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Sample records for plant functional group

  1. Plant parameters for plant functional groups of western rangelands to enable process-based simulation modeling

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Regional environmental assessments with process-based models require realistic estimates of plant parameters for the primary plant functional groups in the region. “Functional group” in this context is an operational term, based on similarities in plant type and in plant parameter values. Likewise...

  2. Model parameters for representative wetland plant functional groups

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Amber S.; Kiniry, James R.; Mushet, David M.; Smith, Loren M.; McMurry, Scott T.; Attebury, Kelly; Lang, Megan; McCarty, Gregory W.; Shaffer, Jill A.; Effland, William R.; Johnson, Mari-Vaughn V.

    2017-01-01

    Wetlands provide a wide variety of ecosystem services including water quality remediation, biodiversity refugia, groundwater recharge, and floodwater storage. Realistic estimation of ecosystem service benefits associated with wetlands requires reasonable simulation of the hydrology of each site and realistic simulation of the upland and wetland plant growth cycles. Objectives of this study were to quantify leaf area index (LAI), light extinction coefficient (k), and plant nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) concentrations in natural stands of representative plant species for some major plant functional groups in the United States. Functional groups in this study were based on these parameters and plant growth types to enable process-based modeling. We collected data at four locations representing some of the main wetland regions of the United States. At each site, we collected on-the-ground measurements of fraction of light intercepted, LAI, and dry matter within the 2013–2015 growing seasons. Maximum LAI and k variables showed noticeable variations among sites and years, while overall averages and functional group averages give useful estimates for multisite simulation modeling. Variation within each species gives an indication of what can be expected in such natural ecosystems. For P and K, the concentrations from highest to lowest were spikerush (Eleocharis macrostachya), reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), smartweed (Polygonum spp.), cattail (Typha spp.), and hardstem bulrush (Schoenoplectus acutus). Spikerush had the highest N concentration, followed by smartweed, bulrush, reed canary grass, and then cattail. These parameters will be useful for the actual wetland species measured and for the wetland plant functional groups they represent. These parameters and the associated process-based models offer promise as valuable tools for evaluating environmental benefits of wetlands and for evaluating impacts of various agronomic practices in

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Decreased plant productivity resulting from plant group removal experiment constrains soil microbial functional diversity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ximei; Johnston, Eric R; Barberán, Albert; Ren, Yi; Lü, Xiaotao; Han, Xingguo

    2017-10-01

    Anthropogenic environmental changes are accelerating the rate of biodiversity loss on Earth. Plant diversity loss is predicted to reduce soil microbial diversity primarily due to the decreased variety of carbon/energy resources. However, this intuitive hypothesis is supported by sparse empirical evidence, and most underlying mechanisms remain underexplored or obscure altogether. We constructed four diversity gradients (0-3) in a five-year plant functional group removal experiment in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia, China, and quantified microbial taxonomic and functional diversity with shotgun metagenome sequencing. The treatments had little effect on microbial taxonomic diversity, but were found to decrease functional gene diversity. However, the observed decrease in functional gene diversity was more attributable to a loss in plant productivity, rather than to the loss of any individual plant functional group per se. Reduced productivity limited fresh plant resources supplied to microorganisms, and thus, intensified the pressure of ecological filtering, favoring genes responsible for energy production/conversion, material transport/metabolism and amino acid recycling, and accordingly disfavored many genes with other functions. Furthermore, microbial respiration was correlated with the variation in functional composition but not taxonomic composition. Overall, the amount of carbon/energy resources driving microbial gene diversity was identified to be the critical linkage between above- and belowground communities, contrary to the traditional framework of linking plant clade/taxonomic diversity to microbial taxonomic diversity. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Functional trait responses to grazing are mediated by soil moisture and plant functional group identity

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Shuxia; Li, Wenhuai; Lan, Zhichun; Ren, Haiyan; Wang, Kaibo

    2015-01-01

    Abundant evidence has shown that grazing alters plant functional traits, community structure and ecosystem functioning of grasslands. Few studies, however, have tested how plant responses to grazing are mediated by resource availability and plant functional group identity. We examined the effects of grazing on functional traits across a broad range of species along a soil moisture gradient in Inner Mongolia grassland. Our results showed that trait syndromes of plant size (individual biomass) and shoot growth (leaf N content and leaf density) distinguished plant species responses to grazing. The effects of grazing on functional traits were mediated by soil moisture and dependent on functional group identity. For most species, grazing decreased plant height but increased leaf N and specific leaf area (SLA) along the moisture gradient. Grazing enhanced the community-weighted attributes (leaf NCWM and SLACWM), which were triggered mainly by the positive trait responses of annuals and biennials and perennial grasses, and increased relative abundance of perennial forbs. Our results suggest that grazing-induced species turnover and increased intraspecific trait variability are two drivers for the observed changes in community weighted attributes. The dominant perennial bunchgrasses exhibited mixed tolerance–resistance strategies to grazing and mixed acquisitive–conservative strategies in resource utilization. PMID:26655858

  6. Functional trait responses to grazing are mediated by soil moisture and plant functional group identity.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Shuxia; Li, Wenhuai; Lan, Zhichun; Ren, Haiyan; Wang, Kaibo

    2015-12-11

    Abundant evidence has shown that grazing alters plant functional traits, community structure and ecosystem functioning of grasslands. Few studies, however, have tested how plant responses to grazing are mediated by resource availability and plant functional group identity. We examined the effects of grazing on functional traits across a broad range of species along a soil moisture gradient in Inner Mongolia grassland. Our results showed that trait syndromes of plant size (individual biomass) and shoot growth (leaf N content and leaf density) distinguished plant species responses to grazing. The effects of grazing on functional traits were mediated by soil moisture and dependent on functional group identity. For most species, grazing decreased plant height but increased leaf N and specific leaf area (SLA) along the moisture gradient. Grazing enhanced the community-weighted attributes (leaf NCWM and SLACWM), which were triggered mainly by the positive trait responses of annuals and biennials and perennial grasses, and increased relative abundance of perennial forbs. Our results suggest that grazing-induced species turnover and increased intraspecific trait variability are two drivers for the observed changes in community weighted attributes. The dominant perennial bunchgrasses exhibited mixed tolerance-resistance strategies to grazing and mixed acquisitive-conservative strategies in resource utilization.

  7. Nutrient resorption patterns of plant functional groups in a tropical savanna: variation and functional significance.

    PubMed

    Ratnam, Jayashree; Sankaran, Mahesh; Hanan, Niall P; Grant, Rina C; Zambatis, Nick

    2008-08-01

    Green and senesced leaf nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations of different plant functional groups in savanna communities of Kruger National Park, South Africa were analyzed to determine if nutrient resorption was regulated by plant nutritional status and foliar N:P ratios. The N and P concentrations in green leaves and the N concentrations in senesced leaves differed significantly between the dominant plant functional groups in these savannas: fine-leaved trees, broad-leaved trees and grasses. However, all three functional groups reduced P to comparable and very low levels in senesced leaves, suggesting that P was tightly conserved in this tropical semi-arid savanna ecosystem. Across all functional groups, there was evidence for nutritional control of resorption in this system, with both N and P resorption efficiencies decreasing as green leaf nutrient concentrations increased. However, specific patterns of resorption and the functional relationships between nutrient concentrations in green and senesced leaves varied by nutrient and plant functional group. Functional relationships between N concentrations in green and senesced leaves were indistinguishable between the dominant groups, suggesting that variation in N resorption efficiency was largely the result of inter-life form differences in green leaf N concentrations. In contrast, observed differences in P resorption efficiencies between life forms appear to be the result of both differences in green leaf P concentrations as well as inherent differences between life forms in the fraction of green leaf P resorbed from senescing leaves. Our results indicate that foliar N:P ratios are poor predictors of resorption efficiency in this ecosystem, in contrast to N and P resorption proficiencies, which are more responsive to foliar N:P ratios.

  8. Plant Functional Group Composition Modifies the Effects of Precipitation Change on Grassland Ecosystem Function

    PubMed Central

    Fry, Ellen L.; Manning, Pete; Allen, David G. P.; Hurst, Alex; Everwand, Georg; Rimmler, Martin; Power, Sally A.

    2013-01-01

    Temperate grassland ecosystems face a future of precipitation change, which can alter community composition and ecosystem functions through reduced soil moisture and waterlogging. There is evidence that functionally diverse plant communities contain a wider range of water use and resource capture strategies, resulting in greater resistance of ecosystem function to precipitation change. To investigate this interaction between composition and precipitation change we performed a field experiment for three years in successional grassland in southern England. This consisted of two treatments. The first, precipitation change, simulated end of century predictions, and consisted of a summer drought phase alongside winter rainfall addition. The second, functional group identity, divided the plant community into three groups based on their functional traits- broadly described as perennials, caespitose grasses and annuals- and removed these groups in a factorial design. Ecosystem functions related to C, N and water cycling were measured regularly. Effects of functional groupidentity were apparent, with the dominant trend being that process rates were higher under control conditions where a range of perennial species were present. E.g. litter decomposition rates were significantly higher in plots containing several perennial species, the group with the highest average leaf N content. Process rates were also very strongly affected by the precipitation change treatmentwhen perennial plant species were dominant, but not where the community contained a high abundance of annual species and caespitose grasses. This contrasting response could be attributable to differing rooting patterns (shallower structures under annual plants, and deeper roots under perennials) and faster nutrient uptake in annuals compared to perennials. Our results indicate that precipitation change will have a smaller effect on key process rates in grasslandscontaining a range of perennial and annual species

  9. Plant functional group composition modifies the effects of precipitation change on grassland ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Fry, Ellen L; Manning, Pete; Allen, David G P; Hurst, Alex; Everwand, Georg; Rimmler, Martin; Power, Sally A

    2013-01-01

    Temperate grassland ecosystems face a future of precipitation change, which can alter community composition and ecosystem functions through reduced soil moisture and waterlogging. There is evidence that functionally diverse plant communities contain a wider range of water use and resource capture strategies, resulting in greater resistance of ecosystem function to precipitation change. To investigate this interaction between composition and precipitation change we performed a field experiment for three years in successional grassland in southern England. This consisted of two treatments. The first, precipitation change, simulated end of century predictions, and consisted of a summer drought phase alongside winter rainfall addition. The second, functional group identity, divided the plant community into three groups based on their functional traits- broadly described as perennials, caespitose grasses and annuals- and removed these groups in a factorial design. Ecosystem functions related to C, N and water cycling were measured regularly. Effects of functional groupidentity were apparent, with the dominant trend being that process rates were higher under control conditions where a range of perennial species were present. E.g. litter decomposition rates were significantly higher in plots containing several perennial species, the group with the highest average leaf N content. Process rates were also very strongly affected by the precipitation change treatmentwhen perennial plant species were dominant, but not where the community contained a high abundance of annual species and caespitose grasses. This contrasting response could be attributable to differing rooting patterns (shallower structures under annual plants, and deeper roots under perennials) and faster nutrient uptake in annuals compared to perennials. Our results indicate that precipitation change will have a smaller effect on key process rates in grasslandscontaining a range of perennial and annual species

  10. Plant species and functional group combinations affect green roof ecosystem functions.

    PubMed

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Macivor, J Scott; Macdougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-03-12

    Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms governing biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in green

  11. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  13. Arrival order among native plant functional groups does not affect invasibility of constructed dune communities.

    PubMed

    Mason, T J; French, K; Jolley, D

    2013-10-01

    Different arrival order scenarios of native functional groups to a site may influence both resource use during development and final community structure. Arrival order may then indirectly influence community resistance to invasion. We present a mesocosm experiment of constructed coastal dune communities that monitored biotic and abiotic responses to different arrival orders of native functional groups. Constructed communities were compared with unplanted mesocosms. We then simulated a single invasion event by bitou (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata), a dominant exotic shrub of coastal communities. We evaluated the hypothesis that plantings with simultaneous representation of grass, herb and shrub functional groups at the beginning of the experiment would more completely sequester resources and limit invasion than staggered plantings. Staggered plantings in turn would offer greater resource use and invasion resistance than unplanted mesocosms. Contrary to our expectations, there were few effects of arrival order on abiotic variables for the duration of the experiment and arrival order was unimportant in final community invasibility. All planted mesocosms supported significantly more invader germinants and significantly less invader abundance than unplanted mesocosms. Native functional group plantings may have a nurse effect during the invader germination and establishment phase and a competitive function during the invader juvenile and adult phase. Arrival order per se did not affect resource use and community invasibility in our mesocosm experiment. While grass, herb and shrub functional group plantings will not prevent invasion success in restored communities, they may limit final invader biomass.

  14. Effects of plant diversity, functional group composition, and fertilization on soil microbial properties in experimental grassland.

    PubMed

    Strecker, Tanja; Barnard, Romain L; Niklaus, Pascal A; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Weigelt, Alexandra; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-01-01

    Loss of biodiversity and increased nutrient inputs are two of the most crucial anthropogenic factors driving ecosystem change. Although both received considerable attention in previous studies, information on their interactive effects on ecosystem functioning is scarce. In particular, little is known on how soil biota and their functions are affected by combined changes in plant diversity and fertilization. We investigated the effects of plant diversity, functional community composition, and fertilization on the biomass and respiration of soil microbial communities in a long-term biodiversity experiment in semi-natural grassland (Jena Experiment). Plant species richness enhanced microbial basal respiration and microbial biomass, but did not significantly affect microbial specific respiration. In contrast, the presence of legumes and fertilization significantly decreased microbial specific respiration, without altering microbial biomass. The effect of legumes was superimposed by fertilization as indicated by a significant interaction between the presence of legumes and fertilization. Further, changes in microbial stoichiometry (C-to-N ratio) and specific respiration suggest the presence of legumes to reduce N limitation of soil microorganisms and to modify microbial C use efficiency. Our study highlights the role of plant species and functional group diversity as well as interactions between plant community composition and fertilizer application for soil microbial functions. Our results suggest soil microbial stoichiometry to be a powerful indicator of microbial functioning under N limited conditions. Although our results support the notion that plant diversity and fertilizer application independently affect microbial functioning, legume effects on microbial N limitation were superimposed by fertilization, indicating significant interactions between the functional composition of plant communities and nutrient inputs for soil processes.

  15. Effects of Plant Diversity, Functional Group Composition, and Fertilization on Soil Microbial Properties in Experimental Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Strecker, Tanja; Barnard, Romain L.; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Weigelt, Alexandra; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-01-01

    Background Loss of biodiversity and increased nutrient inputs are two of the most crucial anthropogenic factors driving ecosystem change. Although both received considerable attention in previous studies, information on their interactive effects on ecosystem functioning is scarce. In particular, little is known on how soil biota and their functions are affected by combined changes in plant diversity and fertilization. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated the effects of plant diversity, functional community composition, and fertilization on the biomass and respiration of soil microbial communities in a long-term biodiversity experiment in semi-natural grassland (Jena Experiment). Plant species richness enhanced microbial basal respiration and microbial biomass, but did not significantly affect microbial specific respiration. In contrast, the presence of legumes and fertilization significantly decreased microbial specific respiration, without altering microbial biomass. The effect of legumes was superimposed by fertilization as indicated by a significant interaction between the presence of legumes and fertilization. Further, changes in microbial stoichiometry (C-to-N ratio) and specific respiration suggest the presence of legumes to reduce N limitation of soil microorganisms and to modify microbial C use efficiency. Conclusions/Significance Our study highlights the role of plant species and functional group diversity as well as interactions between plant community composition and fertilizer application for soil microbial functions. Our results suggest soil microbial stoichiometry to be a powerful indicator of microbial functioning under N limited conditions. Although our results support the notion that plant diversity and fertilizer application independently affect microbial functioning, legume effects on microbial N limitation were superimposed by fertilization, indicating significant interactions between the functional composition of plant communities and

  16. Hydrological-niche models predict water plant functional group distributions in diverse wetland types.

    PubMed

    Deane, David C; Nicol, Jason M; Gehrig, Susan L; Harding, Claire; Aldridge, Kane T; Goodman, Abigail M; Brookes, Justin D

    2017-03-06

    Human use of water resources threatens environmental water supplies. If resource managers are to develop policies that avoid unacceptable ecological impacts, some means to predict ecosystem response to changes in water availability is necessary. This is difficult to achieve at spatial-scales relevant for water resource management because of the high natural variability in ecosystem hydrology and ecology. Water plant functional groups classify species with similar hydrological niche preferences together, allowing a qualitative means to generalise community responses to changes in hydrology. We tested the potential for functional groups in making quantitative prediction of water-plant-functional-group distributions across diverse wetland types over a large geographical extent. We sampled wetlands covering a broad range of hydrogeomorphic and salinity conditions in South Australia, collecting both hydrological and floristic data from 697 quadrats across 28 wetland hydrological gradients. We built hydrological-niche models for eight water plant functional groups using a range of candidate models combining different surface inundation metrics. We then tested the predictive performance of top-ranked individual and averaged models for each functional group. Cross validation showed models achieved acceptable predictive performance, with correct classification rates in the range 0.68 - 0.95. Model predictions can be made at any spatial scale that hydrological data are available and could be implemented in a geographical information system. We show the response of water plant functional groups to inundation is consistent enough across diverse wetland types to quantify the probability of hydrological impacts over regional spatial scales. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  17. Plant functional group responses to fire frequency and tree canopy cover gradients in oak savannas and woodlands.

    Treesearch

    D.W. Peterson; P.B. Reich; K.J. Wrage

    2007-01-01

    We measured plant functional group cover and tree canopy cover on permanent plots within a long-term prescribed fire frequency experiment and used hierarchical linear modeling to assess plant functional group responses to fire frequency and tree canopy cover. Understory woody plant cover was highest in unburned woodlands and was negatively correlated with fire...

  18. β-Diversity of Functional Groups of Woody Plants in a Tropical Dry Forest in Yucatan

    PubMed Central

    López-Martínez, Jorge Omar; Sanaphre-Villanueva, Lucía; Dupuy, Juan Manuel; Hernández-Stefanoni, José Luis; Meave, Jorge Arturo; Gallardo-Cruz, José Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Two main theories have attempted to explain variation in plant species composition (β-diversity). Niche theory proposes that most of the variation is related to environment (environmental filtering), whereas neutral theory posits that dispersal limitation is the main driver of β-diversity. In this study, we first explored how α- and β-diversity of plant functional groups defined by growth form (trees, shrubs and lianas, which represent different strategies of resource partitioning), and dispersal syndrome (autochory, anemochory and zoochory, which represent differences in dispersal limitation) vary with successional age and topographic position in a tropical dry forest. Second, we examined the effects of environmental, spatial, and spatially-structured environmental factors on β-diversity of functional groups; we used the spatial structure of sampling sites as a proxy for dispersal limitation, and elevation, soil properties and forest stand age as indicators of environmental filtering. We recorded 200 species and 22,245 individuals in 276 plots; 120 species were trees, 41 shrubs and 39 lianas. We found that β-diversity was highest for shrubs, intermediate for lianas and lowest for trees, and was slightly higher for zoochorous than for autochorous and anemochorous species. All three dispersal syndromes, trees and shrubs varied in composition among vegetation classes (successional age and topographic position), whilst lianas did not. β-diversity was influenced mostly by proxies of environmental filtering, except for shrubs, for which the influence of dispersal limitation was more important. Stand age and topography significantly influenced α-diversity across functional groups, but showed a low influence on β-diversity –possibly due to the counterbalancing effect of resprouting on plant distribution and composition. Our results show that considering different plant functional groups reveals important differences in both α- and β-diversity patterns and

  19. β-Diversity of functional groups of woody plants in a tropical dry forest in Yucatan.

    PubMed

    López-Martínez, Jorge Omar; Sanaphre-Villanueva, Lucía; Dupuy, Juan Manuel; Hernández-Stefanoni, José Luis; Meave, Jorge Arturo; Gallardo-Cruz, José Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Two main theories have attempted to explain variation in plant species composition (β-diversity). Niche theory proposes that most of the variation is related to environment (environmental filtering), whereas neutral theory posits that dispersal limitation is the main driver of β-diversity. In this study, we first explored how α- and β-diversity of plant functional groups defined by growth form (trees, shrubs and lianas, which represent different strategies of resource partitioning), and dispersal syndrome (autochory, anemochory and zoochory, which represent differences in dispersal limitation) vary with successional age and topographic position in a tropical dry forest. Second, we examined the effects of environmental, spatial, and spatially-structured environmental factors on β-diversity of functional groups; we used the spatial structure of sampling sites as a proxy for dispersal limitation, and elevation, soil properties and forest stand age as indicators of environmental filtering. We recorded 200 species and 22,245 individuals in 276 plots; 120 species were trees, 41 shrubs and 39 lianas. We found that β-diversity was highest for shrubs, intermediate for lianas and lowest for trees, and was slightly higher for zoochorous than for autochorous and anemochorous species. All three dispersal syndromes, trees and shrubs varied in composition among vegetation classes (successional age and topographic position), whilst lianas did not. β-diversity was influenced mostly by proxies of environmental filtering, except for shrubs, for which the influence of dispersal limitation was more important. Stand age and topography significantly influenced α-diversity across functional groups, but showed a low influence on β-diversity -possibly due to the counterbalancing effect of resprouting on plant distribution and composition. Our results show that considering different plant functional groups reveals important differences in both α- and β-diversity patterns and

  20. Woody Plant Encroachment into Grasslands: Spatial Patterns of Functional Group Distribution and Community Development

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Feng; Archer, Steven R.; Gelwick, Frances; Bai, Edith; Boutton, Thomas W.; Wu, Xinyuan Ben

    2013-01-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has been globally widespread. The woody species invading grasslands represent a variety of contrasting plant functional groups and growth forms. Are some woody plant functional types (PFTs) better suited to invade grasslands than others? To what extent do local patterns of distribution and abundance of woody PFTs invading grasslands reflect intrinsic topoedaphic properties versus plant-induced changes in soil properties? We addressed these questions in the Southern Great Plains, United States at a subtropical grassland known to have been encroached upon by woody species over the past 50-100 years. A total of 20 woody species (9 tree-statured; 11 shrub-statured) were encountered along a transect extending from an upland into a playa basin. About half of the encroaching woody plants were potential N2-fixers (55% of species), but they contributed only 7% to 16 % of the total basal area. Most species and the PFTs they represent were ubiquitously distributed along the topoedaphic gradient, but with varying abundances. Overstory-understory comparisons suggest that while future species composition of these woody communities is likely to change, PFT composition is not. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) ordination and variance partitioning (Partial CCA) indicated that woody species and PFT composition in developing woody communities was primarily influenced by intrinsic landscape location variables (e.g., soil texture) and secondarily by plant-induced changes in soil organic carbon and total nitrogen content. The ubiquitous distribution of species and PFTs suggests that woody plants are generally well-suited to a broad range of grassland topoedaphic settings. However, here we only examined categorical and non-quantitative functional traits. Although intrinsic soil properties exerted more control over the floristics of grassland-to-woodland succession did plant modifications of soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations, the latter

  1. Woody plant encroachment into grasslands: spatial patterns of functional group distribution and community development.

    PubMed

    Liu, Feng; Archer, Steven R; Gelwick, Frances; Bai, Edith; Boutton, Thomas W; Wu, Xinyuan Ben

    2013-01-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has been globally widespread. The woody species invading grasslands represent a variety of contrasting plant functional groups and growth forms. Are some woody plant functional types (PFTs) better suited to invade grasslands than others? To what extent do local patterns of distribution and abundance of woody PFTs invading grasslands reflect intrinsic topoedaphic properties versus plant-induced changes in soil properties? We addressed these questions in the Southern Great Plains, United States at a subtropical grassland known to have been encroached upon by woody species over the past 50-100 years. A total of 20 woody species (9 tree-statured; 11 shrub-statured) were encountered along a transect extending from an upland into a playa basin. About half of the encroaching woody plants were potential N2-fixers (55% of species), but they contributed only 7% to 16 % of the total basal area. Most species and the PFTs they represent were ubiquitously distributed along the topoedaphic gradient, but with varying abundances. Overstory-understory comparisons suggest that while future species composition of these woody communities is likely to change, PFT composition is not. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) ordination and variance partitioning (Partial CCA) indicated that woody species and PFT composition in developing woody communities was primarily influenced by intrinsic landscape location variables (e.g., soil texture) and secondarily by plant-induced changes in soil organic carbon and total nitrogen content. The ubiquitous distribution of species and PFTs suggests that woody plants are generally well-suited to a broad range of grassland topoedaphic settings. However, here we only examined categorical and non-quantitative functional traits. Although intrinsic soil properties exerted more control over the floristics of grassland-to-woodland succession did plant modifications of soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations, the latter

  2. Effects of water table position and plant functional group on plant community, aboveground production, and peat properties in a peatland mesocosm experiment (PEATcosm)

    Treesearch

    Lynette R. Potvin; Evan S. Kane; Rodney A. Chimner; Randall K. Kolka; Erik A. Lilleskov

    2015-01-01

    Aims Our objective was to assess the impacts of water table position and plant functional type on peat structure, plant community composition and aboveground plant production. Methods We initiated a full factorial experiment with 2 water table (WT) treatments (high and low) and 3 plant functional groups (PFG: sedge, Ericaceae,...

  3. Montane meadow change during drought varies with background hydrologic regime and plant functional group.

    PubMed

    Debinski, Diane M; Wickham, Hadley; Kindscher, Kelly; Caruthers, Jennet C; Germino, Matthew

    2010-06-01

    Climate change models for many ecosystems predict more extreme climatic events in the future, including exacerbated drought conditions. Here we assess the effects of drought by quantifying temporal variation in community composition of a complex montane meadow landscape characterized by a hydrological gradient. The meadows occur in two regions of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Gallatin and Teton) and were classified into six categories (M1-M6, designating hydric to xeric) based upon Satellite pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT) satellite imagery. Both regions have similar plant communities, but patch sizes of meadows are much smaller in the Gallatin region. We measured changes in the percent cover of bare ground and plants by species and functional groups during five years between 1997 and 2007. We hypothesized that drought effects would not be manifested evenly across the hydrological gradient, but rather would be observed as hotspots of change in some areas and minimally evident in others. We also expected varying responses by plant functional groups (forbs vs. woody plants). Forbs, which typically use water from relatively shallow s,oils compared to woody plants, were expected to decrease in cover in mesic meadows, but increase in hydric meadows. Woody plants, such as Artemisia, were expected to increase, especially in mesic meadows. We identified several important trends in our meadow plant communities during this period of drought: (1) bare ground increased significantly in xeric meadows of both regions (Gallatin M6 and Teton M5) and in mesic (M3) meadows of the Teton, (2) forbs decreased significantly in the mesic and xeric meadows in both regions, (3) forbs increased in hydric (M1) meadows of the Gallatin region, and (4) woody species showed increases in M2 and M5 meadows of the Teton region and in M3 meadows of the Gallatin region. The woody response was dominated by changes in Artemisia spp. and Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus. Thus, our results

  4. Slug responses to grassland cutting and fertilizer application under plant functional group removal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Everwand, Georg; Scherber, Christoph; Tscharntke, Teja

    2013-04-01

    Current studies on trophic interactions in biodiversity experiments have largely relied on artificially sown gradients in plant diversity, but removal experiments with their more natural plant community composition are more realistic. Slugs are a major part of the invertebrate herbivore community, with some species being common pests in agriculture. We therefore investigated how strongly slugs are influenced by grassland management, plant biodiversity and composition. Here we analysed the effects of cutting frequency, fertilizer application and plant functional group composition on slug densities and their contribution to herbivory on Rumex acetosa in a removal experiment within a >100-year old grassland in Northern Germany. The experiment was laid out as a Latin rectangle with full factorial combinations of (i) plant functional group removal (3 levels) using herbicides, (ii) fertilizer application (2 levels) and (iii) cutting frequency (2 levels). The resulting 12 treatment combinations were replicated 6 times, resulting in 72 plots. We collected a total of 1020 individuals belonging to three species Arion distinctus (60.4% of individuals), Deroceras reticulatum (34.7%) and Arion lusitanicus (4.9%) using a cover board technique and additionally measured herbivore damage to R. acetosa. We found the highest slug abundance on plots with a low cutting frequency and high food resource availability (increased cover of forbs and taller vegetation). Fertilizer application had no significant effect on slug abundance, but caused higher herbivore damage to on R. acetosa, possibly as a result of increased tissue quality. The negative effect of higher cutting frequency on slug abundance was lowest in control plots with their naturally developed graminoid-forb communities (cutting reduced slug density by 6% in the control vs. 29% in herbicide plots). Our experiments therefore support the idea that more natural plant species compositions reduce the impact of disturbances (e

  5. Challenging urban species diversity: contrasting phylogenetic patterns across plant functional groups in Germany.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Sonja; Kühn, Ingolf; Schweiger, Oliver; Klotz, Stefan

    2008-10-01

    Cities are hotspots of plant species richness, harboring more species than their rural surroundings, at least over large enough scales. However, species richness does not necessarily cover all aspects of biodiversity such as phylogenetic relationships. Ignoring these relationships, our understanding of how species assemblages develop and change in a changing environment remains incomplete. Given the high vascular plant species richness of urbanized areas in Germany, we asked whether these also have a higher phylogenetic diversity than rural areas, and whether phylogenetic diversity patterns differ systematically between species groups characterized by specific functional traits. Calculating the average phylogenetic distinctness of the total German flora and accounting for spatial autocorrelation, we show that phylogenetic diversity of urban areas does not reflect their high species richness. Hence, high urban species richness is mainly due to more closely related species that are functionally similar and able to deal with urbanization. This diminished phylogenetic information might decrease the flora's capacity to respond to environmental changes.

  6. A CRM domain protein functions dually in group I and group II intron splicing in land plant chloroplasts.

    PubMed

    Asakura, Yukari; Barkan, Alice

    2007-12-01

    The CRM domain is a recently recognized RNA binding domain found in three group II intron splicing factors in chloroplasts, in a bacterial protein that associates with ribosome precursors, and in a family of uncharacterized proteins in plants. To elucidate the functional repertoire of proteins with CRM domains, we studied CFM2 (for CRM Family Member 2), which harbors four CRM domains. RNA coimmunoprecipitation assays showed that CFM2 in maize (Zea mays) chloroplasts is associated with the group I intron in pre-trnL-UAA and group II introns in the ndhA and ycf3 pre-mRNAs. T-DNA insertions in the Arabidopsis thaliana ortholog condition a defective-seed phenotype (strong allele) or chlorophyll-deficient seedlings with impaired splicing of the trnL group I intron and the ndhA, ycf3-int1, and clpP-int2 group II introns (weak alleles). CFM2 and two previously described CRM proteins are bound simultaneously to the ndhA and ycf3-int1 introns and act in a nonredundant fashion to promote their splicing. With these findings, CRM domain proteins are implicated in the activities of three classes of catalytic RNA: group I introns, group II introns, and 23S rRNA.

  7. Ecological Significance of a Geomorphic Stream Classification: Species and Functional Group Composition of Riparian Plant Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw, J. R.; Cooper, D. J.

    2014-12-01

    We tested the ecological significance of a geomorphic classification of Sonoran Desert ephemeral stream channels based on channel plan-form, degree of lateral confinement, and boundary material composition. This typology has been shown to discriminate among channel geometry and hydraulic characteristics for bedrock, bedrock with alluvium, incised alluvium, braided, and piedmont headwater channels. We examined stream reach-scale relationships of geomorphic stream types to the relative cover and density of perennial plant species and functional groups, and identified the dominant fluvial drivers, within riparian communities at 101 ephemeral stream reaches on the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground and Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range in southwestern Arizona, USA. Nonparametric multivariate analysis of variance showed that species and functional group composition differed significantly among geomorphic stream types, both in terms of relative cover and density. Partitioning of among-site multivariate dissimilarity revealed that species compositional differences between stream types were caused largely by variation in the cover and density of the most common members of the regional flora. Distinctive functional group composition among reach types resulted from differences in the cover and density of drought-deciduous shrubs and subshrubs, evergreen trees and shrubs, and photosynthetic-stemmed trees. Comparison of environmental and biotic dissimilarity matrices highlighted the role of channel gradient as the dominant abiotic driver of riparian plant community composition, with stream channel elevation and width:depth providing additional explanatory power. Distinctive riparian plant community composition among the geomorphic stream types demonstrates the ecological significance of this a priori channel classification, and indicates its potential utility in understanding spatial patterns of ecological dynamics, sample stratification for process-based studies, and reference

  8. Improving plant functional groups for dynamic models of biodiversity: at the crossroads between functional and community ecology

    PubMed Central

    Isabelle, Boulangeat; Pauline, Philippe; Sylvain, Abdulhak; Roland, Douzet; Luc, Garraud; Sébastien, Lavergne; Sandra, Lavorel; Jérémie, Van Es; Pascal, Vittoz; Wilfried, Thuiller

    2013-01-01

    The pace of on-going climate change calls for reliable plant biodiversity scenarios. Traditional dynamic vegetation models use plant functional types that are summarized to such an extent that they become meaningless for biodiversity scenarios. Hybrid dynamic vegetation models of intermediate complexity (hybrid-DVMs) have recently been developed to address this issue. These models, at the crossroads between phenomenological and process-based models, are able to involve an intermediate number of well-chosen plant functional groups (PFGs). The challenge is to build meaningful PFGs that are representative of plant biodiversity, and consistent with the parameters and processes of hybrid-DVMs. Here, we propose and test a framework based on few selected traits to define a limited number of PFGs, which are both representative of the diversity (functional and taxonomic) of the flora in the Ecrins National Park, and adapted to hybrid-DVMs. This new classification scheme, together with recent advances in vegetation modeling, constitutes a step forward for mechanistic biodiversity modeling. PMID:24403847

  9. Improving plant functional groups for dynamic models of biodiversity: at the crossroads between functional and community ecology.

    PubMed

    Isabelle, Boulangeat; Pauline, Philippe; Sylvain, Abdulhak; Roland, Douzet; Luc, Garraud; Sébastien, Lavergne; Sandra, Lavorel; Jérémie, Van Es; Pascal, Vittoz; Wilfried, Thuiller

    2012-11-01

    The pace of on-going climate change calls for reliable plant biodiversity scenarios. Traditional dynamic vegetation models use plant functional types that are summarized to such an extent that they become meaningless for biodiversity scenarios. Hybrid dynamic vegetation models of intermediate complexity (hybrid-DVMs) have recently been developed to address this issue. These models, at the crossroads between phenomenological and process-based models, are able to involve an intermediate number of well-chosen plant functional groups (PFGs). The challenge is to build meaningful PFGs that are representative of plant biodiversity, and consistent with the parameters and processes of hybrid-DVMs. Here, we propose and test a framework based on few selected traits to define a limited number of PFGs, which are both representative of the diversity (functional and taxonomic) of the flora in the Ecrins National Park, and adapted to hybrid-DVMs. This new classification scheme, together with recent advances in vegetation modeling, constitutes a step forward for mechanistic biodiversity modeling.

  10. Vibrational fingerprint mapping reveals spatial distribution of functional groups of lignin in plant cell wall.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bin; Wang, Ping; Kim, Jeong Im; Zhang, Delong; Xia, Yuanqin; Chapple, Clint; Cheng, Ji-Xin

    2015-09-15

    Highly lignified vascular plant cell walls represent the majority of cellulosic biomass. Complete release of the biomass to deliver renewable energy by physical, chemical, and biological pretreatments is challenging due to the "protection" provided by polymerized lignin, and as such, additional tools to monitor lignin deposition and removal during plant growth and biomass deconstruction would be of great value. We developed a hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering microscope with 9 cm(-1) spectral resolution and submicrometer spatial resolution. Using this platform, we mapped the aromatic ring of lignin, aldehyde, and alcohol groups in lignified plant cell walls. By multivariate curve resolution of the hyperspectral images, we uncovered a spatially distinct distribution of aldehyde and alcohol groups in the thickened secondary cell wall. These results collectively contribute to a deeper understanding of lignin chemical composition in the plant cell wall.

  11. Disturbance gradient shows logging affects plant functional groups more than fire.

    PubMed

    Blair, David P; McBurney, Lachlan M; Blanchard, Wade; Banks, Sam C; Lindenmayer, David B

    2016-10-01

    Understanding the impacts of natural and human disturbances on forest biota is critical for improving forest management. Many studies have examined the separate impacts on fauna and flora of wildfire, conventional logging, and salvage logging, but empirical comparisons across a broad gradient of simultaneous disturbances are lacking. We quantified species richness and frequency of occurrence of vascular plants, and functional group responses, across a gradient of disturbances that occurred concurrently in 2009 in the mountain ash forests of southeastern Australia. Our study encompassed replicated sites in undisturbed forest (~70 yr post fire), forest burned at low severity, forest burned at high severity, unburned forest that was clearcut logged, and forest burned at high severity that was clearcut salvage logged post-fire. All sites were sampled 2 and 3 yr post fire. Mean species richness decreased across the disturbance gradient from 30.1 species/site on low-severity burned sites and 28.9 species/site on high-severity burned sites, to 25.1 species/site on clearcut sites and 21.7 species/site on salvage logged sites. Low-severity burned sites were significantly more species-rich than clearcut sites and salvage logged sites; high-severity burned sites supported greater species richness than salvage logged sites. Specific traits influenced species' sensitivity to disturbance. Resprouting species dominated undisturbed mountain ash forests, but declined significantly across the gradient. Fern and midstory trees decreased significantly in frequency of occurrence across the gradient. Ferns (excluding bracken) decreased from 34% of plants in undisturbed forest to 3% on salvage logged sites. High-severity burned sites supported a greater frequency of occurrence and species richness of midstory trees compared to clearcut and salvage logged sites. Salvage logging supported fewer midstory trees than any other disturbance category, and were distinctly different from

  12. Water content differences have stronger effects than plant functional groups on soil bacteria in a steppe ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ximei; Barberán, Albert; Zhu, Xunzhi; Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo

    2014-01-01

    Many investigations across natural and artificial plant diversity gradients have reported that both soil physicochemical factors and plant community composition affect soil microbial communities. To test the effect of plant diversity loss on soil bacterial communities, we conducted a five-year plant functional group removal experiment in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China). We found that the number and composition type of plant functional groups had no effect on bacterial diversity and community composition, or on the relative abundance of major taxa. In contrast, bacterial community patterns were significantly structured by soil water content differences among plots. Our results support researches that suggest that water availability is the key factor structuring soil bacterial communities in this semi-arid ecosystem.

  13. Water Content Differences Have Stronger Effects than Plant Functional Groups on Soil Bacteria in a Steppe Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ximei; Barberán, Albert; Zhu, Xunzhi; Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo

    2014-01-01

    Many investigations across natural and artificial plant diversity gradients have reported that both soil physicochemical factors and plant community composition affect soil microbial communities. To test the effect of plant diversity loss on soil bacterial communities, we conducted a five-year plant functional group removal experiment in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China). We found that the number and composition type of plant functional groups had no effect on bacterial diversity and community composition, or on the relative abundance of major taxa. In contrast, bacterial community patterns were significantly structured by soil water content differences among plots. Our results support researches that suggest that water availability is the key factor structuring soil bacterial communities in this semi-arid ecosystem. PMID:25546333

  14. Soil nutrient heterogeneity modulates ecosystem responses to changes in the identity and richness of plant functional groups.

    PubMed

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Maestre, Fernando T; Gallardo, Antonio

    2011-03-01

    Recent research has shown that biodiversity may has its greatest impact on ecosystem functioning in heterogeneous environments. However, the role of soil heterogeneity as a modulator of ecosystem responses to changes in biodiversity remains poorly understood, as few biodiversity studies have explicitly considered this important ecosystem feature.We conducted a microcosm experiment over two growing seasons to evaluate the joint effects of changes in plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, non-legume forbs and a combination of them), spatial distribution of soil nutrients (homogeneous and heterogeneous) and nutrient availability (50 and 100 mg of nitrogen [N] added as organic material) on plant productivity and surrogates of carbon, phosphorous and N cycling (β-glucosidase and acid phosphatase enzymes and in situ N availability, respectively).Soil nutrient heterogeneity interacted with nutrient availability and plant functional diversity to determine productivity and nutrient cycling responses. All the functional groups exhibited precise root foraging patterns. Above- and belowground productivity increased under heterogeneous nutrient supply. Surrogates of nutrient cycling were not directly affected by soil nutrient heterogeneity. Regardless of their above- and belowground biomass, legumes increased the availability of soil inorganic N and the activity of the acid phosphatase and β-glucosidase enzymes.Our study emphasizes the role of soil nutrient heterogeneity as a modulator of ecosystem responses to changes in functional diversity beyond the species level. Functional group identity, rather than richness, can play a key role in determining the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning.Synthesis. Our results highlight the importance of explicitly considering soil heterogeneity in diversity-ecosystem functioning experiments, where the identity of the plant functional group is of major importance. Such consideration will improve our ability to fully

  15. Soil nutrient heterogeneity modulates ecosystem responses to changes in the identity and richness of plant functional groups

    PubMed Central

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Maestre, Fernando T.; Gallardo, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Summary Recent research has shown that biodiversity may has its greatest impact on ecosystem functioning in heterogeneous environments. However, the role of soil heterogeneity as a modulator of ecosystem responses to changes in biodiversity remains poorly understood, as few biodiversity studies have explicitly considered this important ecosystem feature. We conducted a microcosm experiment over two growing seasons to evaluate the joint effects of changes in plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, non-legume forbs and a combination of them), spatial distribution of soil nutrients (homogeneous and heterogeneous) and nutrient availability (50 and 100 mg of nitrogen [N] added as organic material) on plant productivity and surrogates of carbon, phosphorous and N cycling (β-glucosidase and acid phosphatase enzymes and in situ N availability, respectively). Soil nutrient heterogeneity interacted with nutrient availability and plant functional diversity to determine productivity and nutrient cycling responses. All the functional groups exhibited precise root foraging patterns. Above- and belowground productivity increased under heterogeneous nutrient supply. Surrogates of nutrient cycling were not directly affected by soil nutrient heterogeneity. Regardless of their above- and belowground biomass, legumes increased the availability of soil inorganic N and the activity of the acid phosphatase and β-glucosidase enzymes. Our study emphasizes the role of soil nutrient heterogeneity as a modulator of ecosystem responses to changes in functional diversity beyond the species level. Functional group identity, rather than richness, can play a key role in determining the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning. Synthesis. Our results highlight the importance of explicitly considering soil heterogeneity in diversity-ecosystem functioning experiments, where the identity of the plant functional group is of major importance. Such consideration will improve our ability to

  16. Impact of plant functional group, plant species, and sampling time on the composition of nirK-type denitrifier communities in soil.

    PubMed

    Bremer, Christina; Braker, Gesche; Matthies, Diethart; Reuter, Andreas; Engels, Christof; Conrad, Ralf

    2007-11-01

    We studied the influence of eight nonleguminous grassland plant species belonging to two functional groups (grasses and forbs) on the composition of soil denitrifier communities in experimental microcosms over two consecutive years. Denitrifier community composition was analyzed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) of PCR-amplified nirK gene fragments coding for the copper-containing nitrite reductase. The impact of experimental factors (plant functional group, plant species, sampling time, and interactions between them) on the structure of soil denitrifier communities (i.e., T-RFLP patterns) was analyzed by canonical correspondence analysis. While the functional group of a plant did not affect nirK-type denitrifier communities, plant species identity did influence their composition. This effect changed with sampling time, indicating community changes due to seasonal conditions and a development of the plants in the microcosms. Differences in total soil nitrogen and carbon, soil pH, and root biomass were observed at the end of the experiment. However, statistical analysis revealed that the plants affected the nirK-type denitrifier community composition directly, e.g., through root exudates. Assignment of abundant T-RFs to cloned nirK sequences from the soil and subsequent phylogenetic analysis indicated a dominance of yet-unknown nirK genotypes and of genes related to nirK from denitrifiers of the order Rhizobiales. In conclusion, individual species of nonleguminous plants directly influenced the composition of denitrifier communities in soil, but environmental conditions had additional significant effects.

  17. A Comprehensive Analysis of RALF Proteins in Green Plants Suggests There Are Two Distinct Functional Groups

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Liam; Turner, Simon R.

    2017-01-01

    Rapid Alkalinization Factors (RALFs) are small, cysteine-rich peptides known to be involved in various aspects of plant development and growth. Although RALF peptides have been identified within many species, a single wide-ranging phylogenetic analysis of the family across the plant kingdom has not yet been undertaken. Here, we identified RALF proteins from 51 plant species that represent a variety of land plant lineages. The inferred evolutionary history of the 795 identified RALFs suggests that the family has diverged into four major clades. We found that much of the variation across the family exists within the mature peptide region, suggesting clade-specific functional diversification. Clades I, II, and III contain the features that have been identified as important for RALF activity, including the RRXL cleavage site and the YISY motif required for receptor binding. In contrast, members of clades IV that represent a third of the total dataset, is highly diverged and lacks these features that are typical of RALFs. Members of clade IV also exhibit distinct expression patterns and physico-chemical properties. These differences suggest a functional divergence of clades and consequently, we propose that the peptides within clade IV are not true RALFs, but are more accurately described as RALF-related peptides. Expansion of this RALF–related clade in the Brassicaceae is responsible for the large number of RALF genes that have been previously described in Arabidopsis thaliana. Future experimental work will help to establish the nature of the relationship between the true RALFs and the RALF-related peptides, and whether they function in a similar manner. PMID:28174582

  18. Priority effects of time of arrival of plant functional groups override sowing interval or density effects: a grassland experiment.

    PubMed

    von Gillhaussen, Philipp; Rascher, Uwe; Jablonowski, Nicolai D; Plückers, Christine; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Temperton, Vicky M

    2014-01-01

    Priority effects occur when species that arrive first in a habitat significantly affect the establishment, growth, or reproduction of species arriving later and thus affect functioning of communities. However, we know little about how the timing of arrival of functionally different species may alter structure and function during assembly. Even less is known about how plant density might interact with initial assembly. In a greenhouse experiment legumes, grasses or forbs were sown a number of weeks before the other two plant functional types were sown (PFT) in combination with a sowing density treatment. Legumes, grasses or non-legume forbs were sown first at three different density levels followed by sowing of the remaining PFTs after three or six-weeks. We found that the order of arrival of different plant functional types had a much stronger influence on aboveground productivity than sowing density or interval between the sowing events. The sowing of legumes before the other PFTs produced the highest aboveground biomass. The larger sowing interval led to higher asymmetric competition, with highest dominance of the PFT sown first. It seems that legumes were better able to get a head-start and be productive before the later groups arrived, but that their traits allowed for better subsequent establishment of non-legume PFTs. Our study indicates that the manipulation of the order of arrival can create priority effects which favour functional groups of plants differently and thus induce different assembly routes and affect community composition and functioning.

  19. Interactive plant functional group and water table effects on decomposition and extracellular enzyme activity in Sphagnum peatlands

    Treesearch

    Magdalena M. Wiedermann; Evan S. Kane; Lynette R. Potvin; Erik A. Lilleskov

    2017-01-01

    Peatland decomposition may be altered by hydrology and plant functional groups (PFGs), but exactly how the latter influences decomposition is unclear, as are potential interactions of these factors.We used a factorial mesocosm experiment with intact 1 m3 peat monoliths to explore how PFGs (sedges vs Ericaceae) and water table level individually...

  20. Light interception in species with different functional groups coexisting in moorland plant communities.

    PubMed

    Kamiyama, Chiho; Oikawa, Shimpei; Kubo, Takuya; Hikosaka, Kouki

    2010-11-01

    Competition for light is one of the most essential mechanisms affecting species composition. It has been suggested that similar light acquisition efficiency (Φ(mass), absorbed photon flux per unit aboveground mass) may contribute to species coexistence in multi-species communities. On the other hand, it is known that traits related with light acquisition vary among functional groups. We studied whether Φ(mass) was similar among species with different functional groups coexisting in moorland communities. We conducted stratified clipping in midsummer when the stand biomass reached a maximum. Light partitioning among species was estimated using a model accounting for both direct and diffuse light. Evergreen species were found to have a significantly lower Φ(mass) than deciduous species, which resulted from their lower absorbed photon flux per unit leaf area and lower specific leaf area. Shrubs had a smaller leaf mass fraction, but their Φ(mass) was not lower than that of herbs because they had a higher leaf position due to the presence of wintering stems. Species with vertical leaves had a higher Φ(mass) than those with horizontal leaves despite vertical leaves being a decided disadvantage in terms of light absorption. This higher Φ(mass) was achieved by a greater leaf height in species with vertical leaves. Our results clearly demonstrate that light acquisition efficiency was different among the functional groups. However, the trend observed is not necessarily the same as that expected based on prior knowledge, suggesting that disadvantages in some traits for light acquisition efficiency are partly compensated for by other traits.

  1. Trophic links between functional groups of arable plants and beetles are stable at a national scale.

    PubMed

    Brooks, David R; Storkey, Jonathan; Clark, Suzanne J; Firbank, Les G; Petit, Sandrine; Woiwod, Ian P

    2012-01-01

    1. There is an urgent need to accurately model how environmental change affects the wide-scale functioning of ecosystems, but advances are hindered by a lack of knowledge of how trophic levels are linked across space. It is unclear which theoretical approach to take to improve modelling of such interactions, but evidence is gathering that linking species responses to their functional traits can increase understanding of ecosystem dynamics. Currently, there are no quantitative studies testing how this approach might improve models of multiple, trophically interacting species, at wide spatial scales. 2. Arable weeds play a foundational role in linking food webs, providing resources for many taxa, including carabid beetles that feed on their seeds and weed-associated invertebrate prey. Here, we model associations between weeds and carabids across farmland in Great Britain (GB), to test the hypothesis that wide-scale trophic links between these groups are structured by their species functional traits. 3. A network of c. 250 arable fields, covering four crops and most lowland areas of GB, was sampled for weed, carabid and invertebrate taxa over 3 years. Data sets of these groups were closely matched in time and space, and each contained numerous species with a range of eco-physiological traits. The consistency of trophic linkages between multiple taxa sharing functional traits was tested within multivariate and log-linear models. 4. Robust links were established between the functional traits of taxa and their trophic interactions. Autumn-germinating, small-seeded weeds were associated with smaller, spring-breeding carabids, more specialised in seed feeding, whereas spring-germinating, large-seeded weeds were associated with a range of larger, autumn-breeding omnivorous carabids. These relationships were strong and dynamic, being independent of changes in invertebrate food resources and consistent across sample dates, crops and regions of GB. 5. We conclude that, in at

  2. Spatial patterns of leaf δ13C and its relationship with plant functional groups and environmental factors in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Mingxu; Peng, Changhui; Wang, Meng; Yang, Yanzheng; Zhang, Kerou; Li, Peng; Yang, Yan; Ni, Jian; Zhu, Qiuan

    2017-07-01

    The leaf carbon isotope ratio (δ13C) is a useful parameter for predicting a plant's water use efficiency, as an indicator for plant classification, and even in the reconstruction of paleoclimatic environments. In this study, we investigated the spatial pattern of leaf δ13C values and its relationship with plant functional groups and environmental factors throughout China. The high leaf δ13C in the database appeared in central and western China, and the averaged leaf δ13C was -27.15‰, with a range from -21.05‰ to -31.5‰. The order of the averaged δ13C for plant life forms from most positive to most negative was subshrubs > herbs = shrubs > trees > subtrees. Leaf δ13C is also influenced by some environmental factors, such as mean annual precipitation, relative humidity, mean annual temperature, solar hours, and altitude, although the overall influences are still relatively weak, in particular the influence of MAT and altitude. And we further found that plant functional types are dominant factors that regulate the magnitude of leaf δ13C for an individual site, whereas environmental conditions are key to understanding spatial patterns of leaf δ13C when we consider China as a whole. Ultimately, we conducted a multiple regression model of leaf δ13C with environmental factors and mapped the spatial distribution of leaf δ13C in China by using this model. However, this partial least squares model overestimated leaf δ13C for most life forms, especially for deciduous trees, evergreen shrubs, and subtrees, and thus need more improvement in the future.

  3. Methylation of sulfhydryl groups: a new function for a family of small molecule plant O-methyltransferases.

    PubMed

    Coiner, Heather; Schröder, Gudrun; Wehinger, Elke; Liu, Chang-Jun; Noel, Joseph P; Schwab, Wilfried; Schröder, Joachim

    2006-04-01

    In plants, type I and II S-adenosyl-l-methionine-dependent O-methyltransferases (OMTs) catalyze most hydroxyl group methylations of small molecules. A homology-based RT-PCR strategy using Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar periwinkle) RNA previously identified six new type I plant OMT family members. We now describe the molecular and biochemical characterization of a seventh protein. It shares 56-58% identity with caffeic acid OMTs (COMTs), but it failed to methylate COMT substrates, and had no activity with flavonoids. However, the in vitro incubations revealed unusually high background levels without added substrates. A search for the responsible component revealed that the enzyme methylated dithiothreitol (DTT), the reducing agent added for enzyme stabilization. Unexpectedly, product analysis revealed that the methylation occurred on a sulfhydryl moiety, not on a hydroxyl group. Analysis of 34 compounds indicated a broad substrate range, with a preference for small hydrophobic molecules. Benzene thiol (Km 220 microm) and furfuryl thiol (Km 60 microm) were the best substrates (6-7-fold better than DTT). Small isosteric hydrophobic substrates with hydroxyl groups, like phenol and guaiacol, were also methylated, but the activities were at least 5-fold lower than with thiols. The enzyme was named C. roseus S-methyltransferase 1 (CrSMT1). Models based on the COMT crystal structure suggest that S-methylation is mechanistically identical to O-methylation. CrSMT1 so far is the only recognized example of an S-methyltransferase in this protein family. Its properties indicate that a few changes in key residues are sufficient to convert an OMT into a S-methyltransferase (SMT). Future functional investigations of plant methyltransferases should consider the possibility that the enzymes may direct methylation at sulfhydryl groups.

  4. Methylation of sulfhydryl groups: a new function for a family of small molecule plant O-methyltransferases

    PubMed Central

    Coiner, Heather; Schröder, Gudrun; Wehinger, Elke; Liu, Chang-Jun; Noel, Joseph P.; Schwab, Wilfried; Schröder, Joachim

    2010-01-01

    Summary In plants, type I and II S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent O-methyltransferases (OMTs) catalyze most hydroxyl group methylations of small molecules. A homology-based RT-PCR strategy using Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar periwinkle) RNA previously identified six new type I plant OMT family members. We now describe the molecular and biochemical characterization of a seventh protein. It shares 56–58% identity with caffeic acid OMTs (COMTs), but it failed to methylate COMT substrates, and had no activity with flavonoids. However, the in vitro incubations revealed unusually high background levels without added substrates. A search for the responsible component revealed that the enzyme methylated dithiothreitol (DTT), the reducing agent added for enzyme stabilization. Unexpectedly, product analysis revealed that the methylation occurred on a sulfhydryl moiety, not on a hydroxyl group. Analysis of 34 compounds indicated a broad substrate range, with a preference for small hydrophobic molecules. Benzene thiol (Km 220 μM) and furfuryl thiol (Km 60 μM) were the best substrates (6–7-fold better than DTT). Small isosteric hydrophobic substrates with hydroxyl groups, like phenol and guaiacol, were also methylated, but the activities were at least 5-fold lower than with thiols. The enzyme was named C. roseus S-methyltransferase 1 (CrSMT1). Models based on the COMT crystal structure suggest that S-methylation is mechanistically identical to O-methylation. CrSMT1 so far is the only recognized example of an S-methyltransferase in this protein family. Its properties indicate that a few changes in key residues are sufficient to convert an OMT into a S-methyltransferase (SMT). Future functional investigations of plant methyltransferases should consider the possibility that the enzymes may direct methylation at sulfhydryl groups. PMID:16623883

  5. Plant community responses to long-term fertilization: changes in functional group abundance drive changes in species richness.

    PubMed

    Dickson, Timothy L; Gross, Katherine L

    2013-12-01

    Declines in species richness due to fertilization are typically rapid and associated with increases in aboveground production. However, in a long-term experiment examining the impacts of fertilization in an early successional community, we found it took 14 years for plant species richness to significantly decline in fertilized plots, despite fertilization causing a rapid increase in aboveground production. To determine what accounted for this lag in the species richness response, we examined several potential mechanisms. We found evidence suggesting the abundance of one functional group-tall species with long-distance (runner) clonality-drove changes in species richness, and we found little support for other mechanisms. Tall runner species initially increased in abundance due to fertilization, then declined dramatically and were not abundant again until later in the experiment, when species richness and the combined biomass of all other functional groups (non-tall runner) declined. Over 86 % of the species found throughout the course of our study are non-tall runner, and there is a strong negative relationship between non-tall runner and tall runner biomass. We therefore suggest that declines in species richness in the fertilized treatment are due to high tall runner abundance that decreases the abundance and richness of non-tall runner species. By identifying the functional group that drives declines in richness due to fertilization, our results help to elucidate how fertilization decreases plant richness and also suggest that declines in richness due to fertilization can be lessened by controlling the abundance of species with a tall runner growth form.

  6. Climate change and water use partitioning by different plant functional groups in a grassland on the Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jia; Hopping, Kelly A; Bump, Joseph K; Kang, Sichang; Klein, Julia A

    2013-01-01

    The Tibetan Plateau (TP) is predicted to experience increases in air temperature, increases in snowfall, and decreases in monsoon rains; however, there is currently a paucity of data that examine the ecological responses to such climate changes. In this study, we examined the effects of increased air temperature and snowfall on: 1) water use partitioning by different plant functional groups, and 2) ecosystem CO2 fluxes throughout the growing season. At the individual plant scale, we used stable hydrogen isotopes (δD) to partition water use between shallow- and deep-rooted species. Prior to the arrival of summer precipitation (typically mid-July), snowmelt was the main water source in the soils. During this time, shallow and deep-rooted species partitioned water use by accessing water from shallow and deep soils, respectively. However, once the monsoon rains arrived, all plants used rainwater from the upper soils as the main water source. Snow addition did not result in increased snowmelt use throughout the growing season; instead, snowmelt water was pushed down into deeper soils when the rains arrived. At the larger plot scale, CO2 flux measurements demonstrated that rain was the main driver for net ecosystem productivity (NEP). NEP rates were low during June and July and reached a maximum during the monsoon season in August. Warming decreased NEP through a reduction in gross primary productivity (GPP), and snow additions did not mitigate the negative effects of warming by increasing NEP or GPP. Both the isotope and CO2 flux results suggest that rain drives productivity in the Nam Tso region on the TP. This also suggests that the effects of warming-induced drought on the TP may not be mitigated by increased snowfall. Further decreases in summer monsoon rains may affect ecosystem productivity, with large implications for livestock-based livelihoods.

  7. Climate Change and Water Use Partitioning by Different Plant Functional Groups in a Grassland on the Tibetan Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Jia; Hopping, Kelly A.; Bump, Joseph K.; Kang, Sichang; Klein, Julia A.

    2013-01-01

    The Tibetan Plateau (TP) is predicted to experience increases in air temperature, increases in snowfall, and decreases in monsoon rains; however, there is currently a paucity of data that examine the ecological responses to such climate changes. In this study, we examined the effects of increased air temperature and snowfall on: 1) water use partitioning by different plant functional groups, and 2) ecosystem CO2 fluxes throughout the growing season. At the individual plant scale, we used stable hydrogen isotopes (δD) to partition water use between shallow- and deep-rooted species. Prior to the arrival of summer precipitation (typically mid-July), snowmelt was the main water source in the soils. During this time, shallow and deep-rooted species partitioned water use by accessing water from shallow and deep soils, respectively. However, once the monsoon rains arrived, all plants used rainwater from the upper soils as the main water source. Snow addition did not result in increased snowmelt use throughout the growing season; instead, snowmelt water was pushed down into deeper soils when the rains arrived. At the larger plot scale, CO2 flux measurements demonstrated that rain was the main driver for net ecosystem productivity (NEP). NEP rates were low during June and July and reached a maximum during the monsoon season in August. Warming decreased NEP through a reduction in gross primary productivity (GPP), and snow additions did not mitigate the negative effects of warming by increasing NEP or GPP. Both the isotope and CO2 flux results suggest that rain drives productivity in the Nam Tso region on the TP. This also suggests that the effects of warming-induced drought on the TP may not be mitigated by increased snowfall. Further decreases in summer monsoon rains may affect ecosystem productivity, with large implications for livestock-based livelihoods. PMID:24069425

  8. Spatiotemporal patterns and dynamics of species richness and abundance of woody plant functional groups in a tropical forest landscape of Hainan Island, South China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhi-Dong; Zang, Run-Guo; Qi, Yao-Dong

    2008-05-01

    Tropical forests are among the most species-diverse ecosystems on Earth. Their structures and ecological functions are complex to understand. Functional group is defined as a group of species that play similar roles in an ecosystem. The functional group approach has been regarded as an effective way of linking the compositions of complex ecosystems with their ecological functions. To understand the variation of functional groups in species-rich ecosystems after disturbance, the present study investigated the spatial pattern and temporal dynamics of woody plants in a typically fragmented natural forest landscape of Hainan Island in South China. The study area was classified into eight landscape types based on vegetation type, disturbance manner and the time of recovery. The woody plant species were aggregated into seven functional groups based on the growth form, successional status and plant size. The results gained from the present study showed that all functional groups, except for the emergent and canopy tree species, were present in all eight landscape types. Each landscape type had different numbers of dominant functional groups. There are similar species richness and stem abundance structure among functional groups between mid-successional clear cut lowland rainforest and old growth tropical coniferous forest. This similarity exists in selective logged lowland rainforest and old-growth lowland rainforest, as well as among landscape types of montane rainforest. The functional groups with the same successional status had similar patterns of species richness and stem abundance ratios among different landscape types. The variation patterns of functional groups along the successional stages in terms of species richness and stem abundance among the tropical lowland rainforest landscape types were more similar to each other than those in the tropical montane rainforest landscape types. This study provides further support for the competition-colonization tradeoff and

  9. Renormalization group functional equations

    SciTech Connect

    Curtright, Thomas L.; Zachos, Cosmas K.

    2011-03-15

    Functional conjugation methods are used to analyze the global structure of various renormalization group trajectories and to gain insight into the interplay between continuous and discrete rescaling. With minimal assumptions, the methods produce continuous flows from step-scaling {sigma} functions and lead to exact functional relations for the local flow {beta} functions, whose solutions may have novel, exotic features, including multiple branches. As a result, fixed points of {sigma} are sometimes not true fixed points under continuous changes in scale and zeroes of {beta} do not necessarily signal fixed points of the flow but instead may only indicate turning points of the trajectories.

  10. Functional Group Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Walter T., Jr.; Patterson, John M.

    1984-01-01

    Literature on analytical methods related to the functional groups of 17 chemical compounds is reviewed. These compounds include acids, acid azides, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, amino acids, aromatic hydrocarbons, carbodiimides, carbohydrates, ethers, nitro compounds, nitrosamines, organometallic compounds, peroxides, phenols, silicon compounds,…

  11. Functional Group Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Walter T., Jr.; Patterson, John M.

    1984-01-01

    Literature on analytical methods related to the functional groups of 17 chemical compounds is reviewed. These compounds include acids, acid azides, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, amino acids, aromatic hydrocarbons, carbodiimides, carbohydrates, ethers, nitro compounds, nitrosamines, organometallic compounds, peroxides, phenols, silicon compounds,…

  12. Functional group analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, W.T. Jr.; Patterson, J.M.

    1986-04-01

    Analytical methods for functional group analysis are reviewed. Literature reviewed is from the period of December 1983 through November 1985 and presents methods for determining the following compounds: acids, acid halides, active hydrogen, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, amides, amines, amino acids, anhydrides, aromatic hydrocarbons, azo compounds, carbohydrates, chloramines, esters, ethers, halogen compounds, hydrazines, isothiocyanates, nitro compounds, nitroso compounds, organometallic compounds, oxiranes, peroxides, phenols, phosphorus compounds, quinones, silicon compounds, sulfates, sulfonyl chlorides, thioamides, thiols, and thiosemicarbazones. 150 references.

  13. Plant functional genomics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holtorf, Hauke; Guitton, Marie-Christine; Reski, Ralf

    2002-04-01

    Functional genome analysis of plants has entered the high-throughput stage. The complete genome information from key species such as Arabidopsis thaliana and rice is now available and will further boost the application of a range of new technologies to functional plant gene analysis. To broadly assign functions to unknown genes, different fast and multiparallel approaches are currently used and developed. These new technologies are based on known methods but are adapted and improved to accommodate for comprehensive, large-scale gene analysis, i.e. such techniques are novel in the sense that their design allows researchers to analyse many genes at the same time and at an unprecedented pace. Such methods allow analysis of the different constituents of the cell that help to deduce gene function, namely the transcripts, proteins and metabolites. Similarly the phenotypic variations of entire mutant collections can now be analysed in a much faster and more efficient way than before. The different methodologies have developed to form their own fields within the functional genomics technological platform and are termed transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and phenomics. Gene function, however, cannot solely be inferred by using only one such approach. Rather, it is only by bringing together all the information collected by different functional genomic tools that one will be able to unequivocally assign functions to unknown plant genes. This review focuses on current technical developments and their impact on the field of plant functional genomics. The lower plant Physcomitrella is introduced as a new model system for gene function analysis, owing to its high rate of homologous recombination.

  14. Stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen in pollen grains in order to characterize plant functional groups and photosynthetic pathway types.

    PubMed

    Descolas-Gros, Chantal; Schölzel, Christian

    2007-01-01

    Measurements of delta(13)C, delta(15)N and C : N ratios on modern pollen grains from temperate plants, including whole grains as well as extracted sporopollenin, were analysed in order to characterize physiological plant types at the pollen level and to determine the variation of these parameters in modern pollen grains of the same climatic area. Measurements are presented for 95 batches of whole modern pollen from 58 temperate species and on the stable fraction of modern pollen grains, chemically extracted sporopollenin, for two modern species. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and cross-polarization and magic-angle spinning (CP/MAS) sporopollenin spectra were conducted in parallel. C(3) and C(4) plants can be separated by delta(13)C measurements based on pollen. Probabilistic assignments to plant functional groups (herbaceous, deciduous woody, evergreen woody) of C(3) plants by the means of a discriminant analysis can be made for C : N ratios and for delta(13)C. The results are related to other studies on sporopollenin in order to use this method in future work on fossil samples. Stable isotope measurements on pollen allow improved pollen diagrams, including forms that cannot be differentiated at species level, increasing the accuracy and resolution of plant physiological type distribution in quaternary and older fossil sediments.

  15. Distribution of Carbon Uptake Capacity of Plant Functional Groups Across the Canopy Gradient in Old-Growth Tropical Wet Forest in Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oberbauer, S. F.; Cruz, H. O.; Ryan, M. G.; Clark, D. B.; Clark, D. A.; Olivas, P.

    2004-12-01

    Because of the difficulties of accessing leaves within tree crowns, little is known about the photosynthetic capacity of different functional groups within tropical rain forest canopies. To address this deficiency, we measured photosynthetic capacity (Amax) in situ along vertical transects through old-growth forest canopy using a mobile walkup tower at the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. We asked: What groups are responsible for most C-fixation and at what height in the canopy does most C-fixation occur? Photosynthesis (using a LI-COR Li-6400) and total leaf area were measured for all vascular plant species encountered within the tower footprint (4.6 m2). Plants were grouped into trees, palms, ferns, lianas, epiphytes, herbs, Pentaclethra macroloba (the dominant canopy tree), and vines. Amax values differed among functional groups. The ranking of Amax among the groups was trees > P. macroloba > palms > lianas > vines > epiphytes > herbs > ferns. Trees and P. macroloba had the highest photosynthetic rates, but the maximum rates occur at different heights. Amax of P. macroloba increases with canopy height to a maximum 10.3 \\mumol m-2 s-1 at 17.5 m. Amax of trees increases with canopy height (r2 = 0.77) and attains the highest Amax at 32.5 m (10.6 \\mumol m-2 s-1). Palms and lianas presented similar patterns of Amax. However, lianas reach the canopy top whereas palms are shorter and were not observed above 27.5 m. The maximum photosynthetic rates for both groups were: lianas 9.2 \\mumol m-2 s-1 at 27.5 m and palms 9.6 \\mumol m-2 s-1 at 17.5 m. By scaling the functional group Amax values with their leaf area, we estimated that most of the photosynthetic capacity occurs between 17.5 m and 37.5 m and is attributed mainly to trees, followed by P. macroloba and then lianas.

  16. Cluster functional renormalization group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reuther, Johannes; Thomale, Ronny

    2014-01-01

    Functional renormalization group (FRG) has become a diverse and powerful tool to derive effective low-energy scattering vertices of interacting many-body systems. Starting from a free expansion point of the action, the flow of the RG parameter Λ allows us to trace the evolution of the effective one- and two-particle vertices towards low energies by taking into account the vertex corrections between all parquet channels in an unbiased fashion. In this work, we generalize the expansion point at which the diagrammatic resummation procedure is initiated from a free UV limit to a cluster product state. We formulate a cluster FRG scheme where the noninteracting building blocks (i.e., decoupled spin clusters) are treated exactly, and the intercluster couplings are addressed via RG. As a benchmark study, we apply our cluster FRG scheme to the spin-1/2 bilayer Heisenberg model (BHM) on a square lattice where the neighboring sites in the two layers form the individual two-site clusters. Comparing with existing numerical evidence for the BHM, we obtain reasonable findings for the spin susceptibility, the spin-triplet excitation energy, and quasiparticle weight even in coupling regimes close to antiferromagnetic order. The concept of cluster FRG promises applications to a large class of interacting electron systems.

  17. Integrated airborne lidar and multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis (MESMA) for plant species mapping across multiple functional groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahlin, K.; Asner, G. P.

    2010-12-01

    The ability to map plant species distributions has long been one of the key goals of terrestrial remote sensing. Achieving this goal has been challenging, however, due to technical constraints and the difficulty in relating remote observations to ground measurements. Advances in both the types of data that can be collected remotely and in available analytical tools like multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis (MESMA) are allowing for rapid improvements in this field. In 2007 the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) acquired high resolution lidar and hyperspectral imagery of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (Woodside, California). The site contains a mosaic of vegetation types, from grassland to chaparral to evergreen forest. To build a spectral library, 415 GPS points were collected in the field, made up of 44 plant species, six plant categories (for nonphotosynthetic vegetation), and four substrate types. Using the lidar data to select the most illuminated pixels as seen from the aircraft (based on canopy shape and viewing angle), we then reduced the spectral library to only the most fully lit pixels. To identify individual plant species in the imagery, first the hyperspectral data was used to calculate the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and then pixels with an NDVI less than 0.15 were removed from further analysis. The remaining image was stratified into five classes based on vegetation height derived from the lidar data. For each class, a suite of possible endmembers was identified and then three endmember selection procedures (endmember average RMS, minimum average spectral angle, and count based endmember selection) were employed to select the most representative endmembers from each species in each class. Two and three endmember models were then applied and each pixel was assigned a species or plant category based on the highest endmember fraction. To validate the approach, an independent set of 200 points was collected throughout the

  18. Functional Group Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Walter T., Jr.; Patterson, John M.

    1980-01-01

    Discusses analytical methods selected from current research articles. Groups information by topics of general interest, including acids, aldehydes and ketones, nitro compounds, phenols, and thiols. Cites 97 references. (CS)

  19. Functional Group Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Walter T., Jr.; Patterson, John M.

    1980-01-01

    Discusses analytical methods selected from current research articles. Groups information by topics of general interest, including acids, aldehydes and ketones, nitro compounds, phenols, and thiols. Cites 97 references. (CS)

  20. [Functions of plant apyrases].

    PubMed

    Wujak, Magdalena; Komoszyński, Michał

    2011-01-01

    This publication presents results of the recent studies on plant NTPDases (apyrases). The structure and major physicochemical properties of this enzymes are reviewed. The attention has been paid to metabolic functions of apyrases from Solanum tuberosum and Arabidopsis thaliana. Apyrases constitute a family of proteins hydrolyzing phosphoanhydride bonds of nucleoside tri- and di-phosphates. They share common features like a similar structure, broad nucleotide substrate specificity and divalent cation requirement for their catalytic activity. The presence of plant NTPDases was detected in various cellular compartments. They are soluble or membrane-bound proteins. In hydrolytic processes catalyzed by activity of apoplastic apyrases and other ectoenzymes, adenine, ribose and orthophosphate are produced. These compounds are transported to the cell. Apyrases have been speculated to be involved in the regulation of starch synthesis and signal transmission. Their activity is necessary for development and growth of tubers and roots. Enzymes from leguminous plants activate the symbiosis with root nodule bacteria. Considering the fact, that NTPDases change the nucleotide concentration in cells and tissues, most of described functions may be related to the regulation of the energy charge of cell.

  1. Meaningful traits for grouping plant species across arid ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bär Lamas, Marlene Ivonne; Carrera, A L; Bertiller, M B

    2016-05-01

    Grouping species may provide some degree of simplification to understand the ecological function of plants on key ecosystem processes. We asked whether groups of plant species based on morpho-chemical traits associated with plant persistence and stress/disturbance resistance reflect dominant plant growth forms in arid ecosystems. We selected twelve sites across an aridity gradient in northern Patagonia. At each site, we identified modal size plants of each dominant species and assessed specific leaf area (SLA), plant height, seed mass, N and soluble phenol concentration in green and senesced leaves at each plant. Plant species were grouped according with plant growth forms (perennial grasses, evergreen shrubs and deciduous shrubs) and plant morphological and/or chemical traits using cluster analysis. We calculated mean values of each plant trait for each species group and plant growth form. Plant growth forms significantly differed among them in most of the morpho-chemical traits. Evergreen shrubs were tall plants with the highest seed mass and soluble phenols in leaves, deciduous shrubs were also tall plants with high SLA and the highest N in leaves, and perennial grasses were short plants with high SLA and low concentration of N and soluble phenols in leaves. Grouping species by the combination of morpho-chemical traits yielded 4 groups in which species from one growth form prevailed. These species groups differed in soluble phenol concentration in senesced leaves and plant height. These traits were highly correlated. We concluded that (1) plant height is a relevant synthetic variable, (2) growth forms adequately summarize ecological strategies of species in arid ecosystems, and (3) the inclusion of plant morphological and chemical traits related to defenses against environmental stresses and herbivory enhanced the potential of species grouping, particularly within shrubby growth forms.

  2. [Effects of plant functional groups removal on the soil carbon, nitrogen pools in a Leymus chinensis community of typical steppe in Inner Mongolia].

    PubMed

    Sha, Qiong; Huang, Jian-Hui; Bai, Yong-Fei; Han, Xing-Guo

    2009-06-01

    A field plant functional groups (PFGs) removal experiment was conducted in 2005-2007 to study the effects of plant diversity in a Leymus chinensis community of typical steppe in Inner Mongolia on the topsoil (0-10 cm) carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools. In the three successive years, the topsoil total C and N contents had a slight change (< 15%). They changed little in 2005, but were significantly higher in 2006 than in 2007 (P < 0.05). The topsoil NH4(+)-N content had a greater inter-annual change, being 80% higher in 2006 than in 2007, while the NO3(-)-N content had less significant change (P > 0.05). There was a positive linear relationship (P < 0.05) between the number of removed PFGs and the content of soil NO3(-)-N, which meant that the decrease of plant diversity increased soil NO3(-)-N content, and consequently, led to a possible soil nitrogen loss through leaching.

  3. Drivers of carabid functional diversity: abiotic environment, plant functional traits, or plant functional diversity?

    PubMed

    Pakeman, Robin J; Stockan, Jenni A

    2014-05-01

    Understanding how community assembly is controlled by the balance of abiotic drivers (environment or management) and biotic drivers (community composition of other groups) is important in predicting the response of ecosystems to environmental change. If there are strong links between plant assemblage structure and carabid beetle functional traits and functional diversity, then it is possible to predict the impact of environmental change propagating through different functional and trophic groups. Vegetation and pitfall trap beetle surveys were carried out across twenty four sites contrasting in land use, and hence productivity and disturbance regime. Plant functional traits were very successful at explaining the distribution of carabid functional traits across the habitats studied. Key carabid response traits appeared to be body length and wing type. Carabid functional richness was significantly smaller than expected, indicating strong environmental filtering, modulated by management, soil characteristics, and by plant response traits. Carabid functional divergence was negatively related to plant functional evenness, while carabid functional evenness was positively correlated to plant functional evenness and richness. The study shows that there are clear trait linkages between the plant and the carabid assemblage that act not only through the mean traits displayed, but also via their distribution in trait space; powerful evidence that both the mean and variance of traits in one trophic group structure the assemblage of another.

  4. Mobility and transport of mercury and methylmercury in peat as a function of changes in water table regime and plant functional groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haynes, Kristine M.; Kane, Evan S.; Potvin, Lynette; Lilleskov, Erik A.; Kolka, Randall K.; Mitchell, Carl P. J.

    2017-02-01

    Climate change is likely to significantly affect the hydrology, ecology, and ecosystem function of peatlands, with potentially important but unclear impacts on mercury mobility within and transport from peatlands. Using a full-factorial mesocosm approach, we investigated the potential impacts on mercury mobility of water table regime changes (high and low) and vegetation community shifts (sedge-dominated, Ericaceae-dominated, or unmanipulated control) in peat monoliths at the PEATcosm mesocosm facility in Houghton, Michigan. Lower and more variable water table regimes and the loss of Ericaceae shrubs act significantly and independently to increase both total Hg and methylmercury concentrations in peat pore water and in spring snowmelt runoff. These differences are related to enhanced peat decomposition and internal regeneration of electron acceptors which are more strongly related to water table regime than to plant community changes. Loss of Ericaceae shrubs and an increase in sedge cover may also affect Hg concentrations and mobility via oxygen shuttling and/or the provision of labile root exudates. Altered hydrological regimes and shifting vegetation communities, as a result of global climate change, are likely to enhance Hg transport from peatlands to downstream aquatic ecosystems.

  5. Changes in plant functional groups, litter quality, and soil carbon and nitrogen mineralization with sheep grazing in an Inner Mongolian Grassland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barger, N.N.; Ojima, D.S.; Belnap, J.; Shiping, W.; Yanfen, W.; Chen, Z.

    2004-01-01

    This study reports on changes in plant functional group composition, litter quality, and soil C and N mineralization dynamics from a 9-year sheep grazing study in Inner Mongolia. Addressed are these questions: 1) How does increasing grazing intensity affect plant community composition? 2) How does increasing grazing intensity alter soil C and N mineralization dynamics? 3) Do changes in soil C and N mineralization dynamics relate to changes in plant community composition via inputs of the quality or quantity of litter? Grazing plots were set up near the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station (IMGERS) with 5 grazing intensities: 1.3, 2.7, 4.0, 5.3, and 6.7 sheep ha -1??yr-1. Plant cover was lower with increasing grazing intensity, which was primarily due to a dramatic decline in grasses, Carex duriuscula, and Artemisia frigida. Changes in litter mass and percentage organic C resulted in lower total C in the litter layer at 4.0 and 5.3 sheep ha-1??yr-1 compared with 2.7 sheep ha -1??yr-1. Total litter N was lower at 5.3 sheep ha-1??yr-1 compared with 2.7 sheep ha -1??yr-1. Litter C:N ratios, an index of litter quality, were significantly lower at 4.0 sheep ha-1??yr -1 relative to 1.3 and 5.3 sheep ha-1??yr -1. Cumulative C mineralized after 16 days decreased with increasing grazing intensity. In contrast, net N mineralization (NH4+ + NO3-) after a 12-day incubation increased with increasing grazing intensity. Changes in C and N mineralization resulted in a narrowing of CO2-C:net Nminratios with increasing grazing intensity. Grazing explained 31% of the variability in the ratio of CO 2-C:net Nmin. The ratio of CO2-C:net N min was positively correlated with litter mass. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between litter mass and A. frigida cover. Results suggest that as grazing intensity increases, microbes become more C limited resulting in decreased microbial growth and demand for N.

  6. A test of priority effect persistence in semi-natural grasslands through the removal of plant functional groups during community assembly.

    PubMed

    Helsen, Kenny; Hermy, Martin; Honnay, Olivier

    2016-04-26

    It is known that during plant community assembly, the early colonizing species can affect the establishment, growth or reproductive success of later arriving species, often resulting in unpredictable assembly outcomes. These so called 'priority effects' have recently been hypothesized to work through niche-based processes, with early colonizing species either inhibiting the colonization of other species of the same niche through niche preemption, or affecting the colonization success of species of different niches through niche modification. With most work on priority effects performed in controlled, short-term mesocosm experiments, we have little insight in how niche preemption and niche modification processes interact to shape the community composition of natural vegetations. In this study, we used a functional trait approach to identify potential niche-based priority effects in restored semi-natural grasslands. More specifically, we imposed two treatments that strongly altered the community's functional trait composition; removal of all graminoid species and removal of all legume species, and we compared progressing assembly with unaltered control plots. Our results showed that niche preemption effects can be, to a limited extent, relieved by species removal. This relief was observed for competitive grasses and herbs, but not for smaller grassland species. Although competition effects acting within functional groups (niche preemption) occurred for graminoids, there were no such effects for legumes. The removal of legumes mainly affected functionally unrelated competitive species, likely through niche modification effects of nitrogen fixation. On the other hand, and contrary to our expectations, species removal was after 4 years almost completely compensated by recolonization of the same species set, suggesting that priority effects persist after species removal, possibly through soil legacy effects. Our results show that both niche modification and niche

  7. Mobility and transport of mercury and methylmercury in peat as a function of changes in water table regime and plant functional groups

    Treesearch

    Kristine M. Haynes; Evan S. Kane; Lynette Potvin; Erik A. Lilleskov; Randy Kolka; Carl P. J. Mitchell

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is likely to significantly affect the hydrology, ecology, and ecosystem function of peatlands, with potentially important but unclear impacts on mercury mobility within and transport from peatlands. Using a full-factorial mesocosm approach, we investigated the potential impacts on mercury mobility of water table regime changes (high and low) and...

  8. Plant Comparative and Functional Genomics

    DOE PAGES

    Yang, Xiaohan; Leebens-Mack, Jim; Chen, Feng; ...

    2015-01-01

    Plants form the foundation for our global ecosystem and are essential for environmental and human health. An increasing number of available plant genomes and tractable experimental systems, comparative and functional plant genomics research is greatly expanding our knowledge of the molecular basis of economically and nutritionally important traits in crop plants. Inferences drawn from comparative genomics are motivating experimental investigations of gene function and gene interactions. In this special issue aims to highlight recent advances made in comparative and functional genomics research in plants. Nine original research articles in this special issue cover five important topics: (1) transcription factor genemore » families relevant to abiotic stress tolerance; (2) plant secondary metabolism; (3) transcriptomebased markers for quantitative trait locus; (4) epigenetic modifications in plant-microbe interactions; and (5) computational prediction of protein-protein interactions. Finally, we studied the plant species in these articles which include model species as well as nonmodel plant species of economic importance (e.g., food crops and medicinal plants).« less

  9. Plant Sterols: Diversity, Biosynthesis, and Physiological Functions.

    PubMed

    Valitova, J N; Sulkarnayeva, A G; Minibayeva, F V

    2016-08-01

    Sterols, which are isoprenoid derivatives, are structural components of biological membranes. Special attention is now being given not only to their structure and function, but also to their regulatory roles in plants. Plant sterols have diverse composition; they exist as free sterols, sterol esters with higher fatty acids, sterol glycosides, and acylsterol glycosides, which are absent in animal cells. This diversity of types of phytosterols determines a wide spectrum of functions they play in plant life. Sterols are precursors of a group of plant hormones, the brassinosteroids, which regulate plant growth and development. Furthermore, sterols participate in transmembrane signal transduction by forming lipid microdomains. The predominant sterols in plants are β-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. These sterols differ in the presence of a methyl or an ethyl group in the side chain at the 24th carbon atom and are named methylsterols or ethylsterols, respectively. The balance between 24-methylsterols and 24-ethylsterols is specific for individual plant species. The present review focuses on the key stages of plant sterol biosynthesis that determine the ratios between the different types of sterols, and the crosstalk between the sterol and sphingolipid pathways. The main enzymes involved in plant sterol biosynthesis are 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase, C24-sterol methyltransferase, and C22-sterol desaturase. These enzymes are responsible for maintaining the optimal balance between sterols. Regulation of the ratios between the different types of sterols and sterols/sphingolipids can be of crucial importance in the responses of plants to stresses.

  10. Dynamic regulation of Polycomb group activity during plant development.

    PubMed

    Bemer, Marian; Grossniklaus, Ueli

    2012-11-01

    Polycomb group (PcG) complexes play important roles in phase transitions and cell fate determination in plants and animals, by epigenetically repressing sets of genes that promote either proliferation or differentiation. The continuous differentiation of new organs in plants, such as leaves or flowers, requires a highly dynamic PcG function, which can be induced, modulated, or repressed when necessary. In this review, we discuss the recent advance in understanding PcG function in plants and focus on the diverse molecular mechanisms that have been described to regulate and counteract PcG activity in Arabidopsis.

  11. Learning the Functional Groups: Keys to Success.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Byrd, Shannon; Hildreth, David P.

    2001-01-01

    Points out the difficulties students have when they are expected to learn functional groups, which are frameworks for chemical and physical properties of molecules. Presents a classification key for functional groups categorized by 10 common functional groups. (YDS)

  12. A functional trait perspective on plant invasion

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Global environmental change affects exotic plant invasions, which profoundly impact native plant populations, communities and ecosystems. In this context, we review plant functional traits, including those that drive invader abundance (invasiveness), and impacts, as well as the integration of these...

  13. A Functional Analytic Approach to Group Psychotherapy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandenberghe, Luc

    2009-01-01

    This article provides a particular view on the use of Functional Analytical Psychotherapy (FAP) in a group therapy format. This view is based on the author's experiences as a supervisor of Functional Analytical Psychotherapy Groups, including groups for women with depression and groups for chronic pain patients. The contexts in which this approach…

  14. Plant Peroxisomes: Biogenesis and Function

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Jianping; Baker, Alison; Bartel, Bonnie; Linka, Nicole; Mullen, Robert T.; Reumann, Sigrun; Zolman, Bethany K.

    2012-01-01

    Peroxisomes are eukaryotic organelles that are highly dynamic both in morphology and metabolism. Plant peroxisomes are involved in numerous processes, including primary and secondary metabolism, development, and responses to abiotic and biotic stresses. Considerable progress has been made in the identification of factors involved in peroxisomal biogenesis, revealing mechanisms that are both shared with and diverged from non-plant systems. Furthermore, recent advances have begun to reveal an unexpectedly large plant peroxisomal proteome and have increased our understanding of metabolic pathways in peroxisomes. Coordination of the biosynthesis, import, biochemical activity, and degradation of peroxisomal proteins allows for highly dynamic responses of peroxisomal metabolism to meet the needs of a plant. Knowledge gained from plant peroxisomal research will be instrumental to fully understanding the organelle’s dynamic behavior and defining peroxisomal metabolic networks, thus allowing the development of molecular strategies for rational engineering of plant metabolism, biomass production, stress tolerance, and pathogen defense. PMID:22669882

  15. Relating Functional Groups to the Periodic Table

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Struyf, Jef

    2009-01-01

    An introduction to organic chemistry functional groups and their ionic variants is presented. Functional groups are ordered by the position of their specific (hetero) atom in the periodic table. Lewis structures are compared with their corresponding condensed formulas. (Contains 5 tables.)

  16. Relating Functional Groups to the Periodic Table

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Struyf, Jef

    2009-01-01

    An introduction to organic chemistry functional groups and their ionic variants is presented. Functional groups are ordered by the position of their specific (hetero) atom in the periodic table. Lewis structures are compared with their corresponding condensed formulas. (Contains 5 tables.)

  17. Learning the Functional Groups: Keys to Success

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrd, Shannon; Hildreth, David P.

    2001-10-01

    Teaching functional groups to high school and college chemistry students is often accomplished by having students memorize the functional groups from a table. Using this approach, students typically forget what they have memorized shortly after the examination and fail to transfer the memorized material to other topics in chemistry such as nomenclature, VSEPR theory, and chemical reactions. This method is frustrating for both the teacher and the students. To facilitate the learning of functional groups and to avoid a strictly memorization approach, we developed a classification key based on discernible characteristics that students can identify and consequently key out. This key can be used by the teacher in a variety of ways: as an introduction, a review, or a homework assignment. The functional group classification key is well received by students and provides an engaging alternative for teachers to use when introducing functional groups to their classes.

  18. Functional identity versus species richness: herbivory resistance in plant communities

    PubMed Central

    Heimann, Juliane; Köhler, Günter; Mitschunas, Nadine; Weisser, Wolfgang W.

    2010-01-01

    The resistance of a plant community against herbivore attack may depend on plant species richness, with monocultures often much more severely affected than mixtures of plant species. Here, we used a plant–herbivore system to study the effects of selective herbivory on consumption resistance and recovery after herbivory in 81 experimental grassland plots. Communities were established from seed in 2002 and contained 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 or 60 plant species of 1, 2, 3 or 4 functional groups. In 2004, pairs of enclosure cages (1 m tall, 0.5 m diameter) were set up on all 81 plots. One randomly selected cage of each pair was stocked with 10 male and 10 female nymphs of the meadow grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus. The grasshoppers fed for 2 months, and the vegetation was monitored over 1 year. Consumption resistance and recovery of vegetation were calculated as proportional changes in vegetation biomass. Overall, grasshopper herbivory averaged 6.8%. Herbivory resistance and recovery were influenced by plant functional group identity, but independent of plant species richness and number of functional groups. However, herbivory induced shifts in vegetation composition that depended on plant species richness. Grasshopper herbivory led to increases in herb cover at the expense of grasses. Herb cover increased more strongly in species-rich mixtures. We conclude that selective herbivory changes the functional composition of plant communities and that compositional changes due to selective herbivory depend on plant species richness. PMID:20429014

  19. Silsesquioxane nanoparticles with reactive internal functional groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brozek, Eric M.; Washton, Nancy M.; Mueller, Karl T.; Zharov, Ilya

    2017-02-01

    A series of silsesquioxane nanoparticles containing reactive internal organic functionalities throughout the entire particle body have been synthesized using a surfactant-free method with organosilanes as the sole precursors and a base catalyst. The organic functional groups incorporated are vinyl, allyl, mercapto, cyanoethyl, and cyanopropyl groups. The sizes and morphologies of the particles were characterized using SEM and nitrogen adsorption, while the compositions were confirmed using TGA, FT-IR, solid state NMR, and elemental analysis. The accessibility and reactivity of the functional groups inside the particles were demonstrated by performing bromination and reduction reactions in the interior of the particles.

  20. Redefining plant functional types for forests based on plant traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, L.; Xu, C.; Christoffersen, B. O.; McDowell, N. G.; Zhou, H.

    2016-12-01

    Our ability to predict forest mortality is limited by the simple plant functional types (PFTs) in current generations of Earth System models (ESMs). For example, forests were formerly separated into PFTs only based on leaf form and phenology across different regions (arctic, temperate, and tropic areas) in the Community Earth System Model (CESM). This definition of PFTs ignored the large variation in vulnerability of species to drought and shade tolerance within each PFT. We redefined the PFTs for global forests based on plant traits including phenology, wood density, leaf mass per area, xylem-specific conductivity, and xylem pressure at 50% loss of conductivity. Species with similar survival strategies were grouped into the same PFT. New PFTs highlighted variation in vulnerability and physiological adaptation to drought and shade. New PFTs were better clustered than old ones in the two-dimensional plane of the first two principle components in a principle component analysis. We expect that the new PFTs will strengthen ESMs' ability on predicting drought-induced mortality in the future.

  1. Functionalized carbon nanotubes containing isocyanate groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Chungui; Ji, Lijun; Liu, Huiju; Hu, Guangjun; Zhang, Shimin; Yang, Mingshu; Yang, Zhenzhong

    2004-12-01

    Functionalized carbon nanotubes containing isocyanate groups can extend the nanotube chemistry, and may promote their many potential applications such as in polymer composites and coatings. This paper describes a facile method to prepare functionalized carbon nanotubes containing highly reactive isocyanate groups on its surface via the reaction between toluene 2,4-diisocyanate and carboxylated carbon nanotubes. Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) confirmed that reactive isocyanate groups were covalently attached to carbon nanotubes. The content of isocyanate groups were determined by chemical titration and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA).

  2. Functionalized carbon nanotubes containing isocyanate groups

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao Chungui; Ji Lijun; Liu Huiju; Hu Guangjun; Zhang Shimin; Yang Mingshu . E-mail: yms@iccas.ac.cn; Yang Zhenzhong . E-mail: yangzz@iccas.ac.cn

    2004-12-01

    Functionalized carbon nanotubes containing isocyanate groups can extend the nanotube chemistry, and may promote their many potential applications such as in polymer composites and coatings. This paper describes a facile method to prepare functionalized carbon nanotubes containing highly reactive isocyanate groups on its surface via the reaction between toluene 2,4-diisocyanate and carboxylated carbon nanotubes. Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) confirmed that reactive isocyanate groups were covalently attached to carbon nanotubes. The content of isocyanate groups were determined by chemical titration and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)

  3. Functional diversity of tocochromanols in plants.

    PubMed

    Dörmann, Peter

    2007-01-01

    Tocochromanols encompass a group of compounds with vitamin E activity essential for human nutrition. They accumulate in photooxidative organisms, e.g. in some algae and in plants, where they localize to thylakoid membranes and plastoglobules of chloroplasts. Tocochromanols contain a polar chromanol head group with a long isoprenoid side chain. Depending on the nature of the isoprenoid chain, tocopherols (containing a phytyl chain) or tocotrienols (geranylgeranyl chain) can be distinguished in plants. The tocochromanol biosynthetic pathway has been studied in Arabidopsis and Synechocystis in recent years, and the respective mutants and genes were isolated. Mutant characterization revealed that tocopherol protects lipids in photosynthetic membranes and in seeds against oxidative stress. In addition to its antioxidant characteristics, tocopherol was shown be involved in non-antioxidant functions such as primary carbohydrate metabolism. A considerable proportion of tocopherol is synthesized from free phytol suggesting that excess amounts of phytol released from chlorophyll breakdown during stress or senescence might be deposited in the form of tocopherol in chloroplasts.

  4. Evolution and Conservation of Plant NLR Functions

    PubMed Central

    Jacob, Florence; Vernaldi, Saskia; Maekawa, Takaki

    2013-01-01

    In plants and animals, nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeats (NLR)-containing proteins play pivotal roles in innate immunity. Despite their similar biological functions and protein architecture, comparative genome-wide analyses of NLRs and genes encoding NLR-like proteins suggest that plant and animal NLRs have independently arisen in evolution. Furthermore, the demonstration of interfamily transfer of plant NLR functions from their original species to phylogenetically distant species implies evolutionary conservation of the underlying immune principle across plant taxonomy. In this review we discuss plant NLR evolution and summarize recent insights into plant NLR-signaling mechanisms, which might constitute evolutionarily conserved NLR-mediated immune mechanisms. PMID:24093022

  5. Group entropies, correlation laws, and zeta functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tempesta, Piergiulio

    2011-08-01

    The notion of group entropy is proposed. It enables the unification and generaliztion of many different definitions of entropy known in the literature, such as those of Boltzmann-Gibbs, Tsallis, Abe, and Kaniadakis. Other entropic functionals are introduced, related to nontrivial correlation laws characterizing universality classes of systems out of equilibrium when the dynamics is weakly chaotic. The associated thermostatistics are discussed. The mathematical structure underlying our construction is that of formal group theory, which provides the general structure of the correlations among particles and dictates the associated entropic functionals. As an example of application, the role of group entropies in information theory is illustrated and generalizations of the Kullback-Leibler divergence are proposed. A new connection between statistical mechanics and zeta functions is established. In particular, Tsallis entropy is related to the classical Riemann zeta function.

  6. Soybean yield response: planting date and maturity groups in Missouri

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Planting date is one of the main factors affecting soybean (Glycine max L. (Merr.)) yield. The environmental conditions in the U.S. Mid-South, combined with irrigated management, can allow for a wide planting window from late March to early July, and using cultivars from maturity group (MG) 3 to 6. ...

  7. Insight into plant annexin function

    PubMed Central

    Baucher, Marie; Pérez-Morga, David; El Jaziri, Mondher

    2012-01-01

    The multifunctionality of plant annexins and their importance for coordinating development and responses to biotic and abiotic environment have been largely reviewed. We recently described a tobacco annexin, named Ntann12, which is mainly localized in the nucleus of root cells when the plant is grown under light conditions. We also found that auxin and polar auxin transport are essential for Ntann12 accumulation in root cells. Under dark condition, Ntann12 is no longer detected in the root system. In the present addendum, light, regulating auxin signaling, is evidenced as an essential determinant for the synchronization of growth and development between the shoot and the root during light/dark cycle. A speculative model for Ntann12 is described and discussed with regards to relevant literature data. PMID:22499168

  8. Identifying copepod functional groups from species functional traits

    PubMed Central

    Benedetti, Fabio; Gasparini, Stéphane; Ayata, Sakina-Dorothée

    2016-01-01

    We gathered information on the functional traits of the most representative copepod species in the Mediterranean Sea. Our database includes 191 species described by 7 traits encompassing diverse ecological functions: minimal and maximal body length, trophic group, feeding type, spawning strategy, diel vertical migration and vertical habitat. Cluster analysis in the functional trait space revealed that Mediterranean copepods can be separated into groups with distinct ecological roles. PMID:26811565

  9. Functional Group Chemistry (by James R. Hanson)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karty, Joel M.

    2002-06-01

    Given its density and brevity and the apparent requirement of previous organic chemistry knowledge, Functional Group Chemistry is inappropriate as a stand-alone text for first-year organic students. It is also difficult to imagine using it as a supplement to a traditional textbook, since the textbook would presumably provide the same material in greater depth and with better clarity. The end-of-chapter problems in Functional Group Chemistry, however, would provide excellent exam and supplemental homework questions, and would be appropriate given the greater emphasis on reaction mechanisms in the traditional textbook. Perhaps the best use for Functional Group Chemistry, then, is for students returning after having had a year of organic chemistry, either for a quick reference, or for an in-depth review in studying for a standardized exam.

  10. Functional roles of effectors of plant-parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Haegeman, Annelies; Mantelin, Sophie; Jones, John T; Gheysen, Godelieve

    2012-01-15

    Plant pathogens have evolved a variety of different strategies that allow them to successfully infect their hosts. Plant-parasitic nematodes secrete numerous proteins into their hosts. These proteins, called effectors, have various functions in the plant cell. The most studied effectors to date are the plant cell wall degrading enzymes, which have an interesting evolutionary history since they are believed to have been acquired from bacteria or fungi by horizontal gene transfer. Extensive genome, transcriptome and proteome studies have shown that plant-parasitic nematodes secrete many additional effectors. The function of many of these is less clear although during the last decade, several research groups have determined the function of some of these effectors. Even though many effectors remain to be investigated, it has already become clear that they can have very diverse functions. Some are involved in suppression of plant defences, while others can specifically interact with plant signalling or hormone pathways to promote the formation of nematode feeding sites. In this review, the most recent progress in the understanding of the function of plant-parasitic nematode effectors is discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Molecular motors and their functions in plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reddy, A. S.

    2001-01-01

    Molecular motors that hydrolyze ATP and use the derived energy to generate force are involved in a variety of diverse cellular functions. Genetic, biochemical, and cellular localization data have implicated motors in a variety of functions such as vesicle and organelle transport, cytoskeleton dynamics, morphogenesis, polarized growth, cell movements, spindle formation, chromosome movement, nuclear fusion, and signal transduction. In non-plant systems three families of molecular motors (kinesins, dyneins, and myosins) have been well characterized. These motors use microtubules (in the case of kinesines and dyneins) or actin filaments (in the case of myosins) as tracks to transport cargo materials intracellularly. During the last decade tremendous progress has been made in understanding the structure and function of various motors in animals. These studies are yielding interesting insights into the functions of molecular motors and the origin of different families of motors. Furthermore, the paradigm that motors bind cargo and move along cytoskeletal tracks does not explain the functions of some of the motors. Relatively little is known about the molecular motors and their roles in plants. In recent years, by using biochemical, cell biological, molecular, and genetic approaches a few molecular motors have been isolated and characterized from plants. These studies indicate that some of the motors in plants have novel features and regulatory mechanisms. The role of molecular motors in plant cell division, cell expansion, cytoplasmic streaming, cell-to-cell communication, membrane trafficking, and morphogenesis is beginning to be understood. Analyses of the Arabidopsis genome sequence database (51% of genome) with conserved motor domains of kinesin and myosin families indicates the presence of a large number (about 40) of molecular motors and the functions of many of these motors remain to be discovered. It is likely that many more motors with novel regulatory

  12. Functional Groups in the Avian Auditory System

    PubMed Central

    Woolley, Sarah M. N.; Gill, Patrick R.; Fremouw, Thane; Theunissen, Frédéric E.

    2009-01-01

    Auditory perception depends on the coding and organization of the information-bearing acoustic features of sounds by auditory neurons. We report here that auditory neurons can be classified into functional groups each of which plays a specific role in extracting distinct complex sound features. We recorded the electrophysiological responses of single auditory neurons in the songbird midbrain and forebrain to conspecific song, measured their tuning by calculating spectrotemporal receptive fields (STRFs) and classified them using multiple cluster analysis methods. Based on STRF shape, cells clustered into functional groups that divided the space of acoustical features into regions that represent cues for the fundamental acoustic percepts of pitch, timbre and rhythm. Four major groups were found in the midbrain and five major groups were found in the forebrain. Comparing STRFs in midbrain and forebrain neurons suggested that both inheritance and emergence of tuning properties occur as information ascends the auditory processing stream. PMID:19261874

  13. [Current knowledge about presumable functions of plant lectins].

    PubMed

    Shakirova, F M; Bezrukova, M V

    2007-01-01

    Current data on the diversity of plant lectins and their functional importance for plants, caused primarily by their capacity to link carbohydrate ligands specifically and convertibly, are reviewed. For instance, the role of plant lectins in the recognition of alien organisms and in the adaptation of plants to various stress-induced effects is discussed. In addition to centres of specific affinity to carbohydrates, plant lectins are characterized by the presence of sites responsible for hydrophobic interactions with non-carbohydrate molecules. These sites link to plant hormones, proteins, and other metabolites, thus participating in the regulation of metabolic processes controlling growth, development, and differentiation in plants. The structure and biological properties of ribosome-inactivating proteins having and not having lectin activity are discussed, as well as their role in plant protection from pests and pathogens. Current data on the assumed functions of the independent groups of plant lectins with specific endogenic role are given. These include chitin-specific lectins synthesized in phloem, which are capable of forming protein-protein and RNA-protein complexes and translocating via vessels, which thus play their specific intra- or intercellular interactions, processes of growth, development, and protection of plants. Other groups of plant lectins, induced by jasmonate, such as Nictaba (Nicotiana tabaccum agglutinin), and cereal lectins related to jacalin, which are localised in the cytoplasm and nucleus, probably play regulatory role in the formation of stress response in plants. The structure and currently discussed functions of wheat germ agglutinin, a typical representative of cereal lectins, are analysed in detail.

  14. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria and root system functioning

    PubMed Central

    Vacheron, Jordan; Desbrosses, Guilhem; Bouffaud, Marie-Lara; Touraine, Bruno; Moënne-Loccoz, Yvan; Muller, Daniel; Legendre, Laurent; Wisniewski-Dyé, Florence; Prigent-Combaret, Claire

    2013-01-01

    The rhizosphere supports the development and activity of a huge and diversified microbial community, including microorganisms capable to promote plant growth. Among the latter, plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) colonize roots of monocots and dicots, and enhance plant growth by direct and indirect mechanisms. Modification of root system architecture by PGPR implicates the production of phytohormones and other signals that lead, mostly, to enhanced lateral root branching and development of root hairs. PGPR also modify root functioning, improve plant nutrition and influence the physiology of the whole plant. Recent results provided first clues as to how PGPR signals could trigger these plant responses. Whether local and/or systemic, the plant molecular pathways involved remain often unknown. From an ecological point of view, it emerged that PGPR form coherent functional groups, whose rhizosphere ecology is influenced by a myriad of abiotic and biotic factors in natural and agricultural soils, and these factors can in turn modulate PGPR effects on roots. In this paper, we address novel knowledge and gaps on PGPR modes of action and signals, and highlight recent progress on the links between plant morphological and physiological effects induced by PGPR. We also show the importance of taking into account the size, diversity, and gene expression patterns of PGPR assemblages in the rhizosphere to better understand their impact on plant growth and functioning. Integrating mechanistic and ecological knowledge on PGPR populations in soil will be a prerequisite to develop novel management strategies for sustainable agriculture. PMID:24062756

  15. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria and root system functioning.

    PubMed

    Vacheron, Jordan; Desbrosses, Guilhem; Bouffaud, Marie-Lara; Touraine, Bruno; Moënne-Loccoz, Yvan; Muller, Daniel; Legendre, Laurent; Wisniewski-Dyé, Florence; Prigent-Combaret, Claire

    2013-09-17

    The rhizosphere supports the development and activity of a huge and diversified microbial community, including microorganisms capable to promote plant growth. Among the latter, plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) colonize roots of monocots and dicots, and enhance plant growth by direct and indirect mechanisms. Modification of root system architecture by PGPR implicates the production of phytohormones and other signals that lead, mostly, to enhanced lateral root branching and development of root hairs. PGPR also modify root functioning, improve plant nutrition and influence the physiology of the whole plant. Recent results provided first clues as to how PGPR signals could trigger these plant responses. Whether local and/or systemic, the plant molecular pathways involved remain often unknown. From an ecological point of view, it emerged that PGPR form coherent functional groups, whose rhizosphere ecology is influenced by a myriad of abiotic and biotic factors in natural and agricultural soils, and these factors can in turn modulate PGPR effects on roots. In this paper, we address novel knowledge and gaps on PGPR modes of action and signals, and highlight recent progress on the links between plant morphological and physiological effects induced by PGPR. We also show the importance of taking into account the size, diversity, and gene expression patterns of PGPR assemblages in the rhizosphere to better understand their impact on plant growth and functioning. Integrating mechanistic and ecological knowledge on PGPR populations in soil will be a prerequisite to develop novel management strategies for sustainable agriculture.

  16. Introduction to the nonequilibrium functional renormalization group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berges, J.; Mesterházy, D.

    2012-07-01

    In these lectures we introduce the functional renormalization group out of equilibrium. While in thermal equilibrium typically a Euclidean formulation is adequate, nonequilibrium properties require real-time descriptions. For quantum systems specified by a given density matrix at initial time, a generating functional for real-time correlation functions can be written down using the Schwinger-Keldysh closed time path. This can be used to construct a nonequilibrium functional renormalization group along similar lines as for Euclidean field theories in thermal equilibrium. Important differences include the absence of a fluctuation-dissipation relation for general out-of-equilibrium situations. The nonequilibrium renormalization group takes on a particularly simple form at a fixed point, where the corresponding scale-invariant system becomes independent of the details of the initial density matrix. We discuss some basic examples, for which we derive a hierarchy of fixed point solutions with increasing complexity from vacuum and thermal equilibrium to nonequilibrium. The latter solutions are then associated to the phenomenon of turbulence in quantum field theory.

  17. The Circular Velocity Function of Group Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abramson, Louis E.; Williams, Rik J.; Benson, Andrew J.; Kollmeier, Juna A.; Mulchaey, John S.

    2014-09-01

    A robust prediction of ΛCDM cosmology is the halo circular velocity function (CVF), a dynamical cousin of the halo mass function. The correspondence between theoretical and observed CVFs is uncertain, however: cluster galaxies are reported to exhibit a power-law CVF consistent with N-body simulations, but that of the field is distinctly Schechter-like, flattened compared to ΛCDM expectations at circular velocities v c <~ 200 km s-1. Groups offer a powerful probe of the role environment plays in this discrepancy as they bridge the field and clusters. Here, we construct the CVF for a large, mass- and multiplicity-complete sample of group galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Using independent photometric v c estimators, we find no transition from field to ΛCDM-shaped CVF above v c = 50 km s-1 as a function of group halo mass. All groups with 12.4 <~ log M halo/M ⊙ <~ 15.1 (Local Group analogs to rich clusters) display similar Schechter-like CVFs marginally suppressed at low v c compared to that of the field. Conversely, some agreement with N-body results emerges for samples saturated with late-type galaxies, with isolated late-types displaying a CVF similar in shape to ΛCDM predictions. We conclude that the flattening of the low-v c slope in groups is due to their depressed late-type fractions—environment affecting the CVF only to the extent that it correlates with this quantity—and that previous cluster analyses may suffer from interloper contamination. These results serve as useful benchmarks for cosmological simulations of galaxy formation.

  18. The circular velocity function of group galaxies

    SciTech Connect

    Abramson, Louis E.; Williams, Rik J.; Benson, Andrew J.; Kollmeier, Juna A.; Mulchaey, John S.

    2014-09-20

    A robust prediction of ΛCDM cosmology is the halo circular velocity function (CVF), a dynamical cousin of the halo mass function. The correspondence between theoretical and observed CVFs is uncertain, however: cluster galaxies are reported to exhibit a power-law CVF consistent with N-body simulations, but that of the field is distinctly Schechter-like, flattened compared to ΛCDM expectations at circular velocities v {sub c} ≲ 200 km s{sup –1}. Groups offer a powerful probe of the role environment plays in this discrepancy as they bridge the field and clusters. Here, we construct the CVF for a large, mass- and multiplicity-complete sample of group galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Using independent photometric v {sub c} estimators, we find no transition from field to ΛCDM-shaped CVF above v {sub c} = 50 km s{sup –1} as a function of group halo mass. All groups with 12.4 ≲ log M {sub halo}/M {sub ☉} ≲ 15.1 (Local Group analogs to rich clusters) display similar Schechter-like CVFs marginally suppressed at low v {sub c} compared to that of the field. Conversely, some agreement with N-body results emerges for samples saturated with late-type galaxies, with isolated late-types displaying a CVF similar in shape to ΛCDM predictions. We conclude that the flattening of the low-v {sub c} slope in groups is due to their depressed late-type fractions—environment affecting the CVF only to the extent that it correlates with this quantity—and that previous cluster analyses may suffer from interloper contamination. These results serve as useful benchmarks for cosmological simulations of galaxy formation.

  19. A functional trait perspective on plant invasion.

    PubMed

    Drenovsky, Rebecca E; Grewell, Brenda J; D'Antonio, Carla M; Funk, Jennifer L; James, Jeremy J; Molinari, Nicole; Parker, Ingrid M; Richards, Christina L

    2012-07-01

    Global environmental change will affect non-native plant invasions, with profound potential impacts on native plant populations, communities and ecosystems. In this context, we review plant functional traits, particularly those that drive invader abundance (invasiveness) and impacts, as well as the integration of these traits across multiple ecological scales, and as a basis for restoration and management. We review the concepts and terminology surrounding functional traits and how functional traits influence processes at the individual level. We explore how phenotypic plasticity may lead to rapid evolution of novel traits facilitating invasiveness in changing environments and then 'scale up' to evaluate the relative importance of demographic traits and their links to invasion rates. We then suggest a functional trait framework for assessing per capita effects and, ultimately, impacts of invasive plants on plant communities and ecosystems. Lastly, we focus on the role of functional trait-based approaches in invasive species management and restoration in the context of rapid, global environmental change. To understand how the abundance and impacts of invasive plants will respond to rapid environmental changes it is essential to link trait-based responses of invaders to changes in community and ecosystem properties. To do so requires a comprehensive effort that considers dynamic environmental controls and a targeted approach to understand key functional traits driving both invader abundance and impacts. If we are to predict future invasions, manage those at hand and use restoration technology to mitigate invasive species impacts, future research must focus on functional traits that promote invasiveness and invader impacts under changing conditions, and integrate major factors driving invasions from individual to ecosystem levels.

  20. A functional trait perspective on plant invasion

    PubMed Central

    Drenovsky, Rebecca E.; Grewell, Brenda J.; D'Antonio, Carla M.; Funk, Jennifer L.; James, Jeremy J.; Molinari, Nicole; Parker, Ingrid M.; Richards, Christina L.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Global environmental change will affect non-native plant invasions, with profound potential impacts on native plant populations, communities and ecosystems. In this context, we review plant functional traits, particularly those that drive invader abundance (invasiveness) and impacts, as well as the integration of these traits across multiple ecological scales, and as a basis for restoration and management. Scope We review the concepts and terminology surrounding functional traits and how functional traits influence processes at the individual level. We explore how phenotypic plasticity may lead to rapid evolution of novel traits facilitating invasiveness in changing environments and then ‘scale up’ to evaluate the relative importance of demographic traits and their links to invasion rates. We then suggest a functional trait framework for assessing per capita effects and, ultimately, impacts of invasive plants on plant communities and ecosystems. Lastly, we focus on the role of functional trait-based approaches in invasive species management and restoration in the context of rapid, global environmental change. Conclusions To understand how the abundance and impacts of invasive plants will respond to rapid environmental changes it is essential to link trait-based responses of invaders to changes in community and ecosystem properties. To do so requires a comprehensive effort that considers dynamic environmental controls and a targeted approach to understand key functional traits driving both invader abundance and impacts. If we are to predict future invasions, manage those at hand and use restoration technology to mitigate invasive species impacts, future research must focus on functional traits that promote invasiveness and invader impacts under changing conditions, and integrate major factors driving invasions from individual to ecosystem levels. PMID:22589328

  1. Linking functional group richness and ecosystem functions of dung beetles: an experimental quantification.

    PubMed

    Milotić, Tanja; Quidé, Stijn; Van Loo, Thomas; Hoffmann, Maurice

    2017-01-01

    Dung beetles form an insect group that fulfils important functions in terrestrial ecosystems throughout the world. These include nutrient cycling through dung removal, soil bioturbation, plant growth, secondary seed dispersal and parasite control. We conducted field experiments at two sites in the northern hemisphere temperate region in which dung removal and secondary seed dispersal were assessed. Dung beetles were classified in three functional groups, depending on their size and dung manipulation method: dwellers, large and small tunnelers. Other soil inhabiting fauna were included as a fourth functional group. Dung removal and seed dispersal by each individual functional group and combinations thereof were estimated in exclusion experiments using different dung types. Dwellers were the most diverse and abundant group, but tunnelers were dominant in terms of biomass. All dung beetle functional groups had a clear preference for fresh dung. The ecosystem services in dung removal and secondary seed dispersal provided by dung beetles were significant and differed between functional groups. Although in absolute numbers more dwellers were found, large tunnelers were disproportionally important for dung burial and seed removal. In the absence of dung beetles, other soil inhabiting fauna, such as earthworms, partly took over the dung decomposing role of dung beetles while most dung was processed when all native functional groups were present. Our results, therefore, emphasize the need to conserve functionally complete dung ecosystems to maintain full ecosystem functioning.

  2. Functional-structural plant models: a growing paradigm for plant studies.

    PubMed

    Sievänen, Risto; Godin, Christophe; DeJong, Theodore M; Nikinmaa, Eero

    2014-09-01

    A number of research groups in various areas of plant biology as well as computer science and applied mathematics have addressed modelling the spatiotemporal dynamics of growth and development of plants. This has resulted in development of functional-structural plant models (FSPMs). In FSPMs, the plant structure is always explicitly represented in terms of a network of elementary units. In this respect, FSPMs are different from more abstract models in which a simplified representation of the plant structure is frequently used (e.g. spatial density of leaves, total biomass, etc.). This key feature makes it possible to build modular models and creates avenues for efficient exchange of model components and experimental data. They are being used to deal with the complex 3-D structure of plants and to simulate growth and development occurring at spatial scales from cells to forest areas, and temporal scales from seconds to decades and many plant generations. The plant types studied also cover a broad spectrum, from algae to trees. This special issue of Annals of Botany features selected papers on FSPM topics such as models of morphological development, models of physical and biological processes, integrated models predicting dynamics of plants and plant communities, modelling platforms, methods for acquiring the 3-D structures of plants using automated measurements, and practical applications for agronomic purposes.

  3. The impact of Polycomb group (PcG) and Trithorax group (TrxG) epigenetic factors in plant plasticity.

    PubMed

    de la Paz Sanchez, Maria; Aceves-García, Pamela; Petrone, Emilio; Steckenborn, Stefan; Vega-León, Rosario; Álvarez-Buylla, Elena R; Garay-Arroyo, Adriana; García-Ponce, Berenice

    2015-11-01

    Current advances indicate that epigenetic mechanisms play important roles in the regulatory networks involved in plant developmental responses to environmental conditions. Hence, understanding the role of such components becomes crucial to understanding the mechanisms underlying the plasticity and variability of plant traits, and thus the ecology and evolution of plant development. We now know that important components of phenotypic variation may result from heritable and reversible epigenetic mechanisms without genetic alterations. The epigenetic factors Polycomb group (PcG) and Trithorax group (TrxG) are involved in developmental processes that respond to environmental signals, playing important roles in plant plasticity. In this review, we discuss current knowledge of TrxG and PcG functions in different developmental processes in response to internal and environmental cues and we also integrate the emerging evidence concerning their function in plant plasticity. Many such plastic responses rely on meristematic cell behavior, including stem cell niche maintenance, cellular reprogramming, flowering and dormancy as well as stress memory. This information will help to determine how to integrate the role of epigenetic regulation into models of gene regulatory networks, which have mostly included transcriptional interactions underlying various aspects of plant development and its plastic response to environmental conditions.

  4. Antibiotic inhibition of group I ribozyme function.

    PubMed

    von Ahsen, U; Davies, J; Schroeder, R

    1991-09-26

    The discovery of catalytically active RNA has provided the basis for the evolutionary concept of an RNA world. It has been proposed that during evolution the functions of ancient catalytic RNA were modulated by low molecular weight effectors, related to antibiotics, present in the primordial soup. Antibiotics and RNA may have coevolved in the formation of the modern ribosome. Here we report that a set of aminoglycoside antibiotics, which are known to interact with the decoding region of the 16S ribosomal RNA of Escherichia coli, inhibit the second step of splicing of the T4 phage-derived td intron. Thus catalytic RNA seems to interact not only with a mononucleotide and an amino acid, but also with another class of biomolecules, the sugars. Splicing of other group I introns but not group II introns was inhibited. The similarity in affinity and specificity of these antibiotics for group I introns and rRNAs may result from recognition of evolutionarily conserved structures.

  5. Stem cell function during plant vascular development.

    PubMed

    Miyashima, Shunsuke; Sebastian, Jose; Lee, Ji-Young; Helariutta, Yka

    2013-01-23

    The plant vascular system, composed of xylem and phloem, evolved to connect plant organs and transport various molecules between them. During the post-embryonic growth, these conductive tissues constitutively form from cells that are derived from a lateral meristem, commonly called procambium and cambium. Procambium/cambium contains pluripotent stem cells and provides a microenvironment that maintains the stem cell population. Because vascular plants continue to form new tissues and organs throughout their life cycle, the formation and maintenance of stem cells are crucial for plant growth and development. In this decade, there has been considerable progress in understanding the molecular control of the organization and maintenance of stem cells in vascular plants. Noticeable advance has been made in elucidating the role of transcription factors and major plant hormones in stem cell maintenance and vascular tissue differentiation. These studies suggest the shared regulatory mechanisms among various types of plant stem cell pools. In this review, we focus on two aspects of stem cell function in the vascular cambium, cell proliferation and cell differentiation.

  6. Stem cell function during plant vascular development

    PubMed Central

    Miyashima, Shunsuke; Sebastian, Jose; Lee, Ji-Young; Helariutta, Yka

    2013-01-01

    The plant vascular system, composed of xylem and phloem, evolved to connect plant organs and transport various molecules between them. During the post-embryonic growth, these conductive tissues constitutively form from cells that are derived from a lateral meristem, commonly called procambium and cambium. Procambium/cambium contains pluripotent stem cells and provides a microenvironment that maintains the stem cell population. Because vascular plants continue to form new tissues and organs throughout their life cycle, the formation and maintenance of stem cells are crucial for plant growth and development. In this decade, there has been considerable progress in understanding the molecular control of the organization and maintenance of stem cells in vascular plants. Noticeable advance has been made in elucidating the role of transcription factors and major plant hormones in stem cell maintenance and vascular tissue differentiation. These studies suggest the shared regulatory mechanisms among various types of plant stem cell pools. In this review, we focus on two aspects of stem cell function in the vascular cambium, cell proliferation and cell differentiation. PMID:23169537

  7. Functional renormalization group in Floquet space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eissing, Anna Katharina; Meden, Volker; Kennes, Dante Marvin

    2016-12-01

    We present an extension of the functional renormalization group to Floquet space, which enables us to treat the long time behavior of interacting time periodically driven quantum dots. It is one of its strength that the method is neither bound to small driving amplitudes nor to small driving frequencies, i.e., very general time periodic signals can be considered. It is applied to the interacting resonant level model, a prototype model of a spinless, fermionic quantum dot. The renormalization in several setups with different combinations of time periodic parameters is studied, where the numerical results are complemented by analytic expressions for the renormalization in the limit of small driving amplitude. We show how the driving frequency acts as an infrared cutoff of the underlying renormalization group flow which manifests in novel power laws. We utilize the tunability of the effective reservoir distribution function in a periodically driven onsite energy setup to show how its shape is directly reflected in the renormalization group flow. This allows us to flexibly tune the power-law renormalization generically encountered in quantum dot structures. Finally, an in-phase quantum pump as well as a single parameter pump are investigated in the whole regime of driving frequency, demonstrating that the new power law in the driving frequency is reflected in the mean current of the latter.

  8. S-Nitrosylation in plants: pattern and function.

    PubMed

    Lindermayr, Christian; Durner, Jörg

    2009-11-02

    During the last two decades nitric oxide (NO) has emerged as a new chemical messenger in plant biology, which is involved in many different physiological processes, such as plant defense, transpiration and gas exchange, seed germination, and root development. Protein S-nitrosylation, the post-translational modification of thiol residues, has been suggested to be the most important mechanism for transduction of the bioactivity of NO. The characterization of protein S-nitrosylation as well as the physiological relevance of this type of modification is essential information, which is necessary to understand the function of NO in plants. In this review we focus on the formation of nitrosothiols and describe the chemistry of NO and thiol groups. Furthermore, different methods for detection of S-nitrosothiols are highlighted and the function of S-nitrosylation in plants is discussed.

  9. 75 FR 41521 - Delphi Corporation, Automotive Holding Group, Instrument Cluster Plant, Currently Known as...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-16

    ... Employment and Training Administration Delphi Corporation, Automotive Holding Group, Instrument Cluster Plant..., 2007, applicable to workers of Delphi Corporation, Automotive Holding Group, Instrument Cluster Plant... Holding Group, Instrument Cluster Plant, currently known as General Motors Corporation, Flint,...

  10. Antioxidant activity and functional group analysis of Evolvulus alsinoides.

    PubMed

    Gomathi, Duraisamy; Ravikumar, Ganesan; Kalaiselvi, Manokaran; Devaki, Kanakasabapathi; Uma, Chandrasekar

    2014-11-01

    AMany oxidative stress-related diseases occur as a result of the accumulation of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are generated by various endogenous systems, exposure to different physiochemical conditions, or pathological states. A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is necessary for appropriate physiological function. A lot of studies are going on worldwide directed towards finding natural antioxidants of plant origin. FTIR spectroscopy is used to develop a rapid and effective analytical method for studying the main constituents in medicinal plants. The chemical constituents in the plants were identified and monitored for their medicinal properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro antioxidant activities and FTIR spectroscopic analysis of the ethanolic extract of Evolvulus alsinoides. Free radical scavenging activity of ethanolic extract of the whole plant of E. alsinoides was evaluated by in vitro methods, including total antioxidant assay (FRAP method) and hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity using ascorbic acid as a standard. The degree of lipid peroxidation was examined by estimating the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) using standard methods and the functional groups were analyzed using FTIR spectroscopy. The IR spectrum in the mid-infrared region 4 000-400 cm(-1) was used for discriminatio and to identify various functional groups present in E. alsinoides. The findings indicated the presence of amino acids, amides, amines, carboxylic acids, carbonyl compounds, organic hydrocarbons, and halogens in the ethanolic extract of E. alsinoides, and the antioxidant activities were significantly increased, when compared with the standard antioxidant ascorbic acid, in a dose-dependent manner. The findings indicated promising antioxidant activity of the crude extract of E. alsinoides, and needs further exploration for their potential effective use. Copyright © 2014 China Pharmaceutical University. Published by

  11. Evidence for RNA editing in mitochondria of all major groups of land plants except the Bryophyta.

    PubMed Central

    Hiesel, R; Combettes, B; Brennicke, A

    1994-01-01

    RNA editing has been documented in mitochondria of higher plants, notably dicots and monocots. To determine the distribution of mitochondrial RNA editing in the plant kingdom, we have now undertaken a survey of evolutionarily distant plants. RNA editing occurs in all major groups of land plants except the Bryophyta, suggesting that this process is an ancient trait that was established before the radiation of kormophyte plants. No editing is observed in representatives of the green algae, suggesting that editing arose in early land plants after the split of the Bryophyta or has been lost selectively in both algae and mosses. In ferns several U-->C changes are observed, one of which eliminates a genomically encoded UAA termination codon and creates a functional open reading frame. Images Fig. 2 PMID:8290575

  12. Plant immunophilins: a review of their structure-function relationship.

    PubMed

    Vasudevan, Dileep; Gopalan, Gayathri; Kumar, Ashish; Garcia, Veder J; Luan, Sheng; Swaminathan, Kunchithapadam

    2015-10-01

    Originally discovered as receptors for immunosuppressive drugs, immunophilins consist of two major groups, FK506 binding proteins (FKBPs) and cyclosporin A binding proteins (cyclophilins, CYPs). Many members in both FKBP and CYP families are peptidyl prolyl isomerases that are involved in protein folding processes, though they share little sequence homology. It is not surprising to find immunophilins in all organisms examined so far, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, plants and animals, as protein folding represents a common process in all living systems. Studies on plant immunophilins have revealed new functions beyond protein folding and new structural properties beyond that of typical PPIases. This review focuses on the structural and functional diversity of plant FKBPs and CYPs. The differences in sequence, structure as well as subcellular localization, have added on to the diversity of this family of molecular chaperones. In particular, the large number of immunophilins present in the thylakoid lumen of the photosynthetic organelle, promises to deliver insights into the regulation of photosynthesis, a unique feature of plant systems. However, very little structural information and functional data are available for plant immunophilins. Studies on the structure and function of plant immunophilins are important in understanding their role in plant biology. By reviewing the structural and functional properties of some immunophilins that represent the emerging area of research in plant biology, we hope to increase the interest of researchers in pursuing further research in this area. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Proline-directed Foldases: Cell Signaling Catalysts and Drug Targets. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Linking plant and ecosystem functional biogeography

    PubMed Central

    Reichstein, Markus; Bahn, Michael; Mahecha, Miguel D.; Kattge, Jens; Baldocchi, Dennis D.

    2014-01-01

    Classical biogeographical observations suggest that ecosystems are strongly shaped by climatic constraints in terms of their structure and function. On the other hand, vegetation function feeds back on the climate system via biosphere–atmosphere exchange of matter and energy. Ecosystem-level observations of this exchange reveal very large functional biogeographical variation of climate-relevant ecosystem functional properties related to carbon and water cycles. This variation is explained insufficiently by climate control and a classical plant functional type classification approach. For example, correlations between seasonal carbon-use efficiency and climate or environmental variables remain below 0.6, leaving almost 70% of variance unexplained. We suggest that a substantial part of this unexplained variation of ecosystem functional properties is related to variations in plant and microbial traits. Therefore, to progress with global functional biogeography, we should seek to understand the link between organismic traits and flux-derived ecosystem properties at ecosystem observation sites and the spatial variation of vegetation traits given geoecological covariates. This understanding can be fostered by synergistic use of both data-driven and theory-driven ecological as well as biophysical approaches. PMID:25225392

  14. Comparative regulatory approaches for groups of new plant breeding techniques.

    PubMed

    Lusser, Maria; Davies, Howard V

    2013-06-25

    This manuscript provides insights into ongoing debates on the regulatory issues surrounding groups of biotechnology-driven 'New Plant Breeding Techniques' (NPBTs). It presents the outcomes of preliminary discussions and in some cases the initial decisions taken by regulators in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, EU, Japan, South Africa and USA. In the light of these discussions we suggest in this manuscript a structured approach to make the evaluation more consistent and efficient. The issue appears to be complex as these groups of new technologies vary widely in both the technologies deployed and their impact on heritable changes in the plant genome. An added complication is that the legislation, definitions and regulatory approaches for biotechnology-derived crops differ significantly between these countries. There are therefore concerns that this situation will lead to non-harmonised regulatory approaches and asynchronous development and marketing of such crops resulting in trade disruptions.

  15. 48 CFR 945.603-70 - Plant clearance function.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Plant clearance function... Plant clearance function. If the plant clearance function has not been formally delegated to another Federal agency, the contracting officer shall assume all responsibilities of the plant clearance...

  16. 48 CFR 945.603-70 - Plant clearance function.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Plant clearance function... Plant clearance function. If the plant clearance function has not been formally delegated to another Federal agency, the contracting officer shall assume all responsibilities of the plant clearance...

  17. 48 CFR 945.603-70 - Plant clearance function.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Plant clearance function... Plant clearance function. If the plant clearance function has not been formally delegated to another Federal agency, the contracting officer shall assume all responsibilities of the plant clearance officer...

  18. The formation and function of plant cuticles.

    PubMed

    Yeats, Trevor H; Rose, Jocelyn K C

    2013-09-01

    The plant cuticle is an extracellular hydrophobic layer that covers the aerial epidermis of all land plants, providing protection against desiccation and external environmental stresses. The past decade has seen considerable progress in assembling models for the biosynthesis of its two major components, the polymer cutin and cuticular waxes. Most recently, two breakthroughs in the long-sought molecular bases of alkane formation and polyester synthesis have allowed construction of nearly complete biosynthetic pathways for both waxes and cutin. Concurrently, a complex regulatory network controlling the synthesis of the cuticle is emerging. It has also become clear that the physiological role of the cuticle extends well beyond its primary function as a transpiration barrier, playing important roles in processes ranging from development to interaction with microbes. Here, we review recent progress in the biochemistry and molecular biology of cuticle synthesis and function and highlight some of the major questions that will drive future research in this field.

  19. Functional ultrastructure of the plant nucleolus.

    PubMed

    Stępiński, Dariusz

    2014-11-01

    Nucleoli are nuclear domains present in almost all eukaryotic cells. They not only specialize in the production of ribosomal subunits but also play roles in many fundamental cellular activities. Concerning ribosome biosynthesis, particular stages of this process, i.e., ribosomal DNA transcription, primary RNA transcript processing, and ribosome assembly proceed in precisely defined nucleolar subdomains. Although eukaryotic nucleoli are conservative in respect of their main function, clear morphological differences between these structures can be noticed between individual kingdoms. In most cases, a plant nucleolus shows well-ordered structure in which four main ultrastructural components can be distinguished: fibrillar centers, dense fibrillar component, granular component, and nucleolar vacuoles. Nucleolar chromatin is an additional crucial structural component of this organelle. Nucleolonema, although it is not always an unequivocally distinguished nucleolar domain, has often been described as a well-grounded morphological element, especially of plant nucleoli. The ratios and morphology of particular subcompartments of a nucleolus can change depending on its metabolic activity which in turn is correlated with the physiological state of a cell, cell type, cell cycle phase, as well as with environmental influence. Precise attribution of functions to particular nucleolar subregions in the process of ribosome biosynthesis is now possible using various approaches. The presented description of plant nucleolar morphology summarizes previous knowledge regarding the function of nucleoli as well as of their particular subdomains not only in the course of ribosome biosynthesis.

  20. Remote sensing of plant functional types.

    PubMed

    Ustin, Susan L; Gamon, John A

    2010-06-01

    Conceptually, plant functional types represent a classification scheme between species and broad vegetation types. Historically, these were based on physiological, structural and/or phenological properties, whereas recently, they have reflected plant responses to resources or environmental conditions. Often, an underlying assumption, based on an economic analogy, is that the functional role of vegetation can be identified by linked sets of morphological and physiological traits constrained by resources, based on the hypothesis of functional convergence. Using these concepts, ecologists have defined a variety of functional traits that are often context dependent, and the diversity of proposed traits demonstrates the lack of agreement on universal categories. Historically, remotely sensed data have been interpreted in ways that parallel these observations, often focused on the categorization of vegetation into discrete types, often dependent on the sampling scale. At the same time, current thinking in both ecology and remote sensing has moved towards viewing vegetation as a continuum rather than as discrete classes. The capabilities of new remote sensing instruments have led us to propose a new concept of optically distinguishable functional types ('optical types') as a unique way to address the scale dependence of this problem. This would ensure more direct relationships between ecological information and remote sensing observations.

  1. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal phylogenetic groups differ in affecting host plants along heavy metal levels.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Yang, Haishui; Yu, Zhenxing; Tang, Jianjun; Xu, Ligen; Chen, Xin

    2014-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment.

  2. Peroxynitrite formation and function in plants.

    PubMed

    Vandelle, Elodie; Delledonne, Massimo

    2011-11-01

    Peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) is a reactive nitrogen species formed when nitric oxide (NO) reacts with the superoxide anion (O(2)(-)). It was first identified as a mediator of cell death in animals but was later shown to act as a positive regulator of cell signaling, mainly through the posttranslational modification of proteins by tyrosine nitration. In plants, peroxynitrite is not involved in NO-mediated cell death and its physiological function is poorly understood. However, it is emerging as a potential signaling molecule during the induction of defense responses against pathogens and this could be mediated by the selective nitration of tyrosine residues in a small number of proteins. In this review we discuss the general role of tyrosine nitration in plants and evaluate recent evidence suggesting that peroxynitrite is an effector of NO-mediated signaling following pathogen infection.

  3. Functional mapping of ontogeny in flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiyang; Tong, Chunfa; Pang, Xiaoming; Wang, Zhong; Guo, Yunqian; Du, Fang; Wu, Rongling

    2012-05-01

    All organisms face the problem of how to perform a sequence of developmental changes and transitions during ontogeny. We revise functional mapping, a statistical model originally derived to map genes that determine developmental dynamics, to take into account the entire process of ontogenetic growth from embryo to adult and from the vegetative to reproductive phase. The revised model provides a framework that reconciles the genetic architecture of development at different stages and elucidates a comprehensive picture of the genetic control mechanisms of growth that change gradually from a simple to a more complex level. We use an annual flowering plant, as an example, to demonstrate our model by which to map genes and their interactions involved in embryo and postembryonic growth. The model provides a useful tool to study the genetic control of ontogenetic growth in flowering plants and any other organisms through proper modifications based on their biological characteristics.

  4. RNAi for functional genomics in plants.

    PubMed

    McGinnis, Karen M

    2010-03-01

    RNAi refers to several different types of gene silencing mediated by small, dsRNA molecules. Over the course of 20 years, the scientific understanding of RNAi has developed from the initial observation of unexpected expression patterns to a sophisticated understanding of a multi-faceted, evolutionarily conserved network of mechanisms that regulate gene expression in many organisms. It has also been developed as a genetic tool that can be exploited in a wide range of species. Because transgene-induced RNAi has been effective at silencing one or more genes in a wide range of plants, this technology also bears potential as a powerful functional genomics tool across the plant kingdom. Transgene-induced RNAi has indeed been shown to be an effective mechanism for silencing many genes in many organisms, but the results from multiple projects which attempted to exploit RNAi on a genome-wide scale suggest that there is a great deal of variation in the silencing efficacy between transgenic events, silencing targets and silencing-induced phenotype. The results from these projects indicate several important variables that should be considered in experimental design prior to the initiation of functional genomics efforts based on RNAi silencing. In recent years, alternative strategies have been developed for targeted gene silencing, and a combination of approaches may also enhance the use of targeted gene silencing for functional genomics.

  5. [Uterotonic action of extracts from a group of medicinal plants].

    PubMed

    Shipochliev, T

    1981-01-01

    Water extracts (infusions) from a group of medicinal plants were studied in terms of their activity enhancing the uterine tonus in a series of experiments with a preparation of an isolated rabbit and guinea pig uterine horn. In a final extract concentration of 1 to 2 mg crude drug per 1 cm3 the plants ranked in the following descending order with regard to their tonus-raising effect on the uterus: camomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.), potmarigold calendula (Calendula officinalis L.) cockscomb (Celosia cristata L.), plantain (Plantago lanceolata L. et Plantago major L.), symphytum (Symphytum officinale L.), shepherdspurse (Capsella bursa pastoris L.), St.-John's wort (Hypericum perforatum L.). No effect showed the infusions of flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum L.) and bearberry leaves (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi L.). The combined preparation 'Antiinflamin', consisting of a pooled freeze-dried extract from three plants and chemotherapeutic agents produced a good enhancing effect, in the form of 'comprets' for intrauterine application at the rate of one compret per 2500 cm3.

  6. Plant community composition promotes multiple ecosystem functions in grassland at low and high soil fertility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Deyn, Gerlinde; Ostle, Nick; Bardgett, Richard

    2010-05-01

    It is well known that plant species richness can enhance primary productivity through complementarity in resource use by component plant species. Fewer studies have explored the role of plant species diversity and composition for the delivery of other ecosystem services than primary production and its dependency on resource availability. In this study we investigated how carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stocks in vegetation, soil and soil microbes, the loss of C and N from soil through leaching and ecosystem exchange rates of CO2 are affected by the composition and richness of grassland plant communities and soil fertility. We used two soils of contrasting fertility in which we planted plant communities using a pool of six plant species from one of three functional groups (legumes, forbs and C3 grasses). The levels of plant species richness were one, two, three or six species and were composed of one, two or three functional groups. Soil fertility stimulated pools of C and N in shoots and roots, and the soil microbial biomass, but also increased significantly with increased plant functional group and plant species richness. Moreover, plant diversity suppressed N and water loss via soil leaching. We also found changes in the C and N content in soil, but these were not related to the richness of plant species or functional groups. The changes in soil were rather specifically due to the abundance of the legumes. The leaching of water and N was related negative to plant species richness but also specifically to the abundance of the forb species. Our findings show that the relation between plant community composition and storage of C and N in vegetation is not directly reflected in the changes in C and N storage in soil. These soil based storage functions, and the leaching of N from soil, appeared to be most strongly related to different key plant species. Together these results indicate that the maintenance of plant diversity is important to sustain the multiple functions

  7. Functional dissection of a plant Argonaute

    PubMed Central

    Fátyol, Károly; Ludman, Márta; Burgyán, József

    2016-01-01

    RNA guided ribonuclease complexes play central role in RNA interference. Members of the evolutionarily conserved Argonaute protein family form the catalytic cores of these complexes. Unlike a number of other plant Argonautes, the role of AGO2 has been obscure until recently. Newer data, however, have indicated its involvement in various biotic and abiotic stress responses. Despite its suggested importance, there is no detailed characterization of this protein to date. Here we report cloning and molecular characterization of the AGO2 protein of the virological model plant Nicotiana benthamiana. We show that AGO2 can directly repress translation via various miRNA target site constellations (ORF, 3′ UTR). Interestingly, although AGO2 seems to be able to silence gene expression in a slicing independent fashion, its catalytic activity is still a prerequisite for efficient translational repression. Additionally, mismatches between the 3′ end of the miRNA guide strand and the 5′ end of the target site enhance gene silencing by AGO2. Several functionally important amino acid residues of AGO2 have been identified that affect its small RNA loading, cleavage activity, translational repression potential and antiviral activity. The data presented here help us to understand how AGO2 aids plants to deal with stress. PMID:26673719

  8. Plant amino acid-derived vitamins: biosynthesis and function.

    PubMed

    Miret, Javier A; Munné-Bosch, Sergi

    2014-04-01

    Vitamins are essential organic compounds for humans, having lost the ability to de novo synthesize them. Hence, they represent dietary requirements, which are covered by plants as the main dietary source of most vitamins (through food or livestock's feed). Most vitamins synthesized by plants present amino acids as precursors (B1, B2, B3, B5, B7, B9 and E) and are therefore linked to plant nitrogen metabolism. Amino acids play different roles in their biosynthesis and metabolism, either incorporated into the backbone of the vitamin or as amino, sulfur or one-carbon group donors. There is a high natural variation in vitamin contents in crops and its exploitation through breeding, metabolic engineering and agronomic practices can enhance their nutritional quality. While the underlying biochemical roles of vitamins as cosubstrates or cofactors are usually common for most eukaryotes, the impact of vitamins B and E in metabolism and physiology can be quite different on plants and animals. Here, we first aim at giving an overview of the biosynthesis of amino acid-derived vitamins in plants, with a particular focus on how this knowledge can be exploited to increase vitamin contents in crops. Second, we will focus on the functions of these vitamins in both plants and animals (and humans in particular), to unravel common and specific roles for vitamins in evolutionary distant organisms, in which these amino acid-derived vitamins play, however, an essential role.

  9. 48 CFR 945.670-1 - Plant clearance function.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Plant clearance function... MANAGEMENT GOVERNMENT PROPERTY Reporting, Reutilization, and Disposal 945.670-1 Plant clearance function. If the plant clearance function has not been formally delegated to another Federal agency,...

  10. 48 CFR 945.670-1 - Plant clearance function.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Plant clearance function... MANAGEMENT GOVERNMENT PROPERTY Reporting, Reutilization, and Disposal 945.670-1 Plant clearance function. If the plant clearance function has not been formally delegated to another Federal agency,...

  11. Plant hydraulics as a hub integrating plant and ecosystem function

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Water plays a central role in plant biology and the efficiency of water transport throughout the plant (i.e., “plant hydraulics”) affects both photosynthetic rate and growth, an influence that scales up deterministically to the productivity of terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, hydraulic traits media...

  12. Explosive invasion of plant mitochondria by a group I intron

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Yangrae; Qiu, Yin-Long; Kuhlman, Peter; Palmer, Jeffrey D.

    1998-01-01

    Group I introns are mobile, self-splicing genetic elements found principally in organellar genomes and nuclear rRNA genes. The only group I intron known from mitochondrial genomes of vascular plants is located in the cox1 gene of Peperomia, where it is thought to have been recently acquired by lateral transfer from a fungal donor. Southern-blot surveys of 335 diverse genera of land plants now show that this intron is in fact widespread among angiosperm cox1 genes, but with an exceptionally patchy phylogenetic distribution. Four lines of evidence—the intron’s highly disjunct distribution, many incongruencies between intron and organismal phylogenies, and two sources of evidence from exonic coconversion tracts—lead us to conclude that the 48 angiosperm genera found to contain this cox1 intron acquired it by 32 separate horizontal transfer events. Extrapolating to the over 13,500 genera of angiosperms, we estimate that this intron has invaded cox1 genes by cross-species horizontal transfer over 1,000 times during angiosperm evolution. This massive wave of lateral transfers is of entirely recent occurrence, perhaps triggered by some key shift in the intron’s invasiveness within angiosperms. PMID:9826685

  13. Expression and evolution of functionally distinct haemoglobin genes in plants.

    PubMed

    Hunt, P W; Watts, R A; Trevaskis, B; Llewelyn, D J; Burnell, J; Dennis, E S; Peacock, W J

    2001-11-01

    Haemoglobin genes have been found in a number of plant species, but the number of genes known has been too small to allow effective evolutionary inferences. We present nine new non-symbiotic haemoglobin sequences from a range of plants, including class 1 haemoglobins from cotton, Citrus and tomato, class 2 haemoglobins from cotton, tomato, sugar beet and canola and two haemoglobins from the non-vascular plants, Marchantia polymorpha (a liverwort) and Physcomitrella patens (a moss). Our molecular phylogenetic analysis of all currently known non-symbiotic haemoglobin genes and a selection of symbiotic haemoglobins have confirmed the existence of two distinct classes of haemoglobin genes in the dicots. It is likely that all dicots have both class 1 and class 2 non-symbiotic haemoglobin genes whereas in monocots we have detected only class 1 genes. The symbiotic haemoglobins from legumes and Casuarina are related to the class 2 non-symbiotic haemoglobins, whilst the symbiotic haemoglobin from Parasponia groups with the class 1 non-symbiotic genes. Probably, there have been two independent recruitments of symbiotic haemoglobins. Although the functions of the two non-symbiotic haemoglobins remain unknown, their patterns of expression within plants suggest different functions. We examined the expression in transgenic plants of the two non-symbiotic haemoglobins from Arabidopsis using promoter fusions to a GUS reporter gene. The Arabidopsis GLB1 and GLB2 genes are likely to be functionally distinct. The class 2 haemoglobin gene (GLB2) is expressed in the roots, leaves and inflorescence and can be induced in young plants by cytokinin treatment in contrast to the class 1 gene (GLB1) which is active in germinating seedlings and can be induced by hypoxia and increased sucrose supply, but not by cytokinin treatment.

  14. Plant Surfaces: Structures and Functions for Biomimetic Innovations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barthlott, Wilhelm; Mail, Matthias; Bhushan, Bharat; Koch, Kerstin

    2017-04-01

    An overview of plant surface structures and their evolution is presented. It combines surface chemistry and architecture with their functions and refers to possible biomimetic applications. Within some 3.5 billion years biological species evolved highly complex multifunctional surfaces for interacting with their environments: some 10 million living prototypes (i.e., estimated number of existing plants and animals) for engineers. The complexity of the hierarchical structures and their functionality in biological organisms surpasses all abiotic natural surfaces: even superhydrophobicity is restricted in nature to living organisms and was probably a key evolutionary step with the invasion of terrestrial habitats some 350-450 million years ago in plants and insects. Special attention should be paid to the fact that global environmental change implies a dramatic loss of species and with it the biological role models. Plants, the dominating group of organisms on our planet, are sessile organisms with large multifunctional surfaces and thus exhibit particular intriguing features. Superhydrophilicity and superhydrophobicity are focal points in this work. We estimate that superhydrophobic plant leaves (e.g., grasses) comprise in total an area of around 250 million km2, which is about 50% of the total surface of our planet. A survey of structures and functions based on own examinations of almost 20,000 species is provided, for further references we refer to Barthlott et al. (Philos. Trans. R. Soc. A 374: 20160191, 1). A basic difference exists between aquatic non-vascular and land-living vascular plants; the latter exhibit a particular intriguing surface chemistry and architecture. The diversity of features is described in detail according to their hierarchical structural order. The first underlying and essential feature is the polymer cuticle superimposed by epicuticular wax and the curvature of single cells up to complex multicellular structures. A descriptive terminology

  15. Functional group diversity increases with modularity in complex food webs.

    PubMed

    Montoya, D; Yallop, M L; Memmott, J

    2015-06-10

    Biodiversity increases the ability of ecosystems to provide multiple functions. Most studies report a positive relationship between species richness and the number of ecosystem functions. However, it is not known whether the number of functional groups is related to the structure of the underlying species interaction network. Here we present food web data from 115 salt marsh islands and show that network structure is associated with the number of functional groups present. Functional group diversity is heterogeneously distributed across spatial scales, with some islands hosting more functional groups than others. Functional groups form modules within the community so that food webs with more modular architectures have more functional group diversity. Further, in communities with different interaction types, modularity can be seen as the multifunctional equivalent of trophic complementarity. Collectively, these findings reveal spatial heterogeneity in the number of functional groups that emerges from patterns in the structure of the food web.

  16. Functional group diversity increases with modularity in complex food webs

    PubMed Central

    Montoya, D.; Yallop, M.L.; Memmott, J.

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity increases the ability of ecosystems to provide multiple functions. Most studies report a positive relationship between species richness and the number of ecosystem functions. However, it is not known whether the number of functional groups is related to the structure of the underlying species interaction network. Here we present food web data from 115 salt marsh islands and show that network structure is associated with the number of functional groups present. Functional group diversity is heterogeneously distributed across spatial scales, with some islands hosting more functional groups than others. Functional groups form modules within the community so that food webs with more modular architectures have more functional group diversity. Further, in communities with different interaction types, modularity can be seen as the multifunctional equivalent of trophic complementarity. Collectively, these findings reveal spatial heterogeneity in the number of functional groups that emerges from patterns in the structure of the food web. PMID:26059871

  17. Spiroplasmas: serological grouping of strains associated with plants and insects.

    PubMed

    Davis, R E; Lee, I M; Basciano, L K

    1979-08-01

    Spiroplasma strains from plant and arthropod hosts, and from surfaces of flowers, were classified into three serological groups (designated I, II, and III) based on results from growth-inhibition tests. No significant cross reactions were observed among groups. The groupings were confirmed by ring-interface precipitin and microprecipitin tests, using membrane preparations as test antigens, and by organism-deformation tests. Serogroup I contained three subgroups: subgroup A (Spiroplasma citri strains Maroc R8A2 and C189), subgroup B (strain AS 576 and closely related strains from honeybee or flowers), and subgroup C (corn stunt spiroplasma strains). Serogroup II contained strains 23-6 and 27-31 isolated from flowers of the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera L.) growing in Maryland. Serogroup III contained strains SR 3 and SR 9 isolated from flowers of the tulip growing in Connecticut. The subgroups of serogroup I were based on organism deformation, microprecipitin, and ring-interface precipitin tests. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that the three serogroups represent no less than three distinct spiroplasma species.

  18. Adaptive Grouping Distributed Compressive Sensing Reconstruction of Plant Hyperspectral Data.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ping; Liu, Junfeng; Xue, Lingyun; Zhang, Jingcheng; Qiu, Bo

    2017-06-07

    With the development of hyperspectral technology, to establish an effective spectral data compressive reconstruction method that can improve data storage, transmission, and maintaining spectral information is critical for quantitative remote sensing research and application in vegetation. The spectral adaptive grouping distributed compressive sensing (AGDCS) algorithm is proposed, which enables a distributed compressed sensing reconstruction of plant hyperspectral data. The spectral characteristics of hyperspectral data are analyzed and the joint sparse model is constructed. The spectral bands are adaptively grouped and the hyperspectral data are compressed and reconstructed on the basis of grouping. The experimental results showed that, compared with orthogonal matching pursuit (OMP) and gradient projection for sparse reconstruction (GPSR), AGDCS can significantly improve the visual effect of image reconstruction in the spatial domain. The peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) at a low sampling rate (the sampling rate is lower than 0.2) increases by 13.72 dB than OMP and 1.66 dB than GPSR. In the spectral domain, the average normalized root mean square error, the mean absolute percentage error, and the mean absolute error of AGDCS is 35.38%, 31.83%, and 33.33% lower than GPSR, respectively. Additionally, AGDCS can achieve relatively high reconstructed efficiency.

  19. Adaptive Grouping Distributed Compressive Sensing Reconstruction of Plant Hyperspectral Data

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ping; Liu, Junfeng; Xue, Lingyun; Zhang, Jingcheng; Qiu, Bo

    2017-01-01

    With the development of hyperspectral technology, to establish an effective spectral data compressive reconstruction method that can improve data storage, transmission, and maintaining spectral information is critical for quantitative remote sensing research and application in vegetation. The spectral adaptive grouping distributed compressive sensing (AGDCS) algorithm is proposed, which enables a distributed compressed sensing reconstruction of plant hyperspectral data. The spectral characteristics of hyperspectral data are analyzed and the joint sparse model is constructed. The spectral bands are adaptively grouped and the hyperspectral data are compressed and reconstructed on the basis of grouping. The experimental results showed that, compared with orthogonal matching pursuit (OMP) and gradient projection for sparse reconstruction (GPSR), AGDCS can significantly improve the visual effect of image reconstruction in the spatial domain. The peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) at a low sampling rate (the sampling rate is lower than 0.2) increases by 13.72 dB than OMP and 1.66 dB than GPSR. In the spectral domain, the average normalized root mean square error, the mean absolute percentage error, and the mean absolute error of AGDCS is 35.38%, 31.83%, and 33.33% lower than GPSR, respectively. Additionally, AGDCS can achieve relatively high reconstructed efficiency. PMID:28590433

  20. The plant availability of auto-cast platinum group elements.

    PubMed

    Hooda, P S; Miller, A; Edwards, A C

    2008-04-01

    The introduction of automobile catalysts has raised environmental concern, as this pollution control technology is also an emission source for platinum group elements (PGE). The main aim of this study was to assess soil and grass PGE concentrations in soils adjacent to five road networks. The soil and grass samples were collected from four distances at each site; they were 0, 1, 2 and 5 m from the road edges. The maximum soil Pt, Rh and Pd concentrations were measured at the road perimeters. Pd concentrations were much higher than Pt or Rh, possibly due to differences in its use, emission and/or soil chemistry. Rh and Pt soil concentrations accounted for 66 and 34% (P < 0.01) of the variability observed, respectively, in their plant concentrations. Grass Pd concentrations had no relationship with its total soil concentrations.

  1. Changes in Bird Functional Diversity across Multiple Land Uses: Interpretations of Functional Redundancy Depend on Functional Group Identity

    PubMed Central

    Luck, Gary W.; Carter, Andrew; Smallbone, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Examinations of the impact of land-use change on functional diversity link changes in ecological community structure driven by land modification with the consequences for ecosystem function. Yet, most studies have been small-scale, experimental analyses and primarily focussed on plants. There is a lack of research on fauna communities and at large-scales across multiple land uses. We assessed changes in the functional diversity of bird communities across 24 land uses aligned along an intensification gradient. We tested the hypothesis that functional diversity is higher in less intensively used landscapes, documented changes in diversity using four diversity metrics, and examined how functional diversity varied with species richness to identify levels of functional redundancy. Functional diversity, measured using a dendogram-based metric, increased from high to low intensity land uses, but observed values did not differ significantly from randomly-generated expected values. Values for functional evenness and functional divergence did not vary consistently with land-use intensification, although higher than expected values were mostly recorded in high intensity land uses. A total of 16 land uses had lower than expected values for functional dispersion and these were mostly low intensity native vegetation sites. Relations between functional diversity and bird species richness yielded strikingly different patterns for the entire bird community vs. particular functional groups. For all birds and insectivores, functional evenness, divergence and dispersion showed a linear decline with increasing species richness suggesting substantial functional redundancy across communities. However, for nectarivores, frugivores and carnivores, there was a significant hump-shaped or non-significant positive linear relationship between these functional measures and species richness indicating less redundancy. Hump-shaped relationships signify that the most functionally diverse

  2. Changes in bird functional diversity across multiple land uses: interpretations of functional redundancy depend on functional group identity.

    PubMed

    Luck, Gary W; Carter, Andrew; Smallbone, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Examinations of the impact of land-use change on functional diversity link changes in ecological community structure driven by land modification with the consequences for ecosystem function. Yet, most studies have been small-scale, experimental analyses and primarily focussed on plants. There is a lack of research on fauna communities and at large-scales across multiple land uses. We assessed changes in the functional diversity of bird communities across 24 land uses aligned along an intensification gradient. We tested the hypothesis that functional diversity is higher in less intensively used landscapes, documented changes in diversity using four diversity metrics, and examined how functional diversity varied with species richness to identify levels of functional redundancy. Functional diversity, measured using a dendogram-based metric, increased from high to low intensity land uses, but observed values did not differ significantly from randomly-generated expected values. Values for functional evenness and functional divergence did not vary consistently with land-use intensification, although higher than expected values were mostly recorded in high intensity land uses. A total of 16 land uses had lower than expected values for functional dispersion and these were mostly low intensity native vegetation sites. Relations between functional diversity and bird species richness yielded strikingly different patterns for the entire bird community vs. particular functional groups. For all birds and insectivores, functional evenness, divergence and dispersion showed a linear decline with increasing species richness suggesting substantial functional redundancy across communities. However, for nectarivores, frugivores and carnivores, there was a significant hump-shaped or non-significant positive linear relationship between these functional measures and species richness indicating less redundancy. Hump-shaped relationships signify that the most functionally diverse

  3. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs of individual plants: plant species and community effects.

    PubMed

    Bezemer, T M; Fountain, M T; Barea, J M; Christensen, S; Dekker, S C; Duyts, H; van Hal, R; Harvey, J A; Hedlund, K; Maraun, M; Mikola, J; Mladenov, A G; Robin, C; de Ruiter, P C; Scheu, S; Setälä, H; Smilauer, P; van der Putten, W H

    2010-10-01

    Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers and providers of resources to the soil food web, are of vital importance for the composition, structure, and functioning of soil communities. However, whether natural soil food webs that are completely open to immigration and emigration differ underneath individual plants remains unknown. In a biodiversity restoration experiment we first compared the soil nematode communities of 228 individual plants belonging to eight herbaceous species. We included grass, leguminous, and non-leguminous species. Each individual plant grew intermingled with other species, but all plant species had a different nematode community. Moreover, nematode communities were more similar when plant individuals were growing in the same as compared to different plant communities, and these effects were most apparent for the groups of bacterivorous, carnivorous, and omnivorous nematodes. Subsequently, we analyzed the composition, structure, and functioning of the complete soil food webs of 58 individual plants, belonging to two of the plant species, Lotus corniculatus (Fabaceae) and Plantago lanceolata (Plantaginaceae). We isolated and identified more than 150 taxa/groups of soil organisms. The soil community composition and structure of the entire food webs were influenced both by the species identity of the plant individual and the surrounding plant community. Unexpectedly, plant identity had the strongest effects on decomposing soil organisms, widely believed to be generalist feeders. In contrast, quantitative food web modeling showed that the composition of the plant community influenced nitrogen mineralization under individual plants, but that plant species identity did not affect nitrogen or carbon

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Redox Regulation in Plant Immune Function

    PubMed Central

    Frederickson Matika, Debra E.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) occurs rapidly in response to attempted pathogen invasion of potential host plants. Such reduction–oxidation (redox) changes are sensed and transmitted to engage immune function, including the hypersensitive response, a programmed execution of challenged plant cells. Recent Advances: Pathogen elicitors trigger changes in calcium that are sensed by calmodulin, calmodulin-like proteins, and calcium-dependent protein kinases, which activate ROS and RNS production. The ROS and RNS production is compartmentalized within the cell and occurs through multiple routes. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are engaged upstream and downstream of ROS and nitric oxide (NO) production. NO is increasingly recognized as a key signaling molecule, regulating downstream protein function through S-nitrosylation, the addition of an NO moiety to a reactive cysteine thiol. Critical Issues: How multiple sources of ROS and RNS are coordinated is unclear. The putative protein sensors that detect and translate fluxes in ROS and RNS into differential gene expression are obscure. Protein tyrosine nitration following reaction of peroxynitrite with tyrosine residues has been proposed as another signaling mechanism or as a marker leading to protein degradation, but the reversibility remains to be established. Future Directions: Research is needed to identify the full spectrum of NO-modified proteins with special emphasis on redox-activated transcription factors and their cognate target genes. A systems approach will be required to uncover the complexities integral to redox regulation of MAPK cascades, transcription factors, and defense genes through the combined effects of calcium, phosphorylation, S-nitrosylation, and protein tyrosine nitration. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 21, 1373–1388. PMID:24206122

  6. Plant-pollinator coextinctions and the loss of plant functional and phylogenetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Marcos Costa; Cianciaruso, Marcus Vinicius; Almeida-Neto, Mário

    2013-01-01

    Plant-pollinator coextinctions are likely to become more frequent as habitat alteration and climate change continue to threaten pollinators. The consequences of the resulting collapse of plant communities will depend partly on how quickly plant functional and phylogenetic diversity decline following pollinator extinctions. We investigated the functional and phylogenetic consequences of pollinator extinctions by simulating coextinctions in seven plant-pollinator networks coupled with independent data on plant phylogeny and functional traits. Declines in plant functional diversity were slower than expected under a scenario of random extinctions, while phylogenetic diversity often decreased faster than expected by chance. Our results show that plant functional diversity was relatively robust to plant-pollinator coextinctions, despite the underlying rapid loss of evolutionary history. Thus, our study suggests the possibility of uncoupled responses of functional and phylogenetic diversity to species coextinctions, highlighting the importance of considering both dimensions of biodiversity explicitly in ecological studies and when planning for the conservation of species and interactions.

  7. Plant-Pollinator Coextinctions and the Loss of Plant Functional and Phylogenetic Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Vieira, Marcos Costa; Cianciaruso, Marcus Vinicius; Almeida-Neto, Mário

    2013-01-01

    Plant-pollinator coextinctions are likely to become more frequent as habitat alteration and climate change continue to threaten pollinators. The consequences of the resulting collapse of plant communities will depend partly on how quickly plant functional and phylogenetic diversity decline following pollinator extinctions. We investigated the functional and phylogenetic consequences of pollinator extinctions by simulating coextinctions in seven plant-pollinator networks coupled with independent data on plant phylogeny and functional traits. Declines in plant functional diversity were slower than expected under a scenario of random extinctions, while phylogenetic diversity often decreased faster than expected by chance. Our results show that plant functional diversity was relatively robust to plant-pollinator coextinctions, despite the underlying rapid loss of evolutionary history. Thus, our study suggests the possibility of uncoupled responses of functional and phylogenetic diversity to species coextinctions, highlighting the importance of considering both dimensions of biodiversity explicitly in ecological studies and when planning for the conservation of species and interactions. PMID:24312281

  8. Remote Sensing of plant functional types: Relative importance of biochemical and structural plant traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kattenborn, Teja; Schmidtlein, Sebastian

    2017-04-01

    Monitoring ecosystems is a key priority in order to understand vegetation patterns, underlying resource cycles and changes their off. Driven by biotic and abiotic factors, plant species within an ecosystem are likely to share similar structural, physiological or phenological traits and can therefore be grouped into plant functional types (PFT). It can be assumed that plants which share similar traits also share similar optical characteristics. Therefore optical remote sensing was identified as a valuable tool for differentiating PFT. Although several authors list structural and biochemical plant traits which are important for differentiating PFT using hyperspectral remote sensing, there is no quantitative or qualitative information on the relative importance of these traits. Thus, little is known about the explicit role of plant traits for an optical discrimination of PFT. One of the main reasons for this is that various optical traits affect the same wavelength regions and it is therefore difficult to isolate the discriminative power of a single trait. A way to determine the effect of single plant traits on the optical reflectance of plant canopies is given by radiative transfer models. The most established radiative transfer model is PROSAIL, which incorporates biochemical and structural plant traits, such as pigment contents or leaf area index. In the present study 25 grassland species of different PFT were cultivated and traits relevant for PROSAIL were measured for the entire vegetation season of 2016. The information content of each trait for differentiating PFTs was determined by applying a Multi-response Permutation Procedure on the actual traits, as well as on simulated canopy spectra derived from PROSAIL. According to our results some traits, especially biochemical traits, show a weaker separability of PFT on a spectral level than compared to the actual trait measurements. Overall structural traits (leaf angle and leaf area index) are more important for

  9. Gene-Transformation-Induced Changes in Chemical Functional Group Features and Molecular Structure Conformation in Alfalfa Plants Co-Expressing Lc-bHLH and C1-MYB Transcriptive Flavanoid Regulatory Genes: Effects of Single-Gene and Two-Gene Insertion.

    PubMed

    Heendeniya, Ravindra G; Yu, Peiqiang

    2017-03-20

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) genotypes transformed with Lc-bHLH and Lc transcription genes were developed with the intention of stimulating proanthocyanidin synthesis in the aerial parts of the plant. To our knowledge, there are no studies on the effect of single-gene and two-gene transformation on chemical functional groups and molecular structure changes in these plants. The objective of this study was to use advanced molecular spectroscopy with multivariate chemometrics to determine chemical functional group intensity and molecular structure changes in alfalfa plants when co-expressing Lc-bHLH and C1-MYB transcriptive flavanoid regulatory genes in comparison with non-transgenic (NT) and AC Grazeland (ACGL) genotypes. The results showed that compared to NT genotype, the presence of double genes (Lc and C1) increased ratios of both the area and peak height of protein structural Amide I/II and the height ratio of α-helix to β-sheet. In carbohydrate-related spectral analysis, the double gene-transformed alfalfa genotypes exhibited lower peak heights at 1370, 1240, 1153, and 1020 cm(-1) compared to the NT genotype. Furthermore, the effect of double gene transformation on carbohydrate molecular structure was clearly revealed in the principal component analysis of the spectra. In conclusion, single or double transformation of Lc and C1 genes resulted in changing functional groups and molecular structure related to proteins and carbohydrates compared to the NT alfalfa genotype. The current study provided molecular structural information on the transgenic alfalfa plants and provided an insight into the impact of transgenes on protein and carbohydrate properties and their molecular structure's changes.

  10. Gene-Transformation-Induced Changes in Chemical Functional Group Features and Molecular Structure Conformation in Alfalfa Plants Co-Expressing Lc-bHLH and C1-MYB Transcriptive Flavanoid Regulatory Genes: Effects of Single-Gene and Two-Gene Insertion

    PubMed Central

    Heendeniya, Ravindra G.; Yu, Peiqiang

    2017-01-01

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) genotypes transformed with Lc-bHLH and Lc transcription genes were developed with the intention of stimulating proanthocyanidin synthesis in the aerial parts of the plant. To our knowledge, there are no studies on the effect of single-gene and two-gene transformation on chemical functional groups and molecular structure changes in these plants. The objective of this study was to use advanced molecular spectroscopy with multivariate chemometrics to determine chemical functional group intensity and molecular structure changes in alfalfa plants when co-expressing Lc-bHLH and C1-MYB transcriptive flavanoid regulatory genes in comparison with non-transgenic (NT) and AC Grazeland (ACGL) genotypes. The results showed that compared to NT genotype, the presence of double genes (Lc and C1) increased ratios of both the area and peak height of protein structural Amide I/II and the height ratio of α-helix to β-sheet. In carbohydrate-related spectral analysis, the double gene-transformed alfalfa genotypes exhibited lower peak heights at 1370, 1240, 1153, and 1020 cm−1 compared to the NT genotype. Furthermore, the effect of double gene transformation on carbohydrate molecular structure was clearly revealed in the principal component analysis of the spectra. In conclusion, single or double transformation of Lc and C1 genes resulted in changing functional groups and molecular structure related to proteins and carbohydrates compared to the NT alfalfa genotype. The current study provided molecular structural information on the transgenic alfalfa plants and provided an insight into the impact of transgenes on protein and carbohydrate properties and their molecular structure’s changes. PMID:28335521

  11. Global GPP based on Plant Functional Types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veroustraete, Frank; Balzarolo, Manuela

    2016-04-01

    Vegetation variables like Gross Primary productivity (GPP) and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) are key variables in vegetation carbon exchange studies. Field measurements of the NDVI are time consuming due to landscape heterogeneity across time. Typically a sampling protocol adopted during field campaigns is based on the VALERI protocol in that case toe estimate LAI. Field campaign GPP or NDVI measurements can be scaled up to using in-situ FLUXNET radiation raster maps. Regression analysis can then be applied to construct transfer functions for the determination of GPP raster maps raster imagery from Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) raster maps derived from in-situ FLUXNET radiation raster maps. Subsequently, in the VALERI approach the scaling up of raster maps is performed by aggregation of high resolution in-situ FLUXNET radiation raster maps data into high resolution raster maps and subsequently aggregating these to 1x1 km MODIS NDVI raster maps by calculating average NDVI values for the low resolution data. The up-scaled 1x1 km pixels are then used to validate the MODIS GPP and NVI products. Hence up scaling based on in-situ FLUXNET radiation measurements are not a luxury for large and heterogeneous sites. Therefore this paper tackles the problem of up scaling using in-situ FLUXNET radiation measurements. Key Words: FLUXNET, GPP, Plant Functional Types, Up-scaling

  12. Reconciling Phylogeny and Function During Plant Litter Decomposition by High-Throughput Functional Metagenomics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nyyssonen, M.; Weihe, C.; Goulden, M.; Treseder, K. K.; Martiny, J.; Martiny, A.; Allison, S. D.; Brodie, E. L.

    2012-12-01

    Integrating information on microbial diversity and functionality with ecosystem processes may be critical to predicting how ecosystems respond to environmental change. While theoretical models can be used to link microbial processes to environmental responses and rates, accurate predictions of ecosystem functioning would benefit from detailed information on microbial community composition and function. In this study, our aim was to identify functional traits involved in plant litter decomposition, a model process for carbon cycling, from decomposing plant litter. The overall goal is then to link these traits with individual microbial taxa and use this information to build predictive trait-based models of ecosystem responses to global change. In order to identify activities involved in plant litter decomposition we used automated high-throughput assays for functional screening of metagenomic fosmid libraries prepared from decomposing plant litter. Litter was collected over 15 month period from a global change field experiment undergoing rainfall and nitrogen manipulations. We identified over 600 cellulose, hemicellulose, chitin and starch hydrolyzing clones following screening of over 300,000 clones. The frequency of positive clones was ten times lower during dry season but no significant differences in hit rates were observed between different treatments. The positive clones were shotgun sequenced on the Illumina sequencing platform and the identified hydrolytic genes were shown to represent variety bacterial taxonomic groups including Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes.

  13. STM investigation of carbon nanotubes completely covered with functional groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koos, Antal A.; Horvath, Zsolt Endre; Osvath, Zoltan; Tapaszto, Levente; Niesz, Krisztián; Konya, Zoltan; Kiricsi, Imre; Grobert, Nicole; Ruehle, Manfred; Biro, Laszlo P.

    2003-04-01

    The functionalization of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is important both for composite - to improve load transfer between CNTs and matrix - and nanoelectronic applications - to interlink individual nanotubes in a network. Oposite to earlier results, complete coverage of CNT surface with functional groups was achieved. The distribution of functional groups on the nanotube surface was investigated using STM and TEM. The influence of functional groups on the electron density of states of the nanotubes was studied with scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS).

  14. Plant functional traits and diversity in sand dune ecosystems across different biogeographic regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahdavi, P.; Bergmeier, E.

    2016-07-01

    Plant species of a functional group respond similarly to environmental pressures and may be expected to act similarly on ecosystem processes and habitat properties. However, feasibility and applicability of functional groups in ecosystems across very different climatic regions have not yet been studied. In our approach we specified the functional groups in sand dune ecosystems of the Mediterranean, Hyrcanian and Irano-Turanian phytogeographic regions. We examined whether functional groups are more influenced by region or rather by habitat characteristics, and identified trait syndromes associated with common habitat types in sand dunes (mobile dunes, stabilized dunes, salt marshes, semi-wet sands, disturbed habitats). A database of 14 traits, 309 species and 314 relevés was examined and trait-species, trait-plot and species-plot matrices were built. Cluster analysis revealed similar plant functional groups in sand dune ecosystems across regions of very different species composition and climate. Specifically, our study showed that plant traits in sand dune ecosystems are grouped reflecting habitat affiliation rather than region and species pool. Environmental factors and constraints such as sand mobility, soil salinity, water availability, nutrient status and disturbance are more important for the occurrence and distribution of plant functional groups than regional belonging. Each habitat is shown to be equipped with specific functional groups and can be described by specific sets of traits. In restoration ecology the completeness of functional groups and traits in a site may serve as a guideline for maintaining or restoring the habitat.

  15. Functional Renormalization Group Approach to the Sine-Gordon Model

    SciTech Connect

    Nagy, S.; Sailer, K.; Nandori, I.; Polonyi, J.

    2009-06-19

    The renormalization group flow is presented for the two-dimensional sine-Gordon model within the framework of the functional renormalization group method by including the wave-function renormalization constant. The Kosterlitz-Thouless-Berezinski type phase structure is recovered as the interpolating scaling law between two competing IR attractive area of the global renormalization group flow.

  16. Burkholderia of Plant-Beneficial Group are Symbiotically Associated with Bordered Plant Bugs (Heteroptera: Pyrrhocoroidea: Largidae)

    PubMed Central

    Takeshita, Kazutaka; Matsuura, Yu; Itoh, Hideomi; Navarro, Ronald; Hori, Tomoyuki; Sone, Teruo; Kamagata, Yoichi; Mergaert, Peter; Kikuchi, Yoshitomo

    2015-01-01

    A number of phytophagous stinkbugs (order Heteroptera: infraorder Pentatomomorpha) harbor symbiotic bacteria in a specific midgut region composed of numerous crypts. Among the five superfamilies of the infraorder Pentatomomorpha, most members of the Coreoidea and Lygaeoidea are associated with a specific group of the genus Burkholderia, called the “stinkbug-associated beneficial and environmental (SBE)” group, which is not vertically transmitted, but acquired from the environment every host generation. A recent study reported that, in addition to these two stinkbug groups, the family Largidae of the superfamily Pyrrhocoroidea also possesses a Burkholderia symbiont. Despite this recent finding, the phylogenetic position and biological nature of Burkholderia associated with Largidae remains unclear. Based on the combined results of fluorescence in situ hybridization, cloning analysis, Illumina deep sequencing, and egg inspections by diagnostic PCR, we herein demonstrate that the largid species are consistently associated with the “plant-associated beneficial and environmental (PBE)” group of Burkholderia, which are phylogenetically distinct from the SBE group, and that they maintain symbiosis through the environmental acquisition of the bacteria. Since the superfamilies Coreoidea, Lygaeoidea, and Pyrrhocoroidea are monophyletic in the infraorder Pentatomomorpha, it is plausible that the symbiotic association with Burkholderia evolved at the common ancestor of the three superfamilies. However, the results of this study strongly suggest that a dynamic transition from the PBE to SBE group, or vice versa, occurred in the course of stinkbug evolution. PMID:26657305

  17. Changes in plant species richness induce functional shifts in soil nematode communities in experimental grassland.

    PubMed

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Migunova, Varvara D; Ackermann, Michael; Ruess, Liliane; Scheu, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    Changes in plant diversity may induce distinct changes in soil food web structure and accompanying soil feedbacks to plants. However, knowledge of the long-term consequences of plant community simplification for soil animal food webs and functioning is scarce. Nematodes, the most abundant and diverse soil Metazoa, represent the complexity of soil food webs as they comprise all major trophic groups and allow calculation of a number of functional indices. We studied the functional composition of nematode communities three and five years after establishment of a grassland plant diversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In response to plant community simplification common nematode species disappeared and pronounced functional shifts in community structure occurred. The relevance of the fungal energy channel was higher in spring 2007 than in autumn 2005, particularly in species-rich plant assemblages. This resulted in a significant positive relationship between plant species richness and the ratio of fungal-to-bacterial feeders. Moreover, the density of predators increased significantly with plant diversity after five years, pointing to increased soil food web complexity in species-rich plant assemblages. Remarkably, in complex plant communities the nematode community shifted in favour of microbivores and predators, thereby reducing the relative abundance of plant feeders after five years. The results suggest that species-poor plant assemblages may suffer from nematode communities detrimental to plants, whereas species-rich plant assemblages support a higher proportion of microbivorous nematodes stimulating nutrient cycling and hence plant performance; i.e. effects of nematodes on plants may switch from negative to positive. Overall, food web complexity is likely to decrease in response to plant community simplification and results of this study suggest that this results mainly from the loss of common species which likely alter plant-nematode interactions.

  18. Preparation for Group Therapy: The Effects of Preparer and Modality on Group Process and Individual Functioning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowman, Vicki E.; DeLucia, Janice L.

    1993-01-01

    Examined effects of preparer (leader versus other personnel) and modality (group versus individual) on expectations about therapy, anxiety, group and individual functioning, and leader functioning in group therapy preparation program. Findings from 32 graduate students revealed that preparation can have positive effect on clients' beliefs,…

  19. PUREX Plant deactivation function analysis report

    SciTech Connect

    Lund, D.P.; PUREX Working Group

    1995-09-01

    The document contains the functions, function definitions, function interfaces, function interface definitions, Input Computer Automated Manufacturing Definition (IDEFO) diagrams, and a function hierarchy chart that describe what needs to be performed to deactivate PUREX.

  20. FFTF Plant transition function analysis report

    SciTech Connect

    Lund, D.P.; FFTF Working Group

    1995-09-01

    The document contains the functions, function definitions, function interfaces, function interface definitions, Input Computer Automated Manufacturing Definition (IDEFO) diagrams, and function hierarchy charts that describe what needs to be performed to deactivate FFTF.

  1. Local and Regional Determinants of an Uncommon Functional Group in Freshwater Lakes and Ponds

    PubMed Central

    McCann, Michael James

    2015-01-01

    A combination of local and regional factors and stochastic forces is expected to determine the occurrence of species and the structure of communities. However, in most cases, our understanding is incomplete, with large amounts of unexplained variation. Using functional groups rather than individual species may help explain the relationship between community composition and conditions. In this study, I used survey data from freshwater lakes and ponds to understand factors that determine the presence of the floating plant functional group in the northeast United States. Of the 176 water bodies surveyed, 104 (59.1%) did not contain any floating plant species. The occurrence of this functional group was largely determined by local abiotic conditions, which were spatially autocorrelated across the region. A model predicting the presence of the floating plant functional group performed similarly to the best species-specific models. Using a permutation test, I also found that the observed prevalence of floating plants is no different than expected by random assembly from a species pool of its size. These results suggest that the size of the species pool interacts with local conditions in determining the presence of a functional group. Nevertheless, a large amount of unexplained variation remains, attributable to either stochastic species occurrence or incomplete predictive models. The simple permutation approach in this study can be extended to test alternative models of community assembly. PMID:26121636

  2. Application of functional genomics to plant cryopreservation

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Many agriculturally important plant collections are maintained clonally, such as elite fruit cultivars that are propagated by grafting or cuttings. These collections are expensive to maintain as field or greenhouse plantings in genebanks. It is possible to efficiently back-up vegetatively propagat...

  3. 2011 Plant Lipids: Structure, Metabolism, & Function Gordon Research Conference

    SciTech Connect

    Christopher Benning

    2011-02-04

    This is the second Gordon Research Conference on 'Plant Lipids: Structure, Metabolism & Function'. It covers current topics in lipid structure, metabolism and function in eukaryotic photosynthetic organisms including seed plants, algae, mosses and ferns. Work in photosynthetic bacteria is considered as well as it serves the understanding of specific aspects of lipid metabolism in plants. Breakthroughs are discussed in research on plant lipids as diverse as glycerolipids, sphingolipids, lipids of the cell surface, isoprenoids, fatty acids and their derivatives. The program covers nine concepts at the forefront of research under which afore mentioned plant lipid classes are discussed. The goal is to integrate areas such as lipid signaling, basic lipid metabolism, membrane function, lipid analysis, and lipid engineering to achieve a high level of stimulating interaction among diverse researchers with interests in plant lipids. One Emphasis is on the dynamics and regulation of lipid metabolism during plant cell development and in response to environmental factors.

  4. Plant acclimation to elevated CO₂ affects important plant functional traits, and concomitantly reduces plant colonization rates by an herbivorous insect.

    PubMed

    Klaiber, Jeannine; Najar-Rodriguez, Adriana J; Piskorski, Rafal; Dorn, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    Plants growing under elevated CO₂ concentration may acclimatize to this environmental change by modification of chemical, physiological, and/or morphological traits. As a consequence, not only plant functioning but also plant-insect interactions might be altered, with important consequences particularly for agricultural systems. Whereas most studies have focused on the plant acclimation effects of elevated CO₂ with regard to crop growth and productivity, acclimation effects on the behavioral response of insects associated with these plants have been largely neglected. In this study, we used a model system comprised of Brussels sprout Brassica oleraceae var. gemmifera and a specialized herbivorous insect, the cabbage aphid Brevicoryne brassicae, to test for the effects of various periods of exposure to an elevated (2× ambient) CO₂ concentration on key plant functional traits and on host plant location behavior by the insect, assessed as plant colonization rates. Elevated CO₂ had no measurable effect on colonization rates or total plant volatile emissions after a 2-week exposure, but it led to 15 and 26 % reductions in plant colonization rates after 6- and 10-week exposures, respectively. This reduction in plant colonization was associated with significant decreases in leaf stomatal conductance and plant volatile emission. Terpene emission, in particular, exhibited a great reduction after the 10-week exposure to elevated CO₂. Our results provide empirical evidence that plants might acclimatize to a future increase in CO₂, and that these acclimation responses might affect host plant choice and colonization behavior by herbivorous insects, which might be advantageous from the plant's perspective.

  5. Functions and operations of nuclear power plant crews

    SciTech Connect

    Kisner, R.A.; Frey, P.R.

    1982-04-01

    This report summarizes the results of work performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and its subcontractors to define the functions, operations, and organization of nuclear power plant operating crews. The primary information sources used were ANS and IEEE standards, normal and emergency operating procedures from nuclear power plants, interviews, and literature reviews. The function and organization of operating crews for several plants are discussed genericly. The report covers a wide spectrum of topics including review of standards affecting human factors in the control room, influence of automation on operator functions, classification of operator functions, function of operator at onset of emergency, crew organization, work-induced stress, and operator acceptance of his role.

  6. Nitrogen limitation as a driver of genome size evolution in a group of karst plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Ming; Wang, Jing; Huang, Hongwen

    2015-06-01

    Genome size is of fundamental biological importance with significance in predicting structural and functional attributes of organisms. Although abundant evidence has shown that the genome size can be largely explained by differential proliferation and removal of non-coding DNA of the genome, the evolutionary and ecological basis of genome size variation remains poorly understood. Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are essential elements of DNA and protein building blocks, yet often subject to environmental limitation in natural ecosystems. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we test this hypothesis by determining whether leaf N and P availability affects genome sizes in 99 species of Primulina (Gesneriaceae), a group of soil specialists adapted to limestone karst environment in south China. We find that genome sizes in Primulina are strongly positively correlated with plant N content, but the correlation with plant P content is not significant when phylogeny history was taken into account. This study shows for the first time that N limitation might have been a plausible driver of genome size variation in a group of plants. We propose that competition for nitrogen nutrient between DNA synthesis and cellular functions is a possible mechanism for genome size evolution in Primulina under N-limitation.

  7. Nitrogen limitation as a driver of genome size evolution in a group of karst plants.

    PubMed

    Kang, Ming; Wang, Jing; Huang, Hongwen

    2015-06-25

    Genome size is of fundamental biological importance with significance in predicting structural and functional attributes of organisms. Although abundant evidence has shown that the genome size can be largely explained by differential proliferation and removal of non-coding DNA of the genome, the evolutionary and ecological basis of genome size variation remains poorly understood. Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are essential elements of DNA and protein building blocks, yet often subject to environmental limitation in natural ecosystems. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we test this hypothesis by determining whether leaf N and P availability affects genome sizes in 99 species of Primulina (Gesneriaceae), a group of soil specialists adapted to limestone karst environment in south China. We find that genome sizes in Primulina are strongly positively correlated with plant N content, but the correlation with plant P content is not significant when phylogeny history was taken into account. This study shows for the first time that N limitation might have been a plausible driver of genome size variation in a group of plants. We propose that competition for nitrogen nutrient between DNA synthesis and cellular functions is a possible mechanism for genome size evolution in Primulina under N-limitation.

  8. Nitrogen limitation as a driver of genome size evolution in a group of karst plants

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Ming; Wang, Jing; Huang, Hongwen

    2015-01-01

    Genome size is of fundamental biological importance with significance in predicting structural and functional attributes of organisms. Although abundant evidence has shown that the genome size can be largely explained by differential proliferation and removal of non-coding DNA of the genome, the evolutionary and ecological basis of genome size variation remains poorly understood. Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are essential elements of DNA and protein building blocks, yet often subject to environmental limitation in natural ecosystems. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we test this hypothesis by determining whether leaf N and P availability affects genome sizes in 99 species of Primulina (Gesneriaceae), a group of soil specialists adapted to limestone karst environment in south China. We find that genome sizes in Primulina are strongly positively correlated with plant N content, but the correlation with plant P content is not significant when phylogeny history was taken into account. This study shows for the first time that N limitation might have been a plausible driver of genome size variation in a group of plants. We propose that competition for nitrogen nutrient between DNA synthesis and cellular functions is a possible mechanism for genome size evolution in Primulina under N-limitation. PMID:26109237

  9. Sustained functional composition of pollinators in restored pastures despite slow functional restoration of plants.

    PubMed

    Winsa, Marie; Öckinger, Erik; Bommarco, Riccardo; Lindborg, Regina; Roberts, Stuart P M; Wärnsberg, Johanna; Bartomeus, Ignasi

    2017-06-01

    Habitat restoration is a key measure to counteract negative impacts on biodiversity from habitat loss and fragmentation. To assess success in restoring not only biodiversity, but also functionality of communities, we should take into account the re-assembly of species trait composition across taxa. Attaining such functional restoration would depend on the landscape context, vegetation structure, and time since restoration. We assessed how trait composition of plant and pollinator (bee and hoverfly) communities differ between abandoned, restored (formerly abandoned) or continuously grazed (intact) semi-natural pastures. In restored pastures, we also explored trait composition in relation to landscape context, vegetation structure, and pasture management history. Abandoned pastures differed from intact and restored pastures in trait composition of plant communities, and as expected, had lower abundances of species with traits associated with grazing adaptations. Further, plant trait composition in restored pastures became increasingly similar to that in intact pastures with increasing time since restoration. On the contrary, the trait composition of pollinator communities in both abandoned and restored pastures remained similar to intact pastures. The trait composition for both bees and hoverflies was influenced by flower abundance and, for bees, by connectivity to other intact grasslands in the landscape. The divergent responses across organism groups appeared to be mainly related to the limited dispersal ability and long individual life span in plants, the high mobility of pollinators, and the dependency of semi-natural habitat for bees. Our results, encompassing restoration effects on trait composition for multiple taxa along a gradient in both time (time since restoration) and space (connectivity), reveal how interacting communities of plants and pollinators are shaped by different trait-environmental relationships. Complete functional restoration of pastures

  10. Physiological roles of autophagy in plants: does plant autophagy have a pro-death function?

    PubMed

    Yoshimoto, Kohki

    2010-05-01

    Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved intracellular process for vacuolar degradation of cytoplasmic components. Early morphological studies suggested that autophagy occurs in plant cells and predicted that autophagy has a variety of functions in plant growth and development. However, it is only since the identification of autophagy genes that the physiological roles of autophagy in plants have become apparent. Recent reverse genetic studies indicate that autophagy defects in higher plants result in early senescence and excessive immunity-related programmed cell death (PCD), irrespective of nutrient conditions, suggesting that plant autophagy has an important pro-survival function during these types of cell death. Further biochemical and pharmacological studies in combination with double mutant analyses revealed that excessive salicylic acid (SA) signaling is a major factor in autophagy-defective plant-dependent cell death and that the SA signal can induce autophagy. These results demonstrate a novel physiological function for plant autophagy that operates a negative feedback loop to modulate SA signaling.

  11. Future of Plant Functional Types in Terrestrial Biosphere Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Iversen, C. M.; Rogers, A.; Serbin, S.

    2015-12-01

    Earth system models describe the physical, chemical, and biological processes that govern our global climate. While it is difficult to single out one component as being more important than another in these sophisticated models, terrestrial vegetation is a critical player in the biogeochemical and biophysical dynamics of the Earth system. There is much debate, however, as to how plant diversity and function should be represented in these models. Plant functional types (PFTs) have been adopted by modelers to represent broad groupings of plant species that share similar characteristics (e.g. growth form) and roles (e.g. photosynthetic pathway) in ecosystem function. In this review the PFT concept is traced from its origin in the early 1800s to its current use in regional and global dynamic vegetation models (DVMs). Special attention is given to the representation and parameterization of PFTs and to validation and benchmarking of predicted patterns of vegetation distribution in high-latitude ecosystems. These ecosystems are sensitive to changing climate and thus provide a useful test case for model-based simulations of past, current, and future distribution of vegetation. Models that incorporate the PFT concept predict many of the emerging patterns of vegetation change in tundra and boreal forests, given known processes of tree mortality, treeline migration, and shrub expansion. However, representation of above- and especially belowground traits for specific PFTs continues to be problematic. Potential solutions include developing trait databases and replacing fixed parameters for PFTs with formulations based on trait co-variance and empirical trait-environment relationships. Surprisingly, despite being important to land-atmosphere interactions of carbon, water, and energy, PFTs such as moss and lichen are largely absent from DVMs. Close collaboration among those involved in modelling with the disciplines of taxonomy, biogeography, ecology, and remote sensing will be

  12. Calcium-dependent protein kinases in plants: evolution, expression and function.

    PubMed

    Valmonte, Gardette R; Arthur, Kieren; Higgins, Colleen M; MacDiarmid, Robin M

    2014-03-01

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CPKs) are plant proteins that directly bind calcium ions before phosphorylating substrates involved in metabolism, osmosis, hormone response and stress signaling pathways. CPKs are a large multigene family of proteins that are present in all plants studied to date, as well as in protists, oomycetes and green algae, but are not found in animals and fungi. Despite the increasing evidence of the importance of CPKs in developmental and stress responses from various plants, a comprehensive genome-wide analysis of CPKs from algae to higher plants has not been undertaken. This paper describes the evolution of CPKs from green algae to plants using a broadly sampled phylogenetic analysis and demonstrates the functional diversification of CPKs based on expression and functional studies in different plant species. Our findings reveal that CPK sequence diversification into four major groups occurred in parallel with the terrestrial transition of plants. Despite significant expansion of the CPK gene family during evolution from green algae to higher plants, there is a high level of sequence conservation among CPKs in all plant species. This sequence conservation results in very little correlation between CPK evolutionary groupings and functional diversity, making the search for CPK functional orthologs a challenge.

  13. Replicating Small Group Research Using the Functional Theory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cragan, John F.; Wright, David W.

    A replication study tested functional theory utilizing untrained full-fledged groups. One hundred forty undergraduate students who were enrolled in a small group communication course at a large midwestern university participated in small group discussions analyzing a plagiarism case used in an original study by R. Y. Hirokawa. Results indicated…

  14. Functional Analytic Psychotherapy for Interpersonal Process Groups: A Behavioral Application

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoekstra, Renee

    2008-01-01

    This paper is an adaptation of Kohlenberg and Tsai's work, Functional Analytical Psychotherapy (1991), or FAP, to group psychotherapy. This author applied a behavioral rationale for interpersonal process groups by illustrating key points with a hypothetical client. Suggestions are also provided for starting groups, identifying goals, educating…

  15. Thiamine in plants: aspects of its metabolism and functions.

    PubMed

    Goyer, Aymeric

    2010-10-01

    Thiamine diphosphate (vitamin B(1)) plays a fundamental role as an enzymatic cofactor in universal metabolic pathways including glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway, and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. In addition, thiamine diphosphate has recently been shown to have functions other than as a cofactor in response to abiotic and biotic stress in plants. Recently, several steps of the plant thiamine biosynthetic pathway have been characterized, and a mechanism of feedback regulation of thiamine biosynthesis via riboswitch has been unraveled. This review focuses on these most recent advances made in our understanding of thiamine metabolism and functions in plants. Phenotypes of plant mutants affected in thiamine biosynthesis are described, and genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics data that have increased further our knowledge of plant thiamine metabolic pathways and functions are summarized. Aspects of thiamine metabolism such as catabolism, salvage, and transport in plants are discussed.

  16. From tropics to tundra: global convergence in plant functioning.

    PubMed

    Reich, P B; Walters, M B; Ellsworth, D S

    1997-12-09

    Despite striking differences in climate, soils, and evolutionary history among diverse biomes ranging from tropical and temperate forests to alpine tundra and desert, we found similar interspecific relationships among leaf structure and function and plant growth in all biomes. Our results thus demonstrate convergent evolution and global generality in plant functioning, despite the enormous diversity of plant species and biomes. For 280 plant species from two global data sets, we found that potential carbon gain (photosynthesis) and carbon loss (respiration) increase in similar proportion with decreasing leaf life-span, increasing leaf nitrogen concentration, and increasing leaf surface area-to-mass ratio. Productivity of individual plants and of leaves in vegetation canopies also changes in constant proportion to leaf life-span and surface area-to-mass ratio. These global plant functional relationships have significant implications for global scale modeling of vegetation-atmosphere CO2 exchange.

  17. The global spectrum of plant form and function.

    PubMed

    Díaz, Sandra; Kattge, Jens; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Wright, Ian J; Lavorel, Sandra; Dray, Stéphane; Reu, Björn; Kleyer, Michael; Wirth, Christian; Prentice, I Colin; Garnier, Eric; Bönisch, Gerhard; Westoby, Mark; Poorter, Hendrik; Reich, Peter B; Moles, Angela T; Dickie, John; Gillison, Andrew N; Zanne, Amy E; Chave, Jérôme; Wright, S Joseph; Sheremet'ev, Serge N; Jactel, Hervé; Baraloto, Christopher; Cerabolini, Bruno; Pierce, Simon; Shipley, Bill; Kirkup, Donald; Casanoves, Fernando; Joswig, Julia S; Günther, Angela; Falczuk, Valeria; Rüger, Nadja; Mahecha, Miguel D; Gorné, Lucas D

    2016-01-14

    Earth is home to a remarkable diversity of plant forms and life histories, yet comparatively few essential trait combinations have proved evolutionarily viable in today's terrestrial biosphere. By analysing worldwide variation in six major traits critical to growth, survival and reproduction within the largest sample of vascular plant species ever compiled, we found that occupancy of six-dimensional trait space is strongly concentrated, indicating coordination and trade-offs. Three-quarters of trait variation is captured in a two-dimensional global spectrum of plant form and function. One major dimension within this plane reflects the size of whole plants and their parts; the other represents the leaf economics spectrum, which balances leaf construction costs against growth potential. The global plant trait spectrum provides a backdrop for elucidating constraints on evolution, for functionally qualifying species and ecosystems, and for improving models that predict future vegetation based on continuous variation in plant form and function.

  18. Using a multi-trait approach to manipulate plant functional diversity in a biodiversity-ecosystem function experiment.

    PubMed

    Schittko, Conrad; Hawa, Mahmoud; Wurst, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    A frequent pattern emerging from biodiversity-ecosystem function studies is that functional group richness enhances ecosystem functions such as primary productivity. However, the manipulation of functional group richness goes along with major disadvantages like the transformation of functional trait data into categories or the exclusion of functional differences between organisms in the same group. In a mesocosm study we manipulated plant functional diversity based on the multi-trait Functional Diversity (FD)-approach of Petchey and Gaston by using database data of seven functional traits and information on the origin of the species in terms of being native or exotic. Along a gradient ranging from low to high FD we planted 40 randomly selected eight-species mixtures under controlled conditions. We found a significant positive linear correlation of FD with aboveground productivity and a negative correlation with invasibility of the plant communities. Based on community-weighted mean calculations for each functional trait, we figured out that the traits N-fixation and species origin, i.e. being native or exotic, played the most important role for community productivity. Our results suggest that the identification of the impact of functional trait diversity and the relative contributions of relevant traits is essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity for ecosystem functions such as aboveground biomass production and resistance against invasion.

  19. Using a Multi-Trait Approach to Manipulate Plant Functional Diversity in a Biodiversity-Ecosystem Function Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Schittko, Conrad; Hawa, Mahmoud; Wurst, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    A frequent pattern emerging from biodiversity-ecosystem function studies is that functional group richness enhances ecosystem functions such as primary productivity. However, the manipulation of functional group richness goes along with major disadvantages like the transformation of functional trait data into categories or the exclusion of functional differences between organisms in the same group. In a mesocosm study we manipulated plant functional diversity based on the multi-trait Functional Diversity (FD)-approach of Petchey and Gaston by using database data of seven functional traits and information on the origin of the species in terms of being native or exotic. Along a gradient ranging from low to high FD we planted 40 randomly selected eight-species mixtures under controlled conditions. We found a significant positive linear correlation of FD with aboveground productivity and a negative correlation with invasibility of the plant communities. Based on community-weighted mean calculations for each functional trait, we figured out that the traits N-fixation and species origin, i.e. being native or exotic, played the most important role for community productivity. Our results suggest that the identification of the impact of functional trait diversity and the relative contributions of relevant traits is essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity for ecosystem functions such as aboveground biomass production and resistance against invasion. PMID:24897501

  20. Evaluation of respiratory functions of residents around the Orhaneli thermal power plant in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Pala, Kayihan; Türkkan, Alpaslan; Gerçek, Harika; Osman, Erdinc; Aytekin, Hamdi

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the health and respiratory function of residents around the Orhaneli thermal power plant in Turkey. The study was conducted using face-to-face interviews, and respiratory functions were measured with a spirometer. The respiratory functions of 2350 residents, 15 years and older, living in communities near the coal-fired Orhaneli thermal power plant in Turkey were measured. The control group consisted of 469 persons from similar communities without a nearby power plant. The FEV1 (forced expiratory volume after 1 s) and FVC (forced vital capacity) values of the study participants were significantly lower than those of the control group, and residents directly downwind of the plant's smokestack showed greater impairment of respiratory functions compared with residents upwind.

  1. Functional renormalization group approach to the Kraichnan model.

    PubMed

    Pagani, Carlo

    2015-09-01

    We study the anomalous scaling of the structure functions of a scalar field advected by a random Gaussian velocity field, the Kraichnan model, by means of functional renormalization group techniques. We analyze the symmetries of the model and derive the leading correction to the structure functions considering the renormalization of composite operators and applying the operator product expansion.

  2. Differential Item Functioning Detection across Two Methods of Defining Group Comparisons: Pairwise and Composite Group Comparisons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sari, Halil Ibrahim; Huggins, Anne Corinne

    2015-01-01

    This study compares two methods of defining groups for the detection of differential item functioning (DIF): (a) pairwise comparisons and (b) composite group comparisons. We aim to emphasize and empirically support the notion that the choice of pairwise versus composite group definitions in DIF is a reflection of how one defines fairness in DIF…

  3. Differential Item Functioning Detection across Two Methods of Defining Group Comparisons: Pairwise and Composite Group Comparisons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sari, Halil Ibrahim; Huggins, Anne Corinne

    2015-01-01

    This study compares two methods of defining groups for the detection of differential item functioning (DIF): (a) pairwise comparisons and (b) composite group comparisons. We aim to emphasize and empirically support the notion that the choice of pairwise versus composite group definitions in DIF is a reflection of how one defines fairness in DIF…

  4. Influence of Functional Groups on the Viscosity of Organic Aerosol.

    PubMed

    Rothfuss, Nicholas E; Petters, Markus D

    2017-01-03

    Organic aerosols can exist in highly viscous or glassy phase states. A viscosity database for organic compounds with atmospherically relevant functional groups is compiled and analyzed to quantify the influence of number and location of functional groups on viscosity. For weakly functionalized compounds the trend in viscosity sensitivity to functional group addition is carboxylic acid (COOH) ≈ hydroxyl (OH) > nitrate (ONO2) > carbonyl (CO) ≈ ester (COO) > methylene (CH2). Sensitivities to group addition increase with greater levels of prior functionalization and decreasing temperature. For carboxylic acids a sharp increase in sensitivity is likely present already at the second addition at room temperature. Ring structures increase viscosity relative to linear structures. Sensitivities are correlated with analogously derived sensitivities of vapor pressure reduction. This may be exploited in the future to predict viscosity in numerical models by piggybacking on schemes that track the evolution of organic aerosol volatility with age.

  5. Functional Diversity of Boreal Bog Plant Species Decreases Seasonal Variation of Ecosystem Carbon Sink Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korrensalo, A.

    2015-12-01

    Species diversity has been found to decrease the temporal variance of productivity of a plant community, and diversity in species responses to environmental factors seems to make a plant community more stable in changing conditions. Boreal bogs are nutrient poor peatland ecosystems where the number of plant species is low but the species differ greatly in their growth form. In here we aim to assess the role of the variation in photosynthesis between species for the temporal variation in ecosystem carbon sink function. To quantify the photosynthetic properties and their seasonal variation for different bog plant species we measured photosynthetic parameters and stress-inducing chlorophyll fluorescence of vascular plant and Sphagnum moss species in a boreal bog over a growing season. We estimated monthly gross photosynthesis (PG) of the whole study site based on species level light response curves and leaf area development. The estimated PG was further compared with a gross primary production (GPP) estimate measured by eddy covariance (EC) technique. The sum of upscaled PG estimates agreed well with the GPP estimate measured by the EC technique. The contributions of the species and species groups to the ecosystem level PG changed over the growing season. The sharp mid-summer peak in sedge PG was balanced by more stable PG of evergreen shrubs and Sphagna. Species abundance rather than differences in photosynthetic properties between species and growth forms determined the most productive plants on the ecosystem scale. Sphagna had lower photosynthesis and clorophyll fluorescence than vascular plants but were more productive on the ecosystem scale throughout the growing season due to their high areal coverage. These results show that the diversity of growth forms stabilizes the seasonal variation of the ecosystem level PG in an ombrotrophic bog ecosystem. This may increase the resilience of the ecosystem to changing environmental conditions.

  6. Impact of plant domestication on rhizosphere microbiome assembly and functions.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Jaramillo, Juan E; Mendes, Rodrigo; Raaijmakers, Jos M

    2016-04-01

    The rhizosphere microbiome is pivotal for plant health and growth, providing defence against pests and diseases, facilitating nutrient acquisition and helping plants to withstand abiotic stresses. Plants can actively recruit members of the soil microbial community for positive feedbacks, but the underlying mechanisms and plant traits that drive microbiome assembly and functions are largely unknown. Domestication of plant species has substantially contributed to human civilization, but also caused a strong decrease in the genetic diversity of modern crop cultivars that may have affected the ability of plants to establish beneficial associations with rhizosphere microbes. Here, we review how plants shape the rhizosphere microbiome and how domestication may have impacted rhizosphere microbiome assembly and functions via habitat expansion and via changes in crop management practices, root exudation, root architecture, and plant litter quality. We also propose a "back to the roots" framework that comprises the exploration of the microbiome of indigenous plants and their native habitats for the identification of plant and microbial traits with the ultimate goal to reinstate beneficial associations that may have been undermined during plant domestication.

  7. Disentangling species and functional group richness effects on soil N cycling in a grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Wei, Xiaorong; Reich, Peter B; Hobbie, Sarah E; Kazanski, Clare E

    2017-11-01

    Species richness (SR) and functional group richness (FGR) are often confounded in both observational and experimental field studies of biodiversity and ecosystem function. This precludes discernment of their separate influences on ecosystem processes, including nitrogen (N) cycling, and how those influences might be moderated by global change factors. In a 17-year field study of grassland species, we used two full factorial experiments to independently vary SR (one or four species, with FGR = 1) and FGR (1-4 groups, with SR = 4) to assess SR and FGR effects on ecosystem N cycling and its response to elevated carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and N addition. We hypothesized that increased plant diversity (either SR or FGR) and elevated CO2 would enhance plant N pools because of greater plant N uptake, but decrease soil N cycling rates because of greater soil carbon inputs and microbial N immobilization. In partial support of these hypotheses, increasing SR or FGR (holding the other constant) enhanced total plant N pools and decreased soil nitrate pools, largely through higher root biomass, and increasing FGR strongly reduced mineralization rates, because of lower root N concentrations. In contrast, increasing SR (holding FGR constant and despite increasing total plant C and N pools) did not alter root N concentrations or net N mineralization rates. Elevated CO2 had minimal effects on plant and soil N metrics and their responses to plant diversity, whereas enriched N increased plant and soil N pools, but not soil N fluxes. These results show that functional diversity had additional effects on both plant N pools and rates of soil N cycling that were independent of those of species richness. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Plant functional traits predict green roof ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Tran, Stephanie; Gebert, Luke

    2015-02-17

    Plants make important contributions to the services provided by engineered ecosystems such as green roofs. Ecologists use plant species traits as generic predictors of geographical distribution, interactions with other species, and ecosystem functioning, but this approach has been little used to optimize engineered ecosystems. Four plant species traits (height, individual leaf area, specific leaf area, and leaf dry matter content) were evaluated as predictors of ecosystem properties and services in a modular green roof system planted with 21 species. Six indicators of ecosystem services, incorporating thermal, hydrological, water quality, and carbon sequestration functions, were predicted by the four plant traits directly or indirectly via their effects on aggregate ecosystem properties, including canopy density and albedo. Species average height and specific leaf area were the most useful traits, predicting several services via effects on canopy density or growth rate. This study demonstrates that easily measured plant traits can be used to select species to optimize green roof performance across multiple key services.

  9. Yield response to planting date among soybean maturity groups for irrigated production in the US Midsouth

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Planting date is one of the main factors affecting soybean (Glycine max L. (Merr.)) yield. Environmental conditions in the US Midsouth allow for planting dates from late March through early July, and maturity groups (MGs) ranging from 3 to 6. However, the complexity of the interaction among planting...

  10. EPA Announces 2015 ENERGY STAR Certified Manufacturing Plants, Ardagh Group plant in Sapulpa, OK, among those recognized

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    DALLAS - (Feb. 24, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the Ardagh Group container glass facility in Sapulpa, OK, is among the 70 manufacturing plants across the nation that achieved ENERGY STAR certification for

  11. Analysis of Functional Groups by Solubility and Infrared Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turek, William N.

    1984-01-01

    An experiment which introduces students to infrared spectroscopy and the solubility behavior of various organic compounds is described. The experiment also serves to integrate some of the basic chemical reactions of functional groups with their spectral properties. (JN)

  12. State of the science and challenges of breeding landscape plants with ecological function.

    PubMed

    Wilde, H Dayton; Gandhi, Kamal J K; Colson, Gregory

    2015-01-01

    Exotic plants dominate esthetically-managed landscapes, which cover 30-40 million hectares in the United States alone. Recent ecological studies have found that landscaping with exotic plant species can reduce biodiversity on multiple trophic levels. To support biodiversity in urbanized areas, the increased use of native landscaping plants has been advocated by conservation groups and US federal and state agencies. A major challenge to scaling up the use of native species in landscaping is providing ornamental plants that are both ecologically functional and economically viable. Depending on ecological and economic constraints, accelerated breeding approaches could be applied to ornamental trait development in native plants. This review examines the impact of landscaping choices on biodiversity, the current status of breeding and selection of native ornamental plants, and the interdisciplinary research needed to scale up landscaping plants that can support native biodiversity.

  13. State of the science and challenges of breeding landscape plants with ecological function

    PubMed Central

    Wilde, H Dayton; Gandhi, Kamal J K; Colson, Gregory

    2015-01-01

    Exotic plants dominate esthetically-managed landscapes, which cover 30–40 million hectares in the United States alone. Recent ecological studies have found that landscaping with exotic plant species can reduce biodiversity on multiple trophic levels. To support biodiversity in urbanized areas, the increased use of native landscaping plants has been advocated by conservation groups and US federal and state agencies. A major challenge to scaling up the use of native species in landscaping is providing ornamental plants that are both ecologically functional and economically viable. Depending on ecological and economic constraints, accelerated breeding approaches could be applied to ornamental trait development in native plants. This review examines the impact of landscaping choices on biodiversity, the current status of breeding and selection of native ornamental plants, and the interdisciplinary research needed to scale up landscaping plants that can support native biodiversity. PMID:26504560

  14. The luminosity function of galaxies in compact groups

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ribeiro, A. L. B.; De Carvalho, R. R.; Zepf, S. E.

    1994-01-01

    We use counts of faint galaxies in the regions of compact groups to extend the study of the luminosity function of galaxies in compact groups to absolute magnitudes as faint as M(sub B) = -14.5 + 5 log h. We find a slope of the faint end of the luminosity function of approximately alpha = -0.8, with a formal uncertainty of 0.15. This slope is not significantly different from that found for galaxies in other environments. Our results do not support previous suggestions of a dramatic underabundance of intrinsically faint galaxies in compact groups, which were based on extrapolations from fits at brighter magnitudes. The normal faint-end slope of the luminosity function in compact groups is in agreement with previous evidence that most galaxies in compact groups have not been dramatically affected by recent merging.

  15. Plant Physiological, Morphological and Yield-Related Responses to Night Temperature Changes across Different Species and Plant Functional Types

    PubMed Central

    Jing, Panpan; Wang, Dan; Zhu, Chunwu; Chen, Jiquan

    2016-01-01

    Land surface temperature over the past decades has shown a faster warming trend during the night than during the day. Extremely low night temperatures have occurred frequently due to the influence of land-sea thermal difference, topography and climate change. This asymmetric night temperature change is expected to affect plant ecophysiology and growth, as the plant carbon consumption processes could be affected more than the assimilation processes because photosynthesis in most plants occurs during the daytime whereas plant respiration occurs throughout the day. The effects of high night temperature (HNT) and low night temperature (LNT) on plant ecophysiological and growing processes and how the effects vary among different plant functional types (PFTs) have not been analyzed extensively. In this meta-analysis, we examined the effect of HNT and LNT on plant physiology and growth across different PFTs and experimental settings. Plant species were grouped according to their photosynthetic pathways (C3, C4, and CAM), growth forms (herbaceous, woody), and economic purposes (crop, non-crop). We found that HNT and LNT both had a negative effect on plant yield, but the effect of HNT on plant yield was primarily related to a reduction in biomass allocation to reproduction organs and the effect of LNT on plant yield was more related to a negative effect on total biomass. Leaf growth was stimulated at HNT and suppressed at LNT. HNT accelerated plants ecophysiological processes, including photosynthesis and dark respiration, while LNT slowed these processes. Overall, the results showed that the effects of night temperature on plant physiology and growth varied between HNT and LNT, among the response variables and PFTs, and depended on the magnitude of temperature change and experimental design. These findings suggest complexities and challenges in seeking general patterns of terrestrial plant growth in HNT and LNT. The PFT specific responses of plants are critical for

  16. Plant Physiological, Morphological and Yield-Related Responses to Night Temperature Changes across Different Species and Plant Functional Types.

    PubMed

    Jing, Panpan; Wang, Dan; Zhu, Chunwu; Chen, Jiquan

    2016-01-01

    Land surface temperature over the past decades has shown a faster warming trend during the night than during the day. Extremely low night temperatures have occurred frequently due to the influence of land-sea thermal difference, topography and climate change. This asymmetric night temperature change is expected to affect plant ecophysiology and growth, as the plant carbon consumption processes could be affected more than the assimilation processes because photosynthesis in most plants occurs during the daytime whereas plant respiration occurs throughout the day. The effects of high night temperature (HNT) and low night temperature (LNT) on plant ecophysiological and growing processes and how the effects vary among different plant functional types (PFTs) have not been analyzed extensively. In this meta-analysis, we examined the effect of HNT and LNT on plant physiology and growth across different PFTs and experimental settings. Plant species were grouped according to their photosynthetic pathways (C3, C4, and CAM), growth forms (herbaceous, woody), and economic purposes (crop, non-crop). We found that HNT and LNT both had a negative effect on plant yield, but the effect of HNT on plant yield was primarily related to a reduction in biomass allocation to reproduction organs and the effect of LNT on plant yield was more related to a negative effect on total biomass. Leaf growth was stimulated at HNT and suppressed at LNT. HNT accelerated plants ecophysiological processes, including photosynthesis and dark respiration, while LNT slowed these processes. Overall, the results showed that the effects of night temperature on plant physiology and growth varied between HNT and LNT, among the response variables and PFTs, and depended on the magnitude of temperature change and experimental design. These findings suggest complexities and challenges in seeking general patterns of terrestrial plant growth in HNT and LNT. The PFT specific responses of plants are critical for

  17. Functional Grouping in Residential Homes for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mansell, Jim; Beadle-Brown, Julie; Macdonald, Susan; Ashman, Bev

    2003-01-01

    The effects of functional grouping of 303 people with intellectual disabilities on care practices in English group homes were investigated. Residents who were non-ambulant were rated as receiving care with less interpersonal warmth and residents with severe challenging behavior were rated as receiving care with less interpersonal warmth and…

  18. Feedbacks Between Microenvironment and Plant Functional Type and Implications for CO2 Flux in Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Squires, E.; Rodenheizer, H.; Natali, S.; Mann, P.

    2013-12-01

    Future climate models predict a warmer, drier Arctic, with resultant shifts in vegetative composition and implications for ecosystem carbon budgets. The impact of vegetation change, however, may depend on which plant functional groups are favored in a warming Arctic. Physiological and functional differences between plant groups influence both the local microenvironment and, on a broader scale, whole-ecosystem CO2 flux. We examined the interactions between plants and their microenvironment, and analyzed the effect of these interactions on both soil microbial communities and CO2 flux across different functional groups. Physical and biological aspects of the microenvironment differed between plant functional groups. Lichen patches were characterized by deeper thaw depths, lower soil moisture, greater thermal conductivity, and a thinner organic layer than mosses. To better understand the development of these plant-environment interactions, we conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment, switching multiple lichen and moss patches. Temporal changes in environmental parameters at these sites will demonstrate how different plants modify their environment and will help identify associated implications for soil microbial communities and CO2 flux. We measured CO2 flux and used Biolog assays to examine soil microbial communities in undisturbed patches of mosses, lichens, and shrubs. Patches of birch shrubs had more negative net ecosystem exchange, signifying a carbon sink. Soils from alder shrubs and mosses hosted more active microbial communities than soils under birch shrubs and lichens. These results suggest a strong link between environment, plant functional type, and C cycling. Understanding how this relationship differs among plant functional types is an important part of predicting ecosystem carbon budgets as Arctic vegetation composition shifts in response to climate change.

  19. Functional group-selective adsorption using scanning tunneling microscopy.

    PubMed

    Min, Young Hwan; Park, Eun Hee; Kim, Do Hwan; Kim, Sehun

    2012-04-24

    In this study, we selectively enhanced two types of adsorption of 3-mercaptoisobutyric acid on a Ge(100) surface by using the tunneling electrons from an STM and the catalytic effect of an STM tip. 3-Mercaptoisobutyric acid has two functional groups: a carboxylic acid group at one end of the molecule and a thiol group at the other end. It was found that the adsorption occurring through the carboxylic acid group was selectively enhanced by the application of electrons tunneling between an STM tip and the surface. Using this enhancement, it was possible to make thiol group-terminated surfaces at any desired location. In addition, via the use of a tungsten STM tip coated with a tungsten oxide (WO(3)) layer, we selectively catalyzed the adsorption through the thiol group. Using this catalysis, it was possible to generate carboxylic acid group-terminated surfaces at any desired location. This functional group-selective adsorption using STM could be applied in positive lithographic methods to produce semiconductor substrates terminated by desired functional groups.

  20. Functional traits and root morphology of alpine plants

    PubMed Central

    Pohl, Mandy; Stroude, Raphaël; Buttler, Alexandre; Rixen, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Vegetation has long been recognized to protect the soil from erosion. Understanding species differences in root morphology and functional traits is an important step to assess which species and species mixtures may provide erosion control. Furthermore, extending classification of plant functional types towards root traits may be a useful procedure in understanding important root functions. Methods In this study, pioneer data on traits of alpine plant species, i.e. plant height and shoot biomass, root depth, horizontal root spreading, root length, diameter, tensile strength, plant age and root biomass, from a disturbed site in the Swiss Alps are presented. The applicability of three classifications of plant functional types (PFTs), i.e. life form, growth form and root type, was examined for above- and below-ground plant traits. Key Results Plant traits differed considerably among species even of the same life form, e.g. in the case of total root length by more than two orders of magnitude. Within the same root diameter, species differed significantly in tensile strength: some species (Geum reptans and Luzula spicata) had roots more than twice as strong as those of other species. Species of different life forms provided different root functions (e.g. root depth and horizontal root spreading) that may be important for soil physical processes. All classifications of PFTs were helpful to categorize plant traits; however, the PFTs according to root type explained total root length far better than the other PFTs. Conclusions The results of the study illustrate the remarkable differences between root traits of alpine plants, some of which cannot be assessed from simple morphological inspection, e.g. tensile strength. PFT classification based on root traits seems useful to categorize plant traits, even though some patterns are better explained at the individual species level. PMID:21795278

  1. Functional traits and root morphology of alpine plants.

    PubMed

    Pohl, Mandy; Stroude, Raphaël; Buttler, Alexandre; Rixen, Christian

    2011-09-01

    Vegetation has long been recognized to protect the soil from erosion. Understanding species differences in root morphology and functional traits is an important step to assess which species and species mixtures may provide erosion control. Furthermore, extending classification of plant functional types towards root traits may be a useful procedure in understanding important root functions. In this study, pioneer data on traits of alpine plant species, i.e. plant height and shoot biomass, root depth, horizontal root spreading, root length, diameter, tensile strength, plant age and root biomass, from a disturbed site in the Swiss Alps are presented. The applicability of three classifications of plant functional types (PFTs), i.e. life form, growth form and root type, was examined for above- and below-ground plant traits. Plant traits differed considerably among species even of the same life form, e.g. in the case of total root length by more than two orders of magnitude. Within the same root diameter, species differed significantly in tensile strength: some species (Geum reptans and Luzula spicata) had roots more than twice as strong as those of other species. Species of different life forms provided different root functions (e.g. root depth and horizontal root spreading) that may be important for soil physical processes. All classifications of PFTs were helpful to categorize plant traits; however, the PFTs according to root type explained total root length far better than the other PFTs. The results of the study illustrate the remarkable differences between root traits of alpine plants, some of which cannot be assessed from simple morphological inspection, e.g. tensile strength. PFT classification based on root traits seems useful to categorize plant traits, even though some patterns are better explained at the individual species level.

  2. Evolution of the PEBP gene family in plants: functional diversification in seed plant evolution.

    PubMed

    Karlgren, Anna; Gyllenstrand, Niclas; Källman, Thomas; Sundström, Jens F; Moore, David; Lascoux, Martin; Lagercrantz, Ulf

    2011-08-01

    The phosphatidyl ethanolamine-binding protein (PEBP) gene family is present in all eukaryote kingdoms, with three subfamilies identified in angiosperms (FLOWERING LOCUS T [FT], MOTHER OF FT AND TFL1 [MFT], and TERMINAL FLOWER1 [TFL1] like). In angiosperms, PEBP genes have been shown to function both as promoters and suppressors of flowering and to control plant architecture. In this study, we focus on previously uncharacterized PEBP genes from gymnosperms. Extensive database searches suggest that gymnosperms possess only two types of PEBP genes, MFT-like and a group that occupies an intermediate phylogenetic position between the FT-like and TFL1-like (FT/TFL1-like). Overexpression of Picea abies PEBP genes in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) suggests that the FT/TFL1-like genes (PaFTL1 and PaFTL2) code for proteins with a TFL1-like function. However, PaFTL1 and PaFTL2 also show highly divergent expression patterns. While the expression of PaFTL2 is correlated with annual growth rhythm and mainly confined to needles and vegetative and reproductive buds, the expression of PaFTL1 is largely restricted to microsporophylls of male cones. The P. abies MFT-like genes (PaMFT1 and PaMFT2) show a predominant expression during embryo development, a pattern that is also found for many MFT-like genes from angiosperms. P. abies PEBP gene expression is primarily detected in tissues undergoing physiological changes related to growth arrest and dormancy. A first duplication event resulting in two families of plant PEBP genes (MFT-like and FT/TFL1-like) seems to coincide with the evolution of seed plants, in which independent control of bud and seed dormancy was required, and the second duplication resulting in the FT-like and TFL1-like clades probably coincided with the evolution of angiosperms.

  3. Background field functional renormalization group for absorbing state phase transitions.

    PubMed

    Buchhold, Michael; Diehl, Sebastian

    2016-07-01

    We present a functional renormalization group approach for the active to inactive phase transition in directed percolation-type systems, in which the transition is approached from the active, finite density phase. By expanding the effective potential for the density field around its minimum, we obtain a background field action functional, which serves as a starting point for the functional renormalization group approach. Due to the presence of the background field, the corresponding nonperturbative flow equations yield remarkably good estimates for the critical exponents of the directed percolation universality class, even in low dimensions.

  4. Invariant Markov processes on compact groups and correlation functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimpel, Zbigniew

    1990-04-01

    Random processes governing the time evolution of probability distributions of many physical systems can be described by continuous homogeneous Markov processes taking values from compact groups. Assuming the transition probability function of the process to be invariant in the sense that Pt( x, B) = Pt( e, x-1B) with e being the neutral element of the group, the harmonic analysis (Weyl theory) is applied to study the properties of the Markov semi-group. The infinitesimal operator and generating functional are decomposed using the Levy-Khinchin formula. Under some auxiliary assumptions the components of this decomposition are interpreted as generators of a one parameter subgroup, Brownian motion and a jump process. The formalism is illustrated for several models of processes taking values from compact Lie groups. The properties of the correlation functions of time dependent random variables are investigated.

  5. Multipole model for the electron group functions method.

    PubMed

    Tchougréeff, A L; Tokmachev, A M; Dronskowski, R

    2009-10-22

    Electron groups provide a natural way to introduce local concepts into quantum chemistry, and the wave functions based on the group products can be considered as a framework for constructing efficient computational methods in terms of "observable" parts of molecular systems. The elements of the group wave functions (electronic structure variables) can be optimized by requiring the number of operations proportional to the size of the molecule. This directly leads to computational methods linearly scaling for large molecular systems. In the present work we consider a particular case of such a wave function implemented for the semiempirical NDDO Hamiltonian. The electron groups are expressed in terms of optimized atomic (hybrid) orbitals with chemical bonds described by geminals and the delocalized groups described by Slater determinants (with or without spin restriction). This scheme is very fast by itself but its speed is considerably limited by the computations of the interatomic Coulomb interactions. Here we develop a consistent method based on group functions which uses the multipole scheme for interatomic interactions. The explicit usage of the atomic multipoles makes the method extremely fast, although the numerical efficiency is largely achieved due to the local character of the electron groups involved. We discuss numerical characteristics of the new method as well as its possible parametrization. We apply this method to study dodecahedral water clusters with hydrogen fluoride substitution and base the analysis on the exhaustive calculation of all symmetry-independent hydrogen-bond networks.

  6. Structure and function of heterotrimeric G proteins in plants.

    PubMed

    Fujisawa, Y; Kato, H; Iwasaki, Y

    2001-08-01

    Heterotrimeric G proteins are mediators that transmit the external signals via receptor molecules to effector molecules. The G proteins consist of three different subunits: alpha, beta, and gamma subunits. The cDNAs or genes for all the alpha, beta, and gamma subunits have been isolated from many plant species, which has contributed to great progress in the study of the structure and function of the G proteins in plants. In addition, rice plants lacking the alpha subunit were generated by the antisense method and a rice mutant, Daikoku d1, was found to have mutation in the alpha-subunit gene. Both plants show abnormal morphology such as dwarfism, dark green leaf, and small round seed. The findings revealed that the G proteins are functional molecules regulating some body plans in plants. There is evidence that the plant G proteins participate at least in signaling of gibberellin at low concentrations. In this review, we summarize the currently known information on the structure of plant heterotrimeric G proteins and discuss the possible functions of the G proteins in plants.

  7. Maintenance and Function of a Plant Chromosome in Human Cells.

    PubMed

    Wada, Naoki; Kazuki, Yasuhiro; Kazuki, Kanako; Inoue, Toshiaki; Fukui, Kiichi; Oshimura, Mitsuo

    2017-02-17

    Replication, segregation, gene expression, and inheritance are essential features of all eukaryotic chromosomes. To delineate the extent of conservation of chromosome functions between humans and plants during evolutionary history, we have generated the first human cell line containing an Arabidopsis chromosome. The Arabidopsis chromosome was mitotically stable in hybrid cells following cell division, and initially existed as a translocated chromosome. During culture, the translocated chromosomes then converted to two types of independent plant chromosomes without human DNA sequences, with reproducibility. One pair of localization signals of CENP-A, a marker of functional centromeres was detected in the Arabidopsis genomic region in independent plant chromosomes. These results suggest that the chromosome maintenance system was conserved between human and plants. Furthermore, the expression of plant endogenous genes was observed in the hybrid cells, implicating that the plant chromosomal region existed as euchromatin in a human cell background and the gene expression system is conserved between two organisms. The present study suggests that the essential chromosome functions are conserved between evolutionarily distinct organisms such as humans and plants. Systematic analyses of hybrid cells may lead to the production of a shuttle vector between animal and plant, and a platform for the genome writing.

  8. Variation in Plant Response to Herbivory Underscored by Functional Traits

    PubMed Central

    Reese, Aspen T.; Ames, Gregory M.; Wright, Justin P.

    2016-01-01

    The effects of herbivory can shape plant communities and evolution. However, the many forms of herbivory costs and the wide variation in herbivory pressure, including across latitudinal gradients, can make predicting the effects of herbivory on different plant species difficult. Functional trait approaches may aid in contextualizing and standardizing the assessment of herbivory impacts. Here we assessed the response of 26 old-field plant species to simulated defoliation in a greenhouse setting by measuring whole plant and leaf level traits in control and treated individuals. Simulated defoliation had no significant effects on any plant traits measured. However, the baseline leaf level traits of healthy plants consistently predicted the log response ratio for these species whole plant response to defoliation. The latitudinal mid-point of species’ distributions was also significantly correlated with aboveground biomass and total leaf area responses, with plants with a more northern distribution being more negatively impacted by treatment. These results indicate that even in the absence of significant overall impacts, functional traits may aid in predicting variability in plant responses to defoliation and in identifying the underlying limitations driving those responses. PMID:27936155

  9. Animal NLRs provide structural insights into plant NLR function.

    PubMed

    Bentham, Adam; Burdett, Hayden; Anderson, Peter A; Williams, Simon J; Kobe, Bostjan

    2017-03-01

    The plant immune system employs intracellular NLRs (nucleotide binding [NB], leucine-rich repeat [LRR]/nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain [NOD]-like receptors) to detect effector proteins secreted into the plant cell by potential pathogens. Activated plant NLRs trigger a range of immune responses, collectively known as the hypersensitive response (HR), which culminates in death of the infected cell. Plant NLRs show structural and functional resemblance to animal NLRs involved in inflammatory and innate immune responses. Therefore, knowledge of the activation and regulation of animal NLRs can help us understand the mechanism of action of plant NLRs, and vice versa. This review provides an overview of the innate immune pathways in plants and animals, focusing on the available structural and biochemical information available for both plant and animal NLRs. We highlight the gap in knowledge between the animal and plant systems, in particular the lack of structural information for plant NLRs, with crystal structures only available for the N-terminal domains of plant NLRs and an integrated decoy domain, in contrast to the more complete structures available for animal NLRs. We assess the similarities and differences between plant and animal NLRs, and use the structural information on the animal NLR pair NAIP/NLRC4 to derive a plausible model for plant NLR activation. Signalling by cooperative assembly formation (SCAF) appears to operate in most innate immunity pathways, including plant and animal NLRs. Our proposed model of plant NLR activation includes three key steps: (1) initially, the NLR exists in an inactive auto-inhibited state; (2) a combination of binding by activating elicitor and ATP leads to a structural rearrangement of the NLR; and (3) signalling occurs through cooperative assembly of the resistosome. Further studies, structural and biochemical in particular, will be required to provide additional evidence for the different features of this model and

  10. Functions of plants long non-coding RNAs.

    PubMed

    Shafiq, Sarfraz; Li, Jingrui; Sun, Qianwen

    2016-01-01

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been emerged as important players for various biological pathways, including dosage compensation, genomic imprinting, chromatin regulation, alternative splicing and nuclear organization. A large number of lncRNAs had already been identified by different approaches in plants, while the functions of only a few of them have been investigated. This review will summarize our current understanding of a wide range of plant lncRNAs functions, and highlight their roles in the regulation of diverse pathways in plants. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Clues to long noncoding RNA taxonomy1, edited by Dr. Tetsuro Hirose and Dr. Shinichi Nakagawa.

  11. Implement the medical group revenue function. Create competitive advantage.

    PubMed

    Colucci, C

    1998-01-01

    This article shows medical groups how they can employ new financial management and information technology techniques to safeguard their revenue and income streams. These managerial techniques stem from the application of the medical group revenue function, which is defined herein. This article also describes how the medical group revenue function can be used to create value by employing a database and a decision support system. Finally, the article describes how the decision support system can be used to create competitive advantage. Through the wise use of internally generated information, medical groups can negotiate better contract terms, improve their operations, cut their costs, embark on capital investment programs and improve market share. As medical groups gain market power by improving in these areas, they will be more attractive to potential strategic allies, payers and investment bankers.

  12. Detection of rare functional variants using group ISIS.

    PubMed

    Niu, Yue S; Hao, Ning; An, Lingling

    2011-11-29

    Genome-wide association studies have been firmly established in investigations of the associations between common genetic variants and complex traits or diseases. However, a large portion of complex traits and diseases cannot be explained well by common variants. Detecting rare functional variants becomes a trend and a necessity. Because rare variants have such a small minor allele frequency (e.g., <0.05), detecting functional rare variants is challenging. Group iterative sure independence screening (ISIS), a fast group selection tool, was developed to select important genes and the single-nucleotide polymorphisms within. The performance of the group ISIS and group penalization methods is compared for detecting important genes in the Genetic Analysis Workshop 17 data. The results suggest that the group ISIS is an efficient tool to discover genes and single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated to phenotypes.

  13. Optical behaviour of functional groups of graphene oxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narayanam, Pavan K.; Sankaran, K.

    2016-10-01

    Optical properties of graphene oxide (GO) dispersed in aqueous medium with aging and pH variations were investigated along with concurrent changes of oxygen functional groups of GO. Freshly prepared GO exhibit strong excitation wavelength dependent luminescence, which gets gradually nullified with aging due to the drastic reduction in fraction of polar hydroxyl groups. Fourier transform infrared studies indicated that functional groups of GO undergo spontaneous modification with aging in aqueous medium, resulting in suppression of epoxide groups and enriched adsorption of water molecules. When the pH of GO dispersed in aqueous medium was varied, unique transformations of functional groups take place causing major disruption to the sp2 hybridised carbon domains of GO. Concurrent changes in luminescence of GO infer that the broad emission from freshly prepared GO has large contribution from disorder induced localised states due to hydroxyl, epoxide, carboxyl groups and changes in relative fractions of these groups with aging and pH variations of GO dispersions strongly influence the intensity as well as emission wavelength region of GO. Especially emission features of GO are strongly influenced by the presence, fraction and transformations of epoxide and hydroxyl groups of GO.

  14. Submerged vegetation removal promotes shift of dominant phytoplankton functional groups in a eutrophic lake.

    PubMed

    Dong, Jing; Yang, Kai; Li, Shuangshuang; Li, Genbao; Song, Lirong

    2014-08-01

    Historical data indicate that the dominance of submerged plants in Dianchi Lake in the 1960s was characterized by low algal density with dominance of non-toxic group J (Scenedesmus, Pediastrum, etc.). The removal of submerged plants, which began in the 1970s, resulted in the expansion of bloom-forming Microcystis (group M). Laboratory experiments suggested that Microcystis aeruginosa was inclined to grow and develop at elevated temperatures. The growth of Scenedesmus obliquus was slower than that of co-cultivated M. aeruginosa in the absence of Ceratophyllum demersum, especially at higher temperatures. The existence of submerged plant C. demersum could inhibit the growth of the harmful algae M. aeruginosa and this inhibitory effect by C. demersum was enhanced with an increase in temperature. Instead, with C. demersum, the growth of S. obliquus was not inhibited, but the co-cultivated M. aeruginosa was eliminated in a short time. Combined with the historical data and laboratory experiments, it was indicated that the submerged plants might play important roles in the dominance of the non-toxic group J in the historical succession. Consequently, the introduction of the submerged plant such as C. demersum might alter the dominant phytoplankton functional groups from M to J and benefit the restoration of the eutrophic lake.

  15. Diversity, classification and function of the plant protein kinase superfamily

    PubMed Central

    Lehti-Shiu, Melissa D.; Shiu, Shin-Han

    2012-01-01

    Eukaryotic protein kinases belong to a large superfamily with hundreds to thousands of copies and are components of essentially all cellular functions. The goals of this study are to classify protein kinases from 25 plant species and to assess their evolutionary history in conjunction with consideration of their molecular functions. The protein kinase superfamily has expanded in the flowering plant lineage, in part through recent duplications. As a result, the flowering plant protein kinase repertoire, or kinome, is in general significantly larger than other eukaryotes, ranging in size from 600 to 2500 members. This large variation in kinome size is mainly due to the expansion and contraction of a few families, particularly the receptor-like kinase/Pelle family. A number of protein kinases reside in highly conserved, low copy number families and often play broadly conserved regulatory roles in metabolism and cell division, although functions of plant homologues have often diverged from their metazoan counterparts. Members of expanded plant kinase families often have roles in plant-specific processes and some may have contributed to adaptive evolution. Nonetheless, non-adaptive explanations, such as kinase duplicate subfunctionalization and insufficient time for pseudogenization, may also contribute to the large number of seemingly functional protein kinases in plants. PMID:22889912

  16. Diversity, classification and function of the plant protein kinase superfamily.

    PubMed

    Lehti-Shiu, Melissa D; Shiu, Shin-Han

    2012-09-19

    Eukaryotic protein kinases belong to a large superfamily with hundreds to thousands of copies and are components of essentially all cellular functions. The goals of this study are to classify protein kinases from 25 plant species and to assess their evolutionary history in conjunction with consideration of their molecular functions. The protein kinase superfamily has expanded in the flowering plant lineage, in part through recent duplications. As a result, the flowering plant protein kinase repertoire, or kinome, is in general significantly larger than other eukaryotes, ranging in size from 600 to 2500 members. This large variation in kinome size is mainly due to the expansion and contraction of a few families, particularly the receptor-like kinase/Pelle family. A number of protein kinases reside in highly conserved, low copy number families and often play broadly conserved regulatory roles in metabolism and cell division, although functions of plant homologues have often diverged from their metazoan counterparts. Members of expanded plant kinase families often have roles in plant-specific processes and some may have contributed to adaptive evolution. Nonetheless, non-adaptive explanations, such as kinase duplicate subfunctionalization and insufficient time for pseudogenization, may also contribute to the large number of seemingly functional protein kinases in plants.

  17. Functions and transport of silicon in plants.

    PubMed

    Ma, J F; Yamaji, N

    2008-10-01

    Silicon exerts beneficial effects on plant growth and production by alleviating both biotic and abiotic stresses including diseases, pests, lodging, drought, and nutrient imbalance. Recently, two genes (Lsi1 and Lsi2) encoding Si transporters have been identified from rice. Lsi1 (low silicon 1) belongs to a Nod26-like major intrinsic protein subfamily in aquaporin, while Lsi2 encodes a putative anion transporter. Lsi1 is localized on the distal side of both exodermis and endodermis in rice roots, while Lsi2 is localized on the proximal side of the same cells. Lsi1 shows influx transport activity for Si, while Lsi2 shows efflux transport activity. Therefore, Lsi1 is responsible for transport of Si from the external solution to the root cells, whereas Lsi2 is an efflux transporter responsible for the transport of Si from the root cells to the apoplast. Coupling of Lsi1 with Lsi2 is required for efficient uptake of Si in rice.

  18. Extraordinary properties of functional integrals and groups of diffeomorphisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belokurov, V. V.; Shavgulidze, E. T.

    2017-03-01

    A review of the work of the authors is presented, in which corollaries of the quasi-invariance of functional integrals on the Wiener measure with respect to the action of a group of diffeomorphisms are studied, and the behavior of functional integrals with nonlinear nonlocal change of variables of integration is investigated as well. Using these substitutions, the functional integrals over discontinuous paths can be determined. The simplest models of the (Euclidean) quantum field theory are offered, in which the presence of hidden internal symmetries or the allowance for discontinuous paths in functional integrals leads to a number of paradoxical properties contradicting the conventional view.

  19. The functional domain grouping of microtubule associated proteins

    PubMed Central

    Deane, Charlotte M; Wakefield, James G

    2008-01-01

    Microtubules (MTs), which play crucial roles in normal cell function, are regulated by MT associated proteins (MAPs). Using a combinatorial approach that includes biochemistry, proteomics and bioinformatics, we have recently identified 270 putative MAPs from Drosophila embryos and characterized some of those required for correct progression through mitosis. Here we identify functional groups of these MAPs using a reciprocal hits sequence alignment technique and assign InterPro functional domains to 28 previously uncharacterized proteins. This approach gives insight into the potential functions of MAPs and how their roles may affect MTs. PMID:19704789

  20. Phylogeny and evolution of plant cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel (CNGC) gene family and functional analyses of tomato CNGCs

    PubMed Central

    Saand, Mumtaz Ali; Xu, You-Ping; Munyampundu, Jean-Pierre; Li, Wen; Zhang, Xuan-Rui; Cai, Xin-Zhong

    2015-01-01

    Cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels (CNGCs) are calcium-permeable channels that are involved in various biological functions. Nevertheless, phylogeny and function of plant CNGCs are not well understood. In this study, 333 CNGC genes from 15 plant species were identified using comprehensive bioinformatics approaches. Extensive bioinformatics analyses demonstrated that CNGCs of Group IVa were distinct to those of other groups in gene structure and amino acid sequence of cyclic nucleotide-binding domain. A CNGC-specific motif that recognizes all identified plant CNGCs was generated. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that CNGC proteins of flowering plant species formed five groups. However, CNGCs of the non-vascular plant Physcomitrella patens clustered only in two groups (IVa and IVb), while those of the vascular non-flowering plant Selaginella moellendorffii gathered in four (IVa, IVb, I and II). These data suggest that Group IV CNGCs are most ancient and Group III CNGCs are most recently evolved in flowering plants. Furthermore, silencing analyses revealed that a set of CNGC genes might be involved in disease resistance and abiotic stress responses in tomato and function of SlCNGCs does not correlate with the group that they are belonging to. Our results indicate that Group IVa CNGCs are structurally but not functionally unique among plant CNGCs. PMID:26546226

  1. Phylogeny and evolution of plant cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel (CNGC) gene family and functional analyses of tomato CNGCs.

    PubMed

    Saand, Mumtaz Ali; Xu, You-Ping; Munyampundu, Jean-Pierre; Li, Wen; Zhang, Xuan-Rui; Cai, Xin-Zhong

    2015-12-01

    Cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels (CNGCs) are calcium-permeable channels that are involved in various biological functions. Nevertheless, phylogeny and function of plant CNGCs are not well understood. In this study, 333 CNGC genes from 15 plant species were identified using comprehensive bioinformatics approaches. Extensive bioinformatics analyses demonstrated that CNGCs of Group IVa were distinct to those of other groups in gene structure and amino acid sequence of cyclic nucleotide-binding domain. A CNGC-specific motif that recognizes all identified plant CNGCs was generated. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that CNGC proteins of flowering plant species formed five groups. However, CNGCs of the non-vascular plant Physcomitrella patens clustered only in two groups (IVa and IVb), while those of the vascular non-flowering plant Selaginella moellendorffii gathered in four (IVa, IVb, I and II). These data suggest that Group IV CNGCs are most ancient and Group III CNGCs are most recently evolved in flowering plants. Furthermore, silencing analyses revealed that a set of CNGC genes might be involved in disease resistance and abiotic stress responses in tomato and function of SlCNGCs does not correlate with the group that they are belonging to. Our results indicate that Group IVa CNGCs are structurally but not functionally unique among plant CNGCs.

  2. Single or functionalized fullerenes interacting with heme group

    SciTech Connect

    Costa, Wallison Chaves; Diniz, Eduardo Moraes

    2014-09-15

    The heme group is responsible for iron transportation through the bloodstream, where iron participates in redox reactions, electron transfer, gases detection etc. The efficiency of such processes can be reduced if the whole heme molecule or even the iron is somehow altered from its original oxidation state, which can be caused by interactions with nanoparticles as fullerenes. To verify how such particles alter the geometry and electronic structure of heme molecule, here we report first principles calculations based on density functional theory of heme group interacting with single C{sub 60} fullerene or with C{sub 60} functionalized with small functional groups (−CH{sub 3}, −COOH, −NH{sub 2}, −OH). The calculations shown that the system heme + nanoparticle has a different spin state in comparison with heme group if the fullerene is functionalized. Also a functional group can provide a stronger binding between nanoparticle and heme molecule or inhibit the chemical bonding in comparison with single fullerene results. In addition heme molecule loses electrons to the nanoparticles and some systems exhibited a geometry distortion in heme group, depending on the binding energy. Furthermore, one find that such nanoparticles induce a formation of spin up states in heme group. Moreover, there exist modifications in density of states near the Fermi energy. Although of such changes in heme electronic structure and geometry, the iron atom remains in the heme group with the same oxidation state, so that processes that involve the iron might not be affected, only those that depend on the whole heme molecule.

  3. Consistent role of Quaternary climate change in shaping current plant functional diversity patterns across European plant orders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ordonez, Alejandro; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2017-02-01

    Current and historical environmental conditions are known to determine jointly contemporary species distributions and richness patterns. However, whether historical dynamics in species distributions and richness translate to functional diversity patterns remains, for the most part, unknown. The geographic patterns of plant functional space size (richness) and packing (dispersion) for six widely distributed orders of European angiosperms were estimated using atlas distribution data and trait information. Then the relative importance of late-Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change and contemporary environmental factors (climate, productivity, and topography) as determinants of functional diversity of evaluated orders was assesed. Functional diversity patterns of all evaluated orders exhibited prominent glacial-interglacial climate change imprints, complementing the influence of contemporary environmental conditions. The importance of Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change factors was comparable to that of contemporary environmental factors across evaluated orders. Therefore, high long-term paleoclimate variability has imposed consistent supplementary constraints on functional diversity of multiple plant groups, a legacy that may permeate to ecosystem functioning and resilience. These findings suggest that strong near-future anthropogenic climate change may elicit long-term functional disequilibria in plant functional diversity.

  4. Consistent role of Quaternary climate change in shaping current plant functional diversity patterns across European plant orders.

    PubMed

    Ordonez, Alejandro; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2017-02-23

    Current and historical environmental conditions are known to determine jointly contemporary species distributions and richness patterns. However, whether historical dynamics in species distributions and richness translate to functional diversity patterns remains, for the most part, unknown. The geographic patterns of plant functional space size (richness) and packing (dispersion) for six widely distributed orders of European angiosperms were estimated using atlas distribution data and trait information. Then the relative importance of late-Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change and contemporary environmental factors (climate, productivity, and topography) as determinants of functional diversity of evaluated orders was assesed. Functional diversity patterns of all evaluated orders exhibited prominent glacial-interglacial climate change imprints, complementing the influence of contemporary environmental conditions. The importance of Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change factors was comparable to that of contemporary environmental factors across evaluated orders. Therefore, high long-term paleoclimate variability has imposed consistent supplementary constraints on functional diversity of multiple plant groups, a legacy that may permeate to ecosystem functioning and resilience. These findings suggest that strong near-future anthropogenic climate change may elicit long-term functional disequilibria in plant functional diversity.

  5. Consistent role of Quaternary climate change in shaping current plant functional diversity patterns across European plant orders

    PubMed Central

    Ordonez, Alejandro; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2017-01-01

    Current and historical environmental conditions are known to determine jointly contemporary species distributions and richness patterns. However, whether historical dynamics in species distributions and richness translate to functional diversity patterns remains, for the most part, unknown. The geographic patterns of plant functional space size (richness) and packing (dispersion) for six widely distributed orders of European angiosperms were estimated using atlas distribution data and trait information. Then the relative importance of late-Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change and contemporary environmental factors (climate, productivity, and topography) as determinants of functional diversity of evaluated orders was assesed. Functional diversity patterns of all evaluated orders exhibited prominent glacial-interglacial climate change imprints, complementing the influence of contemporary environmental conditions. The importance of Quaternary glacial-interglacial climate change factors was comparable to that of contemporary environmental factors across evaluated orders. Therefore, high long-term paleoclimate variability has imposed consistent supplementary constraints on functional diversity of multiple plant groups, a legacy that may permeate to ecosystem functioning and resilience. These findings suggest that strong near-future anthropogenic climate change may elicit long-term functional disequilibria in plant functional diversity. PMID:28230069

  6. ISS observations offer insights into plant function

    DOE PAGES

    Stavros, E. Natasha; Schimel, David; Pavlick, Ryan; ...

    2017-06-22

    Technologies on the International Space Station will provide ~1 year of synchronous observations of ecosystem composition, structure and function, in 2018. Here, we discuss these instruments and how they can be used to constrain global models and improve our understanding of the current state of terrestrial ecosystems.

  7. The function of calcium in plant graviperception.

    PubMed

    Belyavskaya, N A

    1992-01-01

    The fundamental question of gravitational biology is how do plants perceive a gravity. Recent experimental results have demonstrated that Ca second-messenger system has an essential role in induction of graviresponsiveness. Our data, that stimuli of various nature cause a rise of hyaloplasm Ca level revealed by means of pyroantimonate method, as well as complete inhibition of the gravitropism in roots of pea seedlings, provide indirect but consistent evidence of this role of Ca ions. A possible explanation for these results is that they may be due to an unbalanced and undirectional influx of Ca ions in statocytes from cell walls or from intracellular Ca stores, while in the presence of the Earths 1 g vector, this process occurs directionally, along this vector. It is possible that a target for the gravity stimulus is the flux mechanism of Ca to statocytes, including participation of the phosphatidylinositol system and calmodulin. The data that have become available from space flight experiments will be reviewed and an attempt will be made to compare these results with ground-based observations.

  8. Solving renormalization group equations with the Lambert W function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonoda, H.

    2013-04-01

    It has been known for some time that 2-loop renormalization group equations of a dimensionless parameter can be solved in a closed form in terms of the Lambert W function. We apply the method to a generic theory with a Gaussian fixed point to construct renormalization group invariant physical parameters such as a coupling constant and a physical squared mass. As a further application, we speculate a possible exact effective potential for the O(N) linear sigma model in four dimensions.

  9. From infinite to two dimensions through the functional renormalization group.

    PubMed

    Taranto, C; Andergassen, S; Bauer, J; Held, K; Katanin, A; Metzner, W; Rohringer, G; Toschi, A

    2014-05-16

    We present a novel scheme for an unbiased, nonperturbative treatment of strongly correlated fermions. The proposed approach combines two of the most successful many-body methods, the dynamical mean field theory and the functional renormalization group. Physically, this allows for a systematic inclusion of nonlocal correlations via the functional renormalization group flow equations, after the local correlations are taken into account nonperturbatively by the dynamical mean field theory. To demonstrate the feasibility of the approach, we present numerical results for the two-dimensional Hubbard model at half filling.

  10. Origin and Functional Prediction of Pollen Allergens in Plants.

    PubMed

    Chen, Miaolin; Xu, Jie; Devis, Deborah; Shi, Jianxin; Ren, Kang; Searle, Iain; Zhang, Dabing

    2016-09-01

    Pollen allergies have long been a major pandemic health problem for human. However, the evolutionary events and biological function of pollen allergens in plants remain largely unknown. Here, we report the genome-wide prediction of pollen allergens and their biological function in the dicotyledonous model plant Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and the monocotyledonous model plant rice (Oryza sativa). In total, 145 and 107 pollen allergens were predicted from rice and Arabidopsis, respectively. These pollen allergens are putatively involved in stress responses and metabolic processes such as cell wall metabolism during pollen development. Interestingly, these putative pollen allergen genes were derived from large gene families and became diversified during evolution. Sequence analysis across 25 plant species from green alga to angiosperms suggest that about 40% of putative pollen allergenic proteins existed in both lower and higher plants, while other allergens emerged during evolution. Although a high proportion of gene duplication has been observed among allergen-coding genes, our data show that these genes might have undergone purifying selection during evolution. We also observed that epitopes of an allergen might have a biological function, as revealed by comprehensive analysis of two known allergens, expansin and profilin. This implies a crucial role of conserved amino acid residues in both in planta biological function and allergenicity. Finally, a model explaining how pollen allergens were generated and maintained in plants is proposed. Prediction and systematic analysis of pollen allergens in model plants suggest that pollen allergens were evolved by gene duplication and then functional specification. This study provides insight into the phylogenetic and evolutionary scenario of pollen allergens that will be helpful to future characterization and epitope screening of pollen allergens. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  11. New Generation Nuclear Plant -- High Level Functions and Requirements

    SciTech Connect

    J. M. Ryskamp; E. J. Gorski; E. A. Harvego; S. T. Khericha; G. A. Beitel

    2003-09-01

    This functions and requirements (F&R) document was prepared for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Project. The highest-level functions and requirements for the NGNP preconceptual design are identified in this document, which establishes performance definitions for what the NGNP will achieve. NGNP designs will be developed based on these requirements by commercial vendor(s).

  12. Species, functional groups, and thresholds in ecological resilience

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sundstrom, Shana M.; Allen, Craig R.; Barichievy, Chris

    2012-01-01

    The cross-scale resilience model states that ecological resilience is generated in part from the distribution of functions within and across scales in a system. Resilience is a measure of a system's ability to remain organized around a particular set of mutually reinforcing processes and structures, known as a regime. We define scale as the geographic extent over which a process operates and the frequency with which a process occurs. Species can be categorized into functional groups that are a link between ecosystem processes and structures and ecological resilience. We applied the cross-scale resilience model to avian species in a grassland ecosystem. A species’ morphology is shaped in part by its interaction with ecological structure and pattern, so animal body mass reflects the spatial and temporal distribution of resources. We used the log-transformed rank-ordered body masses of breeding birds associated with grasslands to identify aggregations and discontinuities in the distribution of those body masses. We assessed cross-scale resilience on the basis of 3 metrics: overall number of functional groups, number of functional groups within an aggregation, and the redundancy of functional groups across aggregations. We assessed how the loss of threatened species would affect cross-scale resilience by removing threatened species from the data set and recalculating values of the 3 metrics. We also determined whether more function was retained than expected after the loss of threatened species by comparing observed loss with simulated random loss in a Monte Carlo process. The observed distribution of function compared with the random simulated loss of function indicated that more functionality in the observed data set was retained than expected. On the basis of our results, we believe an ecosystem with a full complement of species can sustain considerable species losses without affecting the distribution of functions within and across aggregations, although

  13. Triacylglycerol Metabolism, Function, and Accumulation in Plant Vegetative Tissues

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, Changcheng; Shanklin, John

    2016-02-03

    One of the most abundant energy-dense storage compounds in eukaryotes are oils in the form of triacylglycerols , and their metabolism plays a key role in cellular energy balance, lipid homeostasis, growth, and maintenance. Plants accumulate oils primarily in seeds and fruits. Moreover, plant oils are used for food and feed and, increasingly, as feedstocks for biodiesel and industrial chemicals. Although plant vegetative tissues do not accumulate significant levels of triacylglycerols, they possess a high capacity for their synthesis, storage, and metabolism. The development of plants that accumulate oil in vegetative tissues presents an opportunity for expanded production of triacylglycerols as a renewable and sustainable bioenergy source. We review recent progress in the understanding of triacylglycerol synthesis, turnover, storage, and function in leaves and discuss emerging genetic engineering strategies targeted at enhancing triacylglycerol accumulation in biomass crops. Such plants could potentially be modified to produce oleochemical feedstocks or nutraceuticals.

  14. Triacylglycerol Metabolism, Function, and Accumulation in Plant Vegetative Tissues

    DOE PAGES

    Xu, Changcheng; Shanklin, John

    2016-02-03

    One of the most abundant energy-dense storage compounds in eukaryotes are oils in the form of triacylglycerols , and their metabolism plays a key role in cellular energy balance, lipid homeostasis, growth, and maintenance. Plants accumulate oils primarily in seeds and fruits. Moreover, plant oils are used for food and feed and, increasingly, as feedstocks for biodiesel and industrial chemicals. Although plant vegetative tissues do not accumulate significant levels of triacylglycerols, they possess a high capacity for their synthesis, storage, and metabolism. The development of plants that accumulate oil in vegetative tissues presents an opportunity for expanded production of triacylglycerolsmore » as a renewable and sustainable bioenergy source. We review recent progress in the understanding of triacylglycerol synthesis, turnover, storage, and function in leaves and discuss emerging genetic engineering strategies targeted at enhancing triacylglycerol accumulation in biomass crops. Such plants could potentially be modified to produce oleochemical feedstocks or nutraceuticals.« less

  15. Predicting plants -modeling traits as a function of environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franklin, Oskar

    2016-04-01

    A central problem in understanding and modeling vegetation dynamics is how to represent the variation in plant properties and function across different environments. Addressing this problem there is a strong trend towards trait-based approaches, where vegetation properties are functions of the distributions of functional traits rather than of species. Recently there has been enormous progress in in quantifying trait variability and its drivers and effects (Van Bodegom et al. 2012; Adier et al. 2014; Kunstler et al. 2015) based on wide ranging datasets on a small number of easily measured traits, such as specific leaf area (SLA), wood density and maximum plant height. However, plant function depends on many other traits and while the commonly measured trait data are valuable, they are not sufficient for driving predictive and mechanistic models of vegetation dynamics -especially under novel climate or management conditions. For this purpose we need a model to predict functional traits, also those not easily measured, and how they depend on the plants' environment. Here I present such a mechanistic model based on fitness concepts and focused on traits related to water and light limitation of trees, including: wood density, drought response, allocation to defense, and leaf traits. The model is able to predict observed patterns of variability in these traits in relation to growth and mortality, and their responses to a gradient of water limitation. The results demonstrate that it is possible to mechanistically predict plant traits as a function of the environment based on an eco-physiological model of plant fitness. References Adier, P.B., Salguero-Gómez, R., Compagnoni, A., Hsu, J.S., Ray-Mukherjee, J., Mbeau-Ache, C. et al. (2014). Functional traits explain variation in plant lifehistory strategies. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 111, 740-745. Kunstler, G., Falster, D., Coomes, D.A., Hui, F., Kooyman, R.M., Laughlin, D.C. et al. (2015). Plant functional traits

  16. Psychosocial functioning of two groups of morbidly obese patients.

    PubMed

    Rosen, L W; Aniskiewicz, A S

    1983-01-01

    Fourteen morbidly obese women who were candidates for intestinal bypass surgery were compared in terms of psychosocial functioning and dietary behavior to 14 morbidly obese women who elected not to undergo the bypass procedure. Each patient underwent a psychiatric evaluation which included a developmental and dietary history, a mental status exam, and the administration of the MMPI. Diagnoses were based on the DSM-III multi-axial system. There was no difference between the bypass group and the non-bypass group on the Axis I diagnoses, however the bypass group did have a significantly higher frequency of Axis II diagnoses. The bypass group demonstrated significantly higher levels of psychosocial stressors (Axis IV) and lower levels of adaptive functioning (Axis V) when compared to the non-bypass group. The bypass patients also had a significantly higher frequency of past suicide attempts. On the MMPI, the bypass group had significantly higher elevations on scales 2 (depression), 4 (psychopathic deviate), 6 (paranoia), and 0 (social introversion). There were no significant differences between the groups in terms of dietary history and behavior, except that significantly fewer bypass patients could place a numerical estimate on their daily energy intake. These results were discussed in terms of their implications for the assessment and treatment of morbidly obese patients.

  17. Functions and Regulation of Programmed Cell Death in Plant Development.

    PubMed

    Daneva, Anna; Gao, Zhen; Van Durme, Matthias; Nowack, Moritz K

    2016-10-06

    Programmed cell death (PCD) is a collective term for diverse processes causing an actively induced, tightly controlled cellular suicide. PCD has a multitude of functions in the development and health of multicellular organisms. In comparison to intensively studied forms of animal PCD such as apoptosis, our knowledge of the regulation of PCD in plants remains limited. Despite the importance of PCD in plant development and as a response to biotic and abiotic stresses, the complex molecular networks controlling different forms of plant PCD are only just beginning to emerge. With this review, we provide an update on the considerable progress that has been made over the last decade in our understanding of PCD as an inherent part of plant development. We highlight both functions of developmental PCD and central aspects of its molecular regulation.

  18. Forest plant and bird communities in the Lau Group, Fiji.

    PubMed

    Franklin, Janet; Steadman, David W

    2010-12-29

    We examined species composition of forest and bird communities in relation to environmental and human disturbance gradients on Lakeba (55.9 km²), Nayau (18.4 km²), and Aiwa Levu (1.2 km²), islands in the Lau Group of Fiji, West Polynesia. The unique avifauna of West Polynesia (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa) has been subjected to prehistoric human-caused extinctions but little was previously known about this topic in the Lau Group. We expected that the degree of human disturbance would be a strong determinant of tree species composition and habitat quality for surviving landbirds, while island area would be unrelated to bird diversity. All trees > 5 cm diameter were measured and identified in 23 forest plots of 500 m² each. We recognized four forest species assemblages differentiated by composition and structure: coastal forest, dominated by widely distributed species, and three forest types with differences related more to disturbance history (stages of secondary succession following clearing or selective logging) than to environmental gradients (elevation, slope, rockiness). Our point counts (73 locations in 1 or 2 seasons) recorded 18 of the 24 species of landbirds that exist on the three islands. The relative abundance and species richness of birds were greatest in the forested habitats least disturbed by people. These differences were due mostly to increased numbers of columbid frugivores and passerine insectivores in forests on Lakeba and Aiwa Levu. Considering only forested habitats, the relative abundance and species richness of birds were greater on the small but completely forested (and uninhabited) island of Aiwa Levu than on the much larger island of Lakeba. Forest disturbance history is more important than island area in structuring both tree and landbird communities on remote Pacific islands. Even very small islands may be suitable for conservation reserves if they are protected from human disturbance.

  19. Forest Plant and Bird Communities in the Lau Group, Fiji

    PubMed Central

    Franklin, Janet; Steadman, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Background We examined species composition of forest and bird communities in relation to environmental and human disturbance gradients on Lakeba (55.9 km2), Nayau (18.4 km2), and Aiwa Levu (1.2 km2), islands in the Lau Group of Fiji, West Polynesia. The unique avifauna of West Polynesia (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa) has been subjected to prehistoric human-caused extinctions but little was previously known about this topic in the Lau Group. We expected that the degree of human disturbance would be a strong determinant of tree species composition and habitat quality for surviving landbirds, while island area would be unrelated to bird diversity. Methodology/Principal Findings All trees >5 cm diameter were measured and identified in 23 forest plots of 500 m2 each. We recognized four forest species assemblages differentiated by composition and structure: coastal forest, dominated by widely distributed species, and three forest types with differences related more to disturbance history (stages of secondary succession following clearing or selective logging) than to environmental gradients (elevation, slope, rockiness). Our point counts (73 locations in 1 or 2 seasons) recorded 18 of the 24 species of landbirds that exist on the three islands. The relative abundance and species richness of birds were greatest in the forested habitats least disturbed by people. These differences were due mostly to increased numbers of columbid frugivores and passerine insectivores in forests on Lakeba and Aiwa Levu. Considering only forested habitats, the relative abundance and species richness of birds were greater on the small but completely forested (and uninhabited) island of Aiwa Levu than on the much larger island of Lakeba. Conclusions/Significance Forest disturbance history is more important than island area in structuring both tree and landbird communities on remote Pacific islands. Even very small islands may be suitable for conservation reserves if they are protected from human

  20. Plant functional type mapping for earth system models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poulter, B.; Ciais, P.; Hodson, E.; Lischke, H.; Maignan, F.; Plummer, S.; Zimmermann, N. E.

    2011-08-01

    The sensitivity of global carbon and water cycling to climate variability is coupled directly to land cover and the distribution of vegetation. To investigate biogeochemistry-climate interactions, earth system models require a representation of vegetation distributions that are either prescribed from remote sensing data or simulated via biogeography models. However, the abstraction of earth system state variables in models means that data products derived from remote sensing need to be post-processed for model-data assimilation. Dynamic global vegetation models (DGVM) rely on the concept of plant functional types (PFT) to group shared traits of thousands of plant species into just several classes. Available databases of observed PFT distributions must be relevant to existing satellite sensors and their derived products, and to the present day distribution of managed lands. Here, we develop four PFT datasets based on land-cover information from three satellite sensors (EOS-MODIS 1 km and 0.5 km, SPOT4-VEGETATION 1 km, and ENVISAT-MERIS 0.3 km spatial resolution) that are merged with spatially-consistent Köppen-Geiger climate zones. Using a beta (β) diversity metric to assess reclassification similarity, we find that the greatest uncertainty in PFT classifications occur most frequently between cropland and grassland categories, and in dryland systems between shrubland, grassland and forest categories because of differences in the minimum threshold required for forest cover. The biogeography-biogeochemistry DGVM, LPJmL, is used in diagnostic mode with the four PFT datasets prescribed to quantify the effect of land-cover uncertainty on climatic sensitivity of gross primary productivity (GPP) and transpiration fluxes. Our results show that land-cover uncertainty has large effects in arid regions, contributing up to 30 % (20 %) uncertainty in the sensitivity of GPP (transpiration) to precipitation. The availability of plant functional type datasets that are consistent

  1. The messenger matters: Pollinator functional group influences mating system dynamics.

    PubMed

    Weber, Jennifer J

    2017-08-01

    The incredible diversity of plant mating systems has fuelled research in evolutionary biology for over a century. Currently, there is broad concern about the impact of rapidly changing pollinator communities on plant populations. Very few studies, however, examine patterns and mechanisms associated with multiple paternity from cross-pollen loads. Often, foraging pollinators collect a mixed pollen load that may result in the deposition of pollen from different sires to receptive stigmas. Coincident deposition of self- and cross-pollen leads to interesting mating system dynamics and has been investigated in numerous species. But, mixed pollen loads often consist of a diversity of cross-pollen and result in multiple sires of seeds within a fruit. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Rhodes, Fant, and Skogen () examine how pollinator identity and spatial isolation influence multiple paternity within fruits of a self-incompatible evening primrose. The authors demonstrate that pollen pool diversity varies between two pollinator types, hawkmoths and diurnal solitary bees. Further, progeny from more isolated plants were less likely to have multiple sires regardless of the pollinator type. Moving forward, studies of mating system dynamics should consider the implications of multiple paternity and move beyond the self- and cross-pollination paradigm. Rhodes et al. () demonstrate the importance of understanding the roles that functionally diverse pollinators play in mating system dynamics. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Nonaqueous titration of amino groups in polymeric matrix of plant cell walls.

    PubMed

    Meychik, N R; Nikolaeva, Yu I; Ermakov, I P

    2009-08-01

    Nonaqueous titration was used for detection of free amino groups in the polymeric matrix of plant cell walls. The content of amino groups varied in the range 0.54-0.91 and total nitrogen in the range 1.0-4.2 mmol per gram dry mass of cell walls depending on the plant species. However, these data on the high content of free amino groups do not correlate with the present day concept that the nitrogen fraction in charged amino groups in plant cell wall proteins, which are assumed to be mainly amino groups of lysine and arginine residues, is about 10%. It is supposed that most detected free amino groups belong to the hydroxy-amino acids hydroxyproline and tyrosine that can be bound at the hydroxyl group with the carbohydrate part of glycoprotein or another structural cell wall polymer.

  3. Plants: An International Scientific Open Access Journal to Publish All Facets of Plants, Their Functions and Interactions with the Environment and Other Living Organisms

    PubMed Central

    Fernando, W.G. Dilantha

    2012-01-01

    Plants are one of the two major groups of living organisms that are an essential entity to the function of the biosphere. Plants can be found in all known parts of the earth, in all shapes and sizes. They include the green algae, mosses, ferns, vines, grasses, bushes, herbs, flowering plants and trees. Although some plants are parasitic, most produce their own food through photosynthesis. Most plants initiate from a seed. The importance of plants in the food chain dates back to ancient times. The first humans gathered wild plants for food. As settlements developed, food crops were cultivated, leading to selection of high-yielding cultivated varieties to feed the growing populations. Unlike plants, humans and other animals are unable to manufacture their own food. Therefore, they are dependent, directly or indirectly, on plants. Plants are found in natural ecosystems such as rain forests, and also in agricultural areas and urbanized settings. They are an essential part of our daily lives providing food, clean air, and important ecosystem functions. The study of plants and their function could be considered the most complex of interactions. From the time a seed germinates, it goes through a myriad of physiological processes that can be closely studied using modern tools and molecular biological methods. An open access journal such as Plants will give millions of readers access to that information around the world. PMID:27137635

  4. Plants: An International Scientific Open Access Journal to Publish All Facets of Plants, Their Functions and Interactions with the Environment and Other Living Organisms.

    PubMed

    Fernando, W G Dilantha

    2012-02-06

    Plants are one of the two major groups of living organisms that are an essential entity to the function of the biosphere. Plants can be found in all known parts of the earth, in all shapes and sizes. They include the green algae, mosses, ferns, vines, grasses, bushes, herbs, flowering plants and trees. Although some plants are parasitic, most produce their own food through photosynthesis. Most plants initiate from a seed. The importance of plants in the food chain dates back to ancient times. The first humans gathered wild plants for food. As settlements developed, food crops were cultivated, leading to selection of high-yielding cultivated varieties to feed the growing populations. Unlike plants, humans and other animals are unable to manufacture their own food. Therefore, they are dependent, directly or indirectly, on plants. Plants are found in natural ecosystems such as rain forests, and also in agricultural areas and urbanized settings. They are an essential part of our daily lives providing food, clean air, and important ecosystem functions. The study of plants and their function could be considered the most complex of interactions. From the time a seed germinates, it goes through a myriad of physiological processes that can be closely studied using modern tools and molecular biological methods. An open access journal such as Plants will give millions of readers access to that information around the world.

  5. Plant functional traits with particular reference to tropical deciduous forests: a review.

    PubMed

    Chaturvedi, R K; Raghubanshi, A S; Singh, J S

    2011-12-01

    Functional traits (FTs) integrate the ecological and evolutionary history of a species, and can potentially be used to predict its response as well as its influence on ecosystem functioning. Study of inter-specific variation in the FTs of plants aids in classifying species into plant functional types (PFTs) and provides insights into fundamental patterns and trade-offs in plant form and functioning and the effect of changing species composition on ecosystem functions. Specifically, this paper focuses on those FTs that make a species successful in the dry tropical environment. Following a brief overview, we discuss plant FTs that may be particularly relevant to tropical deciduous forests (TDFs). We consider the traits under the following categories: leaf traits, stem and root traits, reproductive traits, and traits particularly relevant to water availability. We compile quantitative information on functional traits of dry tropical forest species. We also discuss trait-based grouping of plants into PFTs. We recognize that there is incomplete knowledge about many FTs and their effects on TDFs and point out the need for further research on PFTs of TDF species, which can enable prediction of the dynamics of these forests in the face of disturbance and global climate change. Correlations between structural and ecophysiological traits and ecosystem functioning should also be established which could make it possible to generate predictions of changes in ecosystem services from changes in functional composition.

  6. Functional approach to high-throughput plant growth analysis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Method Taking advantage of the current rapid development in imaging systems and computer vision algorithms, we present HPGA, a high-throughput phenotyping platform for plant growth modeling and functional analysis, which produces better understanding of energy distribution in regards of the balance between growth and defense. HPGA has two components, PAE (Plant Area Estimation) and GMA (Growth Modeling and Analysis). In PAE, by taking the complex leaf overlap problem into consideration, the area of every plant is measured from top-view images in four steps. Given the abundant measurements obtained with PAE, in the second module GMA, a nonlinear growth model is applied to generate growth curves, followed by functional data analysis. Results Experimental results on model plant Arabidopsis thaliana show that, compared to an existing approach, HPGA reduces the error rate of measuring plant area by half. The application of HPGA on the cfq mutant plants under fluctuating light reveals the correlation between low photosynthetic rates and small plant area (compared to wild type), which raises a hypothesis that knocking out cfq changes the sensitivity of the energy distribution under fluctuating light conditions to repress leaf growth. Availability HPGA is available at http://www.msu.edu/~jinchen/HPGA. PMID:24565437

  7. Plant Mediator complex and its critical functions in transcription regulation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yan; Li, Ling; Qu, Li-Jia

    2016-02-01

    The Mediator complex is an important component of the eukaryotic transcriptional machinery. As an essential link between transcription factors and RNA polymerase II, the Mediator complex transduces diverse signals to genes involved in different pathways. The plant Mediator complex was recently purified and comprises conserved and specific subunits. It functions in concert with transcription factors to modulate various responses. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in understanding the plant Mediator complex and its diverse roles in plant growth, development, defense, non-coding RNA production, response to abiotic stresses, flowering, genomic stability and metabolic homeostasis. In addition, the transcription factors interacting with the Mediator complex are also highlighted.

  8. Victimization in the Peer Group and Children's Academic Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, David; Gorman, Andrea Hopmeyer; Nakamoto, Jonathan; Toblin, Robin L.

    2005-01-01

    This short-term longitudinal investigation focused on associations between victimization in the peer group and academic functioning over a 1-year period. The authors used a multi-informant approach to assess peer victimization, symptoms of depression, and academic outcomes for 199 elementary school children (average age of 9.0 years; 105 boys, 94…

  9. Chapter 8. Resident Group Influences on Team Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burford, Gale E.; Fulcher, Leon C.

    2006-01-01

    Research has documented important interplays between the diagnostic characteristics of residents in group care centers and the functioning of staff teams responsible for the delivery of services. Factors that impact on the quality of working life satisfactions and frustrations are variable over time and may originate from within the team, the…

  10. Plant Ion Channels: Gene Families, Physiology, and Functional Genomics Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Ward, John M.; Mäser, Pascal; Schroeder, Julian I.

    2016-01-01

    Distinct potassium, anion, and calcium channels in the plasma membrane and vacuolar membrane of plant cells have been identified and characterized by patch clamping. Primarily owing to advances in Arabidopsis genetics and genomics, and yeast functional complementation, many of the corresponding genes have been identified. Recent advances in our understanding of ion channel genes that mediate signal transduction and ion transport are discussed here. Some plant ion channels, for example, ALMT and SLAC anion channel subunits, are unique. The majority of plant ion channel families exhibit homology to animal genes; such families include both hyperpolarization-and depolarization-activated Shaker-type potassium channels, CLC chloride transporters/channels, cyclic nucleotide–gated channels, and ionotropic glutamate receptor homologs. These plant ion channels offer unique opportunities to analyze the structural mechanisms and functions of ion channels. Here we review gene families of selected plant ion channel classes and discuss unique structure-function aspects and their physiological roles in plant cell signaling and transport. PMID:18842100

  11. Biogenesis and functions of lipid droplets in plants

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, Kent D.; Dyer, John M.; Mullen, Robert T.

    2012-01-01

    The compartmentation of neutral lipids in plants is mostly associated with seed tissues, where triacylglycerols (TAGs) stored within lipid droplets (LDs) serve as an essential physiological energy and carbon reserve during postgerminative growth. However, some nonseed tissues, such as leaves, flowers and fruits, also synthesize and store TAGs, yet relatively little is known about the formation or function of LDs in these tissues. Characterization of LD-associated proteins, such as oleosins, caleosins, and sterol dehydrogenases (steroleosins), has revealed surprising features of LD function in plants, including stress responses, hormone signaling pathways, and various aspects of plant growth and development. Although oleosin and caleosin proteins are specific to plants, LD-associated sterol dehydrogenases also are present in mammals, and in both plants and mammals these enzymes have been shown to be important in (steroid) hormone metabolism and signaling. In addition, several other proteins known to be important in LD biogenesis in yeasts and mammals are conserved in plants, suggesting that at least some aspects of LD biogenesis and/or function are evolutionarily conserved. PMID:22045929

  12. Plant organelle proteomics: collaborating for optimal cell function.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Ganesh Kumar; Bourguignon, Jacques; Rolland, Norbert; Ephritikhine, Geneviève; Ferro, Myriam; Jaquinod, Michel; Alexiou, Konstantinos G; Chardot, Thierry; Chakraborty, Niranjan; Jolivet, Pascale; Doonan, John H; Rakwal, Randeep

    2011-01-01

    Organelle proteomics describes the study of proteins present in organelle at a particular instance during the whole period of their life cycle in a cell. Organelles are specialized membrane bound structures within a cell that function by interacting with cytosolic and luminal soluble proteins making the protein composition of each organelle dynamic. Depending on organism, the total number of organelles within a cell varies, indicating their evolution with respect to protein number and function. For example, one of the striking differences between plant and animal cells is the plastids in plants. Organelles have their own proteins, and few organelles like mitochondria and chloroplast have their own genome to synthesize proteins for specific function and also require nuclear-encoded proteins. Enormous work has been performed on animal organelle proteomics. However, plant organelle proteomics has seen limited work mainly due to: (i) inter-plant and inter-tissue complexity, (ii) difficulties in isolation of subcellular compartments, and (iii) their enrichment and purity. Despite these concerns, the field of organelle proteomics is growing in plants, such as Arabidopsis, rice and maize. The available data are beginning to help better understand organelles and their distinct and/or overlapping functions in different plant tissues, organs or cell types, and more importantly, how protein components of organelles behave during development and with surrounding environments. Studies on organelles have provided a few good reviews, but none of them are comprehensive. Here, we present a comprehensive review on plant organelle proteomics starting from the significance of organelle in cells, to organelle isolation, to protein identification and to biology and beyond. To put together such a systematic, in-depth review and to translate acquired knowledge in a proper and adequate form, we join minds to provide discussion and viewpoints on the collaborative nature of organelles in

  13. [Frost-resistance of subtropical evergreen woody plants: an evaluation based on plant functional traits].

    PubMed

    Xu, Yi-Lu; Yang, Xiao-Dong; Xu, Yue; Xie, Yi-Ming; Wang, Liang-Yan; Yan, En-Rong

    2012-12-01

    Evaluating the frost-resistance of evergreen woody plants is of significance in guiding the species selection in forest management in subtropical region. In this paper, an investigation was made on the functional traits (including specific leaf area, stem wood density, leaf area, leaf dry matter content, leaf relative electrical conductance, and twig wood density) of 64 common evergreen broad-leaved and coniferous woody plant species in the Ningbo region of Zhejiang Province, East China, after a severe snowstorm in early 2008, aimed to select the evergreen woody plants with high ability of freeze-tolerance, and to establish a related evaluation system. By using a hierarchy analysis approach, the weight values of the functional traits of each species were determined, and an index system for evaluating the plants tolerance ability against freeze and mechanical damage was established. Based on this system, 23 evergreen plant species with high tolerance ability against freeze and mechanical damage, such as Cyclobalanopsis gilva, Cyclobalanopsis nubium, Neolitsea aurata, and Vacciniuim mandarinorum, were selected. In the meantime, on the basis of the ordering with each of the functional traits, the ordering of the tolerance ability of the 64 plant species against freeze and mechanical damage was made, and a list for the frost-resistance ability of the subtropical evergreen woody plant species in Ningbo region was constituted.

  14. Assessing physiological responses of dune forest functional groups to changing water availability: from Tropics to Mediterranean.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antunes, Cristina; Lo Cascio, Mauro; Correia, Otília; Vieira, Simone; Cruz Diaz Barradas, Maria; Zunzunegui, Maria; Ramos, Margarida; João Pereira, Maria; Máguas, Cristina

    2014-05-01

    Alterations in water availability are important to vegetation as can produce dramatic changes in plant communities, on physiological performance or survival of plant species. Particularly, groundwater lowering and surface water diversions will affect vulnerable coastal dune forests, ecosystems particularly sensitive to groundwater limitation. Reduction of water tables can prevent the plants from having access to one of their key water sources and inevitably affect groundwater-dependent species. The additional impact of drought due to climatic change on groundwater-dependent ecosystems has become of increasing concern since it aggravates groundwater reduction impacts with consequent uncertainties about how vegetation will respond over the short and long term. Sand dune plant communities encompass a diverse number of species that differ widely in root depth, tolerance to drought and capacity to shift between seasonal varying water sources. Plant functional groups may be affected by water distribution and availability differently. The high ecological diversity of sand dune forests, characterized by sandy soils, well or poorly drained, poor in nutrients and with different levels of salinity, can occur in different climatic regions of the globe. Such is the case of Tropical, Meso-mediterranean and Mediterranean areas, where future climate change is predicted to change water availability. Analyses of the relative natural abundances of stable isotopes of carbon (13C/12C) and oxygen (18O/16O) have been used across a wide range of scales, contributing to our understanding of plant ecology and interactions. This approach can show important temporal and spatial changes in utilization of different water sources by vegetation. Accordingly, the core idea of this work is to evaluate, along a climatic gradient, the responses and capacity of different coastal plant communities to adapt to changing water availability. This large-climatic-scale study, covering Brazil, Portugal and

  15. Profitability and risk analysis of soybean planting date by maturity group

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Limited knowledge exists on estimated soybean yield response to planting date to determine the profit-maximizing planting date for soybean production by maturity group (MG) in the southern United States. Furthermore, determining the optimal MG and crop insurance coverage level that is preferred by r...

  16. Investigation of oxygen functional groups in low rank coal

    SciTech Connect

    Hagaman, E.W.; Lee, S.K.

    1993-07-01

    The distribution of the organic oxygen content of coals among the principal oxygen containing functional groups typically is determined by a combination of chemical and spectroscopic methods (1,2) and results in a classification scheme such as % carboxyl, % hydroxyl, % carbonyl, and % ether. A notable subdivision in this classification scheme is the differentiation of phenols in a coal on the basis of their ortho-substitution pattern (3). Apart from this distinction, the further classification of oxygen into functional group subsets is virtually nonexistent. This paper presents initial experiments that indicate a fuller characterization of oxygen distribution in low rank coal is possible. The experimental approach couples selective chemical perturbation and solid state NMR analysis of the material, specifically, the fluorination of Argonne Premium Coal {number_sign}8, North Dakota lignite, and spectroscopic examination by high resolution solid state {sup 19}F NMR (4). The fluorination reagent is diethylaminosulfur trifluoride (DAST), (Et){sub 2}NSF{sub 3}, which promotes a rich slate of oxygen functional group interconversions that introduce fluorine into the coal matrix (5). The virtual absence of this element in coals make {sup 19}F an attractive NMR nuclei for this application (6). The present experiments use direct detection of the {sup 19}F nucleus under conditions of proton ({sup 1}H) heteronuclear dipolar decoupling and magic angle spinning (MAS). The ca 300 ppm range of {sup 19}F chemical shifts in common carbon-fluorine bonding configurations and high {sup 19}F nuclear sensitivity permit the identification of unique and chemically dilute functional groups in the coal milieu. The unique detection of aromatic and aliphatic carboxylic acids and primary and secondary alcohols provide examples of the exquisite functional group detail that is revealed by this combination of techniques.

  17. Functional grouping in residential homes for people with intellectual disabilities.

    PubMed

    Mansell, Jim; Beadle-Brown, Julie; Macdonald, Susan; Ashman, Bev

    2003-01-01

    The effects of functional grouping of people with intellectual disabilities on care practices in small residential homes in the community were investigated. A group comparison and a matched-pairs comparison were carried out in settings where less than or more than 75% residents were non-verbal, non-ambulant, had severe challenging behaviour, severe social impairment or were verbal and ambulant. Further analysis, focused on those with challenging behaviour was carried out using ordinal regression. In the group-comparison study, no significant differences were found for three of the five groups. Residents who were non-ambulant were rated as receiving care with less interpersonal warmth in grouped settings; residents with severe challenging behaviour were rated as receiving less good care practices in four respects (interpersonal warmth, assistance from staff, level of speech and staff teamwork) in grouped settings. The matched-pairs comparison found significant differences only for people with challenging behaviour, where grouped settings achieved less good results in terms of interpersonal warmth and staff teamwork. Higher adaptive behaviour and mixed settings were predictive of better care practices on 13 of 14 items of the Active Support Measure (ASM), with some setting variables also predictive for some items. Care practices only appear to vary for people with challenging behaviour, where grouped settings appear to offer less good results in some respects.

  18. RNAi and functional genomics in plant parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Rosso, M N; Jones, J T; Abad, P

    2009-01-01

    Plant nematology is currently undergoing a revolution with the availability of the first genome sequences as well as comprehensive expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries from a range of nematode species. Several strategies are being used to exploit this wealth of information. Comparative genomics is being used to explore the acquisition of novel genes associated with parasitic lifestyles. Functional analyses of nematode genes are moving toward larger scale studies including global transcriptome profiling. RNA interference (RNAi) has been shown to reduce expression of a range of plant parasitic nematode genes and is a powerful tool for functional analysis of nematode genes. RNAi-mediated suppression of genes essential for nematode development, survival, or parasitism is revealing new targets for nematode control. Plant nematology in the genomics era is now facing the challenge to develop RNAi screens adequate for high-throughput functional analyses.

  19. Functional gene group analysis identifies synaptic gene groups as risk factor for schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Lips, E S; Cornelisse, L N; Toonen, R F; Min, J L; Hultman, C M; Holmans, P A; O'Donovan, M C; Purcell, S M; Smit, A B; Verhage, M; Sullivan, P F; Visscher, P M; Posthuma, D

    2012-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a highly heritable disorder with a polygenic pattern of inheritance and a population prevalence of ∼1%. Previous studies have implicated synaptic dysfunction in schizophrenia. We tested the accumulated association of genetic variants in expert-curated synaptic gene groups with schizophrenia in 4673 cases and 4965 healthy controls, using functional gene group analysis. Identifying groups of genes with similar cellular function rather than genes in isolation may have clinical implications for finding additional drug targets. We found that a group of 1026 synaptic genes was significantly associated with the risk of schizophrenia (P=7.6 × 10−11) and more strongly associated than 100 randomly drawn, matched control groups of genetic variants (P<0.01). Subsequent analysis of synaptic subgroups suggested that the strongest association signals are derived from three synaptic gene groups: intracellular signal transduction (P=2.0 × 10−4), excitability (P=9.0 × 10−4) and cell adhesion and trans-synaptic signaling (P=2.4 × 10−3). These results are consistent with a role of synaptic dysfunction in schizophrenia and imply that impaired intracellular signal transduction in synapses, synaptic excitability and cell adhesion and trans-synaptic signaling play a role in the pathology of schizophrenia. PMID:21931320

  20. Functional gene group analysis identifies synaptic gene groups as risk factor for schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Lips, E S; Cornelisse, L N; Toonen, R F; Min, J L; Hultman, C M; Holmans, P A; O'Donovan, M C; Purcell, S M; Smit, A B; Verhage, M; Sullivan, P F; Visscher, P M; Posthuma, D

    2012-10-01

    Schizophrenia is a highly heritable disorder with a polygenic pattern of inheritance and a population prevalence of ~1%. Previous studies have implicated synaptic dysfunction in schizophrenia. We tested the accumulated association of genetic variants in expert-curated synaptic gene groups with schizophrenia in 4673 cases and 4965 healthy controls, using functional gene group analysis. Identifying groups of genes with similar cellular function rather than genes in isolation may have clinical implications for finding additional drug targets. We found that a group of 1026 synaptic genes was significantly associated with the risk of schizophrenia (P=7.6 × 10(-11)) and more strongly associated than 100 randomly drawn, matched control groups of genetic variants (P<0.01). Subsequent analysis of synaptic subgroups suggested that the strongest association signals are derived from three synaptic gene groups: intracellular signal transduction (P=2.0 × 10(-4)), excitability (P=9.0 × 10(-4)) and cell adhesion and trans-synaptic signaling (P=2.4 × 10(-3)). These results are consistent with a role of synaptic dysfunction in schizophrenia and imply that impaired intracellular signal transduction in synapses, synaptic excitability and cell adhesion and trans-synaptic signaling play a role in the pathology of schizophrenia.

  1. [Identification of the functional groups of yeast thiamine pyrophosphokinase].

    PubMed

    Voskoboev, A I; Grinevich, V P

    1978-10-01

    The content of free sulfhydril groups in yeast thiamine pyrophosphokinase (EC 2.7.6.2) was studied. Their blocking was found not to affect considerably the enzyme activity. N-bromsuccinimide developes the inhibitory effect only if taken in excessive concentrations, which indicates that tryptophane has no key position for the enzyme-substrate complex formation. On account of high speed of photoinactivation with Rose bengale and methilene blue, sigmoid dependence of activity loss on pH under irradiation, characteristic narrowing of the modified enzyme absorption spectrum, it is suggested that imidazole residue of the histidine is one of the functional groups of thiamine pyrophosphokinase.

  2. Predicting rarity and decline in animals, plants, and mushrooms based on species attributes and indicator groups

    PubMed Central

    Musters, C J M; Kalkman, Vincent; van Strien, Arco

    2013-01-01

    In decisions on nature conservation measures, we depend largely on knowledge of the relationship between threats and environmental factors for a very limited number of species groups, with relevant environmental factors often being deduced from the relationship between threat and species traits. But can relationships between traits and levels of threats be identified across species from completely different taxonomic groups; and how accurately do well-known taxonomic groups indicate levels of threat in other species groups? To answer these questions, we first made a list of 152 species attributes of morphological and demographic traits and habitat requirements. Based on these attributes we then grew random forests of decision trees for 1183 species in the 18 different taxonomic groups for which we had Red Lists available in the Netherlands, using these to classify animals, plants, and mushrooms according to their rarity and decline. Finally, we grew random forests for four species groups often used as indicator groups to study how well the relationship between attribute and decline within these groups reflected that relationship within the larger taxonomic group to which these groups belong. Correct classification of rarity based on all attributes was as high as 88% in animals, 85% in plants, and 94% in mushrooms and correct classification of decline was 78% in animals, 69% in plants, and 70% in mushrooms. Vertebrates indicated decline in all animals well, as did birds for all vertebrates and vascular plants for all plants. However, butterflies poorly indicated decline in all insects. Random forests are a useful tool to relate rarity and decline to species attributes thereby making it possible to generalize rarity and decline to a wider set of species groups. Random forests can be used to estimate the level of threat to complete faunas and floras of countries or regions. In regions like the Netherlands, conservation policy based on attributes known to be relevant

  3. The plant heat stress transcription factor (Hsf) family: structure, function and evolution.

    PubMed

    Scharf, Klaus-Dieter; Berberich, Thomas; Ebersberger, Ingo; Nover, Lutz

    2012-02-01

    Ten years after the first overview of a complete plant Hsf family was presented for Arabidopsis thaliana by Nover et al. [1], we compiled data for 252 Hsfs from nine plant species (five eudicots and four monocots) with complete or almost complete genome sequences. The new data set provides interesting insights into phylogenetic relationships within the Hsf family in plants and allows the refinement of their classification into distinct groups. Numerous publications over the last decade document the diversification and functional interaction of Hsfs as well as their integration into the complex stress signaling and response networks of plants. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Plant gene regulation in response to abiotic stress.

  4. Reconciling functions and evolution of isoprene emission in higher plants.

    PubMed

    Loreto, Francesco; Fineschi, Silvia

    2015-04-01

    Compilation and analysis of existing inventories reveal that isoprene is emitted by c. 20% of the perennial vegetation of tropical and temperate regions of the world. Isoprene emitters are found across different plant families without any clear phylogenetic thread. However, by critically appraising information in inventories, several ecological patterns of isoprene emission can be highlighted, including absence of emission from C4 and annual plants, and widespread emission from perennial and deciduous plants of temperate environments. Based on this analysis, and on available information on biochemistry, ecology and functional roles of isoprene, it is suggested that isoprene may not have evolved to help plants face heavy or prolonged stresses, but rather assists C3 plants to run efficient photosynthesis and to overcome transient and mild stresses, especially during periods of active plant growth in warm seasons. When the stress status persists, or when evergreen leaves cope with multiple and repeated stresses, isoprene biosynthesis is replaced by the synthesis of less volatile secondary compounds, in part produced by the same biochemical pathway, thus indicating causal determinism in the evolution of isoprene-emitting plants in response to the environment.

  5. Plant and animal transglutaminases: do similar functions imply similar structures?

    PubMed

    Serafini-Fracassini, Donatella; Della Mea, Massimiliano; Tasco, Gianluca; Casadio, Rita; Del Duca, Stefano

    2009-04-01

    In plants the post-translational modification of proteins by polyamines catalysed by transglutaminases has been studied since 1987; it was identified by the production of glutamyl-polyamine derivatives, biochemical features, recognition by animal antibodies and modification of typical animal substrates. Transglutaminases are widespread in all plant organs and cell compartments studied until now, chloroplast being the most studied. Substrates are: photosynthetic complexes and Rubisco in chloroplasts, cytoskeleton and cell wall proteins. Roles either specific of plants or in common with animals are related to photosynthesis, fertilisation, stresses, senescence and programmed cell death, showing that the catalytic function is conserved across the kingdoms. AtPng1p, the first plant transglutaminase sequenced shows undetectable sequence homology to the animal enzymes, except for the catalytic triad. It is, however, endowed with a calcium-dependent activity that allowed us to build a three-dimensional model adopting as a template the animal transglutaminase 2.

  6. Physiological Functions of the COPI Complex in Higher Plants.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Hee-Kyung; Kang, Yong Won; Lim, Hye Min; Hwang, Inhwan; Pai, Hyun-Sook

    2015-10-01

    COPI vesicles are essential to the retrograde transport of proteins in the early secretory pathway. The COPI coatomer complex consists of seven subunits, termed α-, β-, β'-, γ-, δ-, ε-, and ζ-COP, in yeast and mammals. Plant genomes have homologs of these subunits, but the essentiality of their cellular functions has hampered the functional characterization of the subunit genes in plants. Here we have employed virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) and dexamethasone (DEX)-inducible RNAi of the COPI subunit genes to study the in vivo functions of the COPI coatomer complex in plants. The β'-, γ-, and δ-COP subunits localized to the Golgi as GFP-fusion proteins and interacted with each other in the Golgi. Silencing of β'-, γ-, and δ-COP by VIGS resulted in growth arrest and acute plant death in Nicotiana benthamiana, with the affected leaf cells exhibiting morphological markers of programmed cell death. Depletion of the COPI subunits resulted in disruption of the Golgi structure and accumulation of autolysosome-like structures in earlier stages of gene silencing. In tobacco BY-2 cells, DEX-inducible RNAi of β'-COP caused aberrant cell plate formation during cytokinesis. Collectively, these results suggest that COPI vesicles are essential to plant growth and survival by maintaining the Golgi apparatus and modulating cell plate formation.

  7. Isozymes of plant hexokinase: occurrence, properties and functions.

    PubMed

    Claeyssen, Eric; Rivoal, Jean

    2007-03-01

    Hexokinase (HK) occurs in all phyla, as an enzyme of the glycolytic pathway. Its importance in plant metabolism has emerged with compelling evidence that its preferential substrate, glucose, is both a nutrient and a signal molecule that controls development and expression of different classes of genes. A variety of plant tissues and organs have been shown to express multiple HK isoforms with different kinetic properties and subcellular localizations. Although plant HK is known to fulfill a catalytic function and act as a glucose sensor, the physiological relevance of plural isoforms and their contribution to either function are still poorly understood. We review here the current knowledge and hypotheses on the physiological roles of plant HK isoforms that have been identified and characterized. Recent findings provide hints on how the expression patterns, biochemical properties and subcellular localizations of HK isoforms may relate to their modes of action. Special attention is devoted to kinetic, mutant and transgenic data on HKs from Arabidopsis thaliana and the Solanaceae potato, tobacco, and tomato, as well as HK gene expression data from Arabidopsis public DNA microarray resources. Similarities and differences to known properties of animal and yeast HKs are also discussed as they may help to gain further insight into the functional adaptations of plant HKs.

  8. Relationships between abiotic environment, plant functional traits, and animal body size at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Classen, Alice; Ferger, Stefan; Helbig-Bonitz, Maria; Peters, Marcell; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Kleyer, Michael

    2017-01-01

    The effect-response framework states that plant functional traits link the abiotic environment to ecosystem functioning. One ecosystem property is the body size of the animals living in the system, which is assumed to depend on temperature or resource availability, among others. For primary consumers, resource availability may directly be related to plant traits, while for secondary consumers the relationship is indirect. We used plant traits to describe resource availability along an elevational gradient on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Using structural equation models, we determined the response of plant traits to changes in precipitation, temperature and disturbance with and assessed whether abiotic conditions or community-weighted means of plant traits are stronger predictors of the mean size of bees, moths, frugivorous birds, and insectivorous birds. Traits indicating tissue density and nutrient content strongly responded to variations in precipitation, temperature and disturbance. They had direct effects on pollination and fruit traits. However, the average body sizes of the animal groups considered could only be explained by temperature and habitat structure, not by plant traits. Our results demonstrate a strong link between traits and the abiotic environment, but suggest that temperature is the most relevant predictor of mean animal body size. Community-weighted means of plant traits and body sizes appear unsuitable to capture the complexity of plant-animal interactions. PMID:28319155

  9. Relationships between abiotic environment, plant functional traits, and animal body size at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Schellenberger Costa, David; Classen, Alice; Ferger, Stefan; Helbig-Bonitz, Maria; Peters, Marcell; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Kleyer, Michael

    2017-01-01

    The effect-response framework states that plant functional traits link the abiotic environment to ecosystem functioning. One ecosystem property is the body size of the animals living in the system, which is assumed to depend on temperature or resource availability, among others. For primary consumers, resource availability may directly be related to plant traits, while for secondary consumers the relationship is indirect. We used plant traits to describe resource availability along an elevational gradient on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Using structural equation models, we determined the response of plant traits to changes in precipitation, temperature and disturbance with and assessed whether abiotic conditions or community-weighted means of plant traits are stronger predictors of the mean size of bees, moths, frugivorous birds, and insectivorous birds. Traits indicating tissue density and nutrient content strongly responded to variations in precipitation, temperature and disturbance. They had direct effects on pollination and fruit traits. However, the average body sizes of the animal groups considered could only be explained by temperature and habitat structure, not by plant traits. Our results demonstrate a strong link between traits and the abiotic environment, but suggest that temperature is the most relevant predictor of mean animal body size. Community-weighted means of plant traits and body sizes appear unsuitable to capture the complexity of plant-animal interactions.

  10. Oxygen functional groups in graphitic carbon nitride for enhanced photocatalysis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shizhen; Li, Degang; Sun, Hongqi; Ang, Ha Ming; Tadé, Moses O; Wang, Shaobin

    2016-04-15

    Metal-free semiconductors offer a new opportunity for environmental photocatalysis toward a potential breakthrough in high photo efficiency with complete prevention of metal leaching. In this study, graphitic carbon nitride (GCN) modified by oxygen functional groups was synthesized by a hydrothermal treatment of pristine GCN at different temperatures with H2O2. Insights into the emerging characteristics of the modified GCN in photocatalysis were obtained by determining the optical properties, band structure, electrochemical activity and pollutant degradation efficiency. It was found that the introduction of GCN with oxygen functional groups can enhance light absorption and accelerate electron transfer so as to improve the photocatalytic reaction efficiency. The photoinduced reactive radicals and the associated photodegradation were investigated by in situ electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). The reactive radicals, O2(-) and OH, were responsible for organic degradation.

  11. Functional group dependent dissociative electron attachment to simple organic molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prabhudesai, Vaibhav S.; Nandi, Dhananjay; Kelkar, Aditya H.; Krishnakumar, E.

    2008-04-01

    Dissociative electron attachment (DEA) cross sections for simple organic molecules, namely, acetic acid, propanoic acid, methanol, ethanol, and n-propyl amine are measured in a crossed beam experiment. We find that the H- ion formation is the dominant channel of DEA for these molecules and takes place at relatively higher energies (>4eV) through the core excited resonances. Comparison of the cross sections of the H- channel from these molecules with those from NH3, H2O, and CH4 shows the presence of functional group dependence in the DEA process. We analyze this new phenomenon in the context of the results reported on other organic molecules. This discovery of functional group dependence has important implications such as control in electron induced chemistry and understanding radiation induced damage in biological systems.

  12. Functions of plant-specific myosin XI: from intracellular motility to plant postures.

    PubMed

    Ueda, Haruko; Tamura, Kentaro; Hara-Nishimura, Ikuko

    2015-12-01

    The plant-specific protein motor class myosin XI is known to function in rapid bulk flow of the cytoplasm (cytoplasmic streaming) and in organellar movements. Recent studies unveiled a wide range of physiological functions of myosin XI motors, from intracellular motility to organ movements. Arabidopsis thaliana has 13 members of myosin XI class. In vegetative organs, myosins XIk, XI1, and XI2 primarily contribute to dynamics and spatial configurations of endoplasmic reticulum that develops a tubular network in the cell periphery and thick strand-like structures in the inner cell regions. Myosin XI-i forms a nucleocytoplasmic linker and is responsible for nuclear movement and shape. In addition to these intracellular functions, myosin XIf together with myosin XIk is involved in the fundamental nature of plants; the actin-myosin XI cytoskeleton regulates organ straightening to adjust plant posture. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Regeneration niche differentiates functional strategies of desert woody plant species

    PubMed Central

    Briggs, John M.

    2010-01-01

    Plant communities vary dramatically in the number and relative abundance of species that exhibit facilitative interactions, which contributes substantially to variation in community structure and dynamics. Predicting species’ responses to neighbors based on readily measurable functional traits would provide important insight into the factors that structure plant communities. We measured a suite of functional traits on seedlings of 20 species and mature plants of 54 species of shrubs from three arid biogeographic regions. We hypothesized that species with different regeneration niches—those that require nurse plants for establishment (beneficiaries) versus those that do not (colonizers)—are functionally different. Indeed, seedlings of beneficiary species had lower relative growth rates, larger seeds and final biomass, allocated biomass toward roots and height at a cost to leaf mass fraction, and constructed costly, dense leaf and root tissues relative to colonizers. Likewise at maturity, beneficiaries had larger overall size and denser leaves coupled with greater water use efficiency than colonizers. In contrast to current hypotheses that suggest beneficiaries are less “stress-tolerant” than colonizers, beneficiaries exhibited conservative functional strategies suited to persistently dry, low light conditions beneath canopies, whereas colonizers exhibited opportunistic strategies that may be advantageous in fluctuating, open microenvironments. In addition, the signature of the regeneration niche at maturity indicates that facilitation expands the range of functional diversity within plant communities at all ontogenetic stages. This study demonstrates the utility of specific functional traits for predicting species’ regeneration niches in hot deserts, and provides a framework for studying facilitation in other severe environments. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00442-010-1741-y) contains supplementary

  14. The Function of the CLE Peptides in Plant Development and Plant-Microbe Interactions.

    PubMed

    Betsuyaku, Shigeyuki; Sawa, Shinichiro; Yamada, Masashi

    2011-01-01

    The CLAVATA3 (CLV3)/ENDOSPERM SURROUNDING REGION (ESR) (CLE) peptides consist of 12 or 13 amino acids, including hydroxylated proline residues that may or may not contain sugar modifications, and function in a non-cell-autonomous fashion. The CLE gene was first reported in Zea mays (maize) as an endosperm-specific gene, ESR, in 1997 (Opsahl-Ferstad et al., 1997). CLE genes encode secreted peptides that function in the extracellular space as intercellular signaling molecules and bind to cellular surface receptor-like proteins to transmit a signal. CLE peptides regulate various physiological and developmental processes and its signaling pathway are conserved in diverse land plants. Recent CLE functional studies have pointed to their significance in regulating meristematic activity in plant meristems, through the CLE-receptor kinase-WOX signaling node. CLV3 and CLE40 are responsible for maintenance of shoot apical meristem (SAM) and root apical meristem (RAM) function, regulating homeodomain transcription factors, WUSCHEL (WUS) and WUSCHEL-related homeobox 5 (WOX5), respectively. CLE and WOX form an interconnected and self-correcting feedback loop to provide robustness to stem cell homeostasis. CLE peptides are required for certain plant-microbe interactions, such as those that occur during legume symbiosis and phytopathogenic nematode infection. Understanding the molecular properties of CLE peptides may provide insight into plant cell-cell communication, and therefore also into plant-microbe interactions.

  15. Correlation functions for pairs and groups of galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kalinkov, M.; Kuneva, I.

    1990-01-01

    There are many studies on the correlation functions of galaxies, of clusters of galaxies, even of superclusters (e.g., Groth and Peebles 1977; Davies and Peebles 1983; Kalinkov and Kuneva 1985, 1986; Bahcall 1988 and references therein) but not so many on pairs and groups of galaxies. Results of the calculations of two-point correlation fuctions for some catalogs of pairs and groups of galaxies are given. It is assumed that the distances to pairs and groups of galaxies are given by their mean redshifts according to R = sigma (sup n, sub i-1) V sub i/nH (sub 0), where n is the number of galaxies in the system and H sub 0 = 100 km s(exp -1) Mpc(exp -1).

  16. Membrane nanodomains in plants: capturing form, function, and movement.

    PubMed

    Tapken, Wiebke; Murphy, Angus S

    2015-03-01

    The plasma membrane is the interface between the cell and the external environment. Plasma membrane lipids provide scaffolds for proteins and protein complexes that are involved in cell to cell communication, signal transduction, immune responses, and transport of small molecules. In animals, fungi, and plants, a substantial subset of these plasma membrane proteins function within ordered sterol- and sphingolipid-rich nanodomains. High-resolution microscopy, lipid dyes, pharmacological inhibitors of lipid biosynthesis, and lipid biosynthetic mutants have been employed to examine the relationship between the lipid environment and protein activity in plants. They have also been used to identify proteins associated with nanodomains and the pathways by which nanodomain-associated proteins are trafficked to their plasma membrane destinations. These studies suggest that plant membrane nanodomains function in a context-specific manner, analogous to similar structures in animals and fungi. In addition to the highly conserved flotillin and remorin markers, some members of the B and G subclasses of ATP binding cassette transporters have emerged as functional markers for plant nanodomains. Further, the glycophosphatidylinositol-anchored fasciclin-like arabinogalactan proteins, that are often associated with detergent-resistant membranes, appear also to have a functional role in membrane nanodomains. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Plant protein phosphatases 2C: from genomic diversity to functional multiplicity and importance in stress management.

    PubMed

    Singh, Amarjeet; Pandey, Amita; Srivastava, Ashish K; Tran, Lam-Son Phan; Pandey, Girdhar K

    2016-12-01

    Protein phosphatases (PPs) counteract kinases in reversible phosphorylation events during numerous signal transduction pathways in eukaryotes. Type 2C PPs (PP2Cs) represent the major group of PPs in plants, and recent discovery of novel abscisic acid (ABA) receptors (ABARs) has placed the PP2Cs at the center stage of the major signaling pathway regulating plant responses to stresses and plant development. Several studies have provided deep insight into vital roles of the PP2Cs in various plant processes. Global analyses of the PP2C gene family in model plants have contributed to our understanding of their genomic diversity and conservation, across plant species. In this review, we discuss the genomic and structural accounts of PP2Cs in plants. Recent advancements in their interaction paradigm with ABARs and sucrose nonfermenting related kinases 2 (SnRK2s) in ABA signaling are also highlighted. In addition, expression analyses and important roles of PP2Cs in the regulation of biotic and abiotic stress responses, potassium (K(+)) deficiency signaling, plant immunity and development are elaborated. Knowledge of functional roles of specific PP2Cs could be exploited for the genetic manipulation of crop plants. Genetic engineering using PP2C genes could provide great impetus in the agricultural biotechnology sector in terms of imparting desired traits, including a higher degree of stress tolerance and productivity without a yield penalty.

  18. The numerically optimized regulator and the functional renormalization group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Márián, I. G.; Jentschura, U. D.; Nándori, I.

    2014-05-01

    We aim to optimize the functional form of the compactly supported smooth (CSS) regulator within the functional renormalization group (RG), in the framework of bosonized two-dimensional quantum electrodynamics (QED2) and of the three-dimensional O(N = 1) scalar field theory in the local potential approximation (LPA). The principle of minimal sensitivity (PMS) is used for the optimization of the CSS regulator, recovering all the major types of regulators in appropriate limits. Within the investigated class of functional forms, a thorough investigation of the CSS regulator, optimized with two different normalizations within the PMS method, confirms that the functional form of a regulator first proposed by Litim is optimal within the LPA. However, Litim’s exact form leads to a kink in the regulator function. A form of the CSS regulator, numerically close to Litim’s limit while maintaining infinite differentiability, remains compatible with the gradient expansion to all orders. A smooth analytic behavior of the regulator is ensured by a small, but finite value of the exponential fall-off parameter in the CSS regulator. Consequently, a compactly supported regulator, in a parameter regime close to Litim’s optimized form, but regularized with an exponential factor, appears to have favorable properties and could be used to address the scheme dependence of the functional RG, at least within the approximations employed in the studies reported here.

  19. Keldysh functional renormalization group for electronic properties of graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fräßdorf, Christian; Mosig, Johannes E. M.

    2017-03-01

    We construct a nonperturbative nonequilibrium theory for graphene electrons interacting via the instantaneous Coulomb interaction by combining the functional renormalization group method with the nonequilibrium Keldysh formalism. The Coulomb interaction is partially bosonized in the forward scattering channel resulting in a coupled Fermi-Bose theory. Quantum kinetic equations for the Dirac fermions and the Hubbard-Stratonovich boson are derived in Keldysh basis, together with the exact flow equation for the effective action and the hierarchy of one-particle irreducible vertex functions, taking into account a possible nonzero expectation value of the bosonic field. Eventually, the system of equations is solved approximately under thermal equilibrium conditions at finite temperature, providing results for the renormalized Fermi velocity and the static dielectric function, which extends the zero-temperature results of Bauer et al., Phys. Rev. B 92, 121409 (2015), 10.1103/PhysRevB.92.121409.

  20. Functional renormalization group for the U (1 )-T56 tensorial group field theory with closure constraint

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahoche, Vincent; Ousmane Samary, Dine

    2017-02-01

    This paper is focused on the functional renormalization group applied to the T56 tensor model on the Abelian group U (1 ) with closure constraint. For the first time, we derive the flow equations for the couplings and mass parameters in a suitable truncation around the marginal interactions with respect to the perturbative power counting. For the second time, we study the behavior around the Gaussian fixed point, and show that the theory is nonasymptotically free. Finally, we discuss the UV completion of the theory. We show the existence of several nontrivial fixed points, study the behavior of the renormalization group flow around them, and point out evidence in favor of an asymptotically safe theory.

  1. Ecological strategies of Al-accumulating and non-accumulating functional groups from the cerrado sensu stricto.

    PubMed

    Souza, Marcelo C de; Bueno, Paula C P; Morellato, Leonor P C; Habermann, Gustavo

    2015-01-01

    The cerrado's flora comprises aluminum-(Al) accumulating and non-accumulating plants, which coexist on acidic and Al-rich soils with low fertility. Despite their existence, the ecological importance or biological strategies of these functional groups have been little explored. We evaluated the leaf flushing patterns of both groups throughout a year; leaf concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Al, total flavonoids and polyphenols; as well as the specific leaf area (SLA) on young and mature leaves within and between the groups. In Al-accumulating plants, leaf flushed throughout the year, mainly in May and September; for non-accumulating plants, leaf flushing peaked at the dry-wet seasons transition. However, these behaviors could not be associated with strategies for building up concentrations of defense compounds in leaves of any functional groups. Al-accumulating plants showed low leaf nutrient concentrations, while non-accumulating plants accumulated more macronutrients and produced leaves with high SLA since the juvenile leaf phase. This demonstrates that the increase in SLA is slower in Al-accumulating plants that are likely to achieve SLA values comparable to the rest of the plant community only in the wet season, when sunlight capture is important for the growth of new branches.

  2. Biosynthesis and biological functions of terpenoids in plants.

    PubMed

    Tholl, Dorothea

    2015-01-01

    Terpenoids (isoprenoids) represent the largest and most diverse class of chemicals among the myriad compounds produced by plants. Plants employ terpenoid metabolites for a variety of basic functions in growth and development but use the majority of terpenoids for more specialized chemical interactions and protection in the abiotic and biotic environment. Traditionally, plant-based terpenoids have been used by humans in the food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries, and more recently have been exploited in the development of biofuel products. Genomic resources and emerging tools in synthetic biology facilitate the metabolic engineering of high-value terpenoid products in plants and microbes. Moreover, the ecological importance of terpenoids has gained increased attention to develop strategies for sustainable pest control and abiotic stress protection. Together, these efforts require a continuous growth in knowledge of the complex metabolic and molecular regulatory networks in terpenoid biosynthesis. This chapter gives an overview and highlights recent advances in our understanding of the organization, regulation, and diversification of core and specialized terpenoid metabolic pathways, and addresses the most important functions of volatile and nonvolatile terpenoid specialized metabolites in plants.

  3. The evolution and function of protein tandem repeats in plants.

    PubMed

    Schaper, Elke; Anisimova, Maria

    2015-04-01

    Sequence tandem repeats (TRs) are abundant in proteomes across all domains of life. For plants, little is known about their distribution or contribution to protein function. We exhaustively annotated TRs and studied the evolution of TR unit variations for all Ensembl plants. Using phylogenetic patterns of TR units, we detected conserved TRs with unit number and order preserved during evolution, and those TRs that have diverged via recent TR unit gains/losses. We correlated the mode of evolution of TRs to protein function. TR number was strongly correlated with proteome size, with about one-half of all TRs recognized as common protein domains. The majority of TRs have been highly conserved over long evolutionary distances, some since the separation of red algae and green plants c. 1.6 billion yr ago. Conversely, recurrent recent TR unit mutations were rare. Our results suggest that the first TRs by far predate the first plants, and that TR appearance is an ongoing process with similar rates across the plant kingdom. Interestingly, the few detected highly mutable TRs might provide a source of variation for rapid adaptation. In particular, such TRs are enriched in leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) commonly found in R genes, where TR unit gain/loss may facilitate resistance to emerging pathogens. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. A Functional Phylogenomic View of the Seed Plants

    PubMed Central

    Katari, Manpreet S.; Stamatakis, Alexandros; Ott, Michael; Chiu, Joanna C.; Little, Damon P.; Stevenson, Dennis Wm.; McCombie, W. Richard; Martienssen, Robert A.; Coruzzi, Gloria; DeSalle, Rob

    2011-01-01

    A novel result of the current research is the development and implementation of a unique functional phylogenomic approach that explores the genomic origins of seed plant diversification. We first use 22,833 sets of orthologs from the nuclear genomes of 101 genera across land plants to reconstruct their phylogenetic relationships. One of the more salient results is the resolution of some enigmatic relationships in seed plant phylogeny, such as the placement of Gnetales as sister to the rest of the gymnosperms. In using this novel phylogenomic approach, we were also able to identify overrepresented functional gene ontology categories in genes that provide positive branch support for major nodes prompting new hypotheses for genes associated with the diversification of angiosperms. For example, RNA interference (RNAi) has played a significant role in the divergence of monocots from other angiosperms, which has experimental support in Arabidopsis and rice. This analysis also implied that the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase IV and V (NRPD2) played a prominent role in the divergence of gymnosperms. This hypothesis is supported by the lack of 24nt siRNA in conifers, the maternal control of small RNA in the seeds of flowering plants, and the emergence of double fertilization in angiosperms. Our approach takes advantage of genomic data to define orthologs, reconstruct relationships, and narrow down candidate genes involved in plant evolution within a phylogenomic view of species' diversification. PMID:22194700

  5. Evolution of structural and functional diversification among plant Argonautes.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ravi K; Pandey, Shree P

    2015-01-01

    Argonautes (AGOs) are the effector proteins of the RNA-induced silencing (RISC) complex, formed during the phenomena of small-RNA mediated post-transcriptional gene silencing. AGOs are a large family of proteins; their number varies from a few (4 in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) to many (18 in Oryza sativa) in plants. Genetics-guided analysis have demonstrated the roles of some of the AGOs during growth and development of plants. Biochemical studies have further revealed differences in functional specificities among AGOs. How the AGO family expanded in different plant species during the course of evolution is starting to emerge. We hypothesized that 4 classes of AGOs evolved after divergence of unicellular green algae when an ancestral AGO underwent duplication events. Evolution of multicellularity may have coincided with the diversification of AGOs. A comparative sequence and structure analysis of the plant AGOs, including those from the mosses and the unicellular algae, show not only conformational differences between those from lower and higher plants, but also functional divergence of important sites.

  6. A functional phylogenomic view of the seed plants.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ernest K; Cibrian-Jaramillo, Angelica; Kolokotronis, Sergios-Orestis; Katari, Manpreet S; Stamatakis, Alexandros; Ott, Michael; Chiu, Joanna C; Little, Damon P; Stevenson, Dennis Wm; McCombie, W Richard; Martienssen, Robert A; Coruzzi, Gloria; Desalle, Rob

    2011-12-01

    A novel result of the current research is the development and implementation of a unique functional phylogenomic approach that explores the genomic origins of seed plant diversification. We first use 22,833 sets of orthologs from the nuclear genomes of 101 genera across land plants to reconstruct their phylogenetic relationships. One of the more salient results is the resolution of some enigmatic relationships in seed plant phylogeny, such as the placement of Gnetales as sister to the rest of the gymnosperms. In using this novel phylogenomic approach, we were also able to identify overrepresented functional gene ontology categories in genes that provide positive branch support for major nodes prompting new hypotheses for genes associated with the diversification of angiosperms. For example, RNA interference (RNAi) has played a significant role in the divergence of monocots from other angiosperms, which has experimental support in Arabidopsis and rice. This analysis also implied that the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase IV and V (NRPD2) played a prominent role in the divergence of gymnosperms. This hypothesis is supported by the lack of 24nt siRNA in conifers, the maternal control of small RNA in the seeds of flowering plants, and the emergence of double fertilization in angiosperms. Our approach takes advantage of genomic data to define orthologs, reconstruct relationships, and narrow down candidate genes involved in plant evolution within a phylogenomic view of species' diversification.

  7. Structure and functions of the bacterial microbiota of plants.

    PubMed

    Bulgarelli, Davide; Schlaeppi, Klaus; Spaepen, Stijn; Ver Loren van Themaat, Emiel; Schulze-Lefert, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Plants host distinct bacterial communities on and inside various plant organs, of which those associated with roots and the leaf surface are best characterized. The phylogenetic composition of these communities is defined by relatively few bacterial phyla, including Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Proteobacteria. A synthesis of available data suggests a two-step selection process by which the bacterial microbiota of roots is differentiated from the surrounding soil biome. Rhizodeposition appears to fuel an initial substrate-driven community shift in the rhizosphere, which converges with host genotype-dependent fine-tuning of microbiota profiles in the selection of root endophyte assemblages. Substrate-driven selection also underlies the establishment of phyllosphere communities but takes place solely at the immediate leaf surface. Both the leaf and root microbiota contain bacteria that provide indirect pathogen protection, but root microbiota members appear to serve additional host functions through the acquisition of nutrients from soil for plant growth. Thus, the plant microbiota emerges as a fundamental trait that includes mutualism enabled through diverse biochemical mechanisms, as revealed by studies on plant growth-promoting and plant health-promoting bacteria.

  8. Plant functional traits and soil carbon sequestration in contrasting biomes.

    PubMed

    De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Bardgett, Richard D

    2008-05-01

    Plant functional traits control a variety of terrestrial ecosystem processes, including soil carbon storage which is a key component of the global carbon cycle. Plant traits regulate net soil carbon storage by controlling carbon assimilation, its transfer and storage in belowground biomass, and its release from soil through respiration, fire and leaching. However, our mechanistic understanding of these processes is incomplete. Here, we present a mechanistic framework, based on the plant traits that drive soil carbon inputs and outputs, for understanding how alteration of vegetation composition will affect soil carbon sequestration under global changes. First, we show direct and indirect plant trait effects on soil carbon input and output through autotrophs and heterotrophs, and through modification of abiotic conditions, which need to be considered to determine the local carbon sequestration potential. Second, we explore how the composition of key plant traits and soil biota related to carbon input, release and storage prevail in different biomes across the globe, and address the biome-specific mechanisms by which plant trait composition may impact on soil carbon sequestration. We propose that a trait-based approach will help to develop strategies to preserve and promote carbon sequestration.

  9. Accumulation and function of trigonelline in non-leguminous plants.

    PubMed

    Ashihara, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Shin

    2014-06-01

    As part of our studies of the occurrence, biosynthesis, function and human use of trigonelline, we looked at trigonelline-accumulating plant species and at the distribution of trigonelline in different organs of trigonelline-accumulating non-leguminous plants. There are many trigonelline-synthesizing plant species, but apart from legume seeds only a few species accumulate high concentrations of trigonelline. We have found only three species that accumulate high levels of trigonelline: Murraya paniculata (orange jessamine), Coffea arabica (coffee) and Mirabilisjalapa (four o'clock flower). Trigonelline was found in all parts of Murraya paniculata seedlings at 4-13 micromol/g fresh weight; more than 70% was distributed in the leaves. In the coffee plant, trigonelline was found in all organs, and the concentrations in the upper stems, including tips (48 micromol/g FW) and seeds (26 micromol/g FW), were higher than in other organs. In Mirabilis jalapa plants, trigonelline was found in leaves, stems, flowers, roots and seeds; the concentration varied from 0.3 to 13 micromol/g FW and was generally higher in young tissues than in mature tissues, except for seeds. Exogenously supplied nicotinamide increases the trigonelline content. The in planta role of trigonelline and the possible use oftrigonelline-accumulating plants in herbal medicine are discussed.

  10. What it Needs to Make Plant Function Explainable

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joswig, J. S.; Reu, B.; Wirth, C.; Richter, R.; Kattge, J.; Mahecha, M. D.

    2016-12-01

    Broad biogeographic patterns of plant trait identity and diversity across large spatial scales are strongly related to and shaped by environmental drivers. Hence, estimations of plant function from environmental drivers bear many promises for a better understanding of biospheric responses to global change. We assess requirements in terms of information needed to make plant traits predictable. Therefore we link plant trait data (TRY, www.try-db.org) to atmosphere (EarthSystemDataCube, earthsystemdatacube.net) and soil data (ISRIC, www.isric.org), then the environmental factors are selected for each trait (partial least square regression). We analyze i) the numbers of predictors, ii) the type of relationship and iii) the relative importance of atmospheric and soil factors. Our study shows that the environmental filter acts on trait identity and diversity in various ways. Trait identity is mostly better explicable than trait diversity. Trait identities, which are well explained relative to their number of predictors were most seed traits, leaf traits, except for nutrient related traits and plant height. For the trait diversities the best explained ones were most seed traits, LDMC and plant height. The environmental drivers are most relevant when included as non-linear and envelope variables for both trait identity and diversity. Overall, atmospheric factors explained trait identity and diversity better than soil-related predictors. Leaf and seed traits, are least explained by soil-related predictors. Stem traits, however, in comparison are explained by the greatest share of soil predictors. The present study aims to refine the picture of environmental filtering for plant traits, while it points to chances and missing information when it comes to predicting functional identity and diversity with an unprecedentedly large and multi-perspective set of information.

  11. Functional group diversity of bee pollinators increases crop yield

    PubMed Central

    Hoehn, Patrick; Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2008-01-01

    Niche complementarity is a commonly invoked mechanism underlying the positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but little empirical evidence exists for complementarity among pollinator species. This study related differences in three functional traits of pollinating bees (flower height preference, daily time of flower visitation and within-flower behaviour) to the seed set of the obligate cross-pollinated pumpkin Cucurbita moschata Duch. ex Poir. across a land-use intensity gradient from tropical rainforest and agroforests to grassland in Indonesia. Bee richness and abundance changed with habitat variables and we used this natural variation to test whether complementary resource use by the diverse pollinator community enhanced final yield. We found that pollinator diversity, but not abundance, was positively related to seed set of pumpkins. Bees showed species-specific spatial and temporal variation in flower visitation traits and within-flower behaviour, allowing for classification into functional guilds. Diversity of functional groups explained even more of the variance in seed set (r2=45%) than did species richness (r2=32%) highlighting the role of functional complementarity. Even though we do not provide experimental, but rather correlative evidence, we can link spatial and temporal complementarity in highly diverse pollinator communities to pollination success in the field, leading to enhanced crop yield without any managed honeybees. PMID:18595841

  12. Global land model development: time to shift from a plant functional type to a plant functional trait approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reich, P. B.; Butler, E. E.

    2015-12-01

    This project will advance global land models by shifting from the current plant functional type approach to one that better utilizes what is known about the importance and variability of plant traits, within a framework of simultaneously improving fundamental physiological relations that are at the core of model carbon cycling algorithms. Existing models represent the global distribution of vegetation types using the Plant Functional Typeconcept. Plant Functional Types are classes of plant species with similar evolutionary and life history withpresumably similar responses to environmental conditions like CO2, water and nutrient availability. Fixedproperties for each Plant Functional Type are specified through a collection of physiological parameters, or traits.These traits, mostly physiological in nature (e.g., leaf nitrogen and longevity) are used in model algorithms to estimate ecosystem properties and/or drive calculated process rates. In most models, 5 to 15 functional types represent terrestrial vegetation; in essence, they assume there are a total of only 5 to 15 different kinds of plants on the entire globe. This assumption of constant plant traits captured within the functional type concept has serious limitations, as a single set of traits does not reflect trait variation observed within and between species and communities. While this simplification was necessary decades past, substantial improvement is now possible. Rather than assigning a small number of constant parameter values to all grid cells in a model, procedures will be developed that predict a frequency distribution of values for any given grid cell. Thus, the mean and variance, and how these change with time, will inform and improve model performance. The trait-based approach will improve land modeling by (1) incorporating patterns and heterogeneity of traits into model parameterization, thus evolving away from a framework that considers large areas of vegetation to have near identical trait

  13. Characterization of Sea Lettuce Surface Functional Groups by Potentiometric Titrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebling, A. M.; Schijf, J.

    2008-12-01

    In pursuit of our ultimate goal to better understand the prodigious capacity of the marine macroalga Ulva lactuca (sea lettuce) for adsorbing a broad range of dissolved trace metals from seawater, we performed an initial characterization of its surface functional groups. Specifically, the number of distinct functional groups as well as their individual bulk concentrations and acid dissociation constants (pKas) were determined by potentiometric titrations in NaCl solutions of various ionic strengths (I = 0.01-5.0 M), under inert nitrogen atmosphere at 25°C. Depending on the ionic strength, Ulva samples were manually titrated down to pH 2 or 3 with 1 N HCl and then up to pH 10 with 1 N NaOH in steps of 0.1-0.2 units, continuously monitoring pH with a glass combination electrode. Titrations of a dehydrated Ulva standard reference material (BCR-279) were compared with fresh Ulva tissue cultured in our laboratory. A titration in filtered natural seawater was also compared with one in an NaCl solution of equal ionic strength. Equilibrium constants for the ionization of water in NaCl solutions as a function of ionic strength were obtained from the literature. Fits to the titration data ([H]T vs. pH) were performed with the FITEQL4.0 computer code using non-electrostatic 3-, 4-, and 5-site models, either by fixing ionic strength at its experimental value or by allowing it to be extrapolated to zero, while considering all functional group pKas and bulk concentrations as adjustable parameters. Since pKas and bulk concentrations were found to be strongly correlated, the latter were also fixed in some cases to further constrain the pKas. Whereas these calculations are currently ongoing, preliminary results point to three, possibly four, functional groups with pKas of about 4.1, 6.3, and 9.5 at I = 0. Bulk concentrations of the three groups are very similar, about 5-6×10-4 mol/g based on dry weight, which suggests that all are homogeneously distributed over the surface and

  14. Pelagic functional group modeling: Progress, challenges and prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hood, Raleigh R.; Laws, Edward A.; Armstrong, Robert A.; Bates, Nicholas R.; Brown, Christopher W.; Carlson, Craig A.; Chai, Fei; Doney, Scott C.; Falkowski, Paul G.; Feely, Richard A.; Friedrichs, Marjorie A. M.; Landry, Michael R.; Keith Moore, J.; Nelson, David M.; Richardson, Tammi L.; Salihoglu, Baris; Schartau, Markus; Toole, Dierdre A.; Wiggert, Jerry D.

    2006-03-01

    In this paper, we review the state of the art and major challenges in current efforts to incorporate biogeochemical functional groups into models that can be applied on basin-wide and global scales, with an emphasis on models that might ultimately be used to predict how biogeochemical cycles in the ocean will respond to global warming. We define the term "biogeochemical functional group" to refer to groups of organisms that mediate specific chemical reactions in the ocean. Thus, according to this definition, "functional groups" have no phylogenetic meaning—these are composed of many different species with common biogeochemical functions. Substantial progress has been made in the last decade toward quantifying the rates of these various functions and understanding the factors that control them. For some of these groups, we have developed fairly sophisticated models that incorporate this understanding, e.g. for diazotrophs (e.g. Trichodesmium), silica producers (diatoms) and calcifiers (e.g. coccolithophorids and specifically Emiliania huxleyi). However, current representations of nitrogen fixation and calcification are incomplete, i.e., based primarily upon models of Trichodesmium and E. huxleyi, respectively, and many important functional groups have not yet been considered in open-ocean biogeochemical models. Progress has been made over the last decade in efforts to simulate dimethylsulfide (DMS) production and cycling (i.e., by dinoflagellates and prymnesiophytes) and denitrification, but these efforts are still in their infancy, and many significant problems remain. One obvious gap is that virtually all functional group modeling efforts have focused on autotrophic microbes, while higher trophic levels have been completely ignored. It appears that in some cases (e.g., calcification), incorporating higher trophic levels may be essential not only for representing a particular biogeochemical reaction, but also for modeling export. Another serious problem is our

  15. Fluxomics links cellular functional analyses to whole-plant phenotyping.

    PubMed

    Salon, Christophe; Avice, Jean-Christophe; Colombié, Sophie; Dieuaide-Noubhani, Martine; Gallardo, Karine; Jeudy, Christian; Ourry, Alain; Prudent, Marion; Voisin, Anne-Sophie; Rolin, Dominique

    2017-04-01

    Fluxes through metabolic pathways reflect the integration of genetic and metabolic regulations. While it is attractive to measure all the mRNAs (transcriptome), all the proteins (proteome), and a large number of the metabolites (metabolome) in a given cellular system, linking and integrating this information remains difficult. Measurement of metabolome-wide fluxes (termed the fluxome) provides an integrated functional output of the cell machinery and a better tool to link functional analyses to plant phenotyping. This review presents and discusses sets of methodologies that have been developed to measure the fluxome. First, the principles of metabolic flux analysis (MFA), its 'short time interval' version Inst-MFA, and of constraints-based methods, such as flux balance analysis and kinetic analysis, are briefly described. The use of these powerful methods for flux characterization at the cellular scale up to the organ (fruits, seeds) and whole-plant level is illustrated. The added value given by fluxomics methods for unravelling how the abiotic environment affects flux, the process, and key metabolic steps are also described. Challenges associated with the development of fluxomics and its integration with 'omics' for thorough plant and organ functional phenotyping are discussed. Taken together, these will ultimately provide crucial clues for identifying appropriate target plant phenotypes for breeding. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Nitric oxide affects plant mitochondrial functionality in vivo.

    PubMed

    Zottini, Michela; Formentin, Elide; Scattolin, Michela; Carimi, Francesco; Lo Schiavo, Fiorella; Terzi, Mario

    2002-03-27

    In this report, we show that nitric oxide affects mitochondrial functionality in plant cells and reduces total cell respiration due to strong inhibition of the cytochrome pathway. The residual respiration depends on the alternative pathway and novel synthesis of alternative oxidase occurs. These modifications are associated with depolarisation of the mitochondrial membrane potential and release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, suggesting a conserved signalling pathway in plants and animals. This signal cascade is triggered at the mitochondrial level and induces about 20% of cell death. In order to achieve a higher level of cell death, the addition of H(2)O(2) is necessary.

  17. [Functional feeding groups of macroinvertebrates in Gaira river, Colombia].

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Barrios, Javier; Ospina-Tórres, Rodulfo; Turizo-Correa, Rodrigo

    2011-12-01

    Tropical rivers are frequently described on their biodiversity but few studies have considered the ecological value of this richness in their food webs. We determined the trophic structure of aquatic macroinvertebrate communities (expressed in the richness and abundance of taxa and biomass proportions of different functional feeding groups) at the level of the river, stretch and microhabitats (functional units - UFs). We evaluated the spatial and temporal variation of these descriptors during wet and dry events, and selected three sites associated with different altitudinal belts. We reported 109 taxa, with 11167 individuals who contributed 107.11g of biomass. Density of macroinvertebrates was favored with increasing height, and biomass showed the opposite pattern (K-W = 10.1, d.f. = 1, p < 0.05), due to the addition of large crustaceans (Macrobrachium), and the taxa diversity was higher in the middle stretch of the river (H'=3.16). The Gaira stream runs through a mid-sized river basin, for this reason we found mainly bedrock (epilithon = 50.5%), gravel and sand (43.7%). The functional unit with more habitat and food resources that contains a higher abundance of leaf litter macroinvertebrates was foliage followed by epilithon, fine sediment and gravel-sand (K-W = 25.3, d.f. = 3, p < 0.05). The biomass values of these organisms were higher in leaves followed by gravel-sands, epilithon and sediment (K-W = 15.3, d.f. = 3, p < 0.05). Autochthonous biomass input by different functional feeding groups can be considered very low, but they define the functionality of the stream, being represented almost exclusively by shredders (Macrobrachium, 73%), present only in the lower reaches, followed by shredder Leptonema with 15%, located mostly in the upper reaches and predatory stoneflies of the genus Anacroneuria to 6.56%, which dominated in the middle stretch of stream. Excluding Macrobrachium from the analysis, there was dominance of Anacroneuria in the lower reaches

  18. Generic and functional diversity in endophytic actinomycetes from wild Compositae plant species at South Sinai - Egypt.

    PubMed

    El-Shatoury, Sahar A; El-Kraly, Omnia A; Trujillo, Martha E; El-Kazzaz, Waleed M; El-Din, El-Sayeda Gamal; Dewedar, Ahmed

    2013-09-01

    The diversity of culturable endophytic actinomycetes associated with wild Compositae plants is scantily explored. In this study, one hundred and thirty one endophytic actinobacteria were isolated from ten Compositae plant species collected from South Sinai in Egypt. Microscopic and chemotaxonomic investigation of the isolates indicated fourteen genera. Rare genera, such as Microtetraspora, and Intrasporangium, which have never been previously reported to be endophytic, were identified. Each plant species accommodated between three to eight genera of actinobacteria and unidentified strains were recovered from seven plant species. The generic diversity analysis of endophytic assemblages grouped the plant species into three main clusters, representing high, moderate and low endophytic diversity. The endophytes showed high functional diversity, based on forty four catabolic and plant growth promotion traits; providing some evidence that such traits could represent key criteria for successful residence of endophytes in the endosphere. Stress-tolerance traits were more predictive measure of functional diversity differences between the endophyte assemblages (Shannon's index, p = 0.01). The results indicate a potential prominent role of endophytes for their hosts and emphasize the potency of plant endosphere as a habitat for actinobacteria with promising future applications.

  19. Herbal Extracts and Phytochemicals: Plant Secondary Metabolites and the Enhancement of Human Brain Function1

    PubMed Central

    Kennedy, David O.; Wightman, Emma L.

    2011-01-01

    Humans consume a wide range of foods, drugs, and dietary supplements that are derived from plants and which modify the functioning of the central nervous sytem (CNS). The psychoactive properties of these substances are attributable to the presence of plant secondary metabolites, chemicals that are not required for the immediate survival of the plant but which are synthesized to increase the fitness of the plant to survive by allowing it to interact with its environment, including pathogens and herbivorous and symbiotic insects. In many cases, the effects of these phytochemicals on the human CNS might be linked either to their ecological roles in the life of the plant or to molecular and biochemical similarities in the biology of plants and higher animals. This review assesses the current evidence for the efficacy of a range of readily available plant-based extracts and chemicals that may improve brain function and which have attracted sufficient research in this regard to reach a conclusion as to their potential effectiveness as nootropics. Many of these candidate phytochemicals/extracts can be grouped by the chemical nature of their potentially active secondary metabolite constituents into alkaloids (caffeine, nicotine), terpenes (ginkgo, ginseng, valerian, Melissa officinalis, sage), and phenolic compounds (curcumin, resveratrol, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, Hypericum perforatum, soy isoflavones). They are discussed in terms of how an increased understanding of the relationship between their ecological roles and CNS effects might further the field of natural, phytochemical drug discovery. PMID:22211188

  20. Herbal extracts and phytochemicals: plant secondary metabolites and the enhancement of human brain function.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, David O; Wightman, Emma L

    2011-01-01

    Humans consume a wide range of foods, drugs, and dietary supplements that are derived from plants and which modify the functioning of the central nervous sytem (CNS). The psychoactive properties of these substances are attributable to the presence of plant secondary metabolites, chemicals that are not required for the immediate survival of the plant but which are synthesized to increase the fitness of the plant to survive by allowing it to interact with its environment, including pathogens and herbivorous and symbiotic insects. In many cases, the effects of these phytochemicals on the human CNS might be linked either to their ecological roles in the life of the plant or to molecular and biochemical similarities in the biology of plants and higher animals. This review assesses the current evidence for the efficacy of a range of readily available plant-based extracts and chemicals that may improve brain function and which have attracted sufficient research in this regard to reach a conclusion as to their potential effectiveness as nootropics. Many of these candidate phytochemicals/extracts can be grouped by the chemical nature of their potentially active secondary metabolite constituents into alkaloids (caffeine, nicotine), terpenes (ginkgo, ginseng, valerian, Melissa officinalis, sage), and phenolic compounds (curcumin, resveratrol, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, Hypericum perforatum, soy isoflavones). They are discussed in terms of how an increased understanding of the relationship between their ecological roles and CNS effects might further the field of natural, phytochemical drug discovery.

  1. Finding sequence motifs in groups of functionally related proteins.

    PubMed

    Smith, H O; Annau, T M; Chandrasegaran, S

    1990-01-01

    We have developed a method for rapidly finding patterns of conserved amino acid residues (motifs) in groups of functionally related proteins. All 3-amino acid patterns in a group of proteins of the type aa1 d1 aa2 d2 aa3, where d1 and d2 are distances that can be varied in a range up to 24 residues, are accumulated into an array. Segments of the proteins containing those patterns that occur most frequently are aligned on each other by a scoring method that obtains an average relatedness value for all the amino acids in each column of the aligned sequence block based on the Dayhoff relatedness odds matrix. The automated method successfully finds and displays nearly all of the sequence motifs that have been previously reported to occur in 33 reverse transcriptases, 18 DNA integrases, and 30 DNA methyltransferases.

  2. Organized thiol functional groups in mesoporous core shell colloids

    SciTech Connect

    Marchena, Martin H.; Granada, Mara; Bordoni, Andrea V.; Joselevich, Maria; Troiani, Horacio; Williams, Federico J.; Wolosiuk, Alejandro

    2012-03-15

    The co-condensation in situ of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane (MPTMS) using cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) as a template results in the synthesis of multilayered mesoporous structured SiO{sub 2} colloids with 'onion-like' chemical environments. Thiol groups were anchored to an inner selected SiO{sub 2} porous layer in a bilayered core shell particle producing different chemical regions inside the colloidal layered structure. X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) shows a preferential anchoring of the -SH groups in the double layer shell system, while porosimetry and simple chemical modifications confirm that pores are accessible. We can envision the synthesis of interesting colloidal objects with defined chemical environments with highly controlled properties. - Graphical abstract: Mesoporous core shell SiO{sub 2} colloids with organized thiol groups. Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Double shell mesoporous silica colloids templated with CTAB. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Sequential deposition of mesoporous SiO{sub 2} layers with different chemistries. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer XPS shows the selective functionalization of mesoporous layers with thiol groups.

  3. Functional renormalization group study of nuclear and neutron matter

    SciTech Connect

    Drews, Matthias; Weise, Wolfram

    2016-01-22

    A chiral model based on nucleons interacting via boson exchange is investigated. Fluctuation effects are included consistently beyond the mean-field approximation in the framework of the functional renormalization group. The liquid-gas phase transition of symmetric nuclear matter is studied in detail. No sign of a chiral restoration transition is found up to temperatures of about 100 MeV and densities of at least three times the density of normal nuclear matter. Moreover, the model is extended to asymmetric nuclear matter and the constraints from neutron star observations are discussed.

  4. Cockayne Syndrome Group B Cellular and Biochemical Functions

    PubMed Central

    Licht, Cecilie Löe; Stevnsner, Tinna; Bohr, Vilhelm A.

    2003-01-01

    The devastating genetic disorder Cockayne syndrome (CS) arises from mutations in the CSA and CSB genes. CS is characterized by progressive multisystem degeneration and is classified as a segmental premature-aging syndrome. The CS complementation group B (CSB) protein is at the interface of transcription and DNA repair and is involved in transcription-coupled and global genome–DNA repair, as well as in general transcription. Recent structure-function studies indicate a process-dependent variation in the molecular mechanism employed by CSB and provide a starting ground for a description of the mechanisms and their interplay. PMID:14639525

  5. Spatial structure of plant cell wall polysaccharides and its functional significance.

    PubMed

    Gorshkova, T A; Kozlova, L V; Mikshina, P V

    2013-07-01

    Plant polysaccharides comprise the major portion of organic matter in the biosphere. The cell wall built on the basis of polysaccharides is the key feature of a plant organism largely determining its biology. All together, around 10 types of polysaccharide backbones, which can be decorated by different substituents giving rise to endless diversity of carbohydrate structures, are present in cell walls of higher plants. Each of the numerous cell types present in plants has cell wall with specific parameters, the features of which mostly arise from the structure of polymeric components. The structure of polysaccharides is not directly encoded by the genome and has variability in many parameters (molecular weight, length, and location of side chains, presence of modifying groups, etc.). The extent of such variability is limited by the "functional fitting" of the polymer, which is largely based on spatial organization of the polysaccharide and its ability to form supramolecular complexes of an appropriate type. Consequently, the carrier of the functional specificity is not the certain molecular structure but the certain type of the molecules having a certain degree of heterogeneity. This review summarizes the data on structural features of plant cell wall polysaccharides, considers formation of supramolecular complexes, gives examples of tissue- and stage-specific polysaccharides and functionally significant carbohydrate-carbohydrate interactions in plant cell wall, and presents approaches to analyze the spatial structure of polysaccharides and their complexes.

  6. Understory plant communities and the functional distinction between savanna trees, forest trees, and pines.

    PubMed

    Veldman, Joseph W; Mattingly, W Brett; Brudvig, Lars A

    2013-02-01

    Although savanna trees and forest trees are thought to represent distinct functional groups with different effects on ecosystem processes, few empirical studies have examined these effects. In particular, it remains unclear if savanna and forest trees differ in their ability to coexist with understory plants, which comprise the majority of plant diversity in most savannas. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) and data from 157 sites across three locations in the southeastern United States to understand the effects of broadleaf savanna trees, broadleaf forest trees, and pine trees on savanna understory plant communities. After accounting for underlying gradients in fire frequency and soil moisture, abundances (i.e., basal area and stem density) of forest trees and pines, but not savanna trees, were negatively correlated with the cover and density (i.e., local-scale species richness) of C4 graminoid species, a defining savanna understory functional group that is linked to ecosystem flammability. In analyses of the full understory community, abundances of trees from all functional groups were negatively correlated with species density and cover. For both the C4 and full communities, fire frequency promoted understory plants directly, and indirectly by limiting forest tree abundance. There was little indirect influence of fire on the understory mediated through savanna trees and pines, which are morefire tolerant than forest trees. We conclude that tree functional identity is an important factor that influences overstory tree relationships with savanna understory plant communities. In particular, distinct relationships between trees and C4 graminoids have implications for grass-tree coexistence and vegetation-fire feedbacks that maintain savanna environments and their associated understory plant diversity.

  7. Understory plant communities and the functional distinction between savanna trees, forest trees, and pines

    SciTech Connect

    Veldman, Joseph W.; Mattingly, W. Brett; Brudvig, Lars A.

    2013-02-01

    Although savanna trees and forest trees are thought to represent distinct functional groups with different effects on ecosystem processes, few empirical studies have examined these effects. In particular, it remains unclear if savanna and forest trees differ in their ability to coexist with understory plants, which comprise the majority of plant diversity in most savannas. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) and data from 157 sites across three locations in the southeastern United States to understand the effects of broadleaf savanna trees, broadleaf forest trees, and pine trees on savanna understory plant communities. After accounting for underlying gradients in fire frequency and soil moisture, abundances (i.e., basal area and stem density) of forest trees and pines, but not savanna trees, were negatively correlated with the cover and density (i.e., local-scale species richness) of C4 graminoid species, a defining savanna understory functional group that is linked to ecosystem flammability. In analyses of the full understory community, abundances of trees from all functional groups were negatively correlated with species density and cover. For both the C4 and full communities, fire frequency promoted understory plants directly, and indirectly by limiting forest tree abundance. There was little indirect influence of fire on the understory mediated through savanna trees and pines, which are more fire tolerant than forest trees. We conclude that tree functional identity is an important factor that influences overstory tree relationships with savanna understory plant communities. In particular, distinct relationships between trees and C4 graminoids have implications for grass-tree coexistence and vegetation-fire feedbacks that maintain savanna environments and their associated understory plant diversity.

  8. Plant functional type mapping for earth system models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poulter, B.; Ciais, P.; Hodson, E.; Lischke, H.; Maignan, F.; Plummer, S.; Zimmermann, N. E.

    2011-11-01

    The sensitivity of global carbon and water cycling to climate variability is coupled directly to land cover and the distribution of vegetation. To investigate biogeochemistry-climate interactions, earth system models require a representation of vegetation distributions that are either prescribed from remote sensing data or simulated via biogeography models. However, the abstraction of earth system state variables in models means that data products derived from remote sensing need to be post-processed for model-data assimilation. Dynamic global vegetation models (DGVM) rely on the concept of plant functional types (PFT) to group shared traits of thousands of plant species into usually only 10-20 classes. Available databases of observed PFT distributions must be relevant to existing satellite sensors and their derived products, and to the present day distribution of managed lands. Here, we develop four PFT datasets based on land-cover information from three satellite sensors (EOS-MODIS 1 km and 0.5 km, SPOT4-VEGETATION 1 km, and ENVISAT-MERIS 0.3 km spatial resolution) that are merged with spatially-consistent Köppen-Geiger climate zones. Using a beta (ß) diversity metric to assess reclassification similarity, we find that the greatest uncertainty in PFT classifications occur most frequently between cropland and grassland categories, and in dryland systems between shrubland, grassland and forest categories because of differences in the minimum threshold required for forest cover. The biogeography-biogeochemistry DGVM, LPJmL, is used in diagnostic mode with the four PFT datasets prescribed to quantify the effect of land-cover uncertainty on climatic sensitivity of gross primary productivity (GPP) and transpiration fluxes. Our results show that land-cover uncertainty has large effects in arid regions, contributing up to 30% (20%) uncertainty in the sensitivity of GPP (transpiration) to precipitation. The availability of PFT datasets that are consistent with current

  9. Probiotic Diversity Enhances Rhizosphere Microbiome Function and Plant Disease Suppression

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Jie; Friman, Ville-Petri; Gu, Shao-hua; Wang, Xiao-fang; Eisenhauer, Nico; Yang, Tian-jie; Ma, Jing; Shen, Qi-rong; Jousset, Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacterial communities associated with plant roots play an important role in the suppression of soil-borne pathogens, and multispecies probiotic consortia may enhance disease suppression efficacy. Here we introduced defined Pseudomonas species consortia into naturally complex microbial communities and measured the importance of Pseudomonas community diversity for their survival and the suppression of the bacterial plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum in the tomato rhizosphere microbiome. The survival of introduced Pseudomonas consortia increased with increasing diversity. Further, high Pseudomonas diversity reduced pathogen density in the rhizosphere and decreased the disease incidence due to both intensified resource competition and interference with the pathogen. These results provide novel mechanistic insights into elevated pathogen suppression by diverse probiotic consortia in naturally diverse plant rhizospheres. Ecologically based community assembly rules could thus play a key role in engineering functionally reliable microbiome applications. PMID:27965449

  10. Structure-function analyses of plant type III polyketide synthases.

    PubMed

    Weng, Jing-Ke; Noel, Joseph P

    2012-01-01

    Plant type III polyketide synthases (PKSs) form a superfamily of biosynthetic enzymes involved in the production of a plethora of polyketide-derived natural products important for ecological adaptations and the fitness of land plants. Moreover, tremendous interest in bioengineering of type III PKSs to produce high-value compounds is increasing. Compared to type I and type II PKSs, which form either large modular protein complexes or dissociable molecular assemblies, type III PKSs exist as smaller homodimeric proteins, technically more amenable for detailed quantitative biochemical and phylogenetic analyses. In this chapter, we summarize a collection of approaches, including bioinformatics, genetics, protein crystallography, in vitro biochemistry, and mutagenesis, together affording a comprehensive interrogation of the structure-function-evolutionary relationships in the plant type III PKS family.

  11. The plant vascular system: evolution, development and functions.

    PubMed

    Lucas, William J; Groover, Andrew; Lichtenberger, Raffael; Furuta, Kaori; Yadav, Shri-Ram; Helariutta, Ykä; He, Xin-Qiang; Fukuda, Hiroo; Kang, Julie; Brady, Siobhan M; Patrick, John W; Sperry, John; Yoshida, Akiko; López-Millán, Ana-Flor; Grusak, Michael A; Kachroo, Pradeep

    2013-04-01

    The emergence of the tracheophyte-based vascular system of land plants had major impacts on the evolution of terrestrial biology, in general, through its role in facilitating the development of plants with increased stature, photosynthetic output, and ability to colonize a greatly expanded range of environmental habitats. Recently, considerable progress has been made in terms of our understanding of the developmental and physiological programs involved in the formation and function of the plant vascular system. In this review, we first examine the evolutionary events that gave rise to the tracheophytes, followed by analysis of the genetic and hormonal networks that cooperate to orchestrate vascular development in the gymnosperms and angiosperms. The two essential functions performed by the vascular system, namely the delivery of resources (water, essential mineral nutrients, sugars and amino acids) to the various plant organs and provision of mechanical support are next discussed. Here, we focus on critical questions relating to structural and physiological properties controlling the delivery of material through the xylem and phloem. Recent discoveries into the role of the vascular system as an effective long-distance communication system are next assessed in terms of the coordination of developmental, physiological and defense-related processes, at the whole-plant level. A concerted effort has been made to integrate all these new findings into a comprehensive picture of the state-of-the-art in the area of plant vascular biology. Finally, areas important for future research are highlighted in terms of their likely contribution both to basic knowledge and applications to primary industry.

  12. Sucrose transporters in plants: update on function and structure.

    PubMed

    Lemoine, R

    2000-05-01

    In plants, sucrose is the major transport form for photoassimilated carbon and is both a source of carbon skeletons and energy for plant organs unable to perform photosynthesis (sink organs). As a molecule translocated over distance, sucrose has to pass through a number of membranes. Membrane transport of sucrose has therefore been considered for a long time as a major determinant of plant productivity. After several decades of physiological and biochemical experiments measuring the activity of sucrose carriers, unequivocal evidence came from the first identification of a cDNA coding a sucrose carrier (SoSUT1, Riesmeier et al. (1992) EMBO J. 11, 4705-4713). At present 20 different cDNAs encoding sucrose carriers have been identified in different plant species, in both dicots and monocots (one case). The total number is increasing rapidly and most importantly, it can be guessed from the results obtained for Arabidopsis, that in each species, sucrose transporters represent a gene family. The sequences are highly conserved and those carriers display the typical 12 transmembrane alpha-helices of members of the Major Facilitator superfamily. Yeast expression of those carriers indicate that they are all influx carriers, all cotransport sucrose and proton and that their affinity for sucrose is surprisingly similar (0.2-2 mM). All their characteristics are in agreement with those demonstrated at the physiological level in plants. These characteristics are discussed in relation to the function in plants and the few data available on the structure of those transporters in relation to their function are presented.

  13. Biosynthesis and possible functions of inositol pyrophosphates in plants

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Sarah P.; Gillaspy, Glenda E.; Perera, Imara Y.

    2015-01-01

    Inositol phosphates (InsPs) are intricately tied to lipid signaling, as at least one portion of the inositol phosphate signaling pool is derived from hydrolysis of the lipid precursor, phosphatidyl inositol (4,5) bisphosphate. The focus of this review is on the inositol pyrophosphates, which are a novel group of InsP signaling molecules containing diphosphate or triphosphate chains (i.e., PPx) attached to the inositol ring. These PPx-InsPs are emerging as critical players in the integration of cellular metabolism and stress signaling in non-plant eukaryotes. Most eukaryotes synthesize the precursor molecule, myo-inositol (1,2,3,4,5,6)-hexakisphosphate (InsP6), which can serve as a signaling molecule or as storage compound of inositol, phosphorus, and minerals (referred to as phytic acid). Even though plants produce huge amounts of precursor InsP6 in seeds, almost no attention has been paid to whether PPx-InsPs exist in plants, and if so, what roles these molecules play. Recent work has delineated that Arabidopsis has two genes capable of PP-InsP5 synthesis, and PPx-InsPs have been detected across the plant kingdom. This review will detail the known roles of PPx-InsPs in yeast and animal systems, and provide a description of recent data on the synthesis and accumulation of these novel molecules in plants, and potential roles in signaling. PMID:25729385

  14. Horsetails and ferns are a monophyletic group and the closest living relatives to seed plants.

    PubMed

    Pryer, K M; Schneider, H; Smith, A R; Cranfill, R; Wolf, P G; Hunt, J S; Sipes, S D

    2001-02-01

    Most of the 470-million-year history of plants on land belongs to bryophytes, pteridophytes and gymnosperms, which eventually yielded to the ecological dominance by angiosperms 90 Myr ago. Our knowledge of angiosperm phylogeny, particularly the branching order of the earliest lineages, has recently been increased by the concurrence of multigene sequence analyses. However, reconstructing relationships for all the main lineages of vascular plants that diverged since the Devonian period has remained a challenge. Here we report phylogenetic analyses of combined data--from morphology and from four genes--for 35 representatives from all the main lineages of land plants. We show that there are three monophyletic groups of extant vascular plants: (1) lycophytes, (2) seed plants and (3) a clade including equisetophytes (horsetails), psilotophytes (whisk ferns) and all eusporangiate and leptosporangiate ferns. Our maximum-likelihood analysis shows unambiguously that horsetails and ferns together are the closest relatives to seed plants. This refutes the prevailing view that horsetails and ferns are transitional evolutionary grades between bryophytes and seed plants, and has important implications for our understanding of the development and evolution of plants.

  15. Plant-derived recombinant human serum transferrin demonstrates multiple functions.

    PubMed

    Brandsma, Martin E; Diao, Hong; Wang, Xiaofeng; Kohalmi, Susanne E; Jevnikar, Anthony M; Ma, Shengwu

    2010-05-01

    Human serum transferrin (hTf) is the major iron-binding protein in human plasma, having a vital role in iron transport. Additionally, hTf has many other uses including antimicrobial functions and growth factor effects on mammalian cell proliferation and differentiation. The multitask nature of hTf makes it highly valuable for different therapeutic and commercial applications. However, the success of hTf in these applications is critically dependent on the availability of high-quality hTf in large amounts. In this study, we have developed plants as a novel platform for the production of recombinant (r)hTf. We show here that transgenic plants are an efficient system for rhTf production, with a maximum accumulation of 0.25% total soluble protein (TSP) (or up to 33.5 microg/g fresh leaf weight). Furthermore, plant-derived rhTf retains many of the biological activities synonymous with native hTf. In particular, rhTf reversibly binds iron in vitro, exhibits bacteriostatic activity, supports cell proliferation in serum-free medium and can be internalized into mammalian cells in vitro. The success of this study validates the future application of plant rhTf in a variety of fields. Of particular interest is the use of plant rhTf as a novel carrier for cell-specific or oral delivery of protein/peptide drugs for the treatment of human diseases such as diabetes.To demonstrate this hypothesis, we have additionally expressed an hTf fusion protein containing glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) or its derivative in plants. Here, we show that plant-derived hTf-GLP-1 fusion proteins retain the ability to be internalized by mammalian cells when added to culture medium in vitro.

  16. Molecular Evolution and Functional Diversification of Replication Protein A1 in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Aklilu, Behailu B.; Culligan, Kevin M.

    2016-01-01

    Replication protein A (RPA) is a heterotrimeric, single-stranded DNA binding complex required for eukaryotic DNA replication, repair, and recombination. RPA is composed of three subunits, RPA1, RPA2, and RPA3. In contrast to single RPA subunit genes generally found in animals and yeast, plants encode multiple paralogs of RPA subunits, suggesting subfunctionalization. Genetic analysis demonstrates that five Arabidopsis thaliana RPA1 paralogs (RPA1A to RPA1E) have unique and overlapping functions in DNA replication, repair, and meiosis. We hypothesize here that RPA1 subfunctionalities will be reflected in major structural and sequence differences among the paralogs. To address this, we analyzed amino acid and nucleotide sequences of RPA1 paralogs from 25 complete genomes representing a wide spectrum of plants and unicellular green algae. We find here that the plant RPA1 gene family is divided into three general groups termed RPA1A, RPA1B, and RPA1C, which likely arose from two progenitor groups in unicellular green algae. In the family Brassicaceae the RPA1B and RPA1C groups have further expanded to include two unique sub-functional paralogs RPA1D and RPA1E, respectively. In addition, RPA1 groups have unique domains, motifs, cis-elements, gene expression profiles, and pattern of conservation that are consistent with proposed functions in monocot and dicot species, including a novel C-terminal zinc-finger domain found only in plant RPA1C-like sequences. These results allow for improved prediction of RPA1 subunit functions in newly sequenced plant genomes, and potentially provide a unique molecular tool to improve classification of Brassicaceae species. PMID:26858742

  17. Metabolomics and Cheminformatics Analysis of Antifungal Function of Plant Metabolites.

    PubMed

    Cuperlovic-Culf, Miroslava; Rajagopalan, NandhaKishore; Tulpan, Dan; Loewen, Michele C

    2016-09-30

    Fusarium head blight (FHB), primarily caused by Fusarium graminearum, is a devastating disease of wheat. Partial resistance to FHB of several wheat cultivars includes specific metabolic responses to inoculation. Previously published studies have determined major metabolic changes induced by pathogens in resistant and susceptible plants. Functionality of the majority of these metabolites in resistance remains unknown. In this work we have made a compilation of all metabolites determined as selectively accumulated following FHB inoculation in resistant plants. Characteristics, as well as possible functions and targets of these metabolites, are investigated using cheminformatics approaches with focus on the likelihood of these metabolites acting as drug-like molecules against fungal pathogens. Results of computational analyses of binding properties of several representative metabolites to homology models of fungal proteins are presented. Theoretical analysis highlights the possibility for strong inhibitory activity of several metabolites against some major proteins in Fusarium graminearum, such as carbonic anhydrases and cytochrome P450s. Activity of several of these compounds has been experimentally confirmed in fungal growth inhibition assays. Analysis of anti-fungal properties of plant metabolites can lead to the development of more resistant wheat varieties while showing novel application of cheminformatics approaches in the analysis of plant/pathogen interactions.

  18. Metabolomics and Cheminformatics Analysis of Antifungal Function of Plant Metabolites

    PubMed Central

    Cuperlovic-Culf, Miroslava; Rajagopalan, NandhaKishore; Tulpan, Dan; Loewen, Michele C.

    2016-01-01

    Fusarium head blight (FHB), primarily caused by Fusarium graminearum, is a devastating disease of wheat. Partial resistance to FHB of several wheat cultivars includes specific metabolic responses to inoculation. Previously published studies have determined major metabolic changes induced by pathogens in resistant and susceptible plants. Functionality of the majority of these metabolites in resistance remains unknown. In this work we have made a compilation of all metabolites determined as selectively accumulated following FHB inoculation in resistant plants. Characteristics, as well as possible functions and targets of these metabolites, are investigated using cheminformatics approaches with focus on the likelihood of these metabolites acting as drug-like molecules against fungal pathogens. Results of computational analyses of binding properties of several representative metabolites to homology models of fungal proteins are presented. Theoretical analysis highlights the possibility for strong inhibitory activity of several metabolites against some major proteins in Fusarium graminearum, such as carbonic anhydrases and cytochrome P450s. Activity of several of these compounds has been experimentally confirmed in fungal growth inhibition assays. Analysis of anti-fungal properties of plant metabolites can lead to the development of more resistant wheat varieties while showing novel application of cheminformatics approaches in the analysis of plant/pathogen interactions. PMID:27706030

  19. The conservation and function of RNA secondary structure in plants

    PubMed Central

    Vandivier, Lee E.; Anderson, Stephen J.; Foley, Shawn W.; Gregory, Brian D.

    2016-01-01

    RNA transcripts fold into secondary structures via intricate patterns of base pairing. These secondary structures impart catalytic, ligand binding, and scaffolding functions to a wide array of RNAs, forming a critical node of biological regulation. Among their many functions, RNA structural elements modulate epigenetic marks, alter mRNA stability and translation, regulate alternative splicing, transduce signals, and scaffold large macromolecular complexes. Thus, the study of RNA secondary structure is critical to understanding the function and regulation of RNA transcripts. Here, we review the origins, form, and function of RNA secondary structure, focusing on plants. We then provide an overview of methods for probing secondary structure, from physical methods such as X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMR) to chemical and nuclease probing methods. Marriage with high-throughput sequencing has enabled these latter methods to scale across whole transcriptomes, yielding tremendous new insights into the form and function of RNA secondary structure. PMID:26865341

  20. FTIR Analysis of Functional Groups in Aerosol Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shokri, S. M.; McKenzie, G.; Dransfield, T. J.

    2012-12-01

    Secondary organic aerosols (SOA) are suspensions of particulate matter composed of compounds formed from chemical reactions of organic species in the atmosphere. Atmospheric particulate matter can have impacts on climate, the environment and human health. Standardized techniques to analyze the characteristics and composition of complex secondary organic aerosols are necessary to further investigate the formation of SOA and provide a better understanding of the reaction pathways of organic species in the atmosphere. While Aerosol Mass Spectrometry (AMS) can provide detailed information about the elemental composition of a sample, it reveals little about the chemical moieties which make up the particles. This work probes aerosol particles deposited on Teflon filters using FTIR, based on the protocols of Russell, et al. (Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, 114, 2009) and the spectral fitting algorithm of Takahama, et al (submitted, 2012). To validate the necessary calibration curves for the analysis of complex samples, primary aerosols of key compounds (e.g., citric acid, ammonium sulfate, sodium benzoate) were generated, and the accumulated masses of the aerosol samples were related to their IR absorption intensity. These validated calibration curves were then used to classify and quantify functional groups in SOA samples generated in chamber studies by MIT's Kroll group. The fitting algorithm currently quantifies the following functionalities: alcohols, alkanes, alkenes, amines, aromatics, carbonyls and carboxylic acids.

  1. Next Generation Nuclear Plant Resilient Control System Functional Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Lynne M. Stevens

    2010-07-01

    Control Systems and their associated instrumentation must meet reliability, availability, maintainability, and resiliency criteria in order for high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) to be economically competitive. Research, perhaps requiring several years, may be needed to develop control systems to support plant availability and resiliency. This report functionally analyzes the gaps between traditional and resilient control systems as applicable to HTGRs, which includes the Next Generation Nuclear Plant; defines resilient controls; assesses the current state of both traditional and resilient control systems; and documents the functional gaps existing between these two controls approaches as applicable to HTGRs. This report supports the development of an overall strategy for applying resilient controls to HTGRs by showing that control systems with adequate levels of resilience perform at higher levels, respond more quickly to disturbances, increase operational efficiency, and increase public protection.

  2. The Formation and Function of Plant Cuticles1

    PubMed Central

    Yeats, Trevor H.; Rose, Jocelyn K.C.

    2013-01-01

    The plant cuticle is an extracellular hydrophobic layer that covers the aerial epidermis of all land plants, providing protection against desiccation and external environmental stresses. The past decade has seen considerable progress in assembling models for the biosynthesis of its two major components, the polymer cutin and cuticular waxes. Most recently, two breakthroughs in the long-sought molecular bases of alkane formation and polyester synthesis have allowed construction of nearly complete biosynthetic pathways for both waxes and cutin. Concurrently, a complex regulatory network controlling the synthesis of the cuticle is emerging. It has also become clear that the physiological role of the cuticle extends well beyond its primary function as a transpiration barrier, playing important roles in processes ranging from development to interaction with microbes. Here, we review recent progress in the biochemistry and molecular biology of cuticle synthesis and function and highlight some of the major questions that will drive future research in this field. PMID:23893170

  3. 24. Photographic copy of plant engineer's handdrawn buildings function chart, ...

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

    24. Photographic copy of plant engineer's hand-drawn buildings function chart, dated 1967; Ink and pencil on tracing paper; Attributed to GWN, Original in collection of Rath drawings and blueprints owned by Waterloo Community Development Board, Waterloo, Iowa; SHEET ONE; OUTLINES ACTIVITIES TAKING PLANE ON EACH FLOOR OF MAJOR BUILDINGS IN THE RATH COMPLEX - Rath Packing Company, Sycamore Street between Elm & Eighteenth Streets, Waterloo, Black Hawk County, IA

  4. 25. Photographic copy of plant engineer's handdrawn buildings function chart, ...

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

    25. Photographic copy of plant engineer's hand-drawn buildings function chart, dated 1967; Ink and pencil on tracing paper; Attributed to GWN, Original in collection of Rath drawings and blueprints owned by Waterloo Community Development Board, Waterloo, Iowa; SHEET TWO; OUTLINES ACTIVITIES TAKING PLANE ON EACH FLOOR OF MAJOR BUILDINGS IN THE RATH COMPLEX - Rath Packing Company, Sycamore Street between Elm & Eighteenth Streets, Waterloo, Black Hawk County, IA

  5. 26. Photographic copy of plant engineer's handdrawn buildings function chart, ...

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

    26. Photographic copy of plant engineer's hand-drawn buildings function chart, dated 1967; Ink and pencil on tracing paper; Attributed to GWN, Original in collection of Rath drawings and blueprints owned by Waterloo Community Development Board, Waterloo, Iowa; SHEET THREE; OUTLINES ACTIVITIES TAKING PLANE ON EACH FLOOR OF MAJOR BUILDINGS IN THE RATH COMPLEX - Rath Packing Company, Sycamore Street between Elm & Eighteenth Streets, Waterloo, Black Hawk County, IA

  6. A meta-analysis of functional group responses to forest recovery outside of the tropics.

    PubMed

    Spake, Rebecca; Ezard, Thomas H G; Martin, Philip A; Newton, Adrian C; Doncaster, C Patrick

    2015-12-01

    Both active and passive forest restoration schemes are used in degraded landscapes across the world to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Restoration is increasingly also being implemented in biodiversity offset schemes as compensation for loss of natural habitat to anthropogenic development. This has raised concerns about the value of replacing old-growth forest with plantations, motivating research on biodiversity recovery as forest stands age. Functional diversity is now advocated as a key metric for restoration success, yet it has received little analytical attention to date. We conducted a meta-analysis of 90 studies that measured differences in species richness for functional groups of fungi, lichens, and beetles between old-growth control and planted or secondary treatment forests in temperate, boreal, and Mediterranean regions. We identified functional-group-specific relationships in the response of species richness to stand age after forest disturbance. Ectomycorrhizal fungi averaged 90 years for recovery to old-growth values (between 45 years and unrecoverable at 95% prediction limits), and epiphytic lichens took 180 years to reach 90% of old-growth values (between 140 years and never for recovery to old-growth values at 95% prediction limits). Non-saproxylic beetle richness, in contrast, decreased as stand age of broadleaved forests increased. The slow recovery by some functional groups essential to ecosystem functioning makes old-growth forest an effectively irreplaceable biodiversity resource that should be exempt from biodiversity offsetting initiatives.

  7. δ-Tonoplast intrinsic protein defines unique plant vacuole functions

    PubMed Central

    Jauh, Guang-Yuh; Fischer, Andreas M.; Grimes, Howard D.; Ryan, Clarence A.; Rogers, John C.

    1998-01-01

    Plant cell vacuoles may have either storage or degradative functions. Vegetative storage proteins (VSPs) are synthesized in response to wounding and to developmental switches that affect carbon and nitrogen sinks. Here we show that VSPs are stored in a unique type of vacuole that is derived from degradative central vacuoles coincident with insertion of a new tonoplast intrinsic protein (TIP), δ-TIP, into their membranes. This finding demonstrates a tight coupling between the presence of δ-TIP and acquisition of a specialized storage function and indicates that TIP isoforms may determine vacuole identity. PMID:9789029

  8. Plant pectin acetylesterase structure and function: new insights from bioinformatic analysis.

    PubMed

    Philippe, Florian; Pelloux, Jérôme; Rayon, Catherine

    2017-06-08

    Pectins are plant cell wall polysaccharides that can be acetylated on C2 and/or C3 of galacturonic acid residues. The degree of acetylation of pectin can be modulated by pectin acetylesterase (EC 3.1.1.6, PAE). The function and structure of plant PAEs remain poorly understood and the role of the fine-tuning of pectin acetylation on cell wall properties has not yet been elucidated. In the present study, a bioinformatic approach was used on 72 plant PAEs from 16 species among 611 plant PAEs available in plant genomic databases. An overview of plant PAE proteins, particularly Arabidopsis thaliana PAEs, based on phylogeny analysis, protein motif identification and modeled 3D structure is presented. A phylogenetic tree analysis using protein sequences clustered the plant PAEs into five clades. AtPAEs clustered in four clades in the plant kingdom PAE tree while they formed three clades when a phylogenetic tree was performed only on Arabidopsis proteins, due to isoform AtPAE9. Primitive plants that display a smaller number of PAEs clustered into two clades, while in higher plants, the presence of multiple members of PAE genes indicated a diversification of AtPAEs. 3D homology modeling of AtPAE8 from clade 2 with a human Notum protein showed an α/β hydrolase structure with the hallmark Ser-His-Asp of the active site. A 3D model of AtPAE4 from clade 1 and AtPAE10 from clade 3 showed a similar shape suggesting that the diversification of AtPAEs is unlikely to arise from the shape of the protein. Primary structure prediction analysis of AtPAEs showed a specific motif characteristic of each clade and identified one major group of AtPAEs with a signal peptide and one group without a signal peptide. A multiple sequence alignment of the putative plant PAEs revealed consensus sequences with important putative catalytic residues: Ser, Asp, His and a pectin binding site. Data mining of gene expression profiles of AtPAE revealed that genes from clade 2 including AtPAE7, AtPAE8 and

  9. Group A PP2Cs evolved in land plants as key regulators of intrinsic desiccation tolerance.

    PubMed

    Komatsu, Kenji; Suzuki, Norihiro; Kuwamura, Mayuri; Nishikawa, Yuri; Nakatani, Mao; Ohtawa, Hitomi; Takezawa, Daisuke; Seki, Motoaki; Tanaka, Maho; Taji, Teruaki; Hayashi, Takahisa; Sakata, Yoichi

    2013-01-01

    Vegetative desiccation tolerance is common in bryophytes, although this character has been lost in most vascular plants. The moss Physcomitrella patens survives complete desiccation if treated with abscisic acid (ABA). Group A protein phosphatases type 2C (PP2C) are negative regulators of abscisic acid signalling. Here we show that the elimination of Group A PP2C is sufficient to ensure P. patens survival to full desiccation, without ABA treatment, although its growth is severely hindered. Microarray analysis shows that the Group A PP2C-regulated genes exclusively overlap with genes exhibiting a high level of ABA induction. Group A PP2C disruption weakly affects ABA-activated kinase activity, indicating Group A PP2C action downstream of these kinases in the moss. We propose that Group A PP2C emerged in land plants to repress desiccation tolerance mechanisms, possibly facilitating plants propagation on land, whereas ABA releases the intrinsic desiccation tolerance from Group A PP2C regulation.

  10. Group A PP2Cs evolved in land plants as key regulators of intrinsic desiccation tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Komatsu, Kenji; Suzuki, Norihiro; Kuwamura, Mayuri; Nishikawa, Yuri; Nakatani, Mao; Ohtawa, Hitomi; Takezawa, Daisuke; Seki, Motoaki; Tanaka, Maho; Taji, Teruaki; Hayashi, Takahisa; Sakata, Yoichi

    2013-01-01

    Vegetative desiccation tolerance is common in bryophytes, although this character has been lost in most vascular plants. The moss Physcomitrella patens survives complete desiccation if treated with abscisic acid (ABA). Group A protein phosphatases type 2C (PP2C) are negative regulators of abscisic acid signalling. Here we show that the elimination of Group A PP2C is sufficient to ensure P. patens survival to full desiccation, without ABA treatment, although its growth is severely hindered. Microarray analysis shows that the Group A PP2C-regulated genes exclusively overlap with genes exhibiting a high level of ABA induction. Group A PP2C disruption weakly affects ABA-activated kinase activity, indicating Group A PP2C action downstream of these kinases in the moss. We propose that Group A PP2C emerged in land plants to repress desiccation tolerance mechanisms, possibly facilitating plants propagation on land, whereas ABA releases the intrinsic desiccation tolerance from Group A PP2C regulation. PMID:23900426

  11. Plant functional traits and the multidimensional nature of species coexistence

    PubMed Central

    Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Godoy, Oscar; Levine, Jonathan M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the processes maintaining species diversity is a central problem in ecology, with implications for the conservation and management of ecosystems. Although biologists often assume that trait differences between competitors promote diversity, empirical evidence connecting functional traits to the niche differences that stabilize species coexistence is rare. Obtaining such evidence is critical because traits also underlie the average fitness differences driving competitive exclusion, and this complicates efforts to infer community dynamics from phenotypic patterns. We coupled field-parameterized mathematical models of competition between 102 pairs of annual plants with detailed sampling of leaf, seed, root, and whole-plant functional traits to relate phenotypic differences to stabilizing niche and average fitness differences. Single functional traits were often well correlated with average fitness differences between species, indicating that competitive dominance was associated with late phenology, deep rooting, and several other traits. In contrast, single functional traits were poorly correlated with the stabilizing niche differences that promote coexistence. Niche differences could only be described by combinations of traits, corresponding to differentiation between species in multiple ecological dimensions. In addition, several traits were associated with both fitness differences and stabilizing niche differences. These complex relationships between phenotypic differences and the dynamics of competing species argue against the simple use of single functional traits to infer community assembly processes but lay the groundwork for a theoretically justified trait-based community ecology. PMID:25561561

  12. Plant and algal cell walls: diversity and functionality.

    PubMed

    Popper, Zoë A; Ralet, Marie-Christine; Domozych, David S

    2014-10-01

    Although plants and many algae (e.g. the Phaeophyceae, brown, and Rhodophyceae, red) are only very distantly related they are united in their possession of carbohydrate-rich cell walls, which are of integral importance being involved in many physiological processes. Furthermore,wall components have applications within food, fuel, pharmaceuticals, fibres (e.g. for textiles and paper) and building materials and have long been an active topic of research. As shown in the 27 papers in this Special Issue, as the major deposit of photosynthetically fixed carbon, and therefore energy investment, cell walls are of undisputed importance to the organisms that possess them, the photosynthetic eukaryotes ( plants and algae). The complexities of cell wall components along with their interactions with the biotic and abiotic environment are becoming increasingly revealed. The importance of plant and algal cell walls and their individual components to the function and survival of the organism, and for a number of industrial applications, are illustrated by the breadth of topics covered in this issue, which includes papers concentrating on various plants and algae, developmental stages, organs, cell wall components, and techniques. Although we acknowledge that there are many alternative ways in which the papers could be categorized (and many would fit within several topics), we have organized them as follows: (1) cell wall biosynthesis and remodelling, (2) cell wall diversity, and (3) application of new technologies to cell walls. Finally, we will consider future directions within plant cell wall research. Expansion of the industrial uses of cell walls and potentially novel uses of cell wall components are both avenues likely to direct future research activities. Fundamentally, it is the continued progression from characterization (structure, metabolism, properties and localization) of individual cell wall components through to defining their roles in almost every aspect of plant

  13. Plant and algal cell walls: diversity and functionality

    PubMed Central

    Popper, Zoë A.; Ralet, Marie-Christine; Domozych, David S.

    2014-01-01

    Background Although plants and many algae (e.g. the Phaeophyceae, brown, and Rhodophyceae, red) are only very distantly related they are united in their possession of carbohydrate-rich cell walls, which are of integral importance being involved in many physiological processes. Furthermore, wall components have applications within food, fuel, pharmaceuticals, fibres (e.g. for textiles and paper) and building materials and have long been an active topic of research. As shown in the 27 papers in this Special Issue, as the major deposit of photosynthetically fixed carbon, and therefore energy investment, cell walls are of undisputed importance to the organisms that possess them, the photosynthetic eukaryotes (plants and algae). The complexities of cell wall components along with their interactions with the biotic and abiotic environment are becoming increasingly revealed. Scope The importance of plant and algal cell walls and their individual components to the function and survival of the organism, and for a number of industrial applications, are illustrated by the breadth of topics covered in this issue, which includes papers concentrating on various plants and algae, developmental stages, organs, cell wall components, and techniques. Although we acknowledge that there are many alternative ways in which the papers could be categorized (and many would fit within several topics), we have organized them as follows: (1) cell wall biosynthesis and remodelling, (2) cell wall diversity, and (3) application of new technologies to cell walls. Finally, we will consider future directions within plant cell wall research. Expansion of the industrial uses of cell walls and potentially novel uses of cell wall components are both avenues likely to direct future research activities. Fundamentally, it is the continued progression from characterization (structure, metabolism, properties and localization) of individual cell wall components through to defining their roles in almost every

  14. Functional Plant Types Drive Plant Interactions in a Mediterranean Mountain Range

    PubMed Central

    Macek, Petr; Prieto, Iván; Macková, Jana; Pistón, Nuria; Pugnaire, Francisco I.

    2016-01-01

    Shrubs have positive (facilitation) and negative (competition) effects on understory plants, the net interaction effect being modulated by abiotic conditions. Overall shrubs influence to great extent the structure of plant communities where they have significant presence. Interactions in a plant community are quite diverse but little is known about their variability and effects at community level. Here we checked the effects of co-occurring shrub species from different functional types on a focal understory species, determining mechanisms driving interaction outcome, and tested whether effects measured on the focal species were a proxy for effects measured at the community level. Growth, physiological, and reproductive traits of Euphorbia nicaeensis, our focal species, were recorded on individuals growing in association with four dominant shrub species and in adjacent open areas. We also recorded community composition and environmental conditions in each microhabitat. Shrubs provided environmental conditions for plant growth, which contrasted with open areas, including moister soil, greater N content, higher air temperatures, and lower radiation. Shrub-associated individuals showed lower reproductive effort and greater allocation to growth, while most physiological traits remained unaffected. Euphorbia individuals were bigger and had more leaf N under N-fixing than under non-fixing species. Soil moisture was also higher under N-fixing shrubs; therefore soil conditions in the understory may counter reduced light conditions. There was a significant effect of species identity and functional types in the outcome of plant interactions with consistent effects at individual and community levels. The contrasting allocation strategies to reproduction and growth in Euphorbia plants, either associated or not with shrubs, showed high phenotypic plasticity and evidence its ability to cope with contrasting environmental conditions. PMID:27242863

  15. Functional Plant Types Drive Plant Interactions in a Mediterranean Mountain Range.

    PubMed

    Macek, Petr; Prieto, Iván; Macková, Jana; Pistón, Nuria; Pugnaire, Francisco I

    2016-01-01

    Shrubs have positive (facilitation) and negative (competition) effects on understory plants, the net interaction effect being modulated by abiotic conditions. Overall shrubs influence to great extent the structure of plant communities where they have significant presence. Interactions in a plant community are quite diverse but little is known about their variability and effects at community level. Here we checked the effects of co-occurring shrub species from different functional types on a focal understory species, determining mechanisms driving interaction outcome, and tested whether effects measured on the focal species were a proxy for effects measured at the community level. Growth, physiological, and reproductive traits of Euphorbia nicaeensis, our focal species, were recorded on individuals growing in association with four dominant shrub species and in adjacent open areas. We also recorded community composition and environmental conditions in each microhabitat. Shrubs provided environmental conditions for plant growth, which contrasted with open areas, including moister soil, greater N content, higher air temperatures, and lower radiation. Shrub-associated individuals showed lower reproductive effort and greater allocation to growth, while most physiological traits remained unaffected. Euphorbia individuals were bigger and had more leaf N under N-fixing than under non-fixing species. Soil moisture was also higher under N-fixing shrubs; therefore soil conditions in the understory may counter reduced light conditions. There was a significant effect of species identity and functional types in the outcome of plant interactions with consistent effects at individual and community levels. The contrasting allocation strategies to reproduction and growth in Euphorbia plants, either associated or not with shrubs, showed high phenotypic plasticity and evidence its ability to cope with contrasting environmental conditions.

  16. Correlation functions from a unified variational principle: Trial Lie groups

    SciTech Connect

    Balian, R.; Vénéroni, M.

    2015-11-15

    Time-dependent expectation values and correlation functions for many-body quantum systems are evaluated by means of a unified variational principle. It optimizes a generating functional depending on sources associated with the observables of interest. It is built by imposing through Lagrange multipliers constraints that account for the initial state (at equilibrium or off equilibrium) and for the backward Heisenberg evolution of the observables. The trial objects are respectively akin to a density operator and to an operator involving the observables of interest and the sources. We work out here the case where trial spaces constitute Lie groups. This choice reduces the original degrees of freedom to those of the underlying Lie algebra, consisting of simple observables; the resulting objects are labeled by the indices of a basis of this algebra. Explicit results are obtained by expanding in powers of the sources. Zeroth and first orders provide thermodynamic quantities and expectation values in the form of mean-field approximations, with dynamical equations having a classical Lie–Poisson structure. At second order, the variational expression for two-time correlation functions separates–as does its exact counterpart–the approximate dynamics of the observables from the approximate correlations in the initial state. Two building blocks are involved: (i) a commutation matrix which stems from the structure constants of the Lie algebra; and (ii) the second-derivative matrix of a free-energy function. The diagonalization of both matrices, required for practical calculations, is worked out, in a way analogous to the standard RPA. The ensuing structure of the variational formulae is the same as for a system of non-interacting bosons (or of harmonic oscillators) plus, at non-zero temperature, classical Gaussian variables. This property is explained by mapping the original Lie algebra onto a simpler Lie algebra. The results, valid for any trial Lie group, fulfill

  17. “Diminishing returns” in the scaling of functional leaf traits across and within species groups

    PubMed Central

    Niklas, Karl J.; Cobb, Edward D.; Niinemets, Ülo; Reich, Peter B.; Sellin, Arne; Shipley, Bill; Wright, Ian J.

    2007-01-01

    More than 5,000 measurements from 1,943 plant species were used to explore the scaling relationships among the foliar surface area and the dry, water, and nitrogen/phosphorus mass of mature individual leaves. Although they differed statistically, the exponents for the relationships among these variables were numerically similar among six species groups (ferns, graminoids, forbs, shrubs, trees, and vines) and within 19 individual species. In general, at least one among the many scaling exponents was <1.0, such that increases in one or more features influencing foliar function (e.g., surface area or living leaf mass) failed to keep pace with increases in mature leaf size. Thus, a general set of scaling relationships exists that negatively affects increases in leaf size. We argue that this set reflects a fundamental property of all plants and helps to explain why annual growth fails to keep pace with increases in total body mass across species. PMID:17502616

  18. "Diminishing returns" in the scaling of functional leaf traits across and within species groups.

    PubMed

    Niklas, Karl J; Cobb, Edward D; Niinemets, Ulo; Reich, Peter B; Sellin, Arne; Shipley, Bill; Wright, Ian J

    2007-05-22

    More than 5,000 measurements from 1,943 plant species were used to explore the scaling relationships among the foliar surface area and the dry, water, and nitrogen/phosphorus mass of mature individual leaves. Although they differed statistically, the exponents for the relationships among these variables were numerically similar among six species groups (ferns, graminoids, forbs, shrubs, trees, and vines) and within 19 individual species. In general, at least one among the many scaling exponents was <1.0, such that increases in one or more features influencing foliar function (e.g., surface area or living leaf mass) failed to keep pace with increases in mature leaf size. Thus, a general set of scaling relationships exists that negatively affects increases in leaf size. We argue that this set reflects a fundamental property of all plants and helps to explain why annual growth fails to keep pace with increases in total body mass across species.

  19. Functional and phenotypic heterogeneity of group 3 innate lymphoid cells.

    PubMed

    Melo-Gonzalez, Felipe; Hepworth, Matthew R

    2017-03-01

    Group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3), defined by expression of the transcription factor retinoid-related orphan receptor γt, play key roles in the regulation of inflammation and immunity in the gastrointestinal tract and associated lymphoid tissues. ILC3 consist largely of two major subsets, NCR(+) ILC3 and LTi-like ILC3, but also demonstrate significant plasticity and heterogeneity. Recent advances have begun to dissect the relationship between ILC3 subsets and to define distinct functional states within the intestinal tissue microenvironment. In this review we discuss the ever-expanding roles of ILC3 in the context of intestinal homeostasis, infection and inflammation - with a focus on comparing and contrasting the relative contributions of ILC3 subsets. © 2016 The Authors. Immunology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Configuration analysis of three chiral polypyridines functionalized with pinene groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiao-Peng; Qi, Xiao-Wei; Zhang, Da-Shuai; Zhu, Lin-Hua; Wang, Xiang-Hui; Shi, Zai-Feng; Lin, Qiang

    2017-08-01

    Three polypyridines functionalized with pinene groups, (-)-'dipineno'-[4,5:4″,5″]-fused 2,2‧:6‧,2″-terpyridine ((-)-1), (-)-1,3-di-(2-(4,5-pinene)pyridyl)benzene ((-)-2) and (-)-4,5-pinene-6‧-phenyl-2,2‧-bipyridine ((-)-3) were synthesized, and their structures were characterized by single crystal X-ray diffraction and electronic circular dichroism (ECD) spectra. Although a small difference is exhibited for their molecular structures, a twisting configuration is observed for (-)-2 with a larger dihedral angle between aromatic planes relative to (-)-1 and (-)-3. Correspondingly, compound (-)-2 exhibits a shorter wavelength of low-energy absorption due to a lower planarity, while all compounds (-)-1, (-)-2 and (-)-3 show similar Cotton effects of ECD spectra.

  1. Genes encoding Δ(8)-sphingolipid desaturase from various plants: identification, biochemical functions, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Li, Shu-Fen; Zhang, Guo-Jun; Zhang, Xue-Jin; Yuan, Jin-Hong; Deng, Chuan-Liang; Hu, Zan-Min; Gao, Wu-Jun

    2016-09-01

    ∆(8)-sphingolipid desaturase catalyzes the C8 desaturation of a long chain base, which is the characteristic structure of various complex sphingolipids. The genes of 20 ∆(8)-sphingolipid desaturases from 12 plants were identified and functionally detected by using Saccharomyces cerevisiae system to elucidate the relationship between the biochemical function and evolution of this enzyme. Results showed that the 20 genes all can encode a functional ∆(8)-sphingolipid desaturase, which catalyzes different ratios of two products, namely, 8(Z) and 8(E)-C18-phytosphingenine. The coded enzymes could be divided into two groups on the basis of biochemical functions: ∆(8)-sphingolipid desaturase with a preference for an E-isomer product and ∆(8)-sphingolipid desaturase with a preference for a Z-isomer product. The conversion rate of the latter was generally lower than that of the former. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the 20 desaturases could also be clustered into two groups, and this grouping is consistent with that of the biochemical functions. Thus, the biochemical function of ∆(8)-sphingolipid desaturase is correlated with its evolution. The two groups of ∆(8)-sphingolipid desaturases could arise from distinct ancestors in higher plants. However, they might have initially evolved from ∆(8)-sphingolipid desaturases in lower organisms, such as yeasts, which can produce E-isomer products only. Furthermore, almost all of the transgenic yeasts harboring ∆(8)-sphingolipid desaturase genes exhibit an improvement in aluminum tolerance. Our study provided new insights into the biochemical function and evolution of ∆(8)-sphingolipid desaturases in plants.

  2. Functional Group Analysis of Biomass Burning Particles Using Infrared Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horrell, K.; Lau, A.; Bond, T.; Iraci, L. T.

    2008-12-01

    Biomass burning is a significant source of particulate organic carbon in the atmosphere. These particles affect the energy balance of the atmosphere directly by absorbing and scattering solar radiation, and indirectly through their ability to act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). The chemical composition of biomass burning particles influences their ability to act as CCN, thus understanding the chemistry of these particles is required for understanding their effects on climate and air quality. As climate change influences the frequency and severity of boreal forest fires, the influence of biomass burning aerosols on the atmosphere may become significantly greater. Only a small portion of the organic carbon (OC) fraction of these particles has been identified at the molecular level, although several studies have explored the general chemical classes found in biomass burning smoke. To complement those studies and provide additional information about the reactive functional groups present, we are developing a method for polarity-based separation of compound classes found in the OC fraction, followed by infrared (IR) spectroscopic analysis of each polarity fraction. It is our goal to find a simple, relatively low-tech method which will provide a moderate chemical understanding of the entire suite of compounds present in the OC fraction of biomass burning particles. Here we present preliminary results from pine and oak samples representative of Midwestern United States forests burned at several different temperatures. Wood type and combustion temperature are both seen to affect the composition of the particles. The latter seems to affect relative contributions of certain functional groups, while oak demonstrates at least one additional chemical class of compounds, particularly at lower burning temperatures, where gradual solid-gas phase reactions can produce relatively large amounts of incompletely oxidized products.

  3. Functions of autophagy in plant carbon and nitrogen metabolism.

    PubMed

    Ren, Chenxia; Liu, Jingfang; Gong, Qingqiu

    2014-01-01

    Carbon and nitrogen are essential components for plant growth. Although models of plant carbon and nitrogen metabolisms have long been established, certain gaps remain unfilled, such as how plants are able to maintain a flexible nocturnal starch turnover capacity over various light cycles, or how nitrogen remobilization is achieved during the reproductive growth stage. Recent advances in plant autophagy have shed light on such questions. Not only does autophagy contribute to starch degradation at night, but it participates in the degradation of chloroplast proteins and even chloroplasts after prolonged carbon starvation, thus help maintain the free amino acid pool and provide substrate for respiration. The induction of autophagy under these conditions may involve transcriptional regulation. Large-scale transcriptome analyses revealed that ATG8e belongs to a core carbon signaling response shared by Arabidopsis accessions, and the transcription of Arabidopsis ATG7 is tightly co-regulated with genes functioning in chlorophyll degradation and leaf senescence. In the reproductive phase, autophagy is essential for bulk degradation of leaf proteins, thus contributes to nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) both under normal and low-nitrogen conditions.

  4. Soybean maturity group choices for early - and late - plantings in the US Midsouth

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Growing conditions in the US Midsouth allow for large soybean (Glycine max L. (Merr.)) yields under irrigation, but there is limited information on planting dates (PD) and maturity group (MG) choices to aid in cultivar selection. Analysis of variance across eight locations in 2012 and 10 locations i...

  5. Naturally seeded versus planted ponderosa pine seedlings in group-selection openings

    Treesearch

    Philip M. McDonald; Gary Fiddler; Martin Ritchie; Paula Anderson

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this article was to determine whether natural regeneration or planted seedlings should be used in group-selection openings. The answer dependson the survival and growth rate of both types of seedlings, and that could depend on the size of the openings and the effect of trees on their edge. In thisside-by-side study, the natural pine seedlings originated...

  6. 75 FR 41521 - Delphi Corporation, Automotive Holding Group, Plant 6, Currently Known as General Motors...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-16

    ..., Flint, Michigan and Delphi Corporation, Automotive Holding Group, Plant 2, including on-site leased workers from Securitas, EDS, Bartech and Mays Chemicals, Flint, ] Michigan. The Department's Notice of..., Mays Chemicals, Interim Physicians, LLC and HSS Material Management, Flint, Michigan (TA-W-62,069) and...

  7. Diversifying soybean production risk using maturity group and planting date choices

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Due to the long growing season for soybean (Glycine max) production in the region, producers in the Mid-southern US plant from late March to June and have a range of maturity group (MG) choices that are physiologically and economically viable. Three years of field trial data from nine locations in s...

  8. Plant community development after 28 years in small group-selection openings

    Treesearch

    Philip M. McDonald; Phillip E. Reynolds

    1999-01-01

    Thirty openings, 9, 18, and 27 meters in diameter, were created by group-selection harvest on a high quality site in northern California in 1963. In 1991, or 28 years after site preparation, the plant community in the openings had stabilized at 55 species. A major shift was from annuals to perennials. New seedlings of ponderosa and sugar pine were able to become...

  9. Structural and functional characteristics of S-like ribonucleases from carnivorous plants.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Emi; Jumyo, Shinya; Arai, Naoki; Kanna, Kensuke; Kume, Marina; Nishikawa, Jun-ichi; Tanase, Jun-ichi; Ohyama, Takashi

    2014-07-01

    Although the S-like ribonucleases (RNases) share sequence homology with the S-RNases involved in the self-incompatibility mechanism in plants, they are not associated with this mechanism. They usually function in stress responses in non-carnivorous plants and in carnivory in carnivorous plants. In this study, we clarified the structures of the S-like RNases of Aldrovanda vesiculosa, Nepenthes bicalcarata and Sarracenia leucophylla, and compared them with those of other plants. At ten positions, amino acid residues are conserved or almost conserved only for carnivorous plants (six in total). In contrast, two positions are specific to non-carnivorous plants. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that the S-like RNases of the carnivorous plants form a group beyond the phylogenetic relationships of the plants. We also prepared and characterized recombinant S-like RNases of Dionaea muscipula, Cephalotus follicularis, A. vesiculosa, N. bicalcarata and S. leucophylla, and RNS1 of Arabidopsis thaliana. The recombinant carnivorous plant enzymes showed optimum activities at about pH 4.0. Generally, poly(C) was digested less efficiently than poly(A), poly(I) and poly(U). The kinetic parameters of the recombinant D. muscipula enzyme (DM-I) and A. thaliana enzyme RNS1 were similar. The k cat/K m of recombinant RNS1 was the highest among the enzymes, followed closely by that of recombinant DM-I. On the other hand, the k cat/K m of the recombinant S. leucophylla enzyme was the lowest, and was ~1/30 of that for recombinant RNS1. The magnitudes of the k cat/K m values or k cat values for carnivorous plant S-like RNases seem to correlate negatively with the dependency on symbionts for prey digestion.

  10. Functional renormalization group studies of nuclear and neutron matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drews, Matthias; Weise, Wolfram

    2017-03-01

    Functional renormalization group (FRG) methods applied to calculations of isospin-symmetric and asymmetric nuclear matter as well as neutron matter are reviewed. The approach is based on a chiral Lagrangian expressed in terms of nucleon and meson degrees of freedom as appropriate for the hadronic phase of QCD with spontaneously broken chiral symmetry. Fluctuations beyond mean-field approximation are treated solving Wetterich's FRG flow equations. Nuclear thermodynamics and the nuclear liquid-gas phase transition are investigated in detail, both in symmetric matter and as a function of the proton fraction in asymmetric matter. The equations of state at zero temperature of symmetric nuclear matter and pure neutron matter are found to be in good agreement with advanced ab-initio many-body computations. Contacts with perturbative many-body approaches (in-medium chiral perturbation theory) are discussed. As an interesting test case, the density dependence of the pion mass in the medium is investigated. The question of chiral symmetry restoration in nuclear and neutron matter is addressed. A stabilization of the phase with spontaneously broken chiral symmetry is found to persist up to high baryon densities once fluctuations beyond mean-field are included. Neutron star matter including beta equilibrium is discussed under the aspect of the constraints imposed by the existence of two-solar-mass neutron stars.

  11. Structure, function and regulation of plant photosystem I.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Poul Erik; Bassi, Roberto; Boekema, Egbert J; Dekker, Jan P; Jansson, Stefan; Leister, Dario; Robinson, Colin; Scheller, Henrik Vibe

    2007-05-01

    Photosystem I (PSI) is a multisubunit protein complex located in the thylakoid membranes of green plants and algae, where it initiates one of the first steps of solar energy conversion by light-driven electron transport. In this review, we discuss recent progress on several topics related to the functioning of the PSI complex, like the protein composition of the complex in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the function of these subunits and the mechanism by which nuclear-encoded subunits can be inserted into or transported through the thylakoid membrane. Furthermore, the structure of the native PSI complex in several oxygenic photosynthetic organisms and the role of the chlorophylls and carotenoids in the antenna complexes in light harvesting and photoprotection are reviewed. The special role of the 'red' chlorophylls (chlorophyll molecules that absorb at longer wavelength than the primary electron donor P700) is assessed. The physiology and mechanism of the association of the major light-harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHCII) with PSI during short term adaptation to changes in light quality and quantity is discussed in functional and structural terms. The mechanism of excitation energy transfer between the chlorophylls and the mechanism of primary charge separation is outlined and discussed. Finally, a number of regulatory processes like acclimatory responses and retrograde signalling is reviewed with respect to function of the thylakoid membrane. We finish this review by shortly discussing the perspectives for future research on PSI.

  12. Genomic identification of WRKY transcription factors in carrot (Daucus carota) and analysis of evolution and homologous groups for plants

    PubMed Central

    Li, Meng-Yao; Xu, Zhi-Sheng; Tian, Chang; Huang, Ying; Wang, Feng; Xiong, Ai-Sheng

    2016-01-01

    WRKY transcription factors belong to one of the largest transcription factor families. These factors possess functions in plant growth and development, signal transduction, and stress response. Here, we identified 95 DcWRKY genes in carrot based on the carrot genomic and transcriptomic data, and divided them into three groups. Phylogenetic analysis of WRKY proteins from carrot and Arabidopsis divided these proteins into seven subgroups. To elucidate the evolution and distribution of WRKY transcription factors in different species, we constructed a schematic of the phylogenetic tree and compared the WRKY family factors among 22 species, which including plants, slime mold and protozoan. An in-depth study was performed to clarify the homologous factor groups of nine divergent taxa in lower and higher plants. Based on the orthologous factors between carrot and Arabidopsis, 38 DcWRKY proteins were calculated to interact with other proteins in the carrot genome. Yeast two-hybrid assay showed that DcWRKY20 can interact with DcMAPK1 and DcMAPK4. The expression patterns of the selected DcWRKY genes based on transcriptome data and qRT-PCR suggested that those selected DcWRKY genes are involved in root development, biotic and abiotic stress response. This comprehensive analysis provides a basis for investigating the evolution and function of WRKY genes. PMID:26975939

  13. Genomic identification of WRKY transcription factors in carrot (Daucus carota) and analysis of evolution and homologous groups for plants.

    PubMed

    Li, Meng-Yao; Xu, Zhi-Sheng; Tian, Chang; Huang, Ying; Wang, Feng; Xiong, Ai-Sheng

    2016-03-15

    WRKY transcription factors belong to one of the largest transcription factor families. These factors possess functions in plant growth and development, signal transduction, and stress response. Here, we identified 95 DcWRKY genes in carrot based on the carrot genomic and transcriptomic data, and divided them into three groups. Phylogenetic analysis of WRKY proteins from carrot and Arabidopsis divided these proteins into seven subgroups. To elucidate the evolution and distribution of WRKY transcription factors in different species, we constructed a schematic of the phylogenetic tree and compared the WRKY family factors among 22 species, which including plants, slime mold and protozoan. An in-depth study was performed to clarify the homologous factor groups of nine divergent taxa in lower and higher plants. Based on the orthologous factors between carrot and Arabidopsis, 38 DcWRKY proteins were calculated to interact with other proteins in the carrot genome. Yeast two-hybrid assay showed that DcWRKY20 can interact with DcMAPK1 and DcMAPK4. The expression patterns of the selected DcWRKY genes based on transcriptome data and qRT-PCR suggested that those selected DcWRKY genes are involved in root development, biotic and abiotic stress response. This comprehensive analysis provides a basis for investigating the evolution and function of WRKY genes.

  14. Pd(II)-Catalyzed C–H Functionalizations Directed by Distal Weakly Coordinating Functional Groups

    PubMed Central

    Li, Gang; Wan, Li; Zhang, Guofu; Leow, Dasheng; Spangler, Jillian

    2015-01-01

    Ortho-C(sp2)–H olefination and acetoxylation of broadly useful synthetic building blocks phenylacetyl Weinreb amides, esters, and ketones are developed without installing an additional directing group. The interplay between the distal weak coordination and the ligand-acceleration is crucial for these reactions to proceed under mild conditions. The tolerance of longer distance between the target C–H bonds and the directing functional groups also allows for the functionalizations of more distal C–H bonds in hydrocinnamoyl ketones, Weinreb amides and biphenyl Weinreb amides. Mechanistically, the coordination of these carbonyl groups and the bisdentate amino acid ligand with Pd(II) centers provides further evidence for our early hypothesis that the carbonyl groups of the potassium carboxylate is responsible for the directed C–H activation of carboxylic acids. PMID:25768039

  15. Polycomb group gene function in sexual and asexual seed development in angiosperms.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Julio C M; Luo, Ming; Berger, Frédéric; Koltunow, Anna M G

    2010-06-01

    In sexually reproducing angiosperms, double fertilization initiates seed development, giving rise to two fertilization products, the embryo and the endosperm. In the endosperm, a terminal nutritive tissue that supports embryo growth, certain genes are expressed differentially depending on their parental origin, and this genomic imbalance is required for proper seed formation. This parent-of-origin effect on gene expression, called genomic imprinting, is controlled epigenetically through histone modifications and DNA methylation. In the sexual model plant Arabidopsis, the Polycomb group (PcG) genes of the plant Fertilization Independent Seed (FIS)-class control genomic imprinting by specifically silencing maternal or paternal target alleles through histone modifications. Mutations in FIS genes can lead to a bypass in the requirement of fertilization for the initiation of endosperm development and seed abortion. In this review, we discuss the role of the FIS complex in establishing and maintaining genomic imprinting, focusing on recent advances in elucidating the expression and function of FIS-related genes in maize, rice, and Hieracium, and particularly including apomictic Hieracium species that do not require paternal contribution and thus form seeds asexually. Surprisingly, not all FIS-mediated functions described in Arabidopsis are conserved. However, the function of some PcG components are required for viable seed formation in seeds formed via sexual and asexual processes (apomixis) in Hieracium, suggesting a conservation of the seed viability function in some eudicots.

  16. Nitric oxide functions as a signal in plant disease resistance.

    PubMed

    Delledonne, M; Xia, Y; Dixon, R A; Lamb, C

    1998-08-06

    Recognition of an avirulent pathogen triggers the rapid production of the reactive oxygen intermediates superoxide (O2-) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This oxidative burst drives crosslinking of the cell wall, induces several plant genes involved in cellular protection and defence, and is necessary for the initiation of host cell death in the hypersensitive disease-resistance response. However, this burst is not enough to support a strong disease-resistance response. Here we show that nitric oxide, which acts as a signal in the immune, nervous and vascular systems, potentiates the induction of hypersensitive cell death in soybean cells by reactive oxygen intermediates and functions independently of such intermediates to induce genes for the synthesis of protective natural products. Moreover, inhibitors of nitric oxide synthesis compromise the hypersensitive disease-resistance response of Arabidopsis leaves to Pseudomonas syringae, promoting disease and bacterial growth. We conclude that nitric oxide plays a key role in disease resistance in plants.

  17. EFFECT OF FUNCTIONAL GROUP CONFORMATION ON THE INFRARED SPECTRA OF SOME GEM DIFUNCTIONAL PHENYLETHYLENE DERIVATIVES,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    each functional group . The two bands for similar functional groups have been ascribed to S-cis- and S-trans- conformations of the carbonyl groups with...Except for the benzalmalononitriles, two functional group stretching vibrations occur in the infrared (i.r.) spectra of the beta,beta-difunctional...styrenes with similar functional groups . For geometrically homogeneous compounds with dissimilar functional groups only one absorption band occurs for

  18. Observations of Adolescent Peer Group Interactions as a Function of Within- and Between-Group Centrality Status

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Wendy E.; Dumas, Tara M.; Mahdy, Jasmine C.; Wolfe, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Observations of adolescent (n = 258; M age = 15.45) peer group triads (n = 86) were analyzed to identify conversation and interaction styles as a function of within-group and between-group centrality status. Group members' discussions about hypothetical dilemmas were coded for agreements, disagreements, commands, and opinions. Interactions during…

  19. Observations of Adolescent Peer Group Interactions as a Function of Within- and Between-Group Centrality Status

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Wendy E.; Dumas, Tara M.; Mahdy, Jasmine C.; Wolfe, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Observations of adolescent (n = 258; M age = 15.45) peer group triads (n = 86) were analyzed to identify conversation and interaction styles as a function of within-group and between-group centrality status. Group members' discussions about hypothetical dilemmas were coded for agreements, disagreements, commands, and opinions. Interactions during…

  20. Experimental evidence for the effects of dung beetle functional group richness and composition on ecosystem function in a tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Slade, Eleanor M; Mann, Darren J; Villanueva, Jerome F; Lewis, Owen T

    2007-11-01

    Much of the literature on the relationship between species richness or functional group richness and measures of ecosystem function focuses on a restricted set of ecosystem function measures and taxonomic groups. Few such studies have been carried out under realistic levels of diversity in the field, particularly in high diversity ecosystems such as tropical forests. We used exclusion experiments to study the effects of dung beetle functional group richness and composition on two interlinked and functionally important ecological processes, dung removal and secondary seed dispersal, in evergreen tropical forest in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Overall, both dung and seed removal increased with dung beetle functional group richness. However, levels of ecosystem functioning were idiosyncratic depending on the identity of the functional groups present, indicating an important role for functional group composition. There was no evidence for interference or competition among functional groups. We found strong evidence for overyielding and transgressive overyielding, suggesting complementarity or facilitation among functional groups. Not all mixtures showed transgressive overyielding, so that complementarity was restricted to particular functional group combinations. Beetles in a single functional group (large nocturnal tunnellers) had a disproportionate influence on measures of ecosystem function: in their absence dung removal is reduced by approximately 75%. However, a full complement of functional groups is required to maximize ecosystem functioning. This study highlights the importance of both functional group identity and species composition in determining the ecosystem consequences of extinctions or altered patterns in the relative abundance of species.

  1. Non-specific lipid transfer proteins in plants: presenting new advances and an integrated functional analysis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fang; Zhang, Xiaobo; Lu, Changming; Zeng, Xinhua; Li, Yunjing; Fu, Donghui; Wu, Gang

    2015-09-01

    Plant non-specific lipid-transfer proteins (nsLTPs) are small, basic proteins present in abundance in higher plants. They are involved in key processes of plant cytology, such as the stablization of membranes, cell wall organization, and signal transduction. nsLTPs are also known to play important roles in resistance to biotic and abiotic stress, and in plant growth and development, such as sexual reproduction, seed development and germination. The structures of plant nsLTPs contain an eight-cysteine residue conserved motif, linked by four disulfide bonds, and an internal hydrophobic cavity, which comprises the lipid-binding site. This structure endows stability and increases the ability to bind and/or carry hydrophobic molecules. There is growing interest in nsLTPs, due to their critical roles, resulting in the need for a comprehensive review of their form and function. Relevant topics include: nsLTP structure and biochemical features, their classification, identification, and characterization across species, sub-cellular localization, lipid binding and transfer ability, expression profiling, functionality, and evolution. We present advances, as well as limitations and trends, relating to the different topics of the nsLTP gene family. This review collates a large body of research pertaining to the role of nsLTPs across the plant kingdom, which has been integrated as an in depth functional analysis of this group of proteins as a whole, and their activities across multiple biochemical pathways, based on a large number of reports. This review will enhance our understanding of nsLTP activity in planta, prompting further work and insights into the roles of this multifaceted protein family in plants. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Functional movement screen scores in a group of running athletes.

    PubMed

    Loudon, Janice K; Parkerson-Mitchell, Amy J; Hildebrand, Laurie D; Teague, Connie

    2014-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the mean values of the functional movement screen (FMS) in a group of long-distance runners. The secondary aims were to investigate whether the FMS performance differed between sexes and between young and older runners. Forty-three runners, 16 women (mean age = 33.5 years, height = 165.2 cm, weight = 56.3 kg, and body mass index [BMI] = 20.6) and 27 men (mean age = 39.3 years, height = 177.6 cm, weight = 75.8 kg, and BMI = 24.2) performed the FMS. All the runners were injury-free and ran >30 km·wk. Independent t-tests were performed on the composite scores to examine the differences between men and women and also between young (<40 years) and older runners (>40 years). Contingency tables (2 × 2) were developed for each of the 7 screening tests to further look at the differences in groups for each single test. The χ values were calculated to determine significant differences. Statistical significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. There was no significant difference in the composite score between women and men. There were significant differences between the sexes in the push-up and straight leg test scores, with the women scoring better on each test. A significant difference was found in the composite scores between younger and older runners (p < 0.000). Additional score differences were found for the squat, hurdle step, and in-line lunge tests with the younger runners scoring better. This study provided mean values for the FMS in a cohort of long-distance runners. These values can be used as a reference for comparing FMST scores in other runners who are screened with this tool.

  3. Highly adaptive tests for group differences in brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Junghi; Pan, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and other technologies have been offering evidence and insights showing that altered brain functional networks are associated with neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease. Exploring brain networks of clinical populations compared to those of controls would be a key inquiry to reveal underlying neurological processes related to such illnesses. For such a purpose, group-level inference is a necessary first step in order to establish whether there are any genuinely disrupted brain subnetworks. Such an analysis is also challenging due to the high dimensionality of the parameters in a network model and high noise levels in neuroimaging data. We are still in the early stage of method development as highlighted by Varoquaux and Craddock (2013) that "there is currently no unique solution, but a spectrum of related methods and analytical strategies" to learn and compare brain connectivity. In practice the important issue of how to choose several critical parameters in estimating a network, such as what association measure to use and what is the sparsity of the estimated network, has not been carefully addressed, largely because the answers are unknown yet. For example, even though the choice of tuning parameters in model estimation has been extensively discussed in the literature, as to be shown here, an optimal choice of a parameter for network estimation may not be optimal in the current context of hypothesis testing. Arbitrarily choosing or mis-specifying such parameters may lead to extremely low-powered tests. Here we develop highly adaptive tests to detect group differences in brain connectivity while accounting for unknown optimal choices of some tuning parameters. The proposed tests combine statistical evidence against a null hypothesis from multiple sources across a range of plausible tuning parameter values reflecting uncertainty with the unknown truth. These highly adaptive tests are not only

  4. Highly adaptive tests for group differences in brain functional connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Junghi; Pan, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and other technologies have been offering evidence and insights showing that altered brain functional networks are associated with neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease. Exploring brain networks of clinical populations compared to those of controls would be a key inquiry to reveal underlying neurological processes related to such illnesses. For such a purpose, group-level inference is a necessary first step in order to establish whether there are any genuinely disrupted brain subnetworks. Such an analysis is also challenging due to the high dimensionality of the parameters in a network model and high noise levels in neuroimaging data. We are still in the early stage of method development as highlighted by Varoquaux and Craddock (2013) that “there is currently no unique solution, but a spectrum of related methods and analytical strategies” to learn and compare brain connectivity. In practice the important issue of how to choose several critical parameters in estimating a network, such as what association measure to use and what is the sparsity of the estimated network, has not been carefully addressed, largely because the answers are unknown yet. For example, even though the choice of tuning parameters in model estimation has been extensively discussed in the literature, as to be shown here, an optimal choice of a parameter for network estimation may not be optimal in the current context of hypothesis testing. Arbitrarily choosing or mis-specifying such parameters may lead to extremely low-powered tests. Here we develop highly adaptive tests to detect group differences in brain connectivity while accounting for unknown optimal choices of some tuning parameters. The proposed tests combine statistical evidence against a null hypothesis from multiple sources across a range of plausible tuning parameter values reflecting uncertainty with the unknown truth. These highly adaptive tests are not

  5. Meson spectral functions at finite temperature and isospin density with the functional renormalization group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ziyue; Zhuang, Pengfei

    2017-07-01

    The pion superfluid and the corresponding Goldstone and soft modes are investigated in a two-flavor quark-meson model with a functional renormalization group. By solving the flow equations for the effective potential and the meson two-point functions at finite temperature and isospin density, the critical temperature for the superfluid increases sizeably in comparison with solving the flow equation for the potential only. The spectral function for the soft mode shows clearly a transition from meson gas to quark gas with increasing temperature and a crossover from Bose-Einstein condensation to Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer pairing of quarks with increasing isospin density.

  6. 75 FR 34170 - Chrysler Group LLC, Formally Known as Chrysler LLC, Kenosha Engine Plant, Including On-Site...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-16

    ..., Wisconsin location of Chrysler Group LLC, formally known as Chrysler, LLC, Kenosha Engine Plant. The... location of Chrysler Group LLC, formally known as Chrysler, LLC, Kenosha Engine Plant. The amended notice... Employment and Training Administration Chrysler Group LLC, Formally Known as Chrysler LLC, Kenosha...

  7. DELLA genes restrict inflorescence meristem function independently of plant height.

    PubMed

    Serrano-Mislata, Antonio; Bencivenga, Stefano; Bush, Max; Schiessl, Katharina; Boden, Scott; Sablowski, Robert

    2017-08-21

    DELLA proteins associate with transcription factors to control plant growth in response to gibberellin (1) . Semi-dwarf DELLA mutants with improved harvest index and decreased lodging greatly improved global food security during the 'green revolution' in the 1960-1970s (2) . However, DELLA mutants are pleiotropic and the developmental basis for their effects on plant architecture remains poorly understood. Here, we show that DELLA proteins have genetically separable roles in controlling stem growth and the size of the inflorescence meristem, where flowers initiate. Quantitative three-dimensional image analysis, combined with a genome-wide screen for DELLA-bound loci in the inflorescence tip, revealed that DELLAs limit meristem size in Arabidopsis by directly upregulating the cell-cycle inhibitor KRP2 in the underlying rib meristem, without affecting the canonical WUSCHEL-CLAVATA meristem size regulators (3) . Mutation of KRP2 in a DELLA semi-dwarf background restored meristem size, but not stem growth, and accelerated flower production. In barley, secondary mutations in the DELLA gain-of-function mutant Sln1d (4) also uncoupled meristem and inflorescence size from plant height. Our work reveals an unexpected and conserved role for DELLA genes in controlling shoot meristem function and suggests how dissection of pleiotropic DELLA functions could unlock further yield gains in semi-dwarf mutants.During gibberellic acid signalling, DELLAs restrict the size of the shoot apical meristem by targeting the cell cycle regulator KRP2. The roles of DELLAs in the shoot apical meristem and stem growth can be genetically uncoupled in Arabidopsis and barley.

  8. Functional imaging of plants: a nuclear magnetic resonance study of a cucumber plant.

    PubMed Central

    Scheenen, Tom; Heemskerk, Anneriet; de Jager, Andrie; Vergeldt, Frank; Van As, Henk

    2002-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to study transients of biophysical parameters in a cucumber plant in response to environmental changes. Detailed flow imaging experiments showed the location of xylem and phloem in the stem and the response of the following flow characteristics to the imposed environmental changes: the total amount of water, the amount of stationary and flowing water, the linear velocity of the flowing water, and the volume flow. The total measured volume flow through the plant stem was in good agreement with the independently measured water uptake by the roots. A separate analysis of the flow characteristics for two vascular bundles revealed that changes in volume flow of the xylem sap were accounted for by a change in linear-flow velocities in the xylem vessels. Multiple-spin echo experiments revealed two water fractions for different tissues in the plant stem; the spin-spin relaxation time of the larger fraction of parenchyma tissue in the center of the stem and the vascular tissue was down by 17% in the period after cooling the roots of the plant. This could point to an increased water permeability of the tonoplast membrane of the observed cells in this period of quick recovery from severe water loss. PMID:11751335

  9. Incorporating plant functional diversity effects in ecosystem service assessments.

    PubMed

    Díaz, Sandra; Lavorel, Sandra; de Bello, Francesco; Quétier, Fabien; Grigulis, Karl; Robson, T Matthew

    2007-12-26

    Global environmental change affects the sustained provision of a wide set of ecosystem services. Although the delivery of ecosystem services is strongly affected by abiotic drivers and direct land use effects, it is also modulated by the functional diversity of biological communities (the value, range, and relative abundance of functional traits in a given ecosystem). The focus of this article is on integrating the different possible mechanisms by which functional diversity affects ecosystem properties that are directly relevant to ecosystem services. We propose a systematic way for progressing in understanding how land cover change affects these ecosystem properties through functional diversity modifications. Models on links between ecosystem properties and the local mean, range, and distribution of plant trait values are numerous, but they have been scattered in the literature, with varying degrees of empirical support and varying functional diversity components analyzed. Here we articulate these different components in a single conceptual and methodological framework that allows testing them in combination. We illustrate our approach with examples from the literature and apply the proposed framework to a grassland system in the central French Alps in which functional diversity, by responding to land use change, alters the provision of ecosystem services important to local stakeholders. We claim that our framework contributes to opening a new area of research at the interface of land change science and fundamental ecology.

  10. High-performance functional Renormalization Group calculations for interacting fermions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lichtenstein, J.; Sánchez de la Peña, D.; Rohe, D.; Di Napoli, E.; Honerkamp, C.; Maier, S. A.

    2017-04-01

    We derive a novel computational scheme for functional Renormalization Group (fRG) calculations for interacting fermions on 2D lattices. The scheme is based on the exchange parametrization fRG for the two-fermion interaction, with additional insertions of truncated partitions of unity. These insertions decouple the fermionic propagators from the exchange propagators and lead to a separation of the underlying equations. We demonstrate that this separation is numerically advantageous and may pave the way for refined, large-scale computational investigations even in the case of complex multiband systems. Furthermore, on the basis of speedup data gained from our implementation, it is shown that this new variant facilitates efficient calculations on a large number of multi-core CPUs. We apply the scheme to the t ,t‧ Hubbard model on a square lattice to analyze the convergence of the results with the bond length of the truncation of the partition of unity. In most parameter areas, a fast convergence can be observed. Finally, we compare to previous results in order to relate our approach to other fRG studies.

  11. Group VII Ethylene Response Factors Coordinate Oxygen and Nitric Oxide Signal Transduction and Stress Responses in Plants1

    PubMed Central

    Gibbs, Daniel J.; Conde, Jorge Vicente; Berckhan, Sophie; Prasad, Geeta; Mendiondo, Guillermina M.; Holdsworth, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    The group VII ethylene response factors (ERFVIIs) are plant-specific transcription factors that have emerged as important regulators of abiotic and biotic stress responses, in particular, low-oxygen stress. A defining feature of ERFVIIs is their conserved N-terminal domain, which renders them oxygen- and nitric oxide (NO)-dependent substrates of the N-end rule pathway of targeted proteolysis. In the presence of these gases, ERFVIIs are destabilized, whereas an absence of either permits their accumulation; ERFVIIs therefore coordinate plant homeostatic responses to oxygen availability and control a wide range of NO-mediated processes. ERFVIIs have a variety of context-specific protein and gene interaction partners, and also modulate gibberellin and abscisic acid signaling to regulate diverse developmental processes and stress responses. This update discusses recent advances in our understanding of ERFVII regulation and function, highlighting their role as central regulators of gaseous signal transduction at the interface of ethylene, oxygen, and NO signaling. PMID:25944828

  12. Scaling root processes based on plant functional traits (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eissenstat, D. M.; McCormack, M. L.; Gaines, K.; Adams, T.

    2013-12-01

    There are great challenges to scaling root processes as variation across species and variation of a particular species over different spatial and temporal scales is poorly understood. We have examined tree species variation using multispecies plantings, often referred to by ecologists as 'common gardens'. Choosing species with wide variation in growth rate, root morphology (diameter, branching intensity) and root chemistry (root N and Ca concentration), we found that variation in root lifespan was well correlated with plant functional traits across 12 species. There was also evidence that localized liquid N addition could increase root lifespan and localized water addition diminished root lifespan over untreated controls, with effects strongest in the species of finest root diameter. In an adjacent forest, we have also seen tree species variation in apparent depth of rooting using water isotopes. In particular species of wood anatomy that was ring porous (e.g. oaks) typically had the deepest rooting depth, whereas those that had either diffuse-porous sapwood (maples) or tracheid sapwood (pines) were shallower rooted. These differences in rooting depth were related to sap flux of trees during and immediately after periods of drought. The extent that the patterns observed in central Pennsylvania are modulated by environment or indicative of other plant species will be discussed.

  13. Functions of S-nitrosylation in plant hormone networks

    PubMed Central

    Parí, Ramiro; Iglesias, Marí J.; Terrile, Marí C.; Casalongué, Claudia A.

    2013-01-01

    In plants, a wide frame of physiological processes are regulated in liaison by both, nitric oxide (NO) and hormones. Such overlapping roles raise the question of how the cross-talk between NO and hormones trigger common physiological responses. In general, NO has been largely accepted as a signaling molecule that works in different processes. Among the most relevant ways NO and the NO-derived reactive species can accomplish their biological functions it is worthy to mention post-translational protein modifications. In the last years, S-nitrosylation has been the most studied NO-dependent regulatory mechanism. Briefly, S-nitrosylation is a redox-based mechanism for cysteine residue modification and is being recognized as a ubiquitous regulatory reaction comparable to phosphorylation. Therefore, it is emerging as a crucial mechanism for the transduction of NO bioactivity in plants and animals. In this mini-review, we provide an overview on S-nitrosylation of target proteins related to hormone networks in plants. PMID:23914202

  14. Special function instruments for binary cycle geothermal power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Robertus, R.J.; Shannon, D.W.; Sullivan, R.G.

    1984-04-01

    Three special instruments have been designed to support plant operations at the Heber geothermal power plant in Heber, California. All are aids to give operating information which no commercial instruments can provide. The first is a package for determining CO/sub 2/ breakout conditions for a particular brine. Brine is sampled continuously at either the wellhead or the plant inlet. A temperature-pressure curve is generated which will span all possible operating combinations. That information tells designers or operators what pump pressures must be used to keep the CO/sub 2/ in solution. A second package unit will detect the presence of ppM levels of isobutane in either brine or water streams. It samples actual flowing brine streams continuously. The function is to alert operators when leaks are occurring in heat exchangers. A final unit senses water in flowing hydrocarbon streams. The sampled streams can be either liquid or vapor. Sensitivity is close to actual solubility limit for water in isobutane. This device warns operators when their hydrocarbon has been contaminated with brine (or cooling water).

  15. Regulation and function of DNA methylation in plants and animals

    PubMed Central

    He, Xin-Jian; Chen, Taiping; Zhu, Jian-Kang

    2011-01-01

    DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mark involved in diverse biological processes. In plants, DNA methylation can be established through the RNA-directed DNA methylation pathway, an RNA interference pathway for transcriptional gene silencing (TGS), which requires 24-nt small interfering RNAs. In mammals, de novo DNA methylation occurs primarily at two developmental stages: during early embryogenesis and during gametogenesis. While it is not clear whether establishment of DNA methylation patterns in mammals involves RNA interference in general, de novo DNA methylation and suppression of transposons in germ cells require 24-32-nt piwi-interacting small RNAs. DNA methylation status is dynamically regulated by DNA methylation and demethylation reactions. In plants, active DNA demethylation relies on the repressor of silencing 1 family of bifunctional DNA glycosylases, which remove the 5-methylcytosine base and then cleave the DNA backbone at the abasic site, initiating a base excision repair (BER) pathway. In animals, multiple mechanisms of active DNA demethylation have been proposed, including a deaminase- and DNA glycosylase-initiated BER pathway. New information concerning the effects of various histone modifications on the establishment and maintenance of DNA methylation has broadened our understanding of the regulation of DNA methylation. The function of DNA methylation in plants and animals is also discussed in this review. PMID:21321601

  16. Functional performance testing in participants with functional ankle instability and in a healthy control group.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Amanda S; Docherty, Carrie L; Schrader, John

    2008-01-01

    Functional ankle instability (FAI) affects a large part of the population. Inconsistent findings have been reported regarding the existence of functional performance deficits in individuals with FAI. To examine functional performance in participants with FAI compared with participants in a control group during 2 hopping tests. Case-control study. Athletic training research laboratory. There were 40 college-aged individuals who participated in our study: 20 with FAI and 20 without FAI. We defined FAI as history of an ankle sprain and residual episodes of "giving way." Participants completed 2 functional performance tests (FPTs): the single-limb hopping and the single-limb hurdle tests. Time to complete each test was recorded. Following each FPT, participants were asked if their ankles felt unstable during the test. We found no difference between participants in the FAI and control groups for the hopping or hurdle tests (P > .05). When asked if their ankles felt unstable during the FPTs, approximately half of the participants in the FAI group and none of the participants in the control group reported a feeling of instability. Subsequently, a secondary analysis of variance was calculated with participants grouped into 3 categories: control participants, FAI participants reporting instability symptoms during FPT (FAI-S), and FAI participants not reporting instability symptoms during FPT (FAI-NS). Results revealed a difference among the 3 groups for the single-limb hopping test (P < .01). Post hoc analysis revealed a difference between the FAI-S participants and both the control and the FAI-NS participants. No difference was identified for the single-limb hurdle test (P = .41). The FAI-S participants had performance deficits during the single-limb hopping test. Therefore, clinicians could use this simple hopping test as an additional method to determine the presence of FAI.

  17. Evaluating the Importance of Plant Functional Traits: the Subalpine and Alpine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez, A.; Smith, W. K.

    2011-12-01

    Over the past several decades, researchers have attempted to characterize plant groups according to traits that are considered functional, i.e. contributing significantly to fitness. Due to the complexity of measuring fitness, the capability for photosynthetic carbon gain is often used as a proxy. Thus, this approach correlates structural differences to photosynthetic performance, especially those differences that are known to be associated with photosynthesis, are easily measured and inexpensive. At the often sharp boundary between the subalpine forest and alpine community (treeline ecotone), plant structural traits change dramatically, i.e. tall evergreen trees give way abruptly to low-stature shrubs, grasses, forbs, and herbs. Yet, the differences in functional traits, so abundant in the literature for a variety of species and communities, have not been compared contiguous communities such as the subalpine forest and alpine. Can differences in functional traits already identified in the literature also be used to characterize species of these two contrasting communities? Or are there other traits that are most functional and/or, possibly, unique to each community and not the most popular traits reported so far in the literature. Also, does the community structure itself help determine functional traits? For example, the top ten most frequently studied traits (145 total papers from approximately 63 different refereed journals) considered functional include the following (% of the 145 publications): specific leaf area or mass (SLA or SLM 39%), plant height (36%), leaf nitrogen content (34%), leaf size (19%), leaf area (16%), leaf photosynthetic performance (15%), leaf dry matter content (LDMC 15%), leaf mass per unit leaf area (LMA 15%), leaf thickness (15%), and seed mass (14%). In addition, another 120 traits were mentioned as functional, although all fell below a 14% citation rate. Particular focus was placed on this group due to the possibility that they might

  18. Wetland macroinvertebrates of Prentiss Bay, Lake Huron, Michigan: diversity and functional group composition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merritt, R.W.; Benbow, M.E.; Hudson, P.L.

    2002-01-01

    The Great Lakes support many fish and waterbirds that depend directly or indirectly on coastal wetlands during some portion of their life cycle. It is known that macroinvertebrates make up an important part of wetland food webs and ecosystem function; however, our understanding of species distribution within and among wetlands has only recently received attention. We investigated the macroinvertebrates of a freshwater marsh (Prentiss Bay) in the Les Chenaux Island Area of Northern Lake Huron, Michigan. Macroinvertebrate taxa diversity and functional feeding group composition were compared between two habitats. A shallow depositional habitat with higher vegetation diversity and little wave action was compared to a deeper erosional habitat with fewer plant species and more wave action. A total of 83 taxa were collected over the summer of 1996, representing two phyla (Arthropoda and Mollusca) and five classes (Arachnida, Bivalvia, Malacostraca, Gastropoda and Insecta). A total of 79 genera were identified, with 92% being insects (39 families composed of at least 73 genera). Of the total, 42 insect genera were common to both habitats,while relatively fewer were collected exclusively from the erosional compared the depositional habitat. When habitats were pooled, predators comprised about 50% of the functional group taxa, while gathering collectors and shredders each were about 20%. Filtering collectors and scrapers each represented < 10%. When comparing habitats, there was a relatively higher percentage of predators and shredders in the depositional habitat, while all other functional groups were lower. These data suggest that vegetation diversity, depth and wave action affect taxa composition and functional group organization of the Prentiss Bay marsh.

  19. Plant phospholipase C family: Regulation and functional role in lipid signaling.

    PubMed

    Singh, Amarjeet; Bhatnagar, Nikita; Pandey, Amita; Pandey, Girdhar K

    2015-08-01

    Phospholipase C (PLC), a major membrane phospholipid hydrolyzing enzyme generates signaling messengers such as diacylglycerol (DAG) and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) in animals, and their phosphorylated forms such as phosphatidic acid (PA) and inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6) are thought to regulate various cellular processes in plants. Based on substrate specificity, plant PLC family is sub-divided into phosphatidylinositol-PLC (PI-PLC) and phosphatidylcholine-PLC (PC-PLC) groups. The activity of plant PLCs is regulated by various factors and the major ones include, Ca(2+) concentration, phospholipid substrate, post-translational modifications and interacting proteins. Most of the PLC members have been localized at the plasma membrane, suited for their function of membrane lipid hydrolysis. Several PLC members have been implicated in various cellular processes and signaling networks, triggered in response to a number of environmental cues and developmental events in different plant species, which makes them potential candidates for genetically engineering the crop plants for stress tolerance and enhancing the crop productivity. In this review article, we are focusing mainly on the plant PLC signaling and regulation, potential cellular and physiological role in different abiotic and biotic stresses, nutrient deficiency, growth and development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Functional groups in a single pteridosperm species: Variability and circumscription (Pennsylvanian, Nova Scotia, Canada)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zodrow, E.L.; Mastalerz, Maria

    2007-01-01

    Multiple foliar specimens of the Late Pennsylvanian fossil pteridosperm [gymnosperm] Alethopteris zeilleri (Ragot) Wagner were collected from one restricted stratigraphical horizon in the Canadian Sydney Coalfield. Variability of functional-group distribution using FTIR technique was studied in compressions, adaxial versus abaxial cuticles, and in unseparated cuticles as a function of maceration time from 48 to 168??h. The results obtained document spectral variability that could be expected within specimens of one species. For example, CH2/CH3 and Al/ox ratios can differ by as much as 20% of the values. Moreover, the experiments performed confirm that by using a previously established maceration protocol, long maceration periods do not bias FTIR spectra in terms of oxygenation overprinting. The inference that this cuticle is robust, under the given diagenetic level, probably reflects a reassuring degree of chemical fidelity of the Pennsylvanian plant to support Carboniferous chemotaxonomic observations. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. A conceptual basis to encode and detect organic functional groups in XML.

    PubMed

    Sankar, Punnaivanam; Krief, Alain; Vijayasarathi, Durairaj

    2013-06-01

    A conceptual basis to define and detect organic functional groups is developed. The basic model of a functional group is termed as a primary functional group and is characterized by a group center composed of one or more group center atoms bonded to terminal atoms and skeletal carbon atoms. The generic group center patterns are identified from the structures of known functional groups. Accordingly, a chemical ontology 'Font' is developed to organize the existing functional groups as well as the new ones to be defined by the chemists. The basic model is extended to accommodate various combinations of primary functional groups as functional group assemblies. A concept of skeletal group is proposed to define the characteristic groups composed of only carbon atoms to be regarded as equivalent to functional groups. The combination of primary functional groups with skeletal groups is categorized as skeletal group assembly. In order to make the model suitable for reaction modeling purpose, a Graphical User Interface (GUI) is developed to define the functional groups and to encode in XML format appropriate to detect them in chemical structures. The system is capable of detecting multiple instances of primary functional groups as well as the overlapping poly-functional groups as the respective assemblies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Lung function in retired coke oven plant workers.

    PubMed Central

    Chau, N; Bertrand, J P; Guenzi, M; Mayer, L; Téculescu, D; Mur, J M; Patris, A; Moulin, J J; Pham, Q T

    1992-01-01

    Lung function was studied in 354 coke oven plant workers in the Lorraine collieries (Houillères du Bassin de Lorraine, France) who retired between 1963 and 1982 and were still alive on 1 January 1988. A spirometric examination was performed on 68.4% of them in the occupational health service. Occupational exposure to respiratory hazards throughout their career was retraced for each subject. No adverse effect of occupational exposure on ventilatory function was found. Ventilatory function was, however negatively linked with smoking and with the presence of a respiratory symptom or discrete abnormalities visible on pulmonary x ray films. The functional values were mostly slightly lower than predicted values and the most reduced index was the mean expiratory flow, FEF25-75%. The decrease in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was often parallel to that in forced vital capacity (FVC), but it was more pronounced for subjects who had worked underground, for smokers of more than 30 pack-years, and for subjects having a respiratory symptom. Pulmonary function indices were probably overestimated because of the exclusion of deceased subjects and the bias of the participants. PMID:1599869

  3. Diabetes mellitus type 2 and functional foods of plant origin.

    PubMed

    Pathak, Manju

    2014-01-01

    Diabetes is the common, exponentially growing, serious human health problem existing globally. Risk factors like genetic predisposition, lack of balanced diet, inappropriate and lethargic lifestyle, overweight, obesity, stress including emotional and oxidative and lack of probiotics in gut are found to be the causing factors either in isolation or in synergy predisposing Diabetes. High blood sugar is a common symptom in all types of diabetes mellitus and the physiological cause of diabetes is lack of hormone Insulin or resistance in function faced by insulin. Low levels of Insulin causes decreased utilization of glucose by body cells, increased mobilization of fats from fat storage cells and depletion of proteins in the tissues of the body, keeping the body in crisis. The functional foods help achieving optimal physiological metabolism and cellular functions helping the body to come out of these crises. The mechanism of the functional foods is envisaged to act via optimizing vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, prebiotics and probiotics. This paper reviews role of functional foods of plant origin in the regulation of blood sugar in type 2 diabetes mellitus and also discusses some vital patents in this area. The article aims at creating awareness about key food ingredients in order to prevent most acute effects of diabetes mellitus and to greatly delay the chronic effects as well.

  4. Purification of the functional plant membrane channel KAT1

    SciTech Connect

    Hibi, Takao Aoki, Shiho; Oda, Keisuke; Munemasa, Shintaro; Ozaki, Shunsuke; Shirai, Osamu; Murata, Yoshiyuki; Uozumi, Nobuyuki

    2008-09-26

    The inward-rectifying K{sup +} channel KAT1 is expressed mainly in Arabidopsis thaliana guard cells. The purification of functional KAT1 has never been reported. We investigated the extraction of the plant K{sup +} channel KAT1 with different detergents, as an example for how to select detergents for purifying a eukaryotic membrane protein. A KAT1-GFP fusion protein was used to screen a library of 46 detergents for the effective solubilization of intact KAT1. Then, a 'test set' of three detergents was picked for further analysis, based on their biochemical characteristics and availability. The combination use of the selected detergents enabled the effective purification of functional KAT1 with affinity and gel-filtration chromatography.

  5. 14 CFR Section 11 - Functional Classification-Operating Expenses of Group II and Group III Air Carriers

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 4 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Functional Classification-Operating... ACCOUNTS AND REPORTS FOR LARGE CERTIFICATED AIR CARRIERS Profit and Loss Classification Section 11 Functional Classification—Operating Expenses of Group II and Group III Air Carriers 5100Flying Operations....

  6. Antiquity of medicinal plant usage in two Macro-Mayan ethnic groups (México).

    PubMed

    Leonti, Marco; Sticher, Otto; Heinrich, Michael

    2003-10-01

    In the biological sciences the use of medicinal plants in indigenous cultures is commonly seen as being based on a long tradition ('traditional medicine'). However, under normal circumstances, ethnobotanical studies cannot provide evidence on the antiquity of specific uses for medicinal plants since oral traditions have a limited historical depth and archaeological evidence does not provide evidence for the specific medicinal use of a certain plant. Here, we provide evidence for the antiquity of medicinal plant use in the Olmec region in Mexico by comparing the pharmacopoeias of the linguistically related Lowland Mixe and Zoque-Popoluca. These cultures, separated for about 2000 years, have cognates for vernacular medicinal plant names in common. For fifteen species such cognate names were detected. Also, a statistically significant segment of the medicinal flora is used for similar purposes. Overall, 123 species are shared between the two groups and of these 62 have a similar usage. In nine cases they also have a similar name. These findings make a transmission of such knowledge since the time of the Olmecs highly likely.

  7. Ecosystem functions and densities of contributing functional groups respond in a different way to chemical stress.

    PubMed

    De Laender, Frederik; Taub, Frieda B; Janssen, Colin R

    2011-12-01

    Understanding whether and to what extent ecosystem functions respond to chemicals is a major challenge in environmental toxicology. The available data gathered by ecosystem-level experiments (micro- and mesocosms) often describe the responses of taxa densities to stress. However, whether these responses are proportional to the responses of associated ecosystem functions to stress is unclear. By combining a carbon budget modeling technique with data from a standardized microcosm experiment with a known community composition, we quantified three ecosystem functions (net primary production [NPP], net mesozooplankton production [NZP], and net bacterial production [NBP]) at three Cu concentrations, with a control. Changes of these ecosystem functions with increasing chemical concentrations were not always proportional to the Cu effects on the densities of the contributing functional groups. For example, Cu treatments decreased mesozooplankton density by 100-fold and increased phytoplankton density 10- to 100-fold while increasing NZP and leaving NPP unaltered. However, in contrast, Cu affected microzooplankton and the associated function (NBP) in a comparable way. We illustrate that differences in the response of phytoplankton/mesozooplankton densities and the associated ecosystem functions to stress occur because functional rates (e.g., photosynthesis rates/ingestion rates) vary among Cu treatments and in time. These variations could be explained by food web ecology but not by direct Cu effects, indicating that ecology may be a useful basis for understanding environmental effects of stressors.

  8. An mTERF domain protein functions in group II intron splicing in maize chloroplasts.

    PubMed

    Hammani, Kamel; Barkan, Alice

    2014-04-01

    The mitochondrial transcription termination factor (mTERF) proteins are nucleic acid binding proteins characterized by degenerate helical repeats of ∼30 amino acids. Metazoan genomes encode a small family of mTERF proteins whose members influence mitochondrial gene expression and DNA replication. The mTERF family in higher plants consists of roughly 30 members, which localize to mitochondria or chloroplasts. Effects of several mTERF proteins on plant development and physiology have been described, but molecular functions of mTERF proteins in plants are unknown. We show that a maize mTERF protein, Zm-mTERF4, promotes the splicing of group II introns in chloroplasts. Zm-mTERF4 coimmunoprecipitates with many chloroplast introns and the splicing of some of these introns is disrupted even in hypomorphic Zm-mterf4 mutants. Furthermore, Zm-mTERF4 is found in high molecular weight complexes that include known chloroplast splicing factors. The splicing of two transfer RNAs (trnI-GAU and trnA-UGC) and one ribosomal protein messenger RNA (rpl2) is particularly sensitive to the loss of Zm-mTERF4, accounting for the loss of plastid ribosomes in Zm-mTERF4 mutants. These findings extend the known functional repertoire of the mTERF family to include group II intron splicing and suggest that a conserved role in chloroplast RNA splicing underlies the physiological defects described for mutations in BSM/Rugosa2, the Zm-mTERF4 ortholog in Arabidopsis.

  9. Medicinal plant knowledge of the Bench ethnic group of Ethiopia: an ethnobotanical investigation

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Plants have traditionally been used as a source of medicine in Ethiopia since early times for the control of various ailments afflicting humans and their domestic animals. However, little work has been made in the past to properly document and promote the knowledge. Today medicinal plants and the associated knowledge in the country are threatened due to deforestation, environmental degradation and acculturation. Urgent ethnobotanical studies and subsequent conservation measures are, therefore, required to salvage these resources from further loss. The purpose of the present study was to record and analyse traditional medicinal plant knowledge of the Bench ethnic group in Southwest Ethiopia. Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with Bench informants selected during transect walks made to houses as well as those identified as knowledgeable by local administrators and elders to gather data regarding local names of medicinal plants used, parts harvested, ailments treated, remedy preparation methods, administration routes, dosage and side effects. The same method was also employed to gather information on marketability, habitat and abundance of the reported medicinal plants. Purposive sampling method was used in the selection of study sites within the study district. Fidelity Level (FL) value was calculated for each claimed medicinal plant to estimate its healing potential. Results The study revealed 35 Bench medicinal plants: 32 used against human ailments and three to treat both human and livestock ailments. The majority of Bench medicinal plants were herbs and leaf was the most frequently used part in the preparation of remedies. Significantly higher average number of medicinal plants was claimed by men, older people and illiterate ones as compared to women, younger people and literate ones, respectively. The majority of the medicinal plants used in the study area were uncultivated ones. Conclusion The study revealed acculturation as the major

  10. A meta‐analysis of functional group responses to forest recovery outside of the tropics

    PubMed Central

    Ezard, Thomas H. G.; Martin, Philip A.; Newton, Adrian C.; Doncaster, C. Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Both active and passive forest restoration schemes are used in degraded landscapes across the world to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Restoration is increasingly also being implemented in biodiversity offset schemes as compensation for loss of natural habitat to anthropogenic development. This has raised concerns about the value of replacing old‐growth forest with plantations, motivating research on biodiversity recovery as forest stands age. Functional diversity is now advocated as a key metric for restoration success, yet it has received little analytical attention to date. We conducted a meta‐analysis of 90 studies that measured differences in species richness for functional groups of fungi, lichens, and beetles between old‐growth control and planted or secondary treatment forests in temperate, boreal, and Mediterranean regions. We identified functional‐group–specific relationships in the response of species richness to stand age after forest disturbance. Ectomycorrhizal fungi averaged 90 years for recovery to old‐growth values (between 45 years and unrecoverable at 95% prediction limits), and epiphytic lichens took 180 years to reach 90% of old‐growth values (between 140 years and never for recovery to old‐growth values at 95% prediction limits). Non‐saproxylic beetle richness, in contrast, decreased as stand age of broadleaved forests increased. The slow recovery by some functional groups essential to ecosystem functioning makes old‐growth forest an effectively irreplaceable biodiversity resource that should be exempt from biodiversity offsetting initiatives. PMID:26040756

  11. Divergence in function and expression of the NOD26-like intrinsic proteins in plants

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Qingpo; Wang, Huasen; Zhang, Zhonghua; Wu, Jiasheng; Feng, Ying; Zhu, Zhujun

    2009-01-01

    Background NOD26-like intrinsic proteins (NIPs) that belong to the aquaporin superfamily are plant-specific and exhibit a similar three-dimensional structure. Experimental evidences however revealed that functional divergence should have extensively occurred among NIP genes. It is therefore intriguing to further investigate the evolutionary mechanisms being responsible for the functional diversification of the NIP genes. To better understand this process, a comprehensive analysis including the phylogenetic, positive selection, functional divergence, and transcriptional analysis was carried out. Results The origination of NIPs could be dated back to the primitive land plants, and their diversification would be no younger than the emergence time of the moss P. patens. The rapid proliferation of NIPs in plants may be primarily attributed to the segmental chromosome duplication produced by polyploidy and tandem duplications. The maximum likelihood analysis revealed that NIPs should have experienced strong selective pressure for adaptive evolution after gene duplication and/or speciation, prompting the formation of distinct NIP groups. Functional divergence analysis at the amino acid level has provided strong statistical evidence for shifted evolutionary rate and/or radical change of the physiochemical properties of amino acids after gene duplication, and DIVERGE2 has identified the critical amino acid sites that are thought to be responsible for the divergence for further investigation. The expression of plant NIPs displays a distinct tissue-, cell-type-, and developmental specific pattern, and their responses to various stress treatments are quite different also. The differences in organization of cis-acting regulatory elements in the promoter regions may partially explain their distinction in expression. Conclusion A number of analyses both at the DNA and amino acid sequence levels have provided strong evidences that plant NIPs have suffered a high divergence in

  12. Plant functional traits have globally consistent effects on competition.

    PubMed

    Kunstler, Georges; Falster, Daniel; Coomes, David A; Hui, Francis; Kooyman, Robert M; Laughlin, Daniel C; Poorter, Lourens; Vanderwel, Mark; Vieilledent, Ghislain; Wright, S Joseph; Aiba, Masahiro; Baraloto, Christopher; Caspersen, John; Cornelissen, J Hans C; Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie; Hanewinkel, Marc; Herault, Bruno; Kattge, Jens; Kurokawa, Hiroko; Onoda, Yusuke; Peñuelas, Josep; Poorter, Hendrik; Uriarte, Maria; Richardson, Sarah; Ruiz-Benito, Paloma; Sun, I-Fang; Ståhl, Göran; Swenson, Nathan G; Thompson, Jill; Westerlund, Bertil; Wirth, Christian; Zavala, Miguel A; Zeng, Hongcheng; Zimmerman, Jess K; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Westoby, Mark

    2016-01-14

    Phenotypic traits and their associated trade-offs have been shown to have globally consistent effects on individual plant physiological functions, but how these effects scale up to influence competition, a key driver of community assembly in terrestrial vegetation, has remained unclear. Here we use growth data from more than 3 million trees in over 140,000 plots across the world to show how three key functional traits--wood density, specific leaf area and maximum height--consistently influence competitive interactions. Fast maximum growth of a species was correlated negatively with its wood density in all biomes, and positively with its specific leaf area in most biomes. Low wood density was also correlated with a low ability to tolerate competition and a low competitive effect on neighbours, while high specific leaf area was correlated with a low competitive effect. Thus, traits generate trade-offs between performance with competition versus performance without competition, a fundamental ingredient in the classical hypothesis that the coexistence of plant species is enabled via differentiation in their successional strategies. Competition within species was stronger than between species, but an increase in trait dissimilarity between species had little influence in weakening competition. No benefit of dissimilarity was detected for specific leaf area or wood density, and only a weak benefit for maximum height. Our trait-based approach to modelling competition makes generalization possible across the forest ecosystems of the world and their highly diverse species composition.

  13. Functional architecture of higher plant photosystem II supercomplexes.

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-07

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

  14. Polymer containing functional end groups is base for new polymers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hirshfield, S. M.

    1971-01-01

    Butadiene is polymerized with lithium-p-lithiophenoxide to produce linear polymer containing oxy-lithium group at one end and active carbon-lithium group at other end. Living polymers represent new approach to preparation of difunctional polymers in which structural features, molecular weight, type and number of end groups are controlled.

  15. Effects of benthos on sediment transport: difficulties with functional grouping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jumars, P. A.; Nowell, A. R. M.

    No consistent functional grouping of organisms as stabilizers vs destabilizers, respectively decreasing or enhancing erodibility, is possible. Benthic organisms can affect erodibility in particular—and sediment transport in general—via alternation (1) of fluid momentum impinging on the bed, (2) of particle exposure to the flow, (3) of adhesion between particles, and (4) of particle momentum. The net effects of a species or individual on erosion and deposition thresholds or on transport rates are not in general predictable from extant data. Furthermore, they depend upon the context of flow conditions, bed configuration, and community composition into which the organism is set. Separation of organism effects into these four categories does, however, allow their explicit incorporation into DuBoys-type and stochastic sediment dynamic models already in use and thus permits the specification of parameters whose measurement will enhance predictability of sediment transport modes and rates in natural, organism-influenced, marine settings. If the variable of prime concern is the total amount of sediment transported, rather than the frequency of transport events or the spatial pattern of erosion and eposition, and if most transport occurs in rare but intense bouts (e.g., winter storms on boreal continental shelves), then it may be possible to ignore organism effects without major sacrifices in accuracy or precision. Under high transport rates, suspended load effects override organism-produced bottom roughness, abrasion removes adhesives from transporting grains, and transport rates (normalized per unit width of the channel or bed) exceed feeding and pelletization rates. Moreover, at high rates most material transports as suspended load, effectively out of reach of the benthos. The transport rates at which organism effects are overridden, however, remain to be determined. For lower transport rates, foraging theory promises to provide insights into organism effects.

  16. SET DOMAIN GROUP701 encodes a H3K4-methytransferase and regulates multiple key processes of rice plant development.

    PubMed

    Liu, Kunpeng; Yu, Yu; Dong, Aiwu; Shen, Wen-Hui

    2017-07-01

    Chromatin-based epigenetic information plays an important role in developmental gene regulation, in response to environment, and in natural variation of gene expression levels. Histone H3 lysine 4 di/trimethylation (H3K4me2/3) is abundant in euchromatin and is generally associated with transcriptional activation. Strikingly, however, enzymes catalyzing H3K4me2/3 remain poorly characterized in crops so far. Here, we investigated the function of the rice SET DOMAIN GROUP 701 (SDG701) gene by molecular and biochemical characterization of the gene product, and by studying effects of its loss or gain of function on plant growth and development. We demonstrated that SDG701 encodes a methytransferase specifically catalyzing H3K4 methylation. Overexpression and knockdown experiments showed that SDG701 is crucial for proper sporophytic plant development as well as for gametophytic transmission that directly impacts rice grain production. In-depth analysis of plant flowering time revealed that SDG701 promotes rice flowering under either long-day or short-day photoperiods. Consistently, the SDG701 protein was found to bind chromatin to promote H3K4me3 and to enhance expression of the rice Hd3a and RFT1 florigens. Collectively, our results establish SDG701 as a major rice H3K4-specific methyltransferase and provide important insights into function of H3K4me3 deposition in transcription activation of florigens in promoting plant flowering. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  17. Students' Perceptions of Classroom Group Work as a Function of Group Member Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myers, Scott A.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this assessment was to examine whether differences exist between students who self-select their classroom work group members and students who are randomly assigned to their classroom work groups in terms of their use of organizational citizenship behaviors with their work group members; their commitment to, trust in, and relational…

  18. Students' Perceptions of Classroom Group Work as a Function of Group Member Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myers, Scott A.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this assessment was to examine whether differences exist between students who self-select their classroom work group members and students who are randomly assigned to their classroom work groups in terms of their use of organizational citizenship behaviors with their work group members; their commitment to, trust in, and relational…

  19. Making Plants Break a Sweat: the Structure, Function, and Evolution of Plant Salt Glands

    PubMed Central

    Dassanayake, Maheshi; Larkin, John C.

    2017-01-01

    Salt stress is a complex trait that poses a grand challenge in developing new crops better adapted to saline environments. Some plants, called recretohalophytes, that have naturally evolved to secrete excess salts through salt glands, offer an underexplored genetic resource for examining how plant development, anatomy, and physiology integrate to prevent excess salt from building up to toxic levels in plant tissue. In this review we examine the structure and evolution of salt glands, salt gland-specific gene expression, and the possibility that all salt glands have originated via evolutionary modifications of trichomes. Salt secretion via salt glands is found in more than 50 species in 14 angiosperm families distributed in caryophyllales, asterids, rosids, and grasses. The salt glands of these distantly related clades can be grouped into four structural classes. Although salt glands appear to have originated independently at least 12 times, they share convergently evolved features that facilitate salt compartmentalization and excretion. We review the structural diversity and evolution of salt glands, major transporters and proteins associated with salt transport and secretion in halophytes, salt gland relevant gene expression regulation, and the prospect for using new genomic and transcriptomic tools in combination with information from model organisms to better understand how salt glands contribute to salt tolerance. Finally, we consider the prospects for using this knowledge to engineer salt glands to increase salt tolerance in model species, and ultimately in crops. PMID:28400779

  20. Perceptions of learning as a function of seminar group factors.

    PubMed

    Jaarsma, A Debbie C; de Grave, Willem S; Muijtjens, Arno M M; Scherpbier, Albert J J A; van Beukelen, Peter

    2008-12-01

    Small-group learning is advocated for enhancing higher-order thinking and the development of skills and attitudes. Teacher performance, group interaction and the quality of assignments have been shown to affect small-group learning in hybrid and problem-based curricula. This study aimed to examine the perceptions of student groups as to how teacher performance, group interaction and the quality of assignments are related to one another and to learning effects in seminars of 15-30 students in a hybrid curriculum. We constructed a 28-item questionnaire and administered it to 639 students attending 32 seminars in Years 1-4 of an undergraduate veterinary curriculum. We performed factor analysis and reliability analysis of the questionnaire. We used correlation and regression analyses to explore the interactions of the four-factor model, with teacher performance, group interaction and quality of assignments as independent variables and the perceived learning effect of the seminars as the dependent variable. The response rate was 99%. Teacher performance (beta = 0.78) and group interaction (- 0.28) significantly influenced the perceived learning effect. The total effect of the quality of assignments (through effects on teacher performance and group interaction) was 0.47. The strong relationship between teacher performance and learning effect suggests that students rely strongly on their teachers. The negative effect of group interaction may reflect poor alignment of teaching and assessment and poor organisation of group processes. This should be further examined. Comparative studies on seminars are also recommended.

  1. Prediction of functional sites in proteins using conserved functional group analysis.

    PubMed

    Innis, C Axel; Anand, A Prem; Sowdhamini, R

    2004-04-02

    A detailed knowledge of a protein's functional site is an absolute prerequisite for understanding its mode of action at the molecular level. However, the rapid pace at which sequence and structural information is being accumulated for proteins greatly exceeds our ability to determine their biochemical roles experimentally. As a result, computational methods are required which allow for the efficient processing of the evolutionary information contained in this wealth of data, in particular that related to the nature and location of functionally important sites and residues. The method presented here, referred to as conserved functional group (CFG) analysis, relies on a simplified representation of the chemical groups found in amino acid side-chains to identify functional sites from a single protein structure and a number of its sequence homologues. We show that CFG analysis can fully or partially predict the location of functional sites in approximately 96% of the 470 cases tested and that, unlike other methods available, it is able to tolerate wide variations in sequence identity. In addition, we discuss its potential in a structural genomics context, where automation, scalability and efficiency are critical, and an increasing number of protein structures are determined with no prior knowledge of function. This is exemplified by our analysis of the hypothetical protein Ydde_Ecoli, whose structure was recently solved by members of the North East Structural Genomics consortium. Although the proposed active site for this protein needs to be validated experimentally, this example illustrates the scope of CFG analysis as a general tool for the identification of residues likely to play an important role in a protein's biochemical function. Thus, our method offers a convenient solution to rapidly and automatically process the vast amounts of data that are beginning to emerge from structural genomics projects.

  2. Application of macrobenthos functional groups to estimate the ecosystem health in a semi-enclosed bay.

    PubMed

    Peng, Shitao; Zhou, Ran; Qin, Xuebo; Shi, Honghua; Ding, Dewen

    2013-09-15

    In this study, the functional group concept was first applied to evaluate the ecosystem health of Bohai Bay. Macrobenthos functional groups were defined according to feeding types and divided into five groups: a carnivorous group (CA), omnivorous group (OM), planktivorous group (PL), herbivorous group (HE), and detritivorous group (DE). Groups CA, DE, OM, and PL were identified, but the HE group was absent from Bohai Bay. Group DE was dominant during the study periods. The ecosystem health was assessed using a functional group evenness index. The functional group evenness values of most sampling stations were less than 0.40, indicating that the ecosystem health was deteriorated in Bohai Bay. Such deterioration could be attributed to land reclamation, industrial and sewage effluents, oil pollution, and hypersaline water discharge. This study demonstrates that the functional group concept can be applied to ecosystem health assessment in a semi-enclosed bay. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Head-group acylation of monogalactosyldiacylglycerol is a common stress response, but the acyl-galactose acyl composition varies with the plant species and applied stress

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Head group acylation of monogalactosyldiacylglycerol is a plant lipid modification occurring during bacterial infection. Little is known about the range of stresses that induce this lipid modification, the molecular species induced, and the function of the modification. Lipidomic analysis using trip...

  4. Conservation and functional element discovery in 20 angiosperm plant genomes.

    PubMed

    Hupalo, Daniel; Kern, Andrew D

    2013-07-01

    Here, we describe the construction of a phylogenetically deep, whole-genome alignment of 20 flowering plants, along with an analysis of plant genome conservation. Each included angiosperm genome was aligned to a reference genome, Arabidopsis thaliana, using the LASTZ/MULTIZ paradigm and tools from the University of California-Santa Cruz Genome Browser source code. In addition to the multiple alignment, we created a local genome browser displaying multiple tracks of newly generated genome annotation, as well as annotation sourced from published data of other research groups. An investigation into A. thaliana gene features present in the aligned A. lyrata genome revealed better conservation of start codons, stop codons, and splice sites within our alignments (51% of features from A. thaliana conserved without interruption in A. lyrata) when compared with previous publicly available plant pairwise alignments (34% of features conserved). The detailed view of conservation across angiosperms revealed not only high coding-sequence conservation but also a large set of previously uncharacterized intergenic conservation. From this, we annotated the collection of conserved features, revealing dozens of putative noncoding RNAs, including some with recorded small RNA expression. Comparing conservation between kingdoms revealed a faster decay of vertebrate genome features when compared with angiosperm genomes. Finally, conserved sequences were searched for folding RNA features, including but not limited to noncoding RNA (ncRNA) genes. Among these, we highlight a double hairpin in the 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) of the PRIN2 gene and a putative ncRNA with homology targeting the LAF3 protein.

  5. Perceptual Visual Grouping under Inattention: Electrophysiological Functional Imaging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Razpurker-Apfeld, Irene; Pratt, Hillel

    2008-01-01

    Two types of perceptual visual grouping, differing in complexity of shape formation, were examined under inattention. Fourteen participants performed a similarity judgment task concerning two successive briefly presented central targets surrounded by task-irrelevant simple and complex grouping patterns. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were…

  6. Moral Judgment as a Function of Peer Group Interaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maitland, Karen A.; Goldman, Jacquelin R.

    1974-01-01

    This article presents an investigation into the effects of peer group interaction on moral judgment among 36 male and female eleventh and twelfth graders. The results indicate greater social conflict and pressure in a group discussion induces greater change in the level of moral judgment. (DE)

  7. Moral Judgment as a Function of Peer Group Interaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maitland, Karen A.; Goldman, Jacquelin R.

    1974-01-01

    This article presents an investigation into the effects of peer group interaction on moral judgment among 36 male and female eleventh and twelfth graders. The results indicate greater social conflict and pressure in a group discussion induces greater change in the level of moral judgment. (DE)

  8. 75 FR 38127 - Visteon Systems, LLC North Penn Plant Electronics Products Group Including On-Site Leased Workers...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-01

    ... Employment and Training Administration Visteon Systems, LLC North Penn Plant Electronics Products Group Including On-Site Leased Workers From Ryder Integrated Logistics and Including On-Site Workers From Span... Systems, LLC, North Penn Plant, Electronics Products Group, including on-site leased workers from...

  9. 75 FR 51845 - Chrysler Group, LLC Manufacturing Division St. Louis North Plant Including On-Site Leased Workers...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-23

    ...] Chrysler Group, LLC Manufacturing Division St. Louis North Plant Including On-Site Leased Workers From American Food, G4S Wackenhut, C R Associates, Syncreon, Robinson Solutions and Dupont Performance Coatings..., applicable to workers of Chrysler Group, LLC, Manufacturing Division, St. Louis North Plant, including...

  10. 76 FR 22729 - Chrysler Group, LLC, Power Train Division, Mack Avenue Engine Plant #1, Including On-Site Leased...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-22

    ... Employment and Training Administration Chrysler Group, LLC, Power Train Division, Mack Avenue Engine Plant 1... to Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance on April 6, 2011, applicable to workers of Chrysler Group, LLC, Power Train Division, Mack Avenue Engine Plant 1, including on-site leased workers of...

  11. Versatile Two-Step Functionalization of Nanocarbons: Grafting of Propargylic Groups and Click Post-Functionalization.

    PubMed

    Desmecht, Antonin; Hermans, Sophie; Riant, Olivier

    2017-04-01

    Chemical functionalization of nanocarbons is essential for further applications in various fields. We developed a facile, inexpensive, and gram-scale one-pot route towards alkynyl-functionalized nanocarbons. Nucleophilic addition/propargylic capture places alkyne moieties at the surface of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene. Thermogravimetric analysis coupled with mass spectrometry and Raman analysis confirmed the efficiency of this process. Conductivity measurements demonstrated the maintenance of the CNT electrical properties. The attached alkynyl moieties were reacted with various azide derivatives through the click-Huisgen [3+2] cycloaddition and characterized with XPS. The efficient addition of those derivatives enables the application of our finding in various fields. This route is a reliable and convenient alternative to the known diazonium functionalization and oxidation-esterification reactions to graft alkyne groups.

  12. Versatile Two‐Step Functionalization of Nanocarbons: Grafting of Propargylic Groups and Click Post‐Functionalization

    PubMed Central

    Desmecht, Antonin

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Chemical functionalization of nanocarbons is essential for further applications in various fields. We developed a facile, inexpensive, and gram‐scale one‐pot route towards alkynyl‐functionalized nanocarbons. Nucleophilic addition/propargylic capture places alkyne moieties at the surface of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene. Thermogravimetric analysis coupled with mass spectrometry and Raman analysis confirmed the efficiency of this process. Conductivity measurements demonstrated the maintenance of the CNT electrical properties. The attached alkynyl moieties were reacted with various azide derivatives through the click‐Huisgen [3+2] cycloaddition and characterized with XPS. The efficient addition of those derivatives enables the application of our finding in various fields. This route is a reliable and convenient alternative to the known diazonium functionalization and oxidation‐esterification reactions to graft alkyne groups. PMID:28413757

  13. Structure-function relations of strigolactone analogs: activity as plant hormones and plant interactions.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Maja; Prandi, Cristina; Occhiato, Ernesto G; Tabasso, Silvia; Wininger, Smadar; Resnick, Nathalie; Steinberger, Yosef; Koltai, Hinanit; Kapulnik, Yoram

    2013-01-01

    Strigolactones (SLs) have several functions as signaling molecules in their interactions with symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and the parasitic weeds Orobanche and Striga. SLs are also a new class of plant hormone regulating plant development. In all three organisms, a specific and sensitive receptor-mediated perception system is suggested. By comparing the activity of synthetic SL analogs on Arabidopsis root-hair elongation, Orobanche aegyptiaca seed germination, and hyphal branching of the AM fungus Glomus intraradices, we found that each of the tested organisms differs in its response to the various examined synthetic SL analogs. Structure-function relations of the SL analogs suggest substitutions on the A-ring as the cause of this variation. Moreover, the description of competitive antagonistic analogs suggests that the A-ring of SL can affect not only affinity to the receptor, but also the molecule's ability to activate it. The results support the conclusion that Arabidopsis, Orobanche, and AM fungi possess variations in receptor sensitivity to SL analogs, probably due to variation in SL receptors among the different species.

  14. [Sugar Chain Construction of Functional Natural Products Using Plant Glucosyltransferases].

    PubMed

    Mizukami, Hajime

    2015-01-01

      Plant secondary product glycosyltransferases belong to family 1 of the glycosyltransferase superfamily and mediate the transfer of a glycosyl residue from activated nucleotide sugars to lipophilic small molecules, thus affecting the solubility, stability and pharmacological activities of the sugar-accepting compounds. The biotechnological application of plant glycosyltransferases in glycoside synthesis has attracted attention because enzymatic glycosylation offers several advantages over chemical methods, including (1) avoiding the use of harsh conditions and toxic catalysts, (2) providing strict control of regio-and stereo-selectivity and (3) high efficiency. This review describes the in vivo and in vitro glycosylation of natural organic compounds using glycosyltransferases, focusing on our investigation of enzymatic synthesis of curcumin glycosides. Our current efforts toward functional characterization of some glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of iridoids and crocin, as well as in the sugar chain elongation of quercetin glucosides, are described. Finally, I describe the relationship of the structure of sugar chains and the intestinal absorption which was investigated using chemoenzymatically synthesized quercetin glycosides.

  15. Designing Invasion Resistant Plant Communities: The Role of Plant Functional Traits

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Establishing and maintaining weed-resistant plant communities is a central goal of sustainable invasive plant management programs. Plant community characteristics that improve invasion resistance, however, are poorly understood. Here we synthesize data from multiple studies and show traits related ...

  16. Trait correlates and functional significance of heteranthery in flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Vallejo-Marín, Mario; Da Silva, Elizabeth M; Sargent, Risa D; Barrett, Spencer C H

    2010-10-01

    • Flowering plants display extraordinary diversity in the morphology of male sexual organs, yet the functional significance of this variation is not well understood. Here, we conducted a comparative analysis of floral correlates of heteranthery - the morphological and functional differentiation of anthers within flowers - among angiosperm families to identify traits associated with this condition. • We performed a phylogenetic analysis of correlated evolution between heteranthery and several floral traits commonly reported from heterantherous taxa. In addition, we quantified the effect of phylogenetic uncertainty in the observed patterns of correlated evolution by comparing trees in which polytomous branches were randomly resolved. • Heteranthery is reported from 12 angiosperm orders and is phylogenetically associated with the absence of floral nectaries, buzz-pollination and enantiostyly (mirror-image flowers). These associations are robust to particularities of the underlying phylogenetic hypothesis. • Heteranthery has probably evolved as a result of pollinator-mediated selection and appears to function to reduce the conflict of relying on pollen both as food to attract pollinators and as the agent of male gamete transfer. The relative scarcity of heteranthery among angiosperm families suggests that the conditions permitting its evolution are not easily met despite the abundance of pollen-collecting bees and nectarless flowers.

  17. Hydrolysis of organonitrate functional groups in aerosol particles

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Shang; Shilling, John E.; Song, Chen; Hiranuma, Naruki; Zaveri, Rahul A.; Russell, Lynn M.

    2012-10-19

    Organonitrate (ON) groups are important substituents in secondary organic aerosols. Model simulations and laboratory studies indicate a large fraction of ON groups in aerosol particles, but much lower quantities are observed in the atmosphere. Hydrolysis of ON groups in aerosol particles has been proposed recently. To test this hypothesis, we simulated formation of ON molecules in a reaction chamber under a wide range of relative humidity (0% to 90%). The mass fraction of ON groups (5% to 20% for high-NOx experiments) consistently decreased with increasing relative humidity, which was best explained by hydrolysis of ON groups at a rate of 4 day-1 (lifetime of 6 hours) for reactions under relative humidity greater than 20%. In addition, we found that secondary nitrogen-containing molecules absorb light, with greater absorption under dry and high-NOx conditions. This work provides the first evidence for particle-phase hydrolysis of ON groups, a process that could substantially reduce ON group concentration in the atmosphere.

  18. Nitric oxide sensing in plants is mediated by proteolytic control of group VII ERF transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Daniel J; Md Isa, Nurulhikma; Movahedi, Mahsa; Lozano-Juste, Jorge; Mendiondo, Guillermina M; Berckhan, Sophie; Marín-de la Rosa, Nora; Vicente Conde, Jorge; Sousa Correia, Cristina; Pearce, Simon P; Bassel, George W; Hamali, Bulut; Talloji, Prabhavathi; Tomé, Daniel F A; Coego, Alberto; Beynon, Jim; Alabadí, David; Bachmair, Andreas; León, José; Gray, Julie E; Theodoulou, Frederica L; Holdsworth, Michael J

    2014-02-06

    Nitric oxide (NO) is an important signaling compound in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In plants, NO regulates critical developmental transitions and stress responses. Here, we identify a mechanism for NO sensing that coordinates responses throughout development based on targeted degradation of plant-specific transcriptional regulators, the group VII ethylene response factors (ERFs). We show that the N-end rule pathway of targeted proteolysis targets these proteins for destruction in the presence of NO, and we establish them as critical regulators of diverse NO-regulated processes, including seed germination, stomatal closure, and hypocotyl elongation. Furthermore, we define the molecular mechanism for NO control of germination and crosstalk with abscisic acid (ABA) signaling through ERF-regulated expression of ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE5 (ABI5). Our work demonstrates how NO sensing is integrated across multiple physiological processes by direct modulation of transcription factor stability and identifies group VII ERFs as central hubs for the perception of gaseous signals in plants. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Dominant Functional Group Effects on the Invasion Resistance at Different Resource Levels

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jiang; Ge, Yuan; Zhang, Chong B.; Bai, Yi; Du, Zhao K.

    2013-01-01

    Background Functional group composition may affect invasion in two ways the effect of abundance, i.e. dominance of functional group; and the effect of traits, i.e. identity of functional groups. However, few studies have focused on the role of abundance of functional group on invasion resistance. Moreover, how resource availability influences the role of the dominant functional group in invasion resistance is even less understood. Methodology/Principal Findings In this experiment, we established experimental pots using four different functional groups (annual grass, perennial grass, deciduous shrub or arbor and evergreen shrub or arbor), and the dominant functional group was manipulated. These experimental pots were respectively constructed at different soil nitrogen levels (control and fertilized). After one year of growth, we added seeds of 20 different species (five species per functional group) to the experimental pots. Fertilization significantly increased the overall invasion success, while dominant functional group had little effect on overall invasion success. When invaders were grouped into functional groups, invaders generally had lower success in pots dominated by the same functional group in the control pots. However, individual invaders of the same functional group exhibited different invasion patterns. Fertilization generally increased success of invaders in pots dominated by the same than by another functional group. However, fertilization led to great differences for individual invaders. Conclusions/Significance The results showed that the dominant functional group, independent of functional group identity, had a significant effect on the composition of invaders. We suggest that the limiting similarity hypothesis may be applicable at the functional group level, and limiting similarity may have a limited role for individual invaders as shown by the inconsistent effects of dominant functional group and fertilization. PMID:24167565

  20. Dominant functional group effects on the invasion resistance at different resource levels.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiang; Ge, Yuan; Zhang, Chong B; Bai, Yi; Du, Zhao K

    2013-01-01

    Functional group composition may affect invasion in two ways the effect of abundance, i.e. dominance of functional group; and the effect of traits, i.e. identity of functional groups. However, few studies have focused on the role of abundance of functional group on invasion resistance. Moreover, how resource availability influences the role of the dominant functional group in invasion resistance is even less understood. In this experiment, we established experimental pots using four different functional groups (annual grass, perennial grass, deciduous shrub or arbor and evergreen shrub or arbor), and the dominant functional group was manipulated. These experimental pots were respectively constructed at different soil nitrogen levels (control and fertilized). After one year of growth, we added seeds of 20 different species (five species per functional group) to the experimental pots. Fertilization significantly increased the overall invasion success, while dominant functional group had little effect on overall invasion success. When invaders were grouped into functional groups, invaders generally had lower success in pots dominated by the same functional group in the control pots. However, individual invaders of the same functional group exhibited different invasion patterns. Fertilization generally increased success of invaders in pots dominated by the same than by another functional group. However, fertilization led to great differences for individual invaders. The results showed that the dominant functional group, independent of functional group identity, had a significant effect on the composition of invaders. We suggest that the limiting similarity hypothesis may be applicable at the functional group level, and limiting similarity may have a limited role for individual invaders as shown by the inconsistent effects of dominant functional group and fertilization.

  1. Evolution of the PEBP Gene Family in Plants: Functional Diversification in Seed Plant Evolution1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Karlgren, Anna; Gyllenstrand, Niclas; Källman, Thomas; Sundström, Jens F.; Moore, David; Lascoux, Martin; Lagercrantz, Ulf

    2011-01-01

    The phosphatidyl ethanolamine-binding protein (PEBP) gene family is present in all eukaryote kingdoms, with three subfamilies identified in angiosperms (FLOWERING LOCUS T [FT], MOTHER OF FT AND TFL1 [MFT], and TERMINAL FLOWER1 [TFL1] like). In angiosperms, PEBP genes have been shown to function both as promoters and suppressors of flowering and to control plant architecture. In this study, we focus on previously uncharacterized PEBP genes from gymnosperms. Extensive database searches suggest that gymnosperms possess only two types of PEBP genes, MFT-like and a group that occupies an intermediate phylogenetic position between the FT-like and TFL1-like (FT/TFL1-like). Overexpression of Picea abies PEBP genes in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) suggests that the FT/TFL1-like genes (PaFTL1 and PaFTL2) code for proteins with a TFL1-like function. However, PaFTL1 and PaFTL2 also show highly divergent expression patterns. While the expression of PaFTL2 is correlated with annual growth rhythm and mainly confined to needles and vegetative and reproductive buds, the expression of PaFTL1 is largely restricted to microsporophylls of male cones. The P. abies MFT-like genes (PaMFT1 and PaMFT2) show a predominant expression during embryo development, a pattern that is also found for many MFT-like genes from angiosperms. P. abies PEBP gene expression is primarily detected in tissues undergoing physiological changes related to growth arrest and dormancy. A first duplication event resulting in two families of plant PEBP genes (MFT-like and FT/TFL1-like) seems to coincide with the evolution of seed plants, in which independent control of bud and seed dormancy was required, and the second duplication resulting in the FT-like and TFL1-like clades probably coincided with the evolution of angiosperms. PMID:21642442

  2. Expanding our understanding of leaf functional syndromes in savanna systems: the role of plant growth form.

    PubMed

    Rossatto, Davi Rodrigo; Franco, Augusto Cesar

    2017-04-01

    The assessment of leaf strategies has been a common theme in ecology, especially where multiple sources of environmental constraints (fire, seasonal drought, nutrient-poor soils) impose a strong selection pressure towards leaf functional diversity, leading to inevitable tradeoffs among leaf traits, and ultimately to niche segregation among coexisting species. As diversification on leaf functional strategies is dependent on integration at whole plant level, we hypothesized that regardless of phylogenetic relatedness, leaf trait functional syndromes in a multivariate space would be associated with the type of growth form. We measured traits related to leaf gas exchange, structure and nutrient status in 57 coexisting species encompassing all Angiosperms major clades, in a wide array of plant morphologies (trees, shrubs, sub-shrubs, herbs, grasses and palms) in a savanna of Central Brazil. Growth forms differed in mean values for the studied functional leaf traits. We extracted 4 groups of functional typologies: grasses (elevated leaf dark respiration, light-saturated photosynthesis on a leaf mass and area basis, lower values of leaf Ca and Mg), herbs (high values of SLA, leaf N and leaf Fe), palms (high values of stomatal conductance, leaf transpiration and leaf K) and woody eudicots (sub-shrubs, shrubs and trees; low SLA and high leaf Ca and Mg). Despite the large range of variation among species for each individual trait and the independent evolutionary trajectory of individual species, growth forms were strongly associated with particular leaf trait combinations, suggesting clear evolutionary constraints on leaf function for morphologically similar species in savanna ecosystems.

  3. Sequence and structural aspects of the functional diversification of plant alcohol dehydrogenases.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Claudia E; Salzano, Francisco M; de Souza, Osmar Norberto; Freitas, Loreta B

    2007-07-01

    The glycolytic proteins in plants are coded by small multigene families, which provide an interesting contrast to the high copy number of gene families studied to date. The alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh) genes encode glycolytic enzymes that have been characterized in some plant families. Although the amino acid sequences of zinc-containing long-chain ADHs are highly conserved, the metabolic function of this enzyme is variable. They also have different patterns of expression and are submitted to differences in nonsynonymous substitution rates between gene copies. It is possible that the Adh copies have been retained as a consequence of adaptative amino acid replacements which have conferred subtle changes in function. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that there have been a number of separate duplication events within angiosperms, and that genes labeled Adh1, Adh2 and Adh3 in different groups may not be homologous. Nonsynonymous/synonymous ratios yielded no signs of positive selection. However, the coefficients of functional divergence (theta) estimated between the Adh1 and Adh2 gene groups indicate statistically significant site-specific shift of evolutionary rates between them, as well as between those of different botanical families, suggesting that altered functional constraints may have taken place at some amino acid residues after their diversification. The theoretical three-dimensional structure of the alcohol dehydrogenase from Arabis blepharophylla was constructed and verified to be stereochemically valid.

  4. Effects of spatial grouping on the functional response of predators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cosner, C.; DeAngelis, D.L.; Ault, J.S.; Olson, D.B.

    1999-01-01

    A unified mechanistic approach is given for the derivation of various forms of functional response in predator-prey models. The derivation is based on the principle-of-mass action but with the crucial refinement that the nature of the spatial distribution of predators and/or opportunities for predation are taken into account in an implicit way. If the predators are assumed to have a homogeneous spatial distribution, then the derived functional response is prey-dependent. If the predators are assumed to form a dense colony or school in a single (possibly moving) location, or if the region where predators can encounter prey is assumed to be of limited size, then the functional response depends on both predator and prey densities in a manner that reflects feeding interference between predators. Depending on the specific assumptions, the resulting functional response may be of Beddington-DeAngelis type, of Hassell-Varley type, or ratio-dependent.

  5. Nonequilibrium functional renormalization group for interacting quantum systems.

    PubMed

    Jakobs, Severin G; Meden, Volker; Schoeller, Herbert

    2007-10-12

    We propose a nonequilibrium version of functional renormalization within the Keldysh formalism by introducing a complex-valued flow parameter in the Fermi or Bose functions of each reservoir. Our cutoff scheme provides a unified approach to equilibrium and nonequilibrium situations. We apply it to nonequilibrium transport through an interacting quantum wire coupled to two reservoirs and show that the nonequilibrium occupation induces new power law exponents for the conductance.

  6. Expanding the Range of Plant Functional Diversity Represented in Global Vegetation Models: Towards Lineage-based Plant Functional Types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Still, C. J.; Griffith, D.; Edwards, E.; Forrestel, E.; Lehmann, C.; Anderson, M.; Craine, J.; Pau, S.; Osborne, C.

    2014-12-01

    Variation in plant species traits, such as photosynthetic and hydraulic properties, can indicate vulnerability or resilience to climate change, and feed back to broad-scale spatial and temporal patterns in biogeochemistry, demographics, and biogeography. Yet, predicting how vegetation will respond to future environmental changes is severely limited by the inability of our models to represent species-level trait variation in processes and properties, as current generation process-based models are mostly based on the generalized and abstracted concept of plant functional types (PFTs) which were originally developed for hydrological modeling. For example, there are close to 11,000 grass species, but most vegetation models have only a single C4 grass and one or two C3 grass PFTs. However, while species trait databases are expanding rapidly, they have been produced mostly from unstructured research, with a focus on easily researched traits that are not necessarily the most important for determining plant function. Additionally, implementing realistic species-level trait variation in models is challenging. Combining related and ecologically similar species in these models might ameliorate this limitation. Here we argue for an intermediate, lineage-based approach to PFTs, which draws upon recent advances in gene sequencing and phylogenetic modeling, and where trait complex variations and anatomical features are constrained by a shared evolutionary history. We provide an example of this approach with grass lineages that vary in photosynthetic pathway (C3 or C4) and other functional and structural traits. We use machine learning approaches and geospatial databases to infer the most important environmental controls and climate niche variation for the distribution of grass lineages, and utilize a rapidly expanding grass trait database to demonstrate examples of lineage-based grass PFTs. For example, grasses in the Andropogoneae are typically tall species that dominate wet and

  7. Evolution and function of genomic imprinting in plants

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Jessica A.; Zilberman, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Genomic imprinting, an inherently epigenetic phenomenon defined by parent of origin-dependent gene expression, is observed in mammals and flowering plants. Genome-scale surveys of imprinted expression and the underlying differential epigenetic marks have led to the discovery of hundreds of imprinted plant genes and confirmed DNA and histone methylation as key regulators of plant imprinting. However, the biological roles of the vast majority of imprinted plant genes are unknown, and the evolutionary forces shaping plant imprinting remain rather opaque. Here, we review the mechanisms of plant genomic imprinting and discuss theories of imprinting evolution and biological significance in light of recent findings. PMID:26680300

  8. Plant functional diversity and species diversity in the Mongolian steppe.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guofang; Xie, Xiufang; Ye, Duo; Ye, Xuehua; Tuvshintogtokh, Indree; Mandakh, Bayart; Huang, Zhenying; Dong, Ming

    2013-01-01

    The Mongolian steppe is one of the most important grasslands in the world but suffers from aridization and damage from anthropogenic activities. Understanding structure and function of this community is important for the ecological conservation, but has seldom been investigated. In this study, a total of 324 quadrats located on the three main types of Mongolian steppes were surveyed. Early-season perennial forbs (37% of total importance value), late-season annual forbs (33%) and late-season perennial forbs (44%) were dominant in meadow, typical and desert steppes, respectively. Species richness, diversity and plant functional type (PFT) richness decreased from the meadow, via typical to desert steppes, but evenness increased; PFT diversity in the desert and meadow steppes was higher than that in typical steppe. However, above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) was far lower in desert steppe than in the other two steppes. In addition, the slope of the relationship between species richness and PFT richness increased from the meadow, via typical to desert steppes. Similarly, with an increase in species diversity, PFT diversity increased more quickly in both the desert and typical steppes than that in meadow steppe. Random resampling suggested that this coordination was partly due to a sampling effect of diversity. These results indicate that desert steppe should be strictly protected because of its limited functional redundancy, which its ecological functioning is sensitive to species loss. In contrast, despite high potential forage production shared by the meadow and typical steppes, management of these two types of steppes should be different: meadow steppe should be preserved due to its higher conservation value characterized by more species redundancy and higher spatial heterogeneity, while typical steppe could be utilized moderately because its dominant grass genus Stipa is resistant to herbivory and drought.

  9. Plant Functional Diversity and Species Diversity in the Mongolian Steppe

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Guofang; Xie, Xiufang; Ye, Duo; Ye, Xuehua; Tuvshintogtokh, Indree; Mandakh, Bayart; Huang, Zhenying; Dong, Ming

    2013-01-01

    Background The Mongolian steppe is one of the most important grasslands in the world but suffers from aridization and damage from anthropogenic activities. Understanding structure and function of this community is important for the ecological conservation, but has seldom been investigated. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, a total of 324 quadrats located on the three main types of Mongolian steppes were surveyed. Early-season perennial forbs (37% of total importance value), late-season annual forbs (33%) and late-season perennial forbs (44%) were dominant in meadow, typical and desert steppes, respectively. Species richness, diversity and plant functional type (PFT) richness decreased from the meadow, via typical to desert steppes, but evenness increased; PFT diversity in the desert and meadow steppes was higher than that in typical steppe. However, above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) was far lower in desert steppe than in the other two steppes. In addition, the slope of the relationship between species richness and PFT richness increased from the meadow, via typical to desert steppes. Similarly, with an increase in species diversity, PFT diversity increased more quickly in both the desert and typical steppes than that in meadow steppe. Random resampling suggested that this coordination was partly due to a sampling effect of diversity. Conclusions/Significance These results indicate that desert steppe should be strictly protected because of its limited functional redundancy, which its ecological functioning is sensitive to species loss. In contrast, despite high potential forage production shared by the meadow and typical steppes, management of these two types of steppes should be different: meadow steppe should be preserved due to its higher conservation value characterized by more species redundancy and higher spatial heterogeneity, while typical steppe could be utilized moderately because its dominant grass genus Stipa is resistant to

  10. Arabidopsis RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED and Polycomb group proteins: cooperation during plant cell differentiation and development.

    PubMed

    Kuwabara, Asuka; Gruissem, Wilhelm

    2014-06-01

    RETINOBLASTOMA (RB) is a tumour suppressor gene originally discovered in patients that develop eye tumours. The pRb protein is now well established as a key cell-cycle regulator which suppresses G1-S transition via interaction with E2F-DP complexes. pRb function is also required for a wide range of biological processes, including the regulation of stem-cell maintenance, cell differentiation, permanent cell-cycle exit, DNA repair, and genome stability. Such multifunctionality of pRb is thought to be facilitated through interactions with various binding partners in a context-dependent manner. Although the molecular network in which RB controls various biological processes is not fully understood, it has been found that pRb interacts with transcription factors and chromatin modifiers to either suppress or promote the expression of key genes during the switch from cell proliferation to differentiation. RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED (RBR) is the plant orthologue of RB and is also known to negatively control the G1-S transition. Similar to its animal counterpart, plant RBR has various roles throughout plant development; however, much of its molecular functions outside of the G1-S transition are still unknown. One of the better-characterized molecular mechanisms is the cooperation of RBR with the Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) during plant-specific developmental events. This review summarizes the current understanding of this cooperation and focuses on the processes in Arabidopsis in which the RBR-PRC2 cooperation facilitates cell differentiation and developmental transitions. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Group VII Ethylene Response Factors Coordinate Oxygen and Nitric Oxide Signal Transduction and Stress Responses in Plants.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Daniel J; Conde, Jorge Vicente; Berckhan, Sophie; Prasad, Geeta; Mendiondo, Guillermina M; Holdsworth, Michael J

    2015-09-01

    The group VII ethylene response factors (ERFVIIs) are plant-specific transcription factors that have emerged as important regulators of abiotic and biotic stress responses, in particular, low-oxygen stress. A defining feature of ERFVIIs is their conserved N-terminal domain, which renders them oxygen- and nitric oxide (NO)-dependent substrates of the N-end rule pathway of targeted proteolysis. In the presence of these gases, ERFVIIs are destabilized, whereas an absence of either permits their accumulation; ERFVIIs therefore coordinate plant homeostatic responses to oxygen availability and control a wide range of NO-mediated processes. ERFVIIs have a variety of context-specific protein and gene interaction partners, and also modulate gibberellin and abscisic acid signaling to regulate diverse developmental processes and stress responses. This update discusses recent advances in our understanding of ERFVII regulation and function, highlighting their role as central regulators of gaseous signal transduction at the interface of ethylene, oxygen, and NO signaling. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  12. Differential contribution of soil biota groups to plant litter decomposition as mediated by soil use

    PubMed Central

    Falco, Liliana B.; Sandler, Rosana V.; Coviella, Carlos E.

    2015-01-01

    Plant decomposition is dependant on the activity of the soil biota and its interactions with climate, soil properties, and plant residue inputs. This work assessed the roles of different groups of the soil biota on litter decomposition, and the way they are modulated by soil use. Litterbags of different mesh sizes for the selective exclusion of soil fauna by size (macro, meso, and microfauna) were filled with standardized dried leaves and placed on the same soil under different use intensities: naturalized grasslands, recent agriculture, and intensive agriculture fields. During five months, litterbags of each mesh size were collected once a month per system with five replicates. The remaining mass was measured and decomposition rates calculated. Differences were found for the different biota groups, and they were dependant on soil use. Within systems, the results show that in the naturalized grasslands, the macrofauna had the highest contribution to decomposition. In the recent agricultural system it was the combined activity of the macro- and mesofauna, and in the intensive agricultural use it was the mesofauna activity. These results underscore the relative importance and activity of the different groups of the edaphic biota and the effects of different soil uses on soil biota activity. PMID:25780777

  13. Plant-based milk alternatives an emerging segment of functional beverages: a review.

    PubMed

    Sethi, Swati; Tyagi, S K; Anurag, Rahul K

    2016-09-01

    Plant-based or non-dairy milk alternative is the fast growing segment in newer food product development category of functional and specialty beverage across the globe. Nowadays, cow milk allergy, lactose intolerance, calorie concern and prevalence of hypercholesterolemia, more preference to vegan diets has influenced consumers towards choosing cow milk alternatives. Plant-based milk alternatives are a rising trend, which can serve as an inexpensive alternate to poor economic group of developing countries and in places, where cow's milk supply is insufficient. Though numerous types of innovative food beverages from plant sources are being exploited for cow milk alternative, many of these faces some/any type of technological issues; either related to processing or preservation. Majority of these milk alternatives lack nutritional balance when compared to bovine milk, however they contain functionally active components with health promoting properties which attracts health conscious consumers. In case of legume based milk alternatives, sensory acceptability is a major limiting factor for its wide popularity. New and advanced non-thermal processing technologies such as ultra high temperature treatment, ultra high pressure homogenization, pulsed electric field processing are being researched for tackling the problems related to increase of shelf life, emulsion stability, nutritional completeness and sensory acceptability of the final product. Concerted research efforts are required in coming years in functional beverages segment to prepare tailor-made newer products which are palatable as well as nutritionally adequate.

  14. [Effect of dehydration on functioning of photosystems of higher plants].

    PubMed

    Karapetian, N V; Bukhov, N G

    1979-01-01

    The functional activity of both photosystems of higher plants and their thermoresistance in conditions of dehydratation of chloroplasts or subchloroplast fragments were studied. It is shown that dehydratation of the sample does not change the P700 amount capable to photooxidation. At 20 degrees in the time course of dark reduction of photooxidized P700 P(700+) in films two phases differing in rate were found. The relative contribution of each phase depends on the illumination duration. Since dehydratation blocks electron transfer between photosystems, the double phase dark reduction of P700+ in films reflects the electron flow from various components of potosystem 1 acceptor part. Dehydratation has little effect on properties of photosystem 1 acceptor part, because at low temperature the time courses of P700+ dark reduction in films and chloroplast or subchloroplast suspensions are similar. In contrast with potosystem 1, the functioning of photosystem 2, studied by light induced increase of fluorescence yield of chloroplasts, is blocked abruptly by water removal, but it could be partly restored by rehydratation of dried chloroplasts. The water removal increases the thermostability of both photosystems, however in suspension of the studied samples and also in their films photosystem 1 is more thermostable in comparison with photosystem 2.

  15. Producing Conditional Mutants for Studying Plant Microtubule Function

    SciTech Connect

    Richard Cyr

    2009-09-29

    The cytoskeleton, and in particular its microtubule component, participates in several processes that directly affect growth and development in higher plants. Normal cytoskeletal function requires the precise and orderly arrangement of microtubules into several cell cycle and developmentally specific arrays. One of these, the cortical array, is notable for its role in directing the deposition of cellulose (the most prominent polymer in the biosphere). An understanding of how these arrays form, and the molecular interactions that contribute to their function, is incomplete. To gain a better understanding of how microtubules work, we have been working to characterize mutants in critical cytoskeletal genes. This characterization is being carried out at the subcellular level using vital microtubule gene constructs. In the last year of funding colleagues have discovered that gamma-tubulin complexes form along the lengths of cortical microtubules where they act to spawn new microtubules at a characteristic 40 deg angle. This finding complements nicely the finding from our lab (which was funded by the DOE) showing that microtubule encounters are angle dependent; high angles encounters results in catastrophic collisions while low angle encounters result in favorable zippering. The finding of a 40 deg spawn of new microtubules from extant microtubule, together with aforementioned rules of encounters, insures favorable co-alignment in the array. I was invited to write a New and Views essay on this topic and a PDF is attached (News and Views policy does not permit funding acknowledgments and so I was not allowed to acknowledge support from the DOE).

  16. Affinity of functional groups for membrane surfaces: implications for physically irreversible fouling.

    PubMed

    Yamamura, Hiroshi; Kimura, Katsuki; Okajima, Takaharu; Tokumoto, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Yoshimasa

    2008-07-15

    Fouling in membranes used for water treatment has been attributed to the presence of natural organic matter (NOM) in water. There have been reports recently on the contribution of hydrophilic fractions of NOM (e.g., carbohydrate-like substances) to fouling, but there is still little information about the physicochemical interactions between membranes and carbohydrate-like substances. In this study, the affinity of carbohydrate-like substances to two different microfiltration (MF) membranes was investigated by using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and functionally modified microspheres. Microspheres were attached to the tip of the cantilever in an AFM apparatus and the adhesion forces working between the microspheres and the membranes were determined. The microspheres used in this study were coated with either hydroxyl groups or carboxyl groups to be used as surrogates of carbohydrate-like substances or humic acid, respectively. Measurements of adhesion force were carried out at pH of 6.8 and the experimental results demonstrated that the adhesion force to membranes was strong in the case of hydroxyl groups but weak in the case of carboxyl groups. The strong adhesion between the hydroxyl group and the membrane surface is explained by the strong hydrogen bond generated. It was also found that the affinity of the hydroxyl group to a polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF) membrane was much higher than that to a polyethylene (PE) membrane, possibly due to the high electronegative nature of the PVDF polymer. The time course of changes in the affinity of hydroxyl group to a membrane used in a practical condition was investigated by repeatedly carrying out AFM force measurements with PE membrane specimens sampled from a pilot plant operated at an existing water treatment plant. Microspheres exhibited strong affinity to the membrane at the initial stage of operation (within 5 days), but subsequently exponential reduction of the affinity was seen until the end of operation, as a result

  17. Multicultural-Multilingual Group Sessions: Development of Functional Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larroude, Bettina

    2004-01-01

    Group therapy with multilingual, multicultural populations is a challenging and unexplored area that is beginning to be addressed because of the growing population of multilingual, multicultural children. In this article, the importance of working with children from different cultural backgrounds, and current research on bilingualism are reviewed.…

  18. Phytochrome from Green Plants: Properties and biological Function

    SciTech Connect

    Quail, Peter H.

    2014-07-25

    Pfr conformer reverses this activity upon initial light exposure, inducing the switch to photomorphogenic development. This reversal involves light-triggered translocation of the photoactivated phy molecule into the nucleus where it interacts with PIF-family members, inducing rapid phosphorylation and degradation of the PIFs via the ubiquitin-proteasome system. This degradation in turn elicits rapid alterations in gene expression that drive the deetiolation transition. This project has made considerable progress in defining phy-PIF signaling activity in controlling the SAR. The biological functions of the multiple PIF-family members in controlling the SAR, including dissection of the relative contributions of the individual PIFs to this process, as well as to diurnal growth-control oscillations, have been investigated using higher-order pif-mutant combinations. Using microarray analysis of a quadruple pif mutant we have defined the shade-induced, PIF-regulated transcriptional network genome-wide. This has revealed that a dynamic antagonism between the phys and PIFs generates selective reciprocal responses during deetiolation and the SAR in a rapidly light-responsive transcriptional network. Using integrated RNA-seq and ChIP-seq analysis of higher order pif-mutant combinations, we have defined the direct gene-targets of PIF transcriptional regulation, and have obtained evidence that this regulation involves differential direct targeting of rapidly light-responsive genes by the individual PIF-family members. This project has provided significant advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which the phy-PIF photosensory signaling pathway regulates an important bioenergy-related plant response to the light environment. The identification of molecular targets in the primary transcriptional-regulatory circuitry of this pathway has the potential to enable genetic or reverse-genetic manipulation of the partitioning of carbon between reproductive and

  19. Aldehyde Recognition and Discrimination by Mammalian Odorant Receptors via Functional Group-Specific Hydration Chemistry

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-02

    distribution is unlimited. Aldehyde Recognition and Discrimination by Mammalian Odorant Receptors via Functional Group-Specific Hydration Chemistry The...Recognition and Discrimination by Mammalian Odorant Receptors via Functional Group-Specific Hydration Chemistry Report Title The mammalian odorant receptors...octanal. Aldehyde Recognition and Discrimination by Mammalian Odorant Receptors via Functional Group-Specific Hydration Chemistry Approved for public

  20. Structure and function of bordered pits: new discoveries and impacts on whole-plant hydraulic function.

    PubMed

    Choat, Brendan; Cobb, Alexander R; Jansen, Steven

    2008-01-01

    Bordered pits are cavities in the lignified cell walls of xylem conduits (vessels and tracheids) that are essential components in the water-transport system of higher plants. The pit membrane, which lies in the center of each pit, allows water to pass between xylem conduits but limits the spread of embolism and vascular pathogens in the xylem. Averaged across a wide range of species, pits account for > 50% of total xylem hydraulic resistance, indicating that they are an important factor in the overall hydraulic efficiency of plants. The structure of pits varies dramatically across species, with large differences evident in the porosity and thickness of pit membranes. Because greater porosity reduces hydraulic resistance but increases vulnerability to embolism, differences in pit structure are expected to correlate with trade-offs between efficiency and safety of water transport. However, trade-offs in hydraulic function are influenced both by pit-level differences in structure (e.g. average porosity of pit membranes) and by tissue-level changes in conduit allometry (average length, diameter) and the total surface area of pit membranes that connects vessels. In this review we address the impact of variation in pit structure on water transport in plants from the level of individual pits to the whole plant.

  1. The Hidden World within Plants: Ecological and Evolutionary Considerations for Defining Functioning of Microbial Endophytes

    PubMed Central

    van Overbeek, Leonard S.; Berg, Gabriele; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Compant, Stéphane; Campisano, Andrea; Döring, Matthias; Sessitsch, Angela

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY All plants are inhabited internally by diverse microbial communities comprising bacterial, archaeal, fungal, and protistic taxa. These microorganisms showing endophytic lifestyles play crucial roles in plant development, growth, fitness, and diversification. The increasing awareness of and information on endophytes provide insight into the complexity of the plant microbiome. The nature of plant-endophyte interactions ranges from mutualism to pathogenicity. This depends on a set of abiotic and biotic factors, including the genotypes of plants and microbes, environmental conditions, and the dynamic network of interactions within the plant biome. In this review, we address the concept of endophytism, considering the latest insights into evolution, plant ecosystem functioning, and multipartite interactions. PMID:26136581

  2. Effects of Oxygen-Containing Functional Groups on Supercapacitor Performance

    SciTech Connect

    Kerisit, Sebastien N.; Schwenzer, Birgit; Vijayakumar, M.

    2014-07-03

    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the interface between graphene and the ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate (BMIM OTf) were carried out to gain molecular-level insights into the performance of graphene-based supercapacitors and, in particular, determine the effects of the presence of oxygen-containing defects at the graphene surface on their integral capacitance. The MD simulations predict that increasing the surface coverage of hydroxyl groups negatively affects the integral capacitance, whereas the effect of the presence of epoxy groups is much less significant. The calculated variations in capacitance are found to be directly correlated to the interfacial structure. Indeed, hydrogen bonding between hydroxyl groups and SO3 anion moieties prevents BMIM+ and OTf- molecules from interacting favorably in the dense interfacial layer and restrains the orientation and mobility of OTf- ions, thereby reducing the permittivity of the ionic liquid at the interface. The results of the molecular simulations can facilitate the rational design of electrode materials for supercapacitors.

  3. Reactivity of End-functionalized Polymers Containing Diels-Alder Functional Groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Yuan; Zhang, Yuan; Anthamatten, Mitchell

    2013-03-01

    Incorporation of reversible covalent bond into macromolecular systems has proven useful in engineering novel responsive architectures, and Diels-Alder bonding in this context is now well established. However, efficient synthesis of end-functionalized polymers is a major obstacle hindering further development of responsive and modular polymer architectures. In this current research, two immiscible polymers, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and poly(benzyl methacrylate) (PBzMA) with controlled molecular weight, bearing terminal furan-maleimide groups, are prepared via Reversible Addition-Fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The reactivity of such end-functionalized polymers is explored to expose the relationship between chain composition and their ability to undergo modular cross-coupling to form monodisperse block copolymers. To elucidate how reaction conditions affect the efficiency of the Diels-Alder reaction, Hydrogen Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (H-NMR) and Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC) techniques are actively applied. Experimental results will be interpreted on the basis of dissimilarity between interaction energies of polymer segments and the concentration of reactive groups.

  4. Quantum groups and functional relations for lower rank

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nirov, Kh. S.; Razumov, A. V.

    2017-02-01

    A detailed construction of the universal integrability objects related to the integrable systems associated with the quantum loop algebra Uq(L(sl2)) is given. The full proof of the functional relations in the form independent of the representation of the quantum loop algebra on the quantum space is presented. The case of the general gradation and general twisting is treated. The specialization of the universal functional relations to the case when the quantum space is the state space of a discrete spin chain is described. This is a digression of the corresponding consideration for the case of the quantum loop algebra Uq(L(sl3)) with an extension to the higher spin case.

  5. Application of photoremovable protecting group for controlled release of plant growth regulators by sunlight.

    PubMed

    Atta, Sanghamitra; Ikbal, Mohammed; Kumar, Ashutosh; Pradeep Singh, N D

    2012-06-04

    We report a novel technique for controlled release of plant growth regulators (PGRs) by sunlight using photoremovable protecting group (PRPG) as a delivery device. In the present work, carboxyl-containing PGRs of the auxin group [indoleacetic acid (IAA) and naphthoxyacetic acid (NOAA)] were chemically caged using PRPGs of coumarin derivatives. Photophysical studies showed that caged PGRs exhibited good fluorescence properties. Irradiation of caged PGRs by sunlight in both aqueous ethanol and soil media resulted in controlled release of PGRs. The results of the bioactivity experiments indicated that caged PGRs showed better enhancement in the root and shoot length growth of Cicer arietinum compared to PGRs after 10days of sunlight exposure. Our results indicated that use of PRPG as a delivery device for controlled release of PGRs by sunlight in soil holds great interest for field application since it can overcome the rapid loss of PGRs in environmental conditions.

  6. Functional traits determine plant co-occurrence more than environment or evolutionary relatedness in global drylands.

    PubMed

    Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T; Bowker, Matthew A; Torices, Rubén; Quero, José L; García-Gómez, Miguel; Cabrera, Omar; Cea, Alex; Coaguila, Daniel; Eldridge, David J; Espinosa, Carlos I; Hemmings, Frank; Monerris, Jorge J; Tighe, Matthew; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Escolar, Cristina; García-Palacios, Pablo; Gozalo, Beatriz; Ochoa, Victoria; Blones, Julio; Derak, Mchich; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gutiérrez, Julio R; Hernández, Rosa M; Noumi, Zouhaier

    2014-08-20

    Plant-plant interactions are driven by environmental conditions, evolutionary relationships (ER) and the functional traits of the plants involved. However, studies addressing the relative importance of these drivers are rare, but crucial to improve our predictions of the effects of plant-plant interactions on plant communities and of how they respond to differing environmental conditions. To analyze the relative importance of -and interrelationships among- these factors as drivers of plant-plant interactions, we analyzed perennial plant co-occurrence at 106 dryland plant communities established across rainfall gradients in nine countries. We used structural equation modeling to disentangle the relationships between environmental conditions (aridity and soil fertility), functional traits extracted from the literature, and ER, and to assess their relative importance as drivers of the 929 pairwise plant-plant co-occurrence levels measured. Functional traits, specifically facilitated plants' height and nurse growth form, were of primary importance, and modulated the effect of the environment and ER on plant-plant interactions. Environmental conditions and ER were important mainly for those interactions involving woody and graminoid nurses, respectively. The relative importance of different plant-plant interaction drivers (ER, functional traits, and the environment) varied depending on the region considered, illustrating the difficulty of predicting the outcome of plant-plant interactions at broader spatial scales. In our global-scale study on drylands, plant-plant interactions were more strongly related to functional traits of the species involved than to the environmental variables considered. Thus, moving to a trait-based facilitation/competition approach help to predict that: 1) positive plant-plant interactions are more likely to occur for taller facilitated species in drylands, and 2) plant-plant interactions within woody-dominated ecosystems might be more

  7. Correlates of monoicy and dioicy in hornworts, the apparent sister group to vascular plants.

    PubMed

    Villarreal, Juan Carlos; Renner, Susanne S

    2013-11-02

    Whether male and female gametes are produced by single or separate individuals shapes plant mating and hence patterns of genetic diversity among and within populations. Haploid-dominant plants ("bryophytes": liverworts, mosses and hornworts) can have unisexual (dioicous) or bisexual (monoicous) gametophytes, and today, 68% of liverwort species, 57% of moss species, and 40% of hornwort species are dioicous. The transitions between the two sexual systems and possible correlations with other traits have been studied in liverworts and mosses, but not hornworts. Here we use a phylogeny for 98 of the 200 species of hornworts, the sister group to vascular plants, representing roughly equal proportions of all monoicous and all dioicous species, to test whether transitions in sexual systems are predominantly from monoicy to dioicy as might be expected based on studies of mosses. We further investigate possible correlations between sexual system and spore size, antheridium number, ploidy level, and diversification rate, with character selection partly based on findings in mosses and liverworts. Hornworts underwent numerous transitions between monoicy and dioicy. The transition rate from dioicy to monoicy was 2× higher than in the opposite direction, but monoicous groups have higher extinction rates; diversification rates do not correlate with sexual system. A correlation important in mosses, that between monoicy and polyploidy, apparently plays a small role: of 20 species with chromosome counts, only one is polyploid, the monoicous Anthoceros punctatus. A contingency test revealed that transitions to dioicy were more likely in species with small spores, supporting the hypothesis that small but numerous spores may be advantageous for dioicous species that depend on dense carpets of gametophytes for reproductive assurance. However, we found no evidence for increased antheridium-per-chamber numbers in dioicous species. Sexual systems in hornworts are labile, and the higher

  8. Correlates of monoicy and dioicy in hornworts, the apparent sister group to vascular plants

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Whether male and female gametes are produced by single or separate individuals shapes plant mating and hence patterns of genetic diversity among and within populations. Haploid-dominant plants (“bryophytes”: liverworts, mosses and hornworts) can have unisexual (dioicous) or bisexual (monoicous) gametophytes, and today, 68% of liverwort species, 57% of moss species, and 40% of hornwort species are dioicous. The transitions between the two sexual systems and possible correlations with other traits have been studied in liverworts and mosses, but not hornworts. Here we use a phylogeny for 98 of the 200 species of hornworts, the sister group to vascular plants, representing roughly equal proportions of all monoicous and all dioicous species, to test whether transitions in sexual systems are predominantly from monoicy to dioicy as might be expected based on studies of mosses. We further investigate possible correlations between sexual system and spore size, antheridium number, ploidy level, and diversification rate, with character selection partly based on findings in mosses and liverworts. Results Hornworts underwent numerous transitions between monoicy and dioicy. The transition rate from dioicy to monoicy was 2× higher than in the opposite direction, but monoicous groups have higher extinction rates; diversification rates do not correlate with sexual system. A correlation important in mosses, that between monoicy and polyploidy, apparently plays a small role: of 20 species with chromosome counts, only one is polyploid, the monoicous Anthoceros punctatus. A contingency test revealed that transitions to dioicy were more likely in species with small spores, supporting the hypothesis that small but numerous spores may be advantageous for dioicous species that depend on dense carpets of gametophytes for reproductive assurance. However, we found no evidence for increased antheridium-per-chamber numbers in dioicous species. Conclusions Sexual systems in

  9. Pentacyclic triterpene distribution in various plants - rich sources for a new group of multi-potent plant extracts.

    PubMed

    Jäger, Sebastian; Trojan, Holger; Kopp, Thomas; Laszczyk, Melanie N; Scheffler, Armin

    2009-06-04

    Pentacyclic triterpenes are secondary plant metabolites widespread in fruit peel, leaves and stem bark. In particular the lupane-, oleanane-, and ursane triterpenes display various pharmacological effects while being devoid of prominent toxicity. Therefore, these triterpenes are promising leading compounds for the development of new multi-targeting bioactive agents. Screening of 39 plant materials identified triterpene rich (> 0.1% dry matter) plant parts. Plant materials with high triterpene concentrations were then used to obtain dry extracts by accelerated solvent extraction resulting in a triterpene content of 50 - 90%. Depending on the plant material, betulin (birch bark), betulinic acid (plane bark), oleanolic acid (olive leaves, olive pomace, mistletoe sprouts, clove flowers), ursolic acid (apple pomace) or an equal mixture of the three triterpene acids (rosemary leaves) are the main components of these dry extracts. They are quantitatively characterised plant extracts supplying a high concentration of actives and therefore can be used for development of phytopharmaceutical formulations.

  10. Distribution, biological activities, metabolism, and the conceivable function of cis-zeatin-type cytokinins in plants.

    PubMed

    Gajdosová, Silvia; Spíchal, Lukás; Kamínek, Miroslav; Hoyerová, Klára; Novák, Ondrej; Dobrev, Petre I; Galuszka, Petr; Klíma, Petr; Gaudinová, Alena; Zizková, Eva; Hanus, Jan; Dancák, Martin; Trávnícek, Bohumil; Pesek, Bedrich; Krupicka, Martin; Vanková, Radomíra; Strnad, Miroslav; Motyka, Václav

    2011-05-01

    Cytokinins (CKs) are plant hormones affecting numerous developmental processes. Zeatin and its derivatives are the most important group of isoprenoid CKs. Zeatin occurs as two isomers: while trans-zeatin (transZ) was found to be a bioactive substance, cis-zeatin (cisZ) was reported to have a weak biological impact. Even though cisZ derivatives are abundant in various plant materials their biological role is still unknown. The comprehensive screen of land plants presented here suggests that cisZ-type CKs occur ubiquitously in the plant kingdom but their abundance might correlate with a strategy of life rather than with evolutionary complexity. Changing levels of transZ and cisZ during Arabidopsis ontogenesis show that levels of the two zeatin isomers can differ significantly during the life span of the plant, with cisZ-type CKs prevalent in the developmental stages associated with limited growth. A survey of the bioassays employed illustrates mild activity of cisZ and its derivatives. No cis↔trans isomerization, which would account for the effects of cisZ, was observed in tobacco cells and oat leaves. Differences in uptake between the two isomers resulting in distinct bioactivity have not been detected. In contrast, cisZ and transZ have a different metabolic fate in oat and tobacco. Analysis of a CK-degrading enzyme, cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (CKX), reveals that Arabidopsis possesses two isoforms, AtCKX1 expressed in stages of active growth, and AtCKX7, both of which have the highest affinity for the cisZ isomer. Based on the present results, the conceivable function of cisZ-type CKs as delicate regulators of CK responses in plants under growth-limiting conditions is hypothesized.

  11. Drought sensitivities of dominant plant functional types in the Colorado Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoover, D. L.; Duniway, M.; Belnap, J.

    2014-12-01

    Drylands of the Southwestern US are predicted to experience greater water limitations with climate change due to changes in precipitation and increased warming. Certain plants may be living at or near their tolerance thresholds in these ecosystems and thus subtle changes in water availability may have dramatic effects on their performances. We imposed a four-year experiment in the Colorado Plateau to assess the vulnerability of this dryland ecosystem to chronic, but subtle drought using 40 sites varying in plant communities, parent materials and soil textures. Within a site, two plots were selected with matching cover of target species, which were randomly assigned to either control (ambient precipitation) or drought (35% reduction) treatments. Drought treatments were imposed year-round from 2011 through 2014. Over the course of the experiment, we examined plant cover changes and mortality of four dominant plant functional types (PFT's): C3 grasses, C4 grasses, C3 shrubs and C4 shrubs. We hypothesized that overall, grasses would be more sensitive to drought than shrubs, and that within these two groups, plants with C3 photosynthesis would be more sensitive than plants with C4 photosynthesis. During three of the four years, precipitation inputs were either near average (50th percentile, control) or dry (25th percentile, drought). However in 2012, both treatments experienced extremely dry growing season precipitation with the control and drought below the 5th and 1st percentiles, respectively. We observed three general responses to drought in this experiment: 1. change in cover with mortality (C3 grasses), 2. change in cover without mortality (C4 grasses and C4 shrubs) and 3. no change in cover or mortality (C3 shrubs). The dramatic responses of the C3 grasses suggest that this PFT is very sensitive to drought and it is living at or near its tolerance threshold in this region. While the C4 grasses also experienced cover changes, they did not experience widespread

  12. Flood-Induced Changes in Soil Microbial Functions as Modified by Plant Diversity

    PubMed Central

    González Macé, Odette; Steinauer, Katja; Jousset, Alexandre; Eisenhauer, Nico; Scheu, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Flooding frequency is predicted to increase during the next decades, calling for a better understanding of impacts on terrestrial ecosystems and for developing strategies to mitigate potential damage. Plant diversity is expected to buffer flooding effects by providing a broad range of species’ responses. Here we report on the response of soil processes to a severe summer flood in 2013, which affected major parts of central Europe. We compared soil microbial respiration, biomass, nutrient limitation and enzyme activity in a grassland biodiversity experiment in Germany before flooding, one week and three months after the flood. Microbial biomass was reduced in the severely flooded plots at high, but not at low plant functional group richness. Flooding alleviated microbial nitrogen limitation, presumably due the input of nutrient-rich sediments. Further, the activity of soil enzymes including 1,4-β-N-acetylglucosaminidase, phenol oxidase and peroxidase increased with flooding severity, suggesting increased chitin and lignin degradation as a consequence of the input of detritus in sediments. Flooding effects were enhanced at higher plant diversity, indicating that plant diversity temporarily reduces stability of soil processes during flooding. The long-term impacts, however, remain unknown and deserve further investigation. PMID:27870864

  13. Functional traits determine plant co-occurrence more than environment or evolutionary relatedness in global drylands

    PubMed Central

    Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Torices, Rubén; Quero, José L.; García-Gómez, Miguel; Cabrera, Omar; Cea, Alex; Coaguila, Daniel; Eldridge, David J.; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Hemmings, Frank; Monerris, Jorge J.; Tighe, Matthew; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Escolar, Cristina; García-Palacios, Pablo; Gozalo, Beatriz; Ochoa, Victoria; Blones, Julio; Derak, Mchich; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gutiérrez, Julio R.; Hernández, Rosa M.; Noumi, Zouhaier

    2015-01-01

    Plant-plant interactions are driven by environmental conditions, evolutionary relationships (ER) and the functional traits of the plants involved. However, studies addressing the relative importance of these drivers are rare, but crucial to improve our predictions of the effects of plant-plant interactions on plant communities and of how they respond to differing environmental conditions. To analyze the relative importance of –and interrelationships among– these factors as drivers of plant-plant interactions, we analyzed perennial plant co-occurrence at 106 dryland plant communities established across rainfall gradients in nine countries. We used structural equation modeling to disentangle the relationships between environmental conditions (aridity and soil fertility), functional traits extracted from the literature, and ER, and to assess their relative importance as drivers of the 929 pairwise plant-plant co-occurrence levels measured. Functional traits, specifically facilitated plants’ height and nurse growth form, were of primary importance, and modulated the effect of the environment and ER on plant-plant interactions. Environmental conditions and ER were important mainly for those interactions involving woody and graminoid nurses, respectively. The relative importance of different plant-plant interaction drivers (ER, functional traits, and the environment) varied depending on the region considered, illustrating the difficulty of predicting the outcome of plant-plant interactions at broader spatial scales. In our global-scale study on drylands, plant-plant interactions were more strongly related to functional traits of the species involved than to the environmental variables considered. Thus, moving to a trait-based facilitation/competition approach help to predict that: 1) positive plant-plant interactions are more likely to occur for taller facilitated species in drylands, and 2) plant-plant interactions within woody-dominated ecosystems might be more

  14. Photosynthetic pathway alters hydraulic structure and function in woody plants.

    PubMed

    Kocacinar, Ferit; Sage, Rowan F

    2004-04-01

    Xylem structure and function is proposed to reflect an evolutionary balance between demands for efficient movement of water to the leaf canopy and resistance to cavitation during high xylem tension. Water use efficiency (WUE) affects this balance by altering the water cost of photosynthesis. Therefore species of greater WUE, such as C(4) plants, should have altered xylem properties. To evaluate this hypothesis, we assessed the hydraulic and anatomical properties of 19 C(3) and C(4) woody species from arid regions of the American west and central Asia. Specific conductivity of stem xylem ( K(s) ) was 16%-98% lower in the C(4) than C(3) shrubs from the American west. In the Asian species, the C(3) Nitraria schoberi had similar and Halimodendron halodendron higher K(s) values compared with three C(4) species. Leaf specific conductivity ( K(L); hydraulic conductivity per leaf area) was 60%-98% lower in the C(4) than C(3) species, demonstrating that the presence of the C(4) pathway alters the relationship between leaf area and the ability of the xylem to transport water. C(4) species produced similar or smaller vessels than the C(3) shrubs except in Calligonum, and most C(4) shrubs exhibited higher wood densities than the C(3) species. Together, smaller conduit size and higher wood density indicate that in most cases, the C(4) shrubs exploited higher WUE by altering xylem structure to enhance safety from cavitation. In a minority of cases, the C(4) shrubs maintained similar xylem properties but enhanced the canopy area per branch. By establishing a link between C(4) photosynthesis and xylem structure, this study indicates that other phenomena that affect WUE, such as atmospheric CO(2) variation, may also affect the evolution of wood structure and function.

  15. Regulation and function of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis in plants and algae.

    PubMed

    Brzezowski, Pawel; Richter, Andreas S; Grimm, Bernhard

    2015-09-01

    Tetrapyrroles are macrocyclic molecules with various structural variants and multiple functions in Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes. Present knowledge about the metabolism of tetrapyrroles reflects the complex evolution of the pathway in different kingdoms of organisms, the complexity of structural and enzymatic variations of enzymatic steps, as well as a wide range of regulatory mechanisms, which ensure adequate synthesis of tetrapyrrole end-products at any time of development and environmental condition. This review intends to highlight new findings of research on tetrapyrrole biosynthesis in plants and algae. In the course of the heme and chlorophyll synthesis in these photosynthetic organisms, glutamate, one of the central and abundant metabolites, is converted into highly photoreactive tetrapyrrole intermediates. Thereby, several mechanisms of posttranslational control are thought to be essential for a tight regulation of each enzymatic step. Finally, we wish to discuss the potential role of tetrapyrroles in retrograde signaling and point out perspectives of the formation of macromolecular protein complexes in tetrapyrrole biosynthesis as an efficient mechanism to ensure a fine-tuned metabolic flow in the pathway. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Chloroplast Biogenesis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Direct mechanochemical cleavage of functional groups from graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felts, Jonathan R.; Oyer, Andrew J.; Hernández, Sandra C.; Whitener, Keith E., Jr.; Robinson, Jeremy T.; Walton, Scott G.; Sheehan, Paul E.

    2015-03-01

    Mechanical stress can drive chemical reactions and is unique in that the reaction product can depend on both the magnitude and the direction of the applied force. Indeed, this directionality can drive chemical reactions impossible through conventional means. However, unlike heat- or pressure-driven reactions, mechanical stress is rarely applied isometrically, obscuring how mechanical inputs relate to the force applied to the bond. Here we report an atomic force microscope technique that can measure mechanically induced bond scission on graphene in real time with sensitivity to atomic-scale interactions. Quantitative measurements of the stress-driven reaction dynamics show that the reaction rate depends both on the bond being broken and on the tip material. Oxygen cleaves from graphene more readily than fluorine, which in turn cleaves more readily than hydrogen. The technique may be extended to study the mechanochemistry of any arbitrary combination of tip material, chemical group and substrate.

  17. Testing surrogacy assumptions: can threatened and endangered plants be grouped by biological similarity and abundances?

    PubMed

    Che-Castaldo, Judy P; Neel, Maile C

    2012-01-01

    There is renewed interest in implementing surrogate species approaches in conservation planning due to the large number of species in need of management but limited resources and data. One type of surrogate approach involves selection of one or a few species to represent a larger group of species requiring similar management actions, so that protection and persistence of the selected species would result in conservation of the group of species. However, among the criticisms of surrogate approaches is the need to test underlying assumptions, which remain rarely examined. In this study, we tested one of the fundamental assumptions underlying use of surrogate species in recovery planning: that there exist groups of threatened and endangered species that are sufficiently similar to warrant similar management or recovery criteria. Using a comprehensive database of all plant species listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and tree-based random forest analysis, we found no evidence of species groups based on a set of distributional and biological traits or by abundances and patterns of decline. Our results suggested that application of surrogate approaches for endangered species recovery would be unjustified. Thus, conservation planning focused on individual species and their patterns of decline will likely be required to recover listed species.