Science.gov

Sample records for improves plant architecture

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-28

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Shaping plant architecture

    PubMed 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

  4. Shaping plant architecture.

    PubMed

    Teichmann, Thomas; Muhr, Merlin

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. 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

  7. The Genetic Architecture of Barley Plant Stature.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Kernel methods for phenotyping complex plant architecture.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    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.

  9. 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…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. Improving reservoir management with complex well architectures

    SciTech Connect

    Corlay, P.; Bossie-Codreanu, D.; Sabathier, J.C.; Delamaide, E.R.

    1997-01-01

    After 20 years of research and pilot applications, horizontal wells are now widely used as standard procedure. Further, new developments in drilling technology are starting to strongly modify concepts of well architecture. The new techniques of lateral arms, cluster wells or extended reach drilling can improve reservoir management, giving economical access to new reserves and optimizing marginal or mature fields. This article shows how complex well architectures can improve oil production through judicious placement by taking into account reservoir heterogeneity as well as the drive mechanisms involved. Production can be optimized by monitoring different sections within a well architecture, thus extending well life. Potential applications for Middle East reservoir conditions are reviewed. The appealing potential use of complex well architecture for characterization purposes at an early development stage is also introduced. Identification of the types of well architectures which could optimize pertinent data to be used by geostatistical models is presented. Methods of data acquisition within such complex well architectures are shown and new avenues in this field of research are investigated. Finally, from the above, a new characterization methodology based on hard data acquisition and geostatistical methods is proposed.

  12. Improving crop nutrient efficiency through root architecture modifications.

    PubMed

    Li, Xinxin; Zeng, Rensen; Liao, Hong

    2016-03-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

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

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

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The dynamic relationship between plant architecture and competition.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Manipulating plant architecture with members of the CETS gene family.

    PubMed

    McGarry, Roisin C; Ayre, Brian G

    2012-06-01

    The shape or architecture of a plant is specified through the activities of indeterminate and determinate meristems, and the sum of these events sharply impacts plant growth habit, productivity, and crop management. The CENTRORADIALIS/TERMINAL FLOWER 1/SELF-PRUNING (CETS) gene family shares homology to phosphatidylethanolamine binding protein (PEBP) genes and is prominent in controlling the timing and location of the developmental transition from indeterminate to determinate growth, with different family members balancing the activities of others through antagonistic functions. The CETS members FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) of Arabidopsis and related genes (e.g. SINGLE FLOWER TRUSS, SFT, in tomato) are important in promoting the transition to determinate growth while TERMINAL FLOWER 1 (TFL1) and its homologs (e.g. tomato SELF PRUNING, SP) oppose this activity by maintaining meristems in an indeterminate state. FT orthologs, and perhaps other CETS family members, act as mobile proteinaceous hormones, and can amplify their impact by accumulating in recipient organs. A universal model is emerging for the timing and placement of determinate and indeterminate growth through a balance of FT-like and TFL1-like gene activities, and it is now clear that the domestication of many wild exotics into crops with desired growth habits resulted from selection of altered FT/TFL1 balances. Manipulating this ratio further, through transgenic or viral-based technologies, holds promise for improved agricultural sustainability.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. The meiotic transcriptome architecture of plants

    PubMed Central

    Dukowic-Schulze, Stefanie; Chen, Changbin

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Architecture Capabilities to Improve Healthcare Environments

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Background 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. Objectives The present study assesses physical environments of Iranian healthcare buildings. Materials and Methods This study was performed using a descriptive-analytical method. Data collection was carried out via a written questionnaire. Results 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". Conclusions 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. PMID:24350145

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Architecture and evolution of a minute plant genome.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  11. Architecture and evolution of a minute plant genome.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  12. Improving Project Management Using Formal Models and Architectures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kahn, Theodore; Sturken, Ian

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Establishing the Architecture of Plant Gene Regulatory Networks.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Biotechnological interventions to improve plant developmental traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. 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

  17. Columnar architecture improves noise robustness in a model cortical network.

    PubMed

    Bush, Paul C; Mainen, Zachary F

    2015-01-01

    Cortical columnar architecture was discovered decades ago yet there is no agreed upon explanation for its function. Indeed, some have suggested that it has no function, it is simply an epiphenomenon of developmental processes. To investigate this problem we have constructed a computer model of one square millimeter of layer 2/3 of the primary visual cortex (V1) of the cat. Model cells are connected according to data from recent paired cell studies, in particular the connection probability between pyramidal cells is inversely proportional both to the distance separating the cells and to the distance between the preferred parameters (features) of the cells. We find that these constraints, together with a columnar architecture, produce more tightly clustered populations of cells when compared to the random architecture seen in, for example, rodents. This causes the columnar network to converge more quickly and accurately on the pattern representing a particular stimulus in the presence of noise, suggesting that columnar connectivity functions to improve pattern recognition in cortical circuits. The model also suggests that synaptic failure, a phenomenon exhibited by weak synapses, may conserve metabolic resources by reducing transmitter release at these connections that do not contribute to network function.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    DiPasquale, Stephen A; Byrne, Mark E

    2016-08-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Improving pulverized coal plant performance

    SciTech Connect

    Regan, J.W.; Borio, R.W.; Palkes, M.; Mirolli, M.; Wesnor, J.D.; Bender, D.J.

    1995-12-31

    A major deliverable of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) project ``Engineering Development of Advanced Coal-Fired Low-Emissions Boiler Systems`` (LEBS) is the design of a large, in this case 400 MWe, commercial generating unit (CGU) which will meet the Project objectives. The overall objective of the LEBS Project is to dramatically improve environmental performance of future pulverized coal fired power plants without adversely impacting efficiency or the cost of electricity. The DOE specified the use of near-term technologies, i.e., advanced technologies that partially developed, to reduce NO{sub x}, SO{sub 2} and particulate emissions to be substantially less than current NSPS limits. In addition, air toxics must be in compliance and waste must be reduced and made more disposable. The design being developed by the ABB Team is projected to meet all the contract objectives and to reduce emission of NO{sub x}, SO{sub 2} and particulates to one-fifth to one-tenth NSPS limits while increasing net station efficiency significantly and reducing the cost of electricity. This design and future work are described in the paper.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hwang, Kao-Shing; Lo, Chia-Yue

    2013-05-01

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

  11. Short and erect rice (ser) mutant from 'Khao Dawk Mali' shapes plant architecture better

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant architecture includes branching (tillering) pattern, plant height, leaf shape and angle, and the structure of reproductive organs. These structures are of major agronomic importance as they determine the adaptability of a plant to various methods of cultivation, which in turn influence harves...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Perspectives on plant vulnerabilities & other plant and containment improvements

    SciTech Connect

    LaChance, J.; Kolaczkowski, A.; Kahn, J.

    1996-01-01

    The primary goal of the Individual Plant Examination (IPE) Program was for licensees to identify plant-unique vulnerabilities and actions to address these vulnerabilities. A review of these vulnerabilities and plant improvements that were identified in the IPEs was performed as part of the IPE Insights Program sponsored by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The purpose of this effort was to characterize the identified vulnerabilities and the impact of suggested plant improvements. No specific definition for {open_quotes}vulnerability{close_quotes} was provided in NRC Generic Letter 88-20 or in the subsequent NRC IPE submittal guidance documented in NUREG-1335. Thus licensees were left to use their own definitions. Only 20% of the plants explicitly stated that they had vulnerabilities. However, most licensees identified other plant improvements to address issues not explicitly classified as vulnerabilities, but pertaining to areas in which overall plant safety could potentially be increased. The various definitions of {open_quotes}vulnerability{close_quotes} used by the licensees, explicitly identified vulnerabilities, proposed plant improvements to address these vulnerabilities, and other plant improvements are summarized and discussed.

  17. 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. PMID:15742219

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  1. Accounting for Genetic Architecture Improves Sequence Based Genomic Prediction for a Drosophila Fitness Trait

    PubMed Central

    Magwire, Michael; Schlather, Martin; Simianer, Henner; Mackay, Trudy F. C.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to predict quantitative trait phenotypes from molecular polymorphism data will revolutionize evolutionary biology, medicine and human biology, and animal and plant breeding. Efforts to map quantitative trait loci have yielded novel insights into the biology of quantitative traits, but the combination of individually significant quantitative trait loci typically has low predictive ability. Utilizing all segregating variants can give good predictive ability in plant and animal breeding populations, but gives little insight into trait biology. Here, we used the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel to perform both a genome wide association analysis and genomic prediction for the fitness-related trait chill coma recovery time. We found substantial total genetic variation for chill coma recovery time, with a genetic architecture that differs between males and females, a small number of molecular variants with large main effects, and evidence for epistasis. Although the top additive variants explained 36% (17%) of the genetic variance among lines in females (males), the predictive ability using genomic best linear unbiased prediction and a relationship matrix using all common segregating variants was very low for females and zero for males. We hypothesized that the low predictive ability was due to the mismatch between the infinitesimal genetic architecture assumed by the genomic best linear unbiased prediction model and the true genetic architecture of chill coma recovery time. Indeed, we found that the predictive ability of the genomic best linear unbiased prediction model is markedly improved when we combine quantitative trait locus mapping with genomic prediction by only including the top variants associated with main and epistatic effects in the relationship matrix. This trait-associated prediction approach has the advantage that it yields biologically interpretable prediction models. PMID:25950439

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Optimization at Wyoming gas plant improves profitability

    SciTech Connect

    Saha, L.E. ); Chontos, A.J. ); Hatch, D.R. )

    1990-05-28

    This paper reports on a computer-aided manufacturing system for on-line optimization implemented at the Painter complex (Wyoming) gas-processing plant. The system is based on rigorous process modeling techniques using real time data. Early results show significant potential for improving the plant's profitability.

  7. 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…

  8. [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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Power plant productivity improvement in New York

    SciTech Connect

    1981-03-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Functional architecture of higher plant photosystem II supercomplexes

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Diversity of Maize Shoot Apical Meristem Architecture and Its Relationship to Plant Morphology

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25748433

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.; Chundawat, Shishir P. S.

    2015-04-23

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Mauro-Herrera, Margarita; Doust, Andrew N

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Idaho Chemical Processing Plant Process Efficiency improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Griebenow, B.

    1996-03-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leblanc, Sylvain G.

    2002-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Leblanc, Sylvain G

    2002-12-20

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

  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. Molecular marker dissection of rice (Oryza sativa L.) plant architecture under temperate and tropical climates.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, S; Fukuta, Y; Sato, T; Osaki, M; Khush, G S

    2003-11-01

    Rice ( Oryza sativa L.) plants develop vertically with shoot elongation and horizontally with tillering. The purpose of this study was to identify and characterize genomic regions influencing the rice plant architecture by quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis for the component traits: culm length (CL), panicle length (PnL), panicle number (PnN) and tiller number (TN). For this QTL analysis, 191 recombinant inbred lines (F(7)) derived from a cross of Milyang 23 (M23) and Akihikari (AK) were grown in 1995, 1996 and 1997 (May-Oct) in Joetsu, Japan (temperate climate), and in the 2000 dry season (Jan-Apr), the 2000 wet season (Jun-Oct) and the 2001 dry season in Los Baños, The Philippines (tropical climate). Results showed that rice plant architecture was influenced by 19 genomic regions categorized into five groups. In Group I, two regions (on chrs. 6 and 11) affected shoot elongation (CL and PnL) and tillering (PnN and TN) in opposite directions more significantly in Los Baños than in Joetsu. In Group II, two regions (chrs. 3 and 12) affected shoot elongation, whereas in Group III, five regions [chrs. 1 (two), 2, 3 and 9] affected only culm length (CL). Expressions of four regions of Group III were influenced by either tropical or temperate environments. In Group IV, seven regions (chrs. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9) controlled panicle development (PnN or PnL), and in Group V, three regions (chrs. 1, 2 and 3) regulated tillering (PnN or TN). Characterizing these 19 genomic regions provided a detailed analysis of rice plant architecture with emphasis on the multiple effect and environmental responsive regions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2014-11-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Method to improve drought tolerance in plants

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, R. Allen; Bell, Susan S.

    2005-11-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Coneva, Viktoriya; Chitwood, Daniel H.

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. ALA Pretreatment Improves Waterlogging Tolerance of Fig Plants.

    PubMed

    An, Yuyan; Qi, Lin; Wang, Liangju

    2016-01-01

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

  20. ALA Pretreatment Improves Waterlogging Tolerance of Fig Plants.

    PubMed

    An, Yuyan; Qi, Lin; Wang, Liangju

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Preparatory Study Toward the Improvement of Education in Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Final Repot.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelly, Burnham

    The committee on Graduate Study and Research of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture held a conference in Chicago (Arpil 1968) to study possible innovations in architecture and architectural education. Drawing upon the experiences of educators in the areas of medicine, engineering, and research design, the conferees studied the…

  13. Molecular marker technologies for plant improvement.

    PubMed

    Winter, P; Kahl, G

    1995-07-01

    The exploitation of DNA polymorphisms by an ever-increasing number of molecular marker technologies has begun to have an impact on plant genome research and breeding. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms, micro- and mini-satellites and PCR-based approaches are used to determine inter- and intra-specific genetic diversity and construct molecular maps of crops using specially designed mapping populations. Resistance genes and other agronomically important loci are tagged with tightly linked DNA markers and the genes isolated by magabase DNA technology and cloning into yeast artificial chromosomes (YAC). This review discusses some recent developments and results in this field.

  14. 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.

  15. Enhancing zinc-finger-nuclease activity with improved obligate heterodimeric architectures.

    PubMed

    Doyon, Yannick; Vo, Thuy D; Mendel, Matthew C; Greenberg, Shon G; Wang, Jianbin; Xia, Danny F; Miller, Jeffrey C; Urnov, Fyodor D; Gregory, Philip D; Holmes, Michael C

    2011-01-01

    Zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) drive efficient genome editing by introducing a double-strand break into the targeted gene. Cleavage is induced when two custom-designed ZFNs heterodimerize upon binding DNA to form a catalytically active nuclease complex. The importance of this dimerization event for subsequent cleavage activity has stimulated efforts to engineer the nuclease interface to prevent undesired homodimerization. Here we report the development and application of a yeast-based selection system designed to functionally interrogate the ZFN dimer interface. We identified critical residues involved in dimerization through the isolation of cold-sensitive nuclease domains. We used these residues to engineer ZFNs that have superior cleavage activity while suppressing homodimerization. The improvements were portable to orthogonal domains, allowing the concomitant and independent cleavage of two loci using two different ZFN pairs. These ZFN architectures provide a general means for obtaining highly efficient and specific genome modification.

  16. 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.

  17. Effects of plant vascular architecture on aboveground-belowground-induced responses to foliar and root herbivores on Nicotiana tabacum.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Ian; Halitschke, Rayko; Kessler, André; Sardanelli, Sandra; Denno, Robert F

    2008-10-01

    Herbivores induce systemic changes in plant traits, and the strength of these induced responses is often associated with the degree of vascular connectivity that links damaged and undamaged plant tissues. Although this phenomenon is known to occur aboveground in leaves, it is unknown whether or not leaf-root induction similarly follows the vascular architecture of plants. To test for this possibility, we manipulated foliar and root herbivory on tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) by the leaf-chewing insect Spodoptera exigua and the root-galling nematode Meloidogyne incognita. Subsequent changes in secondary chemistry (alkaloids and phenolics) were measured in leaves and roots that were orthostichous (vertically aligned) and nonorthostichous (opposite) from the herbivore-damaged tissues. Aboveground caterpillar herbivory elicited stronger secondary chemical responses in orthostichous compared with nonorthostichous plant tissues, although the magnitude of this difference was greater in leaves than roots. However, belowground nematode herbivory did not affect the secondary chemistry of tobacco leaves, despite inducing strong local responses in roots. Thus, plant vascular architecture can mediate the magnitude of systemic induction in roots as well as in leaves, with stronger responses in tissues that are more closely aligned. As a result, herbivores that co-occur on the same sector of plant (both aboveground and belowground) may be more likely to affect one another via induced responses than herbivores that occur on plant tissues sharing fewer resources.

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:24953402

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Improving the Physical Plant and Residence-Life Department Relationship.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adams, Matthew C.

    1999-01-01

    Discusses the communication difficulties between educational-facility housing managers and plant management and ways to improve it so that maintenance problems can be resolved. Examples of successful housing and facility-management partnerships are highlighted. (GR)

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

    PubMed

    Couzigou, Jean-Malo; Combier, Jean-Philippe

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed 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

  5. Compressed Air System Improvements at an Automotive Plant

    SciTech Connect

    2000-10-01

    In 1998, the Ford Motor Company implemented a compressed air system improvement project at its Woodhaven Stamping plant in Woodhaven, Michigan. As a result of the system approach that it took towards improving the plant's compressed air system, the plant was able to take an 800-hp air compressor offline, shut down several high pressure satellite compressors, and operate the remaining compressors more efficiently.

  6. Quantification of risks from technology for improved plant reliability

    SciTech Connect

    Rode, D.M.

    1996-12-31

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

  7. 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

  8. Architectured Materials to Improve the Reliability of Power Electronics Modules: Substrate and Lead-Free Solder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaabi, Abderrahmen; Bienvenu, Yves; Ryckelynck, David; Pierre, Bertrand

    2013-07-01

    Power electronics modules (>100 A, >500 V) are essential components for the development of electrical and hybrid vehicles. These modules are formed from silicon chips (transistors and diodes) assembled on copper substrates by soldering. Owing to the fact that the assembly is heterogeneous, and because of thermal gradients, shear stresses are generated in the solders and cause premature damage to such electronics modules. This work focuses on architectured materials for the substrate and on lead-free solders to reduce the mechanical effects of differential expansion, improve the reliability of the assembly, and achieve a suitable operating temperature (<175°C). These materials are composites whose thermomechanical properties have been optimized by numerical simulation and validated experimentally. The substrates have good thermal conductivity (>280 W m-1 K-1) and a macroscopic coefficient of thermal expansion intermediate between those of Cu and Si, as well as limited structural evolution in service conditions. An approach combining design, optimization, and manufacturing of new materials has been followed in this study, leading to improved thermal cycling behavior of the component.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 3D Plant cell architecture of Arabidopsis thaliana (Brassicaceae) using focused ion beam–scanning electron microscopy1

    PubMed Central

    Bhawana; Miller, Joyce L.; Cahoon, A. Bruce

    2014-01-01

    • Premise of the study: Focused ion beam–scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) combines the ability to sequentially mill the sample surface and obtain SEM images that can be used to create 3D renderings with micron-level resolution. We have applied FIB-SEM to study Arabidopsis cell architecture. The goal was to determine the efficacy of this technique in plant tissue and cellular studies and to demonstrate its usefulness in studying cell and organelle architecture and distribution. • Methods: Seed aleurone, leaf mesophyll, stem cortex, root cortex, and petal lamina from Arabidopsis were fixed and embedded for electron microscopy using protocols developed for animal tissues and modified for use with plant cells. Each sample was sectioned using the FIB and imaged with SEM. These serial images were assembled to produce 3D renderings of each cell type. • Results: Organelles such as nuclei and chloroplasts were easily identifiable, and other structures such as endoplasmic reticula, lipid bodies, and starch grains were distinguishable in each tissue. • Discussion: The application of FIB-SEM produced 3D renderings of five plant cell types and offered unique views of their shapes and internal content. These results demonstrate the usefulness of FIB-SEM for organelle distribution and cell architecture studies. PMID:25202629

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

    PubMed

    Bucci, S J; Goldstein, G; Meinzer, F C; Scholz, F G; Franco, A C; Bustamante, M

    2004-08-01

    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. All species and individuals shared the same negative exponential relationship between sapwood saturated water content and wood density. Wood density was a good predictor of minimum (midday) leaf water potential and total daily transpiration, both of which decreased linearly with increasing wood density for all individuals and species. With respect to hydraulic architecture, specific and leaf-specific hydraulic conductivity decreased and the leaf:sapwood area ratio increased more than 5-fold as wood density increased from 0.37 to 0.71 g cm(-3) for all individuals and species. Wood density was also a good predictor of the temporal dynamics of water flow in stems, with the time of onset of sap flow in the morning and the maximum sap flow tending to occur progressively earlier in the day as wood density increased. Leaf properties associated with wood density included stomatal conductance, specific leaf area, and osmotic potential at the turgor loss point, which decreased linearly with increasing wood density. Wood density increased linearly with decreasing bulk soil water potential experienced by individual plants during the dry season, suggesting that wood density was greatest in individuals with mostly shallow roots, and therefore limited access to more abundant soil water at greater depths. Despite their taxonomic diversity and large intrapopulation differences in architectural traits, the six co-occurring species and their individuals shared similar functional relationships between all pairs of variables studied. Thus, rather than differing intrinsically in physiological responsiveness, the species and

  13. Improved Austenitic Steels for Power Plant Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Alman, David E.; Dunning, John S.; Schrems, Karol K.; Rawers, James C.; Wilson, Rick D.; Hawk, Jeffrey A.; Petty, Arthur V., Jr.

    2002-08-06

    Using alloy design principles, an austenitic alloy, with base composition of Fe-16Cr-16Ni-2Mn-1Mo (in weight percent, wt%), was formulated to which up to 5 wt% Si and/or Al were added specifically to improve the oxidation resistance. Cyclic oxidation tests were carried out in air at 700 and 800 C for 1000 hours. For comparison, Fe-18Cr-8Ni type-304 stainless steel alloys was also tested. The results showed that at 700 C, all the alloys were twice as oxidation resistant as the type-304 alloy (i.e., the experimental alloys showed weight gains about half that of type-304). Surprisingly, at 800 C, alloys that contained both Al and Si additions were less oxidation resistant than the type-304 alloy. However, alloys containing only Si additions were significantly more oxidation resistant than the type 304 alloys (i.e., showed weight gains 4 times less than the type-304 alloy). Further, alloys with only Si additions pre-oxidized at 800 C, showed zero weight gain in subsequent testing for 1000 hours at 700 C. This implies the potential for producing in-situ protective coating for these alloys. Preliminary exposure tests (1%H2S at 700 C for 360 hrs) indicated that the Si-modified alloys are more sulfidation resistant than type-304 alloy. The mechanical properties of the alloys, modified with carbide forming elements, were also evaluated; and at 600, 700 and 800 C the yield stresses of the carbide modified alloys were twice that of type-304 stainless steel. In this temperature range, the tensile properties of these alloys were comparable to literature values for type-347 stainless steel. It should be emphasized that the microstructures of the carbide forming alloys were not optimized with respect to grain size, carbide size and/or carbide distribution. Also, presented are initial results of vari-strain weld tests used to determine parameters for joining these alloys.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  15. Sequence Architecture Downstream of the Initiator Codon Enhances Gene Expression and Protein Stability in Plants1

    PubMed Central

    Sawant, Samir V.; Kiran, Kanti; Singh, Pradhyumna K.; Tuli, Rakesh

    2001-01-01

    Nucleotide positions conserved on the 3′ side of the initiator codon ATG and the corresponding N-terminal amino acid residues in a number of highly abundant plant proteins were identified by computational analysis of a dataset of highly expressed plant genes. The reporter genes uidA and gfp were modified to introduce these features. Insertion of GCT TCC TCC after the initiator codon ATG augmented expression for both the reporter genes. The insertion of each successive codon improved the expression of β-glucuronidase (GUS) in an incremental fashion in transient transformation of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) leaves. The insertion of alanine-serine (Ser)-Ser resulted in about a 2-fold increase in the stability of GUS. However, this did not account for the 30- to 40-fold increase in GUS activity between the constructs coding for methionine-alanine-Ser-Ser-GUS and the native enzyme. Substitution of the codon for Ser at the third amino acid residue with synonymous codons reduced GUS expression. The results suggest a role for the conserved nucleotides in the +4 to +11 region in augmenting posttranscriptional events in the expression of genes in plants. PMID:11500561

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  20. Nutritional improvements in plants: time to bite on biofortified foods.

    PubMed

    Hirschi, Kendal

    2008-09-01

    Modern breeding, molecular genetic and biotechnology studies frequently describe changes in plant metabolism to improve nutritional content; however, this is often where the process of assessing biofortification ends. Ideally, these modified plants need to be used in controlled animal and human feeding studies to assess nutritional impact. Such bioavailability studies are crucial if any claims are to be made regarding health benefits and might be an important component in public acceptance of biofortified foods. PMID:18635389

  1. Improvement of wastewater treatment performance of the Fukashiba treatment plant.

    PubMed

    Hirose, K; Igarashi, T; Ochiai, E; Seya, H; Matsui, S

    2006-01-01

    The Fukashiba Treatment Plant Kashima Rinkai Specified Sewage Works has received wastewater from the petrochemical complex (90%) and public sewage of Kamisu and Hasaki town (10%). For this reason, the plant is facing many difficulties in producing good quality effluent. In order to solve these difficulties, we are reviewing the treatment performance and making efforts for its improvement with nitrification inhibition, control of bio-persistent substances and the PRTR approach.

  2. 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.

  3. Advanced thermometrics for fossil power plant process improvement

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-04-30

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

  4. 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)

  5. [Improving the nutritional value of plant foods through transgenic approaches].

    PubMed

    Wu, Yong-Mei; Mao, Xue; Wang, Shu-Jian; Li, Run-Zhi

    2004-07-01

    The most nutrients required in the human diet come from plants. The nutritional quality of plant products affects the human healthy. The advance of molecular cloning and transgenic technology has provided a new way to enhance the nutritional value of plant material. Transgenic modification of plant nutritional value has progressed greatly in the following aspects: improving the quality, composition and levels of protein, starch and fatty acid in different crops; increasing the levels of antioxidants (e.g. carotenoids and flavonoids); breeding the new type of plants with medical value for human. To date, many transgenic plants with nutritional enhancement have been developed. These transgenic plant products could be directly used as human diet or as valued materials in developing the "functional food" with especial nutritional quality and healthy effects after they are approved by a series of evaluations on their safety and nutritional efficiency for human being. We designed new zinc finger transcription factors (ZFP-TFs) that can specifically down-regulate the expression of the endogenous soybean FAD2-1 gene which catalyzes oleic acid to linoleic acid. Seed-specific expression of these ZFP-TFs in transgenic soybean somatic embryos repressed FAD2-1 transcription and increased significantly the levels of oleic acid, indicating that the engineered ZFP-TFs are capable of regulating fatty acid metabolism and modulating the expression of endogenous genes in plants.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Integrating New Technology Solutions to Improve Plant Operations

    SciTech Connect

    HEAVIN, ERIC

    2004-06-29

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

  10. New catalyst improves sulfur recovery at Canadian plant

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-02-28

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:27393944

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Improving fractionation lowers butane sulfur level at Saudi gas plant

    SciTech Connect

    Harruff, L.G.; Martinie, G.D.; Rahman, A.

    1998-10-12

    Increasing the debutanizer reflux/feed ratio to improve fractionation at an eastern Saudi Arabian NGL plant reduced high sulfur in the butane product. The sulfur resulted from dimethyl sulfide (DMS) contamination in the feed stream from an offshore crude-oil reservoir in the northern Arabian Gulf. The contamination is limited to two northeastern offshore gas-oil separation plants operated by Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco) and, therefore, cannot be transported to facilities outside the Eastern Province. Two technically acceptable solutions for removing this contaminant were investigated: 13X molecular-sieve adsorption of the DMS and increased fractionation efficiency. The latter would force DMS into the debutanizer bottoms.

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Hazen, Samuel

    2013-09-27

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

  1. 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. PMID:27667994

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Comparative Genomics in Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.): Identification and Characterisation of an Orthologue for the Rice Plant Architecture-Controlling Gene OsABCG5

    PubMed Central

    Shinozuka, Hiroshi; Cogan, Noel O. I.; Spangenberg, German C.; Forster, John W.

    2011-01-01

    Perennial ryegrass is an important pasture grass in temperate regions. As a forage biomass-generating species, plant architecture-related characters provide key objectives for breeding improvement. In silico comparative genomics analysis predicted colocation between a previously identified QTL for plant type (erect versus prostrate growth) and the ortholocus of the rice OsABCG5 gene (LpABCG5), as well as related QTLs in other Poaceae species. Sequencing of an LpABCG5-containing BAC clone identified presence of a paralogue (LpABCG6) in the vicinity of the LpABCG5 locus, in addition to three other gene-like sequences. Comparative genomics involving five other 5 grass species (rice, Brachypodium, sorghum, maize, and foxtail millet) revealed conserved microsynteny in the ABCG5 ortholocus-flanking region. Gene expression profiling and phylogenetic analysis suggested that the two paralogues are functionally distinct. Fourteen additional ABCG5 gene family members, which may interact with the LpABCG5 gene, were identified through sequencing of transcriptomes from perennial ryegrass leaf, anther, and pistils. A larger-scale phylogenetic analysis of the ABCG gene family suggested conservation between major branches of the Poaceae family. This study identified the LpABCG5 gene as a candidate for the plant type determinant, suggesting that manipulation of gene expression may provide valuable phenotypes for perennial ryegrass breeding. PMID:21941532

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    2011-11-01

    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.

  13. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-20

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Structure Determination and Improved Model of Plant Photosystem I*

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. tasiRNA-ARF pathway moderates floral architecture in Arabidopsis plants subjected to drought stress.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Akihiro; Mizunashi, Kayoko; Tanaka, Maho; Kaminuma, Eli; Nguyen, Anh Hai; Nakajima, Maiko; Kim, Jong-Myong; Nguyen, Dong Van; Toyoda, Tetsuro; Seki, Motoaki

    2014-01-01

    In plants, miRNAs and siRNAs, such as transacting siRNAs (ta-siRNAs), affect their targets through distinct regulatory mechanisms. In this study, the expression profiles of small RNAs (smRNAs) in Arabidopsis plants subjected to drought, cold, and high-salinity stress were analyzed using 454 DNA sequencing technology. Expression of three groups of ta-siRNAs (TAS1, TAS2, and TAS3) and their precursors was downregulated in Arabidopsis plants subjected to drought and high-salinity stress. Analysis of ta-siRNA synthesis mutants and mutated ARF3-overexpressing plants that escape the tasiRNA-ARF target indicated that self-pollination was hampered by short stamens in plants under drought and high-salinity stress. Microarray analysis of flower buds of rdr6 and wild-type plants under drought stress and nonstressed conditions revealed that expression of floral development- and auxin response-related genes was affected by drought stress and by the RDR6 mutation. The overall results of the present study indicated that tasiRNA-ARF is involved in maintaining the normal morphogenesis of flowers in plants under stress conditions through fine-tuning expression changes of floral development-related and auxin response-related genes.

  8. 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. PMID:27083198

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Actin based processes that could determine the cytoplasmic architecture of plant cells.

    PubMed

    van der Honing, Hannie S; Emons, Anne Mie C; Ketelaar, Tijs

    2007-05-01

    Actin polymerisation can generate forces that are necessary for cell movement, such as the propulsion of a class of bacteria, including Listeria, and the protrusion of migrating animal cells. Force generation by the actin cytoskeleton in plant cells has not been studied. One process in plant cells that is likely to depend on actin-based force generation is the organisation of the cytoplasm. We compare the function of actin binding proteins of three well-studied mammalian models that depend on actin-based force generation with the function of their homologues in plants. We predict the possible role of these proteins, and thus the role of actin-based force generation, in the production of cytoplasmic organisation in plant cells.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Soil management systems to improve water availability for plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klik, A.; Rosner, J.

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. PlantTFDB 2.0: update and improvement of the comprehensive plant transcription factor database.

    PubMed

    Zhang, He; Jin, Jinpu; Tang, Liang; Zhao, Yi; Gu, Xiaocheng; Gao, Ge; Luo, Jingchu

    2011-01-01

    We updated the plant transcription factor (TF) database to version 2.0 (PlantTFDB 2.0, http://planttfdb.cbi.pku.edu.cn) which contains 53,319 putative TFs predicted from 49 species. We made detailed annotation including general information, domain feature, gene ontology, expression pattern and ortholog groups, as well as cross references to various databases and literature citations for these TFs classified into 58 newly defined families with computational approach and manual inspection. Multiple sequence alignments and phylogenetic trees for each family can be shown as Weblogo pictures or downloaded as text files. We have redesigned the user interface in the new version. Users can search TFs with much more flexibility through the improved advanced search page, and the search results can be exported into various formats for further analysis. In addition, we now provide web service for advanced users to access PlantTFDB 2.0 more efficiently.

  2. Enhancing cellulose utilization for fuels and chemicals by genetic modification of plant cell wall architecture.

    PubMed

    Vermerris, Wilfred; Abril, Alejandra

    2015-04-01

    Cellulose from plant biomass can serve as a sustainable feedstock for fuels, chemicals and polymers that are currently produced from petroleum. In order to enhance economic feasibility, the efficiency of cell wall deconstruction needs to be enhanced. With the use of genetic and biotechnological approaches cell wall composition can be modified in such a way that interactions between the major cell wall polymers—cellulose, hemicellulosic polysaccharides and lignin—are altered. Some of the resulting plants are compromised in their growth and development, but this may be caused in part by the plant's overcompensation for metabolic perturbances. In other cases novel structures have been introduced in the cell wall without negative effects. The first field studies with engineered bioenergy crops look promising, while detailed structural analyses of cellulose synthase offer new opportunities to modify cellulose itself.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Accumulation of N-acetylglucosamine oligomers in the plant cell wall affects plant architecture in a dose-dependent and conditional manner.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Asmervik, Sigmund

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Architecture of a charge-transfer state regulating light harvesting in a plant antenna protein.

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

    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). We found 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 delocalized 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 chlorophyll-zeaxanthin charge-transfer state and switching on and off the charge-transfer quenching during qE.

  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. PMID:27485228

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Impact of trap architecture, adjacent habitats, abiotic factors, and host plant phenology on captures of plum curculio (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) adults.

    PubMed

    Lafleur, Gérald; Chouinard, Gérald; Vincent, Charles; Cormier, Daniel

    2007-06-01

    Pyramid traps, 2.44 m and 3.66 m in height, were compared with standard-sized pyramid traps, 1.22 m in height, to assess the impact of trap architecture on captures of adult plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), in two apple (Malus spp.) orchards and a blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) planting. The effects of adjacent habitat (organic orchard versus wooded areas), abiotic factors, and phenological stages of apple also were assessed to determine whether these variables influenced trap captures. Standard-sized pyramidal traps captured significantly more adults than larger trap variants. In the apple orchards, most adults (70-80%) were captured before petal fall with the exception of blocks adjacent to the organic orchard (25%). Significantly more adults were captured along the edge of an apple orchard (managed using an integrated pest management strategy) facing an organic apple orchard (76%) than along the edge facing wooded areas (24%). There was a significant positive correlation between daily trap captures and mean daily temperatures before petal fall in apple orchards.

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

    PubMed

    Gohil, Krutika; Hahne, Anja; Beste, Christian

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-28

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-28

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Optimization of the electrode/electrolyte double-layer interface is a key factor for improving electrode performance of aqueous electrolyte based supercapacitors (SCs). Here, we report the improved functionality of carbon materials via a non-invasive, high-throughput, and inexpensive UV generated ozone (UV-ozone) treatment. This process allows precise tuning of the graphene and carbon nanotube hybrid foam (GM) transitionally from ultrahydrophobic to hydrophilic within 60 s. The continuous tuning of surface energy can be controlled by simply varying the UV-ozone exposure time, while the ozone-oxidized carbon nanostructure maintains its integrity. Symmetric SCs based on the UV-ozone treated GM foam demonstrated enhanced rate performance. This technique can be readily applied to other CVD-grown carbonaceous materials by taking advantage of its ease of processing, low cost, scalability, and controllability.Optimization of the electrode/electrolyte double-layer interface is a key factor for improving electrode performance of aqueous electrolyte based supercapacitors (SCs). Here, we report the improved functionality of carbon materials via a non-invasive, high-throughput, and inexpensive UV generated ozone (UV-ozone) treatment. This process allows precise tuning of the graphene and carbon nanotube hybrid foam (GM) transitionally from ultrahydrophobic to hydrophilic within 60 s. The continuous tuning of surface energy can be controlled by simply varying the UV-ozone exposure time, while the ozone-oxidized carbon nanostructure maintains its integrity. Symmetric SCs based on the UV-ozone treated GM foam demonstrated enhanced rate performance. This technique can be readily applied to other CVD-grown carbonaceous materials by taking advantage of its ease of processing, low cost, scalability, and controllability. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c4nr06795a

  10. Advanced control strategy for plant heat rate improvement

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  11. Flow perfusion improves seeding of tissue engineering scaffolds with different architectures.

    PubMed

    Alvarez-Barreto, Jose F; Linehan, Shawna M; Shambaugh, Robert L; Sikavitsas, Vassilios I

    2007-03-01

    Engineered bone grafts have been generated in static and dynamic systems by seeding and culturing osteoblastic cells on 3-D scaffolds. Seeding determines initial cellularity and cell spatial distribution throughout the scaffold, and affects cell-matrix interactions. Static seeding often yields low seeding efficiencies and poor cell distributions; thus creating a need for techniques that can improve these parameters. We have evaluated the effect of oscillating flow perfusion on seeding efficiency and spatial distribution of MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblastic cells in fibrous polystyrene matrices (20, 35 and 50-microm fibers) and foams prepared by salt leaching, using as controls statically seeded scaffolds. An additional control was investigated where static seeding was followed by unidirectional perfusion. Oscillating perfusion resulted in the most efficient technique by yielding higher seeding efficiencies, more homogeneous distribution and stronger cell-matrix interactions. Cell surface density increased with inoculation cell number and then reached a maximum, but significant detachment occurred at greater flow rates. Oxygen plasma treatment of the fibers greatly improved seeding efficiency. Having similar porosity and dimensions, fibrous matrices yielded higher cell surface densities than foams. Fluorescence microscopy and histological analyses in polystyrene and PLLA scaffolds demonstrated that perfusion seeding produced more homogeneous cell distribution, with fibrous matrices presenting greater uniformity than the foams.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Saboktakin, Amin; Saboktakin, Mohammad Reza

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  18. 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. PMID:26379777

  19. 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

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

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

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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,…

  3. Productivity improvement handbook for fossil steam power plants. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Armor, A.F.; Wolk, R.H. |

    1998-09-01

    This book is written to help electric generation staff operate their plants more profitably in a competitive environment. Since responsibility for keeping the plant running falls directly on the shoulders of plant personnel, they want to understand what can go wrong, receive information on the current condition of equipment, and fix things when equipment fails or performs poorly. The information in this book is organized so a reader can quickly and easily grasp the current state-of-the-art in maintaining fossil steam units, obtain guidance on specific plant problems, and move ahead with solutions. Many reports and guidelines have been issued on boilers, turbines, generators, heat exchangers, and other plant equipment covering failure modes, causes, fixes, and maintenance practices. Liberal use has been made of these reports to extract the salient recommendations, and the citations and bibliographies acknowledge these sources. The reader is directed to the comprehensive list of reports and papers for further details on specific issues. The scope of this book does not permit a detailed and extensive treatment of each of the hundreds of potential in-plant problems, but does permit the reader to get a first assessment of likely symptoms and modes of failure, and enough information to do something about it. It`s a working handbook for fossil plant staff who are daily faced with protecting the integrity and reliability of the electric generation business.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Process energy efficiency improvement in Wisconsin cheese plants

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-07-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    2003-03-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Cisgenesis strongly improves introgression breeding and induced translocation breeding of plants.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, Evert; Schouten, Henk J

    2007-05-01

    There are two ways for genetic improvement in classical plant breeding: crossing and mutation. Plant varieties can also be improved through genetic modification; however, the present GMO regulations are based on risk assessments with the transgenes coming from non-crossable species. Nowadays, DNA sequence information of crop plants facilitates the isolation of cisgenes, which are genes from crop plants themselves or from crossable species. The increasing number of these isolated genes, and the development of transformation protocols that do not leave marker genes behind, provide an opportunity to improve plant breeding while remaining within the gene pool of the classical breeder. Compared with induced translocation and introgression breeding, cisgenesis is an improvement for gene transfer from crossable plants: it is a one-step gene transfer without linkage drag of other genes, whereas induced translocation and introgression breeding are multiple step gene transfer methods with linkage drag. The similarity of the genes used in cisgenesis compared with classical breeding is a compelling argument to treat cisgenic plants as classically bred plants. In the case of the classical breeding method induced translocation breeding, the insertion site of the genes is a priori unknown, as it is in cisgenesis. This provides another argument to treat cisgenic plants as classically bred plants, by exempting cisgenesis of plants from the GMO legislations.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  4. Using plant canopy temperature to improve irrigated crop management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. 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

  6. Dissection of the genetic architecture underlying the plant density response by mapping plant height-related traits in maize (Zea mays L.).

    PubMed

    Ku, Lixia; Zhang, Liangkun; Tian, Zhiqiang; Guo, Shulei; Su, Huihui; Ren, Zhenzhen; Wang, Zhiyong; Li, Guohui; Wang, Xiaobo; Zhu, Yuguang; Zhou, Jinlong; Chen, Yanhui

    2015-08-01

    Plant height is one of the most heritable traits in maize (Zea mays L.). Understanding the genetic control of plant height is important for elucidating the molecular mechanisms that regulate maize development. To investigate the genetic basis of the plant height response to density in maize, we evaluated the effects of two different plant densities (60,000 and 120,000 plant/hm(2)) on three plant height-related traits (plant height, ear height, and ear height-to-plant height ratio) using four sets of recombinant inbred line populations. The phenotypes observed under the two-plant density treatments indicated that high plant density increased the phenotypic performance values of the three measured traits. Twenty-three quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were detected under the two-plant density treatments, and five QTL clusters were located. Nine QTLs were detected under the low plant density treatment, and seven QTLs were detected under the high plant density treatment. Our results suggested that plant height may be controlled mainly by a common set of genes that could be influenced by additional genetic mechanisms when the plants were grown under high plant density. Fine mapping for genetic regions of the stable QTLs across different plant density environments may provide additional information about their different responses to density. The results presented here provide useful information for further research and will help to reveal the molecular mechanisms related to plant height in response to density.

  7. 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.

  8. Improvement of existing nightsoil treatment plant for nitrogen removal.

    PubMed

    Lim, B S; Kim, J U; Park, H D

    2004-01-01

    This study was performed to increase the treatment efficiency and to reduce operation and maintenance costs of the existing nightsoil treatment plant. The existing nightsoil plant was not established by the nitrogen removal process, and was operated ineffectively with deterioration of treatment efficiency rate, and according to the demand of many operators, the expenses of operation and maintenance have become excessive. Modified plant has been changed through two steps. The first step, liquid decayed tank using closed oxidation ditch is operated to increase retention time only for nitrification. The second step, modified liquid decayed tank including anoxic tank is operated, it has an excellent nitrogen removal rate. In first step, when HRT was increased from 10 days to 13 days in liquid decayed tank including aeration tank using closed oxidation ditch, TN concentration of effluent appeared below 51 mg/L less than discharge limit, 60 mg/L. In second step, when anoxic tank and oxic tank were installed, HRT has been increased to 13 days and 26 days, respectively. Then average TN concentration of effluent was detected less than 13 mg/L for over one year. The simple process modified the existing two processes resulted in the reduction of costs for operation and maintenance in the personnel, chemical, and filter change sphere.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Improved method for the isolation of RNA from plant tissues.

    PubMed

    Logemann, J; Schell, J; Willmitzer, L

    1987-05-15

    A fast and efficient method for the isolation of RNA from plant tissues is described. Tuber tissue is homogenized in a guanidine hydrochloride-containing buffer followed by direct extraction with phenol/chloroform. The RNA is precipitated from the aqueous phase, washed with 3 M sodium acetate and 70% ethanol, and finally dissolved in water. The yield of RNA is up to 500 micrograms/g of tissue and several tests indicate intact and nondegraded RNA. This method can be adapted to a small-scale version by the use of 1.5-ml tubes, allowing rapid isolation of RNA from a larger number of samples. Finally, this method is of particular use for isolating RNA from tissues with a high polysaccharide and nuclease content such as wounded potato tubers. PMID:2441623

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mahler, S.R.; Pendry, D.

    1994-12-31

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

  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. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Lubrication contributes to improved landfill cogeneration plant operation

    SciTech Connect

    1995-10-01

    The Prince George`s county, Maryland, cogeneration plant consists of three lean-burn, 12-cylinder, Waukesha 5790GL turbocharged gas engines, each powering an 850 kW Kato generator. Four Waukesha F1197G engines run gas compressors that draw and compress gas from the landfill, pumping an average of 28000 m{sup 3}/day at 6.2 bar from 29 wells. Landfill gas is 50% methane, 30% carbon dioxide, 10% nitrogen and 10% other gas constituents. These other gas constituents consist of 160 chemical compounds, many of which are very destructive to engines and other equipment. Probably the worst of these are the total organic halide expressed as chloride (TOH/CL), formed from the decomposition of household cleaning preparations and other materials containing chlorides. Landfill gas also contains an abundance of water, which combines not only with the TOH/CLs but with oxides of nitrogen, which are by-products of the combustion process, to form acids. To handle the highly contaminated landfill gas, the Waukesha Engine Division and people from Curtis Engine and Equipment modified the equipment and maintenance practices. One of the first changes was in lubrication. Curtis switched from a standard gas engine oil to Mobile Pegasus 446 oil, an SAE 40 oil that has a total base number (TBN) of 9.5, because of its extended acid-neutralizing capabilities.

  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. 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. PMID:14506877

  1. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Aquatic plant debris improve phosphorus sorption into sediment under anoxic condition.

    PubMed

    Jin, Chong-Wei; Du, Shao-Ting; Dong, Wu-Yuan; Wang, Jue-Hua; Shen, Cheng; Zhang, Yong-Song

    2013-11-01

    The effects of plant debris on phosphorus sorption by anoxic sediment were investigated. Addition of plant debris significantly enhanced the decrease of soluble relative phosphorus (SRP) in overlying water at both 10 and 30 °C during the 30-day investigation. Both cellulose and glucose, two typical plant components, also clearly enhanced the SRP decrease in anoxic overlying water. The measurement of phosphorus (P) fractions in sediment revealed that the levels of unstable P forms were decreased by plant debris addition, whereas the opposites were true for stable P forms. However, under sterilized condition, plant debris/glucose addition has no effect on the SRP decrease in overlying water. Overall, our results suggested that plant debris improve P sorption into sediment under anoxic condition through a microorganism-mediated mechanism. PMID:23686758

  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. Genes from mycoparasitic fungi as a source for improving plant resistance to fungal pathogens.

    PubMed

    Lorito, M; Woo, S L; Garcia, I; Colucci, G; Harman, G E; Pintor-Toro, J A; Filippone, E; Muccifora, S; Lawrence, C B; Zoina, A; Tuzun, S; Scala, F; Fernandez, I G

    1998-07-01

    Disease resistance in transgenic plants has been improved, for the first time, by the insertion of a gene from a biocontrol fungus. The gene encoding a strongly antifungal endochitinase from the mycoparasitic fungus Trichoderma harzianum was transferred to tobacco and potato. High expression levels of the fungal gene were obtained in different plant tissues, which had no visible effect on plant growth and development. Substantial differences in endochitinase activity were detected among transformants. Selected transgenic lines were highly tolerant or completely resistant to the foliar pathogens Alternaria alternata, A. solani, Botrytis cinerea, and the soilborne pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. The high level and the broad spectrum of resistance obtained with a single chitinase gene from Trichoderma overcome the limited efficacy of transgenic expression in plants of chitinase genes from plants and bacteria. These results demonstrate a rich source of genes from biocontrol fungi that can be used to control diseases in plants.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    Park, Yong-Soon; Ryu, Choong-Min

    2016-05-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. PhEXPA1, a Petunia hybrida expansin, is involved in cell wall metabolism and in plant architecture specification.

    PubMed

    Dal Santo, Silvia; Fasoli, Marianna; Cavallini, Erika; Tornielli, Giovanni Battista; Pezzotti, Mario; Zenoni, Sara

    2011-12-01

    Expansins are wall-loosening proteins that induce wall stress relaxation and irreversible wall extension in a pH-dependent manner. Despite a substantial body of work has been performed on the characterization of many expansins genes in different plant species, the knowledge about their precise biological roles during plant development remains scarce. To yield insights into the expansion process in Petunia hybrida, PhEXPA1, an expansin gene preferentially expressed in petal limb, has been characterized. The constitutive overexpression of PhEXPA1 significantly increased expansin activity, cells size and organ dimensions. Moreover, 35S::PhEXPA1 transgenic plants exhibited an altered cell wall polymer composition and a precocious timing of axillary meristem development compared with wild-type plants. These findings supported a previous hypothesis that expansins are not merely structural proteins involved in plant cell wall metabolism but they also take part in many plant development processes. Here, to support this expansins dual role, we discuss about differential cell wall-related genes expressed in PhEXPA1 expression mutants and gradients of altered petunia branching pattern.

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

    PubMed

    Jay Burr, A H; Baldwin, James G

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Jay Burr, A H; Baldwin, James G

    2016-09-01

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

  14. Project Integration Architecture: Application Architecture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, William Henry

    2005-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-05

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    1994-01-21

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

  5. A new CT system architecture for high temporal resolution with applications to improved geometric dose efficiency and sparse sampling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Besson, G. M.

    2015-03-01

    A new scalable CT system architecture is introduced with the potential to achieve much higher temporal resolution than is possible with current CT designs while maintaining the flux per rotation near today's levels. Higher effective rotation speeds can be achieved leveraging today's x-ray tube designs and capabilities. The new CT architecture comprises the following elements: (1) decoupling of the source rotation from the detector rotation through the provision of two independent, coaxial and coplanar rotating gantries (drums); (2) observation of a source at a range of azimuthal angles with respect to a given detector cell; (3) utilization of a multiplicity of x-ray sources; (4) use of a wide-angle iso-centered detector mounted on the independent detector drum; (5) the detector drum presents a wide angular aperture allowing x-rays from the various sources to pass through, with the active detector cells occupying about 240-degrees in one configuration, and the wide aperture the complementary 120-degrees; (6) anti-scatter grids with absorbing lamellas oriented substantially parallel to the main gantry plane; (7) optional sparse view acquisition in "bunches," a unique sparse sampling pattern potentially enabling further data acquisition speed-up for specific applications. Temporal resolution gains are achieved when multiple sources are simultaneously in view of the extended detector. Accurate data acquisition then relies on multiplexing in space, time, or spectra. Thus the use of an energy-discriminating detector, such as a photon-counting detector, and of tube pulsing will be advantageous. Volume-based scatter correction methods have the potential to apply when space multiplexing is used.

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. Green Architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Seung-Ho

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Vogel, K.P.

    2001-01-11

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

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

    PubMed

    Burton, Rachel A; Fincher, Geoffrey B

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Goodman, Richard E; Tetteh, Afua O

    2011-08-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-10-01

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

  15. Improved Method for HPLC Analysis of Polyamines, Agmatine and Aromatic Monoamines in Plant Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Slocum, Robert D.; Flores, Hector E.; Galston, Arthur W.; Weinstein, Leonard H.

    1989-01-01

    The high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method of Flores and Galston (1982 Plant Physiol 69: 701) for the separation and quantitation of benzoylated polyamines in plant tissues has been widely adopted by other workers. However, due to previously unrecognized problems associated with the derivatization of agmatine, this important intermediate in plant polyamine metabolism cannot be quantitated using this method. Also, two polyamines, putrescine and diaminopropane, also are not well resolved using this method. A simple modification of the original HPLC procedure greatly improves the separation and quantitation of these amines, and further allows the simulation analysis of phenethylamine and tyramine, which are major monoamine constituents of tobacco and other plant tissues. We have used this modified HPLC method to characterize amine titers in suspension cultured carrot (Daucus carota L.) cells and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) leaf tissues. Images Figure 4 Figure 5 PMID:11537449

  16. An overview of the US Department of Energy Plant Lifetime Improvement Program

    SciTech Connect

    Moonka, A.K.; Harrison, D.L.

    1995-08-01

    This paper provides a brief summary of the U.S. Department of Energy`s (USDOE`s) cooperative effort with the nuclear industry to develop technology to manage the effects of material degradation in systems, structures and components (SSCs) that impact plant safety or can significantly improve plant performance/economics and to establish and demonstrate the license renewal process. Also included are efforts to reduce decontamination/decommission costs, and reduce the uncertainty in long-term service-life decision making. During 1995, the Plant Lifetime Improvement (PLIM) Program was renamed the Commercial Operating Light Water Reactor (COLWR) Program activities are focused on sustaining the LWR option for domestic electricity generation by supporting operation of existing LWRs as long as they are safe, efficient, and economical. The status of the key projects is discussed in this paper.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    T.F. Trembach; A.G. Klimenko

    2009-07-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-06-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    2002-08-06

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

  7. Architectural Advancements in RELAP5-3D

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. George L. Mesina

    2005-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  9. Biotechnological approach of improving plant salt tolerance using antioxidants as markers.

    PubMed

    Ashraf, M

    2009-01-01

    Salt stress causes multifarious adverse effects in plants. Of them, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a common phenomenon. These ROS are highly reactive because they can interact with a number of cellular molecules and metabolites thereby leading to a number of destructive processes causing cellular damage. Plants possess to a variable extent antioxidant metabolites, enzymes and non-enzymes, that have the ability to detoxify ROS. In the present review, the emphasis of discussion has been on understanding the role of different antioxidants in plants defense against oxidative stress caused by salt stress. The role of different antioxidants as potential selection criteria for improving plant salt tolerance has been critically discussed. With the advances in molecular biology and availability of advanced genetic tools considerable progress has been made in the past two decades in improving salt-induced oxidative stress tolerance in plants by developing transgenic lines with altered levels of antioxidants of different crops. The potential of this approach in counteracting stress-induced oxidative stress has been discussed at length in this review.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Ethylene resistance in flowering ornamental plantsimprovements and future perspectives

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Project Integration Architecture: Architectural Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, William Henry

    2001-01-01

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

  1. 32 CFR 644.486 - Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or similar contracts. 644.486 Section 644.486 National... Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or similar... defined to mean plant equipment which: (1) Is held under a facilities contract of the Department; (2)...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  4. Tilting Plant Metabolism for Improved Metabolite Biosynthesis and Enhanced Human Benefit.

    PubMed

    Ncube, Bhekumthetho; Van Staden, Johannes

    2015-07-13

    The immense chemical diversity of plant-derived secondary metabolites coupled with their vast array of biological functions has seen this group of compounds attract considerable research interest across a range of research disciplines. Medicinal and aromatic plants, in particular, have been exploited for this biogenic pool of phytochemicals for products such as pharmaceuticals, fragrances, dyes, and insecticides, among others. With consumers showing increasing interests in these products, innovative biotechnological techniques are being developed and employed to alter plant secondary metabolism in efforts to improve on the quality and quantity of specific metabolites of interest. This review provides an overview of the biosynthesis for phytochemical compounds with medicinal and other related properties and their associated biological activities. It also provides an insight into how their biosynthesis/biosynthetic pathways have been modified/altered to enhance production.

  5. Metabolic engineering of medicinal plants: transgenic Atropa belladonna with an improved alkaloid composition.

    PubMed Central

    Yun, D J; Hashimoto, T; Yamada, Y

    1992-01-01

    The tropane alkaloid scopolamine is a medicinally important anticholinergic drug present in several solanaceous plants. Hyoscyamine 6 beta-hydroxylase (EC 1.14.11.11) catalyzes the oxidative reactions in the biosynthetic pathway leading from hyoscyamine to scopolamine. We introduced the hydroxylase gene from Hyoscyamus niger under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter into hyoscyamine-rich Atropa belladonna by the use of an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system. A transgenic plant that constitutively and strongly expressed the transgene was selected, first by screening for kanamycin resistance and then by immunoscreening leaf samples with an antibody specific for the hydroxylase. In the primary transformant and its selfed progeny that inherited the transgene, the alkaloid contents of the leaf and stem were almost exclusively scopolamine. Such metabolically engineered plants should prove useful as breeding materials for obtaining improved medicinal components. Images PMID:1465402

  6. Improved Exact Enumerative Algorithms for the Planted (l, d)-Motif Search Problem.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Shunji

    2014-01-01

    In this paper efficient exact algorithms are proposed for the planted ( l, d)-motif search problem. This problem is to find all motifs of length l that are planted in each input string with at most d mismatches. The "quorum" version of this problem is also treated in this paper to find motifs planted not in all input strings but in at least q input strings. The proposed algorithms are based on the previous algorithms called qPMSPruneI and qPMS7 that traverse a search tree starting from a l-length substring of an input string. To improve these previous algorithms, several techniques are introduced, which contribute to reducing the computation time for the traversal. In computational experiments, it will be shown that the proposed algorithms outperform the previous algorithms.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Improvements to the HYLIFE-II inertial fusion power plant design

    SciTech Connect

    Moir, R.W.

    1994-06-01

    If the present research program is successful, heavy-ion beams can be used to ignite targets and to produce high gain for yields of about 350 MJ. HYLIFE-II is a power plant design based on surrounding such targets with thick liquid (Flibe, Li{sub 2}BeF{sub 4}) so that the chamber and other apparatus can not only stand up to these 350 MJ bursts of energy but do so without replacing components during the plant`s 30-year life. The capacity factor will be increased and the cost of component replacement will be decreased. Continuous improvements to the design are being made to increase safety, decrease the generation of radioactive material, and reduce the cost of electricity (COE). Improvements discussed in this paper decreased COE for each effect by the amount in parentheses: increased plant size (22%), increased capacity factor and reduced component replacement (20%), reduced remote maintenance equipment (3.2%), use of nonnuclear grade chamber, pumps and piping (2.9%), reduced tritium inventory by a factor of 2.4, reduced excess tritium production with attendant increase energy release in the blanket (1.8%), corrected treatment of Flibe inventory costs (3.4%).

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

    SciTech Connect

    Chakravarti, B.

    1996-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Alkadi, Nasr E; Kissock, Professor Kelly

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. High irradiance improves ammonium tolerance in wheat plants by increasing N assimilation.

    PubMed

    Setién, Igor; Fuertes-Mendizabal, Teresa; González, Azucena; Aparicio-Tejo, Pedro Ma; González-Murua, Carmen; González-Moro, María Begoña; Estavillo, José María

    2013-05-15

    Ammonium is a paradoxical nutrient ion. Despite being a common intermediate in plant metabolism whose oxidation state eliminates the need for its reduction in the plant cell, as occurs with nitrate, it can also result in toxicity symptoms. Several authors have reported that carbon enrichment in the root zone enhances the synthesis of carbon skeletons and, accordingly, increases the capacity for ammonium assimilation. In this work, we examined the hypothesis that increasing the photosynthetic photon flux density is a way to increase plant ammonium tolerance. Wheat plants were grown in a hydroponic system with two different N sources (10mM nitrate or 10mM ammonium) and with two different light intensity conditions (300 μmol photon m(-2)s(-1) and 700 μmol photon m(-2)s(-1)). The results show that, with respect to biomass yield, photosynthetic rate, shoot:root ratio and the root N isotopic signature, wheat behaves as a sensitive species to ammonium nutrition at the low light intensity, while at the high intensity, its tolerance is improved. This improvement is a consequence of a higher ammonium assimilation rate, as reflected by the higher amounts of amino acids and protein accumulated mainly in the roots, which was supported by higher tricarboxylic acid cycle activity. Glutamate dehydrogenase was a key root enzyme involved in the tolerance to ammonium, while glutamine synthetase activity was low and might not be enough for its assimilation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Architectural Analysis of Dynamically Reconfigurable Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Experimental Architecture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alter, Kevin

    2003-01-01

    Describes the design of the Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology at the University of Manitoba, including the educational context and design goals. Includes building plans and photographs. (EV)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  1. Engineering plastid fatty acid biosynthesis to improve food quality and biofuel production in higher plants.

    PubMed

    Rogalski, Marcelo; Carrer, Helaine

    2011-06-01

    The ability to manipulate plant fatty acid biosynthesis by using new biotechnological approaches has allowed the production of transgenic plants with unusual fatty acid profile and increased oil content. This review focuses on the production of very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLCPUFAs) and the increase in oil content in plants using molecular biology tools. Evidences suggest that regular consumption of food rich in VLCPUFAs has multiple positive health benefits. Alternative sources of these nutritional fatty acids are found in cold-water fishes. However, fish stocks are in severe decline because of decades of overfishing, and also fish oils can be contaminated by the accumulation of toxic compounds. Recently, there is also an increase in oilseed use for the production of biofuels. This tendency is partly associated with the rapidly rising costs of petroleum, increased concern about the environmental impact of fossil oil and the attractive need to develop renewable sources of fuel. In contrast to this scenario, oil derived from crop plants is normally contaminant free and less environmentally aggressive. Genetic engineering of the plastid genome (plastome) offers a number of attractive advantages, including high-level foreign protein expression, marker-gene excision and transgene containment because of maternal inheritance of plastid genome in most crops. Here, we describe the possibility to improve fatty acid biosynthesis in plastids, production of new fatty acids and increase their content in plants by genetic engineering of plastid fatty acid biosynthesis via plastid transformation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-15

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

  15. Exogenous treatments with phytohormones can improve growth and nickel yield of hyperaccumulating plants.

    PubMed

    Cabello-Conejo, M I; Prieto-Fernández, A; Kidd, P S

    2014-10-01

    The application of plant growth regulators (PGRs) or phytohormones could be an interesting option for stimulating biomass production of hyperaccumulating plants and, consequently, their metal phytoextraction capacity. The effect of exogenous applications of phytohormones (PGR) on the Ni phytoextraction capacity of four Ni hyperaccumulating species (Alyssum corsicum, Alyssum malacitanum, Alyssum murale and Noccaea goesingense) was evaluated. Four different commercially available phytohormones (B, C, K and P) based on gibberellins, cytokinins and auxins were applied to the plant aerial tissues. Each product was applied at three different concentrations (B1-3, C1-3, K1-3 and P1-3). The effect on biomass production was dependent on the species, the PGR type and the concentration at which it was applied. Two of the four products (K and P) consistently increased biomass production compared to untreated control plants in all four plant species. On the other hand, all four products led to a significant increase in the number of branches (and leaves in the case of N. goesingense) of all four species compared to control plants. Application of phytohormones generally led to a reduction in shoot Ni concentration. Nonetheless, in some cases as a consequence of the increase observed in biomass after the application of phytohormones a significant increase in the Ni phytoextraction efficiency was also observed (but this was species- and PGR type-dependent). The results show that PGRs can be successfully used to improve the growth and biomass production of hyperaccumulating species such as Alyssum and Noccaea. However, an increase in biomass did not always lead to a higher Ni removal, and the most effective PGR for increasing Ni removal was the IAA-based product. PMID:25016589

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Over-expression of an S-domain receptor-like kinase extracellular domain improves panicle architecture and grain yield in rice

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Xiaohua; Qin, Zhengrui; Zhang, Chunyu; Liu, Bin; Liu, Jun; Zhang, Chengsheng; Lin, Chentao; Li, Hongyu; Zhao, Tao

    2015-01-01

    The S-domain receptor kinase (SRK) comprises a highly polymorphic subfamily of receptor-like kinases (RLKs) originally found to be involved in the self-incompatibility response in Brassica. Although several members have been identified to play roles in developmental control and disease responses, the correlation between SRKs and yield components in rice is still unclear. The utility of transgenic expression of a dominant negative form of SRK, OsLSK1 (Large spike S-domain receptor like Kinase 1), is reported here for the improvement of grain yield components in rice. OsLSK1 was highly expressed in nodes of rice and is a plasma membrane protein. The expression of OsLSK1 responded to the exogenous application of growth hormones, to abiotic stresses, and its extracellular domain could form homodimers or heterodimers with other related SRKs. Over-expression of a truncated version of OsLSK1 (including the extracellular and transmembrane domain of OsLSK1 without the intracellular kinase domain) increased plant height and improve yield components, including primary branches per panicle and grains per primary branch, resulting in about a 55.8% increase of the total grain yield per plot (10 plants). Transcriptional analysis indicated that several key genes involved in the GA biosynthetic and signalling pathway were up-regulated in transgenic plants. However, full-length cDNA over-expression and RNAi of OsLSK1 transgenic plants did not exhibit a detectable visual phenotype and possible reasons for this were discussed. These results indicate that OsLSK1 may act redundantly with its homologues to affect yield traits in rice and manipulation of OsLSK1 by the dominant negative method is a practicable strategy to improve grain yield in rice and other crops. PMID:26428067

  20. Improving intercropping: a synthesis of research in agronomy, plant physiology and ecology.

    PubMed

    Brooker, Rob W; Bennett, Alison E; Cong, Wen-Feng; Daniell, Tim J; George, Timothy S; Hallett, Paul D; Hawes, Cathy; Iannetta, Pietro P M; Jones, Hamlyn G; Karley, Alison J; Li, Long; McKenzie, Blair M; Pakeman, Robin J; Paterson, Eric; Schöb, Christian; Shen, Jianbo; Squire, Geoff; Watson, Christine A; Zhang, Chaochun; Zhang, Fusuo; Zhang, Junling; White, Philip J

    2015-04-01

    Intercropping is a farming practice involving two or more crop species, or genotypes, growing together and coexisting for a time. On the fringes of modern intensive agriculture, intercropping is important in many subsistence or low-input/resource-limited agricultural systems. By allowing genuine yield gains without increased inputs, or greater stability of yield with decreased inputs, intercropping could be one route to delivering ‘sustainable intensification’. We discuss how recent knowledge from agronomy, plant physiology and ecology can be combined with the aim of improving intercropping systems. Recent advances in agronomy and plant physiology include better understanding of the mechanisms of interactions between crop genotypes and species – for example, enhanced resource availability through niche complementarity. Ecological advances include better understanding of the context-dependency of interactions, the mechanisms behind disease and pest avoidance, the links between above- and below-ground systems, and the role of microtopographic variation in coexistence. This improved understanding can guide approaches for improving intercropping systems, including breeding crops for intercropping. Although such advances can help to improve intercropping systems, we suggest that other topics also need addressing. These include better assessment of the wider benefits of intercropping in terms of multiple ecosystem services, collaboration with agricultural engineering, and more effective interdisciplinary research.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahgere, Avinash; Panchore, Meena; Singh, Jawar

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-05-01

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

  11. A novel architecture based upon multi-walled carbon nanotubes and ionic liquid to improve the electroanalytical detection of ciprofibrate.

    PubMed

    Vicentini, Fernando Campanhã; Elisa Ravanini, Amanda; Silva, Tiago Almeida; Janegitz, Bruno C; Zucolotto, Valtencir; Fatibello-Filho, Orlando

    2014-08-21

    Voltammetric studies have been carried out using a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) modified with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and the ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (IL). Studies on the electrochemical properties of GCEs modified with MWCNTs and IL within different polymeric films (dihexadecylphosphate (DHP), Nafion, and chitosan (CTS)) were performed using a [Fe(CN)6](4-/3-) electrochemical probe. The modified GCE with different polymeric films was also tested for ciprofibrate (CPF) sensing in the presence and absence of IL in the film. The presence of IL and the MWCNTs improved the electrochemical response for CPF in all cases due to a synergic effect, and the IL-MWCNTs-DHP/GCE showed a great voltammetric profile for CPF detection. The IL-MWCNTs-DHP/GCE and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) were used for the determination of CPF. An analytical curve was obtained for CPF in the concentration range of 2.50 × 10(-7) to 7.41 × 10(-6) mol L(-1) with a detection limit of 9.20 × 10(-8) mol L(-1). The proposed DPV method was successfully applied for CPF determination in pharmaceutical samples, and the results obtained agree with the results obtained using a spectrophotometric method at a confidence level of 95%.

  12. IAIMS Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Hripcsak, George

    1997-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yu, John Z; Ulloa, Mauricio; Hoffman, Steven M; Kohel, Russell J; Pepper, Alan E; Fang, David D; Percy, Richard G; Burke, John J

    2014-12-01

    A quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping was conducted to better understand the genetic control of plant architecture (PA), yield components (YC), and fiber properties (FP) in the two cultivated tetraploid species of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. and G. barbadense L.). One hundred and fifty-nine genomic regions were identified on a saturated genetic map of more than 2,500 SSR and SNP markers, constructed with an interspecific recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from the genetic standards of the respective cotton species (G. hirsutum acc. TM-1 × G. barbadense acc. 3-79). Using the single nonparametric and MQM QTL model mapping procedures, we detected 428 putative loci in the 159 genomic regions that confer 24 cotton traits in three diverse production environments [College Station F&B Road (FB), TX; Brazos Bottom (BB), TX; and Shafter (SH), CA]. These putative QTL loci included 25 loci for PA, 60 for YC, and 343 for FP, of which 3, 12, and 60, respectively, were strongly associated with the traits (LOD score ≥ 3.0). Approximately 17.7 % of the PA putative QTL, 32.9 % of the YC QTL, and 48.3 % of the FP QTL had trait associations under multiple environments. The At subgenome (chromosomes 1-13) contributed 72.7 % of loci for PA, 46.2 % for YC, and 50.4 % for FP while the Dt subgenome (chromosomes 14-26) contributed 27.3 % of loci for PA, 53.8 % for YC, and 49.6 % for FP. The data obtained from this study augment prior evidence of QTL clusters or gene islands for specific traits or biological functions existing in several non-homoeologous cotton chromosomes. DNA markers identified in the 159 genomic regions will facilitate further dissection of genetic factors underlying these important traits and marker-assisted selection in cotton.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-17

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Quantifying relationships between snow cover duration and plant community properties remains an important challenge in alpine ecology. This study develops a method to estimate spatial variation in energy availability in the context of a topographically complex, high-elevation watershed, which was used to test the explanatory power of environmental gradients both with and without snow cover in relation to taxonomic and functional plant diversity. Methods Snow cover in the French Alps was mapped at 15-m resolution using Landsat imagery for five recent years, and a generalized additive model (GAM) was fitted for each year linking snow to time and topography. Predicted snow cover maps were combined with air temperature and solar radiation data at daily resolution, summed for each year and averaged across years. Equivalent growing season energy gradients were also estimated without accounting for snow cover duration. Relationships were tested between environmental gradients and diversity metrics measured for 100 plots, including species richness, community-weighted mean traits, functional diversity and hyperspectral estimates of canopy chlorophyll content. Key Results Accounting for snow cover in environmental variables consistently led to improved predictive power as well as more ecologically meaningful characterizations of plant diversity. Model parameters differed significantly when fitted with and without snow cover. Filtering solar radiation with snow as compared without led to an average gain in R2 of 0·26 and reversed slope direction to more intuitive relationships for several diversity metrics. Conclusions The results show that in alpine environments high-resolution data on snow cover duration are pivotal for capturing the spatial heterogeneity of both taxonomic and functional diversity. The use of climate variables without consideration of snow cover can lead to erroneous predictions of plant diversity. The results further indicate that

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  6. Information systems definition architecture

    SciTech Connect

    Calapristi, A.J.

    1996-06-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  8. Class Architecture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crosbie, Michael J.

    This compendium contains more than 40 schools that show new directions in design and the changing demands on this building type. It discusses the design challenges in new schools and how each one of the projects meets the demands of an architecture for learning. An introduction by architect Raymond Bordwell explains many of the trends in new…

  9. Architectural Tops

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mahoney, Ellen

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Architectural Drafting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Ronald; Yancey, Bruce

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

  11. Architectural Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levenson, Harold E.; Hurni, Andre

    1978-01-01

    Suggests building models as a way to reinforce and enhance related subjects such as architectural drafting, structural carpentry, etc., and discusses time, materials, scales, tools or equipment needed, how to achieve realistic special effects, and the types of projects that can be built (model of complete building, a panoramic model, and model…

  12. Using a plant hormone and a thioligand to improve phytoremediation of Hg-contaminated soil from a petrochemical plant.

    PubMed

    Cassina, L; Tassi, E; Pedron, F; Petruzzelli, G; Ambrosini, P; Barbafieri, M

    2012-09-15

    Mercury-contaminated soils from a petrochemical plant in southern Italy were investigated to assess the phytoextraction efficiency of crop plants treated with the phytohormone, cytokinine (CK foliar treatment), and with the thioligand, ammonium thiosulfate (TS, soil application). Plant biomass, evapotranspiration, Hg uptake and distribution in plant tissues following treatment were compared. Results indicate the effectiveness of CK in increasing plant biomass and the evapotranspiration rate while TS treatment promoted soil Hg solubility and availability. The simultaneous addition of CK and TS treatments increased Hg uptake and translocation in both tested plants with up to 248 and 232% in Brassica juncea (Indian mustard) and Helianthus annuus (sunflower) respectively. B. juncea was more effective in Hg uptake, whereas H. annuus gave better response regarding plant biomass production. The effectiveness of the treatments was confirmed by the calculation of Hg phytoextraction and evaluation of labile-Hg residue in the soil after plant growth. In one growing cycle the plants subject to simultaneous CK and TS treatment significantly reduced labile-Hg pools that were characterized by the soil sequential extraction, but did not significantly affect the pseudototal metal content in the soil. Results support the use of plant growth regulators in the assisted phytoextraction process for Hg-contaminated soils.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  15. 32 CFR 644.486 - Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or similar contracts. 644.486 Section 644.486 National... Disposal of buildings and improvements constructed under emergency plant facilities (EPF) or similar contracts. Procedure for the disposal of property constructed under a facilities contract on lands...

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

    DOEpatents

    Melis, Anastasios; Mitra, Mautusi

    2010-06-29

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    2010-06-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  19. Osmotin-expressing transgenic tea plants have improved stress tolerance and are of higher quality.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Amita; Saini, Uksha; Joshi, Robin; Kaur, Devinder; Pal, Awadhesh Kumar; Kumar, Nitish; Gulati, Ashu; Mohanpuria, Prashant; Yadav, Sudesh Kumar; Kumar, Sanjay; Ahuja, Paramvir Singh

    2014-04-01

    Drought is a major stress that affects the yield and quality of tea, a widely consumed beverage crop grown in more than 20 countries of the world. Therefore, osmotin gene-expressing transgenic tea plants produced using earlier optimized conditions were evaluated for their tolerance of drought stress and their quality. Improved tolerance of polyethylene glycol-induced water stress and faster recovery from stress were evident in transgenic lines compared with the normal phenotype. Significant improvements in growth under in-vitro conditions were also observed. Besides enhanced reactive oxygen species-scavenging enzyme activity, the transgenic lines contained significantly higher levels of flavan-3-ols and caffeine, key compounds that govern quality and commercial yield of the beverage. The selected transgenic lines have the potential to meet the demands of the tea industry for stress-tolerant plants with higher yield and quality. These traits of the transgenic lines can be effectively maintained for generations because tea is commercially cultivated through vegetative propagation only.

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

    SciTech Connect

    JOE,J.

    2007-07-08

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Germain, Shawn

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Waltz, J.P.

    1996-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-07-01

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

  12. Gibberellin-producing Promicromonospora sp. SE188 improves Solanum lycopersicum plant growth and influences endogenous plant hormones.

    PubMed

    Kang, Sang-Mo; Khan, Abdul Latif; Hamayun, Muhammad; Hussain, Javid; Joo, Gil-Jae; You, Young-Hyun; Kim, Jong-Guk; Lee, In-Jung

    2012-12-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) producing gibberellins (GAs) can be beneficial to plant growth and development. In the present study, we isolated and screened a new strain of Promicromonospora sp., SE188, isolated from soil. Promicromonospora sp. SE188 secreted GAs into its growth medium and exhibited phosphate solubilization potential. The PGPR produced physiologically active (GA(1) and GA(4)) and inactive (GA(9), GA(12), GA(19), GA(20), GA(24), GA(34), and GA(53)) GAs in various quantities detected by GC/MS-SIM. Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) plants inoculated with Promicromonospora sp. SE188 showed a significantly higher shoot length and biomass as compared to controls where PGPR-free nutrient broth (NB) and distilled water (DW) were applied to plants. The presence of Promicromonospora sp. SE188 significantly up-regulated the non C-13 hydroxylation GA biosynthesis pathway (GA(12)→GA(24)→GA(9)→GA(4)→ GA(34)) in the tomato plants as compared to the NB and DW control plants. Abscisic acid, a plant stress hormone, was significantly down-regulated in the presence of Promicromonospora sp. SE188. Contrarily, salicylic acid was significantly higher in the tomato plant after Promicromonospora sp. SE188 inoculation as compared to the controls. Promicromonospora sp. SE188 showed promising stimulation of tomato plant growth. From the results it appears that Promicromonospora sp. SE188 has potential as a bio-fertilizer and should be more broadly tested in field trials for higher crop production in eco-friendly farming systems.

  13. Gibberellin-producing Promicromonospora sp. SE188 improves Solanum lycopersicum plant growth and influences endogenous plant hormones.

    PubMed

    Kang, Sang-Mo; Khan, Abdul Latif; Hamayun, Muhammad; Hussain, Javid; Joo, Gil-Jae; You, Young-Hyun; Kim, Jong-Guk; Lee, In-Jung

    2012-12-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) producing gibberellins (GAs) can be beneficial to plant growth and development. In the present study, we isolated and screened a new strain of Promicromonospora sp., SE188, isolated from soil. Promicromonospora sp. SE188 secreted GAs into its growth medium and exhibited phosphate solubilization potential. The PGPR produced physiologically active (GA(1) and GA(4)) and inactive (GA(9), GA(12), GA(19), GA(20), GA(24), GA(34), and GA(53)) GAs in various quantities detected by GC/MS-SIM. Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) plants inoculated with Promicromonospora sp. SE188 showed a significantly higher shoot length and biomass as compared to controls where PGPR-free nutrient broth (NB) and distilled water (DW) were applied to plants. The presence of Promicromonospora sp. SE188 significantly up-regulated the non C-13 hydroxylation GA biosynthesis pathway (GA(12)→GA(24)→GA(9)→GA(4)→ GA(34)) in the tomato plants as compared to the NB and DW control plants. Abscisic acid, a plant stress hormone, was significantly down-regulated in the presence of Promicromonospora sp. SE188. Contrarily, salicylic acid was significantly higher in the tomato plant after Promicromonospora sp. SE188 inoculation as compared to the controls. Promicromonospora sp. SE188 showed promising stimulation of tomato plant growth. From the results it appears that Promicromonospora sp. SE188 has potential as a bio-fertilizer and should be more broadly tested in field trials for higher crop production in eco-friendly farming systems. PMID:23274975

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-11-20

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Regulation of inflorescence architecture by cytokinins.

    PubMed

    Han, Yingying; Yang, Haibian; Jiao, Yuling

    2014-01-01

    In flowering plants, the arrangement of flowers on a stem becomes an inflorescence, and a huge variety of inflorescence architecture occurs in nature. Inflorescence architecture also affects crop yield. In simple inflorescences, flowers form on a main stem; by contrast, in compound inflorescences, flowers form on branched stems and the branching pattern defines the architecture of the inflorescence. In this review, we highlight recent findings on the regulation of inflorescence architecture by cytokinin plant hormones. Results in rice (Oryza sativa) and Arabidopsis thaliana show that although these two species have distinct inflorescence architectures, cytokinins have a common effect on inflorescence branching. Based on these studies, we discuss how cytokinins regulate distinct types of inflorescence architecture through their effect on meristem activities.

  18. Eukaryotic class II cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer photolyase structure reveals basis for improved ultraviolet tolerance in plants.

    PubMed

    Hitomi, Kenichi; Arvai, Andrew S; Yamamoto, Junpei; Hitomi, Chiharu; Teranishi, Mika; Hirouchi, Tokuhisa; Yamamoto, Kazuo; Iwai, Shigenori; Tainer, John A; Hidema, Jun; Getzoff, Elizabeth D

    2012-04-01

    Ozone depletion increases terrestrial solar ultraviolet B (UV-B; 280-315 nm) radiation, intensifying the risks plants face from DNA damage, especially covalent cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD). Without efficient repair, UV-B destroys genetic integrity, but plant breeding creates rice cultivars with more robust photolyase (PHR) DNA repair activity as an environmental adaptation. So improved strains of Oryza sativa (rice), the staple food for Asia, have expanded rice cultivation worldwide. Efficient light-driven PHR enzymes restore normal pyrimidines to UV-damaged DNA by using blue light via flavin adenine dinucleotide to break pyrimidine dimers. Eukaryotes duplicated the photolyase gene, producing PHRs that gained functions and adopted activities that are distinct from those of prokaryotic PHRs yet are incompletely understood. Many multicellular organisms have two types of PHR: (6-4) PHR, which structurally resembles bacterial CPD PHRs but recognizes different substrates, and Class II CPD PHR, which is remarkably dissimilar in sequence from bacterial PHRs despite their common substrate. To understand the enigmatic DNA repair mechanisms of PHRs in eukaryotic cells, we determined the first crystal structure of a eukaryotic Class II CPD PHR from the rice cultivar Sasanishiki. Our 1.7 Å resolution PHR structure reveals structure-activity relationships in Class II PHRs and tuning for enhanced UV tolerance in plants. Structural comparisons with prokaryotic Class I CPD PHRs identified differences in the binding site for UV-damaged DNA substrate. Convergent evolution of both flavin hydrogen bonding and a Trp electron transfer pathway establish these as critical functional features for PHRs. These results provide a paradigm for light-dependent DNA repair in higher organisms. PMID:22170053

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

    PubMed

    Pollastri, Susanna; Tsonev, Tsonko; Loreto, Francesco

    2014-04-01

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

  20. Improving power plant efficiency and safety through better knowledge of flow-rates: The EDF approach

    SciTech Connect

    Piguet, M.

    1998-07-01

    The flow-rate is an important parameter in power plant operation for both performance and safety purposes. As an example, in nuclear and fossil power plants, the uncertainty concerning thermal and electrical powers is directly connected to the uncertainty of the feedwater flow. In real conditions, the flow-rate is often incorrectly determined due to various phenomena among which are incorrect installation conditions, wrong calibrations and drift, erosion or fouling of the flowmeters. These phenomena may lead to systematic errors which can represent several percents of the measured value and which can induce a critical loss of profit. This paper presents the strategy and means of EDF's R and D Division to improve actual accuracy of flowmeters used in power plants. The experimental approach has always been an efficient way to investigate and make a diagnosis of real situations. The EVEREST loop is a dedicated rig within EDF for the study of liquid flow metering problems. It enables to calibrate industrial flowmeters, evaluate prototypes and study the specific installation conditions of flowmeters. It is often noticed that flowmeters do not respect the standards in terms of straight lengths upstream from the meter. A practical example (1,300 MW unit feedwater flow) illustrates the possibility the EVEREST loop offers to reproduce the geometry of the hydraulic circuit and flow conditions. The impact of the actual installation conditions on the flowmeter accuracy can be thus determined and the flowmeter can be possibly recalibrated in order to reduce or correct a systematic bias. The EDF tool is presented with examples of accuracy and experimental and numerical modeling.

  1. Recognizing critical mine spoil health characteristics to design biochars for site improvement to promote stabilizing plant growth

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biochar can be used as an amendment to remediate metal-contaminated mine spoils for improved site phytostabilization. For successful phytostabilization to occur, biochar amendments must improve mine spoil health with respect to plant rooting plus uptake of water and nutrients. ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaczmarek, Adam L.

    2015-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vila, Francisca; Sanz, Amparo

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Richard E. Waryasz; Gregory N. Liljedahl

    2004-09-08

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

  6. Optimizing municipal wastewater treatment plants using an improved multi-objective optimization method.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Rui; Xie, Wen-Ming; Yu, Han-Qing; Li, Wen-Wei

    2014-04-01

    An improved multi-objective optimization (MOO) model was established and used for simultaneously optimizing the treatment cost and multiple effluent quality indexes (including effluent COD, NH4(+)-N, NO3(-)-N) of a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Compared with previous models that were mainly based on the use of fixed decision factors and did not taken into account the treatment cost, this model introduces a relationship model based on back propagation algorithm to determine the set of decision factors according to the expected optimization targets. Thus, a more flexible and precise optimization of the treatment process was allowed. Moreover, a MOO of conflicting objectives (i.e., treatment cost and effluent quality) was achieved. Applying this method, an optimal balance between operating cost and effluent quality of a WWTP can be found. This model may offer a useful tool for optimized design and control of practical WWTPs.

  7. Silicon alleviates drought stress of rice plants by improving plant water status, photosynthesis and mineral nutrient absorption.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei; Yao, Xiaoqin; Cai, Kunzheng; Chen, Jining

    2011-07-01

    Drought is a major constraint for rice production in the rainfed lowlands in China. Silicon (Si) has been verified to play an important role in enhancing plant resistance to environmental stress. Two near-isogenic lines of rice (Oryza sativa L.), w-14 (drought susceptible) and w-20 (drought resistant), were selected to study the effects of exogenous Si application on the physiological traits and nutritional status of rice under drought stress. In wet conditions, Si supply had no effects on growth and physiological parameters of rice plants. Drought stress was found to reduce dry weight, root traits, water potential, photosynthetic parameters, basal quantum yield (F(v)/F(0)), and maximum quantum efficiency of PSII photochemistry (F(v)/F(m)) in rice plants, while Si application significantly increased photosynthetic rate (Pr), transpiration rate (Tr), F(v)/F(0), and F(v)/F(m) of rice plants under drought stress. In addition, water stress increased K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe conte