01

    In breeding of ornamental plants, interspecific hybridization and polyploidization have successfully been used to produce novel cultivars with blended traits of both parents and to introgress useful traits of one species to another. Embryo rescue techniques and molecular cytogenetic methods have successfully been used to produce and characterize interspecific hybrids in various genera. In this paper, recent advances in interspecific hybridization are described based on the results obtained in Primula, Cosmos, and Kalanchoe with special references to the use of embryo culture techniques for rescuing the abortive hybrid embryos. The methods for production and characterization of interspecific hybrids are categorized into three steps, i.e., (1) pollination, (2) rescue culture of immature embryo, and (3) confirmation of hybridity and ploidy level of the plants obtained. For interspecific crosses, emasculation step is usually needed to avoid self-pollination even in the genera with self-incompatibility system, such as Primula and Cosmos, since self-incompatibility is not always complete. Since interspecific crosses are usually hindered by various cross-incompatibility mechanisms, successful production of interspecific hybrids could be achieved only from limited crosses among those using many cultivars/strains of both parents, suggesting the importance of the selection of the compatible genotypes. Unilateral cross incompatibility is commonly observed in interspecific cross combinations, so reciprocal crosses should be conducted as an indispensable step. At the rescue culture step, addition of plant hormones, e.g., auxin cytokinin and gibberellin, to the culture medium at the appropriate concentrations is proved to be effective and necessary. The hybridity of the plants is efficiently confirmed at the seedling stage by DNA analysis in addition to the observation of morphological characters. The analysis of relative DNA contents by flow cytometry is an easy and rapid means

  12. Production of interspecific hybrids in ornamental plants.

    PubMed

    Kato, Juntaro; Mii, Masahiro

    2012-01-01

    In breeding of ornamental plants, interspecific hybridization and polyploidization have successfully been used to produce novel cultivars with blended traits of both parents and to introgress useful traits of one species to another. Embryo rescue techniques and molecular cytogenetic methods have successfully been used to produce and characterize interspecific hybrids in various genera. In this paper, recent advances in interspecific hybridization are described based on the results obtained in Primula, Cosmos, and Kalanchoe with special references to the use of embryo culture techniques for rescuing the abortive hybrid embryos. The methods for production and characterization of interspecific hybrids are categorized into three steps, i.e., (1) pollination, (2) rescue culture of immature embryo, and (3) confirmation of hybridity and ploidy level of the plants obtained. For interspecific crosses, emasculation step is usually needed to avoid self-pollination even in the genera with self-incompatibility system, such as Primula and Cosmos, since self-incompatibility is not always complete. Since interspecific crosses are usually hindered by various cross-incompatibility mechanisms, successful production of interspecific hybrids could be achieved only from limited crosses among those using many cultivars/strains of both parents, suggesting the importance of the selection of the compatible genotypes. Unilateral cross incompatibility is commonly observed in interspecific cross combinations, so reciprocal crosses should be conducted as an indispensable step. At the rescue culture step, addition of plant hormones, e.g., auxin cytokinin and gibberellin, to the culture medium at the appropriate concentrations is proved to be effective and necessary. The hybridity of the plants is efficiently confirmed at the seedling stage by DNA analysis in addition to the observation of morphological characters. The analysis of relative DNA contents by flow cytometry is an easy and rapid means

  13. Role of Osmotic Adjustment in Plant Productivity

    SciTech Connect

    Gebre, G.M.

    2001-01-11

    Successful implementation of short rotation woody crops requires that the selected species and clones be productive, drought tolerant, and pest resistant. Since water is one of the major limiting factors in poplar (Populus sp.) growth, there is little debate for the need of drought tolerant clones, except on the wettest of sites (e.g., lower Columbia River delta). Whether drought tolerance is compatible with productivity remains a debatable issue. Among the many mechanisms of drought tolerance, dehydration postponement involves the maintenance of high leaf water potential due to, for example, an adequate root system. This trait is compatible with productivity, but requires available soil moisture. When the plant leaf water potential and soil water content decline, the plant must be able to survive drought through dehydration tolerance mechanisms, such as low osmotic potential or osmotic adjustment. Osmotic adjustment and low osmotic potential are considered compatible with growth and yield because they aid in the maintenance of leaf turgor. However, it has been shown that turgor alone does not regulate cell expansion or stomatal conductance and, therefore, the role of osmotic adjustment is debated. Despite this finding, osmotic adjustment has been correlated with grain yield in agronomic crop species, and gene markers responsible for osmotic adjustment are being investigated to improve drought tolerance in productive progenies. Although osmotic adjustment and low osmotic potentials have been investigated in several forest tree species, few studies have investigated the relationship between osmotic adjustment and growth. Most of these studies have been limited to greenhouse or container-grown plants. Osmotic adjustment and rapid growth have been specifically associated in Populus and black spruce (Picea mariuna (Mill.) B.S.P.) progenies. We tested whether these relationships held under field conditions using several poplar clones. In a study of two hybrid poplar

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. ...

  20. 7 CFR 302.2 - Movement of plants and plant products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Movement of plants and plant products. 302.2 Section 302.2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; MOVEMENT OF PLANTS AND PLANT...

  1. 7 CFR 302.2 - Movement of plants and plant products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Movement of plants and plant products. 302.2 Section 302.2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; MOVEMENT OF PLANTS AND PLANT...

  2. 7 CFR 302.2 - Movement of plants and plant products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Movement of plants and plant products. 302.2 Section 302.2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; MOVEMENT OF PLANTS AND PLANT...

  3. 7 CFR 302.2 - Movement of plants and plant products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Movement of plants and plant products. 302.2 Section 302.2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; MOVEMENT OF PLANTS AND PLANT...

  4. 7 CFR 302.2 - Movement of plants and plant products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Movement of plants and plant products. 302.2 Section 302.2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; MOVEMENT OF PLANTS AND PLANT...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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)

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Optimized production planning model for a multi-plant cultivation system under uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ke, Shunkui; Guo, Doudou; Niu, Qingliang; Huang, Danfeng

    2015-02-01

    An inexact multi-constraint programming model under uncertainty was developed by incorporating a production plan algorithm into the crop production optimization framework under the multi-plant collaborative cultivation system. In the production plan, orders from the customers are assigned to a suitable plant under the constraints of plant capabilities and uncertainty parameters to maximize profit and achieve customer satisfaction. The developed model and solution method were applied to a case study of a multi-plant collaborative cultivation system to verify its applicability. As determined in the case analysis involving different orders from customers, the period of plant production planning and the interval between orders can significantly affect system benefits. Through the analysis of uncertain parameters, reliable and practical decisions can be generated using the suggested model of a multi-plant collaborative cultivation system.

  15. Production simulator for wave power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torsethaugen, K.

    1994-07-01

    The report gives plans and specifications for a wave power production simulator. The simulator is a computer program that computes how much of the energy in the open ocean that can be converted to usable energy at a site off or onshore. The production of wave power from sea waves is not an easy task. Efforts have been made in several countries to develop devices that can extract energy from the ocean, but very few have so far been successful. During the last 15 years a considerable know-how has been established in Norway on wave energy utilization. Part of this know-how will be included in the proposed production simulator. Evaluation of new devices and new sites can be done in a more comparative and efficient way by this tool. It will contribute to interdisciplinary activity in the field of wave power utilization, and should be applicable for the nonexpert. The simulator consists of several modules, joined together by computer software. The plans so far include purpose, needs and background for the development of a wave power plant simulator and a high level specification of the software and scope of work.

  16. Production of Monoclonal Antibodies in Plants for Cancer Immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Moussavou, Ghislain; Ko, Kisung; Lee, Jeong-Hwan; Choo, Young-Kug

    2015-01-01

    Plants are considered as an alternative platform for recombinant monoclonal antibody (mAb) production due to the improvement and diversification of transgenic techniques. The diversity of plant species offers a multitude of possibilities for the valorization of genetic resources. Moreover, plants can be propagated indefinitely, providing cheap biomass production on a large scale in controlled conditions. Thus, recent studies have shown the successful development of plant systems for the production of mAbs for cancer immunotherapy. However, their several limitations have to be resolved for efficient antibody production in plants. PMID:26550566

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Earthworms increase plant production: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    van Groenigen, Jan Willem; Lubbers, Ingrid M; Vos, Hannah M J; Brown, George G; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; van Groenigen, Kees Jan

    2014-01-01

    To meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population with minimal environmental impact, we need comprehensive and quantitative knowledge of ecological factors affecting crop production. Earthworms are among the most important soil dwelling invertebrates. Their activity affects both biotic and abiotic soil properties, in turn affecting plant growth. Yet, studies on the effect of earthworm presence on crop yields have not been quantitatively synthesized. Here we show, using meta-analysis, that on average earthworm presence in agroecosystems leads to a 25% increase in crop yield and a 23% increase in aboveground biomass. The magnitude of these effects depends on presence of crop residue, earthworm density and type and rate of fertilization. The positive effects of earthworms become larger when more residue is returned to the soil, but disappear when soil nitrogen availability is high. This suggests that earthworms stimulate plant growth predominantly through releasing nitrogen locked away in residue and soil organic matter. Our results therefore imply that earthworms are of crucial importance to decrease the yield gap of farmers who can't -or won't- use nitrogen fertilizer. PMID:25219785

  20. Earthworms increase plant production: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    van Groenigen, Jan Willem; Lubbers, Ingrid M; Vos, Hannah M J; Brown, George G; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; van Groenigen, Kees Jan

    2014-09-15

    To meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population with minimal environmental impact, we need comprehensive and quantitative knowledge of ecological factors affecting crop production. Earthworms are among the most important soil dwelling invertebrates. Their activity affects both biotic and abiotic soil properties, in turn affecting plant growth. Yet, studies on the effect of earthworm presence on crop yields have not been quantitatively synthesized. Here we show, using meta-analysis, that on average earthworm presence in agroecosystems leads to a 25% increase in crop yield and a 23% increase in aboveground biomass. The magnitude of these effects depends on presence of crop residue, earthworm density and type and rate of fertilization. The positive effects of earthworms become larger when more residue is returned to the soil, but disappear when soil nitrogen availability is high. This suggests that earthworms stimulate plant growth predominantly through releasing nitrogen locked away in residue and soil organic matter. Our results therefore imply that earthworms are of crucial importance to decrease the yield gap of farmers who can't -or won't- use nitrogen fertilizer.

  1. 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...

  2. Current status of plant products reported to inhibit sperm.

    PubMed

    Farnsworth, N R; Waller, D P

    1982-06-01

    This report reviews research on plant-derived agents that prevent sperm production if taken orally by the male or that incapacitate or kill sperm on contact if used vaginally by the female. It would be of great value to develop fertility inhibitors that are totally selective for reproductive systems and enzymes, and there is a possibility that a plant-derived drug may have this effect. Plants that have been studied for their fertility inhibiting effects in the male include: Aristolochia indica L. (Aristolochiaceae); Azadirachta indica A. Juss (Meliaceae); Balanites roxburghii Planch. (Zygophyllaceae); Calotropis procera (Ait) R.Br. (Asclepiadaceae); Carica papaya L. (Caricaceae); Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don (Apocynaceae); Dieffenbachia seguine (Jacquin) Schott. (Araceae); Ecaballium elaterium A. Richard (Cucurbitaceae); Gossypium species (Malvaceae); Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. (Malvaceae); Hippophae salicifolia D. Don (Elaeagnaceae); Leucaena glauca (L.) Benth. (Leguminosae); Lonicera ciliosa Poir. (Caprifoliaceae); Lupinus termis Forsk. (Leguminosae); Malvaviscus conzattii Greenm. (Malvaceae); Momordica charantia L. (Curcurbitaceae); Ocimum sanctum L. (Labiatae); Prunus emarginata Walp. (Rosaceae); and Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal (Solanaceae). A large number of plants have been randomly selected and screened for spermicidal activity "in vitro" and several seem promising. Those species found to be active and the nature of the active principle(s), when known, are presented in a table as are plant-derived chemical substances of known or partially known structure reported to be spermicidal "in vitro." Plants warrant systematic study as potential sources of sperm-agglutinating compounds. Of 1600 Indian plants tested, 90 showed positive semen coagulating properties. There seems to be a lack of correlation among experimental results obtained by different groups of investigators, between data obtained "in vitro" and "in vivo," and between experimental results and

  3. Exopolysaccharide production is influenced by sugars, N-acylhomoserine lactone, and transcriptional regulators RcsA and RcsB, but does not affect pathogenicity in the plant pathogen Pantoea ananatis.

    PubMed

    Morohoshi, Tomohiro; Oseki, Kiemi; Ikeda, Tsukasa

    2011-01-01

    Pantoea ananatis SK-1 produced EPS by AHL-mediated quorum sensing on an LB agar plate containing glucose, fructose, and sucrose. rcsA and rcsB mutants did not produce EPS with or without AHLs and with or without sugars, but they induced necrotic symptoms in onion leaves. These results indicate that EPS production does not relate to the pathogenicity of SK-1.

  4. Herbivore and Fungal Pathogen Exclusion Affects the Seed Production of Four Common Grassland Species

    PubMed Central

    Dickson, Timothy L.; Mitchell, Charles E.

    2010-01-01

    Insect herbivores and fungal pathogens can independently affect plant fitness, and may have interactive effects. However, few studies have experimentally quantified the joint effects of insects and fungal pathogens on seed production in non-agricultural populations. We examined the factorial effects of insect herbivore exclusion (via insecticide) and fungal pathogen exclusion (via fungicide) on the population-level seed production of four common graminoid species (Andropogon gerardii, Schizachyrium scoparium, Poa pratensis, and Carex siccata) over two growing seasons in Minnesota, USA. We detected no interactive effects of herbivores and pathogens on seed production. However, the seed production of all four species was affected by either insecticide or fungicide in at least one year of the study. Insecticide consistently doubled the seed production of the historically most common species in the North American tallgrass prairie, A. gerardii (big bluestem). This is the first report of insect removal increasing seed production in this species. Insecticide increased A. gerardii number of seeds per seed head in one year, and mass per seed in both years, suggesting that consumption of flowers and seed embryos contributed to the effect on seed production. One of the primary insect species consuming A. gerardii flowers and seed embryos was likely the Cecidomyiid midge, Contarinia wattsi. Effects on all other plant species varied among years. Herbivores and pathogens likely reduce the dispersal and colonization ability of plants when they reduce seed output. Therefore, impacts on seed production of competitive dominant species may help to explain their relatively poor colonization abilities. Reduced seed output by dominant graminoids may thereby promote coexistence with subdominant species through competition-colonization tradeoffs. PMID:20711408

  5. Belowground biodiversity effects of plant symbionts support aboveground productivity.

    PubMed

    Wagg, Cameron; Jansa, Jan; Schmid, Bernhard; van der Heijden, Marcel G A

    2011-10-01

    Soil microbes play key roles in ecosystems, yet the impact of their diversity on plant communities is still poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that the diversity of belowground plant-associated soil fungi promotes plant productivity and plant coexistence. Using additive partitioning of biodiversity effects developed in plant biodiversity studies, we demonstrate that this positive relationship can be driven by complementarity effects among soil fungi in one soil type and by a selection effect resulting from the fungal species that stimulated plant productivity the most in another soil type. Selection and complementarity effects among fungal species contributed to improving plant productivity up to 82% and 85%, respectively, above the average of the respective fungal species monocultures depending on the soil in which they were grown. These results also indicate that belowground diversity may act as insurance for maintaining plant productivity under differing environmental conditions.

  6. Parameters Affecting Ethyl Ester Production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae during Fermentation▿

    PubMed Central

    Saerens, S. M. G.; Delvaux, F.; Verstrepen, K. J.; Van Dijck, P.; Thevelein, J. M.; Delvaux, F. R.

    2008-01-01

    Volatile esters are responsible for the fruity character of fermented beverages and thus constitute a vital group of aromatic compounds in beer and wine. Many fermentation parameters are known to affect volatile ester production. In order to obtain insight into the production of ethyl esters during fermentation, we investigated the influence of several fermentation variables. A higher level of unsaturated fatty acids in the fermentation medium resulted in a general decrease in ethyl ester production. On the other hand, a higher fermentation temperature resulted in greater ethyl octanoate and decanoate production, while a higher carbon or nitrogen content of the fermentation medium resulted in only moderate changes in ethyl ester production. Analysis of the expression of the ethyl ester biosynthesis genes EEB1 and EHT1 after addition of medium-chain fatty acid precursors suggested that the expression level is not the limiting factor for ethyl ester production, as opposed to acetate ester production. Together with the previous demonstration that provision of medium-chain fatty acids, which are the substrates for ethyl ester formation, to the fermentation medium causes a strong increase in the formation of the corresponding ethyl esters, this result further supports the hypothesis that precursor availability has an important role in ethyl ester production. We concluded that, at least in our fermentation conditions and with our yeast strain, the fatty acid precursor level rather than the activity of the biosynthetic enzymes is the major limiting factor for ethyl ester production. The expression level and activity of the fatty acid biosynthetic enzymes therefore appear to be prime targets for flavor modification by alteration of process parameters or through strain selection. PMID:17993562

  7. Principles and limitations of stable isotopes in differentiating organic and conventional foodstuffs: 1. Plant products.

    PubMed

    Inácio, Caio Teves; Chalk, Phillip Michael; Magalhães, Alberto M T

    2015-01-01

    Among the lighter elements having two or more stable isotopes (H, C, N, O, S), δ(15)N appears to be the most promising isotopic marker to differentiate plant products from conventional and organic farms. Organic plant products vary within a range of δ(15)N values of +0.3 to +14.6%, while conventional plant products range from negative to positive values, i.e. -4.0 to +8.7%. The main factors affecting δ(15)N signatures of plants are N fertilizers, biological N2 fixation, plant organs and plant age. Correlations between mode of production and δ(13)C (except greenhouse tomatoes warmed with natural gas) or δ(34)S signatures have not been established, and δ(2)H and δ(18)O are unsuitable markers due to the overriding effect of climate on the isotopic composition of plant-available water. Because there is potential overlap between the δ(15)N signatures of organic and conventionally produced plant products, δ(15)N has seldom been used successfully as the sole criterion for differentiation, but when combined with complementary analytical techniques and appropriate statistical tools, the probability of a correct identification increases. The use of organic fertilizers by conventional farmers or the marketing of organic produce as conventional due to market pressures are additional factors confounding correct identification. The robustness of using δ(15)N to differentiate mode of production will depend on the establishment of databases that have been verified for individual plant products.

  8. Principles and limitations of stable isotopes in differentiating organic and conventional foodstuffs: 1. Plant products.

    PubMed

    Inácio, Caio Teves; Chalk, Phillip Michael; Magalhães, Alberto M T

    2015-01-01

    Among the lighter elements having two or more stable isotopes (H, C, N, O, S), δ(15)N appears to be the most promising isotopic marker to differentiate plant products from conventional and organic farms. Organic plant products vary within a range of δ(15)N values of +0.3 to +14.6%, while conventional plant products range from negative to positive values, i.e. -4.0 to +8.7%. The main factors affecting δ(15)N signatures of plants are N fertilizers, biological N2 fixation, plant organs and plant age. Correlations between mode of production and δ(13)C (except greenhouse tomatoes warmed with natural gas) or δ(34)S signatures have not been established, and δ(2)H and δ(18)O are unsuitable markers due to the overriding effect of climate on the isotopic composition of plant-available water. Because there is potential overlap between the δ(15)N signatures of organic and conventionally produced plant products, δ(15)N has seldom been used successfully as the sole criterion for differentiation, but when combined with complementary analytical techniques and appropriate statistical tools, the probability of a correct identification increases. The use of organic fertilizers by conventional farmers or the marketing of organic produce as conventional due to market pressures are additional factors confounding correct identification. The robustness of using δ(15)N to differentiate mode of production will depend on the establishment of databases that have been verified for individual plant products. PMID:24915332

  9. Editorial: from plant biotechnology to bio-based products.

    PubMed

    Stöger, Eva

    2013-10-01

    From plant biotechnology to bio-based products - this Special Issue of Biotechnology Journal is dedicated to plant biotechnology and is edited by Prof. Eva Stöger (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria). The Special Issue covers a wide range of topics in plant biotechnology, including metabolic engineering of biosynthesis pathways in plants; taking advantage of the scalability of the plant system for the production of innovative materials; as well as the regulatory challenges and society acceptance of plant biotechnology.

  10. Biomass Production System (BPS) Plant Growth Unit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrow, R. C.; Crabb, T. M.

    The Biomass Production System (BPS) was developed under the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program to meet science, biotechnology and commercial plant growth needs in the Space Station era. The BPS is equivalent in size to a double middeck locker, but uses it's own custom enclosure with a slide out structure to which internal components mount. The BPS contains four internal growth chambers, each with a growing volume of more than 4 liters. Each of the growth chambers has active nutrient delivery, and independent control of temperature, humidity, lighting, and CO2 set-points. Temperature control is achieved using a thermoelectric heat exchanger system. Humidity control is achieved using a heat exchanger with a porous interface which can both humidify and dehumidify. The control software utilizes fuzzy logic for nonlinear, coupled temperature and humidity control. The fluorescent lighting system can be dimmed to provide a range of light levels. CO2 levels are controlled by injecting pure CO2 to the system based on input from an infrared gas analyzer. The unit currently does not scrub CO2, but has been designed to accept scrubber cartridges. In addition to providing environmental control, a number of features are included to facilitate science. The BPS chambers are sealed to allow CO2 and water vapor exchange measurements. The plant chambers can be removed to allow manipulation or sampling of specimens, and each chamber has gas/fluid sample ports. A video camera is provided for each chamber, and frame-grabs and complete environmental data for all science and hardware system sensors are stored on an internal hard drive. Data files can also be transferred to 3.5-inch disks using the front panel disk drive

  11. Biomass Production System (BPS) plant growth unit.

    PubMed

    Morrow, R C; Crabb, T M

    2000-01-01

    The Biomass Production System (BPS) was developed under the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program to meet science, biotechnology and commercial plant growth needs in the Space Station era. The BPS is equivalent in size to a double middeck locker, but uses its own custom enclosure with a slide out structure to which internal components mount. The BPS contains four internal growth chambers, each with a growing volume of more than 4 liters. Each of the growth chambers has active nutrient delivery, and independent control of temperature, humidity, lighting, and CO2 set-points. Temperature control is achieved using a thermoelectric heat exchanger system. Humidity control is achieved using a heat exchanger with a porous interface which can both humidify and dehumidify. The control software utilizes fuzzy logic for nonlinear, coupled temperature and humidity control. The fluorescent lighting system can be dimmed to provide a range of light levels. CO2 levels are controlled by injecting pure CO2 to the system based on input from an infrared gas analyzer. The unit currently does not scrub CO2, but has been designed to accept scrubber cartridges. In addition to providing environmental control, a number of features are included to facilitate science. The BPS chambers are sealed to allow CO2 and water vapor exchange measurements. The plant chambers can be removed to allow manipulation or sampling of specimens, and each chamber has gas/fluid sample ports. A video camera is provided for each chamber, and frame-grabs and complete environmental data for all science and hardware system sensors are stored on an internal hard drive. Data files can also be transferred to 3.5-inch disks using the front panel disk drive. PMID:11543164

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  16. Enhancement of Plant Productivity in the Post-Genomics Era.

    PubMed

    Thao, Nguyen Phuong; Tran, Vietnam Lam-Son Phan

    2016-08-01

    Obtaining high plant yield is not always achievable in agricultural activity as it is determined by various factors, including cultivar quality, nutrient and water supplies, degree of infection by pathogens, natural calamities and soil conditions, which affect plant growth and development. More noticeably, sustainable plant productivity to provide sufficient food for the increasing human population has become a thorny issue to scientists in the era of unpredictable global climatic changes, appearance of more tremendous or multiple stresses, and land restriction for cultivation. Well-established agricultural management by agrotechnological means has shown no longer to be effective enough to confront with this challenge. Instead, in order to maximize the production, it is advisable to implement such practices in combination with biological applications. Nowadays, high technologies are widely adopted into agricultural production, biological diversity conservation and crop improvement. Wang et al. has nicely outlined the utilization of DNA-based technologies in this field. Among these are the applications of (i) DNA markers into cultivar identification, seed purity analysis, germplasm resource evaluation, heterosis prediction, genetic mapping, cloning and breeding; and (ii) gene expression data in supporting the description of crop phenology, the analytic comparison of crop growth under stress versus non-stress conditions, or the study of fertilizer effects. Besides, various purposes of using transgenic technologies in agriculture, such as generating cultivars with better product quality, better tolerance to biotic or abiotic stress, are also discussed in the review. One of the important highlights in this issue is the review of the benefits brought by high-throughput sequencing technology, which is also known as next-generation sequencing (NGS). It is not so difficult to recognize that its application has allowed us to carry out biological studies at much deeper level

  17. Enhancement of Plant Productivity in the Post-Genomics Era.

    PubMed

    Thao, Nguyen Phuong; Tran, Vietnam Lam-Son Phan

    2016-08-01

    Obtaining high plant yield is not always achievable in agricultural activity as it is determined by various factors, including cultivar quality, nutrient and water supplies, degree of infection by pathogens, natural calamities and soil conditions, which affect plant growth and development. More noticeably, sustainable plant productivity to provide sufficient food for the increasing human population has become a thorny issue to scientists in the era of unpredictable global climatic changes, appearance of more tremendous or multiple stresses, and land restriction for cultivation. Well-established agricultural management by agrotechnological means has shown no longer to be effective enough to confront with this challenge. Instead, in order to maximize the production, it is advisable to implement such practices in combination with biological applications. Nowadays, high technologies are widely adopted into agricultural production, biological diversity conservation and crop improvement. Wang et al. has nicely outlined the utilization of DNA-based technologies in this field. Among these are the applications of (i) DNA markers into cultivar identification, seed purity analysis, germplasm resource evaluation, heterosis prediction, genetic mapping, cloning and breeding; and (ii) gene expression data in supporting the description of crop phenology, the analytic comparison of crop growth under stress versus non-stress conditions, or the study of fertilizer effects. Besides, various purposes of using transgenic technologies in agriculture, such as generating cultivars with better product quality, better tolerance to biotic or abiotic stress, are also discussed in the review. One of the important highlights in this issue is the review of the benefits brought by high-throughput sequencing technology, which is also known as next-generation sequencing (NGS). It is not so difficult to recognize that its application has allowed us to carry out biological studies at much deeper level

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis influences strigolactone production under salinity and alleviates salt stress in lettuce plants.

    PubMed

    Aroca, Ricardo; Ruiz-Lozano, Juan Manuel; Zamarreño, Angel María; Paz, José Antonio; García-Mina, José María; Pozo, María José; López-Ráez, Juan Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis can alleviate salt stress in plants. However the intimate mechanisms involved, as well as the effect of salinity on the production of signalling molecules associated to the host plant-AM fungus interaction remains largely unknown. In the present work, we have investigated the effects of salinity on lettuce plant performance and production of strigolactones, and assessed its influence on mycorrhizal root colonization. Three different salt concentrations were applied to mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants, and their effects, over time, analyzed. Plant biomass, stomatal conductance, efficiency of photosystem II, as well as ABA content and strigolactone production were assessed. The expression of ABA biosynthesis genes was also analyzed. AM plants showed improved growth rates and a better performance of physiological parameters such as stomatal conductance and efficiency of photosystem II than non-mycorrhizal plants under salt stress since very early stages - 3 weeks - of plant colonization. Moreover, ABA levels were lower in those plants, suggesting that they were less stressed than non-colonized plants. On the other hand, we show that both AM symbiosis and salinity influence strigolactone production, although in a different way in AM and non-AM plants. The results suggest that AM symbiosis alleviates salt stress by altering the hormonal profiles and affecting plant physiology in the host plant. Moreover, a correlation between strigolactone production, ABA content, AM root colonization and salinity level is shown. We propose here that under these unfavourable conditions, plants increase strigolactone production in order to promote symbiosis establishment to cope with salt stress.

  3. Spatial pattern affects diversity-productivity relationships in experimental meadow communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamošová, Tereza; Doležal, Jiří; Lanta, Vojtěch; Lepš, Jan

    2010-05-01

    Plant species create aggregations of conspecifics as a consequence of limited seed dispersal, clonal growth and heterogeneous environment. Such intraspecific aggregation increases the importance of intraspecific competition relative to interspecific competition which may slow down competitive exclusion and promote species coexistence. To examine how spatial aggregation impacts the functioning of experimental assemblages of varying species richness, eight perennial grassland species of different growth form were grown in random and aggregated patterns in monocultures, two-, four-, and eight-species mixtures. In mixtures with an aggregated pattern, monospecific clumps were interspecifically segregated. Mixed model ANOVA was used to test (i) how the total productivity and productivity of individual species is affected by the number of species in a mixture, and (ii) how these relationships are affected by spatial pattern of sown plants. The main patterns of productivity response to species richness conform to other studies: non-transgressive overyielding is omnipresent (the productivity of mixtures is higher than the average of its constituent species so that the net diversity, selection and complementarity effects are positive), whereas transgressive overyielding is found only in a minority of cases (average of log(overyielding) being close to zero or negative). The theoretical prediction that plants in a random pattern should produce more than in an aggregated pattern (the distances to neighbours are smaller and consequently the competition among neighbours stronger) was confirmed in monocultures of all the eight species. The situation is more complicated in mixtures, probably as a consequence of complicated interplay between interspecific and intraspecific competition. The most productive species ( Achillea, Holcus, Plantago) were competitively superior and increased their relative productivity with mixture richness. The intraspecific competition of these species is

  4. Herbivore effects on plant species density at varying productivity levels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gough, L.; Grace, J.B.

    1998-01-01

    Artificially increasing primary productivity decreases plant species richness in many habitats; herbivory may affect this outcome, but it has rarely been directly addressed in fertilization studies. This experiment was conducted in two Louisiana coastal marshes to examine the effects of nutrient enrichment and sediment addition on herbaceous plant communities with and without vertebrate herbivory. After three growing seasons, fertilization increased community biomass in all plots, but decreased species density (the number of species per unit area) only in plots protected from herbivory. Herbivory alone did not alter species density at either site. At the brackish marsh, herbivory caused a shift in dominance in the fertilized plots from a species that is considered the competitive dominant, but is selectively eaten, to another less palatable species. At the fresh marsh, increased dead biomass in the absence of herbivory and in the fertilized plots probably contributed to the decrease in species density, perhaps by limiting germination of annuals. Our results support those of other fertilization studies in which plant species density decreases with increased biomass, but only in those plots protected from herbivory.

  5. Phonological overlap affects lexical selection during sentence production.

    PubMed

    Jaeger, T Florian; Furth, Katrina; Hilliard, Caitlin

    2012-09-01

    Theories of lexical production differ in whether they allow phonological processes to affect lexical selection directly. Whereas some accounts, such as interactive activation accounts, predict (weak) early effects of phonological processes during lexical selection via feedback connections, strictly serial architectures do not make this prediction. We present evidence from lexical selection during unscripted sentence production that lexical selection is affected by the phonological form of recently produced words. In a video description experiment, participants described scenes that were compatible with several near-meaning-equivalent verbs. We found that speakers were less likely than expected by chance to select a verb form that would result in phonological onset overlap with the subject of the sentence. Additional evidence from the distribution of disfluencies immediately preceding the verb argues that this effect is due to early effects on lexical selection, rather than later corrective processes, such as self-monitoring. Taken together, these findings support accounts that allow early feedback from phonological processes to word-level nodes, even during lexical selection. PMID:22468803

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. Factors affecting the estimate of primary production from space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balch, W. M.; Byrne, C. F.

    1994-01-01

    Remote sensing of primary production in the euphotic zone has been based mostly on visible-band and water-leaving radiance measured with the coastal zone color scanner. There are some robust, simple relationships for calculating integral production based on surface measurements, but they also require knowledge for photoadaptive parameters such as maximum photosynthesis which currently cannot be obtained from spave. A 17,000-station data set is used to show that space-based estimates of maximum photosynthesis could improve predictions of psi, the water column light utiliztion index, which is an important term in many primary productivity models. Temperature is also examined as a factor for predicting hydrographic structure and primary production. A simple model is used to relate temperature and maximum photosynthesis; the model incorporates (1) the positive relationship between maximum photosynthesis and temperature and (2) the strongly negative relationship between temperature and nitrate in the ocean (which directly affects maximum growth rates via nitrogen limitation). Since these two factors relate to carbon and nitrogen, 'balanced carbon/nitrogen assimilation' was calculated using the Redfield ratio, It is expected that the relationship between maximum balanced carbon assimilation versus temperature is concave-down, with the peak dependent on nitrate uptake kinetics, temperature-nitrate relationships,a nd the carbon chlorophyll ration. These predictions were compared with the sea truth data. The minimum turnover time for nitrate was also calculated using this approach. Lastly, sea surface temperature gradients were used to predict the slope of isotherms (a proxy for the slope of isopycnals in many waters). Sea truth data show that at size scales of several hundred kilometers, surface temperature gradients can provide information on the slope of isotherms in the top 200 m of the water column. This is directly relevant to the supply of nutrients into the surface

  13. Factors affecting the estimate of primary production from space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balch, W. M.; Byrne, C. F.

    1994-04-01

    Remote sensing of primary production in the euphotic zone has been based mostly on visible-band water-leaving radiance measured with the coastal zone color scanner. There are some robust, simple relationships for calculating integral production based on surface measurements, but they also require knowledge of photoadaptive parameters such as maximum photosynthesis which currently cannot be obtained from space. A 17,000-station data set is used to show that space-based estimates of maximum photosynthesis could improve predictions of ψ, the water column light utilization index, which is an important term in many primary productivity models. Temperature is also examined as a factor for predicting hydrographic structure and primary production. A simple model is used to relate temperature and maximum photosynthesis; the model incorporates (1) the positive relationship between maximum photosynthesis and temperature and (2) the strongly negative relationship between temperature and nitrate in the ocean (which directly affects maximum growth rates via nitrogen limitation). Since these two factors relate to carbon and nitrogen, "balanced carbon/nitrogen assimilation" was calculated assuming the Redfield ratio. It is expected that the relationship between maximum balanced carbon assimilation versus temperature is concave-down, with the peak dependent on nitrate uptake kinetics, temperature-nitrate relationships, and the carbon/chlorophyll ratio. These predictions were compared with sea truth data. The minimum turnover time for nitrate was also calculated using this approach. Lastly, sea surface temperature gradients were used to predict the slope of isotherms (a proxy for the slope of isopycnals in many waters). Sea truth data show that at size scales of several hundred kilometers, surface temperature gradients can provide information on the slope of isotherms in the top 200 m of the water column. This is directly relevant to the supply of nutrients into the surface mixed

  14. 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

  15. Evolution of crop production under a pseudo-space environment using model plants, Lotus japonicus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Motohashi, Kyohei; Omi, Naomi; Sato, Seigo; Aoki, Toshio; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Yamashita, Masamichi

    Habitation in outer space is one of our challenges. We have been studying space agriculture and/or spacecraft agriculture to provide food and oxygen for the habitation area in the space environment. However, careful investigation should be made concerning the results of exotic environmental effects on the endogenous production of biologically active substances in indi-vidual cultivated plants in a space environment. We have already reported that the production of functional substances in cultivated plants as crops are affected by gravity. The amounts of the main physiological substances in these plants grown under terrestrial control were different from that grown in a pseudo-microgravity. These results suggested that the nutrition would be changed in the plants/crops grown in the space environment when human beings eat in space. This estimation required us to investigate each of the useful components produced by each plant grown in the space environment. These estimations involved several study fields, includ-ing nutrition, plant physiology, etc. On the other hand, the analysis of model plant genomes has recently been remarkably advanced. Lotus japonicus, a leguminous plant, is also one of the model plant. The leguminosae is a large family in the plant vegetable kingdom and almost the entire genome sequence of Lotus japonicus has been determined. Nitrogen fixation would be possible even in a space environment. We are trying to determine the best conditions and evolution for crop production using the model plants.

  16. Plant growth promotion in cereal and leguminous agricultural important plants: from microorganism capacities to crop production.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Montaño, F; Alías-Villegas, C; Bellogín, R A; del Cerro, P; Espuny, M R; Jiménez-Guerrero, I; López-Baena, F J; Ollero, F J; Cubo, T

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are free-living bacteria which actively colonize plant roots, exerting beneficial effects on plant development. The PGPR may (i) promote the plant growth either by using their own metabolism (solubilizing phosphates, producing hormones or fixing nitrogen) or directly affecting the plant metabolism (increasing the uptake of water and minerals), enhancing root development, increasing the enzymatic activity of the plant or "helping" other beneficial microorganisms to enhance their action on the plants; (ii) or may promote the plant growth by suppressing plant pathogens. These abilities are of great agriculture importance in terms of improving soil fertility and crop yield, thus reducing the negative impact of chemical fertilizers on the environment. The progress in the last decade in using PGPR in a variety of plants (maize, rice, wheat, soybean and bean) along with their mechanism of action are summarized and discussed here.

  17. Plant growth promotion in cereal and leguminous agricultural important plants: from microorganism capacities to crop production.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Montaño, F; Alías-Villegas, C; Bellogín, R A; del Cerro, P; Espuny, M R; Jiménez-Guerrero, I; López-Baena, F J; Ollero, F J; Cubo, T

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are free-living bacteria which actively colonize plant roots, exerting beneficial effects on plant development. The PGPR may (i) promote the plant growth either by using their own metabolism (solubilizing phosphates, producing hormones or fixing nitrogen) or directly affecting the plant metabolism (increasing the uptake of water and minerals), enhancing root development, increasing the enzymatic activity of the plant or "helping" other beneficial microorganisms to enhance their action on the plants; (ii) or may promote the plant growth by suppressing plant pathogens. These abilities are of great agriculture importance in terms of improving soil fertility and crop yield, thus reducing the negative impact of chemical fertilizers on the environment. The progress in the last decade in using PGPR in a variety of plants (maize, rice, wheat, soybean and bean) along with their mechanism of action are summarized and discussed here. PMID:24144612

  18. Root traits contributing to plant productivity under drought

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Geneticists and breeders are poised to breed plants with root traits that improve productivity under drought. However, they need a better understanding of root functional traits and how these traits are related to whole plant strategies to increase crop productivity under different drought conditio...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Metabolic engineering for the production of plant isoquinoline alkaloids.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Andrew; Desgagné-Penix, Isabel

    2016-06-01

    Several plant isoquinoline alkaloids (PIAs) possess powerful pharmaceutical and biotechnological properties. Thus, PIA metabolism and its fascinating molecules, including morphine, colchicine and galanthamine, have attracted the attention of both the industry and researchers involved in plant science, biochemistry, chemical bioengineering and medicine. Currently, access and availability of high-value PIAs [commercialized (e.g. galanthamine) or not (e.g. narciclasine)] is limited by low concentration in nature, lack of cultivation or geographic access, seasonal production and risk of overharvesting wild plant species. Nevertheless, most commercial PIAs are still extracted from plant sources. Efforts to improve the production of PIA have largely been impaired by the lack of knowledge on PIA metabolism. With the development and integration of next-generation sequencing technologies, high-throughput proteomics and metabolomics analyses and bioinformatics, systems biology was used to unravel metabolic pathways allowing the use of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology approaches to increase production of valuable PIAs. Metabolic engineering provides opportunity to overcome issues related to restricted availability, diversification and productivity of plant alkaloids. Engineered plant, plant cells and microbial cell cultures can act as biofactories by offering their metabolic machinery for the purpose of optimizing the conditions and increasing the productivity of a specific alkaloid. In this article, is presented an update on the production of PIA in engineered plant, plant cell cultures and heterologous micro-organisms.

  5. 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

    Heavy metal contamination is an important environmental problem, since the metals are harmful to humans, animals and tend to bioaccumulate in the food chain. The aim of this study was to determine the total concentration of As, As (III) and As(V) in soil samples, leaves and roots of plant material, growing in a mining area in Spain (Murcia). Ditichia viscosa was used as the plant of reference. The concentrations of bioavailable As in plant samples were calculated by different soil chemical extraction methods; deionized water, 0.5N NaHCO3 (Olsen extraction), oxidizable medium, 0.5 HCl, 0.05M (NH4)2SO4, 0.005M DTPA and Mehra-Jackson extraction. For this study, fourteen samples were collected in the surrounding area of Sierra Minera and Portman Bay (Murcia, SE Spain). Samples were air dried and sieved to < 2mm for general analytical determinations. To determine the As content, soil samples were first ground to a fine powder using an agate ball mill. Fresh vegetable samples were separated into root and aboveground biomass and then lyophilized. Arsenic levels were obtained by using atomic fluorescence spectrometry with an automated continuous flow hydride generation (HG-AFS) spectrometer. Samples showed pH average values close to neutrality. Most samples showed a very low organic matter percentage. Electrical conductivity and calcium carbonate content were considerably low in most samples. The mineralogical analysis showed that the main minerals were quartz, muscovite, kaolinite and illite, while the minority minerals were alteration products derived of mining activities (iron oxides and hydroxides, siderite, jarosite and gypsum), calcite and feldspars. Although the plants do not absorb arsenic in the same proportion, the results suggest that a good relationship exists between the total content of As in soil and the total content in plant. The results showed that the arsenic content in roots was positively correlated with the oxidizable-organic matter and sulfides

  6. Does word frequency affect lexical selection in speech production?

    PubMed

    Navarrete, Eduardo; Basagni, Benedetta; Alario, F-Xavier; Costa, Albert

    2006-10-01

    We evaluated whether lexical selection in speech production is affected by word frequency by means of two experiments. In Experiment 1 participants named pictures using utterances with the structure "pronoun + verb + adjective". In Experiment 2 participants had to perform a gender decision task on the same pictures. Access to the noun's grammatical gender is needed in both tasks, and therefore lexical selection (lemma retrieval) is required. However, retrieval of the phonological properties (lexeme retrieval) of the referent noun is not needed to perform the tasks. In both experiments we observed faster latencies for high-frequency pictures than for low-frequency pictures. This frequency effect was stable over four repetitions of the stimuli. Our results suggest that lexical selection (lemma retrieval) is sensitive to word frequency. This interpretation runs against the hypothesis that a word's frequency exerts its effects only at the level at which the phonological properties of words are retrieved.

  7. 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 ...

  8. Initial pH of medium affects organic acids production but do not affect phosphate solubilization.

    PubMed

    Marra, Leandro M; de Oliveira-Longatti, Silvia M; Soares, Cláudio R F S; de Lima, José M; Olivares, Fabio L; Moreira, Fatima M S

    2015-06-01

    The pH of the culture medium directly influences the growth of microorganisms and the chemical processes that they perform. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of the initial pH of the culture medium on the production of 11 low-molecular-weight organic acids and on the solubilization of calcium phosphate by bacteria in growth medium (NBRIP). The following strains isolated from cowpea nodules were studied: UFLA03-08 (Rhizobium tropici), UFLA03-09 (Acinetobacter sp.), UFLA03-10 (Paenibacillus kribbensis), UFLA03-106 (Paenibacillus kribbensis) and UFLA03-116 (Paenibacillus sp.). The strains UFLA03-08, UFLA03-09, UFLA03-10 and UFLA03-106 solubilized Ca3(PO4)2 in liquid medium regardless of the initial pH, although without a significant difference between the treatments. The production of organic acids by these strains was assessed for all of the initial pH values investigated, and differences between the treatments were observed. Strains UFLA03-09 and UFLA03-10 produced the same acids at different initial pH values in the culture medium. There was no correlation between phosphorus solubilized from Ca3(PO4)2 in NBRIP liquid medium and the concentration of total organic acids at the different initial pH values. Therefore, the initial pH of the culture medium influences the production of organic acids by the strains UFLA03-08, UFLA03-09, UFLA03-10 and UFLA03-106 but it does not affect calcium phosphate solubilization.

  9. Initial pH of medium affects organic acids production but do not affect phosphate solubilization

    PubMed Central

    Marra, Leandro M.; de Oliveira-Longatti, Silvia M.; Soares, Cláudio R.F.S.; de Lima, José M.; Olivares, Fabio L.; Moreira, Fatima M.S.

    2015-01-01

    The pH of the culture medium directly influences the growth of microorganisms and the chemical processes that they perform. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of the initial pH of the culture medium on the production of 11 low-molecular-weight organic acids and on the solubilization of calcium phosphate by bacteria in growth medium (NBRIP). The following strains isolated from cowpea nodules were studied: UFLA03-08 (Rhizobium tropici), UFLA03-09 (Acinetobacter sp.), UFLA03-10 (Paenibacillus kribbensis), UFLA03-106 (Paenibacillus kribbensis) and UFLA03-116 (Paenibacillus sp.). The strains UFLA03-08, UFLA03-09, UFLA03-10 and UFLA03-106 solubilized Ca3(PO4)2 in liquid medium regardless of the initial pH, although without a significant difference between the treatments. The production of organic acids by these strains was assessed for all of the initial pH values investigated, and differences between the treatments were observed. Strains UFLA03-09 and UFLA03-10 produced the same acids at different initial pH values in the culture medium. There was no correlation between phosphorus solubilized from Ca3(PO4)2 in NBRIP liquid medium and the concentration of total organic acids at the different initial pH values. Therefore, the initial pH of the culture medium influences the production of organic acids by the strains UFLA03-08, UFLA03-09, UFLA03-10 and UFLA03-106 but it does not affect calcium phosphate solubilization. PMID:26273251

  10. Role of root microbiota in plant productivity.

    PubMed

    Tkacz, Andrzej; Poole, Philip

    2015-04-01

    The growing human population requires increasing amounts of food, but modern agriculture has limited possibilities for increasing yields. New crop varieties may be bred to have increased yields and be more resistant to environmental stress and pests. However, they still require fertilization to supplement essential nutrients that are normally limited in the soil. Soil microorganisms present an opportunity to reduce the requirement for inorganic fertilization in agriculture. Microorganisms, due to their enormous genetic pool, are also a potential source of biochemical reactions that recycle essential nutrients for plant growth. Microbes that associate with plants can be considered to be part of the plant's pan-genome. Therefore, it is essential for us to understand microbial community structure and their 'metagenome' and how it is influenced by different soil types and crop varieties. In the future we may be able to modify and better utilize the soil microbiota potential for promoting plant growth. PMID:25908654

  11. Role of root microbiota in plant productivity.

    PubMed

    Tkacz, Andrzej; Poole, Philip

    2015-04-01

    The growing human population requires increasing amounts of food, but modern agriculture has limited possibilities for increasing yields. New crop varieties may be bred to have increased yields and be more resistant to environmental stress and pests. However, they still require fertilization to supplement essential nutrients that are normally limited in the soil. Soil microorganisms present an opportunity to reduce the requirement for inorganic fertilization in agriculture. Microorganisms, due to their enormous genetic pool, are also a potential source of biochemical reactions that recycle essential nutrients for plant growth. Microbes that associate with plants can be considered to be part of the plant's pan-genome. Therefore, it is essential for us to understand microbial community structure and their 'metagenome' and how it is influenced by different soil types and crop varieties. In the future we may be able to modify and better utilize the soil microbiota potential for promoting plant growth.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Factors affecting production rates of cosmogenic nuclides in extraterrestrial matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reedy, R. C.

    2015-10-01

    Good production rates are needed for cosmic-ray-produced nuclides to interpret their measurements. Rates depend on many factors, especially the pre-atmospheric object's size, the location of the sample in that object (such as near surface or deep inside), and the object's bulk composition. The bulk composition affects rates, especially in objects with very low and very high iron contents. Extraterrestrial materials with high iron contents usually have higher rates for making nuclides made by reactions with energetic particles and lower rates for the capture of thermal neutrons. In small objects and near the surface of objects, the cascade of secondary neutrons is being developed as primary particles are being removed. Deep in large objects, that secondary cascade is fully developed and the fluxes of primary particles are low. Recent work shows that even the shape of an object in space has a small but measureable effect. Work has been done and continues to be done on better understanding those and other factors. More good sets of measurements in meteorites with known exposure geometries in space are needed. With the use of modern Monte Carlo codes for the production and transport of particles, the nature of these effects have been and is being studied. Work needs to be done to improve the results of these calculations, especially the cross sections for making spallogenic nuclides.

  16. ENERGY PRODUCTION AND POLLUTION PREVENTION AT SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANTS USING FUEL CELL POWER PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The paper discusses energy production and pollution prevention at sewage treatment plants using fuel cell power plants. Anaerobic digester gas (ADG) is produced at waste water treatment plants during the anaerobic treatment of sewage to reduce solids. The major constituents are...

  17. Plants and endophytes: equal partners in secondary metabolite production?

    PubMed

    Ludwig-Müller, Jutta

    2015-07-01

    Well known plant production systems should be re-evaluated due to findings that the interesting metabolite might actually be produced by microbes intimately associated with the plant, so-called endophytes. Endophytes can be bacteria or fungi and they are characterized usually by the feature that they do not cause any harm to the host. Indeed, in some cases, such as mycorrhizal fungi or other growth promoting endophytes, they can be beneficial for the plant. Here some examples are reviewed where the host plant and/or endophyte metabolism can be induced by the other partner. Also, partial or complete biosynthesis pathways for plant secondary metabolites can be attributed to such endophytes. In other cases the host plant is able to metabolize substances from fungal origin. The question of the natural role of such metabolic changes for the endophyte will be briefly touched. Finally, the consequences for the use of plant cultures for secondary metabolite production is discussed.

  18. Plants and endophytes: equal partners in secondary metabolite production?

    PubMed

    Ludwig-Müller, Jutta

    2015-07-01

    Well known plant production systems should be re-evaluated due to findings that the interesting metabolite might actually be produced by microbes intimately associated with the plant, so-called endophytes. Endophytes can be bacteria or fungi and they are characterized usually by the feature that they do not cause any harm to the host. Indeed, in some cases, such as mycorrhizal fungi or other growth promoting endophytes, they can be beneficial for the plant. Here some examples are reviewed where the host plant and/or endophyte metabolism can be induced by the other partner. Also, partial or complete biosynthesis pathways for plant secondary metabolites can be attributed to such endophytes. In other cases the host plant is able to metabolize substances from fungal origin. The question of the natural role of such metabolic changes for the endophyte will be briefly touched. Finally, the consequences for the use of plant cultures for secondary metabolite production is discussed. PMID:25792513

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Induction of a dwarf phenotype with IBH1 may enable increased production of plant-made pharmaceuticals in plant factory conditions.

    PubMed

    Nagatoshi, Yukari; Ikeda, Miho; Kishi, Hiroyuki; Hiratsu, Keiichiro; Muraguchi, Atsushi; Ohme-Takagi, Masaru

    2016-03-01

    Year-round production in a contained, environmentally controlled 'plant factory' may provide a cost-effective method to produce pharmaceuticals and other high-value products. However, cost-effective production may require substantial modification of the host plant phenotype; for example, using dwarf plants can enable the growth of more plants in a given volume by allowing more plants per shelf and enabling more shelves to be stacked vertically. We show here that the expression of the chimeric repressor for Arabidopsis AtIBH1 (P35S:AtIBH1SRDX) in transgenic tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum) induces a dwarf phenotype, with reduced cell size. We estimate that, in a given volume of cultivation space, we can grow five times more AtIBH1SRDX plants than wild-type plants. Although, the AtIBH1SRDX plants also showed reduced biomass compared with wild-type plants, they produced about four times more biomass per unit of cultivation volume. To test whether the dwarf phenotype affects the production of recombinant proteins, we expressed the genes for anti-hepatitis B virus antibodies (anti-HBs) in tobacco plants and found that the production of anti-HBs per unit fresh weight did not significantly differ between wild-type and AtIBH1SRDX plants. These data indicate that P35S:AtIBH1SRDX plants produced about fourfold more antibody per unit of cultivation volume, compared with wild type. Our results indicate that AtIBH1SRDX provides a useful tool for the modification of plant phenotype for cost-effective production of high-value products by stably transformed plants in plant factory conditions.

  3. Role of root microbiota in plant productivity

    PubMed Central

    Tkacz, Andrzej; Poole, Philip

    2015-01-01

    The growing human population requires increasing amounts of food, but modern agriculture has limited possibilities for increasing yields. New crop varieties may be bred to have increased yields and be more resistant to environmental stress and pests. However, they still require fertilization to supplement essential nutrients that are normally limited in the soil. Soil microorganisms present an opportunity to reduce the requirement for inorganic fertilization in agriculture. Microorganisms, due to their enormous genetic pool, are also a potential source of biochemical reactions that recycle essential nutrients for plant growth. Microbes that associate with plants can be considered to be part of the plant’s pan-genome. Therefore, it is essential for us to understand microbial community structure and their ‘metagenome’ and how it is influenced by different soil types and crop varieties. In the future we may be able to modify and better utilize the soil microbiota potential for promoting plant growth. PMID:25908654

  4. 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

  5. Current approaches toward production of secondary plant metabolites

    PubMed Central

    Hussain, Md. Sarfaraj; Fareed, Sheeba; Ansari, Saba; Rahman, Md. Akhlaquer; Ahmad, Iffat Zareen; Saeed, Mohd.

    2012-01-01

    Plants are the tremendous source for the discovery of new products with medicinal importance in drug development. Today several distinct chemicals derived from plants are important drugs, which are currently used in one or more countries in the world. Secondary metabolites are economically important as drugs, flavor and fragrances, dye and pigments, pesticides, and food additives. Many of the drugs sold today are simple synthetic modifications or copies of the naturally obtained substances. The evolving commercial importance of secondary metabolites has in recent years resulted in a great interest in secondary metabolism, particularly in the possibility of altering the production of bioactive plant metabolites by means of tissue culture technology. Plant cell and tissue culture technologies can be established routinely under sterile conditions from explants, such as plant leaves, stems, roots, and meristems for both the ways for multiplication and extraction of secondary metabolites. In vitro production of secondary metabolite in plant cell suspension cultures has been reported from various medicinal plants, and bioreactors are the key step for their commercial production. Based on this lime light, the present review is aimed to cover phytotherapeutic application and recent advancement for the production of some important plant pharmaceuticals. PMID:22368394

  6. 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 ...

  7. 1996--97 buying guide: Power plant products and services

    SciTech Connect

    1996-09-01

    This is a buying guide/directory of power plant products and services. The guide includes a product index and a directory of product suppliers and manufacturers with the information necessary for making contact; and index of services and a directory of businesses providing the services with the information necessary for making contact with them.

  8. 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.

  9. Studies on the Contamination of Products Produced by Rendering Plants

    PubMed Central

    Tittiger, F.

    1971-01-01

    Studies on the bacterial contamination in rendered product and the environment of five rendering plants were carried out. From a total of 180 samples examined, total bacterial and anaerobic spore counts were conducted on 135. Plants with melter systems produced a sterile product which was recontaminated before reaching the finished stage. Two plants with continuous rendering systems did not achieve sterilization of the product during the heating process. Spore forming organisms regularly survived heating in the continuous rendering system. Salmonellae were isolated from samples collected in four of the five plants under study. Pathogenic Clostridia, especially Cl. novyi, Cl. septicum and Cl. perfringens were present in samples from all plants. Other pathogens found were Staphylococci, Streptococci, Corynebacteria and Pasteurella. PMID:4253467

  10. Screening of novel plants for biogas production in northern conditions.

    PubMed

    Seppälä, Mari; Laine, Antti; Rintala, Jukka

    2013-07-01

    The objective of this study was to screen nine annual or perennial novel plants for biogas production cultivated in years 2007-2010 in Finland. The most promising novel plants for biogas production were found to be brown knapweed, giant goldenrod and Japanese millet producing 14-27 t total solids/ha and 4000-6100 Nm(3)CH4/ha. The specific methane yields of all studied plants varied from 170 to 381 Nm(3)CH4/t volatile solids (VS), depending on harvest time and plant species. Co-digestion of brown knapweed with cow manure in continuously stirred tank reactor was investigated and the highest methane yield was 254 NL CH4/kg VS, when the share of brown knapweed was 50% in the feed VS (organic loading rate (OLR) 2 kg VS/m(3)/d). The cultivation managements and sustainability of novel plants for biogas production have to be investigated. PMID:23669072

  11. Drivers of inter-year variability of plant production and decomposers across contrasting island ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wardle, David A; Jonsson, Micael; Kalela-Brundin, Maarit; Lagerström, Anna; Bardgett, Richard D; Yeates, Gregor W; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte

    2012-03-01

    Despite the likely importance of inter-year dynamics of plant production and consumer biota for driving community- and ecosystem-level processes, very few studies have explored how and why these dynamics vary across contrasting ecosystems. We utilized a well-characterized system of 30 lake islands in the boreal forest zone of northern Sweden across which soil fertility and productivity vary considerably, with larger islands being more fertile and productive than smaller ones. In this system we assessed the inter-year dynamics of several measures of plant production and the soil microbial community (primary consumers in the decomposer food web) for each of nine years, and soil microfaunal groups (secondary and tertiary consumers) for each of six of those years. We found that, for measures of plant production and each of the three consumer trophic levels, inter-year dynamics were strongly affected by island size. Further, many variables were strongly affected by island size (and thus bottom-up regulation by soil fertility and resources) in some years, but not in other years, most likely due to inter-year variation in climatic conditions. For each of the plant and microbial variables for which we had nine years of data, we also determined the inter-year coefficient of variation (CV), an inverse measure of stability. We found that CVs of some measures of plant productivity were greater on large islands, whereas those of other measures were greater on smaller islands; CVs of microbial variables were unresponsive to island size. We also found that the effects of island size on the temporal dynamics of some variables were related to inter-year variability of macroclimatic variables. As such, our results show that the inter-year dynamics of both plant productivity and decomposer biota across each of three trophic levels, as well as the inter-year stability of plant productivity, differ greatly across contrasting ecosystems, with potentially important but largely overlooked

  12. Drivers of inter-year variability of plant production and decomposers across contrasting island ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wardle, David A; Jonsson, Micael; Kalela-Brundin, Maarit; Lagerström, Anna; Bardgett, Richard D; Yeates, Gregor W; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte

    2012-03-01

    Despite the likely importance of inter-year dynamics of plant production and consumer biota for driving community- and ecosystem-level processes, very few studies have explored how and why these dynamics vary across contrasting ecosystems. We utilized a well-characterized system of 30 lake islands in the boreal forest zone of northern Sweden across which soil fertility and productivity vary considerably, with larger islands being more fertile and productive than smaller ones. In this system we assessed the inter-year dynamics of several measures of plant production and the soil microbial community (primary consumers in the decomposer food web) for each of nine years, and soil microfaunal groups (secondary and tertiary consumers) for each of six of those years. We found that, for measures of plant production and each of the three consumer trophic levels, inter-year dynamics were strongly affected by island size. Further, many variables were strongly affected by island size (and thus bottom-up regulation by soil fertility and resources) in some years, but not in other years, most likely due to inter-year variation in climatic conditions. For each of the plant and microbial variables for which we had nine years of data, we also determined the inter-year coefficient of variation (CV), an inverse measure of stability. We found that CVs of some measures of plant productivity were greater on large islands, whereas those of other measures were greater on smaller islands; CVs of microbial variables were unresponsive to island size. We also found that the effects of island size on the temporal dynamics of some variables were related to inter-year variability of macroclimatic variables. As such, our results show that the inter-year dynamics of both plant productivity and decomposer biota across each of three trophic levels, as well as the inter-year stability of plant productivity, differ greatly across contrasting ecosystems, with potentially important but largely overlooked

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Application of plant cell and tissue culture for the production of phytochemicals in medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Pant, Bijaya

    2014-01-01

    Approximately 80% of the world inhabitants depend on the medicinal plants in the form of traditional formulations for their primary health care system well as in the treatment of a number of diseases since the ancient time. Many commercially used drugs have come from the information of indigenous knowledge of plants and their folk uses. Linking of the indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants to modern research activities provides a new reliable approach, for the discovery of novel drugs much more effectively than with random collection. Increase in population and increasing demand of plant products along with illegal trade are causing depletion of medicinal plants and many are threatened in natural habitat. Plant tissue culture technique has proved potential alternative for the production of desirable bioactive components from plants, to produce the enough amounts of plant material that is needed and for the conservation of threatened species. Different plant tissue culture systems have been extensively studied to improve and enhance the production of plant chemicals in various medicinal plants.

  18. Plant nitrogen uptake drives responses of productivity to nitrogen and water addition in a grassland

    PubMed Central

    Lü, Xiao-Tao; Dijkstra, Feike A.; Kong, De-Liang; Wang, Zheng-Wen; Han, Xing-Guo

    2014-01-01

    Increased atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition and altered precipitation regimes have profound impacts on ecosystem functioning in semiarid grasslands. The interactions between those two factors remain largely unknown. A field experiment with N and water additions was conducted in a semiarid grassland in northern China. We examined the responses of aboveground net primary production (ANPP) and plant N use during two contrasting hydrological growing seasons. Nitrogen addition had no impact on ANPP, which may be accounted for by the offset between enhanced plant N uptake and decreased plant nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). Water addition significantly enhanced ANPP, which was largely due to enhanced plant aboveground N uptake. Nitrogen and water additions significantly interacted to affect ANPP, plant N uptake and N concentrations at the community level. Our observations highlight the important role of plant N uptake and use in mediating the effects of N and water addition on ANPP. PMID:24769508

  19. Plants for water recycling, oxygen regeneration and food production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, D. L.

    1991-01-01

    During long-duration space missions that require recycling and regeneration of life support materials the major human wastes to be converted to usable forms are CO2, hygiene water, urine and feces. A Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) relies on the air revitalization, water purification and food production capabilities of higher plants to rejuvenate human wastes and replenish the life support materials. The key processes in such a system are photosynthesis, whereby green plants utilize light energy to produce food and oxygen while removing CO2 from the atmosphere, and transpiration, the evaporation of water from the plant. CELSS research has emphasized the food production capacity and efforts to minimize the area/volume of higher plants required to satisfy all human life support needs. Plants are a dynamic system capable of being manipulated to favour the supply of individual products as desired. The size and energy required for a CELSS that provides virtually all human needs are determined by the food production capacity. Growing conditions maximizing food production do not maximize transpiration of water; conditions favoring transpiration and scaling to recycle only water significantly reduces the area, volume, and energy inputs per person. Likewise, system size can be adjusted to satisfy the air regeneration needs. Requirements of a waste management system supplying inputs to maintain maximum plant productivity are clear. The ability of plants to play an active role in waste processing and the consequence in terms of degraded plant performance are not well characterized. Plant-based life support systems represent the only potential for self sufficiency and food production in an extra-terrestrial habitat.

  20. 7 CFR 613.4 - Special production of plant materials.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Special production of plant materials. 613.4 Section 613.4 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE CONSERVATION OPERATIONS PLANT MATERIALS CENTERS § 613.4...

  1. Stability of production and plant species diversity in managed grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant biodiversity theory suggests that increased plant species diversity contributes to the stability of ecosystems. In managed grasslands, such as pastures, greater stability of herbage production would be beneficial. In this retrospective study, I used data from three reports from the 1930s, 1940...

  2. Modelling production processes in a vehicle recycling plant.

    PubMed

    Simic, Vladimir; Dimitrijevic, Branka

    2012-09-01

    The European Directive on end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) fundamentally changed the business philosophy of the European vehicle recycling system, which was exclusively profit-oriented. As the dominant participants of this system, vehicle recycling plants (VRPs) are especially affected by its implementation. For VRPs to successfully respond to the prescribed eco-efficiency quotas, investment will be needed to procure modern sorting equipment as well as to achieve full transformation of their production process. However, before VRPs decide to make this very important investment decision, it is necessary to determine the adequacy of such a decision in detail. Consequently, the following questions become unavoidable: Can modernly equipped VRPs conduct profitable business? Are eco-efficiency quotas actually attainable? How will the new changes in vehicle design influence VRPs? To provide answers to these essential questions, a production planning model of a modernly equipped VRP was first developed and then tested extensively using real data. Based on the answers provided by the proposed model testing analysis it was concluded that VRP transformation is not only necessary but completely justified and that the final success of the ELV Directive is realistic.

  3. Mortality of workers at acetylene production plants.

    PubMed Central

    Newhouse, M L; Matthews, G; Sheikh, K; Knight, K L; Oakes, D; Sullivan, K R

    1988-01-01

    To reduce the risk of explosion oxyacetylene cylinders are filled with a spongy mass, acetone is added to saturate the mass, and acetylene is pumped into the cylinder. The first cylinders manufactured before 1936 used a kapok filling topped off with about 16 oz of crocidolite asbestos, with a metal gauze thimble inserted to reduce risk of flash back. Cylinders must be examined annually. The use of crocidolite ceased in 1972 and other fillings have been adopted since 1970; kapok cylinders now constitute less than 5% of the total stock. To assess possible hazards, a mortality study of workers first employed between 1935 and 1975 and followed up to December 1984 was undertaken. Simulation tests showed low concentrations of asbestos in the air even in the earliest period. The population studied consisted of 370 workers at the Bilston plant in the West Midlands, 611 at the 14 other plants in England and Wales, and 120 in Scotland. No deaths occurred from mesothelial tumours but there was an excess of deaths from cancer, particularly lung cancer, cancer of the stomach, and cancer of the pancreas, the latter accounting for eight deaths. Risks appeared to be concentrated at the Bilston plant. The importance of these findings is discussed. PMID:3342189

  4. Plant Natural Products Targeting Bacterial Virulence Factors.

    PubMed

    Silva, Laura Nunes; Zimmer, Karine Rigon; Macedo, Alexandre José; Trentin, Danielle Silva

    2016-08-24

    Decreased antimicrobial efficiency has become a global public health issue. The paucity of new antibacterial drugs is evident, and the arsenal against infectious diseases needs to be improved urgently. The selection of plants as a source of prototype compounds is appropriate, since plant species naturally produce a wide range of secondary metabolites that act as a chemical line of defense against microorganisms in the environment. Although traditional approaches to combat microbial infections remain effective, targeting microbial virulence rather than survival seems to be an exciting strategy, since the modulation of virulence factors might lead to a milder evolutionary pressure for the development of resistance. Additionally, anti-infective chemotherapies may be successfully achieved by combining antivirulence and conventional antimicrobials, extending the lifespan of these drugs. This review presents an updated discussion of natural compounds isolated from plants with chemically characterized structures and activity against the major bacterial virulence factors: quorum sensing, bacterial biofilms, bacterial motility, bacterial toxins, bacterial pigments, bacterial enzymes, and bacterial surfactants. Moreover, a critical analysis of the most promising virulence factors is presented, highlighting their potential as targets to attenuate bacterial virulence. The ongoing progress in the field of antivirulence therapy may therefore help to translate this promising concept into real intervention strategies in clinical areas. PMID:27437994

  5. Plant Products for Pharmacology: Application of Enzymes in Their Transformations

    PubMed Central

    Zarevúcka, Marie; Wimmer, Zdeněk

    2008-01-01

    Different plant products have been subjected to detailed investigations due to their increasing importance for improving human health. Plants are sources of many groups of natural products, of which large number of new compounds has already displayed their high impact in human medicine. This review deals with the natural products which may be found dissolved in lipid phase (phytosterols, vitamins etc.). Often subsequent convenient transformation of natural products may further improve the pharmacological properties of new potential medicaments based on natural products. To respect basic principles of sustainable and green procedures, enzymes are often employed as efficient natural catalysts in such plant product transformations. Transformations of lipids and other natural products under the conditions of enzyme catalysis show increasing importance in environmentally safe and sustainable production of pharmacologically important compounds. In this review, attention is focused on lipases, efficient and convenient biocatalysts for the enantio- and regioselective formation / hydrolysis of ester bond in a wide variety of both natural and unnatural substrates, including plant products, eg. plant oils and other natural lipid phase compounds. The application of enzymes for preparation of acylglycerols and transformation of other natural products provides big advantage in comparison with employing of conventional chemical methods: Increased selectivity, higher product purity and quality, energy conservation, elimination of heavy metal catalysts, and sustainability of the employed processes, which are catalyzed by enzymes. Two general procedures are used in the transformation of lipid-like natural products: (a) Hydrolysis/alcoholysis of triacylglycerols and (b) esterification of glycerol. The reactions can be performed under conventional conditions or in supercritical fluids/ionic liquids. Enzyme-catalyzed reactions in supercritical fluids combine the advantages of

  6. Proximity to forest edge does not affect crop production despite pollen limitation.

    PubMed

    Chacoff, Natacha P; Aizen, Marcelo A; Aschero, Valeria

    2008-04-22

    A decline in pollination function has been linked to agriculture expansion and intensification. In northwest Argentina, pollinator visits to grapefruit, a self-compatible but pollinator-dependent crop, decline by approximately 50% at 1km from forest edges. We evaluated whether this decrease in visitation also reduces the pollination service in this crop. We analysed the quantity and quality of pollen deposited on stigmas, and associated limitation of fruit production at increasing distances (edge: 10, 100, 500 and 1000m) from the remnants of Yungas forest. We also examined the quantitative and qualitative efficiency of honeybees as pollen vectors. Pollen receipt and pollen tubes in styles decreased with increasing distance from forest edge; however, this decline did not affect fruit production. Supplementation of natural pollen with self- and cross-pollen revealed that both pollen quantity and quality limited fruit production. Despite pollen limitation, honeybees cannot raise fruit production because they often do not deposit sufficient high-quality pollen per visit to elicit fruit development. However, declines in visitation frequency well below seven visits during a flower's lifespan could decrease production beyond current yields. In this context, the preservation of forest remnants, which act as pollinator sources, could contribute to resilience in crop production. Like wild plants, pollen limitation of the yield among animal-pollinated crops may be common and indicative not only of pollinator scarcity, but also of poor pollination quality, whereby pollinator efficiency, rather than just abundance, can play a broader role than previously appreciated.

  7. 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].

  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]. PMID:27317970

  9. 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.

  10. Isoprene emission protects photosynthesis but reduces plant productivity during drought in transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Annette C; Hewitt, C Nicholas; Possell, Malcolm; Vickers, Claudia E; Purnell, Anna; Mullineaux, Philip M; Davies, William J; Dodd, Ian C

    2014-01-01

    Isoprene protects the photosynthetic apparatus of isoprene-emitting plants from oxidative stress. The role of isoprene in the response of plants to drought is less clear. Water was withheld from transgenic isoprene-emitting and non-emitting tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants, to examine: the response of isoprene emission to plant water deficit; a possible relationship between concentrations of the drought-induced phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) and isoprene; and whether isoprene affected foliar reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation levels. Isoprene emission did not affect whole-plant water use, foliar ABA concentration or leaf water potential under water deficit. Compared with well-watered controls, droughted non-emitting plants significantly increased ROS content (31-46%) and lipid peroxidation (30-47%), concomitant with decreased operating and maximum efficiencies of photosystem II photochemistry and lower leaf and whole-plant water use efficiency (WUE). Droughted isoprene-emitting plants showed no increase in ROS content or lipid peroxidation relative to well-watered controls, despite isoprene emission decreasing before leaf wilting. Although isoprene emission protected the photosynthetic apparatus and enhanced leaf and whole-plant WUE, non-emitting plants had 8-24% more biomass under drought, implying that isoprene emission incurred a yield penalty.

  11. Relationship between plantings of fry and production of whitefish in Lake Erie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Oosten, John

    1942-01-01

    An attempt was made to substantiate the repeated assertions of the commercial fishermen on the Great Lakes and of others that there was a direct causal relationship between the plantings of whitefish fry and subsequent catch. The records of whitefish fry plantings in Lake Erie during the years, 1920–1937, were correlated with those of catch during the period, 1923–1940. No causal relationship could be demonstrated between the two sets of data. Whitefish production in Lake Erie is not dependent on or noticeably affected by the planting of fry.

  12. Harnessing plant-microbe interactions for enhancing farm productivity.

    PubMed

    Macdonald, Catriona; Singh, Brajesh

    2014-01-01

    Declining soil fertility and farm productivity is a major global concern in order to achieve food security for a burgeoning world population. It is reported that improving soil health alone can increase productivity by 10-15% and in combination with efficient plant traits, farm productivity can be increased up to 50-60%. In this article we explore the emerging microbial and bioengineering technologies, which can be employed to achieve the transformational increase in farm productivity and can simultaneously enhance environmental outcomes i.e., low green house gas (GHG) emissions. We argue that metagenomics, meta-transcriptomics and metabolomics have potential to provide fundamental knowledge on plant-microbes interactions necessary for new innovations to increase farm productivity. Further, these approaches provide tools to identify and select novel microbial/gene resources which can be harnessed in transgenic and designer plant technologies for enhanced resource use efficiencies.

  13. Production of Aromatic Plant Terpenoids in Recombinant Baker's Yeast.

    PubMed

    Emmerstorfer-Augustin, Anita; Pichler, Harald

    2016-01-01

    Plant terpenoids are high-value compounds broadly applied as food additives or fragrances in perfumes and cosmetics. Their biotechnological production in yeast offers an attractive alternative to extraction from plants. Here, we provide two optimized protocols for the production of the plant terpenoid trans-nootkatol with recombinant S. cerevisiae by either (I) converting externally added (+)-valencene with resting cells or (II) cultivating engineered self-sufficient production strains. By synthesis of the hydrophobic compounds in self-sufficient production cells, phase transfer issues can be avoided and the highly volatile products can be enriched in and easily purified from n-dodecane, which is added to the cell broth as second phase. PMID:26843167

  14. Harnessing plant-microbe interactions for enhancing farm productivity.

    PubMed

    Macdonald, Catriona; Singh, Brajesh

    2014-01-01

    Declining soil fertility and farm productivity is a major global concern in order to achieve food security for a burgeoning world population. It is reported that improving soil health alone can increase productivity by 10-15% and in combination with efficient plant traits, farm productivity can be increased up to 50-60%. In this article we explore the emerging microbial and bioengineering technologies, which can be employed to achieve the transformational increase in farm productivity and can simultaneously enhance environmental outcomes i.e., low green house gas (GHG) emissions. We argue that metagenomics, meta-transcriptomics and metabolomics have potential to provide fundamental knowledge on plant-microbes interactions necessary for new innovations to increase farm productivity. Further, these approaches provide tools to identify and select novel microbial/gene resources which can be harnessed in transgenic and designer plant technologies for enhanced resource use efficiencies. PMID:23799872

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Using Hairy Roots for Production of Valuable Plant Secondary Metabolites.

    PubMed

    Tian, Li

    2015-01-01

    Plants synthesize a wide variety of natural products, which are traditionally termed secondary metabolites and, more recently, coined specialized metabolites. While these chemical compounds are employed by plants for interactions with their environment, humans have long since explored and exploited plant secondary metabolites for medicinal and practical uses. Due to the tissue-specific and low-abundance accumulation of these metabolites, alternative means of production in systems other than intact plants are sought after. To this end, hairy root culture presents an excellent platform for producing valuable secondary metabolites. This chapter will focus on several major groups of secondary metabolites that are manufactured by hairy roots established from different plant species. Additionally, the methods for preservations of hairy roots will also be reviewed. PMID:25583225

  2. Effects of elevated CO2 concentration on seed production in C3 annual plants.

    PubMed

    Hikosaka, Kouki; Kinugasa, Toshihiko; Oikawa, Shimpei; Onoda, Yusuke; Hirose, Tadaki

    2011-02-01

    The response of seed production to CO(2) concentration ([CO(2)]) is known to vary considerably among C(3) annual species. Here we analyse the interspecific variation in CO(2) responses of seed production per plant with particular attention to nitrogen use. Provided that seed production is limited by nitrogen availability, an increase in seed mass per plant results from increase in seed nitrogen per plant and/or from decrease in seed nitrogen concentration ([N]). Meta-analysis reveals that the increase in seed mass per plant under elevated [CO(2)] is mainly due to increase in seed nitrogen per plant rather than seed [N] dilution. Nitrogen-fixing legumes enhanced nitrogen acquisition more than non-nitrogen-fixers, resulting in a large increase in seed mass per plant. In Poaceae, an increase in seed mass per plant was also caused by a decrease in seed [N]. Greater carbon allocation to albumen (endosperm and/or perisperm) than the embryo may account for [N] reduction in grass seeds. These differences in CO(2) response of seed production among functional groups may affect their fitness, leading to changes in species composition in the future high-[CO(2)] ecosystem.

  3. Plant-Derived Natural Products for Parkinson's Disease Therapy.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, T; Vinayagam, J; Singh, R; Jaisankar, P; Mohanakumar, K P

    2016-01-01

    Plant-derived natural products have made their own niche in the treatment of neurological diseases since time immemorial. Parkinson's disease (PD), the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder, has no cure and the treatment available currently is symptomatic. This chapter thoughtfully and objectively assesses the scientific basis that supports the increasing use of these plant-derived natural products for the treatment of this chronic and progressive disorder. Proper considerations are made on the chemical nature, sources, preclinical tests and their validity, and mechanisms of behavioural or biochemical recovery observed following treatment with various plants derived natural products relevant to PD therapy. The scientific basis underlying the neuroprotective effect of 6 Ayurvedic herbs/formulations, 12 Chinese medicinal herbs/formulations, 33 other plants, and 5 plant-derived molecules have been judiciously examined emphasizing behavioral, cellular, or biochemical aspects of neuroprotection observed in the cellular or animal models of the disease. The molecular mechanisms triggered by these natural products to promote cell survivability and to reduce the risk of cellular degeneration have also been brought to light in this study. The study helped to reveal certain limitations in the scenario: lack of preclinical studies in all cases barring two; heavy dependence on in vitro test systems; singular animal or cellular model to establish any therapeutic potential of drugs. This strongly warrants further studies so as to reproduce and confirm these reported effects. However, the current literature offers scientific credence to traditionally used plant-derived natural products for the treatment of PD. PMID:27651267

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Capabilities for managing high-volume production of electric engineering equipment at the Electrochemical Production Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Podlednev, V.M.

    1996-04-01

    The Electromechanical Production Plant is essentially a research center with experimental facilities and power full testing base. Major products of the plant today include heat pipes and devices of their basis of different functions and power from high temperature ranges to cryogenics. This report describes work on porous titanium and carbon-graphite current collectors, electrocatalyst synthesis, and electrocatalyst applications.

  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. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche-efficiency.

    PubMed

    Liang, Jingjing; Zhou, Mo; Tobin, Patrick C; McGuire, A David; Reich, Peter B

    2015-05-01

    The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems. Previous research has focused on the positive role of biodiversity on resource acquisition (i.e., niche complementarity), but a lack of study on resource utilization efficiency, a link between resource and productivity, has rendered it difficult to quantify the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. Here we demonstrate that biodiversity loss reduces plant productivity, other things held constant, through theory, empirical evidence, and simulations under gradually relaxed assumptions. We developed a theoretical model named niche-efficiency to integrate niche complementarity and a heretofore-ignored mechanism of diminishing marginal productivity in quantifying the effects of biodiversity loss on plant productivity. Based on niche-efficiency, we created a relative productivity metric and a productivity impact index (PII) to assist in biological conservation and resource management. Relative productivity provides a standardized measure of the influence of biodiversity on individual productivity, and PII is a functionally based taxonomic index to assess individual species' inherent value in maintaining current ecosystem productivity. Empirical evidence from the Alaska boreal forest suggests that every 1% reduction in overall plant diversity could render an average of 0.23% decline in individual tree productivity. Out of the 283 plant species of the region, we found that large woody plants generally have greater PII values than other species. This theoretical model would facilitate the integration of biological conservation in the international campaign against several pressing global issues involving energy use, climate change, and poverty.

  11. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche–efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Jingjing; Zhou, Mo; Tobin, Patrick C.; McGuire, A. David; Reich, Peter B.

    2015-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems. Previous research has focused on the positive role of biodiversity on resource acquisition (i.e., niche complementarity), but a lack of study on resource utilization efficiency, a link between resource and productivity, has rendered it difficult to quantify the biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationship. Here we demonstrate that biodiversity loss reduces plant productivity, other things held constant, through theory, empirical evidence, and simulations under gradually relaxed assumptions. We developed a theoretical model named niche–efficiency to integrate niche complementarity and a heretofore-ignored mechanism of diminishing marginal productivity in quantifying the effects of biodiversity loss on plant productivity. Based on niche–efficiency, we created a relative productivity metric and a productivity impact index (PII) to assist in biological conservation and resource management. Relative productivity provides a standardized measure of the influence of biodiversity on individual productivity, and PII is a functionally based taxonomic index to assess individual species’ inherent value in maintaining current ecosystem productivity. Empirical evidence from the Alaska boreal forest suggests that every 1% reduction in overall plant diversity could render an average of 0.23% decline in individual tree productivity. Out of the 283 plant species of the region, we found that large woody plants generally have greater PII values than other species. This theoretical model would facilitate the integration of biological conservation in the international campaign against several pressing global issues involving energy use, climate change, and poverty. PMID:25901325

  12. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche-efficiency.

    PubMed

    Liang, Jingjing; Zhou, Mo; Tobin, Patrick C; McGuire, A David; Reich, Peter B

    2015-05-01

    The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems. Previous research has focused on the positive role of biodiversity on resource acquisition (i.e., niche complementarity), but a lack of study on resource utilization efficiency, a link between resource and productivity, has rendered it difficult to quantify the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. Here we demonstrate that biodiversity loss reduces plant productivity, other things held constant, through theory, empirical evidence, and simulations under gradually relaxed assumptions. We developed a theoretical model named niche-efficiency to integrate niche complementarity and a heretofore-ignored mechanism of diminishing marginal productivity in quantifying the effects of biodiversity loss on plant productivity. Based on niche-efficiency, we created a relative productivity metric and a productivity impact index (PII) to assist in biological conservation and resource management. Relative productivity provides a standardized measure of the influence of biodiversity on individual productivity, and PII is a functionally based taxonomic index to assess individual species' inherent value in maintaining current ecosystem productivity. Empirical evidence from the Alaska boreal forest suggests that every 1% reduction in overall plant diversity could render an average of 0.23% decline in individual tree productivity. Out of the 283 plant species of the region, we found that large woody plants generally have greater PII values than other species. This theoretical model would facilitate the integration of biological conservation in the international campaign against several pressing global issues involving energy use, climate change, and poverty. PMID:25901325

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. The CELSS breadboard project: Plant production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knott, William M.

    1990-01-01

    NASA's Breadboard Project for the Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) program is described. The simplified schematic of a CELSS is given. A modular approach is taken to building the CELSS Breadboard. Each module is researched in order to develop a data set for each one prior to its integration into the complete system. The data being obtained from the Biomass Production Module or the Biomass Production Chamber is examined. The other primary modules, food processing and resource recovery or waste management, are discussed briefly. The crew habitat module is not discussed. The primary goal of the Breadboard Project is to scale-up research data to an integrated system capable of supporting one person in order to establish feasibility for the development and operation of a CELSS. Breadboard is NASA's first attempt at developing a large scale CELSS.

  1. 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

  2. Convergence of terrestrial plant production across global climate gradients.

    PubMed

    Michaletz, Sean T; Cheng, Dongliang; Kerkhoff, Andrew J; Enquist, Brian J

    2014-08-01

    Variation in terrestrial net primary production (NPP) with climate is thought to originate from a direct influence of temperature and precipitation on plant metabolism. However, variation in NPP may also result from an indirect influence of climate by means of plant age, stand biomass, growing season length and local adaptation. To identify the relative importance of direct and indirect climate effects, we extend metabolic scaling theory to link hypothesized climate influences with NPP, and assess hypothesized relationships using a global compilation of ecosystem woody plant biomass and production data. Notably, age and biomass explained most of the variation in production whereas temperature and precipitation explained almost none, suggesting that climate indirectly (not directly) influences production. Furthermore, our theory shows that variation in NPP is characterized by a common scaling relationship, suggesting that global change models can incorporate the mechanisms governing this relationship to improve predictions of future ecosystem function.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Composition of Plant Sterols and Stanols in Supplemented Food Products.

    PubMed

    Moreau, Robert A

    2015-01-01

    All fruits, vegetables, grains and other plant materials contain small amounts of plant sterols, which are essential for the function of the biological membranes in living cells. The average human consumption of plant sterols has been estimated to be about 150-350 mg/day and trace amounts of stanols (which are defined as saturated sterols such as sitostanol), but this number varies regionally and is higher for vegetarians. When consumed in the diet, plant sterols reduce the levels of serum cholesterol. In 1995 the first functional food product, Benecol spread (enriched in plant stanol fatty acid esters), was developed by Raisio and marketed, first in Finland and then globally. Since then many other functional food products have been developed and are now available globally. In addition to stanol esters, other functional food products contain plant sterol esters and/or free (unesterified) plant sterols and stanols. In essentially all of the current functional foods that are enriched in sterols and stanols, the feedstock from which the sterols and stanols are obtained is either tall oil (a byproduct/coproduct of the pulping of pine wood) or vegetable oil deodorizer distillate (a byproduct/coproduct of the refining of vegetable oils).

  6. Innovative applications of technology for nuclear power plant productivity improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Naser, J. A.

    2012-07-01

    The nuclear power industry in several countries is concerned about the ability to maintain high plant performance levels due to aging and obsolescence, knowledge drain, fewer plant staff, and new requirements and commitments. Current plant operations are labor-intensive due to the vast number of operational and support activities required by commonly used technology in most plants. These concerns increase as plants extend their operating life. In addition, there is the goal to further improve performance while reducing human errors and increasingly focus on reducing operations and maintenance costs. New plants are expected to perform more productively than current plants. In order to achieve and increase high productivity, it is necessary to look at innovative applications of modern technologies and new concepts of operation. The Electric Power Research Inst. is exploring and demonstrating modern technologies that enable cost-effectively maintaining current performance levels and shifts to even higher performance levels, as well as provide tools for high performance in new plants. Several modern technologies being explored can provide multiple benefits for a wide range of applications. Examples of these technologies include simulation, visualization, automation, human cognitive engineering, and information and communications technologies. Some applications using modern technologies are described. (authors)

  7. 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

  8. Plant growth promotion rhizobacteria in onion production.

    PubMed

    Colo, Josip; Hajnal-Jafari, Timea I; Durić, Simonida; Stamenov, Dragana; Hamidović, Saud

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the research was to examine the effect of rhizospheric bacteria Azotobacter chroococcum, Pseudomonas fluorescens (strains 1 and 2) and Bacillus subtilis on the growth and yield of onion and on the microorganisms in the rhizosphere of onion. The ability of microorganisms to produce indole-acetic acid (IAA), siderophores and to solubilize tricalcium phosphate (TCP) was also assessed. The experiment was conducted in field conditions, in chernozem type of soil. Bacillus subtilis was the best producer of IAA, whereas Pseudomonas fluorescens strains were better at producing siderophores and solubilizing phosphates. The longest seedling was observed with the application of Azotobacter chroococcum. The height of the plants sixty days after sowing was greater in all the inoculated variants than in the control. The highest onion yield was observed in Bacillus subtilis and Azotobacter chroococcum variants. The total number of bacteria and the number of Azotobacter chroococcum were larger in all the inoculated variants then in the control. The number of fungi decreased in most of the inoculated variants, whereas the number of actinomycetes decreased or remained the same. PMID:25033667

  9. Discourse Goals Affect the Process and Product of Nominal Metaphor Production.

    PubMed

    Utsumi, Akira; Sakamoto, Maki

    2015-10-01

    Although a large number of studies have addressed metaphor comprehension, only a few attempts have so far been made at exploring the process of metaphor production. Therefore, in this paper, we address the problem of how people generate nominal metaphors or identify an apt vehicle for a given topic of nominal metaphors. Specifically, we examine how the process and product of metaphor production differ between two discourse goals of metaphor, namely an explanatory purpose (e.g., to clarify) and a literary purpose (e.g., to aesthetically pleasing). Experiment 1 analyzed the metaphors (or vehicles) generated in the metaphor production task, and demonstrated that people identified more prototypical exemplars of the property to be attributed to the topic as a vehicle for explanatory metaphors than for literary metaphors. In addition, it was found that metaphors generated for the explanatory purpose were more apt and conventional, and had high topic-vehicle similarity than those generated for the literary purpose, while metaphors generated for the literary purpose were more familiar and imageable than those for the explanatory purpose. Experiment 2 used a priming paradigm to assess the online availability of prototypical and less prototypical members of the topic property during metaphor production. The result was that both prototypical and less prototypical members were activated in producing literary metaphors, while neither members were activated in the production of explanatory metaphors. These findings indicate that the process of metaphor production is affected by discourse goals of metaphor; less prototypical members of the category are searched for a vehicle during the production of literary metaphors, and thus literary metaphors are generated with less prototypical vehicles than explanatory metaphors.

  10. Steam explosion and its combinatorial pretreatment refining technology of plant biomass to bio-based products.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hong-Zhang; Liu, Zhi-Hua

    2015-06-01

    Pretreatment is a key unit operation affecting the refinery efficiency of plant biomass. However, the poor efficiency of pretreatment and the lack of basic theory are the main challenges to the industrial implementation of the plant biomass refinery. The purpose of this work is to review steam explosion and its combinatorial pretreatment as a means of overcoming the intrinsic characteristics of plant biomass, including recalcitrance, heterogeneity, multi-composition, and diversity. The main advantages of the selective use of steam explosion and other combinatorial pretreatments across the diversity of raw materials are introduced. Combinatorial pretreatment integrated with other unit operations is proposed as a means to exploit the high-efficiency production of bio-based products from plant biomass. Finally, several pilot- and demonstration-scale operations of the plant biomass refinery are described. Based on the principle of selective function and structure fractionation, and multi-level and directional composition conversion, an integrated process with the combinatorial pretreatments of steam explosion and other pretreatments as the core should be feasible and conform to the plant biomass refinery concept. Combinatorial pretreatments of steam explosion and other pretreatments should be further exploited based on the type and intrinsic characteristics of the plant biomass used, the bio-based products to be made, and the complementarity of the processes.

  11. Steam explosion and its combinatorial pretreatment refining technology of plant biomass to bio-based products.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hong-Zhang; Liu, Zhi-Hua

    2015-06-01

    Pretreatment is a key unit operation affecting the refinery efficiency of plant biomass. However, the poor efficiency of pretreatment and the lack of basic theory are the main challenges to the industrial implementation of the plant biomass refinery. The purpose of this work is to review steam explosion and its combinatorial pretreatment as a means of overcoming the intrinsic characteristics of plant biomass, including recalcitrance, heterogeneity, multi-composition, and diversity. The main advantages of the selective use of steam explosion and other combinatorial pretreatments across the diversity of raw materials are introduced. Combinatorial pretreatment integrated with other unit operations is proposed as a means to exploit the high-efficiency production of bio-based products from plant biomass. Finally, several pilot- and demonstration-scale operations of the plant biomass refinery are described. Based on the principle of selective function and structure fractionation, and multi-level and directional composition conversion, an integrated process with the combinatorial pretreatments of steam explosion and other pretreatments as the core should be feasible and conform to the plant biomass refinery concept. Combinatorial pretreatments of steam explosion and other pretreatments should be further exploited based on the type and intrinsic characteristics of the plant biomass used, the bio-based products to be made, and the complementarity of the processes. PMID:25904087

  12. Reassessing culture media and critical metabolites that affect adenovirus production.

    PubMed

    Shen, Chun Fang; Voyer, Robert; Tom, Roseanne; Kamen, Amine

    2010-01-01

    Adenovirus production is currently operated at low cell density because infection at high cell densities still results in reduced cell-specific productivity. To better understand nutrient limitation and inhibitory metabolites causing the reduction of specific yields at high cell densities, adenovirus production in HEK 293 cultures using NSFM 13 and CD 293 media were evaluated. For cultures using NSFM 13 medium, the cell-specific productivity decreased from 3,400 to 150 vp/cell (or 96% reduction) when the cell density at infection was increased from 1 to 3 x 10(6) cells/mL. In comparison, only 50% of reduction in the cell-specific productivity was observed under the same conditions for cultures using CD 293 medium. The effect of medium osmolality was found critical on viral production. Media were adjusted to an optimal osmolality of 290 mOsm/kg to facilitate comparison. Amino acids were not critical limiting factors. Potential limiting nutrients including vitamins, energy metabolites, bases and nucleotides, or inhibitory metabolites (lactate and ammonia) were supplemented to infected cultures to further investigate their effect on the adenovirus production. Accumulation of lactate and ammonia in a culture infected at 3 x 10(6) cells/mL contributed to about 20% reduction of the adenovirus production yield, whereas nutrient limitation appeared primarily responsible for the decline in the viral production when NSFM 13 medium was used. Overall, the results indicate that multiple factors contribute to limiting the specific production yield at cell densities beyond 1 x 10(6) cells/mL and underline the need to further investigate and develop media for better adenoviral vector productions.

  13. 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

  14. Automated production of plant-based vaccines and pharmaceuticals.

    PubMed

    Wirz, Holger; Sauer-Budge, Alexis F; Briggs, John; Sharpe, Aaron; Shu, Sudong; Sharon, Andre

    2012-12-01

    A fully automated "factory" was developed that uses tobacco plants to produce large quantities of vaccines and other therapeutic biologics within weeks. This first-of-a-kind factory takes advantage of a plant viral vector technology to produce specific proteins within the leaves of rapidly growing plant biomass. The factory's custom-designed robotic machines plant seeds, nurture the growing plants, introduce a viral vector that directs the plant to produce a target protein, and harvest the biomass once the target protein has accumulated in the plants-all in compliance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines (e.g., current Good Manufacturing Practices). The factory was designed to be time, cost, and space efficient. The plants are grown in custom multiplant trays. Robots ride up and down a track, servicing the plants and delivering the trays from the lighted, irrigated growth modules to each processing station as needed. Using preprogrammed robots and processing equipment eliminates the need for human contact, preventing potential contamination of the process and economizing the operation. To quickly produce large quantities of protein-based medicines, we transformed a laboratory-based biological process and scaled it into an industrial process. This enables quick, safe, and cost-effective vaccine production that would be required in case of a pandemic.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Factors Affecting Pheromone Production by the Pepper Weevil, Anthonomus eugenii Cano (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and Collection Efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Eller, Fred J.; Palmquist, Debra E.

    2014-01-01

    Several factors affecting pheromone production by male pepper weevils, Anthonomus eugenii Cano (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) as well as collection efficiency were investigated. Factors studied included: porous polymer adsorbents (Tenax versus Super Q), male age, time of day, male density, and male diet. Super Q was found to be a superior adsorbent for the male-produced alcohols and geranic acid as well as the plant-produced E-β-ocimene. Pheromone production increased with male age up to about age 15 days old and then tapered off. Male pepper weevils produced the highest amount of pheromone between noon and 2 pm (i.e., 4 to 6 h after “lights on”) and were producing ca. 800 ng/h during this period. Thereafter, pheromone production decreased and was extremely low during the scotophase (i.e., ca. 12 ng/h). Male pepper weevil density had a significant effect on both release rate and pheromone composition. Pheromone production on a per male basis was highest for individual males and the percentage of geranic acid in the blend was lowest for individual males. Male pepper weevils produced only extremely low amounts of pheromone when feeding on artificial diet; however, they produced very high amounts when on fresh peppers. Together, this information will be useful in designing better attractant lures for pepper weevils. PMID:26462948

  18. Chemical factors affecting fission product transport in severe LMFBR accidents

    SciTech Connect

    Wichner, R.P.; Jolley, R.L.; Gat, U.; Rodgers, B.R.

    1984-10-01

    This study was performed as a part of a larger evaluation effort on LMFBR accident, source-term estimation. Purpose was to provide basic chemical information regarding fission product, sodium coolant, and structural material interactions required to perform estimation of fission product transport under LMFBR accident conditions. Emphasis was placed on conditions within the reactor vessel; containment vessel conditions are discussed only briefly.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Plant extracts as natural antioxidants in meat and meat products.

    PubMed

    Shah, Manzoor Ahmad; Bosco, Sowriappan John Don; Mir, Shabir Ahmad

    2014-09-01

    Antioxidants are used to minimize the oxidative changes in meat and meat products. Oxidative changes may have negative effects on the quality of meat and meat products, causing changes in their sensory and nutritional properties. Although synthetic antioxidants have already been used but in recent years, the demand for natural antioxidants has been increased mainly because of adverse effects of synthetic antioxidants. Thus most of the recent investigations have been directed towards the identification of natural antioxidants from various plant sources. Plant extracts have been prepared using different solvents and extraction methods. Grape seed, green tea, pine bark, rosemary, pomegranate, nettle and cinnamon have exhibited similar or better antioxidant properties compared to some synthetic ones. This review provides the recent information on plant extracts used as natural antioxidants in meat and meat products, specifically red meat.

  5. Plant extracts as natural antioxidants in meat and meat products.

    PubMed

    Shah, Manzoor Ahmad; Bosco, Sowriappan John Don; Mir, Shabir Ahmad

    2014-09-01

    Antioxidants are used to minimize the oxidative changes in meat and meat products. Oxidative changes may have negative effects on the quality of meat and meat products, causing changes in their sensory and nutritional properties. Although synthetic antioxidants have already been used but in recent years, the demand for natural antioxidants has been increased mainly because of adverse effects of synthetic antioxidants. Thus most of the recent investigations have been directed towards the identification of natural antioxidants from various plant sources. Plant extracts have been prepared using different solvents and extraction methods. Grape seed, green tea, pine bark, rosemary, pomegranate, nettle and cinnamon have exhibited similar or better antioxidant properties compared to some synthetic ones. This review provides the recent information on plant extracts used as natural antioxidants in meat and meat products, specifically red meat. PMID:24824531

  6. The demographic consequences of mutualism: ants increase host-plant fruit production but not population growth.

    PubMed

    Ford, Kevin R; Ness, Joshua H; Bronstein, Judith L; Morris, William F

    2015-10-01

    The impact of mutualists on a partner's demography depends on how they affect the partner's multiple vital rates and how those vital rates, in turn, affect population growth. However, mutualism studies rarely measure effects on multiple vital rates or integrate them to assess the ultimate impact on population growth. We used vital rate data, population models and simulations of long-term population dynamics to quantify the demographic impact of a guild of ant species on the plant Ferocactus wislizeni. The ants feed at the plant's extrafloral nectaries and attack herbivores attempting to consume reproductive organs. Ant-guarded plants produced significantly more fruit, but ants had no significant effect on individual growth or survival. After integrating ant effects across these vital rates, we found that projected population growth was not significantly different between unguarded and ant-guarded plants because population growth was only weakly influenced by differences in fruit production (though strongly influenced by differences in individual growth and survival). However, simulations showed that ants could positively affect long-term plant population dynamics through services provided during rare but important events (herbivore outbreaks that reduce survival or years of high seedling recruitment associated with abundant precipitation). Thus, in this seemingly clear example of mutualism, the interaction may actually yield no clear benefit to plant population growth, or if it does, may only do so through the actions of the ants during rare events. These insights demonstrate the value of taking a demographic approach to studying the consequences of mutualism.

  7. The components of crop productivity: measuring and modeling plant metabolism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugbee, B.

    1995-01-01

    Several investigators in the CELSS program have demonstrated that crop plants can be remarkably productive in optimal environments where plants are limited only by incident radiation. Radiation use efficiencies of 0.4 to 0.7 g biomass per mol of incident photons have been measured for crops in several laboratories. Some early published values for radiation use efficiency (1 g mol-1) were inflated due to the effect of side lighting. Sealed chambers are the basic research module for crop studies for space. Such chambers allow the measurement of radiation and CO2 fluxes, thus providing values for three determinants of plant growth: radiation absorption, photosynthetic efficiency (quantum yield), and respiration efficiency (carbon use efficiency). Continuous measurement of each of these parameters over the plant life cycle has provided a blueprint for daily growth rates, and is the basis for modeling crop productivity based on component metabolic processes. Much of what has been interpreted as low photosynthetic efficiency is really the result of reduced leaf expansion and poor radiation absorption. Measurements and models of short-term (minutes to hours) and long-term (days to weeks) plant metabolic rates have enormously improved our understanding of plant environment interactions in ground-based growth chambers and are critical to understanding plant responses to the space environment.

  8. Gene Delivery into Plant Cells for Recombinant Protein Production

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Qiang

    2015-01-01

    Recombinant proteins are primarily produced from cultures of mammalian, insect, and bacteria cells. In recent years, the development of deconstructed virus-based vectors has allowed plants to become a viable platform for recombinant protein production, with advantages in versatility, speed, cost, scalability, and safety over the current production paradigms. In this paper, we review the recent progress in the methodology of agroinfiltration, a solution to overcome the challenge of transgene delivery into plant cells for large-scale manufacturing of recombinant proteins. General gene delivery methodologies in plants are first summarized, followed by extensive discussion on the application and scalability of each agroinfiltration method. New development of a spray-based agroinfiltration and its application on field-grown plants is highlighted. The discussion of agroinfiltration vectors focuses on their applications for producing complex and heteromultimeric proteins and is updated with the development of bridge vectors. Progress on agroinfiltration in Nicotiana and non-Nicotiana plant hosts is subsequently showcased in context of their applications for producing high-value human biologics and low-cost and high-volume industrial enzymes. These new advancements in agroinfiltration greatly enhance the robustness and scalability of transgene delivery in plants, facilitating the adoption of plant transient expression systems for manufacturing recombinant proteins with a broad range of applications. PMID:26075275

  9. Gene delivery into plant cells for recombinant protein production.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qiang; Lai, Huafang

    2015-01-01

    Recombinant proteins are primarily produced from cultures of mammalian, insect, and bacteria cells. In recent years, the development of deconstructed virus-based vectors has allowed plants to become a viable platform for recombinant protein production, with advantages in versatility, speed, cost, scalability, and safety over the current production paradigms. In this paper, we review the recent progress in the methodology of agroinfiltration, a solution to overcome the challenge of transgene delivery into plant cells for large-scale manufacturing of recombinant proteins. General gene delivery methodologies in plants are first summarized, followed by extensive discussion on the application and scalability of each agroinfiltration method. New development of a spray-based agroinfiltration and its application on field-grown plants is highlighted. The discussion of agroinfiltration vectors focuses on their applications for producing complex and heteromultimeric proteins and is updated with the development of bridge vectors. Progress on agroinfiltration in Nicotiana and non-Nicotiana plant hosts is subsequently showcased in context of their applications for producing high-value human biologics and low-cost and high-volume industrial enzymes. These new advancements in agroinfiltration greatly enhance the robustness and scalability of transgene delivery in plants, facilitating the adoption of plant transient expression systems for manufacturing recombinant proteins with a broad range of applications. PMID:26075275

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Process simulation and economical evaluation of enzymatic biodiesel production plant.

    PubMed

    Sotoft, Lene Fjerbaek; Rong, Ben-Guang; Christensen, Knud V; Norddahl, Birgir

    2010-07-01

    Process simulation and economical evaluation of an enzymatic biodiesel production plant has been carried out. Enzymatic biodiesel production from high quality rapeseed oil and methanol has been investigated for solvent free and cosolvent production processes. Several scenarios have been investigated with different production scales (8 and 200 mio. kg biodiesel/year) and enzyme price. The cosolvent production process is found to be most expensive and is not a viable choice, while the solvent free process is viable for the larger scale production of 200 mio. kg biodiesel/year with the current enzyme price. With the suggested enzyme price of the future, both the small and large scale solvent free production proved viable. The product price was estimated to be 0.73-1.49 euro/kg biodiesel with the current enzyme price and 0.05-0.75 euro/kg with the enzyme price of the future for solvent free process.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Root traits contributing to plant productivity under drought.

    PubMed

    Comas, Louise H; Becker, Steven R; Cruz, Von Mark V; Byrne, Patrick F; Dierig, David A

    2013-11-05

    Geneticists and breeders are positioned to breed plants with root traits that improve productivity under drought. However, a better understanding of root functional traits and how traits are related to whole plant strategies to increase crop productivity under different drought conditions is needed. Root traits associated with maintaining plant productivity under drought include small fine root diameters, long specific root length, and considerable root length density, especially at depths in soil with available water. In environments with late season water deficits, small xylem diameters in targeted seminal roots save soil water deep in the soil profile for use during crop maturation and result in improved yields. Capacity for deep root growth and large xylem diameters in deep roots may also improve root acquisition of water when ample water at depth is available. Xylem pit anatomy that makes xylem less "leaky" and prone to cavitation warrants further exploration holding promise that such traits may improve plant productivity in water-limited environments without negatively impacting yield under adequate water conditions. Rapid resumption of root growth following soil rewetting may improve plant productivity under episodic drought. Genetic control of many of these traits through breeding appears feasible. Several recent reviews have covered methods for screening root traits but an appreciation for the complexity of root systems (e.g., functional differences between fine and coarse roots) needs to be paired with these methods to successfully identify relevant traits for crop improvement. Screening of root traits at early stages in plant development can proxy traits at mature stages but verification is needed on a case by case basis that traits are linked to increased crop productivity under drought. Examples in lesquerella (Physaria) and rice (Oryza) show approaches to phenotyping of root traits and current understanding of root trait genetics for breeding.

  16. Root traits contributing to plant productivity under drought

    PubMed Central

    Comas, Louise H.; Becker, Steven R.; Cruz, Von Mark V.; Byrne, Patrick F.; Dierig, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Geneticists and breeders are positioned to breed plants with root traits that improve productivity under drought. However, a better understanding of root functional traits and how traits are related to whole plant strategies to increase crop productivity under different drought conditions is needed. Root traits associated with maintaining plant productivity under drought include small fine root diameters, long specific root length, and considerable root length density, especially at depths in soil with available water. In environments with late season water deficits, small xylem diameters in targeted seminal roots save soil water deep in the soil profile for use during crop maturation and result in improved yields. Capacity for deep root growth and large xylem diameters in deep roots may also improve root acquisition of water when ample water at depth is available. Xylem pit anatomy that makes xylem less “leaky” and prone to cavitation warrants further exploration holding promise that such traits may improve plant productivity in water-limited environments without negatively impacting yield under adequate water conditions. Rapid resumption of root growth following soil rewetting may improve plant productivity under episodic drought. Genetic control of many of these traits through breeding appears feasible. Several recent reviews have covered methods for screening root traits but an appreciation for the complexity of root systems (e.g., functional differences between fine and coarse roots) needs to be paired with these methods to successfully identify relevant traits for crop improvement. Screening of root traits at early stages in plant development can proxy traits at mature stages but verification is needed on a case by case basis that traits are linked to increased crop productivity under drought. Examples in lesquerella (Physaria) and rice (Oryza) show approaches to phenotyping of root traits and current understanding of root trait genetics for breeding

  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. Some factors affecting tannase production by Aspergillus niger Van Tieghem

    PubMed Central

    Aboubakr, Hamada A.; El-Sahn, Malak A.; El-Banna, Amr A.

    2013-01-01

    One variable at a time procedure was used to evaluate the effect of qualitative variables on the production of tannase from Aspergillus niger Van Tieghem. These variables including: fermentation technique, agitation condition, tannins source, adding carbohydrates incorporation with tannic acid, nitrogen source type and divalent cations. Submerged fermentation under intermittent shaking gave the highest total tannase activity. Maximum extracellular tannase activity (305 units/50 mL) was attained in medium containing tannic acid as tannins source and sodium nitrate as nitrogen source at 30 °C for 96 h. All added carbohydrates showed significant adverse effects on the production of tannase. All tested divalent cations significantly decreased tannase production. Moreover, split plot design was carried out to study the effect of fermentation temperature and fermentation time on tannase production. The results indicated maximum tannase production (312.7 units/50 mL) at 35 °C for 96 h. In other words, increasing fermentation temperature from 30 °C to 35 °C resulted in increasing tannase production. PMID:24294255

  19. [Production of plant-derived natural products in yeast cells - A review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong; Dai, Zhubo; Zhang, Xueli

    2016-03-01

    Plant-derived natural products (PNPs) have been widely used in pharmaceutical and nutritional fields. So far, the main method to produce PNPs is extracting them from their original plants, however, there remains lots of problems. With the concept of synthetic biology, construction of yeast cell factories for production of PNPs provides an alternative way. In this review, we will focus on PNPs' market and application, research progress for production of artemisinin, research progress for production of terpenes, alkaloids and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFAs) and recent technology development to give a brief introduction of construction of yeast cells for production of PNPs.

  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. Nuclear DNA content affects the productivity of conifer forests by altering hydraulic architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alday, Josu; Resco de Dios, Víctor

    2014-05-01

    Predictions of future global climate rely on feedbacks between terrestrial vegetation and the global carbon cycle, but the exact mechanisms underlying this relationship are still being discussed. One of the key knowledge gaps lies on the scaling of cellular processes to the ecosystem level. Here we examine whether an under-explored plant trait, inter-specific variation in the bulk amount of DNA in unreplicated somatic cells (2C DNA content), can explain inter-specific variation in the maximum productivity of conifer forests. We expected 2C DNA content to be negatively related to conifer productivity because: 1) it is positively correlated with cell volume (which, in turn, potentially affects structural features such as leaf mass area, a strong predictor of photosynthetic capacity); 2) it is positively correlated with stomatal size (with larger stomata leading to lower overall stomatal conductance and, by extension, lower CO2 uptake); and 3) larger genome sizes may reduce P availability in RNA (which has been hypothesized to slow growth). We present the results of regression and independent contrasts in different monospecific forests encompassing a 52º latitudinal gradient, each being dominated by 1 of 35 different conifer species. Contrary to expectations, we observed a positive correlation between genome size and maximum Gross Primary Productivity (R2 = 0.47) and also between genome size maximum tree height (R2 = 0.27). This correlation was apparently driven by the effects of genome size on stem hydraulics, since 2C DNA was positively correlated with wood density (R2 = 0.40) and also with resistance to cavitation (P50, R2 = 0.28). That is, increased genome sizes have a positive effect on the productivity of conifer forests by affecting the vascular tissues to increase their capacity for water transport. Our results shed a new light on the evolution of the vascular system of conifer forests and how they affect ecosystem productivity, and indicate the potential to

  2. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

    Productivity, stability, and competitive interactions among ecosystem components within aridlands are key processes related directly to water in deserts. This project assumes that integrated aspects of plant metabolism provide insight into the structure and function of plant communities and ecosystems. While it is difficult to extrapolate from instantaneous physiological observations to higher scales, such as whole plant performance or to the interactions between plants as components of ecosystems, several key aspects of plant metabolism are scalable. Analyses of stable isotopic composition in plant tissues at natural abundance levels provide a useful tool that can provide insight into the consequences of physiological processes over temporal and spatial scales. Some plant processes continuously fractionate among light and heavy stable isotopic forms of an element; over time this results in integrated measures of plant metabolism. For example, carbon isotope fractionation during photosynthesis results in leaf carbon isotopic composition that is a measure of the set-point for photosynthetic metabolism and of water-use efficiency. Thus it provides information on the temporal scaling of a key physiological process.

  3. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants

    SciTech Connect

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

    Productivity, stability, and competitive interactions among ecosystem components within aridlands are key processes related directly to water in deserts. This project assumes that integrated aspects of plant metabolism provide insight into the structure and function of plant communities and ecosystems. While it is difficult to extrapolate from instantaneous physiological observations to higher scales, such as whole plant performance or to the interactions between plants as components of ecosystems, several key aspects of plant metabolism are scalable. Analyses of stable isotopic composition in plant tissues at natural abundance levels provide a useful tool that can provide insight into the consequences of physiological processes over temporal and spatial scales. Some plant processes continuously fractionate among light and heavy stable isotopic forms of an element; over time this results in integrated measures of plant metabolism. For example, carbon isotope fractionation during photosynthesis results in leaf carbon isotopic composition that is a measure of the set-point for photosynthetic metabolism and of water-use efficiency. Thus it provides information on the temporal scaling of a key physiological process.

  4. Ethylene production throughout growth and development of plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wheeler, Raymond M.; Peterson, Barbara V.; Stutte, Gary W.

    2004-01-01

    Ethylene production by 10 or 20 m2 stands of wheat, soybean, lettuce, potato, and tomato was monitored throughout growth and development in an atmospherically closed plant chamber. Chamber ethylene levels varied among species and rose during periods of canopy expansion and rapid growth for all species. Following this, ethylene levels either declined during seed fill and maturation for wheat and soybean, or remained relatively constant for potato and tomato (during flowering and early fruit development). Lettuce plants were harvested during rapid growth and peak ethylene production. Chamber ethylene levels increased rapidly during tomato ripening, reaching concentrations about 10 times that measured during vegetative growth. The highest ethylene production rates during vegetative growth ranged from 1.6 to 2.5 nmol m-2 d-1 during rapid growth of lettuce and wheat stands, or about 0.3 to 0.5 nmol g-1 fresh weight per hour. Estimates of stand ethylene production during tomato ripening showed that rates reached 43 nmol m-2 d-1 in one study and 93 nmol m-2 d-1 in a second study with higher lighting, or about 50x that of the rate during vegetative growth of tomato. In a related test with potato, the photoperiod was extended from 12 to 24 hours (continuous light) at 58 days after planting (to increase tuber yield), but this change in the environment caused a sharp increase in ethylene production from the basal rate of 0.4 to 6.2 nmol m-2 d-1. Following this, the photoperiod was changed back to 12 h at 61 days and ethylene levels decreased. The results suggest three separate categories of ethylene production were observed with whole stands of plants: 1) production during rapid vegetative growth, 2) production during climacteric fruit ripening, and 3) production from environmental stress.

  5. Techno-economical efficiency and productivity change of wastewater treatment plants: the role of internal and external factors.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Sancho, F; Molinos-Senante, M; Sala-Garrido, R

    2011-12-01

    Efficiency and productivity are important measures for identifying best practice in businesses and optimising resource-use. This study analyses how these two measures change across the period 2003-2008 for 196 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Spain, by using the benchmarking methods of Data Envelopment Analysis and the Malmquist Productivity Index. To identify which variables contribute to the sustainability of the WWTPs, differences in efficiency scores and productivity indices for external factors are also investigated. Our results indicate that both efficiency and productivity decreased over the five years. We verify that the productivity drop is primarily explained by technical change. Furthermore, certain external variables affected WWTP efficiency, including plant size, treatment technology and energy consumption. However, plants with low energy consumption are the only ones which improve their productivity. Finally, the benchmarking analyses proved to be useful as management tools in the wastewater sector, by providing vital information for improving the sustainability of plants. PMID:22037729

  6. Techno-economical efficiency and productivity change of wastewater treatment plants: the role of internal and external factors.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Sancho, F; Molinos-Senante, M; Sala-Garrido, R

    2011-12-01

    Efficiency and productivity are important measures for identifying best practice in businesses and optimising resource-use. This study analyses how these two measures change across the period 2003-2008 for 196 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Spain, by using the benchmarking methods of Data Envelopment Analysis and the Malmquist Productivity Index. To identify which variables contribute to the sustainability of the WWTPs, differences in efficiency scores and productivity indices for external factors are also investigated. Our results indicate that both efficiency and productivity decreased over the five years. We verify that the productivity drop is primarily explained by technical change. Furthermore, certain external variables affected WWTP efficiency, including plant size, treatment technology and energy consumption. However, plants with low energy consumption are the only ones which improve their productivity. Finally, the benchmarking analyses proved to be useful as management tools in the wastewater sector, by providing vital information for improving the sustainability of plants.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 9 CFR 590.24 - Egg products plants requiring continuous inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Egg products plants requiring..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION INSPECTION OF EGGS AND EGG PRODUCTS (EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT) Scope of Inspection § 590.24 Egg products plants requiring continuous inspection. No plant...

  11. 9 CFR 590.24 - Egg products plants requiring continuous inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Egg products plants requiring..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION INSPECTION OF EGGS AND EGG PRODUCTS (EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT) Scope of Inspection § 590.24 Egg products plants requiring continuous inspection. No plant...

  12. 9 CFR 590.24 - Egg products plants requiring continuous inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Egg products plants requiring..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION INSPECTION OF EGGS AND EGG PRODUCTS (EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT) Scope of Inspection § 590.24 Egg products plants requiring continuous inspection. No plant...

  13. 9 CFR 590.24 - Egg products plants requiring continuous inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Egg products plants requiring..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION INSPECTION OF EGGS AND EGG PRODUCTS (EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT) Scope of Inspection § 590.24 Egg products plants requiring continuous inspection. No plant...

  14. 9 CFR 590.24 - Egg products plants requiring continuous inspection.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Egg products plants requiring..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION INSPECTION OF EGGS AND EGG PRODUCTS (EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION ACT) Scope of Inspection § 590.24 Egg products plants requiring continuous inspection. No plant...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Influence of Plant Community Composition on Biomass Production in Planted Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Henschell, Max A.; Webster, Christopher R.; Flaspohler, David J.; Fortin, Chad R.

    2015-01-01

    United States energy policy mandates increased use of renewable fuels. Restoring grasslands could contribute to a portion of this requirement through biomass harvest for bioenergy use. We investigated which plant community characteristics are associated with differences in biomass yield from a range of realistic native prairie plantings (n = 11; i.e., conservation planting, restoration, and wildlife cover). Our primary goal was to understand whether patterns in plant community composition and the Floristic Quality Index (FQI) were related to productivity as evidenced by dormant season biomass yield. FQI is an objective measure of how closely a plant community represents that of a pre-European settlement community. Our research was conducted in planted fields of native tallgrass prairie species, and provided a gradient in floristic quality index, species richness, species diversity, and species evenness in south-central Wisconsin during 2008 and 2009. We used a network of 15 randomly located 1 m2 plots within each field to characterize the plant community and estimate biomass yield by clipping the plots at the end of each growing season. While plant community composition and diversity varied significantly by planting type, biomass yield did not vary significantly among planting types (ANOVA; P >0.05). Biomass yield was positively correlated with plant community evenness, richness, C4 grass cover, and floristic quality index, but negatively correlated with plant species diversity in our multi-season multiple linear mixed effects models. Concordantly, plots with biomass yield in the lowest quartile (biomass yield < 3500 kh/ha) had 8% lower plant community evenness and 9% lower FQI scores than those in the upper quartile (biomass yield > 5800 kh/ha). Our results suggest that promoting the establishment of fields with high species evenness and floristic quality may increase biomass yield, while simultaneously supporting biodiversity. PMID:26018412

  18. Weed management, training, and irrigation practices for organic production of trailing blackberry: II. Soil and plant nutrient concentrations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Organic production of blackberries is increasing, but there is relatively little known about how production practices affect plant and soil nutrient status. The impact of cultivar (‘Black Diamond’ and ‘Marion’), weed management (weed mat, hand weeding, and no weeding), primocane training time (Augus...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Cameroonian Medicinal Plants: Pharmacology and Derived Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Kuete, Victor; Efferth, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Many developing countries including Cameroon have mortality patterns that reflect high levels of infectious diseases and the risk of death during pregnancy and childbirth, in addition to cancers, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases that account for most deaths in the developed world. Several medicinal plants are used traditionally for their treatment. In this review, plants used in Cameroonian traditional medicine with evidence for the activities of their crude extracts and/or derived products have been discussed. A considerable number of plant extracts and isolated compounds possess significant antimicrobial, anti-parasitic including antimalarial, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetes, and antioxidant effects. Most of the biologically active compounds belong to terpenoids, phenolics, and alkaloids. Terpenoids from Cameroonian plants showed best activities as anti-parasitic, but rather poor antimicrobial effects. The best antimicrobial, anti-proliferative, and antioxidant compounds were phenolics. In conclusion, many medicinal plants traditionally used in Cameroon to treat various ailments displayed good activities in vitro. This explains the endeavor of Cameroonian research institutes in drug discovery from indigenous medicinal plants. However, much work is still to be done to standardize methodologies and to study the mechanisms of action of isolated natural products. PMID:21833168

  2. Sex of littermate twin affects lifetime ewe productivity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ewe productivity is synonymous with annual litter-weight weaned (LWW) per ewe exposed to rams for breeding, and LWW is largely a function of number of lambs born (NLB) and weaned (NLW). Selecting for LWW should increase litter size and numbers of ewe-ram co-twins. Thus, we used historical records to...

  3. How lingering representations of abandoned context words affect speech production.

    PubMed

    Tydgat, Ilse; Diependaele, Kevin; Hartsuiker, Robert J; Pickering, Martin J

    2012-07-01

    Four experiments tested whether and how initially planned but then abandoned speech can influence the production of a subsequent resumption. Participants named initial pictures, which were sometimes suddenly replaced by target pictures that were related in meaning or word form or were unrelated. They then had to stop and resume with the name of the target picture. Target picture naming latencies were measured separately for trials in which the initial speech was skipped, interrupted, or completed. Semantically related initial pictures helped the production of the target word, although the effect dissipated once the utterance of the initial picture name had been completed. In contrast, phonologically related initial pictures hindered the production of the target word, but only for trials in which the name of the initial picture had at least partly been uttered. This semantic facilitation and phonological interference did not depend on the time interval between the initial and target picture, which was either varied between 200 ms and 400 ms (Experiments 1-2) or was kept constant at 300 ms (Experiments 3-4). We discuss the implications of these results for models of speech self-monitoring and for models of problem-free word production.

  4. How lingering representations of abandoned context words affect speech production.

    PubMed

    Tydgat, Ilse; Diependaele, Kevin; Hartsuiker, Robert J; Pickering, Martin J

    2012-07-01

    Four experiments tested whether and how initially planned but then abandoned speech can influence the production of a subsequent resumption. Participants named initial pictures, which were sometimes suddenly replaced by target pictures that were related in meaning or word form or were unrelated. They then had to stop and resume with the name of the target picture. Target picture naming latencies were measured separately for trials in which the initial speech was skipped, interrupted, or completed. Semantically related initial pictures helped the production of the target word, although the effect dissipated once the utterance of the initial picture name had been completed. In contrast, phonologically related initial pictures hindered the production of the target word, but only for trials in which the name of the initial picture had at least partly been uttered. This semantic facilitation and phonological interference did not depend on the time interval between the initial and target picture, which was either varied between 200 ms and 400 ms (Experiments 1-2) or was kept constant at 300 ms (Experiments 3-4). We discuss the implications of these results for models of speech self-monitoring and for models of problem-free word production. PMID:22673067

  5. How Soil Roughness Affects Runoff and Sediment Production?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Effects of soil surface roughness on runoff and sediment production have not been clearly quantified, mostly due to the lack of a logical separation between geometric (i.e., surface microtopography) and process (i.e., runoff generation, soil detachment by raindrop and runoff) scales. In this resea...

  6. Context dependency and saturating effects of loss of rare soil microbes on plant productivity.

    PubMed

    Hol, W H Gera; de Boer, Wietse; de Hollander, Mattias; Kuramae, Eiko E; Meisner, Annelein; van der Putten, Wim H

    2015-01-01

    Land use intensification is associated with loss of biodiversity and altered ecosystem functioning. Until now most studies on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning focused on random loss of species, while loss of rare species that usually are the first to disappear received less attention. Here we test if the effect of rare microbial species loss on plant productivity depends on the origin of the microbial soil community. Soils were sampled from three land use types at two farms. Microbial communities with increasing loss of rare species were created by inoculating sterilized soils with serially diluted soil suspensions. After 8 months of incubation, the effects of the different soil communities on abiotic soil properties, soil processes, microbial community composition, and plant productivity was measured. Dilution treatments resulted in increasing species loss, which was in relation to abundance of bacteria in the original field soil, without affecting most of the other soil parameters and processes. Microbial species loss affected plant biomass positively, negatively or not at all, depending on soil origin, but not on land use history. Even within fields the effects of dilution on plant biomass varied between replicates, suggesting heterogeneity in microbial community composition. The effects of medium and severe species loss on plant biomass were similar, pointing toward a saturating effect of species loss. We conclude that changes in the composition of the soil microbial community, including rare species loss, can affect plant productivity, depending on the composition of the initial microbial community. Future work on the relation between function and species loss effects should address this variation by including multiple sampling origins.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Plant traits mediate consumer and nutrient control on plant community productivity and diversity.

    PubMed

    Eskelinen, Anu; Harrison, Susan; Tuomi, Maria

    2012-12-01

    The interactive effects of consumers and nutrients on terrestrial plant communities, and the role of plant functional traits in mediating these responses, are poorly known. We carried out a six-year full-factorial field experiment using mammalian herbivore exclusion and fertilization in two habitat types (fertile and infertile alpine tundra heaths) that differed in plant functional traits related to resource acquisition and palatability. Infertile habitats were dominated by species with traits indicative of a slow-growing strategy: high C:N ratio, low specific leaf area, and high condensed tannins. We found that herbivory counteracted the effect of fertilization on biomass, and that this response differed between the two habitats and was correlated with plant functional traits. Live biomass dominated the treatment responses in infertile habitats, whereas litter accumulation dominated the treatment responses in fertile habitats and was strongly negatively associated with resident community tannin concentration. Species richness declined under herbivore exclusion and fertilization in fertile habitats, where litter accumulation was greatest. Community means of plant C:N ratio predicted treatment effects on diversity: fertilization decreased and herbivory increased dominance in communities originally dominated by plants with high C:N, while fertilization increased and herbivory diminished dominance in communities where low C:N species were abundant. Our results highlight the close interdependence between consumer effects, soil nutrients, and plant functional traits and suggest that plant traits may provide an improved understanding of how consumers and nutrients influence plant community productivity and diversity.

  10. The production of unusual fatty acids in transgenic plants.

    PubMed

    Napier, Johnathan A

    2007-01-01

    The ability to genetically engineer plants has facilitated the generation of oilseeds synthesizing non-native fatty acids. Two particular classes of fatty acids are considered in this review. First, so-called industrial fatty acids, which usually contain functional groups such as hydroxyl, epoxy, or acetylenic bonds, and second, very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids normally found in fish oils and marine microorganisms. For industrial fatty acids, there has been limited progress toward obtaining high-level accumulation of these products in transgenic plants. For very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, although they have a much more complex biosynthesis, accumulation of some target fatty acids has been remarkably successful. In this review, we consider the probable factors responsible for these different outcomes, as well as the potential for further optimization of the transgenic production of unusual fatty acids in transgenic plants.

  11. Nuclear driven water decomposition plant for hydrogen production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parker, G. H.; Brecher, L. E.; Farbman, G. H.

    1976-01-01

    The conceptual design of a hydrogen production plant using a very-high-temperature nuclear reactor (VHTR) to energize a hybrid electrolytic-thermochemical system for water decomposition has been prepared. A graphite-moderated helium-cooled VHTR is used to produce 1850 F gas for electric power generation and 1600 F process heat for the water-decomposition process which uses sulfur compounds and promises performance superior to normal water electrolysis or other published thermochemical processes. The combined cycle operates at an overall thermal efficiency in excess of 45%, and the overall economics of hydrogen production by this plant have been evaluated predicated on a consistent set of economic ground rules. The conceptual design and evaluation efforts have indicated that development of this type of nuclear-driven water-decomposition plant will permit large-scale economic generation of hydrogen in the 1990s.

  12. Effectiveness of protected areas in maintaining plant production.

    PubMed

    Tang, Zhiyao; Fang, Jingyun; Sun, Jinyu; Gaston, Kevin J

    2011-01-01

    Given the central importance of protected area systems in local, regional and global conservation strategies, it is vital that there is a good understanding of their effectiveness in maintaining ecological functioning. Here, we provide, to our knowledge, the first such global analysis, focusing on plant production, a "supporting" ecosystem function necessary for multiple other ecosystem services. We use data on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) as a measure of variation in plant production in the core, boundary and surroundings of more than 1000 large protected areas over a 25 year period. Forested protected areas were higher (or similar), and those non-forested were lower (or similar), in NDVI than their surrounding areas, and these differences have been sustained. The differences from surrounding areas have increased for evergreen broadleaf forests and barren grounds, decreased for grasslands, and remained similar for deciduous forests, woodlands, and shrublands, reflecting different pressures on those surroundings. These results are consistent with protected areas being effective both in the representation and maintenance of plant production. However, widespread overall increases in NDVI during the study period suggest that plant production within the core of non-forested protected areas has become higher than it was in the surroundings of those areas in 1982, highlighting that whilst the distinctiveness of protected areas from their surroundings has persisted the nature of that difference has changed.

  13. Biotic interactions in the rhizosphere: a diverse cooperative enterprise for plant productivity.

    PubMed

    De-la-Peña, Clelia; Loyola-Vargas, Víctor M

    2014-10-01

    Microbes and plants have evolved biochemical mechanisms to communicate with each other. The molecules responsible for such communication are secreted during beneficial or harmful interactions. Hundreds of these molecules secreted into the rhizosphere have been identified, and their functions are being studied in order to understand the mechanisms of interaction and communication among the different members of the rhizosphere community. The importance of root and microbe secretion to the underground habitat in improving crop productivity is increasingly recognized, with the discovery and characterization of new secreting compounds found in the rhizosphere. Different omic approaches, such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, have expanded our understanding of the first signals between microbes and plants. In this review, we highlight the more recent discoveries related to molecules secreted into the rhizosphere and how they affect plant productivity, either negatively or positively. In addition, we include a survey of novel approaches to studying the rhizosphere and emerging opportunities to direct future studies.

  14. Biotic Interactions in the Rhizosphere: A Diverse Cooperative Enterprise for Plant Productivity1[C

    PubMed Central

    De-la-Peña, Clelia; Loyola-Vargas, Víctor M.

    2014-01-01

    Microbes and plants have evolved biochemical mechanisms to communicate with each other. The molecules responsible for such communication are secreted during beneficial or harmful interactions. Hundreds of these molecules secreted into the rhizosphere have been identified, and their functions are being studied in order to understand the mechanisms of interaction and communication among the different members of the rhizosphere community. The importance of root and microbe secretion to the underground habitat in improving crop productivity is increasingly recognized, with the discovery and characterization of new secreting compounds found in the rhizosphere. Different omic approaches, such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, have expanded our understanding of the first signals between microbes and plants. In this review, we highlight the more recent discoveries related to molecules secreted into the rhizosphere and how they affect plant productivity, either negatively or positively. In addition, we include a survey of novel approaches to studying the rhizosphere and emerging opportunities to direct future studies. PMID:25118253

  15. Culture conditions affect cytotoxin production by Serratia marcescens.

    PubMed

    Carbonell, G V; Fonseca, B A; Figueiredo, L T; Darini, A L; Yanaguita, R M

    1996-12-31

    Cytotoxins have been implicated in the pathogenesis of bacterial infections. In this study, the influence of different culture conditions was evaluated on cytotoxin production of Serratia marcescens. Parameters such as culture media, incubation temperature, starting pH of culture medium, aeration, anaerobiosis, carbon sources, iron concentration in he culture media, and release of cell-bond toxin by polymyxin B were investigated. The data suggest that this cytotoxin is predominantly extracellular and is not induced by iron limitation. Aerobic culture with shaking resulted in higher cytotoxicity than static aerobic or anaerobic culture. Bacteria grown in glucose, sucrose or galactose were more cytotoxic than those grown in inositol or maltose. The culture conditions that were identified as optimal for cytotoxin production by Serratia marcescens were incubation temperature ranging from 30 to 37 degrees C, in medium adjusted pH 8.5, with shaking. This work will contribute to further studies on the identification of this cytotoxic activity.

  16. Geographic and Habitat Origin Influence Biomass Production and Storage Translocation in the Clonal Plant Aegopodium podagraria

    PubMed Central

    D′Hertefeldt, Tina; Eneström, Johanna M.; Pettersson, Lars B.

    2014-01-01

    Through physiological integration, clonal plants can support ramets in unfavourable patches, exploit heterogeneously distributed resources and distribute resources that are taken up over large areas. Physiological integration generally increases in adverse conditions, but it is not well known which factors determine the evolution of physiological integration. The aim of this study was to investigate if clonal plants from Southern and Northern populations of the clonal herb Aegopodium podagraria differed in physiological integration in terms of translocation of carbon to the rhizomes, and in biomass production using a reciprocal transplant experiment. Aegopodium podagraria from shaded conditions have been suggested to share more resources than clones from open conditions and therefore, plants from forest and open populations within the Southern and Northern regions were included. The regional growing conditions greatly affected biomass production. Plants grown in North Sweden produced more biomass and allocated more biomass to shoots, while plants grown in South Sweden allocated more biomass to rhizomes. There was a regional origin effect as plants originating from North Sweden produced more biomass in both regions. Within the Northern region, plants from shaded habitats translocated more 14C to the rhizomes, suggesting more storage there than in plants from open habitats. In addition to genetic differentiation in biomass production between Northern and Southern populations, probably as a response to a shorter growing season in the North, there appeared to be genetic differentiation in physiological integration within the Northern region. This shows that both regional and local conditions need to be taken into account in future studies of genetic differentiation of physiological integration in clonal plants. PMID:24427305

  17. Dominant plant taxa predict plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment across precipitation and soil gradients

    PubMed Central

    Fay, Philip A.; Newingham, Beth A.; Polley, H. Wayne; Morgan, Jack A.; LeCain, Daniel R.; Nowak, Robert S.; Smith, Stanley D.

    2015-01-01

    The Earth's atmosphere will continue to be enriched with carbon dioxide (CO2) over the coming century. Carbon dioxide enrichment often reduces leaf transpiration, which in water-limited ecosystems may increase soil water content, change species abundances and increase the productivity of plant communities. The effect of increased soil water on community productivity and community change may be greater in ecosystems with lower precipitation, or on coarser-textured soils, but responses are likely absent in deserts. We tested correlations among yearly increases in soil water content, community change and community plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment in experiments in a mesic grassland with fine- to coarse-textured soils, a semi-arid grassland and a xeric shrubland. We found no correlation between CO2-caused changes in soil water content and changes in biomass of dominant plant taxa or total community aboveground biomass in either grassland type or on any soil in the mesic grassland (P > 0.60). Instead, increases in dominant taxa biomass explained up to 85 % of the increases in total community biomass under CO2 enrichment. The effect of community change on community productivity was stronger in the semi-arid grassland than in the mesic grassland, where community biomass change on one soil was not correlated with the change in either the soil water content or the dominant taxa. No sustained increases in soil water content or community productivity and no change in dominant plant taxa occurred in the xeric shrubland. Thus, community change was a crucial driver of community productivity responses to CO2 enrichment in the grasslands, but effects of soil water change on productivity were not evident in yearly responses to CO2 enrichment. Future research is necessary to isolate and clarify the mechanisms controlling the temporal and spatial variations in the linkages among soil water, community change and plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment. PMID

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Factors affecting the bioaccessibility of fluoride from seafood products.

    PubMed

    Rocha, R A; de la Fuente, B; Clemente, M J; Ruiz, A; Vélez, D; Devesa, V

    2013-09-01

    Fluoride is considered important for health because of its beneficial effect on the prevention of dental caries and on bone development in the child population. However, excessive intake has negative effects. The main pathway for exposure is oral, through consumption of drinking water, and some food products. Therefore its bioaccessibility (quantity of the element solubilized during the digestive process) is a parameter to be considered when estimating the risk/benefit associated with this element. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of the digestion phase, gastrointestinal digestion factors (pH, pepsin and bile salt concentrations) and the presence of cations on the bioaccessibility of fluoride from seafood products. The results show that the solubilization of fluoride takes place entirely during the gastric phase. Its bioaccessibility is strongly influenced by conditions that favor the formation of insoluble complexes of fluoride with other elements present in the matrix. The factors that are most influential in reducing its bioaccessibility are the increase in pH in the gastric phase, the presence of cations, especially in the intestinal phase, and a low concentration of bile salts.

  6. Estimating seed production of common plants in seasonally flooded wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laubhan, Murray K.; Fredrickson, Leigh H.

    1992-01-01

    We developed a technique to quickly estimate seed production of common moist-soil plants because previously reported methods were too time consuming to be of value to waterfowl resource managers. Eleven regression equations were developed for 13 plant species in the upper Mississippi Alluvial Valley and the Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico. Estimated time to collect a sample was 1.5 minutes. Easily measured vegetation characteristics such as inflorescence number, inflorescence length, and plant height were used as independent variables to estimate seed mass of known mass samples. Coefficients of determination (R2) ranged from 0.79 for rice flatsedge (Cyperus iria) to 0.96 for smartweeds (Polygonum spp.). The accuracy and precision of equations tested using independent data indicate that the technique can be used to detect changes in seed mass of moist-soil plants in seasonally flooded impoundments. Because of the small sample area per plot used (0.0625 m2) and changes in the density of plants within an impoundment, we recommend that as many samples as economically feasible be collected to reliably estimate seed production.

  7. 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.

  8. Factors Affecting the Production of Vietnamese Tones: A Study of American Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nguyen, Hanh thi; Macken, Marlys A.

    2008-01-01

    This study investigates factors that affect the accuracy of tone production by American students of Vietnamese as a second language (L2). Nine hypotheses are examined, each of which isolates a factor expected to affect production accuracy: (a) task type, (b) the position of a tone in a clause, (c) discourse distance between a model provided by a…

  9. How hollow melanosomes affect iridescent colour production in birds.

    PubMed

    Eliason, Chad M; Bitton, Pierre-Paul; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2013-09-22

    Developmental constraints and trade-offs can limit diversity, but organisms have repeatedly evolved morphological innovations that overcome these limits by expanding the range and functionality of traits. Iridescent colours in birds are commonly produced by melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes) organized into nanostructured arrays within feather barbules. Variation in array type (e.g. multilayers and photonic crystals, PCs) is known to have remarkable effects on plumage colour, but the optical consequences of variation in melanosome shape remain poorly understood. Here, we used a combination of spectrophotometric, experimental and theoretical methods to test how melanosome hollowness--a morphological innovation largely restricted to birds--affects feather colour. Optical analyses of hexagonal close-packed arrays of hollow melanosomes in two species, wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) and violet-backed starlings (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster), indicated that they function as two-dimensional PCs. Incorporation of a larger dataset and optical modelling showed that, compared with solid melanosomes, hollow melanosomes allow birds to produce distinct colours with the same energetically favourable, close-packed configurations. These data suggest that a morphological novelty has, at least in part, allowed birds to achieve their vast morphological and colour diversity. PMID:23902909

  10. How hollow melanosomes affect iridescent colour production in birds

    PubMed Central

    Eliason, Chad M.; Bitton, Pierre-Paul; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2013-01-01

    Developmental constraints and trade-offs can limit diversity, but organisms have repeatedly evolved morphological innovations that overcome these limits by expanding the range and functionality of traits. Iridescent colours in birds are commonly produced by melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes) organized into nanostructured arrays within feather barbules. Variation in array type (e.g. multilayers and photonic crystals, PCs) is known to have remarkable effects on plumage colour, but the optical consequences of variation in melanosome shape remain poorly understood. Here, we used a combination of spectrophotometric, experimental and theoretical methods to test how melanosome hollowness—a morphological innovation largely restricted to birds—affects feather colour. Optical analyses of hexagonal close-packed arrays of hollow melanosomes in two species, wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) and violet-backed starlings (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster), indicated that they function as two-dimensional PCs. Incorporation of a larger dataset and optical modelling showed that, compared with solid melanosomes, hollow melanosomes allow birds to produce distinct colours with the same energetically favourable, close-packed configurations. These data suggest that a morphological novelty has, at least in part, allowed birds to achieve their vast morphological and colour diversity. PMID:23902909

  11. How hollow melanosomes affect iridescent colour production in birds.

    PubMed

    Eliason, Chad M; Bitton, Pierre-Paul; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2013-09-22

    Developmental constraints and trade-offs can limit diversity, but organisms have repeatedly evolved morphological innovations that overcome these limits by expanding the range and functionality of traits. Iridescent colours in birds are commonly produced by melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes) organized into nanostructured arrays within feather barbules. Variation in array type (e.g. multilayers and photonic crystals, PCs) is known to have remarkable effects on plumage colour, but the optical consequences of variation in melanosome shape remain poorly understood. Here, we used a combination of spectrophotometric, experimental and theoretical methods to test how melanosome hollowness--a morphological innovation largely restricted to birds--affects feather colour. Optical analyses of hexagonal close-packed arrays of hollow melanosomes in two species, wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) and violet-backed starlings (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster), indicated that they function as two-dimensional PCs. Incorporation of a larger dataset and optical modelling showed that, compared with solid melanosomes, hollow melanosomes allow birds to produce distinct colours with the same energetically favourable, close-packed configurations. These data suggest that a morphological novelty has, at least in part, allowed birds to achieve their vast morphological and colour diversity.

  12. Long-term affected energy production of waste to energy technologies identified by use of energy system analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Muenster, M.; Meibom, P.

    2010-12-15

    Affected energy production is often decisive for the outcome of consequential life-cycle assessments when comparing the potential environmental impact of products or services. Affected energy production is however difficult to determine. In this article the future long-term affected energy production is identified by use of energy system analysis. The focus is on different uses of waste for energy production. The Waste-to-Energy technologies analysed include co-combustion of coal and waste, anaerobic digestion and thermal gasification. The analysis is based on optimization of both investments and production of electricity, district heating and bio-fuel in a future possible energy system in 2025 in the countries of the Northern European electricity market (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany). Scenarios with different CO{sub 2} quota costs are analysed. It is demonstrated that the waste incineration continues to treat the largest amount of waste. Investments in new waste incineration capacity may, however, be superseded by investments in new Waste-to-Energy technologies, particularly those utilising sorted fractions such as organic waste and refuse derived fuel. The changed use of waste proves to always affect a combination of technologies. What is affected varies among the different Waste-to-Energy technologies and is furthermore dependent on the CO{sub 2} quota costs and on the geographical scope. The necessity for investments in flexibility measures varies with the different technologies such as storage of heat and waste as well as expansion of district heating networks. Finally, inflexible technologies such as nuclear power plants are shown to be affected.

  13. Long-term affected energy production of waste to energy technologies identified by use of energy system analysis.

    PubMed

    Münster, M; Meibom, P

    2010-12-01

    Affected energy production is often decisive for the outcome of consequential life-cycle assessments when comparing the potential environmental impact of products or services. Affected energy production is however difficult to determine. In this article the future long-term affected energy production is identified by use of energy system analysis. The focus is on different uses of waste for energy production. The Waste-to-Energy technologies analysed include co-combustion of coal and waste, anaerobic digestion and thermal gasification. The analysis is based on optimization of both investments and production of electricity, district heating and bio-fuel in a future possible energy system in 2025 in the countries of the Northern European electricity market (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany). Scenarios with different CO(2) quota costs are analysed. It is demonstrated that the waste incineration continues to treat the largest amount of waste. Investments in new waste incineration capacity may, however, be superseded by investments in new Waste-to-Energy technologies, particularly those utilising sorted fractions such as organic waste and refuse derived fuel. The changed use of waste proves to always affect a combination of technologies. What is affected varies among the different Waste-to-Energy technologies and is furthermore dependent on the CO(2) quota costs and on the geographical scope. The necessity for investments in flexibility measures varies with the different technologies such as storage of heat and waste as well as expansion of district heating networks. Finally, inflexible technologies such as nuclear power plants are shown to be affected.

  14. Long-term affected energy production of waste to energy technologies identified by use of energy system analysis.

    PubMed

    Münster, M; Meibom, P

    2010-12-01

    Affected energy production is often decisive for the outcome of consequential life-cycle assessments when comparing the potential environmental impact of products or services. Affected energy production is however difficult to determine. In this article the future long-term affected energy production is identified by use of energy system analysis. The focus is on different uses of waste for energy production. The Waste-to-Energy technologies analysed include co-combustion of coal and waste, anaerobic digestion and thermal gasification. The analysis is based on optimization of both investments and production of electricity, district heating and bio-fuel in a future possible energy system in 2025 in the countries of the Northern European electricity market (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany). Scenarios with different CO(2) quota costs are analysed. It is demonstrated that the waste incineration continues to treat the largest amount of waste. Investments in new waste incineration capacity may, however, be superseded by investments in new Waste-to-Energy technologies, particularly those utilising sorted fractions such as organic waste and refuse derived fuel. The changed use of waste proves to always affect a combination of technologies. What is affected varies among the different Waste-to-Energy technologies and is furthermore dependent on the CO(2) quota costs and on the geographical scope. The necessity for investments in flexibility measures varies with the different technologies such as storage of heat and waste as well as expansion of district heating networks. Finally, inflexible technologies such as nuclear power plants are shown to be affected. PMID:20471819

  15. Tassel Removal Positively Affects Biomass Production Coupled with Significantly Increasing Stem Digestibility in Switchgrass

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Chunqiao; Fan, Xifeng; Hou, Xincun; Zhu, Yi; Yue, Yuesen; Zhang, Shuang; Wu, Juying

    2015-01-01

    In this study, tassels of Cave-in-Rock (upland) and Alamo (lowland) were removed at or near tassel emergence to explore its effects on biomass production and quality. Tassel-removed (TR) Cave-in-Rock and Alamo both exhibited a significant (P<0.05) increase in plant heights (not including tassel length), tiller number, and aboveground biomass dry weight (10% and 12%, 30% and 13%, 13% and 18%, respectively by variety) compared to a control (CK) treatment. Notably, total sugar yields of TR Cave-in-Rock and Alamo stems increased significantly (P<0.05 or 0.01) by 19% and 19%, 21% and 14%, 52% and 18%, respectively by variety, compared to those of control switchgrass under 3 treatments by direct enzymatic hydrolysis (DEH), enzymatic hydrolysis after 1% NaOH pretreatment (EHAL) and enzymatic hydrolysis after 1% H2SO4 pretreatment (EHAC). These differences were mainly due to significantly (P<0.05 or 0.01) higher cellulose content, lower cellulose crystallinity indexes (CrI) caused by higher arabinose (Ara) substitution in xylans, and lower S/G ratio in lignin. However, the increases of nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) concentration negatively affects the combustion quality of switchgrass aboveground biomass. This work provides information for increasing biomass production and quality in switchgrass and also facilitates the inhibition of gene dispersal of switchgrass in China. PMID:25849123

  16. Tassel removal positively affects biomass production coupled with significantly increasing stem digestibility in switchgrass.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Chunqiao; Fan, Xifeng; Hou, Xincun; Zhu, Yi; Yue, Yuesen; Zhang, Shuang; Wu, Juying

    2015-01-01

    In this study, tassels of Cave-in-Rock (upland) and Alamo (lowland) were removed at or near tassel emergence to explore its effects on biomass production and quality. Tassel-removed (TR) Cave-in-Rock and Alamo both exhibited a significant (P<0.05) increase in plant heights (not including tassel length), tiller number, and aboveground biomass dry weight (10% and 12%, 30% and 13%, 13% and 18%, respectively by variety) compared to a control (CK) treatment. Notably, total sugar yields of TR Cave-in-Rock and Alamo stems increased significantly (P<0.05 or 0.01) by 19% and 19%, 21% and 14%, 52% and 18%, respectively by variety, compared to those of control switchgrass under 3 treatments by direct enzymatic hydrolysis (DEH), enzymatic hydrolysis after 1% NaOH pretreatment (EHAL) and enzymatic hydrolysis after 1% H2SO4 pretreatment (EHAC). These differences were mainly due to significantly (P<0.05 or 0.01) higher cellulose content, lower cellulose crystallinity indexes (CrI) caused by higher arabinose (Ara) substitution in xylans, and lower S/G ratio in lignin. However, the increases of nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) concentration negatively affects the combustion quality of switchgrass aboveground biomass. This work provides information for increasing biomass production and quality in switchgrass and also facilitates the inhibition of gene dispersal of switchgrass in China. PMID:25849123

  17. Application of plant derived compounds to control fungal spoilage and mycotoxin production in foods.

    PubMed

    da Cruz Cabral, Lucía; Fernández Pinto, Virginia; Patriarca, Andrea

    2013-08-16

    Food decay by spoilage fungi causes considerable economic losses and constitutes a health risk for consumers due to the potential for fungi to produce mycotoxins. The indiscriminate use of synthetic antifungals has led to the development of resistant strains which has necessitated utilization of higher concentrations, with the consequent increase in toxic residues in food products. Numerous studies have demonstrated that plant extracts contain diverse bioactive components that can control mould growth. The metabolites produced by plants are a promising alternative because plants generate a wide variety of compounds, either as part of their development or in response to stress or pathogen attack. The aim of this article is to summarize the results from the literature on in vitro and in vivo experiments regarding the effects of plant-derived products for controlling fungal growth. Data from research work on the mode of action of these metabolites inside the fungal cell and the influence of abiotic external factors such as pH and temperature are also covered in the present review. Furthermore, an analysis on how the stress factor derived from the presence of plant extracts and essential oils affects secondary metabolism of the fungus, specifically mycotoxin synthesis, is developed. Finally, the effectiveness of using plant-derived compounds in combination with other natural antimicrobials and its application in food using novel technologies is discussed.

  18. Mycorrhizal Productivity Following Woody Plant Invasion of Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boutton, T. W.; Rowe, H. I.; Ariza, M. C.; Miller, R. M.; Filley, T. R.

    2008-12-01

    Mycorrhizal fungi play an important role in soil carbon storage and dynamics through the production of recalcitrant organic compounds (e.g., glomalin and chitin), and through the production of hyphae which entangle and enmesh soil particles to form aggregates which physically protect organic matter from decomposer organisms. Despite these important functions, little is known regarding rates of mycorrhizal productivity and how these rates might be influenced by changes in plant community composition. We quantified mycorrhizal production in a subtropical savanna parkland in southern Texas where woody plants have invaded areas that were once open grassland. Mycorrhizal ingrowth bags (3 x 10 cm) were made from 50 μm nylon mesh, filled with sterile sand (200-600 μm particle size), and deployed in the field in triplicate in remnant grasslands (n=15), and in woody plant stands (n=13) ranging in age from 15 to 86 yrs. Ingrowth bags were installed in May and harvested in Oct 2007 after 156 days. Hyphae were isolated by flotation/filtration, cleaned thoroughly to remove sand, freeze-dried, and weighed. Microscopic examination indicated that nearly all hyphae recovered from ingrowth bags were from arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. During the ingrowth period, nearly 4X more hyphal biomass accumulated in wooded areas (9.00 ± 3.84 g m- 2) compared to remnant grasslands (2.35 ± 0.56 g m-2). Hyphal productivity rates increased linearly with woody plant stand age (r = 0.89) from 15 ± 4 mg m-2 day-1 in grasslands (time 0) up to 58-98 mg m-2 day-1 in wooded areas >65 yrs old. When these productivity rates are annualized, we find that hyphal productivity represents approximately 4% of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in wooded areas, and 2% of ANPP in remnant grasslands. These observations are consistent with concurrent studies showing that glomalin concentrations and chitinase enzyme activity both increase in soils with time following woody encroachment into grassland

  19. Ectopic expression of foxtail millet zip-like gene, SiPf40, in transgenic rice plants causes a pleiotropic phenotype affecting tillering, vascular distribution and root development.

    PubMed

    Luan, Yunxia; Wang, Baosheng; Zhao, Qian; Ao, Guangming; Yu, Jingjuan

    2010-12-01

    Plant architecture determines grain production in rice (Oryza sativa) and is affected by important agronomic traits such as tillering, plant height, and panicle morphology. Many key genes involved in controlling the initiation and outgrowth of axillary buds, the elongation of stems, and the architecture of inflorescences have been isolated and analyzed. Previous studies have shown that SiPf40, which was identified from a foxtail millet (Setaria italica) immature seed cDNA library, causes extra branches and tillers in SiPf40-transgenic tobacco and foxtail millet, respectively. To reconfirm its function, we generated transgenic rice plants overexpressing SiPf40 under the control of the ubiquitin promoter. SiPf40-overexpressing transgenic plants have a greater tillering number and a wider tiller angle than wild-type plants. Their root architecture is modified by the promotion of lateral root development, and the distribution of xylem and phloem in the vascular bundle is affected. Analysis of hormone levels showed that the ratios of indole-3-acetic acid/zeatin (IAA/ZR) and IAA/gibberellic acid (IAA/GA) decreased in SiPf40-transgenic plants compared with wild-type plants. These findings strongly suggest that SiPf40 plays an important role in plant architecture.

  20. The effects of grassland degradation on plant diversity, primary productivity, and soil fertility in the alpine region of Asia's headwaters.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xuexia; Dong, Shikui; Yang, Bing; Li, Yuanyuan; Su, Xukun

    2014-10-01

    A 3-year survey was conducted to explore the relationships among plant composition, productivity, and soil fertility characterizing four different degradation stages of an alpine meadow in the source region of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, China. Results showed that plant species diversity, productivity, and soil fertility of the top 30-cm soil layer significantly declined with degradation stages of alpine meadow over the study period. The productivity of forbs significantly increased with degradation stages, and the soil potassium stock was not affected by grassland degradation. The vegetation composition gradually shifted from perennial graminoids (grasses and sedges) to annual forbs along the degradation gradient. The abrupt change of response in plant diversity, plant productivity, and soil nutrients was demonstrated after heavy grassland degradation. Moreover, degradation can indicate plant species diversity and productivity through changing soil fertility. However, the clear relationships are difficult to establish. In conclusion, degradation influenced ecosystem function and services, such as plant species diversity, productivity, and soil carbon and nitrogen stocks. Additionally, both plant species diversity and soil nutrients were important predictors in different degradation stages of alpine meadows. To this end, heavy degradation grade was shown to cause shift of plant community in alpine meadow, which provided an important basis for sustaining ecosystem function, manipulating the vegetation composition of the area and restoring the degraded alpine grassland. PMID:25023744

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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}.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Classification of explosives transformation products in plant tissue

    SciTech Connect

    Larson, S.L.; Jones, R.P. . Waterways Experiment Station); Escalon, L.; Parker, D. )

    1999-06-01

    Explosives contamination in surface or groundwater used for the irrigation of food crops and phytoremediation of explosives-contaminated soil or water using plant-assisted biodegradation have brought about concerns as to the fate of explosives in plants. Liquid scintillation counting, high-performance liquid chromatography, and gel permeation chromatography were utilized to characterize explosives (hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine and trinitrotoluene) and their metabolites in plant tissues obtained from three separate studies. Analyzing tissues of yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus), corn (Zea mays), lettuce (Lacuta sativa), tomato (Lyopersicum esculentum), radish (Raphanus sativus), and parrot feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) from three studies where exposure to explosives at nontoxic levels occurred showed that extensive transformation of the explosive contaminant occurred, variations were noted in uptake and transformation between terrestrial and aquatic plants, the products had significantly higher polarity and water solubility than the parent compounds, and the molecular sizes of the transformation products were significantly greater than those of the parent compounds.

  17. 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

  18. Genetic improvement of plants for enhanced bio-ethanol production.

    PubMed

    Saha, Sanghamitra; Ramachandran, Srinivasan

    2013-04-01

    The present world energy situation urgently requires exploring and developing alternate, sustainable sources for fuel. Biofuels have proven to be an effective energy source but more needs to be produced to meet energy goals. Whereas first generation biofuels derived from mainly corn and sugarcane continue to be used and produced, the contentious debate between "feedstock versus foodstock" continues. The need for sources that can be grown under different environmental conditions has led to exploring newer sources. Lignocellulosic biomass is an attractive source for production of biofuel, but pretreatment costs to remove lignin are high and the process is time consuming. Genetically modified plants that have increased sugar or starch content, modified lignin content, or produce cellulose degrading enzymes are some options that are being explored and tested. This review focuses on current research on increasing production of biofuels by genetic engineering of plants to have desirable characteristics. Recent patents that have been filed in this area are also discussed.

  19. Power plant impact assessment: a simple fishery production model approach

    SciTech Connect

    MacCall, A.D.; Parker, K.R.; Leithiser, R.; Jessee, B.

    1983-07-01

    The relative abundance of a cohort affected by power plant entrainment mortality as a fraction (R/sub c/) of the abundance of that cohort in the absence of power plant impact can be calculated by R/sub c/ = exp (-E/sub i/t/sub i/) where t/sub i/ is the duration of life stage i, and E/sub i/ is the entrainment mortality rate at stage i. Rate E/sub i/ can be estimated by the ratio of nonsurviving entrained organisms during a given time interval to the mean standing crop of stage i organisms in the source water during that interval. An estimate of adult abundance allows calculation of equivalent adult losses. When insufficient information is available to determine the long-term effect on the population, the fishery ''potential yield'' formula provides an interim estimate. Relative equilibrium abundance of the affected population (R/sub e/) is approximated by R/sub e/ = 1-(..sigma..E/sub i/t/sub i/ + F/sub p/ + F/sub f/)/2M, where F/sub p/ is adult mortality rate due to power plant impingement, F/sub f/ is adult mortality rate due to fisheries, and M is adult natural mortality rate. As in the case of the ''potential yield'' formula, this approximation of long-term equilibrium impact should be discarded when better estimates can be developed.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Reproductive allocation in plants as affected by elevated carbon dioxide and other environmental changes: a synthesis using meta-analysis and graphical vector analysis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xianzhong; Taub, Daniel R; Jablonski, Leanne M

    2015-04-01

    Reproduction is an important life history trait that strongly affects dynamics of plant populations. Although it has been well documented that elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere greatly enhances biomass production in plants, the overall effect of elevated CO2 on reproductive allocation (RA), i.e., the proportion of biomass allocated to reproductive structures, is little understood. We combined meta-analysis with graphical vector analysis to examine the overall effect of elevated CO2 on RA and how other environmental factors, such as low nutrients, drought and elevated atmospheric ozone (O3), interacted with elevated CO2 in affecting RA in herbaceous plants. Averaged across all species of different functional groups and environmental conditions, elevated CO2 had little effect on RA (-0.9%). RA in plants of different reproductive strategies and functional groups, however, differed in response to elevated CO2. For example, RA in iteroparous wild species decreased by 8%, while RA in iteroparous crops increased significantly (+14%) at elevated CO2. RA was unaffected by CO2 in plants grown with no stress or in low-nutrient soils. RA decreased at elevated CO2 and elevated O3, but increased in response to elevated CO2 in drought-stressed plants, suggesting that elevated CO2 could ameliorate the adverse effect of drought on crop production to some extent. Our results demonstrate that elevated CO2 and other global environmental changes have the potential to greatly alter plant community composition through differential effects on RA of different plant species and thus affect the dynamics of natural and agricultural ecosystems in the future. PMID:25537120

  4. Reproductive allocation in plants as affected by elevated carbon dioxide and other environmental changes: a synthesis using meta-analysis and graphical vector analysis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xianzhong; Taub, Daniel R; Jablonski, Leanne M

    2015-04-01

    Reproduction is an important life history trait that strongly affects dynamics of plant populations. Although it has been well documented that elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere greatly enhances biomass production in plants, the overall effect of elevated CO2 on reproductive allocation (RA), i.e., the proportion of biomass allocated to reproductive structures, is little understood. We combined meta-analysis with graphical vector analysis to examine the overall effect of elevated CO2 on RA and how other environmental factors, such as low nutrients, drought and elevated atmospheric ozone (O3), interacted with elevated CO2 in affecting RA in herbaceous plants. Averaged across all species of different functional groups and environmental conditions, elevated CO2 had little effect on RA (-0.9%). RA in plants of different reproductive strategies and functional groups, however, differed in response to elevated CO2. For example, RA in iteroparous wild species decreased by 8%, while RA in iteroparous crops increased significantly (+14%) at elevated CO2. RA was unaffected by CO2 in plants grown with no stress or in low-nutrient soils. RA decreased at elevated CO2 and elevated O3, but increased in response to elevated CO2 in drought-stressed plants, suggesting that elevated CO2 could ameliorate the adverse effect of drought on crop production to some extent. Our results demonstrate that elevated CO2 and other global environmental changes have the potential to greatly alter plant community composition through differential effects on RA of different plant species and thus affect the dynamics of natural and agricultural ecosystems in the future.

  5. Opportunities for Products of New Plant Breeding Techniques.

    PubMed

    Schaart, Jan G; van de Wiel, Clemens C M; Lotz, Lambertus A P; Smulders, Marinus J M

    2016-05-01

    Various new plant breeding techniques (NPBT) have a similar aim, namely to produce improved crop varieties that are difficult to obtain through traditional breeding methods. Here, we review the opportunities for products created using NPBTs. We categorize products of these NPBTs into three product classes with a different degree of genetic modification. For each product class, recent examples are described to illustrate the potential for breeding new crops with improved traits. Finally, we touch upon the future applications of these methods, such as cisgenic potato genotypes in which specific combinations of Phytophthora infestans resistance genes have been stacked for use in durable cultivation, or the creation of new disease resistances by knocking out or removing S-genes using genome-editing techniques. PMID:26654659

  6. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adler, Peter B.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Hillebrand, Helmut; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Harpole, W. Stanley; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Grace, James B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori A.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Calabrese, Laura B.; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Cleland, Elsa E.; Collins, Scott L.; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Crawley, Michael J.; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Davies, Kendi F.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Fay, Philip A.; Firn, Jennifer; Frater, Paul; Gasarch, Eve I.; Gruner, Daneil S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Lambers, Janneke Hille Ris; Humphries, Hope; Jin, Virginia L.; Kay, Adam D.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Lambrinos, John G.; Li, Wei; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John W.; Mortensen, Brent; Orrock, John L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Wang, Gang; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin P.; Yang, Louie H.

    2011-01-01

    For more than 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating local diversity. The original view, which is still widely accepted, holds that the relationship is hump-shaped, with richness first rising and then declining with increasing productivity. Although recent meta-analyses questioned the generality of hump-shaped patterns, these syntheses have been criticized for failing to account for methodological differences among studies. We addressed such concerns by conducting standardized sampling in 48 herbaceous-dominated plant communities on five continents. We found no clear relationship between productivity and fine-scale (meters-2) richness within sites, within regions, or across the globe. Ecologists should focus on fresh, mechanistic approaches to understanding the multivariate links between productivity an

  7. Productivity Is a Poor Predictor of Plant Species Richness.

    SciTech Connect

    Peter B. Adler; et al.

    2011-09-22

    For more than 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating local diversity. The original view, which is still widely accepted, holds that the relationship is hump-shaped, with richness first rising and then declining with increasing productivity. Although recent meta-analyses questioned the generality of hump-shaped patterns, these syntheses have been criticized for failing to account for methodological differences among studies. We addressed such concerns by conducting standardized sampling in 48 herbaceous-dominated plant communities on five continents. We found no clear relationship between productivity and fine-scale (meters-2) richness within sites, within regions, or across the globe. Ecologists should focus on fresh, mechanistic approaches to understanding the multivariate links between productivity and richness.

  8. Ethylene production by plants in a closed environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, R. M.; Peterson, B. V.; Sager, J. C.; Knott, W. M.

    Ethylene production by 20-m^2 stands of wheat, soybean, lettuce and potato was monitored throughout growth and development in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) Biomass Production Chamber. Chamber ethylene concentrations rose during periods of rapid growth for all four species, reaching 120 parts per billion (ppb) for wheat, 60 ppb for soybean, and 40 to 50 ppb for lettuce and potato. Following this, ethylene concentrations declined during seed fill and maturation (wheat and soybean), or remained relatively constant (potato). Lettuce plants were harvested during rapid growth and peak ethylene production. The highest ethylene production rates (unadjusted for chamber leakage) ranged from 0.04 to 0.06 ml m^-2 day^-1 during rapid growth of lettuce and wheat stands, or approximately 0.8 to 1.1 nl g^-1 fresh weight h^-1 Results suggest that ethylene production by plants is a normal event coupled to periods of rapid metabolic activity, and that ethylene removal or control measures should be considered for growing crops in a tightly closed CELSS.

  9. Ethylene Production by Plants in a Closed Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wheeler, R. M.; Peterson, B. V.; Sager, J. C.; Knott, W. M.

    1996-01-01

    Ethylene production by 20-sq m stands of wheat, soybean, lettuce and potato was monitored throughout growth and development in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) Biomass Production Chamber. Chamber ethylene concentrations rose during periods of rapid growth for all four species, reaching 120 parts per billion (ppb) for wheat, 60 ppb for soybean, and 40 to 50 ppb for lettuce and potato. Following this, ethylene concentrations declined during seed fill and maturation (wheat and soybean), or remained relatively constant (potato). Lettuce plants were harvested during rapid growth and peak ethylene production. The highest ethylene production rates (unadjusted for chamber leakage) ranged from 0.04 to 0.06 ml/sq m/day during rapid growth of lettuce and wheat stands, or approximately 0.8 to 1.1 ml/g fresh weight/h. Results suggest that ethylene production by plants is a normal event coupled to periods of rapid metabolic activity, and that ethylene removal or control measures should be considered for growing crops in a tightly closed CELSS.

  10. 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).

  11. 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).

  12. Increasing plant productivity in closed environments with inner canopy illumination.

    PubMed

    Stasiak, M A; Cote, R; Dixon, M; Grodzinski, B

    1998-01-01

    Due to the high cost of habitable real estate associated with space travel and colonization, and the ultimate use of plants as the primary method of life support, it is necessary to develop cultivation methods whereby the highest sustainable level of productivity is achieved within the least amount of space. It is well known that in a dense plant canopy, lower leaves become shaded from above and eventually no longer contribute to carbon gain. In fact, they contribute to net respiratory carbon losses. One method of improving biomass production is to introduce light of suitable quantity and quality to the inner canopy, thereby utilizing unused photosynthetic capacity. By coupling microwave-powered lights to 100-mm-diameter glass tubes lined with 3M Optical Lighting Film, light with a spectral quality similar to that of sunlight was delivered to the inner canopy of a developing soybean crop. Results indicated that increases in productivity of 23-87%, as measured by CO2 assimilation, can be achieved in dense plant canopies (LAI approximately 6) when overhead lighting (40O-1200 micromoles m-2 s-1) is supplemented with inner canopy illumination.

  13. AVLIS Production Plant work breakdown structure and Dictionary

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-11-15

    The work breakdown structure has been prepared for the AVLIS Production Plant to define, organize, and identify the work efforts and is summarized in Fig. 1-1 for the top three project levels. The work breakdown structure itself is intended to be the primary organizational tool of the AVLIS Production Plant and is consistent with the overall AVLIS Program Work Breakdown Structure. It is designed to provide a framework for definition and accounting of all of the elements that are required for the eventual design, procurement, and construction of the AVLIS Production Plant. During the present phase of the AVLIS Project, the conceptual engineering phase, the work breakdown structure is intended to be the master structure and project organizer of documents, designs, and cost estimates. As the master project organizer, the key role of the work breakdown structure is to provide the mechanism for developing completeness in AVLIS cost estimates and design development of all hardware and systems. The work breakdown structure provides the framework for tracking, on a one-to-one basis, the component design criteria, systems requirements, design concepts, design drawings, performance projections, and conceptual cost estimates. It also serves as a vehicle for contract reporting. 12 figures, 2 tables.

  14. Environmental factors influencing trace house gas production in permafrost-affected soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walz, Josefine; Knoblauch, Christian; Böhme, Luisa; Pfeiffer, Eva-Maria

    2016-04-01

    The permafrost-carbon feedback has been identified as a major feedback mechanism to climate change. Soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition in the active layer and thawing permafrost is an important source of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Decomposability and potential CO2 and CH4 production are connected to the quality of SOM. SOM quality varies with vegetation composition, soil type, and soil depth. The regulating factors affecting SOM decomposition in permafrost landscapes are not well understood. Here, we incubated permafrost-affected soils from a polygonal tundra landscape in the Lena Delta, Northeast Siberia, to examine the influence of soil depth, oxygen availability, incubation temperature, and fresh organic matter addition on trace gas production. CO2 production was always highest in topsoil (0 - 10 cm). Subsoil (10 - 50 cm) and permafrost (50 - 90 cm) carbon did not differ significantly in their decomposability. Under anaerobic conditions, less SOM was decomposed than under aerobic conditions. However, in the absence of oxygen, CH4 can also be formed, which has a substantially higher warming potential than CO2. But, within the four-month incubation period (approximate period of thaw), methanogenesis played only a minor role with CH4 contributing 1-30% to the total anaerobic carbon release. Temperature and fresh organic matter addition had a positive effect on SOM decomposition. Across a temperature gradient (1, 4, 8°C) aerobic decomposition in topsoil was less sensitive to temperature than in subsoil or permafrost. The addition of labile plant organic matter (13C-labelled Carex aquatilis, a dominant species in the region) significantly increased overall CO2 production across different depths and temperatures. Partitioning the total amount of CO2 in samples amended with Carex material into SOM-derived CO2 and Carex-derived CO2, however, revealed that most of the additional CO2 could be assigned to the organic carbon from the amendment

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Invasive plants as feedstock for biochar and bioenergy production.

    PubMed

    Liao, Rui; Gao, Bin; Fang, June

    2013-07-01

    In this work, the potential of invasive plant species as feedstock for value-added products (biochar and bioenergy) through pyrolysis was investigated. The product yield rates of two major invasive species in the US, Brazilian Pepper (BP) and Air Potato (AP), were compared to that of two traditional feedstock materials, water oak and energy cane. Three pyrolysis temperatures (300, 450, and 600°C) and four feedstock masses (10, 15, 20, and 25 g) were tested for a total of 12 experimental conditions. AP had high biochar and low oil yields, while BP had a high oil yield. At lower temperatures, the minimum feedstock residence time for biochar and bioenergy production increased at a faster rate as feedstock weight increased than it did at higher temperatures. A simple mathematical model was successfully developed to describe the relationship between feedstock weight and the minimum residence time.

  9. Data on IL-17 production induced by plant lectins

    PubMed Central

    da Silva, Thiago Aparecido; Fernandes, Fabrício Freitas; Roque-Barreira, Maria Cristina

    2016-01-01

    We reported in article da Silva et al. (2016) [2] that ArtinM induces the IL-17 production through interaction with CD4+ T cells and stimulation of IL-23 and IL-1. Besides ArtinM, other plant lectins (PLs) induce IL-17 production by murine spleen cells. The IL-17 production induced by PLs was evaluated regarding the involvement of IL-23, IL-6, Th1-, and Th2-cytokines. Furthermore, the effect exerted TLR2, TLR4, and CD14 on the PLs׳ performance in the induction of IL-17 was examined. The current data were compared to the known ArtinM ability to induce Th17 immunity. PMID:27222857

  10. Using Plant Functional Traits to Explain Diversity–Productivity Relationships

    PubMed Central

    Roscher, Christiane; Schumacher, Jens; Gubsch, Marlén; Lipowsky, Annett; Weigelt, Alexandra; Buchmann, Nina; Schmid, Bernhard; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef

    2012-01-01

    Background The different hypotheses proposed to explain positive species richness–productivity relationships, i.e. selection effect and complementarity effect, imply that plant functional characteristics are at the core of a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity effects. Methodology/Principal Findings We used two community-wide measures of plant functional composition, (1) community-weighted means of trait values (CWM) and (2) functional trait diversity based on Rao’s quadratic diversity (FDQ) to predict biomass production and measures of biodiversity effects in experimental grasslands (Jena Experiment) with different species richness (2, 4, 8, 16 and 60) and different functional group number and composition (1 to 4; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs) four years after establishment. Functional trait composition had a larger predictive power for community biomass and measures of biodiversitity effects (40–82% of explained variation) than species richness per se (<1–13% of explained variation). CWM explained a larger amount of variation in community biomass (80%) and net biodiversity effects (70%) than FDQ (36 and 38% of explained variation respectively). FDQ explained similar proportions of variation in complementarity effects (24%, positive relationship) and selection effects (28%, negative relationship) as CWM (27% of explained variation for both complementarity and selection effects), but for all response variables the combination of CWM and FDQ led to significant model improvement compared to a separate consideration of different components of functional trait composition. Effects of FDQ were mainly attributable to diversity in nutrient acquisition and life-history strategies. The large spectrum of traits contributing to positive effects of CWM on biomass production and net biodiversity effects indicated that effects of dominant species were associated with different trait combinations. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that the

  11. Characterisation of radioactive waste products associated with plant decommissioning.

    PubMed

    Sejvar, J; Fero, A H; Gil, C; Hagler, R J; Santiago, J L; Holgado, A; Swenson, R

    2005-01-01

    The inventory of radioactivity that must be considered in the decommissioning of a typical 1000 MWe Spanish pressurised water reactor (PWR) was investigated as part of a generic plant decommissioning study. Analyses based on DORT models (in both R-Z and R-theta geometries) were used with representative plant operating history and core power distribution data in defining the expected neutron environment in regions near the reactor core. The activation analyses were performed by multiplying the DORT scalar fluxes by energy-dependent reaction cross sections (based on ENDF/B-VI data) to generate reaction rates on a per atom basis. The results from the ORIGEN2 computer code were also used for determining the activities associated with certain nuclides where multi-group cross section data were not available. In addition to the bulk material activation of equipment and structures near the reactor, the activated corrosion-product (or 'crud') deposits on system and equipment surfaces were considered. The projected activities associated with these sources were primarily based on plant data and experience from operating PWR plants. PMID:16381771

  12. Recent advances in natural products from plants for treatment of liver diseases.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Aihua; Sun, Hui; Wang, Xijun

    2013-05-01

    Liver disease is any condition that may cause liver inflammation or tissue damage and affects liver function. Natural products that are found in vegetables, fruits, plant extracts, herbs, insects, and animals, have been traditionally used for treating liver diseases. They are chemical compounds that usually have biological activities for use in drug discovery and design. Many natural products have been clinically available as potent hepatoprotective agents against commonly occurring liver diseases. This review summarizes the current progress in the basic, clinical, and translational research on natural products in treatment of various liver diseases. Furthermore, we will focus on the discovery and biological evaluation of the natural products, which shows potential as a new therapeutic agent of liver diseases.

  13. Production of antibodies in plants: status after twenty years.

    PubMed

    De Muynck, Benoit; Navarre, Catherine; Boutry, Marc

    2010-06-01

    Thanks to their potential to bind virtually all types of molecules; monoclonal antibodies are in increasing demand as therapeutics and diagnostics. To overcome the overloading of current production facilities, alternative expression systems have been developed, of which plants appear the most promising. In this review, we focus on the expression of monoclonal IgG or IgM in plant species. We analyse the data for 32 different antibodies expressed in various ways, differing in DNA construction, transformation method, signal peptide source, presence or absence of an endoplasmic reticulum retention sequence, host species and the organs tested, together resulting in 98 reported combinations. A large heterogeneity is found in the quantity and quality of the antibody produced. We discuss in more detail the strategy used to express both chains, the nature of the transcription promoters, subcellular localization and unintended proteolysis, when encountered.

  14. Plant ecology. Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Lauchlan H; Pither, Jason; Jentsch, Anke; Sternberg, Marcelo; Zobel, Martin; Askarizadeh, Diana; Bartha, Sandor; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bennett, Jonathan A; Bittel, Alex; Boldgiv, Bazartseren; Boldrini, Ilsi I; Bork, Edward; Brown, Leslie; Cabido, Marcelo; Cahill, James; Carlyle, Cameron N; Campetella, Giandiego; Chelli, Stefano; Cohen, Ofer; Csergo, Anna-Maria; Díaz, Sandra; Enrico, Lucas; Ensing, David; Fidelis, Alessandra; Fridley, Jason D; Foster, Bryan; Garris, Heath; Goheen, Jacob R; Henry, Hugh A L; Hohn, Maria; Jouri, Mohammad Hassan; Klironomos, John; Koorem, Kadri; Lawrence-Lodge, Rachael; Long, Ruijun; Manning, Pete; Mitchell, Randall; Moora, Mari; Müller, Sandra C; Nabinger, Carlos; Naseri, Kamal; Overbeck, Gerhard E; Palmer, Todd M; Parsons, Sheena; Pesek, Mari; Pillar, Valério D; Pringle, Robert M; Roccaforte, Kathy; Schmidt, Amanda; Shang, Zhanhuan; Stahlmann, Reinhold; Stotz, Gisela C; Sugiyama, Shu-ichi; Szentes, Szilárd; Thompson, Don; Tungalag, Radnaakhand; Undrakhbold, Sainbileg; van Rooyen, Margaretha; Wellstein, Camilla; Wilson, J Bastow; Zupo, Talita

    2015-07-17

    The search for predictions of species diversity across environmental gradients has challenged ecologists for decades. The humped-back model (HBM) suggests that plant diversity peaks at intermediate productivity; at low productivity few species can tolerate the environmental stresses, and at high productivity a few highly competitive species dominate. Over time the HBM has become increasingly controversial, and recent studies claim to have refuted it. Here, by using data from coordinated surveys conducted throughout grasslands worldwide and comprising a wide range of site productivities, we provide evidence in support of the HBM pattern at both global and regional extents. The relationships described here provide a foundation for further research into the local, landscape, and historical factors that maintain biodiversity.

  15. Plant ecology. Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Lauchlan H; Pither, Jason; Jentsch, Anke; Sternberg, Marcelo; Zobel, Martin; Askarizadeh, Diana; Bartha, Sandor; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bennett, Jonathan A; Bittel, Alex; Boldgiv, Bazartseren; Boldrini, Ilsi I; Bork, Edward; Brown, Leslie; Cabido, Marcelo; Cahill, James; Carlyle, Cameron N; Campetella, Giandiego; Chelli, Stefano; Cohen, Ofer; Csergo, Anna-Maria; Díaz, Sandra; Enrico, Lucas; Ensing, David; Fidelis, Alessandra; Fridley, Jason D; Foster, Bryan; Garris, Heath; Goheen, Jacob R; Henry, Hugh A L; Hohn, Maria; Jouri, Mohammad Hassan; Klironomos, John; Koorem, Kadri; Lawrence-Lodge, Rachael; Long, Ruijun; Manning, Pete; Mitchell, Randall; Moora, Mari; Müller, Sandra C; Nabinger, Carlos; Naseri, Kamal; Overbeck, Gerhard E; Palmer, Todd M; Parsons, Sheena; Pesek, Mari; Pillar, Valério D; Pringle, Robert M; Roccaforte, Kathy; Schmidt, Amanda; Shang, Zhanhuan; Stahlmann, Reinhold; Stotz, Gisela C; Sugiyama, Shu-ichi; Szentes, Szilárd; Thompson, Don; Tungalag, Radnaakhand; Undrakhbold, Sainbileg; van Rooyen, Margaretha; Wellstein, Camilla; Wilson, J Bastow; Zupo, Talita

    2015-07-17

    The search for predictions of species diversity across environmental gradients has challenged ecologists for decades. The humped-back model (HBM) suggests that plant diversity peaks at intermediate productivity; at low productivity few species can tolerate the environmental stresses, and at high productivity a few highly competitive species dominate. Over time the HBM has become increasingly controversial, and recent studies claim to have refuted it. Here, by using data from coordinated surveys conducted throughout grasslands worldwide and comprising a wide range of site productivities, we provide evidence in support of the HBM pattern at both global and regional extents. The relationships described here provide a foundation for further research into the local, landscape, and historical factors that maintain biodiversity. PMID:26185249

  16. Experimental defoliation affects male but not female reproductive performance of the tropical monoecious plant Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Narbona, Eduardo; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Monoecious plants have the capacity to allocate resources separately to male and female functions more easily than hermaphrodites. This can be advantageous against environmental stresses such as leaf herbivory. However, studies showing effects of herbivory on male and female functions and on the interaction with the plant's pollinators are limited, particularly in tropical plants. Here, the effects of experimental defoliation were examined in the monoecious shrub Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae), a wasp-pollinated species from a Mexican tropical dry forest. Methods Three defoliation treatments were applied: 0 % (control), 25 % (low) or 75 % (high) of plant leaf area removed. Vegetative (production of new leaves) and reproductive (pistillate and staminate flower production, pollen viability, nectar production, fruit set, and seed set) performance variables, and the abundance and activity of floral visitors were examined. Key Results Defoliated plants overcompensated for tissue loss by producing more new leaves than control plants. Production of staminate flowers gradually decreased with increasing defoliation and the floral sex ratio (staminate : pistillate flowers) was drastically reduced in high-defoliation plants. In contrast, female reproductive performance (pistillate flower production, fruit set and seed set) and pollinator visitation and abundance were not impacted by defoliation. Conclusions The asymmetrical effects of defoliation on male and female traits of C. suberosus may be due to the temporal and spatial flexibility in the allocation of resources deployed by monoecious plants. We posit that this helps to maintain the plant's pollination success in the face of leaf herbivory stress. PMID:20519239

  17. INNOVATIVE FRESH WATER PRODUCTION PROCESS FOR FOSSIL FUEL PLANTS

    SciTech Connect

    James F. Klausner; Renwei Mei; Yi Li; Jessica Knight

    2004-09-01

    An innovative Diffusion Driven Desalination (DDD) process was recently described where evaporation of mineralized water is driven by diffusion within a packed bed. The energy source to drive the process is derived from low pressure condensing steam within the main condenser of a steam power generating plant. Since waste heat is used to drive the process, the main cost of fresh water production is attributed to the energy cost of pumping air and water through the packed bed. This report describes the annual progress made in the development and analysis of a Diffusion Driven Desalination (DDD) system. A combined thermodynamic and dynamic analysis demonstrates that the DDD process can yield a fresh water production of 1.03 million gallon/day by utilizing waste heat from a 100 MW steam power plant based on a condensing steam pressure of only 3'' Hg. Throughout the past year, the main focus of the desalination process has been on the diffusion tower and direct contact condenser. Detailed heat and mass transfer analyses required to size and analyze these heat and mass transfer devices are described. An experimental DDD facility has been fabricated, and temperature and humidity data have been collected over a range of flow and thermal conditions. The analyses agree quite well with the current data and the information available in the literature. Direct contact condensers with and without packing have been investigated. It has been experimentally observed that the fresh water production rate is significantly enhanced when packing is added to the direct contact condensers.

  18. Evolutionary history and the effect of biodiversity on plant productivity.

    PubMed

    Cadotte, Marc W; Cardinale, Bradley J; Oakley, Todd H

    2008-11-01

    Loss of biological diversity because of extinction is one of the most pronounced changes to the global environment. For several decades, researchers have tried to understand how changes in biodiversity might impact biomass production by examining how biomass correlates with a number of biodiversity metrics (especially the number of species and functional groups). This body of research has focused on species with the implicit assumption that they are independent entities. However, functional and ecological similarities are shaped by patterns of common ancestry, such that distantly related species might contribute more to production than close relatives, perhaps by increasing niche breadth. Here, we analyze 2 decades of experiments performed in grassland ecosystems throughout the world and examine whether the evolutionary relationships among the species comprising a community predict how biodiversity impacts plant biomass production. We show that the amount of phylogenetic diversity within communities explained significantly more variation in plant community biomass than other measures of diversity, such as the number of species or functional groups. Our results reveal how evolutionary history can provide critical information for understanding, predicting, and potentially ameliorating the effects of biodiversity loss and should serve as an impetus for new biodiversity experiments.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Advanced Multi-Product Coal Utilization By-Product Processing Plant

    SciTech Connect

    John Groppo; Thomas Robl

    2006-09-30

    The objective of the project is to build a multi-product ash beneficiation plant at Kentucky Utilities 2,200-MW Ghent Generating Station, located in Carroll County, Kentucky. This part of the study includes an investigation of the secondary classification characteristics of the ash feedstock excavated from the lower ash pond at Ghent Station.

  3. Genetically engineered plants in the product development pipeline in India.

    PubMed

    Warrier, Ranjini; Pande, Hem

    2016-01-01

    In order to proactively identify emerging issues that may impact the risk assessment and risk management functions of the Indian biosafety regulatory system, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change sought to understand the nature and diversity of genetically engineered crops that may move to product commercialization within the next 10 y. This paper describes the findings from a questionnaire designed to solicit information about public and private sector research and development (R&D) activities in plant biotechnology. It is the first comprehensive overview of the R&D pipeline for GE crops in India. PMID:26954729

  4. Fruitful factors: what limits seed production of flowering plants in the alpine?

    PubMed

    Straka, Jason R; Starzomski, Brian M

    2015-05-01

    Predicting demographic consequences of climate change for plant communities requires understanding which factors influence seed set, and how climate change may alter those factors. To determine the effects of pollen availability, temperature, and pollinators on seed production in the alpine, we combined pollen-manipulation experiments with measurements of variation in temperature, and abundance and diversity of potential pollinators along a 400-m elevation gradient. We did this for seven dominant species of flowering plants in the Coast Range Mountains, British Columbia, Canada. The number of viable seeds set by plants was influenced by pollen limitation (quantity of pollen received), mate limitation (quality of pollen), temperature, abundance of potential pollinators, seed predation, and combinations of these factors. Early flowering species (n = 3) had higher seed set at high elevation and late-flowering species (n = 4) had higher seed set at low elevation. Degree-days >15 °C were good predictors of seed set, particularly in bee-pollinated species, but had inconsistent effects among species. Seed production in one species, Arnica latifolia, was negatively affected by seed-predators (Tephritidae) at mid elevation, where there were fewer frost-hours during the flowering season. Anemone occidentalis, a fly-pollinated, self-compatible species had high seed set at all elevations, likely due to abundant potential pollinators. Simultaneously measuring multiple factors affecting reproductive success of flowering plants helped identify which factors were most important, providing focus for future studies. Our work suggests that responses of plant communities to climate change may be mediated by flowering time, pollination syndrome, and susceptibility to seed predators. PMID:25447635

  5. Fruitful factors: what limits seed production of flowering plants in the alpine?

    PubMed

    Straka, Jason R; Starzomski, Brian M

    2015-05-01

    Predicting demographic consequences of climate change for plant communities requires understanding which factors influence seed set, and how climate change may alter those factors. To determine the effects of pollen availability, temperature, and pollinators on seed production in the alpine, we combined pollen-manipulation experiments with measurements of variation in temperature, and abundance and diversity of potential pollinators along a 400-m elevation gradient. We did this for seven dominant species of flowering plants in the Coast Range Mountains, British Columbia, Canada. The number of viable seeds set by plants was influenced by pollen limitation (quantity of pollen received), mate limitation (quality of pollen), temperature, abundance of potential pollinators, seed predation, and combinations of these factors. Early flowering species (n = 3) had higher seed set at high elevation and late-flowering species (n = 4) had higher seed set at low elevation. Degree-days >15 °C were good predictors of seed set, particularly in bee-pollinated species, but had inconsistent effects among species. Seed production in one species, Arnica latifolia, was negatively affected by seed-predators (Tephritidae) at mid elevation, where there were fewer frost-hours during the flowering season. Anemone occidentalis, a fly-pollinated, self-compatible species had high seed set at all elevations, likely due to abundant potential pollinators. Simultaneously measuring multiple factors affecting reproductive success of flowering plants helped identify which factors were most important, providing focus for future studies. Our work suggests that responses of plant communities to climate change may be mediated by flowering time, pollination syndrome, and susceptibility to seed predators.

  6. Past and future climate patterns affecting temperate, sub-tropical and tropical horticultural crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Perennial horticultural crop production will be impacted by climate change effects on temperature, water availability, solar radiation, air pollution, and carbon dioxide. Horticultural crop value is derived from both the quantity and the quality of the harvested product; both of which are affected ...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Cycle Configurations for a PBMR Steam and Electricity Production Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Matzner, Dieter; Kriel, Willem; Correia, Michael; Greyvenstein, Renee

    2006-07-01

    The Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) is an advanced helium-cooled, graphite moderated High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) that is capable of multiple missions. The petrochemical industry requires the use of high temperature steam and electricity for their processes. Currently coal or natural gas is utilised for the generation of high temperature steam and electricity, which under-utilises natural resources and in the process emits CO{sub 2} into the atmosphere. This paper provides an overview of the PBMR product development path and discusses how steam production forms part of the future possibilities of the PBMR technology. Suitable cycle configurations for both process steam and electricity generation as required by petrochemical plants are discussed. (authors)

  14. 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.

  15. Interaction Effect Between Herbivory and Plant Fertilization on Extrafloral Nectar Production and on Seed Traits: An Experimental Study With Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae).

    PubMed

    De Sibio, P R; Rossi, M N

    2016-08-01

    It is known that the release of volatile chemicals by many plants can attract the natural enemies of herbivorous insects. Such indirect interactions are likely when plants produce nectar from their extrafloral nectaries, and particularly when the production of extrafloral nectar (EFN) is induced by herbivory. In the present study, we conducted experiments to test whether foliar herbivory inflicted by Spodoptera frugiperda Smith (Noctuidae) increases nectar production by extrafloral nectaries on one of its host plants, Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae). Due to the current economic importance of R. communis, we also investigated whether the following seed traits-water content, dry mass, and essential oil production-are negatively affected by herbivory. Finally, we tested whether or not nectar production and seed traits are influenced by plant fertilization (plant quality). We found that nectar production was increased after herbivory, but it was not affected by the type of fertilization. Seed dry mass was higher in plants that were subjected to full fertilization, without herbivory; plants maintained in low fertilization conditions, however, had higher seed mass when subjected to herbivory. The same inverted pattern was observed for oil production. Therefore, our results suggest that EFN production in R. communis may act as an indirect defense strategy against herbivores, and that there is a trade-off between reproduction and plant growth when low-fertilized plants are subjected to herbivory.

  16. Interaction Effect Between Herbivory and Plant Fertilization on Extrafloral Nectar Production and on Seed Traits: An Experimental Study With Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae).

    PubMed

    De Sibio, P R; Rossi, M N

    2016-08-01

    It is known that the release of volatile chemicals by many plants can attract the natural enemies of herbivorous insects. Such indirect interactions are likely when plants produce nectar from their extrafloral nectaries, and particularly when the production of extrafloral nectar (EFN) is induced by herbivory. In the present study, we conducted experiments to test whether foliar herbivory inflicted by Spodoptera frugiperda Smith (Noctuidae) increases nectar production by extrafloral nectaries on one of its host plants, Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae). Due to the current economic importance of R. communis, we also investigated whether the following seed traits-water content, dry mass, and essential oil production-are negatively affected by herbivory. Finally, we tested whether or not nectar production and seed traits are influenced by plant fertilization (plant quality). We found that nectar production was increased after herbivory, but it was not affected by the type of fertilization. Seed dry mass was higher in plants that were subjected to full fertilization, without herbivory; plants maintained in low fertilization conditions, however, had higher seed mass when subjected to herbivory. The same inverted pattern was observed for oil production. Therefore, our results suggest that EFN production in R. communis may act as an indirect defense strategy against herbivores, and that there is a trade-off between reproduction and plant growth when low-fertilized plants are subjected to herbivory. PMID:27247300

  17. Micropropagation of tulip: production of virus-free stock plants.

    PubMed

    Podwyszyńska, Małgorzata; Sochacki, Dariusz

    2010-01-01

    We describe here a new tulip micropropagation method based on the cyclic shoot multiplication in presence of the thidiazuron (TDZ), which enables the production of virus-free stock plants, speeds up breeding, and provides new genotypes for the market. In our novel protocol, cyclic shoot multiplication can be performed for 2-3 years by using TDZ instead of other cytokinins, as 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) and N(6)-(-isopentyl)adenine (2iP). It makes possible to produce 500-2,000 microbulbs from one healthy plant. There are six main stages of tulip micropropagation. Stage 0 is the selection of true-to-type and virus-free plants, confirmed by ELISA. Fragments of flower stems isolated from bulbs are used as initial explants. Shoot multiplication is based on the regeneration of adventitious shoots, which are sub-cultured every 8 weeks. In the Stage 3, the specially prepared shoots are induced by low temperature treatment to form bulbs which finally develop on a sucrose-rich medium at 20 degrees C. Bulbs are then dried for 6 weeks and rooted in vivo. The number of multiplication subcultures should be limited to 5-10 cycles in order to lower the risk of mutation. Virus indexing should be repeated 3-4 times, at the initial stage and then during shoot multiplication. Genetic stability of micropropagated shoots can be confirmed using molecular markers.

  18. Metabolic engineering of higher plants and algae for isoprenoid production.

    PubMed

    Kempinski, Chase; Jiang, Zuodong; Bell, Stephen; Chappell, Joe

    2015-01-01

    Isoprenoids are a class of compounds derived from the five carbon precursors, dimethylallyl diphosphate, and isopentenyl diphosphate. These molecules present incredible natural chemical diversity, which can be valuable for humans in many aspects such as cosmetics, agriculture, and medicine. However, many terpenoids are only produced in small quantities by their natural hosts and can be difficult to generate synthetically. Therefore, much interest and effort has been directed toward capturing the genetic blueprint for their biochemistry and engineering it into alternative hosts such as plants and algae. These autotrophic organisms are attractive when compared to traditional microbial platforms because of their ability to utilize atmospheric CO2 as a carbon substrate instead of supplied carbon sources like glucose. This chapter will summarize important techniques and strategies for engineering the accumulation of isoprenoid metabolites into higher plants and algae by choosing the correct host, avoiding endogenous regulatory mechanisms, and optimizing potential flux into the target compound. Future endeavors will build on these efforts by fine-tuning product accumulation levels via the vast amount of available "-omic" data and devising metabolic engineering schemes that integrate this into a whole-organism approach. With the development of high-throughput transformation protocols and synthetic biology molecular tools, we have only begun to harness the power and utility of plant and algae metabolic engineering.

  19. Use of remote sensing to determine plant health and productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chong, Chuan S.; Basart, John P.; Nutter, Forrest W., Jr.; Tylka, Gregory L.; Guan, Jie

    2002-02-01

    This project seeks to assess plant productivity and health in time and space by measuring spectral reflectance from soybean canopies using remote sensing images that do not require ground assessment. Aerial images and reflectance measurements from a multi-spectral radiometer were obtained simultaneously from a soybean field located in Story County, Iowa. The multi-spectral radiometer has eight wavelength bands, ranging from 460-nm to 810-nm and was used as a ground reference for the data analysis. Aerial images were obtained from altitudes ranging from 152 to 427 meters from the ground during summer 2000. Aerial images were analyzed using Matlab, ArcView and Imagine. Difficulties in image analysis and interpretation may occur as the sensing equipment increases in altitude because atmospheric influences become more pronounced. Scattering and absorption of electromagnetic waves in the atmosphere change the spectrum of the reflected wave emitting from the plants as it propagates from the plants to the sensors. Color calibration procedures were used with red, green and blue ground cloths to correct aerial images in the respective red, blue and green bands. Regression analysis was carried out to quantify the relationships between multi-spectral radiometer data and aerial image data.

  20. 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.

  1. Production efficiencies of U.S. electric generation plants: Effects of data aggregation and greenhouse gas and renewable energy policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynes, Melissa Kate

    Over the last few decades there has been a shift in electricity production in the U.S. Renewable energy sources are becoming more widely used. In addition, electric generation plants that use coal inputs are more heavily regulated than a couple decades ago. This shift in electricity production was brought on by changes in federal policy -- a desire for electricity produced in the U.S. which led to policies being adopted that encourage the use of renewable energy. The change in production practices due to policies may have led to changes in the productivity of electric generation plants. Multiple studies have examined the most efficient electric generation plants using the data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach. This study builds on past research to answer three questions: 1) Does the level of aggregation of fuel input variables affect the plant efficiency scores and how does the efficiency of renewable energy input compare to nonrenewable energy inputs; 2) Are policies geared toward directly or indirectly reducing greenhouse gas emissions affecting the production efficiencies of greenhouse gas emitting electric generation plants; and 3) Do renewable energy policies and the use of intermittent energy sources (i.e. wind and solar) affect the productivity growth of electric generation plants. All three analysis, presented in three essays, use U.S. plant level data obtained from the Energy Information Administration to answer these questions. The first two essays use DEA to determine the pure technical, overall technical, and scale efficiencies of electric generation plants. The third essay uses DEA within the Malmquist index to assess the change in productivity over time. Results indicate that the level of aggregation does matter particularly for scale efficiency. This implies that valuable information is likely lost when fuel inputs are aggregated together. Policies directly focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions may improve the production efficiencies of

  2. In plant activation: an inducible, hyperexpression platform for recombinant protein production in plants.

    PubMed

    Dugdale, Benjamin; Mortimer, Cara L; Kato, Maiko; James, Tess A; Harding, Robert M; Dale, James L

    2013-07-01

    In this study, we describe a novel protein production platform that provides both activation and amplification of transgene expression in planta. The In Plant Activation (INPACT) system is based on the replication machinery of tobacco yellow dwarf mastrevirus (TYDV) and is essentially transient gene expression from a stably transformed plant, thus combining the advantages of both means of expression. The INPACT cassette is uniquely arranged such that the gene of interest is split and only reconstituted in the presence of the TYDV-encoded Rep/RepA proteins. Rep/RepA expression is placed under the control of the AlcA:AlcR gene switch, which is responsive to trace levels of ethanol. Transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum cv Samsun) plants containing an INPACT cassette encoding the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter had negligible background expression but accumulated very high GUS levels (up to 10% total soluble protein) throughout the plant, within 3 d of a 1% ethanol application. The GUS reporter was replaced with a gene encoding a lethal ribonuclease, barnase, demonstrating that the INPACT system provides exquisite control of transgene expression and can be adapted to potentially toxic or inhibitory compounds. The INPACT gene expression platform is scalable, not host-limited, and has been used to express both a therapeutic and an industrial protein.

  3. INNOVATIVE FRESH WATER PRODUCTION PROCESS FOR FOSSIL FUEL PLANTS

    SciTech Connect

    James F. Klausner; Renwei Mei; Yi Li; Mohamed Darwish; Diego Acevedo; Jessica Knight

    2003-09-01

    This report describes the annual progress made in the development and analysis of a Diffusion Driven Desalination (DDD) system, which is powered by the waste heat from low pressure condensing steam in power plants. The desalination is driven by water vapor saturating dry air flowing through a diffusion tower. Liquid water is condensed out of the air/vapor mixture in a direct contact condenser. A thermodynamic analysis demonstrates that the DDD process can yield a fresh water production efficiency of 4.5% based on a feed water inlet temperature of only 50 C. An example is discussed in which the DDD process utilizes waste heat from a 100 MW steam power plant to produce 1.51 million gallons of fresh water per day. The main focus of the initial development of the desalination process has been on the diffusion tower. A detailed mathematical model for the diffusion tower has been described, and its numerical implementation has been used to characterize its performance and provide guidance for design. The analysis has been used to design a laboratory scale diffusion tower, which has been thoroughly instrumented to allow detailed measurements of heat and mass transfer coefficient, as well as fresh water production efficiency. The experimental facility has been described in detail.

  4. Auxin Production by Plant-Pathogenic Pseudomonads and Xanthomonads

    PubMed Central

    Fett, William F.; Osman, Stanley F.; Dunn, Michael F.

    1987-01-01

    Pathogenic strains of Xanthomonas campestris pv. glycines which cause hypertrophy of leaf cells of susceptible soybean cultivars and nonpathogenic strains which do not cause hypertrophy were compared for their ability to produce indole compounds, including the plant hormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) in liquid media with or without supplementation with l-tryptophan. Several additional strains of plant-pathogenic xanthomonads and pseudomonads were also tested for IAA production to determine whether in vitro production of IAA is related to the ability to induce hypertrophic growth of host tissues. Indoles present in culture filtrates were identified by thin-layer chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, UV spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and were quantitated by high-performance liquid chromatography. All strains examined produced IAA when liquid media were supplemented with l-tryptophan. The highest levels of IAA were found in culture filtrates from the common bean pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae, and this was the only bacterium tested which produced IAA without addition of tryptophan to the medium. Additional indoles identified in culture filtrates of the various strains included indole-3-lactic acid, indole-3-aldehyde, indole-3-acetamide, and N-acetyltryptophan. Pseudomonads and xanthomonads could be distinguished by the presence of N-acetyltryptophan, which was found only in xanthomonad culture filtrates. PMID:16347409

  5. 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

  6. Modeling and control for closed environment plant production systems.

    PubMed

    Fleisher, David H; Ting, K C

    2002-01-01

    A computer program was developed to study multiple crop production and control in controlled environment plant production systems. The program simulates crop growth and development under nominal and off-nominal environments. Time-series crop models for wheat (Triticum aestivum), soybean (Glycine max), and white potato (Solanum tuberosum) are integrated with a model-based predictive controller. The controller evaluates and compensates for effects of environmental disturbances on crop production scheduling. The crop models consist of a set of nonlinear polynomial equations, six for each crop, developed using multivariate polynomial regression (MPR). Simulated data from DSSAT crop models, previously modified for crop production in controlled environments with hydroponics under elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, were used for the MPR fitting. The model-based predictive controller adjusts light intensity, air temperature, and carbon dioxide concentration set points in response to environmental perturbations. Control signals are determined from minimization of a cost function, which is based on the weighted control effort and squared-error between the system response and desired reference signal.

  7. Modeling and control for closed environment plant production systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleisher, David H.; Ting, K. C.; Janes, H. W. (Principal Investigator)

    2002-01-01

    A computer program was developed to study multiple crop production and control in controlled environment plant production systems. The program simulates crop growth and development under nominal and off-nominal environments. Time-series crop models for wheat (Triticum aestivum), soybean (Glycine max), and white potato (Solanum tuberosum) are integrated with a model-based predictive controller. The controller evaluates and compensates for effects of environmental disturbances on crop production scheduling. The crop models consist of a set of nonlinear polynomial equations, six for each crop, developed using multivariate polynomial regression (MPR). Simulated data from DSSAT crop models, previously modified for crop production in controlled environments with hydroponics under elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, were used for the MPR fitting. The model-based predictive controller adjusts light intensity, air temperature, and carbon dioxide concentration set points in response to environmental perturbations. Control signals are determined from minimization of a cost function, which is based on the weighted control effort and squared-error between the system response and desired reference signal.

  8. Modeling and control for closed environment plant production systems.

    PubMed

    Fleisher, David H; Ting, K C

    2002-01-01

    A computer program was developed to study multiple crop production and control in controlled environment plant production systems. The program simulates crop growth and development under nominal and off-nominal environments. Time-series crop models for wheat (Triticum aestivum), soybean (Glycine max), and white potato (Solanum tuberosum) are integrated with a model-based predictive controller. The controller evaluates and compensates for effects of environmental disturbances on crop production scheduling. The crop models consist of a set of nonlinear polynomial equations, six for each crop, developed using multivariate polynomial regression (MPR). Simulated data from DSSAT crop models, previously modified for crop production in controlled environments with hydroponics under elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, were used for the MPR fitting. The model-based predictive controller adjusts light intensity, air temperature, and carbon dioxide concentration set points in response to environmental perturbations. Control signals are determined from minimization of a cost function, which is based on the weighted control effort and squared-error between the system response and desired reference signal. PMID:12882224

  9. Production of arabitol from glycerol: strain screening and study of factors affecting production yield

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Glycerol is a major byproduct from biodiesel production, and developing new uses for glycerol is imperative to overall economics and sustainability of the biodiesel industry. With the aim of producing xylitol and/or arabitol as the value-added products from glycerol, 214 yeast strains, many osmotole...

  10. Consequences of buffelgrass pasture development for primary productivity, perennial plant richness, and vegetation structure in the drylands of Sonora, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Franklin, Kimberly; Molina-Freaner, Francisco

    2010-12-01

    In large parts of northern Mexico native plant communities are being converted to non-native buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) pastures, and this conversion could fundamentally alter primary productivity and species richness. In Sonora, Mexico land conversion is occurring at a regional scale along a rainfall-driven gradient of primary productivity, across which native plant communities transition from desert scrub to thorn scrub. We used a paired sampling design to compare a satellite-derived index of primary productivity, richness of perennial plant species, and canopy-height profiles of native plant communities with buffelgrass pastures. We sampled species richness across a gradient of primary productivity in desert scrub and thorn scrub vegetation to examine the influence of site productivity on the outcomes of land conversion. We also examined the influence of pasture age on species richness of perennial plants. Index values of primary productivity were lower in buffelgrass pastures than in native vegetation, which suggests a reduction in primary productivity. Land conversion reduced species richness by approximately 50% at local and regional scales, reduced tree and shrub cover by 78%, and reduced canopy height. Land conversion disproportionately reduced shrub species richness, which reflects the common practice among Sonoran ranchers of conserving certain tree and cactus species. Site productivity did not affect the outcomes of land conversion. The age of a buffelgrass pasture was unrelated to species richness within the pasture, which suggests that passive recovery of species richness to preconversion levels is unlikely. Our findings demonstrate that land conversion can result in large losses of plant species richness at local and regional scales and in substantial changes to primary productivity and vegetation structure, which casts doubt on the feasibility of restoring native plant communities without active intervention on the part of land managers.

  11. The role of mycorrhizae and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in improving crop productivity under stressful environments.

    PubMed

    Nadeem, Sajid Mahmood; Ahmad, Maqshoof; Zahir, Zahir Ahmad; Javaid, Arshad; Ashraf, Muhammad

    2014-01-01

    Both biotic and abiotic stresses are major constrains to agricultural production. Under stress conditions, plant growth is affected by a number of factors such as hormonal and nutritional imbalance, ion toxicity, physiological disorders, susceptibility to diseases, etc. Plant growth under stress conditions may be enhanced by the application of microbial inoculation including plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and mycorrhizal fungi. These microbes can promote plant growth by regulating nutritional and hormonal balance, producing plant growth regulators, solubilizing nutrients and inducing resistance against plant pathogens. In addition to their interactions with plants, these microbes also show synergistic as well as antagonistic interactions with other microbes in the soil environment. These interactions may be vital for sustainable agriculture because they mainly depend on biological processes rather than on agrochemicals to maintain plant growth and development as well as proper soil health under stress conditions. A number of research articles can be deciphered from the literature, which shows the role of rhizobacteria and mycorrhizae alone and/or in combination in enhancing plant growth under stress conditions. However, in contrast, a few review papers are available which discuss the synergistic interactions between rhizobacteria and mycorrhizae for enhancing plant growth under normal (non-stress) or stressful environments. Biological interactions between PGPR and mycorrhizal fungi are believed to cause a cumulative effect on all rhizosphere components, and these interactions are also affected by environmental factors such as soil type, nutrition, moisture and temperature. The present review comprehensively discusses recent developments on the effectiveness of PGPR and mycorrhizal fungi for enhancing plant growth under stressful environments. The key mechanisms involved in plant stress tolerance and the effectiveness of microbial inoculation for

  12. Petunia × hybrida floral scent production is negatively affected by high-temperature growth conditions.

    PubMed

    Cna'ani, Alon; Mühlemann, Joelle K; Ravid, Jasmin; Masci, Tania; Klempien, Antje; Nguyen, Thuong T H; Dudareva, Natalia; Pichersky, Eran; Vainstein, Alexander

    2015-07-01

    Increasing temperatures due to changing global climate are interfering with plant-pollinator mutualism, an interaction facilitated mainly by floral colour and scent. Gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy analyses revealed that increasing ambient temperature leads to a decrease in phenylpropanoid-based floral scent production in two Petunia × hybrida varieties, P720 and Blue Spark, acclimated at 22/16 or 28/22 °C (day/night). This decrease could be attributed to down-regulation of scent-related structural gene expression from both phenylpropanoid and shikimate pathways, and up-regulation of a negative regulator of scent production, emission of benzenoids V (EOBV). To test whether the negative effect of increased temperature on scent production can be reduced in flowers with enhanced metabolic flow in the phenylpropanoid pathway, we analysed floral volatile production by transgenic 'Blue Spark' plants overexpressing CaMV 35S-driven Arabidopsis thaliana production of anthocyanin pigments 1 (PAP1) under elevated versus standard temperature conditions. Flowers of 35S:PAP1 transgenic plants produced the same or even higher levels of volatiles when exposed to a long-term high-temperature regime. This phenotype was also evident when analysing relevant gene expression as inferred from sequencing the transcriptome of 35S:PAP1 transgenic flowers under the two temperature regimes. Thus, up-regulation of transcription might negate the adverse effects of temperature on scent production.

  13. Feasibility Study of Hydrogen Production at Existing Nuclear Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Stephen Schey

    2009-07-01

    Cooperative Agreement DE-FC07-06ID14788 was executed between the U.S. Department of Energy, Electric Transportation Applications, and Idaho National Laboratory to investigate the economics of producing hydrogen by electrolysis using electricity generated by nuclear power. The work under this agreement is divided into the following four tasks: Task 1 – Produce Data and Analyses Task 2 – Economic Analysis of Large-Scale Alkaline Electrolysis Task 3 – Commercial-Scale Hydrogen Production Task 4 – Disseminate Data and Analyses. Reports exist on the prospect that utility companies may benefit from having the option to produce electricity or produce hydrogen, depending on market conditions for both. This study advances that discussion in the affirmative by providing data and suggesting further areas of study. While some reports have identified issues related to licensing hydrogen plants with nuclear plants, this study provides more specifics and could be a resource guide for further study and clarifications. At the same time, this report identifies other area of risks and uncertainties associated with hydrogen production on this scale. Suggestions for further study in some of these topics, including water availability, are included in the report. The goals and objectives of the original project description have been met. Lack of industry design for proton exchange membrane electrolysis hydrogen production facilities of this magnitude was a roadblock for a significant period. However, recent design breakthroughs have made costing this facility much more accurate. In fact, the new design information on proton exchange membrane electrolyzers scaled to the 1 kg of hydrogen per second electrolyzer reduced the model costs from $500 to $100 million. Task 1 was delayed when the original electrolyzer failed at the end of its economic life. However, additional valuable information was obtained when the new electrolyzer was installed. Products developed during this study

  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. Transfer from long to short photoperiods affects production efficiency of day-neutral rice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldman, K. R.; Mitchell, C. A.

    1999-01-01

    The day-neutral, semidwarf rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivar Ai-Nan-Tsao was grown in a greenhouse under summer conditions using high-pressure sodium lamps to extend the natural photoperiod. After allowing 2 weeks for germination, stand establishment, and thinning to a consistent planting density of 212 plants/m2, stands were maintained under continuous lighting for 35 or 49 days before shifting to 8- or 12-h photoperiods until harvest 76 days after planting. Non-shifted control treatments consisting of 8-, 12-, or 24-h photoperiods also were maintained throughout production. Tiller number increased as duration of exposure to continuous light increased before shifting to shorter photoperiods. However, shoot harvest index and yield efficiency rate were lower for all plants receiving continuous light than for those under the 8- or 12-h photoperiods. Stands receiving 12-h photoperiods throughout production had the highest grain yield per plant and equaled the 8-h-photoperiod control plants for the lowest tiller number per plant. As long as stands were exposed to continuous light, tiller formation continued. Shifting to shorter photoperiods late in the cropping cycle resulted in newly formed tillers that were either sterile or unable to mature grain before harvest. Late-forming tillers also suppressed yield of grain in early-forming tillers, presumably by competing for photosynthate or for remobilized assimilate during senescence. Stands receiving 12-h photoperiods throughout production not only produced the highest grain yield at harvest but had the highest shoot harvest index, which is important for resource-recovery strategies in advanced life-support systems proposed for space.

  16. Terroir et vignoble: how the farming management can affect the production of a quality wine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallo, Alba; Bini, Claudio

    2016-04-01

    Italian wine is one of the most exported wine in the world. The particular climate, the soil characteristics and other several factors have contributed to this success. Italy is located in the temperate belt, with a suitable climate for grapevine cultivation. For this reason, all regions in Italy produce wine, first of all the Veneto region, with 8.569.000 hl of wine in 2011. Wine quality derives from the perfect interaction among climate, morphology, soil and plant, i.e. the terroir. So, knowledge of the land characteristics, together with cultivation techniques and management, is essential to understand this interaction and the typicality of the wine. For example, large utilization of fertilizers and pesticides may determine accumulation of toxic substances in soil and possible translocation to the food chain. For this reason, metal contamination of soils and plants becomes a main issue in agricultural production. Therefore, our attention was focused on the determination of soil quality of the Prosecco DOCG (controlled and guaranteed denomination of origin) area, particularly in Conegliano. Conegliano is a town located in Veneto, in the province of Treviso, known for its wine. This wine variety is regulated by the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene production Consortium, to protect both consumers and producers. The goals of this research are: evaluation of trace metal content (Al ,Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Ni, P, Pb, V and Zn) in soils and possible uptake by grape leaves; estimation of biological soil quality (QBS-ar index); analysis of oxidative stress in dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and grape leaves, by the Lipid peroxidation test (LPO test). Results concerning trace metal concentration show: i) a high content of Al, Mg and P in soils, and ii) high concentration of Al, Cu, Fe and Zn in grape leaves. High contents of Al in topsoil are consistent with the high concentration of organic matter. Instead, high Al contents in subsoil are related to clay. Mg and P are usually

  17. 9 CFR 590.680 - Approval of labeling for egg products processed in exempted egg products processing plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Approval of labeling for egg products processed in exempted egg products processing plants. 590.680 Section 590.680 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION INSPECTION...

  18. 9 CFR 590.680 - Approval of labeling for egg products processed in exempted egg products processing plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Approval of labeling for egg products processed in exempted egg products processing plants. 590.680 Section 590.680 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION INSPECTION...

  19. 9 CFR 590.680 - Approval of labeling for egg products processed in exempted egg products processing plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Approval of labeling for egg products processed in exempted egg products processing plants. 590.680 Section 590.680 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION INSPECTION...

  20. 9 CFR 590.680 - Approval of labeling for egg products processed in exempted egg products processing plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Approval of labeling for egg products processed in exempted egg products processing plants. 590.680 Section 590.680 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION INSPECTION...

  1. 9 CFR 590.680 - Approval of labeling for egg products processed in exempted egg products processing plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Approval of labeling for egg products processed in exempted egg products processing plants. 590.680 Section 590.680 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EGG PRODUCTS INSPECTION INSPECTION...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. A guided search genetic algorithm using mined rules for optimal affective product design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fung, Chris K. Y.; Kwong, C. K.; Chan, Kit Yan; Jiang, H.

    2014-08-01

    Affective design is an important aspec