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Sample records for improves plant architecture

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

    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...

  2. Shaping plant architecture

    PubMed Central

    Teichmann, Thomas; Muhr, Merlin

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Kernel methods for phenotyping complex plant architecture.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-07

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

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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…

  8. TCP transcription factors: architectures of plant form.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  9. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ricks, Kenneth G.; Wells, B. Earl

    1998-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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 switch in plant photosynthetic membranes induced by light stress.

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-04

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

  17. 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

  18. Plant growth and architectural modelling and its applications

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. ADP1 Affects Plant Architecture by Regulating Local Auxin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Architecture and evolution of a minute plant genome

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Improved Data Acquisition Architecture for an LLC Converter

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    receives the read/write command and clock data from the FPGA and sends converted digital data to the FPGA. For efficient processing , we recommend the...data from the FPGA and sends converted digital data to the FPGA. For efficient processing , we recommend the use of the ADS1000, since the FPGA and...Improved signal processing architecture (from [1]). .........................................1 Figure 2. An LLC converter implemented on a custom PCB (from

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  4. Benefits of hosted payload architectures for improved GEO SSA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Frye, M J; Hough-Goldstein, J

    2013-10-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  12. [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.

  13. Foliage Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolverton, B. C.

    1988-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hamant, Olivier

    2013-10-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. Leveraging Small Satellite Mission Architectures to Improve Science Return

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lightsey, E.

    2012-12-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Aaron H.; Walsh, Tiffany R.

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-01

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

  11. 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

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  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.; ...

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Migault, Vincent; Pallas, Benoît; Costes, Evelyne

    2017-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Method to improve drought tolerance in plants

    DOEpatents

    Schroeder, Julian I.; Kwak, June Myoung

    2003-10-21

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Improving pumping system efficiency at coal plants

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-03-15

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

  3. Root Traits and Phenotyping Strategies for Plant Improvement.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-15

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Improving the efficacy of plant polyphenols.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Urbach, Jonathan M.; Ausubel, Frederick M.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Urbach, Jonathan M; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2017-01-31

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

  12. Improved Economics of Nuclear Plant Life Management

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-07-31

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-08

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-23

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Computer control improves ethylene plant operation

    SciTech Connect

    Whitehead, B.D.; Parnis, M.

    1987-11-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    2000-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-21

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mahapatra, P.; Zitney, S.

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Ambreen; Hasnain, Shahida

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Improving the environmental sustainability of a waste processing plant

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, Tom; Watson, Stuart

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Grusak, Michael A

    2002-10-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-20

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

  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. Improving the Energy Efficiency of Pumped-Storage Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    2001-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Improving Nutritional Quality of Plant Proteins Through Genetic Engineering

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-11

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-24

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, A.

    1992-12-31

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Basu, A.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-24

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

  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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-09

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Tomcal, Michael; Stiffler, Nicholas; Barkan, Alice

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-09

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

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Domozych, David S

    2014-11-18

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. RETRAN analyses for improving plant procedures and operator training

    SciTech Connect

    Broughton, T.G.; Trikouros, N.G.

    1983-05-01

    The technical quality of procedures governing integrated nuclear power plant operation is influenced by knowledge of system, component, and operator interactions. This knowledge includes, in part, operating plant data and realistic simulations of plant operation. This same information can be used to develop training materials for teaching plant dynamic response to plant operators and engineering staffs. Realistic simulations of plant performance have been used to supplement existing plant data or to provide data where none existed. The simulations may cover events with durations in hours and may be required to consider unique plant conditions including actual core physics conditions, valve leakage, and auxiliary steam loads. In addition, it should be possible for the simulation to account for operator interaction and to provide the information operators would have available through plant instrumentation. Simulations using the RETRAN computer code have been used in the development of procedures and training materials. Procedure applications have included development and validation of general control philosophy and establishment of specific test conditions and setpoints. Training applications include development of materials for teaching general plant response, specific plant response during tests, and analysis of plant performance.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Root system architecture: opportunities and constraints for genetic improvement of crops.

    PubMed

    de Dorlodot, Sophie; Forster, Brian; Pagès, Loïc; Price, Adam; Tuberosa, Roberto; Draye, Xavier

    2007-10-01

    Abiotic stresses increasingly curtail crop yield as a result of global climate change and scarcity of water and nutrients. One way to minimize the negative impact of these factors on yield is to manipulate root system architecture (RSA) towards a distribution of roots in the soil that optimizes water and nutrient uptake. It is now established that most of the genetic variation for RSA is driven by a suite of quantitative trait loci. As we discuss here, marker-assisted selection and quantitative trait loci cloning for RSA are underway, exploiting genomic resources, candidate genes and the knowledge gained from Arabidopsis, rice and other crops. Nonetheless, efficient and accurate phenotyping, modelling and collaboration with breeders remain important challenges, particularly when defining ideal RSA for different crops and target environments.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2003-02-01

    In 2000, The Visteon automotive glass plant improved its compressed air system at its automotive glass plant in Nashville, Tennessee. This improvement allowed Visteon to save $711,000 annually, reduce annual energy consumption by 7.9 million kilowatt-hours, reduce maintenance, improve system performance, and avoid $800,000 in asbestos abatement costs.

  12. Designing a Clinical Data Warehouse Architecture to Support Quality Improvement Initiatives

    PubMed Central

    Chelico, John D.; Wilcox, Adam B.; Vawdrey, David K.; Kuperman, Gilad J.

    2016-01-01

    Clinical data warehouses, initially directed towards clinical research or financial analyses, are evolving to support quality improvement efforts, and must now address the quality improvement life cycle. In addition, data that are needed for quality improvement often do not reside in a single database, requiring easier methods to query data across multiple disparate sources. We created a virtual data warehouse at NewYork Presbyterian Hospital that allowed us to bring together data from several source systems throughout the organization. We also created a framework to match the maturity of a data request in the quality improvement life cycle to proper tools needed for each request. As projects progress in the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control stages of quality improvement, there is a proper matching of resources the data needs at each step. We describe the analysis and design creating a robust model for applying clinical data warehousing to quality improvement. PMID:28269833

  13. Designing a Clinical Data Warehouse Architecture to Support Quality Improvement Initiatives.

    PubMed

    Chelico, John D; Wilcox, Adam B; Vawdrey, David K; Kuperman, Gilad J

    2016-01-01

    Clinical data warehouses, initially directed towards clinical research or financial analyses, are evolving to support quality improvement efforts, and must now address the quality improvement life cycle. In addition, data that are needed for quality improvement often do not reside in a single database, requiring easier methods to query data across multiple disparate sources. We created a virtual data warehouse at NewYork Presbyterian Hospital that allowed us to bring together data from several source systems throughout the organization. We also created a framework to match the maturity of a data request in the quality improvement life cycle to proper tools needed for each request. As projects progress in the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control stages of quality improvement, there is a proper matching of resources the data needs at each step. We describe the analysis and design creating a robust model for applying clinical data warehousing to quality improvement.

  14. Genetic Modification for Improving Seed Vigor Is Transitioning from Model Plants to Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiaolin; Ning, Fen; Hu, Xiuli; Wang, Wei

    2017-01-01

    Although seed vigor is a complex physiological trait controlled by quantitative trait loci, technological advances in the laboratory are being translated into applications for enhancing seed vigor in crop plants. In this article, we summarize and discuss pioneering work in the genetic modification of seed vigor, especially through the over-expression of protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT, EC 2.1.1.77) in seeds. The impressive success in improving rice seed vigor through the over-expression of PIMT provides a valuable reference for engineering high-vigor seeds for crop production. In recent decades, numerous genes/proteins associated with seed vigor have been identified. It is hoped that such potential candidates may be used in the development of genetically edited crops for a high and stable yield potential in crop production. This possibility is very valuable in the context of a changing climate and increasing world population. PMID:28149305

  15. 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

  16. Micronutrient fortification of plants through plant breeding: can it improve nutrition in man at low cost?

    PubMed

    Bouis, Howarth E

    2003-05-01

    Can commonly-eaten food staple crops be developed that fortify their seeds with essential minerals and vitamins? Can farmers be induced to grow such varieties? If so, would this result in a marked improvement in human nutrition at a lower cost than existing nutrition interventions? An interdisciplinary international effort is underway to breed for mineral- and vitamin-dense varieties of rice, wheat, maize, beans and cassava for release to farmers in developing countries. The biofortification strategy seeks to take advantage of the consistent daily consumption of large amounts of food staples by all family members, including women and children as they are most at risk for micronutrient malnutrition. As a consequence of the predominance of food staples in the diets of the poor, this strategy implicitly targets low-income households. After the one-time investment is made to develop seeds that fortify themselves, recurrent costs are low and germplasm may be shared internationally. It is this multiplier aspect of plant breeding across time and distance that makes it so cost-effective. Once in place, the biofortified crop system is highly sustainable. Nutritionally-improved varieties will continue to be grown and consumed year after year, even if government attention and international funding for micronutrient issues fades. Biofortification provides a truly feasible means of reaching malnourished populations in relatively remote rural areas, delivering naturally-fortified foods to population groups with limited access to commercially-marketed fortified foods that are more readily available in urban areas. Biofortification and commercial fortification are, therefore, highly complementary. Breeding for higher trace mineral density in seeds will not incur a yield penalty. Mineral-packed seeds sell themselves to farmers because, as recent research has shown, these trace minerals are essential in helping plants resist disease and other environmental stresses. More seedlings

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

    PubMed Central

    Oppenheim, Sara J.; Gould, Fred; Hopper, Keith R.

    2012-01-01

    We used genetic mapping to examine the genetic architecture of differences in host plant use between two species of noctuid moths, Heliothis subflexa, a specialist on Physalis spp., and its close relative, the broad generalist H. virescens. We introgressed H. subflexa chromosomes into the H. virescens background and analyzed 1,462 backcross insects. The effects of H. subflexa-origin chromosomes were small when measured as the percent variation explained in backcross populations (0.2 to 5%), but were larger when considered in relation to the interspecific difference explained (1.5 to 165%). Most significant chromosomes had effects on more than one trait, and their effects varied between years, sexes, and genetic backgrounds. Different chromosomes could produce similar phenotypes, suggesting that the same trait might be controlled by different chromosomes in different backcross populations. It appears that many loci of small effect contribute to the use of Physalis by H. subflexa. We hypothesize that behavioral changes may have paved the way for physiological adaptation to Physalis by the generalist ancestor of H. subflexa and H. virescens. PMID:23106701

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Use of a Transition Probability/Markov Approach to Improve Geostatistical of Facies Architecture

    SciTech Connect

    Carle, S.F.

    2000-11-01

    Facies may account for the largest permeability contrasts within the reservoir model at the scale relevant to production. Conditional simulation of the spatial distribution of facies is one of the most important components of building a reservoir model. Geostatistical techniques are widely used to produce realistic and geologically plausible realizations of facies architecture. However, there are two stumbling blocks to the traditional indicator variogram-based approaches: (1) intensive data sets are needed to develop models of spatial variability by empirical curve-fitting to sample indicator (cross-) variograms and to implement ''post-processing'' simulation algorithms; and (2) the prevalent ''sequential indicator simulation'' (SIS) methods do not accurately produce patterns of spatial variability for systems with three or more facies (Seifert and Jensen, 1999). This paper demonstrates an alternative transition probability/Markov approach that emphasizes: (1) Conceptual understanding of the parameters of the spatial variability model, so that geologic insight can support and enhance model development when data are sparse. (2) Mathematical rigor, so that the ''coregionalization'' model (including the spatial cross-correlations) obeys probability law. (3) Consideration of spatial cross-correlation, so that juxtapositional tendencies--how frequently one facies tends to occur adjacent to another facies--are honored.

  1. Rejuvenation of facial skin and improvement in the dermal architecture by transplantation of autologous stromal vascular fraction: a clinical study

    PubMed Central

    Amirkhani, Mohammad Amir; Shoae-Hassani, Alireza; Soleimani, Masoud; Hejazi, Somayeh; Ghalichi, Leila; Nilforoushzadeh, Mohammad Ali

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: The rejuvenation characteristics of fat tissue grafting has been established for many years. Recently it has been shown that stromal vascular fraction (SVF) of fat tissue contributes to its rejuvenation properties. As the SVF is a minimal processed cell population (based on FDA guidance), therefore it is a suitable cell therapy for skin rejuvenation. This clinical trial was aimed to evaluate the ultrastructural improvement of aging skin in the facial nasolabial region after transplantation of autologous SVF. Methods: Our study was conducted in 16 patients aged between 38 and 56 years old that were interested in face lifting at first. All of the cases underwent the lipoaspiration procedure from the abdomen for sampling of fat tissue. Quickly, the SVF was harvested from 100 mL of harvested fat tissue and then transplanted at dose of 2.0×107 nucleated cells in each nasolabial fold. The changes in the skin were evaluated using Visioface scanner, skin-scanner DUB, Visioline, and Cutometer with multi probe adopter. Results: By administration of autologous SVF, the elasticity and density of skin were improved significantly. There were no changes in the epidermis density in scanner results, but we noticed a significant increase in the dermis density and also its thickness with enrichment in the vascular bed of the hypodermis. The score of Visioface scanner showed slight changes in wrinkle scores. The endothelial cells and mesenchymal progenitors from the SVF were found to chang the architecture of the skin slightly, but there was not obvious phenotypic changes in the nasolabial grooves. Conclusion: The current clinical trial showed the modification of dermis region and its microvascular bed, but no changes in the density of the epidermis. Our data represent the rejuvenation process of facial skin by improving the dermal architecture. PMID:27853678

  2. CIB: An Improved Communication Architecture for Real-Time Monitoring of Aerospace Materials, Instruments, and Sensors on the ISS

    PubMed Central

    Krasowski, Michael J.; Prokop, Norman F.; Flatico, Joseph M.; Greer, Lawrence C.; Jenkins, Phillip P.; Neudeck, Philip G.; Chen, Liangyu; Spina, Danny C.

    2013-01-01

    The Communications Interface Board (CIB) is an improved communications architecture that was demonstrated on the International Space Station (ISS). ISS communication interfaces allowing for real-time telemetry and health monitoring require a significant amount of development. The CIB simplifies the communications interface to the ISS for real-time health monitoring, telemetry, and control of resident sensors or experiments. With a simpler interface available to the telemetry bus, more sensors or experiments may be flown. The CIB accomplishes this by acting as a bridge between the ISS MIL-STD-1553 low-rate telemetry (LRT) bus and the sensors allowing for two-way command and telemetry data transfer. The CIB was designed to be highly reliable and radiation hard for an extended flight in low Earth orbit (LEO) and has been proven with over 40 months of flight operation on the outside of ISS supporting two sets of flight experiments. Since the CIB is currently operating in flight on the ISS, recent results of operations will be provided. Additionally, as a vehicle health monitoring enabling technology, an overview and results from two experiments enabled by the CIB will be provided. Future applications for vehicle health monitoring utilizing the CIB architecture will also be discussed. PMID:23983621

  3. CIB: an improved communication architecture for real-time monitoring of aerospace materials, instruments, and sensors on the ISS.

    PubMed

    Krasowski, Michael J; Prokop, Norman F; Flatico, Joseph M; Greer, Lawrence C; Jenkins, Phillip P; Neudeck, Philip G; Chen, Liangyu; Spina, Danny C

    2013-01-01

    The Communications Interface Board (CIB) is an improved communications architecture that was demonstrated on the International Space Station (ISS). ISS communication interfaces allowing for real-time telemetry and health monitoring require a significant amount of development. The CIB simplifies the communications interface to the ISS for real-time health monitoring, telemetry, and control of resident sensors or experiments. With a simpler interface available to the telemetry bus, more sensors or experiments may be flown. The CIB accomplishes this by acting as a bridge between the ISS MIL-STD-1553 low-rate telemetry (LRT) bus and the sensors allowing for two-way command and telemetry data transfer. The CIB was designed to be highly reliable and radiation hard for an extended flight in low Earth orbit (LEO) and has been proven with over 40 months of flight operation on the outside of ISS supporting two sets of flight experiments. Since the CIB is currently operating in flight on the ISS, recent results of operations will be provided. Additionally, as a vehicle health monitoring enabling technology, an overview and results from two experiments enabled by the CIB will be provided. Future applications for vehicle health monitoring utilizing the CIB architecture will also be discussed.

  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. Genetic Architecture of Flowering Phenology in Cereals and Opportunities for Crop Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Camilla B.; Li, Chengdao

    2016-01-01

    Cereal crop species including bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), and maize (Zea mays L.) provide the bulk of human nutrition and agricultural products for industrial use. These four cereals are central to meet future demands of food supply for an increasing world population under a changing climate. A prerequisite for cereal crop production is the transition from vegetative to reproductive and grain-filling phases starting with flower initiation, a key developmental switch tightly regulated in all flowering plants. Although studies in the dicotyledonous model plant Arabidopsis thaliana build the foundations of our current understanding of plant phenology genes and regulation, the availability of genome assemblies with high-confidence sequences for rice, maize, and more recently bread wheat and barley, now allow the identification of phenology-associated gene orthologs in monocots. Together with recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies, QTL analysis, mutagenesis, complementation analysis, and RNA interference, many phenology genes have been functionally characterized in cereal crops and conserved as well as functionally divergent genes involved in flowering were found. Epigenetic and other molecular regulatory mechanisms that respond to environmental and endogenous triggers create an enormous plasticity in flowering behavior among cereal crops to ensure flowering is only induced under optimal conditions. In this review, we provide a summary of recent discoveries of flowering time regulators with an emphasis on four cereal crop species (bread wheat, barley, rice, and maize), in particular, crop-specific regulatory mechanisms and genes. In addition, pleiotropic effects on agronomically important traits such as grain yield, impact on adaptation to new growing environments and conditions, genetic sequence-based selection and targeted manipulation of phenology genes, as well as crop growth simulation

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. NERI Project 99-119. A New Paradigm for Automatic Development of Highly Reliable Control Architectures for Nuclear Power Plants. Phase-2 Progress Report

    SciTech Connect

    March-Leuba, JA

    2002-01-15

    This report describes the tasks performed and the progress made during Phase 2 of the DOE-NERI project number 99-119 entitled Automatic Development of Highly Reliable Control Architecture for Future Nuclear Power Plants. This project is a collaboration effort between the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and the North Carolina State University (NCSU). ORNL is the lead organization and is responsible for the coordination and integration of all work.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Nitric Oxide Improves Internal Iron Availability in Plants1

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Gohil, Krutika; Hahne, Anja; Beste, Christian

    2016-06-20

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

  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 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.

  2. Spatial HARDI: Improved Visualization of Complex White Matter Architecture with Bayesian Spatial Regularization

    PubMed Central

    Raj, Ashish; Hess, Christopher; Mukherjee, Pratik

    2010-01-01

    Imaging of water diffusion using magnetic resonance imaging has become an important noninvasive method for probing the white matter connectivity of the human brain for scientific and clinical studies. Current methods such as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) such as q-ball imaging, and diffusion spectrum imaging (DSI), are limited by low spatial resolution, long scan times, and low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). These methods fundamentally perform reconstruction on a voxel-by-voxel level, effectively discarding the natural coherence of the data at different points in space. This paper attempts to overcome these tradeoffs by using spatial information to constrain the reconstruction from raw diffusion MRI data, and thereby improve angular resolution and noise tolerance. Spatial constraints are specified in terms of a prior probability distribution, which is then incorporated in a Bayesian reconstruction formulation. By taking the log of the resulting posterior distribution, optimal Bayesian reconstruction is reduced to a cost minimization problem. The minimization is solved using a new iterative algorithm based on successive least squares quadratic descent. Simulation studies and in vivo results are presented which indicate significant gains in terms of higher angular resolution of diffusion orientation distribution functions, better separation of crossing fibers, and improved reconstruction SNR over the same HARDI method, spherical harmonic q-ball imaging, without spatial regularization. Preliminary data also indicate that the proposed method might be better at maintaining accurate ODFs for smaller numbers of diffusion-weighted acquisition directions (hence faster scans) compared to conventional methods. Possible impacts of this work include improved evaluation of white matter microstructural integrity in regions of crossing fibers and higher spatial and angular resolution for more accurate tractography. PMID:20670684

  3. Texas plant retrofit improves throughput, C{sub 2} recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Lynch, J.T.; Pitman, R.N.

    1996-06-03

    GPM Gas Co.`s Goldsmith (Ector Co., Tex.) plant was recently converted from a nominal 90% ethane recovery and 86 MMscfd design capacity two-stage expansion process to a 95% ethane recovery and 135 MMscfd capacity. The project used the Gas Subcooled Process (GSP) design of Ortloff Engineers Ltd., Midland, Tex. The conversion required modification of existing expanders and chillers and addition of a plate-fin exchanger, an absorber column, and a set of pumps. Time from project approval through start-up was 5 months. NGL production was interrupted for 10 days while the plant was down for tie-ins and checkout. Plant throughput was compression-limited to operation at 130 MMscfd through late 1995. Compression to allow throughput of greater than 130 MMscfd was operational in late 1995. The demethanizer column and six of nine heat exchangers were reused in the Ortloff process retrofit. The demethanizer internals were changed out in 1995 in anticipation of higher throughput with the new compression. The two expanders were modified for parallel expander and booster compressor operation. Expander replacement was unnecessary. Similar retrofits of other GPM plants using GSP are currently under study.

  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. Improved genome assembly of American alligator genome reveals conserved architecture of estrogen signaling.

    PubMed

    Rice, Edward S; Kohno, Satomi; John, John St; Pham, Son; Howard, Jonathan; Lareau, Liana F; O'Connell, Brendan L; Hickey, Glenn; Armstrong, Joel; Deran, Alden; Fiddes, Ian; Platt, Roy N; Gresham, Cathy; McCarthy, Fiona; Kern, Colin; Haan, David; Phan, Tan; Schmidt, Carl; Sanford, Jeremy R; Ray, David A; Paten, Benedict; Guillette, Louis J; Green, Richard E

    2017-01-30

    The American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, like all crocodilians, has temperature-dependent sex determination, in which the sex of an embryo is determined by the incubation temperature of the egg during a critical period of development. The lack of genetic differences between male and female alligators leaves open the question of how the genes responsible for sex determination and differentiation are regulated. Insight into this question comes from the fact that exposing an embryo incubated at male-producing temperature to estrogen causes it to develop ovaries. Because estrogen response elements are known to regulate genes over long distances, a contiguous genome assembly is crucial for predicting and understanding their impact. We present an improved assembly of the American alligator genome, scaffolded with in vitro proximity ligation (Chicago) data. We use this assembly to scaffold two other crocodilian genomes based on synteny. We perform RNA sequencing of tissues from American alligator embryos to find genes that are differentially expressed between embryos incubated at male- versus female-producing temperature. Finally, we use the improved contiguity of our assembly along with the current model of CTCF-mediated chromatin looping to predict regions of the genome likely to contain estrogen-responsive genes. We find that these regions are significantly enriched for genes with female-biased expression in developing gonads after the critical period during which sex is determined by incubation temperature. We thus conclude that estrogen signaling is a major driver of female-biased gene expression in the post-temperature sensitive period gonads.

  6. 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.

  7. Understanding plant response to nitrogen limitation for the improvement of crop nitrogen use efficiency.

    PubMed

    Kant, Surya; Bi, Yong-Mei; Rothstein, Steven J

    2011-02-01

    Development of genetic varieties with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is essential for sustainable agriculture. Generally, NUE can be divided into two parts. First, assimilation efficiency involves nitrogen (N) uptake and assimilation and second utilization efficiency involves N remobilization. Understanding the mechanisms regulating these processes is crucial for the improvement of NUE in crop plants. One important approach is to develop an understanding of the plant response to different N regimes, especially to N limitation, using various methods including transcription profiling, analysing mutants defective in their normal response to N limitation, and studying plants that show better growth under N-limiting conditions. One can then attempt to improve NUE in crop plants using the knowledge gained from these studies. There are several potential genetic and molecular approaches for the improvement of crop NUE discussed in this review. Increased knowledge of how plants respond to different N levels as well as to other environmental conditions is required to achieve this.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) Prevented the Progression of Renovascular Hypertension, Improved Renal Function and Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira-Sales, Elizabeth B.; Maquigussa, Edgar; Semedo, Patricia; Pereira, Luciana G.; Ferreira, Vanessa M.; Câmara, Niels O.; Bergamaschi, Cassia T.; Campos, Ruy R.; Boim, Mirian A.

    2013-01-01

    Renovascular hypertension induced by 2 Kidney-1 Clip (2K-1C) is a renin-angiotensin-system (RAS)-dependent model, leading to renal vascular rarefaction and renal failure. RAS inhibitors are not able to reduce arterial pressure (AP) and/or preserve the renal function, and thus, alternative therapies are needed. Three weeks after left renal artery occlusion, fluorescently tagged mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) (2×105 cells/animal) were injected weekly into the tail vein in 2K-1C hypertensive rats. Flow cytometry showed labeled MSC in the cortex and medulla of the clipped kidney. MSC prevented a further increase in the AP, significantly reduced proteinuria and decreased sympathetic hyperactivity in 2K-1C rats. Renal function parameters were unchanged, except for an increase in urinary volume observed in 2K-1C rats, which was not corrected by MSC. The treatment improved the morphology and decreased the fibrotic areas in the clipped kidney and also significantly reduced renal vascular rarefaction typical of 2K-1C model. Expression levels of IL-1β, TNF-α angiotensinogen, ACE, and Ang II receptor AT1 were elevated, whereas AT2 levels were decreased in the medulla of the clipped kidney. MSC normalized these expression levels. In conclusion, MSC therapy in the 2K-1C model (i) prevented the progressive increase of AP, (ii) improved renal morphology and microvascular rarefaction, (iii) reduced fibrosis, proteinuria and inflammatory cytokines, (iv) suppressed the intrarenal RAS, iv) decreased sympathetic hyperactivity in anesthetized animals and v) MSC were detected at the CNS suggesting that the cells crossed the blood-brain barrier. This therapy may be a promising strategy to treat renovascular hypertension and its renal consequences in the near future. PMID:24223811

  11. Melatonin acutely improves the neuroendocrine architecture of sleep in blind individuals.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Stefan; Smolnik, Rüdiger; Herms, Markus; Born, Jan; Fehm, Horst L

    2003-11-01

    In blind individuals, the absence of light cues results in disturbances of sleep and sleep-related neuroendocrine patterns. The Zeitgeber influence of light on the timing of sleep is assumed to be mediated by melatonin, a hormone of the pineal gland, whose secretion is inhibited by light and enhanced during darkness. Here, we investigated whether a single administration of melatonin improves sleep and associated neuroendocrine patterns in blind individuals. In a double-blind crossover study, 12 totally blind subjects received 5 mg melatonin and placebo orally 1 h before bedtime starting at 2300 h. The dose used enhanced blood melatonin concentrations to clearly supraphysiological levels. Melatonin increased total sleep time and sleep efficiency (P < 0.05, respectively) and reduced time awake (P < 0.05). The increment in total sleep time was primarily due to an increase in stage 2 sleep (P < 0.01) and a slight increase in rapid eye movement sleep (P < 0.06). Most important, melatonin normalized in parallel the temporal pattern of ACTH and cortisol plasma concentration. While after placebo, ACTH and cortisol levels did not differ between early and late sleep, melatonin induced the typical suppression of pituitary-adrenal activity during early sleep and a distinct rise during late sleep (P < 0.01, respectively). Cortisol nadir values were also decreased after melatonin (P < 0.05). We conclude from these data that in totally blind individuals the single administration of a clearly pharmacological dose of melatonin can improve sleep function by synchronizing in time the inhibition of pituitary-adrenal activity with central nervous sleep processes.

  12. 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.

  13. An improved quantitative analysis method for plant cortical microtubules.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Physics and computer architecture informed improvements to the Implicit Monte Carlo method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Alex Roberts

    The Implicit Monte Carlo (IMC) method has been a standard method for thermal radiative transfer for the past 40 years. In this time, the hydrodynamics methods that are coupled to IMC have evolved and improved, as have the supercomputers used to run large simulations with IMC. Several modern hydrodynamics methods use unstructured non-orthogonal meshes and high-order spatial discretizations. The IMC method has been used primarily with simple Cartesian meshes and always has a first order spatial discretization. Supercomputers are now made up of compute nodes that have a large number of cores. Current IMC parallel methods have significant problems with load imbalance. To utilize many core systems, algorithms must move beyond simple spatial decomposition parallel algorithms. To make IMC better suited for large scale multiphysics simulations in high energy density physics, new spatial discretizations and parallel strategies are needed. Several modifications are made to the IMC method to facilitate running on node-centered, unstructured tetrahedral meshes. These modifications produce results that converge to the expected solution under mesh refinement. A new finite element IMC method is also explored on these meshes, which offer a simulation runtime benefit but does not perform correctly in the diffusion limit. A parallel algorithm that utilizes on-node parallelism and respects memory hierarchies is studied. This method scales almost linearly when using physical cores on a node and benefits from multiple threads per core. A multi-compute node algorithm for domain decomposed IMC that passes mesh data instead of particles is explored as a means to solve load balance issues. This method scales better than the particle passing method on highly scattering problems with short time steps.

  15. 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,…

  16. Forward genetic screening for the improved production of fermentable sugars from plant biomass.

    PubMed

    Stamatiou, George; Vidaurre, Danielle P; Shim, Isaac; Tang, Xurong; Moeder, Wolfgang; Bonetta, Dario; McCourt, Peter

    2013-01-01

    With their unique metabolism and the potential to produce large amounts of biomass, plants are an excellent bio-energy feedstock for a variety of industrial purposes. Here we developed a high-throughput strategy, using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, to identify mutants with improved sugar release from plant biomass. Molecular analysis indicates a variety of processes including starch degradation, cell wall composition and polar transport of the plant hormone auxin can contribute to this improved saccharification. To demonstrate translatability, polar auxin transport in maize was either genetically or chemical inhibited and this also resulted in increased sugar release from plant tissues. Our forward genetic approach using Arabidopsis not only uncovers new functions that contribute to cell wall integrity but also demonstrates that information gleaned from this genetic model can be directly translated to monocotyledonous crops such as maize to improve sugar extractability from biomass.

  17. Plant plasma membrane proteomics for improving cold tolerance.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Daisuke; Li, Bin; Nakayama, Takato; Kawamura, Yukio; Uemura, Matsuo

    2013-01-01

    Plants are always exposed to various stresses. We have focused on freezing stress, which causes serious problems for agricultural management. When plants suffer freeze-induced damage, the plasma membrane is thought to be the primary site of injury because of its central role in regulation of various cellular processes. Cold tolerant species, however, adapt to such freezing conditions by modifying cellular components and functions (cold acclimation). One of the most important adaptation mechanisms to freezing is alteration of plasma membrane compositions and functions. Advanced proteomic technologies have succeeded in identification of many candidates that may play roles in adaptation of the plasma membrane to freezing stress. Proteomics results suggest that adaptations of plasma membrane functions to low temperature are associated with alterations of protein compositions during cold acclimation. Some of proteins identified by proteomic approaches have been verified their functional roles in freezing tolerance mechanisms further. Thus, accumulation of proteomic results in the plasma membrane is of importance for application to molecular breeding efforts to increase cold tolerance in crops.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Relative rates of evolution among the three genetic compartments of the red alga Porphyra differ from those of green plants and do not correlate with genome architecture.

    PubMed

    Smith, David R; Hua, Jimeng; Lee, Robert W; Keeling, Patrick J

    2012-10-01

    In photosynthetic eukaryotes, relative silent-site nucleotide substitution rates (which can be used to approximate relative mutation rates) among mitochondrial, plastid, and nuclear genomes (mtDNAs, ptDNAs, and nucDNAs) are estimated to be 1:3:10 respectively for seed plants and roughly equal for green algae. These estimates correlate with certain genome characteristics, such as size and coding density, and have therefore been taken to support a relationship between mutation rate and genome architecture. Plants and green algae, however, represent a small fraction of the major eukaryotic plastid-bearing lineages. Here, we investigate relative rates of mutation within the model red algal genus Porphyra. In contrast to plants, we find that the levels of silent-site divergence between the Porphyra purpurea and Porphyra umbilicalis mtDNAs are three times that of their ptDNAs and five times that of their nucDNAs. Moreover, relative mutation rates do not correlate with genome architecture: despite an estimated three-fold difference in their mutation rate, the mitochondrial and plastid genome coding densities are equivalent - an observation that extends to organisms with secondary red algal plastids. These findings are supported by within-species silent-site polymorphism data from P. purpurea.

  20. Manipulating plant geometry to improve microclimate, grain yield, and harvest index in grain sorghum

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Bob A.; Xue, Qingwu; Chen, Yuanquan

    2017-01-01

    Cultivar selection, planting geometry, and plant population are the key factors determining grain sorghum yields in water deficit areas. The objective of this study was to investigate whether clump geometry (three plants clustered) improves microclimate within crop canopy when plants are grown under varying water levels. In a 2-yr sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) greenhouse study, plants were grown at two geometries (clump and conventional evenly spaced planting, ESP), two water levels (high and low, representing well-watered and water-limited condition, respectively), and three soil surface treatments (lid covered, straw-mulched, and bare). Air temperature and relative humidity (RH) within the plant canopy were measured every five minutes at different growth stages. Mean vapor pressure deficits (VPDs) within the clumps were consistently lower than those for ESPs, indicating that clumps improved the microclimate. Clumps had significantly higher harvest index (HI) compared to ESPs (0.48 vs. 0.43), which was largely due to clumps having an average of 0.4 tillers per plant compared to 1.2 tillers per plant for ESPs. Grain yield in the current study was similar between clumps and ESPs. However, our results suggest that improved microclimate was likely a reason for clumps producing significantly higher grain yields compared to ESPs in previous studies. PMID:28264051

  1. Architectural improvements and 28 nm FPGA implementation of the APEnet+ 3D Torus network for hybrid HPC systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ammendola, Roberto; Biagioni, Andrea; Frezza, Ottorino; Lo Cicero, Francesca; Stanislao Paolucci, Pier; Lonardo, Alessandro; Rossetti, Davide; Simula, Francesco; Tosoratto, Laura; Vicini, Piero

    2014-06-01

    Modern Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are now considered accelerators for general purpose computation. A tight interaction between the GPU and the interconnection network is the strategy to express the full potential on capability computing of a multi-GPU system on large HPC clusters; that is the reason why an efficient and scalable interconnect is a key technology to finally deliver GPUs for scientific HPC. In this paper we show the latest architectural and performance improvement of the APEnet+ network fabric, a FPGA-based PCIe board with 6 fully bidirectional off-board links with 34 Gbps of raw bandwidth per direction, and X8 Gen2 bandwidth towards the host PC. The board implements a Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) protocol that leverages upon peer-to-peer (P2P) capabilities of Fermi- and Kepler-class NVIDIA GPUs to obtain real zero-copy, low-latency GPU-to-GPU transfers. Finally, we report on the development activities for 2013 focusing on the adoption of the latest generation 28 nm FPGAs and the preliminary tests performed on this new platform.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Digital Architecture Planning Model

    SciTech Connect

    Oxstrand, Johanna Helene; Al Rashdan, Ahmad Yahya Mohammad; Bly, Aaron Douglas; Rice, Brandon Charles; Fitzgerald, Kirk; Wilson, Keith Leon

    2016-03-01

    As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program, the Digital Architecture (DA) Project focuses on providing a model that nuclear utilities can refer to when planning deployment of advanced technologies. The digital architecture planning model (DAPM) is the methodology for mapping power plant operational and support activities into a DA that unifies all data sources needed by the utilities to operate their plants. The DA is defined as a collection of information technology capabilities needed to support and integrate a wide spectrum of real-time digital capabilities for performance improvements of nuclear power plants. DA can be thought of as integration of the separate instrumentation and control and information systems already in place in nuclear power plants, which are brought together for the purpose of creating new levels of automation in plant work activities. A major objective in DAPM development was to survey all key areas that needed to be reviewed in order for a utility to make knowledgeable decisions regarding needs and plans to implement a DA at the plant. The development was done in two steps. First, researchers surveyed the nuclear industry in order to learn their near-term plans for adopting new advanced capabilities and implementing a network (i.e., wireless and wire) infrastructure throughout the plant, including the power block. Secondly, a literature review covering regulatory documents, industry standards, and technical research reports and articles was conducted. The objective of the review was to identify key areas to be covered by the DAPM, which included the following: 1. The need for a DA and its benefits to the plant 2. Resources required to implement the DA 3. Challenges that need to be addressed and resolved to implement the DA 4. Roles and responsibilities of the DA implementation plan. The DAPM was developed based on results from the survey and the literature review. Model development, including

  7. Regulation of Na+ and K+ homeostasis in plants: towards improved salt stress tolerance in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Diego M; Oliveira, M Margarida; Saibo, Nelson J M

    2017-03-27

    Soil salinity is a major abiotic stress that results in considerable crop yield losses worldwide. However, some plant genotypes show a high tolerance to soil salinity, as they manage to maintain a high K+/Na+ ratio in the cytosol, in contrast to salt stress susceptible genotypes. Although, different plant genotypes show different salt tolerance mechanisms, they all rely on the regulation and function of K+ and Na+ transporters and H+ pumps, which generate the driving force for K+ and Na+ transport. In this review we will introduce salt stress responses in plants and summarize the current knowledge about the most important ion transporters that facilitate intra- and intercellular K+ and Na+ homeostasis in these organisms. We will describe and discuss the regulation and function of the H+-ATPases, H+-PPases, SOS1, HKTs, and NHXs, including the specific tissues where they work and their response to salt stress.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Transcription co-activator Arabidopsis ANGUSTIFOLIA3 (AN3) regulates water-use efficiency and drought tolerance by modulating stomatal density and improving root architecture by the transrepression of YODA (YDA).

    PubMed

    Meng, Lai-Sheng; Yao, Shun-Qiao

    2015-09-01

    One goal of modern agriculture is the improvement of plant drought tolerance and water-use efficiency (WUE). Although stomatal density has been linked to WUE, the causal molecular mechanisms and engineered alternations of this relationship are not yet fully understood. Moreover, YODA (YDA), which is a MAPKK kinase gene, negatively regulates stomatal development. BR-INSENSITIVE 2 interacts with phosphorylates and inhibits YDA. However, whether YDA is modulated in the transcriptional level is still unclear. Plants lacking ANGUSTIFOLIA3 (AN3) activity have high drought stress tolerance because of low stomatal densities and improved root architecture. Such plants also exhibit enhanced WUE through declining transpiration without a demonstrable reduction in biomass accumulation. AN3 negatively regulated YDA expression at the transcriptional level by target-gene analysis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis indicated that AN3 was associated with a region of the YDA promoter in vivo. YDA mutation significantly decreased the stomatal density and root length of an3 mutant, thus proving the participation of YDA in an3 drought tolerance and WUE enhancement. These components form an AN3-YDA complex, which allows the integration of water deficit stress signalling into the production or spacing of stomata and cell proliferation, thus leading to drought tolerance and enhanced WUE.

  13. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Park, Yong-Soon; Ryu, Choong-Min

    2016-05-03

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

  15. 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

  16. Performance improvements resulting from implementation of an ISO 14001 environmental management system at a utility plant

    SciTech Connect

    Borofka, B.P.

    1999-07-01

    Wisconsin Electric Power Company (WE) has realized both internal performance improvements and received external recognition for its efforts in implementing an environmental management system (EMS) at its Presque Isle Power Plant in Marquette, Michigan. Located on the shores of Lake Superior and surrounded by water on three sides, the plant was acquired by WE in 1988. Operation of the plant was under contract with the previous owner, utilizing the existing plant staff. Beginning in 1995, WE embarked on a series of environmental audits followed by numerous environmental policy and practice improvements, coupled with an extensive training program. The activities eventually resulted in the core components of a formal environmental management system (EMS) modeled on ISO 14001. Implementation of the EMS components has resulted in the continued improvement of specific environmental performance parameters, several of which are part of an overall balanced business scorecard. The balanced business scorecard, a corporate performance metric, is directly linked to individual employee compensation. Specific improvements at the Presque Isle Power Plant include, (1) reduced number of exceedances, (2) reduced generation of hazardous wastes, (3) improved collection and reduction on non-hazardous solid wastes, (4) improved employee training rates and overall awareness, (5) improved pollution prevention and waste minimization program goals, and (6) reduced assistance from external staff. The plant has received a Clean Corporate Citizen (C3) designation from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, has become a member of the Michigan Business Pollution Prevention Program (MBP3), and has been recognized for its efforts by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The plant's activities are now used as an internal model by other facilities.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. MicroRNA156: A Potential Graft-Transmissible MicroRNA That Modulates Plant Architecture and Tuberization in Solanum tuberosum ssp. andigena1[C][W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Bhogale, Sneha; Mahajan, Ameya S.; Natarajan, Bhavani; Rajabhoj, Mohit; Thulasiram, Hirekodathakallu V.; Banerjee, Anjan K.

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNA156 (miR156) functions in maintaining the juvenile phase in plants. However, the mobility of this microRNA has not been demonstrated. So far, only three microRNAs, miR399, miR395, and miR172, have been shown to be mobile. We demonstrate here that miR156 is a potential graft-transmissible signal that affects plant architecture and tuberization in potato (Solanum tuberosum). Under tuber-noninductive (long-day) conditions, miR156 shows higher abundance in leaves and stems, whereas an increase in abundance of miR156 has been observed in stolons under tuber-inductive (short-day) conditions, indicative of a photoperiodic control. Detection of miR156 in phloem cells of wild-type plants and mobility assays in heterografts suggest that miR156 is a graft-transmissible signal. This movement was correlated with changes in leaf morphology and longer trichomes in leaves. Overexpression of miR156 in potato caused a drastic phenotype resulting in altered plant architecture and reduced tuber yield. miR156 overexpression plants also exhibited altered levels of cytokinin and strigolactone along with increased levels of LONELY GUY1 and StCyclin D3.1 transcripts as compared with wild-type plants. RNA ligase-mediated rapid amplification of complementary DNA ends analysis validated SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING-LIKE3 (StSPL3), StSPL6, StSPL9, StSPL13, and StLIGULELESS1 as targets of miR156. Gel-shift assays indicate the regulation of miR172 by miR156 through StSPL9. miR156-resistant SPL9 overexpression lines exhibited increased miR172 levels under a short-day photoperiod, supporting miR172 regulation via the miR156-SPL9 module. Overall, our results strongly suggest that miR156 is a phloem-mobile signal regulating potato development. PMID:24351688

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

    SciTech Connect

    March-Leuba, J.A.

    2000-08-29

    This report describes the tasks performed and the progress made during Phase 1 of the DOE-NERI project number 99-119 entitled ''Automatic Development of Highly Reliable Control Architecture for Future Nuclear Power Plants''. This project is a collaboration effort between the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL,) The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and the North Carolina State University (NCSU). ORNL is the lead organization and is responsible for the coordination and integration of all work. This research focuses on the development of methods for automated generation of control systems that can be traced directly to the design requirements for the life of the plant. Our final goal is to ''capture'' the design requirements inside a ''control engine'' during the design phase. This control engine is, then, not only capable of designing automatically the initial implementation of the control system, but it also can confirm that the original design requirements are still met during the life of the plant as conditions change. This control engine captures the high-level requirements and stress factors that the control system must survive (e.g. a list of transients, or a requirement to withstand a single failure). The control engine, then, is able to generate automatically the control-system algorithms and parameters that optimize a design goal and satisfy all requirements. As conditions change during the life of the plant (e.g. component degradation, or subsystem failures) the control engine automatically ''flags'' that a requirement is not satisfied, and it can even suggest a modified configuration that would satisfy it. This control engine concept is shown schematically in Fig. 1. The implementation of this ''control-engine'' design methodology requires the following steps, which are described in detail in the attachments to this report: (1) Selection of Design Requirements Related to Control System Performance; (2) Implementation of Requirements in

  2. Improved Construction and Project Management for Future Nuclear Power Plants - Westinghouse Perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Matzie, Regis A.

    2002-07-01

    The economic competitiveness of future nuclear power plants is the key issue to the expansion of this vital technology. The challenge is greater today than it has been because of the worldwide trend of deregulation of the power market. Deregulation favors smaller investments with shorter payback times. However, the key economic parameter is the power generation cost and its competitiveness to other sources of electric generation, principally natural gas and coal. The relative competitiveness of these three fuel types today is largely dictated by the availability of domestic sources of both fuel and technology infrastructure. The competitiveness of new nuclear power plants can be improved in any power market environment first by the features of the design itself, second by the approach to construction, and finally by the project structure used to implement the plant, or more importantly, a series of plants. These three aspects form the cornerstone to a successful resurgence of new nuclear power plant construction. (author)

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Sánchez; Domingo; Torrecillas; Pérez-Pastor

    2000-07-28

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

  6. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from New Caledonian ultramafic soils improve tolerance to nickel of endemic plant species.

    PubMed

    Amir, Hamid; Lagrange, Alexandre; Hassaïne, Nadine; Cavaloc, Yvon

    2013-10-01

    In order to improve knowledge about the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in the tolerance to heavy metals in ultramafic soils, the present study investigated the influence of two Glomus etunicatum isolates from New Caledonian ultramafic maquis (shrubland), on nickel tolerance of a model plant species Sorghum vulgare, and of two ultramafic endemic plant species, Alphitonia neocaledonica and Cloezia artensis. In a first step, plants were grown in a greenhouse, on sand with defined concentrations of Ni, to appreciate the effects of the two isolates on the alleviation of Ni toxicity in controlled conditions. In a second step, the influence of the AMF on A. neocaledonica and C. artensis plants grown in a New Caledonian ultramafic soil rich in extractable nickel was investigated. Ni reduced mycorrhizal colonization and sporulation of the fungal isolates, but the symbionts increased plant growth and adaptation of endemic plant species to ultramafic conditions. One of the two G. etunicatum isolates showed a stronger positive effect on plant biomass and phosphorus uptake, and a greater reduction in toxicity symptoms and Ni concentration in roots and shoots. The symbionts seemed to act as a barrier to the absorption of Ni by the plant and reduced root-to-shoot Ni translocation. Results indicate the potential of selected native AMF isolates from ultramafic areas for ecological restoration of such degraded ecosystems.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Hybrid-Cut: An Improved Sectioning Method for Recalcitrant Plant Tissue Samples

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Su-Chiung; Lien, Yi-Chen; Yang, Ting-Ting; Ko, Swee-Suak

    2016-01-01

    Maintaining plant section integrity is essential for studying detailed anatomical structures at the cellular, tissue, or even organ level. However, some plant cells have rigid cell walls, tough fibers and crystals(calcium oxalate, silica, etc.), and high water content that often disrupt tissue integrity during plant tissue sectioning. This study establishes a simple Hybrid-Cut tissue sectioning method. This protocol modifies a paraffin-based sectioning technique and improves the integrity of tissue sections from different plants. Plant tissues were embedded in paraffin before sectioning in a cryostat at -16 °C. Sectioning under low temperature hardened the paraffin blocks, reduced tearing and scratching, and improved tissue integrity significantly. This protocol was successfully applied to calcium oxalate-rich Phalaenopsis orchid tissues as well as recalcitrant tissues such as reproductive organs and leaves of rice, maize, and wheat. In addition, the high quality of tissue sections from Hybrid-Cut could be used in combination with in situ hybridization (ISH) to provide spatial expression patterns of genes of interest. In conclusion, this protocol is particularly useful for recalcitrant plant tissue containing high crystal or silica content. Good quality tissue sections enable morphological and other biological studies. PMID:27911377

  11. Isopentenyl transferase gene (ipt) downstream transcriptionally fused with gene expression improves the growth of transgenic plants.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jian-Chun; Duan, Rui-Jun; Hu, Xin-Wen; Li, Kai-Mian; Fu, Shao-Ping

    2010-04-01

    This research reports a promising approach to increase a plant's physiological cytokinin content. This approach also enables the increase to play a role in plant growth and development by introducing the ipt gene to downstream transcriptionally fuse with other genes under the control of a CaMV35S promoter, in which the ipt gene is far from the 35S promoter. According to Kozak's ribosome screening model, expression of the ipt gene is reduced by the terminal codon of the first gene and the internal untranslated nucleotides between the fused genes. In the transgenic plants pVKH35S-GUS-ipt, pVKH35S-AOC-ipt, and pVKH35S-AtGolS2-ipt, cytokinins were increased only two to threefold, and the plants grew more vigorously than the pVKH35S-AOC or pVKH35S-AtGolS2 transgenic plants lacking the ipt gene. The vigorous growth was reflected in rapid plant growth, a longer flowering period, a greater number of flowers, more seed product, and increased chlorophyll synthesis. The AOC and AtGolS2 genes play a role in a plant's tolerance of salt or cold, respectively. When the ipt gene transcriptionally fuses with AOC or AtGolS2 in the frame of AOC-ipt and AtGolS2-ipt, slight cytokinin increases were obtained in their transgenic plants; furthermore, those increases played a positive role in improvements of plant growth. Notably, an increased cytokinin volume at the physiological level, in concert with AtGolS2 expression, enhances a plant's tolerance to cold.

  12. Natural plant colonization improves the physical condition of bauxite residue over time.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Feng; Li, Xiaofei; Xue, Shengguo; Hartley, William; Wu, Chuan; Han, Fusong

    2016-11-01

    Freshly stacked bauxite residue in Central China has little vegetative growth probably as a result of its poor physical condition and chemical properties which deter plant establishment. Over the last 20 years, spontaneous plant colonization on the deposits has revealed that natural weathering processes may improve bauxite residue to the extent that it can support vegetation. Bauxite residue samples were collected from a chronosequence and analyzed to determine the effect of natural processes over time. The freshly stacked residue showed considerable physical degradation, having a high bulk density, low porosity, and poor aggregate stability. Through natural processes over a 20-year period, the texture changed from a silty loam to a sandy loam, porosity was enhanced (43.88 to 58.24 %), while improvements in both aggregate stability (43.32 to 93.20 %) and structural stability (1.33 to 5.46 %) of the stacked residue were observed. Plant growth had a positive effect on pH, exchangeable sodium percentage, soil organic carbon, water-stable aggregation, and structural stability, probably due to the presence of plant roots and associated microbial activity. It was concluded that natural processes of regeneration, stabilization, and attenuation have improved the hostile physical environment of bauxite residue allowing plant establishment to take place.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The Cytochrome P450 Gene CsCYP85A1 Is a Putative Candidate for Super Compact-1 (Scp-1) Plant Architecture Mutation in Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hui; Li, Wanqing; Qin, Yaguang; Pan, Yupeng; Wang, Xiaofeng; Weng, Yiqun; Chen, Peng; Li, Yuhong

    2017-01-01

    The dwarf or compact plant architecture is an important trait in plant breeding. A number of genes controlling plant height have been cloned and functionally characterized which often involve in biosynthesis or signaling of plant hormones such as brassinosteroids (BRs). No genes for plant height or vine length have been cloned in cucurbit crops (family Cucurbitaceae). From an EMS-induced mutagenesis population, we identified a super compact (SCP) mutant C257 which was extremely dwarf due to practically no internode elongation. Under dark growing condition, C257 did not undergo skotomorphogenesis and its mutant phenotype could be rescued with exogenous application of brassinolide (BL), suggesting SCP might be a BR-deficient mutant. Segregation analysis revealed a single recessive gene scp-1 that was responsible for the SCP mutation. Map-based cloning combined with a modified MutMap identified CsCYP85A1, a member of the plant cytochrome P450 monooxygenase gene family, as the most possible candidate gene for scp-1, which encodes a BR-C6-oxidase in the BR biosynthesis pathway. We show that a SNP within the second exon of scp-1 candidate gene caused the SCP phenotype. Three copies of the CsCYP85A gene are present in the cucumber genome, but only the scp-1/CsCYP85A1 gene seemed active. The expression of CsCYP85A1 was higher in flowers than in the leaves and stem; its expression in the wild type (WT) was feedback regulated by BL application. Its expression was reduced in C257 as compared with the WT. This was the first report of map-based cloning of a plant height gene in cucurbit crops. The research highlighted the combined use of linkage mapping, an improved MutMap method and allelic diversity analysis in natural populations in quick cloning of simply inherited genes in cucumber. The roles of CsCYP85A1 in regulation of internode elongation in cucumber was discussed. PMID:28303144

  1. 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.

  2. Clean Air Act Settlement Reduces Air Emissions and Improves Chemical Safety at Rhode Island Biodiesel Plant

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The U.S. EPA & U.S. Department of Justice have settled an environmental enforcement case with Newport Biodiesel, Inc., resulting in reduced air emissions and improved safety controls at the company’s biodiesel manufacturing plant in Newport, Rhode Island.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Moderate GSK-3β inhibition improves neovascular architecture, reduces vascular leakage, and reduces retinal hypoxia in a model of ischemic retinopathy.

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

    In ischemic retinopathies, unrelieved hypoxia induces the formation of architecturally abnormal, leaky blood vessels that damage retina and ultimately can cause blindness. Because these newly formed blood vessels are functionally defective, they fail to alleviate underlying hypoxia, resulting in more pathological neovascularization and more damage to retina. With an established model of ischemic retinopathy, we investigated inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) as a means for improving the architecture and functionality of pathological blood vessels in retina. In vitro, hypoxia increased GSK-3β activity in retinal endothelial cells, reduced β-catenin, and correspondingly impaired integrity of cell/cell junctions. Conversely, GSK-3β inhibitors restored β-catenin, improved cell/cell junctions, and enhanced the formation of capillary cords in three-dimensional collagen matrix. In vivo, GSK-3β inhibitors, at appropriately moderate doses, strongly reduced abnormal vascular tufts, reduced abnormal vascular leakage, and improved vascular coverage and perfusion during the proliferative phase of ischemia-driven retinal neovascularization. Most importantly, these improvements in neovasculature were accompanied by marked reduction in retinal hypoxia, relative to controls. Thus, GSK-3β inhibitors offer a promising strategy for alleviating retinal hypoxia by correcting key vascular defects typically associated with ischemia-driven neovascularization.

  8. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Software architecture design domain

    SciTech Connect

    White, S.A.

    1996-12-31

    Software architectures can provide a basis for the capture and subsequent reuse of design knowledge. The goal of software architecture is to allow the design of a system to take place at a higher level of abstraction; a level concerned with components, connections, constraints, rationale. This architectural view of software adds a new layer of abstraction to the traditional design phase of software development. It has resulted in a flurry of activity towards techniques, tools, and architectural design languages developed specifically to assist with this activity. An analysis of architectural descriptions, even though they differ in notation, shows a common set of key constructs that are present across widely varying domains. These common aspects form a core set of constructs that should belong to any ADL in order to for the language to offer the ability to specify software systems at the architectural level. This analysis also revealed a second set of constructs which served to expand the first set thereby improving the syntax and semantics. These constructs are classified according to whether they provide representation and analysis support for architectures belonging to many varying application domains (domain-independent construct class) or to a particular application domain (domain-dependent constructs). This paper presents the constructs of these two classes, their placement in the architecture design domain and shows how they may be used to classify, select, and analyze proclaimed architectural design languages (ADLs).

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. Genetic selection and liquid medium conditions improve the yield of androgenetic plants from diploid potatoes.

    PubMed

    Uhrig, H

    1985-12-01

    Solatium tuberosum L. diploid strains with superior androgenetic capacity have been selected for from androgenetic progenies of unselected diploid material. The paper also demonstrates that the use of a liquid medium for culturing potato anthers, instead of the conventional solid agar plates, improves the yield of androgenetic embryoids. The new method, associated with two successive cycles of selection for superior androgenetic response, allows the induction and regeneration of microspore derived plants on a large scale. The best genotype (clone 21 in this paper) regenerates androgenetic plants with a frequency around 30 per each anther plated. Over 80% of the regenerated plants are diploid. It is suggested that the androgenetic embryoids mainly originate from unreduced microspores by a mechanism which maintains a heterozygous or a partly heterozygous genetic situation.

  5. Applying hyperspectral imaging to explore natural plant diversity towards improving salt stress tolerance.

    PubMed

    Sytar, Oksana; Brestic, Marian; Zivcak, Marek; Olsovska, Katarina; Kovar, Marek; Shao, Hongbo; He, Xiaolan

    2017-02-01

    Salinity represents an abiotic stress constraint affecting growth and productivity of plants in many regions of the world. One of the possible solutions is to improve the level of salt resistance using natural genetic variability within crop species. In the context of recent knowledge on salt stress effects and mechanisms of salt tolerance, this review present useful phenomic approach employing different non-invasive imaging systems for detection of quantitative and qualitative changes caused by salt stress at the plant and canopy level. The focus is put on hyperspectral imaging technique, which provides unique opportunities for fast and reliable estimate of numerous characteristics associated both with various structural, biochemical and physiological traits. The method also provides possibilities to combine plant and canopy analyses with a direct determination of salinity in soil. The future perspectives in salt stress applications as well as some limits of the method are also identified.

  6. RNA Interference Knockdown of BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE1 in Maize Reveals Novel Functions for Brassinosteroid Signaling in Controlling Plant Architecture.

    PubMed

    Kir, Gokhan; Ye, Huaxun; Nelissen, Hilde; Neelakandan, Anjanasree K; Kusnandar, Andree S; Luo, Anding; Inzé, Dirk; Sylvester, Anne W; Yin, Yanhai; Becraft, Philip W

    2015-09-01

    Brassinosteroids (BRs) are plant hormones involved in various growth and developmental processes. The BR signaling system is well established in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and rice (Oryza sativa) but poorly understood in maize (Zea mays). BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE1 (BRI1) is a BR receptor, and database searches and additional genomic sequencing identified five maize homologs including duplicate copies of BRI1 itself. RNA interference (RNAi) using the extracellular coding region of a maize zmbri1 complementary DNA knocked down the expression of all five homologs. Decreased response to exogenously applied brassinolide and altered BR marker gene expression demonstrate that zmbri1-RNAi transgenic lines have compromised BR signaling. zmbri1-RNAi plants showed dwarf stature due to shortened internodes, with upper internodes most strongly affected. Leaves of zmbri1-RNAi plants are dark green, upright, and twisted, with decreased auricle formation. Kinematic analysis showed that decreased cell division and cell elongation both contributed to the shortened leaves. A BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE1-ETHYL METHANESULFONATE-SUPPRESSOR1-yellow fluorescent protein (BES1-YFP) transgenic line was developed that showed BR-inducible BES1-YFP accumulation in the nucleus, which was decreased in zmbri1-RNAi. Expression of the BES1-YFP reporter was strong in the auricle region of developing leaves, suggesting that localized BR signaling is involved in promoting auricle development, consistent with the zmbri1-RNAi phenotype. The blade-sheath boundary disruption, shorter ligule, and disrupted auricle morphology of RNAi lines resemble KNOTTED1-LIKE HOMEOBOX (KNOX) mutants, consistent with a mechanistic connection between KNOX genes and BR signaling.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Hierarchical architecture of bacterial cellulose and composite plant cell wall polysaccharide hydrogels using small angle neutron scattering.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Sanz, Marta; Gidley, Michael J; Gilbert, Elliot P

    2016-02-07

    Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) has been applied to characterise the structure of pure bacterial cellulose hydrogels, and composites thereof, with two plant cell wall polysaccharides (arabinoxylan and xyloglucan). Conventional published models, which assume that bacterial cellulose ribbons are solid one-phase systems, fail to adequately describe the SANS data of pure bacterial cellulose. Fitting of the neutron scattering profiles instead suggests that the sub-structure of cellulose microfibrils contained within the ribbons results in the creation of regions with distinct values of neutron scattering length density, when the hydrogels are subjected to H2O/D2O exchange. This may be represented within a core-shell formalism that considers the cellulose ribbons to comprise a core containing impermeable crystallites surrounded by a network of paracrystalline cellulose and tightly bound water, and a shell containing only paracrystalline cellulose and water. Accordingly, a fitting function comprising the sum of a power-law term to account for the large scale structure of intertwined ribbons, plus a core-shell cylinder with polydisperse radius, has been applied; it is demonstrated to simultaneously describe all SANS contrast variation data of pure and composite bacterial cellulose hydrogels. In addition, the resultant fitting parameters indicate distinct interaction mechanisms of arabinoxylan and xyloglucan with cellulose, revealing the potential of this approach to investigate the role of different plant cell wall polysaccharides on the biosynthesis process of cellulose.

  12. 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

  13. [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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Application of an improved in vivo counting program to Korean nuclear power plants.

    PubMed

    Kong, Tae Young; Kim, Hee Geun

    2009-01-01

    During the in vivo counting of individuals using a whole body counter at nuclear power plants (NPPs), external skin contamination is occasionally mistaken for internal radioactive contamination. This not only confuses the degree of external contamination and internal contamination, but can also result in the excessively conservative estimation of radioactive contamination. In this paper, previous experiments to improve in vivo counting at NPPs are introduced briefly and the practical application of techniques presented in those experiments to Korean NPPs is demonstrated in detail.

  1. Photosynthesis is improved by exogenous calcium in heat-stressed tobacco plants.

    PubMed

    Tan, Wei; Meng, Qing wei; Brestic, Marian; Olsovska, Katarina; Yang, Xinghong

    2011-11-15

    Effects of exogenous calcium chloride (CaCl(2)) (20 mM) on photosynthetic gas exchange, photosystem II photochemistry, and the activities of antioxidant enzymes in tobacco plants under high temperature stress (43°C for 2 h) were investigated. Heat stress resulted in a decrease in net photosynthetic rate (P(n)), stomatal conductance as well as the apparent quantum yield (AQY) and carboxylation efficiency (CE) of photosynthesis. Heat stress also caused a decrease of the maximal photochemical efficiency of primary photochemistry (F(v)/F(m)). On the other hand, CaCl(2) application improved P(n), AQY, and CE as well as F(v)/F(m) under high temperature stress. Heat stress reduced the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), peroxidase (POD), whereas the activities of these enzymes either decreased less or increased in plants pretreated with CaCl(2); glutathione reductase (GR) activity increased under high temperature, and it increased more in plants pretreated with CaCl(2). There was an obvious accumulation of H(2)O(2) and O(2)(-) under high temperature, but CaCl(2) application decreased the contents of H(2)O(2) and O(2)(-) under heat stress conditions. Heat stress induced the level of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), while CaCl(2) pretreatment enhanced it. These results suggested that photosynthesis was improved by CaCl(2) application in heat-stressed plants and such an improvement was associated with an improvement in stomatal conductance and the thermostability of oxygen-evolving complex (OEC), which might be due to less accumulation of reactive oxygen species.

  2. Using architecture and technology to promote improved quality of life for military service members with traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Pasquina, Paul F; Pasquina, Lavinia Fici; Anderson-Barnes, Victoria C; Giuggio, Jeffrey S; Cooper, Rory A

    2010-02-01

    Today, injured service members are surviving wounds that would have been fatal in previous wars. A recent RAND report estimates that approximately 320,000 service members may have experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during deployment, and it is not uncommon for a soldier to sustain multiple associated injuries such as limb loss, paralysis, sensory loss, and psychological damage. As a result, many military service members and their families face significant challenges returning to a high quality of independent life. The architectural concepts of universal design (UD) and evidence-based design (EBD) are gaining interest as an integral part of the rehabilitation process of veterans with TBI. This article examines the possibilities presented by UD and EBD in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, in terms of high-end building and interior design quality, and possible technological options for individuals with disabilities.

  3. Modelling the impact of the light regime on single tree transpiration based on 3D representations of plant architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bittner, S.; Priesack, E.

    2012-04-01

    We apply a functional-structural model of tree water flow to single old-growth trees in a temperate broad-leaved forest stand. Roots, stems and branches are represented by connected porous cylinder elements further divided into the inner heartwood cylinders surrounded by xylem and phloem. Xylem water flow is simulated by applying a non-linear Darcy flow in porous media driven by the water potential gradient according to the cohesion-tension theory. The flow model is based on physiological input parameters such as the hydraulic conductivity, stomatal response to leaf water potential and root water uptake capability and, thus, can reflect the different properties of tree species. The actual root water uptake is calculated using also a non-linear Darcy law based on the gradient between root xylem water potential and rhizosphere soil water potential and by the simulation of soil water flow applying Richards equation. A leaf stomatal conductance model is combined with the hydrological tree and soil water flow model and a spatially explicit three-dimensional canopy light model. The structure of the canopy and the tree architectures are derived by applying an automatic tree skeleton extraction algorithm from point clouds obtained by use of a terrestrial laser scanner allowing an explicit representation of the water flow path in the stem and branches. The high spatial resolution of the root and branch geometry and their connectivity makes the detailed modelling of the water use of single trees possible and allows for the analysis of the interaction between single trees and the influence of the canopy light regime (including different fractions of direct sunlight and diffuse skylight) on the simulated sap flow and transpiration. The model can be applied at various sites and to different tree species, enabling the up-scaling of the water usage of single trees to the total transpiration of mixed stands. Examples are given to reveal differences between diffuse- and ring

  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. 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.

  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. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. LapF, the second largest Pseudomonas putida protein, contributes to plant root colonization and determines biofilm architecture.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Gil, Marta; Yousef-Coronado, Fátima; Espinosa-Urgel, Manuel

    2010-08-01

    We have investigated the role of LapF, one of the two largest proteins encoded in the genome of Pseudomonas putida KT2440, in bacterial colonization of solid surfaces. LapF is 6310 amino acids long, and is localized on the cell surface. The C-terminal region of the protein is essential for its secretion, which presumably requires the ABC transporter encoded by an operon (lapHIJ) adjacent to the lapF gene. Although the initial attachment stages are not different between the wild type and a lapF mutant, microcolony formation and subsequent development of a mature biofilm is impaired in the mutant. This is consistent with the expression pattern of lapF; activation of its promoter takes place at late stages of growth and is regulated by the alternative sigma factor RpoS. A lapF mutant is also affected in individual and competitive plant root colonization. In these assays, mixed microcolonies formed by cells of both the wild-type and the mutant strains could be observed but microcolonies of the mutant alone were not found. These data and the localization of the protein at discrete spots in areas of contact between cells in biofilms suggest that LapF determines the establishment of cell-cell interactions during sessile growth.

  13. Deconstructing a plant macromolecular assembly: chemical architecture, molecular flexibility, and mechanical performance of natural and engineered potato suberins.

    PubMed

    Serra, Olga; Chatterjee, Subhasish; Figueras, Mercè; Molinas, Marisa; Stark, Ruth E

    2014-03-10

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Use of plant growth promoting bacterial strains to improve Cytisus striatus and Lupinus luteus development for potential application in phytoremediation.

    PubMed

    Balseiro-Romero, María; Gkorezis, Panagiotis; Kidd, Petra S; Van Hamme, Jonathan; Weyens, Nele; Monterroso, Carmen; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2017-03-01

    Plant growth promoting (PGP) bacterial strains possess different mechanisms to improve plant development under common environmental stresses, and are therefore often used as inoculants in soil phytoremediation processes. The aims of the present work were to study the effects of a collection of plant growth promoting bacterial strains on plant development, antioxidant enzyme activities and nutritional status of Cytisus striatus and/or Lupinus luteus plants a) growing in perlite under non-stress conditions and b) growing in diesel-contaminated soil. For this, two greenhouse experiments were designed. Firstly, C. striatus and L. luteus plants were grown from seeds in perlite, and periodically inoculated with 6 PGP strains, either individually or in pairs. Secondly, L. luteus seedlings were grown in soil samples of the A and B horizons of a Cambisol contaminated with 1.25% (w/w) of diesel and inoculated with best PGP inoculant selected from the first experiment. The results indicated that the PGP strains tested in perlite significantly improved plant growth. Combination treatments provoked better growth of L. luteus than the respective individual strains, while individual inoculation treatments were more effective for C. striatus. L. luteus growth in diesel-contaminated soil was significantly improved in the presence of PGP strains, presenting a 2-fold or higher increase in plant biomass. Inoculants did not provoke significant changes in plant nutritional status, with the exception of a subset of siderophore-producing and P-solubilising bacterial strains that resulted in significantly modification of Fe or P concentrations in leaf tissues. Inoculants did not cause significant changes in enzyme activities in perlite experiments, however they significantly reduced oxidative stress in contaminated soils suggesting an improvement in plant tolerance to diesel. Some strains were applied to non-host plants, indicating a non-specific performance of their plant growth promotion

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Improvements in mixing operations of water treatment plants by use of a stable finite element model.

    PubMed

    Vellando, P; Fe, J; Juncosa, R; Padilla, F

    2007-06-01

    This work shows improvements made in mixing operations at water treatment plants, as a result of the hydrodynamic analysis of the mixing processes carried out by the use of a Finite Element Model. The code, developed in the Civil Engineering Department of the University of La Coruña, Spain, solves the Navier-Stokes equations that rule viscous incompressible flow by using a Streamline Upwind/Petrov-Galerkin (SUPG) stabilization technique. The incorporation of the SUPG formulation leads to obtaining stable solutions for Reynolds numbers of a moderate order in connection with meshes that are not very refined. Some water treatment units present significant deficiencies in their design. The numerical evaluation of the flow avoids the high expenses of the trial-and-error processes involved in installing and removing the mixing mechanisms and those derived from the need to halt the water treatment processes. As a result, an optimum design of the treatment plant is obtained at a low cost.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2013-01-02

    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.

  11. Why would plant species become extinct locally if growing conditions improve?

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Bone regeneration in 3D printing bioactive ceramic scaffolds with improved tissue/material interface pore architecture in thin-wall bone defect.

    PubMed

    Shao, Huifeng; Ke, Xiurong; Liu, An; Sun, Miao; He, Yong; Yang, Xianyan; Fu, Jianzhong; Liu, Yanming; Zhang, Lei; Yang, Guojing; Xu, Sanzhong; Gou, Zhongru

    2017-04-12

    Three-dimensional (3D) printing bioactive ceramics have demonstrated alternative approaches to bone tissue repair, but an optimized materials system for improving the recruitment of host osteogenic cells into the bone defect and enhancing targeted repair of the thin-wall craniomaxillofacial defects remains elusive. Herein we systematically evaluated the role of side-wall pore architecture in the direct-ink-writing bioceramic scaffolds on mechanical properties and osteogenic capacity in rabbit calvarial defects. The pure calcium silicate (CSi) and dilute Mg-doped CSi (CSi-Mg6) scaffolds with different layer thickness and macropore sizes were prepared by varying the layer deposition mode from single-layer printing (SLP) to double-layer printing (DLP) and then by undergoing one-, or two-step sintering. It was found that the dilute Mg doping and/or two-step sintering schedule was especially beneficial for improving the compressive strength (∼25-104 MPa) and flexural strength (∼6-18 MPa) of the Ca-silicate scaffolds. The histological analysis for the calvarial bone specimens in vivo revealed that the SLP scaffolds had a high osteoconduction at the early stage (4 weeks) but the DLP scaffolds displayed a higher osteogenic capacity for a long time stage (8-12 weeks). Although the DLP CSi scaffolds displayed somewhat higher osteogenic capacity at 8 and 12 weeks, the DLP CSi-Mg6 scaffolds with excellent fracture resistance also showed appreciable new bone tissue ingrowth. These findings demonstrate that the side-wall pore architecture in 3D printed bioceramic scaffolds is required to optimize for bone repair in calvarial bone defects, and especially the Mg doping wollastontie is promising for 3D printing thin-wall porous scaffolds for craniomaxillofacial bone defect treatment.

  13. Quetiapine improves visual hallucinations in Parkinson disease but not through normalization of sleep architecture: results from a double-blind clinical-polysomnography study.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Hubert H; Okun, Michael S; Rodriguez, Ramon L; Malaty, Irene A; Romrell, Janet; Sun, Anqi; Wu, Samuel S; Pillarisetty, Sandeep; Nyathappa, Anand; Eisenschenk, Stephan

    2009-01-01

    Polysomnographic studies of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with visual hallucinations (VH) usually reveal short, fragmented rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, with lower sleep efficiency and reduced total REM sleep. Quetiapine has been demonstrated in open-label trials to be effective for the treatment of insomnia and VH in PD. To confirm quetiapine's efficacy in improving VH, and to determine whether the mechanism was due to its effect on REM sleep architecture, we performed a pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Sixteen PD patients experiencing VH were recruited. Eight patients were randomized to quetiapine and eight patients to placebo. Patients underwent pre- and post-treatment polysomnography. The Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGIS), Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), and Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor subscale were obtained. There were no differences in baseline characteristics between the treatment arms except that the placebo group had more sleep in stage REM (74.7 min vs. 40.1 min; p < .001). Data were imputed for all patients who prematurely discontinued (four quetiapine and one placebo) in an intention-to-treat analysis. The average quetiapine dose was 58.3 mg/day. While there was no significant difference in the change in REM duration pre- vs. post-treatment in either arm, patients randomized to quetiapine improved on the CGIS (p = .03) and the hallucination item of the BPRS (p = .02). No difference was noted in the UPDRS motor scores. Despite the small sample, this is the first double-blind trial to show quetiapine's efficacy over placebo in controlling VH in the PD population. However, normalization of sleep architecture was not supported as the mechanism.

  14. Reducing pump power consumption by 40% (1000 kw) through improved pump management in a central plant

    SciTech Connect

    Deng, S.; Liu, M.; Turner, D.

    1998-07-01

    Chilled water system data collection and field measurements performed at the Central Utility Plant of Texas A and M University (TAMU) in College Station, Texas revealed that 30--50 % of the primary pump head is consumed by manual and automatic valves being operated in a partially-opened condition. A comprehensive analysis was performed to develop an improved pump management schedule. The results show potential savings of up to 40% of the pump power consumption without any capital investment. The optimized schedule is being implemented. This paper describes the method and presents results of the analysis and implementation.

  15. 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).

  16. Chronic administration of Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists improves trabecular bone mass and architecture in ovariectomised mice.

    PubMed

    Pereira, M; Jeyabalan, J; Jørgensen, C S; Hopkinson, M; Al-Jazzar, A; Roux, J P; Chavassieux, P; Orriss, I R; Cleasby, M E; Chenu, C

    2015-12-01

    Some anti-diabetic therapies can have adverse effects on bone health and increase fracture risk. In this study, we tested the skeletal effects of chronic administration of two Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA), increasingly used for type 2 diabetes treatment, in a model of osteoporosis associated bone loss and examined the expression and activation of GLP-1R in bone cells. Mice were ovariectomised (OVX) to induce bone loss and four weeks later they were treated with Liraglutide (LIR) 0.3mg/kg/day, Exenatide (Ex-4) 10 μg/kg/day or saline for four weeks. Mice were injected with calcein and alizarin red prior to euthanasia, to label bone-mineralising surfaces. Tibial micro-architecture was determined by micro-CT and bone formation and resorption parameters measured by histomorphometric analysis. Serum was collected to measure calcitonin and sclerostin levels, inhibitors of bone resorption and formation, respectively. GLP-1R mRNA and protein expression were evaluated in the bone, bone marrow and bone cells using RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Primary osteoclasts and osteoblasts were cultured to evaluate the effect of GLP-1RA on bone resorption and formation in vitro. GLP-1RA significantly increased trabecular bone mass, connectivity and structure parameters but had no effect on cortical bone. There was no effect of GLP-1RA on bone formation in vivo but an increase in osteoclast number and osteoclast surfaces was observed with Ex-4. GLP-1R was expressed in bone marrow cells, primary osteoclasts and osteoblasts and in late osteocytic cell line. Both Ex-4 and LIR stimulated osteoclastic differentiation in vitro but slightly reduced the area resorbed per osteoclast. They had no effect on bone nodule formation in vitro. Serum calcitonin levels were increased and sclerostin levels decreased by Ex-4 but not by LIR. Thus, GLP-1RA can have beneficial effects on bone and the expression of GLP-1R in bone cells may imply that these effects are exerted directly

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Improvements of a molten carbonate fuel cell power plant via exergy analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Braun, R.J.; Gaggioli, R.A.; Dunbar, W.R. |

    1996-12-31

    A proposed molten carbonate fuel cell power plant design, intended for commercial production by the end of the 1990`s and developed under the auspices of the US Department of Energy and the Gas Research Institute, has been analyzed with exergy analysis. The commercial production units, targeted for dispersed power generation markets, are based on an existing demonstration molten carbonate fuel cell power plant design which entered the start-up phase in early 1996. Exergy analysis of the commercial plant design shows the overall, second-law system efficiency to be 53 percent. The principal inefficiency, 17 percent of the total, lies in the catalytic combustor. Another major inefficiency is the stack loss, 14 percent. Heat transfer accounts for approximately 6% of the loss. System reconfigurations, incorporating a steam cycle with reheat (System 1) and a gas turbine cycle (System 2), both with revised heat exchanger networks, for significant improvement are proposed and evaluated. The second-law system efficiency is raised to 66% in System 1 and to 70% for System 2.

  1. Aldo-keto reductase enzymes detoxify glyphosate and improve herbicide resistance in plants.

    PubMed

    Vemanna, Ramu S; Vennapusa, Amaranatha Reddy; Easwaran, Murugesh; Chandrashekar, Babitha K; Rao, Hanumantha; Ghanti, Kirankumar; Sudhakar, Chinta; Mysore, Kirankumar S; Udayakumar, M

    2016-09-09

    In recent years, concerns about the use of glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops have increased because of glyphosate residual levels in plants and development of herbicide-resistant weeds. In spite of identifying glyphosate detoxifying genes from microorganisms, the plant mechanism to detoxify glyphosate has not been studied. We characterized an Aldo-keto reductase gene from Pseudomonas (PsAKR1) and rice (OsAKR1) and showed, by docking studies, both PsAKR1 and OsAKR1 can efficiently bind to glyphosate. Silencing AKR1 homologs in rice and Nicotiana benthamiana or mutation of AKR1 in yeast and Arabidopsis showed increased sensitivity to glyphosate. External application of AKR proteins rescued glyphosate-mediated cucumber seedlings growth inhibition. Regeneration of tobacco transgenic lines expressing PsAKR1 or OsAKRI on glyphosate suggests that AKR can be used as selectable marker to develop transgenic crops. PsAKR1 or OsAKRI expressing tobacco and rice transgenic plants showed improved tolerance to glyphosate with reduced accumulation of shikimic acid without affecting the normal photosynthetic rates. These results suggested that AKR1 when overexpressed detoxifies glyphosate in planta. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

  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. 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.

  11. American Water Heater Company: Compressed Air System Optimization Project Saves Energy and Improves Production at Water Heater Plant

    SciTech Connect

    2003-11-01

    In 2001, American Water Heater Company implemented a system-level improvement project on the compressed air system that serves its manufacturing plant in Johnson City, Tennessee. The plant now operates with less compressor capacity, which has reduced its energy consumption and maintenance needs. The project's total cost was $228,000. The annual compressed air energy savings (2,345,000 kWh) and maintenance savings total $160,000, yielding a simple payback of 17 months. Furthermore, the system now supports the plant's production processes more effectively, which has improved product quality and increased production.

  12. 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.

  13. Improving performance of mobile fronthaul architecture employing high order delta-sigma modulator with PAM-4 format.

    PubMed

    Li, Haibo; Hu, Rong; Yang, Qi; Luo, Ming; He, Zhixue; Jiang, Peng; Liu, Yongpiao; Li, Xiang; Yu, Shaohua

    2017-01-09

    An improved high-order delta-sigma modulator with multi-level quantizer is proposed to enable carrier aggregation of 4G-LTE signals in mobile fronthaul. Different from conventional delta-sigma modulation-based digital mobile fronthaul, a 2-bit quantizer is employed to reduce the quantization noise, which enabling the transmission via PAM-4 based IM-DD channel. Moreover, we employ the 4th-order high-pass filter (HPF) to replace the 1st-order HPF in the conventional delta-sigma modulator, resulting in a much better noise shaping performance. In the experiment, a PAM-4 based mobile fronthaul transmission of 32 aggregated 4G-LTE signals with a CPRI equivalent data rate of 39.32-Gb/s is demonstrated in a single-λ 10-Gb/s IM-DD channel. Significant improvement of 68% is achieved in the average EVM performance compared to the previous delta-sigma modulation-based digital mobile fronthaul.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  15. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 content of rice plants, but Si treatment significantly reduced these nutrient level. These results suggested that silicon application was useful to increase drought resistance of rice through the enhancement of photochemical efficiency and adjustment of the mineral nutrient absorption in rice plants.

  20. 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)

  1. Improved tandem affinity purification tag and methods for isolation of protein heterocomplexes from plants.

    PubMed

    Rohila, Jai S; Chen, Mei; Cerny, Ronald; Fromm, Michael E

    2004-04-01

    A synthetic gene encoding the tandem affinity purification (TAP) tag has been constructed, and the TAP tag assayed for its effects on expression levels and subcellular localization by fusion to green fluorescent protein (GFP) as well as for its effects on steroid-dependent translocation to the nucleus and transcription when fused to a hybrid glucocorticoid receptor. A nuclear localization signal (NLS) was detected in the calmodulin-binding protein (CBP) domain and removed by mutation to improve the usefulness of the TAP tag. Additionally, purification improvements were made, including inhibition of a co-purifying protease, and adding a protein cross-linking step to increase the recovery of interacting proteins. The improved synthetic TAP tag gene and methods were used to isolate proteins interacting with the hybrid glucocorticoid receptor and to identify them by mass spectrometry. The two proteins identified, HSP70 and HSP90, are known to interact with the glucocorticoid receptor in vivo in mammalian cells and in vitro in plants.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Guide for prioritizing power plant productivity improvement projects: modification and simplification of the DOE/MRI methodology

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-03-01

    In recent years, the subject of public utility power plant productivity and reliability has received significant attention from both federal and state agencies and from within the utilities. One study was a FEA-sponsored program that had as its purpose the development of improved techniques for assessing cause of power plant unavailability. The results of this study have become widely known as the DOE/MRI methodology for calculating increased power plant equivalent availability resulting from instituting improvement projects. To further the development of the DOE/MRI methodology for assessing and quantifying the effect of improvement projects, the DOE initiated studies with two states to demonstrate the methodology in operating plants. These studies were focused on applying the methodology to specific power plants (fossil-fueled and nuclear) and on identifying any difficulties in using the method. In the course of these investigations, several problems were uncovered. Various recommendations were made for both eliminating the identified deficiencies in the methodology and for simplifying several of the calculations needed to evaluate proposed plant improvements. The information provided here describes four major modifications to the DOE/MRI methodology which eliminate previously uncovered deficiencies and simplify calculational methods.

  10. Improving Device Efficiencies in Organic Photovoltaics through the Manipulation of Device Architectures and the Development of Low-Bandgap Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Andrew Hideo

    Over the past two decades, vast amounts of research have been conducted in the pursuit of suitable organic semiconductors to replace inorganic materials in electronic applications due to their advantages of being lightweight, flexible, and solution-processible. However, before organic photovoltaics (OPVs) can be truly competitive and commercially viable, their efficiencies must be improved significantly. In this examination, we pursue higher efficiency OPVs in two different ways. Our attempts focus on 1) altering the microstructure of devices to improve charge dissociation, charge transport, and our understanding of how these devices function, and 2) tailoring materials to achieve optimal band gaps and energy levels for use in organic electronics. First, we demonstrate how the vertical morphology of bulk heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells, with an active layer consisting of self-assembled poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) nanowires and (6,6)-phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM), can be beneficially influenced. Most device fabrication routes using similar materials employ an annealing step to influence active layer morphology, but this process can create an unfavorable phase migration where P3HT is driven toward the cathode. In contrast, we demonstrate devices that exhibit an increase in relative fullerene concentration at the top of the active layer by introducing the donor phase as a solid nanowire in the active layer solution and altering the pre-spin drying time. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and conductive and photoconductive atomic force microscopy (cAFM and pcAFM) provide detailed information about how the surface of the active layer can be influenced; this is done by tracking the concentration and alignment of P3HT and PCBM domains. Using this new procedure, devices are made with power conversion efficiencies surpassing 2%. Additionally, we show that nanowires grown in the presence of the fullerene perform differently than those that are grown and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nie, M.; Pendall, E. G.

    2013-12-01

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

  12. Real architecture For 3D Tissue (RAFT™) culture system improves viability and maintains insulin and glucagon production of mouse pancreatic islet cells.

    PubMed

    Szebeni, Gabor J; Tancos, Zsuzsanna; Feher, Liliana Z; Alfoldi, Robert; Kobolak, Julianna; Dinnyes, Andras; Puskas, Laszlo G

    2017-04-01

    There is an unmet medical need for the improvement of pancreatic islet maintenance in culture. Due to restricted donor availability it is essential to ameliorate islet viability and graft engraftment. The aim of this study was to compare the standard tissue culture techniques with the advanced Real Architecture For 3D Tissue (RAFT™) culture system in terms of viability and hormone production. Here, we first report that islets embedded in RAFT™ collagen type I advanced tissue culture system maintain their tissue integrity better than in monolayer and suspension cultures. The Calcein violet assay and Annexin V/propidium-iodide staining show higher cell viability in the RAFT™ culture system. Quantitative real-time PCR data showed that RAFT™ increases insulin expression after 18 days in culture compared to traditional methods. Enhanced insulin and glucagon production was further verified by immunofluorescent staining in a time-course manner. These results indicate that RAFT™ tissue culture platform can be a promising tool to maintain pancreatic islet spheroid integrity and culture islets for downstream high throughput pharmacological studies ex vivo.

  13. Compressed Air System Overhaul Improves Production at a Powdered Metal Manufacturing Plant (GKN Sinter Metals in Salem, IN)

    SciTech Connect

    2000-11-01

    In 1998, GKN Sinter Metals completed a successful compressed air system improvement project at its Salem, Indiana manufacturing facility. The project was performed after GKN undertook a survey of its system in order to solve air quality problems and to evaluate whether the capacity of their compressed air system would meet their anticipated plant expansion. Once the project was implemented, the plant was able to increase production by 31% without having to add any additional compressor capacity.

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

    SciTech Connect

    2000-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Box Architecture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ham, Jan

    1998-01-01

    Project offers grades 3-8 students hands-on design practice creating built environments to solve a society-based architectural problem. Students plan buildings, draw floor plans, and make scale models of the structures that are then used in related interdisciplinary activities. (Author)

  19. Architectural Illusion.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doornek, Richard R.

    1990-01-01

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

  20. Architecture? Absolutely!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Progressive Architecture, 1973

    1973-01-01

    By designing processes to translate social needs into physical terms, the Urban Center at the University of Louisville is turning out its own unique brand of architecture -- one that produces no buildings but that has a real effect on the future of the physical environment. (Author)

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-07-01

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

  3. Improved paper pulp from plants with suppressed cinnamoyl-CoA reductase or cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Ann; Holt, Karen; Piquemal, Joël; Grima-Pettenati, Jacqueline; Boudet, Alain; Pollet, Brigitte; Lapierre, Catherine; Petit-Conil, Michel; Schuch, Wolfgang; Halpin, Claire

    2002-10-01

    Transgenic plants severely suppressed in the activity of cinnamoyl-CoA reductase were produced by introduction of a partial sense CCR transgene into tobacco. Five transgenic lines with CCR activities ranging from 2 to 48% of wild-type values were selected for further study. Some lines showed a range of aberrant phenotypes including reduced growth, and all had changes to lignin structure making the polymer more susceptible to alkali extraction. The most severely CCR-suppressed line also had significantly decreased lignin content and an increased proportion of free phenolic groups in non-condensed lignin. These changes are likely to make the lignin easier to extract during chemical pulping. Direct Kraft pulping trials confirmed this. More lignin could be removed from the transgenic wood than from wild-type wood at the same alkali charge. A similar improvement in pulping efficiency was recently shown for poplar trees expressing an antisense cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase gene. Pulping experiments performed here on CAD-antisense tobacco plants produced near-identical results--the modified lignin was more easily removed during pulping without any adverse effects on the quality of the pulp or paper produced. These results suggest that pulping experiments performed in tobacco can be predictive of the results that will be obtained in trees such as poplar, extending the utility of the tobacco model. On the basis of our results on CCR manipulation in tobacco, we predict that CCR-suppressed trees may show pulping benefits. However, it is likely that CCR-suppression will not be the optimal target for genetic manipulation of pulping character due to the potential associated growth defects.

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

    PubMed

    Tahmasbian, Iman; Safari Sinegani, Ali Akbar

    2016-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-12-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Çil, Emine

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Batur, Fulya; Dedeurwaerdere, Tom

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-15

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

  12. Dietary and plant polyphenols exert neuroprotective effects and improve cognitive function in cerebral ischemia.

    PubMed

    Panickar, Kiran S; Jang, Saebyeol

    2013-08-01

    Cerebral ischemia is caused by an interruption of blood flow to the brain which generally leads to irreversible brain damage. Ischemic injury is associated with vascular leakage, inflammation, tissue injury, and cell death. Cellular changes associated with ischemia include impairment of metabolism, energy failure, free radical production, excitotoxicity, altered calcium homeostasis, and activation of proteases all of which affect brain functioning and also contribute to longterm disabilities including cognitive decline. Inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, increased oxidative/nitrosative stress, and intracellular calcium overload contribute to brain injury including cell death and brain edema. However, there is a paucity of agents that can effectively reduce cerebral damage and hence considerable attention has focused on developing newer agents with more efficacy and fewer side-effects. Polyphenols are natural compounds with variable phenolic structures and are rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, bark, roots, tea, and wine. Most polyphenols have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties and their protective effects on mitochondrial functioning, glutamate uptake, and regulating intracellular calcium levels in ischemic injury in vitro have been demonstrated. This review will assess the current status of the potential effects of polyphenols in reducing cerebral injury and improving cognitive function in ischemia in animal and human studies. In addition, the review will also examine available patents in nutrition and agriculture that relates to cerebral ischemic injury with an emphasis on plant polyphenols.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-09

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Nutraceuticals, nutritional therapy, phytonutrients, and phytotherapy for improvement of human health: a perspective on plant biotechnology application.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jian

    2007-01-01

    Plants are one of the most important resources of human foods and medicines. Rapidly increasing knowledge on nutrition, medicine, and plant biotechnology has dramatically changed the concepts about food, health and agriculture, and brought in a revolution on them. Nutritional therapy and phytotherapy have emerged as new concepts and healing systems have quickly and widely spread in recent years. Strong recommendations for consumption of nutraceuticals, natural plant foods, and the use of nutritional therapy and phytotherapy have become progressively popular to improve health, and to prevent and treat diseases. With these trends, improving the dietary nutritional values of fruits, vegetables and other crops or even bioactive components in folk herbals has become targets of the blooming plant biotechnology industry. This review attempts to display and remark on these aspects. It summarizes the progress made on nutraceuticals, nutritional therapy, phytonutrients, phytotherapy, and their related epidemiological investigations and clinical studies. It also covers markets of these health-promoting products and disease-preventing or healing systems, as well as regulations behind them that direct the development of biotechnology study and application. Finally, related patents are listed and briefly analyzed, regarding of plant biotechnological research and progress on transgenic crops to improve nutritional value, phytotherapy efficiency, or to produce pharmaceutically important secondary metabolites or high-valued protein medicines such as vaccines and antibodies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Root-synthesized cytokinins improve shoot growth and fruit yield in salinized tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants.

    PubMed

    Ghanem, Michel Edmond; Albacete, Alfonso; Smigocki, Ann C; Frébort, Ivo; Pospísilová, Hana; Martínez-Andújar, Cristina; Acosta, Manuel; Sánchez-Bravo, José; Lutts, Stanley; Dodd, Ian C; Pérez-Alfocea, Francisco

    2011-01-01

    Salinity limits crop productivity, in part by decreasing shoot concentrations of the growth-promoting and senescence-delaying hormones cytokinins. Since constitutive cytokinin overproduction may have pleiotropic effects on plant development, two approaches assessed whether specific root-localized transgenic IPT (a key enzyme for cytokinin biosynthesis) gene expression could substantially improve tomato plant growth and yield under salinity: transient root IPT induction (HSP70::IPT) and grafting wild-type (WT) shoots onto a constitutive IPT-expressing rootstock (WT/35S::IPT). Transient root IPT induction increased root, xylem sap, and leaf bioactive cytokinin concentrations 2- to 3-fold without shoot IPT gene expression. Although IPT induction reduced root biomass (by 15%) in control (non-salinized) plants, in salinized plants (100 mM NaCl for 22 d), increased cytokinin concentrations delayed stomatal closure and leaf senescence and almost doubled shoot growth (compared with WT plants), with concomitant increases in the essential nutrient K(+) (20%) and decreases in the toxic ion Na(+) (by 30%) and abscisic acid (by 20-40%) concentrations in transpiring mature leaves. Similarly, WT/35S::IPT plants (scion/rootstock) grown with 75 mM NaCl for 90 d had higher fruit trans-zeatin concentrations (1.5- to 2-fold) and yielded 30% more than WT/non-transformed plants. Enhancing root cytokinin synthesis modified both shoot hormonal and ionic status, thus ameliorating salinity-induced decreases in growth and yield.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charles, Joshua M.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  3. Investigations Into Improving Dewaterability at a Bio-P/Anaerobic Digestion Plant.

    PubMed

    Alm, Rebecca; Sealock, Adam W; Nollet, Yabing; Sprouse, George

    2016-01-08

    Metropolitan Council Environmental Services has observed poorer than expected dewatering performance at its Empire Plant. This plant has both anaerobic digestion and enhanced biological phosphorus removal in its treatment train. A research program using pilot scale anaerobic digesters, investigated potential solutions to the plant's poor dewaterability. The dewaterability goal was to increase the cake solids from 12% total solids (TS) to 16%TS, or higher.

  4. Plants used in Chinese and Indian traditional medicine for improvement of memory and cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Howes, Melanie-Jayne R; Houghton, Peter J

    2003-06-01

    In traditional practices of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, numerous plants have been used to treat cognitive disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). An ethnopharmacological approach has provided leads to identifying potential new drugs from plant sources, including those for cognitive disorders. Many drugs currently available in Western medicine were originally isolated from plants, or are derived from templates of compounds isolated from plants. Some anticholinesterase (anti-ChE) alkaloids isolated from plants have been investigated for their potential in the treatment of AD, and are now in clinical use. Galantamine, isolated from several plants including Lycoris radiata Herb., which was used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), is licensed in the United Kingdom for the treatment of mild to moderate AD. Various other plant species have shown pharmacological activities relevant to the treatment of cognitive disorders, indicating potential for therapeutic use in disorders such as AD. This article reviews some of the plants and their active constituents that have been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine and TCM for their reputed cognitive-enhancing or antiageing effects. Plants and their constituents with pharmacological activities that may be relevant for the treatment of cognitive disorders, including enhancement of cholinergic function in the central nervous system (CNS), anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, are discussed.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2006-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. Digital Architecture – Results From a Gap Analysis

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-08

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

  11. MicroRNA: a new target for improving plant tolerance to abiotic stress

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Baohong

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are an extensive class of endogenous, small RNA molecules that sit at the heart of regulating gene expression in multiple developmental and signalling pathways. Recent studies have shown that abiotic stresses induce aberrant expression of many miRNAs, thus suggesting that miRNAs may be a new target for genetically improving plant tolerance to certain stresses. These studies have also shown that miRNAs respond to environmental stresses in a miRNA-, stress-, tissue-, and genotype-dependent manner. During abiotic stress, miRNAs function by regulating target genes within the miRNA–target gene network and by controlling signalling pathways and root development. Generally speaking, stress-induced miRNAs lead to down-regulation of negative regulators of stress tolerance whereas stress-inhibited miRNAs allow the accumulation and function of positive regulators. Currently, the majority of miRNA-based studies have focused on the identification of miRNAs that are responsive to different stress conditions and analysing their expression profile changes during these treatments. This has predominately been accomplished using deep sequencing technologies and other expression analyses, such as quantitative real-time PCR. In the future, more function and expression studies will be necessary in order to elucidate the common miRNA-mediated regulatory mechanisms that underlie tolerance to different abiotic stresses. The use of artificial miRNAs, as well as overexpression and knockout/down of both miRNAs and their targets, will be the best techniques for determining the specific roles of individual miRNAs in response to environmental stresses. PMID:25697792

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ken Mortensen

    2010-12-31

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

  13. Paramagnetic cellulose DNA isolation improves DNA yield and quality among diverse plant taxa1

    PubMed Central

    Moeller, Jackson R.; Moehn, Nicholas R.; Waller, Donald M.; Givnish, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    • Premise of the study: The chemical diversity of land plants ensures that no single DNA isolation method results in high yield and purity with little effort for all species. Here we evaluate a new technique originally developed for forensic science, based on MagnaCel paramagnetic cellulose particles (PMC), to determine its efficacy in extracting DNA from 25 plant species representing 21 families and 15 orders. • Methods and Results: Yield and purity of DNA isolated by PMC, DNeasy Plant Mini Kit (silica column), and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) methods were compared among four individuals for each of 25 plant species. PMC gave a twofold advantage in average yield, and the relative advantage of the PMC method was greatest for samples with the lowest DNA yields. PMC also produced more consistent sample purity based on absorbance ratios at 260:280 and 260:230 nm. • Conclusions: PMC technology is a promising alternative for plant DNA isolation. PMID:25309836

  14. Improvement of plant parameters of the ROBO gamma irradiation facility due to design modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovacs, A.; Moussa, A.; Othman, I.; Del Valle Odar, C.; Seminario, A.; Linares, M.; Huamanlazo, P.; Aymar, J.; Chu, R.

    1998-06-01

    Two industrial scale, "ROBO" type 60Co gamma irradiation facilities have recently been put into operation in Syria and Peru, and the dosimetry commissioning of both plants have been carried out to determine dose distribution within products and to calculate plant parameters such as efficiency, dose uniformity ratio and throughput. There are some design modifications between the two plants in connection with the location of the carriers with respect to the source plaque and also to each other. The effect of these construction modifications on the plant parameters is discussed in the analysis of the dose distribution data measured in the carriers with depth and height among the four irradiation rows on both sides of the source plaque. The plant parameters were also calculated for different product densities using the technical data of the facilities, and the calculated and measured results were compared to each other.

  15. COTIP: Cotton TILLING Platform, a Resource for Plant Improvement and Reverse Genetic Studies

    PubMed Central

    Aslam, Usman; Cheema, Hafiza M. N.; Ahmad, Sheraz; Khan, Iqrar A.; Malik, Waqas; Khan, Asif A.

    2016-01-01

    Cotton is cultivated worldwide for its white fiber, of which around 90% is tetraploid upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) carrying both A and D genome. Since centuries, yield increasing efforts for the cotton crop by conventional breeding approaches have caused an extensive erosion of natural genetic variability. Mutation based improvement strategies provide an effective way of creating new allelic variations. Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes (TILLING) provides a mutation based reverse genetic strategy to create and evaluate induced genetic variability at DNA level. Here, we report development and testing of TILLING populations of allotetraploid cotton (G. hirsutum) for functional genomic studies and mutation based enrichment of cotton genetic resources. Seed of two cotton cultivars “PB-899 and PB-900” were mutagenized with 0.3 and 0.2% (v/v) ethyl methanesulfonate, respectively. The phenotyping of M1 and M2 populations presented numerous mutants regarding the branching pattern, leaf morphology, disease resistance, photosynthetic lesions and flower sterility. Molecular screening for point mutations was performed by TILLING PCR aided CEL1 mismatch cleavage. To estimate the mutation frequency in the mutant genomes, five gene classes were TILLed in 8000 M2 plants of each var. “PB-899” and “PB-900.” These include actin (GhACT), Pectin Methyl Esterase (GhPME), sucrose synthase (GhSUS), resistance gene analog, and defense response gene (DRGs). The var. PB-899 was harboring 47% higher mutation induction rate than PB-900. The highest rate of mutation frequency was identified for NAC-TF5 (EU706348) of DRGs class, ranging from 1/58 kb in PB-899 to 1/105 kb in PB-900. The mutation screening assay revealed the presence of significant proportion of induced mutations in cotton TILLING populations such as 1/153 kb and 1/326 kb in var. “PB-899” and “PB-900,” respectively. The establishment of a cotton TILLING platform (COTIP) and data obtained from

  16. Specific target determination by planting anomalous densities applied to seismic migration-velocity improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, Henrique; Macedo, Daniel; Santos, Edgar; Schleicher, Joerg; Novais, Amélia

    2014-05-01

    Over the years, time and depth migration has been regularly applied to seismic imaging, where good starting velocity models are expected. However, automatic and/or efficient velocity model construction tools are still a challenge. Most present-day model-building techniques are iterative procedures that improve a starting model based on intermediate results. We present a new tool for initial seismic migration-velocity model building based on a new gravity inversion method. This inversion process consists of an iterative algorithm that provides a 3D density-contrast distribution on a grid of prisms, being the starting point an user-specified prismatic elements called "seed". By this planting anomalous densities technique, we are able to interpret multiple bodies with different density contrasts. Therefore, the present method does not require the solution of a large equation system, which greatly reduces the computational demand. In this work, we discuss the application of the estimated density-contrast distribution, i.e., the geometry of the body, as a first guess for the velocity model. Our suggestion is to extract the skeleton of the inverted body and fill each prism with a velocity consistent with the presumed geology. This is an alternative way to improve the knowledge of complex structures, for example, salt structures and sub-salt sediments, regions where the seismic imaging is limited by the effects of wavefield transmission, scattering and absorption. To evaluate the capability of this tool, we modeled the gravimetric effect of several 3D bodies with different geometries and different densities while jointly producing similar 2D seismic models that simulate slices of the three-dimensional model. By means of these models we performed the robust gravity inversion and 2D depth- and time-migration for the seismic data using the velocity models constructed as previously described. Our results show the capacity of the proposed velocity-model-building algorithm to

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Designer labels for plant metabolism: statistical design of isotope labeling experiments for improved quantification of flux in complex plant metabolic networks.

    PubMed

    Nargund, Shilpa; Sriram, Ganesh

    2013-01-27

    Metabolic fluxes are powerful indicators of cell physiology and can be estimated by isotope-assisted metabolic flux analysis (MFA). The complexity of the compartmented metabolic networks of plants has constrained the application of isotope-assisted MFA to them, principally because of poor identifiability of fluxes from the measured isotope labeling patterns. However, flux identifiability can be significantly improved by a priori design of isotope labeling experiments (ILEs). This computational design involves evaluating the effect of different isotope label and isotopomer measurement combinations on flux identifiability, and thereby identifying optimal labels and measurements toward evaluating the fluxes of interest with the highest confidence. This article reports ILE designs for two major, compartmented plant metabolic pathways - the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) shunt. Together, these pathways represent common motifs in plant metabolism including duplication of pathways in different subcellular compartments, reversible reactions and cyclic carbon flow. To compare various ILE designs, we employed statistical A- and D-optimality criteria. Our computations showed that 1,2-(13)C Glc is a powerful and robust label for the plant PPPs, given currently popular isotopomer measurement techniques (single quadrupole mass spectrometry [MS] and 2-D nuclear magnetic resonance [NMR]). Further analysis revealed that this label can estimate several PPP fluxes better than the popular label 1-(13)C Glc. Furthermore, the concurrent measurement of the isotopomers of hexose and pentose moieties synthesized exclusively in the cytosol or the plastid compartments (measurable through intracellular glucose or sucrose, starch, RNA ribose and histidine) considerably improves the identifiability of PPP fluxes in the individual compartments. Additionally, MS-derived isotopomer measurements outperform NMR-derived measurements in identifying PPP fluxes. The

  19. Building a better foundation: improving root-trait measurements to understand and model plant and ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    McCormack, M Luke; Guo, Dali; Iversen, Colleen M; Chen, Weile; Eissenstat, David M; Fernandez, Christopher W; Li, Le; Ma, Chengen; Ma, Zeqing; Poorter, Hendrik; Reich, Peter B; Zadworny, Marcin; Zanne, Amy

    2017-03-13

    Trait-based approaches provide a useful framework to investigate plant strategies for resource acquisition, growth, and competition, as well as plant impacts on ecosystem processes. Despite significant progress capturing trait variation within and among stems and leaves, identification of trait syndromes within fine-root systems and between fine roots and other plant organs is limited. Here we discuss three underappreciated areas where focused measurements of fine-root traits can make significant contributions to ecosystem science. These include assessment of spatiotemporal variation in fine-root traits, integration of mycorrhizal fungi into fine-root-trait frameworks, and the need for improved scaling of traits measured on individual roots to ecosystem-level processes. Progress in each of these areas is providing opportunities to revisit how below-ground processes are represented in terrestrial biosphere models. Targeted measurements of fine-root traits with clear linkages to ecosystem processes and plant responses to environmental change are strongly needed to reduce empirical and model uncertainties. Further identifying how and when suites of root and whole-plant traits are coordinated or decoupled will ultimately provide a powerful tool for modeling plant form and function at local and global scales.

  20. Functional Roles of microRNAs in Agronomically Important Plants-Potential as Targets for Crop Improvement and Protection.

    PubMed

    Djami-Tchatchou, Arnaud T; Sanan-Mishra, Neeti; Ntushelo, Khayalethu; Dubery, Ian A

    2017-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that have recently emerged as important regulators of gene expression, mainly through cleavage and/or translation inhibition of the target mRNAs during or after transcription. miRNAs play important roles by regulating a multitude of biological processes in plants which include maintenance of genome integrity, development, metabolism, and adaptive responses toward environmental stresses. The increasing population of the world and their food demands requires focused efforts for the improvement of crop plants to ensure sustainable food production. Manipulation of mRNA transcript abundance via miRNA control provides a unique strategy for modulating differential plant gene expression and miRNAs are thus emerging as the next generation targets for genetic engineering for improvement of the agronomic properties of crops. However, a deeper understanding of its potential and the mechanisms involved will facilitate the design of suitable strategies to obtain the desirable traits with minimum trade-offs in the modified crops. In this regard, this review highlights the diverse roles of conserved and newly identified miRNAs in various food and industrial crops and recent advances made in the uses of miRNAs to improve plants of agronomically importance so as to significantly enhance crop yields and increase tolerance to various environmental stress agents of biotic-or abiotic origin.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  2. The interrelationship between environmental goals, productivity improvement, and increased energy efficiency in integrated paper and steel plants

    SciTech Connect

    1997-06-01

    This report presents the results of an investigation into the interrelationships between plant-level productivity, energy efficiency, and environmental improvements for integrated pulp and paper mills and integrated steel mills in the US. Integrated paper and steel plants are defined as those facilities that use some form of onsite raw material to produce final products (for example, paper and paperboard or finished steel). Fully integrated pulp and paper mills produce onsite the pulp used to manufacture paper from virgin wood fiber, secondary fiber, or nonwood fiber. Fully integrated steel mills process steel from coal, iron ore, and scrap inputs and have onsite coke oven facilities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Exogenous Melatonin Improves Plant Iron Deficiency Tolerance via Increased Accumulation of Polyamine-Mediated Nitric Oxide

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Cheng; Liu, Zhi; Zhu, Lin; Ma, Zhongyou; Wang, Jianfei; Zhu, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin has recently been demonstrated to play important roles in the regulation of plant growth, development, and abiotic and biotic stress responses. However, the possible involvement of melatonin in Fe deficiency responses and the underlying mechanisms remained elusive in Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, Fe deficiency quickly induced melatonin synthesis in Arabidopsis plants. Exogenous melatonin significantly increased the soluble Fe content of shoots and roots, and decreased the levels of root cell wall Fe bound to pectin and hemicellulose, thus alleviating Fe deficiency-induced chlorosis. Intriguingly, melatonin treatments induced a significant increase of nitric oxide (NO) accumulation in roots of Fe-deficient plants, but not in those of polyamine-deficient (adc2-1 and d-arginine-treated) plants. Moreover, the melatonin-alleviated leaf chlorosis was blocked in the polyamine- and NO-deficient (nia1nia2noa1 and c-PTIO-treated) plants, and the melatonin-induced Fe remobilization was largely inhibited. In addition, the expression of some Fe acquisition-related genes, including FIT1, FRO2, and IRT1 were significantly up-regulated by melatonin treatments, whereas the enhanced expression of these genes was obviously suppressed in the polyamine- and NO-deficient plants. Collectively, our results provide evidence to support the view that melatonin can increase the tolerance of plants to Fe deficiency in a process dependent on the polyamine-induced NO production under Fe-deficient conditions. PMID:27792144

  8. Exogenous Melatonin Improves Plant Iron Deficiency Tolerance via Increased Accumulation of Polyamine-Mediated Nitric Oxide.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Cheng; Liu, Zhi; Zhu, Lin; Ma, Zhongyou; Wang, Jianfei; Zhu, Jian

    2016-10-25

    Melatonin has recently been demonstrated to play important roles in the regulation of plant growth, development, and abiotic and biotic stress responses. However, the possible involvement of melatonin in Fe deficiency responses and the underlying mechanisms remained elusive in Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, Fe deficiency quickly induced melatonin synthesis in Arabidopsis plants. Exogenous melatonin significantly increased the soluble Fe content of shoots and roots, and decreased the levels of root cell wall Fe bound to pectin and hemicellulose, thus alleviating Fe deficiency-induced chlorosis. Intriguingly, melatonin treatments induced a significant increase of nitric oxide (NO) accumulation in roots of Fe-deficient plants, but not in those of polyamine-deficient (adc2-1 and d-arginine-treated) plants. Moreover, the melatonin-alleviated leaf chlorosis was blocked in the polyamine- and NO-deficient (nia1nia2noa1 and c-PTIO-treated) plants, and the melatonin-induced Fe remobilization was largely inhibited. In addition, the expression of some Fe acquisition-related genes, including FIT1, FRO2, and IRT1 were significantly up-regulated by melatonin treatments, whereas the enhanced expression of these genes was obviously suppressed in the polyamine- and NO-deficient plants. Collectively, our results provide evidence to support the view that melatonin can increase the tolerance of plants to Fe deficiency in a process dependent on the polyamine-induced NO production under Fe-deficient conditions.

  9. Architectural plasticity in a Mediterranean winter annual.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  10. LysM receptor-like kinases to improve plant defense response against fungal pathogens

    DOEpatents

    Wan, Jinrong [Columbia, MO; Stacey, Gary [Columbia, MO; Stacey, Minviluz [Columbia, MO; Zhang, Xuecheng [Columbia, MO

    2012-01-17

    Perception of chitin fragments (chitooligosaccharides) is an important first step in plant defense response against fungal pathogen. LysM receptor-like kinases (LysM RLKs) are instrumental in this perception process. LysM RLKs also play a role in activating transcription of chitin-responsive genes (CRGs) in plants. Mutations in the LysM kinase receptor genes or the downstream CRGs may affect the fungal susceptibility of a plant. Mutations in LysM RLKs or transgenes carrying the same may be beneficial in imparting resistance against fungal pathogens.

  11. LysM receptor-like kinases to improve plant defense response against fungal pathogens

    SciTech Connect

    Wan, Jinrong; Stacey, Gary; Stacey, Minviluz; Zhang, Xuecheng

    2013-10-15

    Perception of chitin fragments (chitooligosaccharides) is an important first step in plant defense response against fungal pathogen. LysM receptor-like kinases (LysM RLKs) are instrumental in this perception process. LysM RLKs also play a role in activating transcription of chitin-responsive genes (CRGs) in plants. Mutations in the LysM kinase receptor genes or the downstream CRGs may affect the fungal susceptibility of a plant. Mutations in LysM RLKs or transgenes carrying the same may be beneficial in imparting resistance against fungal pathogens.

  12. Rapid Identification of Asteraceae Plants with Improved RBF-ANN Classification Models Based on MOS Sensor E-Nose

    Pu