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Sample records for improves plant architecture

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  2. Shaping plant architecture

    PubMed Central

    Teichmann, Thomas; Muhr, Merlin

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  4. Quantitative descriptions of rice plant architecture and their application

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xumeng; Wang, Xiaohui; Peng, Yulin; Wei, Hailin; Zhu, Xinguang; Chang, Shuoqi; Li, Ming; Li, Tao; Huang, Huang

    2017-01-01

    Plant architecture is an important agronomic trait, and improving plant architecture has attracted the attention of scientists for decades, particularly studies to create desirable plant architecture for high grain yields through breeding and culture practices. However, many important structural phenotypic traits still lack quantitative description and modeling on structural-functional relativity. This study defined new architecture indices (AIs) derived from the digitalized plant architecture using the virtual blade method. The influences of varieties and crop management on these indices and the influences of these indices on biomass accumulation were analyzed using field experiment data at two crop growth stages: early and late panicle initiation. The results indicated that the vertical architecture indices (LAI, PH, 90%-DRI, MDI, 90%-LI) were significantly influenced by variety, water, nitrogen management and the interaction of water and nitrogen, and compact architecture indices (H-CI, Q-CI, 90%-LI, 50%-LI) were significantly influenced by nitrogen management and the interaction of variety and water. Furthermore, there were certain trends in the influence of variety, water, and nitrogen management on AIs. Biomass accumulation has a positive linear correlation with vertical architecture indices and has a quadratic correlation with compact architecture indices, respectively. Furthermore, the combination of vertical and compact architecture indices is the indicator for evaluating the effects of plant architecture on biomass accumulation. PMID:28545144

  5. The Genetic Architecture of Barley Plant Stature

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Kernel methods for phenotyping complex plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Kawamura, Koji; Hibrand-Saint Oyant, Laurence; Foucher, Fabrice; Thouroude, Tatiana; Loustau, Sébastien

    2014-02-07

    The Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping of plant architecture is a critical step for understanding the genetic determinism of plant architecture. Previous studies adopted simple measurements, such as plant-height, stem-diameter and branching-intensity for QTL mapping of plant architecture. Many of these quantitative traits were generally correlated to each other, which give rise to statistical problem in the detection of QTL. We aim to test the applicability of kernel methods to phenotyping inflorescence architecture and its QTL mapping. We first test Kernel Principal Component Analysis (KPCA) and Support Vector Machines (SVM) over an artificial dataset of simulated inflorescences with different types of flower distribution, which is coded as a sequence of flower-number per node along a shoot. The ability of discriminating the different inflorescence types by SVM and KPCA is illustrated. We then apply the KPCA representation to the real dataset of rose inflorescence shoots (n=1460) obtained from a 98 F1 hybrid mapping population. We find kernel principal components with high heritability (>0.7), and the QTL analysis identifies a new QTL, which was not detected by a trait-by-trait analysis of simple architectural measurements. The main tools developed in this paper could be use to tackle the general problem of QTL mapping of complex (sequences, 3D structure, graphs) phenotypic traits.

  7. Architectural switches in plant thylakoid membranes.

    PubMed

    Kirchhoff, Helmut

    2013-10-01

    Recent progress in elucidating the structure of higher plants photosynthetic membranes provides a wealth of information. It allows generation of architectural models that reveal well-organized and complex arrangements not only on whole membrane level, but also on the supramolecular level. These arrangements are not static but highly responsive to the environment. Knowledge about the interdependency between dynamic structural features of the photosynthetic machinery and the functionality of energy conversion is central to understanding the plasticity of photosynthesis in an ever-changing environment. This review summarizes the architectural switches that are realized in thylakoid membranes of green plants.

  8. Utility communication architecture application to plant communications

    SciTech Connect

    Nordell, D.E.

    1995-03-01

    EPRI`s Utility Communication Architecture (UCA) is a profile specification outlining international standards to be used in providing interconnection of utility process-control and business information systems, both within a facility and at the enterprise level. This paper provides an overview of the UCA and its application to power plant information and control systems.

  9. Deletion in a quantitative trait gene qPE9-1 associated with panicle erectness improves plant architecture during rice domestication.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yong; Zhu, Jinyan; Li, Zhengyi; Yi, Chuandeng; Liu, Jun; Zhang, Honggen; Tang, Shuzhu; Gu, Minghong; Liang, Guohua

    2009-09-01

    Rice plant architecture is an important agronomic trait and a major determinant in high productivity. Panicle erectness is the preferred plant architecture in japonica rice, but the molecular mechanism underlying domestication of the erect panicle remains elusive. Here we report the map-based cloning of a major quantitative trait locus, qPE9-1, which plays an integral role in regulation of rice plant architecture including panicle erectness. The R6547 qPE9-1 gene encodes a 426-amino-acid protein, homologous to the keratin-associated protein 5-4 family. The gene is composed of three Von Willebrand factor type C domains, one transmembrane domain, and one 4-disulfide-core domain. Phenotypic comparisons of a set of near-isogenic lines and transgenic lines reveal that the functional allele (qPE9-1) results in drooping panicles, and the loss-of-function mutation (qpe9-1) leads to more erect panicles. In addition, the qPE9-1 locus regulates panicle and grain length, grain weight, and consequently grain yield. We propose that the panicle erectness trait resulted from a natural random loss-of-function mutation for the qPE9-1 gene and has subsequently been the target of artificial selection during japonica rice breeding.

  10. Maize canopy architecture and adaptation to high plant density in long term selection programs

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Grain yield since the 1930s has increased more than five-fold in large part due to improvements in adaptation to high plant density. Changes to plant architecture that associated with improved light interception have made a major contribution to improved adaptation to high plant density. Improved ...

  11. The Architecture of School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Joseph

    2013-01-01

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

  12. The Architecture of School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Joseph

    2013-01-01

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

  13. TCP transcription factors: architectures of plant form.

    PubMed

    Manassero, Nora G Uberti; Viola, Ivana L; Welchen, Elina; Gonzalez, Daniel H

    2013-04-01

    After its initial definition in 1999, the TCP family of transcription factors has become the focus of a multiplicity of studies related with plant development at the cellular, organ, and tissue levels. Evidence has accumulated indicating that TCP transcription factors are the main regulators of plant form and architecture and constitute a tool through which evolution shapes plant diversity. The TCP transcription factors act in a multiplicity of pathways related with cell proliferation and hormone responses. In recent years, the molecular pathways of TCP protein action and biochemical studies on their mode of interaction with DNA have begun to shed light on their mechanism of action. However, the available information is fragmented and a unifying view of TCP protein action is lacking, as well as detailed structural studies of the TCP-DNA complex. Also important, the possible role of TCP proteins as integrators of plant developmental responses to the environment has deserved little attention. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about the structure and functions of TCP transcription factors and analyze future perspectives for the study of the role of these proteins and their use to modify plant development.

  14. An improved distributed arithmetic architecture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guo, X.; Lynn, D. W.

    1991-01-01

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

  15. Manipulation of plant architecture to enhance lignocellulosic biomass

    PubMed Central

    Stamm, Petra; Verma, Vivek; Ramamoorthy, Rengasamy; Kumar, Prakash P.

    2012-01-01

    Background Biofuels hold the promise to replace an appreciable proportion of fossil fuels. Not only do they emit significantly lower amounts of greenhouse gases, they are much closer to being ‘carbon neutral’, since the source plants utilize carbon dioxide for their growth. In particular, second-generation lignocellulosic biofuels from agricultural wastes and non-food crops such as switchgrass promise sustainability and avoid diverting food crops to fuel. Currently, available lignocellulosic biomass could yield sufficient bioethanol to replace ∼10 % of worldwide petroleum use. Increasing the biomass used for biofuel production and the yield of bioethanol will thus help meet global energy demands while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Scope We discuss the advantages of various biotechnological approaches to improve crops and highlight the contribution of genomics and functional genomics in this field. Current knowledge concerning plant hormones and their intermediates involved in the regulation of plant architecture is presented with a special focus on gibberellins and cytokinins, and their signalling intermediates. We highlight the potential of information gained from model plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana and rice (Oryza sativa) to accelerate improvement of fuel crops. PMID:23071897

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ricks, Kenneth G.; Wells, B. Earl

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Architectural switch in plant photosynthetic membranes induced by light stress.

    PubMed

    Herbstová, Miroslava; Tietz, Stefanie; Kinzel, Christopher; Turkina, Maria V; Kirchhoff, Helmut

    2012-12-04

    Unavoidable side reactions of photosynthetic energy conversion can damage the water-splitting photosystem II (PSII) holocomplex embedded in the thylakoid membrane system inside chloroplasts. Plant survival is crucially dependent on an efficient molecular repair of damaged PSII realized by a multistep repair cycle. The PSII repair cycle requires a brisk lateral protein traffic between stacked grana thylakoids and unstacked stroma lamellae that is challenged by the tight stacking and low protein mobility in grana. We demonstrated that high light stress induced two main structural changes that work synergistically to improve the accessibility between damaged PSII in grana and its repair machinery in stroma lamellae: lateral shrinkage of grana diameter and increased protein mobility in grana thylakoids. It follows that high light stress triggers an architectural switch of the thylakoid network that is advantageous for swift protein repair. Studies of the thylakoid kinase mutant stn8 and the double mutant stn7/8 demonstrate the central role of protein phosphorylation for the structural alterations. These findings are based on the elaboration of mathematical tools for analyzing confocal laser-scanning microscopic images to study changes in the sophisticated thylakoid architecture in intact protoplasts.

  5. The dynamic relationship between plant architecture and competition

    PubMed Central

    Ford, E. David

    2014-01-01

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

  6. A Dynamic, Architectural Plant Model Simulating Resource‐dependent Growth

    PubMed Central

    YAN, HONG‐PING; KANG, MENG ZHEN; DE REFFYE, PHILIPPE; DINGKUHN, MICHAEL

    2004-01-01

    • Background and Aims Physiological and architectural plant models have originally been developed for different purposes and therefore have little in common, thus making combined applications difficult. There is, however, an increasing demand for crop models that simulate the genetic and resource‐dependent variability of plant geometry and architecture, because man is increasingly able to transform plant production systems through combined genetic and environmental engineering. • Model GREENLAB is presented, a mathematical plant model that simulates interactions between plant structure and function. Dual‐scale automaton is used to simulate plant organogenesis from germination to maturity on the basis of organogenetic growth cycles that have constant thermal time. Plant fresh biomass production is computed from transpiration, assuming transpiration efficiency to be constant and atmospheric demand to be the driving force, under non‐limiting water supply. The fresh biomass is then distributed among expanding organs according to their relative demand. Demand for organ growth is estimated from allometric relationships (e.g. leaf surface to weight ratios) and kinetics of potential growth rate for each organ type. These are obtained through parameter optimization against empirical, morphological data sets by running the model in inverted mode. Potential growth rates are then used as estimates of relative sink strength in the model. These and other ‘hidden’ plant parameters are calibrated using the non‐linear, least‐square method. • Key Results and Conclusions The model reproduced accurately the dynamics of plant growth, architecture and geometry of various annual and woody plants, enabling 3D visualization. It was also able to simulate the variability of leaf size on the plant and compensatory growth following pruning, as a result of internal competition for resources. The potential of the model’s underlying concepts to predict the plant

  7. Plant growth and architectural modelling and its applications

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. ADP1 Affects Plant Architecture by Regulating Local Auxin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Barthélémy, Daniel; Caraglio, Yves

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Improving neural network performance on SIMD architectures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Limonova, Elena; Ilin, Dmitry; Nikolaev, Dmitry

    2015-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Loose Plant Architecture1, an INDETERMINATE DOMAIN protein involved in shoot gravitropism, regulates plant architecture in rice.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xinru; Tang, Ding; Li, Ming; Wang, Kejian; Cheng, Zhukuan

    2013-01-01

    Tiller angle and leaf angle are two important components of rice (Oryza sativa) plant architecture that play a crucial role in determining grain yield. Here, we report the cloning and characterization of the Loose Plant Architecture1 (LPA1) gene in rice, the functional ortholog of the AtIDD15/SHOOT GRAVITROPISM5 (SGR5) gene in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). LPA1 regulates tiller angle and leaf angle by controlling the adaxial growth of tiller node and lamina joint. LPA1 was also found to affect shoot gravitropism. Expression pattern analysis suggested that LPA1 influences plant architecture by affecting the gravitropism of leaf sheath pulvinus and lamina joint. However, LPA1 only influences gravity perception or signal transduction in coleoptile gravitropism by regulating the sedimentation rate of amyloplasts, distinct from the actions of LAZY1. LPA1 encodes a plant-specific INDETERMINATE DOMAIN protein and defines a novel subfamily of 28 INDETERMINATE DOMAIN proteins with several unique conserved features. LPA1 is localized in the nucleus and functions as an active transcriptional repressor, an activity mainly conferred by a conserved ethylene response factor-associated amphiphilic repression-like motif. Further analysis suggests that LPA1 participates in a complicated transcriptional and protein interaction network and has evolved novel functions distinct from SGR5. This study not only facilitates the understanding of gravitropism mechanisms but also generates a useful genetic material for rice breeding.

  14. Loose Plant Architecture1, an INDETERMINATE DOMAIN Protein Involved in Shoot Gravitropism, Regulates Plant Architecture in Rice1[W

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xinru; Tang, Ding; Li, Ming; Wang, Kejian; Cheng, Zhukuan

    2013-01-01

    Tiller angle and leaf angle are two important components of rice (Oryza sativa) plant architecture that play a crucial role in determining grain yield. Here, we report the cloning and characterization of the Loose Plant Architecture1 (LPA1) gene in rice, the functional ortholog of the AtIDD15/SHOOT GRAVITROPISM5 (SGR5) gene in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). LPA1 regulates tiller angle and leaf angle by controlling the adaxial growth of tiller node and lamina joint. LPA1 was also found to affect shoot gravitropism. Expression pattern analysis suggested that LPA1 influences plant architecture by affecting the gravitropism of leaf sheath pulvinus and lamina joint. However, LPA1 only influences gravity perception or signal transduction in coleoptile gravitropism by regulating the sedimentation rate of amyloplasts, distinct from the actions of LAZY1. LPA1 encodes a plant-specific INDETERMINATE DOMAIN protein and defines a novel subfamily of 28 INDETERMINATE DOMAIN proteins with several unique conserved features. LPA1 is localized in the nucleus and functions as an active transcriptional repressor, an activity mainly conferred by a conserved ethylene response factor-associated amphiphilic repression-like motif. Further analysis suggests that LPA1 participates in a complicated transcriptional and protein interaction network and has evolved novel functions distinct from SGR5. This study not only facilitates the understanding of gravitropism mechanisms but also generates a useful genetic material for rice breeding. PMID:23124325

  15. Architecture and evolution of a minute plant genome

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Antidiabetic plants improving insulin sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Eddouks, Mohamed; Bidi, Amina; El Bouhali, Bachir; Hajji, Lhoussain; Zeggwagh, Naoufel Ali

    2014-09-01

    Globally, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus is increasing at an alarming rate. This chronic pathology gravely troubled the human health and quality of life. Both insulin deficiency and insulin resistance are involved in the pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus. Moreover, insulin resistance is being diagnosed nowadays in a growing population of diabetic and obese patients, especially in industrialized societies. There are lots of conventional agents available to control and to treat diabetes, but total recovery from this disorder has not been reported up to this date. Plants provided a potential source of hypoglycemic drugs and are widely used in several traditional systems of medicine to prevent diabetes. A few reviews with less attention paid to mechanisms of action have been published on antidiabetic plants. The present review focuses on the various plants that have been reported to be effective in improving insulin sensitivity associated with diabetes. In this work, an updated systematic review of the published literature has been conducted to review the antidiabetic plants improving insulin sensitivity and 111 medicinal plants have been reported to have a beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity using several in-vitro and in-vivo animal models of diabetes. The different metabolic and cellular effects of the antidiabetic plants improving insulin sensitivity are reported indicating the important role of medicinal plants as potential alternative or complementary use in controlling insulin resistance associated with diabetes mellitus. © 2014 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

  17. Architecture capabilities to improve healthcare environments.

    PubMed

    Ebrahimi, Ali; Mardomi, Karim; Hassanpour Rahimabad, Kasra

    2013-01-01

    The physical environment of healthcare buildings has great importance in issues such as patient safety, functional efficiency, user satisfaction, healthcare outcomes, and energy and resources consumption. The present study assesses physical environments of Iranian healthcare buildings. This study was performed using a descriptive-analytical method. Data collection was carried out via a written questionnaire. Based on the findings of this study, "functional efficiency", "user satisfaction", "environmental issues", "patient safety", "accountability in incidents and disasters", and "flexibility" are regarded as the most issues in the country's hospitals. Also, none of the parameters is "without any problem" and has a "desirable status". According to the responses, all of the healthcare buildings in this research had flaws in their physical environment, which require attention. Thus, it is necessary to review and pay more attention to the architecture of the country's healthcare buildings.

  18. Evolution and genome architecture in fungal plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Möller, Mareike; Stukenbrock, Eva H

    2017-08-07

    The fungal kingdom comprises some of the most devastating plant pathogens. Sequencing the genomes of fungal pathogens has shown a remarkable variability in genome size and architecture. Population genomic data enable us to understand the mechanisms and the history of changes in genome size and adaptive evolution in plant pathogens. Although transposable elements predominantly have negative effects on their host, fungal pathogens provide prominent examples of advantageous associations between rapidly evolving transposable elements and virulence genes that cause variation in virulence phenotypes. By providing homogeneous environments at large regional scales, managed ecosystems, such as modern agriculture, can be conducive for the rapid evolution and dispersal of pathogens. In this Review, we summarize key examples from fungal plant pathogen genomics and discuss evolutionary processes in pathogenic fungi in the context of molecular evolution, population genomics and agriculture.

  19. Architectures for Improved Organic Semiconductor Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, Jonathan H.

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

  20. Improving Project Management Using Formal Models and Architectures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahn, Theodore; Sturken, Ian

    2011-01-01

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

  1. An improved architecture for video rate image transformations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fisher, Timothy E.; Juday, Richard D.

    1989-01-01

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

  2. The Airspace Concepts Evaluation System Architecture and System Plant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  3. The Airspace Concepts Evaluation System Architecture and System Plant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  4. Plant Growth Modelling and Applications: The Increasing Importance of Plant Architecture in Growth Models

    PubMed Central

    Fourcaud, Thierry; Zhang, Xiaopeng; Stokes, Alexia; Lambers, Hans; Körner, Christian

    2008-01-01

    Background Modelling plant growth allows us to test hypotheses and carry out virtual experiments concerning plant growth processes that could otherwise take years in field conditions. The visualization of growth simulations allows us to see directly and vividly the outcome of a given model and provides us with an instructive tool useful for agronomists and foresters, as well as for teaching. Functional–structural (FS) plant growth models are nowadays particularly important for integrating biological processes with environmental conditions in 3-D virtual plants, and provide the basis for more advanced research in plant sciences. Scope In this viewpoint paper, we ask the following questions. Are we modelling the correct processes that drive plant growth, and is growth driven mostly by sink or source activity? In current models, is the importance of soil resources (nutrients, water, temperature and their interaction with meristematic activity) considered adequately? Do classic models account for architectural adjustment as well as integrating the fundamental principles of development? Whilst answering these questions with the available data in the literature, we put forward the opinion that plant architecture and sink activity must be pushed to the centre of plant growth models. In natural conditions, sinks will more often drive growth than source activity, because sink activity is often controlled by finite soil resources or developmental constraints. PMA06 This viewpoint paper also serves as an introduction to this Special Issue devoted to plant growth modelling, which includes new research covering areas stretching from cell growth to biomechanics. All papers were presented at the Second International Symposium on Plant Growth Modeling, Simulation, Visualization and Applications (PMA06), held in Beijing, China, from 13–17 November, 2006. Although a large number of papers are devoted to FS models of agricultural and forest crop species, physiological and genetic

  5. Compounds and methods for improving plant performance

    DOEpatents

    Unkefer, Pat J.; Knight, Thomas Joseph

    2016-09-20

    The invention is directed to methods and compositions for increasing a growth characteristic of a plant, increasing nutrient use efficiency of a plant, or improving a plant's ability to overcome stress comprising applying a composition comprising ketosuccinamate, a derivative thereof, or a salt thereof, to the plant or to a propagation material of the plant.

  6. Hydraulic architecture of plants of Helianthus annuus L. cv. Margot: evidence for plant segmentation in herbs.

    PubMed

    Lo Gullo, M A; Castro Noval, L; Salleo, S; Nardini, A

    2004-07-01

    The hydraulic architecture of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L. cv. Margot) was studied in terms of the partitioning of the hydraulic conductance (Kleaf) of leaves inserted at progressively more apical nodes both in growing plants (GP) and in plants at full anthesis (mature plants, MP). Leaf conductance to water vapour (gL), leaf water potential (PsiL), leaf water potential at zero turgor (Psi tlp), and leaf osmotic potential at full turgor (pi0) were also measured. Sunflower plants showed gL and Kleaf values significantly increasing in the acropetal direction, while PsiL of basal leaves was significantly more negative than that of distal leaves; Psi tlp markedly decreased in the acropetal direction in MP so that leaves of MP retained increasingly more turgor the more apical they were. This hydraulic pattern, already present in very young plants (GP), strongly favours apical leaves. These data suggest that the progressive leaf dieback starting from the stem base, as observed when the inflorescence of sunflower reached maturity, might be due to time-dependent loss of hydraulic conductance. In fact, Kleaf loss was correlated with PsiL drop and stomatal closure. Leaf dehydration was aggravated by solute exportation from the basal towards the apical leaves, as revealed by the acropetal decrease of pi0. Kleaf was shown to be linearly and positively related to the prevailing ambient irradiance during plant growth, thus suggesting that leaf hydraulics is very sensitive to environmental conditions. It was concluded that the pronounced apical dominance of some sunflower cultivars is determined, among other factors, by plant hydraulic architecture.

  7. Genome-wide binding analysis of the transcription activator ideal plant architecture1 reveals a complex network regulating rice plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zefu; Yu, Hong; Xiong, Guosheng; Wang, Jing; Jiao, Yongqing; Liu, Guifu; Jing, Yanhui; Meng, Xiangbing; Hu, Xingming; Qian, Qian; Fu, Xiangdong; Wang, Yonghong; Li, Jiayang

    2013-10-01

    Ideal plant architecture1 (IPA1) is critical in regulating rice (Oryza sativa) plant architecture and substantially enhances grain yield. To elucidate its molecular basis, we first confirmed IPA1 as a functional transcription activator and then identified 1067 and 2185 genes associated with IPA1 binding sites in shoot apices and young panicles, respectively, through chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing assays. The Squamosa promoter binding protein-box direct binding core motif GTAC was highly enriched in IPA1 binding peaks; interestingly, a previously uncharacterized indirect binding motif TGGGCC/T was found to be significantly enriched through the interaction of IPA1 with proliferating cell nuclear antigen promoter binding factor1 or promoter binding factor2. Genome-wide expression profiling by RNA sequencing revealed IPA1 roles in diverse pathways. Moreover, our results demonstrated that IPA1 could directly bind to the promoter of rice teosinte branched1, a negative regulator of tiller bud outgrowth, to suppress rice tillering, and directly and positively regulate dense and erect panicle1, an important gene regulating panicle architecture, to influence plant height and panicle length. The elucidation of target genes of IPA1 genome-wide will contribute to understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying plant architecture and to facilitating the breeding of elite varieties with ideal plant architecture.

  8. Genome-Wide Binding Analysis of the Transcription Activator IDEAL PLANT ARCHITECTURE1 Reveals a Complex Network Regulating Rice Plant Architecture[W

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zefu; Yu, Hong; Xiong, Guosheng; Wang, Jing; Jiao, Yongqing; Liu, Guifu; Jing, Yanhui; Meng, Xiangbing; Hu, Xingming; Qian, Qian; Fu, Xiangdong; Wang, Yonghong; Li, Jiayang

    2013-01-01

    IDEAL PLANT ARCHITECTURE1 (IPA1) is critical in regulating rice (Oryza sativa) plant architecture and substantially enhances grain yield. To elucidate its molecular basis, we first confirmed IPA1 as a functional transcription activator and then identified 1067 and 2185 genes associated with IPA1 binding sites in shoot apices and young panicles, respectively, through chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing assays. The SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-box direct binding core motif GTAC was highly enriched in IPA1 binding peaks; interestingly, a previously uncharacterized indirect binding motif TGGGCC/T was found to be significantly enriched through the interaction of IPA1 with proliferating cell nuclear antigen PROMOTER BINDING FACTOR1 or PROMOTER BINDING FACTOR2. Genome-wide expression profiling by RNA sequencing revealed IPA1 roles in diverse pathways. Moreover, our results demonstrated that IPA1 could directly bind to the promoter of rice TEOSINTE BRANCHED1, a negative regulator of tiller bud outgrowth, to suppress rice tillering, and directly and positively regulate DENSE AND ERECT PANICLE1, an important gene regulating panicle architecture, to influence plant height and panicle length. The elucidation of target genes of IPA1 genome-wide will contribute to understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying plant architecture and to facilitating the breeding of elite varieties with ideal plant architecture. PMID:24170127

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norman, John M.; Goel, Narendra S.

    1993-01-01

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

  13. Root architecture simulation improves the inference from seedling root phenotyping towards mature root systems

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jiangsan; Rewald, Boris; Leitner, Daniel; Nagel, Kerstin A.; Nakhforoosh, Alireza

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Root phenotyping provides trait information for plant breeding. A shortcoming of high-throughput root phenotyping is the limitation to seedling plants and failure to make inferences on mature root systems. We suggest root system architecture (RSA) models to predict mature root traits and overcome the inference problem. Sixteen pea genotypes were phenotyped in (i) seedling (Petri dishes) and (ii) mature (sand-filled columns) root phenotyping platforms. The RSA model RootBox was parameterized with seedling traits to simulate the fully developed root systems. Measured and modelled root length, first-order lateral number, and root distribution were compared to determine key traits for model-based prediction. No direct relationship in root traits (tap, lateral length, interbranch distance) was evident between phenotyping systems. RootBox significantly improved the inference over phenotyping platforms. Seedling plant tap and lateral root elongation rates and interbranch distance were sufficient model parameters to predict genotype ranking in total root length with an RSpearman of 0.83. Parameterization including uneven lateral spacing via a scaling function substantially improved the prediction of architectures underlying the differently sized root systems. We conclude that RSA models can solve the inference problem of seedling root phenotyping. RSA models should be included in the phenotyping pipeline to provide reliable information on mature root systems to breeding research. PMID:28168270

  14. Root architecture simulation improves the inference from seedling root phenotyping towards mature root systems.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jiangsan; Bodner, Gernot; Rewald, Boris; Leitner, Daniel; Nagel, Kerstin A; Nakhforoosh, Alireza

    2017-02-01

    Root phenotyping provides trait information for plant breeding. A shortcoming of high-throughput root phenotyping is the limitation to seedling plants and failure to make inferences on mature root systems. We suggest root system architecture (RSA) models to predict mature root traits and overcome the inference problem. Sixteen pea genotypes were phenotyped in (i) seedling (Petri dishes) and (ii) mature (sand-filled columns) root phenotyping platforms. The RSA model RootBox was parameterized with seedling traits to simulate the fully developed root systems. Measured and modelled root length, first-order lateral number, and root distribution were compared to determine key traits for model-based prediction. No direct relationship in root traits (tap, lateral length, interbranch distance) was evident between phenotyping systems. RootBox significantly improved the inference over phenotyping platforms. Seedling plant tap and lateral root elongation rates and interbranch distance were sufficient model parameters to predict genotype ranking in total root length with an RSpearman of 0.83. Parameterization including uneven lateral spacing via a scaling function substantially improved the prediction of architectures underlying the differently sized root systems. We conclude that RSA models can solve the inference problem of seedling root phenotyping. RSA models should be included in the phenotyping pipeline to provide reliable information on mature root systems to breeding research. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

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

    PubMed

    DiPasquale, Stephen A; Byrne, Mark E

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    A plant's ability to maintain or improve its yield under limiting conditions, such as nutrient deficiency or drought, can be strongly influenced by root system architecture (RSA), the three-dimensional distribution of the different root types in the soil. The ability to image, track and quantify these root system attributes in a dynamic fashion is a useful tool in assessing desirable genetic and physiological root traits. Recent advances in imaging technology and phenotyping software have resulted in substantive progress in describing and quantifying RSA. We have designed a hydroponic growth system which retains the three-dimensional RSA of the plant root system, while allowing for aeration, solution replenishment and the imposition of nutrient treatments, as well as high-quality imaging of the root system. The simplicity and flexibility of the system allows for modifications tailored to the RSA of different crop species and improved throughput. This paper details the recent improvements and innovations in our root growth and imaging system which allows for greater image sensitivity (detection of fine roots and other root details), higher efficiency, and a broad array of growing conditions for plants that more closely mimic those found under field conditions. © 2015 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-31

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

  18. Herbivore attack in Casearia nitida influenced by plant ontogenetic variation in foliage quality and plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Boege, Karina

    2005-03-01

    Traits influencing plant quality as food and/or shelter for herbivores may change during plant ontogeny, and as a consequence, influence the amount of herbivory that plants receive as they develop. In this study, differences in herbivore density and herbivory were evaluated for two ontogenetic stages of the tropical tree Casearia nitida. To assess plant ontogenetic differences in foliage quality as food for herbivores, nutritional and defensive traits were evaluated in saplings and reproductive trees. Predatory arthropods were quantified and the foraging preferences of a parasitoid wasp of the genus Zacremnops were assessed. In addition, survival rates of lepidopteran herbivores (Geometridae) were evaluated experimentally. Herbivore density was three times higher and herbivory was 66% greater in saplings than in reproductive trees. Accordingly, concentrations of total foliar phenolics were higher in reproductive trees than in saplings, whereas leaf toughness, water and nitrogen concentration did not vary between ontogenetic stages. Survival rates of lepidopteran larvae exposed to natural enemies were equivalent in reproductive trees and saplings. Given the greater herbivore density on saplings, equal survival rates implied a greater foraging effort of predators on reproductive trees. Furthermore, observed foraging of parasitoid wasps was restricted to reproductive trees. I propose that herbivore density, and as a consequence, leaf damage were lower in reproductive trees than in saplings due to both traits influencing food quality, and architectural or unmeasured indirect defensive traits influencing foraging preference of natural enemies of herbivores.

  19. Housing helpful invaders: the evolutionary and molecular architecture underlying plant root-mutualist microbe interactions.

    PubMed

    Lagunas, B; Schäfer, P; Gifford, M L

    2015-04-01

    Plant root rhizosphere interactions with mutualistic microbes are diverse and numerous, having evolved over time in response to selective pressures on plants to attain anchorage and nutrients. These relationships can be considered to be formed through a combination of architectural connections: molecular architecture interactions that control root-microbe perception and regulate the balance between host and symbiont and developmental architecture interactions that enable the microbes to be 'housed' in the root and enable the exchange of compounds. Recent findings that help to understand the common architecture that exists between nodulation and mycorrhizal interactions, and how this architecture could be re-tuned to develop new symbioses, are discussed here. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Housing helpful invaders: the evolutionary and molecular architecture underlying plant root-mutualist microbe interactions

    PubMed Central

    Lagunas, B.; Schäfer, P.; Gifford, M. L.

    2015-01-01

    Plant root rhizosphere interactions with mutualistic microbes are diverse and numerous, having evolved over time in response to selective pressures on plants to attain anchorage and nutrients. These relationships can be considered to be formed through a combination of architectural connections: molecular architecture interactions that control root–microbe perception and regulate the balance between host and symbiont and developmental architecture interactions that enable the microbes to be ‘housed’ in the root and enable the exchange of compounds. Recent findings that help to understand the common architecture that exists between nodulation and mycorrhizal interactions, and how this architecture could be re-tuned to develop new symbioses, are discussed here. PMID:25743160

  1. Rice Morphogenesis and Plant Architecture: Measurement, Specification and the Reconstruction of Structural Development by 3D Architectural Modelling

    PubMed Central

    WATANABE, TOMONARI; HANAN, JIM S.; ROOM, PETER M.; HASEGAWA, TOSHIHIRO; NAKAGAWA, HIROSHI; TAKAHASHI, WATARU

    2005-01-01

    • Background and Aims The morphogenesis and architecture of a rice plant, Oryza sativa, are critical factors in the yield equation, but they are not well studied because of the lack of appropriate tools for 3D measurement. The architecture of rice plants is characterized by a large number of tillers and leaves. The aims of this study were to specify rice plant architecture and to find appropriate functions to represent the 3D growth across all growth stages. • Methods A japonica type rice, ‘Namaga’, was grown in pots under outdoor conditions. A 3D digitizer was used to measure the rice plant structure at intervals from the young seedling stage to maturity. The L-system formalism was applied to create ‘3D virtual rice’ plants, incorporating models of phenological development and leaf emergence period as a function of temperature and photoperiod, which were used to determine the timing of tiller emergence. • Key Results The relationships between the nodal positions and leaf lengths, leaf angles and tiller angles were analysed and used to determine growth functions for the models. The ‘3D virtual rice’ reproduces the structural development of isolated plants and provides a good estimation of the tillering process, and of the accumulation of leaves. • Conclusions The results indicated that the ‘3D virtual rice’ has a possibility to demonstrate the differences in the structure and development between cultivars and under different environmental conditions. Future work, necessary to reflect both cultivar and environmental effects on the model performance, and to link with physiological models, is proposed in the discussion. PMID:15820987

  2. Regulation of OsSPL14 by OsmiR156 defines ideal plant architecture in rice.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Yongqing; Wang, Yonghong; Xue, Dawei; Wang, Jing; Yan, Meixian; Liu, Guifu; Dong, Guojun; Zeng, Dali; Lu, Zefu; Zhu, Xudong; Qian, Qian; Li, Jiayang

    2010-06-01

    Increasing crop yield is a major challenge for modern agriculture. The development of new plant types, which is known as ideal plant architecture (IPA), has been proposed as a means to enhance rice yield potential over that of existing high-yield varieties. Here, we report the cloning and characterization of a semidominant quantitative trait locus, IPA1 (Ideal Plant Architecture 1), which profoundly changes rice plant architecture and substantially enhances rice grain yield. The IPA1 quantitative trait locus encodes OsSPL14 (SOUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE 14) and is regulated by microRNA (miRNA) OsmiR156 in vivo. We demonstrate that a point mutation in OsSPL14 perturbs OsmiR156-directed regulation of OsSPL14, generating an 'ideal' rice plant with a reduced tiller number, increased lodging resistance and enhanced grain yield. Our study suggests that OsSPL14 may help improve rice grain yield by facilitating the breeding of new elite rice varieties.

  3. Plant architecture and growth response of kudzu (fabaceae: Fabaceae) to simulated insect herbivory.

    PubMed

    Frye, M J; Hough-Goldstein, J

    2013-10-01

    Kudzu [Pueraria montana variety lobata (Willd.) Maesen & S. M. Almeida] plant architecture and growth were compared for plants subjected to 4 wk of simulated herbivory (75% leaf cutting) and no damage. Simulated herbivory reduced above-ground and root biomass by 40 and 47%, respectively, whereas total vine length and average length of the 10 longest vines were reduced by 48 and 43%, respectively, compared with control plants. Plant architecture was also affected, with damaged plants showing a significantly reduced proportion of primary vines, shorter secondary vines, and reduced average internode distances compared with the control plants. In natural situations, these changes would reduce the ability of kudzu to compete for light and other resources by affecting the plant's climbing habit.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  9. A technique system for the measurement, reconstruction and character extraction of rice plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Li, Xumeng; Wang, Xiaohui; Wei, Hailin; Zhu, Xinguang; Peng, Yulin; Li, Ming; Li, Tao; Huang, Huang

    2017-01-01

    This study developed a technique system for the measurement, reconstruction, and trait extraction of rice canopy architectures, which have challenged functional-structural plant modeling for decades and have become the foundation of the design of ideo-plant architectures. The system uses the location-separation-measurement method (LSMM) for the collection of data on the canopy architecture and the analytic geometry method for the reconstruction and visualization of the three-dimensional (3D) digital architecture of the rice plant. It also uses the virtual clipping method for extracting the key traits of the canopy architecture such as the leaf area, inclination, and azimuth distribution in spatial coordinates. To establish the technique system, we developed (i) simple tools to measure the spatial position of the stem axis and azimuth of the leaf midrib and to capture images of tillers and leaves; (ii) computer software programs for extracting data on stem diameter, leaf nodes, and leaf midrib curves from the tiller images and data on leaf length, width, and shape from the leaf images; (iii) a database of digital architectures that stores the measured data and facilitates the reconstruction of the 3D visual architecture and the extraction of architectural traits; and (iv) computation algorithms for virtual clipping to stratify the rice canopy, to extend the stratified surface from the horizontal plane to a general curved surface (including a cylindrical surface), and to implement in silico. Each component of the technique system was quantitatively validated and visually compared to images, and the sensitivity of the virtual clipping algorithms was analyzed. This technique is inexpensive and accurate and provides high throughput for the measurement, reconstruction, and trait extraction of rice canopy architectures. The technique provides a more practical method of data collection to serve functional-structural plant models of rice and for the optimization of rice

  10. A technique system for the measurement, reconstruction and character extraction of rice plant architecture

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xumeng; Wang, Xiaohui; Wei, Hailin; Zhu, Xinguang; Peng, Yulin; Li, Ming; Li, Tao; Huang, Huang

    2017-01-01

    This study developed a technique system for the measurement, reconstruction, and trait extraction of rice canopy architectures, which have challenged functional–structural plant modeling for decades and have become the foundation of the design of ideo-plant architectures. The system uses the location-separation-measurement method (LSMM) for the collection of data on the canopy architecture and the analytic geometry method for the reconstruction and visualization of the three-dimensional (3D) digital architecture of the rice plant. It also uses the virtual clipping method for extracting the key traits of the canopy architecture such as the leaf area, inclination, and azimuth distribution in spatial coordinates. To establish the technique system, we developed (i) simple tools to measure the spatial position of the stem axis and azimuth of the leaf midrib and to capture images of tillers and leaves; (ii) computer software programs for extracting data on stem diameter, leaf nodes, and leaf midrib curves from the tiller images and data on leaf length, width, and shape from the leaf images; (iii) a database of digital architectures that stores the measured data and facilitates the reconstruction of the 3D visual architecture and the extraction of architectural traits; and (iv) computation algorithms for virtual clipping to stratify the rice canopy, to extend the stratified surface from the horizontal plane to a general curved surface (including a cylindrical surface), and to implement in silico. Each component of the technique system was quantitatively validated and visually compared to images, and the sensitivity of the virtual clipping algorithms was analyzed. This technique is inexpensive and accurate and provides high throughput for the measurement, reconstruction, and trait extraction of rice canopy architectures. The technique provides a more practical method of data collection to serve functional–structural plant models of rice and for the optimization of rice

  11. Benefits of hosted payload architectures for improved GEO SSA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vallado, D.; Lowe, J.; Anderson, J.

    2011-09-01

    Maintaining a precise catalog of objects in and near the GEO belt is difficult for a variety of reasons. Optical Hosted Payloads (HP) on commercial satellites have been suggested as a solution to provide accurate, persistent catalog updates to augment existing data or even relieve schedule burden on traditional tracking systems. However, significant questions remain about what architecture requirements are necessary for stable orbit determination solutions, accuracy improvements over traditional tracking systems, and optimal catalog coverage. System trades are performed using COTS software to determine the influence of number, frequency, and accuracy of observations on orbit solution stability and uncertainty. System configurations are also evaluated against catalog coverage metrics such as number and percent of objects observed, number of tracks per day, and revisit times. Initial results show that some assumed configurations can produce stable, accurate orbit solutions for most of the catalog in and near GEO. Fusing observations from HP sensors with traditional ground data may yield dramatic improvements in positional uncertainty of one to two orders of magnitude, often with multiple observations each day.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. [Root architecture of two desert plants in central Hexi Corridor of Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Shan, Li-Shan; Li, Yi; Ren, Wei; Su, Shi-Ping; Dong, Qiu-Lian; Geng, Dong-Mei

    2013-01-01

    In this study, the root systems of desert plant species Reaumuria soongorica and Nitraria tangutorum in the central Hexi Corridor of Northwest China were excavated by shovel, and the characteristics of the plant root architecture were analyzed by using topology and fractal theory. The root topological indices of the two desert plants were small, and the root branching patterns were herringbone-like. The roots of the two desert plants had obvious fractal characteristics, with the fractal dimension of R. soongorica and N. tangutorum being (1.18 +/- 0.04) and (1.36 +/- 0.06), respectively. The root fractal dimension and fractal abundance were significantly positively correlated with the root average link length. The root average link lengths of the two plants were long, which enlarged the plants' effective nutrition space, and thus, made the plants adapt to the dry and infertile soil environment. The sums of the root cross-sectional areas before and after the root bifurcation of the two desert plants were equal, which verified the principle of Leonardo da Vinci. A total of 17 parameters of root architecture were analyzed by the principal component analysis. The parameters of root topological structure, numbers of root links, stepwise branching ratio, and root diameter could well present the root architecture characteristics of the two desert plants.

  14. Using three-dimensional plant root architecture in models of shallow-slope stability.

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

    The contribution of vegetation to shallow-slope stability is of major importance in landslide-prone regions. However, existing slope stability models use only limited plant root architectural parameters. This study aims to provide a chain of tools useful for determining the contribution of tree roots to soil reinforcement. Three-dimensional digitizing in situ was used to obtain accurate root system architecture data for mature Quercus alba in two forest stands. These data were used as input to tools developed, which analyse the spatial position of roots, topology and geometry. The contribution of roots to soil reinforcement was determined by calculating additional soil cohesion using the limit equilibrium model, and the factor of safety (FOS) using an existing slope stability model, Slip4Ex. Existing models may incorrectly estimate the additional soil cohesion provided by roots, as the spatial position of roots crossing the potential slip surface is usually not taken into account. However, most soil reinforcement by roots occurs close to the tree stem and is negligible at a distance >1.0 m from the tree, and therefore global values of FOS for a slope do not take into account local slippage along the slope. Within a forest stand on a landslide-prone slope, soil fixation by roots can be minimal between uniform rows of trees, leading to local soil slippage. Therefore, staggered rows of trees would improve overall slope stability, as trees would arrest the downward movement of soil. The chain of tools consisting of both software (free for non-commercial use) and functions available from the first author will enable a more accurate description and use of root architectural parameters in standard slope stability analyses.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Nanosatellite Architectures for Improved Study of the Hydrologic Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  17. Biotechnological Advancements for Improving Floral Attributes in Ornamental Plants

    PubMed Central

    Noman, Ali; Aqeel, Muhammad; Deng, Jianming; Khalid, Noreen; Sanaullah, Tayyaba; Shuilin, He

    2017-01-01

    Developing new ornamental cultivars with improved floral attributes is a major goal in floriculture. Biotechnological approach together with classical breeding methods has been used to modify floral color, appearance as well as for increasing disease resistance. Transgenic strategies possess immense potential to produce novel flower phenotypes that are not found in nature. Adoption of Genetic engineering has supported the idea of floral trait modification. Ornamental plant attributes like floral color, fragrance, disease resistance, and vase life can be improved by means of genetic manipulation. Therefore, we witness transgenic plant varieties of high aesthetic and commercial value. This review focuses on biotechnological advancements in manipulating key floral traits that contribute in development of diverse ornamental plant lines. Data clearly reveals that regulation of biosynthetic pathways related to characteristics like pigment production, flower morphology and fragrance is both possible and predictable. In spite of their great significance, small number of genetically engineered varieties of ornamental plants has been field tested. Today, novel flower colors production is regarded as chief commercial benefit obtained from transgenic plants. But certain other floral traits are much more important and have high commercial potential. Other than achievements such as novel architecture, modified flower color, etc., very few reports are available regarding successful transformation of other valuable horticultural characteristics. Our review also summarized biotechnological efforts related to enhancement of fragrance and induction of early flowering along with changes in floral anatomy and morphology. PMID:28473834

  18. Biotechnological Advancements for Improving Floral Attributes in Ornamental Plants.

    PubMed

    Noman, Ali; Aqeel, Muhammad; Deng, Jianming; Khalid, Noreen; Sanaullah, Tayyaba; Shuilin, He

    2017-01-01

    Developing new ornamental cultivars with improved floral attributes is a major goal in floriculture. Biotechnological approach together with classical breeding methods has been used to modify floral color, appearance as well as for increasing disease resistance. Transgenic strategies possess immense potential to produce novel flower phenotypes that are not found in nature. Adoption of Genetic engineering has supported the idea of floral trait modification. Ornamental plant attributes like floral color, fragrance, disease resistance, and vase life can be improved by means of genetic manipulation. Therefore, we witness transgenic plant varieties of high aesthetic and commercial value. This review focuses on biotechnological advancements in manipulating key floral traits that contribute in development of diverse ornamental plant lines. Data clearly reveals that regulation of biosynthetic pathways related to characteristics like pigment production, flower morphology and fragrance is both possible and predictable. In spite of their great significance, small number of genetically engineered varieties of ornamental plants has been field tested. Today, novel flower colors production is regarded as chief commercial benefit obtained from transgenic plants. But certain other floral traits are much more important and have high commercial potential. Other than achievements such as novel architecture, modified flower color, etc., very few reports are available regarding successful transformation of other valuable horticultural characteristics. Our review also summarized biotechnological efforts related to enhancement of fragrance and induction of early flowering along with changes in floral anatomy and morphology.

  19. High-Resolution Laser Scanning Reveals Plant Architectures that Reflect Universal Network Design Principles.

    PubMed

    Conn, Adam; Pedmale, Ullas V; Chory, Joanne; Navlakha, Saket

    2017-07-26

    Transport networks serve critical functions in biological and engineered systems, and yet their design requires trade-offs between competing objectives. Due to their sessile lifestyle, plants need to optimize their architecture to efficiently acquire and distribute resources while also minimizing costs in building infrastructure. To understand how plants resolve this design trade-off, we used high-precision three-dimensional laser scanning to map the architectures of tomato, tobacco, or sorghum plants grown in several environmental conditions and through multiple developmental time points, scanning in total 505 architectures from 37 plants. Using a graph-theoretic algorithm that we developed to evaluate design strategies, we find that plant architectures lie along the Pareto front between two simple length-based objectives-minimizing total branch length and minimizing nutrient transport distance-thereby conferring a selective fitness advantage for plant transport processes. The location along the Pareto front can distinguish among species and conditions, suggesting that during evolution, natural selection may employ common network design principles despite different optimization trade-offs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Architectures for High-Performance Ceramic Composites Being Improved

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yun, Hee Mann; DiCarlo, James A.

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Plant architecture attributes such as tillering, plant height and panicle size are important agronomic traits that determine rice (Oryza sativa) productivity. Here, we report that altered auxin content, transport and distribution affect these traits, and hence rice yield. Overexpression of the auxin efflux carrier-like gene OsPIN5b causes pleiotropic effects, mainly reducing plant height, leaf and tiller number, shoot and root biomass, seed-setting rate, panicle length and yield parameters. Conversely, reduced expression of OsPIN5b results in higher tiller number, more vigorous root system, longer panicles and increased yield. We show that OsPIN5b is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) -localized protein that participates in auxin homeostasis, transport and distribution in vivo. This work describes an example of an auxin-related gene where modulating its expression can simultaneously improve plant architecture and yield potential in rice, and reveals an important effect of hormonal signaling on these traits. © 2015 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Does plant architectural complexity increase with increasing habitat complexity? A test with a pioneer shrub in the Brazilian Cerrado.

    PubMed

    Silveira, F A O; Oliveira, E G

    2013-05-01

    Understanding variation in plant traits in heterogeneous habitats is important to predict responses to changing environments, but trait-environment associations are poorly known along ecological gradients. We tested the hypothesis that plant architectural complexity increases with habitat complexity along a soil fertility gradient in a Cerrado (Neotropical savanna) area in southeastern Brazil. Plant architecture and productivity (estimated as the total number of healthy infructescences) of Miconia albicans (SW.) Triana were examined in three types of vegetation which together form a natural gradient of increasing soil fertility, tree density and canopy cover: grasslands (campo sujo, CS), shrublands (cerrado sensu strico, CE) and woodlands (cerradão, CD). As expected, plants growing at the CS were shorter and had a lower branching pattern, whereas plants at the CD were the tallest. Unexpectedly, however, CD plants did not show higher architectural complexity compared to CE plants. Higher architectural similarity between CE and CD plants compared to similarity between CS and CE plants suggests reduced expression of functional architectural traits under shade. Plants growing at the CE produced more quaternary shoots, leading to a larger number of infructescences. This higher plant productivity in CE indicates that trait variation in ecological gradients is more complex than previously thought. Nematode-induced galls accounted for fruit destruction in 76.5% infructescences across physiognomies, but percentage of attack was poorly related to architectural variables. Our data suggest shade-induced limitation in M. albicans architecture, and point to complex phenotypic variation in heterogeneous habitats in Neotropical savannas.

  3. Widespread mechanosensing controls the structure behind the architecture in plants.

    PubMed

    Hamant, Olivier

    2013-10-01

    Mechanical forces play an instructing role for many aspects of animal cell biology, such as division, polarity and fate. Although the associated mechanoperception pathways still remain largely elusive in plants, physical cues have long been thought to guide development in parallel to biochemical factors. With the development of new imaging techniques, micromechanics tools and modeling approaches, the role of mechanical signals in plant development is now re-examined and fully integrated with modern cell biology. Using recent examples from the literature, I propose to use a multiscale perspective, from the whole plant down to the cell wall, to fully appreciate the diversity of developmental processes that depend on mechanical signals. Incidentally, this also illustrates how conceptually rich this field is.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. RhizoTubes as a new tool for high throughput imaging of plant root development and architecture: test, comparison with pot grown plants and validation.

    PubMed

    Jeudy, Christian; Adrian, Marielle; Baussard, Christophe; Bernard, Céline; Bernaud, Eric; Bourion, Virginie; Busset, Hughes; Cabrera-Bosquet, Llorenç; Cointault, Frédéric; Han, Simeng; Lamboeuf, Mickael; Moreau, Delphine; Pivato, Barbara; Prudent, Marion; Trouvelot, Sophie; Truong, Hoai Nam; Vernoud, Vanessa; Voisin, Anne-Sophie; Wipf, Daniel; Salon, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    In order to maintain high yields while saving water and preserving non-renewable resources and thus limiting the use of chemical fertilizer, it is crucial to select plants with more efficient root systems. This could be achieved through an optimization of both root architecture and root uptake ability and/or through the improvement of positive plant interactions with microorganisms in the rhizosphere. The development of devices suitable for high-throughput phenotyping of root structures remains a major bottleneck. Rhizotrons suitable for plant growth in controlled conditions and non-invasive image acquisition of plant shoot and root systems (RhizoTubes) are described. These RhizoTubes allow growing one to six plants simultaneously, having a maximum height of 1.1 m, up to 8 weeks, depending on plant species. Both shoot and root compartment can be imaged automatically and non-destructively throughout the experiment thanks to an imaging cabin (RhizoCab). RhizoCab contains robots and imaging equipment for obtaining high-resolution pictures of plant roots. Using this versatile experimental setup, we illustrate how some morphometric root traits can be determined for various species including model (Medicago truncatula), crops (Pisum sativum, Brassica napus, Vitis vinifera, Triticum aestivum) and weed (Vulpia myuros) species grown under non-limiting conditions or submitted to various abiotic and biotic constraints. The measurement of the root phenotypic traits using this system was compared to that obtained using "classic" growth conditions in pots. This integrated system, to include 1200 Rhizotubes, will allow high-throughput phenotyping of plant shoots and roots under various abiotic and biotic environmental conditions. Our system allows an easy visualization or extraction of roots and measurement of root traits for high-throughput or kinetic analyses. The utility of this system for studying root system architecture will greatly facilitate the identification of

  8. Metabolomics for Plant Improvement: Status and Prospects

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Rakesh; Bohra, Abhishek; Pandey, Arun K.; Pandey, Manish K.; Kumar, Anirudh

    2017-01-01

    Post-genomics era has witnessed the development of cutting-edge technologies that have offered cost-efficient and high-throughput ways for molecular characterization of the function of a cell or organism. Large-scale metabolite profiling assays have allowed researchers to access the global data sets of metabolites and the corresponding metabolic pathways in an unprecedented way. Recent efforts in metabolomics have been directed to improve the quality along with a major focus on yield related traits. Importantly, an integration of metabolomics with other approaches such as quantitative genetics, transcriptomics and genetic modification has established its immense relevance to plant improvement. An effective combination of these modern approaches guides researchers to pinpoint the functional gene(s) and the characterization of massive metabolites, in order to prioritize the candidate genes for downstream analyses and ultimately, offering trait specific markers to improve commercially important traits. This in turn will improve the ability of a plant breeder by allowing him to make more informed decisions. Given this, the present review captures the significant leads gained in the past decade in the field of plant metabolomics accompanied by a brief discussion on the current contribution and the future scope of metabolomics to accelerate plant improvement. PMID:28824660

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    To face future challenges in crop production dictated by global climate changes, breeders and plant researchers collaborate to develop productive crops that are able to withstand a wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses. However, crop selection is often focused on shoot performance alone, as observation of root properties is more complex and asks for artificial and extensive phenotyping platforms. In addition, most root research focuses on development, while a direct link to the functionality of plasticity in root development for tolerance is often lacking. In this paper we review the currently known root system architecture (RSA) responses in Arabidopsis and a number of crop species to a range of abiotic stresses, including nutrient limitation, drought, salinity, flooding, and extreme temperatures. For each of these stresses, the key molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the RSA response are highlighted. To explore the relevance for crop selection, we especially review and discuss studies linking root architectural responses to stress tolerance. This will provide a first step toward understanding the relevance of adaptive root development for a plant’s response to its environment. We suggest that functional evidence on the role of root plasticity will support breeders in their efforts to include root properties in their current selection pipeline for abiotic stress tolerance, aimed to improve the robustness of crops. PMID:27630659

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Denley, Tristan

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Foliage Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolverton, B. C.

    1988-01-01

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

  14. Application of bacteria from non-cultivated plants to promote growth, alter root architecture and alleviate salt stress of cotton.

    PubMed

    Irizarry, I; White, J F

    2017-04-01

    Cotton seeds are frequently treated with acid to remove fibres and reduce seed-transmitted diseases. This process also eliminates beneficial bacteria on the seed surface. The goal of this research was to seek and apply beneficial bacteria to acid delinted cotton seeds to evaluate their growth-promoting and salt stress alleviating effects in seedlings. Bacteria were isolated from non-cultivated plants in the Malvaceae. Seeds were collected from Portia tree (Thespesia populnea) and wild cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) from coastal and arid areas of Puerto Rico. Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Curtobacterium oceanosedimentum and Pseudomonas oryzihabitans were inoculated onto acid delinted cotton seeds. Bacteria increased cotton seed germination and length of emerging seedling radicles. Cotton seeds were inoculated with B. amyloliquefaciens to evaluate growth and root architecture of non-stressed and salt stressed seedlings. Inoculating cotton seeds with B. amyloliquefaciens led to a greater percentage of seedlings with expanded cotyledons after 8 days, enhanced primary and lateral root growth, and altered root architecture. Similar results were obtained when okra seeds were inoculated with B. amyloliquefaciens. The data supported the hypothesis that non-cultivated plants in the Malvaceae growing in stressful environments possess bacteria that promote growth, alter root architecture and alleviate salt stress of cotton and okra seedlings. This study demonstrated the effects of applying beneficial bacteria on acid delinted cotton seeds. Inoculating seeds with salt stress alleviating bacteria could improve the growth of crop seedlings that are vulnerable to soil salinization. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  15. Role of RNA interference in plant improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  17. Functional architecture of higher plant photosystem II supercomplexes.

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-07

    Photosystem II (PSII) is a large multiprotein complex, which catalyses water splitting and plastoquinone reduction necessary to transform sunlight into chemical energy. Detailed functional and structural studies of the complex from higher plants have been hampered by the impossibility to purify it to homogeneity. In this work, homogeneous preparations ranging from a newly identified particle composed by a monomeric core and antenna proteins to the largest C(2)S(2)M(2) supercomplex were isolated. Characterization by biochemical methods and single particle electron microscopy allowed to relate for the first time the supramolecular organization to the protein content. A projection map of C(2)S(2)M(2) at 12 A resolution was obtained, which allowed determining the location and the orientation of the antenna proteins. Comparison of the supercomplexes obtained from WT and Lhcb-deficient plants reveals the importance of the individual subunits for the supramolecular organization. The functional implications of these findings are discussed and allow redefining previous suggestions on PSII energy transfer, assembly, photoinhibition, state transition and non-photochemical quenching.

  18. Diversity of maize shoot apical meristem architecture and its relationship to plant morphology.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Addie M; Yu, Jianming; Timmermans, Marja C P; Schnable, Patrick; Crants, James C; Scanlon, Michael J; Muehlbauer, Gary J

    2015-03-05

    The shoot apical meristem contains a pool of undifferentiated stem cells and controls initiation of all aerial plant organs. In maize (Zea mays), leaves are formed throughout vegetative development; on transition to floral development, the shoot meristem forms the tassel. Due to the regulated balance between stem cell maintenance and organogenesis, the structure and morphology of the shoot meristem are constrained during vegetative development. Previous work identified loci controlling meristem architecture in a recombinant inbred line population. The study presented here expanded on this by investigating shoot apical meristem morphology across a diverse set of maize inbred lines. Crosses of these lines to common parents showed varying phenotypic expression in the F1, with some form of heterosis occasionally observed. An investigation of meristematic growth throughout vegetative development in diverse lines linked the timing of reproductive transition to flowering time. Phenotypic correlations of meristem morphology with adult plant traits showed an association between the meristem and flowering time, leaf shape, and yield traits, revealing links between the control and architecture of undifferentiated and differentiated plant organs. Finally, quantitative trait loci mapping was utilized to map the genetic architecture of these meristem traits in two divergent populations. Control of meristem architecture was mainly population-specific, with 15 total unique loci mapped across the two populations with only one locus identified in both populations. Copyright © 2015 Thompson et al.

  19. Improving Quality Using Architecture Fault Analysis with Confidence Arguments

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-03-01

    from the position control software into electrical signals to a stepper motor , and the stepper motor SM_Motor. Figure 10: Details of Logical...commanded number of steps into electrical signals to SM to perform one step at a time. The interface between the actuator and the stepper motor is modeled...Design 8 2.3 Architecture Fault Modeling and Analysis with EMV2 8 2.4 Confidence Map Concepts and Notation 11 Overview of the Stepper- Motor System

  20. Leveraging Small Satellite Mission Architectures to Improve Science Return

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lightsey, E.

    2012-12-01

    Small satellite mission architectures offer unique advantages for maximizing overall science return compared to traditional larger satellites. While smaller satellites (mass < 180 kg) are generally not as capable as their larger counterparts on an individual basis, their easier access to launch and lower life cycle costs enable multi-vehicle formations that can outperform individual satellites at realistic price points. The possibility of new types of distributed sensor platforms and massive space networks may now be considered for data intensive scientific problems that were previously not feasible. This study investigates the advantages and challenges of distributed satellite architectures as a means of conducting future scientific space missions. Different methodologies of assembling and organizing multi-vehicle formations are presented, including: standalone vehicles, fractionated platforms, ad hoc networks, and selectively upgradeable formations. Techniques for performing formation assembly and maintenance, assessing cost and reliability, and evaluating overall effectiveness are proposed. Satellite technologies that are used to support these architectures are surveyed and technical areas that need development are identified. The analysis of multi-vehicle formations is generalized so that an appropriate architecture can be chosen to support a desired scientific objective. Representative example missions are considered from Earth and Space Science applications to demonstrate mission trades and illustrate benefits. Specific emphasis is given to the information exchange between vehicles to maintain the formation and to relay observations for measurement processing. On-board processing is considered as a means to reduce the overall required information exchange, particularly for smaller, simpler, and lower cost satellites such as would be employed in a multi-vehicle formation.

  1. Enhancing auxin accumulation in maize root tips improves root growth and dwarfs plant height.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhaoxia; Zhang, Xinrui; Zhao, Yajie; Li, Yujie; Zhang, Guangfeng; Peng, Zhenghua; Zhang, Juren

    2017-05-12

    Maize is a globally important food, feed crop and raw material for the food and energy industry. Plant architecture optimization plays important roles in maize yield improvement. PIN-FORMED (PIN) proteins are important for regulating auxin spatiotemporal asymmetric distribution in multiple plant developmental processes. In this study, ZmPIN1a overexpression in maize increased the number of lateral roots and inhibited their elongation, forming a developed root system with longer seminal roots and denser lateral roots. ZmPIN1a overexpression reduced plant height, internode length and ear height. This modification of the maize phenotype increased the yield under high-density cultivation conditions, and the developed root system improved plant resistance to drought, lodging and a low-phosphate environment. IAA concentration, transport capacity determination and application of external IAA indicated that ZmPIN1a overexpression led to increased IAA transport from shoot to root. The increase in auxin in the root enabled the plant to allocate more carbohydrates to the roots, enhanced the growth of the root and improved plant resistance to environmental stress. These findings demonstrate that maize plant architecture can be improved by root breeding to create an ideal phenotype for further yield increases. © 2017 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Engineering of gibberellin levels in citrus by sense and antisense overexpression of a GA 20-oxidase gene modifies plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Fagoaga, Carmen; Tadeo, Francisco R; Iglesias, Domingo J; Huerta, Laura; Lliso, Ignacio; Vidal, Ana M; Talon, Manuel; Navarro, Luís; García-Martínez, José L; Peña, Leandro

    2007-01-01

    Carrizo citrange (Citrus sinensisxPoncirus trifoliata) is a citrus hybrid widely used as a rootstock, whose genetic manipulation to improve different growth characteristics is of high agronomic interest. In this work, transgenic Carrizo citrange plants have been produced overexpressing sense and antisense CcGA20ox1 (a key enzyme of GA biosynthesis) under control of the 35S promoter to modify plant architecture. As expected, taller (sense) and shorter (antisense) phenotypes correlated with higher and lower levels, respectively, of active GA1 in growing shoots. In contrast, other phenotypic characteristics seemed to be specific to citrus, or different from those described for similar transgenics in other species. For instance, thorns, typical organs of citrus at juvenile stages, were much longer in sense and shorter in antisense plants, and xylem tissue was reduced in leaf and internode of sense plants. Antisense plants presented a bushy phenotype, suggesting a possible effect of GAs on auxin biosynthesis and/or transport. The main foliole of sense plants was longer, although total leaf area was reduced. Leaf thickness was smaller in sense and larger in antisense plants due to changes in the spongy parenchyma. Internode cell length was not altered in transgenic plants, indicating that, in citrus, GAs regulate cell division rather than cell elongation. Interestingly, the phenotypes described were not apparent when transgenic plants were grafted on non-transgenic rootstock. This suggests that roots contribute to the GA economy of aerial parts in citrus and opens the possibility of using the antisense plants as dwarfing rootstocks.

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

    PubMed

    Kiba, Takatoshi; Krapp, Anne

    2016-04-01

    Nitrogen availability is a major factor determining plant growth and productivity. Plants acquire nitrogen nutrients from the soil through their roots mostly in the form of ammonium and nitrate. Since these nutrients are scarce in natural soils, plants have evolved adaptive responses to cope with the environment. One of the most important responses is the regulation of nitrogen acquisition efficiency. This review provides an update on the molecular determinants of two major drivers of the nitrogen acquisition efficiency: (i) uptake activity (e.g. high-affinity nitrogen transporters) and (ii) root architecture (e.g. low-nitrogen-availability-specific regulators of primary and lateral root growth). Major emphasis is laid on the regulation of these determinants by nitrogen supply at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, which enables plants to optimize nitrogen acquisition efficiency under low nitrogen availability. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Hydroxyapatite reinforced collagen scaffolds with improved architecture and mechanical properties.

    PubMed

    Kane, Robert J; Weiss-Bilka, Holly E; Meagher, Matthew J; Liu, Yongxing; Gargac, Joshua A; Niebur, Glen L; Wagner, Diane R; Roeder, Ryan K

    2015-04-01

    Hydroxyapatite (HA) reinforced collagen scaffolds have shown promise for synthetic bone graft substitutes and tissue engineering scaffolds. Freeze-dried HA-collagen scaffolds are readily fabricated and have exhibited osteogenicity in vivo, but are limited by an inherent scaffold architecture that results in a relatively small pore size and weak mechanical properties. In order to overcome these limitations, HA-collagen scaffolds were prepared by compression molding HA reinforcements and paraffin microspheres within a suspension of concentrated collagen fibrils (∼ 180 mg/mL), cross-linking the collagen matrix, and leaching the paraffin porogen. HA-collagen scaffolds exhibited an architecture with high porosity (85-90%), interconnected pores ∼ 300-400 μm in size, and struts ∼ 3-100 μm in thickness containing 0-80 vol% HA whisker or powder reinforcements. HA reinforcement enabled a compressive modulus of up to ∼ 1 MPa, which was an order of magnitude greater than unreinforced collagen scaffolds. The compressive modulus was also at least one order of magnitude greater than comparable freeze-dried HA-collagen scaffolds and two orders of magnitude greater than absorbable collagen sponges used clinically. Moreover, scaffolds reinforced with up to 60 vol% HA exhibited fully recoverable elastic deformation upon loading to 50% compressive strain for at least 100,000 cycles. Thus, the scaffold mechanical properties were well-suited for surgical handling, fixation, and bearing osteogenic loads during bone regeneration. The scaffold architecture, permeability, and composition were shown to be conducive to the infiltration and differentiation of adipose-derive stromal cells in vitro. Acellular scaffolds were demonstrated to induce angiogenesis and osteogenesis after subcutaneous ectopic implantation by recruiting endogenous cell populations, suggesting that the scaffolds were osteoinductive.

  7. Comparative analysis of plant immune receptor architectures uncovers host proteins likely targeted by pathogens.

    PubMed

    Sarris, Panagiotis F; Cevik, Volkan; Dagdas, Gulay; Jones, Jonathan D G; Krasileva, Ksenia V

    2016-02-19

    Plants deploy immune receptors to detect pathogen-derived molecules and initiate defense responses. Intracellular plant immune receptors called nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) proteins contain a central nucleotide-binding (NB) domain followed by a series of leucine-rich repeats (LRRs), and are key initiators of plant defense responses. However, recent studies demonstrated that NLRs with non-canonical domain architectures play an important role in plant immunity. These composite immune receptors are thought to arise from fusions between NLRs and additional domains that serve as "baits" for the pathogen-derived effector proteins, thus enabling pathogen recognition. Several names have been proposed to describe these proteins, including "integrated decoys" and "integrated sensors". We adopt and argue for "integrated domains" or NLR-IDs, which describes the product of the fusion without assigning a universal mode of action. We have scanned available plant genome sequences for the full spectrum of NLR-IDs to evaluate the diversity of integrations of potential sensor/decoy domains across flowering plants, including 19 crop species. We manually curated wheat and brassicas and experimentally validated a subset of NLR-IDs in wild and cultivated wheat varieties. We have examined NLR fusions that occur in multiple plant families and identified that some domains show re-occurring integration across lineages. Domains fused to NLRs overlap with previously identified pathogen targets confirming that they act as baits for the pathogen. While some of the integrated domains have been previously implicated in disease resistance, others provide new targets for engineering durable resistance to plant pathogens. We have built a robust reproducible pipeline for detecting variable domain architectures in plant immune receptors across species. We hypothesize that NLR-IDs that we revealed provide clues to the host proteins targeted by pathogens, and that this information can be

  8. Invasive plant architecture alters trophic interactions by changing predator abundance and behavior.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Dean E

    2009-03-01

    As primary producers, plants are known to influence higher trophic interactions by initiating food chains. However, as architects, plants may bypass consumers to directly affect predators with important but underappreciated trophic ramifications. Invasion of western North American grasslands by the perennial forb, spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), has fundamentally altered the architecture of native grassland vegetation. Here, I use long-term monitoring, observational studies, and field experiments to document how changes in vegetation architecture have affected native web spider populations and predation rates. Native spiders that use vegetation as web substrates were collectively 38 times more abundant in C. maculosa-invaded grasslands than in uninvaded grasslands. This increase in spider abundance was accompanied by a large shift in web spider community structure, driven primarily by the strong response of Dictyna spiders to C. maculosa invasion. Dictyna densities were 46-74 times higher in C. maculosa-invaded than native grasslands, a pattern that persisted over 6 years of monitoring. C. maculosa also altered Dictyna web building behavior and foraging success. Dictyna webs on C. maculosa were 2.9-4.0 times larger and generated 2.0-2.3 times higher total prey captures than webs on Achillea millefolium, their primary native substrate. Dictyna webs on C. maculosa also captured 4.2 times more large prey items, which are crucial for reproduction. As a result, Dictyna were nearly twice as likely to reproduce on C. maculosa substrates compared to native substrates. The overall outcome of C. maculosa invasion and its transformative effects on vegetation architecture on Dictyna density and web building behavior were to increase Dictyna predation on invertebrate prey >/=89 fold. These results indicate that invasive plants that change the architecture of native vegetation can substantially impact native food webs via nontraditional plant --> predator --> consumer

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. The MADS-box gene SlMBP11 regulates plant architecture and affects reproductive development in tomato plants.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xuhu; Chen, Guoping; Naeem, Muhammad; Yu, Xiaohu; Tang, Boyan; Li, Anzhou; Hu, Zongli

    2017-05-01

    MADS-domain proteins are important transcription factors that are involved in many biological processes of plants. In the present study, SlMBP11, a member of the AGL15 subfamily, was cloned in tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicon M.). SlMBP11 is ubiquitously expressed in all of the tissues we examined, whereas the SlMBP11 transcription levels were significantly higher in reproductive tissues than in vegetative tissues. Plants exhibiting increased SlMBP11 levels displayed reduced plant height, leaf size, and internode length as well as a loss of dominance in young seedlings, highly branched growth from each leaf axil, and increased number of nodes and leaves. Moreover, overexpression lines also exhibited reproductive phenotypes, such as those having a shorter style and split ovary, leading to polycarpous fruits, while the wild type showed normal floral organization. In addition, delayed perianth senescence was observed in transgenic tomatoes. These phenotypes were further confirmed by analyzing the morphological, anatomical and molecular features of lines exhibiting overexpression. These results suggest that SlMBP11 plays an important role in regulating plant architecture and reproductive development in tomato plants. These findings add a new class of transcription factors to the group of genes controlling axillary bud growth and illuminate a previously uncharacterized function of MADS-box genes in tomato plants. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. The qid74 gene from Trichoderma harzianum has a role in root architecture and plant biofertilization.

    PubMed

    Samolski, Ilanit; Rincón, Ana M; Pinzón, Luz Mary; Viterbo, Ada; Monte, Enrique

    2012-01-01

    The Trichoderma harzianum qid74 gene encodes a cysteine-rich cell wall protein that has an important role in adherence to hydrophobic surfaces and cellular protection; this gene was upregulated in Trichoderma high-density oligonucleotide (HDO) microarrays in interaction with tomato roots. Using a collection of qid74-overexpressing and disrupted mutants the role of this gene in cucumber and tomato root architecture was analysed in hydroponic and soil systems under greenhouse conditions. No significant differences were found in the pattern of root colonization and the length of primary roots of cucumber or tomato plants inoculated by T. harzianum CECT 2413 wild-type (wt) strain or any of the qid74 transformants. However, compared to the wt treatment, lateral roots were significantly longer in plants inoculated with the overexpressing transformants, and shorter in those treated with the disruptant strains. Microscopic observations revealed more and longer secondary root hairs in cucumber plants treated with the qid74-overexpressing mutants and fewer and shorter hairs in roots treated with qid74-disrupted transformants, compared to those observed in plants inoculated with the wt strain. qid74-induced modifications in root architecture increased the total absorptive surface, facilitating nutrient uptake and translocation of nutrients in the shoots, resulting in increased plant biomass through an efficient use of NPK and micronutrients.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kiba, Takatoshi; Krapp, Anne

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Engineering OsBAK1 gene as a molecular tool to improve rice architecture for high yield.

    PubMed

    Li, Dan; Wang, Lei; Wang, Min; Xu, Yun-Yuan; Luo, Wei; Liu, Ya-Ju; Xu, Zhi-Hong; Li, Jia; Chong, Kang

    2009-10-01

    Generating a new variety of plant with erect-leaf is a critical strategy to improve rice grain yield, as plants with this trait can be dense-planted. The erect-leaf is a significant morphological trait partially regulated by Brassinosteroids (BRs) in rice plants. So far, only a few genes can be used for molecular breeding in rice. Here, we identified OsBAK1 as a potential gene to alter rice architecture. Based on rice genome sequences, four closely related homologs of Arabidopsis BAK1 (AtBAK1) gene were amplified. Phylogenetic analysis and suppression of a weak Arabidopsis mutant bri1-5 indicated that OsBAK1 (Os08g0174700) is the closest relative of AtBAK1. Genetic, physiological, and biochemical analyses all suggest that the function of OsBAK1 is conserved with AtBAK1. Overexpression of a truncated intracellular domain of OsBAK1, but not the extracellular domain of OsBAK1, resulted in a dwarfed phenotype, similar to the rice BR-insensitive mutant plants. The expression of OsBAK1 changed important agricultural traits of rice such as plant height, leaf erectness, grain morphologic features, and disease resistance responses. Our results suggested that a new rice variety with erect-leaf and normal reproduction can be generated simply by suppressing the expression level of OsBAK1. Therefore, OsBAK1 is a potential molecular breeding tool for improving rice grain yield by modifying rice architecture.

  15. Efficiency improvement of thermal coal power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Hourfar, D.

    1996-12-31

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

  16. Effects of apical meristem mining on plant fitness, architecture, and flowering phenology in Cirsium altissimum (Asteraceae).

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Subodh; Russell, F Leland

    2014-12-01

    • Interactions that limit lifetime seed production have the potential to limit plant population sizes and drive adaptation through natural selection. Effects of insect herbivory to apical meristems (apical meristem mining) on lifetime seed production rarely have been quantified experimentally. We studied Cirsium altissimum (tall thistle), whose meristems are mined by Platyptilia carduidactyla (artichoke plume moth), to determine how apical damage affects plant maternal fitness and evaluate both direct and indirect mechanisms underlying these effects.• In restored prairie, apical mining was manipulated on tall thistles by applying insecticide, water, or no spray to apical meristems. We quantified effects on lifetime seed production, plant architecture, and flowering phenology. Seed germinability and seedling mass were evaluated in a greenhouse.• Apical meristem miners decreased lifetime seed production of C. altissimum, but not seed quality. Higher mortality rates of damaged plants contributed to reduced seed production. Apical damage reduced plant height and increased the proportion of blooming flower heads in axial positions on branches. Apical damage delayed flowering and shortened flowering duration.• Apical meristem mining reduced plant maternal fitness. The shift in the identity of blooming flower heads from terminal to axial positions contributed to this reduction because axial heads are less fecund. Shorter, meristem-mined plants may have been more susceptible to competition, and this susceptibility may explain their higher mortality rates. The kinds of changes in architecture and phenology that resulted from apical damage to C. altissimum have been shown to affect floral visitation in other plant species. © 2014 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  17. Functional convergence in hydraulic architecture and water relations of tropical savanna trees: from leaf to whole plant.

    Treesearch

    S.J. Bucci; G. Goldstein; F.C. Meinzer; F.G. Scholz; A.C. France; M. Bustamante

    2004-01-01

    Functional convergence in hydraulic architecture and water relations, and potential trade-offs in resource allocation were investigated in six dominant neotropical savanna tree species from central Brazil during the peak of the dry season. Common relationships between wood density and several aspects of plant water relations and hydraulic architecture were observed....

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Aaron H.; Walsh, Tiffany R.

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    Cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, vary considerably in their structure, composition, and architecture. Studies on plant cell walls can be conducted on both native and pre-treated plant biomass samples, allowing an enhanced understanding of these structural and compositional variations. Here glycome profiling was employed to determine the relative abundance of matrix polysaccharides in several phylogenetically distinct native and pre-treated plant biomasses. Eight distinct biomass types belonging to four different subgroups (i.e. monocot grasses, woody dicots, herbaceous dicots, and softwoods) were subjected to various regimes of AFEX™ (ammonia fiber expansion) pre-treatment [AFEX is a trademark of MBI, Lansing (http://www.mbi.org]. This approach allowed detailed analysis of close to 200 cell wall glycan epitopes and their relative extractability using a high-throughput platform. In general, irrespective of the phylogenetic origin, AFEX™ pre-treatment appeared to cause loosening and improved accessibility of various xylan epitope subclasses in most plant biomass materials studied. For most biomass types analysed, such loosening was also evident for other major non-cellulosic components including subclasses of pectin and xyloglucan epitopes. The studies also demonstrate that AFEX™ pre-treatment significantly reduced cell wall recalcitrance among diverse phylogenies (except softwoods) by inducing structural modifications to polysaccharides that were not detectable by conventional gross composition analyses. It was found that monitoring changes in cell wall glycan compositions and their relative extractability for untreated and pre-treated plant biomass can provide an improved understanding of variations in structure and composition of plant cell walls and delineate the role(s) of matrix polysaccharides in cell wall recalcitrance. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G.; Dale, Bruce E.; ...

    2015-04-23

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

  2. An improved zinc-finger nuclease architecture for highly specific genome editing.

    PubMed

    Miller, Jeffrey C; Holmes, Michael C; Wang, Jianbin; Guschin, Dmitry Y; Lee, Ya-Li; Rupniewski, Igor; Beausejour, Christian M; Waite, Adam J; Wang, Nathaniel S; Kim, Kenneth A; Gregory, Philip D; Pabo, Carl O; Rebar, Edward J

    2007-07-01

    Genome editing driven by zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) yields high gene-modification efficiencies (>10%) by introducing a recombinogenic double-strand break into the targeted gene. The cleavage event is induced using two custom-designed ZFNs that heterodimerize upon binding DNA to form a catalytically active nuclease complex. Using the current ZFN architecture, however, cleavage-competent homodimers may also form that can limit safety or efficacy via off-target cleavage. Here we develop an improved ZFN architecture that eliminates this problem. Using structure-based design, we engineer two variant ZFNs that efficiently cleave DNA only when paired as a heterodimer. These ZFNs modify a native endogenous locus as efficiently as the parental architecture, but with a >40-fold reduction in homodimer function and much lower levels of genome-wide cleavage. This architecture provides a general means for improving the specificity of ZFNs as gene modification reagents.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mauro-Herrera, Margarita; Doust, Andrew N.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mauro-Herrera, Margarita; Doust, Andrew N

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Genetic architecture of plant stress resistance: multi-trait genome-wide association mapping.

    PubMed

    Thoen, Manus P M; Davila Olivas, Nelson H; Kloth, Karen J; Coolen, Silvia; Huang, Ping-Ping; Aarts, Mark G M; Bac-Molenaar, Johanna A; Bakker, Jaap; Bouwmeester, Harro J; Broekgaarden, Colette; Bucher, Johan; Busscher-Lange, Jacqueline; Cheng, Xi; Fradin, Emilie F; Jongsma, Maarten A; Julkowska, Magdalena M; Keurentjes, Joost J B; Ligterink, Wilco; Pieterse, Corné M J; Ruyter-Spira, Carolien; Smant, Geert; Testerink, Christa; Usadel, Björn; van Loon, Joop J A; van Pelt, Johan A; van Schaik, Casper C; van Wees, Saskia C M; Visser, Richard G F; Voorrips, Roeland; Vosman, Ben; Vreugdenhil, Dick; Warmerdam, Sonja; Wiegers, Gerrie L; van Heerwaarden, Joost; Kruijer, Willem; van Eeuwijk, Fred A; Dicke, Marcel

    2017-02-01

    Plants are exposed to combinations of various biotic and abiotic stresses, but stress responses are usually investigated for single stresses only. Here, we investigated the genetic architecture underlying plant responses to 11 single stresses and several of their combinations by phenotyping 350 Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. A set of 214 000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was screened for marker-trait associations in genome-wide association (GWA) analyses using tailored multi-trait mixed models. Stress responses that share phytohormonal signaling pathways also share genetic architecture underlying these responses. After removing the effects of general robustness, for the 30 most significant SNPs, average quantitative trait locus (QTL) effect sizes were larger for dual stresses than for single stresses. Plants appear to deploy broad-spectrum defensive mechanisms influencing multiple traits in response to combined stresses. Association analyses identified QTLs with contrasting and with similar responses to biotic vs abiotic stresses, and below-ground vs above-ground stresses. Our approach allowed for an unprecedented comprehensive genetic analysis of how plants deal with a wide spectrum of stress conditions. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-02

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Habitat loss alters the architecture of plant--pollinator interaction networks.

    PubMed

    Spiesman, Brian J; Inouye, Brian D

    2013-12-01

    Habitat loss can have a negative effect on the number, abundance, and composition of species in plant-pollinator communities. Although we have a general understanding of the negative consequences of habitat loss for biodiversity, much less is known about the resulting effects on the pattern of interactions in mutualistic networks. Ecological networks formed by mutualistic interactions often exhibit a highly nested architecture with low modularity, especially in comparison with antagonistic networks. These patterns of interaction are thought to confer stability on mutualistic communities. With the growing threat of environmental change, it is important to expand our understanding of the factors that affect biodiversity and the stability of the communities that provide critical ecosystem functions and services. We studied the effects of habitat loss on plant--pollinator network architecture and found that regional habitat loss contributes directly to species loss and indirectly to the reorganization of interspecific interactions in a local community. Networks became more highly connected and more modular with habitat loss. Species richness and abundance were the primary drivers of variation in network architecture, though species compositi n affected modularity. Theory suggests that an increase in modularity with habitat loss will threaten community stability, which may contribute to an extinction debt in communities already affected by habitat loss.

  10. A new system architecture improves output power regulation in electrosurgical generators.

    PubMed

    Friedrichs, Daniel A; Erickson, Robert W; Gilbert, James

    2011-01-01

    A new system architecture for electrosurgical generators inherently produces the ideal electrosurgical output characteristic with near-deadbeat control. Compared to existing technology, this converter significantly improves power regulation, leading to improved surgical outcomes by minimizing thermal spread and tissue charring.

  11. Combining Genome-Wide Information with a Functional Structural Plant Model to Simulate 1-Year-Old Apple Tree Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Migault, Vincent; Pallas, Benoît; Costes, Evelyne

    2017-01-01

    of integrating genome-based information in a FSPM for a perennial fruit tree. It also showed that further improvements are required for improving the prediction ability. Especially temperature effect should be extended and other factors taken into account for modeling GxE interactions. Improvements could also be expected by considering larger populations and by testing other genome wide prediction models. Despite these limitations, this study opens new possibilities for supporting plant breeding by in silico evaluations of the impact of genotypic polymorphisms on plant integrative phenotypes. PMID:28127302

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Galkovskyi, Taras; Mileyko, Yuriy; Bucksch, Alexander; Moore, Brad; Symonova, Olga; Price, Charles A; Topp, Christopher N; Iyer-Pascuzzi, Anjali S; Zurek, Paul R; Fang, Suqin; Harer, John; Benfey, Philip N; Weitz, Joshua S

    2012-07-26

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-11-01

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

  15. High-Throughput Phenotyping and QTL Mapping Reveals the Genetic Architecture of Maize Plant Growth.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xuehai; Huang, Chenglong; Wu, Di; Qiao, Feng; Li, Wenqiang; Duan, Lingfeng; Wang, Ke; Xiao, Yingjie; Chen, Guoxing; Liu, Qian; Xiong, Lizhong; Yang, Wanneng; Yan, Jianbing

    2017-03-01

    With increasing demand for novel traits in crop breeding, the plant research community faces the challenge of quantitatively analyzing the structure and function of large numbers of plants. A clear goal of high-throughput phenotyping is to bridge the gap between genomics and phenomics. In this study, we quantified 106 traits from a maize (Zea mays) recombinant inbred line population (n = 167) across 16 developmental stages using the automatic phenotyping platform. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping with a high-density genetic linkage map, including 2,496 recombinant bins, was used to uncover the genetic basis of these complex agronomic traits, and 988 QTLs have been identified for all investigated traits, including three QTL hotspots. Biomass accumulation and final yield were predicted using a combination of dissected traits in the early growth stage. These results reveal the dynamic genetic architecture of maize plant growth and enhance ideotype-based maize breeding and prediction.

  16. Comparative analysis of the functional genome architecture of animal and plant cell nuclei.

    PubMed

    Mayr, Christoph; Jasencakova, Zuzana; Meister, Armin; Schubert, Ingo; Zink, Daniele

    2003-01-01

    Many studies have shown that the functional architecture of eukaryotic genomes displays striking similarities in evolutionarily distant organisms. For example, late-replicating and transcriptionally inactive chromatin is associated with the nuclear periphery in organisms as different as budding yeast and man. These findings suggest that eukaryotic genomes are organized in cell nuclei according to conserved principles. In order to investigate this, we examined nuclei of different animal and plant species by comparing replicational pulse-labelling patterns and their topological relationship to markers for heterochromatin and euchromatin. The data show great similarities in the nuclear genome organization of the investigated animal and plant species, supporting the idea that eukaryotic genomes are organized according to conserved principles. There are, however, differences between animals and plants with regard to histone acetylation patterns and the nuclear distribution of late-replicating chromatin.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2014-11-01

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

  19. Intelligent control of a cryogenic cooling plant based on blackboard system architecture.

    PubMed

    Linkens, D A; Abbod, M F; Browne, A; Cade, N

    2000-01-01

    Intelligent system techniques have been rapidly assimilating into process control engineering, with many applications reported in the last decade. Intelligent control is bringing a new perspective as well as new challenges to process control. In this paper, a software architecture for a Blackboard for Integrated Intelligent Control Systems (BIICS) is described. The system is designed to simultaneously support multiple heterogeneous intelligent methodologies, such as neural networks. expert systems, fuzzy logic, neural networks and genetic algorithms. It will be shown how such methodologies can be readily assimilated into the software architecture. The BIICS system represents a multi-purpose platform for design and simulation of intelligent control paradigms for different kinds of processes. Currently the system utilizes intelligent control techniques (neuro-fuzzy and genetic optimization) for controlling a cryogenic plant used for superconductor testing at temperatures below 100 K.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. ATH1 and KNAT2 proteins act together in regulation of plant inflorescence architecture.

    PubMed

    Li, Yang; Pi, Limin; Huang, Hai; Xu, Lin

    2012-02-01

    The inflorescence of flowering plants is a highly organized structure, not only contributing to plant reproductive processes, but also constituting an important part of the entire plant morphology. Previous studies have revealed that the class-I KNOTTED1-like homeobox (KNOX) genes BREVIPEDICELLUS (BP or KNAT1), KNAT2, and KNAT6 play essential roles in inflorescence architecture. Pedicel morphology is known to contribute greatly to inflorescence architecture, and BP negatively regulates KNAT2 and KNAT6 to ensure that pedicels have a normal upward-pointing orientation. These findings indicate that a genetic network exists in controlling pedicel orientation, but how this network functions in the developmental process remains elusive. Here it is reported that the ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA HOMEOBOX GENE1 (ATH1) gene, which belongs to the BELL1-like homeodomain gene family, is a new member participating in regulating pedicel orientation in the class-I KNOX network. In a genetic screening for suppressors of isoginchaku-2D, a gain-of-function ASYMMETRIC LEAVES2 mutant that displays downward-pointing pedicels, a suppressor mutant was obtained. Characterization of this mutant revealed that the mutation corresponds to ATH1. Genetic analysis indicated that ATH1 acts mainly in the KNAT2 pathway. Yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays demonstrated that ATH1 physically interacts with KNAT2. The data indicate that the ATH1-KNAT2 complex acts redundantly with KNAT6, both of which are negatively regulated by BP during pedicel development.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullen, J.; Hangarter, R.

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-07-01

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

  7. Physiological phenotyping of plants for crop improvement.

    PubMed

    Ghanem, Michel Edmond; Marrou, Hélène; Sinclair, Thomas R

    2015-03-01

    Future progress in crop breeding requires a new emphasis in plant physiological phenotyping for specific, well-defined traits. Success in physiological phenotyping to identify parents for use in breeding efforts for improved cultivars has been achieved by employing a multi-tier screening approach with different levels of sophistication and trait resolution. Subsequently, cultivar development required an integrated mix of classical breeding approaches and one or more tiers of phenotyping to identify genotypes expressing the desired trait. The role of high throughput systems can be useful; here, we emphasize that this approach is likely to offer useful results at an initial tier of phenotyping and will need to be complemented with more directed tiers of phenotyping. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Hierarchical nuclear and cytoplasmic genetic architectures for plant growth and defense within Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Bindu; Corwin, Jason A; Züst, Tobias; Li, Baohua; Iravani, Majid; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Turnbull, Lindsay A; Kliebenstein, Daniel J

    2013-06-01

    To understand how genetic architecture translates between phenotypic levels, we mapped the genetic architecture of growth and defense within the Arabidopsis thaliana Kas × Tsu recombinant inbred line population. We measured plant growth using traditional size measurements and size-corrected growth rates. This population contains genetic variation in both the nuclear and cytoplasmic genomes, allowing us to separate their contributions. The cytoplasmic genome regulated a significant variance in growth but not defense, which was due to cytonuclear epistasis. Furthermore, growth adhered to an infinitesimal model of genetic architecture, while defense metabolism was more of a moderate-effect model. We found a lack of concordance between quantitative trait loci (QTL) regulating defense and those regulating growth. Given the published evidence proving the link between glucosinolates and growth, this is likely a false negative result caused by the limited population size. This size limitation creates an inability to test the entire potential genetic landscape possible between these two parents. We uncovered a significant effect of glucosinolates on growth once we accounted for allelic differences in growth QTLs. Therefore, other growth QTLs can mask the effects of defense upon growth. Investigating direct links across phenotypic hierarchies is fraught with difficulty; we identify issues complicating this analysis.

  9. Total quality drives nuclear plant improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Richey, R.B. )

    1991-01-01

    Total quality (TQ) at Carolina Power and Light (CP and L) is fulfilling a 1985 vision of Sherwood H. Smith, Jr., CP and L's chairman, president, and chief executive officer. The TQ concept has provided a way for employees to align their creative energies toward meeting the business needs of the company. Throughout CP and L, TQ has been recognized as the vehicle for reducing operating costs and improving customer satisfaction. Within the nuclear organization, application of the TQ process has helped to improve communications, resolve challenges, and provide more consistent work practices among CP and L's three nuclear plants. Total quality was introduced from the top down, with initial benefits coming from team interactions. Senior management at CP and L defined the corporate expectations and outlined the training requirements for implementing TQ. Management staffs at each organizational level became steering committees for TQ team activities within their departments. Teams of employees most knowledgeable about a given work area were empowered to solve problems or overcome obstacles related to that work area. Employees learned to become better team players and to appreciate the quality of decisions reached through group consensus. Now, formalized methods that started TQ are becoming part of the day-to-day work ethic.

  10. The contrasting roles of growth traits and architectural traits in diversity maintenance in clonal plant communities.

    PubMed

    Wildová, Radka; Goldberg, Deborah E; Herben, Tomáš

    2012-12-01

    Plant communities often exhibit high diversity, even though pairwise experiments usually result in competitive hierarchies that should result in competitive exclusion. Such experiments, however, do not typically allow expression of spatial traits, despite theoretical studies showing the potential importance of spatial mechanisms of diversity maintenance. Here we ask whether, in a clonal plant model system, spatial trait variation is more likely than growth trait variation to maintain diversity. We used a field-calibrated, spatially explicit model to simulate communities comprising sets of four simulated species differing in only one of a suite of architectural or growth traits at a time, examining their dynamics and long-term diversity. To compare trait manipulation effects across traits measured in different units, we scaled traits to have identical effects on initial productivity. We found that in communities of species differing only in an architectural trait, all species usually persist, whereas communities of species differing only in a growth trait experienced rapid competitive exclusion. To examine the roles of equalizing and stabilizing mechanisms in maintaining diversity, we conducted reciprocal invasion experiments for species pairs differing only in single traits. The results suggest that stabilizing mechanisms cannot account for the observed long-term co-occurrence. Strong positive correlations between diversity and similarity both in monoculture carrying capacity and reciprocal invasion ability suggesting equalizing mechanisms may instead be responsible.

  11. Three-dimensional imaging of plant cuticle architecture using confocal scanning laser microscopy.

    PubMed

    Buda, Gregory J; Isaacson, Tal; Matas, Antonio J; Paolillo, Dominick J; Rose, Jocelyn K C

    2009-10-01

    Full appreciation of the roles of the plant cuticle in numerous aspects of physiology and development requires a comprehensive understanding of its biosynthesis and deposition; however, much is still not known about cuticle structure, trafficking and assembly. To date, assessment of cuticle organization has been dominated by 2D imaging, using histochemical stains in conjunction with light and fluorescence microscopy. This strategy, while providing valuable information, has limitations because it attempts to describe a complex 3D structure in 2D. An imaging technique that could accurately resolve 3D architecture would provide valuable additions to the growing body of information on cuticle molecular biology and biochemistry. We present a novel application of 3D confocal scanning laser microscopy for visualizing the architecture, deposition patterns and micro-structure of plant cuticles, using the fluorescent stain auramine O. We demonstrate the utility of this technique by contrasting the fruit cuticle of wild-type tomato (Solanum lycopersicum cv. M82) with those of cutin-deficient mutants. We also introduce 3D cuticle modeling based on reconstruction of serial optical sections, and describe its use in identification of several previously unreported features of the tomato fruit cuticle.

  12. Trehalose-6-phosphate synthase/phosphatase regulates cell shape and plant architecture in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Chary, S Narasimha; Hicks, Glenn R; Choi, Yoon Gi; Carter, David; Raikhel, Natasha V

    2008-01-01

    The vacuole occupies most of the volume of plant cells; thus, the tonoplast marker delta-tonoplast intrinsic protein-green fluorescent protein delineates cell shape, for example, in epidermis. This permits rapid identification of mutants. Using this strategy, we identified the cell shape phenotype-1 (csp-1) mutant in Arabidopsis thaliana. Beyond an absence of lobes in pavement cells, phenotypes included reduced trichome branching, altered leaf serration and stem branching, and increased stomatal density. This result from a point mutation in AtTPS6 encoding a conserved amino-terminal domain, thought to catalyze trehalose-6-phosphate synthesis and a carboxy-terminal phosphatase domain, is catalyzing a two-step conversion to trehalose. Expression of AtTPS6 in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants tps1 (encoding a synthase domain) and tps2 (encoding synthase and phosphatase domains) indicates that AtTPS6 is an active trehalose synthase. AtTPS6 fully complemented defects in csp-1. Mutations in class I genes (AtTPS1-AtTPS4) indicate a role in regulating starch storage, resistance to drought, and inflorescence architecture. Class II genes (AtTPS5-AtTPS11) encode multifunctional enzymes having synthase and phosphatase activity. We show that class II AtTPS6 regulates plant architecture, shape of epidermal pavement cells, and branching of trichomes. Thus, beyond a role in development, we demonstrate that the class II gene AtTPS6 is important for controlling cellular morphogenesis.

  13. Method to improve drought tolerance in plants

    DOEpatents

    Schroeder, Julian I.; Kwak, June Myoung

    2003-10-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jing M.; Cihlar, Josef

    1995-09-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. The NBS-LRR architectures of plant R-proteins and metazoan NLRs evolved in independent events

    PubMed Central

    Urbach, Jonathan M.; Ausubel, Frederick M.

    2017-01-01

    There are intriguing parallels between plants and animals, with respect to the structures of their innate immune receptors, that suggest universal principles of innate immunity. The cytosolic nucleotide binding site–leucine rich repeat (NBS-LRR) resistance proteins of plants (R-proteins) and the so-called NOD-like receptors of animals (NLRs) share a domain architecture that includes a STAND (signal transduction ATPases with numerous domains) family NTPase followed by a series of LRRs, suggesting inheritance from a common ancestor with that architecture. Focusing on the STAND NTPases of plant R-proteins, animal NLRs, and their homologs that represent the NB-ARC (nucleotide-binding adaptor shared by APAF-1, certain R gene products and CED-4) and NACHT (named for NAIP, CIIA, HET-E, and TEP1) subfamilies of the STAND NTPases, we analyzed the phylogenetic distribution of the NBS-LRR domain architecture, used maximum-likelihood methods to infer a phylogeny of the NTPase domains of R-proteins, and reconstructed the domain structure of the protein containing the common ancestor of the STAND NTPase domain of R-proteins and NLRs. Our analyses reject monophyly of plant R-proteins and NLRs and suggest that the protein containing the last common ancestor of the STAND NTPases of plant R-proteins and animal NLRs (and, by extension, all NB-ARC and NACHT domains) possessed a domain structure that included a STAND NTPase paired with a series of tetratricopeptide repeats. These analyses reject the hypothesis that the domain architecture of R-proteins and NLRs was inherited from a common ancestor and instead suggest the domain architecture evolved at least twice. It remains unclear whether the NBS-LRR architectures were innovations of plants and animals themselves or were acquired by one or both lineages through horizontal gene transfer. PMID:28096345

  18. The NBS-LRR architectures of plant R-proteins and metazoan NLRs evolved in independent events.

    PubMed

    Urbach, Jonathan M; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2017-01-31

    There are intriguing parallels between plants and animals, with respect to the structures of their innate immune receptors, that suggest universal principles of innate immunity. The cytosolic nucleotide binding site-leucine rich repeat (NBS-LRR) resistance proteins of plants (R-proteins) and the so-called NOD-like receptors of animals (NLRs) share a domain architecture that includes a STAND (signal transduction ATPases with numerous domains) family NTPase followed by a series of LRRs, suggesting inheritance from a common ancestor with that architecture. Focusing on the STAND NTPases of plant R-proteins, animal NLRs, and their homologs that represent the NB-ARC (nucleotide-binding adaptor shared by APAF-1, certain R gene products and CED-4) and NACHT (named for NAIP, CIIA, HET-E, and TEP1) subfamilies of the STAND NTPases, we analyzed the phylogenetic distribution of the NBS-LRR domain architecture, used maximum-likelihood methods to infer a phylogeny of the NTPase domains of R-proteins, and reconstructed the domain structure of the protein containing the common ancestor of the STAND NTPase domain of R-proteins and NLRs. Our analyses reject monophyly of plant R-proteins and NLRs and suggest that the protein containing the last common ancestor of the STAND NTPases of plant R-proteins and animal NLRs (and, by extension, all NB-ARC and NACHT domains) possessed a domain structure that included a STAND NTPase paired with a series of tetratricopeptide repeats. These analyses reject the hypothesis that the domain architecture of R-proteins and NLRs was inherited from a common ancestor and instead suggest the domain architecture evolved at least twice. It remains unclear whether the NBS-LRR architectures were innovations of plants and animals themselves or were acquired by one or both lineages through horizontal gene transfer.

  19. Convergence of Domain Architecture, Structure, and Ligand Affinity in Animal and Plant RNA-Binding Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Raquel; Manny, Austin; Kolaczkowski, Oralia

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Reconstruction of ancestral protein sequences using phylogenetic methods is a powerful technique for directly examining the evolution of molecular function. Although ancestral sequence reconstruction (ASR) is itself very efficient, downstream functional, and structural studies necessary to characterize when and how changes in molecular function occurred are often costly and time-consuming, currently limiting ASR studies to examining a relatively small number of discrete functional shifts. As a result, we have very little direct information about how molecular function evolves across large protein families. Here we develop an approach combining ASR with structure and function prediction to efficiently examine the evolution of ligand affinity across a large family of double-stranded RNA binding proteins (DRBs) spanning animals and plants. We find that the characteristic domain architecture of DRBs—consisting of 2–3 tandem double-stranded RNA binding motifs (dsrms)—arose independently in early animal and plant lineages. The affinity with which individual dsrms bind double-stranded RNA appears to have increased and decreased often across both animal and plant phylogenies, primarily through convergent structural mechanisms involving RNA-contact residues within the β1–β2 loop and a small region of α2. These studies provide some of the first direct information about how protein function evolves across large gene families and suggest that changes in molecular function may occur often and unassociated with major phylogenetic events, such as gene or domain duplications. PMID:28333205

  20. Impact of plant architecture versus leaf quality on attack by leaf-tying caterpillars on five oak species.

    PubMed

    Marquis, Robert J; Lill, John T

    2010-05-01

    Because shelter-building herbivorous insect species often consider structural features of their host plants in selecting construction sites, their probability of attack is likely to be a function of some combination of plant architectural traits and leaf quality factors. We tested the hypothesis that plant architecture, in the form of the number of touching leaves, influences interspecific variation in attack by leaf-tying caterpillars in five species of sympatric Missouri oaks (Quercus). We compared colonization on control branches, in which both architecture and leaf quality were potentially important, with colonization on experimental branches for which we controlled for the effects of architecture by creating equal numbers of artificial ties. Colonization of artificial ties was highly correlated with natural colonization on neighboring control branches, suggesting that leaf quality factors and not architecture influenced interspecific variation in attack by leaf-tying caterpillars. Of the leaf quality factors measured (water, protein-binding capacity, nitrogen, specific leaf area, pubescence, and toughness), nitrogen was the most explanatory. With the exception of white oak, natural leaf tie colonization was positively correlated with nitrogen availability (ratio of nitrogen to protein-binding capacity), and negatively correlated with protein-binding capacity of leaf extracts. Both host plant species and subgenus oak influenced the community composition of leaf-tying caterpillars and the non-tying symbionts colonizing the ties. Host plant differences in leaf nitrogen content were positively correlated with pupal weight of one of two caterpillar species reared on all five host plant species. Thus, interspecific differences in nitrogen, nitrogen availability, and protein-binding capacity of leaf extracts are the best predictors at this time of interspecific differences in attack by leaf-tying caterpillars, in turn affecting their success on individual host plants

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-08

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

  2. Calpain inhibitors reduce retinal hypoxia in ischemic retinopathy by improving neovascular architecture and functional perfusion.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Mien V; Smith, Lois E H; Senger, Donald R

    2011-04-01

    In ischemic retinopathies, underlying hypoxia drives abnormal neovascularization that damages retina and causes blindness. The abnormal neovasculature is tortuous and leaky and fails to alleviate hypoxia, resulting in more pathological neovascularization and retinal damage. With an established model of ischemic retinopathy we found that calpain inhibitors, when administered in moderation, reduced architectural abnormalities, reduced vascular leakage, and most importantly reduced retinal hypoxia. Mechanistically, these calpain inhibitors improved stability and organization of the actin cytoskeleton in retinal endothelial cells undergoing capillary morphogenesis in vitro, and they similarly improved organization of actin cables within new blood vessels in vivo. Hypoxia induced calpain activity in retinal endothelial cells and severely disrupted the actin cytoskeleton, whereas calpain inhibitors preserved actin cables under hypoxic conditions. Collectively, these findings support the hypothesis that hyper-activation of calpains by hypoxia contributes to disruption of the retinal endothelial cell cytoskeleton, resulting in formation of neovessels that are defective both architecturally and functionally. Modest suppression of calpain activity with calpain inhibitors restores cytoskeletal architecture and promotes formation of a functional neovasculature, thereby reducing underlying hypoxia. In sharp contrast to "anti-angiogenesis" strategies that cannot restore normoxia and may aggravate hypoxia, the therapeutic strategy described here does not inhibit neovascularization. Instead, by improving the function of neovascularization to reduce underlying hypoxia, moderate calpain inhibition offers a method for alleviating retinal ischemia, thereby suggesting a new treatment paradigm based on improvement rather than inhibition of new blood vessel growth.

  3. How does plant cell wall nanoscale architecture correlate with enzymatic digestibility?

    PubMed

    Ding, Shi-You; Liu, Yu-San; Zeng, Yining; Himmel, Michael E; Baker, John O; Bayer, Edward A

    2012-11-23

    Greater understanding of the mechanisms contributing to chemical and enzymatic solubilization of plant cell walls is critical for enabling cost-effective industrial conversion of cellulosic biomass to biofuels. Here, we report the use of correlative imaging in real time to assess the impact of pretreatment, as well as the resulting nanometer-scale changes in cell wall structure, upon subsequent digestion by two commercially relevant cellulase systems. We demonstrate that the small, noncomplexed fungal cellulases deconstruct cell walls using mechanisms that differ considerably from those of the larger, multienzyme complexes (cellulosomes). Furthermore, high-resolution measurement of the microfibrillar architecture of cell walls suggests that digestion is primarily facilitated by enabling enzyme access to the hydrophobic cellulose face. The data support the conclusion that ideal pretreatments should maximize lignin removal and minimize polysaccharide modification, thereby retaining the essentially native microfibrillar structure.

  4. Improvement of water treatment at thermal power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  5. Root Traits and Phenotyping Strategies for Plant Improvement.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-15

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

  6. Root Traits and Phenotyping Strategies for Plant Improvement

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Software architecture for improving accessibility to medical text-based information.

    PubMed

    Topac, Vasile; Stoicu-Tivadar, Vasile

    2009-01-01

    The paper presents a software architecture aiming to improve accessibility to information in specialized texts, with focus on medical texts. This software also addresses other problems related to text accessibility such as vision problems and language problems. It allows text input in any media format (text, image, sound) and outputs the text as digital text or sound, permitting the user to scan the medical papers and listen to the translated and adapted text.

  8. Improving pumping system efficiency at coal plants

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  10. ALA Pretreatment Improves Waterlogging Tolerance of Fig Plants.

    PubMed

    An, Yuyan; Qi, Lin; Wang, Liangju

    2016-01-01

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

  11. ALA Pretreatment Improves Waterlogging Tolerance of Fig Plants

    PubMed Central

    An, Yuyan; Qi, Lin; Wang, Liangju

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Compositions and methods for improved plant feedstock

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-12-02

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

  13. Improving the efficacy of plant polyphenols.

    PubMed

    Biasutto, Lucia; Mattarei, Andrea; Sassi, Nicola; Azzolini, Michele; Romio, Matteo; Paradisi, Cristina; Zoratti, Mario

    2014-01-01

    Plant polyphenols exhibit potentially useful effects in a wide variety of pathophysiological settings. They interact with proteins such as signalling kinases, transcription factors and ion channels, and modulate redox processes, such as those taking place in mitochondria. Biomedical applications of these natural compounds are however severely hindered by their low bioavailability, rapid metabolism, and often by unfavourable physico-chemical properties, e.g. a generally low water solubility. Derivatives are under development with the aim of improving their bioavailability and/or bioefficacy. Various strategies can be adopted. An increase in circulating blood levels of non-metabolized natural compound may be attainable through prodrugs. In the ideal prodrug, phenolic hydroxyls are protected by capping groups which a) help or at least do not hinder permeation of epithelia; b) prevent conjugative modifications during absorption and first-pass through the liver; c) are eliminated with opportune kinetics to regenerate the parent compound. Moreover, prodrugs may be designed with the goals of modulating physical properties of the parent compound, and/or changing its distribution in the body. A more specific action may be achieved by concentrating the compounds at specific sites of action. An example of the second approach is represented by mitochondria-targeted redox-active polyphenol derivatives, designed to intervene on radical processes in these organelles and as a tool either to protect cells from oxidative insults or to precipitate their death. Mitochondrial targeting can be achieved through conjugation with a triphenylphosphonium lipophilic cation. Quercetin and resveratrol were chosen as model polyphenols for these proof-of-concept studies. Data available at the moment show that both quercetin and resveratrol mitochondria-targeted derivatives are pro-oxidant and cytotoxic in vitro, selectively killing fast-growing and tumoural cells when supplied in the low

  14. Improved Economics of Nuclear Plant Life Management

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-07-31

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  16. Fitness effects and genetic architecture of plant-herbivore interactions in sunflower crop-wild hybrids.

    PubMed

    Dechaine, Jennifer M; Burger, Jutta C; Chapman, Mark A; Seiler, Gerald J; Brunick, Robert; Knapp, Steve J; Burke, John M

    2009-12-01

    *Introgression of cultivar alleles into wild plant populations via crop-wild hybridization is primarily governed by their fitness effects as well as those of linked loci. The fitness of crop-wild hybrids is often dependent on environmental factors, but less is understood about how aspects of the environment affect individual cultivar alleles. *This study investigated the effects of naturally occurring herbivory on patterns of phenotypic selection and the genetic architecture of plant-herbivore interactions in an experimental sunflower crop-wild hybrid population in two locales. *Phenotypic selection analyses suggested that cultivar alleles conferring increased size were generally favored, but at one site cultivar-like flowering time was favored only if three types of herbivory were included in the selection model. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping identified three regions in which the cultivar allele conferred a selective advantage for a number of co-localized traits. Quantitative trait loci for several measures of insect herbivory were detected and, although the cultivar allele increased herbivory damage at the majority of these QTLs, they rarely colocalized with advantageous cultivar alleles for morphological traits. *These results suggest that a subset of cultivar traits/alleles are advantageous in natural environments but that herbivory may mitigate the selective advantage of some cultivar alleles.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  18. Composition, architecture and dynamics of the photosynthetic apparatus in higher plants.

    PubMed

    Nevo, Reinat; Charuvi, Dana; Tsabari, Onie; Reich, Ziv

    2012-04-01

    The process of oxygenic photosynthesis enabled and still sustains aerobic life on Earth. The most elaborate form of the apparatus that carries out the primary steps of this vital process is the one present in higher plants. Here, we review the overall composition and supramolecular organization of this apparatus, as well as the complex architecture of the lamellar system within which it is harbored. Along the way, we refer to the genetic, biochemical, spectroscopic and, in particular, microscopic studies that have been employed to elucidate the structure and working of this remarkable molecular energy conversion device. As an example of the highly dynamic nature of the apparatus, we discuss the molecular and structural events that enable it to maintain high photosynthetic yields under fluctuating light conditions. We conclude the review with a summary of the hypotheses made over the years about the driving forces that underlie the partition of the lamellar system of higher plants and certain green algae into appressed and non-appressed membrane domains and the segregation of the photosynthetic protein complexes within these domains.

  19. Shaping a better rice plant.

    PubMed

    Springer, Nathan

    2010-06-01

    Two studies describe how regulatory variation at the rice gene OsSPL14 can lead to altered plant morphology and improve grain yield. These studies support the possibility of improving rice yield through changing plant architecture.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-08-24

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

  1. LAZY genes mediate the effects of gravity on auxin gradients and plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Yoshihara, Takeshi; Spalding, Edgar P

    2017-08-18

    A rice mutant led to the discovery of a plant-specific LAZY1 protein that controls the orientation of shoots. Arabidopsis thaliana possesses six LAZY genes having spatially distinct expression patterns. Branch angle phenotypes previously associated with single LAZY genes were here studied in roots and shoots of single and higher-order atlazy mutants. The results identify the major contributors to root and shoot branch angles and gravitropic behavior of seedling hypocotyls and primary roots. AtLAZY1 is the principal determinant of inflorescence branch angle. The weeping inflorescence phenotype of atlazy1,2,4 mutants may be due at least in part to a reversal in the gravitropism mechanism. AtLAZY2 and AtLAZY4 determined lateral root branch angle. Lateral roots of the atlazy2,4 double mutant emerged slightly upward, approximately ten degrees greater than perpendicular to the primary root axis, and they were agravitropic. Etiolated hypocotyls of the quadruple atlazy1,2,3,4 mutant were essentially agravitropic, though their phototropic response was robust. In light-grown seedlings, the root of the atlazy2,3,4 mutant was also agravitropic but when adapted to dim red light it displayed a reversed gravitropic response. A reversed auxin gradient across the root visualized by a fluorescent signaling reporter explained the reversed, upward bending response. We propose that AtLAZY proteins control plant architecture by coupling gravity sensing to the formation of auxin gradients that override a LAZY-independent mechanism that creates an opposing gravity-induced auxin gradient. {copyright, serif} 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  2. The genetic architecture of disease resistance in plants and the maintenance of recombination by parasites.

    PubMed

    Kover, P X; Caicedo, A L

    2001-01-01

    Parasites represent strong selection on host populations because they are ubiquitous and can drastically reduce host fitness. It has been hypothesized that parasite selection could explain the widespread occurrence of recombination because it is a coevolving force that favours new genetic combinations in the host. A review of deterministic models for the maintenance of recombination reveals that for recombination to be favoured, multiple genes that interact with each other must be under selection. To evaluate whether parasite selection can explain the maintenance of recombination, we review 85 studies that investigated the genetic architecture of plant disease resistance and discuss whether they conform to the requirements that emerge from theoretical models. General characteristics of disease resistance in plants and problems in evaluating resistance experimentally are also discussed. We found strong evidence that disease resistance in plants is determined by multiple loci. Furthermore, in most cases where loci were tested for interactions, epistasis between loci that affect resistance was found. However, we found weak support for the idea that specific allelic combinations determine resistance to different host genotypes and there was little data on whether epistasis between resistance genes is negative or positive. Thus, the current data indicate that it is possible that parasite selection can favour recombination, but more studies in natural populations that specifically address the nature of the interactions between resistance genes are necessary. The data summarized here suggest that disease resistance is a complex trait and that environmental effects and fitness trade-offs should be considered in future models of the coevolutionary dynamics of host and parasites.

  3. QTL mapping of wheat plant architectural characteristics and their genetic relationship with seven QTLs conferring resistance to sheath blight

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yan; Du, Ziyi; Chen, Jiang; Zhang, Zhongjun

    2017-01-01

    Sheath blight is one of the most devastating wheat diseases worldwide. Breeding resistant cultivars is the most powerful strategy to defeat the disease. Plant resistance on “disease escape” works through modulation of morphological traits and shows sustainable resistance to disease. Plant architectural traits have been reported to play a significant role in disease response. Therefore, exploring the genetic relationship between plant architecture and disease resistance is of importance to the understanding of plant resistance via “disease escape”. Using an F9 population of 266 RILs (Recombinant Inbred Lines) derived from the cross of Luke × AQ24788-83, we have generated a linkage map of 631 markers on 21 chromosomes. In this study, we present the QTL identification of fourteen plant architectural characteristics and heading time from two years and analyze their genetic relationships with seven previously published QTLs to sheath blight (QSBs, QSe.cau), including plant height (PH), the space between the flag leaf and penultimate leaf (fdR), heading date (Hd), and other traits. Twelve stable QTLs of the morphological traits were identified with good consistency across five replicates. For the seven previously published QSBs, we found no significant association with plant height. However, some of the QSBs displayed strong associations with plant architectural traits and heading date. Especially, QfdR.cau-1AS, QHd.cau-2BS, QfdR.cau-5DL, and QfdR.cau-6BL were respectively mapped to the same regions as QSe.cau-1AS, QSe.cau-2BS, QSe.cau-5DL, and QSe.cau-6BL. Taken together, we have demonstrated that plant height did not exert a direct influence on the resistance to sheath blight conferred by the seven QSBs and that the plant architecture and heading date did exhibit a tight relationship with the resistance. Therefore, this study provides a novel evidence to help understand sheath blight resistance in wheat. In addition, the linked morphological characteristics

  4. Two-dimensional data binning for the analysis of genome architecture in filamentous plant pathogens and other eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Saunders, Diane G O; Win, Joe; Kamoun, Sophien; Raffaele, Sylvain

    2014-01-01

    Genome architecture often reflects an organism's lifestyle and can therefore provide insights into gene function, regulation, and adaptation. In several lineages of plant pathogenic fungi and oomycetes, characteristic repeat-rich and gene-sparse regions harbor pathogenicity-related genes such as effectors. In these pathogens, analysis of genome architecture has assisted the mining for novel candidate effector genes and investigations into patterns of gene regulation and evolution at the whole genome level. Here we describe a two-dimensional data binning method in R with a heatmap-style graphical output to facilitate analysis and visualization of whole genome architecture. The method is flexible, combining whole genome architecture heatmaps with scatter plots of the genomic environment of selected gene sets. This enables analysis of specific values associated with genes such as gene expression and sequence polymorphisms, according to genome architecture. This method enables the investigation of whole genome architecture and reveals local properties of genomic neighborhoods in a clear and concise manner.

  5. Ammonium and nitrate acquisition by plants in response to elevated CO2 concentration: the roles of root physiology and architecture.

    PubMed

    Bauer, G A; Berntson, G M

    2001-02-01

    We examined changes in root system architecture and physiology and whole-plant patterns of nitrate reductase (NR) activity in response to atmospheric CO2 enrichment and N source to determine how changes in the form of N supplied to plants interact with rising CO2 concentration ([CO2]). Seedlings of Betula alleghaniensis Britt. and Pinus strobus L., which differ in growth rate, root architecture, and the partitioning of NR activity between leaves (Betula) and roots (Pinus), were grown in ambient (400 microl l(-1)) and elevated (800 microl l(-1)) [CO2] and supplied with either nitrate (NO3-) or ammonium (NH4+) as their sole N source. After 15 weeks of growth, plants were harvested and root system architecture, N uptake kinetics, and NR activity measured. Betula alleghaniensis responded to elevated [CO2] with significant increases in growth, regardless of the source of N. Pinus strobus showed no significant response in biomass production or allocation to elevated [CO2]. Both species exhibited significantly greater growth with NH4+ than with NO3-, along with lower root:shoot biomass ratios. Betula showed significant increases in total root length in response to elevated [CO2]. However, root N uptake rates in Betula (for both NO3- and NH4+) were either reduced or unchanged by elevated [CO2]. Pinus showed the opposite response to elevated [CO2], with no change in root architecture, but an increase in maximal uptake rates in response to elevated [CO2]. Nitrate reductase activity (on a mass basis) was reduced in leaves of Betula in elevated [CO2], but did not change in other tissues. Nitrate reductase activity was unaffected by elevated [CO2] in Pinus. Scaling this response to the whole-plant, NR activity was reduced in elevated [CO2] in Betula but not in Pinus. However, because Betula plants were larger in elevated [CO2], total whole-plant NR activity was unaffected.

  6. Computer control improves ethylene plant operation

    SciTech Connect

    Whitehead, B.D.; Parnis, M.

    1987-11-01

    ICIA Australia ordered a turnkey 250,000-tpy ethylene plant to be built at the Botany site, Sydney, Australia. Following a feasibility study, an additional order was placed for a process computer system for advanced process control and optimization. This article gives a broad outline of the process computer tasks, how the tasks were implemented, what problems were met, what lessons were learned and what results were achieved.

  7. Embedded ensemble propagation for improving performance, portability, and scalability of uncertainty quantification on emerging computational architectures

    DOE PAGES

    Phipps, Eric T.; D'Elia, Marta; Edwards, Harold C.; ...

    2017-04-18

    In this study, quantifying simulation uncertainties is a critical component of rigorous predictive simulation. A key component of this is forward propagation of uncertainties in simulation input data to output quantities of interest. Typical approaches involve repeated sampling of the simulation over the uncertain input data, and can require numerous samples when accurately propagating uncertainties from large numbers of sources. Often simulation processes from sample to sample are similar and much of the data generated from each sample evaluation could be reused. We explore a new method for implementing sampling methods that simultaneously propagates groups of samples together in anmore » embedded fashion, which we call embedded ensemble propagation. We show how this approach takes advantage of properties of modern computer architectures to improve performance by enabling reuse between samples, reducing memory bandwidth requirements, improving memory access patterns, improving opportunities for fine-grained parallelization, and reducing communication costs. We describe a software technique for implementing embedded ensemble propagation based on the use of C++ templates and describe its integration with various scientific computing libraries within Trilinos. We demonstrate improved performance, portability and scalability for the approach applied to the simulation of partial differential equations on a variety of CPU, GPU, and accelerator architectures, including up to 131,072 cores on a Cray XK7 (Titan).« less

  8. Operational and design strategies to improve PFBC power plant efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Romeo, L.M.; Cortes, C.; Martinez, D.

    1998-07-01

    Nowadays the state of the art of PFBC technology lies halfway between the demonstration stage in units of intermediate size (72--79 MWe) and the commercial availability of larger scale plants. The operation of existing power stations has demonstrated that several points remain widely open to improvements. Due to fuel quality effects and the use of retrofitted plants, the PFBC power plant efficiency presently demands significant improvements. Likewise, the high energy efficiencies offered by the PFBC concept had not been completely demonstrated. To overcome these difficulties and further develop the technology a semiempirical model of a pressurized fluidized bed power plant has been developed. The model has been validated with actual plant data, being able to predict the Escatron (Spain) PFBC power plant behavior under different operating conditions. It has been widely tested to study not only the fluidized bed behavior, but also the influence of fluidized bed variables in the rest of the power plant. Good agreement has been found between the computed results and actual plant data at different operational regimes for the most important variables of the power plant. The main aim of this model is to study different strategies to improve the efficiency in the power plant. These strategies include: the improvement of soot blowing schedules of external heat exchangers; air preheating system optimization; selection of operational set-points that bring the highest efficiency; evaluation of the efficiency improvements due to design changes (changes in retrofitted steam turbines and heat exchangers, natural gas reburning, selection of different types of coal). This paper describes the model developed, the strategies to improve efficiency, as well as its results, and as conclusions, point out the improvements and perspectives for future work.

  9. A 2-Phase Labeling and Choice Architecture Intervention to Improve Healthy Food and Beverage Choices

    PubMed Central

    Sonnenberg, Lillian; Riis, Jason; Barraclough, Susan; Levy, Douglas E.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives. We assessed whether a 2-phase labeling and choice architecture intervention would increase sales of healthy food and beverages in a large hospital cafeteria. Methods. Phase 1 was a 3-month color-coded labeling intervention (red = unhealthy, yellow = less healthy, green = healthy). Phase 2 added a 3-month choice architecture intervention that increased the visibility and convenience of some green items. We compared relative changes in 3-month sales from baseline to phase 1 and from phase 1 to phase 2. Results. At baseline (977 793 items, including 199 513 beverages), 24.9% of sales were red and 42.2% were green. Sales of red items decreased in both phases (P < .001), and green items increased in phase 1 (P < .001). The largest changes occurred among beverages. Red beverages decreased 16.5% during phase 1 (P < .001) and further decreased 11.4% in phase 2 (P < .001). Green beverages increased 9.6% in phase 1 (P < .001) and further increased 4.0% in phase 2 (P < .001). Bottled water increased 25.8% during phase 2 (P < .001) but did not increase at 2 on-site comparison cafeterias (P < .001). Conclusions. A color-coded labeling intervention improved sales of healthy items and was enhanced by a choice architecture intervention. PMID:22390518

  10. A 2-phase labeling and choice architecture intervention to improve healthy food and beverage choices.

    PubMed

    Thorndike, Anne N; Sonnenberg, Lillian; Riis, Jason; Barraclough, Susan; Levy, Douglas E

    2012-03-01

    We assessed whether a 2-phase labeling and choice architecture intervention would increase sales of healthy food and beverages in a large hospital cafeteria. Phase 1 was a 3-month color-coded labeling intervention (red = unhealthy, yellow = less healthy, green = healthy). Phase 2 added a 3-month choice architecture intervention that increased the visibility and convenience of some green items. We compared relative changes in 3-month sales from baseline to phase 1 and from phase 1 to phase 2. At baseline (977,793 items, including 199,513 beverages), 24.9% of sales were red and 42.2% were green. Sales of red items decreased in both phases (P < .001), and green items increased in phase 1 (P < .001). The largest changes occurred among beverages. Red beverages decreased 16.5% during phase 1 (P < .001) and further decreased 11.4% in phase 2 (P < .001). Green beverages increased 9.6% in phase 1 (P < .001) and further increased 4.0% in phase 2 (P < .001). Bottled water increased 25.8% during phase 2 (P < .001) but did not increase at 2 on-site comparison cafeterias (P < .001). A color-coded labeling intervention improved sales of healthy items and was enhanced by a choice architecture intervention.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-21

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    2000-12-01

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

  14. Tips for Improving Seed Planting Efficiency

    Treesearch

    R. Kasten Dumroese; David L. Wenny; Susan J. Morrison

    2002-01-01

    The efficiency of a precision seeder was improved by adding a mirror so employees could monitor seed levels and by marking seeds with brightly colored talc to quickly verify the accuracy of the machine.

  15. Dynamics of the active site architecture in plant-type ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductases catalytic complexes.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Azqueta, Ana; Catalano-Dupuy, Daniela L; López-Rivero, Arleth; Tondo, María Laura; Orellano, Elena G; Ceccarelli, Eduardo A; Medina, Milagros

    2014-10-01

    Kinetic isotope effects in reactions involving hydride transfer and their temperature dependence are powerful tools to explore dynamics of enzyme catalytic sites. In plant-type ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductases the FAD cofactor exchanges a hydride with the NADP(H) coenzyme. Rates for these processes are considerably faster for the plastidic members (FNR) of the family than for those belonging to the bacterial class (FPR). Hydride transfer (HT) and deuteride transfer (DT) rates for the NADP(+) coenzyme reduction of four plant-type FNRs (two representatives of the plastidic type FNRs and the other two from the bacterial class), and their temperature dependences are here examined applying a full tunnelling model with coupled environmental fluctuations. Parameters for the two plastidic FNRs confirm a tunnelling reaction with active dynamics contributions, but isotope effects on Arrhenius factors indicate a larger contribution for donor-acceptor distance (DAD) dynamics in the Pisum sativum FNR reaction than in the Anabaena FNR reaction. On the other hand, parameters for bacterial FPRs are consistent with passive environmental reorganisation movements dominating the HT coordinate and no contribution of DAD sampling or gating fluctuations. This indicates that active sites of FPRs are more organised and rigid than those of FNRs. These differences must be due to adaptation of the active sites and catalytic mechanisms to fulfil their particular metabolic roles, establishing a compromise between protein flexibility and functional optimisation. Analysis of site-directed mutants in plastidic enzymes additionally indicates the requirement of a minimal optimal architecture in the catalytic complex to provide a favourable gating contribution. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Couzigou, Jean-Malo; Combier, Jean-Philippe

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

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

  18. Improvement of sleep architecture in the follow up of a patient with bilateral paramedian thalamic stroke.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Ana Catarina; Geraldes, Ruth; Pires, Joana; Falcão, Filipa; Bentes, Carla; Melo, Teresa Pinho E

    2011-12-01

    Normal sleep architecture and arousal require an intact thalamus. Thalamic vascular lesions, particularly in the paramedian region may cause arousal disturbances and hypersomnolence. Although hypersomnolence is one of the main characteristics of acute bilateral paramedian thalamic infarcts, there are only scarce reports in literature concerning polysomnographic follow-up of these patients. The few reported cases in literature show that sleep stages do not significantly change from the acute to chronic phase. We present a case report of a patient with a bilateral paramedian thalamic infarct in which a polysomnographic evaluation of sleep was performed four days and five months after stroke. In the acute phase, polysomnography showed an impairment of phase 2 NREM and absence of phase 3 and 4 NREM with absent sleep spindles. After the acute stroke phase, hypersomnolence improved and sleep spindles reappeared as well as phase 3 and 4 of NREM sleep. Our patient clear clinical and polysomnographic improvement makes us suppose that in this case the initial impairment could have been essentially due to a functional transitory impairment of the thalamocortical and corticothalamic connections. This case report is peculiar because it discloses a marked improvement of sleep architecture which to the best of our knowledge has not been clearly described before. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-01-12

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    William M. Bond; Salih Ersayin

    2007-03-30

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

  4. Enhanced IGCC regulatory control and coordinated plant-wide control strategies for improving power ramp rates

    SciTech Connect

    Mahapatra, P.; Zitney, S.

    2012-01-01

    As part of ongoing R&D activities at the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training & Research (AVESTAR™) Center, this paper highlights strategies for enhancing low-level regulatory control and system-wide coordinated control strategies implemented in a high-fidelity dynamic simulator for an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plant with carbon capture. The underlying IGCC plant dynamic model contains 20 major process areas, each of which is tightly integrated with the rest of the power plant, making individual functionally-independent processes prone to routine disturbances. Single-loop feedback control although adequate to meet the primary control objective for most processes, does not take into account in advance the effect of these disturbances, making the entire power plant undergo large offshoots and/or oscillations before the feedback action has an opportunity to impact control performance. In this paper, controller enhancements ranging from retuning feedback control loops, multiplicative feed-forward control and other control techniques such as split-range control, feedback trim and dynamic compensation, applicable on various subsections of the integrated IGCC plant, have been highlighted and improvements in control responses have been given. Compared to using classical feedback-based control structure, the enhanced IGCC regulatory control architecture reduces plant settling time and peak offshoots, achieves faster disturbance rejection, and promotes higher power ramp-rates. In addition, improvements in IGCC coordinated plant-wide control strategies for “Gasifier-Lead”, “GT-Lead” and “Plantwide” operation modes have been proposed and their responses compared. The paper is concluded with a brief discussion on the potential IGCC controller improvements resulting from using advanced process control, including model predictive control (MPC), as a supervisory control layer.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-04-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Improving transient performance of adaptive control architectures using frequency-limited system error dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yucelen, Tansel; De La Torre, Gerardo; Johnson, Eric N.

    2014-11-01

    Although adaptive control theory offers mathematical tools to achieve system performance without excessive reliance on dynamical system models, its applications to safety-critical systems can be limited due to poor transient performance and robustness. In this paper, we develop an adaptive control architecture to achieve stabilisation and command following of uncertain dynamical systems with improved transient performance. Our framework consists of a new reference system and an adaptive controller. The proposed reference system captures a desired closed-loop dynamical system behaviour modified by a mismatch term representing the high-frequency content between the uncertain dynamical system and this reference system, i.e., the system error. In particular, this mismatch term allows the frequency content of the system error dynamics to be limited, which is used to drive the adaptive controller. It is shown that this key feature of our framework yields fast adaptation without incurring high-frequency oscillations in the transient performance. We further show the effects of design parameters on the system performance, analyse closeness of the uncertain dynamical system to the unmodified (ideal) reference system, discuss robustness of the proposed approach with respect to time-varying uncertainties and disturbances, and make connections to gradient minimisation and classical control theory. A numerical example is provided to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed architecture.

  9. MicroRNA-based biotechnology for plant improvement.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Baohong; Wang, Qinglian

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are an extensive class of newly discovered endogenous small RNAs, which negatively regulate gene expression at the post-transcription levels. As the application of next-generation deep sequencing and advanced bioinformatics, the miRNA-related study has been expended to non-model plant species and the number of identified miRNAs has dramatically increased in the past years. miRNAs play a critical role in almost all biological and metabolic processes, and provide a unique strategy for plant improvement. Here, we first briefly review the discovery, history, and biogenesis of miRNAs, then focus more on the application of miRNAs on plant breeding and the future directions. Increased plant biomass through controlling plant development and phase change has been one achievement for miRNA-based biotechnology; plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress was also significantly enhanced by regulating the expression of an individual miRNA. Both endogenous and artificial miRNAs may serve as important tools for plant improvement. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Association mapping for phenology and plant architecture in maize shows higher power for developmental traits compared with growth influenced traits.

    PubMed

    Bouchet, S; Bertin, P; Presterl, T; Jamin, P; Coubriche, D; Gouesnard, B; Laborde, J; Charcosset, A

    2017-03-01

    Plant architecture, phenology and yield components of cultivated plants have repeatedly been shaped by selection to meet human needs and adaptation to different environments. Here we assessed the genetic architecture of 24 correlated maize traits that interact during plant cycle. Overall, 336 lines were phenotyped in a network of 9 trials and genotyped with 50K single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Phenology was the main factor of differentiation between genetic groups. Then yield components distinguished dents from lower yielding genetic groups. However, most of trait variation occurred within group and we observed similar overall and within group correlations, suggesting a major effect of pleiotropy and/or linkage. We found 34 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for individual traits and six for trait combinations corresponding to PCA coordinates. Among them, only five were pleiotropic. We found a cluster of QTLs in a 5 Mb region around Tb1 associated with tiller number, ear row number and the first PCA axis, the latter being positively correlated to flowering time and negatively correlated to yield. Kn1 and ZmNIP1 were candidate genes for tillering, ZCN8 for leaf number and Rubisco Activase 1 for kernel weight. Experimental repeatabilities, numbers of QTLs and proportion of explained variation were higher for traits related to plant development such as tillering, leaf number and flowering time, than for traits affected by growth such as yield components. This suggests a simpler genetic determinism with larger individual QTL effects for the first category.

  11. Architecture for improved mass transport and system performance in redox flow batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houser, Jacob; Pezeshki, Alan; Clement, Jason T.; Aaron, Douglas; Mench, Matthew M.

    2017-05-01

    In this work, electrochemical performance and parasitic losses are combined in an overall system-level efficiency metric for a high performance, all-vanadium redox flow battery. It was found that pressure drop and parasitic pumping losses are relatively negligible for high performance cells, i.e., those capable of operating at a high current density while at a low flow rate. Through this finding, the Equal Path Length (EPL) flow field architecture was proposed and evaluated. This design has superior mass transport characteristics in comparison with the standard serpentine and interdigitated designs at the expense of increased pressure drop. An Aspect Ratio (AR) design is discussed and evaluated, which demonstrates decreased pressure drop compared to the EPL design, while maintaining similar electrochemical performance under most conditions. This AR design is capable of leading to improved system energy efficiency for flow batteries of all chemistries.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-09-15

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

  14. Maize somatic embryogenesis: recent features to improve plant regeneration.

    PubMed

    Garrocho-Villegas, Verónica; de Jesús-Olivera, María Teresa; Quintanar, Estela Sánchez

    2012-01-01

    Plant regeneration capacity is maintained through the life of a plant by the stem cell niche present in the meristems. Stem cells are capable of differentiating into any plant organ, allowing propagation of new plants by different techniques. Among them, somatic embryogenesis is a widely used technique characterized by a complex process that involves coordinated expression of genes, mediated by the influence of specific hormones, nutrients, stress, and/or environmental signals. This tool is particularly relevant in the propagation of genetically improved crops. The intrinsic embryogenic potential of the explant used as starting material for plant in vitro cultures varies depending on the genotype of each plant species. Particularly in maize, the regeneration capacity is lost during the course of tissue maturation, since embryogenic callus (E) is almost exclusively obtained from immature zygotic embryos. In this chapter, the latest advances in the literature for maize somatic embryogenesis process are reviewed. Further, a detailed procedure for maize plant regeneration from E callus is described. The callus obtained from immature zygotic embryos is capable to generate somatic embryos that germinate and develop into fertile normal plants.

  15. 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)

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. The MADS-domain protein MPF1 of Physalis floridana controls plant architecture, seed development and flowering time.

    PubMed

    He, Chaoying; Tian, Ying; Saedler, Rainer; Efremova, Nadia; Riss, Simone; Khan, Muhammad Ramzan; Yephremov, Alexander; Saedler, Heinz

    2010-02-01

    Floral and vegetative development of plants is dependent on the combinatorial action of MADS-domain transcription factors. Members of the STMADS11 subclade, such as MPF1 of Physalis, are abundantly expressed in leaves as well as in floral organs, but their function is not yet clear. Our studies with transgenic Arabidopsis that over-express MPF1 suggest that MPF1 interacts with SOC1 to determine flowering time. However, MPF1 RNAi-mediated knockdown Physalis plants revealed a complex phenotype with changes in flowering time, plant architecture and seed size. Flowering of these plants was delayed by about 20% as compared to wild type. Expression of PFLFY is upregulated in the MPF1 RNAi lines, while PFFT and MPF3 genes are strongly repressed. MPF1 interacts with a subset of MADS-domain factors, namely with PFSOC1 in planta, and with PFSEP3 and PFFUL in yeast, supporting a regulatory role for this protein in flowering. The average size of seeds produced by the transgenic MPF1 RNAi plants is increased almost twofold. The height of these plants is also increased about twofold, but most axillary buds are stunted when compared to controls. Taken together, this suggests that members of the STMADS11 subclade act as positive regulators of flowering but have diverse functions in plant growth.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Auxins as one of the factors of plant growth improvement by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Ambreen; Hasnain, Shahida

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) promote plant growth by various mechanisms such as phytohormone production, enhanced water and nutrient uptake, improved nitrogen availability in the soil, production of ACC-deaminase for ethylene breakdown, phosphate solubilization, siderophore production etc. Microbial auxin production is the major factor not only responsible for strengthening the plant-microbe relationship but it also promotes plant growth and development in a positive manner. Thus, bacterial auxin production potential can be exploited for plant growth improvement that may be effective in reducing the hazardous effects of chemical fertilizers on the ecosystem used to obtain higher yields. The present review gives a better understanding of various factors and mechanisms involved in auxin production by PGPR that may be helpful in proper exploitation of these natural resources in a beneficial way.

  20. Opportunities for improving phosphorus-use efficiency in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Veneklaas, Erik J; Lambers, Hans; Bragg, Jason; Finnegan, Patrick M; Lovelock, Catherine E; Plaxton, William C; Price, Charles A; Scheible, Wolf-Rüdiger; Shane, Michael W; White, Philip J; Raven, John A

    2012-07-01

    Limitation of grain crop productivity by phosphorus (P) is widespread and will probably increase in the future. Enhanced P efficiency can be achieved by improved uptake of phosphate from soil (P-acquisition efficiency) and by improved productivity per unit P taken up (P-use efficiency). This review focuses on improved P-use efficiency, which can be achieved by plants that have overall lower P concentrations, and by optimal distribution and redistribution of P in the plant allowing maximum growth and biomass allocation to harvestable plant parts. Significant decreases in plant P pools may be possible, for example, through reductions of superfluous ribosomal RNA and replacement of phospholipids by sulfolipids and galactolipids. Improvements in P distribution within the plant may be possible by increased remobilization from tissues that no longer need it (e.g. senescing leaves) and reduced partitioning of P to developing grains. Such changes would prolong and enhance the productive use of P in photosynthesis and have nutritional and environmental benefits. Research considering physiological, metabolic, molecular biological, genetic and phylogenetic aspects of P-use efficiency is urgently needed to allow significant progress to be made in our understanding of this complex trait.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  2. Advanced thermometrics for fossil power plant process improvement

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-04-30

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

  3. High-Throughput Phenotyping and QTL Mapping Reveals the Genetic Architecture of Maize Plant Growth1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Chenglong; Wu, Di; Qiao, Feng; Li, Wenqiang; Duan, Lingfeng; Wang, Ke; Xiao, Yingjie; Chen, Guoxing; Liu, Qian; Yang, Wanneng

    2017-01-01

    With increasing demand for novel traits in crop breeding, the plant research community faces the challenge of quantitatively analyzing the structure and function of large numbers of plants. A clear goal of high-throughput phenotyping is to bridge the gap between genomics and phenomics. In this study, we quantified 106 traits from a maize (Zea mays) recombinant inbred line population (n = 167) across 16 developmental stages using the automatic phenotyping platform. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping with a high-density genetic linkage map, including 2,496 recombinant bins, was used to uncover the genetic basis of these complex agronomic traits, and 988 QTLs have been identified for all investigated traits, including three QTL hotspots. Biomass accumulation and final yield were predicted using a combination of dissected traits in the early growth stage. These results reveal the dynamic genetic architecture of maize plant growth and enhance ideotype-based maize breeding and prediction. PMID:28153923

  4. Elk browsing increases aboveground growth of water-stressed willows by modifying plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Danielle B; Cooper, David J; Hobbs, N Thompson

    2007-12-01

    In the northern elk wintering range of Yellowstone National Park, USA, wolf (Canis lupus) removal allowed elk (Cervus elaphus) to overbrowse riparian woody plants, leading to the exclusion of beaver (Castor canadensis) and a subsequent water table decline in many small stream valleys. Reduced elk browsing following wolf reintroduction may or may not facilitate willow (Salix sp.) recovery in these areas. To determine if the effect of elk browsing on willow interacts with that of beaver abandonment, we manipulated elk browsing and the water table in a factorial experiment. Under the condition of an ambient (low) water table, elk browsing increased shoot water potential (Psis), photosynthesis per unit leaf area (A), stomatal conductance per unit leaf area (gs), and aboveground current annual growth (CAG) by 50%. Elk browsing occurred entirely during dormancy and did not affect total plant leaf area (L). Improved water balance, photosynthetic rate, and annual aboveground productivity in browsed willows appeared to be due to morphological changes, such as increased shoot diameter and decreased branching, which typically increase plant hydraulic conductivity. An elevated water table increased Psis, A, gs, CAG, and L, and eliminated or lessened the positive effect of browsing on CAG for most species. Because low water tables create conditions whereby high willow productivity depends on the morphological effects of annual elk browsing, removing elk browsing in areas of water table decline is unlikely to result in vigorous willow stands. As large willow standing crops are required by beaver, a positive feedback between water-stressed willow and beaver absence may preclude the reestablishment of historical conditions. In areas with low water table, willow restoration may depend on actions to promote the re-establishment of beaver in addition to reducing elk browsing.

  5. Nocturnal oxygen enrichment of room air at 3800 meter altitude improves sleep architecture.

    PubMed

    Barash, I A; Beatty, C; Powell, F L; Prisk, G K; West, J B

    2001-01-01

    Sleep is known to be impaired at high altitude, and this may be a factor contributing to reduced work efficiency, general malaise, and the development of acute mountain sickness (AMS). Nocturnal room oxygen enrichment at 3800 m has been shown to reduce the time spent in periodic breathing and the number of apneas, to improve subjective quality of sleep, and to reduce the AMS score. The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of oxygen enrichment to 24% at 3800 m (lowering the equivalent altitude to 2800 m) on sleep architecture. Full polysomnography and actigraphy were performed on 12 subjects who ascended in 1 day to 3800 m and slept in a specially constructed room that allowed oxygen enrichment or ambient air conditions in a randomized, crossover, double-blind study. The results showed that subjects spent a significantly greater percentage of time in deep sleep (stages III and IV combined, or slow wave sleep) with oxygen enrichment versus ambient air (17.2 +/- 10.0% and 13.9 +/- 6.7%, respectively; p < 0.05 in paired analysis). No differences between treatments were seen with subjective assessments of sleep quality or with subject's assessment of the extent to which they suffered from AMS. This study provides further objective evidence of improved sleep as a result of oxygen enrichment at 3800 m and suggests that alleviating hypoxia may improve sleep quality.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulian, Tiziana; Sacandé, Moctar; Mattana, Efisio

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Summit on Improving the Economics of America's Nuclear Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Collins, John; Mason, Charles

    2016-09-01

    The Summit on Improving the Economics of America’s Nuclear Power Plants was convened May 19, 2016, by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and co-sponsored by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo to stress the importance of existing nuclear reactors in meeting our nation’s energy goals. The summit was also designed to identify and discuss policy options that can be pursued at federal and state levels to address economic challenges, as well as technical options that utilities can use to improve the economic competitiveness of operating nuclear power plants (NPPs) and avoid early plant retirements that are driven by temporary market conditions. The owners of NPPs face difficult economic decisions and are working to improve the performance of existing NPPs. However, it soon became clear that some of the actions taken by states and regional markets have had an impact on the economic viability of existing power plants, including carbon free NPPs. Summit speakers identified concepts and actions that could be taken at state and federal levels to improve the economics of the existing fleet within these regulated and restructured electricity markets. This report summarizes the speeches, concepts, and actions taken.

  13. Planting Grass Appears Impratical For Improving Deteriorated Recreation Sites

    Treesearch

    H. Ken Cordell; Daniel R. Talhelm

    1969-01-01

    There is a real need for improving the physical condition of many recreation sires in the Southeast which are characterized by compacted and eroding soils, dead and dying vegetation, and generally poor appearance. An attempt was made on these sites to establish grass by giving the best possible treatment for growth and survival. After one summer of use, the planted...

  14. Improving planting stock quality—the Humboldt experience

    Treesearch

    James L. Jenkinson; James A. Nelson

    1993-01-01

    A seedling testing program was developed to improve the survival and growth potential of planting stock produced in the USDA Forest Service Humboldt Nursery, situated on the Pacific Coast in northern California. Coastal and inland seed sources of Douglas-fir and eight other conifers in the Pacific Slope forests of western Oregon and northern California were assessed in...

  15. Improving plant bioaccumulation science through consistent reporting of experimental data.

    PubMed

    Fantke, Peter; Arnot, Jon A; Doucette, William J

    2016-10-01

    Experimental data and models for plant bioaccumulation of organic contaminants play a crucial role for assessing the potential human and ecological risks associated with chemical use. Plants are receptor organisms and direct or indirect vectors for chemical exposures to all other organisms. As new experimental data are generated they are used to improve our understanding of plant-chemical interactions that in turn allows for the development of better scientific knowledge and conceptual and predictive models. The interrelationship between experimental data and model development is an ongoing, never-ending process needed to advance our ability to provide reliable quality information that can be used in various contexts including regulatory risk assessment. However, relatively few standard experimental protocols for generating plant bioaccumulation data are currently available and because of inconsistent data collection and reporting requirements, the information generated is often less useful than it could be for direct applications in chemical assessments and for model development and refinement. We review existing testing guidelines, common data reporting practices, and provide recommendations for revising testing guidelines and reporting requirements to improve bioaccumulation knowledge and models. This analysis provides a list of experimental parameters that will help to develop high quality datasets and support modeling tools for assessing bioaccumulation of organic chemicals in plants and ultimately addressing uncertainty in ecological and human health risk assessments.

  16. Phytochemicals in plants: genomics-assisted plant improvement for nutritional and health benefits.

    PubMed

    Grusak, Michael A

    2002-10-01

    Plants are an important source of essential nutrients and health-beneficial components that are crucial for human life. Because the intake of these phytochemicals is not always adequate, the resources of plant biotechnology are being used to enhance the nutritional quality of our plant-based food supply. Various improvement strategies are feasible, depending on whether the phytochemical target is a major or minor constituent. Recent efforts in gene discovery and functional genomics are providing the necessary understanding to develop and evaluate different approaches to manipulate phytochemical composition.

  17. Improving geothermal power plants with a binary cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Plant architecture and grain yield are regulated by the novel DHHC-type zinc finger protein genes in rice (Oryza sativa L.).

    PubMed

    Zhou, Bo; Lin, Jian Zhong; Peng, Dan; Yang, Yuan Zhu; Guo, Ming; Tang, Dong Ying; Tan, Xiaofeng; Liu, Xuan Ming

    2017-01-01

    In many plants, architecture and grain yield are affected by both the environment and genetics. In rice, the tiller is a vital factor impacting plant architecture and regulated by many genes. In this study, we cloned a novel DHHC-type zinc finger protein gene Os02g0819100 and its alternative splice variant OsDHHC1 from the cDNA of rice (Oryza sativa L.), which regulate plant architecture by altering the tiller in rice. The tillers increased by about 40% when this type of DHHC-type zinc finger protein gene was over-expressed in Zhong Hua 11 (ZH11) rice plants. Moreover, the grain yield of transgenic rice increased approximately by 10% compared with wild-type ZH11. These findings provide an important genetic engineering approach for increasing rice yields. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Improving the environmental sustainability of a waste processing plant

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, Tom; Watson, Stuart

    2013-07-01

    This paper describes how the level of environmental sustainability at the Solid Waste Processing plant at Research Sites Restoration Ltd (RSRL) Harwell was measured and improved. It provides reasons to improve environmental performance in an organisation, states best practice on how improvement should be conducted, and gives first-hand experience on how changes were implemented. In this paper sustainability is defined as 'meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'. A baseline for environmental sustainability was created, by looking at multiple attributes. From this, a matrix was created to show how the baseline environmental performance compared to best practice, and a gap analysis was performed. Results from this analysis showed areas for potential systematic improvement, and actions were created. Nearly all actions were implemented within one year, and environmental sustainability improved significantly. Most improvements cost no money to implement, and the few that did had to pass criteria in a business case. Results from a company-wide survey showed that the vast majority of employees felt that environmental issues were important, and that they were willing to help improve performance. Environmental awareness training was given to everyone in the department, and individuals were given measurable improvement targets. A focus group was set up and met regularly to agree improvements and monitor results. Environmental performance was publicised regularly to highlight successes and seek further engagement and improvement. Improvement ideas were encouraged and managed in a transparent way which showed clear prioritisation and accountability. The culture of environmental improvement changed visibly and results at the end of the first year showed that electricity consumption had reduced by 12.5%, and gas consumption had reduced by 7.3%. In less than two years over UK Pound 60,000 was saved on utility

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

    SciTech Connect

    Vosoughi, Naser; Naseri, Zahra

    2002-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. New Architecture for Mental Health; New York State Health and Mental Hygiene Facilities Improvement Corporation - Report to the Governor, 1969.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New York State Health and Mental Hygiene Facilities Improvement Corp., Albany.

    The accomplishments of The Health and Mental Hygiene Facilities Improvement Corporation during the past years in creating needed hospitals and health centers for the mentally disabled is documented. The new facilities show awareness of architectural trends and new objectives in design in order to better serve the needs of the patient. Pictures and…

  3. Control bandwidth improvements in GRAVITY fringe tracker by switching to a synchronous real time computer architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abuter, Roberto; Dembet, Roderick; Lacour, Sylvestre; di Lieto, Nicola; Woillez, Julien; Eisenhauer, Frank; Fedou, Pierre; Phan Duc, Than

    2016-08-01

    The new VLTI (Very Large Telescope Interferometer) 1 instrument GRAVITY5, 22, 23 is equipped with a fringe tracker16 able to stabilize the K-band fringes on six baselines at the same time. It has been designed to achieve a performance for average seeing conditions of a residual OPD (Optical Path Difference) lower than 300 nm with objects brighter than K = 10. The control loop implementing the tracking is composed of a four stage real time computer system compromising: a sensor where the detector pixels are read in and the OPD and GD (Group Delay) are calculated; a controller receiving the computed sensor quantities and producing commands for the piezo actuators; a concentrator which combines both the OPD commands with the real time tip/tilt corrections offloading them to the piezo actuator; and finally a Kalman15 parameter estimator. This last stage is used to monitor current measurements over a window of few seconds and estimate new values for the main Kalman15 control loop parameters. The hardware and software implementation of this design runs asynchronously and communicates the four computers for data transfer via the Reflective Memory Network3. With the purpose of improving the performance of the GRAVITY5, 23 fringe tracking16, 22 control loop, a deviation from the standard asynchronous communication mechanism has been proposed and implemented. This new scheme operates the four independent real time computers involved in the tracking loop synchronously using the Reflective Memory Interrupts2 as the coordination signal. This synchronous mechanism had the effect of reducing the total pure delay of the loop from 3.5 [ms] to 2.0 [ms] which then translates on a better stabilization of the fringes as the bandwidth of the system is substantially improved. This paper will explain in detail the real time architecture of the fringe tracker in both is synchronous and synchronous implementation. The achieved improvements on reducing the delay via this mechanism will be

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Kevin N.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Sweet Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Canopy Photosynthesis Modeling Using 3D Plant Architecture and Light Ray-Tracing

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jee Hoon; Lee, Joon Woo; Ahn, Tae In; Shin, Jong Hwa; Park, Kyung Sub; Son, Jung Eek

    2016-01-01

    Canopy photosynthesis has typically been estimated using mathematical models that have the following assumptions: the light interception inside the canopy exponentially declines with the canopy depth, and the photosynthetic capacity is affected by light interception as a result of acclimation. However, in actual situations, light interception in the canopy is quite heterogenous depending on environmental factors such as the location, microclimate, leaf area index, and canopy architecture. It is important to apply these factors in an analysis. The objective of the current study is to estimate the canopy photosynthesis of paprika (Capsicum annuum L.) with an analysis of by simulating the intercepted irradiation of the canopy using a 3D ray-tracing and photosynthetic capacity in each layer. By inputting the structural data of an actual plant, the 3D architecture of paprika was reconstructed using graphic software (Houdini FX, FX, Canada). The light curves and A/Ci curve of each layer were measured to parameterize the Farquhar, von Caemmerer, and Berry (FvCB) model. The difference in photosynthetic capacity within the canopy was observed. With the intercepted irradiation data and photosynthetic parameters of each layer, the values of an entire plant's photosynthesis rate were estimated by integrating the calculated photosynthesis rate at each layer. The estimated photosynthesis rate of an entire plant showed good agreement with the measured plant using a closed chamber for validation. From the results, this method was considered as a reliable tool to predict canopy photosynthesis using light interception, and can be extended to analyze the canopy photosynthesis in actual greenhouse conditions. PMID:27667994

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Sweet Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Canopy Photosynthesis Modeling Using 3D Plant Architecture and Light Ray-Tracing.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jee Hoon; Lee, Joon Woo; Ahn, Tae In; Shin, Jong Hwa; Park, Kyung Sub; Son, Jung Eek

    2016-01-01

    Canopy photosynthesis has typically been estimated using mathematical models that have the following assumptions: the light interception inside the canopy exponentially declines with the canopy depth, and the photosynthetic capacity is affected by light interception as a result of acclimation. However, in actual situations, light interception in the canopy is quite heterogenous depending on environmental factors such as the location, microclimate, leaf area index, and canopy architecture. It is important to apply these factors in an analysis. The objective of the current study is to estimate the canopy photosynthesis of paprika (Capsicum annuum L.) with an analysis of by simulating the intercepted irradiation of the canopy using a 3D ray-tracing and photosynthetic capacity in each layer. By inputting the structural data of an actual plant, the 3D architecture of paprika was reconstructed using graphic software (Houdini FX, FX, Canada). The light curves and A/C i curve of each layer were measured to parameterize the Farquhar, von Caemmerer, and Berry (FvCB) model. The difference in photosynthetic capacity within the canopy was observed. With the intercepted irradiation data and photosynthetic parameters of each layer, the values of an entire plant's photosynthesis rate were estimated by integrating the calculated photosynthesis rate at each layer. The estimated photosynthesis rate of an entire plant showed good agreement with the measured plant using a closed chamber for validation. From the results, this method was considered as a reliable tool to predict canopy photosynthesis using light interception, and can be extended to analyze the canopy photosynthesis in actual greenhouse conditions.

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

    PubMed

    White, Douglas C

    2007-06-01

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

  10. When history repeats itself: exploring the genetic architecture of host-plant adaptation in two closely related lepidopteran species.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Development and Optimization of Tailored Composite TBC Design Architectures for Improved Erosion Durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, Michael P.; Schreiber, Jeremy M.; Rai, Amarendra K.; Eden, Timothy J.; Wolfe, Douglas E.

    2017-08-01

    Rare-earth pyrochlores, RE2Zr2O7, have been identified as potential thermal barrier coating (TBC) materials due to their attractive thermal properties and CMAS resistance. However, they possess a low fracture toughness which results in poor erosion durability/foreign object damage resistance. This research focuses on the development of tailored composite air plasma spray (APS) TBC design architectures utilizing a t' Low-k secondary toughening phase (ZrO2-2Y2O3-1Gd2O3-1Yb2O3; mol.%) to enhance the erosion durability of a hyper-stoichiometric pyrochlore, NZO (ZrO2-25Nd2O3-5Y2O3-5Yb2O3; mol.%). In this study, composite coatings have been deposited with 30, 50, and 70% (wt.%) t' Low-k toughening phase in a horizontally aligned lamellar morphology which enhances the toughening response of the coating. The coatings were characterized via SEM and XRD and were tested for erosion durability before and after isothermal heat treatment at 1100 °C. Analysis with mixing laws indicated improved erosion performance; however, a lack of long-term thermal stability was shown via isothermal heat treatments at 1316 °C. An impact stress analysis was performed using finite element analysis of a coating cross section, representing the first microstructurally realistic study of mechanical properties of TBCs with the results correlating well with observed behavior.

  14. Development and Optimization of Tailored Composite TBC Design Architectures for Improved Erosion Durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, Michael P.; Schreiber, Jeremy M.; Rai, Amarendra K.; Eden, Timothy J.; Wolfe, Douglas E.

    2017-05-01

    Rare-earth pyrochlores, RE2Zr2O7, have been identified as potential thermal barrier coating (TBC) materials due to their attractive thermal properties and CMAS resistance. However, they possess a low fracture toughness which results in poor erosion durability/foreign object damage resistance. This research focuses on the development of tailored composite air plasma spray (APS) TBC design architectures utilizing a t' Low-k secondary toughening phase (ZrO2-2Y2O3-1Gd2O3-1Yb2O3; mol.%) to enhance the erosion durability of a hyper-stoichiometric pyrochlore, NZO (ZrO2-25Nd2O3-5Y2O3-5Yb2O3; mol.%). In this study, composite coatings have been deposited with 30, 50, and 70% (wt.%) t' Low-k toughening phase in a horizontally aligned lamellar morphology which enhances the toughening response of the coating. The coatings were characterized via SEM and XRD and were tested for erosion durability before and after isothermal heat treatment at 1100 °C. Analysis with mixing laws indicated improved erosion performance; however, a lack of long-term thermal stability was shown via isothermal heat treatments at 1316 °C. An impact stress analysis was performed using finite element analysis of a coating cross section, representing the first microstructurally realistic study of mechanical properties of TBCs with the results correlating well with observed behavior.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hazen, Samuel

    2013-09-27

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

  17. Biotechnological Strategies to Improve Plant Biomass Quality for Bioethanol Production

    PubMed Central

    del Moral, Sandra; Núñez-López, Lizeth; Barrera-Figueroa, Blanca E.; Amaya-Delgado, Lorena

    2017-01-01

    The transition from an economy dependent on nonrenewable energy sources to one with higher diversity of renewables will not be a simple process. It requires an important research effort to adapt to the dynamics of the changing energy market, sort costly processes, and avoid overlapping with social interest markets such as food and livestock production. In this review, we analyze the desirable traits of raw plant materials for the bioethanol industry and the molecular biotechnology strategies employed to improve them, in either plants already under use (as maize) or proposed species (large grass families). The fundamentals of these applications can be found in the mechanisms by which plants have evolved different pathways to manage carbon resources for reproduction or survival in unexpected conditions. Here, we review the means by which this information can be used to manipulate these mechanisms for commercial uses, including saccharification improvement of starch and cellulose, decrease in cell wall recalcitrance through lignin modification, and increase in plant biomass. PMID:28951875

  18. Plant stomatal closure improves aphid feeding under elevated CO2.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yucheng; Guo, Huijuan; Yuan, Liang; Wei, Jianing; Zhang, Wenhao; Ge, Feng

    2015-01-10

    Stomata help plants regulate CO2 absorption and water vapor release in response to various environmental changes, and plants decrease their stomatal apertures and enhance their water status under elevated CO2 . Although the bottom-up effect of elevated CO2 on insect performance has been extensively studied, few reports have considered how insect fitness is altered by elevated CO2 -induced changes in host plant water status. We tested the hypothesis that aphids induce stomatal closure and increase host water potential, which facilitates their passive feeding, and that this induction can be enhanced by elevated CO2 . Our results showed that aphid infestation triggered the abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathway to decrease the stomatal apertures of Medicago truncatula, which consequently decreased leaf transpiration and helped maintain leaf water potential. These effects increased xylem-feeding time and decreased hemolymph osmolarity, which thereby enhanced phloem-feeding time and increased aphid abundance. Furthermore, elevated CO2 up-regulated an ABA-independent enzyme, carbonic anhydrase, which led to further decrease in stomatal aperture for aphid-infested plants. Thus, the effects of elevated CO2 and aphid infestation on stomatal closure synergistically improved the water status of the host plant. The results indicate that aphid infestation enhances aphid feeding under ambient CO2 and that this enhancement is increased under elevated CO2 . © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Uprooting force balance for pioneer woody plants: A quantification of the relative contribution of above- and below-ground plant architecture to uprooting susceptibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bywater-Reyes, S.; Wilcox, A. C.; Lightbody, A.; Skorko, K.; Stella, J. C.

    2012-12-01

    Cottonwood (Populus), willow (Salix), and tamarisk (Tamarix) populate riparian areas in many dryland regions, and their recruitment depends heavily on hydrogeomorphic conditions. The survival of pioneer woody seedlings depends in part on the establishment of root systems capable of anchoring plants in subsequent floods, and this root system development in turn influences the cohesion that plants provide to bars. The factors influencing the anchoring ability and resistance to scour of woody seedlings include plant frontal area and flexibility, root structure, and water table elevation. This study aims to quantify the factors comprising the force balance to uproot woody seedlings and saplings in two field sites characterized by different hydrologic conditions. The Bill Williams River (AZ) is an impounded river with elevated water table elevations produced by dam-released base flows. The Bitterroot River (MT) is an unimpounded river with a snowmelt hydrograph and seasonal fluctuations in river and water table elevation. We simulate uprooting from flooding events by saturating substrates and applying force near the base of the plant in a lateral, downstream direction until uprooting occurs, for a range of plant sizes but with a focus on small (<1 m high) seedlings. Preliminary results indicate a positive correlation between root diameter and stem length and the force required to pull out plants, with cottonwood and tamarisk seedlings showing greater variability than willow. In contrast, root length and stem diameter are only weakly correlated with pull-out force. By combining pull test results with measurements of geomorphic and groundwater conditions, this study provides insights into the relative contribution of a plant's above-ground and below-ground architecture to uprooting potential and into the feedbacks between vegetation and morphodynamics on river bars.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    2001-06-01

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

  4. Plant water potential improves prediction of empirical stomatal models.

    PubMed

    Anderegg, William R L; Wolf, Adam; Arango-Velez, Adriana; Choat, Brendan; Chmura, Daniel J; Jansen, Steven; Kolb, Thomas; Li, Shan; Meinzer, Frederick; Pita, Pilar; Resco de Dios, Víctor; Sperry, John S; Wolfe, Brett T; Pacala, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is expected to lead to increases in drought frequency and severity, with deleterious effects on many ecosystems. Stomatal responses to changing environmental conditions form the backbone of all ecosystem models, but are based on empirical relationships and are not well-tested during drought conditions. Here, we use a dataset of 34 woody plant species spanning global forest biomes to examine the effect of leaf water potential on stomatal conductance and test the predictive accuracy of three major stomatal models and a recently proposed model. We find that current leaf-level empirical models have consistent biases of over-prediction of stomatal conductance during dry conditions, particularly at low soil water potentials. Furthermore, the recently proposed stomatal conductance model yields increases in predictive capability compared to current models, and with particular improvement during drought conditions. Our results reveal that including stomatal sensitivity to declining water potential and consequent impairment of plant water transport will improve predictions during drought conditions and show that many biomes contain a diversity of plant stomatal strategies that range from risky to conservative stomatal regulation during water stress. Such improvements in stomatal simulation are greatly needed to help unravel and predict the response of ecosystems to future climate extremes.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  6. Invasive plant architecture alters trophic interactions by changing predator abundance and behavior

    Treesearch

    Dean E. Pearson

    2009-01-01

    As primary producers, plants are known to influence higher trophic interactions by initiating food chains. However, as architects, plants may bypass consumers to directly affect predators with important but underappreciated trophic ramifications. Invasion of western North American grasslands by the perennial forb, spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  8. RNA silencing in the life cycle of soybean: multiple restriction systems and spatiotemporal variation associated with plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Mori, Ayumi; Sato, Hiroshi; Kasai, Megumi; Yamada, Tetsuya; Kanazawa, Akira

    2017-06-01

    The expression of transgenes introduced into a plant genome is sometimes suppressed by RNA silencing. Although local and systemic spread of RNA silencing have been studied, little is known about the mechanisms underlying spatial and temporal variation in transgene silencing between individual plants or between plants of different generations, which occurs seemingly stochastically. Here, we analyzed the occurrence, spread, and transmission of RNA silencing of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene over multiple generations of the progeny of a single soybean transformant. Observation of GFP fluorescence in entire plants of the T3-T5 generations indicated that the initiation and subsequent spread of GFP silencing varied between individuals, although this GFP silencing most frequently began in the primary leaves. In addition, GFP silencing could spread into the outer layer of seed coat tissues but was hardly detectable in the embryos. These results are consistent with the notion that transgene silencing involves its reset during reproductive phase, initiation after germination, and systemic spread in each generation. GFP silencing was absent in the pulvinus, suggesting that its cortical cells inhibit cell-to-cell spread or induction of RNA silencing. The extent of GFP silencing could differ between the stem and a petiole or between petiolules, which have limited vascular bundles connecting them and thus deter long-distant movement of silencing. Taken together, these observations indicate that the initiation and/or spread of RNA silencing depend on specific features of the architecture of the plant in addition to the mechanisms that can be conserved in higher plants.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  10. Generating high-yielding varieties by genetic manipulation of plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Tomoaki; Matsuoka, Makoto

    2004-04-01

    Despite a huge population increase since the 1960s, the green revolution more than doubled world grain production and averted large-scale famine. Food crop productivity will have to be further raised, however, because the world population is still increasing rapidly. Among several parameters associated with the increase in yield potential, genes that control plant height and tiller number (in cereal crops) have recently been identified. In addition, a promising strategy to generate semi-dwarf varieties has been developed. Recent advances in plant genome analyses and plant biotechnology will realize a second green revolution through the genetic engineering of food crops.

  11. Genome-wide study of an elite rice pedigree reveals a complex history of genetic architecture for breeding improvement

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Shaoxia; Lin, Zechuan; Zhou, Degui; Wang, Chongrong; Li, Hong; Yu, Renbo; Deng, Hanchao; Tang, Xiaoyan; Zhou, Shaochuan; Wang Deng, Xing; He, Hang

    2017-01-01

    Improving breeding has been widely utilized in crop breeding and contributed to yield and quality improvement, yet few researches have been done to analyze genetic architecture underlying breeding improvement comprehensively. Here, we collected genotype and phenotype data of 99 cultivars from the complete pedigree including Huanghuazhan, an elite, high-quality, conventional indica rice that has been grown over 4.5 million hectares in southern China and from which more than 20 excellent cultivars have been derived. We identified 1,313 selective sweeps (SSWs) revealing four stage-specific selection patterns corresponding to improvement preference during 65 years, and 1113 conserved Huanghuazhan traceable blocks (cHTBs) introduced from different donors and conserved in >3 breeding generations were the core genomic regions for superior performance of Huanghuazhan. Based on 151 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) identified for 13 improved traits in the pedigree, we reproduced their improvement process in silico, highlighting improving breeding works well for traits controlled by major/major + minor effect QTLs, but was inefficient for traits controlled by QTLs with complex interactions or explaining low levels of phenotypic variation. These results indicate long-term breeding improvement is efficient to construct superior genetic architecture for elite performance, yet molecular breeding with designed genotype of QTLs can facilitate complex traits improvement. PMID:28374863

  12. Improvements in plant growth rate using underwater discharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-20

    Plants exposure to low level salinity activates an array of processes leading to an improvement of plant stress tolerance. Although the beneficial effect of acclimation was demonstrated in many herbaceous species, underlying mechanisms behind this phenomenon remain poorly understood. In the present study we have addressed this issue by investigating ionic mechanisms underlying the process of plant acclimation to salinity stress in Zea mays. Effect of acclimation were examined in two parallel sets of experiments: a growth experiment for agronomic assessments, sap analysis, stomatal conductance, chlorophyll content, and confocal laser scanning imaging; and a lab experiment for in vivo ion flux measurements from root tissues. Being exposed to salinity, acclimated plants (1) retain more K(+) but accumulate less Na(+) in roots; (2) have better vacuolar Na(+) sequestration ability in leaves and thus are capable of accumulating larger amounts of Na(+) in the shoot without having any detrimental effect on leaf photochemistry; and (3) rely more on Na(+) for osmotic adjustment in the shoot. At the same time, acclimation affect was not related in increased root Na(+) exclusion ability. It appears that even in a such salt-sensitive species as maize, Na(+) exclusion from uptake is of a much less importance compared with the efficient vacuolar Na(+) sequestration in the shoot. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. Cyanobacterial-based approaches to improving photosynthesis in plants.

    PubMed

    Zarzycki, Jan; Axen, Seth D; Kinney, James N; Kerfeld, Cheryl A

    2013-01-01

    Plants rely on the Calvin-Benson (CB) cycle for CO(2) fixation. The key carboxylase of the CB cycle is ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). Efforts to enhance carbon fixation in plants have traditionally focused on RubisCO or on approaches that can help to remedy RubisCO's undesirable traits: its low catalytic efficiency and photorespiration. Towards reaching the goal of improving plant photosynthesis, cyanobacteria may be instrumental. Because of their evolutionary relationship to chloroplasts, they represent ideal model organisms for photosynthesis research. Furthermore, the molecular understanding of cyanobacterial carbon fixation provides a rich source of strategies that can be exploited for the bioengineering of chloroplasts. These strategies include the cyanobacterial carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM), which consists of active and passive transporter systems for inorganic carbon and a specialized organelle, the carboxysome. The carboxysome encapsulates RubisCO together with carbonic anhydrase in a protein shell, resulting in an elevated CO(2) concentration around RubisCO. Moreover, cyanobacteria differ from plants in the isoenzymes involved in the CB cycle and the photorespiratory pathways as well as in mechanisms that can affect the activity of RubisCO. In addition, newly available cyanobacterial genome sequence data from the CyanoGEBA project, which has more than doubled the amount of genomic information available for cyanobacteria, increases our knowledge on the CCM and the occurrence and distribution of genes of interest.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-24

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, A.

    1992-12-31

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, A.

    1992-01-01

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

  20. Understanding how the complex molecular architecture of mannan-degrading hydrolases contributes to plant cell wall degradation.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-24

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

  1. Improving Nutritional Quality of Plant Proteins Through Genetic Engineering

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Maize YABBY Genes drooping leaf1 and drooping leaf2 Regulate Plant Architecture[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Briggs, Sarah; Bradbury, Peter J.

    2017-01-01

    Leaf architecture directly influences canopy structure, consequentially affecting yield. We discovered a maize (Zea mays) mutant with aberrant leaf architecture, which we named drooping leaf1 (drl1). Pleiotropic mutations in drl1 affect leaf length and width, leaf angle, and internode length and diameter. These phenotypes are enhanced by natural variation at the drl2 enhancer locus, including reduced expression of the drl2-Mo17 allele in the Mo17 inbred. A second drl2 allele, produced by transposon mutagenesis, interacted synergistically with drl1 mutants and reduced drl2 transcript levels. The drl genes are required for proper leaf patterning, development and cell proliferation of leaf support tissues, and for restricting auricle expansion at the midrib. The paralogous loci encode maize CRABS CLAW co-orthologs in the YABBY family of transcriptional regulators. The drl genes are coexpressed in incipient and emergent leaf primordia at the shoot apex, but not in the vegetative meristem or stem. Genome-wide association studies using maize NAM-RIL (nested association mapping-recombinant inbred line) populations indicated that the drl loci reside within quantitative trait locus regions for leaf angle, leaf width, and internode length and identified rare single nucleotide polymorphisms with large phenotypic effects for the latter two traits. This study demonstrates that drl genes control the development of key agronomic traits in maize. PMID:28698237

  5. The cytochrome P450 gene CsCYP85A1 is a putative candidate for super compact-1 (scp-1) plant architecture mutation in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The dwarf plant architecture is an important trait in plant breeding. A number of genes controlling plant height have been cloned and functionally characterized which often involve in biosynthesis or signaling of plant hormones such as brassinosteroids(BRs). No genes for plant height or vine length ...

  6. Tracing a key player in the regulation of plant architecture: the columnar growth habit of apple trees (Malus × domestica).

    PubMed

    Petersen, Romina; Krost, Clemens

    2013-07-01

    Plant architecture is regulated by a complex interplay of some key players (often transcription factors), phytohormones and other signaling molecules such as microRNAs. The columnar growth habit of apple trees is a unique form of plant architecture characterized by thick and upright stems showing a compaction of internodes and carrying short fruit spurs instead of lateral branches. The molecular basis for columnar growth is a single dominant allele of the gene Columnar, whose identity, function and gene product are unknown. As a result of marker analyses, this gene has recently been fine-mapped to chromosome 10 at 18.51-19.09 Mb [according to the annotation of the apple genome by Velasco (2010)], a region containing a cluster of quantitative trait loci associated with plant architecture, but no homologs to the well-known key regulators of plant architecture. Columnar apple trees have a higher auxin/cytokinin ratio and lower levels of gibberellins and abscisic acid than normal apple trees. Transcriptome analyses corroborate these results and additionally show differences in cell membrane and cell wall function. It can be expected that within the next year or two, an integration of these different research methodologies will reveal the identity of the Columnar gene. Besides enabling breeders to efficiently create new apple (and maybe related pear, peach, cherry, etc.) cultivars which combine desirable characteristics of commercial cultivars with the advantageous columnar growth habit using gene technology, this will also provide new insights into an elevated level of plant growth regulation.

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

    PubMed

    Tomcal, Michael; Stiffler, Nicholas; Barkan, Alice

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Tomcal, Michael; Stiffler, Nicholas; Barkan, Alice

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-19

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

  10. Identification of QTLs for capsaicinoids, fruit quality, and plant architecture-related traits in an interspecific Capsicum RIL population.

    PubMed

    Yarnes, Shawn C; Ashrafi, Hamid; Reyes-Chin-Wo, Sebastian; Hill, Theresa A; Stoffel, Kevin M; Van Deynze, Allen

    2013-01-01

    Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analyses in pepper are common for horticultural, disease resistance, and fruit quality traits; although none of the studies to date have used sequence-based markers associated with genes. In this study we measured plant architectural, phenological, and fruit quality traits in a pepper mapping population consisting of 92 recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between Capsicum frutescens acc. 2814-6 and C. annuum var. NuMexRNAKY. Phenotypic measurements were correlated to loci in a high-density EST-based genetic map. In total, 96 QTL were identified for 38 traits, including 12 QTL associated with capsaicinoid levels. Twenty-one loci showed correlation among seemingly unrelated phenotypic categories, highlighting tight linkage or shared genetics between previously unassociated traits in pepper.

  11. Foundational and translational research opportunities to improve plant health.

    PubMed

    Michelmore, Richard W; Coaker, Gitta; Bart, Rebecca; Beattie, Gwyn A; Bent, Andrew; Bruce, Toby; Cameron, Duncan; Dangl, Jeff; Dinesh-Kumar, Savithramma; Edwards, Robert; Eves-van den Akker, Sebastian; Gassmann, Walter; Greenberg, Jean; Harrison, Richard; He, Ping; Harvey, Jagger; Huffaker, Alisa; Hulbert, Scot; Innes, Roger; Jones, Jonathan D; Kaloshian, Isgouhi; Kamoun, Sophien; Katagiri, Fumiaki; Leach, Jan E; Ma, Wenbo; McDowell, John M; Medford, June; Meyers, Blake; Nelson, Rebecca; Oliver, Richard Peter; Qi, Yiping; Saunders, Diane; Shaw, Michael; Subudhi, Prasanta; Torrance, Leslie; Tyler, Brett M; Walsh, John

    2017-04-11

    This whitepaper reports the deliberations of a workshop focused on biotic challenges to plant health held in Washington, D.C. in September 2016. Ensuring health of food plants is critical to maintaining the quality and productivity of crops and for sustenance of the rapidly growing human population. There is a close linkage between food security and societal stability; however, global food security is threatened by the vulnerability of our agricultural systems to numerous pests, pathogens, weeds, and environmental stresses. These threats are aggravated by climate change, the globalization of agriculture, and an over-reliance on non-sustainable inputs. New analytical and computational technologies are providing unprecedented resolution at a variety of molecular, cellular, organismal, and population scales for crop plants as well as pathogens, pests, beneficial microbes, and weeds. It is now possible to both characterize useful or deleterious variation as well as precisely manipulate it. Data-driven, informed decisions based on knowledge of the variation of biotic challenges and of natural and synthetic variation in crop plants will enable deployment of durable interventions throughout the world. These should be integral, dynamic components of agricultural strategies for sustainable agriculture. Specific findings: ● Genetic improvement of crops is the most reliable, least expensive management strategy when suitable genetic variation is available. Nonetheless, some interventions have not proved durable due to the evolution and global dispersal of virulent pathogens and pests as well as herbicide-resistant weeds. ● Additional strategies are becoming essential as multiple fungicides, nematicides, and herbicides become ineffective due to the evolution of resistance and/or are phased out due to registration withdrawals. ● Strategies are needed that maximize the evolutionary hurdles for pathogens, pests, and weeds to overcome control measures. Interventions need to

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Improving hot gas filtration behavior in PFBC power plants

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-07-01

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

  14. Modelling the effect of wheat canopy architecture as affected by sowing density on Septoria tritici epidemics using a coupled epidemic–virtual plant model

    PubMed Central

    Baccar, Rim; Fournier, Christian; Dornbusch, Tino; Andrieu, Bruno; Gouache, David; Robert, Corinne

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The relationship between Septoria tritici, a splash-dispersed disease, and its host is complex because of the interactions between the dynamic plant architecture and the vertical progress of the disease. The aim of this study was to test the capacity of a coupled virtual wheat–Septoria tritici epidemic model (Septo3D) to simulate disease progress on the different leaf layers for contrasted sowing density treatments. Methods A field experiment was performed with winter wheat ‘Soissons’ grown at three contrasted densities. Plant architecture was characterized to parameterize the wheat model, and disease dynamic was monitored to compare with simulations. Three simulation scenarios, differing in the degree of detail with which plant variability of development was represented, were defined. Key Results Despite architectural differences between density treatments, few differences were found in disease progress; only the lower-density treatment resulted in a slightly higher rate of lesion development. Model predictions were consistent with field measurements but did not reproduce the higher rate of lesion progress in the low density. The canopy reconstruction scenario in which inter-plant variability was taken into account yielded the best agreement between measured and simulated epidemics. Simulations performed with the canopy represented by a population of the same average plant deviated strongly from the observations. Conclusions It was possible to compare the predicted and measured epidemics on detailed variables, supporting the hypothesis that the approach is able to provide new insights into the processes and plant traits that contribute to the epidemics. On the other hand, the complex and dynamic responses to sowing density made it difficult to test the model precisely and to disentangle the various aspects involved. This could be overcome by comparing more contrasted and/or simpler canopy architectures such as those resulting from quasi

  15. Architecture as Design Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kauppinen, Heta

    1989-01-01

    Explores the use of analogies in architectural design, the importance of Gestalt theory and aesthetic cannons in understanding and being sensitive to architecture. Emphasizes the variation between public and professional appreciation of architecture. Notes that an understanding of architectural process enables students to improve the aesthetic…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Making sense of mobile health data: an open architecture to improve individual- and population-level health.

    PubMed

    Chen, Connie; Haddad, David; Selsky, Joshua; Hoffman, Julia E; Kravitz, Richard L; Estrin, Deborah E; Sim, Ida

    2012-08-09

    Mobile phones and devices, with their constant presence, data connectivity, and multiple intrinsic sensors, can support around-the-clock chronic disease prevention and management that is integrated with daily life. These mobile health (mHealth) devices can produce tremendous amounts of location-rich, real-time, high-frequency data. Unfortunately, these data are often full of bias, noise, variability, and gaps. Robust tools and techniques have not yet been developed to make mHealth data more meaningful to patients and clinicians. To be most useful, health data should be sharable across multiple mHealth applications and connected to electronic health records. The lack of data sharing and dearth of tools and techniques for making sense of health data are critical bottlenecks limiting the impact of mHealth to improve health outcomes. We describe Open mHealth, a nonprofit organization that is building an open software architecture to address these data sharing and "sense-making" bottlenecks. Our architecture consists of open source software modules with well-defined interfaces using a minimal set of common metadata. An initial set of modules, called InfoVis, has been developed for data analysis and visualization. A second set of modules, our Personal Evidence Architecture, will support scientific inferences from mHealth data. These Personal Evidence Architecture modules will include standardized, validated clinical measures to support novel evaluation methods, such as n-of-1 studies. All of Open mHealth's modules are designed to be reusable across multiple applications, disease conditions, and user populations to maximize impact and flexibility. We are also building an open community of developers and health innovators, modeled after the open approach taken in the initial growth of the Internet, to foster meaningful cross-disciplinary collaboration around new tools and techniques. An open mHealth community and architecture will catalyze increased mHealth efficiency

  19. Making Sense of Mobile Health Data: An Open Architecture to Improve Individual- and Population-Level Health

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Connie; Haddad, David; Selsky, Joshua; Hoffman, Julia E; Kravitz, Richard L; Estrin, Deborah E

    2012-01-01

    Mobile phones and devices, with their constant presence, data connectivity, and multiple intrinsic sensors, can support around-the-clock chronic disease prevention and management that is integrated with daily life. These mobile health (mHealth) devices can produce tremendous amounts of location-rich, real-time, high-frequency data. Unfortunately, these data are often full of bias, noise, variability, and gaps. Robust tools and techniques have not yet been developed to make mHealth data more meaningful to patients and clinicians. To be most useful, health data should be sharable across multiple mHealth applications and connected to electronic health records. The lack of data sharing and dearth of tools and techniques for making sense of health data are critical bottlenecks limiting the impact of mHealth to improve health outcomes. We describe Open mHealth, a nonprofit organization that is building an open software architecture to address these data sharing and “sense-making” bottlenecks. Our architecture consists of open source software modules with well-defined interfaces using a minimal set of common metadata. An initial set of modules, called InfoVis, has been developed for data analysis and visualization. A second set of modules, our Personal Evidence Architecture, will support scientific inferences from mHealth data. These Personal Evidence Architecture modules will include standardized, validated clinical measures to support novel evaluation methods, such as n-of-1 studies. All of Open mHealth’s modules are designed to be reusable across multiple applications, disease conditions, and user populations to maximize impact and flexibility. We are also building an open community of developers and health innovators, modeled after the open approach taken in the initial growth of the Internet, to foster meaningful cross-disciplinary collaboration around new tools and techniques. An open mHealth community and architecture will catalyze increased m

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwinning, S.

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Fine genetic mapping of cp: a recessive gene for compact (dwarf) plant architecture in cucumber, Cucumis sativus L.

    PubMed

    Li, Yuhong; Yang, Luming; Pathak, Mamta; Li, Dawei; He, Xiaoming; Weng, Yiqun

    2011-10-01

    The compact (dwarf) plant architecture is an important trait in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) breeding that has the potential to be used in once-over mechanical harvest of cucumber production. Compact growth habit is controlled by a simply inherited recessive gene cp. With 150 F(2:3) families derived from two inbred cucumber lines, PI 308915 (compact vining) and PI 249561 (regular vining), we conducted genome-wide molecular mapping with microsatellite (simple sequence repeat, SSR) markers. A framework genetic map was constructed consisting of 187 SSR loci in seven linkage groups (chromosomes) covering 527.5 cM. Linkage analysis placed cp at the distal half of the long arm of cucumber Chromosome 4. Molecular markers cosegregating with the cp locus were identified through whole genome scaffold-based chromosome walking. Fine genetic mapping with 1,269 F(2) plants delimited the cp locus to a 220 kb genomic DNA region. Annotation and function prediction of genes in this region identified a homolog of the cytokinin oxidase (CKX) gene, which may be a potential candidate of compact gene. Alignment of the CKX gene homologs from both parental lines revealed a 3-bp deletion in the first exon of PI 308915, which can serve as a marker for marker-assisted selection of the compact phenotype. This work also provides a solid foundation for map-based cloning of the compact gene and understanding the molecular mechanisms of the dwarfing in cucumber.

  3. Light-emitting conjugated polymers with microporous network architecture: interweaving scaffold promotes electronic conjugation, facilitates exciton migration, and improves luminescence.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yanhong; Chen, Long; Guo, Zhaoqi; Nagai, Atsushi; Jiang, Donglin

    2011-11-09

    Herein we report a strategy for the design of highly luminescent conjugated polymers by restricting rotation of the polymer building blocks through a microporous network architecture. We demonstrate this concept using tetraphenylethene (TPE) as a building block to construct a light-emitting conjugated microporous polymer. The interlocked network successfully restricted the rotation of the phenyl units, which are the major cause of fluorescence deactivation in TPE, thus providing intrinsic luminescence activity for the polymers. We show positive "CMP effects" that the network promotes π-conjugation, facilitates exciton migration, and improves luminescence activity. Although the monomer and linear polymer analogue in solvents are nonemissive, the network polymers are highly luminescent in various solvents and the solid state. Because emission losses due to rotation are ubiquitous among small chromophores, this strategy can be generalized for the de novo design of light-emitting materials by integrating the chromophores into an interlocked network architecture.

  4. Penium margaritaceum: A Unicellular Model Organism for Studying Plant Cell Wall Architecture and Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Domozych, David S

    2014-11-18

    Penium margaritaceum is a new and valuable unicellular model organism for studying plant cell wall structure and developmental dynamics. This charophyte has a cell wall composition remarkably similar to the primary cell wall of many higher plants and clearly-defined inclusive zones containing specific polymers. Penium has a simple cylindrical phenotype with a distinct region of focused wall synthesis. Specific polymers, particularly pectins, can be identified using monoclonal antibodies raised against polymers of higher plant cell walls. Immunofluorescence-based labeling is easily performed using live cells that subsequently can be returned to culture and monitored. This feature allows for rapid assessment of wall expansion rates and identification of multiple polymer types in the wall microarchitecture during the cell cycle. Cryofixation by means of spray freezing provides excellent transmission electron microscopy imaging of the cell, including its elaborate endomembrane and cytoskeletal systems, both integral to cell wall development. Penium's fast growth rate allows for convenient microarray screening of various agents that alter wall biosynthesis and metabolism. Finally, recent successful development of transformed cell lines has allowed for non-invasive imaging of proteins in cells and for RNAi reverse genetics that can be used for cell wall biosynthesis studies.

  5. Rice cytokinin GATA transcription Factor1 regulates chloroplast development and plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Darryl; Guevara, David R; Hand, Andrew J; Xu, Zhenhua; Hao, Lixin; Chen, Xi; Zhu, Tong; Bi, Yong-Mei; Rothstein, Steven J

    2013-05-01

    Chloroplast biogenesis has been well documented in higher plants, yet the complex methods used to regulate chloroplast activity under fluctuating environmental conditions are not well understood. In rice (Oryza sativa), the CYTOKININ-RESPONSIVE GATA TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR1 (Cga1) shows increased expression following light, nitrogen, and cytokinin treatments, while darkness and gibberellin reduce expression. Strong overexpression of Cga1 produces dark green, semidwarf plants with reduced tillering, whereas RNA interference knockdown results in reduced chlorophyll and increased tillering. Coexpression, microarray, and real-time expression analyses demonstrate a correlation between Cga1 expression and the expression of important nucleus-encoded, chloroplast-localized genes. Constitutive Cga1 overexpression increases both chloroplast biogenesis and starch production but also results in delayed senescence and reduced grain filling. Growing the transgenic lines under different nitrogen regimes indicates potential agricultural applications for Cga1, including manipulation of biomass, chlorophyll/chloroplast content, and harvest index. These results indicate a conserved mechanism by which Cga1 regulates chloroplast development in higher plants.

  6. Penium margaritaceum: A Unicellular Model Organism for Studying Plant Cell Wall Architecture and Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Domozych, David S.

    2014-01-01

    Penium margaritaceum is a new and valuable unicellular model organism for studying plant cell wall structure and developmental dynamics. This charophyte has a cell wall composition remarkably similar to the primary cell wall of many higher plants and clearly-defined inclusive zones containing specific polymers. Penium has a simple cylindrical phenotype with a distinct region of focused wall synthesis. Specific polymers, particularly pectins, can be identified using monoclonal antibodies raised against polymers of higher plant cell walls. Immunofluorescence-based labeling is easily performed using live cells that subsequently can be returned to culture and monitored. This feature allows for rapid assessment of wall expansion rates and identification of multiple polymer types in the wall microarchitecture during the cell cycle. Cryofixation by means of spray freezing provides excellent transmission electron microscopy imaging of the cell, including its elaborate endomembrane and cytoskeletal systems, both integral to cell wall development. Penium’s fast growth rate allows for convenient microarray screening of various agents that alter wall biosynthesis and metabolism. Finally, recent successful development of transformed cell lines has allowed for non-invasive imaging of proteins in cells and for RNAi reverse genetics that can be used for cell wall biosynthesis studies. PMID:27135519

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

    PubMed

    Alatorre-Cobos, Fulgencio; Calderón-Vázquez, Carlos; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Yong-Villalobos, Lenin; Pérez-Torres, Claudia-Anahí; Oropeza-Aburto, Araceli; Méndez-Bravo, Alfonso; González-Morales, Sandra-Isabel; Gutiérrez-Alanís, Dolores; Chacón-López, Alejandra; Peña-Ocaña, Betsy-Anaid; Herrera-Estrella, Luis

    2014-03-21

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-03-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Advanced regulatory control and coordinated plant-wide control strategies for IGCC targeted towards improving power ramp-rates

    SciTech Connect

    Mahapatra, P.; Zitney, S.

    2012-01-01

    As part of ongoing R&D activities at the National Energy Technology Laboratory's (NETL) Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training & Research (AVESTAR™) Center, this paper highlights strategies for enhancing low-level regulatory control and system-wide coordinated control strategies implemented in a high-fidelity dynamic simulator for an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plant with carbon capture. The underlying IGCC plant dynamic model contains 20 major process areas, each of which is tightly integrated with the rest of the power plant, making individual functionally-independent processes prone to routine disturbances. Single-loop feedback control although adequate to meet the primary control objective for most processes, does not take into account in advance the effect of these disturbances, making the entire power plant undergo large offshoots and/or oscillations before the feedback action has an opportunity to impact control performance. In this paper, controller enhancements ranging from retuning feedback control loops, multiplicative feed-forward control and other control techniques such as split-range control, feedback trim and dynamic compensation, applicable on various subsections of the integrated IGCC plant, have been highlighted and improvements in control responses have been given. Compared to using classical feedback-based control structure, the enhanced IGCC regulatory control architecture reduces plant settling time and peak offshoots, achieves faster disturbance rejection, and promotes higher power ramp-rates. In addition, improvements in IGCC coordinated plant-wide control strategies for “Gasifier-Lead”, “GT-Lead” and “Plantwide” operation modes have been proposed and their responses compared. The paper is concluded with a brief discussion on the potential IGCC controller improvements resulting from using advanced process control, including model predictive control (MPC), as a supervisory control layer.

  12. POLAR CAMP IMPROVEMENTS-STRUCTURAL, ARCHITECTURAL, AND UTILITY ACCESSORIES FOR THE JAMESWAY SHELTER.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    The basic Jamesway shelter has been used for over a decade in polar regions. It possesses characteristics which make it a logical selection for...architectural, and utility limitations of the basic Jamesway . Prototypes of the accessories were fabricated or procured and tested. Evaluation indicated that...they are applicable to polar use and augment the general usefulness of the Jamesway shelter during long- and short-term occupancy. (Author)

  13. IntelliSTAR - An emerging spacecraft control architecture to improve autonomous control and operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barry, John; Raslavicius, Linas; Gathmann, Thomas P.

    Intelligent Satellite Technology Automated Resource which is comprised of processes that address planning, scheduling, coordination, task execution and monitoring and an analysis function. This paper describes current space systems autonomy research and recent IntelliSTAR (Intelligent Satellite Technology Automated Resource) advancements. This year, the paper focuses on the evolution, current research activities, and the developed spacecraft simulator that is being used to validate the architecture.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karkkainen, Anssi P.

    2010-04-01

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

  15. Preclinical trial of a novel surface architecture for improved primary fixation of cementless orthopaedic implants.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Noel; Field, John R; Quondamatteo, Fabio; Curtin, William; McHugh, Peter E; Mc Donnell, Pat

    2014-09-01

    A new surface architecture for cementless orthopaedic implants (OsteoAnchor), which incorporates a multitude of tiny anchor features for enhancing primary fixation, was tested in an ovine hemi-arthroplasty pilot study. Test animals were implanted with a hip stem component incorporating the OsteoAnchor surface architecture produced using additive layer manufacturing and control animals were implanted with stems containing a standard plasma sprayed titanium coating. Intra-operative surgeon feedback indicated that superior primary fixation was achieved for the OsteoAnchor stems and rapid return to normal gait and load bearing was observed post-operation. Following a 16-week recovery time, histological evaluation of the excised femurs revealed in-growth of healthy bone into the porous structure of the OsteoAnchor stems. Bone in-growth was not achieved for the plasma sprayed stems. These results indicate the potential for the OsteoAnchor surface architecture to enhance both the initial stability and long term lifetime of cementless orthopaedic implants. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  17. Developing Predictive Maintenance Expertise to Improve Plant Equipment Reliability

    SciTech Connect

    Wurzbach, Richard N.

    2002-07-01

    On-line equipment condition monitoring is a critical component of the world-class production and safety histories of many successful nuclear plant operators. From addressing availability and operability concerns of nuclear safety-related equipment to increasing profitability through support system reliability and reduced maintenance costs, Predictive Maintenance programs have increasingly become a vital contribution to the maintenance and operation decisions of nuclear facilities. In recent years, significant advancements have been made in the quality and portability of many of the instruments being used, and software improvements have been made as well. However, the single most influential component of the success of these programs is the impact of a trained and experienced team of personnel putting this technology to work. Changes in the nature of the power generation industry brought on by competition, mergers, and acquisitions, has taken the historically stable personnel environment of power generation and created a very dynamic situation. As a result, many facilities have seen a significant turnover in personnel in key positions, including predictive maintenance personnel. It has become the challenge for many nuclear operators to maintain the consistent contribution of quality data and information from predictive maintenance that has become important in the overall equipment decision process. These challenges can be met through the implementation of quality training to predictive maintenance personnel and regular updating and re-certification of key technology holders. The use of data management tools and services aid in the sharing of information across sites within an operating company, and with experts who can contribute value-added data management and analysis. The overall effectiveness of predictive maintenance programs can be improved through the incorporation of newly developed comprehensive technology training courses. These courses address the use of

  18. Engineering rhizosphere hydraulics: pathways to improve plant adaptation to drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Mutez; Zarebanadkouki, Mohsen; Ahmadi, Katayoun; Kroener, Eva; Kostka, Stanley; Carminati, Andrea

    2017-04-01

    rhizosphere reproduced well the experimental observations. Rhizoligands increase the rhizosphere wetting kinetics and decrease the maximum swelling of mucilage. As a consequence, root rehydration upon irrigation is faster, a larger volume of water is available to the plant and this water is used more slowly. This slower water consumption would allow the plant to stay turgid over a prolonged dying period. We propose that by managing the hydraulic properties of the rhizosphere, we can improve plants adaptation to drought.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-04-02

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

  20. How Plant Hydraulics can Improve the Modeling of Plant and Ecosystem Responses to Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sperry, J.; Anderegg, W.; Mackay, D. S.; Venturas, M.

    2016-12-01

    Stomatal regulation is an important, yet problematic component in modeling plant-environment interactions. The problem is that stomata respond to so many environmental cues via complex and uncertain mechanisms. But the assumed end result of regulation is conceptually simple: an optimization of CO2 for H2O exchange in response to changing conditions. Stomata open when photosynthetic opportunity is high and water is cheap. They close if photosynthetic opportunity is low or water is very expensive. Photosynthetic opportunity is relatively easy to model. The cost of water loss is also easy to model if it is assumed to rise with greater proximity to hydraulic failure and desiccation. Unsaturated hydraulic conductivity curves of soil- and plant are used to estimate proximity to failure. At any given instant, a model can calculate opportunity and cost curves associated with greater stomatal opening. If stomata regulate to maximize the instantaneous difference between photosynthetic gain and hydraulic cost, then a model can predict the trajectory of stomatal responses to changes in environment across time. Results of this optimization routine extend the utility of hydraulic predecessor models, and are consistent with widely used empirical models across a wide range of vapor pressure deficit and ambient CO2 concentrations for wet soil. The advantage of the optimization approach is the absence of empirical coefficients, applicability to dry as well as wet soil, and prediction of plant hydraulic status along with gas exchange. The optimization algorithm is a trait- and process-based approach that could improve next generation land surface models.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Mitochondrial respiratory pathways modulate nitrate sensing and nitrogen-dependent regulation of plant architecture in Nicotiana sylvestris

    PubMed Central

    Pellny, Till K; Van Aken, Olivier; Dutilleul, Christelle; Wolff, Tonja; Groten, Karin; Bor, Melike; De Paepe, Rosine; Reyss, Agnès; Van Breusegem, Frank; Noctor, Graham; Foyer, Christine H

    2008-01-01

    Mitochondrial electron transport pathways exert effects on carbon–nitrogen (C/N) relationships. To examine whether mitochondria–N interactions also influence plant growth and development, we explored the responses of roots and shoots to external N supply in wild-type (WT) Nicotiana sylvestris and the cytoplasmic male sterile II (CMSII) mutant, which has a N-rich phenotype. Root architecture in N. sylvestris seedlings showed classic responses to nitrate and sucrose availability. In contrast, CMSII showed an altered ‘nitrate-sensing’ phenotype with decreased sensitivity to C and N metabolites. The WT growth phenotype was restored in CMSII seedling roots by high nitrate plus sugars and in shoots by gibberellic acid (GA). Genome-wide cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis of leaves from mature plants revealed that only a small subset of transcripts was altered in CMSII. Tissue abscisic acid content was similar in CMSII and WT roots and shoots, and growth responses to zeatin were comparable. However, the abundance of key transcripts associated with GA synthesis was modified both by the availability of N and by the CMSII mutation. The CMSII mutant maintained a much higher shoot/root ratio at low N than WT, whereas no difference was observed at high N. Shoot/root ratios were strikingly correlated with root amines/nitrate ratios, values of <1 being characteristic of high N status. We propose a model in which the amine/nitrate ratio interacts with GA signalling and respiratory pathways to regulate the partitioning of biomass between shoots and roots. PMID:18318685

  5. The Genetic Architecture of a Complex Ecological Trait: Host Plant Use in the Specialist Moth, Heliothis subflexa

    PubMed Central

    Oppenheim, Sara J.; Gould, Fred; Hopper, Keith R.

    2012-01-01

    We used genetic mapping to examine the genetic architecture of differences in host plant use between two species of noctuid moths, Heliothis subflexa, a specialist on Physalis spp., and its close relative, the broad generalist H. virescens. We introgressed H. subflexa chromosomes into the H. virescens background and analyzed 1,462 backcross insects. The effects of H. subflexa-origin chromosomes were small when measured as the percent variation explained in backcross populations (0.2 to 5%), but were larger when considered in relation to the interspecific difference explained (1.5 to 165%). Most significant chromosomes had effects on more than one trait, and their effects varied between years, sexes, and genetic backgrounds. Different chromosomes could produce similar phenotypes, suggesting that the same trait might be controlled by different chromosomes in different backcross populations. It appears that many loci of small effect contribute to the use of Physalis by H. subflexa. We hypothesize that behavioral changes may have paved the way for physiological adaptation to Physalis by the generalist ancestor of H. subflexa and H. virescens. PMID:23106701

  6. RETRAN analyses for improving plant procedures and operator training

    SciTech Connect

    Broughton, T.G.; Trikouros, N.G.

    1983-05-01

    The technical quality of procedures governing integrated nuclear power plant operation is influenced by knowledge of system, component, and operator interactions. This knowledge includes, in part, operating plant data and realistic simulations of plant operation. This same information can be used to develop training materials for teaching plant dynamic response to plant operators and engineering staffs. Realistic simulations of plant performance have been used to supplement existing plant data or to provide data where none existed. The simulations may cover events with durations in hours and may be required to consider unique plant conditions including actual core physics conditions, valve leakage, and auxiliary steam loads. In addition, it should be possible for the simulation to account for operator interaction and to provide the information operators would have available through plant instrumentation. Simulations using the RETRAN computer code have been used in the development of procedures and training materials. Procedure applications have included development and validation of general control philosophy and establishment of specific test conditions and setpoints. Training applications include development of materials for teaching general plant response, specific plant response during tests, and analysis of plant performance.

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

    PubMed

    Aibara, Izumi; Miwa, Kyoko

    2014-12-01

    How do sessile plants cope with irregularities in soil nutrient availability? The uptake of essential minerals from the soil influences plant growth and development. However, most environments do not provide sufficient nutrients; rather nutrient distribution in the soil can be uneven and change temporally according to environmental factors. To maintain mineral nutrient homeostasis in their tissues, plants have evolved sophisticated systems for coping with spatial and temporal variability in soil nutrient concentrations. Among these are mechanisms for modulating root system architecture in response to nutrient availability. This review discusses recent advances in knowledge of the two important strategies for optimizing nutrient uptake and translocation in plants: root architecture modification and transporter expression control in response to nutrient availability. Recent studies have determined (i) nutrient-specific root patterns; (ii) their physiological consequences; and (iii) the molecular mechanisms underlying these modulation systems that operate to facilitate efficient nutrient acquisition. Another mechanism employed by plants in nutrient-heterogeneous soils involves modification of nutrient transport activities in a nutrient concentration-dependent manner. In recent years, considerable progress has been made in characterizing the diverse functions of transporters for specific nutrients; it is now clear that the expression and activities of nutrient transporters are finely regulated in multiple steps at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels for adaptation to a wide range of nutrient conditions. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Risedronate improves bone architecture and strength faster than alendronate in ovariectomized rats on a low-calcium diet.

    PubMed

    Yano, Tetsuo; Yamada, Mei; Konda, Tomoyuki; Shiozaki, Makoto; Inoue, Daisuke

    2014-11-01

    Clinical evidence suggests that, compared with alendronate, risedronate reduces fracture risk faster and more potently, with less bone mass gain. We tested the hypothesis that risedronate improves bone quality faster than alendronate using calcium-deficient, ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Female Sprague-Dawley rats at 24 weeks of age were divided into sham-operated and OVX groups and fed a low-calcium (0.05%) diet under paired feeding. After 12 weeks, OVX rats were divided into five groups and treated with vehicle, risedronate (3.5 and 17.5 μg/kg/week, s.c.) or alendronate (7 and 35 μg/kg/week, s.c.). Rats were killed 6-8 weeks later and the bone architecture and strength of the left femur were evaluated by micro-computed tomography and a three-point bending test. Trabecular bone mineral density (BMD), number and thickness were significantly lower in OVX rats than in the sham-operated group. Cortical BMD, bone area (Ct.Ar), and thickness (Ct.Th) were similarly decreased. Risedronate significantly improved Ct.Ar (+8%) and Ct.Th (+9%) at 6 weeks, while alendronate only caused a significant improvement in Ct.Ar (+8% at 6 weeks) and only at the higher dose. At 8 weeks, both risedronate and alendronate significantly increased trabecular BMD compared with the vehicle. Bone strength parameters showed a significant correlation between Ct.Ar and Ct.Th. Risedronate significantly improved maximum load at 6 weeks, while alendronate failed to produce any significant changes. Our results suggest that risedronate is superior to alendronate at improving cortical bone architecture and strength, and that enhanced bone quality partly accounts for risedronate's efficacy.

  9. Prevascularisation with endothelial progenitor cells improved restoration of the architectural and functional properties of newly formed bone for bone reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Pang, Hao; Wu, Xue-Hui; Fu, Sheng-Long; Luo, Fei; Zhang, Ze-Hua; Hou, Tian-Yong; Li, Zhi-Qiang; Chang, Zheng-Qi; Yu, Bo; Xu, Jian-Zhong

    2013-04-01

    The aim of this study was to examine whether the addition of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) contributes to restoring the architectural and functional properties of newly formed bone for reconstruction of bone defects. Bone marrow-derived EPCs and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were co-seeded onto demineralized bone matrix (DBM) as a prevascularized tissue-engineered bone (TEB) for the repair of segmental bone defects to evaluate the effects of prevascularization of TEB on ameliorating morphological, haemodynamic and mechanical characteristics. The restoration of the intraosseous vasculature and medullary cavity was improved markedly compared to the non-prevascularized groups. The blood supply, biomechanical strength, and bone mineral density of the prevascularized group were significantly higher than those of the non-prevascularized groups during bone reconstruction. The present study indicates that EPC-dependent prevascularization contributes to bone healing with structural reconstruction and functional recovery and may improve the understanding of correlation between angiogenesis and osteogenesis.

  10. What you can do to help improve regulation of the plants for planting pathway

    Treesearch

    Kerry O. Britton

    2008-01-01

    The current rules for plants for planting are being revised. The United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) has already provided several opportunities for public input into the new rules, and more opportunities will be coming soon. Considering the importance most plant health scientists attach to this issue, it is...

  11. Genetic Modification for Improving Seed Vigor Is Transitioning from Model Plants to Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiaolin; Ning, Fen; Hu, Xiuli; Wang, Wei

    2017-01-01

    Although seed vigor is a complex physiological trait controlled by quantitative trait loci, technological advances in the laboratory are being translated into applications for enhancing seed vigor in crop plants. In this article, we summarize and discuss pioneering work in the genetic modification of seed vigor, especially through the over-expression of protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT, EC 2.1.1.77) in seeds. The impressive success in improving rice seed vigor through the over-expression of PIMT provides a valuable reference for engineering high-vigor seeds for crop production. In recent decades, numerous genes/proteins associated with seed vigor have been identified. It is hoped that such potential candidates may be used in the development of genetically edited crops for a high and stable yield potential in crop production. This possibility is very valuable in the context of a changing climate and increasing world population. PMID:28149305

  12. Genetic Modification for Improving Seed Vigor Is Transitioning from Model Plants to Crop Plants.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaolin; Ning, Fen; Hu, Xiuli; Wang, Wei

    2017-01-01

    Although seed vigor is a complex physiological trait controlled by quantitative trait loci, technological advances in the laboratory are being translated into applications for enhancing seed vigor in crop plants. In this article, we summarize and discuss pioneering work in the genetic modification of seed vigor, especially through the over-expression of protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT, EC 2.1.1.77) in seeds. The impressive success in improving rice seed vigor through the over-expression of PIMT provides a valuable reference for engineering high-vigor seeds for crop production. In recent decades, numerous genes/proteins associated with seed vigor have been identified. It is hoped that such potential candidates may be used in the development of genetically edited crops for a high and stable yield potential in crop production. This possibility is very valuable in the context of a changing climate and increasing world population.

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

    SciTech Connect

    March-Leuba, JA

    2002-01-15

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

  14. Lignin engineering through laccase modification: a promising field for energy plant improvement.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinhui; Feng, Juanjuan; Jia, Weitao; Chang, Sandra; Li, Shizhong; Li, Yinxin

    2015-01-01

    Laccase (p-diphenol:dioxygen oxidoreductase, EC 1.10.3.2) is a member of the multicopper oxidases and catalyzes the one-electron oxidation of a wide range of substrates, coupled with the reduction of oxygen to water. It is widely distributed in bacteria, fungi, plants and insects. Laccases are encoded by multigene family, and have been characterized mostly from fungi till now, with abundant industrial applications in pulp and paper, textile, food industries, organic synthesis, bioremediation and nanobiotechnology, while limited researches have been performed in plants, and no application has been reported. Plant laccases share the common molecular architecture and reaction mechanism with fungal ones, despite of difference in redox potential and pH optima. Plant laccases are implicated in lignin biosynthesis since genetic evidence was derived from the Arabidopsis LAC4 and LAC17. Manipulation of plant laccases has been considered as a promising and innovative strategy in plant biomass engineering for desirable lignin content and/or composition, since lignin is the major recalcitrant component to saccharification in biofuel production from lignocellulose, and therefore directly limits the fermentation yields. Moreover, plant laccases have been reported to be involved in wound healing, maintenance of cell wall structure and integrity, and plant responses to environmental stresses. Here, we summarize the properties and functions of plant laccase, and discuss the potential of biotechnological application, thus providing a new insight into plant laccase, an old enzyme with a promising beginning in lignocellulose biofuel production.

  15. Computing competition for light in the GREENLAB model of plant growth: a contribution to the study of the effects of density on resource acquisition and architectural development.

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2003-02-01

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

  17. Designing a Clinical Data Warehouse Architecture to Support Quality Improvement Initiatives.

    PubMed

    Chelico, John D; Wilcox, Adam B; Vawdrey, David K; Kuperman, Gilad J

    2016-01-01

    Clinical data warehouses, initially directed towards clinical research or financial analyses, are evolving to support quality improvement efforts, and must now address the quality improvement life cycle. In addition, data that are needed for quality improvement often do not reside in a single database, requiring easier methods to query data across multiple disparate sources. We created a virtual data warehouse at NewYork Presbyterian Hospital that allowed us to bring together data from several source systems throughout the organization. We also created a framework to match the maturity of a data request in the quality improvement life cycle to proper tools needed for each request. As projects progress in the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control stages of quality improvement, there is a proper matching of resources the data needs at each step. We describe the analysis and design creating a robust model for applying clinical data warehousing to quality improvement.

  18. Designing a Clinical Data Warehouse Architecture to Support Quality Improvement Initiatives

    PubMed Central

    Chelico, John D.; Wilcox, Adam B.; Vawdrey, David K.; Kuperman, Gilad J.

    2016-01-01

    Clinical data warehouses, initially directed towards clinical research or financial analyses, are evolving to support quality improvement efforts, and must now address the quality improvement life cycle. In addition, data that are needed for quality improvement often do not reside in a single database, requiring easier methods to query data across multiple disparate sources. We created a virtual data warehouse at NewYork Presbyterian Hospital that allowed us to bring together data from several source systems throughout the organization. We also created a framework to match the maturity of a data request in the quality improvement life cycle to proper tools needed for each request. As projects progress in the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control stages of quality improvement, there is a proper matching of resources the data needs at each step. We describe the analysis and design creating a robust model for applying clinical data warehousing to quality improvement. PMID:28269833

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

    PubMed

    Bouis, Howarth E

    2003-05-01

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

  20. Architectures based on the use of gold nanoparticles and ruthenium complexes as a new route to improve genosensor sensitivity.

    PubMed

    García, T; Casero, E; Revenga-Parra, M; Martín-Benito, J; Pariente, F; Vázquez, L; Lorenzo, E

    2008-10-15

    The preparation of DNA-sensing architectures based on gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) in conjunction with an "in situ" prepared ruthenium complex as a new route to improve the analytical properties of genosensors is described. In the development of these architectures several strategies to obtain Au-NPs modified gold electrodes (Au-NP/Au) have been essayed, in particular covalent binding and electrochemical deposition from a solution containing Au-NPs previously synthesized. UV-vis absorption measurements in conjunction with transmission electron microscope (TEM) images reveal that the synthesized Au-NPs are stable for at least 4 weeks and have a narrow size distribution. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was employed to characterize the morphology and to estimate the Au-NPs surface coverage of the modified gold electrodes obtained following the different modification strategies. In order to assess the utility of these architectures as DNA-sensing devices, a thiolated capture probe sequence from Helicobacter pylori was immobilized onto the as-prepared surface. This sequence was chosen as a case of study within the framework of developing approaches of wide applicability. The hybridization event is detected using a water-soluble pentaamin ruthenium [3-(2-phenanthren-9-yl-vinyl)-pyridine] complex (Ru(NH(3))(5)L) prepared "in situ". This complex, due to its intercalative character, is able to bind to double stranded DNA more efficiently than to single stranded DNA. In addition, the metal provides with a redox center that can be used as an electrochemical indicator. On the basis of this strategy, complementary target sequences of H. pylori have been detected over the range of 40-800 pmol with a detection limit of 25+/-2 pmol.

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

    PubMed

    Asmervik, Sigmund

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Improved heliostat field design for solar tower plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collado, Francisco J.; Guallar, Jesús

    2017-06-01

    In solar power tower (SPT) systems, selecting the optimum location of thousands of heliostats and the most profitable tower height and receiver size remains a challenge. Campo code is prepared for the detailed design of such plants in particular, the optimum layout, provided that the plant size is known. Therefore, less exhaustive codes, as DELSOL3, are also needed to perform preliminary parametric analysis that narrows the most economic size of the plant.

  3. Challenges and opportunities for improving food quality and nutrition through plant biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Francis, David; Finer, John J; Grotewold, Erich

    2017-04-01

    Plant biotechnology has been around since the advent of humankind, resulting in tremendous improvements in plant cultivation through crop domestication, breeding and selection. The emergence of transgenic approaches involving the introduction of defined DNA sequences into plants by humans has rapidly changed the surface of our planet by further expanding the gene pool used by plant breeders for plant improvement. Transgenic approaches in food plants have raised concerns on the merits, social implications, ecological risks and true benefits of plant biotechnology. The recently acquired ability to precisely edit plant genomes by modifying native genes without introducing new genetic material offers new opportunities to rapidly exploit natural variation, create new variation and incorporate changes with the goal to generate more productive and nutritious plants. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Use of a Transition Probability/Markov Approach to Improve Geostatistical of Facies Architecture

    SciTech Connect

    Carle, S.F.

    2000-11-01

    Facies may account for the largest permeability contrasts within the reservoir model at the scale relevant to production. Conditional simulation of the spatial distribution of facies is one of the most important components of building a reservoir model. Geostatistical techniques are widely used to produce realistic and geologically plausible realizations of facies architecture. However, there are two stumbling blocks to the traditional indicator variogram-based approaches: (1) intensive data sets are needed to develop models of spatial variability by empirical curve-fitting to sample indicator (cross-) variograms and to implement ''post-processing'' simulation algorithms; and (2) the prevalent ''sequential indicator simulation'' (SIS) methods do not accurately produce patterns of spatial variability for systems with three or more facies (Seifert and Jensen, 1999). This paper demonstrates an alternative transition probability/Markov approach that emphasizes: (1) Conceptual understanding of the parameters of the spatial variability model, so that geologic insight can support and enhance model development when data are sparse. (2) Mathematical rigor, so that the ''coregionalization'' model (including the spatial cross-correlations) obeys probability law. (3) Consideration of spatial cross-correlation, so that juxtapositional tendencies--how frequently one facies tends to occur adjacent to another facies--are honored.

  5. Rejuvenation of facial skin and improvement in the dermal architecture by transplantation of autologous stromal vascular fraction: a clinical study

    PubMed Central

    Amirkhani, Mohammad Amir; Shoae-Hassani, Alireza; Soleimani, Masoud; Hejazi, Somayeh; Ghalichi, Leila; Nilforoushzadeh, Mohammad Ali

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: The rejuvenation characteristics of fat tissue grafting has been established for many years. Recently it has been shown that stromal vascular fraction (SVF) of fat tissue contributes to its rejuvenation properties. As the SVF is a minimal processed cell population (based on FDA guidance), therefore it is a suitable cell therapy for skin rejuvenation. This clinical trial was aimed to evaluate the ultrastructural improvement of aging skin in the facial nasolabial region after transplantation of autologous SVF. Methods: Our study was conducted in 16 patients aged between 38 and 56 years old that were interested in face lifting at first. All of the cases underwent the lipoaspiration procedure from the abdomen for sampling of fat tissue. Quickly, the SVF was harvested from 100 mL of harvested fat tissue and then transplanted at dose of 2.0×107 nucleated cells in each nasolabial fold. The changes in the skin were evaluated using Visioface scanner, skin-scanner DUB, Visioline, and Cutometer with multi probe adopter. Results: By administration of autologous SVF, the elasticity and density of skin were improved significantly. There were no changes in the epidermis density in scanner results, but we noticed a significant increase in the dermis density and also its thickness with enrichment in the vascular bed of the hypodermis. The score of Visioface scanner showed slight changes in wrinkle scores. The endothelial cells and mesenchymal progenitors from the SVF were found to chang the architecture of the skin slightly, but there was not obvious phenotypic changes in the nasolabial grooves. Conclusion: The current clinical trial showed the modification of dermis region and its microvascular bed, but no changes in the density of the epidermis. Our data represent the rejuvenation process of facial skin by improving the dermal architecture. PMID:27853678

  6. Rejuvenation of facial skin and improvement in the dermal architecture by transplantation of autologous stromal vascular fraction: a clinical study.

    PubMed

    Amirkhani, Mohammad Amir; Shoae-Hassani, Alireza; Soleimani, Masoud; Hejazi, Somayeh; Ghalichi, Leila; Nilforoushzadeh, Mohammad Ali

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: The rejuvenation characteristics of fat tissue grafting has been established for many years. Recently it has been shown that stromal vascular fraction (SVF) of fat tissue contributes to its rejuvenation properties. As the SVF is a minimal processed cell population (based on FDA guidance), therefore it is a suitable cell therapy for skin rejuvenation. This clinical trial was aimed to evaluate the ultrastructural improvement of aging skin in the facial nasolabial region after transplantation of autologous SVF. Methods: Our study was conducted in 16 patients aged between 38 and 56 years old that were interested in face lifting at first. All of the cases underwent the lipoaspiration procedure from the abdomen for sampling of fat tissue. Quickly, the SVF was harvested from 100 mL of harvested fat tissue and then transplanted at dose of 2.0×107 nucleated cells in each nasolabial fold. The changes in the skin were evaluated using Visioface scanner, skin-scanner DUB, Visioline, and Cutometer with multi probe adopter. Results: By administration of autologous SVF, the elasticity and density of skin were improved significantly. There were no changes in the epidermis density in scanner results, but we noticed a significant increase in the dermis density and also its thickness with enrichment in the vascular bed of the hypodermis. The score of Visioface scanner showed slight changes in wrinkle scores. The endothelial cells and mesenchymal progenitors from the SVF were found to chang the architecture of the skin slightly, but there was not obvious phenotypic changes in the nasolabial grooves. Conclusion: The current clinical trial showed the modification of dermis region and its microvascular bed, but no changes in the density of the epidermis. Our data represent the rejuvenation process of facial skin by improving the dermal architecture.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. CIB: an improved communication architecture for real-time monitoring of aerospace materials, instruments, and sensors on the ISS.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Herbaceous Weed Control Improves Survival of Planted Shumard Oak Seedlings

    Treesearch

    A.W. Ezell; J.D. Hodges

    2002-01-01

    Shumard oak seedlings were planted on a cutoversite in the Mississippi River floodplain, which had received both chemical and mechanical site preparation treatments. Soil at the site was a commerce silt loam and the elevation was such that the area does not flood. Planting stock was 1-0, bareroot seedlings. A total of seven active herbicide treatments were applied at a...

  11. Improved stereo matching applied to digitization of greenhouse plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  15. Genetic Architecture of Flowering Phenology in Cereals and Opportunities for Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Camilla B.; Li, Chengdao

    2016-01-01

    Cereal crop species including bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), and maize (Zea mays L.) provide the bulk of human nutrition and agricultural products for industrial use. These four cereals are central to meet future demands of food supply for an increasing world population under a changing climate. A prerequisite for cereal crop production is the transition from vegetative to reproductive and grain-filling phases starting with flower initiation, a key developmental switch tightly regulated in all flowering plants. Although studies in the dicotyledonous model plant Arabidopsis thaliana build the foundations of our current understanding of plant phenology genes and regulation, the availability of genome assemblies with high-confidence sequences for rice, maize, and more recently bread wheat and barley, now allow the identification of phenology-associated gene orthologs in monocots. Together with recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies, QTL analysis, mutagenesis, complementation analysis, and RNA interference, many phenology genes have been functionally characterized in cereal crops and conserved as well as functionally divergent genes involved in flowering were found. Epigenetic and other molecular regulatory mechanisms that respond to environmental and endogenous triggers create an enormous plasticity in flowering behavior among cereal crops to ensure flowering is only induced under optimal conditions. In this review, we provide a summary of recent discoveries of flowering time regulators with an emphasis on four cereal crop species (bread wheat, barley, rice, and maize), in particular, crop-specific regulatory mechanisms and genes. In addition, pleiotropic effects on agronomically important traits such as grain yield, impact on adaptation to new growing environments and conditions, genetic sequence-based selection and targeted manipulation of phenology genes, as well as crop growth simulation

  16. Genetic Architecture of Flowering Phenology in Cereals and Opportunities for Crop Improvement.

    PubMed

    Hill, Camilla B; Li, Chengdao

    2016-01-01

    Cereal crop species including bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), and maize (Zea mays L.) provide the bulk of human nutrition and agricultural products for industrial use. These four cereals are central to meet future demands of food supply for an increasing world population under a changing climate. A prerequisite for cereal crop production is the transition from vegetative to reproductive and grain-filling phases starting with flower initiation, a key developmental switch tightly regulated in all flowering plants. Although studies in the dicotyledonous model plant Arabidopsis thaliana build the foundations of our current understanding of plant phenology genes and regulation, the availability of genome assemblies with high-confidence sequences for rice, maize, and more recently bread wheat and barley, now allow the identification of phenology-associated gene orthologs in monocots. Together with recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies, QTL analysis, mutagenesis, complementation analysis, and RNA interference, many phenology genes have been functionally characterized in cereal crops and conserved as well as functionally divergent genes involved in flowering were found. Epigenetic and other molecular regulatory mechanisms that respond to environmental and endogenous triggers create an enormous plasticity in flowering behavior among cereal crops to ensure flowering is only induced under optimal conditions. In this review, we provide a summary of recent discoveries of flowering time regulators with an emphasis on four cereal crop species (bread wheat, barley, rice, and maize), in particular, crop-specific regulatory mechanisms and genes. In addition, pleiotropic effects on agronomically important traits such as grain yield, impact on adaptation to new growing environments and conditions, genetic sequence-based selection and targeted manipulation of phenology genes, as well as crop growth simulation

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

    SciTech Connect

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  19. Helping operators improve plant performance emdash HEATXPRT; An on-line expert system

    SciTech Connect

    Henry, R.E.; Sopocy, D.M.; Montanus, J.A. ); Blanco, M.A. ); Bleakley, K.W. ); Perry, S.A. )

    1992-01-01

    An on-line expert system for fossil fuel power plants, Heat Rate Degradation Advisor, or HEATXPRT, is being developed. This expert system will be used to automate the interpretation of plant operating data using available on-line plant physical and performance data, along with manual input of additional measurements and observations when necessary. This expert system will operate on a microcomputer and will interface with existing plant data acquisition and/or thermal performance monitoring systems, which presents a variety of design challenges. Several significant features of this expert system are discussed in this paper, including the design of a modular expert system architecture, design of a consistent user interface, development of a standard specification for information transfer, application of sensor validation techniques, and development of a knowledge base suitable for the interpretation of on-line data.

  20. Differential contribution of plant-beneficial functions from Pseudomonas kilonensis F113 to root system architecture alterations in Arabidopsis thaliana and Zea mays.

    PubMed

    Vacheron, Jordan; Desbrosses, Guilhem; Renoud, Sébastien; Padilla-Aguilar, Rosa-Maria; Walker, Vincent; Muller, Daniel; Prigent-Combaret, Claire

    2017-10-03

    Fluorescent pseudomonads are playing key roles in plant-bacteria symbiotic interactions due to the multiple plant-beneficial functions (PBFs) they are harboring. The relative contributions of PBFs to plant-stimulatory effects of the well-known PGPR Pseudomonas kilonensis F113 (formerly P. fluorescens F113) were investigated using a genetic approach. To this end, several deletion mutants were constructed: simple mutants ΔphlD (impaired in the biosynthesis of 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol [DAPG]), ΔacdS (deficient in 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate [ACC] deaminase activity), Δgcd (glucose dehydrogenase deficient, impaired in phosphate solubilization), and ΔnirS (nitrite reductase deficient) and a quadruple mutant (deficient in the 4 PBFs mentioned above). Every PBF activity was quantified in the wild-type strain and the five deletion mutants. This approach revealed few functional interactions between PBFs in vitro. In particular, biosynthesis of glucose dehydrogenase severely reduced the production of DAPG. Contrariwise, the DAPG production impacted positively, but to a lesser extent, phosphate solubilization. Inoculation of the F113 wild-type strain on Arabidopsis thaliana Col-0 and maize seedlings modified the root architecture of both plants. Mutant strain inoculations revealed that the relative contribution of each PBF differed according to the measured plant traits, and that F113 plant-stimulatory effects did not correspond to the sum of each PBF relative contribution. Indeed, two PBF genes (ΔacdS and ΔnirS) had a significant impact on root system architecture from both model plants, whether in in vitro and in vivo conditions. The current work underlined that few F113 PBFs seem to interact between each other in the free-living bacterial cells, whereas they control in concert Arabidopsis thaliana and maize growth and development.

  1. Variation in virus symptom development and root architecture attributes at the onset of storage root initiation in 'beauregard' sweetpotato plants grown with or without nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Villordon, Arthur Q; Clark, Christopher A

    2014-01-01

    It has been shown that virus infections, often symptomless, significantly limit sweetpotato productivity, especially in regions characterized by low input agricultural systems. In sweetpotatoes, the successful emergence and development of lateral roots (LRs), the main determinant of root architecture, determines the competency of adventitious roots to undergo storage root initiation. This study aimed to investigate the effect of some plant viruses on root architecture attributes during the onset of storage root initiation in 'Beauregard' sweetpotatoes that were grown with or without the presence of nitrogen. In two replicate experiments, virus-tested plants consistently failed to show visible symptoms at 20 days regardless of nitrogen treatment. In both experiments, the severity of symptom development among infected plants ranged from 25 to 118% when compared to the controls (virus tested plants grown in the presence of nitrogen). The presence of a complex of viruses (Sweet potato feathery mottle virus, Sweet potato virus G, Sweet potato virus C, and Sweet potato virus 2) was associated with 51% reduction in adventitious root number among plants grown without nitrogen. The effect of virus treatments on first order LR development depended on the presence or absence of nitrogen. In the presence of nitrogen, only plants infected with Sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus showed reductions in first order LR length, number, and density, which were decreased by 33%, 12%, and 11%, respectively, when compared to the controls. In the absence of nitrogen, virus tested and infected plants manifested significant reductions for all first order LR attributes. These results provide evidence that virus infection directly influences sweetpotato yield potential by reducing both the number of adventitious roots and LR development. These findings provide a framework for understanding how virus infection reduces sweetpotato yield and could lead to the development of novel strategies to

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-04-01

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

  4. Ways to Improve Russian Coal-Fired Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-07-15

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

  5. Genetic linkage facilitates cloning of Ert-m regulating plant architecture in barley and identified a strong candidate of Ant1 involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Zakhrabekova, Shakhira; Dockter, Christoph; Ahmann, Katharina; Braumann, Ilka; Gough, Simon P; Wendt, Toni; Lundqvist, Udda; Mascher, Martin; Stein, Nils; Hansson, Mats

    2015-08-01

    The erectoides-m anthocyanin-less 1 (ert-m ant1) double mutants are among the very few examples of induced double mutants in barley. From phenotypic observations of mutant plants it is known that the Ert-m gene product regulates plant architecture whereas the Ant1 gene product is involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis. We used a near-isogenic line of the cultivar Bowman, BW316 (ert-m.34), to create four F2-mapping populations by crosses to the barley cultivars Barke, Morex, Bowman and Quench. We phenotyped and genotyped 460 plants, allowing the ert-m mutation to be mapped to an interval of 4.7 cM on the short arm of barley chromosome 7H. Bioinformatic searches identified 21 candidate gene models in the mapped region. One gene was orthologous to a regulator of Arabidopsis thaliana plant architecture, ERECTA, encoding a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase. Sequencing of HvERECTA in barley ert-m mutant accessions identified severe DNA changes in 15 mutants, including full gene deletions in ert-m.40 and ert-m.64. Both deletions, additionally causing anthocyanin deficiency, were found to stretch over a large region including two putative candidate genes for the anthocyanin biosynthesis locus Ant1. Analyses of ert-m and ant1 single- and double-deletion mutants suggest Ant1 as a closely linked gene encoding a R2R3 myeloblastosis transcription factor.

  6. Resveratrol biosynthesis: plant metabolic engineering for nutritional improvement of food.

    PubMed

    Giovinazzo, Giovanna; Ingrosso, Ilaria; Paradiso, Annalisa; De Gara, Laura; Santino, Angelo

    2012-09-01

    The plant polyphenol trans-resveratrol (3, 5, 4'-trihydroxystilbene) mainly found in grape, peanut and other few plants, displays a wide range of biological effects. Numerous in vitro studies have described various biological effects of resveratrol. In order to provide more information regarding absorption, metabolism, and bioavailability of resveratrol, various research approaches have been performed, including in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models. In recent years, the induction of resveratrol synthesis in plants which normally do not accumulate such polyphenol, has been successfully achieved by molecular engineering. In this context, the ectopic production of resveratrol has been reported to have positive effects both on plant resistance to biotic stress and the enhancement of the nutritional value of several widely consumed fruits and vegetables. The metabolic engineering of plants offers the opportunity to change the content of specific phytonutrients in plant - derived foods. This review focuses on the latest findings regarding on resveratrol bioproduction and its effects on the prevention of the major pathological conditions in man.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ronald, Pamela C.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Nitric Oxide Improves Internal Iron Availability in Plants1

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gohil, Krutika; Hahne, Anja; Beste, Christian

    2016-06-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-08-01

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

  14. Improved outage management techniques for better plant availability

    SciTech Connect

    Bemer, J.P.

    1989-01-01

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

  15. Improvement of sleep architecture parameters in cirrhotic patients with recurrent hepatic encephalopathy with the use of rifaximin.

    PubMed

    Bruyneel, Marie; Sersté, Thomas; Libert, Walter; van den Broecke, Sandra; Ameye, Lieveke; Dachy, Bernard; Mulkay, Jean-Pierre; Moreno, Christophe; Gustot, Thierry

    2017-03-01

    Sleep disorders are frequently reported in patients with cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy (HE). This study assessed the effect of rifaximin on sleep architecture parameters in patients with recurrent HE. This sequential, prospective, and exploratory study involved all patients with cirrhosis and recurrent HE admitted between June 2014 and September 2015. HE was assessed according to the West-Haven Classification. Patients underwent 24-h polysomnography (PSG) and 7-day actigraphy. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep was considered to be an indicator of good sleep quality. Patients completed questionnaires assessing the quality of sleep and sleepiness. After a 28-day course of rifaximin, the same assessment was repeated. Fifteen patients were included (nine men, mean age: 57±11 years). Child-Pugh scores ranged from B7 to C15. Before rifaximin, the mean HE score was 2.7±0.7. Data from PSG analysis indicated long total sleep time (TST): 571±288 min, and limited REM sleep: 2.5% TST (0-19). Seven-day actigraphy showed an impaired number of steps: 1690/24 h (176-6945). Questionnaires indicated that patients experienced impaired sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness. After rifaximin, HE scores decreased to 1.7±0.6 (P<0.001). REM sleep increased to 8.5% TST (0-25) (P=0.003). No changes were observed for TST, number of steps, and on questionnaires. Patients with recurrent HE suffer from poor sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness. On 24-h PSG, rifaximin improves objective sleep architecture parameters with no changes in the subjective quality of sleep and sleepiness.

  16. Spatial HARDI: Improved Visualization of Complex White Matter Architecture with Bayesian Spatial Regularization

    PubMed Central

    Raj, Ashish; Hess, Christopher; Mukherjee, Pratik

    2010-01-01

    Imaging of water diffusion using magnetic resonance imaging has become an important noninvasive method for probing the white matter connectivity of the human brain for scientific and clinical studies. Current methods such as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) such as q-ball imaging, and diffusion spectrum imaging (DSI), are limited by low spatial resolution, long scan times, and low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). These methods fundamentally perform reconstruction on a voxel-by-voxel level, effectively discarding the natural coherence of the data at different points in space. This paper attempts to overcome these tradeoffs by using spatial information to constrain the reconstruction from raw diffusion MRI data, and thereby improve angular resolution and noise tolerance. Spatial constraints are specified in terms of a prior probability distribution, which is then incorporated in a Bayesian reconstruction formulation. By taking the log of the resulting posterior distribution, optimal Bayesian reconstruction is reduced to a cost minimization problem. The minimization is solved using a new iterative algorithm based on successive least squares quadratic descent. Simulation studies and in vivo results are presented which indicate significant gains in terms of higher angular resolution of diffusion orientation distribution functions, better separation of crossing fibers, and improved reconstruction SNR over the same HARDI method, spherical harmonic q-ball imaging, without spatial regularization. Preliminary data also indicate that the proposed method might be better at maintaining accurate ODFs for smaller numbers of diffusion-weighted acquisition directions (hence faster scans) compared to conventional methods. Possible impacts of this work include improved evaluation of white matter microstructural integrity in regions of crossing fibers and higher spatial and angular resolution for more accurate tractography. PMID:20670684

  17. Improving ITS sequence data for identification of plant pathogenic fungi

    Treesearch

    R. Henrik Nilsson; Kevin D. Hyde; Julia Pawłowska; Martin Ryberg; Leho Tedersoo; Anders Bjørnsgard Aas; Siti A. Alias; Artur Alves; Cajsa Lisa Anderson; Alexandre Antonelli; A. Elizabeth Arnold; Barbara Bahnmann; Mohammad Bahram; Johan Bengtsson-Palme; Anna Berlin; Sara Branco; Putarak Chomnunti; Asha Dissanayake; Rein Drenkhan; Hanna Friberg; Tobias Guldberg Frøslev; Bettina Halwachs; Martin Hartmann; Beatrice Henricot; Ruvishika Jayawardena; Ari Jumpponen; Håvard Kauserud; Sonja Koskela; Tomasz Kulik; Kare Liimatainen; Björn D. Lindahl; Daniel Lindner; Jian-Kui Liu; Sajeewa Maharachchikumbura; Dimuthu Manamgoda; Svante Martinsson; Maria Alice Neves; Tuula Niskanen; Stephan Nylinder; Olinto Liparini Pereira; Danilo Batista Pinho; Teresita M. Porter; Valentin Queloz; Taavi Riit; Marisol Sánchez-García; Filipe de Sousa; Emil Stefańczyk; Mariusz Tadych; Susumu Takamatsu; Qing Tian; Dhanushka Udayanga; Martin Unterseher; Zheng Wang; Saowanee Wikee; Jiye Yan; Ellen Larsson; Karl-Henrik Larsson; Urmas Kõljalg; Kessy Abarenkov

    2014-01-01

    Plant pathogenic fungi are a large and diverse assemblage of eukaryotes with substantial impacts on natural ecosystems and human endeavours. These taxa often have complex and poorly understood life cycles, lack observable, discriminatory morphological characters, and may not be amenable to in vitro culturing. As a result, species identification is frequently difficult...

  18. Amodeling framework for improving plant establishment during ecological restoration

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Plants seeded during ecological restoration projects often perish en masse, and researchers are currently searching for traits promoting increased survival. In this study of a big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) ecosystem, we found survivorship rankings of seeded grass species varied across 3...

  19. Texas plant retrofit improves throughput, C{sub 2} recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Lynch, J.T.; Pitman, R.N.

    1996-06-03

    GPM Gas Co.`s Goldsmith (Ector Co., Tex.) plant was recently converted from a nominal 90% ethane recovery and 86 MMscfd design capacity two-stage expansion process to a 95% ethane recovery and 135 MMscfd capacity. The project used the Gas Subcooled Process (GSP) design of Ortloff Engineers Ltd., Midland, Tex. The conversion required modification of existing expanders and chillers and addition of a plate-fin exchanger, an absorber column, and a set of pumps. Time from project approval through start-up was 5 months. NGL production was interrupted for 10 days while the plant was down for tie-ins and checkout. Plant throughput was compression-limited to operation at 130 MMscfd through late 1995. Compression to allow throughput of greater than 130 MMscfd was operational in late 1995. The demethanizer column and six of nine heat exchangers were reused in the Ortloff process retrofit. The demethanizer internals were changed out in 1995 in anticipation of higher throughput with the new compression. The two expanders were modified for parallel expander and booster compressor operation. Expander replacement was unnecessary. Similar retrofits of other GPM plants using GSP are currently under study.

  20. SUIC: Improving Opportunities through In-Plant Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skill Upgrading in Cleveland, OH.

    Skill Upgrading in Cleveland (SUIC) is one of three manpower training and upgrading organizations which was funded to replicate and further test the High Intensity Training (HIT) model for upgrading underemployed workers. This report is a summary of activities aimed at upgrading low-skill, low-wage workers within a plant setting and with small…

  1. Using plant canopy temperature to improve irrigated crop management

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  2. Overexpression of OsGATA12 regulates chlorophyll content, delays plant senescence and improves rice yield under high density planting.

    PubMed

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

    2017-05-01

    Agronomic traits controlling the formation, architecture and physiology of source and sink organs are main determinants of rice productivity. Semi-dwarf rice varieties with low tiller formation but high seed production per panicle and dark green and thick leaves with prolonged source activity are among the desirable traits to further increase the yield potential of rice. Here, we report the functional characterization of a zinc finger transcription factor, OsGATA12, whose overexpression causes increased leaf greenness, reduction of leaf and tiller number, and affects yield parameters. Reduced tillering allowed testing the transgenic plants under high density which resulted in significantly increased yield per area and higher harvest index compared to wild-type. We show that delayed senescence of transgenic plants and the corresponding longer stay-green phenotype is mainly due to increased chlorophyll and chloroplast number. Further, our work postulates that the increased greenness observed in the transgenic plants is due to more chlorophyll synthesis but most significantly to decreased chlorophyll degradation, which is supported by the reduced expression of genes involved in the chlorophyll degradation pathway. In particular we show evidence for the down-regulation of the STAY GREEN RICE gene and in vivo repression of its promoter by OsGATA12, which suggests a transcriptional repression function for a GATA transcription factor for prolonging the onset of senescence in cereals.

  3. Improved genome assembly of American alligator genome reveals conserved architecture of estrogen signaling.

    PubMed

    Rice, Edward S; Kohno, Satomi; John, John St; Pham, Son; Howard, Jonathan; Lareau, Liana F; O'Connell, Brendan L; Hickey, Glenn; Armstrong, Joel; Deran, Alden; Fiddes, Ian; Platt, Roy N; Gresham, Cathy; McCarthy, Fiona; Kern, Colin; Haan, David; Phan, Tan; Schmidt, Carl; Sanford, Jeremy R; Ray, David A; Paten, Benedict; Guillette, Louis J; Green, Richard E

    2017-01-30

    The American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, like all crocodilians, has temperature-dependent sex determination, in which the sex of an embryo is determined by the incubation temperature of the egg during a critical period of development. The lack of genetic differences between male and female alligators leaves open the question of how the genes responsible for sex determination and differentiation are regulated. Insight into this question comes from the fact that exposing an embryo incubated at male-producing temperature to estrogen causes it to develop ovaries. Because estrogen response elements are known to regulate genes over long distances, a contiguous genome assembly is crucial for predicting and understanding their impact. We present an improved assembly of the American alligator genome, scaffolded with in vitro proximity ligation (Chicago) data. We use this assembly to scaffold two other crocodilian genomes based on synteny. We perform RNA sequencing of tissues from American alligator embryos to find genes that are differentially expressed between embryos incubated at male- versus female-producing temperature. Finally, we use the improved contiguity of our assembly along with the current model of CTCF-mediated chromatin looping to predict regions of the genome likely to contain estrogen-responsive genes. We find that these regions are significantly enriched for genes with female-biased expression in developing gonads after the critical period during which sex is determined by incubation temperature. We thus conclude that estrogen signaling is a major driver of female-biased gene expression in the post-temperature sensitive period gonads.

  4. Orthologous plant microRNAs: microregulators with great potential for improving stress tolerance in plants.

    PubMed

    Rajwanshi, Ravi; Chakraborty, Sreejita; Jayanandi, Karam; Deb, Bibhas; Lightfoot, David A

    2014-12-01

    Small RNAs that are highly conserved across many plant species are involved in stress responses. Plants are exposed to many types of unfavorable conditions during their life cycle that result in some degree of stress. Recent studies on microRNAs (miRNAs) have highlighted their great potential as regulators of stress tolerance in plants. One of the possible ways in which plants counter environmental stresses is by altering their gene expression by the action of miRNAs. miRNAs regulate the expression of target genes by hybridizing to their nascent reverse complementary sequences marking them for cleavage in the nucleus or translational repression in the cytoplasm. Some miRNAs have been reported to be key regulators in biotic as well as abiotic stress responses across many species. The present review highlights some of the regulatory roles of orthologous plant miRNAs in response to various types of stress conditions.

  5. Relative rates of evolution among the three genetic compartments of the red alga Porphyra differ from those of green plants and do not correlate with genome architecture.

    PubMed

    Smith, David R; Hua, Jimeng; Lee, Robert W; Keeling, Patrick J

    2012-10-01

    In photosynthetic eukaryotes, relative silent-site nucleotide substitution rates (which can be used to approximate relative mutation rates) among mitochondrial, plastid, and nuclear genomes (mtDNAs, ptDNAs, and nucDNAs) are estimated to be 1:3:10 respectively for seed plants and roughly equal for green algae. These estimates correlate with certain genome characteristics, such as size and coding density, and have therefore been taken to support a relationship between mutation rate and genome architecture. Plants and green algae, however, represent a small fraction of the major eukaryotic plastid-bearing lineages. Here, we investigate relative rates of mutation within the model red algal genus Porphyra. In contrast to plants, we find that the levels of silent-site divergence between the Porphyra purpurea and Porphyra umbilicalis mtDNAs are three times that of their ptDNAs and five times that of their nucDNAs. Moreover, relative mutation rates do not correlate with genome architecture: despite an estimated three-fold difference in their mutation rate, the mitochondrial and plastid genome coding densities are equivalent - an observation that extends to organisms with secondary red algal plastids. These findings are supported by within-species silent-site polymorphism data from P. purpurea.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  7. Understanding plant response to nitrogen limitation for the improvement of crop nitrogen use efficiency.

    PubMed

    Kant, Surya; Bi, Yong-Mei; Rothstein, Steven J

    2011-02-01

    Development of genetic varieties with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is essential for sustainable agriculture. Generally, NUE can be divided into two parts. First, assimilation efficiency involves nitrogen (N) uptake and assimilation and second utilization efficiency involves N remobilization. Understanding the mechanisms regulating these processes is crucial for the improvement of NUE in crop plants. One important approach is to develop an understanding of the plant response to different N regimes, especially to N limitation, using various methods including transcription profiling, analysing mutants defective in their normal response to N limitation, and studying plants that show better growth under N-limiting conditions. One can then attempt to improve NUE in crop plants using the knowledge gained from these studies. There are several potential genetic and molecular approaches for the improvement of crop NUE discussed in this review. Increased knowledge of how plants respond to different N levels as well as to other environmental conditions is required to achieve this.

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

    PubMed

    Saboktakin, Amin; Saboktakin, Mohammad Reza

    2015-01-01

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

  9. An improved asynchronous pipeline architecture for real-time video decoder implementation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Ya; Wang, Hongyuan; Wen, Wei

    2009-10-01

    Asynchronous pipeline structure is adopted for the real-time video decoder design because of its better performance when the stage processing times are irregular. However, the structure requires a lot of memories, the invaluable resource on chip, to buffer data and parameters between modules. To solve this problem, a specially designed switching buffer module is used between stages instead of traditional FIFO, and the module can also take some buffering function in each stage, which helps to reduce the utilization of memory. An H.264 decoder with the proposed structure was implemented. Compared to decoder without improved structure, the experimental decoder can save nearly 50% memory and 31% I/O operations between stages.

  10. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) prevented the progression of renovascular hypertension, improved renal function and architecture.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Renovascular hypertension induced by 2 Kidney-1 Clip (2K-1C) is a renin-angiotensin-system (RAS)-dependent model, leading to renal vascular rarefaction and renal failure. RAS inhibitors are not able to reduce arterial pressure (AP) and/or preserve the renal function, and thus, alternative therapies are needed. Three weeks after left renal artery occlusion, fluorescently tagged mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) (2×10(5) cells/animal) were injected weekly into the tail vein in 2K-1C hypertensive rats. Flow cytometry showed labeled MSC in the cortex and medulla of the clipped kidney. MSC prevented a further increase in the AP, significantly reduced proteinuria and decreased sympathetic hyperactivity in 2K-1C rats. Renal function parameters were unchanged, except for an increase in urinary volume observed in 2K-1C rats, which was not corrected by MSC. The treatment improved the morphology and decreased the fibrotic areas in the clipped kidney and also significantly reduced renal vascular rarefaction typical of 2K-1C model. Expression levels of IL-1β, TNF-α angiotensinogen, ACE, and Ang II receptor AT1 were elevated, whereas AT2 levels were decreased in the medulla of the clipped kidney. MSC normalized these expression levels. In conclusion, MSC therapy in the 2K-1C model (i) prevented the progressive increase of AP, (ii) improved renal morphology and microvascular rarefaction, (iii) reduced fibrosis, proteinuria and inflammatory cytokines, (iv) suppressed the intrarenal RAS, iv) decreased sympathetic hyperactivity in anesthetized animals and v) MSC were detected at the CNS suggesting that the cells crossed the blood-brain barrier. This therapy may be a promising strategy to treat renovascular hypertension and its renal consequences in the near future.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Melatonin acutely improves the neuroendocrine architecture of sleep in blind individuals.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Stefan; Smolnik, Rüdiger; Herms, Markus; Born, Jan; Fehm, Horst L

    2003-11-01

    In blind individuals, the absence of light cues results in disturbances of sleep and sleep-related neuroendocrine patterns. The Zeitgeber influence of light on the timing of sleep is assumed to be mediated by melatonin, a hormone of the pineal gland, whose secretion is inhibited by light and enhanced during darkness. Here, we investigated whether a single administration of melatonin improves sleep and associated neuroendocrine patterns in blind individuals. In a double-blind crossover study, 12 totally blind subjects received 5 mg melatonin and placebo orally 1 h before bedtime starting at 2300 h. The dose used enhanced blood melatonin concentrations to clearly supraphysiological levels. Melatonin increased total sleep time and sleep efficiency (P < 0.05, respectively) and reduced time awake (P < 0.05). The increment in total sleep time was primarily due to an increase in stage 2 sleep (P < 0.01) and a slight increase in rapid eye movement sleep (P < 0.06). Most important, melatonin normalized in parallel the temporal pattern of ACTH and cortisol plasma concentration. While after placebo, ACTH and cortisol levels did not differ between early and late sleep, melatonin induced the typical suppression of pituitary-adrenal activity during early sleep and a distinct rise during late sleep (P < 0.01, respectively). Cortisol nadir values were also decreased after melatonin (P < 0.05). We conclude from these data that in totally blind individuals the single administration of a clearly pharmacological dose of melatonin can improve sleep function by synchronizing in time the inhibition of pituitary-adrenal activity with central nervous sleep processes.

  13. Improved wastewater treatment at Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporations`s Steubenville East Coke Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Goshe, A.J.; Nodianos, M.J.

    1995-12-01

    Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation recently improved its wastewater treatment at it`s by-products coke plant. This has led to greatly improved effluent quality. Excess ammonia liquor, along with wastewater from the light oil recovery plant, desulfurization facility, and coal pile runoff, must be treated prior to being discharged into the Ohio River. This is accomplished using a biological wastewater treatment plant to remove 99.99% of the organic contaminants and ammonia. Biologically treated, clarified wastewater is now polished in the newly constructed tertiary treatment plant.

  14. Results of a combined model of root system growth and soil water uptake: evaluating the significance of root system architecture to plant water uptake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouda, M.; Saiers, J. E.

    2012-12-01

    Root system hydraulic architecture is a key determinant of plants' ability to withdraw water from the soil, satisfying transpirational demand. Presently, the representation of this component of the hydrological cycle in large-scale models is generally very simplistic, even though transpiration accounts for much of the terrestrial heat and water surface fluxes, and exercises control over photosynthetic uptake of CO2. In order to address this gap, we have developed a modelling approach that relies on several components. The first is RootGrow, original MATLAB code that simulates the stochastic growth of a root system as a function of an intrinsic set of parameters as well as its environment. We ran RootGrow coupled to the second component, a finite-element 3D simulation of the physics of water transport in the soil and root system using COMSOL, resulting in a combined model of root system development and water uptake. Model results show that root system architecture can affect water uptake by two separate mechanisms: (a) root system geometry determines the distribution of absorbing surface area throughout the soil domain, and (b) root system topology affects the water potential at the absorbing surfaces. In this study we sample the model's parameter space to demonstrate over what ranges of physically meaningful parameters (including hydraulic conductivity of plant tissues, soil type, and soil moisture level) these mechanisms significantly affect root systems' water withdrawal rate. The two mechanisms identified and our quantitative results will form the basis of a third component in this approach: developing simple analytical relationships characterising water uptake as a function of root system architecture that can be used in Ecosystem Demography Model v2.1 (ED2), a large-scale Dynamic Vegetation Model, based on a method of upscaling individual-based models of plant ecology.

  15. 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.

  16. Food synergies for improving bioavailability of micronutrients from plant foods.

    PubMed

    Nair, K Madhavan; Augustine, Little Flower

    2018-01-01

    Plant foods are endowed with micronutrients but an understanding of bioavailability is essential in countries primarily dependent on plant based foods. Bioavailability depends majorly on food synergies. This review examines the nature of certain food synergies and methods to screen and establish it as a strategy to control micronutrient deficiency in the populations. Strong evidence on the synergistic effect of inclusion of vitamin C rich fruits and non-vegetarian foods in enhancing the bioavailability of iron has been demonstrated. Fat is found to be synergistic for vitamin A absorption. Red wine and protein have been explored for zinc absorption and effect of fat has been studied for vitamin D. Methods for screening of bioavailability, and biomarkers to demonstrate the synergistic effects of foods are required. Translation of food synergy as a strategy requires adaptation to the context and popularization of intelligent food synergies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Improving Plant Nitrogen Use Efficiency through Alteration of Amino Acid Transport Processes1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Perchlik, Molly

    2017-01-01

    Improving the efficiency of nitrogen (N) uptake and utilization in plants could potentially increase crop yields while reducing N fertilization and, subsequently, environmental pollution. Within most plants, N is transported primarily as amino acids. In this study, pea (Pisum sativum) plants overexpressing AMINO ACID PERMEASE1 (AAP1) were used to determine if and how genetic manipulation of amino acid transport from source to sink affects plant N use efficiency. The modified plants were grown under low, moderate, or high N fertilization regimes. The results showed that, independent of the N nutrition, the engineered plants allocate more N via the vasculature to the shoot and seeds and produce more biomass and higher seed yields than wild-type plants. Dependent on the amount of N supplied, the AAP1-overexpressing plants displayed improved N uptake or utilization efficiency, or a combination of the two. They also showed significantly increased N use efficiency in N-deficient as well as in N-rich soils and, impressively, required half the amount of N to produce as many fruits and seeds as control plants. Together, these data support that engineering N allocation from source to sink presents an effective strategy to produce crop plants with improved productivity as well as N use efficiency in a range of N environments. PMID:28733388

  18. Digital Architecture Planning Model

    SciTech Connect

    Oxstrand, Johanna Helene; Al Rashdan, Ahmad Yahya Mohammad; Bly, Aaron Douglas; Rice, Brandon Charles; Fitzgerald, Kirk; Wilson, Keith Leon

    2016-03-01

    As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program, the Digital Architecture (DA) Project focuses on providing a model that nuclear utilities can refer to when planning deployment of advanced technologies. The digital architecture planning model (DAPM) is the methodology for mapping power plant operational and support activities into a DA that unifies all data sources needed by the utilities to operate their plants. The DA is defined as a collection of information technology capabilities needed to support and integrate a wide spectrum of real-time digital capabilities for performance improvements of nuclear power plants. DA can be thought of as integration of the separate instrumentation and control and information systems already in place in nuclear power plants, which are brought together for the purpose of creating new levels of automation in plant work activities. A major objective in DAPM development was to survey all key areas that needed to be reviewed in order for a utility to make knowledgeable decisions regarding needs and plans to implement a DA at the plant. The development was done in two steps. First, researchers surveyed the nuclear industry in order to learn their near-term plans for adopting new advanced capabilities and implementing a network (i.e., wireless and wire) infrastructure throughout the plant, including the power block. Secondly, a literature review covering regulatory documents, industry standards, and technical research reports and articles was conducted. The objective of the review was to identify key areas to be covered by the DAPM, which included the following: 1. The need for a DA and its benefits to the plant 2. Resources required to implement the DA 3. Challenges that need to be addressed and resolved to implement the DA 4. Roles and responsibilities of the DA implementation plan. The DAPM was developed based on results from the survey and the literature review. Model development, including

  19. An improved quantitative analysis method for plant cortical microtubules.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Yun-Wu; Weng, Kuo-Hua

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Yun-Wu; Weng, Kuo-Hua

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Physics and computer architecture informed improvements to the Implicit Monte Carlo method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Alex Roberts

    The Implicit Monte Carlo (IMC) method has been a standard method for thermal radiative transfer for the past 40 years. In this time, the hydrodynamics methods that are coupled to IMC have evolved and improved, as have the supercomputers used to run large simulations with IMC. Several modern hydrodynamics methods use unstructured non-orthogonal meshes and high-order spatial discretizations. The IMC method has been used primarily with simple Cartesian meshes and always has a first order spatial discretization. Supercomputers are now made up of compute nodes that have a large number of cores. Current IMC parallel methods have significant problems with load imbalance. To utilize many core systems, algorithms must move beyond simple spatial decomposition parallel algorithms. To make IMC better suited for large scale multiphysics simulations in high energy density physics, new spatial discretizations and parallel strategies are needed. Several modifications are made to the IMC method to facilitate running on node-centered, unstructured tetrahedral meshes. These modifications produce results that converge to the expected solution under mesh refinement. A new finite element IMC method is also explored on these meshes, which offer a simulation runtime benefit but does not perform correctly in the diffusion limit. A parallel algorithm that utilizes on-node parallelism and respects memory hierarchies is studied. This method scales almost linearly when using physical cores on a node and benefits from multiple threads per core. A multi-compute node algorithm for domain decomposed IMC that passes mesh data instead of particles is explored as a means to solve load balance issues. This method scales better than the particle passing method on highly scattering problems with short time steps.

  3. Transportable nuclear power plant TEC-M with two reactor plants of improved safety

    SciTech Connect

    Ogloblin, B.G.; Sazonov, A.G.; Svishchev, A.M.; Gromov, B.F.; Zelensky, V.N.; Komkova, O.I.; Sidorov, V.I.; Tolstopyatov, V.P.; Toshinsky, G.I.

    1993-12-31

    Liquid metals are the best to meet the requirements of inherently safety nuclear power plants among the coolants used. A great experience has been gained in lead coolant power plant development and operation as applied to transportable power set-ups. Low chemical activity of this coolant with respect to air-water interaction is a determining factor for this coolant. The transportable nuclear power plant is described. It is intended to generate electric power for populated areas placed a long distance from the main electric power supply sources where it is difficult or not economical to deliver the conventional types of fuel. There are several remote areas in Siberia, Kamchatka in need of this type of power plant.

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

    SciTech Connect

    2003-05-01

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

  5. Forward genetic screening for the improved production of fermentable sugars from plant biomass.

    PubMed

    Stamatiou, George; Vidaurre, Danielle P; Shim, Isaac; Tang, Xurong; Moeder, Wolfgang; Bonetta, Dario; McCourt, Peter

    2013-01-01

    With their unique metabolism and the potential to produce large amounts of biomass, plants are an excellent bio-energy feedstock for a variety of industrial purposes. Here we developed a high-throughput strategy, using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, to identify mutants with improved sugar release from plant biomass. Molecular analysis indicates a variety of processes including starch degradation, cell wall composition and polar transport of the plant hormone auxin can contribute to this improved saccharification. To demonstrate translatability, polar auxin transport in maize was either genetically or chemical inhibited and this also resulted in increased sugar release from plant tissues. Our forward genetic approach using Arabidopsis not only uncovers new functions that contribute to cell wall integrity but also demonstrates that information gleaned from this genetic model can be directly translated to monocotyledonous crops such as maize to improve sugar extractability from biomass.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  8. Manipulating plant geometry to improve microclimate, grain yield, and harvest index in grain sorghum

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Bob A.; Xue, Qingwu; Chen, Yuanquan

    2017-01-01

    Cultivar selection, planting geometry, and plant population are the key factors determining grain sorghum yields in water deficit areas. The objective of this study was to investigate whether clump geometry (three plants clustered) improves microclimate within crop canopy when plants are grown under varying water levels. In a 2-yr sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) greenhouse study, plants were grown at two geometries (clump and conventional evenly spaced planting, ESP), two water levels (high and low, representing well-watered and water-limited condition, respectively), and three soil surface treatments (lid covered, straw-mulched, and bare). Air temperature and relative humidity (RH) within the plant canopy were measured every five minutes at different growth stages. Mean vapor pressure deficits (VPDs) within the clumps were consistently lower than those for ESPs, indicating that clumps improved the microclimate. Clumps had significantly higher harvest index (HI) compared to ESPs (0.48 vs. 0.43), which was largely due to clumps having an average of 0.4 tillers per plant compared to 1.2 tillers per plant for ESPs. Grain yield in the current study was similar between clumps and ESPs. However, our results suggest that improved microclimate was likely a reason for clumps producing significantly higher grain yields compared to ESPs in previous studies. PMID:28264051

  9. Plant plasma membrane proteomics for improving cold tolerance.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Daisuke; Li, Bin; Nakayama, Takato; Kawamura, Yukio; Uemura, Matsuo

    2013-01-01

    Plants are always exposed to various stresses. We have focused on freezing stress, which causes serious problems for agricultural management. When plants suffer freeze-induced damage, the plasma membrane is thought to be the primary site of injury because of its central role in regulation of various cellular processes. Cold tolerant species, however, adapt to such freezing conditions by modifying cellular components and functions (cold acclimation). One of the most important adaptation mechanisms to freezing is alteration of plasma membrane compositions and functions. Advanced proteomic technologies have succeeded in identification of many candidates that may play roles in adaptation of the plasma membrane to freezing stress. Proteomics results suggest that adaptations of plasma membrane functions to low temperature are associated with alterations of protein compositions during cold acclimation. Some of proteins identified by proteomic approaches have been verified their functional roles in freezing tolerance mechanisms further. Thus, accumulation of proteomic results in the plasma membrane is of importance for application to molecular breeding efforts to increase cold tolerance in crops.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennsylvania State Dept. of Public Instruction, Harrisburg.

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

  11. Regulation of Na+ and K+ homeostasis in plants: towards improved salt stress tolerance in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Diego M; Oliveira, M Margarida; Saibo, Nelson J M

    2017-03-27

    Soil salinity is a major abiotic stress that results in considerable crop yield losses worldwide. However, some plant genotypes show a high tolerance to soil salinity, as they manage to maintain a high K+/Na+ ratio in the cytosol, in contrast to salt stress susceptible genotypes. Although, different plant genotypes show different salt tolerance mechanisms, they all rely on the regulation and function of K+ and Na+ transporters and H+ pumps, which generate the driving force for K+ and Na+ transport. In this review we will introduce salt stress responses in plants and summarize the current knowledge about the most important ion transporters that facilitate intra- and intercellular K+ and Na+ homeostasis in these organisms. We will describe and discuss the regulation and function of the H+-ATPases, H+-PPases, SOS1, HKTs, and NHXs, including the specific tissues where they work and their response to salt stress.

  12. Regulation of Na+ and K+ homeostasis in plants: towards improved salt stress tolerance in crop plants

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Diego M.; Oliveira, M. Margarida; Saibo, Nelson J. M.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Soil salinity is a major abiotic stress that results in considerable crop yield losses worldwide. However, some plant genotypes show a high tolerance to soil salinity, as they manage to maintain a high K+/Na+ ratio in the cytosol, in contrast to salt stress susceptible genotypes. Although, different plant genotypes show different salt tolerance mechanisms, they all rely on the regulation and function of K+ and Na+ transporters and H+ pumps, which generate the driving force for K+ and Na+ transport. In this review we will introduce salt stress responses in plants and summarize the current knowledge about the most important ion transporters that facilitate intra- and intercellular K+ and Na+ homeostasis in these organisms. We will describe and discuss the regulation and function of the H+-ATPases, H+-PPases, SOS1, HKTs, and NHXs, including the specific tissues where they work and their response to salt stress. PMID:28350038

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

    SciTech Connect

    Torok, Tamas

    2013-02-04

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

  14. Protein Export According to Schedule: Architecture, Assembly, and Regulation of Type III Secretion Systems from Plant- and Animal-Pathogenic Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Summary: Flagellar and translocation-associated type III secretion (T3S) systems are present in most Gram-negative plant- and animal-pathogenic bacteria and are often essential for bacterial motility or pathogenicity. The architectures of the complex membrane-spanning secretion apparatuses of both systems are similar, but they are associated with different extracellular appendages, including the flagellar hook and filament or the needle/pilus structures of translocation-associated T3S systems. The needle/pilus is connected to a bacterial translocon that is inserted into the host plasma membrane and mediates the transkingdom transport of bacterial effector proteins into eukaryotic cells. During the last 3 to 5 years, significant progress has been made in the characterization of membrane-associated core components and extracellular structures of T3S systems. Furthermore, transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulators that control T3S gene expression and substrate specificity have been described. Given the architecture of the T3S system, it is assumed that extracellular components of the secretion apparatus are secreted prior to effector proteins, suggesting that there is a hierarchy in T3S. The aim of this review is to summarize our current knowledge of T3S system components and associated control proteins from both plant- and animal-pathogenic bacteria. PMID:22688814

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, Dave

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Transcription co-activator Arabidopsis ANGUSTIFOLIA3 (AN3) regulates water-use efficiency and drought tolerance by modulating stomatal density and improving root architecture by the transrepression of YODA (YDA).

    PubMed

    Meng, Lai-Sheng; Yao, Shun-Qiao

    2015-09-01

    One goal of modern agriculture is the improvement of plant drought tolerance and water-use efficiency (WUE). Although stomatal density has been linked to WUE, the causal molecular mechanisms and engineered alternations of this relationship are not yet fully understood. Moreover, YODA (YDA), which is a MAPKK kinase gene, negatively regulates stomatal development. BR-INSENSITIVE 2 interacts with phosphorylates and inhibits YDA. However, whether YDA is modulated in the transcriptional level is still unclear. Plants lacking ANGUSTIFOLIA3 (AN3) activity have high drought stress tolerance because of low stomatal densities and improved root architecture. Such plants also exhibit enhanced WUE through declining transpiration without a demonstrable reduction in biomass accumulation. AN3 negatively regulated YDA expression at the transcriptional level by target-gene analysis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis indicated that AN3 was associated with a region of the YDA promoter in vivo. YDA mutation significantly decreased the stomatal density and root length of an3 mutant, thus proving the participation of YDA in an3 drought tolerance and WUE enhancement. These components form an AN3-YDA complex, which allows the integration of water deficit stress signalling into the production or spacing of stomata and cell proliferation, thus leading to drought tolerance and enhanced WUE. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Improvement of water desalination technologies in reverse osmosis plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vysotskii, S. P.; Konoval'chik, M. V.; Gul'ko, S. E.

    2017-07-01

    The strengthening of requirements for the protection of surface-water sources and increases in the cost of reagents lead to the necessity of using membrane (especially, reverse osmosis) technologies of water desalination as an alternative to ion-exchange technologies. The peculiarities of using reverse osmosis technologies in the desalination of waters with an increased salinity have been discussed. An analogy has been made between the dependence of the adsorptive capacity of ion-exchange resins on the reagent consumption during ion exchange and the dependence of the specific ion flux on the voltage in the electrodialysis and productivity of membrane elements on the excess of the pressure of source water over the osmotic pressure in reverse osmosis. It has been proposed to regulate the number of water desalination steps in reverse osmosis plants, which makes it possible to flexibly change the productivity of equipment and the level of desalinization, depending on the requirements for the technological process. It is shown that the selectivity of reverse osmotic membranes with respect to bivalent ions (calcium, magnesium, and sulfates) is approximately four times higher than the selectivity with respect to monovalent ions (sodium and chlorine). The process of desalination in reverse osmosis plants depends on operation factors, such as the salt content and ion composition of source water, the salt content of the concentrate, and the temperatures of solution and operating pressure, and the design features of devices, such as the length of the motion of the desalination water flux, the distance between membranes, and types of membranes and turbulators (spacers). To assess the influence of separate parameters on the process of reverse osmosis desalination of water solutions, we derived criteria equations by compiling problem solution matrices on the basis of the dimensional method, taking into account the Huntley complement. The operation of membrane elements was

  1. Nutritional improvement of plant foods by non-thermal processing.

    PubMed

    Knorr, D; Ade-Omowaye, B I O; Heinz, V

    2002-05-01

    As a result of the increasing consumer demand for minimally-processed fresh-like food products with high sensory and nutritional qualities, there is a growing interest in non-thermal processes for food processing and preservation. Key advanced technologies such as high-pressure processing, pulsed electric fields, dense gases and ultrasound are being applied to develop gentle but targeted processes to further improve the quality and safety of processed foods. These technologies also offer the potential for improving existing processes as well as for developing new process options. Furthermore, by adding new process dimensions (such as hydrostatic pressure, electric fields, ultrasonics, supercritical CO2) to the conventional process variables of temperature and time, they facilitate enlargement of the availability of unit operations. These operations might be applied effectively in unique combination processes, or as subsequent processing tools in more-targeted and subsequently less-intensive processes for food preservation and modification than the currently-applied processes.

  2. Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program. Digital Architecture Requirements

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, Kenneth; Oxstrand, Johanna

    2015-03-01

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

  3. Improvement of plant growth and nickel uptake by nickel resistant-plant-growth promoting bacteria.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ying; Rajkumar, Mani; Freitas, Helena

    2009-07-30

    In this study, among a collection of Ni-resistant bacterial strains isolated from the rhizosphere of Alyssum serpyllifolium and Phleum phleoides grown on serpentine soil, five plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) were selected based on their ability to utilize 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) as the sole N source and promote seedling growth. All of the strains tested positive for indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production and phosphate solubilization. In addition, four of the strains exhibited significant levels of siderophores production. Further, the efficiency of PGPB in enhancing Ni solubilization in soils was analyzed. Compared with control treatment, inoculation of PGPB strains significantly increased the concentrations of bioavailable Ni. Furthermore, a pot experiment was conducted to elucidate the effects of inoculating Ni-resistant PGPB on the plant growth and the uptake of Ni by Brassica juncea and B. oxyrrhina in soil contaminated with 450 mg kg(-1) Ni. Psychrobacter sp. SRA2 significantly increased the fresh (351%) and dry biomass (285%) of the B. juncea test plants (p<0.05), whereas Psychrobacter sp. SRA1 and Bacillus cereus SRA10 significantly increased the accumulation of Ni in the root and shoot tissues of B. juncea compared with non-inoculated controls. This result indicates that the strains SRA1 and SRA10 facilitated the release of Ni from the non-soluble phases in the soil, thus enhancing the availability of Ni to plants. A significant increase, greater than that of the control, was also noted for growth parameters of the B. oxyrrhina test plants when the seeds were treated with strain SRA2. This effect can be attributed to the utilization of ACC, solubilization of phosphate and production of IAA. The results of the study revealed that the inoculation of Ni mobilizing strains Psychrobacter sp. SRA1 and B. cereus SRA10 increases the efficiency of phytoextraction directly by enhancing the metal accumulation in plant tissues and the efficient

  4. Improvement of plant abiotic stress tolerance through modulation of the polyamine pathway.

    PubMed

    Shi, Haitao; Chan, Zhulong

    2014-02-01

    Polyamines (mainly putrescine (Put), spermidine (Spd), and spermine (Spm)) have been widely found in a range of physiological processes and in almost all diverse environmental stresses. In various plant species, abiotic stresses modulated the accumulation of polyamines and related gene expression. Studies using loss-of-function mutants and transgenic overexpression plants modulating polyamine metabolic pathways confirmed protective roles of polyamines during plant abiotic stress responses, and indicated the possibility to improve plant tolerance through genetic manipulation of the polyamine pathway. Additionally, putative mechanisms of polyamines involved in plant abiotic stress tolerance were thoroughly discussed and crosstalks among polyamine, abscisic acid, and nitric oxide in plant responses to abiotic stress were emphasized. Special attention was paid to the interaction between polyamine and reactive oxygen species, ion channels, amino acid and carbon metabolism, and other adaptive responses. Further studies are needed to elucidate the polyamine signaling pathway, especially polyamine-regulated downstream targets and the connections between polyamines and other stress responsive molecules.

  5. MicroRNA156: A Potential Graft-Transmissible MicroRNA That Modulates Plant Architecture and Tuberization in Solanum tuberosum ssp. andigena1[C][W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Bhogale, Sneha; Mahajan, Ameya S.; Natarajan, Bhavani; Rajabhoj, Mohit; Thulasiram, Hirekodathakallu V.; Banerjee, Anjan K.

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNA156 (miR156) functions in maintaining the juvenile phase in plants. However, the mobility of this microRNA has not been demonstrated. So far, only three microRNAs, miR399, miR395, and miR172, have been shown to be mobile. We demonstrate here that miR156 is a potential graft-transmissible signal that affects plant architecture and tuberization in potato (Solanum tuberosum). Under tuber-noninductive (long-day) conditions, miR156 shows higher abundance in leaves and stems, whereas an increase in abundance of miR156 has been observed in stolons under tuber-inductive (short-day) conditions, indicative of a photoperiodic control. Detection of miR156 in phloem cells of wild-type plants and mobility assays in heterografts suggest that miR156 is a graft-transmissible signal. This movement was correlated with changes in leaf morphology and longer trichomes in leaves. Overexpression of miR156 in potato caused a drastic phenotype resulting in altered plant architecture and reduced tuber yield. miR156 overexpression plants also exhibited altered levels of cytokinin and strigolactone along with increased levels of LONELY GUY1 and StCyclin D3.1 transcripts as compared with wild-type plants. RNA ligase-mediated rapid amplification of complementary DNA ends analysis validated SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING-LIKE3 (StSPL3), StSPL6, StSPL9, StSPL13, and StLIGULELESS1 as targets of miR156. Gel-shift assays indicate the regulation of miR172 by miR156 through StSPL9. miR156-resistant SPL9 overexpression lines exhibited increased miR172 levels under a short-day photoperiod, supporting miR172 regulation via the miR156-SPL9 module. Overall, our results strongly suggest that miR156 is a phloem-mobile signal regulating potato development. PMID:24351688

  6. MicroRNA156: a potential graft-transmissible microRNA that modulates plant architecture and tuberization in Solanum tuberosum ssp. andigena.

    PubMed

    Bhogale, Sneha; Mahajan, Ameya S; Natarajan, Bhavani; Rajabhoj, Mohit; Thulasiram, Hirekodathakallu V; Banerjee, Anjan K

    2014-02-01

    MicroRNA156 (miR156) functions in maintaining the juvenile phase in plants. However, the mobility of this microRNA has not been demonstrated. So far, only three microRNAs, miR399, miR395, and miR172, have been shown to be mobile. We demonstrate here that miR156 is a potential graft-transmissible signal that affects plant architecture and tuberization in potato (Solanum tuberosum). Under tuber-noninductive (long-day) conditions, miR156 shows higher abundance in leaves and stems, whereas an increase in abundance of miR156 has been observed in stolons under tuber-inductive (short-day) conditions, indicative of a photoperiodic control. Detection of miR156 in phloem cells of wild-type plants and mobility assays in heterografts suggest that miR156 is a graft-transmissible signal. This movement was correlated with changes in leaf morphology and longer trichomes in leaves. Overexpression of miR156 in potato caused a drastic phenotype resulting in altered plant architecture and reduced tuber yield. miR156 overexpression plants also exhibited altered levels of cytokinin and strigolactone along with increased levels of LONELY GUY1 and StCyclin D3.1 transcripts as compared with wild-type plants. RNA ligase-mediated rapid amplification of complementary DNA ends analysis validated SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING-LIKE3 (StSPL3), StSPL6, StSPL9, StSPL13, and StLIGULELESS1 as targets of miR156. Gel-shift assays indicate the regulation of miR172 by miR156 through StSPL9. miR156-resistant SPL9 overexpression lines exhibited increased miR172 levels under a short-day photoperiod, supporting miR172 regulation via the miR156-SPL9 module. Overall, our results strongly suggest that miR156 is a phloem-mobile signal regulating potato development.

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

    SciTech Connect

    March-Leuba, J.A.

    2000-08-29

    This report describes the tasks performed and the progress made during Phase 1 of the DOE-NERI project number 99-119 entitled ''Automatic Development of Highly Reliable Control Architecture for Future Nuclear Power Plants''. This project is a collaboration effort between the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL,) The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and the North Carolina State University (NCSU). ORNL is the lead organization and is responsible for the coordination and integration of all work. This research focuses on the development of methods for automated generation of control systems that can be traced directly to the design requirements for the life of the plant. Our final goal is to ''capture'' the design requirements inside a ''control engine'' during the design phase. This control engine is, then, not only capable of designing automatically the initial implementation of the control system, but it also can confirm that the original design requirements are still met during the life of the plant as conditions change. This control engine captures the high-level requirements and stress factors that the control system must survive (e.g. a list of transients, or a requirement to withstand a single failure). The control engine, then, is able to generate automatically the control-system algorithms and parameters that optimize a design goal and satisfy all requirements. As conditions change during the life of the plant (e.g. component degradation, or subsystem failures) the control engine automatically ''flags'' that a requirement is not satisfied, and it can even suggest a modified configuration that would satisfy it. This control engine concept is shown schematically in Fig. 1. The implementation of this ''control-engine'' design methodology requires the following steps, which are described in detail in the attachments to this report: (1) Selection of Design Requirements Related to Control System Performance; (2) Implementation of Requirements in

  8. Understanding nitrate uptake, signaling and remobilisation for improving plant nitrogen use efficiency.

    PubMed

    Kant, Surya

    2017-08-28

    The majority of terrestrial plants use nitrate as their main source of nitrogen. Nitrate also acts as an important signalling molecule in vital physiological processes required for optimum plant growth and development. Improving nitrate uptake and transport, through activation by nitrate sensing, signalling and regulatory processes, would enhance plant growth, resulting in improved crop yields. The increased remobilisation of nitrate, and assimilated nitrogenous compounds, from source to sink tissues further ensures higher yields and quality. An updated knowledge of various transporters, genes, activators, and microRNAs, involved in nitrate uptake, transport, remobilisation, and nitrate-mediated root growth, is presented. An enhanced understanding of these components will allow for their orchestrated fine tuning in efforts to improving nitrogen use efficiency in plants. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Park, Yong-Soon; Ryu, Choong-Min

    2016-05-03

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Churches, Tim

    2003-01-01

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

  12. Engineering plants for animal feed for improved nutritional value.

    PubMed

    Williams, Peter E V

    2003-05-01

    Feed formulation to meet nutritional requirements of livestock is becoming increasingly challenging. Regulations have banned the use of traditional high-quality protein supplements such as meat-and-bone meal, pollution from animal excreta of N and P is an issue and antibiotics are no longer available as insurance against the impact of enteric infection and feed anti-nutritional factors. The improved genetic potential of livestock is increasing daily requirement for energy and protein (essential amino acids). To benefit from the enhanced growth potential of livestock diets with high nutrient density are needed that can be formulated from crops without increased cost. Genetic modification of commodity crops used to manufacture animal feed in order to improve the density and quality of available nutrients is a potential solution to some of these problems. Furthermore, crops may be used as biofactories to produce molecules and products used in animal feed with considerable reductions in manufacturing fixed costs. Nevertheless, there are considerable not insurmountable challenges, such as the creation of sufficient economic value to deliver benefit to all members in the feed production chain, which is an essential element of identity preserving and delivering the technology to livestock producers. Individual output traits in the major commodity crops may not provide sufficient value to adequately compensate all the members of the feed production chain. Successful adoption of output traits may rely on inserting combinations of agronomic input traits with specific quality traits or increasing the value proposition by inserting combinations of output traits.

  13. A Tool for Managing Software Architecture Knowledge

    SciTech Connect

    Babar, Muhammad A.; Gorton, Ian

    2007-08-01

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

  14. Performance improvements resulting from implementation of an ISO 14001 environmental management system at a utility plant

    SciTech Connect

    Borofka, B.P.

    1999-07-01

    Wisconsin Electric Power Company (WE) has realized both internal performance improvements and received external recognition for its efforts in implementing an environmental management system (EMS) at its Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette, Michigan. Located on the shores of Lake Superior and surrounded by water on three sides, the plant was acquired by WE in 1988. Operation of the plant was under contract with the previous owner, utilizing the existing plant staff. Beginning in 1995, WE embarked on a series of environmental audits followed by numerous environmental policy and practice improvements, coupled with an extensive training program. The activities eventually resulted in the core components of a formal environmental management system (EMS) modeled on ISO 14001. Implementation of the EMS components has resulted in the continued improvement of specific environmental performance parameters, several of which are part of an overall balanced business scorecard. The balanced business scorecard, a corporate performance metric, is directly linked to individual employee compensation. Specific improvements at the Presque Isle Power Plant include, (1) reduced number of exceedances, (2) reduced generation of hazardous wastes, (3) improved collection and reduction on non-hazardous solid wastes, (4) improved employee training rates and overall awareness, (5) improved pollution prevention and waste minimization program goals, and (6) reduced assistance from external staff. The plant has received a Clean Corporate Citizen (C3) designation from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, has become a member of the Michigan Business Pollution Prevention Program (MBP3), and has been recognized for its efforts by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The plant's activities are now used as an internal model by other facilities.

  15. Genetic improvement of biofuel plants: recent progress and patents.

    PubMed

    Johnson, T Sudhakar; Badri, Jyothi; Sastry, R Kalpana; Shrivastava, Anshul; Kishor, P B Kavi; Sujatha, M

    2013-04-01

    Due to depleting reserves of fossil fuels, political uncertainties, increase in demand of energy needs and growing concerns of environmental effects, bioenergy as an alternative source of energy needs had taken centre stage globally. In this report, we review the progress made in lignocellulose, cellulose and fermentation based biofuels in addition to tree borne oil seeds. Algae as a source of feedstock for the biofuel has also been reviewed. Recent efforts in genome sequencing of biofuel crops and molecular breeding approaches have increased our understanding towards crop improvement of major feedstocks. Besides, patenting trends in bioenergy sector were assessed by patent landscape analysis. The results showed an increasing trend in published patents during the last decade which is maximum during 2011. A conceptual framework of "transgenesis in biofuels to industrial application" was developed based on the patent analytics viz., International Patent Classification (IPC) analysis and Theme Maps. A detailed claim analysis based on the conceptual framework assessed the patenting trends that provided an exhaustive dimension of the technology. The study emphasizes the current thrust in bioenergy sector by various public and private institutions to expedite the process of biofuel production.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  17. Engineering Mycorrhizal Symbioses to Alter Plant Metabolism and Improve Crop Health.

    PubMed

    French, Katherine E

    2017-01-01

    Creating sustainable bioeconomies for the 21st century relies on optimizing the use of biological resources to improve agricultural productivity and create new products. Arbuscular mycorrhizae (phylum Glomeromycota) form symbiotic relationships with over 80% of vascular plants. In return for carbon, these fungi improve plant health and tolerance to environmental stress. This symbiosis is over 400 million years old and there are currently over 200 known arbuscular mycorrhizae, with dozens of new species described annually. Metagenomic sequencing of native soil communities, from species-rich meadows to mangroves, suggests biologically diverse habitats support a variety of mycorrhizal species with potential agricultural, medical, and biotechnological applications. This review looks at the effect of mycorrhizae on plant metabolism and how we can harness this symbiosis to improve crop health. I will first describe the mechanisms that underlie this symbiosis and what physiological, metabolic, and environmental factors trigger these plant-fungal relationships. These include mycorrhizal manipulation of host genetic expression, host mitochondrial and plastid proliferation, and increased production of terpenoids and jasmonic acid by the host plant. I will then discuss the effects of mycorrhizae on plant root and foliar secondary metabolism. I subsequently outline how mycorrhizae induce three key benefits in crops: defense against pathogen and herbivore attack, drought resistance, and heavy metal tolerance. I conclude with an overview of current efforts to harness mycorrhizal diversity to improve crop health through customized inoculum. I argue future research should embrace synthetic biology to create mycorrhizal chasses with improved symbiotic abilities and potentially novel functions to improve plant health. As the effects of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance increase, the global diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi should be monitored and protected to

  18. Engineering Mycorrhizal Symbioses to Alter Plant Metabolism and Improve Crop Health

    PubMed Central

    French, Katherine E.

    2017-01-01

    Creating sustainable bioeconomies for the 21st century relies on optimizing the use of biological resources to improve agricultural productivity and create new products. Arbuscular mycorrhizae (phylum Glomeromycota) form symbiotic relationships with over 80% of vascular plants. In return for carbon, these fungi improve plant health and tolerance to environmental stress. This symbiosis is over 400 million years old and there are currently over 200 known arbuscular mycorrhizae, with dozens of new species described annually. Metagenomic sequencing of native soil communities, from species-rich meadows to mangroves, suggests biologically diverse habitats support a variety of mycorrhizal species with potential agricultural, medical, and biotechnological applications. This review looks at the effect of mycorrhizae on plant metabolism and how we can harness this symbiosis to improve crop health. I will first describe the mechanisms that underlie this symbiosis and what physiological, metabolic, and environmental factors trigger these plant-fungal relationships. These include mycorrhizal manipulation of host genetic expression, host mitochondrial and plastid proliferation, and increased production of terpenoids and jasmonic acid by the host plant. I will then discuss the effects of mycorrhizae on plant root and foliar secondary metabolism. I subsequently outline how mycorrhizae induce three key benefits in crops: defense against pathogen and herbivore attack, drought resistance, and heavy metal tolerance. I conclude with an overview of current efforts to harness mycorrhizal diversity to improve crop health through customized inoculum. I argue future research should embrace synthetic biology to create mycorrhizal chasses with improved symbiotic abilities and potentially novel functions to improve plant health. As the effects of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance increase, the global diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi should be monitored and protected to

  19. Understanding plant responses to phosphorus starvation for improvement of plant tolerance to phosphorus deficiency by biotechnological approaches.

    PubMed

    Ha, Sukbong; Tran, Lam-Son

    2014-03-01

    In both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, including plants, phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient that is involved in various biochemical processes, such as lipid metabolism and the biosynthesis of nucleic acids and cell membranes. P also contributes to cellular signaling cascades by function as mediators of signal transduction and it also serves as a vital energy source for a wide range of biological functions. Due to its intensive use in agriculture, P resources have become limited. Therefore, it is critically important in the future to develop scientific strategies that aim to increase P use efficiency and P recycling. In addition, the biologically available soluble form of P for uptake (phosphate; Pi) is readily washed out of topsoil layers, resulting in serious environmental pollution. In addition to this environmental concern, the wash out of Pi from topsoil necessitates a continuous Pi supply to maintain adequate levels of fertilization, making the situation worse. As a coping mechanism to P stress, plants are known to undergo drastic cellular changes in metabolism, physiology, hormonal balance and gene expression. Understanding these molecular, physiological and biochemical responses developed by plants will play a vital role in improving agronomic practices, resource conservation and environmental protection as well as serving as a foundation for the development of biotechnological strategies, which aim to improve P use efficiency in crops. In this review, we will discuss a variety of plant responses to low P conditions and various molecular mechanisms that regulate these responses. In addition, we also discuss the implication of this knowledge for the development of plant biotechnological applications.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Improved Construction and Project Management for Future Nuclear Power Plants - Westinghouse Perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Matzie, Regis A.

    2002-07-01

    The economic competitiveness of future nuclear power plants is the key issue to the expansion of this vital technology. The challenge is greater today than it has been because of the worldwide trend of deregulation of the power market. Deregulation favors smaller investments with shorter payback times. However, the key economic parameter is the power generation cost and its competitiveness to other sources of electric generation, principally natural gas and coal. The relative competitiveness of these three fuel types today is largely dictated by the availability of domestic sources of both fuel and technology infrastructure. The competitiveness of new nuclear power plants can be improved in any power market environment first by the features of the design itself, second by the approach to construction, and finally by the project structure used to implement the plant, or more importantly, a series of plants. These three aspects form the cornerstone to a successful resurgence of new nuclear power plant construction. (author)

  2. Primary water chemistry improvement for radiation exposure reduction at Japanese PWR Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Nishizawa, Eiichi

    1995-03-01

    Radiation exposure during the refueling outages at Japanese Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) Plants has been gradually decreased through continuous efforts keeping the radiation dose rates at relatively low level. The improvement of primary water chemistry in respect to reduction of the radiation sources appears as one of the most important contributions to the achieved results and can be classified by the plant operation conditions as follows

  3. The Cytochrome P450 Gene CsCYP85A1 Is a Putative Candidate for Super Compact-1 (Scp-1) Plant Architecture Mutation in Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hui; Li, Wanqing; Qin, Yaguang; Pan, Yupeng; Wang, Xiaofeng; Weng, Yiqun; Chen, Peng; Li, Yuhong

    2017-01-01

    The dwarf or compact plant architecture is an important trait in plant breeding. A number of genes controlling plant height have been cloned and functionally characterized which often involve in biosynthesis or signaling of plant hormones such as brassinosteroids (BRs). No genes for plant height or vine length have been cloned in cucurbit crops (family Cucurbitaceae). From an EMS-induced mutagenesis population, we identified a super compact (SCP) mutant C257 which was extremely dwarf due to practically no internode elongation. Under dark growing condition, C257 did not undergo skotomorphogenesis and its mutant phenotype could be rescued with exogenous application of brassinolide (BL), suggesting SCP might be a BR-deficient mutant. Segregation analysis revealed a single recessive gene scp-1 that was responsible for the SCP mutation. Map-based cloning combined with a modified MutMap identified CsCYP85A1, a member of the plant cytochrome P450 monooxygenase gene family, as the most possible candidate gene for scp-1, which encodes a BR-C6-oxidase in the BR biosynthesis pathway. We show that a SNP within the second exon of scp-1 candidate gene caused the SCP phenotype. Three copies of the CsCYP85A gene are present in the cucumber genome, but only the scp-1/CsCYP85A1 gene seemed active. The expression of CsCYP85A1 was higher in flowers than in the leaves and stem; its expression in the wild type (WT) was feedback regulated by BL application. Its expression was reduced in C257 as compared with the WT. This was the first report of map-based cloning of a plant height gene in cucurbit crops. The research highlighted the combined use of linkage mapping, an improved MutMap method and allelic diversity analysis in natural populations in quick cloning of simply inherited genes in cucumber. The roles of CsCYP85A1 in regulation of internode elongation in cucumber was discussed. PMID:28303144

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Sánchez; Domingo; Torrecillas; Pérez-Pastor

    2000-07-28

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

  8. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from New Caledonian ultramafic soils improve tolerance to nickel of endemic plant species.

    PubMed

    Amir, Hamid; Lagrange, Alexandre; Hassaïne, Nadine; Cavaloc, Yvon

    2013-10-01

    In order to improve knowledge about the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in the tolerance to heavy metals in ultramafic soils, the present study investigated the influence of two Glomus etunicatum isolates from New Caledonian ultramafic maquis (shrubland), on nickel tolerance of a model plant species Sorghum vulgare, and of two ultramafic endemic plant species, Alphitonia neocaledonica and Cloezia artensis. In a first step, plants were grown in a greenhouse, on sand with defined concentrations of Ni, to appreciate the effects of the two isolates on the alleviation of Ni toxicity in controlled conditions. In a second step, the influence of the AMF on A. neocaledonica and C. artensis plants grown in a New Caledonian ultramafic soil rich in extractable nickel was investigated. Ni reduced mycorrhizal colonization and sporulation of the fungal isolates, but the symbionts increased plant growth and adaptation of endemic plant species to ultramafic conditions. One of the two G. etunicatum isolates showed a stronger positive effect on plant biomass and phosphorus uptake, and a greater reduction in toxicity symptoms and Ni concentration in roots and shoots. The symbionts seemed to act as a barrier to the absorption of Ni by the plant and reduced root-to-shoot Ni translocation. Results indicate the potential of selected native AMF isolates from ultramafic areas for ecological restoration of such degraded ecosystems.

  9. Diversity in the architecture of ATLs, a family of plant ubiquitin-ligases, leads to recognition and targeting of substrates in different cellular environments.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  12. The impact of alterations in the lignin biosynthetic pathway on molecular architecture of the plant cell wall

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Jiliang; Kim, Jeong IM; Cusumano, J C; Chapple, C; Venugopalan, Nagarajan; Fischetti, Robert F.; Makowski, Lee

    2016-06-17

    Background: Coordination of synthesis and assembly of the polymeric components of cell walls is essential for plant growth and development. Given the degree of co-mingling and cross-linking among cell wall components, cellulose organization must be dependent on the organization of other polymers such as lignin. Here we seek to identify aspects of that codependency by studying the structural organization of cellulose fibrils in stems from Arabidopsis plants harboring mutations in genes encoding enzymes involved in lignin biosynthesis. Plants containing high levels of G-lignin, S-lignin, H-lignin, aldehyde-rich lignin, and ferulic acid-containing lignin, along with plants with very low lignin content were grown and harvested and longitudinal sections of stem were prepared and dried. Scanning X-ray microdiffraction was carried out using a 5-micron beam that moved across the sections in 5-micron steps and complete diffraction patterns were collected at each raster point. Approximately, 16,000 diffraction patterns were analyzed to determine cellulose fibril orientation and order within the tissues making up the stems. Results: Several mutations-most notably those exhibiting (1) down-regulation of cinnamoyl CoA reductase which leads to cell walls deficient in lignin and (2) defect of cinnamic acid 4-hydroxylase which greatly reduces lignin content-exhibited significant decrease in the proportion of oriented cellulose fibrils in the cell wall. Distinctions between tissues were maintained in all variants and even in plants exhibiting dramatic changes in cellulosic order the trends between tissues (where apparent) were generally maintained. The resilience of cellulose to degradative processes was investigated by carrying out the same analysis on samples stored in water for 30 days prior to data collection. This treatment led to significant loss of cellulosic order in plants rich in aldehyde or H-lignin, less change in wild type, and essentially no change in samples with

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Bhupinder; Datta, P. S.

    2010-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    1994-01-21

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Rabas, T.J.

    1990-06-01

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

  16. Software architecture design domain

    SciTech Connect

    White, S.A.

    1996-12-31

    Software architectures can provide a basis for the capture and subsequent reuse of design knowledge. The goal of software architecture is to allow the design of a system to take place at a higher level of abstraction; a level concerned with components, connections, constraints, rationale. This architectural view of software adds a new layer of abstraction to the traditional design phase of software development. It has resulted in a flurry of activity towards techniques, tools, and architectural design languages developed specifically to assist with this activity. An analysis of architectural descriptions, even though they differ in notation, shows a common set of key constructs that are present across widely varying domains. These common aspects form a core set of constructs that should belong to any ADL in order to for the language to offer the ability to specify software systems at the architectural level. This analysis also revealed a second set of constructs which served to expand the first set thereby improving the syntax and semantics. These constructs are classified according to whether they provide representation and analysis support for architectures belonging to many varying application domains (domain-independent construct class) or to a particular application domain (domain-dependent constructs). This paper presents the constructs of these two classes, their placement in the architecture design domain and shows how they may be used to classify, select, and analyze proclaimed architectural design languages (ADLs).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  18. Circadian clock- and PIF4-controlled plant growth: a coincidence mechanism directly integrates a hormone signaling network into the photoperiodic control of plant architectures in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Nomoto, Yuji; Nomoto, Yuichi; Kubozono, Saori; Yamashino, Takafumi; Nakamichi, Norihito; Mizuno, Takeshi

    2012-11-01

    The plant circadian clock generates rhythms with a period close to 24 h, and it controls a wide variety of physiological and developmental events, enabling plants to adapt to ever-changing environmental light conditions. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the clock regulates the diurnal and photoperiodic plant growth including the elongation of hypocotyls and petioles in a time-of-day-specific and short-day (SD)-specific manner. In this mechanism, the clock-regulated PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 4 gene encoding a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, together with phytochromes (mainly phyB), plays crucial roles. This diurnal and photoperiodic control of plant growth is best explained by the accumulation of the PIF4 protein at the end of the night-time specifically under SDs, due to coincidence between the internal (circadian rhythm) and external (photoperiod) cues. In this model, however, the PIF4-controlled downstream factors are not fully identified, although it has been generally proposed that the auxin-mediated signal transduction is crucially implicated. Here, we identified a set of hormone-associated genes as the specific PIF4 targets implicated in the photoperiodic control of plant growth. They include not only auxin-associated genes (GH3.5, IAA19 and IAA29), but also genes associated with other growth-regulating hormones such as brassinosteroids (BR6ox2), gibberellic acids (GAI), ethylene (ACS8) and cytokinin (CKX5). The dawn- and SD-specific expression profiles of these genes are modified in a set of phyB and clock mutants, both of which compromise the coincidence mechanism. The results of this study suggest that the circadian clock orchestrates a variety of hormone signaling pathways to regulate the photoperiod-dependent morphogenesis in A. thaliana.

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

    PubMed

    Jones, R A C

    2014-06-24

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

  20. Architecture & Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erickson, Mary; Delahunt, Michael

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Architecture & Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erickson, Mary; Delahunt, Michael

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Isopentenyl transferase gene (ipt) downstream transcriptionally fused with gene expression improves the growth of transgenic plants.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jian-Chun; Duan, Rui-Jun; Hu, Xin-Wen; Li, Kai-Mian; Fu, Shao-Ping

    2010-04-01

    This research reports a promising approach to increase a plant's physiological cytokinin content. This approach also enables the increase to play a role in plant growth and development by introducing the ipt gene to downstream transcriptionally fuse with other genes under the control of a CaMV35S promoter, in which the ipt gene is far from the 35S promoter. According to Kozak's ribosome screening model, expression of the ipt gene is reduced by the terminal codon of the first gene and the internal untranslated nucleotides between the fused genes. In the transgenic plants pVKH35S-GUS-ipt, pVKH35S-AOC-ipt, and pVKH35S-AtGolS2-ipt, cytokinins were increased only two to threefold, and the plants grew more vigorously than the pVKH35S-AOC or pVKH35S-AtGolS2 transgenic plants lacking the ipt gene. The vigorous growth was reflected in rapid plant growth, a longer flowering period, a greater number of flowers, more seed product, and increased chlorophyll synthesis. The AOC and AtGolS2 genes play a role in a plant's tolerance of salt or cold, respectively. When the ipt gene transcriptionally fuses with AOC or AtGolS2 in the frame of AOC-ipt and AtGolS2-ipt, slight cytokinin increases were obtained in their transgenic plants; furthermore, those increases played a positive role in improvements of plant growth. Notably, an increased cytokinin volume at the physiological level, in concert with AtGolS2 expression, enhances a plant's tolerance to cold.

  3. Hybrid-Cut: An Improved Sectioning Method for Recalcitrant Plant Tissue Samples

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Su-Chiung; Lien, Yi-Chen; Yang, Ting-Ting; Ko, Swee-Suak

    2016-01-01

    Maintaining plant section integrity is essential for studying detailed anatomical structures at the cellular, tissue, or even organ level. However, some plant cells have rigid cell walls, tough fibers and crystals(calcium oxalate, silica, etc.), and high water content that often disrupt tissue integrity during plant tissue sectioning. This study establishes a simple Hybrid-Cut tissue sectioning method. This protocol modifies a paraffin-based sectioning technique and improves the integrity of tissue sections from different plants. Plant tissues were embedded in paraffin before sectioning in a cryostat at -16 °C. Sectioning under low temperature hardened the paraffin blocks, reduced tearing and scratching, and improved tissue integrity significantly. This protocol was successfully applied to calcium oxalate-rich Phalaenopsis orchid tissues as well as recalcitrant tissues such as reproductive organs and leaves of rice, maize, and wheat. In addition, the high quality of tissue sections from Hybrid-Cut could be used in combination with in situ hybridization (ISH) to provide spatial expression patterns of genes of interest. In conclusion, this protocol is particularly useful for recalcitrant plant tissue containing high crystal or silica content. Good quality tissue sections enable morphological and other biological studies. PMID:27911377

  4. Photoreceptor Mediated Plant Growth Responses: Implications for Photoreceptor Engineering toward Improved Performance in Crops

    PubMed Central

    Mawphlang, Ophilia I. L.; Kharshiing, Eros V.

    2017-01-01

    Rising temperatures during growing seasons coupled with altered precipitation rates presents a challenging task of improving crop productivity for overcoming such altered weather patterns and cater to a growing population. Light is a critical environmental factor that exerts